Opinions, Context & Ideas from the TPM Editors TPM Editor's Blog

Rand Takes Left Turn on the Road to Bulls**tville on Clinton and Mass Incarceration

One of Rand Paul's emerging angles in his hoped-for race against Hillary Clinton is to put the former Senator and Secretary of State on the line for her husband's role creating the system of mass incarceration which many on both sides of the political spectrum now believe was either a mistake or at least should be reined in. “I’ll ask Hillary Clinton," he said earlier this week, "what have you done for criminal justice? Your husband passed all the laws that put a generation of black men in prison. Her husband was responsible for that.” I think as a practical matter it will be a tricky and perilous proposition to hold Hillary Clinton responsible for things her husband did more than 20 years ago. (Husband being a different person from her and Clinton being a man she is somewhat demonstrably not able to control, etc.) But as Ed Kilgore rightly notes here, this is an almost comical distortion of the history of the last forty-plus years in the United States, one which he seems to be banking on a younger generation not remembering and reporters being either to lazy or stupid to contradict.

Let's start with some basic history.

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What's (Not) The Matter with Nebraska?

Before sharing a few thoughts of my own, let me just tell you there's a fascinating TPM Reader email below on what led to the news today out of Nebraska. It's really must read.

I mentioned earlier this afternoon that Nebraska's unicameral legislature today passed a bill abolishing the state's death penalty. Technically, it's not law yet. The governor says he'll veto it. But the vote margin is more than enough to sustain a veto. So it seems next to certain that Nebraska will in fact abolish the death penalty - and become the first conservative state to do so in the modern death penalty era.

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