Thursday, May 29, 2008

Huckabee Republicanism

Here is the Huckster, once again confirming that the majority of Republican primary voters did, at least, one thing right:

Republicans need to be Republicans. The greatest threat to classic Republicanism is not liberalism; it's this new brand of libertarianism, which is social liberalism and economic conservatism, but it's a heartless, callous, soulless type of economic conservatism because it says "look, we want to cut taxes and eliminate government. If it means that elderly people don't get their Medicare drugs, so be it. If it means little kids go without education and healthcare, so be it." Well, that might be a quote pure economic conservative message, but it's not an American message. It doesn't fly. People aren't going to buy that, because that's not the way we are as a people. That's not historic Republicanism. Historic Republicanism does not hate government; it's just there to be as little of it as there can be."

Well, at least my "heartless," "callous," and "soulless"-self has a rudimentary understanding of history.... Was the good pastor paying attention during the Reagan years? Has he ever read or heard a single speech by Barry Goldwater, or for that matter, Thomas Jefferson? Please, sir, please, just go away.
Source here.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Michelle Malkin is a Moron

Decide for yourself. And here is her own argument in support of her stance:

Anti-American fashion designers abroad and at home have mainstreamed and adapted the scarves as generic pro-Palestinian jihad or anti-war statements. Yet many folks out there remain completely oblivious to the apparel’s violent symbolism and anti-Israel overtones.

Huh? One would think that those on the political right (or, in the case of Malkin, the gestapo**-right), after years of incessantly complaining about political correctness and the suppression of unpopular speech, would have a tough time making a statement such as this with a straight face. Apparently, however, my faith in intellectual consistency is greatly misplaced.
**Support and additional indicia of moronic beliefs here.

The Collectivist Non-Choice

David Boaz on similarities between Obama and McCain:

The real issue is that Messrs. Obama and McCain are telling us Americans that our normal lives are not good enough, that pursuing our own happiness is "self-indulgence," that building a business is "chasing after our money culture," that working to provide a better life for our families is a "narrow concern."

And on McCain specifically :

John McCain also denounces "self-indulgence" and insists that Americans serve "a national purpose that is greater than our individual interests." During a Republican debate at the Reagan Library on May 3, 2007, Sen. McCain derided Mitt Romney's leadership ability, saying, "I led . . . out of patriotism, not for profit." Challenged on his statement, Mr. McCain elaborated that Mr. Romney "managed companies, and he bought, and he sold, and sometimes people lost their jobs. That's the nature of that business." He could have been channeling Barack Obama.

One gets the sense that Mr. McCain would like to see us all in the armed forces. In a Washington Monthly essay published in October 2001, his vision of national service sounded militaristic. He wrote with enthusiasm for programs whose participants "not only wear uniforms and work in teams . . . but actually live together in barracks on former military bases, and are deployed to service projects far from their home base," and who would "gather together for daily calisthenics, often in highly public places such as in front of city hall."

Whole thing here. This highlights yet another profound reason to pull the lever for Obama (or against McCain). If Mac manages to win the general election, the GOP will undoubtedly continue down the road-to-hell, paved by the big-gov'ment neo-cons that have dominated the party since the 2000 election. I think some healthy house-cleaning is long overdue. Kick the bums to the curb.
UPDATE: My ex-professor, friend and Reagan justice department appointee, Michael Rappaport, once again echoes my views on boycotting McCain here.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

It's Barr

Bob Barr snagged the Libertarian nomination over the weekend. This will hurt McCain.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Introverts in the Workplace

This is interesting.

I guess I'm in the right profession, at least according to the old Myers-Briggs test (circa 2004).

Well Said

Thurston Moore (of Sonic Youth for you laypeople):

BOSTON GLOBE: What do you say to people who think you've sold out by dealing with Starbucks?

THURSTON MOORE: There's no difference between working with Starbucks and working with record labels like Universal and Geffen. It's a knee-jerk reaction from PC watchdogs. I mean, really, which long-distance company do you use for your cellphone? Are you on the grid? If you're off the grid, I'll listen to you.

More Rock Star politics here.


Hey, Teacher, Leave Those Kids Alone

TX Court spanks the State of Texas. I am, admittedly, somewhat ignorant of the facts in this case; however, my instincts tell me that this ruling is correct. Just as with the Branch Davidians, the mormon group in this instance was villified in the press as backward, child abusing cultists, thereby providing the popular pretext necessary for state infiltration, intervention and prosecution.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

McCain the Bully

It's a bad enough to be the guy seeking out a fight to serve the ambitions of ego, but to single out an obviously weaker adversary is plainly pathetic.

Monday, May 19, 2008

En Masse

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Executive Cult

From Gene Healy's new book, the Cult of the Presidency:

The chief executive of the United States is no longer a mere constitutional officer charged with faithful execution of the laws. He is a soul nourisher, a hope giver, a living American talisman against hurricanes, terrorism, economic downturns, and spiritual malaise. He — or she — is the one who answers the phone at 3 a.m. to keep our children safe from harm. The modern president is America's shrink, a social worker, our very own national talk show host. He's also the Supreme Warlord of the Earth.

This messianic campaign rhetoric merely reflects what the office has evolved into after decades of public clamoring. The vision of the president as national guardian and spiritual redeemer is so ubiquitous it goes virtually unnoticed. Americans, left, right, and other, think of the "commander in chief" as a superhero, responsible for swooping to the rescue when danger strikes. And with great responsibility comes great power.

It's difficult for 21st-century Americans to imagine things any other way. The UnitedStates appears stuck with an imperial presidency, an office that concentratesenormous power in the hands of whichever professional politicianmanages to claw his way to the top. Americans appear deeply ambivalentabout the results, alternately cursing the king and pining for Camelot. Butexecutive power will continue to grow, and threats to civil liberties increase, untilcitizens reconsider the incentives we have given to a post that started out so humble.

Excellent historical essay.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Guerilla Warfare

Heh. Let the Revolution begin.

This is good news for the anti-McCain crowd as well.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Railroaded in Mississippi

Injustice and nothing less.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The Libertarian Voter in '08

Libertarian voters have often given 70 percent or more of their votes to Republican candidates, including George W. Bush in 2000. But after six years of war, wiretapping and welfare-state social spending, libertarians gave barely half their votes to Republican candidates in 2006. The swing was even larger in Senate races. It seems clear that a lot of the centrist, moderate, and independent voters who swung to the Democrats in 2006 were libertarian leaners.

The presidential campaign this year has been bleak for libertarian voters, with full slates of big-government liberals and big-government conservatives...

Now the choices are down to three. Hillary Clinton, a self-proclaimed "government junkie," is not likely to have much appeal for libertarians. But what about the two frontrunners? Mr. McCain will try to keep libertarian voters in the Republican column by defining Mr. Obama as a big-government, big-spending liberal friend of Ted Kennedy and Nancy Pelosi. But President Bush and the Republican Congress have severely undermined Republican credibility on fiscal conservatism.

Mr. McCain is also the leading supporter of the war in Iraq, which is unpopular with independent and libertarian voters. And he has a long record of hostility to the First Amendment, from campaign finance regulation to regulating blogs to banning flag desecration...

Mr. Obama offers virtually the opposite profile. He's been against the war from the beginning. He has tried to scale back the excesses of the Patriot Act and promises to review Bush's sweeping claims of executive power. His rhetoric about moving beyond liberal-conservative fights appeals to libertarians and independents.

But buried inside the soaring eloquence of his speeches is a veritable laundry list of taxpayer handouts for every voting bloc, and he has even questioned the benefits of free trade. If he wants to appeal to libertarian and independent voters, he should show a tiny bit of independence from the Kennedy-Pelosi-Clinton-labor agenda. He could advocate Social Security private accounts as a way for low-income families to build wealth, or endorse school choice for children condemned to failing schools.

Republicans have been trying to drive libertarian voters out of their party. But so far Democrats aren't jumping on that opportunity.

Depressing to be sure. Still, as tough at is, I try to keep the ear muffs on when Obama talks taxes and trade, and just remember that it all begins with foreign policy. War is, indeed, the health of the state - and for that reason, we must oppose it at all costs.

Bush Republicans Mortgaging Away the Financial Wellbeing of My* Great-Great-Great-Great Grandchildren

Fiscal conservatives indeed.

*Assuming I get started on an off-spring at some point.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Accidental Revolutionary

By their own widely reported accounts, Mrs. Loving and her husband, Richard, were in bed in their modest house in Central Point in the early morning of July 11, 1958, five weeks after their wedding, when the county sheriff and two deputies, acting on an anonymous tip, burst into their bedroom and shined flashlights in their eyes. A threatening voice demanded, “Who is this woman you’re sleeping with?”

Mrs. Loving answered, “I’m his wife.”

Mr. Loving pointed to the couple’s marriage certificate hung on the bedroom wall. The sheriff responded, “That’s no good here.”

Not even 50 years ago... Amazing.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Presidential Ratings

Various commentators in the blogosphere have been running polls re. the reputations of various Presidents, which David Weigel has summed up here:


1. Abraham Lincoln. I'm sorry. By any definition of "over-rating," you have to go there. He has become our secular saint, with a multi-million dollar industry built around his veneration. That just makes it all the easier when some John Yoo or another seizes on Lincoln's abuses of power—suspending habeas corpus, directing funds without the approval of a rump Congress, the "rich man's" draft—to argue that the president has the right to split babies and shoot laser beams from his eyes.

2. Theodore Roosevelt. The ideological and leadership-style antecendent of John McCain: the godfather of American interventionism. I don't know if it should affect his score, but TR became one of the worst ex-presidents (after Millard "sure, I'll run on your anti-Catholic ticket" Fillmore), dynamiting the Republican party, agitating for intervention into World War I.

3. George H.W. Bush. The most recent and disturbing example of presidential revisionism, Bush's renaissance began a few months after Bill Clinton took power and it has grown as Democrats cast about for a Republican they can say nice things about. Awful drug policy, short-sighted Russia policy, unforgiveable 11th hour pardons. Also, sired George W. Bush.


1. Warren Harding. This is an easy call, especially if you include Woodrow Wilson on the over-rated list (as I almost did, but hedged because his reputation's been sinking). Harding reversed much of Wilson's damage, freeing political prisoners, ending the red scare, ending some of Wilson's rubber-stamped institutional racism. If that's not enough, four more words: Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon.

2. Chester A. Arthur. I'm not sure this is controversial anymore. Arthur succeeded beyond the expectations of even the people who gave him the vice presidential nomination, albeit on issues no one cares about anymore, like civil service reform.

3. Martin Van Buren. If Harding was the antidote to Wilson, Van Buren was the antidote to Jackson. The worst decisions he made were validating Jackson's final decisions, like Indian removal. Yes, he was hilariously venal, as when he sold Joseph Smith down the river because he feared coming out for Mormon rights would cost him Missouri (which he lost anyway). But the rest of his record was a model of sober, slow-handed executive power. He rebuffed two frenzies for military aggression against Canada and Mexico. It's hard not to sympathize with a guy who got un-seated by an empty suit like William Henry Harrison.