The Spectacle Blog

Re: South Park Democrats

By on 8.29.06 | 8:44PM

It's about more than voting blocks. In a 1975 interview with Reason no less a conservative than Ronald Reagan said, "If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism." Now, obviously the power dynamics and constituencies are different these days, but the truth is the more Republicans win, the more the philosophical backbone of the party seems to weaken under the understandable if not particularly admirable desire to hold onto power. So libertarians may not win Republicans elections, but it's difficult to look at the behavior of this Congress and White House without getting the sense that we could use a little more principled opposition in the ranks. Right-leaning libertarians carry more worth than a simple vote.

Here's more Reagan from that interview, by the by:

Re: South Park Democrats

By on 8.29.06 | 7:43PM

Philip: It's not really true that "most everybody quoted in that informal poll of libertarian-ish people either said they would vote Libertarian, vote for Kerry, or stay home." Count them: There were 10 votes for Bush, and one who was waffling between Bush and the Libertarian candidate. But we libertarians are an eccentric and fractious bunch; we're divided amongst ourselves on issues as central as foreign policy, judges, and immigration. It doesn't really make sense to talk about a single libertarian voting block.

More Giuliani

By on 8.29.06 | 6:45PM

Larry, from that point of view, he probably won't hurt me. But by that standard, neither would just about any president who promised not to raise taxes. If you throw in constructionist judges (and there is room for improvement over Bush on the lower courts), that is a bonus. But there are still many social areas besides the courts in which I would want a more reliable guy in the office.

Philip, you are correct that Giuliani has the best stripes on national security. I would say he bests McCain in light of McCain's torture resolution. So if national security is your trump issue, then Giuliani is your guy.

As for Romney's flip-flopping, I am not sure what to make of it. For me, it could be sincere. I believe people can change for the better, and I hope this is a case of that. Flip-flopping has a bad rap. If it is strictly for political purposes, it is dishonest and cynical. If it is honest, and for the better, wonderful. Politically speaking, Romney may be able to convince enough pro-lifers that his change is sincere.

Andre and Rudy

By on 8.29.06 | 5:50PM

Quin, some years ago, Pete Sampras was scheduled to meet Andre Agassi the the final of the Lipton tournament. Sampras got sick and could not take the court at the appointed time. Agassi insisted on waiting until Sampras felt good enough to play, though he was entitled to win through a forfeit. "I don't want to win that way," he said.

On the Giuliani issue, I point everyone to my column of several months back, "Giuliani Time" (here), in which I made the point that pro-life conservatives would probably ask themselves, "How much could this guy hurt me?" And the answer would be, "Not much," especially if he pledges to appoint consructionist justices, and especially if George W. gets to make another pick for the SCOTUS.

RE: Another Death Tax

By on 8.29.06 | 5:40PM

Shawn, looking through that article, I see that the author uses statistics like infant mortality and overall mortality to compare the health care systems of Canada and the U.S. Sigh. Such statistics tell us next to nothing about the quality of a health care system.

Mass Care Not Working Out—Part V

By on 8.29.06 | 5:29PM

Turns out that there is another problem with the Romney-Care, namely how it will treat Christian Scientists. The Christian Scientists' insurance policy...

...is offered directly through the church and covers faith healing. It pays 90 percent of the cost of treatment by faith healers, who pray for patients in an effort to heal them of physical and spiritual ailments. The plan also features 90 percent coverage for home care by Christian Science nurses, who provide practical help such as changing bandages, but do not administer medication or any other type of medical care. Annual out-of-pocket expenses for participants in the Christian Science plan are capped at $1,000 for individuals and $3,000 for families.

If the officials in Massachusetts define the regulations refer to "medical services," then the Christian Scientist policy won't count as health insurance in satisfying the mandate. So, the Christian Scientists only want the regulations to refer to "health care."

Andre the Giant

By on 8.29.06 | 4:10PM

Anybody who wasn't obsessed enough to stay up until 12:30 last night to watch US Open tennis missed an increasingly rare joy in today's sports world: a truly admirable athlete showing what real champions are made of.

Most people are by now aware that this is Andre Agassi's last tournament. Most people are aware of how he has evolved from punk to sportsman and even statesman, how he is now the model of decorum on the court and the model of a charitable, public-spirited citizen off the court, complete with a mostly self-financed, incredibly successful charter school that he founded and oversees.

And many, if not most, are aware of how he has struggled with back problems and sciatic nerve problems all year; how he has not been healthy enough to play enough tennis to get his game sharp.

South Park Democrats

By on 8.29.06 | 3:25PM

In a column in today's NY Times (subscription required), John Tierney, reporting on Reason's libertarian shindig in Amsterdam/>/>, warns that a libertarian defection could harm Republicans this November:

The G.O.P. used to have a sizable libertarian bloc, but I couldn’t see any sign of it at the conference. (South/> Park/>/> creators) Stone and Parker said they were rooting for Hillary Clinton in 2008 simply because it would be weird to have her as president. The prevailing sentiment among the rest of the libertarians was that the best outcome this November would be a Democratic majority in the House, because then at least there’d be gridlock.

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