Sinister Syncopation: The “New Conspiracism” Meets the Intellectuals of the Reactionary Right

This is the second in a series of several essays by different authors on the issue of conspiracies.  This series is sponsored by Claremont McKenna’s Salvatori Center for the Study of Individual Freedom. Laura Field is a scholar in residence at … Continue reading Sinister Syncopation: The “New Conspiracism” Meets the Intellectuals of the Reactionary Right

Grossman/Binder interview about the filibuster

Here is an excellent in-the-weeds discussion of the filibuster, between Matt Grossman and Sarah Binder, for the Niskanen Center. The two political scientists get into the current politics in the senate surrounding filibuster reform. It’s pretty fascinating, and a good companion to Adam Jentleson’s work (see links below). Here’s an excerpt from Grossman and Binder’s transcript: Matt Grossmann: So one thing that reformers often say is that these folks in the middle would have all the power under a 50 vote Senate, so why aren’t they in favor of moving it there? Molly Reynolds, who we’ve had on the podcast … Continue reading Grossman/Binder interview about the filibuster

“woke capitalism”

Is there anything more galling than conservatives deploying the phrase “woke capitalism”? When social democrats use the phrase as a term of derision, at least they are being consistent, since they were skeptics about unregulated capitalism from the get-go. But to hear conservatives, who have for decades lauded radical laissez-faire and fear-mongered about taxes, regulation, and campaign finance limits, suddenly do an about-face on capitalism the moment that the markets start to steer in substantive directions they find uncomfortable, is quite remarkable. To be sure, not all conservatives are against regulation (especially when it comes to their own areas of moral … Continue reading “woke capitalism”

On nuking (or reforming) the filibuster

I’ve been thinking more than usual about the filibuster lately, for a lot of obvious reasons. I think one of the things at the root of current political unrest is persistent government failure and obstructionism. The US Constitution already makes it pretty difficult to pass legislation, but the filibuster makes it that much more so. Does abolishing the filibuster makes sense from a constitutional perspective, given the fact that it has been part of normal legislative procedure for so long now? What implications would abolishing it have for bi-partisanship? And how much does the origin and history of the filibuster … Continue reading On nuking (or reforming) the filibuster

A Common Script for Dislodging Trumpism – Retrospective Thoughts on Impeachment 2.0

As some of my colleagues here know, I was a bit frustrated throughout the second impeachment that there wasn’t more focus on Trump’s dereliction of duty on January 6. It seemed clear to me at the time that the dereliction charge would have been more intuitive than the incitement to violence charge, because everyone knew at the time that, in the very least, Trump failed to protect the Capitol when it mattered. It seemed to me that setting the bar low like this would have made conviction more likely. Jeffrey Tulis and Bill Kristol wrote about this in the lead-up … Continue reading A Common Script for Dislodging Trumpism – Retrospective Thoughts on Impeachment 2.0

Sticky post

Some Links, re: The Claremont Institute

The Claremont Institute, home to the notorious “Flight 93 Election,” has published some bizarre essays lately, which, given what they’ve gotten up to in the past, is really saying something. I have in mind Charles Kesler’s non-apologia about Trump and January 6, which readers can find in the current edition of the Claremont Review of Books, Michael Anton’s non-apologia about Trump and January 6 (same place), and Arthur Milikh’s recent announcement of Claremont’s new Center for “The American Way of Life.” There is a lot a person could say about this group. Many of its affiliates were supporters of Trump, … Continue reading Some Links, re: The Claremont Institute

Jeffrey Isaac On Political Asymmetries (and Evaluative Standards in Journalism)

Earlier this month, Jeffrey Isaac, who is a professor at Indiana University and friendly contributor to The Constitutionalist, wrote a great short analysis for Common Dreams, about the problem of false equivalencies in American politics. Isaac’s article discusses the media’s treatment of Marjorie Taylor Greene, referring back to a profile by Jonathan Chait (“Marjorie Taylor Greene Blamed Wildfires on Secret Jewish Space Lazers”), as well as an odd Axios piece (“The Mischief Makers”) that tried to identify the most troublesome members of the two parties. Isaac’s piece is valuable because he pushes further than most on the problem of false … Continue reading Jeffrey Isaac On Political Asymmetries (and Evaluative Standards in Journalism)

Sunstein, Vermeule, and Technocratic Despotism

This week the Chronicle of Higher Education published an excellent article about Cass Sunstein, Adrian Vermeule, and “Technocratic Despotism.” It is written by political scientist Jason Blakely, whose own work is about the political reverberations of the social sciences. Blakely’s article serves as a very good supplement to the recent essay on positive constitutionalism here at The Constitutionalist, and to the list of other relevant essays posted here. Whereas Barber, Macedo, and Fleming focus on the implications of Vermeule’s thought for legal and constitutional scholars, Blakely discusses Vermeule and Sunstein’s work (and their very odd colaboration) in the context of … Continue reading Sunstein, Vermeule, and Technocratic Despotism