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Things In Politico That Will Make Charles Pierce Want To Gargle Antifreeze

[ 95 ] April 8, 2013 |

The increasing prominence of Rand Paul, the neoconfederate ophthalmologist, proves that libertarianism is going mainstream! All that was necessary was to define “libertarian” as “utterly orthodox conservative Republican.”

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  1. sharculese says:

    Politico makes the mistake of believing that Rand Paul’s goal is to win office and not to be the physical embodiment of the Republican direct mail scam.

  2. Shakezula says:

    Shorter various so-called news outlets: The fact that we keep devoting ink/electrons to this guy central to our point that he is hot stuff. Wow, we’re a bunch of king makers! [Fappity...]

    Fortunately it is also paired with:

    Shorter guy who is covered by various so-called news outlets: Hey, I must be hot stuff since various so-called news outlets keep covering me. I think I will run for president. [Fappity...]

    Shorter that harsh lady who is named History: Dear guy who thought he was hot stuff, here is my dustbin. In you hop. [Oh shit Mom walked in.]

    Just a heads up: Zombie Ayn Rand’s Boyfriend will speak about the GOP’s minority outreach at Howard University this week. I repeat: Rand “There are things that people were concerned about that were unintended consequences [of the Civil Rights Act], for example, people who believe very fervently in people having equal protection under the law, and are against segregation and all that, still worried about the loss of property rights…for example, I can’t have a cigar bar any more, and you say, “well, that has nothing to do with race” — the idea of whether or not you control your property, it also tells you, come in here I want to know the calorie count on that, and the calorie Nazis come in here and tell me. [...] The point is that its not all about that. It’s not all about race relations, it’s about controlling property, ultimately” Paul will speak at Howard University this week.

    Keep calm and buy popcorn.

    • JKTHs says:

      Ooh when? That’d make for some goooooooooood entertainment

      • Shakezula says:

        Weds (10th) 11 a.m.

        Sen. Paul’s speech will focus on the importance of outreach to younger voters, as well as minority groups. He will also discuss the history of the African-American community’s roots in the Republican Party and current issues, such as school choice and civil liberties

        I may take a half day just to say I was there.

        • efgoldman says:

          Except, you know, if the audience boos or is disruptive in any way, especially if he doesn’t actually get to speak, you can see the Faux and faux poutrage from a hundred miles away….

          • Shakezula says:

            Except since he is going to a traditionally African-American university in the heart of EvilCommieDistrictofColumbiastan the incidents that will prompt the poutrage have already been carefully outlined. It doesn’t matter if they occur or not.

            I wouldn’t be surprised if some unhappy critter is already working up the nerve to scratch a backwards B on her cheek.

        • Emily says:

          This from a guy who thought the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a bad idea.

        • cpinva says:

          “I may take a half day just to say I was there.”

          please tell me you’re going to bring a video cam with you!

        • “School Choice” – wow. Yeah. Start with Virginia’s discussion to start up an all-white charter school system after Brown.

    • Random says:

      That was awesome Shake.

    • Origami Isopod says:

      You need your own blog. For srs.

    • Anonymous says:

      Even in the unconscionable nanny state of Kalifornia, he could open a cigar bar. The hell?

      • Shakezula says:

        Aaah, but could you open a cigar bar and hang a Whites Only sign above the door?

        No, says That Which Dwells Beneath the Hair Piece, and that’s bad because the cigar bar is your property and you should be able to do whatever you want in there.

        • cpinva says:

          “No, says That Which Dwells Beneath the Hair Piece, and that’s bad because the cigar bar is your property and you should be able to do whatever you want in there.”

          if you make that a members only, private club cigar bar, i believe you can hang that “whites only” sign above the door. this is how burning tree country club, in MD, gets away with being exclusively male. they had to give up their tax exempt status (why they had tax exempt status to begin with is something of a mystery to me), and become a private, members only entity, not subject to federal or state anti-discrimination laws. it was a famous case, that ended up in the supreme court, so there is precedence.

          • Shakezula says:

            Dear me, I’d forgotten about Burning Bush and it is a few miles from where I sit. Thanks.

            So TWDBHP must have been (or still is) unaware of the case. Which wouldn’t be a surprise. Or he was whining to make a point. Also not a surprise.

    • Dana Houle says:

      I wrote a piece on my blog a few years ago arguing that the press has roles that need to be filled, such as “Republican’s serious policy wonk.” Of course it’s been years since they actually did have a serious policy wonk, but the role must be cast, but the press needs someone for that role for “balance,” so they elevated Paul Ryan to status of “serious Republican” and “policy wonk.”

      The Democrats have a slew of plausibly competitive presidential candidates that the press wants to write about, but if they’re going to do that, they need to “balance it out,” so they have to pretend–or they convince themselves–that people like Marco Rubio, Chris Christie and Rand Paul are serious people who would be good candidates for president.

      That’s what this Politico piece is, a “Rand Paul is a serious candidate just like Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden and Martin O’Malley and five other Dems who might run for President and be good candidates.”

      • firefall says:

        The Democrats have a slew of plausibly competitive presidential candidates

        Really? Did I miss something?

        • firefall says:

          (damn the lack of edit) I should add, emphasis on plausibly competitive, not on good candidates, which are not equal.

          Joe Biden is plausibly competitive? really? or Martin O’Malley, who might have great policies but also the approximate charisma of a rutabaga? I dont know who’ll get produced for 2016, but Hillary aside, there seems to be a positive dearth on plausibly competitive candidates.

    • Uncle Kvetch says:

      for example, I can’t have a cigar bar any more, and you say, “well, that has nothing to do with race” — the idea of whether or not you control your property, it also tells you, come in here I want to know the calorie count on that, and the calorie Nazis come in here and tell me.

      Damn…that’s some tasty word salad. Sarah Palin should sue for royalties.

  3. Walt says:

    All I can say is if you read Politico, then you deserve what happens to you, self-inflicted or not.

  4. osceola says:

    Libertarians are just Republicans who smoke dope and don’t go to church.

  5. Rob says:

    The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel gave a front page above the fold spot to a story about Senator Ron Johnson is doing web videos about the evil of government. Liberal media indeed.

  6. J.W. Hamner says:

    Fill in the blank:

    “We’re all Austrians now,” Paul pronounced with a sense of looming triumph, a reference to the school of economics that most values __________.

  7. Manju says:

    DW-Nominate Scores, 112th Senate: from Most Conservative to Most Liberal:

    1.000 [R] PAUL
    0.999 [R] LEE
    0.900 [R] DEMINT
    0.816 [R] COBURN
    0.721 [R] JOHNSON
    0.709 [R] ENSIGN
    0.692 [R] INHOFE
    0.654 [R] TOOMEY
    0.623 [R] VITTER
    0.620 [R] RISCH
    0.619 [R] RUBIO
    0.595 [R] CRAPO
    0.583 [R] BARASSO
    0.582 [R] ENZI
    0.575 [R] CORNYN
    0.559 [R] SESSIONS
    0.553 [R] BURR
    0.548 [R] KYL
    0.529 [R] CHAMBLISS
    0.526 [R] MCCONNELL
    0.483 [R] THUNE
    0.480 [R] AYOTTE
    0.479 [R] ISAKSON
    0.476 [R] SHELBY
    0.454 [R] GRAHAM
    0.453 [R] GRASSLEY
    0.448 [R] BOOZMAN
    0.444 [R] COATS
    0.440 [R] MORAN
    0.440 [R] ROBERTS
    0.437 [R] WICKER
    0.416 [R] MCCAIN
    0.408 [R] JOHANNS
    0.404 [R] PORTMAN
    0.397 [R] CORKER
    0.394 [R] HUTCHISON
    0.393 [R] BLUNT
    0.370 [R] HELLER
    0.368 [R] HATCH
    0.331 [R] COCHRAN
    0.319 [R] HOEVEN
    0.294 [R] ALEXANDER
    0.282 [R] KIRK
    0.237 [R] LUGAR
    0.187 [R] MURKOWSKI
    0.096 [R] BROWN
    0.048 [R] SNOWE
    0.035 [R] COLLINS
    -0.014 [D] NELSON BEN
    -0.128 [D] MANCHIN
    -0.186 [D] BAUCUS
    -0.205 [D] PRYOR
    -0.208 [D] WEBB
    -0.214 [D] MCCASKILL
    -0.237 [D] LANDRIEU
    -0.244 [D] HAGAN
    -0.248 [D] BENNET
    -0.249 [D] NELSON
    -0.254 [D] WARNER
    -0.270 [D] KLOBUCHAR
    -0.276 [D] TESTER
    -0.277 [D] CONRAD
    -0.278 [D] BEGICH
    -0.279 [D] CARPER
    -0.284 [D] UDALL
    -0.285 [D] LIEBERMAN
    -0.314 [D] KOHL
    -0.315 [D] JOHNSON
    -0.341 [D] SHAHEEN
    -0.345 [D] CASEY
    -0.352 [D] CANTWELL
    -0.353 [D] BINGAMAN
    -0.362 [D] STABENOW
    -0.363 [D] FEINSTEIN
    -0.364 [D] INOUYE
    -0.382 [D] ROCKEFELLER
    -0.390 [D] WYDEN
    -0.391 [D] MURRAY
    -0.397 [D] COONS
    -0.406 [D] MIKULSKI
    -0.415 [D] REID
    -0.417 [D] KERRY JOHN
    -0.418 [D] BLUMENTHAL
    -0.427 [D] SCHUMER
    -0.429 [D] UDALL
    -0.440 [D] MENENDEZ
    -0.441 [D] MERKLEY
    -0.452 [D] LEAHY
    -0.454 [D] CARDIN
    -0.458 [D] AKAKA
    -0.458 [D] LEVIN CARL
    -0.474 [D] FRANKEN
    -0.478 [D] GILLIBRAND
    -0.478 [D] REED
    -0.485 [D] BOXER
    -0.500 [D] LAUTENBERG
    -0.501 [D] BROWN
    -0.516 [D] WHITEHOUSE
    -0.517 [D] HARKIN
    -0.522 [D] DURBIN
    -0.643 [I] SANDERS

    • Murc says:

      Christ, that chart always depresses the fuck out of me.

    • Haystack says:

      0.0 seems well north of where it should be.

      • UserGoogol says:

        Those numbers are calculated based on how people split in roll call votes. It is not in any meaningful sense supposed to represent “objective” centrism.

    • Manju says:

      I was just checking Paul’s score out of curiosity. I didn’t really expect him to be the girl with the most cake. (translation: i did’t expect DW-Nom to completely substantiate Soctt’s thesis in no uncertain terms).

      And they don’t cook the books. The algorithm used is the same one used to explode liberal myths. They weren’t out to get Paul. The chips fell where they did.

      Still, it bears some explanation. You’d expect Paul to have some libertarian streak that would drive him down south. So, what happened? Some possibilities:

      1. He doesn’t have a liberal streak (pro-abortion, gay rights, etc)
      2. If he does, there were no votes at all on those subjects
      3. If he does, there were not enough liberals (or too many conservatives) who did too…driving the issue out of the ideological dimension (above) and onto the 2nd dimension (not printed)…which is no longer relevant, but used to cover civil rights, bimetallism, etc, but now is only a handful of odd issues.
      4. The vast majority of roll calls are economic in nature, and he is a far right winger in that category. Issues are not weighted equally, but by votes. So he can’t make up for his rwingyness…tho I’m sure he would’ve at least avoided a perfect 1 if he was liberal on some issue.
      5. On the drone thing, either DW-Nominate snuffed him out as actually statist (like it exposes anti-civil rights villains who vote for the final bill but oppose in committee) or we are back to 3.

    • Cheap Wino says:

      It’s telling that all the [R] women are bunched up far away from the white male kooks up near the gilded age fetishists region of the chart.

    • JKTHs says:

      Wow, I’m concerned if Schumer is actually in the more liberal half of Senate Democrats

      • Manju says:

        In comparison to his peers in the 112, yes. But nominate is designed to compare them over time.

        In this Congress only 5 Dems (6 with bernie) fall into the most liberal half of the liberals.

        -0.500 [D] LAUTENBERG
        -0.501 [D] BROWN
        -0.516 [D] WHITEHOUSE
        -0.517 [D] HARKIN
        -0.522 [D] DURBIN

        So historically, Schumer actually falls into the conservative 1/2 of the most liberal senators, who are now all Dems.

        In contrast, 20 republican senators occupy their respective extreme 1/2. Dems have also moved left because they no longer have 22 segregationists congregating around the middle, with some inching over to the right. But republicans have lurched all the way out there.

        Ergo, extreme political polarization. One has to remember this when judging Obama against other Dem Presidents.

  8. Matt T. in New Orleans says:

    All that was necessary was to define “libertarian” as “utterly orthodox conservative Republican.”

    Wasn’t that the basic definition anyway, once the final score’s tallied? In any event, I’ve found it pretty much works when forced to deal with ‘em.

  9. rea says:

    I’ll tell you what’s scarey–ridiculous as he is, try thinking of a more plausible Republican candidate in 2016.

    • Malaclypse says:

      The ZEGS.

    • SatanicPanic says:

      Hillary Clinton.

      I kid I kid

    • He’s got as much chance of being nominated as Bachmann did.

      • Dana Houle says:

        But who DOES have a better chance?

        Only two plausible candidates in the 2008 GOP field, one was the nominee in 2008, the other in 2012. Who’s a plausible candidate now (plausible both as having a chance to win the nomination and also not being to the presidential race what Christine O’Donnell was to the DE Senate race)? Nobody i can think of.

        • My guess is Paul Ryan or Chris Christie. Totally depends on how large the contingent that will remain pissed over the latter’s handling of Sandy throughout the entire campaign is.

          • Dana Houle says:

            Ryan is a mediocrity, and he’s in the process of losing the love of the DC bloviators. And Christie could only get through a nominating process if everyone else is equally dividing up the vote and he manages to repeatedly win with 30%.

            Another way to say it: Ryan has dead eyes, and once there’s unending attention on him Christie will be seen as a bore.

            • I’m not sure why being seen as a bore is going to be a negative in a Republican primary. And I don’t think Ryan’s a perfect candidate, but he’s arguably the most polished campaigner/smoothest liar, which gives him an immediate leg up in a Republican contest.

              Rand, on the other hand, is never going to be able to get past the Civil Rights Act thing. Even if the overwhelming majority of wingnuts do agree with him about it, that’s the sort of thing they all know they can’t say out loud in polite company if they want to have an actual chance of winning. It’s the political equivalent of having a lady for the dinner party and a whore for the bedroom, or whatever that expression is.

              • Anonymous says:

                Rand, on the other hand, is never going to be able to get past the Civil Rights Act thing. Even if the overwhelming majority of wingnuts do agree with him about it, that’s the sort of thing they all know they can’t say out loud in polite company if they want to have an actual chance of winning. It’s the political equivalent of having a lady for the dinner party and a whore for the bedroom, or whatever that expression is.

                Maybe in the 2000 GOP. In the modern 2016 “Apologize for what? Giving them food and shelter?” Republican Party anything can happen!

              • Dana Houle says:

                From about mid-September through the election the Romney campaign wouldn’t let Ryan be interviewed by local reporters because he was so bad at dealing with anyone who asked him real questions. He’s just not very smart, and he comes off smarmy. I would love to know if Mittens’ people did any focus groups on Ryan before putting him on the ticket. I suspect they didn’t.

                As for Christie, I left out “loud-mouthed” before “bore.” You’re right, that alone isn’t a negative in a GOP primary, and is maybe even a positive. But he said good things about Obama, which makes his effort the dead campaign walking. But let’s say he got through the primary, he’d be a horrible, horrible general election candidate.

                And there’s a lot of research on who does and doesn’t get jobs, on favorability and plenty of other related matters that suggest that with the sound off Christie will have problems on TV.

                Had Romney not outraised almost the entire rest of the field and had the big money behind him he may not have survived the first 4 weeks of voting. The GOP primary electorate is nuts. It’s just really hard to see the Republicans nominating anyone who’s got a serious shot of winning a general election.

                • Again, I don’t know where the evidence that Republicans care about someone being “smarmy” in promoting a full litany of wingnut causes is. I’m most interested in seeing how the other candidates, especially the fringe ones, would go about attacking Ryan…since he’s become the un-official arbiter of conservative policy preferences and all.

                  As for this:

                  “Had Romney not outraised almost the entire rest of the field and had the big money behind him he may not have survived the first 4 weeks of voting. The GOP primary electorate is nuts.”

                  1. I’m not sure why you frame that as though raising money is done by accident.

                  2. The GOP primary process has nominated the “most moderate” of the major candidates in both of the last two cycles, and none of the other candidates could touch Romney outside of caucuses. There’s actually not a ton to suggest that the overall electorate in the Republican Presidential primary is made up predominantly of wingnuts, but that the flying monkey brigade is but a faction even there.

                • Dana Houle says:

                  I’m not sure why you frame that as though raising money is done by accident.

                  Where did I say or imply that?

                  My point is that Romney’s strengths were limited, and one was so disproportionate to his opponents that it was probably determinative in the primary. He was good at raising money, and nobody he ran against was even competent. Romney just matched his 2008 totals, but up to Iowa, the 2012 Repub field, including Romney, raised barely half what the Dems raised in 2008 and only 75% of what the Repubs raised in 2008. And even when you factor in SuperPAC’s, the Republican nominating campaign spending was pathetic.

                  So, I didn’t suggest Romney’s fundraising was an accident. But I do think he was the only one who did a competent job, and it required his massive financial advantage to get through a field of candidates who were all ridiculous and would have been incapable of winning more than maybe 10 states in a general election, if even that many. That a guy with a huge financial advantage snuck through with narrow plurality wins against such awful candidates tells me that the same state-level dynamic that’s occurred in Senate races left and right is present in the presidential nominating races, but some circumstances that existed in 2008 and 2012 that prevented the full melt-down of a national-level Akin or O’Donnell may not be in place to prevent that in 2016.

                • Dana Houle says:

                  And you’re not following along very closely. I’m talking about plausible for a primary and plausible for a general. Ryan is not plausible for a general, in part because of how poorly he comes off. Biden destroyed him in the debate, he ended up hidden from the local press, and his influence on the race over the last 2 months was negligible. I mean, shit, Obama even won Ryan’s home county, Romney-Ryan ran only 3 points better in Ryan’s CD than McCain had, their improvement over McCain numbers was only 1 point better than both Romney’s national popular vote improvement and his Wisconsin improvement, and his margin of victory for his Congressional seat was the narrowest of his career (even though the seat became about 1 point more Republican).

                • firefall says:

                  re Christie

                  But let’s say he got through the primary, he’d be a horrible, horrible general election candidate.

                  I’d have to profoundly disagree – a loudmouthed bully is a figure well calculated to appeal to the uninformed middle, who love ‘strength’ and ‘decisiveness’.

                • Dana Houle says:

                  That would be a great theory of pretty much every poll conducted for the last 20 years (at least) didn’t contradict it.

                  Conservatives don’t want conservatives to compromise
                  Liberals want liberals to compromise.
                  Swing voters want both sides to compromise.

                  It’s part of the underlying dynamic that’s leading the GOP to nominate far more flawed general election candidates for state and Congressional elections than the Dems have been doing.

        • Rhino says:

          The one with the money.

          It’s always the one with the money.

      • Remember when GWB was also considered to have no chance? Good times, good times…

        • NonyNony says:

          GWB was the lead candidate for winning the primary from around the time his name started showing up on polls.

          Yes most folks might have thought that they were talking about his father rather than him – no matter. He consistently led in the polls to win the GOP nomination from the time his hat was in the ring forward.

          Anybody who said he had no shot was an idiot or wasn’t looking at the polls and was listening to their “gut”.

          (Unless you mean the general election rather than the primary. And even there, GWB clearly had a decent shot of winning and Gore did everything he could to give Bush the opportunity to win it. Even then he didn’t actually win the vote so much as he got it close enough for the Court to hand it to him.)

    • NonyNony says:

      In a primary campaign where Rand Paul even has a minimal chance of winning, Jeb Bush has a greater than minimal chance of winning.

      I mean, I don’t see Jeb Bush being the nominee either. But he’s a far more believable GOP primary victor than Rand Paul is.

      (And hey – more than a few righties in my acquaintance are starting to believe that chain mail that says that the only way Republicans win elections is if there’s a Nixon or a Bush on the ticket. I’m not going to get into a discussion of correlation and causation with them because it’s frankly a bit hilarious…)

      • STH says:

        I was thinking of Jeb, too. He took that hard right turn on immigration recently, and I can’t think of another reason to do that.

  10. Carbon Man says:

    Libertariaism is the heart and soul of conservatism–Ronald Wilson Reagan

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