For a long time now, I've been talking about 21st century conservatism---about why we should modernize, but not moderate---and about how conservatism is the best philosophy for anyone who wants to achieve the American Dream. I even wrote a book about it.
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Matt K. Lewis
Matt K. Lewis is a senior contributor to The Daily Caller, and a contributing editor for The Week. He is a respected commentator on politics and cultural issues, and has been cited by major publications such as The Washington Post and The New York Times. Matt is from Myersville, MD and currently resides in Alexandria, VA. Follow Matt K. Lewis on Twitter @mattklewis.
In the wake of Justice Scalia's death, and the ensuing turmoil over replacing him, I posited a compromise that has been dubbed "The West Wing theory": President Obama persuades Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to resign. He then replaces Scalia with an old conservative---and RBG with a young liberal.
After Justice Scalia passed away on Saturday, a few observers were surprised to hear Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell immediately and preemptively declare that any Obama nominees would be DOA.
In case you missed it, there was a mini-scandal this week when some old documents resurfaced on Gawker that seemed to show journalist Marc Ambinder (then at the The Atlantic) making unseemly concessions in order to obtain an early copy of a foreign policy speech to be delivered by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Despite predicting that Ohio Governor John Kasich would come in second in New Hampshire, I've been pretty skeptical of his chances to parlay that into much else. For one thing, New Hampshire (where contrarian politicians are often rewarded by independents who can vote in primaries) is almost uniquely suited to a man like Kasich.
NASHUA, N.H. -- Let's dispel with the notion that moments don't matter and that the media over-hyped Rubio's bad debate. Minutes after the last Republican debate ended, I went on CNN and declared that it had been a disastrous night for Marco Rubio . And I wrote the very same thing on this very blog on Monday. Tuesday's results seem to confirm this point.
During Saturday night's ABC debate, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, and Marco Rubio all responded affirmatively to a question, saying that women should have to register for the selective service. The next day, Ted Cruz---perhaps sensing he had a chance to seize this issue for himself---publicly disagreed.
NASHUA -- Marco Rubio picked a bad night to have a bad debate. Coming out of Iowa (where he finished a strong third), he had all the momentum. New Hampshire was his opportunity to "own" the establishment lane, and turn this race into a de facto three-man contest (with Cruz and Trump dividing up the outsider vote). The only thing standing in his way was an ABC debate on Saturday night. And here, I think, Rubio might have missed this golden opportunity.
New York Magazine's Jonathan Chait has penned an interesting piece, titled: "Why Liberals Should Support a Trump Republican Nomination."
Since 2008, when Chris Cillizza published his essential "endorsement hierarchy," the political cognoscenti have become even more cynical about the efficacy of endorsements. Yet, as Cillizza instructed us back then, not all endorsements are created equal. At least some of them do matter. Still. Even in 2016.
MANCHESTER, N.H.---What a difference a day makes. After enduring months of media and polls that predicted a new Trump-ian paradigm, voters---finally given the chance to weigh in---seem to have rejected the hype. That's not to say it's all over. Iowa is just one state. But it is to say that today the world feels a little more normal today. Those of us who always thought we understood Republican politics find ourselves more comfortable with the notion that organization/"ground game" still matters, and that the GOP is still a conservative (not nationalistic) party.
DES-MOINES---It's all over but the shouting. And caucusing. Nobody knows what's going to happen, of course. Nobody thought Rick Santorum would win Iowa last time. Nobody thought Hillary Clinton would win New Hampshire in 2008. We see through a glass darkly, yet we must pretend to see clearly.
The front page of this morning's Des Moines Register says it all:
Today was launch day for my new book Too Dumb to Fail. It began with some terrific segments on Morning Joe. In case you missed it, this was a fun little snippet from our conversation:
There's just one day left before the release of my new book Too Dumb to Fail!---and I'm heading to New York City as I type this.
For much of the last several months, Ted Cruz fed an albino alligator, hoping it would eat him last.
When I edited a book of Sarah Palin quotes back in 2011, I was impressed by a her eloquence. Really. Most of her best stuff came before 2009---before she was radicalized.
For about a week now, we've been talking about Ted Cruz's line about "New York values"---and Donald Trumps response---which hearkened back to 9-11.
A while back, conservative commentator Erick Erickson coined a great line (it's actually the title of his forthcoming book) that illustrates why conservatives can't duck the culture wars. He says: "You will be made to care." In the case of Republican candidates hoping to win the nomination this year, I've come up with a slightly revised version of his maxim: "You will be made to scare."
How did Donald Trump get this far? He's talented, to be sure, but he also had a little help from his friends.