Antiwar Conservatism Comes to Cato

Bill Kauffman’s event yesterday was great fun — a provocative talk from Bill, a friendly rejoinder from Michael Tomasky, and about 20 minutes of audience Q+A, plus a reception afterwards. Catch up if you missed it by listening to the MP3 or watching the RealVideo.

About three-quarters of the TAC office trekked down to the event, where we found, as expected, a great many familiar faces: Jeremy Lott and Stacy McCain of the American Spectator, Jesse Walker of Reason, my Robert Taft Club associates Richard Spencer and Marcus Epstein, Twilight at Monticello scribe Alan Crawford, as well as Cato’s own Justin Logan and Gene Healy, and many others. Lots of people Dick Cheney would like to see in Gitmo, in other words.


Ron Paul vs. the Kochtopus

In a friendly game of softball, that is: the Ron Paul campaign team is facing off against the Koch team in the D.C. Think Tank Softball League. Both teams are in the “Free Soil” division.

What’s a Kochtopus, you ask? David Gordon answers.

Antiwar Conservatism vs. Beltway Libertarianism

Mark your calendars: on May 8, Bill Kauffman will be debating Michael Tomasky (editor of the U.S. edition of the lefty Brit newspaper The Guardian) at the Cato Institute. Tomasky reviewed Kauffman’s book here. Orange Line liberventionist Tyler Cowen discusses the book here.

There actually are a number of anti-interventionist libertarians in the D.C. area, and I dare say they’ll be out in force to watch Bill lower the boom on the warmongers. It should be a fun event.

If You’re In the D.C. Area, Drop by the Taft Club Tonight

The Robert Taft Club is hosting a panel discussion tonight on the society, politics, and the biological sciences with Charles Murray (co-author of The Bell Curve), Tom Bethell (author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Science and a senior editor of the American Spectator), John Derbyshire (of National Review), Ron Bailey (Reason‘s science correspondent).

The event runs from 7:30 (panel itself begins at 8, but arriving early is a good idea) to 10 pm in the Fillmore Room of the Boulevard Woodgrill, 2901 Wilson Boulevard in Arlington, VA. Directions here. More event details here. It’s a free event — though we suggest a donation of $10 to help us defray costs — so if you’re in the area, consider attending.

Ron Paul @ The Robert Taft Club, Oct. 11

The Five Million Dollar Man will be giving a talk–an educational talk, rather than a campaign event–at the Robert Taft Club next Thursday, Oct. 11, on the topic of a foreign policy fit for a republic, not an empire.  The event starts at 8 pm in the Fillmore Room of the Boulevard Woodgrill, 2901 Wilson Boulevard in Arlington, Virginia.

Because Ron Paul is white-hot right now and there may be more demand for this event than our space can accommodate, we might have to get strict on the RSVP policy.  So if you plan to attend, please email me at

Taft Club Video, In Exciting Greenish Hues

The first part of the video from the last Taft Club meeting (“The Right and the GOP: Can This Marriage Be Saved?”) is posted below. Other parts are available here. A few more parts should be put up soon.

The next Taft Club meeting, scheduled for early October, will feature someone “really perfect,” but I can’t say who just yet. Details when the time is ripe. (No, it’s not the ghost of Robert Taft.)

p.s. Despite my crack about the video quality in the subject line, I’m actually very excited that we have footage, and grateful to R.C. for the filming.

The Taft Club in August

If you’re anywhere near the vicinity of Washington, D.C., consider coming to the meeting of the Robert Taft Club at 8 pm on August 21 at the Boulevard Woodgrill in Arlington, Virginia.  The meeting’s topic will be “The GOP and the Right: Can This Marriage Be Saved?” featuring panelists Terence Jeffrey, W. James Antle III, and Paul Gottfried.

Here’s the publicity write-up:

After the Clinton years, many conservatives were cautiously optimistic about the coming George W. Bush presidency—after all, Bush had promised to be fiscally responsible, pursue a “humble foreign policy,” and restore dignity to the oval office.

Instead, the past six and a half years have been marked by a missionary zeal to “spread democracy,” a “compassionate conservative” philosophy in which non-military spending has grown at its highest rate since the Johnson administration, and a de facto open-borders immigration policy. Is this what the Goldwater and Reagan revolutions were fought for?

Social conservatives have received lip service as, in panelist Jim Antle’s words, “Republican stepchildren,” just as economic conservatives and libertarians have begun to wonder whether they might be better off with Democrats in power. The GOP may no longer be the natural party of conservatives—if indeed it ever was.

Join us as we consider whether the Right can—or even should—retake the Republican Party. Has the time come for a third party, or even to consider dropping out of politics altogether? Can Republican institutions still be reformed from within? Our panelists—veteran conservative journalist Terence Jeffrey, American Spectator associate editor W. James Antle, and historian of the conservative movement Paul Gottfried—will take a hard look at these questions and more.


Terence P. Jeffrey is Editor at Large at Human Events and a columnist at Mr. Jeffrey served as research director for Pat Buchanan’s 1992 presidential campaign, and afterwards became executive director of the American Cause. In 1996, Jeffrey rejoined Buchanan’s team, working as his campaign manager for his second presidential bid.

Mr. Jeffrey was born in San Francisco and graduated from Princeton University in 1981. Between 1987-91, he was as an editorial writer at the Washington Times, where he was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. He is a frequent guest on MSNBC and CNN.

W. James Antle III is Associate Editor of the American Spectator and program manager of its Young Writers’ Program. He is also a contributing editor to The American Conservative and sits on the editorial board of the webzine Enter Stage Right. Mr. Antle was previously senior writer for The American Conservative, where he covered national politics. His work has also appeared in the Wall Street Journal‘s Opinion Journal, the Washington Examiner, the Dallas Morning News, The Politico, Reason, National Review Online, The American Prospect, Human Events, and

Paul Edward Gottfried is Raffensperger Professor of Humanities at Elizabethtown College and an adjunct scholar of the Ludwig von Mises Institute. He is the author of many books, including Multiculturalism and the Politics of Guilt and the forthcoming Conservatism in America: Making Sense of the American Right.

Falwell Dies, and the Robert Taft Club Takes a Hard Look at the Religious Right

Next Wednesday (May 23, that is) at 7 pm in Washington’s, D.C.’s Lounge 201 (map) the Robert A. Taft Club will be holding a symposium on “The Religious Right and the Conservative Movement,” featuring Michael Tanner, Doug Bandow, and Jim Russell. We’ll not only be taking a look at the big picture of the relationship between religion and the right, but also at how the politics of Christian conservatism mingles with the issues of big government, immigration, and war. The Taft Club likes to keep things interesting.

The first half hour or 45 minutes is usually schmoozing and boozing, so don’t plan on the panel starting at 7 sharp. Goes until 10 pm. RSVP to Marcus Epstein if you plan to attend.

A Talk or Two at CPAC

At the end of this week I’ll be at the annual CPAC conference, where I’ll be participating in two events. On Friday, March 2, I’ll be giving a talk at 4 pm on “The State of Campus Conservatism.” Then at 11 am on Saturday, March 3, I’ll be on the “Failure of Fusionism” panel with Reason‘s Nick Gillespie, the American Conservative Union’s Don Devine, and Elephant in the Room author Ryan Sager.

These will be new talks, although they springboard off of some of my recent American Conservative articles (here and here). If you’re in the D.C. area, drop by. Students can register for CPAC for $25.

C-SPAN or C-SPAN 2 usually covers CPAC, so I imagine the fusionism panel will show up on TV at some point.  Probably not the campus conservatism talk, though.

“Where the Right Went Wrong,” This Coming Tuesday

Borrowing the title of Patrick J. Buchanan’s 2004 book, I’ll be giving a talk on “Where the Right Went Wrong” this coming Tuesday at 7:30 pm on the campus of North Carolina State University, in Harrelson Hall, Room 107.

With Bush’s approval ratings in the 30s, Republicans set to lose ground — and perhaps lose control — in Congress this November, and the country mired in a war engineered by neoconservatives, it’s become increasingly clear, even to many long-time conservative activists and writers, that something is seriously wrong with the Right. I’ll be arguing that an overemphasis on politics (including fighting a “Culture War” by political means) and the conservative movement’s betrayal of the right’s anti-war and anti-statist roots have ensured that conservatism would degenerate into what it has become today. But things could have been different, if only the counsel of such disparate figures as Murray Rothbard and Irving Babbitt had been heeded…

Below are full directions to the lecture hall, courtesy of James Lawrence:

From the North:

Take I-95 South to I-85 South. Then take US 1 (which turns into Capital
Boulevard) to downtown Raleigh. Turn right onto Edenton Street. Edenton
Street merges with Hillsborough Street. Follow Hillsborough Street and
then turn left at Pullen Road. Follow signs to the Visitor Information on
Stinson Drive (at the traffic circle).

From the South:

Take I-95 North to I-40 West. Proceed on I-40 West into Raleigh to Gorman
Street, exit 295. Turn right at the stoplight onto Gorman Street and
follow it to the second traffic light. Turn right onto Avent Ferry Road.
After approximately 1.5 miles you will turn right onto Western Boulevard.
Take the first left onto Pullen Road. Follow signs to the Visitor
Information Booth on Stinson Drive (at the traffic circle).

From the West:

Take I-40 East approximately 25 miles to Raleigh. At the I-40/Wade Avenue
split, stay on I-40 to Gorman Street, exit 295. Turn left at the stoplight
onto Gorman Street and follow it to the third traffic light. Turn right
onto Avent Ferry Road. After approximately 1.5 miles you will turn right
onto Western Boulevard. Take the first left onto Pullen Road. Follow signs
to the Visitor Information Booth on Stinson Drive (at the traffic circle).

Best Parking Area Regardless of Where You’re coming from:

After passing by the Visitor’s Information Booth on Stinson Drive, take
the first left onto Boney Drive. Take the next right off Boney Drive into
the Riddick Parking Lot. You can park there freely anytime after 5:00 PM.

Directions to Harrleson Hall from Riddick Parking Area:

Walk along Stinson Drive until it T’s into Cox Hall. Make a right at Cox
Hall and proceed up the stairway to Harrelson Hall (it’s a large,
odd-looking round building, you can’t miss it). Take the closest Stairway
into Harrelson Hall after climbing the stairs and climb one flight to the
first floor. Follow the signs to Room 107.