1. I really don't think it's respectful to ask anyone to study tax law.
2. "lol u c4nt take a joke noob": expected online, not particularly inspirational in Presidential candidates.
3. FINISH HIM/HER!
4. I've been a little rough on Ron Paul over the years — probably more because of my feelings about the Pauline Cult rather than my feelings about the man himself. But I have to praise him again for something: he's the only guy on the stage who can deliver a straight answer that he knows will be unpopular, usually without dressing it up. We need more politicians brave enough to tell us what we don't want to hear. Paul was coming out with things that he believes sincerely but that are way out of the mainstream. But Honey Ron Paul don't give a shit. Good for him.
Now, an idea doesn't have inherent merit just because it's unpopular. That's gothy thinking. But many deeply unpopular ideas do have merit. We need politicians who will articulate them straight out. Americans are too used to hearing only what they want to hear.
Plus, several times I thought Rick Santorum was going to throw a blood clot listening to Paul. That's a bonus.
5. One specific issue: terrorists. Paul attempted to articulate it, but I think it came out a little muddy. As I've said before, the government wants us to engage in categorical thinking about terrorism. Here's the narrative: terrorists are outside the law, terrorists therefore have no rights the United States is bound to respect, it's ridiculous to suggest otherwise. Here's the scary power-grab hidden in the narrative that Paul was hinting at: the government wants us to cede to it total, unreviewable power to determine (1) the criteria for what makes a terrorist and (2) the application of those criteria to people accused of being terrorists.
Even if we accept, for the sake of argument, the proposition that people in the "terrorist" box have no rights, I submit that there's something irrational about being mistrustful of government in most contexts, but somehow trusting that government will only drop people in the "terrorist" box for principled and adequate reasons.
Also, I know that you'll dismiss this as criminal defense lawyer bias, but the whining about "giving Miranda rights to terrorists" is bullshit. Miranda — which is being steadily narrowed to a sliver for everybody — is not some magical get-out-of-jail-free card. Want to interrogate suspected terrorists without Mirandizing them? Knock yourself out. The only consequence is that you can't use the suspect's resulting statement against him in a criminal proceeding. You can still use any other evidence you have. The way people talk about it, you'd think it means that if someone doesn't get Mirandized they automatically get sprung from jail.
6. Thanks to Rick Santorum for a forthright articulation of the inherent conflict between social conservatism and small-government conservatism.
Edited to add:
7. The talking head asking questions is probably a dick. Pointing that out may be satisfying and true, but it's not substantive.
Last 5 posts by Ken White
- Shock, Dismay In Academia At Scorpion Acting Like Scorpion - June 28th, 2017
- Free Speech Triumphant Or Free Speech In Retreat? - June 21st, 2017
- The Power To Generate Crimes Rather Than Merely Investigate Them - June 19th, 2017
- Free Speech, The Goose, And The Gander - June 17th, 2017
- Free Speech Tropes In The LA Times - June 8th, 2017