The Friday Political Thread: Get Ready for President's Day Edition

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Sometime tomorrow I'll be on the America's Future Foundation podcast, right here.

The Week in Brief

– Barack Obama and John McCain swept the Virginia, Maryland and DC primaries: Only McCain had any trouble, winning by only 9 points in the commonwealth.
– In Maryland, Republican Rep. Wayne Gilchrest and Democratic Rep. Al Wynn were defeated, by surprisingly large margins, by challengers more in step with their parties.
– Mitt Romney endorsed John McCain; John Edwards' circle let slip that the ex-candidate might endorse Hillary Clinton.

Larger Issues

The Big Lie. I'm not counting Hillary Clinton out of the presidential race, but it's sad what her apparatchiks have been reduced to. Unless they romp in the March 4 primaries, they'll have to count on unelected superdelegates to erase Obama's lead and secure the nomination for her. And voila: Lanny Davis, a longtime Clinton friend and spinner, writes at the HuffPo that superdelegates are the best thing to happen to the Democrats since Bill Clinton gave his first stemwinder. The superdelegates were necessary, Davis says, because the ultra-open reforms of the 60s wrecked the party.

It did not seem entirely coincidental that the nominees since the Democratic Party reforms—Senator George McGovern in 1972 and Jimmy Carter for reelection in 1980—suffered landslide defeats.

We were also reminded that before these reforms, the "smoke-filled rooms" of Democratic Party leaders had led to the nomination and election of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Adlai Stevenson and John F. Kennedy. Not bad.

There are two problems with this. One is that Jimmy Carter was also nominated in 1976 and, obviously, won. So the Democrats had a 1-2 record in the pre-superdelegate era and, so far, a 2-4 record in the Glorious Age of Lanny Davis.

The other problem is that Roosevelt and Kennedy were actually nominated via primaries. Few states held primaries in 1932 and 1960, but the CQ Politics blog has the rundown on both races.

1932: Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt, the governor of New York, outpaced his nearest rival by a ratio of more than 2 to 1 in the overall primary vote en route to winning his first of four nominations and elections for president.

1960: Sen. John F. Kennedy, a little less than two months short of his 43rd birthday, established himself as the front-runner for the Democratic nomination by winning the April 5 primary in Wisconsin — the first after the New Hampshire contest March 8, which Kennedy, of neighboring Massachusetts, won easily. Kennedy appeared to be at a regional disadvantage in his one-on-one matchup with Minnesota Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey, making his 13 percentage-point victory margin even more impressive. The contest was captured in the well-regarded documentary film "Primary." Kennedy went on to another impressive win, and effectively ended Humphrey's hopes for the nomination by winning easily in West Virginia, overcoming doubts that the state's overwhelmingly Protestant electorate would go for Kennedy's bid to become the nation's first Roman Catholic president. Kennedy faced competitors at the convention — including Texas Sen. Lyndon B. Johnson, who would become Kennedy's vice president and ultimate successor — but clinched the nomination on the first ballot.

It's possible that FDR would have been nominated in a smoke-filled room, but not a sure thing. The rules were different in 1932 (you needed 2/3 of all delegates to secure the nomination) and party insiders might have fretted about FDR's handicap, while voters didn't realize how severe it was. It's less like Kennedy would have been nominated in 1960—he badly needed to win those primaries to prove that a national Catholic candidate could win (or in the case of West Virginia, buy) elections in Democratic states. Again, I'm not counting Clinton out, but there's an argument to make for reforming the primaries and changing the role of the great unwashed. This isn't it. James Robbins has a snarkier take on the same thing.

Below the Fold

– Holly Yeager combs through data and sees Barack Obama stealing Hillary Clinton's base.

– Ben Smith asks what happened to Clinton's support in the right-wing media.

– Brian Beutler wraps up the career of Tom Lantos.

No special theme for Politics 'n' Prog: Just Lemmy, a space woman, and a whole lotta riffin'.

NEXT: Being in Congress Means Never Having to Say You're Sorry...

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  1. This is quite likely the first political thread of the year to “disclude” Ron Paul. The gears, they are a-shiftin’.

  2. ~~~ Extra-special nearly self-linking free alternative roundup ~~~

    1. See how the magic is made: youtube.com/user/KatieCouric

    2. Something close to the MSM has finally covered what should be a big story. (Warning: I left a comment there containing a link to a video I made).

    3. Cosmotarian favorite BarackObama wants a GlobalTax.

    4. The MSM linked to a video I made, about a BarackObama volunteer hanging a CheGuevara flag on the wall of an (apparently) volunteer office.

    5. OK, here it is, what you’ve been waiting for. I cover the visit by FelipeCalderon and the various statements he made, and I link to more. Among other things, he encouraged MexicanAmericans to push Mexico’s agenda inside the U.S. Cosmotarians celebrate!

    6. The Short Hair Phase Institute strongly recommends that those who’ve been exposed to prog kick and spin it away.

  3. led to the nomination and election of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Adlai Stevenson and John F. Kennedy.

    There are two problems with this

    There might be a third problem. I looked through my almanac to see when Adlai Stevenson was elected and he doesn’t seem to be there.

  4. Wow, that’s a great vintage video you dug up there! Speaking as someone wearing a Mot?rhead t-shirt right now, I had never even heard of Hawkwind before.

  5. The superdelegate prescription is an elitist and, shall I say, undemocratic way of deciding on the nominee. The party with a capital “D” would do well to dispose of this most ugly relic from the ’80s. (And no, New Wave doesn’t count, unless you happen to be a Tipper Gore groupie.)

  6. I’m a Ron Paul supporter who backed Obama in The Commonwealth (open primaries are great!) for the simple reasons that I really, really don’t like McCain (who just flip flopped on his only principled stance: being against torture) and I also would hate to see a country ruled by 2 families for a potential 28 years.

  7. Ari Stern,

    You fucking kids have no sense of history /;^)

    You probably never heard of the Anti-Nowhere League either…

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=AH7pOUm5s9k

  8. Wanna know who Eric Dondero really is?

    Then watch Die Hard 3!

    Dondero = Warlock

    WATCH DIE HARD 3! DO IT NOW!

    Seriously, this is the most important movie of the early 21st century. It exposes Dondero, Neu Mejican, Urkobold, etc. for who he really is.

    Die Hard 3!

  9. I loved Die Hard 3. Mainly because I love gold. And anyone(s) with the balls to rob the Federal Reserve Bank of New York deserves our utmost respect.

  10. Hillary Clinton is still the Democratic nominee. Mark my words. She will win this thing honestly first, and dishonestly second. But she won’t lose.

  11. Nevermind I haven’t made a peep about the TrillionsofDollars we’ve given to foreigners since 1945, now I’m ReallyUpset because ThisAidIsSpecial.

  12. Who wants to bet on how long before some US idiot proposes this:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/7247470.stm

  13. It’s very un-libertarian of me, but I’d rather pay for a $10 license than constantly be carded and pay $2.50 in taxes each time.

  14. The idea is a very poor one when it comes to trying to convince people to quit smoking though, it gives the smoker an excuse/motivation to keep smoking until the license expires (“I want to quit, but I might as well…I already paid the $10.)

  15. I had heard of Hawkwind, but never knew Lemmy had been in the band. Very strange. Like learning that Joe Strummer played with Yes for a couple years.

  16. Joe Strummer replaced Shane McGowan in The Pogues for a while, but that’s not much of a stretch.

    Micheal Moorcock also wrote songs and performed vocals for Hawkwind, most notably on “Warrior on the Edge of Time” which also featured Lemmy.

  17. Mike C,

    I’m a Ron Paul supporter who backed Obama in The Commonwealth (open primaries are great!) for the simple reasons that I really, really don’t like McCain

    You want to explain this logic? How does voting for Obama stick it to McCain? They arent in the same frickin primary? You realize this, right? A vote for Huckabee or Paul is the way to show your anti-McCainness. I dont know why voting for Paul, since you are a supporter, doesnt best show your anti-McCain feelings. Am I missing something?

    I would understand voting Obama in the general, as opposed to a 3rd party, for example, if you really dislike McCain. Fine. But in a primary?

  18. Maybe he was trying to do his part to keep it from being a Clinton McCain matchup come November? (on accounta McCain’ld out fear monger Clinton and ride the decisive “I’m scared!” vote to victory)

    Just a guess….at least it makes sense…

  19. What ever happened to–what?s his name?–Don Saul? The guy who had the KKK backing and Nazi money. Or was it Paul Rat? People here used to be very excited about him.

  20. He’s still running, with the support of some slightly less repugnant folks than those. 🙂

    Reason, however, may have changed their name to Pragmatism on this one though.

  21. [em]What ever happened to–what?s his name?–Don Saul? The guy who had the KKK backing and Nazi money. Or was it Paul Rat? People here used to be very excited about him.[/em]

    He wasn’t good enough for the cosmotarians. In much the same way that a gal with acne isn’t good enough for a fat closing time drunk who smells vaguely of poo.

  22. Reason, however, may have changed their name to Pragmatism on this one though.

    Close enough – DRINK!

  23. So the Democrats had a 1-2 record in the pre-superdelegate era and, so far, a 2-4 record in the Glorious Age of Lanny Davis.

    And one of the biggest examples of a smoke-filled room compromise candidate was John W. Davis. Who? Exactly.

    1924 Convention, elected on the 103rd ballot because the Democratic Party had such a rift (between the pro-KKK rural Southerners and the urban Northerners) as a compromise candidate.

    44th ballot James Cox (1920) was another winner.

    I’d be willing to say that both were at least partially a result of the two-thirds requirement back then, which largely existed to pacify the Solid South.

  24. Micheal Moorcock also wrote songs and performed vocals for Hawkwind

    And Blue Oyster Cult.

    So, given the open threadiness and MM’s name coming up.

    What do the H&R crowd think of Moorcock’s views on Heinlein? Given Heinlein’s status among libertarians and Moorcock’s professed anarchistic politics, do they find it surprising that Moorcock compared “Starship Troopers” to “Mein Kampf?”

    http://flag.blackened.net/liberty/moorcock.html

    There are still a few things which bring a naive sense of shocked astonishment to me whenever I experience them — a church service in which the rituals of Dark Age superstition are performed without any apparent sense of incongruity in the participants — a fat Soviet bureaucrat pontificating about bourgeois decadence — a radical singing the praises of Robert Heinlein. If I were sitting in a tube train and all the people opposite me were reading Mein Kampf with obvious enjoyment and approval it probably wouldn’t disturb me much more than if they were reading Heinlein, Tolkein or Richard Adams.

  25. More from Moorcock:

    The majority of the sf writers most popular with radicals are by and large crypto-fascists to a man and woman! There is Lovecraft, the misogynic racist; there is Heinlein, the authoritarian militarist; there is Ayn Rand, the rabid opponent of trade unionism and the left, who, like many a reactionary before her, sees the problems of the world as a failure by capitalists to assume the responsibilities of ‘good leadership’…– the answer is always leadership, ‘decency’, paternalism (Heinlein in particularly strong on this)…In Starship Troopers we find a slightly rebellious cadet gradually learning that wars are inevitable, that the army is always right, that his duty is to obey the rules and protect the human race against the alien menace. It is pure debased Ford out of Kipling and it set the pattern for Heinlein’s more ambitious paternalistic, xenophobic (but equally sentimental) stories which became for me steadily more hilarious until I realised with some surprise that people were taking them as seriously as they had taken, say, Atlas Shrugged a generation before — …that people with whom I thought I shared libertarian principles were getting off on every paternalistic, bourgeois writer who had ever given me the creeps! I still can’t fully understand it. Certainly I can’t doubt the sincerity of their idealism. But how does it equate with their celebration of writers like Tolkein and Heinlein? The clue could be in the very vagueness of the prose, which allows for liberal interpretation; it could be that the ciphers they use instead of characters are capable of suggesting a wholly different meaning to certain readers. To me, their naive and emblematic reading of society is fundamentally misanthropic and therefore anti-libertarian…To be an anarchist, surely, is to reject authority but to accept self-discipline and community responsibility. To be a rugged individualist a la Heinlein and others is to be forever a child who must obey, charm and cajole to be tolerated by some benign, omniscient father: Rooster Coburn shuffling his feet in front of a judge he respects for his office (but not necessarily himself) in True Grit.

  26. Moorcock is an anarchist in the Chomsky vein — big on moralist denunciation of the modern capitalist West, with little detail on what his anarchism-without-capitalism alternative would look like.

  27. Daze,

    OK.
    But what do you make of the particular points about Heinlein and Rand.

    They are quite specific.

  28. The last comment by someone stealing my handle is not from me. I’d suggest not engaging in such activity.

  29. In Starship Troopers we find a slightly rebellious cadet gradually learning that wars are inevitable,

    Because this is true

    that the army is always right,

    No, but this *particular* army (marine corps) is all volunteer, has a lean command organization, has a low bureaucracy, minimizes mission creep, and a purely meritocratic promotion mechanism (exemplified by the fact that you have to be a GI first to be an officer). Is such an idealized military achievable or even possible? Probably not. But it is a worthy ideal to strive for.

    that his duty is to obey the rules

    Well, yes that’s how the military works. Again, it’s probably too idealized that he never got a set of conflicting or morally problematic orders (but I would have to reread the openning skinny battle to be sure) but that wasn’t the point of the story.

    and protect the human race against the alien menace.

    Just because politicians love to play demonization to accumulate power, doesn’t mean there are not real monsters nor real enemies. Nazis, Communists, and Bugs were ‘real’ threats.

    Although on Rand (and for that matter Tolkien), Moorcock has a point. But I can’t figure out what his beef with watership down is.

  30. NM,

    I like Heilein, Tolkien and Richard Adams.

    For what that is worth.

    I think he misunderstands Starship Troopers. I saw this some time a while back and my perception was he saw the movie instead of reading the book. 🙂 I know that isnt true, but he seemed to misinterpret things in the same way that idiot-boy the director of the movie did.

    One of the important aspects of ST is that the military cannot vote. It isnt an authoritarian, militaristic society. It is sort of like the Iraqi War. I support the troops, hope they “win” (whatever that means), but I dont support the war. The politicians may be corrupt, stupid or possibly even brilliant, but that doesnt changes the militaries duty. Its clear with the early war with the skinnies? (trying to remember – its been a while) that the government may not be always making the right decisions. In many ways, ST is a prophecy of the Bush administration.


  31. I like Heilein, Tolkien and Richard Adams.

    And Rand (fiction).

  32. Speaking of Heinlein, has any else read Niven’s short story “The Return of William Proxmire”?

    In it, a retired Proxmire gets a grant for a scientist building a time machine in return for getting to use it to give Heinlein a shot of antibiotics, so that he never gets sick, quits the navy, and starts writing.

  33. robc:

    Yep, I’ve read that story…

    And for a counter to Moorcock’s complaints on Heinlein, read Spider Robinson’s article called “RAH, RAH, R.A.H.!” (IIRC)…

    Nephilium

  34. Moorcock appears to have read ONLY Starship Troopers before issuing his Fatwa against Heinlein. How about Moon is a Harsh Mistress, or Stranger in a Strange Land? What a dick

  35. robc,

    The raids on the Skinnies went pretty well, causing that race to side with the humans instead of the Bugs. It was the assault on the Bug Planet P that was screwed up, with the highest-ranking military officials all resigning afterwards.

    I’m not sure how Moorcock reconciles Stranger in a Strange Land, as well as his many other libertarianish works, with Heinlein’s alleged fascism. Starship Troopers is probably second only to the Bible in the race for the most misunderstood book of all time…and the movie sure as heck didn’t help.

  36. Valentine Smith’s little brother,

    Clearly Moorcock has read a good chunk of Heinlein’s short fiction given that he references it in his essay.

    Moorcock calls himself a libertarian, but is, of course, English. This means he is not an anarcho-capitalist, but closer to an Anarcho-syndicalist. His points about Heinlein et al. are a direct criticism of what he sees and authoritarian/paternalistic leanings in their views despite the minimal government program they play lip service to.

    I read it as saying that the American Libertarian program is too willing to give in to authority (corporate bosses, leaders of all stripes) even as they oppose government actions. Getting the letter of minarchism right without understanding the spirit as Moorcock sees it.

    No?

  37. NM,

    I read it as saying that the American Libertarian program is too willing to give in to authority (corporate bosses, leaders of all stripes) even as they oppose government actions. Getting the letter of minarchism right without understanding the spirit as Moorcock sees it.

    If that is Moorcock’s point, then why Tolkien and Adams? I get that with Heinlein and Rand.

    Of course, as someone who doesnt consider corporate bosses an authority, I disagree with him.

  38. Back to discussing the article, does it seem like the dems are actively trying to loose? The whole thing with the Florida and Michigan delegates, not seeming like they want to bring up what should be their biggest issue (60% of the people oppose the “war” in Iraq and the republicans are tied to it completely) and now the possibility that the democrat nominee might not end up being who wins the delegates from the voters.

  39. If Obama wins they swiftboat him anyway. They’ll bring up his church, things he said and wrote in his academic career, his religious background, make him seem “foreign” etc.

  40. Back to discussing the article, does it seem like the dems are actively trying to loose?

    It sure seems like it, doesn’t it? This is a party that lost to George W. (the slow child) Bush. Twice! Modale, McGovern, Dukakis, Kerry, jeez. Even Carter had trouble beating Ford, the pardoner of Nixon, survivor of a brutal nomination battle, and whose highest elected office was a congressman.

    If they nominate Hillary Clinton via super delagates or the tainted delegations from Michigan and Florida, John McCain is our next president.

  41. Has anyone seen a poll on the Hawaiian caucuses anywhere on the net?

  42. No but since its Obama’s birthplace he should win it in a walk.

  43. Cesar-
    For a long time I thought so to. But his advantage is not absolute.

    Clinton advantages (in no particular order):
    a) Support of Senator Inoye.
    b) State senate President Coleen Hanabusa is her state campaign chair.
    c) HGEA is most powerful union in the state; I do not know if the local has endorsed anyone, but the national (AFSCME) has, IIRC.
    d) Shipyard / seafaring unions (collectively the third most powerful in the state) have been typical supporters of Clinton so far.
    e) overall one of the highest union concentrations in the country (approx 23-25%) of the labor force – again unions generically have been Clinton’s core support.
    f) Bill and Chelsea campaigning out here.

    (Note on ‘advantage’ sometime ascribe to clinton – her strong edge in Asian-american vote. The dynamic in HI is totally different because of a 75% Asian majority, vice a 20% or so minority)

    Obama’s advantages:
    a) he was born here
    b) The Punahou ‘mafia’
    c) A 7-1 edge in fundraising in the state
    d) The national SEIU has endorsed Obama. Although it does not have a specific chapter in hawaii, as far as I can tell, it does have the same political and economic interests of the second most dominant group of unions in HI, those of hotel/ restaurant/hospitality workers.
    e) support of Rep Abercrombie.
    f) His half sister (who is a resident here AFAIK) campaigns for him out here.

    Yes I think Obama’s advantages outweigh Clinton’s. But I would love to see some actual numbers

  44. I don’t know much about Hawaiin politics but from what I understand its ethnically driven (Japanese vs. everyone else, IIRC). It’d be interesting to know if its kosher for white people to engage in identity politics there since they’re such a small minority.

  45. Why is it so difficult to find pictures of morbidly obese people in go-karts? I’ve been scouring the internet for hours now.

  46. Bingo- morbidly obese people were not designed for go-karts.

  47. The other problem with Lanny Davis’s argument is that Franklin Roosevelt and John F Kennedy would also have gotten their butts kicked in the 70s and 80s.

    The country had re-aligned away from the Democratic Party over Vietnam, civil rights, and crime. Superdelegates had nothing to do with it.

    If George McGovern or Jimmy Carter had been nominated in 1932, they would have won in a landslide, too.

  48. JFK won barely even in 1960. I’m not sure Obama wants to take the JFK analogy too far since he just barely beat* Richard Nixon.

    *Theres some question whether vote stealing happened, even then.

  49. Obama gets to do two Kennedy-vs.-Nixons. One against Hillary and one against McCain.

  50. Weigel, you’ve definitely redeemed yourself a little bit with this week’s video. This one is even better than the Vanilla Fudge bit.

  51. Obama better hope Hillary throws a lot of dirty negative ads at him. Because the Republicans will do it too, but hit even further below the belt. He hasn’t really been tested that much with negative campaigning so far.

  52. That’s true, Cesar. When the Clintons tried to go negative on him, everyone – including the Republicans, Reason, the mainstream media, and you – cried all kinds of foul about it. I doubt they’d do the same if the Republicans tried the same tactics. In fact, just downpage, we’re treated to the hilarious sight of our own John writing about how Obama is “just like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton,” despite having blasted Bill Clinton and Tom Shaheen for much less blatant race-baiting.

    Also, at this point, it would probably be best to give uncertainty its proper due when discussint this race. I mean, you were equally certain in your predictions about Super Tuesday once upon a time.

  53. Joe, there have been a grand total of two negative ads run by Hillary against Obama, and they’ve been pretty tame and fair by political standards.

    The attacks routed through Hillary’s husband were a bit harsher but not nearly on the level of the swiftboaters.

  54. One more thing–Clitnon’s attacks failed because in the process she alienated black voters, pushing them to vote in Obama’s favor 90%+ thereafter.

    Republicans, on the other hand, don’t have to worry about alienating black voters in a general election since they will get no more than 10% of their votes anyway. They can be as dirty as they want.

  55. If George McGovern or Jimmy Carter had been nominated in 1932, they would have won in a landslide, too.

    If George McGovern ran against Hoover in ’32, he’d have gotten his ass kicked.

    Yes joe, he was that damned bad.

  56. Cesar,

    Do you remember how the Republicans found all of those black Sewer Commissioners and Tax Assessors to sit in prominent locations on the stage at the last two conventions? It’s called the “bank shot pander.” They aren’t trying to win black votes, because they know they’re out of reach, but to reassure white voters who can remember the Southern Strategy that “Black People Love Us!”

    I don’t think the Republicans can go after Obama in a racially-charged way, because middle America wouldn’t stand for it in 2008.

  57. Their attacks won’t be racist, but they’ll be xenophobic. The right has already started this by saying hes “post-American” and a “globalist” who wants a “global tax”, a guy who is maybe just a little too attached to his father’s homeland, who even went to “foreign schools” and so on. They’re going to keep going down this track.

    They’ll combine that with saying his the most liberal member of the Senate, scour his academic career for any even vaguely leftist or “globalist” sentiments, and point out how he wants to meet with foreign dictators.

    Thats a lot for John McCain and the swiftboaters to work with.

  58. In fact, If George McGovern ran against Charlie Gordon in a general election, he’d have gotten his ass kicked.

    Even Bob Dole would have beaten him.

  59. J sub D, I knew McGovern was bad (he was before my time of course) but I didn’t realize he was that bad.

    Could Barry Goldwater have beaten him?

  60. To add to Cesar

    The difference between potential republican attacks and the ones Hillary did was Repub attacks are based on policy proposals he made and what he might do as president. What Hillary did was say he was “all talk” and associates with slumlords. The republican attacks might have traction since they are more than just name calling, and come from the fact that “liberal is a dirty word” in the general election and a good one in the Democratic primary.

  61. There’ll probably be the whisper campaign that he’s the Muslim Manchurian Candidate too.

  62. Could Barry Goldwater have beaten him?

    Come on, Ron Paul could have beaten him.

  63. This is from the New York Times about the Northern Illinois University shootings.

    Mr. Kazmierczak, 27, was described Friday as a successful student – “revered,” the authorities said, by his professors – who had served as a teaching assistant and received a dean’s award as an undergraduate here at Northern Illinois University, where he returned Thursday, killing himself and five students and wounding 16 others.

    Looks like there is a whole bunch of people who need extra scrutiny.

  64. Could Barry Goldwater have beaten him?

    McGovern vs, Goldwater? That would be a third party nominee’s wet dream.

  65. There’ll probably be the whisper campaign that he’s the Muslim Manchurian Candidate too.

    As opposed to McCain, the brainwashed Vietnamese Manchurian candidate?

  66. There’ll probably be the whisper campaign that he’s the Muslim Manchurian Candidate too.

    The most interesting twist I heard on that attack was that since his father used to be Muslim (so is an apostate muslim) he will be looked down upon in foreign relations, so he’s actually a poor candidate to establish America’s standing in the Muslim world.

  67. Moorcock is kind of a dick, because on the one hand he talks about how cool he himself is for being an anarchist who “accepts self-discipline and community responsibility” but then on the other hand doesn’t recognize those characteristics in Starship Troopers.

    I don’t like the book much myself, precisely because it’s too communitarian for my tastes, but that society is all about self-discipline and community responsibility. To be a citizen, you have to undertake a period of service to the community. Because it’s entirely voluntary, that’s the self-discipline part. Don’t want to serve? Knock yourself out, do whatever you want. But only those who have assumed “community responsibility” are eligible to vote. It sounds like a perfect little “syndicalist” vision for Moorcock to enjoy. It’s not my cup of tea, because I am not into the whole “rights come from duties” thing going on there – but based on what I know of Moorcock, he should be. I bet if Heinlein hadn’t used the symbolism and historical ranks of western militarism, but came up with some goofy French names for everyone’s role, Moorcock would have liked it just fine.

    And what crack smoking chump said that Tolkien was a libertarian? Tolkien was a pastoralist authoritarian.

    I don’t understand the Adams hate either. Maybe it’s because Watership Down finds patterns of authority and myth-making in nature, which would tend to imply a sort of Lutheran view of a natural order in politics. That would probably piss an anarchist off.

    And I’m not aware of any “anti-trade unionism” on Rand’s part, other than her disdain for state intervention to impose collective bargaining on situations where it doesn’t arise organically or out of negotiation.

  68. You know, one of the few bonuses to a Hillary presidency would be watching the jackass Saudi princes have to kiss a woman’s ass.

  69. The difference between potential republican attacks and the ones Hillary did was Repub attacks are based on policy proposals he made and what he might do as president

    I think “Republican attacks,” I think Swift Boat ads, Bill Clinton smoked pot, Bill Clinton dodged the draft, Al Gore wore a tan shirt – not exactly policy-heavy stuff.

    Besides, have you SEEN any issue polling this year? Democrats winning across the board, including on terror, taxes (TAXES!), crime, foreign policy…the whole laundry list of Republican advantages. I just don’t see policy-heavy attacks. Cesar’s “scary Kenyan Muslim sleeper cell candidate” line of attack seems more likely.

  70. It’s obvious that Barack should come back at such attacks by noting that if you go to John McCain’s birthplace, you’ll notice it isn’t even in America.

  71. Not just a woman, Cesar. Apparently, there are “Hillary Clinton is a Jew” rumors floating about the Middle East.

  72. Fluffy,

    There was no government intervention involved in the newspapermen’s strike in the Fountainhead, and Rand was pretty clearly working to make the union’s “assault” on her ubermensch publisher’s “property” seem evil.

  73. Joe, I read a pundit that said (I forget who) That Deval Patrick’s campaign for governor was very similar in type to the one Obama is running for the Presidency–hope, change, optimism, etc. But he also said that since Patrick has been in office, he hasn’t been a very good governor and has had a great deal of difficulty. Therefore, Obama lost Massachusetts because the people there have seen it all before, so to speak. Is there some truth to that?

  74. My crystal ball indicates that below the belt attacks will be launched from both the Republican and Democrats in the general election. Crysty also reveals that John will characterize the Republican attacks as honest and fair, completely within the bounds of acceptable political discourse. She also clearly shows that joe will say likewise about the Democratic smears.

    No fog in the mystical orb today, it was all very clear.

  75. She also showed the equivalent of a crystal yawn when I asked her about slimeball politics. It’s her way of saying “give me something difficult to foretell”.

  76. I just don’t see policy-heavy attacks. Cesar’s “scary Kenyan Muslim sleeper cell candidate” line of attack seems more likely.

    I’m sure both will occur. Just like attacks on Bush being a drunk driver and cokehead, or Kerry being a “flip-flopper.” There will be attacks on Obama’s prior drug dealing/use and his policies. Thus is the nature of politics. Everything will come its just a matter of what works.

  77. Cesar,

    Patrick’s campaign was very similar. His slogan was “Together We Can,” echoed in Obama’s “Yes We Can.” They both also ran very positive campaigns, and secured the nomination against respected known quantities by running against “insiders who’ve been there too long.”

    Since coming into office, Patrick has been ineffective, but not really bad or unpopular. There haven’t been any real scandals or anything, but he hasn’t accomplished that much in terms of big initiatives.

    I don’t think the public here has turned against him at all, but they’re going to want to see something visible. Bread and circuses, I guess.

    But I don’t think that’s why Obama lost Massachusetts. I find it a little baffling that he lost Massachusetts but won Connecticut. Here’s my current theory:

    New England, except for Vermont, is natural Clinton territory. She famously won New Hampshire, won Massachusetts, and is going to win Rhode Island. When Obama pulls out wins, it’s because of factors that amplify the enthusiasm gap between his supporters and Hillary’s. In Maine, it was the caucus system. In Connecticut, it’s the presence of the organization that was built to support Ned Lamont.

    Why did Hillary win Massachusetts? I suspect it’s for the same reason that she won New Hampshire and is going to win Rhode Island – lots of old white people, relatively few black people, and the presence of a strong Democratic insider machine at the local and precinct level, which was built up years ago.

  78. s the g,

    What I’m saying is, attacks on his policies won’t work, and will only come out if they can be part of the “scary crypto-Muslim” shtick.

    J sub D,

    Of course there will be some below-the-belt stuff, but I predict that an Obama-McCain matchup would be the cleanest, most honest presidential contest in at least 20 years.

  79. Of course there will be some below-the-belt stuff, but I predict that an Obama-McCain matchup would be the cleanest, most honest presidential contest in at least 20 years.

    Crysty is way better at this than you, joe. Granted she is wrong 5% -6% of the time, but the mystic orb was unusually clear today. 😉

  80. Really? Clean campaign? What makes you think that joe?

  81. McCain is not a pleasant person. He WILL go negative at the first sign of trouble. Hillary is not a pleasant person either, count on retaliation. The wild card is an Obama nomination. The McCain camp might see going below the belt negative in a big way as counterproductive because even right wingers see Obama as a nice guy. I just don’t see Obama initiating a mud slinging fest.

    Then again, I didn’t forsee how my first marriage would work out either. I try to keep that in mind when attempting to judge somebody’s character.

  82. Cesar,

    On the Democratic side, Obama is running a particularly sunny, positive campaign. On the Republican side, McCain will be running to distinguish himself from the nasty partisanship that has characterized his party’s political strategy since Karl Rove came onto the scene, as it has fallen into such disrepute. They both want to set themselves up in contrast to cheap and divisive partisanship, and slinging mud erodes their ability to do that.

    There has been a lot written over the past decade about how the bitter partisanship and personal attacks that have characterized our politics is a consequence of the two parties being so evenly matched. If you can’t get over 50% by arguing a positive vision of what you believe in (tough to do if half the country hates what you believe in) or of your own wonderfulness (tough to do if half the country hates you for being in the wrong party), you tear down the other guy. And if such attacks are only going to sway a small part of the electorate, they only become worthwhile in a very tight race. For McCain to win, he’d have to do more than swing 1.5% of voters with some cheap shot; he’d have to win over a big, non-Republican chunk of the electorate that doesn’t want to hear Atwater/Rove partisan wedge attacks.

    So that’s why: because too much attack politics would hinder what the candidates’ electoral strategies, and because such politics wouldn’t move enough voters to be worthwhile.

  83. Weigel, you’ve definitely redeemed yourself a little bit with this week’s video. This one is even better than the Vanilla Fudge bit.

    Which Friday Political thread had a Vanilla Fudge video? I don’t recall that one.

  84. I agree with J sub D, that a Hillary-McCain race would degenerate into mudslinging rather quickly. Because she is a dirty fighter, and because the Republicans love to crap on her.

  85. There was no government intervention involved in the newspapermen’s strike in the Fountainhead, and Rand was pretty clearly working to make the union’s “assault” on her ubermensch publisher’s “property” seem evil.

    File this under “Joe doesn’t understand The Fountainhead, Cabinet #1109″.

    The Wynand papers are themselves evil. Gail Wynand’s tragic mistake was believing in power, and seeking to attain power by building his newspaper empire. He believes that he can redeem everything he’s done in his life by using that power to defend Roark, but the strike proves that he can’t. The instrument is not appropriate to the cause; when he tries to use it for his desired end, it fails; the strike shows him who really controls the paper. The strikers are misguided in the sense that their strike is designed to support Toohey, who is contemptible; but Rand makes it eminently clear that Wynand deserves to lose. The critical choice he faces is when it becomes clear that he should let the paper go out of business – but doesn’t. He is redeemed a bit when he shuts the paper down himself later.

    The strikers aren’t evil. They are the instrument by which reality revenges itself upon Wynand for his many errors.

  86. Fluffy,

    You know it’s a book, right? And that Ayn Rand is the author. That means that SHE is able to set up the conflicts, and the parties to those conflicts, exactly as she wants. In this case, so that the noble uberman Gail can be the brave, transcendent good guy, and the actions of the strikers can be shown to be evil. It’s like those lousy Hollywood movies where the mother of the murdered child hunts down the bad guy, had him at gunpoint, but doesn’t have to kill him because the screenwriter has him slip off a cliff before she decides to pull the trigger.

    The strikers aren’t evil. Nor did I say they were evil. I said the strike was evil. As always in Rand, the common folk are just misguided people under the sway of some corrupt villain, who manipulates them.

    And while Rand did mean for the effect of the strike – the shutting down of the paper – to accomplish good, that isn’t the same thing as the strike itself, or the decision to go on strike – to be good. The book makes it pretty clear that “they” were unfairly intruding on “his” rightful place as owner of the paper.

    Once again, it’s really not a good idea to make the leap to the conclusion that I’m arguing from ignorance when you disagree with me.

  87. The strikers aren’t evil. They are the instrument by which reality revenges itself upon Wynand for his many errors.

    You are aware that Rand often made the point that the consequences of collective action can be judged quite apart from the cause for which it was undertaken, right?

  88. Which Friday Political thread had a Vanilla Fudge video? I don’t recall that one.

    They didn’t. They had Eric Burden and the Animals lip synching House of the Rising Sun last week. Since that was Vanilla Fudge’s one and only hit (actually it was an excellent cover), somebody was just funnin’ (I hope).

  89. In this case, so that the noble uberman Gail can be the brave, transcendent good guy, and the actions of the strikers can be shown to be evil.

    Joe, the reason it’s obvious you don’t understand The Fountainhead is because you think Gail Wynand is intended to be viewed as a brave, transcendent good guy.

    He’s not.

    Roark has immense affection for him, and he’s meant to be seen as a tragic and sympathetic figure, but he’s not a good guy. He’s Roark plus one fundamental error – but that error is ultimately everything.

    Wynand’s resistance to the strike is depicted quasi-romantically not because labor unions are evil, but because Wynand himself comes very close to turning his back on the moral errors he has made in his life – but ultimately fails.

    You are aware that Rand often made the point that the consequences of collective action can be judged quite apart from the cause for which it was undertaken, right?

    This is true, but really doesn’t have anything to do with what we’re talking about. There is nothing in the Wynand strike as depicted by Rand that constitutes commentary on the phenomenon of unions as such, above and beyond the actual personalities and issues at play in the novel.

    You’d be on firmer ground if you talked about the way Dagny Taggart treats the union representative on the John Galt Line in Atlas – but that also is a contingent and contextual conflict that doesn’t really speak to the concept of associating for the purpose of negotiating labor terms and conditions per se.

  90. BTW, the reason the conflict is set up to include a strike has nothing to do with constructing a commentary that unions suck or any such nonsense. It’s set up that way because Wynand has believed his entire life that he has economic power over the people who work for him, and has to be shown that Toohey has the real power and always has. Wynand has to see his “power” shatter in his hands when he tries to use it. The most direct way to depict that in fiction is to create a conflict between Toohey and Wynand for the control of and the loyalty of the paper’s staff. A strike is the best way to do that.

  91. Fluffy,

    All of Rand’s good guys are brave and transcendent uber-men. Wynard just needed his true nature to be brought out.

    Wynand’s resistance to the strike is depicted quasi-romantically not because labor unions are evil, but because Wynand himself comes very close to turning his back on the moral errors he has made in his life – but ultimately fails. I agree that that’s part of it, but certainly not all of it. The prototypical striker is the woman “with hands that would drop things all over the kitchen,” remember? And they’re under the sway of Toohey. The union and their collective action was clearly depicted in exactly as negative a light as one would expect any left-leaning collective that stands up in opposition to her hero characters to be.

    This is true, but really doesn’t have anything to do with what we’re talking about. I only raised this in response to your point that the strikers (and the strike) can’t be evil because they were the means by which “reality revenged itself on Wynand.”

    BTW, the reason the conflict is set up to include a strike has nothing to do with constructing a commentary that unions suck…

    I agree that “unions suck” was not the primary point she was trying to make, but the suckiness of unions was sufficiently assumed and written into the book to allow the horrors of a striking union to be utilized to make her other points.

    Doesn’t the ease with which Toohey can control the union demonstrate pretty clearly the authors’ opinion of them, and of the “second-raters” who join them? Fer Chrissakes, we’re talking about people taking collective action against one of her heroes in an effort to bring down another one of her heroes, while her villain leads them in their assault!

  92. Uh oh. Didn’t close the tag.

    Better put on the taint guard.

  93. What would Rand have thought of Obama? He’s a bit of a transcendent uber-man.

  94. Of course there will be some below-the-belt stuff, but I predict that an Obama-McCain matchup would be the cleanest, most honest presidential contest in at least 20 years.

    ‘Scuse me? John McCain just got done pummeling Mitt Romney over his support for timetables for withdrawal in Iraq, remember? The guy is a vindictive, contemptible liar.

    Is there some opposite of Bush Derangement System at work here? I’m astounded at how much liberals are in love with the guy who wants us in Iraq for 100 years because he’s so damn honest.

  95. Chris, my friend, I hate to break it to you. But we’re going to have other wars. And my friend its going to be tough. We’re going to have other wars. Theres going to be more combat wounds, more PTSD. Theres going to be less jobs, and more wars.

  96. Chris, my friend, I hate to break it to you. But we’re going to have other wars. And my friend its going to be tough. We’re going to have other wars. Theres going to be more combat wounds, more PTSD. Theres going to be less jobs, and more wars.

    Sprinkle this with a few more “my friends” and you’d do a better John McCain, my friend.

  97. There’ll probably be the whisper campaign that he’s the Muslim Manchurian Candidate too.

    As opposed to McCain, the brainwashed Vietnamese Manchurian candidate?

    No one is as Manchurian a candidate as Hillary is. Come on. Don’t you guys see the physical and physical resemblances between Hillary and Liev Schreiber?

  98. “physical and non-physical”

  99. I’m sure both will occur. Just like attacks on Bush being a drunk driver and cokehead, or Kerry being a “flip-flopper.”

    Those were true.

  100. kolohe —

    I would be very surprised if Obama doesn’t win in a landslide in Hawaii. A hapa Punahou grad with a congenial persona versus a shrill Mainland haole?

    I’d say HRC is just trying to prevent such a huge blowout that Obama scoops up most the delegates.

  101. The fundraising figures for Hawaii published recently in the papers were totally one-sided — maybe 5-1 for Obama, IIRC. Granted, donation strength doesn’t always translate into votes (see Paul, Ron) but I think it’s a pretty good indicator that this race isn’t going to be close. If I had to call it, I’d say a 2-1 edge for Obama.

  102. Doesn’t the ease with which Toohey can control the union demonstrate pretty clearly the authors’ opinion of them, and of the “second-raters” who join them?

    Not really. Toohey had been patiently selecting staffers for years, and cultivating those he didn’t personally select. He understood the power relations of the newsroom better than Wynand.

    And Joe, isn’t a bit ridiculous to assert that Rand hated strikes, when Atlas Shrugged is about a strike, and when John Galt is for all practical purposes a union organizer?

  103. This is quite likely the first political thread of the year to “disclude” Ron Paul. The gears, they are a-shiftin’.

    Interestingly enough, Rasmussen shows Paul polling at 9%, which is his best performance yet. I’d have thought he would have peaked and petered out after Super Tuesday, but apparently he’s still winning converts.

    Go Ron Paul!

  104. Interestingly enough, Rasmussen shows Paul polling at 9%, which is his best performance yet. I’d have thought he would have peaked and petered out after Super Tuesday, but apparently he’s still winning converts.

    Easy enough to explain. Before Super Tuesday the election was a horse race. People weren’t voting, they were betting. Irrational to be sure, but that’s how people tend to vote. They were trying to guess the winner. How many times did you hear someone say they couldn’t support Ron Paul because he couldn’t win? But now that the media has proclaimed the final winners, people are free to vote the the way they really feel.

    (Alternate explanation: 9% of those polled prefer Paul over McCain and Huckabee. Doh!)

  105. How about a Ron Paul/David Duke ticket? Why should we have to hold our noses?

  106. notices SaftiTaint. hrumphs. grumbles

    *fades away into mist*

  107. They didn’t. They had Eric Burden and the Animals lip synching House of the Rising Sun last week. Since that was Vanilla Fudge’s one and only hit (actually it was an excellent cover), somebody was just funnin’ (I hope).

    That doesn’t make any sense either since I’m pretty sure Vanilla Fudge never released a version of “House of the Rising Sun.”

  108. Vanilla Fudge never released a version of “House of the Rising Sun.”

    Yep.

    Not only that, their biggest hit was
    “You Keep Me Hanging On”

    reached #6 on the Hot 100 chart (the internets is bitchin’)

  109. Here in Nevada we are getting ready for the Republican county convention next month.

    While the MSM said RP got 12% of the vote, we think we did better than that in delegates.

    A lot of the Romney delegates may not show up next month. Or, being Mormons, who reverence the Constitution, they may be willing to switch to RP.

    The campaign is claiming they got most of the delegates in Washington State, not 20%.

    It ain’t over until the fat lady sings, boys. McCain can implode. His temper, his health, the surge can fail, the dollar can continue to decline…a lot can happen.

  110. “A lot of the Romney delegates may not show up next month. Or, being Mormons, who reverence the Constitution, they may be willing to switch to RP.”

    Does the LDS church actually have a governmental doctrine? Does LDS doctrine say something about good government?

  111. Does the LDS church actually have a governmental doctrine? Does LDS doctrine say something about good government?

    I’m not LDS, but I’ve known quite a few of them. While most are generally conservative politically, they can be all over the map. Left-leaning LDSers are a bit unusual, but I’ve met a few of them. I’d say their conservative bias is more of an artifact of their run-ins with government in their early history, rather than a result of any doctrinal mandate. Obviously, they have an interest in keeping government power in check.

  112. Pig Mannix, I understand your meaning but why is this not also the case with other religious groups that have been persecuted by governemt? For example, a majority of the Jewish people I know tend to be left-leaning. This is not universal and some claim it is changing, but this does seem to be the norm. One would think that if any religous group would have an historical reason to fear government power it would be followers of the religion of Judaism.

  113. Chris Potter,

    Four years ago, decorated war-hero John Kerry was accused of cowardice in battle and faking his war wounds. This is a guy who still walks around with shrapnel in his leg.

    Four years before that – I don’t even need to to into this, do I?

    If the worst attack launched in the general election is comparable to McCain’s characterization of Romney’s statement about withdrawal, then yes, this will easily be the cleanest election in over 20 years.

  114. One would think that if any religous group would have an historical reason to fear government power it would be followers of the religion of Judaism.

    Depends which government! Keep in mind, the US government opposed the government that was oppressing Jews in WWII. In the case of the LDS, the government had essentially declared war on them. IIRC, it was still legal to kill a Mormon in Missouri as late as 1976. Most other religious sects had little to fear from the US government.

  115. a shrill Mainland haole

    You misspelled “a-hole,” prolefeed.

    Fluffy,

    So what you’re saying is that, since Anti-human Fiend Ellsworth Toohey controlled the union and cultivated its support, we’re not supposed to take that as evidence of what Rand thought about unions? I think you just scored an own-goal.

    As for the Galt’s Gulge “strike,” that book is a revenge fantasy. Unionization is of a piece with central planning and the “oppression” of the wealthy few.

  116. “Depends which government!”

    It shouldn’t really, It isn’t just WWII Germany where Jewish people have been opressed by government. Some of the instnaces have been recorded in their holy book. Egypt, Assyria, Rome. One of their great prophets warned what would happen if they got a king.

  117. Are Jewish people oppressed by the Israeli government?

    How about the US federal government?

    I’d say that particulars of the government matter quite a bit.

  118. “Are Jewish people oppressed by the Israeli government?”

    Yes, ALL Israilis are.

    “How about the US federal government?”

    Yes, ALL Americans are.

  119. Joe, there is no “magic government” that is impossible to go awry. Even governments that have constitutions that are suposed to protect liberty sometimes ignore or violate those constitutions. Do not forget that Hitler himself got his power in a democratic system. His party got 43% of the vote – a plurality and still managed to wield enourmous power. The U.S. system could go horribly awry (some claim it already has). It may not be Jewish people who suffer but the concept is the same. Maybe it will be people of Mexican descent who suffer in some backlash against illegal immigration. Maybe it will be gay people if James Dobson gets his way. Perhaps it will be Muslims. Who knows. But the possibility exists that if government gets too much power some group or other will become the scapegoat and be oppressed as a result.

  120. Vanilla Fudge never released a version of “House of the Rising Sun.”

    Yep.

    Not only that, their biggest hit was
    “You Keep Me Hanging On”

    reached #6 on the Hot 100 chart (the internets is bitchin’)

    [Hanging my head] Shucks, you’re right guys. I’m embarrassed. It was Frijid Pink who scored with The House of the Rising Sun.

    In my defense, I confused two bands that –
    Both had a R&R hit in my mid teens.
    Were both one hit wonders.
    Both hits were cover versions of an earlier hit.
    Both hits were actually pretty damned good.

    A lame excuse is better than no excuse at all. 😉

  121. I am not a One Hit Wonder!

    “Tell Me Why” / “Cryin’ Shame” (Parrot 334) 1969
    “Drivin’ Blues” / “God Gave Me You” (Parrot 340) 1969
    “House of the Rising Sun” / “Drivin’ Blues” (Parrot 341) 1969 #7 on Billboard Hot 100
    “Sing A Song For Freedom” / “End Of The Line” (Parrot 349) 1970 #55 on Billboard Hot 100
    “Heartbreak Hotel” / “Bye Bye Blues” (Parrot 352) 1970 #72 on Billboard Hot 100
    “Music For The People” / “Sloony” (Parrot 355) 1971
    “We’re Gonna Be There” / “Shortly Kline” (Parrot 358) 1971 (Alexander on vocals)
    “I Love Her” / “Lost Son” (Parrot 360) 1972
    “Earth Omen” / “Lazy Day” (Lion 115) 1972
    “Go Now” / “Lazy Day” (Lion 136) 1972
    “Big Betty” / “Shady Lady” (Lion 158) 1973

    [edit] Foreign singles
    “House of the Rising Sun” / “Drivin’ Blues” (Deram 17044) 1970 France
    “Sing A Song For Freedom” / “End Of The Line” (DM 309) 1970 [France]
    “We’re Gonna Be There” / “Shortly Kline” (DM 336) 1970 [France] (Alexander on vocals)
    “House of the Rising Sun” / “Crying Shame” (EPDM 1014) 1970 Portugal
    “Heartbreak Hotel” / “Bye Bye Blues” (SDM 117) 1971 [Portugal]
    “Rainbow Rider” / “Earth Omen” (MGM 2006130) 1973 Germany

  122. “Are Jewish people oppressed by the Israeli government?”

    Yes, ALL Israilis are.

    “How about the US federal government?”

    Yes, ALL Americans are.

    PIRS,
    While that’s a bit of hyperbole, your distrust of government in all of its incarnations is commendable. “All governments strive to oppress large sections of the populace” is probably more accurate.

  123. Yahoo — I would think most liberal Jews would consider themselves to be working against persecution. [I’m thinking of something like Abraham Joshua Heschel in the civil rights movement.] You have a religious imperative towards justice, and a history of persecution, and you’re pretty likely to develop a tradition of political liberalism (in the sense of supporting tolerance and civil liberties.)

    The thing is, in the 20th century US, the most vocal civil libertarians have been economically left-wing. Not everyone, of course; but there’s a trend. And there’s a tendency on the Republican side towards theocratic and anti-immigrant views that probably doesn’t help their case much.

  124. joe,

    I know you and I wouldn’t have a problem with Romney favoring timelines for withdrawal, but in the GOP primaries that accusation was as destructive as accusing someone of being a racist would be in the Dem primaries. The Maverick is able and willing to lie about his opponents if he thinks it gives him an advantage, and stick to his story using his “war hero” aura to lend credence to his fibs. The fact that he hasn’t had an opportunity yet to do it in a way that rubs you the wrong way doesn’t make him an honest campaigner.

    Of course, I’ve no love lost for the Greasy Turd Formerly Known As Mitt Romney, lest anyone misinterpret my intentions.

  125. It ain’t over until the fat lady sings, boys. McCain can implode. His temper, his health, the surge can fail, the dollar can continue to decline…a lot can happen.

    So, if Huckabee drops out in the next month, then McCain dies of natural causes, does Ron Paul get the nomination?

  126. I am not a One Hit Wonder!Babe Ruth anyone?

    “House of the Rising Sun” / “Drivin’ Blues” (Parrot 341) 1969 #7 on Billboard Hot 100
    “Sing A Song For Freedom” / “End Of The Line” (Parrot 349) 1970 #55 on Billboard Hot 100
    “Heartbreak Hotel” / “Bye Bye Blues” (Parrot 352) 1970 #72 on Billboard Hot 100

    Yes you are. Three songs that chart, only one that broke top 30 is, by definition a one hit wonder.

    Don’t feel bad, there are no hit bands out there that are excellent. Popularity does not equal quality,

  127. Joe, there is no “magic government” that is impossible to go awry.

    Which is quite a different thing than your original claim, all governments persecute Jews.

    It’s the difference between “be careful when you go swimming” and “don’t go swimming or you’ll drown.”

    If you don’t recognize the difference between an oppressive government and a non-oppressive one, you probably don’t have much to add to the conversation about how to keep a government from becoming oppressive.

  128. Move Babe Ruth anyone? to the end of my 1:52pm post.

  129. Chris Potter,

    The difference I’m trying to get at is the difference between criticizing policy and trying to destroy someone’s character.

    As unpopular as it may be among Republicans to support a timeline for ending the Iraq War, accusing someone of holding that position is not the same thing as, for example, accusing him of being a drug smuggler, a communist agent, or a murderer (as Clinton was accused in 1992).

  130. JsubD,

    Vanilla Fudge had two albums in the top 20 in addition to that top 10 single.

    Flash in the pan, maybe, but not really “one-hit wonders.”

    By that criteria Iggy Pop is a one-hit wonder, for “Candy.”

    Doesn’t seem like a fair criteria.

  131. Alisa, This is an unfortunate result of the common Right-Left political spectrum which leaves a great deal of people having to “choose” which liberties they care the most about. DO you allign yourself with people who support gun rights or gay rights? Do you allign yourself with people who support freedom of speech or people who support the freedom to keep you own hard-earned money? ONe should not have to choose between kinds of freedom. This is why I think it is important to promote the World’s Smallest POlitical Quiz which breaks through the stereotypes created by the Right-Left political spectrum. YOu can find the quiz here:
    http://www.theadvocates.org/quiz.html

  132. By that criteria Iggy Pop is a one-hit wonder, for “Candy.”

    He probably is. That is not to deny his talent or influence, it’s just saying he didn’t chart. I gogled “one hit wonder” and lo and behold, this was on the top of the google listing. Look down to #4.*

    I rest my case.

    *Vanilla Fudge didn’t even make that list. Go figger.

  133. Asisdes from all that argumentative nonsense, does “one hit wonder” have a technical definition? Do we want to give it one? Top 10 singles, top 20 albums, total sales might all apply in moving somebody into or out of the dreaded category.

  134. Yeah, I know, left-right dichotomy is arbitrary, and the quiz is always a nifty way to show people that.

  135. “Which is quite a different thing than your original claim, all governments persecute Jews.”

    That was not my original claim.

  136. “Yeah, I know, left-right dichotomy is arbitrary, and the quiz is always a nifty way to show people that.”

    Religious dichomities are also misleading.

  137. Yahoo Answerer | February 17, 2008, 12:33pm | #

    “Depends which government!”

    It shouldn’t really,

  138. Joe, I was quoting someone else.

  139. joe,

    I don’t think there’s as much of a barrier between the two as you do. Just because he has a black child doesn’t mean McCain is any less likely to launch personal attacks on Obama. 😉

  140. Joe, I will help you out. Here is the entire section IN CONTEXT.

    >>>Yahoo Answerer | February 17, 2008, 12:33pm | #

    “Depends which government!”

    It shouldn’t really, It isn’t just WWII Germany where Jewish people have been opressed by government. Some of the instnaces have been recorded in their holy book. Egypt, Assyria, Rome. One of their great prophets warned what would happen if they got a king.

  141. Good for Kosovo. I have often thought that the world would be better off with a bunch of microstates than huge bulky countires like we have now. Of course the danger is that through either war or “alliances” we could get back to the dangerous situation we now face.

  142. Yahoo,

    You were not quoting someone else when you wrote “Not really” in response to “it matters which government. That, whether you are embarrassed of it or not, was your statement: it doesn’t matter which government, they all persecute the Jews.

    You don’t need to make anything simpler than that, it’s pretty clear. Though if you would like to “modify and extend your remarks,” that would be good.

  143. PIRS-

    They’re going to end up joining the European Union, anyway.

  144. Joe, it is pretty clear from the context, which I paste above for you, that I did not mean that “all governemnt opress Jews.” It is pretty clear from the context that my meaning was that all governments are potentially opressive.

  145. “Any thoughts?”

    I hope Bush doesn’t sell them out to Putin in order to get a deal on the missile defense bases.

  146. Ceaser, that is sad. If it is the currency thing they want (i.e. joining the Euro) they can join the Euro without joining the E.U. The E.U. is showing signs of following the same patern of the United States, but perhaps a bit worse. THe United States was not originally intended to be a “country” in the sense we mean now. The term “state” is even a synonym for country. It was originally intended to be an alliance in the sense the E.U. was originally inteneded to be.

  147. Re: some questions and comments upthread about the LDS Church’s POV on government (of which I am technically still a member, but I’ve quit attending), the only scripture to directly address this is the 12th Article of Faith: “We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.” Basically, since it is a worldwide Church, and the emphasis is on growth in membership, this scripture allows the Church to get its missionaries in almost every non-Muslim country worldwide.

    The Church membership gradually switched from mostly Democratic to mostly Republican over a period of about half a century, and by the 1950s and 60s was solidly conservative. The members are, and should be, wary of a huge government based on the Church’s contentious relationship with the federal government in the late 1800s.

    The huge growth of the federal government starting with FDR may have been part of the impetus for the changeover to Republicanism, but other factors such as the explosive growth in wealth of the membership and the increasing social conservatism of the Republican party probably drove a lot of the switchover. Basically, both of the political parties have changed drastically in their orientation over the course of the last century, and so has the Church membership, and by coincidence the changes favored this party affiliation switchover to Republicans.

    If the Democratic party were to return to something resembling their pre-FDR roots, they would get a lot more traction among LDS members, since the Church strongly emphasizes charity and compassion, but privately delivered. And the Republican party’s embrace of me-too big government spending creates an opening that savvy Democratic LDS politicians could easily exploit if they were willing to pander to the mandatory homophobia and the whole pro-family thing the Church membership demands.

  148. YA,

    Then maybe “It shouldn’t, really” wasn’t well-phrased.

    If you are saying that there ARE governments that haven’t oppressed the Jews, and that governments, taken as a whole, are only POTENTIALLY oppressive, with their actual oppressiveness ranging widely, then “which government” matters very much.

    I think I understand the point you were making now, and to suggest that the specifics of the government don’t matter very much runs directly counter to that point.

  149. PRIS, what I really don’t understand is why all these small balkan ethnic enclaves demand independence and then subsequently voluntarily join the EU along with their old oppressors (the Serbians, Croats, etc). Does it matter that much to Kosovo whether they come into the EU “independently” or as a part of Serbia? If they came in as part of Serbia they could get the central European government to smackdown any oppressive action by the Serbians.

  150. That matters very, very much, Cesar. The relationship between the EU and a member-state is quite a bit different than the relationship between Serbia and Kosovo.

    Not to mention, the EU as a whole views the rights of Kosovars quite differently than does Serbia.

  151. They’re going to end up joining the European Union, anyway.

    Kosovo borders Serbia, Montenegro, Mecedonia and Albania. Being landlocked is, IMHO, not a desirable thing. None of the above are EU members. Greater Albania? More bloodshed over ancient feuds? Hell if I know, but I would think EU membership unlikely.

  152. S sub D-

    The entire Balkans will join the EU within the next 10 years. They all desire membership because it would be a boon for their economies. Brussels is just waiting for them to get their house in order (democratic, transparent governments, free market reforms etc) then will grant them ascension.

    The EU, for all the bad things it causes, is good at forcing governments to be more democratic and transparent, and is also good at preventing another European war.

  153. Re: Kosovo

    I’m hopeful, but apprehensive. The Serbian government is not noted for calm, reasoned, rational actions. Adding in the fact that Putin seems to want to prove something, apprehension seems like the right feeling.

    Or maybe I’m just a pessimist.

  154. “Does it matter that much to Kosovo whether they come into the EU “independently” or as a part of Serbia?”

    Yes, in the same way it would matter if the Upper Penensula of Michigan were to break off from Michigan but remain part of the United States. The UP would have its own representation in Washington and have more say over its own afairs. It just wouldn’t be part of the state of Michigan anymore. I should add that, in the case of Kosovo, the stakes are much higher than with the UP of Michigan.

  155. J Sub D, its a good idea to be apprehensive when anything happens in the Balkans.

  156. “J Sub D, its a good idea to be apprehensive when anything happens in the Balkans.”

    Well said.

  157. Anyone know what’s going on with Russia calling (with Serbia) for the security council meeting to discuss Kosovo? What’s the Russian interest in all this?

  158. Yes, in the same way it would matter if the Upper Penensula of Michigan were to break off from Michigan but remain part of the United States. The UP would have its own representation in Washington and have more say over its own afairs. It just wouldn’t be part of the state of Michigan anymore.

    Oh yeah? Fuck them Yoopers. They aren’t smart enough to ron their own affairs. What does the UP have other than mosquitos, moose and women that are built like moose?

    Yoopers – I keed, I keed. We love ya down here.

  159. Whatever happens with Kosovo, Serbia, and Russia, I can tell you it isn’t worth one drop of blood from one American soldier.

  160. It seems to me that the rational Serbian response would be, good riddance. Maybe that will happen and the folks in the Balkans can just follow my advice and GET OVER IT!.

  161. I’m afraid people in the Balkans have longer memories than any other people with the possible exceptions of Israelis and Arabs.

    If Great Britain had a Balkan mentality, for example, they’d still be refusing to recognize our independence.

  162. Alisa,

    Serbia has long been a favored state of Russia. In WWI, Russia mobilized because of Austria-Hungary’s military against agains Serbia, which was then an A-H province.

    There’s a strong cultural affinity – they’re both Orthodox countries, for example.

    Basically, Serbia has long been under the protection of Russia, and Russia is very sensitive about what it sees as western encroachment into its sphere.

    Imagine that, a Muslim Kosovo, “western” encroachment into the Russian sphere.

  163. They aren’t smart enough to ron their own affairs.

    That one’s going in the law book.

  164. They aren’t smart enough to ron their own affairs.

    That one’s going in the law book.

    No arguments from this quarter. None whatsoever. ;-(

  165. Plant Immigration RIghts Supporter, you are a brainless fucking fanatic, aren?t you?

  166. So what you’re saying is that, since Anti-human Fiend Ellsworth Toohey controlled the union and cultivated its support, we’re not supposed to take that as evidence of what Rand thought about unions? I think you just scored an own-goal.

    Put the crack pipe down. I have completely owned you in this argument.

    The fact that Rand doesn’t a union made up of Toohey’s hand-picked stooges, but is just fine with having the character she specifically created as a perfect human type lead a work stoppage, proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the depiction of the strike in The Fountainhead does not constitute Rand’s last word on unions.

    What is so hard to understand about that?

  167. Plant Immigration RIghts Supporter, you are a brainless fucking fanatic, aren?t you?

    Brilliant point, MK2. It adds so much to the discussion. I am in awe of your subtle yet incisive intellect.

    Can I have your autograph?

  168. accusing him of being a drug smuggler, a communist agent, or a murderer (as Clinton was accused in 1992).

    Thanks joe, I had forgotten about the KGB recruiting Bill Clinton during his overt anti-American marching days at Oxford. Good thing Ronald Reagan defeated those commies before
    Clinton could become a “Manchurian Candidate”;-)

  169. In WWI, Russia mobilized because of Austria-Hungary’s military against agains Serbia, which was then an A-H province.

    Perhaps a minor correction (though perhaps not to the Serbs), but Serbia was an independent state, not a province of Austria-Hungary.

  170. That was what I suspected — also maybe that Russia has domestic reasons not to view separatist movements warmly, especially Muslim ones. It seems that Russia still considers a chunk of Europe to be its “sphere” and is still willing to get its fingers into the politics there.

  171. These are the consequences of letting IllegalAlbanians gain PoliticalPower in OurCountry and…

  172. I do not think Serbia or Russia will do much (may be only economically) in the short term.

  173. Perhaps a minor correction (though perhaps not to the Serbs), but Serbia was an independent state, not a province of Austria-Hungary.

    Yikes, that’s not minor.

    If Serbia had not been an independent country, the Czar would be even more guilty of causing WWI than he actually was.

    That alternate WWI would basically have started because the Czar felt like invading Austria-Hungary.

  174. I think Kosovo being independent is pretty whack, but then again, it’s not my country.

    Serbia did some whack stuff to Kosovo during the war, but I don’t see how it was any worse than what the US did to the South in the Civil War. I’m of the opinion that if you want to declare independence, then you have only yourself to blame when your family gets killed.

  175. My message to Seriba is: Lighten up, and get a life!

  176. It is a funny commentary on how differently people can think in that the Dutch-speaking Belgians want to get rid of Wallonia because it’s a piss-poor drain on their economy, while a lot of Serbs are willing to fight to the death to keep Kosovo, which is the poorest and most backward part of their country.

    I guess the message is that for the Flemish it’s $$ > Symbolism, while for a Serb it’s the other way around.

  177. Cheeky-

    For the Canadians vis-a-vis Quebec it is Symbolism > $$. Canadians probably share more with the Flemish (liberal attitudes, etc) than with the Serbs, but they seem to align in this case with the Serbs (minus the violence/war thingy, though things were ugly back in the 60s/70s in Quebec).

  178. “I’ve got a sewing machine.”??????!?

  179. Unfortunately it took segregationist Governor Wallace to reveal the truth that “there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between” Republicans and Democrats. The Democrats willingly went along with the War in Iraq, suspension of Habeas Corpus, detaining protesters, banning books like “America Deceived’ from Amazon, stealing private lands (Kelo decision), warrant-less wiretapping and refusing to investigate 9/11 properly. They are both guilty of treason.
    Support Dr. Ron Paul and save this great nation.
    Last link (before Google Books bends to gov’t Will and drops the title):
    http://www.iuniverse.com/bookstore/book_detail.asp?&isbn=0-595-38523-0

  180. Jack Q:

    You do know that book you linked to is a rather poorly written fiction novel, right? And that it takes place in 2011 and that the first 3 pages are as contrived as the characters are unoriginal and their motives transparent?

  181. Defensive a little Fluffy? That’s usually what happens when you’re losing.

    There’s nothing remotely hard to understand about your point. It’s just not convincing, that’s all. That’s why I as able to rebut it so quickly. I guess you missed that part.

    I already answered the point about Galt – the whole book is a revenge fantasy about sticking it to the parasitical, collectivist unions.. I guess instead of answering iThat, you thought it would be a better idea to make a drug joke and thump your chest.

    BTW, here’s some links so can learn a little bit about the author you think you understand.

    http://www.helium.com/tm/433885/rands-novel-fountainhead-recounts

    Rand criticizes the collectivism inherent in labor unions and the labor force through her portrayal of labor unions as suppressors of individuality. Negative depictions of labor unions as the beginnings of a socialist movement within the novel reflect the radical movements of labor unions in the years before the stock market crash of 1929. Events such as the AFL craft union strike, the United Mine Workers, and the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution in Russia were ostensibly socialist and collectivist in nature; Toohey’s speech to a mob of discontented and easily persuaded laborers in the novel suggests Rand’s negative portrayal of unions and response to historical events prior to the 1930s.

    http://www.aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/unions.html

    Unions

    The artificially high wages forced on the economy by compulsory unionism imposed economic hardships on other groups-particularly on non-union workers and on unskilled labor, which was being squeezed gradually out of the market. Today’s widespread unemployment is the result of organized labor’s privileges and of allied measures, such as minimum wage laws. For years, the unions supported these measures and sundry welfare legislation, apparently in the belief that the costs would be paid by taxes imposed on the rich.

    Just so you don’t keep misusing the word in the future, Fluffy, THIS is what pwning a thread looks like.

  182. Since it was my post that started the Fluffy vs. joe scuffle, I’ll post a follow up note regarding Ayn Rand and unions.

    First, I never read Rand’s longer novels, only Anthem. It sucked so badly that I was not inspired to read the longer works.

    But, given the character names in Anthem, “International” & “Union” and the general themes, it would be hard to see Rand as supportive of unions. I seem to remember “Union” being referred to as “of a half-brain” or something as well.

    Ayn Rand:
    It was business, not labor, that initiated the policy of government intervention in the economy (as long ago as the nineteenth century)-and business was the first victim. Labor adopted the same policy and will meet the same fate. He who lives by a legalized sword, will perish by a legalized sword.

    Her fiction is, of course, open to interpretation, but her general suspicion of collectives would seem to bias her against the idea of unions. It doesn’t seem like a radical reading of Ayn Rand to say that she was “the rabid opponent of trade unionism and the left” as MM does…

  183. If they came in as part of Serbia they could get the central European government to smackdown any oppressive action by the Serbians.

    I’m sorry, I just have a hard time with the notion that the EU has the capability, much less the will, to lay a smackdown on anyone.

  184. Joe –

    That helium quote is meaningless in this context. You may as well link to your own posts.

    The lexicon quote specifically talks about compulsory unionism and a system of union privilege. I would agree that Rand would oppose union privileges as enforced by the NLRB and would find mandatory unionism economically destructive and unjust to individual workers. This is different from opposing the right of workers to form combinations. Rand’s free marketry does not revolve around competition per se; she was notoriously anti-antitrust, and advocated for the right for all economic actors to combine to whatever extent they chose – and this was true for both capital AND labor.

    Neu –

    The names in Anthem are clearly satirical and are more of a joke tweaking the socialist movement of the early 20th century, and its naming conventions, than a commentary on unions per se.

  185. I already answered the point about Galt – the whole book is a revenge fantasy about sticking it to the parasitical, collectivist unions.

    Umm…no it’s not. It’s about bringing down an entire political economy, by…striking.

    Different people strike than is the norm in our particular system, but that doesn’t change the fact that Galt leads a group of men and women with economic and political demands and initiates a collective work stoppage.

    The villains in Atlas are government officials, the Presidents of a railroad and a steel company, a physicist, a former banker, the former heads of a motor factory, etc. Two characters appear who represent unions: one appears in only one scene and does not even rate getting his own proper name, and the other is depicted as merely rougeish and not as corrupt as the main villains.

    There are definitely people on the receiving end of revenge, but union folks ain’t them.

  186. Sorry, that should read “rogue-ish”. “Rouge-ish” sounds like something totally different.

  187. Fluffy,

    The names in Anthem are clearly satirical and are more of a joke tweaking the socialist movement of the early 20th century, and its naming conventions, than a commentary on unions per se.

    Satire being a way to criticize, no?

    I read that book in the 70’s, but iirc it lacked a sense of humor…methinks her choice of names was intended to be a commentary on collectivism in general, and her choice of “Union” indicated that she included unions as collectives worthy of criticism.

  188. And speaking of parody/satire…

    If’n Rand has the productive members of society stop working, is she, perhaps, making a point about how productive individuals are required a collective to be productive…emphasizing that the concept underlying collective interest is best served by individual productivity rather than collective actions/decisions enforced by the group.

    Can’t the work-stoppage be seen as satire (I can’t say, as I will remind you I did not read the book…Anthem was too long for Rand’s writing skills, I can’t imagine how painful Atlas must be…)

  189. MM’s criticism, of course, has more to do with the worship of great individuals in the books of the authors he cites. He is criticizing the perceived need for great leaders in the works he discusses. No?

  190. The article on Lantos was pure bullshit. The Iraq war is “hopeless”? I guess the overwhelming evidence that the surge is working and the latest laws passed paving the way for elections in October, amongst other things, is pure fabrication. What a fucking crock. Absolutely amazing how so many political “commentators” willfully ignore the news out of Iraq now that it doesn’t fit their doom and gloom view. I guess I should be thankful that the author does not discuss the positive developments in Iraq and then dismiss it as propaganda like the dumb-as-shit authors on this site.

  191. That is what a space woman looks like? To me she looks just like a drugged up groupie wearing some messy face paint and tripping out. Or maybe you meant that she’s space-y. But hopefully not futuristic. That’s something entirely different.

  192. I would agree that Rand would oppose union privileges as enforced by the NLRB and would find mandatory unionism economically destructive and unjust to individual workers. This is different from opposing the right of workers to form combinations.

    So while she would not object to some sort of theoretical unions that don’t actually exist, there is no evidence of her actually voicing support for such a thing, and she vehemently denounced actual, existing unions, and all of her portrayals of labor unions are as dupes led by the forces of evil.

  193. The names in Anthem are clearly satirical and are more of a joke tweaking the socialist movement of the early 20th century, and its naming conventions, than a commentary on unions per se.?

    So she considered “Union” to have enough of a socialist connotation to use it in her satire of that socialist movement, and we all know what she thought about that movement.

    It’s about bringing down an entire political economy,? Yes, one she carefully designed, as the author, to be a projection of what a collectivist, unionist, socialist society would look like

    …by…striking.? Hence, the revenge fantasy: shooting them with their own gun.

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