Mickey Kaus is a brilliant blogger and an extraordinarily witty man. He is now waging a quixotic campaign challenging Barbara Boxer for the Democratic Senatorial nomination. The New York Times provides a flavor of Kaus’s campaign in “For Mickey Kaus, winning isn’t the point.”
Kaus sat down with Reason TV’s Nick Gillepspie for an interview concerning his campaign a few weeks ago. It’s a long and interesting interview. Gillespie interrupts frequently, yet Kaus maintains his train of thought and, in my view, has the better of the argument throughout. I would give this video the title “Why I am not a libertarian.” Added attraction: Kaus explains how he got the Velvet Underground to play at his high school (the identity of which he is reluctant to disclose while in campaign mode).
Yesterday Kaus gave a shout out to the Obama administration. Unlike Joe Sestak and Andrew Romanoff, Kaus announced that he is willing to get off the incumbent Democratic Senator’s case in exchange for a presidential appointment. Kaus took a break from his campaign to issue a statement listing the positions he’d accept to get out the race against Boxer:
“There are in fact only three jobs I would accept as a backroom bribe.
“First, the White House could put me in charge of ICE, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement division of Homeland Security. Then I could push to build an actual, physical fence that might work instead of the fancy, ineffectual “virtual” fence promoted by pro-amnesty types who worry that efforts to secure the border might finally be successful.
“I could also point out that Senator Boxer’s obsessive talk of amnesty … sorry, a “path to citizenship,” acts as a powerful lure for potential illegal immigrants to try to cross the border in order to qualify for this amnesty–or the next one.
“Second, President Obama offer me a seat on the National Labor Relations Board, where I could oppose Big Labor’s attempt to add to their dwindling memberships by avoiding secret ballots in union organizing drives. Barbara Boxer–needless to say–salutes and says yes to this union plan. But it’s a bad idea on process grounds and substance grounds. Secret ballots are important to democracy. And more UAW-style unions aren’t what the economy needs.
“Third, the White House could give me a job in the Department of Education, where I could pressure the Obama administration into writing a scathing report explaining why opposition to reform from California teachers’ unions cost the state $700 million in “Race to the Top” … Oh wait. Sorry. They already wrote that report.”
Kaus retracts his offer at the conclusion of his announcement, but he has one more good point to make: “On second thought, I’ll stick with contested elections and democratic debate. It’s the only thing they are scared of.”
UPDATE: Jonah Goldberg provides a correction to the Times story.