Norman Mailer’s 1969 Race for Mayor of New York City

Mr. Mailer…was perhaps the greatest writer since Winston Churchill to seek elective office. If that was not disqualification enough, he had also been convicted of stabbing one of his wives. He promised that, if elected, he would at least deliver the bad news couched in “elegant language.” But he also delivered sufficient offense to fill a devil’s dictionary of political incorrectness.

Even his three-word campaign slogan — a vulgarization of “No More Bull” — was unprintable.

“The difference between me and the other candidates,” Mr. Mailer said, “is that I’m no good and I can prove it.”

Mailer’s platform included the following:

New York City would be split off from the rest of New York State, and achieve independent statehood as the 51st State of the U.S. The campaign sought to free the city from the control of “upstate legislators who don’t care about the city but control our schools, police, housing, and money.”

All private cars would be banned from Manhattan Island. Buses and taxicabs would be permitted, with the number of cabs increased. Parking lots would be built outside Manhattan at strategic locations. A monorail, built around the circumference of Manhattan, would service these lots, stopping also at rail stations and water ferry terminals. A free bus and jitney service would operate in Midtown, the city’s most congested area. Publicly owned bicycles would be available to all at no cost.

The elimination of private cars from Manhattan Island would reduce pollution there by 60%. All vehicles and incinerators in the city would be required to have pollution control devices.

Local neighborhoods would know best how to control crime in their communities by employing policemen who have the respect of the community because they live there. The City-State would fund neighborhoods to administer their own crime prevention programs, and would aid them only if they so desired.

Murray Rothbard wrote in a 1969 issue of The Libertarian Forum:

Norman Mailer’s surprise entry into the Democratic primary for Mayor of New York City, to be held on June 17, provides the most refreshing libertarian political campaign in decades. Mailer has taken everyone by surprise by his platform as well as his sudden entry into the political ranks. The Mailer platform stems from one brilliantly penetrating overriding plank: the absolute decentralization of the swollen New York City bureaucracy into dozens of constituent neighborhood villages. This is the logic of the recent proposals for “decentralization” and “community control” brought to its consistent and ultimate conclusion: the turmoil and plight of our overblown and shattered urban government structures, most especially New York, are to be solved by smashing the urban governmental apparatus, and fragmenting it into a myriad of constituent fragments.


Handicapping Romney’s potential running mates

An interesting article. Mitt Romeny himself has admitted that women voters don’t particularly like him (he blames it on the Democrats, of course), so it’s surprising that Nikki Haley is the only woman on the list. However, since Republicans decided to shame users of contraception, they may never recover those votes even with a female voice on the ticket. 

Paul Ryan would probably be the best choice. Republicans won’t get a large slice of independent voters so they might as well go all in and drag the Evangelicals and Tea Party people to the polls. 

Gingrich is clearly in the last throes of his political career. And, you know, you can make a decision whether to go out with some shred of dignity or say these irresponsible, reckless things, and he’s clearly chosen the latter path, and that’s unfortunate for the country.
- David Plouffe, President Obama’s senior advisor

The caucus system is fundamentally unrepresentative, disproportionately dominated by semiorganized bands of activists, and leads to low turnout.

There’s got to be a better way to pick a presidential nominee.


Rick Santorum Now Polling Higher than Mitt Romney Against Obama

This is a strange development. Obama has a healthy 10 point lead over Romney in a head-to-head matchup but is beating Santorum by only 4 points.

Perhaps social conservatives and Evangelicals dissatisfied with Romney are not willing to vote for him even in a “lesser of two evils” scenario. Everyone always emphasizes the importance of appealing to independents but independents are least likely to actually vote. 


Face It: Romney’s the Nominee

The media will desperately try to persuade you there is still a Republican race. Do not pay attention.


Post-Iowa Developments

John McCain to Endorse Mitt Romney

Rick Perry May Drop Out

Ron Paul Says His Third Place Finish is “Nothing to be ashamed of”

Sarah Palin Tells Bachmann to Drop Out


Gallup: Obama job approval surges

The latest Gallup survey shows that 47 percent of Americans now say they approve of the way that President Obama is handling his job. This is a 5 percent improvement since the Dec. 16-18 Gallup survey and marks the first time the president’s numbers have been in positive territory since July.

It’s too soon to draw sweeping conclusions, but it seems that the standoff with House Republicans over the payroll tax cut did no damage at all to the president — and a further climb in the polls could mean that the White House won a significant public relations victory during the payroll tax cut debate.


For What It’s Worth: An Official Endorsement of Jon Huntsman

I frequently write about my man crush on Jon Huntsman and tonight I hope to cure my obsession by flat out endorsing his candidacy. Does my endorsement mean anything? No, but it’s 1am and I’m awake with nothing better to do.

Why then is Huntsman worthy of your vote? Allow me to summarize:

- He supports creating a Glass-Steagall Act for the 21st century. In other words, he wants new, smart regulations for banks.

- He believes that “too big too fail” is too big to exist. He wants to break up (or “right size”) the large banks responsible for 2008’s worldwide economic collapse.

- He is, by far, the most open-minded and tolerant Republican candidate on religious issues. His family recognizes the value of different faiths and he never uses religion to promote himself or to attack his opponents. 

- He believes in evolution and global warming. He has publicly criticized Republicans who reject scientific consensus on these issues. Huntsman: ”To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.”

- He supports civil unions.

- He supports a gradual withdraw from Afghanistan but does not favor the “non-interventionist” philosophy of Ron Paul, which would have us heartlessly deny financial aid to people starving to death in other countries.

- He served under President Obama, demonstrating a willingness to work with Democrats for the greater good.

- He has a great sense of humor, has kids who don’t act like stiff-collared Republican zombies, and he’s adopted two kids from different countries. These are perhaps minor things, but I don’t think they are meaningless. Character and personality do count for something.

To be fair, there are more than a few things I don’t like about Huntsman’s political views. He is pro-life. However, I consider this almost a non-issues since we all know Roe v. Wade is not going to be overturned. His tax policies, while better than his Republican opponents’, are still quite conservative (meaning they favor the 1%). His statement about how “the scientific community owes us more” on global warming was stupid and ignorant. And if I may unfairly judge someone I don’t know, I think he is a bright, ethical person contending with the conservative nonsense taught to him his entire life by his father. (I admit I am entering Freudian territory here, but this is my amateur analysis).

Of course, there are many things I don’t like about Obama’s beliefs and his actual policies once in office. This does not deter me from supporting the President and hoping for the best from him. To be clear, I am not endorsing Huntsman over Obama but rather Huntsman over all the other pathetic Republican candidates. And I endorse Huntsman knowing that in the seemingly unlikely event of Huntsman winning the nomination, Obama would have a much harder time winning the general election. I endorse Huntsman for reasons that I think Huntsman himself would applaud: a sincere love of country and desire to see the very best possible candidates for both parties on the ballot. On the Republican side, Huntsman is undoubtedly the best option and I support him with all the power and influence of my little tumblr page. 


Martin Amis Goes on the GOP Campaign Trail

The narrative on the absent Jon Huntsman is “absent.” So apart from the two likely finalists, chameleonic Romney and avaricious Gingrich, we were left with Rick Santorum (“work in progress”), Ron Paul (“shame he’s so elderly”), the gorgeous corpse of Rick Perry (“can only count up to two”), and the equally decorative, and equally discredited, Michele Bachmann (“very creepy husband”).


Jon Huntsman accepts Lincoln-Douglas style debate with Newt Gingrich

Although I don’t like Newt Gingrich, I would group him, along with Huntsman and Romney, as one of the three candidates with a realistic chance of winning a general election. He is also smart and experienced enough to be taken seriously. A Gingrich-Huntsman debate, therefore, could be terrific and thought-provoking.

Another great piece of news is that Huntsman will not participate in the Dec. 27 debate hosted by Donald Trump. Trump, as I obsessively wrote about when he was flirting with a campaign, is an evil, lying, sociopathic, megalomaniac who needs to be destroyed. So, good news all around from the Huntsman camp.


Herman Cain: Art of the Possible

As Bill Clinton could tell us, in this current climate of nonstop ideological and partisan warfare, sex scandals are often less about what the truth is than which side you’re on. In the 1990s, more Americans wanted to be on Clinton’s side than Ken Starr’s, no matter the obvious truth that Clinton was lying about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky. For a moment now, Cain’s been benefiting from the fact that many conservatives would rather be on his side than on the media’s side.

But it’s not clear just how deep that well of credulity runs.


Jon Huntsman talks New Hampshire on 'Saturday Night Live'

Only a few months ago, I was polling at ‘margin of error’ so to have any digit at all is a pretty big deal.

- Jon Huntsman on SNL