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Former Reagan aide says GOP has gone from a party of ideas to a party of lunacy

The utterly irrational conspiracy theory about Barack Obama’s plot to use the U.S. military for a hostile takeover of Texas is just the latest example of how a sizable segment of the Republican Party has wandered far afield from reality. The GOP didn’t used to be that way. Not long ago, it was widely seen as a party of fresh ideas. Sadly, however, it has become, as Bruce Bartlett, a former senior policy analyst for Ronald Reagan, puts it, “the party of crazy people, ignorant Tea Party people—people who know nothing and are...

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Jeb Bush unwittingly reminds us who was right and who was wrong about Iraq War

Three cheers for Jeb Bush! He didn’t mean to do it, but he has reminded us that his brother, George W., and the other war hawks of his time have been proven dead wrong about the U.S. invasion of Iraq some 12 years ago. Nor is the negative judgment of the Iraq War just my opinion. Polls show that it’s now shared by a majority of Americans, including lots of conservative Republicans. Jeb finds himself in hot water this week for answering affirmatively to a question of whether he would support the invasion of Iraq given what we now...

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Prominent religionist says survey shows coming collapse of Christianity in America

Rod Dreher (above) is a religious conservative but not exactly a member of what’s widely known as the Religious Right. A columnist by trade, Dreher often writes about religious matters. And he’s out today with a piece on the website of American Conservative that’s alarming or alarmist, depending on your point of view. As we see HERE, Dreher fears for the future of Christianity in this country: The Pew Center is out with a comprehensive study of religion in America, and the news is bad for Christians: The Christian share of...

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Big blowback prompts Jeb Bush to weasel away from his remarks about Iraq War

Looking back at the Iraq War, most Americans now think it was big blunder. We now know that the rationale George W. Bush advanced for invading Iraq was mistaken, to put it charitably. No politician in his or her right mind is going to declare today that the invasion was a good idea — especially in light of what we know now. But Jeb Bush made exactly such a declaration in an interview the other day with Megyn Kelly of Fox News. Not surprisingly,  a firestorm of criticism from liberals and conservatives alike has ensued. Nor is it a...

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Fox News analyst says Republican presidential hopefuls are mostly flip-floppers

Fox News Channel apparently keeps political analyst Juan Williams on its payroll to fill two quotas. He’s liberal (sort of), and he’s black. Williams is out today with a piece in which he characterizes the race for the Republican presidential nomination as “an exhibition of cartwheel-size political flip-flops.” But it’s not under the Fox banner that Williams delivers this snide commentary. Rather, it’s on the website The Hill. Anyway, Williams derides a whole host of GOP presidential hopefuls for switching...

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Much of what passes for conservatism these days would have appalled even Ronald Reagan

On the 20th anniversary last month of Timothy McVeigh’s bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma City, syndicated columnist Leonard Pitts wrote this: Twenty years ago, the idea of anti-government resistance seemed confined to a lunatic fringe operating in the shadows beyond the mainstream. Twenty years later, it is the mainstream, the beating heart of the Republican Party. And while certainly no responsible figure on the right advocates or condones what he did, it is just as certain that McVeigh’s violent antipathy toward Washington,...

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Is the United States a democracy or a republic? Actually, it’s both

On frequent occasions — most recently, just yesterday — I come across the dubious claim that the United States of America is not a democracy, but a republic. Actually, the label is irrelevant. Our system is what it is. We live under the rules of the Constitution, and those rules don’t change by virtue of what label we apply to the system. After all, to hear right-wing critics of Barack Obama tell it, we currently live under a monarchy — a silly notion, if there ever was one. I subscribe to the theory articulated by...

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Here’s another argument on why politicians who say they aren’t politicians are fools

A couple of days ago, I wrote a blog post HERE mocking Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson for claiming that he’s not a politician. Carly Fiorina has since made an identical claim. Such claims are nothing new, of course. Some candidates, recognizing that politicians are often held in widespread disfavor, seem to think that they can endear themselves to the general public by claiming that they’re not really politicians. But that’s like a stable-owner arguing that his entrant in the Kentucky Derby is not really a...

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Why are Republican politicians so afraid of climate science?

You may have noticed lately that Republican politicians who don’t want to face the uncomfortable realities of global warming and climate change have taken to prefacing their remarks on the subject with the lame disclaimer that “I’m not a scientist, but…” As if that kind of cowardice isn’t bad enough, we also have THIS: Now, it seems, they are trying to go one better. They are trying to prevent even scientists from being scientists. Last week, the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, headed by...

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Poll: Voters would be more comfortable with a gay presidential candidate than an evangelical

There is a wealth of fascinating stuff in the results of the latest monthly political poll commissioned by the Wall Street Journal and NBC News. Consider, for example, responses to hypothetical questions about how voters would feel about a presidential candidate who happens to be gay or one who claims to be an evangelical Christian. The gay candidate scores higher than the evangelical on both of the positive responses (“enthusiastic” or “comfortable”), and the evangelical candidate scores higher on both of the negative...

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For all his so-called expertise on the subject, Paul Ryan knows very little about poverty

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan — the Janesville Genius, as I mockingly call him — pretends that he knows more about poverty in America than almost anyone else. But he doesn’t. In fact, much of what he claims to know is simply wrong, as we see HERE: [F]or all Ryan’s rhetoric on poverty, he’s also the author of a series of budgets that would absolutely wreck programs for the American poor, inflicting massive human suffering on the nation’s most vulnerable residents. It’s never been exactly clear how Ryan would...

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Another politician foolishly denies that he’s a politician

You’re familiar, I’m sure, with the old joke about the first indication that a politician is lying is when his lips are moving. But what can we say about a politician whose first really big lie is his claim that he’s not a politician? Neurosurgeon Ben Carson launched his presidential candidacy yesterday with just such a lie. “I am not a politician,” he told an audience of admirers in his native Detroit. Of course, Carson is not the first Republican presidential candidate to make such a declaration. Michele...

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