Sore Loserman ( General ) by David Boaz

NPR reporter Luke Burbank, guest-hosting "Wait Wait . . . Don't Tell Me," mocked Sen. Joe Lieberman's decision to run for re-election as an independent after losing the Democratic primary. Burbank ridiculed Lieberman, saying that "nothing, not poor poll numbers, not scorn from his party, not losing the damn primary, could stop him from running for Senate . . . selflessly ignoring the will of the people. . . . If [the independent campaign] doesn't work, he's planning a bloodless coup of the Bridgeport High School PTA." OK, that's a fair point. But I was trying to think of how NPR might have treated other candidates who lost an election and wouldn't take "no" for an answer. One example was Rep. John B. Anderson (R-Ill.), who ran for the Republican presidential nomination. After losing every primary, he filed to run as an Independent. Nexis doesn't include any NPR transcripts from 1980, but the general reaction of the mainstream media was to celebrate Anderson's courage and independence in standing up to the extreme conservative Republican primary voters who gave the nomination to Ronald Reagan. That same year, liberal Republican Sen. Jacob Javits (R-N.Y.) lost his primary to Alfonse D'Amato and went on to run as the Liberal Party nominee. Again, the media reaction was sympathetic. But then I remembered a more recent example of a political candidate who wouldn't give up, even after winning the election: Joe Lieberman in 2000, along with running mate Al Gore. So Lieberman may be the first candidate in American history to refuse to accept losing an election twice. Do they still sell those "Sore Loserman" shirts?

Posted on August 14, 2006  Posted to Cato@Liberty

Jefferson-Jackson Day: Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler ( General ) by David Boaz

Here's an idea for the cash-strapped Louisiana Democratic Party: for next year's Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner, instead of paying big bucks for first-class air travel and hotel rooms for some national party poohbah, why not have the dinner feature Rep. William Jefferson, currently the target of an FBI investigation, and businessman Vernon L. Jackson, who has pleaded guilty to bribing Jefferson?

Posted on August 12, 2006  Posted to Cato@Liberty

Fiscal Conservatives, Again ( Foreign Policy ) by David Boaz

The often astute Washington Post columnist Steven Pearlstein writes that Rep. Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), a candidate for the Senate, is "a budget-balancing fiscal conservative." Well. According to the National Taxpayers Union, Cardin voted 13 percent of the time to restrain taxes and spending in 2005, making him slightly more spendthrift than the average Democratic House member. He has introduced 42 bills in this Congress to raise spending, and one bill that would cut spending. It's true that he has supported some IRS and budget process reforms, but he has not supported a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution. As I wrote last week, the search for a fiscally conservative Democrat continues. Meanwhile, a headline in the Post reads: "President Remains Eager to Cut Entitlement Spending" Honestly, it's like reporters are Charlie Brown and Bush is Lucy, pulling the football away time after time. Bush promises to control spending, then increases spending by 48 percent. Bush promises to control spending, then passes a multi-trillion-dollar expansion of Medicare. Bush says, "We need to cut entitlement spending," and he gets a six-column headline in the Post.

Posted on August 11, 2006  Posted to Cato@Liberty

Importing Ideas ( Foreign Policy ) by David Boaz

In the new Afghanistan, which seems uncomfortably like the old Afghanistan, the cabinet has revived the Department for the Promotion of Virtue and the Discouragement of Vice. The government will once again be able to keep an eye out for short beards, chess playing, slipping veils, alcohol, and other vices. An official tells the Washington Post that he's "swamped with job applicants" for the department. Perhaps if they lose in the fall, Sens. Rick Santorum and Joe Lieberman could team up to lobby for such a department in the United States. And future president Hillary Clinton just might endorse the effort.

Posted on August 11, 2006  Posted to Cato@Liberty

Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the House ( General ) by David Boaz

Cleaning out some old magazines, I came across the September 2004 issue of the Washingtonian, which included a poll of congressional staffers on the "Best & Worst of Congress." Libertarian Republican Rep. Ron Paul was voted "Worst Follower" in the House. That probably doesn't bother him. But if it did, his feelings would probably be assuaged by the item just before that one: staffers said that the "Best Leader" in the House was Tom DeLay.

Posted on August 8, 2006  Posted to Cato@Liberty

Selling the Rope With Which They�ll Hang Capitalism

From the Washington Post: Late last month, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce began broadcasting television ads that extolled several Republican lawmakers for supporting the new Medicare prescription drug program. The spots were part of the chamber's $10 million midterm advertising and voter mobilization budget. Even if the Medicare expansion were popular -- ...

Posted on August 7, 2006  Posted to Cato@Liberty

I�d Vote for Grendel over Al Gore

So I suppose it's no surprise that as Gore's movie is getting credulous reviews from coast to coast, a new opera opens in New York that makes Grendel "likable."

Posted on August 7, 2006  Posted to Cato@Liberty


From the July 13 issue of The Hill: The U.S. Capitol Historical Society will hold a reception next week to honor a select group of lawmakers "for their hard work, service, time and the sacrifices made in upholding the office with which they were entrusted." One of the people slated to receive such ...

Posted on August 7, 2006  Posted to Cato@Liberty

More on McCloskey�s Bourgeois Virtues

Following up on Radley's mention of Deirdre McCloskey's article on bourgeois virtues, here's what I just posted at the Guardian's "Comment is free" site: At Cato Policy Report the brilliant economist Deirdre McCloskey of the University of Illinois-Chicago and Erasmus University of Amsterdam (formerly the brilliant economist Donald McCloskey) writes about "bourgeois ...

Posted on August 7, 2006  Posted to Cato@Liberty

Good Time for Tax Reform?

From the Washington Post, July 12: The Internal Revenue Service headquarters will remain at least partially closed until January while department officials attempt to repair tens of millions of dollars in damage wrought by last month's storms, the IRS announced yesterday.

Posted on August 7, 2006  Posted to Cato@Liberty

About David Boaz

Click here to learn more.