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A Further Perspective

Rand Paul Helps the Republican Party

By 4.9.15

Rand Paul’s entry into the 2016 Republican presidential primary is good for the GOP. I won’t proclaim that Paul, 52, has the gravitas or character to occupy the Oval Office — that remains to be seen — but I do believe that all the other Republican hopefuls should watch and learn from Kentucky’s junior senator. His take on issues could make independents and Democrats take a second look at a party where they have not felt welcome.

Paul describes himself as “libertarian-ish.” He’s not an apologist for the GOP. “It seems to me that both parties and the entire political system are to blame,” Paul said in his campaign kickoff speech in Louisville on Tuesday. “Big government and debt doubled under a Republican administration. And it’s now tripling under Barack Obama’s watch.” Many Republicans wonder why they send to Congress candidates who promise to reduce the size and scope of government yet government keeps growing. This rhetoric plays with the party’s base.

Political Hay

Bill Buckley Was Right: America in the Grip of the Liberal Mania

By 4.9.15

The list grows longer.

The three most recent entries the Rolling Stone rape-at-the-University of Virginia story. Ferguson and the “hands up don’t shoot” business. Indiana and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. 

From cries of “racist!” to shrieks of “rapist” (to borrow from Kevin Williamson over there at National Review) over and over and over again liberals — liberals in the media and out of it — are repeatedly plunging the country into manic frenzies over stories that eventually turn out to be flat out false or in serious dispute at best.

Why is this? 

Political Hay

Will the Wings Carry Both Parties in 2016?

By 4.9.15

In 2016, America may have its widest political spectrum in recent presidential history. The usual course of presidential elections is to “contest the center,” as each party seeks to maximize its chances for victory. However, America currently sees both parties pulled toward the edge of their political range — and so strongly that neither may be able to run toward the middle next November.

Unlike many other countries, the U.S. has only one national election, its presidential one. Also unlike many other nations, our national election is really 51 separate elections, which determine the allocation of 538 electoral votes — a majority of which is needed to win.

Because these electoral votes are overwhelmingly awarded on a winner-take-all basis, each party’s incentive is to run as much toward the center of the political spectrum as it can, in order to maximize its chances of overall victory. The party that fails to do so — or equally importantly, is perceived not to do so — is almost invariably the loser.

However, next year, the historical trend may not hold.

Political Hay

Behold, The Racket

By 4.9.15

It was reportedly Eric Hoffer who offered the famous, entertaining political assessment that “Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.”

Hoffer’s observation has been borne out on a consistent basis, and examples proving it are legion. The most recent comes courtesy of a Tea Party leader from the Atlanta suburbs named Debbie Dooley, who is now traveling the South shilling for solar energy as part of the Sierra Club-funded Green Tea Coalition.

A Further Perspective

Eating Some Jim Crow

By 4.9.15

Americans, specifically white Americans, have too little understanding of the Jim Crow South and the fierce moral courage black Americans showed in overcoming it. It is too much relegated to “Black History” rather than “American History.”

But of late Democrats, both politicians and pundits, have been doing an even greater disservice to our history. They have been cheapening the reality of Jim Crow in order to silence opposition to Religious Freedom Restoration Acts. Telling an audience that your opponents seek to institute a new Jim Crow is like telling them that your opponents seek to create a new Nazi Reich or accusing them of being rapists. It smears them so utterly and completely that no respectable person who bought it would want to be associated with them in any way.

Special Report

Obama’s Non-Deal Deal With Iran

By 4.8.15

Have you heard? We have a deal with Iran, and it’s the best thing ever.

President Obama last week hailed “a good deal, a deal that meets our core objectives,” and his cheerleaders were even more effusive: “The Iran nuclear deal is a historic achievement for U.S. national security,” declared Joe Cirincione of the Ploughshares Fund, the “impact philanthropy” outfit that bankrolls sanguine arms control analysis. It’s an “astonishingly good Iran deal” according to Max Fisher of Vox, the website where error-prone young liberals who overestimate their own intelligence (but never their readers’) purport to “explain the news.”

Among the Intellectualoids

Hype and Change

By 4.8.15

Vying for control of the great uninformed masses are the rabid climate change “deniers” and the level-headed scientists. The latter have the inside line on what’s really going on, in the sky above and the earth below, while the former are moved by irrational disgust aimed at limousine liberals.

In this polarized and disheartening scenario, who best offers a sensible way forward? As it turns out, it’s other scientists: social scientists.

Or so says one academic. University of Michigan “Professor of Sustainable Enterprise” Andy Hoffman believes those with insight into demographics, religion, and the human psyche ought to be recruited to bring middle-Americans into the climate debate. Science alone won’t cut it. Cut carbon emissions, that is:

We must recognize that people have multiple motivations for being concerned over climate change, and most are not scientific. For example, Pope Francis speaks about climate change as an issue of faith and social equity.

Political Hay

Rand Paul Jumps In

By 4.8.15

Although it is not named for the hero of Ayn Rand’s influential novel Atlas Shrugged, Louisville’s Galt House Hotel was an appropriate place for Kentucky Senator Rand Paul to make official his candidacy to be the next president of the United States.

On Tuesday, in front of a crowd cheering “President Paul! President Paul!” the ophthalmologist turned politician made a strong case for a libertarian brand of Republicanism in a dynamic, well-delivered speech.

Political Hay

O’Malley’s Steep Climb

By 4.8.15

The people who know Martin O’Malley best, the people of Maryland whom he led as governor for two terms, don’t see him as presidential material. Polls consistently show that Marylanders view his likely presidential run unfavorably. But O’Malley’s ego is large enough to be untroubled by his own state’s lack of confidence in him.

Marylanders also expressed their dismay at O’Malley’s national ambitions by rejecting his hand-picked successor as governor in favor of Republican Larry Hogan. “I can tell you my feelings were hurt,” said O’Malley after the defeat. “We had done a lot of really good things in Maryland and in the end, you did not hear much about it during the campaign.”

O’Malley, whose ambition has always outstripped his political talents, is implausibly convinced that Democrats who don’t know him at all will come to see him as more impressive than Democrats in his own state. Despite receiving supportive press from reporters eager to see a challenge to Hillary Clinton, O’Malley is still unknown to most national Democrats and largely unappealing to those who do know him.