Matthew Boudway

Matthew Boudway is an associate editor of Commonweal.

By this author

Elsewhere

At "The Stone," Amia Srinivasa has four questions for "free-market moralists." Here's the third:

Do people deserve all they are able, and only what they are able, to get through free exchange?

Department of 'Who Are You Fooling?'

Boehner surrenders but, still terrified of the GOP's Tea Party wing, vows to continue its war on Obamacare. From his remarks this afternoon, comments passim:

Elsewhere

Thomas Frank on higher education:

Grant to an industry control over access to the good things in life; insist that it transform itself into a throat-cutting, market-minded mercenary; get thought leaders to declare it to be the answer to every problem; mute any reservations the nation might have about it—and, lastly, send it your unsuspecting kids, armed with a blank check drawn on their own futures.

A Reply to Joseph Bottum's Conservative Critics

As most readers of this blog will have noticed by now, Joseph Bottum's Commonweal essay on Catholics and same-sex marriage has provoked a good deal of criticism in the blogosphere.

'Something Else Must Be Done!'

It's tempting to characterize the Obama administration's response to the latest reports of a chemical-weapons attack in Syria as a version of the old line from the British TV series Yes Minister: "Something must be done. This is something. Therefore it must be done."

Meanwhile, some of the administration's critics have suggested it would be better to do nothing than to do the little President Obama seems to have in mind: better, they say, either to go all in and get rid of Assad or to stay out of the conflict than to content oneself with firing a "shot across the bow."

Jean Bethke Elshtain

The political theorist Jean Bethke Elshtain died yesterday at the age of seventy-two.

'Normal Result'

Now up on the homepage is Patrck Dunne's article on the cruel and all-too-forseeable consequences of our immigration system. Dunne writes:

Under the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, immigrants who have entered the United States illegally and have lived in this country “out of status” for over 180 days face a permanent ban forbidding them re-entry if they leave the country even momentarily—even for the out-of-country interview officially required for adjustment of status.[...] 

Notes on a Controversy

If, as G. K. Chesterton said, tradition is the democracy of the dead, then one can understand how someone might think of progress as the democracy of the future. That seems to be how many journalists and politicians are understanding progress when they talk about opponents of same-sex marriage being on the “wrong side of history.” Of course we can never be as sure of what most people will think in the future as we are of what most people have thought in the past. For the past, the vote is in.

Broken Saucer

Yesterday Senate Republicans agreed not to filibuster seven Obama administration appointments and so averted a catastrophe whose gravity can be adequately conveyed only by reference to nuclear war. Or so it was widely reported. It was certainly a good day for Democrats and democrats: good to see the Senate majority finally press its advantage, good to see an obstructionist minority party get its bluff called.