"I’ve long thought that the biggest single problem in the world is the failure of “moral imagination”—the inability or unwillingness of people to see things from the perspective of people in circumstances different from their own. Especially incendiary is the failure to extend moral imagination across national, religious, or ethnic borders. If a lack of moral imagination is indeed the core problem with America’s foreign policy, and Ron Paul is unique among presidential candidates in trying to fight it, I think you have to say he’s doing something great, notwithstanding the many non-great and opposite-of-great things about him (and notwithstanding the fact that he has in the past failed to extend moral imagination across all possible borders). Paul’s hawkish detractors may succeed in using him to taint a non-interventionist foreign policy. Even so, if in the meanwhile Paul gets enough people exercising their moral imaginations, maybe doves will get the last laugh."
"[F]ailed to extend moral imagination across all possible borders"? Pardon my French, but is this guy fucking joking with this kind of understatement? Even if you’ve somehow miraculously rationalized away all his past behavior as some kind of fluke, he "was" still a virulent racist, homophobe, anti-Semite, and misogynistic creep. Please, google anything he’s ever written. He claims to want government out of our lives—has been quoted as saying government is WORKING as long as it provides "guns and gold" to the people—but supports the Defense of Marriage Act, opposed the Civil Rights Act, opposed Net Neutrality, opposes the separation of church and state despite being a "constitutionalist" and a believer in the vision of the founding fathers, DIDN’T VOTE AGAINST THE INDEFINITE DETENTION BILL, and believes it’s fine for the government to dictate the contents and comportment of people with uteruses, among countless other terrifying and offensive deeds. I’m so goddamn sick of people wanting to give him a high five for being theoretically anti-war and pro-marijuana. "Lack of moral imagination"? This guy is the POSTER BOY for a lack of moral imagination, not some unique visionary.
But as we get to the playoffs, the protestations and pandering may turn into a discussion of God and man and the electorate that is far more intense, and potentially ugly. It could also be illuminating. Even in the dingiest bar, in an urban ruin or a hotel in New Hampshire, there is always, at least theoretically, the possibility that one might, suddenly and unexpectedly, hear a joyful noise, or at least a few, stray, rational words from one of the candidates. And yet that prospect seems remote: it would mean a different campaign, with a far different tone than we have seen and heard so far.
- In today’s Daily Comment, Amy Davidson writes about the Iowa caucuses and how religion will continue to shape the race: http://nyr.kr/z3CipV
I’m not sure if it’s amusing or incredibly sad that this headline hasn’t made an appearance in a single one of my American news sources.
The NAACP says voting rights are being whittled down at every stage of the electoral process. First of all, the registration of new voters is being impeded in several states by moves to block voter registration drives that have historically proved to be an important way of bringing black and Hispanic people to the poll.
Four states – Florida, Iowa, Kentucky and Virginia – continue to withhold the vote from anyone convicted of a criminal offence. In Florida, offenders who have completed their sentences have to wait at least five years before they can even apply to restore their right to register to vote.
Across the US, more than 5 million Americans are denied the right to vote on grounds that they were convicted of a felony, 4 million of whom have fully completed their sentence and almost half of whom are black or Hispanic.
Other measures have reduced the ease of early voting, a convenience that is disproportionately heavily used by African-Americans. Even more importantly, 34 states have introduced a requirement that voters carry photo ID cards on the day of the election itself.
Studies have showed that the proportion of voters who do not have access to valid photo ID cards is much higher among older African-Americans because they were not given birth certificates in the days of segregation. Students and young voters also often lack identification and are thus in danger of being stripped of their right to vote.
In Texas, a law has been passed that prevents students from voting on the basis of their college ID cards, while allowing anyone to cast their ballot if they can show a permit to carry a concealed handgun.”
The emailed reaction of Tim Miller, a spokesman for Jon Huntsman’s presidential campaign, upon being asked if Huntsman would participate in next month’s GOP debate moderated by Donald Trump and sponsored by conservative website Newsmax. “We look forward to watching Mitt and Newt suck-up to The Donald with a big bowl of popcorn,” Miller told Business Insider. (via officialssay)
"We’re all born wanting the freedom to imagine a better and more beautiful future. But modern America has become a place so drearily confining and predictable that it chokes the life out of that built-in desire. Everything from our pop culture to our economy to our politics feels oppressive and unresponsive. We see 10 million commercials a day, and every day is the same life-killing chase for money, money and more money; the only thing that changes from minute to minute is that every tick of the clock brings with it another space-age vendor dreaming up some new way to try to sell you something or reach into your pocket. The relentless sameness of the two-party political system is beginning to feel like a Jacob’s Ladder nightmare with no end; we’re entering another turn on the four-year merry-go-round, and the thought of having to try to get excited about yet another minor quadrennial shift in the direction of one or the other pole of alienating corporate full-of-shitness is enough to make anyone want to smash his own hand flat with a hammer."
“Then came the moment when just about every viewer must have concluded that he ended any chance that he could be a viable candidate: when he couldn’t remember the third of the three federal departments he had proposed to eliminate. My younger colleagues at the Washington Examiner twittered that this was the worst moment in a presidential debate for a candidate they had ever seen. Well, I have been watching presidential debates since the first Kennedy-Nixon debate in 1960, and it was the worst moment in a debate I have ever seen too.” - Michael Barone, Washington Examiner
"As the nation gears up for the 2012 presidential election, Republican officials have launched an unprecedented, centrally coordinated campaign to suppress the elements of the Democratic vote that elected Barack Obama in 2008. Just as Dixiecrats once used poll taxes and literacy tests to bar black Southerners from voting, a new crop of GOP governors and state legislators has passed a series of seemingly disconnected measures that could prevent millions of students, minorities, immigrants, ex-convicts and the elderly from casting ballots."