County Sheriff and D.A. Races More Important Than Presidential One, Says Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone:


In the new issue of Rolling Stone, amidst much wailing about how the media is ruining democracy for everyone and some ill-advised legal recommendations (restrict campaigning to six weeks, obligatory free TV time, and banning the publication of poll results–hey, the latter worked out great in Russia!) Matt Taibbi tells his readers an important but too-little-noted truth.

He thinks that if we instituted media central planner Taibbi's scheme (but that's not the important part), people would:

maybe even [be] stoked to get involved in their local races for county sheriff or D.A. (Such races would likely have more of an impact on their day-to-day lives: For the most part, when it comes to our daily routines, the president might as well be on Mars.) 

Indeed. The stuff of life as it is lived for most of us has very little to do with the outcome of the presidential race. As I wrote back in 2004 in my essay "Not Voting and Proud":

actually doing something specific and practical to better your life, or your community, isn't as easy as casting a ballot once every couple of years. But it is more rewarding in the end than wasting even a second of your time and energy giving yourself a struck-by-lightning chance of maybe putting one particular guy in an office, where he'll do whatever he wants regardless of what you thought you were trying to support by voting for him. If you want to make a difference in the world, please try. But don't be fooled into thinking voting is a way to do so.

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  1. Hey, did you guys know that “if four Americans get killed, it’s not optimal”?

    Just wow.

    Obama went on to say “instead of a funeral I was thinking we could just stick a bone up their ass and let the dogs drag them away.”

    1. Unbelievable! No way he meant “undesirable” or “unfortunate.”

    2. LOL. He’s the archetypical guy who’s trying to use words he doesn’t know the meaning of so he looks smart.

      Reminds me of when he said he had to “recalibrate my words”.

      1. “if four Americans get killed, it’s not optimal”

        The President went on to say: “You know, Jon, it kinda gives new meaning to the word corps[e]men.”

    3. The word ‘optimal’ was first used by Stewart in the question. Obama’s use of it lit up conservatives on twitter…

      …and Hit/Run.

      1. Good thing Obama has time for the Daily Show!

        I mean, he’s a very busy dude and he must really like that John fellow quite a bit to take time out of his very very busy schedule doing all those presidential things that those important presidential people do. Yep, Stewart sure is one lucky guy.

        Why are you laughing?

      2. Yep, the Obama fluffers better get in front of this one.

        1. It’s Limbaugh-worthy. Five days-worth at least.

            1. Looking forward to FOX and Friends’ in-depth analysis of Obama’s hatred for all things military. God Bless America!

      3. First Lehrer, now Stewart… obviously the media is ganging up against Obama!

      4. Here, let me help you:

        But, but….


    4. Okay, in context it’s not quite as bad, glomming onto Stewart’s word. Still poor choice of word. In any case, our Special-Olympian-in-Chief going on these shows is not optimal for him.

      1. I don’t think the context helps.

        ‘Because I would say, even you would admit, it was not the optimal response, at least to the American people, as far as all of us being on the same page.’

        Obama responded: ‘Here’s what I’ll say. If four Americans get killed, it’s not optimal.’

        Stewart was talking about the administration’s spin job in the days after the attack, not the attack itself. BO applied the word to the attack himself. He wasn’t just adopting Stewart’s phrasing (which you can bet no Republican would be allowed to get away with).

        1. The other way the context hurts is that it’s another example of Obama parroting the telemprompter, only in this case it’s an audio version.

          At this point I really want someone to put “I’m the president?” on one.

      2. If he can’t survive The Daily Show without being “forced into a gaffe”, what show is safe for BO to go on?

    5. Lol
      Rethuglicans going out of context again

      1. Cool story, fluffer bro.

        1. From the Free Libertarian Dictionary:

          fluffer noun [?fl?f?(r)
          An individual whose opinions conflict with that of the collective

      2. I know right!

        Binders full of woman!

        1. You didn’t build those binders…

  2. “restrict campaigning to six weeks, obligatory free TV time, and banning the publication of poll results”

    The First Amendment just seems to get in everybody’s way anyway.

    1. It’s a creepy old uncle we thought was cool in our youth. But now…

    2. And campaigning isn’t speech! And neither is money. And neither is speech!

    3. What, I wonder, is the prescribed penalty for campaigning outside the approved window?

      1. An eternity of Doherty shilling his book with you starring as Alex in the “Ludovico Technique” scene.

    4. There are ways to do most of this without impinging on freedom of communication. Instead of fixed terms y fixed election days, we could have snap elections. It’s already like that with special elections in NY, where the governor can call an election on fairly short notice to fill a vacancy. That effectively restricts the campaign period.

      Or, if you don’t want to alter the structure of gov’t, states could move their primary election days much closer to the general election day. Of course that might cut the general election campaign at the expense of lengthening the primary campaign.

      Free TV time could come via a gov’t buy of a block of time. Or it could be done on municipal cable TV channels.

      Polls could be discouraged by removing their exemption from the “do not call” lists.

  3. Yep. Look at how much impact Bloomberg is having on New Yorkers’ lives.

    Our own Boy Lego-Head of a mayor is currently having several big impacts on my life, none of them good.

  4. Well, it’s over. Or almost over, thank God. It looks like Obama will probably win, which I guess is good news, compared to the alternative ? a Mitt Romney presidency would have felt like four straight years of waking up with a naked Lloyd Blankfein sitting on your face.

    Oh, what a difference a week makes.

  5. In the new issue of Rolling Stone, amidst much wailing about how the media is ruining democracy for everyone

    Good. Fuck democracy. I prefer a Constitution Republic, Doherty. I haven’t read Rolling Stone in years. Is David Fricke still alive and handing out the absolute worst album reviews?

  6. Why are the district attorney and sheriff elected positions to begin with? Appointment by the elected executive with confirmation from the other small group of elected officials seems to be the best that can be done. The Feds suck less on this. What a mess it would be if the individual federal cabinet positions were filled by elections too.

  7. maybe even [be] stoked to get involved in their local races for county sheriff or D.A.

    Holy shit Taibbi is an idiot. The election hype may be annoying, but the inanities it causes the talking heads to utter as it approaches are puer fucking gold.

    1. Taibbi is usually reliable in that regards. His version of the Occupy WS camps will probably be made in to a movie by Oliver Stone in ten years.

    2. He’s right that local authorities can have significant powers to curtail liberty.

      Consider Sheriff Joe Arpio.

  8. Matt Taibbi is a nasty, repugnant hack.

    I’ve never thought much of Joe Biden. But man, did he get it right in last night’s debate, and not just because he walloped sniveling little Paul Ryan on the facts. What he got absolutely right, despite what you might read this morning (many outlets are criticizing Biden’s dramatic excesses), was his tone. Biden did absolutely roll his eyes, snort, laugh derisively and throw his hands up in the air whenever Ryan trotted out his little beady-eyed BS-isms.

    But he should have! He was absolutely right to be doing it. We all should be doing it. That includes all of us in the media, and not just paid obnoxious-opinion-merchants like me, but so-called “objective” news reporters as well. We should all be rolling our eyes, and scoffing and saying, “Come back when you’re serious.”

    1. Nothing more pathetic than a faux liberal tough guy.

      1. Well, there’s the liberal faux tough guy, and the liberal tough faux guy.


    2. Step 1: Define the parameters of political debate so that only the policies you support are “serious” and “reasonable”

      Step 2: ???

      Step 3: Profit?

      1. That isn’t a serious comment. *Scoff* *Eye-roll* Come back when you’re serious.

  9. He’s arguing that local elections are more important than national ones, and you think this validates your column “Not Voting and Proud”?

    I’m not sure you understood his point.

    1. Cool story, midget bro.

    2. I have it on good authority that you are a small person.

      1. Is there a consensus?

        1. Yes. We can’t take criticism.

        2. derp, yes


      Grasshopper: Master, if I were to be like the sun and warm the earth, who would cast the shadows and cool it?

      Master Po: joe, you fucking idiot.

  10. Romney told 31 BOLD FACED LIES during Tuesday night’s debate.

    1. AKA, running for president.

    2. So how many of those lies have killed American citizens like Obama’s have?

      1. My inner-child died when it found out that a politician couldn’t create 12 million jobs with magic.

  11. Honduran Supreme Court rejects private cities.…..ities-idea

    Now what?

    1. Private countries.

      1. Lets hope!

        Maybe the Kochs can grease some palms and/or flip a government. I’m serious the ends justifies the means here.

    2. All the news story said was that the cities still had to be subject to Honduran law. They didn’t say Honduran law couldn’t accommodate them, or that the land couldn’t be privately owned. When you get down to it, the promoters were asking for a bit much: all the independence that would come from secession, and yet complete freedom of movement of persons and goods in y out with Honduras, plus the protection provided by Honduras! Obviously they’ll have to settle for less.

      1. The ruling may have very well been based in law. I don’t care. I wanted this. We needed this. We are pretty boned without it.

        The Honduran government’s response to crime is gun control btw. For serial.

        1. It’s common knowledge that common sense gun control measures work. It’s just that our inner-cities have been held hostage by extremists like the NRA.

          Dangerous cities, like: Baltimore, Detroit, Washington D.C., etc are known for their anything goes lax gun laws. On the other hand, cities like Pittsburgh that have some of the most stringent gun laws on the books are safe to walk around in.

          1. I read stuff I’m supposed to. Steve Sailer:

            Boston is the only place I’ve seen in the U.S. where blacks appeared to be afraid of white civilians walking down the street. Having a lot of scary Irish around makes theorizing at Harvard a lot more pleasant.

        2. For serious, you’re boned unless you’re completely exempt from Honduran law? It doesn’t say you can’t be granted some degree of autonomy, does it?

        3. Look, it’s clear that what we really need is a bigger version of Sealand.

          A MUCH bigger version.

  12. Reason, I am about to start Borderlands 2. Chick or Robot for a mostly single player game. Go.

    1. Sorry, we’ve moved on to Smash TV.


    (i feel like navin johnson! ) 🙂

    Measure 502.. concerns Marijuana.

    VOTE People (those of us in WA). Let’s legalize marijuana, strike a blow for freedom and take another step towards MORE liberty. Let’s also remember, this is important for revenue – taxes. Sell this to your friends, if they are vehemently anti-pot – sell it as a way to raise money off of people’s marijuana “habits”.

    Heck, I actually got a devout LDS Church member to admit to me he is seriously considering it. If we can sell Mormons on legalized mj, well…

    This won’t just be a “I told you so” moment for libertarians if it DOES pass and people realize – hey, the sky didn’t fall, things got better! But man, it will be a sweet “I told you so ” moment. We’ve had the same thing happen with guns and RKBA. Let’s show the country that legalized MJ does not mean more “addicts” in the street any more than legalized RKBA means more murder.



    1. This won’t just be a “I told you so” moment for libertarians if it DOES pass

      There’s no such thing. Someone always manages to crap on everything that libertarians like.

      1. hey, whether or not people credit Libertarianism with the great expansion in the RKBA, the substantial liberalization of MJ laws (been happening for decades), we still have that stuff to feel good about.

        RKBA especially IS the ultimate i told you so trump card. NONE of the anti predictions came true. ALL of ours did.

        10 yrs ago +, a libertarian on the news was an anachronism. now, we have stossel, the judge, etc.

        ok, granted we also have maher, the elitist assmunch statist snarky fuckstick of all fucksticks CLAIMING to be a libertarian. i don’t know what THAT means, but god it is fucking annoying.

        1. the substantial liberalization of MJ laws (been happening for decades),

          You’ve got to be kidding me:

          Despite apparent public support for state and local government efforts to change their approach to marijuana use, the enforcement of marijuana laws by law enforcement agencies has intensified in recent years. Uniform Crime Report (UCR) data collected by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) indicate that both the number and (per capita) rate of marijuana arrests have increased significantly since the early 1990s. In 1990, there were an estimated 327,000 marijuana arrests; by 2006, that number more than doubled to reach 829,625.21 The per capita arijuana arrest rate also more than doubled in recent
          years, from 131 per 100,000 persons in 1990 to 265 in 2006 (see Figure 1).


          1. im not kidding you. that doesn’t even MENTION incarceration time, which is where the liberalization has primarily taken place

            sorry: statistic fail

      2. Yes. If this passes the feds will do something so ugly nobody will try it again. Maybe flood the local market with mj laced with slow acting poison. Or a neutron bomb strike.

  14. Colour me SHOCKED

    1. Bummer – I was planning on going.

    2. Looks like the campaign contribution to Menendez wasn’t big enough to grease the skids.

      Seriously though, this always seemed like a strange idea to me. Where is it supposed to take place? This is the only route that would make sense considering the area and length, but I can’t see them letting F-1 shut down access to a major hospital for an afternoon.

  15. It’s almost 7:00am Eastern on a Friday.

    Do you know where your “Friday Funny” is?

    1. reason is now on the West coast schedule for AM posting.

    2. No – and let’s keep it that way.

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