The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Friday, June 07, 2013

The New Jersey special election

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has decided that the replacement for the late Senator Frank Lautenberg will be chosen in a special election to be held in October, three weeks before the November general election. And many people are howling “foul” about it. Interestingly, the people complaining are primarily Democrats who seem to have no problems with President Obama's using every trick in the rules to get his way.

In fact, Pres. Obama sees to have gone beyond the rules; consider the “recess appointments” that were ruled unconstitutional because the Senate was only taking the weekend off, and not truly in recess. But I suppose if you're a Democrat, anything goes. By contrast, what Gov. Christie did was totally within New Jersey law, and seems to be very minor to me. The Senate election will probably go to Newark mayor Cory Booker. It would go to Booker no matter when it was held. The only thing that the October special election does is that the extra voters who will come out to vote for Booker because he is the African-American mayor of Newark — African-Americans and Newarkers — may not come out again three weeks later. They would likely, if they did vote in a gubernatorial election, vote for Gov. Christie's opponent. But Christie is so far ahead in the polls that this would only reduce his margin.

So what Gov. Christie did doesn't even change the likely winner of an election. All it does is make his likely victory margin bigger, so he'll have more to show. This is hardly of a piece with what Pres. Obama did — appointing people who would not pass Senate scrutiny, by claiming a “recess” that doesn't exist. I don't think anyone has a right to complain.

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