Wednesday, March 14, 2012

If Not Us, Who?

If Not Us, Who? is David Frisk's excellent new biography of William Rusher, the longtime publisher of National Review.  It explains how Rusher provided important links between the conservative intellectual movement and the practical world of Republican politics.  Anyone interested in how conservatism evolved from the 1950s through the 1980s should read this book.

An earlier version was Frisk's doctoral dissertation.  Accordingly, his research is thorough and his analysis is evenhanded.  (Declaration of interest:  I was on his committee.)   At the same time, the book is readable and engaging.  It is completely accessible for general readers and would be very appropriate for adoption in courses dealing with the intersection of ideology and politics.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ron Paul Items

In his 1988 book, Ron Paul did not just disagree with Ronald Reagan, he repudiated the whole administration.

A former aide criticizes "the sheer lunacy of his foreign policy views."

As recently as 2010, Paul spoke to a John Birch Society meeting.  It is surprising that this item has not gotten more media attention.  Perhaps the reason is that so much of the campaign press corps now consists of twentysomethings who have no idea what the JBS stands for.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Gingrich Items

The next time you watch a Newt Gingrich speech or debate performance, try Gingrich Bingo, a game deriving from the former speaker's favorite words and phrases.

Gingrich has a longstanding admiration for Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt.

Nicholas Lemann's 1985 Atlantic profile has some fascinating material.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Gingrich, Maddow, and Public Goods

In MSNBC ads this year, Rachel Maddow has been making the public-goods case for government.

It is not surprising that she would offer such an argument. What might be a little surprising is that Newt Gingrich does the same thing.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Madison v. Gingrich

As a freshman House member, Newt Gingrich embraced the responsible party school, sounding a lot more like Woodrow Wilson than James Madison.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

The Rise of Newt

With Gingrich's continue rise in the polls, some may want to see recent items:

Gingrich would abolish the Congressional Budget Office -- but has relied on its analysis whenever convenient.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Budget and Management Fads

The public administration folks must be having a good laugh at current debates.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Ranked-Choice Voting

San Francisco is perhaps the most prominent jurisdiction to use ranked-choice (or instant-runoff) voting. Articles here and here describe how the current City campaign has unfolded.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Useful Phrase of the Week

"Kick-a-puppy syndrome" -- the belief that one's opponents are so mean that they would ... well, kick a puppy. More here.