Posted by: Jeff | May 21, 2010

The What-Have-Yous

About to move out to Washington D.C. for the summer, and dealing with all the ensuing logistics. So expect skeleton-crew-style blogging to continue for the near future. Regrets.

1) Rand Paul round-up: David Weigel defends Paul from the charge of racism. (Weigel also salutes Paul for not dissembling, which I don’t buy; he never answered the “yes or no” question.) Andrew Sullivan tries to cut Paul some slack, but ultimately comes down against his policy position. David Frum and a Sullivan reader point out that Paul’s libertarianism is not nearly so diamond-pure on matters not involving racial discrimination. Eyebrow-raising indeed. Robert George, Damon Root and Sullivan all discuss the relationship between segregation and libertarianism. Matthew Yglesias thinks Paul simply suffers from too much ideological honesty. Adam Serwer points out that, being a white male, Paul will never have to put his money where his mouth is. Ta-Nehisi Coates highlights Paul’s proud ignorance, and salutes Rachel Maddow. Ezra Klein says Paul might not be a racist, but he is an extremist. And Bruce Bartlett concludes that while Paul might not be a racist, he is most certainly a fool.

2) Megan McArdle, Ezra Klein, and McArdle again and again discuss some new information on the costs of health care reform. Ross Douthat chimes in as well.

3) Ross Douthat argues that the real measure of the Tea Parties is what quality of politician they manage to push into office. (If I were a Republican, I’d probably agree with him.) And on that score, the jury is indeed still out.

4) But regardless of what effect the Tea Parties have on national-level politics, that doesn’t change the fact that the character of the movement itself is both deeply deluded and deeply self-absorbed. And that alone qualifies it as a net negative for the country in my book.

5) Great Bloggingheads episode here by Julian “Epistemic Closure” Sanchez and Conor Friedersdorf.

6) Eric Holder apparently now thinks that terrorists are not mere mortals, but are actually X-Men-style supervillians.

7) A subject with which I – not to mention pretty much every other American male – am intimately familiar. Sigh.


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