Gary Bauer

Schumer's support for Hagel seems like another setback for the pro-Israel lobby. Or is it?

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Fringe

Ever since Michele Bachmann announced her intention to form a presidential exploratory committee, pundits, including Ed Kilgore at TNR, have been making the case that she has a good chance at winning Iowa—or if not winning, then doing well enough to hurt one or more of the stronger candidates. Republican caucus-goers in the state, they argue, are at least half-nuts, and therefore may well support Bachmann or some other candidate who doesn’t pass conventional standards of seriousness. Certainly, Iowa Republicans are very socially conservative, more so than in some other states.

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Neoconservatism long ago ceased to have any meaningful ideological difference with just plain old conservatism. Perhaps the one remaining vestigial trait of the ideological tendency is a mania for forming committees and stuffing them with progenies (of both the ideological and the literal sort). The glory days of neoconservatism in the 1970s revolved around such committees as the Committee on the Present Danger and the Coalition for a Democratic Majority.

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Gary Bauer, speaking about Palin coverage at a pro-life event near the Xcel Center: The American media has hit a new low in tabloid journalism... They ought to be ashamed of themselves. The crowd loves it. --Michael Crowley

Forget Michigan and Flip-Flop Mitt. With South Carolina looming, the more gripping question on the GOP side is whether values voters will be able to help Mike Huckabee extend his magical mystery tour. With Huck’s candidacy now intimately tied to evangelicals, one can’t help but think that the movement’s political fate depends to a degree on his.

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Greener Pastors

Bradford Plumer: Inside the evangelical war over climate change.

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Greener Pastors

When James Dobson gets angry, people notice. And, in early March, the influential chair of Focus on the Family fired off a very angry letter to the board of the National Association of Evangelicals. Tony Perkins of The Family Research Council signed it. So did Gary Bauer. So did 22 other conservative Christian leaders. Their complaint? It seems that Richard Cizik, NAE's vice-president for governmental affairs, had been sounding the alarm on global warming.

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God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It By Jim Wallis (HarperSanFrancisco, 384 pp., $24.95) Taking Faith Seriously Edited by Mary Jo Bane, Brent Coffin, and Richard Higgins (Harvard University Press, 381 pp., $29.95) The phenomenon of martyrdom demonstrates that political success and personal salvation do not generally go together. The faithful find grace not in building winning coalitions, but in worshipping God's glory. Gazing toward heaven means stumbling on earth, a small price to pay for the rewards that await. For a deeply religious society, the Unit

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Moral Minority

Here are some of the things for which Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson is best known: He opposes abortion rights and signed into law a measure so restrictive the U.S. Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional. He fights with teachers' unions and helped bring a school-voucher pilot program to Milwaukee. Finally, and most famously, he despises welfare, having signed one of the first laws requiring single mothers to work in order to receive government assistance. So it's no wonder conservatives are so gleeful that President-elect George W.

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Open Door

On November 15, when President Clinton's weary negotiators agreed to back China's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO), they set the stage for the last great struggle of this presidency. The battle lines are clear. Arrayed behind the administration is the entire political establishment: the four leading Democratic and Republican presidential candidates, every living former secretary of state and secretary of the treasury, and every major business lobby and farm lobby in Washington, D.C.

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