Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I really need to incorporate the phrase "caucus virgin" into my everyday vocabulary.

So I am back to D.C. and environs after a nice Massachusetts trip, and little Willow appears to be recovering from her misadventures in sock theft. Perhaps a full post and pictures will follow, but I fear overwhelming you all with too much cuteness. Also, while I am sure that everyone has figured out by now that I am a  totally unserious person, I might as well at least try to maintain some pretense of non-frivolousness by writing about subjects other than my darling golden retriever.

As some of you may have noticed, there was an Iowa caucus last night. And Rick Santorum narrowly lost to Mitt Romney, generating plenty of buzz. Like many other libertarians, I am no Santorum fan, for reasons ably laid out by David Boaz in a recent Cato at Liberty post and Jonathan Rauch in a 2006 essay for Reason. Reading most of his conservative defenders has been depressing; Jennifer Rubin's stating that the blemishes on Santorum's record as a fiscal conservative are merely a  vote for No Child Left Behind and some earmarks rather glosses past the long list of non-fiscally conservative statements he made in his book and elsewhere as documented by Boaz and Rauch. David Brooks's column praising Santorum had its share of equally cringeworthy moments, though I suppose Brooks's big government conservative streak is well-documented enough that nobody should be surprised. But memo concerning the last line; as a UChicago grad, when you  write that "The country doesn't want an election that is Harvard Law vs. Harvard Law," the point you ought to be making is that Harvardians are unserious jocks, not that they are scary intellectual elitists, which was presumably what you meant based on context. 

 I suppose I can take some comfort in knowing that his particular brand of populist big government conservatism is unlikely to play as well outside of Iowa than it did within it and that his popularity is likely to fade once some of his more extreme remarks come under closer public scrutiny. Also, while I have decidedly mixed feelings about Ron Paul, it's nice to see that at least some polling data indicate that it is the small government elements of his message, and not the creepy paleo-libertarian ones, that resonate most with Iowa's younger voters. (I am also indebted to said blog for coming up with the charming "caucus virgin" locution that appears in the post title). Thus, onto N.H. as it is!

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