The Vindication of Rick Santorum (cont.)–Updated
January 21st, 2015

Remember that interview with the guy who loves horses? (Not in the Ann Romney way.)

Let’s add this interview, with an 18-year-old girl who’s “dating” her dad. No, really.

Sorry–did I say “dating”? I meant “engaged to”:

How many people know about it?
Everyone on my mom’s side of the family sees us as father and daughter. Those who know that he’s my dad, and that we are engaged, include my father’s parents (they can see we are happy together and they can’t wait for us to have babies — they treat us just like any other couple), the woman we live with, and my best friend.

You’re engaged?
I’m planning on a full-on wedding but it won’t be legally registered. And personally, I don’t believe you need a piece of paper to prove that you want to be with the person you love. When you get married, you are signing part of yourself over to somebody. We’ll tell everybody that we got our marriage license, but they don’t have to see it. One of our friends will act as the celebrant.

But don’t worry–changing one foundational part of the culture couldn’t possibly alter others.

Update: You must–must!–read this extra-special, bonus incest confession. Courtesy of Galley Friend A.K.

Be sure to read all the way to the end. Don’t bail on it early. I promise.


Hugh Hewitt. Pope Francis. Bill Donohue
January 15th, 2015

One of the post-Charlie Hebdo flare ups last week was an on-air argument between Hugh Hewitt and William Donohue. You can listen to the whole thing here, but the short version is that Hewitt attacked Donohue’s position on the duties of free speech; Donohue insisted that he had been supported, privately, by plenty of people high up in the Catholic Church; Hewitt asked for some examples; Donohue refused to name names. And then it got even more heated.

Well, in Donohue’s defense, he can now add the name of one very prominent Catholic: Pope Francis, whose position–that people who provoke shouldn’t be surprised when there’s a reaction–seems to be even more equivocal than Donohue’s. Here’s Francis on the Charlie Hebdo massacre:

“If my good friend Dr. Gasparri says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch,” Francis said, throwing a pretend punch his way. “It’s normal. You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others.” . . .

“There are so many people who speak badly about religions or other religions, who make fun of them, who make a game out of the religions of others,” he said. “They are provocateurs. And what happens to them is what would happen to Dr. Gasparri if he says a curse word against my mother. There is a limit.”

From God’s lips to the Holy Father’s ears.

Romney 2016: Enter the Adman
January 14th, 2015

Galley Friend X sends in the following note:

This paragraph, buried in the middle of a Boston Globe story, captures everything so perfectly:
“Underlying it all is the notion that, in the mind of Romney and his top advisers, the country made a mistake in not electing Romney in 2012. They want to give the country another shot at sending him to the White House.”I guess the advertisements write themselves:

Dear America: You don’t need to apologize to Mitt. He already knows you’re sorry, and he forgives you. This one time.
I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to vote today. (That is, unless Jeb is willing to commit, right now, to picking Dick Cheney as his running mate, which would be the greatest heel turn not just in the history of American politics, but in history of everything, period.)
Romney 2016 is the political equivalent of taking a shot to the jugular with the most powerful tranq gun on the market. Sure, it might lead to bad things, but it is awesome.

Galley Friend Y sends the following:

Eventually, by 2040 or 2060, Romney will just start using a time machine to kill off his would-be competition, like George P. Bush and Tim Cotton.

Romney 2016: Believe!
January 13th, 2015

I don’t like to pull the “I-followed-these-guys-around-the-primaries-and-I-have-a-good-bead-on-thm” card, but I did spend a lot of time following Mitt Romney around in both 2008 and 2012 and I came away pretty convinced that he was going to run again in 2016.

And it looks like we’re getting closer to this dream becoming a reality. How close? You can tell by Jen Rubin’s Benedict-Arnold freakout from yesterday in which Romney’s most reliable scribe is suddenly all Hey, there–don’t do this! Mitt Romney is a terrible candidate!

As the Comic Book Guy once said, “Oh, that is rich.”

(And by-the-by, what is this “rivalry” between Los Angeles and San Francisco that Rubin talks about? Is that a thing? If so, I’ve never heard of it. A rivalry between L.A. and New York? Sure. But Los Angeles and San Francisco? Two totally different cities with different geographies, different economies, and different identities. Maybe I’m missing something. I suspect that Rubin was just reaching for a way to signal, as inoffensively as possible, that she’s switched tanks. Jeb The Tank! Jeb The Tank!)

A word of caution: Let’s not get too excited here until Romney officially announces. Visions that feel too good to be true usually are.

Exit Question: If you’re Scott Walker or Marco Rubio, would it be smarter to announce ASAP–like, maybe even tomorrow–or to wait until just before Romney makes it official? Obviously, Walker is in a better position to spin up a campaign quickly. And there are definite advantages to waiting. It still is really early. But if you’re going to make a real play to win the nomination as a conservative-fusion candidate, which is the lane Walker and Rubio would be likely to run in, then you may need to start getting to work on the invisible primary stuff right now. That is, if you’ve already made up your mind to run.

Update: I didn’t want to look like I was piling on, but enough people have emailed me about it that I might as well put it down: Rubin’s #1 warning for Mitt 2016 boosters is the following:

Using talking points like “Ronald Reagan ran three times” treats Republicans like dolts. Fellas, Reagan lost in 1976, then won in 1980 and 1984.

Except, of course, that when people talk about Reagan running three times, they mean 1968, 1976, and 1980. Not 1976, 1980, and 1984. Jeb The Tank!

George Packer vs. Ezra Klein
January 8th, 2015

On the subject of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, Ezra Klein has taken a perfectly Voxian position–which is to say, come out with something so transparently foolish that there are only two possible explanations for it, and the more likely one is that he’s simply trolling for clicks. It’s the op-ed version of search-engine optimization. I wonder when the rest of the world is going to catch on and start treating Klein, Yglesias, et al accordingly.

We are at one of those rare moments suffused with such moral clarity that there’s no daylight between the Washington Free Beacon and the New Yorker. Seriously, take quick a taste test. Is this the Free Beacon or the New Yorker:

A religion is not just a set of texts but the living beliefs and practices of its adherents. Islam today includes a substantial minority of believers who countenance, if they don’t actually carry out, a degree of violence in the application of their convictions that is currently unique. Charlie Hebdo had been nondenominational in its satire, sticking its finger into the sensitivities of Jews and Christians, too—but only Muslims responded with threats and acts of terrorism. For some believers, the violence serves a will to absolute power in the name of God, which is a form of totalitarianism called Islamism—politics as religion, religion as politics. “Allahu Akbar!” the killers shouted in the street outside Charlie Hebdo. They, at any rate, know what they’re about.

So had to find an angle to drive some traffic.

It’s going to be awesome when they eventually go public.

Oh No He Didn’t!
January 7th, 2015

Is it my imagination or is Gabriel Snyder insinuating that Frank Foer is racist and sexist:

As we revive one proud legacy of The New Republicthe launching of new voices and expertsthose new voices and experts will be diverse in race, gender, and background. As we build our editorial staff, we will reach out to talented journalists who might have previously felt unwelcome at The New Republic.

That’s the only possible reading, no? “Diverse” races and genders were made to feel “unwelcome” under the regime immediately preceding Snyder. (And it has to be immediately preceding him–this is phrased in such a way that it doesn’t make sense if Snyder is talking about History’s Greatest Monster, Marty Peretz, because he was long-gone and those injustices must surely have been corrected.) The bad old regime has to mean either the owner or the editor of the magazine. But since ownership hasn’t changed, that can only mean someone who rhymes with Anklin-Fray, Oer-Fay.

If Twitter has taught me anything, it’s that being racist and/or sexist is the worst thing in the world. I wonder what Foer’s friends will have to say about Snyder’s imputations.

Exit Question: Snyder and Hughes sure aren’t trying to put out any fires, are they? This seems more like a double-down fuck all y’all, than an attempt to build bridges. Not that I blame them. We can’t be more than six months away from a big piece in the New York Times Magazine or some such proclaiming: The New New Republic is confounding expectations and improbably returning to glory. Owner Chris Hughes has learned so many lessons and grown so much from the turmoil.

What are the odds that the lefty mainstream media are able to hold a grudge against their fellow travelers. Impossible-to-one?

The Case for the Alliance
January 5th, 2015

I love this–love this–but then, I would. It’s even more convincing than my old “Case for the Empire”:


Why the ‘Firefly’ Crew Were the Bad Guys — powered by

Deadspin on
January 1st, 2015

Deadspin is all up in’s grill with a catalogue of 46 errors. It’s entertaining.

But I’m not entirely sure if this is a bug or a feature for, since it seems like their model is basically to be Slate Double X for the general news reader. In which case viral hate-clicks are pretty valuable.

Update: Santino has his own list, which is pretty awesome, too. I’m more and more convinced that for, these “mistakes” are actually part of their business strategy. Move fast and break shit, dudes!

Updated, again: And then there’s this from Sean Trende. It’s Click-Hole: Politics Edition!