Reason Alert E-News

Reason Alert: Paul, Huckabee, Iowa and NH

  • Scenes From the Ron Paul Revolution
  • Does Huckabee Have a Prayer?
  • Why You Should Oppose Internet Gambling Bans
  • New at Reason

Scenes From the Ron Paul Revolution
In his February cover story for Reason magazine, Brian Doherty hits the campaign trail with Rep. Ron Paul and writes, “These Paulistas are what hopeful libertarians have fantasized about for decades: a disaffected but engageable mass of Americans, many of them hidden among the 45 percent or so who tend not to vote…Such Americans represent a deep, natural well of libertarianism waiting to be tapped. And Ron Paul has hit a gusher in a year when every other Republican stands for big government and war.”

At’s Hit & Run blog today, Doherty examines Paul’s fifth-place finish in Iowa, his chances in New Hampshire next week and his long-term impact: “Paul’s movement is newly and deeply engaged in small-government politics, and Paulistas are eager and ready to give their money and time in support of it. Even if they don’t amount to much more than 10 percent of early caucus and primary voters here in January 2008, that is going to mean something strange and probably wonderful for American politics down the line. Think not Goldwater in 1964, who actually and surprisingly won his party’s nomination; think Goldwater in 1960, a new force selling a message rooted (mostly) in individualism and liberty and making a splash whose waves wouldn’t shake the establishment for years to come – but shake it they did.”
» David Weigel Files From New Hampshire: Paul Hoping for Miracle
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Does Huckabee Have a Prayer?
In her cover story for Politics magazine, Reason magazine’s Kerry Howley details Mike Huckabee’s rise, why his message is resonating with Republicans and whether or not he can actually win the party’s nomination. Howley writes: “Pick an issue – any issue – being debated in the United States of America as we approach the 2008 elections, and Mike Huckabee can find a way to tell you that it won’t matter until we collectively slim down. Education? ‘Kids can’t learn,’ he told Charlie Rose in November, ‘because they’re sick.’ The economy? Obesity ‘will bankrupt this country,’ he said in the same interview. The War on Terror? ‘National security,’ he told me in November, ‘isn’t going to mean much if we have a generation of kids so physically incapacitated they can’t go to war.’ As campaign strategy, weight maintenance talking points are weirdly effective. Issues like global terrorism, failing public schools and the fragile economy are diffuse, impersonal, seemingly uncontrollable. In an election cycle where all of these issues figure prominently among Republican primary voters, Huckabee intimates that Americans can help allay their greatest anxieties by choosing salad over bacon. In the able hands of a former pastor, a story about overcoming obesity becomes one of shame, sacrifice and redemption… If Huckabee takes Iowa and does well in South Carolina, a scenario that seems increasingly plausible, he’ll have to wage a campaign built on something more than personal charisma and O’Reilly appearances. The other candidates have anticipated this moment, building organizations in states that will matter beyond January. Huckabee has not. He’ll be a little-known candidate with a shoestring budget relying on dated grassroots political strategy as an air war rages between better-funded candidates. It’s a recipe for failure. It’s also a set-up for a feel-good story about a passionate underdog who – spurning cynicism, godlessness, and fried food – overcomes every disadvantage to achieve the unthinkable.”

Why You Should Oppose Internet Gambling Bans
In his Fox News column, Reason magazine’s Radley Balko writes, “It’s bad enough that the federal government feels it’s proper and appropriate to tell American citizens what they’re permitted to do on their own time in their own homes with their own money. But it’s also willing to spend tens of billions of dollars of money paid to the government by those same citizens in the form of taxes to ensure it retains that power, and that it’s jurisdiction to enforce that power covers the entire globe…You needn’t make your living playing Texas Hold ‘Em to worry about the effects of the government requiring your bank and ISP to spy on you. If there’s any good news in all of this, it’s that technology and globalization have made it increasingly difficult for Congress to enforce its own morality on our private behavior. The bad news is that because of that, the government will continue to seek increasingly broad powers to get its way.”
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