Brian Beutler

Proof That the Koch Brothers' 'Ideology' Is a Scam to Make Even More Money

Would you believe me if I told you that the Koch brothers actively participate in, and benefit from, a healthcare system in which the government subsidizes private insurance; carriers are prohibited from discriminating against the sick; the young cross-subsidize the old; and qualified beneficiaries who opt out suffer a big financial hit?

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Confusion Plagues the Right: Why It Doesn’t Understand Liberal Views of the Hobby Lobby Case

Conservative columnist Ramesh Ponnuru wrote an interesting piece yesterday at National Review arguing that while liberals have constricted their views of the extent of religious liberty over the years, conservatives, though tactically divided, have been consistent on the issue.

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Why Paul Ryan’s Racism Controversy Is Much Worse Than It Looks

I spent a depressing amount of time this weekend trying to think up a scenario in which someone might say the following without being motivated, to at least some degree, by malign intent.

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How the GOP’s Bubble of Ignorance Keeps Leading Them to Humiliation

Looking back on the events of last week, I’m struck by how lucky Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., was to be awarded the uncoveted early-Thursday speaking slot at CPAC Thursday morning.

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Self Pitying Christian Right: How Can We Practice Religion if We Can’t Discriminate?

When it became clear that conservatives were going to lose a fight in Arizona (and then elsewhere) to establish legal protections for anti-gay religious business owners and others, nobody on the left expected an immediate course correction.

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White America’s “Waiver Mania”: The Right’s Plot to Minimize Its Culture War Defeat

Decent people everywhere were treated to a nice surprise on Monday, when Arizona’s two Republican Senators both called on Arizona’s Republican Governor, Jan Brewer, to veto a bill that would systematize anti-gay discrimination — and untold other forms of discrimination — in businesses across the state.
That these tweets came as a nice surprise isn’t quite as revealing as the fact that Brewer obviously needs to be pressured by allies to do the right thing and veto the bill, rather than sign it or allow it to become law automatically.

Measures like these have emerged in a number of states out of a wellspring of conservative panic about the country’s abrupt legal and cultural evolution into a society that’s broadly tolerant of gay people. Rather than deny the shift, or stop at trying to reverse it in legislatures, the courts and at ballot boxes, conservatives are instead attempting to erect a legal architecture that will wall them off from the growing portion of American society that supports equal rights for gay people. The idea is to use their putative religious beliefs to exempt themselves from broadly-applicable laws when those laws reflect a zeitgeist that offends them — or, as former-Business Insider writer Josh Barro put it, to create “a special new right to discriminate on a particular basis.”

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GOP's False Claims About Obamacare Blow Up in Their Face

Late last year, when conservatives everywhere were grieving publicly for each American who’d received a cancellation notice from a health insurance carrier, the smartest among them realized they had a small problem on their hands.

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Angry Right’s Secret Revulsion: Why They Really Dodge Minimum Wage Questions

It’s no great secret that Republicans oppose increasing the minimum wage. They don’t pretend it’s something they want to do under any circumstances. They don’t even really bother disguising their opposition. They cloak their view in dated and oversimplified economic arguments about labor demand and economic growth when the real impediment is ideological, and so it’s a somewhat better kept secret that many Republicans oppose the minimum wage altogether.

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Why the Far Right Is Going Nuts About Obama's Minimum Wage Maneuvering

It’s no great secret that Republicans oppose increasing the minimum wage. They don’t pretend it’s something they want to do under any circumstances. They don’t even really bother disguising their opposition. They cloak their view in dated and oversimplified economic arguments about labor demand and economic growth when the real impediment is ideological, and so it’s a somewhat better kept secret that many Republicans oppose the minimum wage altogether.

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The Real Problem With the American Right: Aging, White Radicals

The Republican Party’s total failure to make even cosmetic changes to its image and policy agenda last year has at this point become the kind of cliché-cum-running joke that often attaches itself to accepted truisms in American politics. Like chucking about Bill Clinton’s inability to contain himself in the company of women, or noting that Dick Cheney actually ran the show during George W. Bush’s first term, observing that Republicans have failed to moderate or reinvent themselves after losing badly in 2012 is the kind of thing even sympathetic political wise men can say to signal that they get it. That in what was a tough year for President Obama, Republicans screwed up too.

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