More on the Kaus – Box(er) Debate

As promised here is a more detailed account of the debate between California U.S. Senate candidate (and my brother) Mickey Kaus and an absent Barbara Boxer, represented by a box.

Mickey Kaus debates a box that stood in for missing Senator Barbara Boxer.

Mickey was surprisingly convincing on his key points: the need for the Democratic Party to shake free of organized labor and the need to secure the border before addressing amnesty.  he also was well informed on issues that are not the basis of his campaign, like North Korea and Israel.

A key question concerning Mickey’s campaign is why in the world is he running.  Mickey explained that he believes that whatever income inequality may exist, all people are entitled to equal dignity, which requires public institutions that facilitate such equal treatment.  Right now, California, and most governmental bodies, are unable to provide appropriate services because their resources are taken up paying unaffordable pensions to workers who retire in their 50s.  As the party that considers the government to be the appropriate source of solutions in society Democrats have a special interest in making government work, something that cannot be done if the public employee unions call the shots.

Concerning unions more generally, Mickey is not against workers organizing, but he is against unions such as the UAW, that in his view broke Detroit, prevented the innovative work rules at Fremont’s NUMMI plant from being more widely adopted and then saw to it that the NUMMI plant was then a casualty of the financial crisis.

A tape of Senator Boxer expressed her support for teachers unions and expanding school budgets.  Mickey believes that the contracts negotiated by teachers unions have prevented public schools from improving.  The worst teachers cannot be fired.  in the L.A. unified School District, which employs 33,000 teachers, only 4 teachers have been fired in contested proceedings in the past 10 years and an average of 21 are let go each year for incompetence.  Moreover, when there are budget cuts, the newer, more innovative teachers must be let go, not the ones with poor performance,  Charter schools and other innovative ideas need to be tried.  California will never receive “race to the top” funds from Washington because the unions won’t agree to the required reforms to the California education system.

On immigration, Mickey sees amnesty without securing the border as an invitation for another 12 million immigrants to come across.  If we allow open immigration, Mickey asserted, L.A. will be like Rio, with vast areas of abject poverty.  He believes that such a flood of cheap labor depresses wages at the bottom of the ladder to the detriment of Americans seeking entry level jobs, people whom the Democratic Party should be serving.  He is not against a path to legalization, just not until we are sure that those already here will be the last such group for whom amnesty must be considered.

In the absence of Senator Boxer, Mickey took questions.  The first question asked Mickey’s views on North Korea.  Somewhat surprisingly, he had some, complete with statistics.  He believes that if we are tough, North Korea will back down and the present crisis will be defused.

Regarding Israel, he deplored the continued building of settlements to serve a fringe group and urged the United States to demand that Israel take the steps necessary to move toward peace.  The Arab world has to see the United States as an actor independent of Israel.

On more familiar territory, Mickey asserted that as a way out of our budget dilemma, social security needs to be indexed, so that those with ample income receive less.

All in all Mickey did an impressive job.  In another universe, Senator Boxer would have shown up along with television cameras and reporters, and the public would have a choice.  I am not so sure that they would not pick Mickey.

About these ads

~ by skaus on May 27, 2010.

17 Responses to “More on the Kaus – Box(er) Debate”

  1. In another universe, your mildly retarded brother would be in an institution where he got the help that he needs.

    • In *this* universe, he’s acting on his conviction, instead of just talking about it.

    • Estebon, do you have it in you to argue the merits of Mickey’s platform, or are you merely a fool vaguely frightened that the Democrats might wake up?

  2. You are about to get an increase in traffic – and the Spelling Police will want you to put that “r” in brother.

    Unless of course, he really is your bother – then let it stand.

    • Thanks. That is one thing I certainly disagree with Mickey about. I believe in and need editors.

      • No worries – and feel free to delete my comment now.

        Your brother did a great job. Brilliant debate tactic. Did he call her “Senator” though?

  3. Estebon: You comments indicate that you are a low life cretin–who feels the need to express your semi-literate opinions. I am a proud CONSERVATIVE republican who wandered over here from a link at the National Review website. I thought I would find intelligent discussion and with Stephen and Joe I did, but unfortunately by reading your comment I have lower my own IQ. I think it would do Boxer some good to acknowledge Kaus and attempt to have a civilized dialog with him. It would make her a stronger candidate and stronger Senator, but apparently, which is evident from the comments of her supporters such as you, she is not interested in becoming a better person, a better Senator. She is content being another low life cretin just similar to you.

  4. Thanks, Mark, you spared me from having to say anything more.

  5. The Dems are ignoring Mickey now, but what are they going to do in November, when Boxer and 10 other Dem Senators go down in flames, along with 60 or so House members?

  6. The stunt backfired. The Boxer campaign should seriously consider the cardboard stand-in for all her appearances.

    As for Mickey’s notion that “all people are entitled to equal dignity”, maybe he can convince the president to create a new Dignity Czar. If we just get some “social scientists” to develop an accurate dignity baseline, then the czar could just take from those with a dignity surplus and transfer it to reality tv stars and politicians.

  7. “If we allow open immigration, Mickey asserted, L.A. will be like Rio, with vast areas of abject poverty.”

    And we don’t have that now? See “ILLEGAL HOUSING INSIDE GARAGES SOARS IN REGION MORE PEOPLE SHARE HIGH-PRICE RENTS” (http://www.thefreelibrary.com/ILLEGAL+HOUSING+INSIDE+GARAGES+SOARS+IN+REGION+MORE+PEOPLE+SHARE…-a0149036265). A few quotes

    “Two or three families sometimes share a home, and 12 to 16 people might cram into an apartment, with some sleeping in an uninsulated garage or in a car parked out front. Propane hookups fuel makeshift kitchens, and errant wires connect air coolers or heaters.

    Many who receive help from the Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz’), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. County Department of Community and Senior Services in Newhall have only limited incomes, and nearly three-quarters are illegal immigrants, said Helene Schuman, a community services caseworker.

    “Many of them have several children. Many women are single mothers, and I think a lot of the families are living in the garage — if they’re lucky enough to have the space in the garage,” she said. “Even though it is illegal, it is a roof over their heads.”

    But household garages are not fire safety-rated for human occupants, and sleeping next to a water heater, washer or dryer poses a hazard, Williams said.

    County Fire Department spokesman Jason Hurt recalled a fire in a converted garage in the San Gabriel Valley The San Gabriel Valley is one of the principal valleys of southern California. It lies to the east of the city of Los Angeles, to the north of the Puente Hills, to the south of the San Gabriel Mountains, and to the west of the Inland Empire. a few years ago in which a 4-year-old girl died.”

    People romanticize the 19th century immigration wave. In reality it was more “The Jungle” than poems on the Statue of Liberty. Which is why it was ended (with strong support from labor including immigrants).

    In all too many ways America has already recreated the tragedies of that period. Low wages, worker exploitation, every rising inequality, overcrowded housing, failing schools, crime, etc. We need a new era of Roosevelt’s (Teddy) and Gomper’s to fix it.

  8. If all Democrats could take this stand…it’s what makes all Republicans turn their back on the donkeys.

  9. Um, so, let me get this straight: he’s not against workers organizing, just against the unions that do that organizing. And he’s not against legalization of immigrants, just against legalization until there is no more illegal immigration. In other words, in some other Platonic, perfect world, he would holds positions in line with Democrats. But in this somewhat more complicated world, he holds positions in line with Republicans. Do I have that right?

  10. Who is he debating in front of one person?

  11. The box wisely followed the edict that “it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.” Sadly, Mickey did not.

    Score so far: Box 1, Mickey 0.

  12. [...] He debated a box when Boxer didn’t show to a debate. Make Your Friends Less Ignorant…Share [...]

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