The Republicans: From party to primordial swamp

It’s tempting to characterize the ongoing turmoil among Republicans as a partisan “civil war”—tempting, but incorrect. A civil war is a contest between factions for control of a coherent territory. What’s happing to the GOP is closer a shattered window, where dozens of fissures run in all directions and, sometimes, back onto themselves. At the moment, the Republicans’ intramural politics are a kind of primordial swamp with all sorts of toxic elements oozing from the cracks caused by the party’s own internal contradictions. The insurgent candidacies of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, however, are not the cause of the Republicans’ long, slow ...

Sorry Ted Cruz, it is Obama’s Duty as President to Name a New Supreme Court Justice

In the great debate over civil rights and an independent judiciary that consumed the German Reichstag in October of 1877, the Catholic parliamentarian Ludwig Windthorst decisively broke with the Prussian Chancellor, Otto von Bismarck, and his brand of conservatism: “‘Conservative' means to conserve the given, legitimate institutions in State and Church,” Windthorst said. “It does not mean to arm a government with omnipotence, with which it can modify those institutions at will. So long as you confuse conservatism with Polizeiwirtschaft (a police state) an alliance with you is certainly unthinkable." Nor does a genuine conservatism empower one party to remake all ...

Donald Trump’s Latest Campaign Trick: Suing to Win

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If there is anything that validates Donald Trump’s claim to outsider status in the current presidential race, it’s his threat to sue and force a “do over” of the Iowa caucuses. The real estate developer seems to think this is one of his cockamamie business deals, where everybody sues everybody at the end, then settles so half the participants walk away with money they neither earned nor deserve. Trump is upset because the last Iowa polls—including the highly respected Des Moines Register survey—showed him with a substantial lead on both Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. Because the polls didn’t predict the ...