The recent publication of the fourth long volume of Robert Caro’s biography of Lyndon Johnson demonstrates how much even the relatively recent printed past has almost totally disappeared from current consciousness.
Consider the 1958-1964 period covered by Caro’s current narrative, an era which might reasonably be called the political peak of Cold War liberalism, in which Caro focuses on the political maneuvers leading to Kennedy’s nomination and Johnson’s difficult years in the vice presidency. Many people have argued that the major political decisions made during the 1960s largely shaped modern America, but it is equally true that the political decisions described in Caro’s volume largely shaped those same 1960s. Yet what determined the political tide of those years and which media narratives shaped those decisions? Read More…
Yesterday Rep. Amash spoke at this weeks “Blogger’s Briefing,” a weekly discussion group held every week at the Heritage Foundation. Amash spoke on his views on the Export-Import Bank, his optimism on reaching the two thirds threshold for a balanced budget amendment, the rhetoric of the incoming class of representatives, and his use of social media.
Amash was an obvious pick to speak at such an event, having embraced social media with active followings on Facebook and Twitter. On his Facebook page, Amash explains each of his votes. Given that Amash’s record of voting on every vote called in the House, it is an active as well as informative page. Not only are Amash’s votes explained, but Amash himself gets involved in some the discussions that develop on the site.
Being the second youngest member of the House it is perhaps unsurprising how comfortable Amash is with social media engagement. However, what has surprised Amash are the issues that generate the most interest and passion. Read More…
This weekend Students for Liberty hosted the Fifth Annual International Students For Liberty Conference in Washington D.C. It was the largest libertarian student event in history, featuring students from across the world and a variety of speakers. As well as featuring breakout sessions on topics such as second amendment rights, political economy, public education, Austrian economics, and social media, the conference also included an exhibition hall that included organizations such as the Learn Liberty, The NRA, GOProud, the Cato Institute, and Young Americans for Liberty. What became clear throughout the conference was that while most of the students were fiercely uncommitted to party politics they all expressed sympathy with some beliefs shared in the conservative movement. Given the ideological tendencies amongst what is a growing voting group, it is remarkable that the Republicans are not engaging younger voters more effectively. Read More…
Timothy Stanley, author of the highly recommended The Crusader: The Life and Tumultuous Times of Pat Buchanan, will be joined by Mr. Buchanan at Politics and Prose in Washington, D.C. today for the biography’s launch. Both will be signing books. Details here.
You can get a taste of Stanley’s volume from the excerpt that appears in The American Conservative, “Buchanan’s Revolution.”
Readers of The American Conservative might be interested to hear that we will be at this year’s CPAC. Some of our staff will be at booth 1915 with subscription information and copies of this month’s magazine, as well as some past issues — plus exclusive TAC pens and notepads.
Some events of note sponsored by our friends at the Committee for the Republic include the following;
- 9am in the CPAC Theater: Eisenhower’s Farewell to the Nation, a presentation of President Eisenhower’s farewell address, introduced by his granddaughter Susan Eisenhower, with Q+A to follow.
- 10am in the Truman Suite: More Defense For Less, featuring COL Douglas Macgregor, USA (Ret.).
- 2pm in the Virginia Suite: Too Big to Fail: A Quadrillion Dollar Exposure!, featuring Peter Wallison, The Honorable Boyden Gray, John Henry, and John Prout.
- 2:30pm in the Jackson Suite: Founder Roundtable: Where did we go Wrong?, featuring Mark Skousen, Bruce Fein, Bill Nitze, Tom Whitmore, John Henry, and James Henry all portraying a selection of our Founding Fathers.
- 10am in the Truman Suite: America & Its Wars: John Quincy Adams vs. James K. Polk, featuring Bruce Fein and Roberty Merry as John Quincy Adams and James Polk.
TAC Editor-in-Chief Dan McCarthy and I sat down to talk about the perils of empire with Ralph Nader and Kevin Zeese on Sunday night at Busboys and Poets, located in possibly the most liberal end of DC outside of Dupont Circle and Takoma Park. We not only survived, but I think we had a good time tilling some common ground. There are many differences — especially on domestic economic policy — that are possibly irreconcilable. The urgency both sides feel for ending the permanent war state is obvious, however. Whether they can transcend fundamental differences for a common mission is yet to be seen, but at least the conversation is engaged and from what we saw Sunday, pretty focused on the task at hand, as insurmountable as it might seem today.
Here is my take on the evening published Tuesday on Antiwar.com :
What do you get when you talk Pat Buchanan in a room in which every liberal peace and civil rights icon—from Gandhi to Rosa Parks to the Dalai Lama—is looking down like the immortals in a sort of benign judgment from a giant mural on the wall?
For one, the lightning doesn’t strike and the tables don’t clear with an angry clatter. In fact, the mostly liberal crowd that came to see the a panel about the prospects of a left-right alliance against war seemed ready to try anything to help the peace movement out of the dustbin of wasted energies in time for another drawn out presidential campaign cycle and the election of a new U.S. Congress in 2012.
The place: Busboys and Poets, in the heart of D.C.’s U Street Corridor and the city’s “cultural and activist” scene, which you can bet is not emblematized by bleeding liberty trees or minute men. Who? Ralph Nader, liberal activist, government watchdog and consummate third party provocateur; Dan McCarthy, editor-in-chief of The American Conservative magazine, a Republican Party insurgency, consummate paleo-conservative meets libertarian voice in the wilderness; Kevin Zeese, longtime liberal activist who began his career as an attorney for NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) and a former Green Party Senate candidate; and I, who was seated on the “right” of the stage because of my freelance affiliation with FoxNews.com.
The evening was moderated by Baltimore radio talk show host Marc Steiner, and sponsored by Come Home America, the brainchild of Zeese. He sees a left-right alliance as the natural evolution of a peace movement that’s floundered as the longtime proprietary activity of liberal-Democratic America. Since Obama’s election in 2008, Democrats have conspicuously fallen off the peace train, making the antiwar movement more anemic than ever. According to a recent University of Michigan study, up to 54 percent of antiwar activists had been self-described Democrats during the last presidential election between 2007-2009. Now, less than a quarter of activists call themselves Democrats anymore. Read More…
CPAC 2011 begins this Thursday, and The American Conservative will be playing several roles. Our “On War” columnist and director of the American Conservative Center for Public Transportation, William S. Lind, will be making the case for slashing the defense budget on a panel at 11 am Friday morning in the Harding room of D.C.’s Marriott Wardman Park (the CPAC venue). Yours truly will be making some introductory remarks for Joseph Salerno’s “Unmasking the Federal Reserve” talk, as part of the Campaign for Liberty’s panoply of events. The Salerno talk is at 11 am Saturday in the Virginia Ballroom. C4L also has TAC TV star Jack Hunter and TAC contributing editors Tom Woods and James Bovard taking part in several events — see the full schedule of Campaign for Liberty CPAC activities here.
TAC personnel will have literature available and be helping out at the Committee for the Republic booth, and the committee has what promises to be a very lively panel, featuring Bruce Fein on the topic of cutting the defense budget and returning to a small-r republican foreign policy, at 1 pm Thursday in the Virginia Ballroom. Donald Rumsfeld may be receiving a “Defender of the Constitution” award — they must mean the Soviet constitution — but in many ways this looks to be a very bad CPAC for neocons.
Peter Haworth, friend of TAC and a contributor to Front Porch Republic, is starting a group to promote a missing perspective at the American Political Science Association’s annual meeting. Please consider supporting Peter’s efforts by joining APSA and signing his petition. In Peter’s own words, the forum will be called
The Ciceronian Society, for Cicero symbolizes both the republican tradition that opposes centralizing empire and the rhetorical tradition of criticizing abstract rationalism. Such a society will allow us to establish panels at the APSA and, hence, ensure that traditionalist and decentralist perspectives get a sufficient venue at the annual conference—where they currently do not. To make this effort successful, we need to have 50 persons both sign up as members of APSA and be willing to sign the application as members of the Ciceronian Society by the application deadline of August 15th. You could help by joining the Ciceronian Society, which is free of charge, so we can include your name on the application.
If you would like more information, please contact Peter at firstname.lastname@example.org. His phone number is 602-820-5343.
This Wednesday yours truly will be moderating a debate between Bruce Fein (former associate deputy attorney general in the Regan administration and author of American Empire: Before the Fall) and radio host/Washington Times columnist Jeffrey Kuhner. The smackdown begins at 12:30 pm on the 6th floor of the Americans for Tax Reform offices — 722 12th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005.
With RNC Chairman Michael Steele calling Afghanistan Obama’s war, there’s an opening, however small, for a true foreign policy debate on the Right for the first time in over a decade. The Fein/Kuhner event will give a taste of what’s in store. It’s free, and food and drink will be provided, so drop by if you’re in the area.