South Carolina

The Conservative Circus
May 06, 2011

Thursday night’s Republican presidential debate in South Carolina basically consisted of one actual, viable politician who could conceivably win a presidential election—Tim Pawlenty—standing alongside a bunch of fifth-tier candidates who had no hope: Rick Santorum, Herman Cain, Ron Paul, and Gary Johnson. Indeed, by about halfway through the debate, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) had blasted out three long “fact-check” e-mails addressing things Pawlenty had said, while completely ignoring everyone else.

I Heart Huckabee
May 06, 2011

For Mike Huckabee, the decision of whether to run for president has got to be excruciating. On the one hand, he’s done quite well in both primary and general election polls without lifting a finger. He has a very clear path to the nomination based on his demonstrated strengths with socially conservative voters in 2008. And the GOP has moved in his ideological direction since then, making his “insurgent” persona far more of an asset than a liability.

Labor Intensive
May 05, 2011

On April 20, Lafe Solomon, the acting general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), issued a complaint against Boeing. Two years ago, the company had announced it was transferring the production of 2,000 airplanes from a unionized plant in Puget Sound, Washington, to a non-union plant outside Charleston, South Carolina. According to Solomon’s complaint, what made this decision illegal was the company’s motive.

Obama Needs A Better Hostage Rescue Strategy
April 10, 2011

Last November, Ezra Klein pointed out that it would be utterly absurd for Democrats to knuckle in to deficit-increasing policies demanded by Republicans and then allow the Republicans to use the resulting increase in the debt to score political points and/or gain policy leverage: Congress will have to vote to lift the debt ceiling. Republicans are already looking toward this moment eagerly. Sen.

Dream Sequence
April 07, 2011

There are so many unknowns to bedevil any poor pundit trying to call the 2012 Republican nomination. For starters, we still don’t know for sure who’s going to run.

The Trouble with MOX
April 07, 2011

Last August, workers at Japan’s now infamous Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant loaded the first batch of mixed-oxide fuel, or MOX, into one of their reactors. The event went largely unnoticed in the United States; but in Japan it was deeply controversial. Unlike traditional nuclear fuel, which is pure uranium, MOX is a far more dangerous blend of both uranium and plutonium (the latter is among the most carcinogenic substances on Earth).

Is the Tea Party Really Clever? Or Really Dumb?
March 31, 2011

Although I’m not part of the Tea Party movement and I don’t share its values, I usually understand what its followers are trying to do. But their latest gambit on health care has me genuinely baffled. The idea is to oppose the Affordable Care Act not in the Congress or the courts, where they’ve been fighting so far, but in the state legislatures. As you may recall, the Act calls upon states to create the new “exchanges,” through which individuals and small businesses will be able to buy regulated insurance policies at affordable prices.

Mitt Romney In Expectations Wonderland
March 25, 2011

Jonathan Martin explains Mitt Romney's strategy to win the GOP nomination: the former Massachusetts governor’s aim, according to multiple aides and advisers, is to exceed expectations his team is working feverishly to lower in Iowa, to come back strong with a win in New Hampshire, to survive South Carolina in part by picking up an off-setting victory in Nevada and then to settle in for what many described as “a slog” that they’ll emerge from thanks to superior money and organization.  Mike Crowley doesn't know what to expect: If you're feverishly working to lower expectations in Iowa, maybe it

The Romney Chronicles, Cont'd
March 18, 2011

The Massachusetts health care reforms continue to haunt Mitt Romney.

Man on Book
March 03, 2011

“I want to contribute to the world of ideas.” That was how Rick Santorum envisioned his political future back in 2007, two months after losing his Pennsylvania Senate seat by 18 points. The sentiment may have sounded strange coming from a Republican best known for his in-your-face social conservatism—the guy who chalked up the Catholic Church’s abuse scandal to Boston’s “cultural liberalism” and suggested that gay marriage could usher in “man-on-dog” relationships.