There are probably dozens of lists out there about the “Greatest Election Movies” or “Greatest Politics Movies” of all time. Those lists are boring and unchallenging (“Ooh, you think Election is a great election movie? GOOD JOB, GOOD EFFORT“). So instead of another dull list about election movies featuring The Candidate, I’ve compiled a list of five films that are extremely tangentially about elections—films in which elections may not even take place, yet drive the action of the movie in a significant way or show us something interesting about the nature of politics and American society.
So, without further ado, allow me to offer you Five Great Films that Are (Very Tangentially!) About Elections:Read More
In 2012, more than 125 million Americans cast ballots in an election that only served to create greater partisan divisions, increase gridlock and generally make the President Obama’s life more difficult. His forward-looking agenda continues to take a back seat to petty grievances. One hundred and twenty-five million may sound like a lot, but that’s still less than 40 percent of the population of the United States, and less than one-tenth the population of China. Voter turnout was even lower than it was during the historic 2008 election, despite the fact that outside spenders spent nearly three times as much on partisan attack ads.
There was a time when presidential elections made sense—at our nation’s founding, everyone agreed that George Washington should be president, so he ran unopposed and was elected unanimously. Most people agree that he was on of the greatest presidents of all time. After that, politicians started running for president against each other, thus forever burdening the American people with a decision that many would rather someone else make on their behalf. Centuries later, presidential elections no longer make any sense.
Presidential elections, like midterm elections, aren’t just unnecessary; they’re harmful to American politics. We should get rid of them entirely.Read More
Being Kay Hagan (or a member of her immediate family) is a pretty good gig if you can find it. As a Democratic senator, Hagan has significantly increased her net worth since getting elected and her husband, son, and son-in-law have received taxpayer funding for their businesses. Additionally, she appears to have convinced the local media that stories reflecting poorly on her are unfit for print.
The Charlotte Observer is under fire from Republicans for pulling a story about Hagan and the stimulus grants her family received. After briefly posting a story about state government officials calling for a “legal review” of the grants—with the headline: “Memo: Grant given to company run by Sen. Hagan’s husband needs ‘legal review’”—the Observer erased the story from its website.
Here is the cached version:Read More
When I read Ezra Klein’s blog post on #GamerGate decrying “the politicization of everything,” my first instinct was to mock it. After all, the left has done a very good job of creating a world in which everything—every controversy, every odd word, every silly little thing—becomes a life and death struggle between the right and the left, between evil and good.Read More
The principal survey the military has relied on for its data regarding sexual assault in recent years has been, at best, extremely flawed. Its sample size was too small, it was taken on a volunteer basis—which, any statistician will tell you, means that those who actually fill out the survey are more likely to be highly motivated about its subject, thus skewing the results—and the phrasing of its most important line of questioning was too vague.
For example, the 2012 Workplace and Gender Relations Survey of Active Duty Members—the most recent of the biannual surveys available—never asked its respondents about “sexual assault.” Instead, it asked whether the respondents had been victims of “unwanted sexual contact.” And a relatively high proportion of survey respondents said in 2012 that they had experienced unwanted sexual contact: 6.1 percent of female respondents, and 1.2 percent of males. But the number of those who actually reported sexual assaults in the military during the same period of time was dramatically lower—an order of magnitude lower, in fact.
Does the difference between these sets of numbers exist because sexual assault is an underreported crime? It seems reasonable that this could be a factor. But to what extent? How is one to compare the apples of questions about “unwanted sexual contact” to the oranges of data about reported sexual assaults? I wrote in September, “Perhaps the  survey currently underway will correct this obvious methodological problem.”Read More
A recent Free Beacon analysis concluded that Sean Eldridge, the Democrat running for Congress in New York’s 19th district, is the worst candidate of the 2014 cycle. On Friday, the New York Times endorsed our analysis. In a profile of Eldridge’s opponent, incumbent Rep. Chris Gibson (R., N.Y.), the Times described Eldridge as “a first-time Democratic candidate with a thin résumé and a thick wallet.”
There only one problem with the Times’ assessment. Eldridge may have a “thick wallet,” but it doesn’t belong to him. The money belongs to his husband, Chris Hughes, who made millions after being randomly selected to be Mark Zuckerberg’s roommate at Harvard. Hughes has already purchased two mansions in neighboring congressional districts in an effort to fulfill his husband’s political ambitions. When Eldridge loses in November, the couple will inevitably move somewhere else so he can run again.Read More