Jack Random is the author of the Jazzman Chronicles (Crow Dog Press) and Ghost Dance Insurrection (Dry Bones Press). See The Chronicles have been posted on the Albion Monitor, Bellaciao, Buzzle, CounterPunch, Dissident Voice, Pacific Free Press and Peace-Earth-Justice. www.jazzmanchronicles.blogspot.com
The Honorable Rand Paul
United States Senator for the State of Kentucky
I am not a libertarian but I admire the libertarian philosophy for its strict adherence to the principle that the role of government should be confined to protecting the rights and liberties of individuals. If you are going to claim the banner of libertarianism, you must be true to the libertarian ideal that government should not impose its subjective morality on any individual citizen.
Your position on reducing sentences for nonviolent drug offenders is progressive but it is not libertarian. Your refusal to come out for legalization of illicit drugs or even to state that nonviolent drug offenders should not be imprisoned removes you from the libertarian party. Moreover, your radical non-libertarian opposition to abortion even in cases of rape and incest makes us wonder how you could ever be confused with a libertarian.
Maybe I have misstated the libertarian ideal. If so please enlighten me. Or maybe your philosophy borrows more from the rigid individualism and pure capitalism of your namesake Ayn Rand than it does from the libertarianism she derided as a vehicle for anarchy.
So what is it, Senator? Are you an Objectivist in the Ayn Rand tradition, are you a libertarian or are you something else entirely? Before you become a candidate for the presidency, we’d really like to know.
The Honorable John Boehner
Speaker of the House of Representatives
For too long you have hidden behind the cover of the lunatic fringe. In the last days of the 113th congress you stepped out of the shadows by issuing a very public challenge to the Tea Party and their corporate sponsors on the far right.
At long last the second most powerful official in America found his vocal chords. Was that the plan all along? Did you give them just enough rope to hang themselves without doing irreparable harm to the Republican brand? Or are they still alive and kicking, rested and ready to resume their March of the Lemmings over the political cliff?
The real question is: What now? Do you begin to work with the president if not for the benefit of the nation then for the appeal and reputation of the Republican Party? Passing the Dream Act, raising minimum wage and extending unemployment benefits is the least congress can do to restore viability to the legislative branch. If it costs you your leadership role so be it. Better to step away than to lead the march over that cliff.
The Honorable Hillary Clinton
Former United States Senator for the State of New York
Former Secretary of State
Dear Ms. Clinton:
The question is as obligatory as the answer is obvious: You are running for president. Everything you have done since the last run in 2008 has been geared to the next in 2016. You have bolstered your foreign policy credentials by serving honorably as Secretary of State and resigned to give yourself distance from the Obama administration in the event things do not go well in the second term.
A word of advice: We need a woman president. We do not need a second coming of Bill Clinton. Yes, everyone remotely associated with Democratic Party politics loves Big Bill now; and yes, he is a remarkably talented politician. But he is also singularly responsible for eliminating the left from mainstream American politics. The Democratic Party today is the moderate branch of the Republican Party not too many years ago. It did not start out that way for President Clinton but that is his legacy.
What would you bring to the White House to distinguish yourself from your husband? One of the low points of your previous campaign was when you attempted to channel Bill in defending a gas tax holiday: “I’m not going to put in my lot with economists.” Bill could get away with that sort of tomfoolery; you cannot. Be yourself and let the chips fall. We can only hope that who you really are is what we need in a president.
The Honorable Ted Cruz
United States Senator for the State of Texas
You have been garnering more than a fair share of attention these days and I was wondering if it might be affecting your psyche. It takes more than a Texas-sized ego to read Dr. Seuss on the floor of the Senate. Before this process of self-aggrandizement goes any further you would do well to remember those who came before you.
Remember the former and sometime governor of Alaska? She used to be at the forefront of the political forum. Now you have to google her resume. Sarah Palin had her moment upon the stage and then was banished to the sidelines of Fox news. She is you. The flavor of the day is running stale.
Enjoy your moment but do not be fooled by the hype of your sponsors and friends. Fame is illusory and vanishes before the paint dries on the Cruz 2016 banner. Remember Rick Santorum? He is you. He had his shot, his time in the spotlight, and he will never be allowed a second run. Remember Rick “not ready for primetime” Perry? What plays in San Antonio doesn’t necessarily play in Akron.
You also may be given a run but in the end you will shuffle on back to Texas where they seem to embrace substandard intellects, intolerance in the name of Biblical morality and a twisted sense of constitutional intent. Most of all, Texas loves a man who knows he’s right even when he’s dead wrong.
The Honorable John Roberts
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
You shocked the Tea Party world when you cast the deciding vote upholding the Affordable Care Act. Didn’t they get the memo? Scalia and Thomas may adhere to the antiquated and knee jerk views of the antebellum league but you and Alito are firmly planted in the corporate wing of the party.
Without a clear corporate interest (insurance corporations and pharmacies on one side; the service industry on the other), the Roberts court could go either way. By casting the decisive vote you became the most powerful member of your own court, a role that had been held almost exclusively by Anthony Kennedy.
It will be fascinating to see how you rule on the excesses of the National Security Agency. Without corporate interests (unless you consider the scope and depth of information gathered by private corporations or the role of contractors in government surveillance) we will soon discover whether or not there exists a constitutional right to privacy. We will also learn whether or not the libertarian ideal still informs the so-called conservative judicial philosophy. I have my doubts.
The Supreme Court is supposed to be the ultimate defender of civil liberties. At a time when both the executive and legislative branches cower before the gods of security, surprise us all by fulfilling your solemn duty.
…The Jesters Capture the Court - We have sent to Washington a company of court jesters, supplying them with portraits of knights in shining armor in the shape of a handheld mirror, so that when they gaze at themselves they perceive heroes standing strong for all that is good and right. They have been given a script and they will not wander from it. They defiantly disbelieve everything the president, the economists and even the corporate wing of their own party says. They alone represent truth, justice and the American way. They alone are God’s chosen.
Can you imagine a less effective spokesperson for a political party than the honorable Speaker of the House, John Boehner? (If you answered Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid you would get little argument here.) Can you imagine a less appealing populist than Joe McCarthy look alike, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, Congressman Louie Gohmert of Texas or Representative Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota? Where did this band of misfits come from and how can we rid ourselves of them before they can do any more harm?