Political Miscellania 10\20\10

Wednesday, October 20, AD 2010

A roundup of political news less than two weeks from the midterm elections.

1.  Kentucky Fried Political Suicide-Jack Conway decided to lose the Kentucky Senate Race with a bang not a whimper.  His video resurrects a college prank pulled by Rand Paul almost three decades ago and attempts to use it to brand Paul an apostate from Christianity.  I have seen lots of ludicrous attack ads over the years but this one takes the case.  And the woman who was tied up in the prank?  Here is her take:

The woman — who was made available to me for an interview by GQ reporter Jason Zengerle in response to the Paul campaign’s denunciations of his article — said she didn’t mean to imply that she was kidnapped “in a legal sense.”

“The whole thing has been blown out of proportion,” she told me. “They didn’t force me, they didn’t make me. They were creating this drama: `We’re messing with you.'”

The woman said that much of the subsequent coverage of her allegations missed a key nuance: As a participant in a college ritual, where lines between acquiescence and victimization are often blurry, she was largely playing along with the notion that she was being forced to follow Paul’s orders.

“I went along because they were my friends,” she said. “There was an implicit degree of cooperation in the whole thing. I felt like I was being hazed.”

By all accounts the ad is backfiring big time on Conway and will probably ensure a double digit Paul victory.  Most voters understand that college students are young and often immature, at least I was,  and can act in fairly foolish ways at times as a result.  Besides, attempting to turn this into an attack on Paul’s religious faith is misplaced.  I am as confident as I can be that when Paul was tying up the coed the last thing on his mind was religion.

2.  Ohio Fried Political Suicide-Steve Driehaus is the Democrat Congressman for Ohio 1.  He doesn’t want you to see the ad above.  He is desperate because he trails his opponent Steve Chabot by double digits according to a recent poll.  He is one of the incumbent Democrat Congressmen who have been cast adrift by the Democrat party because their re-election races appear hopeless.  He is also one of the “pro-life” Democrat Congressman who voted for ObamaCare.    The Susan B. Anthony List paid for a billboard to remind the constituents of Driehaus that ObamaCare allows for public funding of abortions.  Driehaus complained to the Ohio Election Commission, claiming that the ad is misleading.  A hearing is scheduled for the end of October.  The attorneys for Driehaus strong armed the owner of the billboard not to allow the ad until the Commission has issued a ruling.  The President of the Susan B. Anthony List Marjorie Dannenfelser has stated in regard to Driehaus and his lack of familiarity with the first amendment:

The Ohio Elections Commission has allowed Steve Driehaus to achieve his strategic objective of preventing constituents from learning the truth about his vote in favor of taxpayer funding of abortion in the health care reform bill. We are disappointed and surprised that the complaint was not immediately dismissed. The fact that the health care reform bill allows for taxpayer funding of abortion has been agreed upon by every major pro-life group in the country, including National Right to Life, Americans United for Life, Focus on the Family, and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The larger problem here is a public official’s attempt to use a criminal statue to silence legitimate debate on his record. The proper place for public policy debate is in the public square, not in an Elections Commission or criminal court. The SBA List will see this process through to the end and vigorously defend our position that the health care reform bill, supported by Steve Driehaus, allows for taxpayer funding of abortion. Moreover, we will use every vehicle possible within our First Amendment rights to communicate this message to the people of Congressman Steve Driehaus’ district between now and the hearing.

Of course by attempting to suppress the billboard, Driehaus has ensured that it has been seen by far more people over the internet and in newspaper and television stories than would have ever seen the billboard.  Brilliant.  Desperate and stupid is a poor combination in politics.

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35 Responses to Political Miscellania 10\20\10

  • I’m guessing the Seavey-Rittelmeyer relationship didn’t last because it’s awfully difficult to carry on an adult relationship with a 40-year-old guy who still lives in his mother’s basement.

    As I’ve noted on other occasions, libertarianism is an ideology for the unserious and the childless. Most serious people “graduate” from libertarianism roughly about the same time they graduate from college.

  • “didn’t last because it’s awfully difficult to carry on an adult relationship with a 40-year-old guy who still lives in his mother’s basement.”

    Words for women to live by Jay!

  • “I’m guessing the Seavey-Rittelmeyer relationship didn’t last because it’s awfully difficult to carry on an adult relationship with a 40-year-old guy who still lives in his mother’s basement.”

    Such family values! Such respect for the traditional family!

  • Karlson a 40 year old guy, of at least normal intellect and health, living in his mom’s basement has nothing to do with family values and everything to do with pathetic.

  • Among desperate (for re-election) statesmen truth, facts, realities, history are weapons. And they are putty in their hands. They use them to assassinate the opposition, or to construct a fabrication, to win at all costs and do good as they see it. And whatever they need to distort or omit is justified by their purity of intentions – and they always have the purest of intentions!

    From ‘Epitaphs of the War; 1914 – 1918’; R. Kipling

    A DEAD STATESMAN
    I could not dig: I dared not rob:
    Therefore I lied to please the mob.
    Now all my lies are proved untrue
    And I must face the men I slew.
    What tale shall serve me here among
    Mine angry and defrauded young?

    2. There is no such animal as a pro-life democrat.

  • Thankfully not all libertarians are like Mr. Seavey. After listening to the C-SPAN panel, I caught this episode of Blogginheads (cause there’s not a lot to do in my Mom’s basement) with socially conservative libertarian Tim Carney. Here is a relevant excerpt.

  • There is no such animal as a pro-life democrat.

    I am related to and friends with many of these “animals”, many of whom are deeply involved in pro-life work as well as political issues (such as assisting the Prop 8 campaign in California.) So, yes, they do exist.

  • There are pro-life Democrats. What are rare to the point of extinction are Pro-Life Democrat politicians, at least at the national level.

  • According to this, Conway has cut Paul’s lead in half since the “Aqua Buddha” ad started running. While I think the ad is preposterous and infantile, it doesn’t seem that was political suicide. In fact, in may end up being political homicide.

  • We shall find out soon enough MJ. With all due respect to Rasmussen, I stand by my prediction of a double digit Rand win. He was in a very strong position prior to the ad, and I stand by my contention that the ad has blown up in the face of Conway.

  • As a former resident of California, I am very interested in how the Boxer/Fiorina race plays out. I would like to see Boxer ousted (and everyone can tell Deb that I am biased in this case!).

  • Donald

    Once again, you mock the traditional family.

  • Karlson, you are beyond parody.

  • Donald

    You seem to ignore traditional family values. You mock them.

  • (Guest comment from Don’s wife Cathy): RE: “Ohio Fried Political Suicide” above, Rush Limbaugh mentioned on his show Wednesday (10/20) about Cincinnati high school students being taken by vanloads to early voting during school hours, handed sample ballots for Democrat candidates only, and then taken out for ice cream afterwards. Apparently the students were also escorted into the early voting area by operatives for Rep. Driehaus. Go here http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/AB/20101018/NEWS010702/10190308/ for the full story from the local Cincinnati media.

  • Once again, you mock the traditional family.

    To my knowledge, it is quite traditional to look askance at a grown (indeed, middle-aged) man who despite no disability lives off his parents rather than being a support to them. Indeed, this is all the more the case among those who have maintained that traditional understanding that just as it is the duty of parents to be a support to their children in their youth, it is the duty of children to be a support to parents in their old age.

    Living with one’s relatives as an active support is certainly not to be mocked, but having a hobby rather than a job at age forty is — except among the idle rich, who can be mocked for that instead.

  • having a hobby rather than a job at age forty is — except among the idle rich, who can be mocked for that instead.

    I think the video identifies Seavey with the American Council on Science and Health, an advocacy group. One might raise the possibility that his current living situation is intended to be temporary and derived from a recent dismissal. (From looking at him I would guess his age is closer to fifty than forty, but perhaps my vanity requires that).

  • Art,

    I don’t think Seavey actually lives in his Mom’s basement. That’s just a stereotype about libertarians in general.

  • DarwinCatholic

    What was mocked is that he lived at home with his mother. Living in the same home as one’s parents is quite traditional — many families have been known to live together in a multi-generational home until modern times, where the family has been deconstructed. Again, it is rather peculiar for people who claim to be “pro-family” mock people who are with their family (in whatever capacity).

  • Two points.

    First, I don’t care about Paul’s infantile behavior. I do care that he is an acolyte of Ayn Rand, which is msot certainly not compatible with Christianity.

    Second, Donald’s liberalism comes through again. Living with one’s parents is a sign of virtue, a sign of real family values, not the atomistic nuclear family (a recent invention of the individualistic west) that are held to such esteem around here.

  • What was mocked is that he lived at home with his mother.

    Not “with his mother.” In his mother’s basement. It’s not mocking the family or inter-generational living arrangements to point out that middle-aged men should generally be financially self-sufficient (and ‘living in his mother’s basement’ in our culture is short-hand for ‘still financially supported by his parents’). This ideal of course can be modified for unfortunate economic circumstances or short transition periods (for example, I moved back in with my parents for about six weeks – with a wife and child, no less – several years ago. And that’s when I started blogging…(j/k) ). In any case, the ideal of middle-aged financial independence from one’s parents is hardly an attack on the family.

  • Really guys? An otherwise self-reliant 40-year old man living with his parents – not because he’s assisting them or because has some traditional concept of the nuclear family – but because he’s incapable of making it on his own, is a “sign of virtue?”

    There is a reason there’s no parody site of Vox-Nova. It provides the self-parody in spades.

  • And here you see, folks, the promotion of individualism instead of interdependence, how everyone must make it on their own, instead of as families. This is an incredible assault on traditional family values.

  • “First, I don’t care about Paul’s infantile behavior. I do care that he is an acolyte of Ayn Rand, which is msot certainly not compatible with Christianity.

    Second, Donald’s liberalism comes through again. Living with one’s parents is a sign of virtue, a sign of real family values, not the atomistic nuclear family (a recent invention of the individualistic west) that are held to such esteem around here.”

    Paul is fiercely pro-life Tony which is not in accord with the pro-abort views of the late Ayn Rand, although her views on that issue are in accord with the Democrat politicians who you usually vote for.

    In regard to a 40 year old man of normal intellect and health living in his Mommy’s basement, if it is liberal to consider that to be a disgrace, then just call me bleeding hemophiliac heart Don!

  • I will note that, to echo what John Henry said, sometimes stuff happens and people are forced into temporary living arrangements due to short-term economic setbacks. I’m sure Seavey wasn’t thrilled to have move back home (assuming he had to move back and hasn’t been there all along). But to act like he’s a paragon example of the traditional family for so doing is a bit farcical.

  • BA wrote: I don’t think Seavey actually lives in his Mom’s basement. That’s just a stereotype about libertarians in general.

    I think the stereotype is as amusing as the next guy, but Jay was joking, right? Seavey obviously has some emotional maturity issues – the clip was painfully awkward – but I also assume he doesn’t actually live in his mom’s basement (uh, not that there’s anything wrong with that per se, for our more sensitive readers).

  • I think the stereotype is as amusing as the next guy, but Jay was joking, right?

    Wow, so we’ve basically been debating something which isn’t an actual fact. Yikes.

  • Yeah, I think perhaps this is what happens when we take things a bit too literally. Jay, this is all your fault. 🙂

  • Well, I think Jay made a joke. Then Henry took the joke seriously, and suggested it was an attack on the traditional family and all that is right in the world. Then we’ve basically been responding to Henry by saying that criticizing someone for living in their mother’s basement =/ criticizing the family. As usual, we haven’t really gotten anywhere, but, yeah, we’ve been debating whether Henry’s criticism of Jay’s joke was valid.

  • In regard to a 40 year old man of normal intellect and health living in his Mommy’s basement, if it is liberal to consider that to be a disgrace, then just call me bleeding hemophiliac heart Don!

    There are bachelors in this world. It is a truncated life, but not a dishonorable one. It is also correllated with, but not identified with, antecedent personal deficiencies.

    There are also problems in this world in the realm of eldercare, and when you do not have a family and your siblings do, the hands on tasks are yours, like it or lump it. The most practical solution may involve living in a piece of real estate on which the mortgage has been paid off because the house was purchased in 1970.

    I have not a clue as to what Todd Seavey’s domestic situation actually is and there came a point in that graceless exercise of his where I could not watch anymore. That having been said, it does not require much imagination to conceive of circumstances where a middle-aged man might be living with his mother because it was necessary for them both. I have known men who had to live that life.

  • Yikes.

    Anyway, the nuclear family is atomistic? Compared to the old (sadly passed) Italian model maybe it is (and I do want grandparents and cousins around my kids as much as possible), but it is not inherently atomistic. In fact, the nuclear family is a reflection of the Trinity itself, as many become one in spirit and flesh. The nuclear family is the very foundation of a good society.

    The concept of one man, one woman, and children for life is our greatest shared heritage, and a source of spiritual health, wealth, and cultural continuity.

    This “Western invention” deserves to be held in high esteem, and it is not opposed at all to close relationships with other family members.

  • Yes, it was joke. LOL!

    I was dogging the guy on both his obvious emotional immaturity and on his libertarianism. As BA points out, libertarians are often stereotyped as guys living in their mom’s basement smoking pot and reading porn.

    But reading the comments in response has been a riot. LOL! Literally, LMAO! Please keep it up.

  • Amazing. Simply amazing. Beyond words.

  • And here you see, folks, the promotion of individualism instead of interdependence, how everyone must make it on their own, instead of as families. This is an incredible assault on traditional family values.

    Whether you live in a stem family or not or whether your cousins are around the corner or on the other side of the continent, generally it is the middle-aged men in a nuclear, stem, or extended family who bear the brunt of doing the earning, not septuagenarian women.

  • This thread now goes into the TAC Hall of Fame. I would like to thank Henry Karlson, without whose able assistance this would not have been possible. Time to call on the TAC Hall of Fame cockatiel for a fanfare: