“I think they’d all be better on taxes,” he said. “No, I don’t think any one would be a lot better [than Barack Obama]. That’s my problem and that’s the problem with the country. When you put people in office — you put a Democrat in, he acts like a republican too much, and when you put a Republican in, they act like a Democrat and they spend too much money. So I just don’t see a whole lot of difference with them.”
(1) The American political establishment has done a super job keeping our country prosperous and our liberties protected, so I’m sure whatever candidate they push on me is probably a good one.
(2) Our country is basically bankrupt. Unfunded entitlement liabilities are in excess of twice world GDP. Therefore, it’s a good idea to vote for someone who offers no specific spending cuts of any kind.(3) Vague promises to cut spending are good enough for me, even though they have always resulted in higher spending in the past.
(4) I prefer a candidate who plays to the crowd, instead of having the courage to tell his audience things they may not want to hear.
(5) I am deeply concerned about spending. Therefore, I would like to vote for someone who supported Medicare Part D, thereby adding $7 trillion to Medicare’s unfunded liabilities.
(6) I am opposed to bailouts. Therefore, I will vote for a candidate who supported TARP.
(7) The federal government is much too involved in education, where it has no constitutional role. Therefore, I will vote for a candidate who supported expanding the Department of Education and favored the No Child Left Behind Act.
(8) Even though practically everyone was caught by surprise in the 2008 financial crisis, which we are still reeling from, it’s a good idea not to vote for the one man in politics who predicted exactly what was bound to unfold, all the way back in 2001.
(9) I am not impressed by a candidate who inspires people, especially young ones, to read the great economists and political philosophers.
(10) I am concerned about taxes. Therefore, I will not vote for the one candidate who has never supported a tax increase.
(11) I believe it is conservative to support bringing the Enlightenment to Afghanistan via military intervention.
(12) Even though I lost half my retirement portfolio when the economy crashed from the sugar high the Federal Reserve’s artificially low interest rates put it on, I would like to vote for someone who is not really interested in the Federal Reserve.
(13) Even though 50 years of the embargo on Cuba did nothing to undermine Fidel Castro, and in fact handed him a perfect excuse for all the failures of socialism, I favor continuing this policy.
(14) If someone has a drug problem, prison rape is the best solution I can think of.
(15) Even though the Constitution had to be amended to allow for alcohol prohibition, and even though I claim to care about the Constitution, I don’t mind that there’s no constitutional authorization for the war on drugs, and I will punish at the polls anyone who favors the constitutional solution of returning the issue to the states.
(16) I believe only a “liberal” would think it was inhumane to keep essential items out of Iraq in the 1990s, even though one of the first people to protest this policy was Pat Buchanan.
(17) The Brookings Institution says Newt Gingrich’s 1994 Contract with America was an insignificant nibbling around the edges. I favor people who support insignificant nibbling around the edges, as long as they occasionally trick me with a nice speech.
(18) I am deeply concerned about radical Islam, so it was a good idea to depose the secular Saddam Hussein — who was so despised by Islamists that Osama bin Laden himself offered to fight against him in the 1991 Persian Gulf War — and replace him with a Shiite regime friendly with Iran, while also bringing about a new Iraqi constitution that makes Islam the state religion and forbids any law that contradicts its teachings.
(19) Indefinite detention for U.S. citizens seems like nothing to be worried about, especially since our political class is so trustworthy that it could never abuse such a power.
(20) Following up on (19), I believe Thomas Jefferson was just being paranoid when he said, “In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”
A strict observance of the written laws is doubtless one of the high duties of a good citizen, but it is not the highest. The laws of necessity, of self-preservation, of saving our country when in danger, are of higher obligation. To lose our country by a scrupulous adherence to written law, would be to lose the law itself, with life, liberty, property and all those who are enjoying them with us; thus absurdly sacrificing the end to the means.
(21) Even though the war in Iraq was based on crude propaganda I would have laughed at if the Soviet Union had peddled it, and even though the result has been hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis, four million people displaced, trillions of dollars down the drain, tens of thousands of serious injuries among American servicemen and an epidemic of suicide throughout the military, not to mention the ruination of America’s reputation in the world, I see no reason to be skeptical when the same people who peddled that fiasco urge me to support yet another war as my country is going bankrupt.
- The truth about the Iraq War is that we were not lied to—the pre-war consensus that Saddam was a threat spanned both parties, two administrations, and multiple foreign nations; independent postwar investigations determined that the intelligence was not manipulated; and, believe it or not, we did find WMDs.
- Far too many Iraqi civilians have been killed, which may also be justly laid at the feet of Bush’s inept postwar strategy. But lying about how many Iraqis died as Paul does is another matter entirely.
- Nobody is pushing for another war in Iran. The other candidates simply insist on keeping military action on the table as a last-ditch option for keeping Iran from going nuclear—which, if you understand the threat Iran poses, is far preferable to Paul’s shameless pro-Iran propagandizing.
(22) I do not trust the media. But when the media tells me I am not to support Ron Paul, who says things he is not allowed to say, I will comply.(23) I know the media will smear or marginalize anyone who would really fix this country. But when the media smears and marginalizes Ron Paul, I will draw no conclusion from this.
(24) I want to be spoken to like this: “My fellow Americans, you are the awesomest of the awesome, and the only reason anyone in the world might be unhappy with your government is because of your sheer awesomeness.”
(25) I think it’s a good idea to vote for Mitt Romney, whose top three donors are Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, and Morgan Stanley, and a bad idea to vote for Ron Paul, whose top three donors are the U.S. Army, the U.S. Navy, and the U.S. Air Force.
(26) I have not been exploited enough by the cozy relationship between large financial firms and the U.S. government, and I would like to see it continue.
No significant percentage of them will consider voting for a normal Republican, and the only way to catch their attention would be to emulate the worst aspects of Ron Paul’s ideology. What good is it to win some voters if we lose ourselves in the process?
Libertarian Republican and presidential contender Ron Paul made headlines recently for an exchange with CNN’s Piers Morgan about how to handle rape pregnancies. Pro-aborts are scratching their heads wondering what “honest rape” means, while pro-lifers question just how pro-life the Texas Congressman really is:MORGAN: You have two daughters. You have many granddaughters. If one of them was raped — and I accept it’s a very unlikely thing to happen. But if they were, would you honestly look at them in the eye and say they had to have that child if they were impregnated?PAUL: No. If it’s an honest rape, that individual should go immediately to the emergency room. I would give them a shot of estrogen or give them –MORGAN: You would allow them to abort the baby?PAUL: It is absolutely in limbo, because an hour after intercourse or a day afterwards, there is no legal or medical problem. If you talk about somebody coming in and they say, well, I was raped and I’m seven months pregnant and I don’t want to have anything to do with it, it’s a little bit different story.
- December 14: The Washington Examiner’s Phillip Klein highlights Paul’s habit of not only slandering Israel, but doing so on Iranian state TV.
- December 16: After getting smacked down by Michele Bachmann the night before, Paul retaliates by smearing her: “She hates Muslims. She wants to go get ‘em.”
- December 17: In the Weekly Standard, James Kirchick follows up on his original expose of the newsletters, reviewing the vile content, the money Paul made off of them, and Paul’s cozy relationship with raving lunatic Alex Jones.
- December 18: former longtime Paul aide Eric Dondero tells the American Spectator that Paul didn’t write those bigoted, conspiratorial newsletters, “but he did read them, every line of them, off his fax machine at his Clute office before they were published. He would typically sign them at the bottom of the last page giving his okay, and re-fax them to Jean to go to the printer.”
- December 20: Accuracy in Media’s Cliff Kincaid reports on Paul’s vocal support for cyber-anarchist “whistleblower” outfit WikiLeaks and their source, Bradley Manning, whom Paul calls a “hero” and “patriot” for indiscriminately leaking classified information.
December 20: At Townhall, John Hawkins highlights 12 quotes that render Paul unelectable.
- December 20: RedState’s Leon Wolf compiles the evidence that Paul is a 9/11 Truther.
- December 21: RedState’s Leon Wolf reveals Ron Paul’s wildly anti-libertarian 2008 presidential endorsements, including Cynthia McKinney and Ralph Nader.
- December 21: Paul loses his cool in a CNN interview about the newsletters, complaining that he’s addressed it so many times everyone should be satisfied with the (non-)answers he’s already given, flatly claiming he didn’t write them, never saw the bigoted content, “and that’s it.” He denies that he made nearly a million dollars on them (“I’d like to see that money”). When the interviewer says it’s a legitimate question because “these things are pretty incendiary,” Paul shoots back, “because of people like you,” takes off his microphone, and walks out.
- December 21: Jonah Goldberg finds 1988 video of Ron Paul claiming federal drug prohibition is a ruse to keep drug prices high to help the CIA fund its operations through drug trafficking. In the video, Paul also suggests electing George HW Bush, a former CIA chief, to the presidency would be the equivalent of the Russians putting an ex-KGB official in office.
December 22: Video surfaces of Paul in 1995, promoting the newsletters he supposedly knew so little about: “Long term, I don’t think political action is worth very much if you don’t have education […] I also put out a political type of business investment newsletter that sort of covered all these areas. And it covered a lot about what was going on in Washington, and financial events, and especially some of the monetary events.”
Newt Gingrich: Newt is frustrating. He’s extremely intelligent, a superb speaker and debater, has lots of terrific ideas, and is second to none in his ability to convey the gravity of a situation. But he’s also got a scandal-ridden personal life, a laundry list of foolish flirtations with liberals, and a horribly managed campaign. I’d still vote for Gingrich in the general, since I think most of his values are basically in the right place (and let’s face it, who wouldn’t love to see Barack Obama forced to debate this guy for an hour on stage?).
Gary Johnson: He’s like Ron Paul, only worse. He’s going nowhere, and under no circumstances would I vote for him. Next.
UPDATE: Speaking of libertarians and social issues, Ann Coulter nukes Ron Paul and company along similar lines, in a column so good we’ll let slide her misguided infatuation with Chris Christie:
Most libertarians are cowering frauds too afraid to upset anyone to take a stand on some of the most important cultural issues of our time. So they dodge the tough questions when it suits their purposes by pretending to be Randian purists, but are perfectly comfortable issuing politically expedient answers when it comes to the taxpayers’ obligations under Medicare and Social Security.
If they could only resist sucking up to Rolling Stone-reading, status-obsessed losers, they’d probably be interesting to talk to.
In my book “Demonic: How the Liberal Mob is Endangering America,” I make the case that liberals, and never conservatives, appeal to irrational mobs to attain power. There is, I now recall, one group of people who look like conservatives, but also appeal to the mob. They’re called “libertarians.”
The following rankings are based strictly on their performance last night, not their overall merit as candidates.
First Place: A tie between Michelle Bachmann and Newt Gingrich. I was surprised to see Bachmann at all, simply because she hadn’t made her intentions to run official before last night, and I didn’t expect to be as impressed with her performance as I was (I’ve always liked her passion for conservatism, but she has had a few foot-in-mouth issues). Bachmann was clear, polished, passionate, and generally delivered a performance that stood in stark contrast to the Left’s caricature of her as an unserious nut. Gingrich, unsurprisingly, delivered a performance that showcased his unmatched command of the details and a no-nonsense attitude that I think would have taken him far if…well, if he wasn’t Newt Gingrich, weighed down by all the baggage that entails.
Second Place: Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney. Solid performances, but more or less interchangeable in my view. Romney may have been a little more polished, though he’s lucky nobody forced him to get too specific about health care. Speaking of which…
Third Place: Tim Pawlenty. He would have been in a tree-way tie for second with Santorum and Romney, were it not for chickening out when given a chance to back up his attacks on RomneyCare. Tim does realize that, if he wins the nomination, he’ll have to say uncomplimentary things about Obama to his face, right?
Fourth Place: Herman Cain. I never expected to be as disappointed as I’ve been in Cain. Despite being able to speak with great confidence and clarity on economics, it’s clear he hasn’t made any effort to improve his foreign policy credentials. He also stumbled badly when trying to explain his remarks on the loyalty of Muslims, and I was disappointed to learn he wouldn’t support the Federal Marriage Amendment.
Fifth Place: Ron Paul. His delivery is so terrible that I can’t fathom how this guy managed to develop a cult of personality around himself. He comes across as the crazy uncle you’re constantly praying won’t embarrass you in front of dinner guests.