From the Archives: February 2020

Excerpts from Reason's vaults


15 Years Ago

February 2005

"If the Republicans started aggressively trying to overturn Roe v. Wade or to outlaw all legal protections for same-sex couples, it would likely alienate many moderates—particularly if national security became a less prominent issue, or a less advantageous one for the GOP. Meanwhile, a pro-choice, pro–gay rights Republican in the Arnold Schwarzenegger mold would lose some 'values voters' who would either switch to a more conservative third-party candidate or stay home, but [such a candidate] would likely pick up a lot of votes from the more libertarian independents uneasy with the influence of the religious right."
Cathy Young
"The 'Values' Panic"

"There are three good reasons to be skeptical that November 3 sounded the death knell for old-style political journalism. First, every presidential election since 1960, if not earlier, has been followed by increasingly louder whither-journalism sessions. It was only four years ago that the major networks and newspapers were vowing never again to get bamboozled by Election Day exit polls. Needless to say, such fretting does not always produce reforms."
Matt Welch
"That Old, Tired Balancing Act"

20 Years Ago

February 2000

"David Sumpter…has received and served a criminal sentence for marijuana possession. The state of Indiana isn't through with him, though; it wants to punish him again for the same offense. Officially, the state is trying to collect a 'controlled substance excise tax,' under a law that the Indiana Supreme Court declared unconstitutional in 1995."
Stephen Hayes
"Pot Stickers"

"Together these events signal a development that was bound to arrive sooner or later: America's high-tech industry is now officially under assault from America's other most successful industry, the litigation business. If we're lucky, Silicon Valley will now realize that it's in the same boat with conventional businesses that have come under courtroom attack—and perhaps begin to think about how best to unite in resistance."
Walter Olson
"Gold Bugs"

25 Years Ago

February 1995

"The cost of processing and conveying information will consume a steadily growing fraction of every budget, private and public, for the rest of our lives, and quite possibly for the rest of American history. Manufacturing, transportation, energy, finance, education, medical care—the prosperity of almost every sector of the economy will hinge on telecommunications and information processing. Growing the information economy will be as critical to our national wealth as maintaining a stable currency."
Peter Huber
"Communication Cleanup"

"Ideologically, Republican legislative gains represent a victory for numerous organizations, think tanks, and activists organized in the past few years to combat government expansion. The term-limits movement, the 'wise-use' and property-rights movements, taxpayer associations, gun-rights organizations, and the rejuvenated small-business lobby all helped provide Republican candidates with issues, foot soldiers, and momentum."
John Hood
"State House Sweep"

40 Years Ago

February 1980

"Now if the members of [the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)], or any other medical organization, wish to proselytize for hospital delivery, issue policy statements, and present evidence to document the reasons for their views, that is their right. But they go much further, threatening and intimidating those who do not agree with their stand. Many doctors are refusing to give prenatal care to women who are planning an out-of-hospital delivery….Often their refusal comes from a fear of reprisal—loss of hospital privileges or withdrawal of insurance coverage—rather than from genuine acceptance of ACOG's policy on home birth."
Sarah Foster
"Look What the Stork Brought to Phoenix!"

45 Years Ago

February 1975

"In 1976 the liberals will attempt to resurrect that old Kennedy magic through Ted Kennedy, but at this stage it does not look as though the youngest Kennedy brother has the necessary equipment to carry it off. His intellectual shortcomings prompted his own father to make unflattering comments about him, and his crass stupidity (if not criminal negligence) at Chappaquiddick is bound to hurt him in the same manner Watergate all but castrated Richard Nixon."
Jerome Tuccille
"The Failure of the New Deal Coalition"