Limousine Libertarians

by Kieran Healy on January 21, 2008

I was driving home from the office this evening (yeah, yeah, I know — I prefer to think of it as Arizona taxpayers getting good value for money) and I saw this enormous Ron Paul Revolution limousine thing go by. It was as long as a semi. Arizona is McCain country, but there are also plenty of libertarians out here, too, and many of them are even opposed to state-sponsored torture. So it makes sense that Paul is doing a bit of campaigning in the vicinity.

Naturally, there’s a website. Now that I look at the photo, it seems that it’s more a glorified pickup-truck camper attachment than a limo as such. It seems like there should be a joke there about Paul’s candidacy, or libertarianism, but it’d probably be too much of a — well, you know.

Eminently fair and gracious and typically thoughtful

by John Holbo on January 21, 2008

Goldberg excerpts an “eminently fair and gracious and typically thoughtful” Weekly Standard review of his book. I’ll excerpt the excerpt:

Perhaps Goldberg has rehabilitated fascism a bit too much, in hopes of blunting the visceral and unreflective, but inevitable, liberal rejection of his unwelcome parallels. Goldberg goes out of his way to offer exoneration to liberals by reference to their good intentions. On the one hand, he makes clear the totalitarian temptation of liberal fascism: Hillary Clinton’s “politics of meaning” speech, for example, “is in many respects the most thoroughly totalitarian conception of politics offered by a leading American political figure in the last half century.” But he is quick to add that “Hillary is no Führer, and her notion of ‘the common good’ doesn’t involve racial purity or concentration camps. .  .  . When I say that Hillary Clinton’s ideas in general are fascist, I must again be clear that they are not evil.”

This effort at balance and reasonableness may, in part, be designed to set him and the book’s inflammatory title apart from the sensational, sales-oriented polemics of other conservative bestsellers of recent years.

Yes, it does seem a pity that, merely for the sake of blunting unreflective responses, Goldberg drew back from claiming that Hillary is Adolph himself. “Hillary is no Führer, and her notion of ‘the common good’ doesn’t involve involves racial purity or concentration camps.”

Now can we get back to the serious business of admitting each side probably has a point? One side says that fascism was an anti-liberal, right-wing political ideology. The other says that Hillary Clinton is Adolph Hitler. Goldberg, bending over backwards to exonerate liberals, is somewhere in the middle. Can’t we all just get along?

If you’re looking for a laugh (or a cry)

by Eszter Hargittai on January 21, 2008

I suspect most have already seen the famous episode of the Miss Teen USA South Carolina contestant’s answer to a geography-related question . (By the way, amazing performance by the host holding the microphone. Could you keep a straight face through that?)

This one seems a bit less well known (if you can say that about a clip that’s been watched 4 million times on YouTube):

The host here is much less impressive (note his commentary in general, and pronunciation of a certain country name in particular). The little boy looks adorable though.

There’s more along similar lines, for example this Family Feud episode.