Archive for October, 2009

Cuccinelli and Drunk Driving Laws

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

Drunk driving laws don’t often come up as a campaign issue, but when they do my reaction isn’t always what the person who brings them up in a campaign usually intends. DUI law in our country is chock full of gross violations of Constitutional rights, so I find myself impulsively sympathetic to the candidate accused of being ”weak on drunk driving.”

This is because being “weak on drunk driving” inevitably refers to an apparent unwillingness to further demolish the rights of citizens who might be accused of drunk driving.

This is playing out in Virginia where Republican Attorney General candidate Ken Cuccinelli is being attacked by his Democratic opponent for “consistently voted against tougher penalties for drunk drivers.” I’m sure I disagree with Cuccinelli on some issues, but if he has consistently opposed new DUI laws then he’s to be applauded.

I could write an entire essay about how DUI laws violate the Constitution, but that essay has already been written by DUI lawyer Lawrence Taylor. In “The DUI Exception to the Constitution” Taylor explains how nearly every Constitutional protection designed to protect the rights of the accused, most notably the Fourth and Fifth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, has been utterly destroyed by the way our criminal justice system pursues the legitimate goal of prosecuting dangerous drunk driving.

In other words, if for no other reason than having “consistently voted against tougher penalties for drunk drivers” consider me pro-Cuccinelli.

Must Read: The Anarchist’s Playbook

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

In the most recent issue of Young American Revolution, W. James Antle III writes about the politics of Murray Rothbard.

Rothbard, an anarcho-capitalist, built the philosophical core of the modern libertarian movement. But instead of focusing on his philosophy, the article focuses on Rothbard’s long-standing search for a practical political movement that would build the foundation of his libertarian society:

Rothbard was not always pleased by the results of his excursions into electoral politics. Yet he never stopped trying to build political coalitions to fight against government encroachments and never lost hope that liberty could be more than an abstract ideal. His radical libertarianism—anarchism, really—did not blind him to the value of conventional politicking. The arena could not be ceded to believers in state power.

Read the whole article here.

And afterwards you can check out my article on the state’s war on tobacco from the same issue.

Wall Street Journal on Rand Paul

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

National media outlets are starting to take note of the fact that Rand Paul has a legitimate chance of becoming the next Senator from Kentucky. This from the Journal’s subscription only Political Diary:

Libertarianism Is the Family Business

Who says you can’t learn something from your parents? Ask Rand Paul, son of last year’s presidential wunderkind, Congressman Ron Paul of Texas.

The younger Mr. Paul, an eye surgeon, is making a spirited run for Kentucky’s open Senate seat, which is being vacated by Republican Jim Bunning. Earlier this week the campaign reported it had sucked up a whopping $1 million in the third quarter alone, much of that accomplished by Mr. Rand tapping into his father’s extensive, online grassroots national network. Mr. Paul’s total swamped the haul of Republican Secretary of State Trey Grayson, the favored candidate of the party leadership. Mr. Grayson announced about $643,000, and that’s after getting fundraising aid from Senate Minority Leader (and Kentucky Senator) Mitch McConnell.

The numbers have suddenly thrown a new light on the race. Mr. Grayson was figured a shoo-in for the nomination in next May’s primary. But Mr. Paul’s fundraising mojo, along with a recent Rasumussen poll showing him nearly as popular as Mr. Grayson in hypothetical matchups against Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo, may have some handicappers rethinking.

Rand Paul (yes, he’s named after the famous novelist) might also be a sign of the times. Like his father, he has a libertarian bent, and has focused the race on runaway federal spending, deficits, bailouts and earmarks — issues that Kentucky voters are eating up right now, as they worry about Washington and its spending binges. Mr. Grayson still has plenty going for him, including name recognition and a national party network to leverage to his advantage. But the younger Paul is a newcomer worth watching.

– Kim Strassel

One correction to the WSJ report: As Rand (shortened from Randal) explains in this video, he wasn’t named after Ayn Rand, even though he is a fan.

Links: Things I’ve Been Reading

Sunday, October 18th, 2009
Since I’ve been lax on the updates, here’s a list of things I’ve been reading: