April 28, 2010
Where is it most painful to be a highly visible incumbent politician at this particular moment in U.S. history? Perhaps it’s California, where current economic and budgetary discontents are compounding a growing public fury over chronically dysfunctional state government and an imprisoning constitution.
The Day In Epistemic Closure
April 14, 2010
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.
More Insincere Advice For Dems
March 12, 2010
Pollsters Doug Schoen and Pat Caddell have a Washington Post op-ed urging the Democrats to abandon health care reform out of their own self-interest: As pollsters to the past two Democratic presidents, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, respectively, we feel compelled to challenge the myths that seem to be prevailing in the political discourse and to once again urge a change in course before it is too late.
The Beck Supremacy
December 26, 2009
When Vince Flynn recently finished writing his eleventh novel, Pursuit of Honor, he sent an advance copy to Rush Limbaugh, along with some special reading instructions. Upon arriving at Chapter 50, he told the radio host in a note inscribed on the chapter’s first page, “open one of your bottles of Lafite and grab a cigar and savor these words.” Flynn self-published his first political thriller twelve years ago but, today, has a seven-figure contract with an imprint of Simon & Schuster.
Against Common Sense
November 30, 2009
Conservatives would have us believe that they hold a monopoly on common sense. Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, and many other right-wing rabble-rousers regularly portray themselves as defenders of the good, old-fashioned common sense of average Americans against an out-of-touch liberal elite.
Sorting the Liars from the Loonies
October 19, 2009
David Frum, trying harder than usual to alienate himself from the derangement of his party, suggests a thought experiment to determine which conservative "entertainers" actually believe the lunacy they peddle: Suppose an agent arrived in the offices of Limbaugh/Beck/Hannity/O’Reilly etc. with an offer. “I can guarantee you a deal that will pay you twice as much - bring you twice as much fame - and extend your career twice as long - if you’d say the exact opposite of what you are saying now.” Which of them would sign? Frum's guesses: My nominations: O’Reilly accepts for sure.
Kevin Jennings Is Not Roman Polanski
October 13, 2009
Recently, several conservatives have been lashing out at a favorite new target: Kevin Jennings, the Obama administration's openly gay "safe schools czar." Both Sean Hannity and Republican Congressman Steve King have called for Jennings to be fired or to resign. Their main beef? That Jennings didn't contact authorities when, as a high school teacher in Massachusetts in the 1980s, a male student confided in him about a sexual encounter with an older man.
The Making Of A Conservative Heretic
May 14, 2009
A few days ago, Jon tweaked Jerry Taylor, a poster at the Corner, for refering to Rush Limbaugh and his conservative TV and radio brethren as figures who are "thought to be relatively unpopular with non-movement Americans." Jon imagined that this was a characteristic example of low-grade conservative disingenuousness, a unwillingness to acknowlege that Limbaugh is, in fact, demonstrably unpopular. Taylor replied, essentially saying that he wasn't being disingenuous; he simply hadn't seen the polls in question.
The Difference Between Limbaugh And Hannity
May 13, 2009
Courtesy of Conor Friedersdorf, who's been doing excellent work over at The American Scene: Mr. Limbaugh’s most spurious arguments succeed in part because he is the preeminent talent in his medium. One unhappy consequence is that, insofar as he is a teacher, his pupils are prone to regurgitating monologues whose idiocy is laid bare when they are delivered by less talented communicators. I admit that I am vexed by Mr.
Shrinking Tent Watch
April 14, 2009
Another day, another heretical GOP Goldberg. First, it was Jonah taking his lumps from Rush Limbaugh for (literally) a few words congratulating President Obama on the successful resolution of the pirate situation. Today, it's conservative media critic Bernie (no relation), lecturing Sean Hannity on his refusal to credit Obama with handling the situation well:: "He was the commander-in-chief. It happened on his watch. That's the way it goes in the real world of politics. If something bad happened here--and thank God it didn't..