Blog No. 72. The August Debate and the RINOcracy.com Ten

As most readers of RINOcracy.com may have noticed, the media have already begun to speculate on who will participate in the first debate among Republican Presidential candidates in August. (We use the term “debate” loosely because in their current form such events bear little resemblance to traditional debates and are more in the nature of forums, or verbal free-for-alls.) The speculation is prompted by the fact that the sponsor of the debate, Fox News, has decided that only the ten contenders ranking highest in opinion polls will be invited to the party.

The Fox rule is not irrational by any means. It seems reasonable to have some limitation if the proceedings are to be at all coherent and within the patience of the audience. CNN has announced that it will hold a second-tier debate on the same evening for those who are excluded from the Fox event but are polling at least 1%. It is not clear, however, which if any of the candidates will be attracted to what some have dubbed the “kids’ table.” In any case, it is clear that Fox’s main event will involve several candidates for whom RINOcracy.com has little enthusiasm and omit others from whom we would like to hear. So we thought it might be of interest to identify our own list of preferred candidates with a brief comment as to why each was included. As to those who are not on our list, we shall, for the moment, observe Ronald Reagan’s “11th Commandment” not to speak ill of other Republicans. (We do not promise to be so obedient over the next 17 months leading up to the election.)RINOcracy10 […]

Special Bulletin. More Announcements: Clinton and Rubio

On Sunday and Monday, Hillary Clinton and Marco Rubio announced their candidacies for president. In the nature of such things, neither announcement came as a surprise. (The Economist had quipped shortly before the Clinton announcement that “For most Americans this will be as surprising as the news that Cinco de Mayo will once again be on May 5th.”) Similarly, both announcements offered little in the way of substance. Indeed, Clinton’s may have broken all previous records for airiness, consisting almost entirely of brief videos of a predictably diverse and uniformly attractive collection of citizens.  […]

Blog No. 57 Charlotte’s Web, Medical Marijuana and the Vagaries of the Law

There has been considerable movement afoot in the world of marijuana in the past year. In November, voters in Alaska, Oregon and the District of Columbia passed referenda authorizing and regulating the sale and use of marijuana. They joined Colorado and Washington State, which had previously adopted such laws. In Florida, a referendum authorizing the use of medical marijuana drew the support of a majority of voters but failed to gain the required approval of 60%. In June, however, the Florida legislature, had passed  a narrower law authorizing only a specific, non-euphoric, form of medical marijuana, known as Charlotte’s Web. A total of 22 states have now adopted laws authorizing some form of medical marijuana. […]

Blog No. 43, Part III: Ukraine – and What Lies Beyond.

A period of relative calm had pushed Ukraine out of the center of media and public attention for a brief time when President Petro Poroshenko addressed Congress on September 18. It is, however, a situation that we dare not lose sight of for very long. President Poroshenko gave an eloquent speech that drew several standing ovations. He may be Ukraine’s most important single asset: a leader of vision, courage and pragmatism. While it is doubtful that Ukraine will receive the weaponry that he seeks, Poroshenko gave the impression that he will find a way for Ukraine to survive. […]

Blog No. 31 Update: Exploring the Desert with Jeb Bush and the Republican Field

In Blog No. 31, we expressed confidentially (to RINOs and our friends) a pre-endorsement of Jeb Bush. We would not like to claim post hoc credit for subsequent developments, but we are heartened by them. […]

Blog No. 31 GOP in the Desert: Looking for a Lawrence of Arabia

The annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) took place in Maryland last week, producing little heat and less light. Although some speakers acknowledged the need for the Republican Party to broaden its base, or to focus more on winning elections and less on ideology, concrete examples of either were in short supply. Given the sponsorship of the event, it is perhaps not surprising that stale pieties from the conservative canon were the carte du jour.

A more interesting picture of the Republican Party emerged from a February 25 article in The National Interest by Henry Olsen, “The Four Faces of the Republican Party.”  Based on a detailed analysis of primary elections in the past several years, Mr. Olsen refuted the notion that the fate of the Republican Party will lie in a contest between the Tea Party and the “establishment.” Rather, according to Olsen, there are four major factions within the Republican Party. The largest faction, and the one most likely to yield the Party’s nominee, is “slightly conservative.” Mr. Olsen’s essay was sufficiently cogent that it has already been summarized in full columns by two major pundits: Dan Balz in The Washington Post and Ross Douthat in The New York Times. Because it provides a useful counterpoint to CPAC, it deserves some further mention here. […]

Blog No. 26. Poverty and Marriage.

SPECIAL-marriage-and-child-poverty-WEB-GFX-2The Fiftieth Anniversary of Lyndon Johnson’s declaration of a War on Poverty spurred considerable discussion of whether that war was a success or failure. In the view of RINOcracy.com, William Galston, writing in the Wall Street Journal had it about right:

Every serious analysis concludes that poverty in the U.S. would be far worse without the programs launched during the Great Society. So conservatives should stop repeating Ronald Reagan’s canard that we fought a war on poverty and poverty won. It is more accurate to say that we fought poverty to a draw in circumstances that became increasingly unfavorable for lower-wage workers and their families. […]