A couple weeks ago, Mitch McConnell leaked his debt ceiling plan to Jennifer Rubin. She defended it assiduously. It was a brilliant idea, perfection itself. If it had any flaw at all, it was merely that it was too brilliant for its critics to understand: If there is a criticism of the McConnell plan it is that he vastly overestimated the ability of the political class to understand an out-of-the-box proposal.
Yes, Taxing the Rich Will Make a Difference
July 27, 2011
Few arguments seem to bother conservatives more these days than the suggestion that we could spare student loans and other valuable government programs by raising taxes on the very wealthy. On Tuesday, for example, Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin noted that the corporate jet loophole, which President Obama and Democrats are constantly decrying, costs the U.S. Treasury a mere $3 billion over the next ten years. Pell Grants, by contrast, will cost more than ten times that amount in the next year alone.
The Debt Ceiling And The Partisan Mind
July 25, 2011
In reference to my previous argument about how sheer partisan animus complicates any debt ceiling agreement, consider the sample case of Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post conservative blogger. Rubin is the paradigmatic case of a conservative whose positions on these issues is driven almost entirely by partisan heuristics. Today, for instance, she spits contempt upon Harry Reid's plan to pair a debt ceiling hike with $2.7 trillion in spending cuts and no revenue increases: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is devising a sham that will never pass muster in the House.
Mediscare And Elite Bias
June 02, 2011
Elite opinion and the biases of the news media, which are generally synonymous, tilt left on social issues, like gay rights, abortion and immigration, reflexively deeming conservative views as bigoted and irrational. On economics, elite opinion tilts slightly right -- opposed the the GOP agenda of debt-financed tax cuts, but strongly in favor of free trade. Elite opinion militantly favors deficit reduction and regards the cause of cutting entitlements as sacred writ. Two conservative bloggers have posts that, in different ways, reflect the latter reality.
The Bachmann Opportunity
May 16, 2011
Like Ed Kilgore and Nate Silver, I think Mike Huckabee's decision not to run for president increases the chances that Michelle Bachmann could win the nomination. In my view, the three main contenders for the nomination are, in order, 1) Tim Pawlenty, 2) A party establishment-friendly Republican not currently running, such as Mitch Daniels or Paul Ryan, and 3) Bachmann. Everybody else, including Sick Man Of The GOP Field Mitt Romney, falls into the longshot bin. Of the establishment-friendly potential candidates, the one most likely to pull the trigger at the moment seems to be Daniels.
Romney, Empiricism, And Conservative Dogma
May 13, 2011
I once wrote an article arguing that contemporary economic liberalism and economic conservatism are not mirror-image ideologies. Economic conservatism is philosophically committed to smaller government, regardless of practical effect, whereas liberalism supports more or less government on the basis of its measurable effect on human welfare. This dynamic is on full display in the right's rejection of Mitt Romney's health care plan in Massachusetts.
Remember the halcyon days when Sarah Palin was parroting the talking points of the neocon foreign policy advisors airlifted into the McCain campaign and remaining with her thereafter? It was an article of faith among conservatives, and especially neoconservatives, that Palin was a brilliant and thoughtful leader. Any notion to the contrary was the creation of a liberal media plot and fanned by the flames of coastal snobbery.
Glenn Beck Is So 2009
April 08, 2011
There's something funny about the tone of Jennifer Rubin's blog item kicking Glenn Beck as he heads out the door: Glenn Beck announced his departure from Fox News this week. It was no surprise. His ratings have been tanking, his shtick has gotten old and he has become a clownish figure, each “gag” more extreme than the last. In short, Beck is out of fashion in a time of increasingly mature conservative leadership. Yes, there are entertaining talk show hosts who educate and encourage the conservative base (Hugh Hewitt, Michael Medved and Bill Bennett come to mind).
Did Somebody Say "Under-Informed"?
April 01, 2011
Jennifer Rubin: Under-informed. Ed Kilgore writes an entire column about Mitt Romney’s chances in 2012 without mentioning health care. Thunk. The Ed Kilgore column in question: That’s the point at which his inability to run as the “true conservative,” and the doubts about his work on extending health care in Massachusetts, could take a major toll. This is one those times when take the step of hitting control-F and searching for the word "health" might have been useful, especially before slamming the subject as "under-informed."
Is Marco Rubio A Policy Wonk?
March 21, 2011
Jennifer Rubin has an item headlined, "Marco Rubio continues to impress," which gushes over Rubio's deep grasp of public policy. Here's the Rubio-authored passage she cites: Approving free-trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea would be a boon to our economy, create jobs for Floridians, and help solidify our alliances with these steadfast allies. The agreements with Colombia and Panama in particular would boost Florida’s economy, where over 1 million Floridians remain out of work.