Yglesias Award Nominee

"I've become less conservative since the Republican Party started becoming goofy," – Richard Posner.

One of the less observed features of the last few years has, in fact, been the intellectual honesty of conservatives like Posner or Greenspan or Bartlett or Frum. Each one of them, unlike so many who pass for conservative intellectuals these days, has his own view of the world, formed by independent thinking and study – often in the face of institutional liberal disdain. And they have shrewdly concluded that the last few years have shown that unregulated capitalism can be a serious problem, that markets do not automatically govern themselves, that the ideology of three decades ago might need revisiting in the face of the catastrophe of the Bush-Cheney years, which all but exploded the logic of neoconservatism and its domestic partner-in-crime, supply side economics. One was voodoo foreign policy, the other voodoo economics. Reality – simple empirical reality – exposed their glaring flaws.

An actual conservative will learn from this and adjust. The raving loons in the GOP base – precisely because they have no serious thinking behind them – will double-down on their fantasies, empowered by partisan hatred. And that's why the GOP needs to be defeated this fall. For the sake of an honest conservatism.

Yglesias Award Nominee

"The economy is of course important. But voters want to hear what Romney is going to do about the economy. He can "speak about" how bad the economy is all he wants—though Americans are already well aware of the economy's problems—but doesn't the content of what Romney has to say matter? What is his economic growth agenda? His deficit reform agenda? His health care reform agenda? His tax reform agenda? His replacement for Dodd-Frank? No need for any of that, I suppose the Romney campaign believes. Just need to keep on "speaking about the economy."  

The Romney campaign will answer that they're imitating Bill Clinton in 1992, who famously focused on "the economy, stupid." But Bill Clinton was a full spectrum presidential candidate, with detailed policy proposals on welfare reform, health care, education, and foreign policy," – Bill Kristol, comparing Romney with Dukakis and Kerry.

Yglesias Award Nominee

"[W]hile a vote to blow up ObamaCare would have felt good today, it’d also spell trouble for valued institutions in the long run. In response to SCOTUS pushback in the ’30s, FDR attempted to pack the court (and newly succeeded). And today, the calls are back to get rid of the filibuster, which stands with the Electoral College as the last barriers between our Founding Fathers’ vision and popular democracy. And trust me. In popular democracy, responsibility and liberty don’t prevail. Ask the Jacobins.

So despite the temptation to hammer ObamaCare with budget reconciliation, cool your jets. Lose the battles if it means you may win the war," – Justin Green, The Daily Caller.

Yglesias Award Nominee

"I think there is a lot of whistling past the graveyard going on among conservatives who think that Obamacare is really in the political crosshairs now, and indeed, could lead to the defeat of the president’s reelection effort. I worry that the opposite is true. Sure, opponents who care a lot about the constitutionality and policy propriety of the ACA are very upset and motivated to defeat the president. But they already were. For the relatively uninvolved, the message of the Roberts ruling, despite the justice’s protests to the contrary, is that Obamacare is A-okay. That will increase the law’s popularity — just as Roe v. Wade did with abortion.  Alas," – Wesley J Smith, NRO.

Yglesias Award Nominee

"In the 1960s, there were a lot of libertarians who believed in crushing monogamy and all of this kind of stuff and crushing the institution of marriage. And now they’re all cheering when they see two gay guys with wedding rings pushing a baby down Broadway. They think it’s fantastic, it’s a nice turn. And I think that is a nice turn. I think that if you’re going to have a position on homosexuality in life it’s better that they bourgeois-ify and pair up than live in pagan society. I think it’s great," – Jonah Goldberg in what seems to me like an endorsement of marriage equality – or at least an endorsement of the idea that it is and always has been a conservative reform.

Yglesias Award Nominee

"The Constitution clearly states that it is Congress that has the power to declare war, not the president. The War Powers Act also clearly states that U.S. forces are to engage in hostilities only if the circumstances are 'pursuant to (1) a declaration of war, (2) specific statutory authorization or (3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.' … I will hold accountable and oppose any actions from any president, Republican or Democrat, if he declares war without congressional consent,"- Rand Paul, taking Romney to task for saying that the president has the power to make war.