This analysis is consistent with my own. The combination of widening class divisions and demographic and cultural change means the Repugs are screwed.
National Republicans may have some serious thinking to do. Their presumptive nominee, Mitt Romney looks to be in serious trouble on multiple fronts today.
Governor Romney has lost ground to President Obama and is now trailing in all of the national polls with the exception of the Rasmussen Reports poll which has been the poll most favorable to Governor Romney. Governor Romney is now tied with President Obama in the latest Rasmussen poll, which is asteep decline in that poll for Governor Romney relative to President Obama since early June.
Associated Press, Published: June 28
EMILIANO ZAPATA, Mexico — Before the sun climbed above the hills around this central Mexican town, Saul Garcia and his family awoke to the sound of bullets piercing the front gate. A masked motorcyclist had opened fire on their brick home, leaving behind a poster signed by the La Familia drug cartel, warning the mayoral candidate to withdraw from the race or the gang would kill him, his wife and three children.
Garcia, a candidate for the local Social Democratic Party, didn’t pull out. A state police officer now follows Garcia 24 hours a day while he courts voters on the steep and narrow streets of Emiliano Zapata, a suburb of Cuernavaca in the state of Morelos.
(Note: This essay is reprinted from the July–August 2008 issue of Left Turn magazine, which features a special section on the elections; it was written before Obama secured the nomination.)
“The world as it is, is not the world as it has to be.” Long our basic aspiration, this ideal now springs from a U.S. presidential contender. And yet the gap between the change that Barack Obama promises and the transformation that we know is crucial may offer a space of possibility. For even as liberals are utilizing “hope” to captivate millions this election, embodied in Obama’s “New Politics,” I would maintain that those of us who seek a nonhierarchical world are still the real carriers of utopia. Nevertheless, this election supplies us the opening to reject statism in a way that’s sensitive to the historical moment and prefigurative of a directly democratic society—but only if we mind the gap.
Holder gets a Goading @ TakiMag.
by Jim Goad
The House Oversight Committee voted last week to begin Contempt of Congress proceedings against porpoise-faced Attorney General Eric Holder. Although the vote was a reaction to Holder’s stonewalling in the Fast and Furious gun-walking scandal, America’s wormy, mustachioed AG has shown flagrant contempt for the popular will during his entire tenure. With ghastly consistency, he has enforced laws that appeal to his radical progressive agenda and ignored the ones he doesn’t like.
Only two weeks after being sworn in as Attorney General, Holder called America a “nation of cowards” regarding racial matters. Way to get started on the good foot and charm the socks off the heartland, fella! The only cowards I see are the spineless geeks terrified of being called “racist” and the yella-bellies who are morbidly afraid of honestly examining other explanations for disparities in crime and income besides ye olde bugaboo of “racism.”
Although the story has largely been suppressed by the leftist media’s barking megaphones, Holder’s racial double standards were made evident in his refusal to prosecute the New Black Panthers in Philadelphia for voter intimidation during the 2008 presidential election. Department of Justice attorney J. Christian Adams had claimed, “I was told by voting section management that cases are not going to be brought against black defendants on [behalf] of white victims.”
From The UK Libertarian.
Davy, the UK Libertarian, hoists moralistic tax-happy statists on their own petard. Logical, potent, and apt, if emotionally-oversaturated at times.
[WARNING: The following article contains images that some people may (and should) find disturbing. If you don’t want to see fairly graphic images then stop reading now or scroll down with a soft touch]
David Cameron has described Jimmy Carr as “Morally wrong” for allegedly paying as low as 1% on his income taxes thanks to a scheme known as K2, advised by his accountant as perfectly legal and used by celebrities on both the left and the right.
But he’s not not behaving unethically, in fact, morally, he’s in the right.
To explain why, I will be asking you to stick with me through a seemingly unrelated tangent but, if we’re lucky, it will tie up in the end.
The following earnings are made up for the sake of simplicity but the logic holds true whether you scale up or down:
To begin let’s suppose Jimmy Carr is a model tax-payer and let’s say he earns £1,000,000 gross profit in the 2012 tax year. Without any exemptions and filing purely as an individual he would expect to pay close to 50% directly to the Inland Revenue. At that rate he is handing over approximately £500,000 to David Cameron’s government.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways that £500,000 will be spent once the government has its (apparently righteous) hands on it:
At least £44,000 of this half a million will go towards “Defence”. The quandry for the informed and ethical man (but not the amoral/immoral) when pondering this contribution, however, is that “Defense” is really just a euphemism for Offense. Still etched in the memories of anybody who takes a passing interest in politics (regardless of which side of the fence they fall) is that spark of defiance in February of 2003 when almost a million people marched through London in protest against the proposal to wage war against Iraq. They chanted “No more war!” They screamed the justification was immoral. Some even cried for people they had never met, guessing before the fact just how horrific the consequences could be. They were right.
From the Daily Mail.
Sic semper tyrannis…
…or, translated from Latin: good fucking riddance!
Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, who ruled Egypt for 30 years until overthrown by a revolution in the ‘Arab Spring last year, has been declared clinically dead by his doctors this evening.
State television reported Mubarak was in a critical condition in hospital last night and had been placed on a respirator.
Egyptian news agency MENA said Mubarak’s heart stopped and a defibrillator was used to restart it.
He has reportedly been moved out of prison to a military hospital after the 84-year-old ousted leader suffered a stroke and his condition rapidly deteriorated.
One of President Barack Obama’s former professors appears to have turned against him, according to a recent YouTube video.
“President Obama must be defeated in the coming election,” Roberto Unger, a longtime professor at Harvard Law School who taught Obama, said in a video posted on May 22. “He has failed to advance the progressive cause in the United States.”
A recent syndicated column by Peggy Noonan makes useful observations, together with one rather questionable point. Noonan blithely assumes that while the president has “fully absorbed the general assumptions and sympathies of the political left,” his opponent Mitt Romney reflects “the general attitudes, assumptions and sympathies of the political right.”
Noonan may be seeing something in Romney that eludes me. Of course, she can find support for her view in the invectives of those liberal journalists, who have begun to depict the former Massachusetts governor and Republican nominee as an incipient fascist. But the right-wingers I meet, who are the ones who tried to keep Romney from winning the nomination, do not believe that he shares their “general attitudes, assumptions and sympathies.” They are going along with the candidate of the GOP regulars and Noonan’s Wall Street Journal because they think Obama may be worse.
Despite this undeserved plug for her newspaper’s editorial choice, Noonan does correctly underline the foolishness of Obama’s recent straying in the direction of the hardline social left. She notes that Obama is “actively bad in politics,” as opposed to being a politically clever ideologue. “Anyone good at politics does not pick a fight with the Catholic Church during an election year.”
During the Republican primaries, conservatives turned to one candidate after another to be the right’s alternative to Mitt Romney: Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, and finally Rick Santorum. One by one, their campaigns fizzled. Now, with the nomination in Romney’s grasp, conservatives seem to have run out of choices.
Virgil Goode wants to remind them not to settle. So serious was the former congressman about expanding conservatives’ options this November that he secured the presidential nomination of the Constitution Party, which has spent the last two decades trying convince conservative Christians and constitutionalists that there is a purer, more principled alternative to the GOP. “I’m in it to win it,” Goode says, fusing a slogan of Hillary Clinton’s with a platform to the right of Barry Goldwater.
Republican operatives describe this year’s presidential election in apocalyptic terms. It will determine our future. It will seal our national fate. Well, they are probably right, but not for the reason they give. They tell Republican voters that President Obama, in a second term where he does not have to face re-election, will reveal and follow the full socialist agenda he has been trying to hide.
Only the gullible will swallow that. But the right does know that the future is at stake. That is because this election year gives Republicans one of their last chances—perhaps the very last one—to put the seal on their plutocracy. They are in a race against time. A Democratic wave is rising fast, to wash away the plutocracy before it sets its features in concrete, with future help from the full (not just frequent) cooperation of the Supreme Court.
It may seem odd to speak of the plutocracy as endangered. Surely it has established itself in every important political arena. Wealth is concentrated in a small fraction of the populace, the cosseting of whom with the Bush tax cuts plunged us into the great recession. Yet while the rest of the populace was suffering, the rich just got richer. In 2009 and 2010, years in which millions were unable to find work, the top one percent reaped 93 percent of the “recovery” income, and corporations are making more than they ever did. And the Republicans can still propose even further cuts in the taxes of “job creators” whose only job creation has been for their own lawyers and lobbyists.
This is an interesting take on the question.
I’m starting to think I must be the only voice in an avalanche of Paulites who wasn’t outraged by Senator Rand Paul’s endorsement of Mitt Romney.
As a libertarian with a perspective of the Scottish independence movement and the nascent liberty movement in my home country, Ireland, I sometimes wonder if many of Ron Paul’s supporters are more invested in the short game of winning elections than in the long game of building a free world, an objective which transcends personality politics.
So was Rand Paul’s endorsement really a sellout? Or was it a tactical master stroke for the libertarian agenda? It depends. Let’s face it, the reaction itself was just a lot of hot air, equivalent to the outrage of folk fans when Dylan went electric in the sixties.
“Sellout!” they cried. “He’s giving in to the man!” It’s a rich metaphor considering the general air of folk whimsy about Ron (as well as the purity complex of his more hardcore fans) and the more hard-edged, charismatic persona of his sequel.
I don’t believe that supporting your party’s nominee somehow represents a devaluation of principles. Endorsements are just talk, and talk is cheap. But no need to worry; so far at least, Rand walks the walk. He is against foreign aid. He wants to audit the Federal Reserve. He has proposed a budget which balances in five years. He is one of the few members of the Tea Party insurgency who eats with a knife and fork.
This article and my recent broadcast at VOR, “Electing a New People,” explain why the Left will be dominant in Western politics for the foreseeable future and why any serious anti-state movement should identify the pro-state Left rather than the reactionary Right as its primary enemy.
Judging from recent headlines, things are looking up for President Obama. The Republican presidential nominees have been serially embarrassing themselves; the White House communications department has successfully focused its messaging on jobs and economic fairness; and consumers are feeling ever more confident about the economy.
But it’s not just anecdotal evidence that suggests Obama’s re-election chances have improved—most of the polling data suggests the same. Obama has been running consistently ahead of his most likely challenger, Mitt Romney, in national polls—by an average of 4 points according to the Pollster.com website. Indeed, the closer you look at the numbers, the more reassuring the news: Obama, it seems, is well on his way to reconstructing the very coalition that elected him in 2008.
Consider these results from a recent Pew Center poll. In this poll, Obama is 8 points ahead of Romney, close to his victory margin in 2008 (7 points). But what is especially fascinating in this poll is its internals—how Obama is faring with key subgroups of voters. Start with minorities. Obama gets 93 percent of the black vote (he got 95 percent in 2008) and 79 percent of minorities overall (he got 80 percent in 2008). (The poll does not provide data on Hispanics, but the two most recent national polls of Hispanics give him 67 percent of these voters, identical to his 2008 performance.)
He also gets 44 percent of the white vote, compared to 43 percent in 2008. Moreover, if you break the white vote down by working class and college-educated, his performance is even more impressive. Among white college-educated voters he ties Romney 49-49, compared to the 4 point deficit he ran against John McCain, and loses white working voters by only 41-55, compared to his 18 point deficit against McCain.
These demographics are excellent news for Obama. But what of the longer term? Here we must depart the realm of demographics and current polls and look to election forecasting models. The best way to sort them out is not to focus on one particular model—there are so many to choose from!—but rather to look at the factors driving these models and what they have to tell us. The one factor that stands above the rest is economic performance in the election year. Moreover, there is general agreement that what matters most is change in economic performance, not the absolute level of performance. Thus, change in the unemployment rate in the election year is more important than the level of unemployment, GDP growth is more important than the size of the economy, and so on.
May 25, 2012
Robert Stark interviews Paul Craig Roberts. Topics include:
- PCR’s role in the Reagan administration and supply-side economics;
- How job outsourcing was engineered by Wall Street and corporations;
- The military-industrial complex;
- Neoconservatives, foreign policy in the Middle East, and war with Iran;
- Policy toward China;
- Why we can’t take back the country by the ballot box.
[Prediction: The Ron Paul movement will eventually split into two camps. One will be a more system-friendly movement for whom Rand Paul is the figurehead. The other will be a more radically anti-state movement whose radicalism surpasses that of Ron Paul. The latter likely includes a lot of future ARV/ATS associates.]
Contact: Carla Howell, Executive Director
The Libertarian Party issued the following statement today:
Rand Paul Betrays His Father’s Principles, Endorses Mitt Romney
Why Ron Paul Supporters Need the Libertarian Party
When Dr. Rand Paul ran for U.S. Senate in Kentucky, many of his fund-raising appeals were sent to the donors and supporters of his father, Congressman Ron Paul. They were designed to convince Ron’s supporters that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. That Rand was, like his legendary father, a steadfast champion of liberty.
I’m tired of hearing activists gripe about the “apathetic non-voter”. The reasoning goes like this, if Americans would just pay more attention and vote then everything would be better. This is a ridiculous expectation; it discounts at least 230 years of American history and we should know better by now. Activists need to accept reality (electoral politics is dominated by useful idiots and oligarchs) and move onto tactics that work.
Is it wise to trust in the electoral process? Those in power often have strong motivations to avoid free and fair elections. Public choice theory reminds us that politicians are motivated by a sense of duty, a search for glory, and the desire to maintain their political careers. It is quite simple really; it is in the incumbent’s best interest to mollify the threat posed by elections. It is dubious to even suggest that voting would be a reliable check on the power of any existing nation-state, let alone the most powerful and corrupt government in the world. Thanks to the internet, people are now aware of the Presidential election fraud that took place in Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004. It’s now a matter of public record, the game is rigged.
If Presidential elections actually serve to choose the next leader of the free world then we should feel obligated to scrutinize the electorate. Are voters masochists, fools, or civic heroes? Forget the textbooks, if you care to find out just who the voting public is, simply cast your gaze upon a Sarah Palin, Herman Cain, or Barack Obama rally… the crowd is full of wild eyed fools. This is the American voter; a pack of uninformed followers waving whatever signs the Donald Trump campaign staff handed to them. Libertarians should know better than to get into a voting war with the average voter; that is a losing battle.
In the Gary Johnson interview with Robert Wenzel, when asked about what a libertarian was, Johnson said that, speaking with a broad brush, most Americans are fiscally responsible and socially tolerant and that, with a broad brush, that is what libertarians are about.
What planet is he on? If most Americans are fiscally responsible and socially tolerant and that is what libertarians are about then why are there not 535 Ron Pauls in Congress? Johnson makes it sound like a libertarian is just a liberal who wants to balance the budget.
I also note that he says in the interview that he wants to abolish the drug war. But when Wenzel asked about drugs harder than marijuana, Johnson did not give a straight answer. I previously blogged here that Johnson said he was not in favor of legalizing harder drugs.
Don’t be like Johnson, read Rothbard on libertarianism, on drugs, and on everything else.
Update: a reader points out that when Johnson was governor of NM, he did not use his power as governor to end the drug war. He did not pardon non-violent drug offenders or order state police to stop prosecuting NM citizens.
This article by Sigmund Knag and published by the Independent Institute goes a long way towards helping us understand the internal dynamics of modern states. It can be read in full here. I have long argued that it is not sufficient for anarchists and other anti-statists to simply attack “the state” as a universal abstraction without any kind of context. Rather, while the state as generally conceived of is an enemy, it is also necessary to understand the particular workings and wider social functions of specific manifestations of the state. Given that most of us live in Western-style “liberal democratic” states, it is strategically and philosophically necessary to analyze and criticize the particular representations of the state under the rule of which we find ourselves. (This question also helps us to better understand the limitations of the Left’s obsession with “fascism” or the Right’s obsession with “socialism” as both of those are largely irrelevant to our own political situation). This article by Knag is very helpful towards the development of such a critique. The ideas in this merit much discussion. Here’s a relevant quote (hat tip to David Heleniak):
Tim Minchin’s wet dreams may yet *ahem* come to fruition.
Not content with importing their daytime soaps, the UK looks set to contract AIDS (Acquired Imperative Democracy Syndrome) from the Aussies.
Will Airstrip One become another Saudi Arabia of Democracy? It certainly seems to be on that road…
People who repeatedly fail to fill in forms registering to vote could be fined as part of a shake-up of the British electoral system.
At the moment, the head of a household fills in the details of those living in a property but ministers want people to register individually to combat fraud.
Those refusing could be issued with a “parking-style” fine by local councils.
Labour said fines could only be justified if they were an incentive to register and they must be “reasonable”.
The potential sanction is included in the Electoral Registration and Administration Bill being debated for the first time in the House of Commons on Wednesday.
A Twitter friend of mine recently recounted a conversation with another friend — not a self-described anarchist — who spontaneously concluded that voting was useless. “I think it’s insane to think that people who are in the kind of power that only government and capitalism provide would willingly allow their stability to be up to CHANCE.”
Exactly! You might be forgiven for thinking “the enemy” our ruling circles always talk about is somebody with a strange language and religion on the other side of the world. But in fact “the enemy,” for the ruling class, is anyone capable of disrupting its goals or undermining its power — including us. The American people are potentially a far greater threat to their power than any foreign government.
Australian scholar Alex Carey argued, in a book of that title, that the purpose of the corporate-state propaganda machine was “Taking the Risk Out of Democracy.” The modern institutions of concentrated corporate power and universal suffrage democracy, he said, both date from the late 19th century. This meant the most concentrated system of economic power in history faced an unprecedented danger of disruption from the caprice of a majority.
That power structure wasn’t willing to leave its power to chance. Alongside corporate power and mass democracy, a third modern phenomenon arose in the early years of the 20th century: Propaganda as the science of “engineering consent.” People like Edward Bernays in the US, and their counterparts in Britain, oversaw Anglo-American propaganda efforts during WWI (remember those bayoneted babies in Belgium?). Afterward, Bernays went on to found the modern discipline of public relations.