Free Markets, Free People


A post wherein I agree with Ron Paul

Actually, there’s a lot Ron Paul says I agree with, but there’s about 5 to 10% of what he says that makes him, at least to me, unsupportable.

But he and I see eye to eye on this thought (from an article about an interview he did with Candy Crowley):

Paul seemed almost baffled that everyone has been talking about social issues at a time when he and others are more concerned with preserving basic civil liberties and the economy.

Folks, for this election social issues is a loser.  Sorry to be so blunt, and burst the social issue’s activists bubble, but this is the distraction the Obama administration badly needs and it is playing out pretty much as they hoped, with the candidates concentrating in an area that is so removed from the real  problems of the day (and the real problems of the Obama record) that it gives relief.

Additionally, it gives visibility to the one area that usually scares the stuffing out of the big middle – the independents who are necessary to win any election (and, until this nonsense started, pretty much owned). 

What is going on now is a self-destruction derby.   And the tune is being called by the left (if you think the George Stephanopoulos question on contraception that started all this nonsense during one of the debates was delivered by an objective and unbiased journalist, I have some beachfront land in Arizona for you) and kept alive by the media.

How I see it is Americans, in general, don’t give much of a rat’s patootie about all this nonsense at this moment in history.  They’ve watched their economic world collapse, they’re upside down in their houses (or have lost them), they’re seeing their children, great grandchildren and great, great grandchildren enslaved to government debt, they’re out of work and they’re suffering – economically.

And the GOP goes off on the usual nonsensical social issue tangent when there is a table laden with a feast of issues that are relevant to the problems with which the majority of Americans are concerned.

Take a look at Memeorandum right now, for instance, and what headlines do you see?  “Santorum attacks Obama on prenatal screening”.

Really?  Could we maybe see attacks on Obama for adding 4 trillion to the debt, or the highest unemployment rate in decades, or the failed stimulus, or his persistent attacks on fossil fuel even while we sit on more of it than most of the world combined but are getting much less benefit from that because of him? How about Keystone?  Gulf permatorium?  Solyndra?  ObamaCare?

Instead what sort of attacks are made against Obama? Senior Obama Advisor: Rick Santorum’s ‘Phony Theology’ Comment ‘Well Over the Line’, which spawned, Santorum explains ‘phony theology’ comment, says Obama is ‘a Christian’ which results in, Santorum denies questioning Obama’s faith.

I cannot imagine a stupider subject being the focus of headlines at this time in our history nor a worse place  for a GOP candidate than talking about other people’s faith or lack thereof. There is no upside to that.  This is the sort of nonsense and ill discipline that has cost the GOP elections in the past, and is well on its way to doing it again.

The middle is watching and my guess is it is not happy with what it sees.  If ever the GOP wanted to lay out a strategy to drive independents back to the Democrats, they’re well on their way.  They are playing to every stereotype the left puts out about them.

What should the GOP be talking about?  Things like this and this.  The attacks should be on Obama’s economic record and leadership, not who is a better Christian.

Take a hint from the Clinton campaign GOP (as loath as they are to do so, I’m sure): “It’s the economy, stupid!”

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

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44 Responses to A post wherein I agree with Ron Paul

  • Santorum is–

    1. ignorant of the Constitution (saying there is no specific “right to privacy” shows he is exactly backwards)

    2. a proven nanny-statist

    3. has never had trouble putting my money where it will do him the most good

    He is someone I oppose as a primary candidate. Partly BECAUSE of his awful messaging, the Mushroom Media are focusing on him, and this sucks all the oxygen out of the room. Well, and it just sucks…

    Meanwhile, Obama is moving this country briskly toward a fully realized Obamabanana Republic, where law, enterprise, and plurality are treated with outright hostility.

    • Just to play devil’s advocate, but there is no right to privacy, I wish there were, but there isn’t. Even an implied one. The so called right found in Roe v Wade is a bogus one because it was only for abortion. In other words, a woman has no right to her own body or to reproductive freedom if for instance, she wanted to smoke pot or engage in prostitution. It was not a descision that really enhanced our freedom it only enhanced the power of the central government over the state. It was pure judicial activism and very poor law. @Ragspierre

      • @kyle8 Read the 9th. You won’t find a right to travel, to raise your kids, or any number of other things in the text. Does that mean you don’t have them?

      • Of course there’s a right to privacy there. There is nowhere in the constitution where it is removed from the people, so by it’s own lights they retain it, neither can the states deprive them of it.

    • @Ragspierre The media is playing a game with him as well. Pump and dump.

  • “And the tune is being called by the left (if you think the George Stephanopoulos question on contraception that started all this nonsense during one of the debates was delivered by an objective and unbiased journalist, I have some beachfront land in Arizona for you) and kept alive by the media.”

    So this is George’s fault? Not Santorum’s? Riiiight.
    This wasn’t some sort of trap set by the media that the nominees couldn’t help but fall in to. These are Santorum’s core beliefs that he just can’t help himself but to talk about. Even you, McQ, had a post just recently asking how could any self respecting conservative vote for Santorum.

    And of course there is the congressional Republicans who thought it was a good idea to bring out a bunch of old men to talk about women’s health. And don’t forget Fox News, who has been marshaling this meme for the past couple of weeks—– hardly a compliant, left-wing media machine.

    These are the beliefs of your GOP nominees. These are the tactics of your GOP congress. This is the message of the Right-wing machines of talk radio and Fox News.

    Cheers.

    • @PogueMahone “…congressional Republicans who thought it was a good idea to bring out a bunch of old men to talk about women’s health.”

      You are, as pretty much always, WRONG.

      What “meme” has Fox been “marshalling”?

    • @PogueMahone Nope, not George’s fault. He just provided the opportunity and bingo, it has spawned an almost Pavlovian response.

      Kind of interesting this is where you went with your response, Pogue. A distraction, just like the social con issues, from the main point.

    • @PogueMahone “Lines Crossed: Separation of Church and State: Has the Obama Administration Trampled on Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Conscience?”

      That was the hearing, dummy. Your Collectivist agit-prop buddies had to pervert language…again…to make that about “womens’ health”. It wasn’t. But you were suckered, weren’t you?

      • @Ragspierre @PogueMahone Both sides try to frame the argument. The public decides is this really some radical trampling of freedoms, or is it about women’s health. Most I know choose the latter, though you are free to believe the former if you wish. Don’t be surprised if others are not convinced.

        • @scotterb @PogueMahone But…polls show the Obamic tyranny is not at all popular, and people (including Catholics) are not putting up with his sh!t. Jeez, do you even read…???

        • @Ragspierre @PogueMahone Obama is ahead of all Republican candidates in a head to head race, and he hasn’t even started really campaigning. Face it Rags, you’re going to be dealing with Obama for four more years unless something radically changes. The good news for you is that at least you seem to enjoy complaining and having something to get mad about. Despite your bravado, I think you know the GOP is in trouble this year.

        • @scotterb @PogueMahone I note you change the subject. Hmmm… I guess you were uncomfortable dealing with the facts. Well, that IS consistent with what we know about you, at least.

        • @Ragspierre @PogueMahone The subject was the polls, and Obama remains in the lead, and if you think birth control will push Catholics away from him you’re grasping at straws. I see you changed the subject, and then tried to pretend I did. Clever. Not.

        • @scotterb @PogueMahone Liar. The subject was the rejection of the Obamic tyranny, as reflected by the polling.

          You tried to deflect that to polling (useless at this point) about match-ups (which you mischaracterized as favoring Obama generally…they don’t).

          See…??? Everybody else does.

        • @Ragspierre @PogueMahone Obama tyranny! That’s the kind of over the top bizarro rhetoric that pushes people towards Obama. You make an over the top assertion with no support and when I come back with real world information you whine I’m ‘changing the subject’ because I don’t follow your framing.

          And I can disprove your last point by simply pointing here:
          http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/latest_polls/elections/

          On that page there are 24 general election head to head polls. ALL favor Obama (and against Gingrich he wallops him). Most favor Obama by significant margins. I know you aren’t man enough to admit you were wrong (hell, you probably knew you were wrong when you made that claim — that’s the level of honesty you show).

        • @scotterb @Ragspierre @PogueMahone Are you kidding me? Later this week Obama is on his 4th or 5th trip to central Florida alone. He’s in deep doo doo and he knows it.

        • @Ragspierre @scotterb @PogueMahone … and it’s not just the Catholics. I’ve seen stuff from the Lutheran Synod of Missouri and another from some evangelicals. And then there was a group of rabbis.
          The “Great Uniter” has really been united folks … against him.

  • “Actually, there’s a lot Ron Paul says I agree with, but there’s about 5 to 10% of what he says that makes him, at least to me, unsupportable.”

    How is this different from any major candidate? If I could find someone running for president who agreed with me 90% of the time, I would probably vote for him. As it stands, I have to write in a vote in order to find someone who tracks my views well enough…

  • This election cycle looks more like 1984 or 1996 than 1980 or 1992. If the economy continues to improve, even slightly, it’s hard to see a GOP path to the Presidency, especially given the candidates and the primary (I go into this more in my own blog today). The GOP is left in the uneviable position of secretely hoping for bad economic news. The drama this year is most likely for the House and Senate. Hoping for a brokered convention to yield a strong candidate is like those losing a war hoping for a “secret weapon.”

    The good news for the GOP is that this will open the door to someone with a positive, optimistic message. But if the GOP is screaming “we’re like Greece, the economy is going to hell, DOOM DOOM, the Republic is crumbling…” they’ll not have a chance. That speaks to maybe 35% of the voting public and turns off the middle more than social issues. Right now the right is about gloom, doom and nostalgia for how things “used to be.” The right has to switch to a positive forward message. Maybe someone like Paul Ryan can do that, but now the nattering nebobs of negativity hold the GOP soul.

    • @scotterb See Gingrich, Newt, CPAC speech. Read more. You’re little colloquial world is delusion-based.

      • @Ragspierre Gingrich is 90s anger and negativity — a blast from the past known now more for his diatribes against Romney and his intense anger. To claim that this widely shared image (among Republicans to) will somehow be dispersed because of some lofty words in one obscure speech is laughable. Gingrich is symptomatic of what’s wrong with the GOP – backwards looking, extremist rhetoric, anger and negativity. He’s like the Pillsbury Dough Boy’s evil twin.

        • @scotterb I see. All you have is the usual. Hand-wave, unsupported BS, ad hominem, naked opinion, conclusory nonsense…

          Vintage Erp.

        • @Ragspierre *chuckle* You described your style – wave your hands, hurl some insults and pretend the facts don’t exist! I think I’m going to find this campaign quite fun to watch – with your comments a delightful bit of comic relief. Thanks!

          Meanwhile I note you don’t deny my points or analysis.

        • @scotterb Sure I do. I refudiate your entire post as what it is, after accurately showing what it is.

          But, for *chuckles* let’s fisk…

          “backwards looking”–Gingrich is so forward-looking he has been criticized for it. He wants to return America to a nation of progress, modernity, and growth, using the market forces that have made us wealthy and provided a standard of living unmatched in time or space.

          “extremist rhetoric”–you, of course, just throw that BS about without any support or even an example. I could provide you dozens from the Collective, limiting myself to the last two weeks.

        • @Ragspierre Gingrich’s time has past, his ideas are stale, and Obama’s ahead of him in the polls in the teens. Romney still has a chance to put forth a positive message, but he reminds me of Mondale in ’84. Even the rhetoric you attribute to Gingrich is stale, 20th century ideology.

          Here is a fact: from 1980 to 1990 US debt to GDP ratios went from 30% to 60% as oil prices fell. The Reagan administration started an era of debt-driven faux prosperity by hyperstimulating the economy — during what would have been a boom anyway. Moreover, private debt started skyrocketing in the 80s as well and continued into the 90s. This supposed “free market” economy was nothing but a debt bomb, fueling bubble economies as the wealthy — who got most of the short term wealth created by this debt — did not create jobs with it or invest productively, but instead looked for “something for nothing” by following bubbles. Gingrich and the GOP offer platitudes about the “free market” as if it’s somehow a magical thing — all you need to do is limit government and everything will get better. That’s snake oil, that’s ideological fairy tales, and it’s never supported, it’s put out there as a kind of mantra that the true believers hold, even if reality has proven that view to be economic non-sense.

          But hey, embrace the dough boy! But unless a Republican can put conservative (not just libertarian) ideals into a positive message that goes beyond last century’s ideological platitudes and embraces a positive, optimistic view of the future, the GOP’s going nowhere. It also has to be a fresh face. I actually think there’s a good shot that 2016 will be a good year from the Republicans. But right now they’re flushing out old misguided rhetoric and personnel.

  • Santorum is what I have come to dub a “plenary police powers” statist.

    Against that are those of us who figure the 9th Amendment is there for purposesssss, and it isn’t (and never was) a vacant vestigial organelle.

    Of course, there is the Collective, which detests the Constitution and is busily shredding it in pursuit of their totalitarian urges.

    • @Ragspierre I don’t agree that Santorum is a “plenary police powers” statist. And I don’t recall him parroting that unfortunate conservative line about how “there’s no right to privacy” in the Constitution (a gift from Robert Bork and oft-repeated by Ann Coulter and, I believe, Mark Levin, among others).

      It is true that the states have a *lot* of power, because their powers are not enumerated, which is part of the problem I have with the idea that federalism will save us, because the states have to a great extent gone as mad as the federal government and then some, in cases like California and New York.

      • @martinmcphillips See Rick Santorum (July 19, 2005). “The Constitutional Wrecking Ball”. National Review.

        • @Ragspierre I would like to hear what he has to say today about that. It was a *very* common view among conservatives, this approach to Griswold and its use of a right to privacy. But you don’t hear it that much anymore. It arose from Bork’s judicial philosophy (he no doubt picked it up from someone else, but he was, I believe, the big influence on conservatives repeating it) and wormed its way into the general mix of conservative views. I’ve always thought it was wrong, and you might have seen me picking it apart and trying to get conservatives (like Coulter, for instance) to understand that you cannot tell Americans that they do not have a right to privacy, when they know very well that they do.

  • “Obama tyranny! That’s the kind of over the top bizarro rhetoric that pushes people towards Obama.”

    Yeah…no.

    http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2012/images/02/16/rel2g.pdf

    http://www.people-press.org/2012/02/14/public-divided-over-birth-control-insurance-mandate/

    http://www.lifenews.com/2012/02/16/2012/02/08/poll-majority-of-americans-oppose-new-obama-hhs-mandate/

    AND

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/113980/gallup-daily-obama-job-approval.aspx

    “Gingrich’s time has past, his ideas are stale”

    Two words, Erp. Green. Energy.

    Idiot.

    http://www.newt.org/solutions/american-energy-plan

    Read that. Refute it with acual…you know…FACTS. Not your broke-dick opinion, Erp.

  • You’ve left out something here, Bruce.

    Who do you want to get the nomination? You can say “not Santorum,” but then, who?

    I can answer that question for myself. Romney, who has been getting shoved in our faces for years is an unacceptable candidate to me. Next, there were three viable conservatives in the race along with libertarian Ron Paul. The conservatives are/were Santorum, Gingrich and Rick Perry (now out). That’s my order of preference, but any one of those three would be fine with me. Not great, but better than Dole, McCain, or Romney (the successor in interest to the first two). And better by far than another term for Barack Hussein.

    So, who do you want the nominee to be? Other than Santorum, you’ve got Newt and Romney as remaining viable candidates.

    • @martinmcphillips

      I see very little difference between Santorum, Gingrich and Romney other than Romney is an honest moderate, and the rest, barring a few issue like the birth control issue, are moderates who are sold to by the establishment republicans as conservatives.

      If we’re going to get a moderate in there, I’d rather get one identified as a moderate so when they side with oversized government, Conservatism isn’t blamed.

      • @jpm100 I think that the establishment is selling Gingrich as a moderate. “Oh, he opposed Reagan. He criticized Reagan.” He generally opposed and criticized Reagan from the right, not because Reagan was not being moderate enough. As Speaker he tried to be even-handed. Santorum’s major failing as a conservative seems to be that he in fact tried to vote with the party and support Bush. I consider both conservatives. If, however, I stipulate that they are really moderates to take that point, then I have to say that Romney is by that measure (or any measure, really) a liberal, not a moderate. And there is much that Romney has not be honest about.

        • @martinmcphillips,

          Gingrich pro-illegal immigration stand, and time on the bench with Pelosi, shredded his credibility as a conservative for me. He was a concervative when it plays well. And government’s size grew like wildfire under him. He lucked into an economic rebound, stock bubble, and peace dividend as much as Clinton did.

        • @martinmcphillips [cont'd]

          … so the budget was balanced. But he has a big spending track record right up there with the rest of them.

        • @jpm100 Milton Friedman convinced Reagan to run budget deficits on the hypothesis that there is nothing more dangerous than a balanced budget, because that was when the Left would start clamoring for new entitlements. So, Friedman’s hypothesis ran, maintain politically acceptable deficits. Then, when the next entitlements were proposed, point out that there was no place in the budget for them. This worked in the early 90s to stop Hillarycare. What happened with Obama is that he called that bluff and just spent out the ass to get up to the $1.5 trillion deficit. The Friedman hypothesis worked for a quarter century and then it didn’t. And we have a federal bureaucratic takeover of the medical industry in progress.

        • @martinmcphillips @jpm100 A modest business analogy… SOME debt is not only not destructive, but is essential at times for a business to capture opportunity. Returns on the investment can far exceed the cost of the debt.

          When you buy the corporate jet on borrowed money that far exceeds your ability to service the debt, THAT is different.

  • Some republicans are jumping on the ‘family values’ bandwagon trying to push up Santorums stock on the issue. They believe Gingrich fell out of favor because of his lack of family values. Where Romney is convincingly a family man and (whether true or not) doesn’t shove it in your face so it seems honest.

    Unfortunately the Gingrich problem was a broader integrity and sincerity issue of which his family conduct didn’t help disprove. A total misread by those trying desperately to have an republican insider who is not Mitt Romney.

    The republican establishment is completely complicit in these antics which hurt the remaining republican’s chances. I just get this sinking feeling they want to throw this one away and recreate the mid-late 90′s.

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