Matthew DesOrmeaux

Recent Posts From Matthew DesOrmeaux

Kanye for President? At this point, why not?

-

At Sunday’s Video Music Awards on MTV, rapper Kanye West accepted the Video Vanguard Award, the attention span-limited network’s version of a lifetime achievement award. Deserved or not, West took the opportunity, as he often does at award shows, to make more news for himself. This time he decided to announce his intention to run for president in 2020. Unclear if the Federal Election Commission will now begin monitoring his finances.

Most took the opportunity to laugh at the clown. Kanye is notoriously divisive when he engages politically. He’s also a gaffe-prone loose cannon unsuited to winning hearts and minds in our carefully choreographed campaign climate. And while a certain amount of narcissism is necessary to think you are capable of presiding over the world’s preeminent superpower, West’s level of self-worship may leave him overqualified.

Then again, I’m judging him on a normal election cycle. Given the Twilight Zone-like events of the 2016 cycle so far, Yeezy, as the kids call him, may well be the perfect presidential candidate for 2020.

Inverted Federalism: How Washington bribes and shackles your state with your own tax dollars

http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org/wp-content/uploads/FreeLunch-c-c.jpg

Conservatives and libertarians complain about the perversion of American federalism over the last 75-100 years. Everything has become a national issue, and federal tax dollars support even the smallest local projects, either directly through grants or indirectly by subsidizing some projects, which frees up local funds for others. Since the source is far removed from the recipient, often this funding is wasteful, not really needed, or dubiously requested. We don’t usually get to see this problem up close, but I did today.

This morning my wife and I brought my eldest child to school for the first time for testing and registration. There were a stack of forms to fill out about the handbook, riding the bus, behavior, school lunches, and residency. The last two were the focus of the registrant’s particular attention. We explained to her that while we are selling our house and planning to build a new one we are living with relatives temporarily. “Oh!”, she said. In that case, we should apply for a federal homeless student program “because it will bring in more federal money.”

Oh?

We’re not actually homeless, though. Not even close. We live in a very nice home while its owners are out of town on business most of the time and until we build our own. But when confronted with this situation, a public school official’s first instinct was to turn it into a hardship case to take advantage of federal largesse.

Some 2016 Candidate Responses to the Marriage Ruling are Absurd, Even for Conservatives

-

Not a single Republican candidate for president in 2016 agrees with the Supreme Court ruling overturning state laws barring same-sex couples from marriage rights. That much is unsurprising, with the reactions ranging from “That’s terrible, but it’s the law now” to “WHARGARRBL THE END IS NIGH” to the (sort of?) refreshing “Fine, but let’s depoliticize marriage.” But some have gone even further, calling for everything from judicial term limits to defunding the Court. These kind of reactions are absurd, anathema to conservatism, and should disqualify their proponents from serious consideration for their party’s nomination.

Texas is trending libertarian, y’all

Texas been Democratic, it’s been Republican, it’s been a territory and a republic, but it’s always been pretty conservative. We like our guns and our families and don’t take kindly to criminals. That’s still true, but a shift is taking place in the Greatest State in the Union™ that is redefining those terms in a way that makes the state lean libertarian instead of conservative.

In the latest poll conducted by the Texas Tribune, same-sex marriage is now supported by a slim plurality of Texas voters. 44% support it, 41% oppose, and 14% are unsure. Just nine months ago, the opposite was true, with only 42% supporting and 47% opposing expanding marriage rights.

marriage

The same June poll also found more than two-thirds of voters favor reducing penalties for marijuana possession from possible jail time to civil fines. Only 26% would oppose such a decriminalization. In a previous February 2014 poll, the Tribune also found that nearly a majority of Texans oppose full legalization of small amounts of marijuana. 49% think it should be either completely legal or in only small quantities, and another 28% think it should be legal for medicinal use. Only 23% of Texas voters think marijuana should be completely illegal.

pot

The War Over the Confederate Battle Flag Escalates

-

It’s a shame it took the violent deaths of nine people to do it, but it looks like 150 years after the end of the Civil War the days of the Confederate battle flag are finally coming to an end. South Carolina, where the racist massacre occurred is swiftly moving to take down the flag outside their state capitol. Lawmakers in Virginia and Missisippi are proposing similar action to remove the symbol from their official state business.

This is fantastic news. State governments have no business using the symbol of a treasonous and racially-motivated war, no matter how much they try to spin it as part of their “heritage”. The Confederacy should be a period of shame, not pride, to any moral and especially Christian southerners. Its relics belong in museums to remind us of the darkest moments of our past, not as part of our current identity on state flags, license plates, capitol buildings, and the honorific names of schools, military bases, and other government buildings.

No.

No.

No.

Red State: Obama’s better than Rand Paul on security

randdove

Not content to let Rand Paul have his minor, temporary Patriot Act sunset victory, conservative blogger and video auteur Ben Howe took to Red State just minutes before the expiration of the act’s surveillance powers to proclaim the Kentucky senator and presidential candidate worse than Obama on national security.

As far as I’m concerned, Rand Paul’s view of ISIS and our role in “creating” them is pretty much a deal breaker. It shows such an uninformed and naive view of radical Islam that it makes me expect President Paul to be as dangerous as a President Obama in this regard. In fact I’ve reached the point where I question whether Obama might actually keep us safer than Rand Paul would.

Howe joins a crescendoing chorus of Republicans who might have a hard decision to make come November 2016 if Rand Paul is indeed the party’s nominee. I predicted this intra-party schism almost two years ago, but I’m stunned by the accelerated timeline. I expected Republicans hawks to flip to Hillary if Rand was the nominee. I didn’t expect them to all but do so 8 months before any primary votes are cast.

Whether or not you think it’s outrageous for Rand to have said “hawks in our party” “created” ISIS, let’s review the evidence. (Because that’s what thinking people do. We don’t just hear something that sounds outrageous, gasp, and shun the speaker.)

Poll Shows Rand Paul and Marco Rubio Best Positioned Against Hillary

ran marco

Yes, it’s 18 months until the 2016 election, so head-to-head matchup polls don’t really matter right now. But over the next 8 months, Republicans have to decide who will face Hillary Clinton. They’re primarily deciding that question on ideological grounds, but electability should be a big factor too, and today we have a new national poll that suggests Rand Paul and Marco Rubio have the best shot.

Thursday’s release from Quinnippiac University shows that not only does Paul get the most support of any Republican in a general election contest with Clinton, but he also holds her own support down to 46%. However, Marco Rubio holds her even lower, 45%, but his own support is also lower than Paul’s in that matchup, 41%. Both are within the 3.8% margin of error for the Republican-only questions.

Rand

Rubio

A second question reinforces why both Paul and Rubio’s already strong support within striking distance of Hillary is only likely to grow. Hillary has a -2 favorability rating, with only 8% having no opinion or response. That means that 45% of voters like her, 47% don’t, and there’s almost no one else left to make up their mind. She’s been a national figure for more than 30 years. Everyone knows who she is and already has an opinion of her. Her support is capped.

The Straw that Broke the Federalist Camel’s Back

Recently when discussing with a friend Tammy Duckworth’s new proposal for breastfeeding rooms to be installed in all airports, I suggested that while it might be a worthy goal, it has no business being a nationally mandated policy. Fortunately, my friend did not retort aghast that I was against privacy, breastfeeding, or women, as is so often the case in debates with our leftward neighbors:

Bastiat

Instead, my progressive friend responded that the federal government already controls airports, and this one additional mandate would hardly be “the straw that breaks the camel’s back.” Though the federal control of airports itself is dubious, it occured to me that, while not much of a logical argument in favor of this particular example, this is actually the perfect metaphor for federal regulation as a whole.

No, one additional piece of straw on the back of a camel will not break it. But how would one place straw on a camel’s back anyway? With the hump(s), it would likely roll right off to the ground and not weigh down the camel at all, at least after a certain amount of straw. Similarly, any one single regulation is not likely to make any regulated private business, organization, or individual unsustainable.

Hillary Clinton’s Obtuse Pot Policy Exposes the Dubious Right-Left Dichotomy of Every Issue

-

The Daily Beast has a bit this week about Hillary Clinton’s upcoming donor clash over marijuana policy. Her position as recently as last year is that marijuana is a gateway drug and would be legalized, even medicinally, at great risk to society.

“I think the feds should be attuned to the way marijuana is still used as a gateway drug and how the drug cartels from Latin America use marijuana to get footholds in states,” she told KPCC radio last July.

This is at odds with big donors she’s meeting in California soon, as well as the general public, which supports legalizing it completely. That, of course, means that Hillary’s position on the issue will almost certainly “evolve” before 2016 gets too much closer. But if she doesn’t, she could end up to the “right” of her Republican challenger here.

That raises the question of whether marijuana prohibition is even a cause of the right or the left to begin with. Currently it’s assumed to be a liberal issue, and polls support that by showing huge majorities of Democrats favoring legalization but much smaller numbers of Republicans.

Matthew DesOrmeaux

authoridad's picture
Contributor

married, father of two, atheist, libertarian, introvert.

@authoridad


The views and opinions expressed by individual authors are not necessarily those of other authors, advertisers, developers or editors at United Liberty.