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Hendrik Hertzberg:
[T]he Republican Party of Texas has a dream. Lots of dreams: its platform, unveiled last week, has sixteen thousand words' worth. The road it maps is anything but royal; these good people, after all, are republicans, albeit with a capital “R.” But the document does lead to the G.O.P.’s unconscious, or part of it: its fearsome, rampaging id.

[...] Let's proceed to policy. In the next of its forty pages, the platform demands, among other things,

• That the Texas Legislature should nullify—indeed, “ignore, oppose, refuse, and nullify”—federal laws it doesn't like. (Unmentioned is the fact that, beginning in 1809, the Supreme Court has steadfastedly rejected state nullification of federal laws.)

• That when it comes to “unelected bureaucrats”—i.e., pretty much the entire federal work force above the janitorial level—Congress should “defund and abolish these positions.”

• That the Seventeenth Amendment, which was adopted in 1913, be repealed, so that “the appointment of United States Senators” can again be made by state legislators, not by voters. (Admittedly, the Texas Legislature could hardly do worse.)

• That all federal “enforcement activities” within the borders of Texas—including, presumably, the activities of F.B.I. agents, Justice Department prosecutors, air marshals, immigration officers, agricultural inspectors, and tax auditors—“must be conducted under the auspices of the county sheriff with jurisdiction in that county.”

That last one should be familiar as one of the rallying principles of the militia hero Cliven Bundy, and is based on the unconventional notion that all legal authority in America derives from your local sheriff. It and the other talking points are common touchstones among conspiracy theorists, nullification advocates, secessionists, and modern Republicans.



Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2006The Concrete Clarity of Unvarnished Truth:

Political discourse today, whether it takes place on the Senate floor or on Sunday talk, is slathered with slogans and tired catch-phrases.  It's saturated with bullshit. It's bloated.  It's fat.  It's ineffective.  Great ideas and practical solutions are buried under the avalanche of platitudes that inevitably pour of every politicians mouth, so that every politician regardless of his character ends up sounding the exact same.

Let's travel back in time to a real no-spin zone. In 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt was handed the keys to the White House  at a time of national peril, the Great Depression. In hisinauguration speech, Roosevelt spoke plainly to the America people.  He revealed the whole truth, "frankly and boldly":


I am certain that my fellow Americans expect that on my induction into the Presidency I will address them with a candor and a decision which the present situation of our Nation impels. This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself--nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.

"This Nation asks for action, and action now," he said, and proceeded to state his solution in beautifully simple terms:  putting people to work. What strikes me most about his speech is how he knew at a time when the nation was starving for leadership, talking down to the American people or talking past them with platitudes was not the answer.  Roosevelt followed his frank talk with an offering of hope.

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On today's encore performance of the Kagro in the Morning show, it's the 7/11/13 podcast, with lots of nuclear option background and discussion. Greg Dworkin called in to discuss Eliot Spitzer's run, Bob McDonnell's problems, Snowden/NSA, and more. Afterwards, a crazy GunFAIL story, a discussion of the provocative BusinessWeek "Hedge Fund Myth" cover and just what that myth might really be. We close out the show with at least some of the promised extensive discussion of the looming "nuclear option," and some #KITM only-level detail about what's going on, and what's driving the internal debate.



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