Sign of the Conservative Times: National Review Bigwigs Praise Rand Paul and Libertarianism (UPDATED*)

Where Rand Paul and Ronald Reagan meet. |||National Review Editor Rich Lowry is, as he'll tell you, "far from a Rand Paul-ite." He is "not where Paul is on foreign or national security policy," and views Ron Paul's opinions on such as "toxic." But Lowry nevertheless devotes the rest of his latest Politico column on "The Rand Paul Moment" praising the Kentucky senator's intelligence, uniqueness, and sense of political timing, and predicting that "at least for some stretch of 2015, Rand Paul could well be the Republican front-runner." Excerpt:

It is a Rand Paul moment in the Republican Party not just because the headlines almost every day seem to reinforce his core critique of leviathan as too big, too unaccountable, and too threatening, but because he is smart and imaginative enough to capitalize on those headlines.

Paul has that quality that can't be learned or bought: He's interesting. [...]

Other conservatives in the Senate like to brag that they joined Paul's filibuster, but it was Paul who came up with the idea and executed it, in an inspired bit of political theater.

He taps into an American tradition of dissent not usually invoked by Republicans. At the Time magazine gala this year honoring the 100 most influential people in the world (he was one), he raised a glass to Henry David Thoreau. In his inaugural Senate address, he contrasted his Kentucky hero, the irascible abolitionist Cassius Clay with the more conventional Kentucky political legend, the Great Compromiser, Henry Clay.

His cultural affect is different, too, a little more Utne Reader than National Review. At a packed event at the Reagan Library he explained, "I'm a libertarian conservative who spends most of my free time outdoors. I bike and hike and kayak, and I compost." It might be the first positive reference to composting in the history of that fine institution.

After distancing himself from some of Paul's views and strategies, Lowry concludes:

But libertarianism is a significant strand on the right. It should be represented, and represented well. By and large, Rand Paul does that. Anyone underestimating him in 2016 does so at their peril.

Never forget! |||We done told you that Rand Paul was "the most interesting man in the Senate," and that he has bent the GOP in a more libertarian direction. And it certainly is interesting to watch a magazine that 10 years ago was publishing a book of War on Terror speeches by George W. Bush and thundering against "unpatriotic" anti-war conservatives now giving an enthusiastic hearing to the very political tendency that was in its crosshairs in 2003. More evidence of this shift can be found in a column last week by Jonah Goldberg asserting that "The libertarian idea is the only truly new political idea in the last couple thousand years."

National Review, of course, is no stranger to libertarianism—founding father William F. Buckley described himself as a "libertarian journalist," and the modern conservative movement Buckley helped create was a conscious fusion between conservatives and libertarians. (For a deeper discussion of the complicated relationship between NR and libertarianism, see this 2006 Brian Doherty piece.)

But as Rich Lowry correctly notes, the headlines coming out of Washington this year are like a libertarian-creation machine, and meanwhile there has been an "evolution" in the GOP's foreign policy due to the party being "exhausted with the world for the time being." I remain skeptical that the Republican evolution/exhaustion cycle will continue in a libertarian direction under President Marco Rubio, but as always, I prefer people tacking more libertarian than not. Now if we could only get a "Ron Wyden moment" on the left....

Related: Nick Gillespie vs. Ann Coulter, and Jonah Goldberg vs. Matt Welch, on the modern possibilities (or lack thereof) of libertarian-conservative fusionism.

* UPDATE: Keeping the relationship ambiguous, the latest edition of National Review has a piece by Henry Olsen titled "Rand Paul's Party: It wouldn't offer much to conservatives."

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  • Fatty Bolger||

    "Nice suit, dork."

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I have to say though, if my eyes don't deceive me, Ron is rocking a classic, well-tailored, Glen Plaid 3-piece suit. I'm not too crazy about the tie, but other than that, bravo!

  • Pro Libertate||

    It's always best to wear a suit that you can see a picture of 30 years later and not laugh. Hopefully, Rand has learned this lesson from President Reagan.

    Bet he wore ruffles to the prom.

  • Brandybuck||

    I was fortunate enough to sit next to Ron Paul during a dinner/fundraiser during his 1988 run. His suit was very old and threadbare. Not quite shabby, but definitely worn.

    But then again, so was the hotel we were in.

  • gaijin||

    why does he have his hands over his privates? WHAT IS HE TRYING TO HIDE?!

  • gaijin||

    why does he have his hands over his privates? WHAT IS HE TRYING TO HIDE?!

  • Stormy Dragon||

    National Review Bigwigs Praise Rand Paul and Libertarianism

    Ah, another election cycle is beginning. So we get a few months of them pretending we're best buds forever before they go black to blaming everything bad that happens on us.

  • Bam!||

    Nice to have something you can count on.

  • Hash Brown||

    Please, baby, come back. I'm a changed man. I know how to appreciate you now.

  • CE||

    Cutting government spending and power is a nice idea, but we're at war.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    predicting that "at least for some stretch of 2015, Rand Paul could well be the Republican front-runner."

    "Until we successfully torpedo him in favor of some soulless automaton utterly indistinguishable from the democratic candidate."

  • Hyperion||

    Nice description of Christie you got there...

  • Dweebston||

    Those elections aren't going to lose themselves, Brooks. It requires precision faux pas, a meticulous disregard for the consequences, and above all, running only the most cellophane-wrapped, out-of-touch candidates.

  • Killazontherun||

    Hey, it's all well and good that Buckley would invite leftist to his parlor for a nice verbal joust, and that's good, hearty conservatism right there, let me tell you what, ol' boy, and as it was meant to be. But when libertarians like Friedman started to get these wild haired ideas about ending the draft, deregulation, lowering taxes, ending fiscal stimulus as the go to position for dealing with recessions, saner (if not Mises level sanity) monetary policy, why that might actually have an effect on the world outside the salon, and that is not conservative at all!

  • Brandybuck||

    "Friedman was not Mises, and thus the most evil man who ever lived" -- Lew Rockwell

  • PapayaSF||

    WTF? Is that a real quote? Can anyone explain it to me?

    As for 2016, right now I think the GOP's best bet might be Scott Walker.

  • Killazontherun||

    I think Brandybuck is just expressing Lew's attitude towards those like Friedman who on balance should be considered libertarian heroes (my list of the issues MF pressed in his active political life after his conversion from full blown New Deal statism was deliberate) but don't pass the purity test.

  • Killazontherun||

    I even missed an important one that was pretty much his baby, school vouchers. Though not a fan of them, I understand the appeal.

  • PapayaSF||

    Ah, thanks.

  • Mike M.||

    "Until we successfully torpedo him in favor of some soulless automaton utterly indistinguishable from the democratic candidate."

    Are you talking about National Review or Reason? Because your statement applies equally to both.

  • ||

    Oh man, I love Hit&Runpublican; butthurt. It's a special delicious kind of butthurt.

  • SugarFree||

    Vote Romney.

  • Killazontherun||

    It was Nick Gs fuck up. You should be kicking him for giving Mike an easy punt.

  • ||

    ^THIS^

  • Killazontherun||

    Ninety percent of the accusations against so-called orange line cosmos are the result of partisans taking advantage of Nick Gillespie's fuck ups. Even Julian Sanchez writes sensible articles these days in a consistently applied libertarian mold. Those who are paying attention to whats happening in libertarian circles have really little to complain about from fellow libertarians veering off into establishment appeasing back stabbing. There is one notable exception.

  • Fluffy||

    Man, that suit in the top pic NEEDS TO COME BACK.

    Rand should get an adult-sized version made, and ALWAYS WEAR IT.

  • Hash Brown||

    Isn't that the one Joe Pesci wore in My Cousin Vinny?

  • kinnath||

    http://www.salon.com/2013/06/2.....m_the_60s/

    I suggest that you work hard to develop a mature understanding of the modern American state. I don’t need to go into detail here about its crimes and misadventures. Ample material is available at any library. You need not become a radical. But you need an adult and nuanced conception of the state’s capacity for good and evil. You need not immerse yourself in its history of crimes and secrecy. But you must recognize the state as a dangerous entity of unimaginable power, one that pursues its interests with zeal and intensity and often in secret.

    Amen brother Cary, Amen!

  • Irish||

    I can't believe Salon actually ran an article that argues that the state might not be completely trustworthy.

  • Hash Brown||

    Only a 70s radical could get away with it.

  • ||

    You mean just because your guy is in power doesn't mean you're immune? It's un-possible!

  • Brett L||

    FTA:
    This troubles me because it sounds like the result of propaganda and conditioning. It makes me wonder where you went to school and where you were raised.

    Uh, I'm guessing public school anywhere in America starting after Nixon's resignation.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I will say this to the more hawkish Republicans: Your desire for an interventionist military requires a healthy economy and stable country. So you need Paul right now or someone like him.

  • Dweebston||

    You can't have a healthy economy without greasing the war machine, Prol. Didn't the post-WWII era teach us anything about defense spending?

    ALTERNATE ENDING

    No free economy will survive without insurmountable force of arms backing it up!

  • Pro Libertate||

    I'm not advocating anything, just sayin'.

  • Dweebston||

    I like your thinking, but I doubt it has much traction for the party with the lockjaw grip on "pro-business" standing. I mean, Romney was a successful businessman, right? What more do you want?

  • Pro Libertate||

    FREEEE-DOOOOOM?

  • kbolino||

    The National Association of Licensed Doom Sellers, Local #666, would like to have a word with you.

  • KDN||

    Your desire for an interventionist military requires a healthy economy and stable country.

    Seriously. The whole lot of them are in dire need of a marathon session of Europa Universalis.

  • Ray||

    *Plays Burgundy and invades all my neighbors forever with no real negative consequences.*

  • LTC(ret) John||

    +1 annexation

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    EU 4 coming soon!!!!

  • seguin||

    You know something's wrong with the AI when France becomes an unstoppable empire in EVERY DAMN GAME (ok ok, not every, not if you turn off Lucky Nations)

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I was going to say Spain. In my games, France usually implodes into squabbling dukedoms that are eaten up by Burgundy, Spain, and/or the HRE.

  • Tony||

    Define healthy economy. Because there's no real connection between libertarian political economic goals and having low unemployment, high upward mobility, and economic growth.

  • ||

    Well I'm convinced.

  • Irish||

    How could you not be convinced? He just said things with no evidence or examples.

    That's how you win arguments, right? By just asserting things without proof?

  • ||

    I thought you won arguments by being a smug asshole who knows he knows everything.

  • ||

    Your confidence in this claim is strong. It must be true.

  • Dweebston||

    praising the Kentucky senator's intelligence, uniqueness, and sense of political timing, and predicting that "at least for some stretch of 2015, Rand Paul could well be the Republican front-runner."

    So Lowry is miffed with Paul's philosophy, but likes they guy's politicking. I'd call it damning with faint praise but I doubt there's any sense of irony about his statement.

  • Hyperion||

    IOW, if we can just get this fellow elected because libertarianism is now some silly trend with the common folk, then it's all good, and don't worry, we'll have him towin the ol crony club line soon enough, just like all the ones before him, har har.

  • Dweebston||

    He'll be the next Paul Ryan, the pretty face of fiscal conaservatism meant to appeal to the younger, jaded crowd of independents to make palatable the turd gazpacho they dish up for Republican presidential candidate.

    That is, if the Lowryies of the world manage to convince the establishment that they can't continue ignoring libertarian-leaning conservatives.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Paul has the advantage of the fan base his father created. Ryan never had anything like that. And Paul has done more to wow the public. The filibuster alone impressed many, across the spectrum.

  • Hyperion||

    Pauls problem, at the risk of sounding redundant, is that he's pandering way too hard for the SoCons. He could harness all of that youth energy that his dad captures, but he's going to freaking blow it by chasing the SoCons across some deserted corn field in the flyover land.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I agree, that's the part I have the most trouble with. But I think he'll find a reasonable balance, and I think he's libertarian enough at the core to be worth the risk of a vote.

  • Hyperion||

    I'm not questioning his Libertarianism. I am confident that his core values are far more Libertarian that about 99% of congress.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Again, I ask if Paul's SoCon-ness is "pandering" or something that rubbed off on him from "Uncle" Gary.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    Again, I ask if Paul's SoCon-ness is "pandering" or something that rubbed off on him from "Uncle" Gary.

    Why do you attribute it to him instead of anything else in the universe? Is this just a generic anti-Lew boner, or something more specific?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Gary North is awfully close to the Paul family, no?

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    Gary North is awfully close to the Paul family, no?

    North had something to do the homeschool product Ron Paul made recently. Wasn't aware of any extra-special-relationship beyond that. When I read LRC, North is pretty much the one guy that I insta-skip, so maybe I should have been paying more attention.

  • Hyperion||

    It's pandering for the most part. Paul's pro-life for sure, but that's about as far as his SoCon views go. He thinks he needs the sweater vest votes to win the nomination in 16. After that, he doesn't need the pandering anymore.

    I mean, who are the SoCons going to vote for, Hillary? They would would crawl 5 miles on broken glass, uphill both ways to vote against her, no matter who the GOP nominee is.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Well, unless it was Mitt Romney. Then they'll just sit on their sofas.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    He walks a fine line for sure. He has crossed it a couple of times. But for the most part lives on correct side of it. If he can keep this up I'll keep liking him.

  • Killazontherun||

    The thing about socons is they are so starved for attention they are actually easy to please. Show up at the church pot luck dinners, eat some delicious sheet cake, but promise them absolutely nothing. Damn, it sounds exactly like my dating strategy for this one girl i was chasing after in the nineties.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I've always thought the way to get them is to focus on your personal morality.

  • Killazontherun||

    If you are clean guy like Romney, sure, but what about your typical politician who has lived it up a bit? I guess if they can be wooed by Reagan it is not so difficult to pass the clean living test once you become old and boring.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Well, don't try to woo so-cons if you've got a known history. Unless you're born again, then it's okay.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Social Conservatives need to be appealed to like any other group - underline your points of agreement and show what you're going to do to promote their ideas.

    The problem with them is their drug-war alliance with the Progressives and their war-war alliance with the neocons. But you often see social conservatives breaking with the pack on these issues, like with Pat Robertson's musings on MJ legalization and some of the backlash from foreign policy misadventures.

    They're not going to vote for a *Ron* Paul with his passionate noninterventionism and promoting legalized heroin as on a par with religious freedom, but they could vote for a *Rand* Paul with his calls for a somewhat-saner WoD and a more responsible foreign policy.

    Unless, of course, your make-or-break issue is same-sex marriage or killing kids in the womb, where I think Rand actually agrees with the SoCons, although I presume that on SSM he'll be OK with some kind of federalist solution.

  • Hyperion||

    Como?

    Newly legal immigrants: We don need no stinkin sheet cake! You loco, man?

  • Killazontherun||

    I could kill for some sheet cake right now [Pockets a slice wrapped in paper in my pocket. Three tall thugs in dark suits and dark glasses stand in your way].

  • Pro Libertate||

    XYZZY.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    "the turd gazpacho they dish up"

    What? They changed the menu, again?! Last I saw it was Feces Al Fresco being offered. Huh.

  • Calidissident||

    Paul Ryan was never a libertarian, or even libertarian-leaning. I think Rand Paul, for all his faults, is far more sincerely libertarian than Paul Ryan ever was

  • Hyperion||

    There isn't even any debate to be had there.

    Ryan was never anything close to Libertarian. Neither is Rubio. And I am still doubtful about Cruz having any Libertarian leanings at all. There's just something about him that doesn't seem quite right.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    Hmm, I'm buyin what Cruz is sellin so far. He could still screw it up, but he seems good so far.

  • Hyperion||

    Selling, yes, believing? I dunno. He's a good talker for sure. The one line about Obama running background checks on Syrians was priceless.

    Let's interview him about the WOD and see how that goes.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Whatever else might be said of Cruz, he's a pretty kickass lawyer and his resume is nothing to sneeze at.

    I wouldn't expect anything less of Cruz to come up with some accurate and cutting remark about Obama's "wag the dog" intervention in Syria to win over the harsh, but fair American jurors.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    I am warily hopeful about Cruz. But I am much more openly enthusiastic about Rand Paul...well, as much as I let any politician get to me, in a non-profanity spewing way.

  • Killazontherun||

    Hmm, I'm buyin what Cruz is sellin so far. He could still screw it up, but he seems good so far.

    That's all I'm saying about him up to this point, as well. He is worthy of consideration, and that is that. Nick's dismissal of him as a Tea Party demagogue and a lesser choice to consider over Christie was just abysmally uninformed.

  • Dweebston||

    Responding late, but work picked up.

    Anyway, if Paul ingratiates himself with establishment types as Lowry would like, his role will be as token debthawk to give the 2016 candidate a patina of fiscal legitimacy. In the words of a certain admiral, it's a trap! Lowry can suck it. I hope Paul continues poking holes in the Republican platform as the minority opinion.

  • Killazontherun||

    "at least for some stretch of 2015

    He'll make some noise but we establishment types will trip him up during the primary season. We always do and 2016 will not be any different.

  • Brett L||

    Is Ron following some directive to never stand taller than the President? (Is that Ron?)

  • Tman||

    If National Review would be honest with itself about how far away they've turned from the initial idea from Buckley of a conservative-libertarian fusion this recent piece might seem honest. But the rag still has too much Frum and Rinos and not enough Sowell and Goldbergs to make me believe this isn't anything but a weak pandering moment.

  • Killazontherun||

    At least Kathleen Parker is gone, but given they hired her in the first place, Jesus on a half shell, man. I remember how pissed she was at Ron Paul when he smacked Giuliani up a bit in the debates of '08.

  • ChrisO||

    Kathleen Parker went AWOL when her husband made some sort of approving remark about Sarah Palin. Ever since then, it's like she's a different person than the one who wrote for NR.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    But libertarianism is a significant strand on the right. It should be represented, and represented well.

    Otherwise, who will make people like Olympia Snow and Mitch McConnell look "statesmanlike"?

  • Brett L||

    Goddammit. Now I'm going to be in a foul mood all day.

  • NoVAHockey||

    just today?

  • Brett L||

    Honestly, its meeting and documentation day. I was going to be in a foul mood all day.

  • NoVAHockey||

    around 2:00 each day I start thinking about what drink I'm going to make after dinner.

    i'm thinking a Manhattan tonight.

  • Brett L||

    Rain water and grain alcohol. Well, maybe just grain alcohol.

  • NoVAHockey||

    you are in a bad mood.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    A Manhattan is a "before-dinner" cocktail. Go for a Rusty Nail, if you're married to a whisky drink. A Black Russian if you're not.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    And before anyone asks the question, it's the vermouth that makes the Manhattan a before-dinner drink.

  • NoVAHockey||

    how so?

  • Ska||

    Vermouth is an aperitif.

  • NoVAHockey||

    that ... makes sense.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    See what good things come of a community of functional alcoholics and perverts coming together to support each other?

  • NoVAHockey||

    and they say libertarians care nothing for their fellow man

    i'll have my drink before dinner.

  • Killazontherun||

    The after dinner drink of the evening --
    http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/147/82250

    Before dinner, I have a bottles worth of good vodka soaking in a half pint of capers to shoot down. But not in one setting! No. A double shot should suffice.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    HM, I do believe you have coined the HampersandR commentariat motto!

    A community of functional alcoholics and perverts coming together to support each other

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I'll accept standard Writers' Guild royalties.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Do you take Bitcoin?

  • robc||

    A community of functional alcoholics and perverts coming together to support each other

    Sounds about right. Im drinking a dunkelweizen.

  • Hash Brown||

    That (what Lowry said) is utter bullcrap. There is no libertarian strand on the right. The positions of the right and libertarianism simply overlap on certain issues.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I hesitate to agree with this. From what I've seen of the RLC, for instance, most of its members seem to be mostly libertarian. Their reasons for being Republican have more to do with trying to instill change from within, I think, but I do agree that their willingness to play within GOP ranks is based on an overlap of some viewpoints.

  • ChrisO||

    Libertarianism is strongly connected to the Old Right. Not so much to what passes for conservatism now, which is really a fusion of old southern Baptist populism with the globalist tendencies of the '50s and '60s Democrats.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Are you talking about National Review or Reason?

    How about the RNC and their various pet establishmentarians?

  • LTC(ret) John||

    So, National Review it is!

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    His cultural affect is different, too, a little more Utne Reader than National Review. At a packed event at the Reagan Library he explained, "I'm a libertarian conservative who spends most of my free time outdoors. I bike and hike and kayak, and I compost." It might be the first positive reference to composting in the history of that fine institution.

    I had no idea composting was a culture war battlefield.

  • Pro Libertate||

    How is that Utne Reader? Does he mean the composting? My brother does that for his massive gardening effort, and he's a conservative.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Don't you know? Using microbes to break down organic matter so it can be used to fertilize crops is for hippy-dippy, big city liberal, faggots.

    Or something.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Well, I'm going to have some words with my brother and my farming relatives in Tennessee. Harumph.

  • PapayaSF||

    I had no idea composting was a culture war battlefield.

    You missed the kerfuffle the other day about Bloomberg's plan for composting? People here and on various righty sites went nuts.

    Note that there is a term ("crunchy cons") for conservatives who do lefty-sounding things like composting and growing some of your own food.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    But libertarianism is a significant strand on the right.

    you know, what? No it's not. We let you caucus with us sometimes because, on the whole, if we squint, you are slightly less repulsive than the progtards. The whole left-right false dichotomy is one of the tools you use to make us forget that. Don't think we are forgetting or forgiving any time soon.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Goddammit. Now I'm going to be in a foul mood all day.

    My work here is done.

  • Sam Grove||

    Due to aging, the pic has a reddish cast. It bugs me when photos are posted when they are in need of tonal adjustment. Result here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/3ljdcch5mm537ib/pic.jpg

  • Sam Grove||

    Oh, tartar sauce, use this link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ecjzl3bcsdmyvdl/pic.jpg

  • PapayaSF||

  • CE||

    I smell a Rand Paul centric Reason-staff-authored book on the way....

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Why did you use the singular?

    *glances over at furiously typing Reason authors, staffers and contributors*

  • CE||

    And how is Rand Paul's "Kentucky hero" a radical abolitionist? I thought he was against the Civil Rights Act? NPR said so.

  • David Emami||

    And it certainly is interesting to watch a magazine that 10 years ago was publishing a book of War on Terror speeches by George W. Bush and thundering against "unpatriotic" anti-war conservatives now giving an enthusiastic hearing to the very political tendency that was in its crosshairs in 2003.

    Have you considered, Matt, that they might have a different conception than you about what the defining characteristics of Rand Paul's ideology are? Or perhaps just that they may choose to overlook something they disagree with him about and focus on things they agree with him on that he's very strong on?

  • ||

    It's because Rand SOUNDS like the NR type of Republican while saying libertarianish things. It's the image they're after, not the actual policy stances.

  • Acosmist||

    NR is garbage. Don't give them any attention.

  • David Emami||

    And your basis for this is...?

  • Stormy Dragon||

    And your basis for this is...?

    NR depends on child labor. I mean look at this 10 year old indian boy thy're forcing to edit the magazine in sweatshop conditions:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/author/1843/bio

  • ShanghiJones||

    Rich Lowry is a feeble journalist and historian. He has adopted the liberal method of personal smears as a substitute for facts and reasoned argument. Read his Newsweek article calling libertarians "rancid" for criticizing Lincoln.

  • David Emami||

    Read his Newsweek article calling libertarians "rancid" for criticizing Lincoln.

    Just did so. Your description of it is quite dishonest. He criticizes a certain small subset of libertarians -- Thomas DiLorenzo and the Lew Rockwell folks, who are indeed by and large a rancid bunch -- for damning Lincoln for certain things while ignoring the fact that Jefferson Davis and the Confederacy did the same things, or worse.

  • Danno||

    Wow, he started a filibuster? Have things gotten so bad that that is a genius move???

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