Ben Boychuk and Joel Mathis have a smart and compelling conversation
with Michael Anton, former speechwriter to many Republican politicians (for these purposes, most notably including former Mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani), about what it might take to see viable Republican candidates in coastal big city politics. Anton's answer, in short, is to be careful what you wish for. Things would have to be very bad indeed, for Republicans to fare well in most coastal urban settings. His long answer, however, is both more satisfying and more illuminating. He spans a broad spectrum of issues from the nature and purpose of the Republican party and the direction in which it is now heading to the more practical questions of how Republican politicians might gain both rhetorical and strategic headway in an atmosphere that seems so intransigently stacked against them; a useful thing to contemplate, I'd suggest, for the broader national political scene as well. In it, I think, there may be something to learn for purposes of contrast and comparison between . . . oh, I don't know . . . a Sarah Palin type of candidate v. a Liz Cheney figure? Not that either of them could ever win a race for dog catcher in NYC . . . but there are broader principles offered up for your consideration in this discussion that might certainly apply.
Then, too, there's a bonus bit offered at the end for those of you contemplating the nation's declining sartorial situation. Could the election of Obama really mean the end of the tie? Previous recessions have at least had the benefit of suggesting to people the notion of taking greater care in their attire. But despite the current recession, the tie seems to be losing ground. Anton, means to do what he can (which, despite the publication of this fine work
, appears not to be much) to stand athwart the tailor's table shouting, "NO!"