Happy Birthday to Ed Halicki, 63.
Good stuff -- all on one question, today:
1. Why is the Republican Party broken? Regular readers know my answers. But worth considering the alternatives. It's 40 years of frustration!, says Ross Douthat.
2. It's George W. Bush!, says Dan Larison.
3. It's the end of the Cold War!, says Matt Yglesias.
I should say: of the three, I think Douthat's is the most interesting one -- because it dovetails so nicely with mine, which primarily composed of two parts. First, the success of the conservative marketplace; second, the influence of a small group of malevolent influences -- the McCarthy/Nixon/Newt legacy. The former, in that it is not remotely duplicated on the Democratic side, I cannot explain; the latter I consider mostly dumb luck. At any rate, the combined effects of these two things -- perverse incentives that compete with healthy electoral incentives, the conservative closed information loop, the unusual degree of openness to hucksters and frauds -- seem to explain, to me, most of what's gone wrong with the party.