Matthew Continetti

Right vs. Write

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

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The most honest conservative commentary I've seen lately on the topic of income inequality was Matthew Continetti's "About Inequality" in the Nov. 14 Weekly Standard. The usual conservative approach to income inequality (besides simply ignoring it) is to try to argue that it doesn't really exist, or to argue that if it does exist, it's mooted by upward mobility, or to argue that it's good for you. The trouble with these responses is that they're in conflict with the facts. Income inequality has been growing for 32 years, upward mobility in the U.S.

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The right-wing libertarian billionaires Charles and David Koch have been the subject of enormous controversy recently. Liberals have fiercely attacked them, and conservative and libertarians have defended them with equal passion. Now we have Matthew Continetti of the Weekly Standard joining in with an 8,000 word cover story. Continetti is the author of “The Persecution Of Sarah Palin,” and in this piece he reprises his role as ghost author for a popular conservative victim-hero.

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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.

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The Weekly Standard's Matthew Continetti, author of "The Persecution of Sarah Palin," takes to the Washington Post to expose the "myth" that Sarah Palin cost John McCain the election: She didn't. CNN's 2008 national exit poll, for example, asked voters whether Palin was a factor when they stepped into the voting booth. Those who said yes broke for McCain 56 percent to 43 percent. Before Palin's selection, remember, McCain suffered from an enthusiasm gap.

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The Republican line continues to be that the Affordable Care Act is wildly unpopular and Americans are dying to repeal it. (See Matthew Continetti's Weekly Standard editorial for a good sample of said agitprop.) The reality, while hardly encouraging for liberals, is still a lot better than that. The law may not be popular, but most of its provisions are.

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The Weekly Standard has a cover package about how President Obama drove the economy in the ditch. One of the stories, which I discussed yesterday, is premised entirely on ignoring economic forecasts from early 2009. The other article is Matthew Continetti's article, "The Zombie Economy," which is a kind of neoclassical argument that the economy needs to be totally purged, but Obama is intervening to support politically-connected business that ought to be allowed to die.

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Conservatives are finally striking back in the great epistemic closure debate! If you have no idea what I'm talking about, let me explain. Libertarian-ish blogger Julian Sanchez has been writing about the conservative movement's descent into epistemic closure, or a hermetically-sealed mental world in which only information provided by organs of the conservative movement is trusted.

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Matthew Continetti at the Weekly Standard argues that faster economic growth won't help the Democrats' political fortunes: Democrats believe that once the economy returns to normalcy the Tea Party will disappear and Obama's approval rating will climb. They're wrong, because while the economy contributes to Obama's unpopularity, it doesn't explain everything. The Tea Party isn't primarily motivated by unemployment and lackluster GDP growth.

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I hope the deficit reduction commission works, but I've been highly skeptical of its success, because the Republican Party remains firmly in the grip of supply-side dogma. Here's Newt Gingrich the other day: America needs to know that Republicans say ‘yes’ to balancing the budget by growing the economy and reducing spending, not by raising or creating new taxes. And here's the Weekly Standard's Matthew Continetti: No amount of tax revenue will stop a politician from spending the additional dollar, and a VAT doesn't stop politicians from making promises they cannot keep.

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