Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Quick hits: the political realm we inhabit is filled with strange ideas

1.  David Brock, in NYT, attributes most of our problems not to our leaders, but to the "fact" that we don't follow them well enough, and that we are uppity enough to think we should be allowed to criticize them.

2.  Sasha Issenberg, at The Atlantic, thinks that we can solve our problem of low voter turn-out by eliminating secret ballots (I do know that worked for decades in Eastern Europe) and by shaming people who don't vote by threatening to publish their names.  Astoundingly, she stops short of demanding the Australian ballot, even though she thinks voting is not a personal choice but a mandatory social obligation.

3.  Gene Healy at the Examiner points out that the Obama administration (despite all boasting to the contrary) is effectively the least transparent presidential administrations in American history.  Among his examples, he points out one major instance in which the government has refused to tell the public how it intends to interpret Section 215 of the Patriot Act.  Is ignorance of the law an excuse when the government won't tell you what's illegal?

4. covers the fact that Mitt Romney is quietly moving to eliminate as many Ron Paul delegates from the Tampa convention as possible via loyalty oaths and affadavits.  Eric Golub at the Washington Post (whose photo, strangely, shows him yawning) is OK with the elimination of those Ron Paul supporters because he doesn't think they are Republicans.  Apparently, Eric never got the liberal talking points instruction that libertarians are always to be considered disguised Republicans.

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