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  • Originally published 08/09/2013

    Hey, Reince, Lay Off NBC and CNN for the Hillary Movies

    Credit: Wiki Commons.Reince Priebus, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, recently told NBC and CNN television executives that he would request that his party shut the two networks out of the GOP’s presidential debates during the 2016 primary race. Priebus issued the threat because NBC had a drama in production about Hillary Clinton and CNN planned to release a documentary film about her. The GOP chairman pointed out that Mrs. Clinton was the Democrats’ likely candidate for president in 2016. By depicting her life and activities, these movies might bolster Mrs. Clinton’s fortunes in the next presidential race. Others, including several GOP state party chairmen, warned that the two film productions could influence voters. They stressed that television networks with reputations for objectivity should not sponsor films that masquerade as unbiased productions.

  • Originally published 05/23/2013

    Frank Rich: GOP Whitewash

    Frank Rich is Writer-at-Large for New York Magazine....In pursuit of higher office, the image-conscious [Rand] Paul took his own stab at outreach last month, giving a speech at Howard University. Facing a mostly young and African-American audience, he was determined to airbrush history—even very recent history of his own. He had “never wavered” in his “support for civil rights or the Civil Rights Act,” he claimed, when in fact he had done exactly that in a Louisville Courier-Journal interview during his 2010 Senate campaign. Back then he’d argued that while it was “abhorrent” of Woolworth’s to refuse to serve Martin Luther King Jr. at its lunch counter, a private business still should retain the freedom to do what it wants. He espoused similar views in a contemporaneous prime-time appearance with Rachel Maddow, who replayed her interview with Paul the night of his Howard address.

  • Originally published 05/12/2013

    Republicans Should Like Ike

    Official White House portrait of Dwight D. Eisenhower.As Republican leaders continue to try to redefine their party identity they would do well to review the legacy of Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower, arguably, the most successful president since World War II. As president he faced crises and challenges both foreign and domestic, different from those of today but equal in magnitude, as well as the need to maintain national leadership.

  • Originally published 04/01/2013

    Robert W. Merry: The GOP Can Survive Its Iraq Wounds

    Robert W. Merry is editor of The National Interest and the author of books on American history and foreign policy. His most recent book is Where They Stand: The American Presidents in the Eyes of Voters and Historians.A passel of punditry has emerged recently questioning whether the Republican Party will soon recover from the foreign-policy incompetence of the George W. Bush presidency. Some pundits foresee a long period of eclipse before the party will recapture the full confidence of the American people, so seared have they been by the U.S. fiasco in Iraq and the ongoing muddle in Afghanistan. Thus, in this view, the GOP’s fate is set—a long winter of minority-party status.

  • Originally published 04/01/2013

    Chris Beneke and Randall Stephens: Why Republicans and Academics Need Each Other

    Chris Beneke is an associate professor of history at Bentley University, and Randall Stephens is a reader in history at Northumbria University, in England.After its bruising defeat in the 2012 presidential contest, the Republican Party finds itself at a crossroads. The Grand Old Party's support has eroded precipitously among white women, Latinos, and nearly all voters younger than Clint Eastwood.But the demographic shift isn't the party's only problem. Embarrassed by election-forecasting blunders and awkward clashes with basic science, the Republican Party has solidified its standing—to quote the chairman of the Republican Governors Association—as "the stupid party." When the former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum proclaimed that "we will never have the elite, smart people on our side," he expressed a widespread sentiment.A lot of the "smart people" to whom Santorum was referring, however, belong to institutions suffering from their own demographic troubles and reputations for intellectual narrowness. We mean, of course, America's colleges. A winter of discontent has also settled upon their green quadrangles as the realization dawns that the number of affluent families with high-school-age children is shrinking and that net tuition may be peaking....

  • Originally published 03/21/2013

    Michael Bowen: GOP "Autopsy" Reads Like It Was Written By Thomas Dewey

    Michael Bowen is the author of The Roots of Modern Conservatism.The Republican National Committee’s “autopsy” of the 2012 election, the work of the Growth and Opportunity Project, has received a great deal of criticism from conservatives since its release on Monday. Their general take seems to be that, as Brent Bozell put it, establishment Republicans are trying to “out-Democrat” the Democrats.While it remains to be seen how much buy-in the report will receive from the Right, it is worth noting that the proposed solutions parallel those offered by establishment Republicans immediately after World War II. Since the GOP had been in power when the economy collapsed in 1929, many voters equated it with the poverty and suffering of the Great Depression. Franklin D. Roosevelt did nothing to disabuse the public of this notion while he built the Democratic party into a liberal juggernaut.

  • Originally published 02/22/2013

    Richard Parker: The GOP's Lone Star Blues

    Richard Parker writes for McClatchy-Tribune Information Services....Democrats are champing at the bit to turn Texas blue. “People are now looking at Texas and saying: ‘That’s where we need to make our next investment. That’s where the next opportunity lies,’ ” one Democratic state senator told Politico. There’s even optimistic chatter of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s capturing the state in 2016 if she runs for president....Texas was reliably Democratic for more than a century, from Reconstruction through the Lyndon B. Johnson years. Johnson ably — albeit cynically and sometimes illegally — harnessed the Hispanic vote to keep his more reactionary opponents off balance in primaries.But the liberal 1960s drove white conservatives into what was once a minuscule Republican Party. With the help of Rust Belt migrants in the 1970s, Republican strength grew under John G. Tower, Bill Clements and the elder George Bush.... 

  • Originally published 02/14/2013

    Ishmael Reed: Neo-Classical Republicanism

    Ishmael Reed is a visiting scholar at the California College of the Arts and the author, most recently, of the novel “Juice!” and the essay collection “Going Too Far.”DURING Tuesday’s State of the Union address, President Obama declared that “Our housing market is healing, our stock market is rebounding and consumers, patients and homeowners enjoy stronger protections than ever before.”Tell that to black Americans, who were hit harder than the rest of the country by the recession and are having a harder time recovering. That struggle is not a coincidence, or merely a result of past inequality. During the housing bubble, blacks were deliberately targeted for subprime loans: as Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said, the big banks committed “systematic discrimination against blacks and Hispanics.”

  • Originally published 02/13/2013

    What Chris Christie Could Learn From William Howard Taft

    Despite some tensions with his fellow Republicans, Chris Christie is well-positioned to become the front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016. He's poised to easily win another term as governor; he polls strongly against Hillary Clinton; and he's successfully tapped into voter discontent about the partisanship, political posturing, and general bullshittery that plagues Washington. There's just one problem: Christie is very overweight — so much so that one esteemed former White House physician (a Republican, in fact) is worried he could die in office....

  • Originally published 02/08/2013

    Ayn Rand required?

    In a symbolic move to teach “personal responsibility,” an Idaho lawmaker has proposed requiring every high school student in the state to read Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged.”State Sen. John Goedde introduced legislation on Tuesday that would require Idaho secondary students to read and pass an examination on the iconic 1957 novel touted by conservatives like Rep. Paul Ryan and Rush Limbaugh....

  • Originally published 01/25/2013

    Aaron Blake: Why Winning Back the House is a Tough Task for Democrats

    Aaron Blake covers national politics at the Washington Post, where he writes regularly for “The Fix,” the Post’s top political blog. A Minnesota native and summa cum laude graduate of the University of Minnesota, Aaron has also written about politics for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal asked his fellow Republicans to shift their focus outside of Washington, D.C.  in his speech Thursday night at the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting.Doing so might cheer them up a little....“The Republicans will have an advantage in partisanship in districts for a long time. That, I think, is indisputable,” said Rob Richie, the executive director of the electoral reform group Fair Vote. Of the Democrats, he said, “I think that they’re probably settling in for a long stay in the minority, unless it’s a really big year.”...

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