What’s ‘Wacky’ About Wanting to Eliminate the USDA?

Over at the Washington Post‘s PostPartisan blog, Jonathan Bernstein discusses the rising influence of the “Ron Paul crowd” on Republican state party platforms. Bernstein cites a derisive piece from Ed Kilgore on a draft platform being considered by the Iowa Republican Party:

Now, a new group — the Ron Paul crowd — is taking over some formal GOP structures, including in Iowa. Ed Kilgore has a great post detailing some of the wackier things they’ve put in the official Iowa Republican Party platform — for example, eliminating the Agriculture Department. In Iowa. Oh, there’s plenty more, including phasing out Social Security and Medicare; overall, it has called for a federal government half the size of what Paul Ryan has advocated.

I don’t take issue with Bernstein’s contention that a platform like the one being proposed by the Iowa GOP would be a problem for most Republican politicians because the overall program “is just spectacularly unpopular with the general public.” I quickly scrolled through the hundreds of proposed “planks” in the platform and, as a libertarian, often found myself shaking my head and rolling my eyes. So it struck me as odd that of all the ideas in the platform that one could deem to be “wacky,” Bernstein chose to focus solely on planks that would cut – admittedly, dramatically – federal spending.

Bernstein continues:


National Review’s War on Liberty

Once upon a time, National Review brimmed with intellectually relevant conservative ideas. It stood athwart history and yelled stop, or so it was introduced. Post-William F. Buckley, Jr., it has become a dull sounding-board of the Republican Establishment. Take intern Nathaniel Botwinick’s fact deficient treatment of nullification (“The ACLU’s Double Standard,” National Review, May 10, 2012).

Botwinick serves up an easy indictment of the ACLU for supporting pet issues over a consistent constitutional theory. In the law we call this a “positional conflict”. Rallying for nullification against the National Defense Authorization Act but decrying it in defense of Obamacare does indeed raise the eyebrows of credibility. Fair enough.

But Botwinick digs one deep in the shins of James Madison and Thomas Jefferson with his ignorance of American constitutional history. Botwinick observes: “If nullification is allowed in any case, it creates a precedent that threatens to rob the federal government of its ability to enforce the basic rights that the Constitution provides.” That, in a nutshell, is the progressive revisionist story of our constitutional compact, and a viewpoint that Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama would readily embrace.

But it turns American history on its head.


Health Care Freedom Amendment Advances in PA

Here is the video of Tuesday’s House State Government Committee meeting. http://media2.pahousegop.com/Generator.asp?videoname=839893256.wmv SB10 was voted out of the Committee and was laid on the table.  Discussion of proposed amendments to SB10 begins at about 20 minutes into the linked video of Tuesday’s State Government Committee meeting. Discussion of SB10, itself, begins at 32 minutes. The bill…