The Congressional career of Dennis Kucinich came to an abrupt end on Tuesday night as he became one of the first victims of redistricting in 2012. With his district eliminated, he was forced to run against 15-term incumbent Representative Marcy Kaptur. Kucinich never had much of a chance, losing handily.
Kucinich has long been one of the most interesting members of the House, if only because he was someone who actually seemed to have principles. He was known for taking positions that often raised the ire of not only Republicans, but his fellow Democrats. And from a libertarian perspective, he was someone that could be both an fierce adversary, and a surprising ally.
Among the many issues that he and libertarians could find common ground on were the Iraq War, the War on Drugs, abolishing the death penalty, legalizing same-sex marriage, and repeal of the PATRIOT Act. But there were plenty of issues where he could not be further apart - single-payer healthcare, strengthening gun control, many environmental issues, and opposing reform of Social Security. On all these topics, though, he had defined positions and largely stuck to them.
So, I’ll miss Dennis Kucinich. I will especially miss his support for ending the War on Drugs and his work on civil liberties. It’s not often to find someone in Congress who seems to care more about principles that going along with his party. Even when I strongly disagreed with him, I respected him. Best of luck in future endeavors, Dennis.
No, but this tweet from the liberal congressman from northern Virginia will leave quite a few people puzzled about its meaning:
Given that Ron Paul favors major cuts in spending, reducing the debt, reducing government’s role in education, and a frugal foreign policy, it must follow that Representative Connolly is claiming that the Republican Party does not favor these things. He’s certainly right, but it seems to be an interesting admission from someone who accuses Republicans just this sort of “extreme” ideology.
The newsletters that have been a thorn in Ron Paul’s side over the last month came up again in Saturday’s evening debate. These newsletters have been used by many conservatives who rabidly dislike Paul, some for no reason other than his anti-war views, to label him as a racist and a bigot.
Without a doubt, the newsletter controversy isn’t going away in part because Paul and his campaign have come up with a reasonable explanation. However, Ben Swann, a Cincinnati-based reporter, has taken a closer look at the newsletters:
[W]hen it comes to the controversy over these newsletters, I am left with one nagging question about the report that first broke this story in 1997.
I found, when researching this story that back in 1997 the original author of The New Republic article, James Kirchick, explained that most of the newsletters had no byline.
Specifically, none of those racist newsletters had a byline, says Kirchick, except for one.
One newsletter that contained the byline of someone else, not Congressman Paul.
But Kirchick fails to disclose two very important things: who’s name was in that byline, and which article they wrote.
He only states that the mystery writer wrote “One special edition” of the Ron Paul Report.
The only special edition I can find is the 1992 article, “A Special Report on Racial Terrorism.”
Why is that important? Because this edition of the newsletter that is most often quoted to prove racism.
So does that mean the most racist evidence in these newsletters actually has someone else’s name on it?
I don’t know, but I’d like to find out.
“[T]here’s something weird going on when Paul, the small-government constitutionalist, is considered the extremist in the Republican Party…” - Jonah Goldberg
Establishment Republicans have worked hard during this election to play down the impact Ron Paul is having on the race. Why? They’re scared of him. Paul, with his anti-war and passion for the Constitution, represents a change in the traditional way of thinking in the Republican Party.
Ed Crane, president of the Cato Institute, explained this recently in an op-ed at the Wall Street Journal, noting that Paul “has traction because so many Americans respond to his messages.” Crane says:
Support for dynamic market capitalism (as opposed to crony capitalism), social tolerance, and a healthy skepticism of foreign military adventurism is a combination of views held by a plurality of Americans. It is why the 21st century is likely to be a libertarian century. It is why the focus should be on Ron Paul’s philosophy and his policy proposals in 2012.
Most of us can recall Paul predicting the financial crisis and many of the problems the country currently faces from an economic perspective. And while many Republicans are quick to dismiss Paul as being loony on his claims of increasingly diminished liberty, all you need to do is, you know, pay attention to the last few weeks as Congress passed and President Obama signed the NDAA; legislation that allows for the detention of American citizens.
Admittedly, I don’t listen to much talk radio anymore. Even the talk show hosts that I generally agree with drive me up a wall. But I happened to catch part of Neal Boortz’s interview with Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), who has seen his support rise in his second bid as a Republican, during my lunch hour yesterday. This is significant because Boortz, a self-proclaimed libertarian who supports a very hawkish foreign policy, has been critical of Paul whenever possible.
Maybe I’ve been too hard on Boortz because, to my surprise, he hosted a very well-rounded, fair interview with Paul, discussing everything from foreign policy to the Fed to the media and Barack Obama to the European financial crisis. Perhaps even one of the best that I’ve heard with any candidate. Check it out below:
Gary Johnson, a former two-term Governor of New Mexico, has a lot to bring to the table in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. Up until this point, however, he’s only been allowed to participate in one debate despite polling on the same level as Jon Huntsman, who has been included in every debate since entering the race.
But Fox News has confirmed that Johnson will take the stage along side eight other candidates on Thursday evening in Orlando:
The Republican presidential field may be headed toward a two-man race between Rick Perry and Mitt Romney, but don’t tell that to Gary Johnson, the former governor of New Mexico.
Mr. Johnson is also a candidate for the White House, but he’s dropped off the national radar since being excluded from several televised debates.
But his standing in several national polls has finally cracked 1 percent, the standard by which Fox News Channel has decided to include presidential hopefuls in Thursday night’s contest in Orlando, Fla.
And so Mr. Johnson, a libertarian who favors the legalization of marijuana and is against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, will stand on the stage with the other eight Republican candidates. A spokeswoman for Fox News confirmed the decision Tuesday evening.
About damned time. Let’s hope CNN and MSNBC follow suit.
In my house, Barry Manilow is a punchline. What can I say, I’m not a fan of his stuff. I often quip about how unjust life is that we lost Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, and Jimi Hendrix, but Barry Manilow is still making music. However, comments he made to the Daily Caller have just boosted the man out of the punchline category…at least if it comes to politics.
Grammy award-winning musician Barry Manilow told The Daily Caller that he agrees with “just about everything” 2012 Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul says, calling him a “solid” contender for the highest office in the land.
“I like him. I like what he says, I do. I like what he says. I think he’s solid,” said Manilow, who confirmed to TheDC in an interview at the Capitol on Thursday that he contributed to Paul’s last campaign for president.
“I agree with just about everything he says. What can I tell you?” Manilow added.
I’ve commented previously about how someone like Ron Paul actually reaches across the typical right/left boundaries. Granted, we don’t really know what Manilow’s political preferences are at the moment, but since he was in Washington to talk about increasing spending on medical research, I think it’s safe to say that Manilow isn’t a libertarian.
In a recent video from Reason, Brian Doherty, author of Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement, discusses the history of anti-war right; which is embodied today by personalities like Ron Paul and Gary Johnson.
Doherty notes that conservatives shifted their views on foreign policy because of the threat of communism. It became reasonable in their view to invade countries that posed no real threat to us as long as the goal was to stop the growth of communism - a view that isn’t consistant with conservatives’ often claimed views of limited government:
Orwell’s classic tale of surveillance and tyranny is a favorite reference for any liberty lover. The fact that Orwell was a socialist is often missed, primarily because he was a socialist who recognized that socialism wasn’t to far removed from tyranny and needed constant attention to not cross that line. Unfortunately, he’s also recognized as something of a prophet for how things have moved over the last couple decades. He got the date wrong, but that was about it.
The latest comes to us from San Francisco of all places. I got this link via a Facebook friend, but it’s worth reading:
San Francisco’s Entertainment Commission will soon be considering a jaw-dropping attack on privacy and free assembly. Here are some of the rules the Commission may adopt for any gathering of people expected to reach 100 or more:
3. All occupants of the premises shall be ID Scanned (including patrons, promoters, and performers, etc.). ID scanning data shall be maintained on a data storage system for no less than 15 days and shall be made available to local law enforcement upon request.
4. High visibility cameras shall be located at each entrance and exit point of the premises. Said cameras shall maintain a recorded data base for no less than fifteen (15 days) and made available to local law enforcement upon request.