Back to the Back of the Bus

Some follow ups [update: most specifically, this post is a follow up to this post, so please read the earlier post before you try to argue with me about this one — Echidne of the Snakes argues that the kewl kids like Stoller and Greenwald think other people — women and minorities — should sacrifice their rights to life and liberty “to save the world from American military and corporate assaults.”

Here and there in various comment thread forums I have actually seen the argument from self-identified progressives that voiding Roe v. Wade and returning the abortion issue to the states wouldn’t really change anything. This tells me many self-identified progressives are idiots.

I am not arguing against the inherent dilemmas in how one chooses a presidential candidate to vote for. They are real. But it is important to note that we are making deals with the devil, partly because of the way the two-party system operates (you get the fixed menus) and partly because both the quoted articles set the possible loss of rights for someone else in one cup of the scales and the deaths in wars in the other cup of the scales. And also because it is highly unlikely that the Powers That Be would let Ron Paul run the kind of foreign policy he promises to run.

All this reminded me of Ursula le Guin’s “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas“. Who is it that we should keep in the basement, mistreated, for the happiness of the rest of us? That is the real question Stoller and Greenwald seem to ask.

Don’t miss Tom Watson’s commentary if you haven’t read it already.

Elsewhere — righties are still in denial about St. Ronald’s tax increases.

Inconvenient Truths

I missed Eric Cantor’s 60 Minute interview, but as Steve Benen describes it, it must have been pretty creepy.

It led to this exchange:

Stahl: But you know, your idol, as I’ve read anyway, was Ronald Reagan. And he compromised.

Cantor: He never compromised his principles.

Stahl: Well, he raised taxes and it was one of his principles not to raise taxes.

Cantor: Well, he — he also cut taxes.

Stahl: But he did compromise —

Cantor: Well I —

At that point, Cantor’s press secretary, off camera, interrupted the interview, yelling that Stahl was lying when she said Reagan raised taxes. As Stahl told “60 Minutes” viewers, “There seemed to be some difficulty accepting the fact that even though Ronald Reagan cut taxes, he also pushed through several tax increases, including one in 1982 during a recession.”

Benen goes on to (one more time) document the many ways Reagan raised taxes. Reagan was behind the largest single tax increase in American history, in fact.

Meanwhile — having run through every other not-Mittens candidate except Huntsman, the Iowa Repubicans now appear to be surging for Rick Santorum. Public Policy Polling shows a three-way tie among Paul, Mittens and Santorum. Very creepy. See also Nate Silver.

But the Iowa Caucus is tomorrow, so soon we can be done with it and go on to the New Hampshire primary on January 10, the South Carolina primary on January 21, and the Florida primary on January 31. And I think by then if Mittens hasn’t begun to build a lead, then maybe we really will have a brokered convention. And that could get very messy. But no point speculating about that for a few weeks yet.