Add Daniel Henninger to the list of conservatives offering up new ideas to get the most out of the upcoming…
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More GOP Debate Improvements

Add Daniel Henninger to the list of conservatives offering up new ideas to get the most out of the upcoming GOP presidential debates.

With as many as 19 Republicans possibly running for president, “something more is needed this time” than just a one-size-fits-all gabfest.

“In addition to the traditional debates, the candidates or their supporters should underwrite a series of smaller debates/conversations,” writes Henninger. “Divide the 19 into groups of four or five candidates, randomly selected. Pick the issues, and go at it. Give voters a chance to see who these mostly interesting people are and how their minds work outside the confines of a 60-second timer.”

In my column this week I lay out a proposal to randomly assign candidates into debating pairs so debaters can…[more]

May 21, 2015 • 12:25 pm

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31 Senate Change Reveals Obama Was the Obstructionist All Along

Throughout Barack Obama's White House tenure, he and his apologists have scapegoated House Republicans as the source of governmental obstruction and dysfunction.  The allegation was inaccurate, as a simple comparison between the number of House bills passed under Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) versus the number of Senate bills passed under former…

32 2014: The Year in Review

2014 has just about come and gone. Because the first big story of the year was Colorado legalizing the use of marijuana in January, we thought you might be having a harder time than usual keeping the year’s events straight. With that in mind, here’s your annotated guide to lessons learned in 2014. — There were two possible ways…

33 Obama Plays Word Games with Executive Power

President Barack Obama and his allies like to say he’s issued far fewer executive orders than his predecessors, giving the false impression that his unilateral actions can be compared on the same terms. “The truth is, even with all the actions I’ve taken this year, I’m issuing executive orders at the lowest rate in more than…

34 CFIF Christmas Quiz

Take our 12-Question Christmas Quiz and test your knowledge of Christmas-related Americana. (Answer key may be found at the bottom) 1. General George Washington crossed the Delaware River on which one of the following nights in 1776 to surprise (and defeat) the Hessian garrison at Trenton, NJ?  a. Christmas Eve b. Christmas…

35 Song of the South: Democrats Whistling Past Dixie

Will the last Democrat out of the South please turn out the lights? With Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu going down to defeat by a crushing margin in last weekend’s runoff election, the party is now at a modern-day nadir in the region. Landrieu’s loss made her the third incumbent Democrat from the South to lose reelection to the Senate…

36 Chuck Schumer Is Right: Why Democrats Are Flailing

Here’s a basic fact about modern American politics: a diverse party is a successful party. This isn’t diversity as measured by race, gender or any of the other variables characteristic of identity politics; it’s diversity of ideas. When Democrats lose elections, there’s always carping about the fact that their candidates were…

37 Obama's Emerging Legacy: U.S. Plummets in Another Global Ranking

In 2008, Barack Obama boldly suggested that he could be a transformative president in the manner of Ronald Reagan, as opposed to the comparatively non-consequential Bill Clinton.  That suggestion rightfully draws laughter today, as Obama's legacy begins to congeal.  Reagan's leadership and policies quickly revived our economy, rebuilt our…

38 Why It’s a Mistake to Underestimate Scott Walker

We knew this was coming. With the midterm elections behind us, it’s now open season for 2016 presidential contenders. With Hillary Clinton looking set for a coronation by Democrats (don’t fool yourself, it will get tougher for the former First Lady — but she’s still the favorite to take the nomination) most of the attention…

39 Liberal Triumphalism Turns to Panic

In 2009, Democratic political strategist James Carville published a book entitled Forty More Years: How the Democrats Will Rule the Next Generation. Five years later, that work has proved to be instructive for more than the creeping illiberalism suggested by the use of the verb “rule.” In the volume’s opening, Carville declares that…

40 Pax Republicana: GOP Now Dominates the American Political Landscape

In 2010, Barack Obama labeled his election setback a "shellacking."  This week, he petulantly avoided offering a description of what happened when asked by reporters.  Perhaps we can help.  How about a bright red tattoo of the word "Rejected" on his forehead?  His apologists naturally struggled to dismiss…

41 Obama Blurs the Line Between Deception and Denial

During his Wednesday press conference reacting to the massive gains Republicans made in this year’s midterm elections, President Obama said that he still believes in the principle he espoused on the night of his election in 2008: that “We are simply more than just a collection of red and blue states — we are the United States.&rdquo…

42 What to Look for in 2016

For the next few days, political chatter is going to be focused largely on the U.S. Congress. Don’t get used to that. For one thing, the strong probability that Republicans will take over the U.S. Senate in this year’s midterm elections means that Barack Obama will likely spend his last two years in office with a Capitol Hill controlled…

43 A Farewell to Czars

I’ve got a new working theory about Barack Obama’s second term: It’s all one elaborate practical joke. It’s not just the increasingly improbable string of bad news — after terrorist beheadings and the Ebola virus, I’m pretty sure plagues of locusts come next — but also the White House’s ability to react…

44 Folly: Paul Krugman Ranks Obama Presidency Above Reagan, Clinton, Kennedy, Eisenhower, Truman

"Obama has emerged," says New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, "as one of the most consequential and, yes, successful presidents in American history."  At this point, the most salient question regarding Krugman shouldn't be what he thinks about any particular issue, but why anyone continues to pay him attention.  Sure…

45 New York Times: Massive Quantities of WMD Discovered in Iraq After All

So it turns out that "Bush lied!" proved itself a lie.  Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein possessed massive quantities of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) after all.  That according to none other than the leftist New York Times.  First, let's address that deranged "Bush lied, people died!" slogan.  Anyone…

46 The Midterms in Prospect: The Governors (Part 2)

In this final installment of the series providing analysis of this year’s midterm elections, we turn to the governor’s races in the South and the Northeast (last week’s installment looked at the executive races in the West and Midwest — and an earlier four-part series considered the state of the U.S. Senate races). Here&rsquo…

47 The Midterms in Prospect: The Governors (Part 1)

Over the last four weeks, I’ve produced a series of pieces examining the midterm races in the U.S. Senate, which — given the fact that the House of Representatives is universally understood to be staying in Republican hands — has represented the focal point of media coverage of the 2014 elections. Lost in the focus on the federal…

48 Republicans More Informed Than Democrats, According to Pew Research

Few traits better characterize contemporary liberals than their false sense of intellectual superiority.  We're all familiar with the clichés.  Conservatives and libertarians who deviate from liberal articles of faith, from global warming alarmism to Keynesian economics to bureaucratized social engineering, are "deniers,"…

49 New Harvard Study: "A Troubling Divergence in the American Economy"

What elements of American society boost our international competitiveness, and which ones weaken us?  In the real world, what works in America and what doesn't?  In our contemporary political climate, Americans of differing philosophies can argue until we're blue in the face about our various points of view.  It reaches the point where…

50 The Midterms in Prospect: The Senate (Part 4)

Over the past month, this column has presented analysis of this year’s U.S. Senate races by region. Part One looked at contests in the West. Part Two examined races in the Midwest. Last week’s installment considered races in the South where Democrats are in trouble. In this final installment, we’ll examine Southern races where Republicans…

51 The Midterms in Prospect: The Senate (Part 3)

Over the past two weeks, I’ve presented analysis of this year’s U.S. Senate races by region, with previous installments looking at contests in the West and the Midwest. This week’s edition begins an examination of elections in the South that will continue into next week (the fourth and final edition will also include a brief look…

52 The Midterms in Prospect: The Senate (Part 2)

Last week, I began a three-part series on this fall’s midterm races for the U.S. Senate, with each edition highlighting a different region of the country. The first installment focused on the West, where Republicans are all but certain to pick up a seat in Montana and where hotly contested races are currently underway in Alaska and Colorado,…

53 What to Hope for If GOP Controls Congress

Unless voters unexpectedly send Republican super-majorities to both chambers of Congress this November, radical policy change isn’t coming to Washington, D.C., during President Obama’s last two years in office. But that doesn’t mean there’s no hope for improvement. A unified, Republican-led Senate and House of Representatives…

54 The Midterms in Prospect: The Senate (Part 1)

In a two-part series earlier this year, I provided a preview of the midterm Senate races, examining which states we could expect to see influence the balance of power in the upper chamber come the beginning of next year. Now that we’ve passed Labor Day — generally considered the line of demarcation for when congressional races start shifting…

55 Senate Democrats and Scorched-Earth Judicial Politics

Whereas Senate Democrats routinely employ scorched-Earth tactics in the realm of judicial politics, Senate Republicans have tended to act with comparative timidity.  In an ominous new ruling from the full D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals regarding an important ObamaCare decision from earlier this summer, Democrats' Machiavellian methods are again…

56 CFIF Star-Spangled Banner Quiz

Take our 14 Question Quiz to test your knowledge of our National Anthem. (Answer key may be found at the bottom) 1.  Which one of the following penned the words to the “The Star-Spangled Banner”? a. George M. Cohan b. Benjamin Franklin c. Francis Scott Key d. John Philip Souza 2.  How many stanzas comprise…

57 Time to Make Congress Telecommute?

If you want a sign that America’s civic health is not yet in terminal decline, here you go: We still hate Congress. According to the most recent RealClearPolitics polling average, disapproval of the legislative branch is at over 78 percent. Sure, there are plenty of Beltway chin-scratchers who will tell you that this is a function of Washington…

58 Rand Paul, John Stossel and Disgraceful Commentary in the Ferguson Aftermath

Judging from public opinion surveys, the American public demonstrates greater sagacity than many political leaders and members of the commentariat when it comes to the subject of police.  Sadly, that includes some otherwise insightful conservatives and libertarians whose behavior in the aftermath of Ferguson, Missouri, riots leave much to be…

59 The Unlikely Resurrection of Rick Perry

There’s a pretty handy rule of thumb in American politics: We forgive our sinners, but not our buffoons. If you’re Bill Clinton, Mark Sanford, or Ted Kennedy, we will, given enough time, welcome you back into polite society. If, however, you’ve become fodder for late night comics — if you’re Dan Quayle or Joe Biden &mdash…

60 What Would a Real “Change Election” Look Like?

By all accounts, November’s midterm elections look likely to deal a decisive rebuke to the Obama Administration, currently at a nadir in public opinion. Should Republicans retake the Senate — an outcome that looks exceedingly plausible — they’ll control both houses of Congress, as well as holding a slim (though unreliable)…

 
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Question of the Week   
Americans are asked to observe a National Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m. annually on which one of the following days?
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Quote of the Day   
 
"Estimates vary about how many Republicans are after the party's presidential nomination, but the number 19 keeps coming up. Nothing in nature comes in sets of 19. The only '19' in my memory is the Rolling Stones singing about someone's 19th nervous breakdown. Welcome to the world of GOP party officials, many on the verge of multiple nervous breakdowns over the flood tide of candidates. ...A GOP donor…[more]
 
 
—Daniel Henninger, The Wall Street Journal
— Daniel Henninger, The Wall Street Journal
 
Liberty Poll   

Given the large number of likely candidates for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, how useful do you believe early debates will be to voters?