Politics

Inconsistent Conservatives and Progressives

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Listening to the leading voices of conservatism and progressivism, one gets the feeling they are not quite listening to themselves. On any given day you are likely to hear each side make arguments against the other that fully apply to itself in some area of public policy. Progressives, for example, tend to be critical (though imperfectly so) of the military ... [click for more]

Liberal Delusions about Freedom

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To combat the town-hall protests that sprang up around the nation against President Obama’s health-care plan, one of the favorite tactics employed by liberals was to question the sanity of the protesters. Anyone who showed up at such meetings angrily protesting Obama’s plan to socialize medicine was termed a crazy. That was especially true if a protester happened to be ... [click for more]

Frightening Voters into Submission

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Former Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge has a new book out that reveals that he almost resigned because the Bush administration was hustling bogus terror alerts before the 2004 election. Ridge’s revelation was not surprising to people who had closely followed the tactics Bush used to snare a second term. During the 2004 campaign, residents of swing states were under ... [click for more]

Democratic Misrepresentation

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If you want to know how representative government works not in airy theory but on the ground, contemplate these facts: (1) Except perhaps for the rarest exception, no member of Congress will have read the entire final 1,000-plus-page bill that seeks, in the New York Times’s words, to “reinvent the nation’s health care system”; and (2) in July the ... [click for more]

Appoint a Special Prosecutor in the JFK-Joannides Matter

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While we’re discussing whether a special prosecutor should be named to investigate and prosecute CIA officials for violations of federal laws against murder, kidnapping, and torture, why not use the occasion to do the same in the matter of George Joannides? For it would be difficult to find a better example of obstruction of justice and fraud on the ... [click for more]

Hamilton’s Betrayal

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Hamilton’s Curse: How Jefferson’s Archenemy Betrayed the American Revolution — and What It Means for America Today by Thomas J. DiLorenzo (Crown Forum 2008); 232 pages. There is a tendency among Americans to think of the nation’s Founders as a group of wealthy white men who owned property, didn’t like ... [click for more]

Socialism: Faith Trumps Reality

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Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman got it right about a lot of things, but he was overly optimistic when he wrote in 1990 that socialism was dead. “Ten years ago, many people around the world believed that socialism was a viable, even the most promising, system for promoting material prosperity and human freedom,” wrote Friedman. ... [click for more]

Obama and Perilous Delusions of Democracy

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When Barack Obama was inaugurated on January 20, there was euphoria across the land and millions of people cheered in the streets of Washington. Many people are convinced that American democracy has been redeemed and that the federal government no longer poses a peril to individual rights. Since the people’s choice is now at the helm of the U.S. ... [click for more]

Boundless Ignorance versus Self-Government

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Modern democracy is based on faith that the people can control what they do not understand. As government has grown by leaps and bounds, “government by the people” has become one of the great fairy tales of our times. As the Founding Fathers feared, citizen ignorance often brings out the worst in their rulers. Contemporary ... [click for more]

The Campaign-Reform Crime, Part 2

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Part 1 | Part 2 We saw in the last issue how the McCain-Feingold Act — the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA) — sought to fundamentally change the American political landscape. Politicians did not allow the Act’s power to lie idle in the first presidential election after its enactment. The BCRA’s issue-ad ban — the peril that Justice ... [click for more]

The Peaceful Transfer of Violent Power

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At the risk of raining on the parade, I suggest that the inaugural festivities are not what they appear. Barack Obama says the pomp and circumstance are not about him but are a celebration of democracy. “For the forty-third time, we will execute the peaceful transfer of power from one president to the next,” ... [click for more]
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