Political Landscape

The Cromnibus Bill

A few notes for those who find themselves upset over how the “Cromnibus” was written/passed. Writing the Bill The deal was made by leaders of the House (Republicans), Senate (Democrats), and White House (Obama). So no one group is responsible for having ‘snuck in’ any secret provisions. This includes: The provision increasing the amount of…

by w4l3XzY3

by w4l3XzY3

The Politics of Parenthood

In an interview conducted by Rachel Maddow, John Stewart once suggested that the media exaggerates the centrality of the Republican/Democratic divide in America. Looking surprised, Maddow asked what he meant. As an example, Stewart suggested that the difference between people with children and those without was much more significant. At the time I thought it…

What If Jesus Was Right About The Poor?

The title is the first of two questions that have been been bouncing around in my head for a few months now. It has to do with a comment made by Jesus. Here’s how it was recorded in The Gospel of St. Mark: For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will…

On The West Wing and the Republican Party of Today

Lately I have been watching a lot of The West Wing, the Emmy winning Aaron Sorkin political drama that ran from 1999 to 2006. At the time, it was criticized for representing a liberal fantasy thatrelying too often on simply “doing the right thing” and making a good speech as the answer to political problems….

On Gary Johnson

In my last post, I was pretty clear about why I think third party presidential votes are a bad idea. But I have to say more about one of those candidates: Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party. Johnson is perhaps the closest I’ve seen in my political life to a third party candidate worth supporting….

Why I Did Not Vote for a Third Party Presidential Candidate

The other night I took another of those online tests to see who you should be voting for. You know the type. They ask a set of questions on your policy views and then tell you which candidate you should vote for. Many people, myself included, find that their preferences match more closely with a…

Choosing a Presidential Candidate

I should be grading, preparing new lectures, or otherwise tackling a productive task. But I seem to know a surprising number of swing voters (albeit none living in swing states). So I want to suggest a few things to keep in mind when choosing a presidential candidate.   1) You are voting for a party…

What’s Actually Wrong with the Republican Party

This piece by Jonathan Bernstein alerted me to this Washington Post op-ed by¬†Tom Mann and Norm Ornstein. Mann and Ornstein suggest that the problem with the Republicans is that they’ve gone too far to the right and are subsequently unwilling/unable to compromise in beneficial ways. The result is more detrimental government gridlock. I think Bernstein…

Santorum on Religious Freedom

Rick Santorum, former Senator and current presidential candidate, got into some trouble a few months back when he suggested that John F. Kennedy’s 1960 speech to the¬†Greater Houston Ministerial Association made him want to vomit. The speech is a landmark in the history of religion and politics, helping to address concerns that Kennedy, our first…