Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of “Profiles in Liberty” interviews Matt will present with leaders of the conservative and libertarian movement.
W. James Antle is an associate editor of The American Spectator and a contributing editor to The American Conservative. As a prolific columnist, Jim’s work has been published in Politico, The Washington Times, National Review, LewRockwell.com, The Guardian (UK), Takimag, and many others. Business Insider ranked Jim as 1 of the 50 pundits you must pay attention to in 2012. He posts wry, pessimistic tweets at @jimantle.
Matt Naugle: How did you become a conservative?
Jim Antle: I grew up in Massachusetts while Michael Dukakis was governor and Ronald Reagan was president. If that perfect laboratory experiment doesn’t turn you into a conservative, God help you.
MN: How did you make the transition from working in IT to working alongside Pat Buchanan?
JA: I sold my first freelance piece to The American Conservative while I was still working in the IT department of a Boston-based dot-com. My first magazine cover story, a piece on the Bush-era divisions between libertarians and conservatives, was written during that time period. One day in early 2004 I was sitting at my desk and I got a call inviting me to come interview for a job at TAC. The rest was an extremely minor footnote to sub-history.
Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake of the Washington Post’s “The Fix” blog—arguably one of the best blogs about politics today—have gotten a copy of Bobby Jindal’s speech to the RNC this Thursday. It looks like it will be a well-needed tongue-lasher:
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal will deliver a forceful denunciation of his party’s Washington-centric focus in a speech to the Republican National Committee on Thursday evening, arguing that the GOP is fighting the wrong fight as it seeks to rebuild from losses at the ballot box last November.
“A debate about which party can better manage the federal government is a very small and short-sighted debate,” Jindal will tell the RNC members gathered in Charlotte, N.C. for the organization’s winter meeting, according to a copy of the speech provided to The Fix. “If our vision is not bigger than that, we do not deserve to win.”
Jindal’s speech — and his call to “recalibrate the compass of conservatism” — is the latest shred of a growing amount of evidence that the Louisiana governor is positioning himself to not only run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 but do so in direct (or close to it) opposition to his party in the nation’s capital.
In the speech, Jindal will repeatedly caution that Republicans in Washington have fallen into the “sideshow trap” of debating with Democrats over the proper size of the federal government.