A brief injection of political horror before returning to blogging about horror-horror as promised:
•Gawker.com has been duped into reporting fake (bad) Sarah Palin SATs — and the fake SATs happen to have been created by some jerk(s) altering (my ex-girlfriend) Dawn Eden’s posting of her own SAT scores. So a vote for McCain-Palin is now sort of a vote for Dawn (whose views may not be all that different from Palin’s anyway). I hope Dawn won’t take it personally if I still vote for the Libertarian, Barr (ex-congressman! smart! libertarian! conservative too! proven! known! funny!). There are times, though, when the left is so vicious, I almost feel a duty to come to the GOP’s aid, as I did in 2004, voting against Michael Moore and his rabid ilk more than Kerry per se, though Kerry is indeed awful, as is his green wife, whose money is the source of so many of the groundless eco-scares I end up having to combat by day.
This is the second time Gawker has bent over backwards to attack Palin and ended up looking nasty and stupid, having earlier posted her hacked e-mails, which you’ll notice did not reveal her to secretly be a demon. “Conquering all media,” as the failed Gawker book’s subtitle put it, seems to entail conquering fake and stolen media now, too. Way to expand that empire.
•Obama is our next president regardless, though, now projected to have something like a 200 electoral-vote advantage over McCain — with even The New Republic saying the race is over (despite the vested interest of political magazines in making the race seem interesting and unpredictable).
•That doesn’t mean we can’t take some pleasure, though, during the remaining weeks of conservatism’s existence, in pieces like this one by Deroy Murdock about women in McCain’s office earning more relative to their male coworkers than women in Biden and Obama’s offices do. I generally think charges of hypocrisy are overrated as a philosophical device, but if politicians keep inviting such charges, Deroy’s piece is a perfect model of how to zing them (and the whole thing is akin to the Democrat-controlled Congress, prior to the 1994-2006 Republican phase, routinely exempting themselves from the very same regulations with which they so eagerly oppress the rest of us).
•On a lighter note, I was pleased to see the recent New York Times op-ed page info-graphic about the height and weight of the past century or so’s presidents, implicitly asking whether Obama is fat enough to lead — though his height advantage over wee 5′7″ McCain surely renders the fat issue irrelevant. I’m reminded of my friend Chris Nugent once asking his friends’ opinions on what personal qualities — like being fat or being a smoker — might be most likely to render one unelectable in the current U.S. culture.
Fat was deemed the least objectionable of several proposed attributes, and, unfortunately for me, the group concluded that atheism was the one deal-breaker making it impossible to elect someone president. Stupid country! How I loathe it! Surely I should rule you all — every last stupid one of you!
•I was pleased to see that, whatever may become of American democracy (in this new-dawning age of our revered Change-Hope father-leader — and the One World Banking Conspiracy Government that seems to be getting blamed on free-marketeers despite libertarians like Ron Paul being the only ones wearing themselves hoarse for decades warning people about the Fed and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac), Guns N’ Roses’ Chinese Democracy comes out Nov. 23, with the makers of Dr. Pepper having long ago sworn to celebrate with a free can for every American (except estranged GNR guitarists Slash and Buckethead) when it does. As I already vowed in a comments thread on Karol Sheinin’s blog, where I learned about this wondrous development, I will inevitably sing one of the new songs in karaoke eventually.
•Freedom may benefit even more from the impending ABC remake of the 80s anti-authoritarian sci-fi series V, though. And with the aliens promising change and hope, the timing couldn’t be better. (With its plot about alien reptiles conquering Earth, it should also be eagerly watched by David Icke.) I’m skipping December’s Keanu Reeves version of The Day the Earth Stood Still, though, since the plot has reportedly been altered to be an eco-doom warning, and enough already with the nature thing, people.
•I can’t blame people for thinking that your average, statist Republican politician is an example of “the free market” in action, but here’s a tiny, tiny little example of what it sounds like when a real free-marketeer examines a revered merely-conservative figure: an article derived from Thomas DiLorenzo’s new book denouncing Alexander Hamilton as a proto-socialist. That’s the level of free-market purism we need.
•If libertarians haven’t talked about abolishing the Fed, privatizing currency, resurrecting the gold standard, and divorcing banking from its cozy relationship with government quite as much as it now appears they should have, keep in mind it’s because most of you would have called us crazy for doing so — after all, you normals called the Republicans rabid anarchic maniacs back in 1995 when they cut the budget by a mere 1%.
Not an intellectual climate conducive to saying more truly radical things I’d like to say, such as “Perhaps we should abolish limited liability” and “Wal-mart should be allowed to produce currency,” not to mention “Perhaps we need to bring back something akin to debtors prisons to more effectively warn people not to take out loans on which they’re likely to default.” Don’t suddenly pretend, as this world teeters on the brink of collapse, that it was built according to my reviled and rejected policy prescriptions.
If I could vote, this year would be good year to vote for a third party candidate. The libertarian vote comes out of the Republican column, but if Barr were to get enough of them it would (hopefully) send a message. As Canadian citizen, currently residing in the USA, I saw red when McCain promised to buy all those bad mortgages. This isn’t why I moved here, and that’s the sort of ill thought out policy Progressive Conservatives used to cook up in an attempt to woo Liberal voters.
If Perrott wasn’t a spoiler, Clinton probably wouldn’t have governed as such a centrist in the nineties. And since I don’t see anything happening to derail the Obama express, if you prefer Green, Nader or whatever, I don’t see it having much effect on Obama’s chances.
Yes, when some so-called Obamacons and Obamatarians want to justify their presidential preference (and have no shame, in some cases, about abandoning the “divided government” principle they ostensibly believed in just two years ago when they applauded the GOP losing a different branch of government), they often point to Clinton — even attempt, like bad macro-economists, to establish a historical-political law of Democratic presidents spending less — while forgetting that Clinton operated in a context where public expectations were defined by Perot, Gingrich’s Congress, and to a much larger degree than today the still-vivid memory of Reagan.
Left to his own devices, Clinton presumably would have put into action the endless litanies of new programs and taxes that his speeches routinely contained (about one new program per minute in one of his State of the Union addresses, as I recall David Boaz of Cato observing). Clinton was largely pressured into being the fiscally-prudent president as which people remember him — while initiatives like socializing medicine that would lower his free-market ranking, luckily, failed.
And clueless as McCain is, it’s worth considering that he had fiscally-conservative Phil Gramm as an advisor while Obama has ACORN associates — and Clinton had neo-quasi-socialist Joseph Stiglitz as head of his Council of Economic Advisers. It was with good reason free-marketeers feared where things were headed in the 90s, even if they didn’t work out badly in the end (aside from letting Enron happen and failing to pre-empt bin Laden, but who really knew where these things would lead?).
At the risk of making you feel still more frustrated, you may have noticed Canada narrowly outranked the U.S. in the annual list of economically-free countries this year — as noted by, among others, my formerly U. Chicago-based and now McGill-based polisci prof friend Jacob Levy ( http://JacobTLevy.blogspot.com ) — and fittingly, he’ll be on a Thur., Oct. 23 (4:30) panel at Princeton I plan to attend about liberal-libertarian cooperation, something that may now, in a turnabout, be foisted upon _us_, if we’re willing to triangulate, in the years directly ahead.
I’m pleased Ron Paul’s instructions to vote for the hyper-Christian Constitution Party don’t seem to be catching on like wildfire, by the way, and I _do_ think Barr is the (saner) natural heir to the Ron Paul movement — and a man, interestingly, who, like Paul, still serves as a living question mark about whether the LP or GOP is the right route for libertarians to follow, an ambiguity that may be the most strategically useful, swing-vote-creating outcome.
Wow! I’ll have to defer to your expert analysis on Clinton, but I still wouldn’t feel guilty about throwing away my vote on Barr or a Ron Paul write-in. As a former resident of Manitoba for most of the nineties and early ought oughts it was extremely frustrating to see the provinicial Progressive Conservatives refuse to learn any lessons from their more libertarian minded counterparts in Ontario and Alberta.
If you go to Manitoba now, there is an NDP (socialist) government in charge that holds up construction of hydroelectric dams, subsidizes wind turbines (temperatures can get as low as -40 in the winter and the turbines don’t work very well when the mercury dips below -20), lengthy health care queues because a nurse (belonging to a public sector union in the pocket of the NDP, or maybe it’s vice versa) working part-time makes as much money as she would full time, and out of control car theft. The Tory’s – or “Progressive Conservatives” – refused to make hay while the sun was shining, and well, the NDP have gotten away with all this because of the Tory’s inaction while they were in office. I could go on for hourss
Vote for McCain, and he’s just going to set precedents and make things easier for Obama to take things even further to the left of center in 2012.
I had a similar rationale for my vote in the last presidential election-although, it was primarily predicated upon past, present, and future foreign policy decisions. So much for that reasoning.
I’m not going to claim that I regret my vote-if for no other reason than the fact that I pride myself in always being right about everything-but the complete and utter free-fall of the past two years, e.g. effectively nationalizing the banking system , deciding to appoint Obama jurists before Obama is officially inaugurated, renominating Julie “Diet Coke” Myers to head the BICE, etc., etc., ad nauseam, has left me with a severe case of indigestion.
As for The Gawker, there’s not much to be said. I can’t think of the dead tree equivalent-perhaps Larry Flynt’s illustrious series of publications-but it’s hard to summon the words needed to describe how truly putrid the cretins who run that Web conglomerate-and the ones who populate it-are. It’s as if you’re reading something designed by a collective with the sophistication of a five year-old, and the temperament of a particularly vain serial killer. Andrew Cunanan perhaps?
BTW, I realize that the phrase “vain serial killer” is a bit of a redundancy. After all, how many modest serial killers have you come across? Still, I think it applicable in this instance.
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