1). Freedom’s Laureate | Kelly Jane Torrance

In the December 2010 issue of The American Conservative, Kelly Torrance shows how Mario Vargas Llosa’s journey from a socialist radical to a libertarian literary hero makes him the perfect Nobel Laureate for our times.

He immersed himself in Marxism as a student, belonged to a communist cell, and supported Fidel Castro’s revolution in Cuba, seeing in it embers of hope for all Latin America. What changed his mind was observing how outspoken artists get treated in a dictatorship. Castro’s regime jailed the poet Heberto Padilla for a month in 1970, in what became known as the Padilla Affair. Socialism and political freedom, Vargas Llosa finally realized, couldn’t co-exist.

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2). An Iranian War Would Ruin Obama | Daniel Larison

During his first two years in office, President Obama has placated his hawkish critics by continuing and expanding his predecessor’s foreign policy agenda. Those same critics now label a US-Iran war the panacea that would solve the president’s political problems. Daniel Larison says not so fast …

As for his own party, enough Democratic office-holders were burned by trusting the Bush administration that they would not fall for the same ruse again. Some activists would be good partisans and support Obama, but for most progressives an Iranian war would be the last straw that confirmed the strong continuities between the Bush and Obama administrations.

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3). Not One, But Three Tea Parties | by Paul Gottfried

The Tea Party’s lack of a center rattles and unnerves politicians and journalists accustomed to using broad generalizations to characterize the views of the American public. In his analysis, Paul Gottfried displays how the grassroots Tea Party groups are not only structurally decentralized, but also ideologically split.

Having looked at the swelling of the Tea Party, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not a uniform movement.  There are at least three different movements trying to give the impression of being one.

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4). Victory for the Party of No | Patrick J. Buchanan

President Obama and his supporters may decry Republican obstructionism as partisan hackery, but, as Patrick Buchanan illustrates, the tidal wave of support the GOP has experienced in recent months is due to the party’s collective role as Doctor No.

Every Republican in the Senate but Arlen Specter and the ladies from Maine voted against Obama’s stimulus bill. Every Republican in the House, save eight, voted no on cap-and-trade. Every Republican on Capitol Hill voted no on Obamacare. More GOP senators opposed Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan than opposed any Supreme Court nominee in memory.

Tuesday, obstructionism reaps its reward.

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5). Republican Victory, Conservative Loss | Daniel Larison

The prospect that Republicans will recapture upwards of fifty House seats and ten Senate seats has many traditional conservatives eagerly awaiting the results of Tuesday’s election. But Daniel Larison is worried that this Republican wave, largely grounding in the Tea Party movement, will foster the return of a George W. Bush-era GOP.

I find it hard to get enthusiastic about Republican gains this year because they are wholly undeserved, and because they seem more than likely to result in the re-empowerment of all the same people who supported and enabled Bush’s agenda as if nothing had happened. Is it really beneficial for movement conservatives for their most visible elected political leadership to be John Boehner and Eric Cantor?

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