2013 Yglesias Award Nominees

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 the 2013 Yglesias Award, please review them and then vote for your favorite at the bottom of the page.


1) Jeffrey Goldberg (Jan 30):

“A few years from now, when the two-state idea is dead and buried, I’m afraid we will look back on Netanyahu and curse him for his blindness. Right now, he has time to design an orderly transition out of the West Bank, but he’s doing everything in his power to keep the Palestinian state from being born,”


2) Jon Huntsman (Feb 21):

“While serving as governor of Utah, I pushed for civil unions and expanded reciprocal benefits for gay citizens. I did so not because of political pressure—indeed, at the time 70 percent of Utahns were opposed—but because as governor my role was to work for everybody, even those who didn’t have access to a powerful lobby. Civil unions, I believed, were a practical step that would bring all citizens more fully into the fabric of a state they already were—and always had been—a part of.

That was four years ago. Today we have an opportunity to do more: conservatives should start to lead again and push their states to join the nine others that allow all their citizens to marry. I’ve been married for 29 years. My marriage has been the greatest joy of my life. There is nothing conservative about denying other Americans the ability to forge that same relationship with the person they love,”


3) Deroy Murdock (Dec 6):

“Like many other anti-Communists and Cold Warriors, I feared that releasing Nelson Mandela from jail, especially amid the collapse of South Africa’s apartheid government, would create a Cuba on the Cape of Good Hope at best and an African Cambodia at worst … Far, far, far from any of that, Nelson Mandela turned out to be one of the 20th Century’s great moral leaders, right up there with Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. … So, I was dead wrong about Nelson Mandela, a great man and fine example to others, not least the current occupant of the White House. After 95 momentous years on Earth, may Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela rest in peace,”


4) Megan Phelps-Roger, Granddaughter of Fred Phelps (Feb 7):

“We know that we’ve done and said things that hurt people. Inflicting pain on others wasn’t the goal, but it was one of the outcomes. We wish it weren’t so, and regret that hurt. We know that we dearly love our family. They now consider us betrayers, and we are cut off from their lives, but we know they are well-intentioned. We will never not love them. We know that we can’t undo our whole lives. We can’t even say we’d want to if we could; we are who we are because of all the experiences that brought us to this point. What we can do is try to find a better way to live from here on. That’s our focus,”


5) Ramesh Ponnuru (May 21):

“[Republicans] have no real health-care agenda. Voters don’t trust them to look out for middle-class economic interests. Republicans are confused and divided about how to solve the party’s problems. What they can do is unite in opposition to the Obama administration’s scandals and mistakes. So that’s what they’re doing. They’re trying to win news cycles when they need votes,”


6) Reihan Salam (Feb 27):

“Something people who complain about GOP-leaning wonks don’t seem to understand: there is a selection effect at work. Many people who might be GOP-leaning wonks in another universe are now either unaffiliated or, in some cases, D-leaning. So the current universe of GOP-leaning wonks are people who have some reason to attach themselves to the GOP coalition, e.g.: social conservatism, hawkishness, regional identity, etc. Or the GOP-leaning wonk could be unusually patient, i.e., she/he could believe that change takes decades rather than months or even years. People who don’t buy this thesis exit,”


7) Pete Wehner (Oct 1):

“Perhaps because compromise as a concept is so unpopular these days–at least if my recent correspondence and conversations with those on the right is any indication–it is important that those of us who are conservative remind ourselves of its virtues. To point out that compromise is not always synonymous with weakness. That our problems, as significant as they are, pale in comparison to what the founders faced. And that compromise still belongs, in the words of Rauch, in the “constitutional pantheon.” Even the Obama presidency, as frustrating as it might be, cannot undo the marvelous handiwork and enduring insights of James Madison,”

Vote Here:

Yglesias Award Nominee archive here. Last year’s winner here. Awards Glossary here. Vote for the rest of our 2013 awards below:

Chart Of The Year
Cool Ad Of The Year
Dick Morris Award
Face Of The Year
Hathos Alert Of The Year
Hewitt Award
Malkin Award
Mental Health Break Of The Year
Moore Award
Poseur Alert Of The Year
Window View Of The Year