Right vs. Write
February 22, 2012
When a new right-wing website, The Washington Free Beacon, launched in February, Matthew Continetti, its 30-year-old editor-in-chief, kicked off the proceedings with an aggressive manifesto titled “Combat Journalism.” The essay laid out the history of conservative alienation from the mainstream media, which Continetti referred to as the “wolf pack” or, borrowing a line from Tony Blair, “the feral beast.” Conservatives, Continetti argued, had been outplayed by a host of institutions on the left, like the Center for American Progress (CAP) and MoveOn, which are better at promoting their views t
Coffee Is For Epistemic Closers
June 20, 2011
Christopher Hitchens deftly skewers David Mamet, the playwright who has converted to the Republican Party with the fervency of, well a convert: This is an extraordinarily irritating book, written by one of those people who smugly believe that, having lost their faith, they must ipso facto have found their reason. In order to be persuaded by it, you would have to be open to propositions like this: “Part of the left’s savage animus against Sarah Palin is attributable to her status not as a woman, neither as a Conservative, but as a Worker.” Or this: “America is a Christian country.
House Of Games
May 16, 2011
The conservative accounting of Hollywood types who express their political views comes in two forms. The first form -- the dominant type -- is when a Hollywood liberal pipes up about politics, and the reaction inevitably involves sneering at the idea anybody should care about what some Hollywood liberal thinks. The second form occurs when a Hollywood conservative speaks his mind, and it invariably entails rapturous, fawning gratitude at the emergence of a brave voice in the wilderness. Andrew Ferguson's lengthy profile of David Mamet in the Weekly Standard falls into the second category.
How Haley Barbour Can Win
December 20, 2010
Andrew Ferguson's profile of Haley Barbour is attracting a lot of attention because Barbour's praise of the White Citizen's Councils of his native Yazoo, Mississippi, accepted by Ferguson at face value, turns out to be historically inaccurate. Aside from the significant flaw of glossing over Barbour's praise for a white supremacist organization, Ferguson's profile is not that bad. It does, however, reveal some persistent tics in conservative thinking about race, segregation and the South.
Sanity Vs. Insanity At The Weekly Standard
October 21, 2010
I recently cited Andrew Ferguson's great review, in the Weekly Standard, which notes how, in order to vilify President Obama as an extremist, conservatives have begun to sing the praises of the once-reviled Bill Clinton. Ferguson writes: I remember a press conference in 1993 got up by Empower America, a now-forgotten Republican think tank. The purpose was to mark the end of the first year of the Clinton administration. A murderers row of famous-for-Washington conservatives took turns denouncing the Democrats who had seized the White House after a dozen years of Republican benevolence.
Obama The Non-Radical
October 18, 2010
I've been pointing out for a while that, while Republicans today claim that President Obama is an unprecedented left-wing radical, and that Bill Clinton was far more moderate, in the 1990s they were just as hysterical about Clinton as they are today about Obama. Andrew Ferguson makes this point better and in much greater detail: I remember a press conference in 1993 got up by Empower America, a now-forgotten Republican think tank. The purpose was to mark the end of the first year of the Clinton administration.
Light Bulbs Defy Right-Wing Doom Predictions Again
August 12, 2010
Two years ago, President Bush signed an energy bill raising energy efficiency standards for light bulbs, to take effect in 2012. Libertarians like Andrew Ferguson bemoaned the consumer disaster that would be created by this big government overreach: The quality of the light given off by CFLs is quite different from what we're used to from incandescents. The old bulb concentrates its light through a small surface area. CFLs don't shine in beams; they glow all the way around, diffusing their illumination. They're terrible reading lights.
Kent Conrad: The New Ted Kennedy
September 20, 2009
Andrew Ferguson's Weekly Standard review of Ted Kennedy's memoirs gets in some good shots at the Kennedy family, but is rather ungenerous in evaluating Ted's senate career. Near the end of the piece, Ferguson writes: Any number of sitting senators have been as energetic and effective. Give Richard Lugar, Kent Conrad, Max Baucus--even Orrin Hatch!--another 15 or 20 years and their achievements will match Kennedy's. The talky-talkies won't notice, though. "Talky-talkies" is Ferguson's (hilarious!) way of describing liberal journalists (who just chatter away with their fellow elites!).
Chicago's Libertarian Liberals
June 21, 2008
In case you missed the previous issue of the Weekly Standard, Andrew Ferguson’s dartboard reporting from Chicago is an interesting read. When it comes to choosing leaders of the free world, the question of residency, Ferguson tells us, is “not a trifling question.
Fred Thompson, The Real Narcissist
January 28, 2008
One of the strangest symptoms of conservative distaste for government is a fondness for politicians who display absolutely no ambition or drive in trying to attain higher office. A case in point would be this Andrew Ferguson piece in The Weekly Standard. Ferguson writes: It's bad, apparently, not having fire in the belly. The premise seems to be that vein-popping ambition, unrestrained avidity, is a necessary if not sufficient quality for someone who wants to hold the highest political position in a democratic country.