Politics Round-Up July 11 2013

A Red 2 ad incorporates President Obama’s recent national security speech.

The mayor of San Diego admits that he sexually harassed women, and swears to change.

Charles Krauthammer defends the obstructionist GOP.

A congressional staffer suspects that Republicans would benefit from Harry Reid using the nuclear option against the filibuster.

Libertarians have a problem shaking neoconfederate ties.

The problem, though, is that the libertarians that rise to Republican prominence tend to have some pretty awful racial baggage. As MSNBC’s Benjy Sarlin details, Rand, like his father Ron, came from a “states-rights” libertarian tradition brimming with neo-Confederate sympathizers. Hence Ron’s famously racist newsletters and Rand’s famous opposition to the Civil Rights Act; where they come from, these views aren’t all that uncommon.

That’s not say to say that the Pauls are racists themselves, but rather that they’re beholden to a constituency who is. Libertarianism is, right now, a very small movement very much on the political margins. The neo-Confederates continue to make up a significant portion of the libertarian movement (if not its intellectual ranks), partly due to a self-described “Outreach To The Rednecks” campaign orchestrated by leading libertarian theorist Murray Rothbard.

This creates what one libertarian writer, Reason Magazine’s Mike Riggs, calls a “paradox:” “Libertarianism is too small to afford infighting,” Riggs suggests, but “also too small to afford people like Hunter becoming representative.” The smart, well-meaning libertarians — the ones who could help the GOP and quite possibly the country — can’t kick out the neo-Confederates, which means that elected libertarian officials will always have some ties to some truly terrible folks. Libertarian power is capped by its own power base.

Chris Hayes suggests Rand Paul had three racist strikes against him.


Seth Masket wonders what films like Man of Steel and Monsters University say about higher education. It doesn’t look good.

Reihan Salam considers a problem with tests for the effects of malnutrition—the baseline is grossly inadequate.

There’s an interesting correlation between childhood and later political views.

A call for police to treat dogs better.

Oregon plans to start tying paychecks to future earnings. This surprises me, as I just read an years-old article in which the very conservative Thomas Sowell suggested this as a possibility.

Nate Cohn suggests that even if the GOP is able to expand their vote among white voters, they’ll have to change on policy.

Reversing the anti-GOP trend among non-southern white voters will probably require changes in messaging or policy, probably by moderating on both economic and cultural issues. The Electoral College encourages the GOP to make gains across a diverse swath of swing states, and they need to push back against the equally diverse Democratic attacks that have hobbled the GOP: the attacks on cultural issues that hurt Republicans around Denver, Washington, and Columbus; the depiction of the GOP as the party of the elite, which has hurt the GOP just about everywhere; and yes, the challenges immigration reform poses in Las Vegas, Denver, Orlando-Kissimmee, and Miami.

The National Review has an interview with an interesting congressional candidate, former conservative columnist Quin Hillyer. I do like his term limits pledge, although I’m suspicious about how he quickly he entered the race.

I will campaign with an ironclad pledge: a personal six-term limit, with the only exception being if I am, or am about to become, speaker of the house, majority leader, or chairman of the Ways and Means or Appropriations Committees, because it would be devastating to my district not to take those positions. Unless I’m in one of those four positions, it’s an ironclad pledge.

Megan McArdle looks at the types of abortions no one writes essays about.

Make no mistake: I’m pro-choice.  There is a tragic incompatibility between the good of the mother and the good of the child, and while that child can’t survive outside the mother’s body, I resolve that in favor of the living woman instead of the future child.  But that doesn’t mean I view abortion as having the same moral weight as a haircut or a nose-piercing–just another personal choice about what you do with your body.  So if I were an editor, I probably wouldn’t publish an essay that presented it that way.

A new book argues that the Feds exaggerate their anti-terrorism operations.

About Thomas Mets

I’m a comic book fan, wannabe writer, politics buff and New Yorker. I don’t actually follow baseball. In the Estonian language, “Mets” simply means forest, or lousy sports team. You can email me at mistermets@gmail.com
This entry was posted in Film, Politics and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s