Sunday, October 18, 2009

Answers to some questions posed by my friends across the blogosphere

There are few outstanding question/observations, none of which is yet substantive enough for a complete post, but all of which deserve an answer.

Item One: Delawaredem notes Tyler's endorsement of Mike Castle for Senate and wonders what my take would be. Not difficult to figure out, DD, if you look at my comments last year around election time:

For US Congress I'm voting for Libertarian Mark Anthony Parks and against Republican Mike Castle. There are no end of reasons to vote against Castle at this point, as much as I like him personally. [Truth in advertising: as Governor, back in the early 1990s, Castle appointed me as co-chair of the State Social Studies Curriculum Frameworks Commission.] But Mike has rolled over too many times for the Bush administration despite an image of bipartisanship. He'll win again this year, but he won't get my vote. I'm choosing Mark Parks not just out of party loyalty, but because Mark is a man who keenly believes in limited government, personal freedom, and a non-interventionist foreign policy. He won't win, but I'm hopeful we haven't heard the last from him.

I do still like Mike Castle personally, and I think he has done some important things for Delaware over the course of his career. But I'm not on the Castle bandwagon. This should not be read as any sort of preference for Beau Biden, either. All other issues aside, I hate legacy candidates. Yes: Beau did his duty in going to Iraq. But so have hundreds of thousands of other Americans, because it was the duty he signed up to do. He gets the same credit as they do in my book: no more, no less. As for his performance as AG, my first answer is "what performance?" And my second answer is: "What are people reporting as a preference to polls at this point, other than name recognition and party identification?"

I'm not voting for Mike because his record over the past eight years has soured me. I'm not voting (at this point) for Beau, either, because I have absolutely no idea what he stands for besides latent nepotism.

So, DD, that kind of leaves me without a candidate. Not a pretty answer, but a straight one.

Item two: When I wrote about Howard Zinn being upset that President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize, somebody asked me if I used Zinn's work in the classroom. I used to, but I don't anymore. Why is a little complicated, but boils down to this: Zinn's People's History of the United States is a wonderful counterpoint supplementary reader, but it is not structured so as to replace any of the mainstream textbooks. Zinn basically strings together a bunch of neat stuff from each period but there is no over-arching narrative and no attempt to cover anything that doesn't happen to interest Howard. Moreover, the book is now significantly dated in terms of the sources he uses. A lot of people have done newer and better work. In upper level courses I still use some of his essays.

Item three: Waldo seems to have taken exception to my image of the State of Delaware bending over to get reamed out by the Federal Government with regard to Real ID. He has a legitimate point: the imagery was crude (it did match my mood at that particular moment) and it would not take a large stretch to connect it to anti-gay posturing. Unfortunately, when I read the following sentence in the WNJ story it just kind of jumped into my brain:

Delaware, which didn’t resist the federal Real ID mandate, is expected to be ready to meet the requirements of Real ID.

In the old it-seemed-like-a-good-turn-of-phrase-at-the-time mode, this evoked the image of an unresisting victim.

It was at best an unfelicitous and insensitive usage, but I do think Waldo stretches to make the comparison with Rush Limbaugh's use of that language to argue that Barack Obama is a racist and my post on Real ID, which advocated a position with which even my friends at Delawareliberal completely agreed.

I will note specifically the distinction that Rush accuses President Obama of personally demanding sexual service in his metaphoric image, whereas I specified the Federal Government and not any individual. Real ID is not an Obama initiative, it is a legacy. Besides: even my opponents would note that I spend a lot of effort to refer to the President correctly and respectfully even when I vehemently disagree with him. In that I agree with George H. W. Bush.

So, Waldo, I'll plead guilty, but to a signficantly lesser charge.


Delaware Watch said...

"I hate legacy candidates."

I don't think a person's right to run for office should be impeached (even rhetorically) simply because one of his or her parents is an elected official. Besides, should anyone be surprised when a child follows in a parent's profession: think of police officers, lawyers, doctors, small business owners.

What disturbs me more is someone like Castle who has virtually made his ENTIRE career running for office. When does Cincinnatus retire to his homestead anymore and allow others to govern?

Mike W. said...

I'm with you Steve. There were too many negatives for me to be able to vote for Castle so I voted for Parks.

Anonymous said...

Did you ever read or use "American Aurora: A Democratic-Republican Returns; The Suppressed History of Our Nation's Beginnings and the Heroic Newspaper That Tried to Report It" by Richard N. Rosenfeld?

Check it out if you haven't. It is a terrific contrarian history of the revolutionary period.


Eric Dondero said...

Remember the rule:

Even the very worst Republican is better than any Democrat from a libertarian perspective. (Not saying Castle is a "worst Republican," kind of middle-of-the-road.)

Anyway Steve, you're gonna get a little coverage on this tomorrow at Libertarian Republican.

This is a Stunning Political Development worthy of national media attention, beyond tiny little Delaware.

HEADLINE: Top Libertarian Party member backs Republican for US Senate!