Freedom from Blog

Don't call it a comeback . . . .

Thursday, January 07, 2010

A Paul-ing Interview

Rachel Maddow is, hands down, the smartest and sharpest interviewer on TV today. So how did she whiff so badly in her interview with that infamous crackpot, racist, ideologue, misanthrope Ron Paul? She asked him a lot of questions re his influence on the GOP, allowing him to demur that he cares not for party only "principle," she flattered his anti-war bona fides, and she positively salivated over Paul's cool ass youth brigades taking on Dick Cheney and the authoritarian wing of the GOP.

Any hard-hitting questions about reinstating the gold standard or abolishing the Fed? Nope. Any exploration of the consequences of anti-bailout, anti-stimulus, anti-health care, pro-tax cut & deregulation radicalism? Nada. Any effort to probe Paul's racist past (his newsletters from the 80s, and connections to the von Mises Society, etc.) and its links to white supremacists in the Tea Party movement? Are you kidding? OK, then how about something on the irony of a "populist" insurgency that panders relentlessly to the god-complexes of the rich and powerful? Sadly, no.

I suspect the problem here is that a lot of liberals, like Maddow, see the "libertarians" as cute little anti-establishmentarians, fightin' the good fight against creeping statism, when they are actually the driving force behind GOP authoritarianism: servile worshippers of wealth and power who flatter themselves as defenders of freedom. Freedom for the wolves, that is, which means death to the sheep. Say, football would be a much better sport if there were no rules, the referees were all on the payroll of the richest team (who always got to play home games & use extra players), and refs existed only to remove the ball from the away team. Here is right-wing economics at its most absolute and least practical. The market is God's hand, not a tool but a religion to be accepted without question. Since the reality gap is so great, democracy with its self-correcting mechanisms cannot be allowed to intrude. No intellectual reservations (from pesky academics) can be tolerated. And if it doesn't all go their way, and the Mammon God is thwarted, there must be a nefarious conspiracy afoot.

In short, rather than resisting the most fanatical and tyrannical aspects of "statism," libertarianism necessitates them. Ron Paul is one evil dude. One day I'd like to see Maddow make that devil dance.


At 3:19 PM, Blogger Will said...

Excellent post, TMcD.

I have been missing you guys lately. I know you all have families, lives, and other priorities. But with all the political drama and theatre that's been happening of late, I've been looking on here, daily, in order to get my "freedom" fix. This is where I come for the truly educated and well thought out perspectives on today’s happenings.

So, I'm curious to know, O' Ye Tenacious one, what are your thoughts on the 2 congressman, one being your own, announcing their retirement. I’m sure “surprised” wasn’t the reaction. (At least I wasn’t too surprised) But I’m curious what you have to say about it all.

Just askin.

P.S. I hope you and your family had a great Christmas & New Year. Give my best to the ladies.

At 12:29 AM, Blogger tenaciousmcd said...

Hey, Will! Don't know that I have much insight on Mssrs. Tanner and Gordon. They're both genuine losses. You may have seen the recent Nate Silver analysis at 538 showing that Gordon finished #1 out of 435 as "most liberal voting record relative to the district he represents." Not that he was THAT liberal, but it shows how far right this district has drifted over the last decade. Lesson: for "whatever" reason, southern white voters do not like Obama.

Word on the street is that Gordon may have gotten out early in part b/c he has his eye on the NASA job. Or, that he might one day aspire to be president of some unknown large, mid-level state university which may or may not be in his district and from which he may or may not have graduated. Just a rumor. That, and as you've commented, his seat was going to be gerrymandered into GOP hands in 2012 anyway, so why go through a hellish campaign to hold on for two years?

At 10:47 PM, Blogger Gina said...


With reference to interviewers wimping out, you may have heard that George Stephanopoulos has apologized for softballing Rudy Giuliani and letting him get away with saying that there were no terrorist attacks on American soil during the Bush Administration.



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