A tweet I sent out earlier today lamenting that birther Gary Kreep had pulled ahead in a close race for Superior Court judge here in San Diego prompted two emails ripping me for not being happy to see a “true conservative” win a judgeship. Groan. I’m a libertarian lite, not a conservative. And I remain absolutely stupefied that birthers and people who tolerate birthers don’t realize that Barack Obama and his fans love this idiocy being repeated because it discredits all critics of the president. I’m completely convinced that Obama has intentionally not acted in decisive ways to end this moronic “debate” because he knows it helps him. Duh. Duh. Duh.
I think the drug war is crazy and that marijuana should be legalized. But as a student of U.S. politics, I’m flabbergasted by the implications of the fact that it didn’t come out until now that Barack Obama was such a gung-ho young pothead that he thanked his drug dealer in his high school yearbook. Obama barely beat Hillary Clinton. If he had to spend months in 2007-08 dealing with stories that his high school buddies all depicted him as a smarter, more exotic version of Cheech and Chong, I don’t think he would have won.
This New Republic essay depressed the hell out of me and shook my assumption a libertarian lite movement could take huge chunks of independent voters turned off by the major parties. Instead, many independents are what author and Dem strategist Ruy Texeira calls “IINOs” — independent in name only:
Iranian scientists being assassinated, computer viruses disrupting Iranian research facilities — and that’s just the stuff we know about. Are the U.S. and Israel already at war with Iran — i.e., engaged in armed conflict? Or is just Israel vs. Iran? One way or the other, the narrative that holds we could soon be at war with Iran needs a rewrite. Maybe we’re at semi-war.
Ninety-nine years ago today, Richard Milhous Nixon was born in Yorba Linda. For people over 50, may I observe that he isn’t nearly as bad as you think he is in this sense: His abuses of power were certainly paralleled by the two men who preceded him. Arthur Schlesinger’s superb “The Imperial Presidency” shredded Nixon, but it also showed how LBJ created the template for a president who disregarded constitutional precedent and considered himself above the law. As for JFK, as The Atlantic put, he let his bro did some bad things: “On October 10, 1963, U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy committed what is widely viewed as one of the most ignominious acts in modern American history: he authorized the Federal Bureau of Investigation to begin wiretapping the telephones of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.” And for people under 40, Nixon’s probably not what you think he is either. Did you know, for example, that he was the third most liberal president in U.S. history? He made Bill Clinton look like Orrin Hatch.