Politics: May 2008 Archives
Democrat California congresswoman defaults on second-home mortgage, leaves bank with $200,000 loss after auction sale. (Via Clayton Cramer.)
One more quote worth requoting about special interests and political influence: "The one area which is a real problem is that if an obscure issue comes up, interest groups are likely to have the expertise, the money, and the motivation to present their position in a way that the general public won't. A politician who doesn't know much about this obscure issue may find himself swayed by an interest group's arguments in a way that is not good for the public interest."
Good lessons learned during a run for the Idaho State Senate: "[I]t is pretty clear that special interest group money does influence legislation--but not in the corrupt 'buy off politicians' way that a lot of people assume. It is considerably more subtle than that." Is ideology a protection against undue influence? "The less rigidly you adhere to a set of standards or ideas about the proper role of government, the easier is to bend to the wishes of the moment. This is one of the reasons that politicians that are proud of their 'pragmatism' worry me a bit."
Links to the best articles from free-market think tanks coast to coast.
Nobel laureate economist Robert Mundell: "Taxi Driver is the most important movie ever made from the standpoint of creating GDP. It's the movie that made the Reagan revolution possible. That movie was indirectly responsible for adding between $5 trillion and $15 trillion of output to the US economy." (Via Club for Growth.)
Two special elections, two different results: "With Democrats actively recruiting conservative candidates, it's no longer good enough for the GOP names to fall back on cultural credentials, to demagogue immigration, or to simply promise lower taxes. Voters care about the size of government, but they are equally worried about the cost of doctor visits and gas prices. The winners will be those who explain the merits of a private health-care reform, who talk about vouchers, who push for energy production. And given its reputation on ethics, it's clear the GOP has to recruit Mr. Cleans, who also make voters believe they are more interested in solving problems than bringing home pork."
Some of the same Democratic senators who voted against oil exploration in ANWR and the Gulf of Mexico are "demanding that President Bush tell OPEC nations to increase their oil supplies or risk losing arms deals with the United States." (Hat tip: John Eagleton.)
David Brooks on the revival of the British Conservative Party after a decade in the wilderness, with a Burkean emphasis on the "little platoons" that make society work: "These conservatives are not trying to improve the souls of citizens. They're trying to use government to foster dense social bonds. They want voters to think of the Tories as the party of society while Labor is the party of the state. They want the country to see the Tories as the party of decentralized organic networks and the Laborites as the party of top-down mechanistic control." (Via Crunchy Con.)
Pat Toomey defends against Okla. Rep. Tom Cole's claim that the Club for Growth is "stupid" to target liberal Republicans for defeat: "Winning for the sake of winning is an excellent short-term tactic, but a lousy long-term strategy.... A Republican majority is only as useful as the policies that majority produces. When those policies look a lot like Democratic ones, the base rightly questions why it should keep Republicans in power." Tom Coburn's 2004 defeat of Kirk Humphreys is mentioned. (Hat tip: John Eagleton.)