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MARCH 20, 2013
Charles W. Cooke
FULL ARTICLE: http://bit.ly/nrsxsw
Austin, Texas - The only Republican who turns up is Senator Jerry Moran (R., Kan.), the sole speaker at an event titled “Why Public Policy Should Matter to Your Start -up.” Moran, who voted against SOPA and PIPA, is spearheading a pro-tech policy named Startup Act 3.0 that would ease immigration for those with technical skills, require cost-benefit analysis of new regulations, decrease the tax burden on start-ups, and encourage commercialization of taxpayer-funded research. He is here to talk government and IT. Dressed in jeans and a plaid shirt, he is (surprisingly) lionized by the host who introduces him, for having supported Rand Paul’s anti -drone filibuster and for his promotion of high-skilled immigration. Unexpectedly, drones and extrajudicial assassinations dominate the conversation’s first 15 minutes. At ease, Moran makes a passionate defense of the Fifth Amendment. For this, he receives a round of applause. He explains at length why Paul’s filibuster is crucial to the republic. More applause. Finally, the host moves us on to the question of visas for the highly skilled. Moran avers that the desire for a “comprehensive” immigration bill shouldn’t prevent vital “piecemeal” steps from being taken. This, too, is greeted with applause. In answer to a question from a Democratic politician, Moran subtly reminds the audience that he is a Republican. The audience laughs, nervously. Later, the conversation takes a predictable turn for the worse, and the questions change: “Why isn’t my pet project funded, Senator?” “Shouldn’t we have national free Wi -Fi?” “Aren’t you all corrupt in Congress?” Moran defends himself ably, explaining that government works best locally, that the federal treasury has run out of money, and that a growth agenda is the best policy. The room remains skeptical, but that’s okay. And it occurs to me: Senator Moran is the only Republican here explaining the effect of bad government on business. America’s most influential young entrepreneurs are being allowed to live and work in an echo chamber in which Republicans are either ignored or grossly mischaracterized. Moran shows beyond doubt that he understands the issues, dispelling grievous myths about Republicans in the process. Why is he alone?