Today on theamericanconservative.com, Scott Galupo’s elaborate Romney-Ryan wish came true, Daniel Larison broke down the politics of Republican VP nominees, and Jim Antle highlighted Paul Ryan’s many inconsistencies. David Cowan made the case for Jack Kemp, and Noah Millman wondered if the upcoming election will matter at all. A schismatic monastery sued an Orthodox archbishop for copyright infringement, Millman explored the link between secession and America’s venerated documents, and Rod Dreher aired concerns about pornography and parenting.
Don’t miss the latest in the Repository, “The Convenient State” by Garry Wills (according to Dan McCarthy, it’s the “single best essay in definition of conservatism”). On Friday we launched our weekly newsletter – be sure to sign up here.
This week on theamericanconservative.com, Rod Dreher took on ’porky’ populists, James P. Pinkerton suggested that we should focus more on health and less on health insurance, and Bill Kauffman considered the less-explored merits of the Mormon faith. Matthew Harwood discussed Gen. Stanley McCrystal’s depraved antics in Afghanistan, Daniel Larson examined Ted Cruz’s foreign policy positions, and Noah Millman challenged the notion that there is some natural order to how a country’s borders should be drawn. Kelley Vlahos flagged a consequential case for domestic drones, and John Glaser added context. Samuel Goldman delved into the paradoxes inherent in punk rock’s counter-cultural connection to far-right politics, Scott Galupo addressed the Sikh Temple shooting and the problems of aesthetic extremism, and Dan McCarthy explained why gun control laws are unlikely to return.
Romney pivoted on health care, and Jennifer Rubin, et al had a meltdown over Robert Zoellick. Meanwhile, the campaign is devolving into a series of useless gaffes. Read Michael Brendan Dougherty and Larison for the latest in veepstakes commentary.
Today at theamericanconservative.com, Scott Galupo still can’t figure out Mitt Romney, Samuel Goldman delved into the paradoxes inherent in punk rock’s counter-cultural connection to far-right politics, and Daniel Larison challenged interventions aimed at international goodwill. Bill Kauffman considered the less-explored merits of the Mormon faith, and Rod Dreher addressed the decline of the progressive Catholic nun.
Dan McCarthy explained why gun control laws are unlikely to return, Scott McConnell noted that Romney’s hawkishness against Iran could be electorally dangerous, and Larison chided Republican attempts at identity politics.
Today at theamericanconservative.com, Daniel Larson examined Ted Cruz’s foreign policy positions, Matthew Harwood discussed Gen. Stanley McCrystal’s depraved antics in Afghanistan, and Noah Millman challenged the notion that there is some natural order to how a country’s borders should be drawn. Rod Dreher took on the secularist claim that religions are a priori prone to violence, Scott Galupo addressed the Sikh Temple shooting and the problems of aesthetic extremism, and Philip Giraldi underscored the increasing friction between the demand for new technology and the dwindling level of privacy that accompanies it.
As defense hawks scramble to avert military budget sequestration, others are championing sequestration as a positive development. The Cato Institute, in a new video (above), makes the case that sequestration represents a more realistic approach toward cutting the deficit than any possible action by Congress. Christopher Preble pours cold water on the notion that the across-the-board cuts are “draconian” (or in John McCain’s words, a thing that would “literally” lead to an “inability to defend the nation”), as the defense budget would merely return to 2006-2007 spending levels and would take effect only for a year:
Every year after that, defense spending will increase. Spending levels will indeed be lower than the Pentagon last year expected them to be. But only in Washington is that considered a cut. So, under sequestration, instead of spending $5.7 trillion on defense over the next decade, as the FY2013 budget suggests, the government will spend about $5.2 trillion.
Sequestration would only reduce the amount of the expected defense growth for subsequent years. What’s more, Preble emphasizes that even with sequestration, Congress will have room to maneuver:
Congress has a few options to mitigate the effects of the initial $55 billion slice off the budget. They could reprogram funds after the sequester, change the definition of “programs, projects and activities” (the budget level at which the cuts are implemented), or take advantage of the flexibility within operations and maintenance (O&M) funds. In fact, because the Office of Management and Budget has declared that war spending is eligible to be sequestered, the total cuts to O&M can be spread out across a bigger pot of money. Beyond all that, sequestration does not affect outlays or funds already obligated, which means it will not affect existing contracts.
Though, as Dan Mitchell mentions in the video, there is an argument to be made about equitability, as military spending represents only a quarter of the total budget, but 50% of the sequestered cut. Perhaps this is a reason to take entitlement reform more seriously, rather than an argument against minor steps toward a post-Cold War defense budget. Jon Utley recently outlined eight ways in which the Pentagon can meaningfully cut “fat, not meat.” Jordan Bloom relished sequestration schadenfreude last week.
Today at theamericanconservative.com, Rod Dreher took on ’porky’ populists, Scott Galupo reflected on America’s civic religion of neutrality, and James P. Pinkerton suggested that we should focus more on health and less on health insurance. Daniel Larson discussed the trend of Republican defense nostalgia, Kelley Vlahos flagged a consequential case for domestic drones, and Scott McConnell owed Gore Vidal an apology.
Romney sounds like Bush without the diplomacy, culture war issues are actually fading, and the campaign is devolving into a series of boring, useless gaffes. In the Repository, Robert Nisbet explains why the American Revolution was truly revolutionary.
On Monday, the United States Supreme Court reaffirmed the scope of the 2010 landmark Citizens United decision by striking down the Montana Supreme Court’s ruling defending the state’s statute limiting campaign contributions. The Montana Supreme Court argued, in a most bizarre fashion, that the nature of Montana’s government made it more susceptible to corporate campaign corruption and thus was not bound by the directives of the 2010 case.