The Yglesias Award is for writers, politicians, columnists or pundits who actually criticize their own side, make enemies among political allies, and generally risk something for the sake of saying what they believe.
Below are the finalists we’ve selected for this year’s award, please review them and then vote for your favorite at the bottom of the page.
Morgen Richmond (Apr 5):
“I am mystified why the GOP has adopted such a hard line when it comes to tax policy, particularly within the framework of a budget deal which would include a major re-structuring of federal entitlement programs. … [G]iven what may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to finally deal with entitlements, personally, as a member of the near-1%, I would at least grudgingly accept a moderate tax increase knowing that we’ve set the nation on a sustainable path. Further, I would gladly – enthusiastically! – support the possibility of a moderate tax increase as part of the 2012 GOP budget platform, as long as it’s clear that this would only be on the table as part of a comprehensive deal which included entitlement reform, along the lines proposed by Ryan,” – Morgen Richmond, Hot Air.
Cory Booker (May 21):
“This kind of stuff is nauseating to me on both sides. It’s nauseating to the American public. Enough is enough. Stop attacking private equity,” – Newark mayor Cory Booker (D), criticizing the anti-Bain ads launched by the Obama campaign against Romney. Booker kept up the pressure on Twitter.
Matt K. Lewis (Jun 14):
“Let’s face it: The Republican Party has a Hispanic problem. And much of it is self-inflicted. As Jeb Bush recently urged: “Don’t just talk about Hispanics and say immediately we must have controlled borders. Change the tone would be the first thing. Second, on immigration, I think we need to have a broader approach.” … We should stress the fact that welcoming immigrants is consistent with our values. America isn’t about building walls, but tearing them down. The fact that others want to come here is something Americans should note with pride. … A lesson in life: If people think you don’t like them, nothing else matters,” – Matt Lewis, Daily Caller.
Alas, many in the GOP really don’t like them, and have made that clear.
Dennis Mansfield (Jun 15):
“Debating the rightness or wrongness of homosexuality in our culture is something that Bryan Fischer is actively engaged in, and has been for over a decade. You know what? I used to be there too. The term ‘righteous anger’ would have been an appropriate term to describe the ferocity with which I would debate this issue, and others. The problem is that it doesn’t work. Somebody who yells and screams makes for great entertainment, but little else. I’ve found that is is exponentially more difficult to shut my mouth, and listen. It is also exponentially more rewarding.
Pushing your own agenda using the veil of religion has been used all throughout history. Today is no exception, and individuals in the evangelical community do it as much as anyone else. When someone wraps their own hate speech in a “god blanket” it makes it easier for a subset of people to accept, and eventually it may even gather a following. The problem is that anyone outside of that subset is turned away from not only that particular subset, but from the entire religion,” – Dennis Mansfield, a former close friend of uber-Christianist Bryan Fischer.
If you haven’t read Jane Mayer’s new profile of Fischer, do yourself a favor. Things I learned: Fischer does not believe HIV causes AIDS, believes that Muslims should be barred from immigration, and that non-Christians “have no First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion.” When Mitt Romney had to face down this raving lunatic, in the case of his openly gay national security spokesman, Ric Grenell, Romney blinked. That’s worth knowing.
Father Tony Adams (Jul 8):
“We live in a time where the sheep must lead the lost shepherds. But my hope is that when those confused old shepherds have passed away, a new generation of Catholic priests, bishops, cardinals, and popes will include openly gay, straight, single and married men and women—people who will not be interested in sticking their noses in Catholic bedrooms but will instead be focused on amplifying the unconditional love of Jesus. I hope I live to see that day. I would not mind receiving the blessing from such a pope and being asked again to step up to that pulpit on the high altar of St. Peter’s Basilica to proclaim the truth of Jesus with the voice he gave me for exactly that purpose,” – Father Tony Adams.
Michael Moore (Aug 30):
“To assume that the other side are just a bunch of ignoramuses who are supported by people who believe that Adam and Eve rode on dinosaurs 6,000 years ago is to completely misjudge the opposition. And they not only are smart. They are dedicated. They are disciplined. They have the courage of their convictions,” – Michael Moore.
Tom Tancredo (Sep 26):
“I am endorsing Amendment 64 not despite my conservative beliefs, but because of them. Throughout my career in public policy and in public office, I have fought to reform or eliminate wasteful and ineffective government programs. There is no government program or policy I can think of that has failed in such a unique way as marijuana prohibition,” – former congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO)
Chris Christie (Oct 30):
“The federal government’s response has been great. I was on the phone at midnight again last night with the President, personally, he has expedited the designation of New Jersey as a major disaster area. The President has been outstanding in this and so have the folks at FEMA,” – Chris Christie.
Erick Erickson (Nov 13):
“Too many people have spent the past four years obsessed with birth certificates. Now they are obsessed with voter fraud conspiracies, talk of secession, and supposed election changing news stories if only we had known. So let’s add dabblers in this latest nuttiness to birthers as a category of people we do not welcome at RedState. Our aim is to beat the Democrats, not beat a retreat to a Confederacy that Generals Grant and Sherman rent asunder well over a hundred years ago. Even here at RedState, while we may not much care for him, President Obama is still our President and we are still quite happily citizens of the United States. If we must drain this fever swamp that’s taken hold of a few people on the right over this past week before we can drain the swamp in Washington, so be it,” – Erick Erickson, Red State.
Jim Geraghty (Nov 19):
“We can only conclude that Romney’s ’47 percent’ comments were not a gaffe or slip of the tongue but actually represent his genuine assessment of the nature of the American people right now. A president with that worldview wouldn’t keep it under wraps for a four-year term, and it is a good thing for the Republican party and the conservative movement to not have to defend a president who effectively writes off nearly half the country as lazy and selfish, and even more important, unpersuadable, unreformable, and unchangeable,” – Jim Geraghty, National Review, with Andrew Sprung’s mordant take attached.
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