Graham Cracked?


Lindsey Graham is looking out for the ladies.

The editorial comment, the punch line, is actually the important part. No, really:

If memory serves, Republicans went into the 2012 elections working on restricting contraception; cutting off Planned Parenthood; requiring medically-unnecessary ultrasounds; fighting equal-pay laws; and making some deeply unfortunate comments about rape. Graham and his allies apparently believe Republicans can go into the 2014 elections saying, “We learned a valuable lesson losing the last round of elections, so we’ve decided to do more of the same.”

Indeed, this will be all the more pronounced when GOP lawmakers have no other legislative accomplishments about which they can boast. I can hear the speeches now, “Sure, we failed to pass any meaningful bills, but don’t worry – when we weren’t shutting down the governing, we spent some time on culture-war legislation we knew in advance wouldn’t pass.”

(Benen)

Sure, it’s a bit sarcastic, and definitely bears a partisan tang, but that can all fall away in the sense that this really is a possibility as we look ahead to the 2014 midterm.

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National Review Online: Conan the Barbarian should be PG-13


Conan the WannabeDid you ever have one of those moments when something so obvious sticks out that you nearly lose an eye to it, but at the same time it’s so damnably stupid you almost don’t want to tell anyone about it because, well, it’s just that stupid?

Such is the case with John J. Miller’s lament about the newly-minted Conan movie:

As a fan of Robert E. Howard and his character Conan, I’m of course looking forward to seeing the new Conan film. But I can tell the producers already have made one major mistake: It’s rated R. How dumb is that? My son, who has read and enjoyed dozens of the old Marvel comics, almost certainly won’t be seeing it now. The film should have been PG-13. My guess is that it will struggle commercially just because of the rating–and old-timey fans of the original stories will grumble for another generation about how Hollywood messed up.

I mean, where do you even start with that?

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The magic of Herman Cain


Cain 2012 LogoTo what degree is the maxim true, that there is no such thing as bad press? Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain may well be putting it to the test.

Recent days have witnessed what might be the official beginning of the public discourse debate about Herman Cain’s outlook on Islam and Muslims. The Hermanator has already challenged conventional wisdom by arguing that because of his race—i.e., black—we should vote for him because he takes the race card off the table against Obama. And then he went on to prove his point by arguing that President Obama is not a strong black man. When pressed, he acknowledged that he felt President Obama is not really a black man.

So there are plenty who have been watching with interest as Cain has repeatedly challenged conventional wisdom in terms of religious identity politics. Perhaps it comes down to the notion that Herman Cain is simply not going to win the GOP nomination, and it really does seem a safe bet.

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Aynal adventures


A couple paragraphs worth reading:

But much as Rand craved appreciation for her work (as sadly reflected in the worshipful eyes of The Collective and her bitterness about every negative book review she ever received), it’s hard to imagine that she would have been terribly happy about its current appropriation by a motley assortment of conservative populists, who mix quotes from The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged with Christian Scripture and the less-than-cerebral perspectives of Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck. In her own view, Rand was nothing if not a systematic philosopher whose ideas demanded an unconditional acceptance of her approach to metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, psychology, literature, and politics.

Rand’s famous intolerance should not be dismissed as simply the psychological aberration of a flawed genius. She feared, for good reason, what lesser minds might do with the intellectual dynamite of her work when divorced from its philosophical context. The prophetess of “the virtue of selfishness” made rigorous demands of herself and all her followers to live self-consciously “heroic” lives under a virtual tyranny of reason and self-mastery, and to reject every imaginable natural and supernatural limitation on personal responsibility for every action and its consequences. Take all that away–take everything away that Rand actually cared about–and her fictional work represents little more than soft porn for middle-brow reactionaries who seek to rationalize their resentment of the great unwashed. This is why Rand was so precise about the moral obligations and absolute consistency demanded both of her fictional “heroes” and her acolytes. She hated “second-handers,” people who borrowed others’ philosophies without understanding or following them.

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