Rand Paul’s Amendment

Wednesday, October 23, AD 2013

 

 

As long time readers of this blog know, I have nothing but contempt for Ron Paul (R.Pluto), the former member of Congress, or as I like to refer to him, Doctor Delusional.  However, my attitude towards his son, Senator Rand Paul (R. Ky.), is completely different.  I have long thought he is clever, and now I think he has a streak of true political genius in him.  Springboarding off public outrage over the devious means by which Congress, with the connivance of the Obama administration, has gotten around ObamaCare applying to either members of Congress or their staff, Rand Paul has proposed this amendment to the Constitution:

‘Section 1. Congress shall make no law applicable to a citizen of the United States that is not equally applicable to Congress.

‘Section 2. Congress shall make no law applicable to a citizen of the United States that is not equally applicable to the executive branch of Government, including the President, Vice President, ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and all other officers of the United States, including those provided for under this Constitution and by law, and inferior officers to the President established by law.

‘Section 3. Congress shall make no law applicable to a citizen of the United States that is not equally applicable to judges of the Supreme Court of the United States, including the Chief Justice, and judges of such inferior courts as Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.

‘Section 4. Nothing in this article shall preempt any specific provision of this Constitution.’

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10 Responses to Rand Paul’s Amendment

  • Them tea party fanatics just don’t “get it.”

    Laws are for the “little people.”

  • Andrew Jacobs, Jr. was a persistent proponent of stripping Congress of its exemptions during his years in the House of Representatives. Not sure how much progress he ever made.

    You’re the attorney, so perhaps you might weigh in on what the judiciary might do with this amendment in its hands given its wording.

  • To GOOD to be welcomed in the den of thieves but I will pray that somehow this
    Honest, Fair and needed Amendment make it All the way into the Constitution.
    What a beautiful way to put a shot of “hope,” true hope, in the arm of a gravely sick government.

  • Hmmmm . . .
    It sounds great but I have to think on it. It would be great to stop Congresscritters trading on inside information (some US Attorney should indict both Houses under RICO). But what about hiring practices? I’m elected with Tea Party support and fail to hire any gays or whatever. Would Supreme Court Justices have to release their internal memos under FOIA?
    Sec. 4 seems odd — amendments always supersede previous provisions, that’s the point.

    I wonder what the First Constitutional Scholar at 1600 thinks?

  • “You’re the attorney, so perhaps you might weigh in on what the judiciary might do with this amendment in its hands given its wording.”

    Tell me who the justices will be and I will give you an answer! 🙂

    It would take a bold justice indeed to fly in the face of a newly enacted constitutional amendment.

  • I have always taken it as a given that no one is above the law. The idea that we need to amend the constitution to make that clear is shocking. ESP that you would have to make specific designations of persons or offices that are included in “Everyone”

    “at this point what really matters!”

    Disorder. There is no order left – evidenced by the fact that so many people seem to have accepted this idea that some people could be exempted because of their social/political identity.

  • “(20) Every law, or resolution having the force of law, shall relate to but one subject, and that shall be expressed in the title.”

    from the CSA Constitution. How useful this would be in modern times.

    And this for further reading:
    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/parsing-the-confederate-constitution/

  • “You’re the attorney, so perhaps you might weigh in on what the judiciary might do with this amendment in its hands given its wording.”

    I’m not an attorney, just a student of the law, but I can answer that one: The judiciary will have nothing to do with it ex officio, since the amendment will be an integral part of the Constitution to which they are subject. No judge has the authority to declare any part of the Constitution unconstitutional — that would be a patent absurdity.

    Not that that would prevent some of the nutcases that sit on the bench from trying, of course.

  • No judge has the authority to declare any part of the Constitution unconstitutional — that would be a patent absurdity.

    It’s a patent absurdity that a vague phrase in a constitutional amendment enacted in 1868 to grant citizenship to freed slaves requires county clerks to issue marriage licenses to pairs of dudes. We are still stuck with this courtesy our lawless appellate judiciary.

  • Assuming the amendment is enacted through the proper amendment process, the SCOTUS couldn’t do squat. Well, SHOULDN’T do squat. We all know how much the law really matters to them.

    But, to take a stab,

    Ginsburg, Kagan, Breyer: It somehow violates the international law, or law of New Guinea or the Fiji Islands, to which, for some inexplicable reason that requires fifteen pages of obfuscation, US laws are subject. Therefore it is invalid.

    Soda Mayor: it was not proposed by a wise Latina, therefore it is invalid.

    Alito, Thomas, Scalia: It was properly amended, therefore valid.

    Roberts: It is, in fact, a tax (or at least, taxing). Therefore it is valid.

    Kennedy: Depends on heads or tails. And the sweet mystery of life. Swing, batter batter batter, swing.

    I think with section 4, what he is getting at is unless the Constitution itself provides some exemption within its own text, all laws apply. So if they want a particular exemotion that is not htere, they would have to go through the Consitutional amendment process for that exemption.

New Blog, Ron Paul & Other Things

Tuesday, February 5, AD 2013

Hello TAC. I haven’t been posting here as often as I once was since a) I wanted to get a new blog up and running and b) I am also going to be writing for Catholic Stand, and my first piece is appearing tomorrow.

My new blog is called “Liberty & Dignity.” It is not an explicitly Catholic blog, but it is devoted to a natural law/rights version of libertarianism called “paleo-libertarianism.” I distinguish paleo-libertarianism from other kinds of libertarianism in the following way: the paleo brand explicitly recognizes that liberty is a historical and cultural product as much as it is an abstract ideal, that it requires certain institutional prerequisites and supports, and that taken out of its proper context – like anything else – it can self-destruct. It is close to but not identical with paleo-conservatism.

My first article for Catholic Stand will explain how I believe all of this as a Catholic.

Now, onto the Ron Paul business. Obviously I don’t agree with many of the comments left on Paul Zummo’s post about Ron Paul being an inherently malicious person. At the same time, I found his comments to be wildly inappropriate and politically destructive, much like Todd Akin’s rape comments. His subsequent statements on his Facebook page really didn’t improve the situation either.

I am not too happy with his son either, for much different reasons, but you can read my blog to learn more about that.

Here at TAC and Catholic Stand I am going to continue focusing on the two issues that pose the greatest threat to religious liberty in our time: the HHS mandate and the “marriage equality” movement. I expect it will also be necessary to continue defending free markets and private property as our social democratic government continues its assault on both. Many Catholics still believe that they have a religious obligation to support a welfare state and open borders. These beliefs are toxic even if well-intended.

Well, that’s all for now. Let the comments roll.

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38 Responses to New Blog, Ron Paul & Other Things

  • I preface my comment by noting that I am not an American (although I do live in the United States). That may matter, as I may lack some of the context that another might consider a prerequisite to having an opinion on this matter.

    I am one of those who does admire Ron Paul. In theory, I need not endorse everything a candidate does in order to admire him or her for it is the character of a person, to me, that is more important than the specific views he or she holds (although I don’t want to belittle the relation between the two). Persons may disagree, but I believe Ron Paul is a person of decency and courage.

    Having said this, it is hard not to join those citing the inappropriateness of his reaction. Integrity is not itself evidenced in having consistency, which people often credit to the former Congressman, but rather in having the courage, I think, to reverse oneself when brought before a wrong committed.

    I, for one, will be interested to see how this story develops.

    KW.

  • Ron Paul was too clever by half. Being one of the few politicians left whose thinking is marked by logical clarity instead of bathos or chicanery, it is obvous that he thought he was making a brilliant point, by pointing out the analogy between the proverbial person, armed with a hammer who thinks that every problem is nail, and a soldier who thinks that every difficulty can be handled after a day of letting loose in the range. He was of course insensitive to the dead, but Twitter is a format that positively thrives on stupid thoughts and should therefore be avoided by everyone but twits.

  • Ron Paul’s latest outburst reaffirms what I have always believed about him: that he is a heartless, cruel, and mean spirited nut job, For you to liken his using the tragic murder of an American hero as a pretext to launch another crazy tirade to Todd Akin’s remarks, which were poorly stated at worst, is reprehensible, but not surprising.

  • Reprehensible?

    I find your use of the word reprehensible to be reprehensible, not to mention idiotic – but that isn’t surprising either.

    Todd Akin’s remarks were politically stupid. So were Ron Paul’s. Both were attempting to make a semi-valid point and failed miserably. The comments have that much in common. If you are so over-emotionally hysterical and sensitive that you can’t see that, well, you have my pity. I hope you find the help you need to deal with that.

  • I hope you find the help you need to deal with that.

    Take a chill pill, Bonchamps.

  • Ron Paul’s comments were merely politically stupid? You do a much better job making my case than I ever could.

  • Paleo-libertarian? As if we needed another flavor of libertarian? Good luck with that.

  • Ron Paul has a history of saying stupid things. Akin?

  • Ok.

    Paul Z: I’ll “chill out” (by which I presume you mean, act sufficiently docile) when I’m dead. Until then, I’ll stay warm.

    Greg: I never said the word “merely.” You dishonestly put that word in my mouth. This is a pattern with you. You should work on that.

    JL: lol

    J. Christian: Paleo-libertarianism already existed. It wasn’t widely known, and still isn’t. Maybe I can do something about that. One popular paleo-libertarian is Ilana Mercer:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ilana_Mercer

    I’d argue that Ron Paul is more or less a paleo-libertarian, though he doesn’t use that label.

    Kyle: Sure, if you oppose his politics, I’m sure most things he says sound “stupid” to you. This comment, however, sounded stupid even to many of us who don’t typically and reflexively think the things he says are stupid.

    And yes… um… Akin. It was stupid on that level. It alienated potential supporters.

    Is it so hard to understand how these comments have similar consequences? Is this really a difficult concept?

  • Bonchamps:

    I didn’t quote you when I used the word “merely”. It was a characterization (and I think an accurate one) of your description of Ron Paul’s remarks. I thought the absence of quotation marks in conjunction with the context of your remarks made that sufficiently clear. But apparently not. In any event, no dishonesty on my part.

  • No dishonesty?

    You are imputing dishonorable motivations to me without sufficient evidence.

    Your characterization isn’t accurate.

    If you weren’t being dishonest, you were being thoughtless. I won’t hold my breath waiting for a retraction.

  • I mean, its not enough that I think the comments were ill-considered and insensitive. No. I have to hate Ron Paul as much as you do, or I am as hateful and demented as you wrongly assume Ron Paul to be.

    I think I’ll turn down the invitation to the warped and unjust reality you inhabit.

  • Bonchamps:

    Was Ron Paul’s statement regarding Chris Kyle’s murder worse than Todd Akin’s remarks or weren’t they?

  • What do you mean by “worse”, and why does it even matter? Why are you determined to quantify this?

    I’m not bringing them up to compare their content, but rather their effects. The effects are similar. I don’t know if they are quantitatively identical. I don’t think such a thing is even measurable. In both cases you have a political movement that will suffer to some unknowable but definite degree because of one man’s thoughtless remarks. That’s the point. Why in the heck you would attribute bad motives to me for making this point is beyond me. It strikes me as demented.

    You want to know what I think about the content? I think it was an extremely callous way to make a point, and I don’t even agree with the point he was making. I don’t believe Kyle “lived by the sword” like some kind of mercenary, the quotation was inapplicable. Was this “worse” than what Akin said? Objectively, maybe. Subjectively, I don’t think either man intended to harm or offend anyone. Both remarks were thoughtless.

    I’m not wound up about the content. And it doesn’t have a single thing to do with Ron Paul’s views nor does it tarnish the valuable service that he himself has provided this country. It was one stupid comment. To defend the comment or to savagely and eternally condemn the man who made it are equally stupid and risible extremes.

  • In an objective comparison, there is no maybe about the fact that Dr Paul’s callous remark (to use your own word) is far worse than Akin’s. Akin’s comments, while clumsily stated and partially correct in terms of the facts, were not callous. The idea that you are more concerned about the political effect than the content is disturbing. This has everything to do with what he thinks. This not just one stupid comment. This is the same Ron Paul who not only equated our going into Pakistan to kill bin Laden without notifying them to China killing a Chinese dissident on our soil. He also equated our invasion
    of Iraq with China invading us in the 2008 GOP debate. To say this has nothing to with his views is utter nonsense.

    Oh, I do not hate Ron Paul nor have I ever urged you to do so either. I stand by my characterization of him in my first comment on this thread. But I don’t hate him. I dislike him but I don’t hate him.

  • I’ll “chill out” (by which I presume you mean, act sufficiently docile)

    I mean not imputing mental illness to people who disagree with you.

  • Ron Paul was too clever by half. Being one of the few politicians left whose thinking is marked by logical clarity instead of bathos or chicanery, it is obvous that he thought he was making a brilliant point, by pointing out the analogy between the proverbial person, armed with a hammer who thinks that every problem is nail, and a soldier who thinks that every difficulty can be handled after a day of letting loose in the range. He was of course insensitive to the dead, but Twitter is a format that positively thrives on stupid thoughts and should therefore be avoided by everyone but twits.

    Educate me, Ivan. What indication is there that the deceased thought “every difficulty can be handled after a day of letting loose on the range”? How does Dr. Paul, who has a 35 year history of promoting crank monetary schemes and fancies that the dispositions and behavior of the government of Iran is perfectly reasonable because we pass (contextually modest, one might note) subsidies to Israel manifest ‘logical clarity’? Are you saying the logically clear Dr. Paul is a twit because he makes use of twitter?

  • Ron Paul’s latest outburst reaffirms what I have always believed about him: that he is a heartless, cruel, and mean spirited nut job

    How about “silly crank so consumed with his hobby horses that his assessment of just about everything is hopelessly reductionist”?

  • Paul Z,

    Are your blinders so thick that you really believe that Greg was merely “disagreeing” with me in some sort of gentleman’s dispute?

    I love disagreement. I crave it. I hunger for it.

    What I don’t love or tolerate is people questioning my motives and calling me “reprehensible” for not making the exact point they would have made or would like to see made and for assuming I wouldn’t make it. That IS demented.

  • Greg,

    You are way more invested in this than I am. I don’t crucify people over irresponsible public remarks. I look at their entire record. Even if you add in a few other questionable Ron Paul statements, there are still thousands of statements that are right on the money as far as I am concerned.

    And I happen to agree with some of those other comments. I DO believe that the government’s (not “our” – I had nothing to do with it) invasion of Iraq was an aggressive, immoral and possibly criminal enterprise. The only error in comparing it to China is that China hasn’t launched an aggressive invasion of another country, unless you count the thrashing it gave Vietnam in 1979 (and that was only in response to Vietnam’s invasion of Cambodia, which at least happened on China’s borders and therefore posed a plausible national security threat).

  • What I don’t love or tolerate is people questioning my motives and calling me “reprehensible” for not making the exact point they would have made or would like to see made and for assuming I wouldn’t make it. That IS demented.

    It’s not demented. It’s a different tack than perhaps I would have taken, but it was an opinion.

    Look, I respect your opinions and I’m glad that you haven’t attempted to defend the indefensible. But you need to stop treating every comment criticizing you as a personal attack. So I repeat, chill.

  • I love disagreement. I crave it. I hunger for it.

    Is that why you stuck me on moderation?

    I DO believe that the government’s (not “our” – I had nothing to do with it) invasion of Iraq was an aggressive, immoral and possibly criminal enterprise. The only error in comparing it to China is that China hasn’t launched an aggressive invasion of another country, unless you count the thrashing it gave Vietnam in 1979 (and that was only in response to Vietnam’s invasion of Cambodia, which at least happened on China’s borders and therefore posed a plausible national security threat).

    I think China sending hundreds of thousands of troops across the Yalu River in 1951 constitutes something in the category ‘aggressive’.

    As for the invasion of Iraq in 2003, it is non-sequitur to refer to ‘criminal’ enterprises where there is no penal code. That aside, the President faced real decisions in a context of uncertainty of both situation and outcome. You can remove the sanctions (and allow Iraq to rebuild its WMD capacity), you can leave the sanctions on (which Big Consciences assured us were causing hundreds of thousands of excess deaths a year), or you can eject the government. Not too many pleasant options.

  • Paul,

    When someone says that something I did was “reprehensible”, I take it as a personal attack. I guess that’s just nuts.

  • As for this,

    “Is that why you stuck me on moderation?”

    You don’t want me to list the reasons why I stuck you on moderation.

  • Bonchamps:

    Once again you do exactly what you accusse me of doing. i never ever called you reprehensible. I called you likening Ron Paul’s despicable attack on the late Chris Kyle (and yes he was attacking Kyle not just the war fought in) with Todd Akin’s innocuouos by camparison remarks reprehensible. And it is. Sorry you don’t like it. But I guess ther truth hurts.

  • Oh, and by the way, I also find the fact the fact that you don’t seem to be too disturbed by Ron Paul’s remarks reprehensible. Here is a man you think highly of making a statement that is basically a verbal spit on the grave of a man who put his life on the line for this country, has not retracted such remarks. And it doesn’t disturb you? What else do you call that?

  • I call it a personal attack.

    I really couldn’t care less what you think of me or anything else. I just object to Paul Z’s strange idea that what you are doing isn’t a personal attack.

    I told you what I thought of Ron Paul’s comments. If that isn’t good enough, fine. I’ll be “reprehensible” in your eyes. See if I lose any sleep over it.

  • Oh, and…

    ” i never ever called you reprehensible. ”

    I never said you called me reprehensible. Well, at least not before. I said:

    “When someone says that something I did was “reprehensible”, I take it as a personal attack.”

    For the record, I see it as a distinction without a difference.

  • Ok, I srand corrected. But yes what you did in downplaying Ron Paul’s remarks with the Akin comparison is reprehensible!!

  • I shall probably regret this comment, nevertheless…

    First, most TAC contributors (not all) use their real names, thereby taking personal responsibility and accountability for what they write (whether here at TAC or over at the Catholic Stand or on their own personal blogs), and a fair number of commenters do as well. In fact, even in the case of those who may use pseudonyms, it is easy to find out who they really are. They have no need to keep their identities secret, except in this case. (NOTE: Because I don’t wish to debate an undebatable person, I am maintaining my anonymity in the same way as the author of this blog post maintains his – fair is fair.)

    Second, the type of personal animosity given against detractors in the com box for his own post by a TAC contributor is rare, and it denigrates the reputation of TAC as a blog with a higher standard or quality than that. Perhaps one does not crave debate or disagreement as one claims, except when one can demonstrate one’s victory against those whose manipulation of logic is not nearly as adept or deft as one’s own, thereby raising into public acclaim one’s own intellectual brilliance.

    Third, there are those who under the banner of libertarianism act as though they can reject authority, particularly when that authority does not agree with their preconceived notions to which they hold an almost infantile fist-grasp. They almost seem to feel as though their intellectual brilliance in one or two areas, or their ability to trip others up in logic-debates automatically carries over into other areas, entitling and authorizing them to determine what sources of knowledge are valid in fields where they have never worked nor possess any expertise, and to force that determination on others through ridicule and personal accusation.

    Fourth, I won’t respond to debating this comment. I know where the conversation will go. Personal liberty means accountability, responsibility and respect for authority. Frankly, I am disgusted with the arrogance and disdain for others that is so typical of many (not all) hard-core libertarians I meet.

  • Well, that’s quite an indictment, isn’t it? We could have had this discussion in private, but if you want to air it all out here, that’s fine with me. I know exactly who you are by your email address, by the way, a regular and frequent poster whom everyone will know when we get to the one and only topic you know anything about.

    First, I don’t use a pseudonym because I want to hide my real name from people like you. It is for professional reasons. You want to know my identity, I’ll be happy to tell you who I am and where I live, and where I go for walks, and where you can find me if you want to say things like this to my face.

    Secondly, TAC is free to give me the boot any time. I’m not going to retract my policy of reacting to personal, petty, childish nonsense directed against me in exactly the way it deserves to be reacted to. Perhaps “one” doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about when making assumptions about the personal motivations of “another.”

    Third, I know exactly who you are. I never made any claim to expertise about nuclear power. I mentioned something about nuclear reactors and something about depleted uranium once or twice in passing, providing links to people who ARE experts to support my brief comments – something every blogger does. This caused you to flip out and write a com-box treatise to cover-up your own intellectual insecurities, practically the equivalent of waving your arms and shouting “look at me, look at me, I know things too! I know things too!” You take every opportunity you can get to bring your professional knowledge of nuclear energy into a conversation, even when it has nothing to do with the conversation for the same pathetic reasons. You practically invented out of thin air – “lied” is usually the applicable word though I’m not sure when it is clearly the product of some kind of deep mental distress – the claim that Ron Paul has a problem with nuclear energy when the man has never said a word against it, or if he has, you certainly didn’t provide it. For what? So you could bring the only topic you have a passing knowledge of into a discussion?

    You admitted to me countless times that you don’t know much about political philosophy, that you admired what I had to say on several topics. Were you lying then too? Now I’m “infantile”? Moreover, you count your professional experience in the field of nuclear energy as the reason why you know so much about it. I teach political science for a living. And I DON’T go into “other areas.” I DO link to the claims of experts in their fields. Or are you the highest authority? I wasn’t aware everyone at Fukushima and everyone who studies DU reports directly to you. I’m so glad I know that now.

    Fourth, I’m not disgusted, but rather amused that you took the time to write all this.

  • Is it wrong that I feel sufficiently entertained by all of this?

  • Not at all. I’m entertained by it myself. It’s so absurd and ridiculous that it can only be entertaining.

  • Third, I know exactly who you are.

  • Well, I’m glad to see you branching out Art. For a while I thought the only movie you’d ever seen was Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

    Still, the only thing funny about your post is that you think it’s funny, when it is as bizarrely out of place as your Spicoli references.

  • I’m taking an editorial prerogative and closing this thread.

Ron Paul Invokes Christ After Reveling in Soldier’s Death

Monday, February 4, AD 2013

This is how Ron Paul greeted the news of the murder of Navy Seal, Chris Kyle.

And here is Ron Paul attempting damage control:

As a veteran, I certainly recognize that this weekend’s violence and killing of Chris Kyle were a tragic and sad event. My condolences and prayers go out to Mr. Kyle’s family. Unconstitutional and unnecessary wars have endless unintended consequences. A policy of non-violence, as Christ preached, would have prevented this and similar tragedies. -REP

You know, at some point you just stop typing. Ron Paul should have done that at the words “Mr. Kyle’s family.” But he had to just double down in order to make a political point.

Perhaps Paul’s next step is to pay the man’s family a visit to pay his respects where he can tell Mr. Kyle’s widow and children that his dad had it coming to him.

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62 Responses to Ron Paul Invokes Christ After Reveling in Soldier’s Death

  • Ron Paul and the Libertarians who support him are idiots, many of whom have the hubris to call themselves Christian. I have nothing but disgust for these people. They support legalization of dope smoking. They oppose nuclear energy. They damn our military. Nothing in them is redeemable.

  • The cult of personality surrounding this man is frightening, especially looking at the comments justifying his vile words.

    One of the troubling tendencies of our time is the tendency of certain political figures to draw followers who are utterly incapable of ever offering fair criticism.

  • Now that just ticks me off. The guy served his country, which is entirely distinct from “living by the sword”, which I would equate to being a gang-banger in some big city somewhere. Perhaps Christ should have told the centurion that his servant didn’t deserve to be healed because the centurion deserved to lose his servant for living by the sword. Maybe Ron Paul should remember that he voted to put our soldiers in harm’s way when he voted to authorize military force following 9/11.

  • I am sorry for my initial response, Paul Z. I just get so disgusted and appalled at some of the things this jerk says. Why are people following this man, some of whom claim to be Christians? We are supposed to be crazy about Christ and the Cross. That’s what St. Paul said he was crazy about – that’s all he said he taught and preached. This guy – Ron Paul – is as much a messiah to the Libertarians as Obama is to the liberals. He is just another one of those little – and sometimes not so little – Antichrists.

    I really need to focus on Jesus and not jerks like this who get me upset. I am going to say a Hail Mary, turn the problem over to her, and go to bed. Have a good night, Paul Z.

  • Thanks for that Paul. It is important to keep in mind that, despite my agreements with them, there are many honest libertarians and Ron Paul supporters. For good or ill, they are generally not the ones hounding social media sites.

  • One small technical correction Paul. SEALs, like Marines, don’t refer to themselves as soldiers. Only the Army refer to themselves as such. SEALs, because they are Nave are still considered sailors.

  • “Soldiers” is used as the generic, though.

    It tends to get the same flinch-response as calling someone a “Former Marine.” (Assuming that someone isn’t trying to insult the guy, I mean.)

    Strictly, it should be “Soldiers’ death.” I believe that the second man killed was a PTSD sufferer being helped. (And, counter to Ron Paul, treating PTSD at a gun range is acceptable– it’s along the lines of the “dust yourself off and get back on the horse” theory of being bucked off. Having PTSD doesn’t mean you become a psycho that can’t be near sharp objects lest you go all Friday the 13th.)

  • Ron Paul is an anti-christ? I’ve heard some extremely absurd comments made here, but that one is truly demented. How one can decry legalizing pot and opposing nuclear energy (neither of which I condone) as the greatest evils in the world while supporting a candidate and a party that champions economic recklessness and wars of aggression is totally, totally beyond me.

    Ron Paul is certainly not perfect (his comment here seems misguided), but the hatred levied at him by self-identified conservatives who allegedly value federalism is simply nonsensical. A clear testament to FOX News’ propaganda capabilities.

    Paul is such an interesting case. No one knows how to deal with him. Criticism of him usually reveals the meaningless of the political language of modern times, in a truly Orwellian fashion. In this bizarre world, anyone who opposes military and political imperialism is automatically “an isolationist.” Anyone who respects the rights of the State’s to engage in the majority of their own governance (which means that each State could enact as much or as little legislation as the want, create a government that is as big or as small as they want) is apparently a “libertarian,” and not a constitutionalist or a federalist, as common sense would seem to indicate.

    Ron Paul is the antithesis of an anti-christ. He seeks no power nor personal gain for himself. He is the epitome of a civil servant, someone who runs for office not to protect and further his own interests, but to preserve the integrity of the rule of law. He ran in this past presidential primary not with any real hope of winning, but in order to share his message of sensible governance. His message has been embraced by scores of young conservative Christians, committed to traditional values and subsidiarity, yet put-off by the GOP’s unwavering commitment to destructive economics, torture, drone strikes, and the usage of the Big Government machinery when it has been in their interest.

    He, again, is by no means perfect, but was a breath of fresh air in a Republican primary that was otherwise dominated by unapologetic war-firsters who show no regard for life if it isn’t American and the puppets of corporate interests.

  • Ron Paul is beneath contempt. He is a small, bitter man who took advantage of the murder of a man infinitely braver than himself to leap aboard his hobby horse. Unlike Ron Paul who voted for the war in Afghanistan, Chris Kyle had absolutely no say in the wars that he fought. As a Seal he fought with courage and skill as he was bound to do by his oath. That Ron Paul should attempt to take advantage of his death to spill some bile is only to be expected by anyone familiar with Paul’s career. The deluded supporters of this wretched fraud need to take a very long look in a mirror.

  • JL, your repeated attempts to defend the indefensible are really absurd. His comments are misguided? The man spoke of another man’s death with undisguised glee. He then chose to hide behind a false piety in order to defend his comments. And you chalk up the reaction to Fox News brainwashing?

    As I said, the cult of personality is strong with his followers.

  • Maybe we should change his title from (R. Pluto) to (R. Alpha Centauri) or (R. Black Hole)?

  • Or maybe (R. A Hole).

  • How one can decry legalizing pot and opposing nuclear energy (neither of which I condone) as the greatest evils in the world while supporting a candidate and a party that champions economic recklessness and wars of aggression is totally, totally beyond me.

    Ron Paul has a long history of goldbuggery. If you are looking to him for an antidote to ‘economic recklessness’, you are going to be disappointed.

    but the hatred levied at him by self-identified conservatives who allegedly value federalism is simply nonsensical. A clear testament to FOX News’ propaganda capabilities.

    If your ‘capabilities’ at assessing what people say to you were better developed, you would have realized that the predominant response to Paul is a mixture of derision and annoyance. Ditto his supporters.

    Paul is such an interesting case. No one knows how to deal with him.

    Yes, they do. They ignore him because he is unserious.

    Criticism of him usually reveals the meaningless of the political language of modern times, in a truly Orwellian fashion. In this bizarre world, anyone who opposes military and political imperialism is automatically “an isolationist.”

    Paul is actually something of a parody of an early 20th century politician. That particular descriptor fits quite well. It bothers his supporters, but so what?

    Anyone who respects the rights of the State’s to engage in the majority of their own governance (which means that each State could enact as much or as little legislation as the want, create a government that is as big or as small as they want) is apparently a “libertarian,” and not a constitutionalist or a federalist, as common sense would seem to indicate.

    Boo hoo.

    He seeks no power nor personal gain for himself.

    He has been an elected official for over 25 years. He is seeking something.

    yet put-off by the GOP’s unwavering commitment to destructive economics, torture, drone strikes, and the usage of the Big Government machinery when it has been in their interest. He, again, is by no means perfect, but was a breath of fresh air in a Republican primary that was otherwise dominated by unapologetic war-firsters who show no regard for life if it isn’t American and the puppets of corporate interests.

    You would be taken more seriously if you could characterize an argument without caricaturing it.

    Eyes on the prize, JL. A man was shot to death in the course of an ordinary pastime by someone with a screw loose. Paul reacted to that with a silly non sequitur in an effort to make a political point. There is a word for someone who does that and for the person offering defenses for someone who does that. The word is ‘jackass’

  • Even as a Ron Paul supporter I have to say the “sword reference” under these circumstances was not appropriate logically or from a “human decency” perspective. However, his second sentence, I do have to say makes some sense. I know Kyle’s heart was in the right place trying to help out a fellow vet, and perhaps this type of therapy might work with some, but it might have been prudent to get a professional opinion before taking such a risk. Heck, dealing with psychological issues is hard enough for licensed professionals.

    Having said that, RP would have been better served by not saying anything (kind of like the First Amendment “hecklers” – even if right in some respect, it really does not help their cause). The comment did have a pretty high level of jackassery.

  • However, his second sentence, I do have to say makes some sense. I know Kyle’s heart was in the right place trying to help out a fellow vet, and perhaps this type of therapy might work with some, but it might have been prudent to get a professional opinion before taking such a risk.

    I have heard from vets this morning who say the immersion therapy does work, but where Kyle may have erred is in not ensuring that the man was getting some other form of therapy as well. In other words, immersion therapy by itself is not sufficient.

  • Paul’s comment about PTSD doesn’t sound like an assessment of the technique. It sound like snark. Now, part of that could be that everything in tweet form sounds like snark. But especially combined with the first sentence it has an inappropriate tone to it. The first sentence is, of course, indefensible.

    Hats off to c matt for criticizing his own guy. Not enough of that online. JL’s declaration that the comment “seems misguided” doesn’t help his argument at all.

  • “How one can decry legalizing pot and opposing nuclear energy (neither of which I condone) as the greatest evils in the world while supporting a candidate and a party that champions economic recklessness and wars of aggression is totally, totally beyond me.”

    I will deal only with the “nuclear” part of the comment (since I started it). Admiral James O. Ellis, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations in these United States gave a presentation at the American Nuclear Society Utility Working Conference on August 16, 2011, entitled, “Let’s Do the Right Thing.” Unfortunately, I cannot share it in a public forum. 🙁 Nevertheless, I can share the following. In this presentation he describes how low cost, abundant, clean, safe energy supply generates prosperity. He shows a map of the world during night time and then in a subsequent slide focuses on the Korean peninsula where the contrast between the poverty stricken North and the wealthy South [which gets 20.5 GWe from 23 reactors (almost 30% of its electricity supply)] is held in stark relief as seen from space. He describes how 1.4 billion people in the world – 20% of the planet’s human population – do not have access to electricity and are living in abject hunger and poverty, a condition that has plagued the majority of our species for most of its life. He shows a bar graph of per capita energy consumption where countries like the OECD ones have the highest level of prosperity, health and longevity, and countries like Sub-Saharan Africa are wracked by pestilence and mass starvation. The difference is energy access. He shows how per capita income rise and poverty falls in developed countries that have an abundance of low cost energy, and the reverse happens in countries where access to low cost energy isn’t available. And of course, we all know that electricity from coal is better than no electricity, and electricity from gas is better than from coal, and electricity from nuclear best yet (only six people died from Fukushima compared with 33,000 who die annually in the US from coal-fired power plant pollution, but no electricity kills even more than coal). And for all the renewable energy advocates, if wind were so great, then we would still be using sailing ships to transport goods across the ocean as the Vikings did, and if solar were so great, then we would still be baking bricks in the sun as the Summerians did 4000 years ago. No wind – no electricity; no sun – no electricity. That’s the condition previous to coal use and what is holding 1.4 billion people in abject poverty and starvation.

    So yes, I stand by my implication that depriving people of access to low cost, safe, clean, abundant energy is evil. There is enough uranium and thorium in Earth’s crust to generate the energy necessary to feed, house, and keep warm in winter or cool in summer a population of 12 billion for ten thousand years or more. That’s what Dr. Bernard Cohen, Physics Professior at the University of Pittsburg, said in the late 1970s / early 1980s. He did NOT exaggerate. The good Lord has given us everything we need for our prosperity, and denying that to those in need is evil.

    Now not every Ron Paulist or libertarian is anti-nuclear energy, nor should on the other hand nuclear energy ever be used except in a safe and responsible manner. But dumping fossil fuel refuse into the atmosphere willy-nilly and creating slush ponds of radioactive coal ash next to coal fired power plants isn’t responsible either (yes, coal releases more radioactivity in the form of naturally occurring radium, uranium and thorium than a nuke plant does). And even less responsible is touting solar or wind as panaceas when spinning reserve from fossil or nuclear is always required.

    Want to end starvation and poverty? Go nuclear. It’s really that simple. A photo of the planet at night shows who has prosperity and who doesn’t. But we elect evil, greedy leaders who will plunge all of us into darkness and we do so because we want to suckle at the teat of the public treasury and have govt bail us out of the bad decisions we make instead of being personally responsible and accountable. We have a President who opposes coal, oil, gas and nuclear, but touts useless freaking solar and wind. So when the lights go out in the coming economic collapse, just remember what I told you. Poverty has been mankind’s normal condition for most of his existence on this planet and what we have today is an abberation.

  • JL-
    false accusations– especially when they’re as moronic as taking basic recognition of really bad behavior as meaning “Ron Paul is an anti-christ”– do not improve the image of rabid Ronulans.

    You’ll notice Bonchamps isn’t here making ludicrous accusations, even though he does agree with Ron Paul on some points. Probably because he’s not a cultists, he just agrees with some points.

    Heck, even Rand Paul had more class, with the simple statement: “Chris Kyle was a hero like all Americans who don the uniform to defend our country. Our prayers are with his family during this tragic time.”

  • Foxfier-

    My comment was in response primarily to Paul Primavera, who did, in fact, call Ron Paul an anti-christ.

    “This guy – Ron Paul – is as much a messiah to the Libertarians as Obama is to the liberals. He is just another one of those little – and sometimes not so little – Antichrists.”

    I’ll address other comments shortly.

  • The cult of personality can cut both ways. Those who dislike certain politicians can characterize said politician in the worst possible light. Ron Paul’s two tweets are full of ass-hattery. However, I fail to see any gleeful elements in them.

  • JL, I rated Ron Paul too high with the descriptor, “anti-christ.” Delusion demogogue is perhaps the most he rates.

  • JL, of course it was wrong to call Paul an anti-Christ. It was also wrong of you to call people “war-firsters” and corporate puppets.

  • I find it reprehensible that Paul had the audacity to criticize a man who killed 160 in defense of our freedom. Mr. Kyle was indeed part of the pride of our nation and this generation’s Fredrick Zoller. May his soul rest in peace

  • Glenn Beck tweets that Ron Paul has joined the Westboro Baptist Church.

  • Pingback: New Blog, Ron Paul & Other Things | The American Catholic
  • I’m going to respond to a number of comments in this one message, as I am writing in a place with no internet connection.

    First off, I feel I need to clarify something. My comment was prompted by and served as a reply to Paul P’s comments that Ron Paul is an Anti-Christ (since redacted) and that his (alleged) support for legalizing weed and opposing nuclear power (two positions he actually doesn’t hold) made him an evil, idiotic, non-Christian, of which nothing was redeemable. Here are the relevant comments:

    “Ron Paul and the Libertarians who support him are idiots, many of whom have the hubris to call themselves Christian. I have nothing but disgust for these people. They support legalization of dope smoking. They oppose nuclear energy. They damn our military. Nothing in them is redeemable.

    This guy – Ron Paul – is as much a messiah to the Libertarians as Obama is to the liberals. He is just another one of those little – and sometimes not so little – Antichrists.”

    My comment was not meant to defend Mr. Paul’s tweet in any way, shape, or form. In fact, I said it was misguided. That probably wasn’t strong enough. It was wrong and he shouldn’t have made it. So, to those who indicate that my defense of Paul against assertions that he is an anti-Christ, idiot, and non-Christian is synonymous with me condoning this particular comment, you are wrong.

    Now on to specifics replies.

    @Paul Z, who said:
    “JL, your repeated attempts to defend the indefensible are really absurd. His comments are misguided? The man spoke of another man’s death with undisguised glee. He then chose to hide behind a false piety in order to defend his comments. And you chalk up the reaction to Fox News brainwashing?”

    Please see above. Also, I’m curious as to what my other acts of “defending the indefensible” are.

    @Art, who says:
    “Ron Paul has a long history of goldbuggery. If you are looking to him for an antidote to ‘economic recklessness’, you are going to be disappointed.”

    I don’t think Ron Paul is a comprehensive political savior, not all. As I’ve said, I find his foreign policy and his conception of federalism to be his most appealing attributes. Paul is not so much a model candidate as he is a needed counter to unethical and destructive policies championed by the GOP establishment, namely an aggressive, invasive, and imperialistic foreign policy and an unfortunate tendency to use the federal government to protect and then bail out selfish and reckless private corporate practices. The fact that some of his ideas are admittedly “kooky” doesn’t change my opinion that he’s right on these two vital issues.

    “If your ‘capabilities’ at assessing what people say to you were better developed, you would have realized that the predominant response to Paul is a mixture of derision and annoyance. Ditto his supporters.”

    I disagree. In this thread alone people have levied the following charges against Ron Paul: he is an Anti-Christ, he is an idiot, he is not a Christian, he is not redeemable, he is a wretched fraud. I can’t read into people’s hearts, but I have an inkling that such venom is the product of more than just annoyance and disagreement.

    “Yes, they do. They ignore him because he is unserious.”

    I’m not sure what you mean by “unserious.” He doesn’t act with the appropriate gravitas? Or his ideas are “not serious?” I assume you mean the latter, and again, I’m not sure why you describe him as such. Certainly, his ideas do not necessarily translate into easily implementable policies, but he hasn’t been running to get elected. He’s been in the public spotlight to offer a much needed critique of the GOP establishment and its abandonment of authentic federalism and nuanced, cautious foreign policy. If you disagree with his ideas that’s fine, but I’m not sure how that’s grounds for writing off him and everything he says as “unserious.”

    “Paul is actually something of a parody of an early 20th century politician. That particular descriptor fits quite well. It bothers his supporters, but so what?”

    On the spectrum of isolationism and imperialism, Paul is definitely a shift away from the imperialism pole. So if that’s what you’re trying to get at by calling him an isolationist, then fine.

    “Boo hoo.”

    ?

    “He has been an elected official for over 25 years. He is seeking something.”

    It seems to me that he is genuinely concerned about the GOP’s departure from an authentic interpretation of the Constitution, and has used his public platform to raise awareness of this reality. I suppose he gets paid, so yes, it would appear that his self-interest is in someway served by his political career. I guess he isn’t Jesus.

    “You would be taken more seriously if you could characterize an argument without caricaturing it.”

    This entire thread is filled with almost nothing but caricatures, so if that’s an argument that more or less everything said on this topic so far does not deserve to be taken seriously, then I agree.

    “Eyes on the prize, JL. A man was shot to death in the course of an ordinary pastime by someone with a screw loose. Paul reacted to that with a silly non sequitur in an effort to make a political point. There is a word for someone who does that and for the person offering defenses for someone who does that. The word is ‘jackass’ ”

    I defended Paul against charges that he is an Anti-Christ, a non-Christian, and an idiot. I did not defend his comments regarding Kyle, although perhaps I didn’t condemn them forcibly enough. Still, I’m relieved that I’m not a jackass according to your definition.

    @Paul P, who said:
    “I will deal only with the “nuclear” part of the comment (since I started it). Admiral James O. Ellis, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations in these United States gave a presentation…”

    Paul, we all appreciate your wealth of knowledge with regards to nuclear power. And I agree with you that nuclear power has the capacity to do a lot of good in the world (though I think you’re belief that it can single-handedly solve most of the world’s problems is errant, and smacks of a Baconian conception of conquering nature and perfecting mankind through science). However, you didn’t really address my point, which is namely that if Ron Paul and his followers are evil and irredeemable for (allegedly) supporting the legalization of pot and (allegedly) opposing the use of nuclear power, then certainly the same could be said for Romney and the rest of the GOP establishment who, in my estimation, support far more nefarious positions.

    Furthermore, I actually want to address the charges you levy against Paul ( I can’t speak for the majority of his supporters).

    From everything I could find, Ron Paul most certainly does NOT oppose the use of nuclear power, on principle. He seems to be opposed to the idea of the federal government subsidizing nuclear power.

    “Congressman Paul supports nuclear, wind, solar, and any other forms of energy production, However, he opposes subsidies to them as he does not believe that the federal government has the right to take money from one person to subsidize the energy desires of another. However, Congressman Paul has sponsored legislation to provide tax incentives to alternative energy sources.”

    “I think nuclear is great. I think it’s the safest form of energy we have.”

    “I’m scared to death they are going to quit building nuclear power plants.”

    “Much of the reaction to the nuclear power crisis in Japan is “overblown,” but the U.S. seems unlikely now to build another nuclear power plant, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) said Tuesday night.

    “My guess is, when the dust settles, it won’t be nearly as bad as some of the scare tactics we have been reading about in the past couple of days,” Paul, an advocate of nuclear power, told Fox Business Network. “Nuclear power is very dangerous, but it is also the safest form of energy we have.”

    And with regards to marijuana, Paul is certainly not for legalizing weed across the nation. He is simply for allowing the states to decide this matter, as the Constitution seems to suggest.

  • Thanks, JL, for the correction with regard to where Ron Paul stands in respect to nuclear energy.

  • And, unbelievable as it may seem, Paul’s presidential run never took off . . .

    Twain: “Suppose your were a Congressman. And, suppose you were an idiot. But, I repeat myself.”

    Poor judgment, lack of circumspection, inexperience, immaturity, ignorance (lack of context). Open mouth, place in size twelve . . .

  • @T. Shaw:

    In a country where “Twilight” is popular literature, and Lady Gaga and Maroon 5 dominate the airwaves, I really don’t think popular support is a very worthwhile indicator of something’s value.

  • “In a country where ‘Twilight’ is popular literature, and Lady Gaga and Maroon 5 dominate the airwaves, I really don’t think popular support is a very worthwhile indicator of something’s value.”

    Gotta agree with JL, here. Popular support is probably an indication of how valueless something is.

    😉

  • Paul is unpopular ergo he is worthwhile, especially when he makes comments such as that Twit.

  • Above all, versus a lot of the people criticizing Ron Paul such as Ted Nugent and Glenn Beck, Ron Paul is a veteran and our country would be a lot better with a lot of his policies, last I saw, America was still a place of Free Speech. And has one seen now per over at the Blaze, the alleged killer, Routh was in a Mental Institution 2 times over the 5 months so I’m sorry to say, that indicates that the gun range probably wasn’t the best place to take Routh.

    All that said, Ron Paul spoke inappropriately as if he did not understand the situation well. His remarks were in poor taste.

  • Above all, versus a lot of the people criticizing Ron Paul such as Ted Nugent and Glenn Beck, Ron Paul is a veteran and our country would be a lot better with a lot of his policies,

    Ron Paul was born in 1935. Military conscription was in effect without interruption from 1948 to 1973 and men commonly enlisted in lieu of being drafted. The 1971 edition of the Statistical Abstract of the United States published some summary statistics on the service history of men born during the years running from 1930 through 1938. The figures were as follows: 55% had been on active duty, 9% were in the Guard and Reserves throughout, 24% were disqualified on medical grounds, &c., and 12% were not called or were deferred.

    Glenn Beck was born in 1964. Military conscription was discontinued when he was eight years old. During the years he was of an age to enlist (1982 to 2000), there was no compelling reason to do so unless you were at loose ends or considering the military as a vocation. (The 1st Gulf War having been quite brief and fought by activating reserve units).

    From the same sources, you can construct an estimate of the service histories of the men born during the years running from 1939 through 1953 (and that would include Ted Nugent, b. 1948). A similar share were disqualified, but a much larger share (~30%) appear to have been deferred or simply not called. Most men in those cohorts (~63%) were never on active duty in the regular armed forces. You can criticize Nugent for not having enlisted. He never attended college, so he had no student deferment.

    last I saw, America was still a place of Free Speech.

    No one has proposed prosecuting Dr. Paul. He has a right to say what he pleases, not a right to be free from rebukes.

    And has one seen now per over at the Blaze, the alleged killer, Routh was in a Mental Institution 2 times over the 5 months so I’m sorry to say, that indicates that the gun range probably wasn’t the best place to take Routh.

    A psychiatric ward will be shot through with people who are in a miserable frame of mind for various reasons, people addled by voices in their heads, young women who have unaccountably lost interest in eating (or are engaged in vomiting up their meals), men of various ages who have fondled the youth of the nation, and oldsters lost in senile dementia. Very few are violent. A larger number are suicidal. Few people who commit suicide do so with a rifle, shotgun, or muzzle-loader.

  • Art Deco: Thanks for history lesson, that doesn’t change anything regarding Ron Paul being a veteran and Glenn Beck and Ted Nugent not being such.

  • “Paul is unpopular ergo he is worthwhile, especially when he makes comments such as that Twit.”

    Ah! I see what you did there! But alas, Chesterton you are not. The inverse of a given thing is not made true just because the original things itself is false.

  • that doesn’t change anything regarding Ron Paul being a veteran and Glenn Beck and Ted Nugent not being such.

    You brought up their service history as a means of giving a mulligan to Dr. Paul due to his military service. If you are saying their military service renders their character or judgment better, this example is not one you want to use. If you say that their decisions on military service are an indicator of their character antecedent to service, one has to note that they made the decisions they made in dissimilar contexts.

    While we are on the subject…

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/01/10/1053244/-Ron-Paul-s-Timeline-Problem-When-Where-or-Did-He-Complete-His-OBGYN-Residency#

    Is a discussion forum on lacunae in Dr. Paul’s published biographies. It appears he completed the internship and residency requirements to practice as an obstetrician and gynecologist at the end of 1969. It also appears he received a medical degree in July of 1961, give or take a few weeks. Not sure what the deal was in Pennsylvania or in Texas ca. 1965, but in New York ca. 1993 internship and residency for an obstetrician amounted to four years and residents were rotated out at the end of June. It would appear he was employed as a GP by the Air Force (with the title of ‘flight surgeon’) for an indeterminate number of years, then started his residency upon discharge. Medical residents in that era commonly worked 108 hours a week, so it is difficult to see how he could compete a residency and serve in the Air National Guard as his Wikipedia entry says (while siring 5 children).

  • “As an O.B. doctor of thirty years, and having delivered 4,000 babies, I can assure you life begins at conception.”- Ron Paul, 2007. This is what I find of importance per Ron Paul. Now, PaulBots and a lot of your Libertarian Party people really don’t follow this at all, the Libertarian Party in fact does not have this in its platform. Those people can be annoying but Ron Paul himself is fine and a Vet.

  • Ron Paul is not a libertarian. Only people who think the federal government, housed in the Imperial City, is the only level of government that matters make the mistake of thinking RP is a libertarian. He is a federalist.

  • JL: But Ron Paul is the darling of Libertarians similar to Sarah Palin’s status with Tea Party enthusiasts, I think he ran on their ticket for President one year, 1988 for the Libertarian party. Yes, it is often written that Ron Paul is more about States Rights and that is apparent if one knows his political positions. Perhaps it is easier to say Libertarian in the MSM rather than States Rights or Federalist Ron Paul.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ron_Paul
    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2011/10/libertarian-party-tells-ron-paul-to-come-on-over/
    http://www.gopusa.com/news/2011/05/13/libertarian-ron-paul-running-for-president-on-republican-ticket/

  • JL: True (meant to start that last statement off in that manner) but..

    Rand Paul actually by definition might be even less of a Libertarian but that won’t stop news reports calling him the most Libertarian member of Congress.

  • JL,

    Ron Paul is a libertarian and a federalist. Meaning, while he respects state’s rights, if he had his say at the state level, it would be a libertarian state.

    I mean, he is a proponent of Austrian economics, legalizing drugs, non-interventionism, the non-aggression principle – he is an ideological libertarian.

  • Fair enough, Bonchamps. I’m just making the point that he wouldn’t impose ideological libertarinism at the state-level across the country. States would be relatively free to decide the extent and size of their governments. Right?

  • Of course. Ron Paul isn’t fighting to establish a new ideological regime. He is fighting for an originalist application of the Constitution.

  • Is it really correct to say that he is “FOR legalizing drugs?” Rather, isn’t it the case that he believes the legality of this issue should not be decided at a federal level?

    Not to be nit-picky, but I feel it’s a crucial distinction, especially when trying to challenge assertions that Ron Paul is a soulless heathen who wants everyone to smoke pot.

  • @JL: Absolutely correct JL, this would be illustrated say with prostitution regulated in Nevada or the marijuana laws now in Washington and Colorado, the States are deciding these issues.

  • JL,

    It is correct to say he is for legalizing drugs.

    One can believe, without contradiction, that the legality of the issue shouldn’t be decided at the federal level, and that the states should, for any number of reasons, legalize drugs.

    What he doesn’t believe is that they ought to be forced to.

    Surely there are all kinds of things we think are good ideas that we still believe ought not be forced. I would say drug legalization is one of them. Yes the states should be able to make drugs illegal. But for various reasons, they shouldn’t, and we have the right to conduct our own public campaigns to inform voters why they shouldn’t. That’s where I’m coming from on this.

  • One can believe, without contradiction, that the legality of the issue shouldn’t be decided at the federal level, and that the states should, for any number of reasons, legalize drugs.

    Whether or not to allow street drugs to be shipped across state lines or across the international border is a question for the federal legislature.

  • Regarding the legalization of drugs, at least one Bishop in the Roman Catholic Church has common sense, though he resides in a country other than ours:

    http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/argentinian-archbishop-stresses-opposition-to-drug-legalization/

  • Paragraph 2291 in the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

    The use of drugs inflicts very grave damage on human health and life. Their use, except on strictly therapeutic grounds, is a grave offense. Clandestine production of and trafficking in drugs are scandalous practices. They constitute direct co-operation in evil, since they encourage people to practices gravely contrary to the moral law.

    —–

    Note the words: “direct co-operation in evil” and “gravely contrary to the moral law”.

    And they should be legal? Really?

  • Last comment on this – I hope: The Church (or at least some very important and knowledgeable people in the Church) has said again and again no to drug legalization. See Section 3.2 in “PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR HEALTH PASTORAL CARE CHURCH: DRUGS AND DRUG ADDICTION” (I can’t seem to locate the actual text, only the preface – darn!):

    http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/hlthwork/documents/rc_pc_hlthwork_doc_20011101_chiesa-droga-presentation_en.html

    The preface to this handbook says that it , “…does not treat suppression, to which the Pope makes reference stressing that we all have to fight against the production, processing and distribution of drugs in the world and that it is a special duty of governments to face with courage this fight against the ‘traffickers of death.'” That sounds like a war to any reasonable person.

    EWTN has an article entitled, “SHOULD ‘SOFT’ DRUGS BE LEGALIZED? Pontifical Council for the Family”.

    http://www.ewtn.com/library/CURIA/PCFDRUGS.HTM

    Basically, while the article seems to waffle, the point remains: legalizing drugs makes acceptable what the Catechism of the Catholic Church calls “direct co-operation in evil” and “gravely contrary to the moral law”.

    So, do we believe in what John Paul II and the men under him determined, or do we believe in what someone else says whom we do not know and whose pseudonym is that of a long dead Frenchman?

  • @Art

    “Whether or not to allow street drugs to be shipped across state lines or across the international border is a question for the federal legislature.”

    Yes, but if drug use and drug production were legalized in a particular state, said state wouldn’t necessarily need to ship drugs over international borders. Of course, that could lead all sorts of messy inter-state differences in drug law and instead of having the Mexico-US dynamic we have now, maybe you’d have something like Minnesota-Wisconsin with the associated gang violence.

    I am, for the record, opposed to legalizing drugs, but I think most of my ideas aren’t really relevant in a pluralistic society with natural rights embedded as a permanent philosophical fixture.

  • Of course, that could lead all sorts of messy inter-state differences in drug law and instead of having the Mexico-US dynamic we have now, maybe you’d have something like Minnesota-Wisconsin with the associated gang violence.

    1. States can and do vary in the contours of their drug laws. Nothing new there.

    2. Mexico does not allow free traffick in street drugs. They just have difficulties enforcing the law.

    3. All else being equal, you would not expect Minnesota and Wisconsin to have problems with organized crime of the same magnitude as Mexico. The homicide rate in Wisconsin as we speak is 2.4 per 100,000. That in Minnesota is 1.4 per 100,000. These are among the more tranquil states in the union. Chile has homicide rates in this range, but as a rule Latin American societies are fairly crime-ridden and homicide rates in the range of 13 to 25 per 100,000 are normal.

  • Paul P,

    I don’t believe people should go to prison for using or possessing drugs.

    I support and have called for the U.S. military to destroy the drug cartels in Mexico.

    Your public attacks against me, under your name and the name “Abner” are malicious, pathetic, and will no longer be tolerated.

  • Who are you, Bonchamps? Why do you need a pseudonym?

    The Church has said no to legalizing a direct cooperation with evil and has called on govt’s to fight against it.

    Who cares who Abner is. You know who I am, but no one knows who you are except for being a libertarian spokesperson and a promoter of dope legalization.

  • Thanks, Art Deco. That’s my whole point. Bonchamps is brilliant when it comes to liberty and philosophy and those kinds of subjects. I have quoted him admiringly on Facebook and at my blog. But he’s dead wrong about some things and he just doesn’t want to hear it. Unfortunately, I can’t argue as eloquently as he. Nevertheless, he’s still wrong about drug legalization and one other subject I won’t mention. Gee whiz!

  • Nonsense. I’ve never avoided answering your questions and responding to your points and making my reasoned positions quite clear. It is you who can’t tolerate me disagreeing with you, you who resorts to making outrageous and unfounded statements about my character, you who posts lengthy screeds attacking me.

    You should be ashamed of your behavior. You should apologize for it.

  • “The Church has said no to legalizing a direct cooperation with evil and has called on govt’s to fight against it.”

    That’s as good a basis as any, in my opinion, to oppose something.

    What troubles me is that it is inconsistently applied. That is to say, I find that many times on this blog, by authors and in the comboxes, Church moral and social teachings are used to legitimize already held-beliefs, but are not necessarily sources of belief and conviction in their own right. So we see Church teaching used to oppose things like abortion and gay marriage (correctly), but being ignored in other areas where it may conflict with pre-conceived positions,

    I find this especially true in matters of foreign policy. In fact, authors and commentors have not only failed to use the abundance of Church guidance in forming their positions on these matters, which include but are not limited to economic sanctions, wars of aggression, torture, and the current US drone campaign, but they often hold positions that are directly in contradiction to the Church’s proscriptions.

    I think this is a topic certainly worthy of exploration, and I would like to hear comments from others.

  • Paul:

    Although I am as against the decriminalization of the possession and use of drugs as you are, it is not a matter of Church teaching per se as you seem to believe. The handbook you link to expresses a prudential judgment and is therefore not binding.

    Although I am against the decriminalization of marijuana, I think a valid argument can be made for it. But harder drugs like heroin and crystal meth, it would be dangerously assine to decriminalize the possession and use of such drugs, given their extremely addictive nature and the danger that people under the influence of such drugs pose to society.

  • “instead of having the Mexico-US dynamic we have now, maybe you’d have something like Minnesota-Wisconsin with the associated gang violence.”

    Well, we do already have a similar situation with regard to cigarette smuggling across state lines from low-tax states (MO, IN) to higher-tax states (IL). I have yet to see any evidence of violent gang border wars raging across the Mississippi or Wabash rivers, however.

  • I find this especially true in matters of foreign policy. In fact, authors and commentors have not only failed to use the abundance of Church guidance in forming their positions on these matters, which include but are not limited to economic sanctions, wars of aggression, torture, and the current US drone campaign, but they often hold positions that are directly in contradiction to the Church’s proscriptions.

    1. Drones are precisely targeted and much less likely to result in the death of innocents than other technologies.

    2. There is no comprehensive and binding Church teaching which prohibits the use of economic sanctions, aggressive war, or torture (or the use of enslavement as a legal punishment). It is the justice or injustice incorporated in their use that is key.

    3. ‘Torture’ is an inflammatory term to describe various practices (simulated drowning, noodling about with the temperature in jail cells, &c.) not normally considered to be under that rubric. Peace-and-justice Catholics need their excuses and making a great deal of hay about this is one of them. It’s 79% humbug. More humbug concerns capital punishment (with regard to which certain boundary conditions are at least clear), various and sundry welfare programs, and ‘preventive war’.

Third Party Love & Hate

Tuesday, September 25, AD 2012

A couple of posts at Breitbart’s “Big Government” site have resulted in thousands of comments  and intense debate between libertarians and conservatives, and between libertarians themselves over the merits of supporting a third-party/independent alternative to Mitt Romney. Having been involved in third-party politics myself at one point in my life, I am sympathetic to the cause. But given the stakes this November, I’ve decided to hold my nose and vote for Romney, as I’ve already posted here at TAC.

I must say, however, in response Kurt Schlichter (the author of the aforelinked pieces) that I regard this as a highly personal choice, and not one that I am willing to guilt others into making. On many of the issues that matter to me and other Ron Paul supporters, Romney is absolutely abysmal and nearly indistinguishable from Obama, whether we are talking about civil liberties, constitutional protection of the lives of American citizens (even the bad ones), foreign policy, monetary policy, and a host of related issues. Those who prioritize such issues cannot be expected to give Romney their vote. There was also the disgraceful treatment of Ron Paul and his delegates by the GOP at the RNC this year. Schlichter would have us basically forget all about it.

With that said, however, when Ron Paul stopped actively campaigning for the GOP nomination, his candidacy in effect came to an end. There certainly is something bizarre about a pledge to vote for a man who by the looks of things would like to settle into a well-deserved, hard-earned retirement from public life. I always suspected that Paul didn’t really want to be president. Some see this as a positive trait, and it can be in certain contexts, but men also need leaders. If that makes me sound fascistic, so be it. Human nature is what it is.

So people who accept the reality that Paul is unable or unwilling to capture the nomination and the Presidency are then faced with other options. I’ve explained my choice, but many others are considering Gary Johnson, and Schlichter is addressing them as well (as well as Virgil Goode, the Constitution Party candidate’s supporters). Aside from the fact that Johnson is pro-choice and therefore unsupportable for Catholics, I don’t begrudge anyone the right to support either of these men as an alternative to Romney.

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18 Responses to Third Party Love & Hate

  • “. . . but men need [sic] also need leaders. If that makes me sound fascistic, so be it.”

    Not at all. Leaders take many forms. The biggest difference between what the Obammunist/Peoples’ Democratic Party and Libertarians would call “a leader” is that the O/PDC believes Leaders should be iconic, centralized power-structure figures, a` la Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Mussolini, Chavez, Castro, Kim, Kim, Kim. . .

    Libertarians, both “large-L” and “small-l,” believe leaders are those who lead their families, communities and nation best by serving them, in the example of the ultimate Servant Leader, Jesus Christ. Those who provide the skill, foresight and initiative to risk and grow business, to plan and execute charitable causes and to provide models of involvement and direction not from a lofty Ivory Tower but from the trenches where they serve are who we call “leaders” because they lead by example and not by dictate.

    Nothing fascistic about that.

  • To me, it comes down to winning battles, or winning the war. Winning the war is changing our culture of death to one of life. The coming election is just one battle in that war. Despite what some insist, I don’t believe the election of Romney will stop our sprint to Gomorrah. If we sell our vote to the Republican party to win this battle, we will have gained indefensible ground. Romney, despite his prolife platitudes, is pro-abortion at heart. His only difference with Obama on foreign policy would probably be Israel. Economically, he will at best only slow the ticking of our debt bomb. “Independent” voters will see the lack of change in 2016 and give us another lost battle.

  • I get where you’re coming from, but it is hard to win a war without winning any battles. I don’t really disagree with you that Romney is not going to do much (probably slow our sprint to a light jog, perhaps). But, as Bonchamps correctly points out, Romney is at least marginally better/less bad than the O.

  • WK,

    Thanks for highlighting my egregious late-night typo, lol. I think libertarians/constitutionalists/paleocons (the “alt-right”, as it were) need a leader who isn’t afraid to lead and who doesn’t approach politics as if it were a smelly diaper. We need a leader who is willing to, to continue the metaphor, get his hands dirty. Not too dirty, not “hop into bed with Wall Street” dirty, but at least more aggressive and organized than what we have seen from Ron Paul or before him Pat Buchanan.

    Tony H,

    I agree with you, more or less, though I believe Romney has no choice but to govern in a pro-life manner. I’m not convinced Romney will even slow the debt bomb, but I am convinced he won’t lift a finger to stop the implosion of the dollar. I believe he will continue the vast majority of Obama’s policies, which are themselves continuations of Bush’s policies. One thing I think he won’t do, though, is press Obama’s war against the Church and religious freedom in general. And that is important to me, and significant enough to warrant my vote.

  • We need a leader who is willing to, to continue the metaphor, get his hands dirty. Not too dirty, not “hop into bed with Wall Street” dirty, but at least more aggressive and organized than what we have seen from Ron Paul or before him Pat Buchanan.

    Dirty, not enjoying filth. Difference between dirt under the nails and someone who just never washes his hands.

  • I think libertarians/constitutionalists/paleocons (the “alt-right”, as it were) need a leader who isn’t afraid to lead and who doesn’t approach politics as if it were a smelly diaper.

    It might help if libertarians could ever acknowledge there were social problems other than ‘government failure’, constitutionalists could figure out that positive law should reflect conceptions of justice and notions of prudence and does not form the essence of them, and the rest of them to stop pushing projects of dubious utility and validity (Austrian economics, ‘race-realism’, and the various and sundry personal complaints, conceits, and emotional disorders of palaeo spokesmen).

  • I realize that a second Obama term is the worst thing that could happen.

  • Well, up until now, it’s been a tiny movement. It hasn’t been producing great leaders for the same reason that China gets more Olympic medals than Liechtenstein.

    The biggest thing to hit the libertarian cause hasn’t been a political party, but a movement. The tea partiers have given the libertarians a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The relative health of the Tea Party movement is going to be pretty easy to measure come Election Day; if it is still healthy, the libertarians would be smart to cement their bonds with it.

  • This is a good piece. Rhetorically caning those who are going to, or are likely to, vote 3d party does nothing on behalf of a major party candidate.

    I think libertarians/constitutionalists/paleocons (the “alt-right”, as it were) need a leader who isn’t afraid to lead and who doesn’t approach politics as if it were a smelly diaper.

    What Art said, and let me elaborate slightly:

    Libertarians need to acknowledge that individual liberty grew in America as part of an ecosystem with an indispensible buttress: a socially conservative/religious ethic which mandated delayed gratification, duties to others apart from the self, and an understanding of “rendering unto Caesar” that put Caesar firmly in his place. Reading contributors to “Reason” and viewing Libertarian candidacies in general, there isn’t the beginnings of a glimmer of a clue on this point. Somehow, Caesar marches on despite their atomistic arguments and defenses of license. Oddly enough.

    “Constitutionalism” does have a worrisome tendency to engage in debates that Talmud scholars or students of the Scholastics would find too impractical, abstract and technical. Reciting the Constitutional provision is the beginning of wisdom. But only the beginning.

    Paleos need to stop gnashing their teeth over Appomattox and busing.

  • Pinky,

    I hate to say it, but the “Tea Party” movement was co-opted a long time ago and is virtually indistinguishable from the mainstream GOP. When a committed foreign policy hawk like Allen West is the model “Tea Party” candidate, there will only be ruptures between that movement and the libertarian movement. There are many areas I think conservatives and libertarians can overlap, but on the question of liberty vs. safety, there is an unbridgeable chasm. I have a bit to say about this.

    We (the paleo side of ) will not sacrifice liberty for “safety”, and we do not view “Islamo-fascism”/threats to Israel as anywhere near what ought to be America’s priorities. We are a new generation that did not grow up during the post-war period, does not view America as a global actor as if it had a halo, wings, and the rosy red cheeks of the cherubim, firing little Cupid-arrows of freedom at mean old dictatorships, and do not wish to commit trillions more dollars to overseas adventurism.

    Like I said in a previous post, our message to the rest of the world is the same as one of the last Roman emperors to the far-flung imperial posts in places like Britain: look to your own defenses. American decline is real and inevitable, and it can be graceful with a chance for recovery and maintenance of great-power status like the United Kingdom, or it can be catastrophic like the Roman or Soviet collapse. But the view, common in the “Tea Party” I think, that America has a divine right to permanent superpower status is in our view a pathetic delusion. And this is what primarily divides, in my opinion, the “Tea Party” from the libertarian/constitutional/paleocon movement, the true “Alternative Right.” It is not, contrary to what some believe, “social issues.” Which brings me to…

    Dale Price,

    “Libertarians need to acknowledge…”

    Yes, and I think many of them do acknowledge those things. I think that was the significance of the Ron Paul campaign. Ron Paul is adamantly pro-life. Even if some social conservatives don’t agree with his emphasis on state’s rights, there is no doubt that he not only morally opposes abortion (with libertarian arguments, no less), but believes that the role of the state (at some level) is to protect innocent human life. He has also emphasized the role that churches played in providing medical care long before there was government involvement in these areas. A Ron Paul “alternative right” coalition has many seats at the table for principled pro-lifers and social conservatives in general, provided, I think, that we retain a local/state level emphasis instead of insisting that only the federal government can restore the social fabric.

    What libertarians REALLY need to understand is what Charles Murray brilliantly analyzed earlier this year – the role of the family in establishing economic and social security. The disintegration of the family only increases the justification for statist intervention. The stronger the family, the weaker the rationale for government involvement in our lives. So it is in the vital best interest of the libertarian to support conservative social values at least on SOME level.

  • Austrian economics a ‘project?’ Is gravity a ‘notion?’

  • Bon, I’m not sure that you can conflate libertarians and paleos. At least, not in a border state. For many of the people who would self-identify as either group, the whole lump of national issues (language, immigration, trade) are really important, but they hold exactly opposite views.

    Also, you may be too quick to write off the Tea Party, or more accurately the set of emotions which lie behind the many organizations that arose under that broad title.

  • Pinky,

    I don’t mean to conflate libertarians and paleocons. But if Murray Rothbard could support Pat Buchanan, I think there is some hope for a coalition. Ron Paul has pointed out, as well, that unrestricted immigration is a fiscal nightmare as long as the welfare state exists. A libertarian who supports unrestricted immigration in the current political climate is simply irrational and working against his own presumable goal of eliminating the welfare state.

    Of course, there will always be the dispute between economic nationalists and free traders, between a vocal and virulent anti-capitalist minority on the right and the Austrians, and so on.

    But I really think that there is more agreement than disagreement. Both want the state out of their lives. Both are opposed to foreign military adventurism. Both are opposed to the bailouts, to Fed’s unlimited money-printing scheme, to the toxic revolving door between corporate America and the regulatory bureaucracy. Because of Ron Paul, social conservatism can get a fair hearing from a growing number of libertarians. The importance of the family is not just moral or theological but also economic and social.

    I think what Ron Paul has started can grow into something more. I think he provides the first key link between the libertarians, the constitutionalists, and the paleocons. What is needed is clear thinking on the issues that divide these groups. Some of the differences are legitimate, and others are based upon sheer ignorance, on knee-jerk assumptions, and a horrid lack of imagination. I think these problems can be fixed.

  • Austrian economics a ‘project?’ Is gravity a ‘notion?’.

    1. Yes
    2. No

  • Sure, there’s a subset of pro-family libertarians, and they all attend church on Sunday.

    The problem is, I just might be familiar with all of them.

    And none of them are at the controls of the Johnson campaign, Reason, Cato, etc. Sure, Cato has had some nods to pro-family thinking, but mostly in the context of welfare reform.

    I grant that Paul was pro-life, and admirably so, but that was considered a non-disqualifying eccentricity by the non-religious Paul supporters I’ve interacted with. And he–and Rand–aren’t systematic thinkers or advocates for the family in the context of libertarianism. Despite being admirable family men, they are first and foremost economic and legal/constitutional libertarians. Libertarianism has a long ways to go in developing a workable understanding of subsidiarity, with the indispensible family at the center.

  • Libertarians need to acknowledge that individual liberty grew in America as part of an ecosystem with an indispensible buttress: a socially conservative/religious ethic which mandated delayed gratification, duties to others apart from the self, and an understanding of “rendering unto Caesar” that put Caesar firmly in his place. Reading contributors to “Reason” and viewing Libertarian candidacies in general, there isn’t the beginnings of a glimmer of a clue on this point. Somehow, Caesar marches on despite their atomistic arguments and defenses of license. Oddly enough.

    Yep.

    And that “Reason” sort of libertarian screwed up when they supported GOProud trying to for the TEA party— did not win any friends with that “TEA partiers don’t care about social issues” BS, or similar attempts to lay claim on the entire movement. (Anybody else tired of the sort of Libertarian who tries to tell everyone that they’re “really” a Libertarian? Or claim random historical figures?)

  • (Anybody else tired of the sort of Libertarian who tries to tell everyone that they’re “really” a Libertarian? Or claim random historical figures?)

    Never encountered such. Have encountered folk who chuffer endlessley about who is a ‘real’ conservative or are in the habit of dismissing anyone not on the payroll or subscriber list of the von Mises Institute, Chronicles, or The American Conservative as a dolt.

  • Lucky you, Art.

    And there is a massive difference between going “you are not a conservative” and saying “See? See? You really agree with ME!” (Possibly one of the most annoying college liberal debate tactics. I’d gladly harm the guy who taught it to my cousin.)

16 Responses to The Conquest of Poverty

  • The late great Henry Hazlitt. Now that’s a name that rarely is mentioned and when he is, his works never disappoint.

  • Obama, bless his heart, doesn’t foster equal opportunity, he forces equal outcomes. That has failed adding to poverty.

  • “The key idea here, though, is that charitable giving is not a duty of justice or a duty enforced by human law. The state has no obligation to confiscate and redistribute wealth in order to “help the poor” (assuming that this is what the aim really is).

    Nor do Catholics have an obligation to advocate for policies that would do as much, let alone castigate and anathematize other Catholics who object to the prudence and morality of such policies.”

    ‘Tolerance’ is a two way street and, when in balance, allows the higher virtue of charity to flourish.

    .”(13) But, when what necessity demands has been supplied, and one’s standing fairly taken thought for, it becomes a duty to give to the indigent out of what remains over. “Of that which remaineth, give alms.”(14) It is a duty, not of justice (save in extreme cases), but of Christian charity – a duty not enforced by human law. – Rerum Novarum, 22

    “This not only appears to go against what the most radical anti-Ryanites insist upon, but it really describes the way most of us already think and live anyway.”

    Charity has been a traditional function of both religious and civic groups traditionally, fostering unity and civility.

    Very few of the agitated middle-class leftists, Democrats, liberals, et. al. are living in rags because they have given the majority of their wealth to “the poor.” Something tells me that Chris Matthews, E.J. Dionne, and others on that side of the political divide are enjoying all of the perks and pleasures that an upper-middle class American lifestyle makes possible.”

    – not fostering unity and civility either.

  • You don’t conquer poverty by giving man his clothing, food, and shelter. You defeat poverty by teaching (fix failed public education) him the skills to earn them; and by removing the obstacles (class hate, demagoguery, green boondoggles, enviro-nazi hindrances to low cost energy, costly regulations, high taxes, etc.) to economic development and job growth.

    Conquer poverty
    Vote Romney/Ryan

  • Populorum Progressio is part of Catholic Social teaching, too.

    “Now if the earth truly was created to provide man with the necessities of life and the tools for his own progress, it follows that every man has the right to glean what he needs from the earth. The recent Council reiterated this truth: “God intended the earth and everything in it for the use of all human beings and peoples. Thus, under the leadership of justice and in the company of charity, created goods should flow fairly to all.” (20)

    All other rights, whatever they may be, including the rights of property and free trade, are to be subordinated to this principle. They should in no way hinder it; in fact, they should actively facilitate its implementation. Redirecting these rights back to their original purpose must be regarded as an important and urgent social duty.”

    Paul VI also cites St Ambrose “”You are not making a gift of what is yours to the poor man, but you are giving him back what is his. You have been appropriating things that are meant to be for the common use of everyone. The earth belongs to everyone, not to the rich.”

    St Gregory, too, says, “”When we give the poor what is necessary to them, we are not so much bestowing on them what is our property as rendering to them what is their own; and it may be said to be an act of justice rather than a work of mercy.”

    On the balance between the rôle of the state and private initiative, Paul VI teaches, “It is for the public authorities to establish and lay down the desired goals, the plans to be followed, and the methods to be used in fulfilling them; and it is also their task to stimulate the efforts of those involved in this common activity. But they must also see to it that private initiative and intermediary organizations are involved in this work.”

  • Created goods do indeed flow fairly to all when markets are free. Glad we agree on that one.

    But I really have to disagree with the good saints, whose statements are not authoritative, on the question of property ownership. Rerum Novarum, which is authoritative, establishes the natural, individual right to acquire private property through one’s labor – and makes a pretty clear distinction between what is one’s own, and what one must give to others. You can dance around it all you like, but it will still be there when you are done. Theologians and saints can craft lofty phrases, but popes are in the business of governing.

    As for the last statement, it is simply a fact that planned economies don’t work. These comments were made in the 60s, when planned economies still seemed viable, when the Soviet experiment was still in full swing and social democracy was established in Europe. Subsequent events have demonstrated that “the public authorities” are absolutely incompetent when it comes to economic planning.

    Since it cannot be the Church’s intention to harm the common good by prescribing disastrous economic policies, I think we can safely ignore this prescription.

  • Rerum Novarum does, indeed, establish the right to private property; Populorum Progressio says that “All other rights, whatever they may be, including the rights of property and free trade, are to be subordinated to this principle. ”

    There is no contradiction here, simply a development of doctrine.

  • There is a contradiction between respecting private property rights and calling for a planned economy. In an economy in which private property rights are respected, private property owners make economic decisions, not government agencies.

  • “private property owners make economic decisions, not government agencies.”

    Of course, but within the constraints established by public policy; that is why Populorum Progressio insists that public authorities see to it that “private initiative and intermediary organizations are involved in this work. In this way they will avoid total collectivization and the dangers of a planned economy which might threaten human liberty and obstruct the exercise of man’s basic human rights. ”

    Again, there is no conflict here.

  • The Popes’ assumed that man would be virtuous.

    It is not so.

    Socialists, progressives, liberals, democrats don’t care about the poor. If they did they wouldn’t have spent 80 years pushing the same old failed garbage. They care about political power.

  • Pingback: Foot Washing Disobedience Poverty Catholic Church | Big Pulpit
  • My son has autism spectrum disorder. He can speak, and he can work, but his condition requires a job coach to help him stay on task and moderate his behavior, which unaided will become self-injurious.

    Is he the “extreme need exception”? How will this be temporary? What WILL be temporary will be my life and my ability to provide for him financially and protect him from financial or personal abuse. He does not have the social capability to protect himself.

    One does not have to be a “socialist” to understand that a just society protects those that are weakest and cannot fend for themselves. I don’t expect my son’s “exception” to assume the “rule,” but it is a vast oversimplification of life that “extreme need is a temporary and relative phenomenon.

    Don’t get me wrong, America has gone too far on the path of socialism. But it is vastly unrealistic to assume that a safety net can be temporary, or that enough money can be produced by private charity or local governments, in all cases where basic human compassion (forget Christian morality, which presumably the author believes in) would require more.

  • Michael,

    I was obviously talking about the absence of a permanently impoverished caste in modern industrial societies. People with illnesses are a different story.

    I don’t think it is unrealistic at all to expect private charity, personal income, family support, and local community to help people with extreme needs. This is how the human race survived for thousands of years. The existence of the nation-state doesn’t automatically entitle you to everything that a nation-state can theoretically provide – especially when its fiscal disorders are so severe that it can barely afford to deliver what it has already promised.

  • Conquer poverty.

    Vote Romney/Ryan.

I Guess it is Easier to Stack Internet Polls

Thursday, March 8, AD 2012

Hmmm, Doctor Delusional’s campaign is wondering why they aren’t winning any caucuses or primaries:

BOISE, Idaho — Ron Paul’s top strategists are confused and frustrated that the wild enthusiasm they see at their campaign rallies and events is not translating into votes.

Thousands turned out to see the Texas congressman at events in Alaska, Idaho and North Dakota in the days before Super Tuesday. Paul said publicly and believed privately that he could win all three states outright. When the votes were counted, though, he finished third in Alaska and Idaho and second in North Dakota.

Paul may still emerge with a big chunk of delegates in the GOP nominating race, but the candidate’s much-hyped focus on caucus states has yet to yield an outright victory in any state.

This gap between dreams and reality came to a head during a Wednesday morning conference call for senior staff when the discussion turned to why the campaign keeps underperforming its own forecasts.

“They count the numbers and then they count the votes,” said Doug Wead, a Paul senior adviser who was on the call. “Did they get overconfident? … We’re digesting that.”

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37 Responses to I Guess it is Easier to Stack Internet Polls

  • “Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many” (Hebrews 12:14,15).

    Does Dr. Paul owe you money?

    It sounds a bit personal here. I believe that his, and our, common enemy is President Caiaphas and the Peoples’ Democratic Pharisee Party. Regardless of how offbeat he might be, if he is not winning, then what’s the issue? He’s not taking delegates from Sen. Santorum in any large volume.

    We’ll need every vote we can get in November. Keeping that fringe in the numbers count is essential. Elitism and dismissive derision never generate the desired outcomes. Most of all, remember the Reagan Rule.

    Thanks.

    “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:31,32).

  • “Does Dr. Paul owe you money?”

    Only for his wasting of the time of the conservative movement for the past few decades. Loons like Paul have always been the bane of the conservative cause. He was the featured speaker a few years ago at the Fiftieth Anniversary celebration of the John Birch Society. Fools like Doctor Delusional have always walked arm in arm with the Left in efforts to make conservatism seem ridiculous. You cite Reagan. Ron Paul thought that Reagan was such a poor president that he resigned from the Republican party during his term in office. Would that Ron Paul would do so again.

  • It’s interesting in how you framed his rallies, a freak show. Each and every time I see him on television I picture him with a clown suit on and makeup.

  • I think the best way to explain the disconnect is that the Idea of Paul is very, very intriguing–and energizing–to a lot of young people, but the actual candidate falls short. It’s silly to discount his ability to fill a decent-sized arena wherever he goes.

    Insert qualifier….now.

    But the man himself is not the horse to draw his own cart. I do think his baggage is a more serious problem than they want to admit, and the perceived/actual alliance with Romney does not help.

    The messenger is inadequate to advance the message to the next stage. Whereas his senatorial son just might be able to do so.

  • I think Rand Paul has a bright future ahead of him Dale, once his father is safely in retirement.

  • Yes trying to solve OUR domestic problems first is WACKO!! Putting OUR border security first is INSANE! Borrowing more money from China , continuing to expand government and sending off even more young Americans to die for more failed foreign policies, now THAT’S pure genius. I guess I havent read you enough as I thought this was a conservative blog, but if yours is the republican mindset we’re in big , big trouble. I had almost convinced myself to vote for ANYONE that runs against the current Totalitarian in the oval office. Your comments have me thinking for the first time , “why bother”?

  • Pammie, Ron Paul is an isolationist, conspiracy believing, crank who has no legislation of note to his credit after more than two decades of keeping a seat warm in Congress. His Paulbot followers are given to chant “Ron Paul Revolution, Give Us Back Our Constitution”! That is risible because all that can be shown for Ron Paul’s political career is nothing. He never led any effective movement in Congress. He has been a total lone wolf. He has done zero to effectively reduce the size and scope of government. His specialty has been to give a platform for every wacked out conspiracy theory imaginable from the fringe right. He has as much to do with conservatism as Bill Clinton has with chastity.

    I go into greater detail in regard to Doctor Delusional at the link below:

    http://the-american-catholic.com/2011/12/29/yep-ron-paul-r-pluto-is-pretty-much-of-a-wackdoodle-isolationist/

  • Having read your comments on Dr. Paul, let me tell you a few reasons why I find him appealing: 1) he hasnt been purchased by any lobby (to my knowledge) unlike ALL the other candidates bought and paid for , including the POTUS. 2) He is for limited governmental interference in the day to day life of Americans citizens. 3) He understands and abides by the Just War teachings of the RC Church. 4) He understands the importance of the Constitution as a deterrent to governmental power and protection of the citizenry 5) He is more concerned with protecting the borders of the USA than the borders of Israel or Pakistan. 6) He understands how fearmongering has been used to undermine basic American freedoms. These are all concerns that speak loudly to me. If caring about these issues designate me in your opinion as a “Paulbot” then so be it. I’m not trying to change your mind regarding Dr. Paul. But I am telling you what attracts me to him. Which one, in your opinion, would NOT be a traditional conservative position? Perhaps your candidate would be happy to lose RP voters and are contemptuous of these issues, and maybe you find them valueless, fringe right wing or just plain nutty…surely a judgement call every one must make. But invective such as yours and a refusal to speak to these issues in other candidates’ platforms doenst give us who share them much incentive to vote for them. Politics is all about compromise, but when legitimate voter issues are summarily dismissed, there isnt any room for compromise be it republican or democrat, for they are all candidates on the same disasterous course.

  • Pammie-
    the part where we “limit” the gov’t interference when it comes to defining who is a legally protected human?
    The part where he wants to abandon those we’ve made promises to– like Japan? (Oops, sorry you don’t have a military– sucks to be you! Hope you manage something before China eats your lunch!)

    #1 would be hard to prove, #3 is generally short for “he doesn’t like Iraq, and I personally don’t believe the case for that being a just war,” #4 I’m not so sure about since he won’t argue for it to apply to all Americans, #5 implies that isn’t so for others– which is simply laughable, and #6 can mean just about anything.

    Ron Paul lost my respect when I noticed that he claims to believe the unborn are persons, but wants to let the states decide if they can be slaughtered at will. There are a couple of options for why he’d make that argument– three that come to mind: he doesn’t actually believe the unborn are persons; he doesn’t believe all persons have a right to not be killed; he’s not willing to argue for that whole shall not be deprived of life or liberty thing when it will hurt him politically– and none of those options are very respectable, especially when his whole shtick is how he’s the brave defender of American idealism.

  • “Ron Paul lost my respect when I noticed that he claims to believe the unborn are persons, but wants to let the states decide if they can be slaughtered at will.”

    Yet trying to elect national politicians who claim to be prolife hasnt worked either has it? My state would at once put into laws restricting abortion, as most of the citizens are against it, were it not for the behemoth federal government . There is more than one way to accomplish a goal, is there not? Particularly when the old method hasnt worked in 40 years. All of your other comments are based on perception more so than RP’s statements and public record. I personally dont believe we need to finance the world’s defenses, particularly as we are in the middle of a financial crisis ourselves and borrowing money from our biggest creditor to stay afloat. That is pure madness ….like falling behind on your own living expenses but borrowing money to help out a stranger to pay for his security system so he can have more disposable income to spend on other things. What sane person would do that? How has Europe managed to fund its widespread socialism since WWII ? Those missles cost lots of American taxpayer dollars and many manhours of American labour. Makes sense to you folks one supposes , but not me.

  • Pammie-
    why are you trying to change the subject?

    He has stated that the states should decide what humans are not really people, which is not “the best way to protect the unborn is on a state-by-state level,” nor “the people of the states should be able to defend human life without being prevented from doing so by the Feds.”

    All of your other comments are based on perception more so than RP’s statements and public record.

    Of course they are, I was responding to your claims that did not have RP’s statements or public record specifics.

  • Nevermind Mr Foxfier. I wasnt aware I was changing the subject about the best way to implement a favorable prolife outcome by mentioning an approach that was different than the one you espouse …one that has proven to be a failure so far. But we can give it another 40 years and hope for a different outcome instead of trying a different approach.

    “Of course they are, I was responding to your claims that did not have RP’s statements or public record specifics.”

    Really? Your response for my #3 was “…is generally short for “he doesn’t like Iraq, and I personally don’t believe the case for that being a just war,” That’s an opinion based solely on your perception, not a rebuttal or statement of another candidate’s similar view or knowledge of me. RP’s stand on war in Iraq ( whether or not he “likes” Iraq would not be relevent) is a matter of public record and was essentially the same as the Pope’s . My personal view is that it was a stupid, pointless war, wasteful of human lives and resources and frankly has nothing to do with “Just War” theology. Our interests there are in worse shape now than before. Not to mention the plight of Iraqi Christians , which Republicans & Democrats are both strangely silent about.

    Like I said at the beginning, my intention in bringing up these issues is not to convince you or anyone . But these are what draws me to RP as he is the only one who is willing to bring them up in debate. We are sinking as a society and our attentions are on nonexistent enemies a world away. That “crazy RP” and all the rest of us “Paulbots”–we just keep wringing our hands on how to pay for it all and watching our personal freedoms decline as the massive federal bureacracy grows by leaps and bounds. Meanwhile yall keep your attentions glued on Iran and Syria et al and continue to congratulate yourselves that you are not as foolish as we.

  • Nevermind Mr Foxfier. I wasnt aware I was changing the subject about the best way to implement a favorable prolife outcome

    Mrs (thus the fox-girl in a sailor girl outfit in my icon… *squints* although that might be a bit small to see at a glance) and it’s changing the topic because we weren’t talking about the best way to implement a favorable prolife outcome. We were either talking about Ron Paul in relation to the unborn, or my newish lack of respect for him based on his rhetoric while trying to get elected.

  • My sincere apologies MRS. Foxfier. I guess it matters more to me now that the unborn be protected than it does in how it’s accomplished. I’m willing to settle. RP’s idea offers an alternative to the unsuccessful thinking of the past and a hope of a little faster change and at least a few more lives snatched from a certain and brutal death. Havent heard anything forthcoming from any of the other candidates on how this can be accomplished in a more timely way. Have a great evening.

  • I guess it matters more to me now that the unborn be protected than it does in how it’s accomplished.

    And… again… changing the subject….

  • Quibbling over semantics. How many babies will die before the Supreme Court can be stacked to overturn RoevWade or an amendment can be worded just right and passed by a two thirds majority ? What is Santorum’s, Gingrich or Mitt’s plan to accomplish this? Taking the power FROM the federal government in this and other issues (like many states are doing with Same Sex “Marriage”) might have a shot. But I guess I understand your point: RP didnt say he was prolife in the way you wanted him to express it. OK . Got your point. My point is : Saving some babies is better than saving no babies.

  • I am seriously dense.

    Can someone explain to me how Ron Paul differs from Lyndon Larouche?

    How can RP get the abortion thing down to the States where it can be outlawed? It’s been ruled as a “right” by the SC. How is RP not delusional for this impossible stance?

    RP opposes nearly all Federal powers. That’s not the same as pro-life.

  • Who is Lyndon Larouche ? Does he also serve as pebble in your shoe or a splinter in your index finger?

  • Ron Paul’s “Sanctity of Life Act” is purported to remove abortion from the jurisdiction of the courts. I’m not well-versed in law etc…, so I am curious how that is supposed to work.

    The bill (introduced many times over his tenure) basically states that the fetus is human or a person. It says that states have the authority to protect life. If we have a human person in utero, why then is this person not granted equal protection under the 14th amendment?

    Even though the bill is unique in its approach, it is fundamentally flawed. A self-proclaimed champion of the Constitution should do better.

  • “I’m not well-versed in law etc…, so I am curious how that is supposed to work”
    It wouldn’t. The Supreme Court would rule it unconstitutional in a nano-second, as the Court simply would not allow Congress to reverse it by stripping it of jurisdiction in an area as this bill seeks to do.

    “Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 1253, 1254, 1257, and 1258, the Supreme Court shall not have jurisdiction to review, by appeal, writ of certiorari, or otherwise, any case arising out of any statute, ordinance, rule, regulation, practice, or any part thereof, or arising out of any act interpreting, applying, enforcing, or effecting any statute, ordinance, rule, regulation, or practice, on the grounds that such statute, ordinance, rule, regulation, practice, act, or part thereof–
    `(1) protects the rights of human persons between conception and birth; or
    `(2) prohibits, limits, or regulates–
    `(A) the performance of abortions; or
    `(B) the provision of public expense of funds, facilities, personnel, or other assistance for the performance of abortions.’.”

    There are only two ways to get rid of Roe: have the Supreme Court reverse itself, or a constitutional amendment. There are no short cuts

  • Thanks, Donald. Now if this had been dealing with Ohm’s Law and Kirchhoff’s Laws, I could easily understand. 🙂 But that’s just the electrical engineer in me…

  • Thank God the mysteries of your field do not come up on this blog Big Tex, or I would have to stand ingloriously mute! 🙂

  • Quibbling over semantics.

    Dang straight I point out when a claim doesn’t match what the words actually mean. Part of the reason Ronulans are so disliked is because of the gap between what they want and what is. That gap isn’t bridged by yelling that it doesn’t exist.

    And no, Pammie or pammie or pamelanak or whoever, I did not say “RP didn’t say he’s pro-life the way I wanted.”
    I pointed out that there are three possible conclusions from his stated desire to push definition of what humans are people whose lives are protected under law down to a state level, and none of them got any respect from me.

  • PM-
    Lyndon Larouche is the guy who’s like Ron Paul, but more popular to the left. They’re outside of post offices and stuff doing Truther outreach a lot in the Seattle area around Christmas. (not sure what the rest of their stuff is– I was kind of in a hurry, and Trutherism makes me sputter a lot*; lots of Infowars bumper stickers, though, and they seemed to dislike the UN, so not all bad….)

    *statements like “fire can’t melt steel!” do have that effect on me, especially if screamed in my face.

  • During the run up to Obamacare, they would come to townhall meetings hosted by legislators and hold up their posters with a picture of Obama with Hitler mustaches. Fringe nut-jobs, as Foxfier has indicated.

  • Foxfier, Thank you. (Should have looked it up, and all, but computer seems to dislike the internet connection lately and gets testy when I move places and click & I’m not tech-y)
    They sound big city – or college. Anyway, stay strong.

  • PM-
    part of why the info I offered is so sketchy is because when I tried to look him up, I got a really wide range of stuff, the only one of which I recognized has, as its entire point, being nasty with a mainline liberal edge. (Think “The Daily Show” amateurs.)
    The only things I know about him is the stuff I passed on. (In defense of the folks that I saw, they seemed very earnest and polite…but I didn’t stop and disagree with them, so who’ll know.)

  • Gee whiz Foxfier, Foxlier or whoever. Do you have anger issues or something? It never hurts one’s cause to be civil, even in disagreement. Your candidate might need the support of the people with whom you have been so snarky and dismissive . All these nasty, snotty attitudes from Republicans (minus the “Paulbots”) makes me want to stay home on election day anyway….and just when I had almost convinced myself to vote for ANYONE who opposes Obama. Good job convincing me otherwise and good luck getting your candidate elected without the help of the “disliked Ronulans” and all the other people you also despise.

  • It never hurts one’s cause to be civil, even in disagreement.

    Great idea– have you considered trying it?

    Failing that, make arguments in support of your statements, with facts and logic, without having to misrepresent others involved. I can handle being called names, no problem, but not much I can do if you can’t be bothered to make an argument.

    Part of the reason the term “Ronulan” came about is to differentiate between folks who support Ron Paul and people who show up, post under multiple handles, make claims they’re not willing to support, attack everyone who disagrees and then do things like announce how they’ll take their ball and go home, all in the name of Ron Paul. With allies like that, he really doesn’t need enemies.

  • Donald McClarey, Thank you. I appreciate your givng me the clarity on Ron Paul’s bill: “Their are only two ways to get rid of Roe: have the Supreme Court reverse itself, or a constitutional amendment. There are no short cuts” Since all men are created equal and We hold these truth to be self-evident, then the newly begotten human being is no less equal a person than the person on the Supreme Court for the United States of America. So, you are correct, Donald. Perhaps when the human being’s personhood is acknowleged as being preeminent, the Person of our Creator will be no longer be prohibited in the public square, and our plagues and problems will be placed in the hands of Divine Providence, as was first inscribed in our founding principles. My son, Nelson and myself were discussing Ron Paul, and he compared Ron Paul’s candidacy with Ross Perot’s. It is believed that our culture would not be atheistic (read homicidal, Obama wants no more snowflake babies standing up and or abortion survivors. Obama has ordered all frozen embryos to be destroyed) had Perot been elected. I do not know, but at least now, I understand where Paul is coming from. For myself I am looking at Santorum and Chris Smith of NJ as VP. The American Catholic is human.

  • Me: “It never hurts one’s cause to be civil, even in disagreement.”
    Foxfier: “Great idea– have you considered trying it?”

    The juvenile, snarky comeback rather proves my point dont you think?

    “Part of the reason the term “Ronulan” came about is to differentiate between folks who support Ron Paul and people who show up, post under multiple handles, make claims they’re not willing to support, attack everyone who disagrees and then do things like announce how they’ll take their ball and go home, all in the name of Ron Paul. With allies like that, he really doesn’t need enemies.”

    I expect this makes sense to you but what it has to do with me I’m not quite sure. If it is a concern of yours, my reason for posting here was to get feedback and maybe some info about other candidates’ views on the things that concern me from people who are supporting them . Didnt attack you or anyone else and I really wasnt looking to incite a hissy fit , get a critique of my mental skills or a judgement as to my poor value to RP from a total stranger with a rancourous attitude .

    Thank you Mr. McClarey for the explanation regarding RP’s strategy for ending abortion. I can see now where the flaw in that is now, so this hasnt been a total waste of time.
    Announcement: I am now taking my ball and going home.

  • I sometimes wonder if the reason so many are annoyed by Ronulans is because of the huge amounts of apparently unintentional irony….

  • “to secure the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our (constitutional) posterity.” …from The Preamble to the Constitution for the United States of America, the stated purpose and intent of the Constitution. Before the Amendments to protect the human person as being created equal and endowed with unalienable rights by our CREATOR, the words “our” (not theirs, but our) “posterity” all future generations to come, each and every newly begotten sovereign person endowed with unalienable rights to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness (a man’s destiny) is accounted for and provided for in our Constitution. In Roe, one woman and eight men sworn to uphold the Constitution for the United States of America 1) could not read 2) did not comprehend what our Constitution intended. 3) were prejudiced against the unborn because of their lack of faith in and reliance on Divine Providence of The Declaration of Independence, the same Divine Providence Who delivered the colonist from the hands of the British and established the United States as a bastion of Freedom, the FREEDOM endowed by our CREATOR. 4) Lusted for power and worshipped at the feet of mammon and Moleck and kissed the devil’s face, the face the devil wears and speaks through on his butt. I prefer to think it is the forth option, that the utilitarianism and LUST for power and greed collapsed any reason of their rational soul into the garbage of Roe v. Wade. Before the babies were thrown into the garbage, the Supreme Court of Roe v. Wade threw reason , Justice and our America into the garbage. IT IS A REVERSAL OF ROE BY THE SUPREME COURT THAT NEEDS TO BE. In addition, an amendment to the fact, so it never happens again.

  • “one woman and eight men sworn to uphold the Constitution for the United States of America 1) could not read”

    It was nine men on the Roe court in 1973. Two justices dissented: William Rehnquist and Byron White. From a legal standpoint the problem with Roe was that the court majority simply created a right out of thin air. There is nothing in the Constitution that prevents any government from banning it. Even many pro-abortion legal scholars have admitted that it was a decision without legal basis. As Justice White wrote in his famous dissent in Roe:

    “With all due respect, I dissent. I find nothing in the language or history of the Constitution to support the Court’s judgment. The Court simply fashions and announces a new constitutional right for pregnant mothers [410 U.S. 222] and, with scarcely any reason or authority for its action, invests that right with sufficient substance to override most existing state abortion statutes. The upshot is that the people and the legislatures of the 50 States are constitutionally dissentitled to weigh the relative importance of the continued existence and development of the fetus, on the one hand, against a spectrum of possible impacts on the mother, on the other hand. As an exercise of raw judicial power, the Court perhaps has authority to do what it does today; but, in my view, its judgment is an improvident and extravagant exercise of the power of judicial review that the Constitution extends to this Court.”

  • Donald McClarey: A senior moment on my part. My respect for Byron White, and William Rehnquist has never failed. May God bless you for this beautiful work. The freedom of one person ends where the freedom of another person begins. Mother and child are persons first, citizens second. The Constitution can only judge citizens, as is verifiable by the lack of authority to judge foreigners and those with diplomatic immunity, citizens of other countries. The unborn are citizens of “nature and nature’s God”. “My kingdom is not of this world” God bless.

  • At what point does a person become a citizen? When the person is born into the world or is naturalized. The unborn sovereign person cannot be tried in any court of law, because the unborn sovereign person is not yet a citizen of the United States of America, until after he comes into the world and breathes his first breath and is given a birth certificate. At this point, the born person becomes a citizen. Roe v. Wade tried a person who was not a citizen of the United States. ..and ordered his death before he could become a citizen. The Supreme Court for the United States of America can only try citizens.
    Given that the Supreme Court for the United States of American may only interpret the Constitution for the United States of America for American citizens, not for foreign dignitaries and sovereign persons with sovereign immunity, the citizen of the world and universe, Jesus Christ in His human nature, in His innocent citizenship cannot be banned from the public square unless it is proved that Jesus Christ, as a citizen, violated the law and became criminal. Then and only then, will the human nature of Jesus Christ, as a man, become “persona non grata.” The Person of Jesus Christ WHO is God , Who is perfectly, immutably innocent and Love, cannot be proved, in a court of law, to be criminal.
    The Supreme Court for the United States of America can only try citizens. The U.S. Supreme Court cannot try citizens of another kingdom, “not of this world”, the sovereign citizens of heaven, the King of Kings, Jesus Christ, and His Father and His Holy Spirit of Love. Nor can the U.S. Supreme Court try the Person of Jesus Christ, WHO is God. The Supreme Court has found Jesus Christ guilty by association with criminals on Golgatha.
    Madalyn Murray O’Hair, the self-proclaimed atheist sued to have all mankind’s First Amendment rights to FREEDOM subjugated to her lawsuit through her complaint that prayer to God, through Jesus Christ offended her son. An imperfect human nature, who is offended by perfection.
    If Madalyn Murray O’Hair was truly an atheist, she would have annihilated her own being. God, our Creator, made all things and KEEPS THEM IN EXISTENCE, therefore, Madalyn Murray O’Hair at some underlying level of consciousness, accepted God’s love for her and for her son. Madalyn Murray O’Hair spoke perjury in The United States Supreme Court, when, as an atheist she said: “I AM an atheist.” The atheist used God’s name: “I AM”, in vain and contradicted herself. Madalyn Murray O’Hair did not prove her case as perjurers never do.
    Madalyn Murray O’Hair did not have two witnesses to establish a judicial fact. Two atheists cannot bear the Truth into a court of law. Perjury does not count.

  • more threadbare clarification:
    The Supreme Court for the United States of America has no jurisdiction over the sovereign persons in the womb, who are citizens of nature and nature’s God, until they become, at birth, citizens of the United States of America.
    The Supreme Court for the United States of America is the personification of JUSTICE, the interpreter of The Constitution for the United States of America and the dispenser of JUSTICE to the common man, each and every American citizen. The JUSTICES are given compensation. JUSTICE is priceless. The Court has no jurisdiction over foreign sovereigns, ambassadors with diplomatic immunity and sovereign persons who are citizens of other sovereign nations.
    A human being comes into existence at the will of God (and man when two become one at procreation) through the laws of nature and nature’s God. Human existence is the criterion for the objective ordering of human rights. The newly begotten sovereign person endowed by our Creator with life is granted citizenship in America upon being brought to birth and breathing his first breath in the world, until then, this sovereign person is a citizen of nature and nature’s God. Before becoming an American citizen at birth, this sovereign person’s endowed rights are held in trust for him by God, our CREATOR, by his parents and by the state, in this order. Upon becoming an American citizen, this sovereign person’s civil rights to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, the pursuit of his destiny, are held in trust for him by God, our CREATOR, by his parents and by the state, in this order.
    Roe v. Wade had no jurisdiction over the sovereign person existing in the woman’s womb, a citizen of nature and nature’s God. One person’s freedom ends where another person’s freedom begins. The Supreme Court for the United States of America has no jurisdiction over the sovereign person existing in the womb and who has not been born into the country and is not yet a citizen.
    The Supreme Court denied existence to the sovereign person in the womb, which is perjury by the JUSTICES and miscarriage of JUSTICE by Roe v. Wade. If there were no human existence in the womb there would be no abortion. Blobs of cells, tumors do not have sovereign personhood from conception and can never be born into citizenship.
    Why, then, one might ask, can the court order surgery to protect the life of the newly begotten in the womb or charge homicide in the death of the unborn, if the court has no jurisdiction over the newly begotten? It is because the legal and moral innocence of the unborn is the standard of JUSTICE for the state and the unborn constitute the state by their very existence. It is because any law can be broken to save the life of a human being.”You shall not stand idly by while your neighbor’s life is in jeopardy.”
    Damage that has not yet happened cannot be proved in a court of law. Destruction of the sovereign person of the unborn is a crime against the laws of nature and nature’s God.
    The absolute stupidity of Thomas Malthus in his demographics for his not factoring in Divine Providence, our CREATOR, into his numbers, and the abject ignorance of John Mills in his utilitarianism for his not factoring Divine Providence into his philosophy, and the criminal negligence of Paul Erlich for his not factoring in Divine Providence into his book: “Population Bomb” render their unsubstantiated conclusions invalid. Thomas Malthus and John Mills are facing the wrath of God as I write and Divine Justice will find Paul Erlich for the half-truths he is propagating.
    Charles Darwin did not factor in Divine Providence into his theory of evolution rendering his work lacking in integrity.
    The Supreme Court for the United States of America has no jurisdiction over the sovereign persons in the womb, who are citizens of nature and nature’s God, until they become at birth citizens of the United States of America.

Something for Everyone Tuesday

Wednesday, March 7, AD 2012

Well, all of the remaining candidates in the Republican fight for the presidential nomination had something to brag about, and to worry about, after last night.

1.  Rick Santorum:

Brag About:  Major bragging rights go to Santorum.  He battled to almost a tie in Ohio, after being outspent four to one by Mitt Romney, in a truly remarkable demonstration that fervent volunteers can largely negate a money advantage.  His wins in Oklahoma, North Dakota and  Tennessee demonstrated that where the Republican party is strongest, unless there is a substantial Mormon population., Santorum also tends to be strongest, and that he has an appeal to the Republican base that is not limited to geography.  He came in a strong second in Alaska, and weak seconds in Idaho and Massachusetts.

Worry About:  He did not win in Ohio and thus any momentum from a near defeat in the Buckeye State will be much less.   Gingrich is giving no sign that he is leaving the race and his vote totals deprive Santorum of victory after victory.

2.  Mitt Romney, a/k/a the Weathervane:

Brag About:  He dodged a bullet by winning, barely, the big prize of Ohio last night.  He won overwhelmingly in Massachusetts.  Toss in victories in Virginia, Alaska, Vermont  and Idaho and it is impossible to argue, as much as I would like to, that Super Tuesday was not a very good night for the Weathervane.  He ran a strong second in Oklahoma, and weak seconds in Tennessee, Georgia and North Dakota.  He continues to amass the most delegates and to be the clear favorite to get the nomination.

Worry About:  Unless his money mud machine is fully deployed, the Weathervane has a great deal of difficulty in winning against a strong candidate, the prime example last night being Ohio where he eked out a one point victory with only a four to one spending advantage.  His victory in Virginia, where 40% of Republicans voted for Doctor Delusional since he was the only not Romney on the ballot, is also troubling for the Weathervane as it shows the depth of the anti-Romney sentiment among rank and file Republicans in a key state in the fall, and is mirrored throughout the nation.

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14 Responses to Something for Everyone Tuesday

  • If you count Super-PAC spending, Dullard Flip Rino’s advantage in Ohio was probably something more like 12-1. Every time you turned on the TV here, Santorum’s grainy photo was juxtaposed with ominous music paid for by Dullard’s Super-PAC.

    At any rate, Santorum’s loss in Ohio – even though a squeaker – coupled with Gingrich’s win in Georgia – which will be enough to keep Gingrich’s oversized ego in the race, means this thing is, for all practical purposes, over. And the allegedly “conservative” and “pro-life” party will have nominated someone who is neither.

    Which means I’ll be casting my vote elsewhere this fall. Time to replace my Santorum bumper stickers and yard signs with ones for Virgil Goode.

  • Probably a correct analysis Jay unless Gingrich does decide to drop out soon and put every drop of energy he has behind Santorum. Unlikely, yes, but this year I do not think it is ever safe to assume that the unlikely may not occur.

  • I’m not sure the Pauls are angling for Rand to get the VP spot. Yeah, I’ve heard chatter about it, but it doesn’t seem to make much sense to me given that Romney’s positions (as floppy as they may be) are far and away different than those of Pauls… at least the ones Paul supporters care most deeply about (foreign policy, ending the FED, etc…).

  • Rand Paul’s chances of accepting a VP slot are between none and square-root-of-negative-one. If the GOP loses, Sen. Paul is then cast into Elysium, never to be seen again. If they win, then he’s in that lovely position that was unsuccessful for all but Martin van Buren and GHW Bush.

    He’s aiming at 2016 or 2020, depending. Were there any chance of Paul the Younger being on a ticket, Paul the Elder would have dropped out months ago. Being in any oppositional situation would not serve the cause.

  • Pretty much nailed what I was gonna say. I would just add that the Virginia result is the most troubling for Romney, especially since Virginia is such a must-win state for the GOP. That’s a mighty loud protest vote. And for the “electable” crowd, please note that Romney is barely eking out victories while massively outspending his opponents. What is he going to do when he’s the one being outspent on the order of 2:1, if not more?

    Even though Gingrich dropping out would help Santorum – and Santorum certainly would have won Ohio without Newt in the race, and probably Georgia as well – there’s something to be said for the fact that Rick would be facing a 2-1 onslaught without Newt. Not having Newt in the race could help Romney and mini-Romney concentrate their fire. So I think the advantage to Santorum to Newt dropping out is not as significant as people might think.

    I had suggested on my blog that Santorum would drop out if he lost Ohio, but considering the closeness of the race and the otherwise decent showing last night, he’ll stick it out. He should do fairly well in the next round of states, which are concentrated in the south and midwest. But he faces an uphill climb to 1,044.

  • Something to keep an eye on:
    Every time Romney gets a big win, he lets down his guard and drops the conservative fascade. It always comes back to bite him, and his campaign is left scrambling to undo the damage and explain that the candidate didn’t really mean what he just said. (See, e.g., last week’s faux pas re: the Blunt Amendment.) EVERY time. So be on the watch.

    My guess, based on his speech last night in Massachusetts, is that Romney will not wait any longer before doing the general election pivot to the “middle” (i.e. left). It will happen this week, perhaps as early as today. Expect to be continually disappointed throughout this election as the REAL Mitt comes to the fore.

    I expect he’ll even pull a Murkowski and back off his already tepid “support” of the failed Blunt Amendment at some point in the near future. He’ll use the “I support religious freedom, but the Blunt Amendment was overbroad and went too far” line. He’ll even go on record as wanting to broker a “more effective accomodation” than the Obama “accomodation”. It will be somewhat more favorable to the Church’s position, but not satisfactory. Just watch.

    That’s my prediction.

  • I think that there are a few things people often forget about:
    1) We’ve had huge upswings in this race. To count *anyone* out right now seems crazy and indicates a lack of backwards vision.
    2) I don’t have numbers to back this up, but is it possible that some people who vote for Gingrich might vote for Romney instead of Santorum? I know I would choose Romney over Santorum any day, any week, if it was between those two!
    3) How many Republicans and conservatives are actually going to sit at home on election day if Romney wins the nomination? I think the hatred for President Obama is so high among that crowd that they’d show up to vote for a shoe. So any talk of Romney barely beating Santorum, and only when he outspends him, says nothing about the general election. The general election will simply be, for Romney, making sure he doesn’t offend the Republican and conservative base, and appealing to moderates. Santorum can *only* appeal to die-hard conservatives and Republicans.

    In the end, I can’t see how Santorum is a better general election candidate than Romney: and this comes from a Newt supporter!

  • I don’t have numbers to back this up, but is it possible that some people who vote for Gingrich might vote for Romney instead of Santorum? I know I would choose Romney over Santorum any day, any week, if it was between those two!

    Most polling suggests that you’d be in the minority among Gingrich supporters, though who knows what would really happen.

    How many Republicans and conservatives are actually going to sit at home on election day if Romney wins the nomination?

    Well, you’ve got two on this thread alone, and from what I’ve seen I would say that a not unsubstantial number of conservatives would do so. Again, we’ll see.

    Santorum can *only* appeal to die-hard conservatives and Republicans.

    And yet he twice won in a district that was more than 3:1 Democrat to Republican, and won twice state-wide in a leaning blue state (yes, yes, I know – he also lost there by 18). In a general election, Santorum’s populist appeal could very well attract more blue-collar Democrats and independents than Romney is likely going to draw.

  • Ohio, Ohio, Ohio.

    Both candidates allowed the press to build it up as the defining race of Super Tuesday, so they have to live with the results. This is the second Clash of the Titans since Santorum’s three-state sweep, and Romney has won both of them.

    Newt has a shiny new toy, and will go into the Convention with two state victories – cause it ain’t gonna happen a third time. Paul didn’t even get a shiny toy. At this point they’re just vying for a good slot in primetime at the Convention. I think they both want to hold their heads high, but really, why should they?

    I’ve been bothered by the constant calls for candidates to drop out, but if Romney can win the two Deep South races of Alabama and Mississippi next week, I don’t see why Santorum should stay in the race.

    How would Santorum be as a VP nominee? Typically, the pick has less significance than the press thinks it does. VP isn’t like being Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon; it’s more like being Michael Collins who stayed in orbit. You’re close enough to see what power looks like, but you don’t actually have any. And there’s always talk about putting all the other candidates in your cabinet to show party unity, which never amounts to anything. But I think that the personas that Romney and Santorum have crafted in this campaign would play off each other really well. The fact that they don’t seem to like each other would work to their advantage.

  • I got to hear the local vaguely-conservative station’s special coverage that was mostly scolding Gingrich and pouting that Santorum was doing so well. (the guy really likes Romney)

    I notice a trend: the folks who support Romney and Libertarians seem to think that SoCons are still going to do their “better than nothing” trick and support anybody that’s not Obama. I think the game is changing– you can’t take the base for granted, not when there’s so much access to information that “better than nothing” is more like eating the seed-corn.

  • After viewing the three speeches last night, I reached the conclusion that there is only one candidate who articulates the fight necessary to beat Obama and the vision to lead this country out of the rubble. I challenge all of you to objectively view the speeches and honestly evaluate the message conveyed.

    P.S.
    Newt= $2.50 gasoline.

  • Tess S. –
    why on earth would we base our choices on one speech from each person? Besides the fact that what I heard of Newt’s speech was not persuasive unless you already agreed, and the idea of Newt fighting the elite establishment still makes me giggle (imagine Pelosi talking about speaking truth to power), I don’t make choices strictly on how good someone is at talking. That may be a bias on my part, because I’m not so silver-tongued myself.

  • Foxfier,

    Then let’s vote for a candidate based on the fact that he has seven kids.

    The majority of his Super Tuesday speech consisted of bragging about the size of his family, his roots in the Ohio Valley, and a display of a few smooches with his wife. It was beautiful. Profound. A family like his will save the world.

    Yeah. I Pick Rick.

One Response to Uintentional Humor

Santorum Rising

Wednesday, February 8, AD 2012

 

Last night in Missouri Rick Santorum finally got to go one on one against Romney, since Gingrich did not bother to get on the ballot, and the results were devastating to the Weathervane.  Santorum won two to one, garnering 55% of the vote to 25% for Romney, with Ron Paul bringing up the rear with 12%.  Santorum won every county in the state.  The Romney camp will claim that since this was a non-binding beauty contest and that Romney did little campaigning in the state, this is meaningless.  Rubbish!  What does it say about the Romney campaign and its appeal to Republican voters that they lost this badly in a state that has been a bellweather of the nation in most Presidential elections?

However, Missouri was not the end of the bad news for Romney last night.  In the Minnesota caucuses Santorum came in first with a stunning 45% and second was, wait for it, Ron Paul with 27%.  Romney, who won the caucuses by 20 points in 2008, came in third  at 17% with Gingrich being Tail-end-Newt with 11%

To complete the trifecta of woe for the Weathervane last night, we turn to Colorado, a state Romney was supposed to win according to the polls.  In the caucuses, Santorum came in first with 40%, Romney took second at 35%, Gingrich a very distant third at 13%, just edging out Paul at 12%.

So, the night couldn’t have been better for Santorum or worse for Romney, but what does it all mean?

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30 Responses to Santorum Rising

  • Thank God! Indeed, the liberals hate Santorum as much as thy hate unborn babies.

  • Now THIS is what I call sending a message. Even if Romney does end up winning the nomination he now knows he MUST turn more to the right if he is to generate enough momentum in the key swing states to win. At the very least, he has to pick a solidly conservative running mate… perhaps Santorum himself, or Marco Rubio.

    The most surprising outcome of the evening to me is Ron Paul doing as well as he did in Minnesota. Then again, maybe we shouldn’t be surprised given that Minnesota has a history of electing some really odd pols like Jesse Ventura and Al Franken….

  • It is time to go “all in” for Rick.

  • Although it is the only strategy he has, Romney’s going negative on Santorum – especially if it’s done in the manner it happened to Newt in Florida – will NOT sit well with Republican primary voters.

    The “grassroots” were never altogether comfortable with Newt as the “not-Romney” candidate, so there was really no downside to going negative against him the way the Romney campaign did. But if they do the same thing to Santorum, there is a HUGE downside – they run the risk of further alienating those who are not sold on Romney, and perhaps getting a backlash from those who were supporting Romney only because they saw him as the only electable alternative to 4 more years of Obama.

    Watch how National Review handles this Santorum surge – if they go negative, that will be a clue that the Romney camp plans on holding nothing back in their attacks. If National Review takes the high road, that’s no guarantee that Romney won’t go negative, but it is an indication of how little tolerance some of his supporters will have for that tactic.

  • Jay – Very good point. Beating up on a guy like Newt is just karma (if you’ll forgive that word on a Catholic site). Beating up on a good family man – a Mormon beating up on a good family man – well, that’s gonna backfire. The biggest weaknesses of Santorum are his 2006 loss and his strong anti-gay stand (which I agree with, but by the time the press tells the story, it’s going to hurt him). So, what can Romney’s people do? Beat up on Santorum for being outside the religious mainstream?! Move to the left on gay rights?! It’s a nightmare for them. They’ll have to go clean, stressing Romney’s business experience, because there’s no other difference between the Romney package that they’re trying to sell and Santorum.

    Do I need to unpack the phrase “the Romney package that they’re trying to sell”? I hope it’s obvious. Romney is running as an experienced, likeable, electable conservative.

    OK, there’s one other angle I just thought of, but it’s going to be a doozy to pull off. Paint Santorum as a moderate. Attack him for the Bush deficit and the expansion of Medicare. It’s really the only move.

  • Yeah, between these victories and those polls showing Santorum doing just as well as Romney against Obama, this seems to me to make Santorum the only credible Romney alternative.

    I’ll admit, as perhaps the most Romney supporting writer here, I’m still kind of split. I’m worried that in the general election, Santorum would prove less slippery and teflon coated versus Obama and Romney — especially as the cultural left will go totally ape shit on him. They perhaps have Santorum even more than Sarah Palin. Maybe that would turn off mainstream voters, or maybe it would succeed in painting him as an extremist. I’m not sure. On the flip side, if Romney wins, in addition to some conservatives not rallying the Left will still paint him as a hard core extremist and they’ll work hard to activate every bit of anti-Mormon prejudice out there to their advantage. This will be a massively vicious campaign on the part of the Dems no matter what.

    Generally speaking, I like Romney more on economic/business policy and I’m a bit more inclined to trust him on foreign policy and perhaps immigration. I’m more inclined to trust Santorum on the environment (as in, not rolling over to greens) and I trust Santorum much, much more on the moral issues of the day, which in the end are the most important.

  • OK, there’s one other angle I just thought of, but it’s going to be a doozy to pull off. Paint Santorum as a moderate. Attack him for the Bush deficit and the expansion of Medicare. It’s really the only move.

    This is already in effect, as witnessed also at “conservative” sites like Red State where they have painted Santorum is basically a big government moderate. And as someone who served in Congress for well over a decade, he will have cast votes that now appear to be quasi-socialist. Never mind that most of them were wither procedural votes or were votes where he lined up 100% with the rest of the party, they will be spun to paint him as somehow being to the left of Romney. That’s why running for the presidency as sitting or former member of Congress is so difficult: lots of votes to explain away.

    But if Santorum clearly emerges as the main non-Romney, even that line of attack will likely backfire, especially if the attacks are seen as far-fetched. As I said on my post last night, Santorum’s effectiveness when he has gone negative is that he’s concentrated his fire on a few select substantive policy differences. If they try to throw the kitchen sink at Santorum, it could be viewed as desperation. And camp Romney is certainly desperate.

  • . Maybe that would turn off mainstream voters, or maybe it would succeed in painting him as an extremist. I’m not sure.

    As I said on Pat Archbold’s NCR blog, in point of fact Santorum isn’t much more socially conservative than Presidents Reagan and Bush policy-wise, and his views on issues like abortion and gay marriage actually aligns with majority sentiment. His two potential drawbacks are his personal social conservatism and the fact that he actually genuinely believes what he says. Even right-wingers are falling for the spin that Santorum wants to ban contraception or enact sodomy laws. So the left will certainly try to spin that as much as they can.

    In the end, we have to keep in mind that the left will completely attack and smear whoever the nominee is. Santorum will be attacked for his social conservatism, Romney for being the rich aristocrat (who, we might as well just mention, paved the way for Obamacare), and Gingrich – well, where to begin? So trying to divine which candidate will be most affected by the negativism is somewhat futile, because voters are swayed by the most absurd things. It’s quite possible that attacks on Santorum’s social views might backfire, especially if they try to bring up some of the personal stuff related to their baby dying. Then again, it might work like a charm. We just don’t know. So as I’ve said before, you just have to vote for the guy that you personally believe is the best candidate, whoever that is for you.

  • Although not my first choice, I could certainly vote for Rick easier than I could for Romney.

  • The other arrow they might try would be the Specter/Toomey affair. But that would be rather difficult for the Weathervane to pull off with any credibility. It could come from other quarters allied with the Weathervane.

  • Maybe this is a topic for a different blog post, but Paul Z. stated, “Even right-wingers are falling for the spin that Santorum wants to ban contraception or enact sodomy laws.”

    Why shouldn’t contraception be banned and why shouldn’t anti-sodomy laws be enacted? They are intrinsic evils. So why not make them illegal? Is the reason, “Well, the non-Catholics don’t agree, nor do even a majority of Catholics.”? Since when is truth determined by opinion? Oh yes, I will be accused of wanting a theocracy. Well, one way or another, we’re going to get a theocracy. The theocracy of today’s society is atheism (yes, I realize that is a contradiction in terms and that’s why it’s called “liberalism”.) But Jesus Christ will return and establish His theocracy with a rod of iron. No voting allowed. And that’s bad because?????????

  • They are intrinsic evils. So why not make them illegal?

    Aside from the argument that it’s not practical to push an agenda too far outside the mainstream in a democracy, there would be the argument that actually enforcing certain kinds of laws would be more destructive than their absence.

    St. Thomas Aquinas actually made this argument in relation to not outlawing prostitution, even though it was clearly immoral: that the effects of trying to ban it would actually be more destructive than allowing it to continue. (So I guess we can at least feel like we’re better off that his time in one respect. Evil has a funny way of shifting around.)

    Back when we had laws against contraception and outlawing sodomy, I would have been in favor of keeping those laws — not only as a matter of morality but also because they served as a bulwark against other “logical” conclusions from their repeal. But at the point we are in right now (and at any point in the foreseeable future) I think it would be destructive to push for such laws.

  • Santorum is the doctor this country needs to make it better.
    1. $ is more a vehicle for Mitt Romney than a god, so, in a way (not- counting- the- neg.- ads- which- may- hurt- him- in the end), he is for the USA.

    2. Please don’t be quiet though, Newt Gingrich. People on both sides hear you and learn both manners and thinking with minds.

    3. He could save $, the O’s will have that covered.

    4. Santorum could do it on a shoestring in a better world, but he need to continue becoming known. Ads are forgotten rushes of images.

    5. … now if RPaul wants to defeat O., he could cooperate and support RSantorum.

    Romney/Santorum? a hope for GOP unity, one trait of Dems that works for them.

  • I expect no significant realignment of the federal government with the Constitution with any of the remaining viable candidates. Santorum will be a continuation of compassionate conservatism, i.e. big spender, big government. Newt is Mr. Toad’s wild ride, thrilling dips into conservatism and scary climbs into adventurous ideas. Romney is a weathervane.

  • “The other arrow they might try would be the Specter/Toomey affair. But that would be rather difficult for the Weathervane to pull off with any credibility. It could come from other quarters allied with the Weathervane.”

    I don’t see how that could work in the primaries. Who would be persuaded to back away from Santorum because of it? Party faithful respect party loyalty; newcomers would have no strong feelings about it. Moderates would admire him for his willingness to compromise; conservatives wouldn’t flock to Mitt or Newt because of it, since those two candidates have had to work with moderate Republicans plenty of times. The only portion of the party that could have a problem with it are the Ron Paul supporters, who already have their man in the primary. They’d be less likely to be loyal to Santorum in an Obama/Santorum general election. Otherwise, the only people who would take offense at it are consummate insiders who would distrust Santorum’s political instincts.

  • They will use Catholicism against him, in subverted ways.

  • Santorum ideas are linked with that “old” oppressive Church– out of date– needs to get with the time- modern and…liberal. People who don’t understand why Santorum appeals, don’t understand that the Church is really always young, and just right for the times.
    We are so over the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s…. Santorum is more with the times than Madonna– how long has she been doing that same schtick? black and silver, smoke and lights and bumping and grinding— Young people I know, when asked about her performance the other night said, “Meh.” That is what they are saying to Romney, Gingrich and Obama. Santorum is doing great because his old ideas are new again.

  • they are not saying “meh” to obama– they are saying “no”

  • LIke I said before, if Santorum can go from an 18 point drubbing as an incumbent senator in 2006, a long shot at the GOP nomination to winning the nomination and then the presidency, it would be one of the most miraculous of all political miracles in history. I’d love to see it because I don’t think much of Romney and rather detest Newt. But it’s still a long shot.

    Oh, and you can bet his endorsement of the hideous Arlen Specter in 2006 GOP senate primary over Pat Toomey is now gonna be an issue. That’s one thing I have passionately disliked about Santorum.

  • I think Don happened to be channeling Jim Morrison with the title of this post. Mr San–to–rum rising, Mr San–to–rum rising Got-ta keep on ri-sin etc.

  • I am pleased with Santorum’s victories. However we must remember that Santorum added little to his delegate total.

    Red State had a temper tantrum at Rick Perry’s failed Presidential run and they took it out on Santorum. What Erick Erickson et al have failed to realize is that Santorum is far more conservative than Romney and would go farther in reigning in the government than Romney would – given a Congress that would work with him.

    There is some significant dirt on Mrs. Santorum and what her career was prior to her marriage and her personal conversion. Be forewarned. Romney and the Obama attack Machine will attempt to shred Santorum over it. It matters not to me, as there is no force on earth that would cause me to vote for Obama or any Democrat.

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  • “There is some significant dirt on Mrs. Santorum and what her career was prior to her marriage and her personal conversion.”

    Yeah, as a young nurse she was shacked up for years to a much older abortionist, before she met Santorum, fell in love with him and returned to her Catholic faith. It is a beautiful story of love triumphing over sin and I pity Romney or Obama if they think that will be a successful avenue of attack. Most of the American people are sentimental softies at heart, and they will recognize a magnificent love story when they see one.

  • I think its awesome that Senator Santorum is finally getting the attention he deserves. I’ve been saying right along that Santorum knew how to stay alive, and he’s done so – all along proving that money and sparkle aren’t the only measures of a presidential candidate – or a president, for that matter.

    I worry that this support of earmarks is going to bite him in the rear, though. I mean, the truth is that he’s got a LOT less baggage than Gingrich generated in a good year, and the fact is that he resonates with the sort of voters who don’t necessarily watch TV or listen to what a slick city politician has to say. So I think that the Midwestern base which he’s developing is now all but permanently in the Santorum camp.

    The question is whether or not he can play in other parts of the country – he needs some strong showings in the South, like Texas or North Carolina, to solidify his candidacy. If that happens, he could very well be our nominee, which would be fantastic. It’s about time.

  • Mr. McClarey, I write this as I am holding my sleeping nine week old son – I pray a majority of voting Americans see this as you and I do.

    A man can often be judged by the words and deeds of his adversaries and enemies. I find most anti-Santorum types to be quite obnoxious.

  • Penguins Fan, may God bless you and your nine week old son!

  • Well. I think if Romney or his surrogates ever brought up Karen Santorum’s past (I don’t think Mitt is stupid enough to do that), he ought to be run out of the party.

    Somehow, I don’t think the underhanded attacks will work as well against Santorum as they did against Newt. Why? The character issue. Newt’s questionable character made the attacks, whether they had any real merit or not, appear more credible. Santorum’s character is pretty solid in the minds of republicans, especially the conservative base. The strongest trump card (other than the Donald) Romney has against Satorum would be his throwing Pat Toomey under the bus to save Specter’s job.,

  • We’re electing a president, not a savior, so absolute perfection is not required. The trick is separating weaknesses (for example, poor performance in debates) and past mistakes that will not be, or are not likely to be, repeated (e.g. a “wrong” endorsement of another candidate) from fundamental character flaws and bad policy ideas that could cause real harm to the country. Unfortunately, the MSM and excessively rabid partisans tend to put all of these flaws on the same level and hold them up as equally valid reasons why a candidate cannot win or should be disqualified from consideration.

  • Electorally, Santorum would seem to be best positioned to benefit from blue collar Catholics and Midwesterners who Obama has been thumbing his nose at with things like the Keystone Pipeline denial and the HHS mandate.

    Politically, the advantage of a Santorum presidency is that for once you wouldn’t have to worry about issues like judges. He would also bring a focus to the relation between economic and family issues that has been lacking in the public discourse.

    I personally think Romney is a decent candidate personally and politically, there seems to be something about him that turns people off. I don’t quite get it myself, but I’m coming to the conclusion that it isn’t something that will go away.

    We’ll have to see whether Santorum can sustain his current momentum. But for now he arguably meets the Buckley Test of being the most conservative viable candidate, and hence deserving of conservative support.

  • What’s wrong with Romney? Let me count the ways.

    1. Search YouTube for “Romney flip flops.”
    2. Minimum wage indexed to inflation.
    3. Supporter of socialized medicine, which is what put the U.S. Church in the place its in.
    4. Supporter of government bailouts.
    5. Milquetoast

Confessions of a Reluctant Romney Supporter

Tuesday, January 24, AD 2012

I haven’t written much of anything about the GOP primary contest, despite the fact I have been following it closely, in part because I found myself so incredibly dissatisfied with all the candidates. However, as the field narrows and appears to be actually competitive, and various people I respect line up behind candidates, it seemed like it was time to come out of the closet as something I’m not very enthusiastic about being: a Romney supporter.

This is not because I’m particularly fond of Romney. I don’t trust him a great deal, I’m not clear how solid any of his principles are other than his conviction that he should be president, and I don’t find him particularly inspiring. As various candidates have had their five minutes of popularity for the achievement of not being Romney, I kept hoping that one of them would manage to pull ahead and show some stature. I was particularly hopeful about Rick Perry, but he just didn’t seem able to run a campaign.

So why support Romney?

I’ll start with the positive. While I’m not enthusiastic about Romney, I think that most of what the GOP needs in order to oust Obama this year is simply a credible alternative who doesn’t scare people too much. Given how bad the economy is and how unpopular some elements of his policy have been, “not Obama” can be a solidly popular candidate by that virtue alone.

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30 Responses to Confessions of a Reluctant Romney Supporter

  • I think Romney has a glass jaw Darwin. Of all the Republican candidates, except for Ron Paul (R. Pluto), I think he stands the best chance of being beaten by Obama. He gives every sign of conducting the same lifeless, passive campaigns that Dole and McCain ran. Your support of Romney also typifies Romney’s problem: even his supporters are very tepid about him. I will vote for him if he is the nominee, but the only reason I can think for doing so is that he would be the Not Obama in the race. This year that may be enough, but that is a frail reed to base an election on.

  • Yeah, I guess my fear is that Gingrich will on alternate days have a nitroglycerine jaw and no jaw at all. Heck, if we were okay with a flaky philanderer for our nominee why couldn’t we stick with Herman Cain? At least he didn’t have the bad congressional history and we could have pizza at all the campaign events.

    If Santorum were the one polling equal to or above Romney, and if either Santorum or Gingrich weren’t doing a lot worse in the general election polling, I’d be moderately happy to support Santorum. But although I’d reluctantly support Gingrich if he wins the nomination (which is perhaps more than I could say for Ron Paul) I have to admit I’d prefer Romney at the top of the ticket to Gingrich. (Kind of the way I supported Dole over Buchanan.)

  • Gingrich’s personal life is despicable, at least it was during his first two marriages. However thus far in this campaign he has shown a talent for coming back from the political dead, twice, and going off the script. The script I am referring to is that Republican candidates are supposed to be deferential to a media that despises them and their supporters, and that they are supposed to adopt a defensive crouch towards their ideological adversaries. I fear that is a script that Romney will faithfully follow if he is the nominee. I would much prefer it if Santorum were the one with a chance of beating Romney, but I think that ship has not only sailed, but sunk.

  • Now I think about it, I think my preference is based on one other expectation: Obama is clearly going to run one of the most viciously negative campaigns in recent memory. There will be no more of the hopey changey drivel we got last time — even his own base doesn’t believe it any more. So instead we’ll get one of the lowest and nastiest campaigns ever.

    There are, I guess, two ways to go after that. One is to put in someone like Gingrich who will fight back tooth and nail. The other is to go for someone like Romney who will try to do the teflon routine and brush it off with a, “You’re saying that because you’re a failure. Now are we going to move on and get the economy together or are we going to focus on looking for scapegoats for the next four years?”

    My instinct is that the latter will work better — though my crystal ball is no more functional than any other, so we’ll see what happens.

  • I’ve been pleased by how much emotion I’ve seen in the past couple of weeks. The line on 2012 was that it was going to be uninspiring, but people have suddenly become passionate about the race. And it’s still nine months away.

  • We are in agreement on the type of campaign Obama will run. We disagree on the best response to it. If Romney goes with the “above it all” routine he will be lucky if all of his kids vote for him as he goes down in flames. Negative campaigning is effective, and being passive to it is normally a one way ticket to political oblivion.

  • As to the feeling that the choices were weak this time around, I think that both Clinton and W did a poor job of developing the farm team. Reagan did a great job in that area, making appointments and supporting candidates who went on to become leaders. It’s not just about the so-called “team of rivals”, which doesn’t necessarily work anyway (it didn’t even work particularly well for Lincoln). It’s also about giving the rookies a chance to shine. During the past year people have been talking about their list of candidates who didn’t run (Palin, Rubio, Christie, etc.). A lot of those names are newbies. The reason that newbies are getting so much attention is because there isn’t a strong group of established politicians, the people who would have been newbies 10-20 years ago.

  • Romney consistently polls best against Obama in head to head match-ups, he has better favorable/unfavorable ratings than Gingrich, his implied electability on Intrade is higher, and of course he doesn’t have Newt’s history of blow-ups. Why anyone would think Gingrich is more likely to beat Obama is beyond me.

    If Jeb Bush or Mitch Daniels got in I would be thrilled. But I don’t see that happening.

  • “Why anyone would think Gingrich is more likely to beat Obama is beyond me.”

    Because he knows how to attack BA rather than to simply stand there and be a punching bag which seems to be Romney’s chief political skill. That and attempting to run to the left of his Democrat adversaries on social issues, which is a tactic he employed in both 1994 and 2002. Of course, now he is a changed man. (At least until the next shift in the political wind.)

    If pre-election polls were the determinging factor in who should be the Republican candidate than George Bush should have been the nominee instead of Reagan in 1980, since he normally polled stronger against Carter. As a matter of fact, Carter polled 10 points ahead of Reagan in the poll taken just before the October 28 Reagan-Carter debate when Reagan aggressively mopped the floor with Carter. Reagan went on to win by nine points. The rejoinder is that Gingrich is no Reagan. True, although Reagan was no Reagan until he put away a President he had trailed in almost all the polls the entire year.

  • I could understand holding one’s nose and voting for Romney in the General Election because one sees him as the better of two bad alternatives. I disagree with it, and won’t do it myself, but I understand it.

    But I just cannot understand actually supporting him in the primary. Fortunately, Darwin, Sarah and I will be more than happy to cancel out your vote in the Ohio Primary.

    😉

  • Romney consistently polls best against Obama in head to head match-ups, he has better favorable/unfavorable ratings than Gingrich, his implied electability on Intrade is higher, and of course he doesn’t have Newt’s history of blow-ups. Why anyone would think Gingrich is more likely to beat Obama is beyond me.

    That’s basically my thinking. If there was a candidate out there who I thought people would love if only they could get a better look at him, I’d be happy to support someone on that basis who didn’t yet poll well. But other three who have made it this far I like even less than Romney. Which is what leaves me supporting him.

  • Drew over at Drew Musings explains why he is backing Gingrich:

    “In the end, I’ve settled on Newt Gingrich.

    It’s been a long journey and the final choice I’ve come to represents a compromise on my ideal choice to fight the battle against Barack Obama.

    Originally I wanted a bland conservative who was plausible to most voters as a reasonable option to be President. I wanted the election to be a referendum on Obama with the GOP offering a solid, if not spectacular alternative. A Sanford/Pawlenty/Daniels type would have kept the focus where it belonged…on Obama.

    Some will argue that Romney is in this mold. I don’t think so. His wealth and more importantly his lack of basic political skills makes him to easy for Democrats (Obama, pundits and “reporters’) to caricature. He simply hasn’t shown the ability to take a bunch and drive the narrative.

    Failing that I figured we’d have a battle of ideas. If we can’t make it about Obama, then we damn well needed a big time personality to make the most pro-conservative case possible. I saw Christie and Perry as the best options for this kind of fight. Sadly, Christie didn’t run and Perry was simply incapable of carrying the fight to anyone, let alone Obama.

    Again, some will say that Romney could do this. His lack of conservative accomplishments, his record of bashing long held conservative beliefs and his lousy political skills (he can’t sell capitalism to GOP primary voters!), make the idea of Romney The Ideological Warrior a joke.

    That leaves us with the fight we have…going toe-to-toe with Obama in a long, hard, slog. It’s going to be hard to unseat a sitting President under the best of conditions and this election isn’t going to be that. What Newt brings to the table is what a heavyweight fighter always brings to the ring…a puncher’s chance. No, Newt isn’t going to win the election with a big line at a debate but over the course of a 6-8 month fight, Newt will land plenty of big blows on Obama on policy, record and rhetorical grounds. That combination will generate something that was missing for the GOP last time… real excitement in the base. The question is will he be able to pick up enough swing voters along the way? I think (hope) there are enough that are fed up with the bill of goods Obama sold them last time that Newt can make Obama too unattractive to support again while seeming to be a reasonable option himself.

    Gingrich will take a lot of shots in return but unlike Romney, he’s shown over and over again an ability to get back up and start swinging again. Yes, Newt’s been knocked out before and fought some losing fights but if he’s going to go down to Obama, he’s going to bloody him on the way out. He just might be able to knock Obama out before he falls himself.

    I just don’t see on what grounds Romney has any policy or political advantage over Obama.

    It’s not an ideal way to fight this battle but I think Newt’s way is the best chance we have.”

    http://drewmusings.wordpress.com/

  • I agree with Darwin. I do enjoy Newt’s combativeness, but his most recent debate response regarding Marianne’s interview was nothing more than an egotistical outburst that bordered on pathological. It is exceedingly difficult to listen to and unpack this statement and still believe that Newt has any true remorse for his callous behavior. I fear he is not only an egomaniac of the highest order, but he is horribly deficient when it comes to basic human empathy. And his ideas are half-baked. Some may be worth baking to completion, others plainly not, but he lacks the patience to drill down and finish the job. I’d still probably vote for him over Obama.

    Santorum’s principled social conservatism is admirable and attractive. I think he is also a genuinely decent man. Unfortunately, I think he is not only unelectable, he is also incapable of effectively governing a nation that sadly does not share his his passion on social issues. That would take a leader with with exceptional persuasive abilities, and I don’t see that in Santorum.

    Paul is just weird. Deep inside I do think he still worries about the Trilateral Commission and is only partially convinced that 9/11 wasn’t an inside job.

    Romney is more technician than idealogue, which is why he is so at sea when it comes to articulating abstract ideas and his own beliefs. I think he governed center-left in a hard left state, and I think he would govern center-right in a center-right nation. I do think he would appoint conservative judges, though perhaps not as reliably conservative as Santorum.. I also think that Romney is a decent man and an adult who is capable of self-restraint and self-discipline, something I don’t think applies to Gingrich. Like Darwin, I am comfortable supporting Romney, even if not enthusiastic.

  • And that’s why the GOP establishment will keep shoving guys like Romney down our throats … because we’ve proven time and again that we’ll throw over good, decent pro-life candidates like Santorum and, in the end, support whatever pro-abort RINO stiff gets the nomination.

    Please don’t take the foregoing as a harsher criticism than what it is meant to be. But it is frustrating for me to see a couple of gentlemen for whom I have the utmost respect and with whose poltical instincts I generally concur, take this line.

  • No worries, Jay. I appreciate your frustration and admit that my calculus could be incorrect. Basically, my number one issue is abortion specifically and life generally. That said, trying to advance that agenda involves more than simply identifying the candidate whose believes are most in accord with mine. More precisely it involves identifying the candidate who is most likely to actually make progress on this issue, and that is a function not only of my assessment of (i) his priorities and beliefs but also my assessment of (ii) his likely efficacy. While I think Santorum is considerably stronger on (i), I think Romney is much stronger on (ii), especially since I do not think Santorum can defeat Obama in November. I am very much a pragmatist. I have little interest in supporting a candidate who I believe would work hard to advance the pro-life cause if I think he will neither really get that opportunity nor would be able to be successful if he did. My gut tells me that a Romney administration would be much more pro-life than Obama’s, and that he would favor conservative jurists who are skeptical of Roe. That is not perfect, but it is good insomuch as it is better than Obama — and I am not prepared to let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
    All that said, I realize that this calculus is almost entirely prudential, and I could just be flat out wrong.

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  • Here’s my present voting stance:

    1) Santorum
    2) Gingrich
    3) Romney (holding my nose)

    …Ron Paul NEVER!

    WCC

  • If pre-election polls were the determinging factor in who should be the Republican candidate than George Bush should have been the nominee instead of Reagan in 1980

    I don’t say they are the determining factor in who should be the nominee, but they are an indication of who is more likely to win a general election. That Reagan ended up winning against Carter doesn’t change that fact.

  • A rather poor indicator at this time in a Presidential election cycle BA. After the conventions they have greater validity, although even then they need to be taken with a boulder of salt as demonstrated by the Reagan example. I believe the majority of polls in the first week of September of 2008 showed McCain ahead of Obama.

  • “…Ron Paul NEVER!”

    Agreed WCC!

  • It’s not conservative vs. moderate vs. liberal. It’s about the credentialed eiltes whose world views separate them from us. Seems they get upset when knuckle-draggers, such as myself, rise up on our hind legs and get in the way of their choices.

    Them there conservative elites didn’t excoriate Palin because she was liberal or moderate. They feared and loathed Sarah because she is not one of them.

    Newt will fight. He is from Mars.

    Santorum hasn’t shown any fight. He is from Venus.

    Romney is afraid or ashamed of himself. So, he can’t counter-punch. He is from Uranus.

    Paul and libertarians are worse than liberals. They are from Jupiter: could not be more stupider.

    Anyhow, Obama is at 44% approval rating. That’s down from 47% in second year; 57% first year; and 69% approval Inauguration.

    Gerald Ford and George H. W. Bush had better polling numbers at similar dates in their failed re-election runs. Carter was slightly worse. I can’t understand that last one.

  • If Ron Paul (R. Pluto) gets the nominee, I’m going third party.

    As for Jay’s comments, I luv it! Romney is just another H.W.Bush/Dole/McCain clone that leaves me reaching for a swig of whiskey and a revolver.

    I want Santorum and he’s getting better in the debates.

    I could vote for Gingrich and hope he lands several debilitating punches to forever render Obama the worst president ever.

    I’d vote for Romney, if there were no one else and pray for a quick eight years to go by quickly.

  • Can anybody name a candidate for national office whose winning campaign strategy against an incumbent was to build a majority out of reluctant supporters?

  • Darwin:

    Santorum actually strikes me as a strongly principled social conservative, and in some ways I do like him, but I just don’t see him as having the executive presence to lead the nation or to succeed against Obama onstage.

    Mike Petrik:

    I think he is not only unelectable, he is also incapable of effectively governing a nation that sadly does not share his his passion on social issues. That would take a leader with with exceptional persuasive abilities, and I don’t see that in Santorum.

    You did not ask, but I tell anyway. I would not bother too much about handicapping candidates in this manner. The electorate can be highly tolerant of a considerable swath of characters if ambient conditions take a certain form. You will recall that in 1980 the country elected a man who had (eleven years earlier) been literally alone among the country’s governors on important policy questions. You will recall that three years ago the country elected a man who had been, just four years earlier, sitting in the Illinois legislature. Unlike Barry Goldwater or George McGovern, Mr. Santorum has been road-tested on a large and diverse electorate. His stance on the issues is pretty much what is modal among Republicans, just more emphatically stated. He will do as a candidate. His real deficiency is a deficit of preparation: no background as an executive and a truncated career in the private sector.

    Which brings us to what the problem is. The country needs to climb out of the hole it is in over the next four or five years. That will require instituting a combination of budget cuts and tax hikes. The latter is not admitted by Republican pols generally and quite a number may be perfectly sincere for all that. Mr. Romney’s utility (aside from an absence of distractions in his life like Marianne Ginther Gingrich) is that when he denies an intent to seek a tax increase, he is among the candidates the most likely to be lying. He also has experience presiding over restructurings. That will be useful.

    In effect, we are reduced to the hope that Mr. Romney will be much like the elder George Bush: a cheesy candidate but not a cheesy President. Wish things were different….

  • Art, you may be right. But I would note that I voted for Ronald Reagan. Twice. Rick Santorum is no Ronald Reagan.

  • Rick Santorum is no Ronald Reagan.

    Per David Stockman, Ronald Reagan was, a good deal of the time, daft. I have seen no indication that that is true of Mr. Santorum. (It is true of Michelle Bachmann, alas). So, yes, he is no Ronald Reagan.

  • David Stockman calling Ronald Reagan daft is like a turtle calling an eagle slow poke. Stockman should have been fired by Reagan after his Atlantic article in December 1981. One of Reagan’s faults is that he always was too kind hearted to mendacious mediocrities like Stockman, who was lucky to avoid a jail cell after his tenure as CEO of Collins & Aikman during 2003-2005.

  • 1. Stockman is not a mediocrity; he is anything but daft.

    2. He was known (and likely still is) for bouts of compuslive honesty. Some of them were in the presence of William Greider, which was not particularly prudent;

    3. One of Stockman’s accounts concerned a questionnaire he forwarded to the President ca. 1983. It was an attempt to flesh out just what were the Presidents priorities and preferences with regard to federal expenditure. The President was fascinated with the questionnaire and budgeted time over several days to complete it. Stockman examined the answers and discussed the implications with the President, which were as follows: you get everything you want and we have $800 bn in deficits over the next five fiscal years. Mightn’t we consider requesting a tax increase? Reagan’s reply, “Now, David, it is deficit spending that is the problem….”.

  • I have to echo Micha Elyi’s comment: “Can anybody name a candidate for national office whose winning campaign strategy against an incumbent was to build a majority out of reluctant supporters?” And let me add to it: Can anybody name the last time the candidate running against an unpopular incumbent won by being bland, moderate and uncontroversial?

    Whoever the GOP nominates, the Democrats are going to ask the swing voters, “Granted that BHO hasn’t done a very good job, do you really want to replace him with this guy?” And if it’s someone the core can’t get excited about, you can’t expect the swing to get excited about him, either. Just being “not Obama” in the most literal sense possible isn’t enough; the not-Obama has to be clearly not Obama in terms of policy and philosophy as well as identity. Romney simply hasn’t convinced anyone outside his own camp that he’s anything but “kinda-sorta-not-Obama”. That’s not a recipe for success — if we’re not careful, someone’s gonna think we’re afraid of Obama. He’s not an 800-pound gorilla! And neither Santorum nor Gingrich are that scary! (Ron Paul, on the other hand ….) I think either one of these two could get the core whipped up enough to pull the swing to the right. Mitt simply isn’t that attractive. Let’s not vote scared.

  • Voting the lesser of evils is why we have had evils in government for so long. We call ourselves Christians and even Catholics but we do not have the faith the size of a mustard seed. God is Almighty and can do all things even put Rick Santorum in the White House. Only Santorum can lead America back to God and to being, once again, a Christian nation.

Ron Paul’s Foreign Policy: Golden Rule or Relativism?

Wednesday, January 18, AD 2012

If you move about those regions of the internets in which righteous display their moral superiority by posting sixty second video clips showing just how bad their opponents are, you have probably seen headlines lately along the lines of “Christians Boo Jesus” or “Republicans Mock Golden Rule”. Of course, one hardly needs to watch the clip, because in the dualism that is politicization, everyone already knows that they’re right and their opponents are wrong. But after the fifth or sixth iteration, I had to go ahead watch Ron Paul (who else) present his Golden-Rule based foreign policy to boos. Here’s the clip in question:

Or if, like me, you tend not to watch posted videos, here’s the money quote:

“My point is, that if another country does to us what we do to others, we aren’t going to like it very much. So I would say maybe we ought to consider a golden rule in foreign policy. We endlessly bomb these other countries and then we wonder why they get upset with us?”

Now, this sounds superficially high minded, and some people who really are high minded seem lured by it. Kyle, who has an genuine and expansive desire to understand “the other” has his dander up and says:

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27 Responses to Ron Paul’s Foreign Policy: Golden Rule or Relativism?

  • Ron Paul may have avoided 9/11/2001 if congress would have listened in 1999. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=XguvMUUtTtI
    Now look at the normal political trashing of our freedoms. Watch the video from a year ago http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmdpXNIwunc
    No other military in the world can take away our freedoms. We should not let our government either.

  • If Ron Paul’s foreign policy and spending priorities were enacted (which is, perhaps appropriately given his other policy stands, a pipe dream) it would pretty quickly not be the case that no other military in the world could take away our freedoms — much less other people’s freedoms. We too easily forget the advantages that come to us and others as a result of living in a unipolar world.

    That doesn’t mean that we should be quick to dismiss our freedoms at home, but it does underline the basic insanity of Ron Paul’s non-interventionalism and isolationism.

  • Excellent post, DC.

  • WFB, Jr. on the problem I have with Paul’s thinking:

    “… to say that the CIA and the KGB engage in similar practices is the equivalent of saying that the man who pushes an old lady into the path of a hurtling bus is not to be distinguished from the man who pushes an old lady out of the path of a hurtling bus: on the grounds that, after all, in both cases someone is pushing old ladies around.”

    ~ William F. Buckley

  • Darwin, a major kudos to you for ending with C.S. Lewis’s extraordinary statement:

    I imagine somebody will say, `Well, if one is allowed to condemn the enemy’s acts, and punish him, and kill him, what difference is left between Christian morality and the ordinary view?’ All the difference in the world. Remember, we Christians think man lives for ever.

    The dualism that inhabits Lewis’ theology is nowhere more stark than here. The interior life and the exterior life have been entirely divided. Our interior beliefs (“man lives forever”) do not modify our external acts: “one is allowed to condemn the enemy’s acts, and punish him, and kill him.” This kind of disconnect between belief and act poses a major threat to the Gospel: it turns grace into a program for pagan virtue training.

    If we believe that man lives forever, if we truly believe this, then everything changes. If we believe that our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against powers and principalities, then everything changes. If we believe that mercy triumphs over sin, then everything — everything inside us and outside us, from every thought to every act — changes.

    Even national policies related to security changes.

    While I thank Ron Paul for bringing scripture into the national debate, the heart of the Gospel is not the Golden Rule, but rather the cross and the resurrection. The cross and resurrection, presents us with an entirely new way of facing evil in this world. A national security policy based upon an invincible trust in Christ’s death, life, and love is what the Gospel calls for.

  • Nate,

    I don’t think that Lewis is being particularly dualistic here. Rather, he’s seeing how the human person, as an integrated person, is not confined by the exigencies of the world in which he finds himself — exigencies which may place him at odds with his fellow men, whether through his fault or his unknowing. To quote that second bit at greater length:

    I imagine somebody will say, `Well, if one is allowed to condemn the enemy’s acts, and punish him, and kill him, what difference is left between Christian morality and the ordinary view?’ All the difference in the world. Remember, we Christians think man lives for ever. Therefore, what really matters is those little marks or twists on the central, inside part of the soul which are going to turn it, in the long run, into a heavenly or a hellish creature. We may kill if necessary, but we must not hate and enjoy hating. We may punish if necessary, but we must not enjoy it. In other words, something inside us, the feeling of resentment, the feeling that wants to get one’s own back, must be simply killed. I do not mean that anyone can decide this moment that he will never feel it any more. That is not how things happen. I mean that every time it bobs its head up, day after day, year after year, all our lives long, we must hit it on the head. It is hard work, but the attempt is not impossible. Even while we kill and punish we must try to feel about the enemy as we feel about ourselves – to wish that he were not bead, to hope that he may, in this world or another, be cured in fact, to wish his good. That is what is meant in the Bible by loving him: wishing his good, not feeling fond of him nor saying he is nice when he is not.

    I admit that this means loving people who have nothing loveable about them. But then, has oneself anything loveable about it?

    Now, I suppose one can take our immortality one of two ways. One can either say that because we are immortal, and God will judge each one of us in his infinite knowledge and mercy, that when we are forced to kill in order to protect the innocent and the common good, we do not thus condemn the person killed to non-existence or to perdition. Or one can say that because we are immortal, it isn’t worth using violence in order to protect the innocent or the common good since, after all, there are worse things than being killed or having all your possessions destroyed.

    It seems to me that Lewis is saying the former, while you are implicitly arguing the latter. The Church has had members who have gone both ways, but if one actually looks at the doctrines of the Church, it pretty much comes down on the former side. While the Church recognizes the heroic nature of self-sacrificing non-violence, it also states that it is the duty of those in authority to preserve the common good and protect the innocent, and it acknowledges that this sometimes requires the use of force. Indeed, the catechism states that defending one’s country in the armed forces (as Lewis references having done in WW1) is at times an obligation.

  • Ron Paul’s foreign policy mindset is informed entirely by notions of moral equivalence. Nothing else can explain his analogizing of Osama bin Laden to a Chinese dissident here in the U.S.

    I’m starting to have flashbacks to the arguments of the anti-anti-communists of the 1980s. The only difference is that these days, they call themselves libertarians instead of liberals.

  • Agree, Dale — hence the quote I offered above.

  • Bravo Darwin! More thoughts this evening after I wade through 20 return calls to clients, dictation, and a meeting with clients. Spending most of the day in court wreaks havoc on a lawyer’s schedule!

  • Mike–that’s a good quote. I kinda blipped over it, I sheepishly admit.

  • Hold on, Mike, I could swear that one of the doyens of the Catholic blogsphere established that pushing old ladies is intrinsically evil, in which case saying that it’s or wrong right depending on whether you’re pushing them in front of the bus or away from the bus is just so much consequentialism.

  • Darwin, double kudos for further quoting Lewis. I’d forgotten that he’d double-downed (it’s been years since I read Mere Christianity).

    We may kill if necessary, but we must not hate and enjoy hating.

    If this isn’t dualism — dividing the body from the soul, the thought from the act — I don’t know what is. He might have well as said, “We may murder millions of babies if necessary, but we must not hate and enjoy hating.” The passionless extermination of the unborn may not be accompanied by passionate feelings of hate, but it is no less an act of hate and a sign of a hateful heart.

    Hate isn’t a disembodied emotion with no connection to our external acts. Neither is faith, hope, or love. Mother Theresa spent the last forty years of her life without any emotional conviction in God’s existence or love. Nevertheless, her life demonstrated a heart of immense faith.

    Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth
    — 1 Jn 3:18

    If faith and love are demonstrated by our acts, then so too hatred.

  • To be a little more academic, the whole doctrine of double-effect has immense applicability to the idea of killing without hatred. It is possible to kill without hatred only if our intention is not to kill.

  • Nate,

    No, you’re weirdly twisting Lewis’ argument and inserting assumptions of your own which neither he nor the Church shares with you.

    First off, you’re inserting the assumption that the act of killing necessarily involves hate, and thus that if one acts in a way one knows will cause death (to go with Lewis’ example: firing a rifle at a soldier charging at you across the no man’s land) that one is performing an act that necessarily is connected with hate. However, the Church has clearly taught that the use of lethal force in order to protect oneself, the innocent and the common good is, at time, not only morally acceptable but a duty.

    Next, you take the argument as if Lewis is saying that the only reason killing is every wrong is if you hate:

    He might have well as said, “We may murder millions of babies if necessary, but we must not hate and enjoy hating.” The passionless extermination of the unborn may not be accompanied by passionate feelings of hate, but it is no less an act of hate and a sign of a hateful heart.

    If Lewis had said that, he would clearly be wrong. But what Lewis is objecting to is the error (which you seem to be making) that killing is necessarily and always an evil, that it is never just. Abortion is always an evil, not matter what emotions one is feeling (and surely you realize that Lewis is not talking about the emotion of hate but rather hate in the theological sense: that act of the will of wishing another person ill) because abortion is the killing of an innocent person. Killing in self defense or in defense of another, etc. is not in and of itself an unjust act. The Church recognizes and teaches this, even if you disagree with the Church in that regard.

    Finally, you misunderstand the concept of double effect:

    To be a little more academic, the whole doctrine of double-effect has immense applicability to the idea of killing without hatred. It is possible to kill without hatred only if our intention is not to kill.

    You need to be more careful in your use of the world “intention” here. In double effect as regards to killing, your “object” cannot be to kill. So, for instance, if Lewis is standing on the firing step and a German soldier is charging towards him, Lewis may shoot at the soldier in order to stop the soldier from attacking him. If the soldier suddenly drops his rifle and puts his hands up, Lewis may not shoot him, because the object to stopping the attack has already been achieved. However, that doesn’t mean that when Lewis fires his rifle at the oncoming soldier he needs to be thinking, “Well, gee, I’m shooting a rifle at him, but really, I have no idea if this will kill him.” Not having killing as your object is not the same as ignorance of the likely effects of one’s action. The phrase is “forseen but not intended”, as in, you know it will happen but it is not your object in performing the action.

    But since you’re enjoying the Lewis quotes so much, here’s one from slightly before (this is all from Chapter 17: Forgiveness) that should blow the modern mind:

    For a long time I used to think this a silly, straw-splitting distinction: how could you hate what a man did and not hate the man? But years later it occurred to me that there was one man to whom I had been doing this all my life – namely myself. However much I might dislike my own cowardice or conceit or greed, I went on loving myself. There had never been the slightest difficulty about it. In fact the very reason why I hated the things was that I loved the man. Just because I loved myself, I was sorry to find that I was the sort of man who did those things. Consequently, Christianity does not want us to reduce by one atom the hatred we feel for cruelty and treachery. We ought to hate them. Not one word of what we have said about them needs to be unsaid. But it does want us to hate them in the same way in which we hate things in ourselves: being sorry that the man should have done such things, and hoping, if it is anyway possible, that somehow, sometime, somewhere he can be cured and made human again.

    The real test is this. Suppose one reads a story of filthy atrocities in the paper. Then suppose that something turns up suggesting that the story might not be quite true, or not quite so bad ass it was made out. Is one’s first feeling, `Thank God, even they aren’t quite so bad as that,’ or is it a feeling of disappointment, and even a determination to cling to the first story for the sheer pleasure of thinking your enemies as bad as possible? If it is the second then it is, I am afraid, the first step in a process which, if followed to the end, will make us into devils. You see, one is beginning to wish that black was a little blacker. If we give that wish its head, later on we shall wish to see grey as black, and then to see white itself as black. Finally, we shall insist on seeing everything – God and our friends and ourselves included – as bad, and not be able to stop doing it: we shall be fixed for ever in a universe of pure hatred.

    Now a step further. Does loving your enemy mean not punishing him? No, for loving myself does not mean that I ought not to subject myself to punishment – even to death. If you had committed a murder, the right Christian thing to do would be to give yourself up to the police and be hanged. It is, therefore, in my opinion, perfectly right for a Christian judge to sentence a man to death or a Christian soldier to kill an enemy. I always have thought so, ever since I became a Christian, and long before the war, and I’ still think so now that we are at peace. It is no good quoting ‘Thou shaft not kill.’ There are two Greek words: the ordinary word to kill and the word to murder. And when Christ quotes that commandment He uses the murder one in all three accounts, Matthew, Mark, and Luke. And I am told there is the same distinction in Hebrew. All killing is not murder any more than all sexual intercourse is adultery. When soldiers came to St John the Baptist asking what to do, he never remotely suggested that they ought to leave the army: nor did Christ when He met a Roman sergeant-major- what they called a centurion. The idea of the knight – the Christian in arms for the defence of a good cause is one of the great Christian ideas. War is a dreadful thing, and I can respect an honest pacifist, though I think he is entirely mistaken, What I cannot understand is this sort of semi-pacifism you get nowadays which gives people the idea that though you have to fight, you ought to do it with a long face and as if you were ashamed of it. It is that feeling that robs lots of magnificent young Christians in the Services of something they have a right to, something which is the natural accompaniment of courage – a kind of gaiety and whole-heartedness.

  • “The sad thing is, our foreign policy WILL change eventually, as Rome’s did, when all budgetary and monetary tricks to fund it are exhausted.”

    The idea that the Roman Empire fell because it was a hugely expansionist power is completely falacious. The Empire stopped expanding under the first emperor Augustus just before the time of Christ. The only large scale exceptions to this were the conquest of Britain under the Emperor Claudius in the first century, and of Dacia in modern day Rumania in the second century, which was abandoned by the Romans in the third century. Rome under the Republic was ruthlessly expansionist; under the Empire it was almost always in a defensive mode.

    Rome fell in the West for a multitude of reasons, but one of the primary ones was the hiring of barbarian mercenaries, and an ever lessening willingness by citizens of the Empire to enlist in the Roman military. The barbarian mercenaries eventually held all the real power in the empire in the West and often made common cause with the tribes which made successful invasions in the fifth century. Frequent Roman civil wars also weakened the Empire, but the main reason for the fall of the Empire in the West is that the Empire ceded military supremacy to their adversaries.

  • Darwin, a lot of these words are slippery, including both ‘intention’ and ‘object’. By intention, I mean ‘object of the will’ rather than motive. I’m grateful for your impersonal use of logic with these questions, and always have been. I think, however, that you’ve misunderstood double-effect theory.

    The phrase ‘object of the will’ does not refer to the motive for an act, although the simple word ‘object’ might. I think that’s where you’ve made a mistake.

    For example, someone might say, “the object of going to school is to become educated”. One could never say that about the ‘object of the will’. The object of the will of going to school is much more discrete, much more direct. It is getting in the car. It is driving. It is getting out of the car. It is sitting. It is listening to the teacher. It is reading the book. Those are all ‘objects of the will’ — deliberate acts. These are all ‘objects’ chosen by the will.

    Lewis may shoot at the soldier in order to stop the soldier from attacking him. If the soldier suddenly drops his rifle and puts his hands up, Lewis may not shoot him, because the object to stopping the attack has already been achieved. (my emphasis)

    I think this quote shows that you are using ‘object’ in terms of motive rather than deliberate choice. Think of ‘object’ less in terms of subjective reasoning, and more in terms of objective outcome. The object of the will of Lewis shooting the Nazi is, well, aiming the gun, squeezing the trigger, putting a bullet in the Nazi’s chest, twice preferably. The precise ‘object’ is a bullet-wounded Nazi.

    If we can agree on these points, I’d love to press forward with the discussion.

  • I should clarify even further (since we’re getting all philosophical), that “object of the will” should really be the “immediate object of the will”.

  • Nate,

    I similarly appreciate your calm and reasonable discussion. 🙂

    I agree that the terms being used are slippery, and probably doubly so as different philosophical and theological schools use the same terms differently. Additionally, I should confess right up front that as an interested amateur who’s training is in classics rather than either theology or philosophy, I am probably additionally muddying the waters in that my experience in reading Aquinas, Aristotle and Plato is in “getting the sense” of the original Latin or Greek, and so I’m probably doubly imprecise in the “somewhere between the various definitions in the dictionary” kind of way that language folks tend to be.

    All that said, maybe it’s best if we take a look at where Aquinas lays out the principle of double effect in Summa Theologica Q64, Art. 7:

    I answer that, Nothing hinders one act from having two effects, only one of which is intended, while the other is beside the intention. Now moral acts take their species according to what is intended, and not according to what is beside the intention, since this is accidental as explained above (43, 3; I-II, 12, 1). Accordingly the act of self-defense may have two effects, one is the saving of one’s life, the other is the slaying of the aggressor. Therefore this act, since one’s intention is to save one’s own life, is not unlawful, seeing that it is natural to everything to keep itself in “being,” as far as possible. And yet, though proceeding from a good intention, an act may be rendered unlawful, if it be out of proportion to the end. Wherefore if a man, in self-defense, uses more than necessary violence, it will be unlawful: whereas if he repel force with moderation his defense will be lawful, because according to the jurists [Cap. Significasti, De Homicid. volunt. vel casual.], “it is lawful to repel force by force, provided one does not exceed the limits of a blameless defense.” Nor is it necessary for salvation that a man omit the act of moderate self-defense in order to avoid killing the other man, since one is bound to take more care of one’s own life than of another’s. But as it is unlawful to take a man’s life, except for the public authority acting for the common good, as stated above (Article 3), it is not lawful for a man to intend killing a man in self-defense, except for such as have public authority, who while intending to kill a man in self-defense, refer this to the public good, as in the case of a soldier fighting against the foe, and in the minister of the judge struggling with robbers, although even these sin if they be moved by private animosity.

    From this I’d take a couple things:

    1) Aquinas does not think that one actually needs to appeal to double effect in order to justify a soldier killing another soldier in combat, he sees that as springing from the right of authority (the state’s) to protect the common good.

    2) That aside, in the case of someone using lethal force in self defense, Aquinas seems to be talking about one’s “intention” as being what I’d call the “end of one’s actions”, as in, that for which purpose one acts. This is not the same as “motive”, exactly, but it is more a matter of purpose, I think, than the examples you give. I’d say that in our example Aquinas is saying you can “shoot to stop” in self defense, which in practical terms is often the same as “shoot to kill”, but you may not in fact “shoot to kill”. The big difference, from a practical point of view would be when you stop. If you’re shooting to stop, you stop shooting when your assailant stops attacking. If you’re shooting to kill, you keep on till you know he’s dead. (Again, the practical difference here in many situations may be nill.)

    Anyway. Hopefully that’s enough to move the discussion forward a step. As I dig into this, I find myself thinking about writing a post specifically on double effect, which is a model that I’ve had mixed feelings over in the past — though I’d have to think if I’d still address the topic in the same way I did then.

    (Also, just as a historical side note: Lewis never shot at a Nazi. He fought as an infantry officer in World War One, in the trenches of the Somme, but was too old to be called to serve in WW2.)

  • Thanks for the thoughtful response, Darwin!

    1) You’re absolute right. It is one of the most interesting loopholes in Catholic doctrine that I have ever found. While Aquinas and others give plenty of justification for double-effect defense when it comes to civilians, there is a real lack of justification when it comes to soldiers and police. What is stranger is that the modern Catechism doesn’t address the issue at all, and in fact seems to apply double-effect reasoning to soldiers. There’s a pretty good scholarly article about this that I read years ago, about how if double-effect reasoning is applied to soldiers (as the Church’s teachings seem to be headed), then war would have to be fought on very different terms. Unfortunately, I can’t find this article.

    2) It’s my understanding that Aquinas uses the word ‘intention’ with a wide variety of meanings, but I agree that Aquinas doesn’t seem to be using it in the sense that double-effect doctrine currently does. But because I’m not that familiar with Aquinas’ vocabulary, or with Latin, I’m not going to try to get much deeper into his thought.

    Lewis makes an interesting point:

    There are two Greek words: the ordinary word to kill and the word to murder.

    The funny thing is that if you try to define what murder is, you end up with “unjust killing”, and if you try to define what is unjust, you end up with . . . something pretty close to what the Catechism says: “The fifth commandment forbids direct and intentional killing as gravely sinful.”

    And unfortunately, there’s where that slippery word comes in again: ‘intention’. Intention could mean, on one very far end of the spectrum, motive, and on the other very far end of the spectrum, the immediate object of the will. But in double-effect reasoning, what counts is both: both the immediate object of the will and the motive must be good or neutral.

    Veritatis Splendor makes this point:

    78. The morality of the human act depends primarily and fundamentally on the “object” rationally chosen by the deliberate will, as is borne out by the insightful analysis, still valid today, made by Saint Thomas. In order to be able to grasp the object of an act which specifies that act morally, it is therefore necessary to place oneself in the perspective of the acting person. The object of the act of willing is in fact a freely chosen kind of behaviour. To the extent that it is in conformity with the order of reason, it is the cause of the goodness of the will; it perfects us morally, and disposes us to recognize our ultimate end in the perfect good, primordial love. By the object of a given moral act, then, one cannot mean a process or an event of the merely physical order, to be assessed on the basis of its ability to bring about a given state of affairs in the outside world. Rather, that object is the proximate end of a deliberate decision which determines the act of willing on the part of the acting person. Consequently, as the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, “there are certain specific kinds of behaviour that are always wrong to choose, because choosing them involves a disorder of the will, that is, a moral evil”

  • Darwin,
    I was threatened by a criminal a year ago with gun retaliation after I defeated him in a fight after he fled my secondary inherited home in an edgy neighborhood…(a house I’m working on to sell)… which he had broken into (I arrived home to hear him slam the side door). My instincts were correct in chasing him to ambush him after hearing the door slam because he had stolen inter alia….a weapon….which I retrieved. In the NY harbor area, that weapon would have been sold by him and killed someone someday. I pray for his salvation and keep a tactical shotgun ready to kill him if he carries out his threat. Why don’t I plan to wound him? One’s goal is to stop the trigger finger and you do that by death only unless you can shoot a man’s hand off which is a
    delusional goal where there is movement….if you wound him, he can still kill you or paralyze you.
    Aquinas passage seems to imply that only soldiers can self defend. But the modern states depute civilians through gun licenses to protect themselves in their homes in my area….outside the home in many states.
    The gospel is fascinating in that repeatedly, disciples of Christ are found to be carrying machaira…war swords….both prior to Gethsemane and Peter at Gethsemane. Christ rebukes Peter for “living by the sword” in his Gethsemane choice to assault a temple soldier….but Christ nowhere stops any of them from what Pennsylvanians call….open carry. Christ’s good Samaritan parable is about a mugging and if you let muggers damage your body pre modern surgery, you may well be lame and unable to work for life. Hence it strikes me that Chrst therefore let them carry machaira….for opposing muggers….but not for attacking authorities as Peter did at Gethsemane.

  • I know less than nothing about philosophy and theology.

    Here’s what I see. Jesus advised, “Sell your coat and buy a sword.” He taught the man who sliced the temple guard’s ear if he lived by the sword he would perish by the sword. OTOH, Jesus taught if you call your brother “fool”, you will be subject to judgment and fiery gehenna. See the difference?

    St. Bernard de Calairvaux’s endorsement of the Templars contains concepts (evil may be violently confronted) that have been largely discarded by humanists and liberals.

    St. John the Baptist taught repentance, charity and justice, not pacifism or tax evasion, he did not tell the soldier to desert or the tax collector to quit.

  • Don,

    The more I think about it, there’s probably some really interesting historical analysis to be done over this whole myth that “first the Republic was replaced the by Empire, then it got too big and it got degenerate under Caligula and Nero, and next thing you know the whole thing fell apart and Rome fell.” It gets caught up in popular culture where you see things like Marcus Aurelius being made out as a secret republican in Gladiator.

    My instinct would be that it crept in in the English speaking world via the Whig political philosophers who took Polybius as guide on how to set up a balanced republic that would last. From there it’s easy to root for the Republic and to see its fall as the “beginning of the end”.

    Is this something that springs from Gibbon? (Whom I confess I’ve never read, though I know you have.)

  • It is fascinating Darwin how this myth of imperial overstretch has been imprinted on the public mind. For generations movies have shown Roman decadent early emperors as you point out, and I agree that people believe that this demonstrates how rotten Rome was, and that it was doomed to fall. Yeah, four centuries later! Most people, including quite a few people with intellectual pretensions, know very little about Roman history, which is a complicated and vast topic that stretches over a thousand years of history. Roman history is usually used as a handy vehicle when axes are ground in contemporary political conflicts, and it is normally a safe vehicle because so many people are simply bone ignorant on the subject.

    Gibbon is not responsible for this. He considered the fall of the Empire to be caused by the triumph of Christianity and Barbarism. He was nonsensical as to the first ground, but on stronger footing as to the second. Roman elites in the fourth and fifth centuries began aping barbarian fashions and contrasting the “honest barbarians” with their increasingly decadent world. The Empire in the West suffered a crisis of confidence among their elites and in that limited sense Gibbon was on to something.

    My favorite living historian, Victor Davis Hanson has summed up that line of argument well:

    “The difference over six centuries, the dissimilarity that led to the end, was a result not of imperial overstretch on the outside but something happening within that was not unlike what we ourselves are now witnessing. Earlier Romans knew what it was to be Roman, why it was at least better than the alternative, and why their culture had to be defended. Later in ignorance they forgot what they knew, in pride mocked who they were, and in consequence disappeared.”

  • Nate,

    I feel like part of the issue here is that Aquinas and I (and, I would argue, the weight of Church history and doctrine) are reasoning from the assumption that killing in just war and self defense are murder (not unjust killing) and working back from there to figure out why, while you’re working from the assumption that all killing is unjust and looking to see if there are any exceptions.

    Thus, you say:

    The funny thing is that if you try to define what murder is, you end up with “unjust killing”, and if you try to define what is unjust, you end up with . . . something pretty close to what the Catechism says: “The fifth commandment forbids direct and intentional killing as gravely sinful.”

    And my immediate response would be, “Yes, but the catechism immediately goes on to explain that using lethal force in a just war, in self defense and even at times in capital punishment is not unjust killing.” I see the short bit you quote as necessarily incomplete because it hasn’t yet got into the boundaries to the basic principle that is being stated, while you seem to be assuming that this is a moment of clarity in which the full truth is stated before rationalizations set in.

    On 1) I think the “loophole” actually comes from the Church historically taking the importance of the “common good” as being so great that it outweighs the needs (including the life) of the individual. In our more individualistic age, people often go the opposite direction and hold that person defense is perhaps permissible, but that the polis or civitas is not worth taking life to defend or enforce. (Puts a whole new spin on that emphasis on “common good” which the Catholic left is usually so comfortable with.) This seems exemplified by the Augustine quotes that Aquinas uses:

    Objection 1. It would seem that nobody may lawfully kill a man in self-defense. For Augustine says to Publicola (Ep. xlvii): “I do not agree with the opinion that one may kill a man lest one be killed by him; unless one be a soldier, exercise a public office, so that one does it not for oneself but for others, having the power to do so, provided it be in keeping with one’s person.” Now he who kills a man in self-defense, kills him lest he be killed by him. Therefore this would seem to be unlawful.

    Objection 2. Further, he says (De Lib. Arb. i, 5): “How are they free from sin in sight of Divine providence, who are guilty of taking a man’s life for the sake of these contemptible things?” Now among contemptible things he reckons “those which men may forfeit unwillingly,” as appears from the context (De Lib. Arb. i, 5): and the chief of these is the life of the body. Therefore it is unlawful for any man to take another’s life for the sake of the life of his own body.

    On 2) I guess now I’m trying to understand how you’re using “intention” or “object of the will” in relation to double effect. In the more modern summaries that I’d read, it seemed to me that the idea was that you have an “intention” or “end” and an action that you’re going to perform to achieve that end. The action has two effects, one intended, the other foreseen but not intended. So in one example I’ve read before: Your end is to blow up an enemy missile installation via an action: a missile precision strike. You foresee that because the installation was put in an ordinary neighborhood, you may well accidentally kill innocent civilians nearby, but this is not your intention, it’s a foreseen effect of acheiving the effect you intent: to blow up the missile site. The remaining question is one of proportion: Are you using no more force than is necessary to achieve your end, and is the end itself sufficiently worthy to justify the unintended effects. The thing you can’t do (and this is where people often slip up) is to provide a “motive” such as “I want to end the war quicker” and to achieve that pick a means “kill ten million civilians via a biologically engineered plague” which you think will achieve that motive, because in that case there are not two effects, there’s just one: kill ten million people. (explained with my typical lack of precision vocabulary)

  • Bill,

    I’m rapidly running out of time for my morning’s blogging, but just to be clear: Aquinas actually is supporting the idea that the individual person has the right (and at times duty) to use lethal force in self defense or for the common good. He’s arguing against another interpretation which was apparently around that the time that only those acting directly on behalf of the state could use lethal force.

    One’s goal is to stop the trigger finger and you do that by death only unless you can shoot a man’s hand off which is a delusional goal where there is movement….if you wound him, he can still kill you or paralyze you.

    I guess the thing I’d point out is that while you shouldn’t shoot at anyone you’re not willing to kill (otherwise, why are you shooting a gun at them?) most shootings aren’t fatal. I think people are always kidding themselves when the imagine every police officer, soldier or citizen should be some kind of Annie Oakley shooting guns out of hands or shooting people in the knee, etc. At the same time, most gun wounds aren’t fatal. The moral (if unprecise) point would be: Once the person is no longer a threat to you, you can’t shoot him.

  • Darwin
    I agree with your final idea….when he is no longer a threat, you can’t shoot him. Shotshells to the chest at close range in a house would have lethality rates far above 9mm fights on the street though. In the dark or half dark of flashlights, one can not easily determine an enemy’s being no longer a threat….ergo one may well keep shooting if one has not seen that man’s gun drop from his hand. Scripture thus in the ancient Jewish context allowed killing a night intruder and forbade killing a daytime intruder if he could be subdued (intruders then didn’t have glocks).

    Exd.22:1 “If a thief is found breaking in, and is struck so that he dies, there shall be no bloodguilt for him;
    Exd 22:2 but if the sun has risen upon him, there shall be bloodguilt for him.”

  • The moral object of an act is a slippery critter. One can begin with the thought of Martin Rhonheimer particularly in regards to Summa Theologica II q. 64, a. 7. As we see, Aquinas allows for self-defense even if the result is the death of the aggressor. Here he notes that an act can have two effects. One can kill a person who is attacking in order to defend oneself. But what is the effect of the act that determines the moral quality – the killing or the defense? Again Rhonheimer states that it is what is intended by the actor. It is that which is intended and not which is besides the intention (praeter intentionem). Acts, as noted, are not merely a physical process but rather they “…take their moral species according to what is intended and not according to what is besides the intention.” But self-defense is not an exception to the prohibition of killing as Aquinas notes that excessive force should not be used. The death of the aggressor cannot be intended and if it is then the act is immoral. Thus there is no weighing of the good of one’s life versus that of the attacker in this analysis. For Aquinas, the act solely consists in what is intended, which is the defense of one’s own life. What is “indirect” is the physical effect of killing. But this is non-intended and as such is purely a physical effect from a moral perspective. There are not two moral acts of killing and defense but only a physical act with a specific moral intent – defense. The killing is praeter intentionem even if it occurs as the “…immediate effect of the action.” Thus the physical event is no longer the object of the action but an accidental event. There is thus no “direct” or “indirect” as in PDE but only intended and what is praeter intentionem. Human acts thus should not be judged on the basis of the physical causality of the act but on what the person acting wills as the immediate end of the act.

    This is not to argue that resolving vital conflicts for Rhonheimer is a matter of self-defense. Rather, he uses this thought of Aquinas as the basis for his understanding of the moral object of the act that holds for his subsequent analysis in vital conflicts. That is, any moral analysis must be directed towards “…what is actually willed, on the level of means and end, in a concrete action.” The analysis for Rhonheimer thus becomes not whether something was done physically “directly” or “indirectly.” In self-defense, the defense comes directly from the physical killing of the aggressor. The good comes from the killing. But this is only in physical terms – an indirect willingness. This physical act is of the genus naturae. What is intended is the act of stopping the aggressor. In other terms, a direct killing is not merely a physical end of an act. Rather, directness is what is chosen as a means to an end. It is not the physical act itself that determines the moral object, but the intention of the actor. The object of the action is always conceived of as the object of the will informed by the judgment of practical reason. As a result, what occurs as a physical consequence of what is directly willed is not formative of the morality of the act. Thus, in an analogous fashion, one can consider that reason determines the species of an act as the form determines the species of natural objects. That is, reason is to the moral object as form is to matter. It is reason that determines the species of the moral object. This is of the genus moris.

    This is all of course only true if Rhonheimer’s understanding of the autonomy of practical intellect from the speculative intellect holds. If not, then we have to consider that the physical act has some bearing on the moral object.

    Obtuse enough?

Romney 29%-Santorum 21% Nationally

Thursday, January 5, AD 2012

Rasmussen is first out of the gates with a national poll of the Republican candidates following Iowa.   Santorum has risen 17 points to 21% with Romney at 29%.  Gingrich is at 16% and Ron Paul is at 12%.  Jon Huntsman and Rick Perry are both at 4%.   Romney seems incapable of moving out of the twenties in any of the national polls on the Republican nomination.  Santorum has a lot of room to grow, and Romney seems to have hit a firm ceiling for his support in regard to the nomination race.

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21 Responses to Romney 29%-Santorum 21% Nationally

  • Of course the Catholic Social Justice types are out now with their denunciations of Santorum:

    http://www.faithinpubliclife.org/fplaction/the-catholic-case-against-rick-santorum/

    Perhaps we can start to take these points one by one to show how some are using CST for rank partisan purposes.

  • “The baby is born when the baby is born.” Barbara Boxer is such a deep thinker.

  • That poll proves that Romney hasn’t hit a ceiling. The previous Rasmussen poll had Romney at 17%. It’s true that Romney has never hit above 30% in any poll (with the exception of PPP which seems to be a random number generator). It’s also true that nobody has hit above 40%. It’s hard with so many candidates. RealClearPolitics has Romney at the highest level of support ever. Higher than Cain ever got. There’s no reason to believe it won’t rise further.

    On Intrade, Santorum’s rise has hurt Gingrich but it hasn’t affect Romney. In fact, Romney’s numbers have improved, presumably because Santorum is the less threat.

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  • with the exception of PPP which seems to be a random number generator

    LOL!

  • “Of course the Catholic Social Justice types are out now with their denunciations of Santorum:”

    Yes, they always seem to put a letter from Cardinal Ratzinger down their memory hole:

    “3. Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.”

    http://www.tldm.org/news7/ratzinger.htm

  • Yes, they always seem to put a letter from Cardinal Ratzinger down their memory hole

    Not in this particular case. The blog Phillip linked to brought up perfectly legit issues working against Santorum and it made no attempt to compare them to abortion and euthanasia. Catholics who ignore bishops’ (and popes’) pastoral guidance on these matters in order to vote party line do so at their own peril (in my opinion).

  • Well Spambot the Pope noted that their could be a legitimate diversity of issues on issues such as war and peace and that not all moral issues carry the same weight. I tend to attempt to not be more Catholic than the Pope. Then we have the fact that the group putting this tripe out is a George Soros funded machine to attack all Catholic politicians to the right of Ted Kennedy:

    http://lesfemmes-thetruth.blogspot.com/2011/02/soros-money-funds-faith-based-community.html

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/why-is-atheist-george-soros-giving-money-to-a-faith-project/

    http://churchmousec.wordpress.com/2009/09/15/faith-in-public-life-socialism-cloaked-as-christianity/

  • CatholicVote.org endorsed Santorum today. That doesn’t hurt.
    http://www.catholicvote.org/discuss/index.php?p=24668

  • Just saw Santorum on The OReilly Factor last night. I was a little disappointed. Bill completely misrepresentation regarding Catholic Teaching on birth control and Santorum really seemed to back off from calling him out on it. In fact Bill gave him an opening to go into social issues more and Santorum dodged the question.

    In fairness, I know that Santorum has limited time to respond to questions thrown at him. I am sure he was completely caught off guard by the question.

    But it really seemed as I was watching the interview live that Bill needed to be corrected on his. He completely butchered Catholic teaching on birth control. Santorum made some silly faces after Bill said it, but never followed up on it. Considering millions of people were watching it seemed to me the sort of thing that really needed to be corrected. Especially since Bill brought it up and gave Santorum the chance for a follow up on it.

    For those uninformed people watching the exchange you would probably think Bill was right about birth control after the exchange.

    I guess the very fact that birth control even came up is a good thing

  • O’Reilly was doing his best to torpedo Santorum last night. He brought up the fact that when asked a question on the subject Santorum had said that states do have a right to ban contraception. O’Reilly then asked Santorum if pressing for such a law would be a priority in a Santorum administration and Santorum said absolutely not. O’Reilly is buffoonish at best in most areas of knowledge and normally I would ascribe his questioning Santorum on a non-issue to simple ignorance, but I believe he had malice aforethought against Santorum in the interview yesterday.

    Santorum of course was making the point that a state could ban contraceceptives because he believes that Griswold v. Connecticut, the 1967 US Supreme Court decision holding state bans on contraceptives to be unconstitutional under a right to privacy, was wrongly decided. Griswold set the stage for Roe. Of course all of this is far, far beyond O’Reilly’s knowledge base.

  • I think Santorum handled the O’Reilly interview pretty well. Santorum knows that debating contraception isn’t going to win him any votes. No sense in dwelling on the topic.

    But I want to pin down Santorum’s exact position. So he’s personally opposed to contraception. But he’s said that he doesn’t want to ban it. I guess that’s morally permissible if you think banning it would do more social harm. But Santorum has voted to fund contraception. Is that morally permissible?

  • Spambot,

    I think the only places one can legitimately (though not necessarily correctly) critique Santorum are on torture and war. The former I think Santorum would agree is wrong but he believes that certain techniques performed during the Bush Administration are not torture. Perhaps if the Church clearly stated Enhanced Interrogation Techniques in all circumstances were torture and he persisted in his view, one could then say he is clearly out of line with the Church. I think he has a harder time with attacking Iran.

    The remaining items in the link regarding income inequality, immigration etc. seem so fraught with prudential judgments that it merely is a laundry list of the liberal establishment. Prudential judgments, even by Church leaders, do not bind one’s conscience. Unfortunately, most of our Bishops do not make that fact clear.

  • I think Santorum handled the O’Reilly interview pretty well. Santorum knows that debating contraception isn’t going to win him any votes. No sense in dwelling on the topic.

    I would agree except that Bill framed it as a “Catholic” position, and not a general “conservative” or “republican” position. It seemed that framing it that way relieved Santorum somewhat in that it became an issue of what Catholic teaching is. Basically a case of one Catholic correcting another Catholic on an aspect of the faith.

    I am not skilled in the ways of politics, and most likely naive regarding this. Very likely a battle regarding Catholic teaching wouldn’t be a good political move. But it seemed like the opening existed for more to be said and just maybe a little clarification would have been a good thing.

  • Why should we trust a one day poll of 1,000 GOP over Gallups three day averages? I desperately want to believe the rasmussen poll (and now that Bachmann is gone I am for Santorum either way), but isn’t the 11% number more likely? I want to believe it isn’t.

  • I have high trust in Rasmussen’s numbers Ike based upon my prior experience with him and other pollsters. We will soon have more polls to draw comparisons with. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are a few showing Santorum ahead of Romney by this time next week.

  • Still waiting for someone to explain to me how Santorum’s support for funding contraception is morally permissible.

  • Phillip & Don,

    Thanks for the replies. I’ll keep it all in mind. (I think what concerns me is that it’s not one bishop saying one thing and another bishop saying something else. On the issues discussed in the link, there seems to be a set of fairly unified and consistent positions among the bishops who have expressed opinions. Not risng to the level of inerrant teaching, but not something to ignore either.)

  • Spambot,

    Fair enough. However, a quick response. The bishops uniformly opposed welfare reform. It passed anyway and most likely had a positive effect on poverty, work and the common good.

    Prudential judgments, even by the host of bishops, remain prudential judgments.

  • Spambot,

    This from Vox Nova by commenter “A Sinner.” An excellent rebuttal of the prevailing distortions about CST by some and better worded than I could:

    “I don’t like all these things about him either. But “show me the dogma.”

    Vox Nova’s tactic has fallen ridiculously flat of trying to “give the conservative heresy-hunters a taste of their own medicine” by trying to draw equivalency with disagreement on the prudential question of the concrete means of implementing social teachings (of which the absolute abstract moral principles in themselves…are much broader and more vague than you’re making them out to be, and there IS plenty of room for debate on whether this or that given solution fulfills the criteria).

    Now, albeit, I do generally believe the in the approach of the Vatican and USCCB towards economic questions and immigration and war, etc. But to act like Catholics have to toe the line on specific policy questions like that is very dangerous. The conservatives may (with things like the culture wars and abortion and gay issues) bring religion too much into politics, but the sort of “obedience” to “Catholic social teaching” you are proposing here would bring too much of politics into our religion!

    I support both positions, to be sure, but amnesty for immigrants or supporting Medicaid or opposing the Iraq War…are simply not De Fide questions, and there is certainly a lot more room for debate and disagreement about the application of various moral principles there than is about the statement ‘the State has a duty to defend unborn life.’”

  • Vote counters in Iowa are saying that one precinct erred and gave Romney 20 extra votes. So Santorum really won by 12. However, there’s no recount process so Romney is still the official winner.

January TAC GOP Presidential Poll

Tuesday, January 3, AD 2012

UPDATE 1-8-2012:  We have eliminated Ron Paul due to spamming issues.  If you feel the need to cast a vote for Ron Paul, please do s0 by leaving a comment.

John Bolton, Rudy Giuliani, Buddy Roemer, and Paul Ryan never announced their candidacy for the GOP nomination as some had speculated, so they have been removed from the TAC Poll.  In addition, Gary Johnson has removed himself from consideration the moment he accepted the Libertarian Party Nomination.  Herman Cain has suspended his campaign which is nothing more than preventing the inevitable.

Here’s our latest poll so please vote in anticipation of the Iowa Caucuses (voting ends 7pm this Friday):

 

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65 Responses to January TAC GOP Presidential Poll

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  • I am surprised to see that Santorum is doing so well on this poll. Is it because he’s Catholic? I hope not, because the Catholic church teaches, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” I do not see this practiced by Santorum in his legislative ethics, nor in his strident efforts to promote war with Iran, and now countries in South America (see the Iowa debate).

    The candidate who truly espouses peace is Dr. Ron Paul, and he has my support in the hopes that his administration would be one of peace & goodwill.

    whyronpaul.com

  • There is a difference between espousing peace Cynthia and being a naive fool about foreign powers that mean harm to us. Ron Paul crossed that line long ago. His viewpoint of course is that the rest of the world can go to Hell while America huddles down in Fortess America. Somehow I do not think that foreign policy lives up to the admonition of Christ that you cited.

    In regard to our Civil War Ron Paul believes it was completely unneccessary. Go to the link below explaining why he was wrong:

    http://the-american-catholic.com/2011/08/23/ron-paul-and-the-civil-war/

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  • Two Paulbots have been banned for their charming attempt to recycle a slur against Santorum hurled by homosexual activists. All such additional attempts will go into the trash where they belong and the attempted commenter will be banned from this site.

  • It’s been pretty ugly for Santorum as the Militant Gay Lobby has been harrassing Santorum with their KKK tactics all throughout his Iowa campaign. It’s no coincidence that Paulbots are doing the same to Santorum considering that Ron Paul wrote racist newsletters up until the 1990s.

  • Oh look, the Paulbots are stacking our poll:

    “Little poll that sanatorium is winning…

    Submitted by Howimademy on Wed, 01/04/2012 – 19:54.

    Thought it’d be fun to just knock him out of first…silly, maybe…fun, yes. 🙂

    http://the-american-catholic.com/2012/01/03/january-tac-gop-…”

    http://www.dailypaul.com/199365/iowa-caucus-night-info-open-thread?#comments

    Of course this has ever been the tactic of Ron Paul cultists. Too bad for them that they can’t win elections in real life.

  • Too bad for them that they can’t win elections in real life.

    Or friends or jobs or a life . . .

  • What bothers me (off topic just a bit), is that Sarah Palin are warning Republicans to not alienate these 9/11 Truthers, ie, Paulbots.

    Of course, this came a day after she said that “its not (Michele) Bachman time”. Considering that she has almost zero executive experience, I found this truly rich.

  • Ron Paul is no doubt the most Biblical candidate for 2012, if you are a true believer you would support Dr. Ron Paul. Here is a short series explaining as to why he is:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tYk5mEli68&feature=BFa&list=PL0E27AFB852E14B16&lf=player_embedded

    I urge everyone to watch this series so you can understand as to why he is the most Biblical candidate and why believers should support him and no other candidate. If you don’t you are just lying to yourselves and/or others.

  • Most Biblical? Indeed! Here is exclusive video of Ron Paul leading the Paulbots out of Iowa and across the Mississippi:

  • Are you proud to mock your religion?

  • I am a Catholic John. I mock the Ron Paul Cult that you are obviously a card carrying member of. Read back your original comment to yourself. It would be too much if applied to George Washington or Abraham Lincoln, let alone Ron Paul. It comes across as completely over the top and invites the type of mockery that I gave it.

  • We will see.

  • They are just like cochroaches aren’t they…the Paulinista’s…they seem to be everywhere…I gotta give them credit…they are organized, but then so were the borg.

  • It was bound to happen in one of these polls that the Paulbots would manipulate poll. They know they can’t win, so instead of letting poll develop organically they spam it. Fortunately, that doesn’t work in politics. We can pretty much throw out the Ron Paul vote, meaning that Santorum has the Catholic vote behind him.

  • I am all in favor of ending the IRS.

    Thats one of the reasons I am voting for Ron Paul. (as if thats not enough by itself)

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  • I would say, there is no greater media cheerleader for Ron Paul right now than Judge Andrew Napolitano, who is Catholic. Regarding Rick Santorum, I must ask, “What could be more ‘pro-life’ than peace?” What does “waterboarding” have to do with “family values”? I apologize for “Paulbots” who may have offended you. However, I am genuinely concerned that a President Santorum or a President Gingrich would start World War III in the Middle East by bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities for no good reason except political expediency.

  • I do not think Catholics can take Santorum seriously. Although he spouts pro life rhetoric at times, he places a higher value on politics. Why did he support Arlen Specter’s candidacy for Senate over Pat Toomey? Toomey was pro life while pro choice Specter was head of the judiciary committee and had fought Robert Bork.

  • Santorum was always a pro-life leader in Congress. He fought hard for every pro-life piece of legislation and always voted pro-life. In regard to the Specter endorsement in 2004, as the tight Presidential polls that year indicated, there was every prospect that 2004 was going to be a bad year for the Republicans. The Democrats had slightly more seats up than the Republicans, 19-15 in the Senate that year, but the playing ground was fairly even. On election night Kentucky, Florida and Alaska were fairly close, and South Dakota was won by a hair. Control of the Senate would have shifted if those elections had gone the other way, and they might well have.

    Santorum extracted a pledge from Specter that he would support every Supreme Court nominee sent up by Bush. This pledge was crucial if control of the Senate had shifted or if the Republicans had come back with a diminished majority .

    I think what Santorum did was reasonable at the time, assuming that one’s goal is to have Supreme Court justices on the Court that will overturn Roe. Bush lost Pennsylvania to Kerry, and I think it likely that Toomey might well have been defeated that year, considering that he only got 51% of the vote in 2010, the best election year for Republicans since Calvin Coolidge was in office.

  • “would say, there is no greater media cheerleader for Ron Paul right now than Judge Andrew Napolitano, who is Catholic.”

    He is also a paranoid conspiracy nut like Ron Paul. He is a 9-11 Truther among other charming conspiracy theories he partakes in.

  • Ron Paul does not ‘work well with others’ as the old grade school report card used to say. Whatever his viewpoints, if one hasn’t that power to sway other powerful and intelligent people to your side it is wasted. In all his years in Congress he has been a moody, strange loner. He’s like the kid who sniffed his fingers and his mother attach his mittens to his snow suit so he wouldn’t lose them. No one wants him on a team.

  • These folks make a habit of just spamming polls:
    http://www.dailypaul.com/200240/a-whole-bunch-of-polls-have-at-em

    Because nothing says your candidate is a massively popular guy on his way to winning a nomination than having to spend your entire day spamming meaningless internet polls.

    Well, at 8.6% unemployment, it’s understandable how they have the time to dither their day away. Doing arduous things like brushing up on that ole resume is just a bummer activity.

  • Completely counterproductive activity since everyone knows that the Paulbots do this, but they persist in it anyway merely to be annoying. Juvenile and delusional which basically sums up the Ron Paul Cult.

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  • “I think what Santorum did was reasonable at the time, assuming that one’s goal is to have Supreme Court justices on the Court that will overturn Roe.”

    This is where I would take issue with you.
    Let us examine the nominees of Bush:
    Roberts: pro life, but I doubt he would overturn Roe v Wade due to his belief in Stare Decisis.
    Harriet Myers: ???
    Alito: Pro Life, but it is not clear he would overturn Roe V Wade.
    Digging deeper, it was Arlen Specter who reportedly dissuaded Bush from nominating Alberto Gonzalez.
    So, by making the political bargain Santorum did, he passed on opportunity to remove a staunch pro choicer in exchange for gaining no headway in overturning Roe V Wade. I am not sure I believe Toomey was a sure loser against Spectre, as Spectre generally won by thin margins, though you make a good point. I see Santorum as playing party politics rather than sticking to his stated principles. I really do not trust him. I am from Pennsylvania and have followed his political career going back to before he was elected to the US House when he upset Doug Walgren.

  • Considering that Alberto Gonzalez is a pro-abort I think it was a very good thing that Specter talked Bush out of nominating him, although I hadn’t heard that. In regard to Roberts and Alito, judging from their votes in a partial birth abortion case, Gonzales v. Carhart, I have little doubt that they would vote to overturn Roe if the opportunity presents itself.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gonzales_v._Carhart

  • I am a Ron Paul supporter. I’m not a Paulbot, not even sure what that means. I’m also a pro life follower of Jesus Christ. I’m not a pothead and I don’t spam polls. I do however go to any poll I can find and cast my vote for Ron. There are 3 people of voting age in my household and many times we can’t all cast our votes for Ron because most polls only allow one vote per IP address.

    I would like to personally apologize for the knuckleheads who tried to post the Santorum stuff on here. Something to consider though. We have a lot of young people in our camp, young people don’t really care to much for what us older folks would call propriety. I guarantee you, if you were to come over to Ron Paul forums or the DailyPaul and meet some of the people there that we are mostly, such as yourselves, kind and decent folk.

    Most of us only want to live in peace with our neighbors and the world. We love our country and see it slipping away from us. We are losing our God given rights buy the day, bankrupting ourselves with endless wars and entitlements, etc, etc. We love America, we love our neighbors, and we want to be free.

    You can hate us if you want to, not a very Christian thing to do but what the heck, live and let live. We are people just like you but with a different perspective, one that we did not get from CNN or FOX news. Many people don’t realize this but there is not one main stream media news network that isn’t owned by a larger enterprise that makes most of their money from the military industrial complex. Don’t take my word for it, look it up.

    As I said, I am staunchly pro life as many of my fellow Ron Paul supporters are, but for us, being pro life extends beyond the womb. There are 75 million human beings living in Iran, approximately 50 million women and children. I personally am not willing that even a single one of them be sacrifice so that I might sleep a little better at night. Besides, God has not given me a Spirit of fear, it’s in the Bible, you can look that up too.

    Please get the facts about our candidate before you dismiss him entirely, there are hundreds of videos all over the internet of Ron Paul in his own words. The media misrepresents Ron Paul and often flat out lies about him or puts words in his mouth. For example, Bill O’Reilly just said last night that Ron Paul said he didn’t want to be President, a bald faced lie. These are the kind of things that we are fighting against and some of us take it a little too far at times.

    God bless you all, and have a great day.

  • I agree, Don. I certainly think that Roberts and Alito would *like* to overturn Roe. As principled jurists (unlike Roe’s authors), they do have to take stare decisis principles into account, which does make the outcome harder to predict. That said, beyond reversing Roe outright, pro-life forces certainly favor judges who are sympathetic to their strategy of chipping away at Roe so as to limit its applicability as much as possible, and certainly Alito and Roberts fall within that description.

    I think the criticisms directed toward Myers were over the top and unfair. In any case I have no reason to believe that her jurisprudence vis-a-vis Roe would differ from that of Roberts or Alito.

  • In any case I have no reason to believe that her jurisprudence vis-a-vis Roe would differ from that of Roberts or Alito.

    The objection to her nomination went beyond how she’d decide cases to the potential quality of her jurisprudence. But that’s a debate for another time.

  • Ditto what Tito said re: “KKK tactics”

    Rick Santorum 2012!

  • Archie, I do want to commend you on your thoughtful comment. I do wish that more Ron Paul supporters were as reaonable and polite as you – frankly it would help his own cause if he didn’t have his supporters making such disgusting attack ads as this one against Huntsman.
    http://www.redstate.com/leon_h_wolf/2012/01/05/you-stay-classy-ron-paul-supporters/

    Please get the facts about our candidate before you dismiss him entirely, there are hundreds of videos all over the internet of Ron Paul in his own words.

    Archie, the reason most of the people here think he is so far out there is precisely because of what we’ve seen Paul say in his own words. Frankly people like O’Reilly are full of hot air anyway, and I don’t need to listen to him in order to come to my own conclusions.

  • Paul, thank you for your kind words. I saw the video you posted, silly really. I’m not sure what they were trying to prove. Huntsman is a decent enough guy and a very successful businessman, he obviously is not my first choice but I wouldn’t rule him out were he to win the nomination. My son speaks Chinese as well, so I’m really not sure how that’s a bad thing. What can I say, it’s politics, sometimes it’s ugly, sometimes just plain ridiculous.

    In fairness, Huntsman ran a very biased and misleading attack piece on Ron Paul as well, taking his words out of context and basically saying he was crazy. If you don’t agree with Ron that’s fine, but his views are particularly well thought out, not crazy. Concerning foreign policy, he has been supported by some of the better minds on the subject. The CIA has written and warned about “blowback” and the 9/11 commission report agreed with much of what he has been saying for years.

    Those of us in the Paul camp who have lived a little longer are a bit easier to deal with and welcome rigorous intellectual debate on the issues. If there is something that you have heard Ron say that troubles you or gives you pause, I am very interested to know what those statements may have been. BTW, I’m very pleased to hear that you are not one of the mindless drones who takes every word from FOX as if it came down from Mt. Sinai.

    Love and Peace in Jesus Christ

  • Father of five, Knights of Columbus Grand Knight here. Ron Paul is the only option for me when I size up the candidates against my faith. We don’t want the world to go to hell in a hand basket. Evil countries, evil men, and evil ideas around the world need to be stopped. It’s just the the US Federal Government should not be in charge of this. It’s not their role. The US Federal Government isn’t the only way to combat evil. We can combat it here in our north western hemisphere and the other countries of the world can pick up their own slack.

  • “We can combat it here in our north western hemisphere and the other countries of the world can pick up their own slack.”

    The Ukranian man made famine under Stalin, the Katyn Massacre, the Rape of Nanking, the Cultural Revolution, and the list could be endless, shows how well that tends to work out in practice.

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  • Donald, I understand your point. I’m not saying Americans shouldn’t do anything about these horrible atrocities around the world. I’m just saying that tax should not be collected from all American’s to fund a military operation across the world.

    What I believe should happen is what happened before we became the police of the world. Allow American’s to join foreign armies in times of need so that if an American is willing they can make a difference. If 51% of able-bodied American’s joined a foreign force to combat evil and/or contributed funds to these causes I think we would see evil be defeated in many cases.

    If you think that 51% of able-bodied American’s would not serve or fund other countries across the world on their own… then you and I have something in common. If 51% of American’s would not give money or risk their lives for other counties, then why the hell is our Federal Government doing this in the first place? Is it because “it’s the right thing to do”, or because it’s “just and righteous”? That’s what they told us about Iraq and i have to say I don’t believe them anymore.

    This is why I have changed my mind. I will (or want to) contribute my time and money to causes I feel are “just” and “righteous”. I don’t want the government taking my money and giving it to who they feel, or just say, rightfully deserves it.

  • “The Ukranian man made famine under Stalin, the Katyn Massacre, the Rape of Nanking, the Cultural Revolution, and the list could be endless, shows how well that tends to work out in practice.”

    What did the US do about any of that?

    We did not bomb or invade them.

    Should we have bombed Ukraine, China, etc. to stop killing innocents?

  • We should do what we can T. Shaw to stop innocents from being massacred. Sometimes we effectively lack the power to do anything about it, but we should never rest our foreign policy on the presumption that murder of innocents abroad is none of our business. In regard to China, if we had effectively supported the Nationalists, corrupt though they were, in their war against Mao in 1945-49, how many tens of millions of lives might have been saved? After the Bolshevik Revolution, 1917-1919, the US and its allies had an opportunity to support the Whites against the Reds. Instead the US and its allies tired of the conflict, pulled out of Russia and the Soviet Union was established, with the consequences to the world that we are all familiar with. When we refuse to fight evils at the outset, the evils often do not disappear, but grow in strength and end up killing hordes of innocents.

    This section from Proverbs 24 has always hit home to me in this area:

    10 If you falter in a time of trouble,
    how small is your strength!
    11 Rescue those being led away to death;
    hold back those staggering toward slaughter.
    12 If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,”
    does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
    Does not he who guards your life know it?
    Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done?

  • It was Catholics who put the worst president we have known in our lifetime, even over Jimmy Carter, into office. How can we do this again by voting for someone who cannot win with his crazy conspiracy theories and his isolationist thinking?

    Are we doomed to repeat history because we ignore it? Does anyone here think that the US has done anything to make clearly religious extremists, BIGOTS, whose religion like it or not, gives them permission to kill the infidel…that be us…just for existing into assassins hell bent oh no, paradise bent to kill us all. The entire Western Civilization.

    I have never heard Judge Napolitano espouse the conspiracy theory that the Truthers espouse but regardless, they are crazy. Ron Paul is pro life, thank God, but he is not prolife if he thinks he can negotiate us to peace with these people. They are more prolific than us, because most Catholics do not practice a prolife mentality and they are not unwilling to die. All I can see is that we are not willing to do what our fathers did, we are willing to die for our freedom and that of our brothers and sisters.

    How said for people like my father and I am sure many of yours or your grandfathers and mothers who laid down their life. Or was Hitler more of an enemy than a Islamist extremists who insinuate themselves into our culture, take advantage of our education, and good heartedness until ready to blow themselves up for what? 70 Virgins….doesn’t that offend anyone?

    When I stand before Jesus, I will have to answer for voting for someone who may use techniques of war, IN war, that I don’t necessarily care for, however, I feel better being able to say that I voted for a lesser evil in order to end the reign of a decidely anti life, scoundrel who has lied to us about everything and is not only trying to control our birth and death but how, when and where we can practice our faith, in fact I would venture to say, Obama would like to replace our Christian faith with a secularist faith based upon the ideology of green. To be a steward of this gift of earth is our task but climate change and all that has attached itself to it is not about science it is about ideology and a way to replace Christ, expecially in the minds of kids, with mother earth.

    We need a pit bull to go against the obama machine, not someone who thinks, much like Carter did (and look what that got us) that we can negotiate or worse just stick our heads in the sand and pretend there is no other world out there…no enemy by us.

    I am so saddened that we may be the reason for another 4 years of hopey changey until the only change will be our Church muzzled and more of us blown up.

  • Hello Chris, May I offer a brief rebuttal from the Ron Paul side? Sir, you are completely mistaken or misguided when you refer to Ron Paul’s foreign policy as isolationist. I know the media says it all the time but it simply is not Dr. Paul’s view. Ron Paul has stated repeatedly that were a significant threat present itself he would deal with it swiftly, vigorously, and completely, and then he would come home. That to me, does not sound like a man who is weak on defense, but rather a man who is wise on war.

    Ron Paul’s foreign policy is non-interventionist. Ron Paul wants free trade and friendship with all nations. When Ahmadinejad made serious overtures at the U.N. recently, that he was ready to negotiate, Obama wanted none of it. War has been the game plan from day one.

    Here’s a clip from General Wesley Clark stating as much in no uncertain terms.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uswDmTjLog

    I could go into greater detail of course but if this clip doesn’t at least get you to look into what I’m saying a little deeper, any additional words on the topic would be meaningless.

    In regard to the evil horde of Muslim extremists eager to destroy us and our way of life. Sir, as someone who has shared tea and tobacco with Muslim men, who has done business with Persians (Iranians), Saudis, Yemenis, Lebanese etc. I have to tell you, I just don’t see it. My son who works in Naval Intelligence (no jokes please) doesn’t see it either and he is far more in the know than I am. I know these people personally. Most Muslims, Middle Easterners, Africans, what have you, they simply want to be left alone.

    Are there Muslim extremists? Absolutely. But there are Christian extremist, Hindu Extremists, every religion has it’s extremists. Here is something that so many people rarely ever think about. Of all the people in America who claim to be Christian, how many of them would you call fundamentalists, and out of the fundamentalists, how many would you label as extreme, and out of the extremists, how many are blowing up abortion clinics on a regular basis? I hope you are beginning to see my point. Islam is no different than Christianity, Muslims are no different than Christians or Mormons or any other group. Religious practice in the middle east is as cultural as religious practices everywhere else in the world. They are no more devoted to their faith and all that faith entails than the average “Christian”. Most Muslims don’t know the Koran any better than most “Christians” know their Bible’s.

    When we place sanctions on countries who have done us no harm, starving their children, devastating their economies and overall quality of life, when we threaten them with war and regime change, we create the very extremists that we fear.

    In your comment above you spoke of “our Christian faith”, I share that same faith. In my 20 plus years as a Christian, and a Christian who takes his faith perhaps a bit more seriously than some, though admittedly not as much as others, I have yet to discover this concept of Christ honoring preemptive war. If you can direct me to the appropriate scriptures supporting this position I will consider them with prayer. Until then, may I leave you with a verse from 2 Timothy,

    “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind’.

    God Bless

  • I see Ron Paul is way ahead in this poll. I do not believe it is true Catholics who usually view National Catholic Register voting for Paul. The paulbots find polls over the internet and tell all of their paulbot buddies to go that site and vote for Paul. To love thy neighbor means help those all over the world. That’s what America’s been doing since her birth, starting at Tripoli, and part of why she’s been so blessed.
    God Bless America.

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  • Archie,

    I too have sat and laughed and kibbitzed with may people of Middle Eastern background, including Muslims. Sufism is a lovely mystical version of Islam. Sufism was one man’s attempt to bring to Islam what we believe, that reason and faith are compatible and should work in cooperation. He was not successful because of the Koran’s religion and the pressure of the mainline groups, so it went the way of mysticism. But those who truly still adhere to it are lovely hearts. As a Middle Eastern Major in college, I have always had a love of the place, the people and the history. But I am not naive about their religion or their cultural ways. Are there extremists in all religions, heck yes, but how may certainly in this day and age blow up people of other religions for no reason. We have the nuts who go to military funerals and spew their hatred, but they don’t kill people, they don’t send their young children or mothers to die. The cool aid drinkers who think one or another of their prophets is Jesus incarnate or another Messiah tend to kill themselves rather than others. It is quite different and the difference come by the fact that we do not worship the same god…worshipping one god does not make it the same god. Their story is Abraham Isaac and Ishmael with the emphasis on Ismael. They cannot know God in any real way, a personal God for them is anathema. Jesus is just a prophet and not the last or with the last word.

    Have christians done bad things over time yes, and people always want to bring up the Crusades, but defending our own in the Holy Land was not necessarily doing wrong when we were asked in and it was a different age. We constantly judge our ancestors by our own 21st century values. We give everyone else a pass…loh that is their culture, we can’t comment or dislike it but when it comes to ourselves we say, how dare the Crusaders do this or that.

    Do not put Christian fundementalists in the same light with these people that is completely to twist the truth. If you are going to do comparisons, do them in this time and place. When was the last time CHristians savagely attacked any one of another religion without provocation, other than our religion/our God (to whom we are slaves remember that is the case for muslims) tells us it is what we should do?

    The Iranians are NOT going to negotiate. Iran is no different than STalin was or the Japanese even for their part back in the 30s and 40s. You are not dealing with honest people. Have you so soon forgotten Jimmy Carter’s debacle in that respect? While I have no use for Obama, he had to listen to HIlary and the people who know with whom we are dealing…zebras do not change their stripes.

    How about Obama’s tour of Mea Culpa at the beginning of his presidency, telling everyone how the US is to blame and we are sorry and we would just love to negotiate and work with you. Where did that get us? Perhaps that is why Obama stepped back a bit. He found out all he did was expose us to being considered weak and a target.

    I think Obama set out to wreck the country, period. All his ‘friends’ are out in th eopen communists, socialists and anarchists. He found out, we the people are in line with that and while most of his appointees drink the same cool aid, don’t think Hilary, does though I wouldn’t vote for her either. Like her or not, she is clearly working her tail off from the looks of her and she has here hands full.

    Can’t you see by the outcome of the so called “Arab Spring” that we are in for the biggist struggle of our lives. As soon as I saw the first country rise up, I began to pray, knowing full well it ws not going tobring a spring but a long winter of extremism.

    What does Ron Paul consider imminent danger? And I don’t want us to negotiate or give money to these people through the government. I am a believe not in redistribution of wealth, perhaps Distributionism but I don’t trust the government not to make that into socialism and communism as it is almost impossible for power not to corrupt. I believe in Subsidiarity whether it is here or abroad. When three planes are flown out to kill us for no reason other than we are who we are, we vote, we respect others’ religious rights, women’s rights…or we did before the feminist and gay rights movements and the cowtowing that the Obama administration is doing to their causes…that is a declaration of war. That you can’t pin point a country but must admit to a cultural enemy doesn’t change it. Makes it far more difficult and requires some not so typical tactics of war, but it still requires us to accept it for what it is and protect ourselves and our country.

    I do understand the culture and the religion. I don’t listen to the msm or anyone else on this one. I study history and I am tired of the tail wagging the dog in this country. Mostly I pray…and I would suggest we all do that rather than just listening to televisions and debates. I want a pit bull to go up against Obama and that isn’t Ron Paul and frankly it isn’t Ron Santorum though I admire him. It is Newt because he is knowledgeable and he has made our government work together before. One of the very few who have. He has the intelligence and the experience.

    If we were voting for a saint none of these people would deserve our vote. But we are not, we are voting for a man or woman who can reign in this government and it’s tenticles on both our money, our human rights and our religious rights to name the most important. We have ideologues on both sides and the only one who has ever been able to cut through that is Newt Gingrich. Like him or not, he converted and he was absolved ofhis sins. Who are we to second guess Christ. Is his personality great no, but this isn’t a personality contest. This is a contest for our country…is there a real monetary crisis coming…hell yes and no matter who gets in it will not be averted, perhaps mitigated but not averted.

    Let’s listen to history and to our God…let’s us pray for our country and that whomever we put into office, we will as a people put God back in the center of our lives and the life and laws of this country. That is where I stand.

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  • So nobody’s supposed to vote in this poll unless you’re a regular on this site? How is it fair to completely remove a candidate from the poll based on that? Seems pretty biased to me!

  • Josette,

    You don’t have to be a regular at TAC, but Spamming does not reflect the electorate.

  • Ron Paul 2012!

  • first of all, just because we believe in the message of Ron Paul does not make us dishonest, cheaters, or less valuable in the eyes of the Lord or the United States. we each get 1 vote and believe me, we don’t have to cheat to have enough voters to beat any of the other candidates. We are also willing to support him from our pockets too. he does not take money from Lobbyists, churches, Wall street or big Government supporters. He attends Church ever Sunday, has raised a good, god Fearing family, has great values for himself and his offspring. How can you not support a man who is truly a Christian, a Military Hero, and honest person and a true Statesman? I do not need the Catholic Church to tell me who to vote for, nor do I need them to tell me right from wrong….I have been led to Christ with no help from you or your pope…..or any of your lying, child molesting priests! so, kick us out of you poll that has now become useless for anything but glorifying your bias and closed minds! I am so glad that I was not allowed to join your church and raise my boys under the catholic doctrine! I am Happy as a Methodist thanks! In Jesus name, may your lies and bias be unveiled to your congregations!

  • “I do not need the Catholic Church to tell me who to vote for, nor do I need them to tell me right from wrong….I have been led to Christ with no help from you or your pope…..or any of your lying, child molesting priests! so, kick us out of you poll that has now become useless for anything but glorifying your bias and closed minds! I am so glad that I was not allowed to join your church and raise my boys under the catholic doctrine! I am Happy as a Methodist thanks! In Jesus name, may your lies and bias be unveiled to your congregations”

    Initially Sour Melody 00, I put your comment in the trash where the rantings of anti-Catholic bigots like yourself normally end up at this site. However, the sheer stupidity of coming to a Catholic website to urge support for a candidate, and while you are doing so spitting on the Catholic Faith, was so monumental that I had to share it with my fellow Catholics for their amusement. Thank you for the laugh that your bitterness, bile and bigotry produced.

  • Mel’s a typical paulbot [email protected] I had favorable feelings for Paul (he’s right on the Fed for the wrong resaons). I never thought libertarians were worth the powder it would take to shoot them.

    After Mel’s hate-filled tripe, Paul can go to Hell and so can his freaking son Rand.

    To ensure Paul never got elected; if, in some nightmarish scenario, Paul were nominated by the GOP, I’d vote for Obama. Then, I’d go to Confession because that would be a mortal sin.

  • Mel you black-hearted protestant murderer.

    Now, I remember why I always threw in when they passed the hat for the IRA, you rat.

  • I second Donald.

    I initially was going to trash your bigoted rant, but Donald did the right thing to show how vile your hate is to all the world.

  • “Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they shall be the children of God”

    Mathew 5:9

24 Responses to The Ron Paul Zone

  • If Huntsman is against Paul, he must be doing something right.

  • Ron Paul 2012!!!!

  • So Hamas, et al hate us because we are so great and free and so gosh darn good, not because we have been over there for decades, bombing them, setting up and removing puppet governments, etc., etc.? None of that has anything at all to do it with.

    And they don’t want bombs because the rest of us have them, but because??????

    Whether we should let them have them, whether we can effectively prevent their obtaining them, and how, are several separate questions. But do you seriously doubt they want them because we have them, and they want to level the playing field? N. Korea proved Paul right. So, because Paul is correct about these issues, he is therefore crazy.

    Whatever. If Romnich Gintorum is the best the GOP can do, we are in for another four years of the big O.

  • “So Hamas, et al hate us because we are so great and free and so gosh darn good, not because we have been over there for decades, bombing them, setting up and removing puppet governments, etc., etc.? None of that has anything at all to do it with.”

    Nope, it really doesn’t. Hamas is merely one of many radical factions throughout the Islamic world vying for power. Their mortal enemies are Fatah and Israel, both of which would be in existence with or without the US. Contra Doctor Delusional, a US pull out from the Middle East would not lead to peace but would set the stage for a convulsive series of wars that would have a major adverse impact on the world and the US. The main problems in the Middle East are that Islamic nations have terrible relations with all non-Muslims, as demonstrated by the fact that wherever they abut non-Muslim states, relations tend to be violent and cycle between hot and cold wars, and that internally Islamic states are almost entirely noted by either extremely repressive regimes or chaotic violence. (Turkey is the one semi-exception to this rule.) Ron Paul of course has little knowledge of any of this and is ideologically fixed upon the idea that the world’s ills could be cured simply by US isolation.

    In regard to Obama, I think virtually any Republican candidate can beat him, except for Ron Paul who would do worse than Goldwater in 1964.

  • On top of what Donald says, C Matt glosses over the other reasons that Ron Paul is deemed crazy. Now perhaps he thinks it’s acceptable for candidates to cozy up to individuals who think 9/11 is an inside job, or who poses conspiracy theories about the Bildeberger group or the formulation of a New World Order, or who writes (or has written in his name) newsletters that spout some of the vilest, nuttiest things one can imagine. The rest of us just point and laugh.

    And I’ll say it one more time. Gary Johnson: same basic philosophy but without the nuttiness. Why wouldn’t you prefer that guy over Ron Paul unless you agree with Ron Paul’s more far-out speculation?

  • To an extent, they *do* hate the West for legal/cultural reasons. Normally, I might be inclined to agree with a reasoned critique of libertine America, but Sayyid Qutb, one of the leading lights of the Muslim Brotherhood, was complaining about America’s immorality back in the late 40s. Before the founding of Israel and the development of America’s massive footprint in the Middle East.

    Paul’s views of the Muslim world are as unreflective and simplistic as those whom he criticizes, just from the opposite side of the coin. Santorum likely overhypes the dangers of sharia law, but Paul can’t be bothered to consider it.

  • The reason one might choose Paul over Johnson could have to do with Paul’s prolife record, his years of consistency, or a preference for Austrian Economics over Chicago economics. Or the fact that Johnson is a terrible public speaker. Also, as for who beats BHO, Paul performs best or second best again him in every major poll, so lets quit with that nonsense.

  • lso, as for who beats BHO, Paul performs best or second best again him in every major poll, so lets quit with that nonsense.

    Internal polls conducted on Ron paul websites do not constitute major polls.

  • There has been precisely one poll that I can recall showing Ron Paul beating Obama. Most polls show Obama beating Paul by between 5-13 points. The only Republican candidate who does well in current match ups against Obama is Romney.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/latest_polls/elections/#

  • So Hamas, et al hate us because we are so great and free and so gosh darn good, not because we have been over there for decades, bombing them, setting up and removing puppet governments, etc., etc.? None of that has anything at all to do it with.

    None of this has anything to do with it, cmatt, because the items on your list are unknown to contemporary history. The United States has had a naval presence in the region for nearly 70 years (and just about everywhere else, while we are at it), but the bases were to be found in various NATO countries, in Kenya, and in Diego Garcia. We had air bases in Turkey. The object of their attention was Soviet Russia, not any country in the Near East or North Africa. Bar a brief foray in Lebanon in 1958 (consented to by that country’s government), we had no ground troops in the region until 1990. You will recall why they were there: the government of Iraq conquered and despoiled a neighboring state in a maneuver to triple its proven reserves of oil (among other objects). The bombing undertaken then, and in the no-fly-zone subsequently erected, was to contain the injuries inflicted by one group of ‘them’ (Saddam Hussein and his cousins’ regime) on various other ‘them’s’ (Kurds, Shi’ite Iraqis, and Kuwaitis). No government which has ruled any country in the Near East, North Africa, or Central Asia at any time since 1945 can properly be referred to as a ‘puppet’ of the United States government; the only governments ever removed by the United States were Saddam Hussein’s in Iraq and the Taliban’s in Afghanistan and the only one’s we ever assisted in removing were dregs of Najibullah’s regime in Afghanistan and the dregs of Mohammed Mossadeq’s in Iran. The only governments ever installed by the United States were the restored Kuwaiti emirate, Ayad Allawi’s provisional ministry in Iraq, and Hamid Karzai’s in Afghanistan, and the latter two installations were undertaken in consultation with a broad array of political notables in those countries.

    And they don’t want bombs because the rest of us have them, but because??????

    I would refer you to an article composed many years ago by Richard Betts and published (as I recall) in Foreign Policy. Its title was “Paranoids, Pygmys, Pariahs, and Nonproliferation”. The gist of it was that sensible 3d world countries seldom aspire to acquire nuclear weapons because such weapons deliver force so uncalibrated that they are inutile for most intents an purposes and that even when they have a conceivable use they are undesirable to possess because they draw heat from larger powers. “The rest of us” do not have nuclear weapons. A small corps of great powers engaged in an international chess match have had them, along with one curiously ambitious country (India), and two others both curiously ambitious and anxious about the weapons held by larger powers to which they were antagonistic (China and Pakistan). Israel supposedly has them. Israel, unlike nearly any other country in the world, qualifies as a paranoid (with enemies), pygmy, and pariah; it has also been very careful not to make a public point about any stockpiles it possesses. (While we are at it, Iran has had antagonistic relations with Israel for 33 years for the simple reason that it preferred it that way).

    But do you seriously doubt they want them because we have them, and they want to level the playing field?

    Yes I seriously doubt. They cannot level the playing field with the United States or Russia. Our stockpiles and arrays of missiles are too large. The weapons to which they aspire are not much good except to obliterate Jerusalem and Tel Aviv (or to subcontract to a terrorist group to obliterate some other occidental city). Iran has painted a target on its back quite deliberately, and that is something common-and-garden third world countries commonly do not do.

  • The weapons to which they aspire are not much good except to … subcontract to a terrorist group to obliterate some other occidental city).

    Which is all they need. They do not need to be able to conduct full scale nuclear war. In fact, they don’t even need to actually have a weapon or actually get a subcontract. Seems mere rumors or illusions of it are enough to send us into a tizzy and run headlong to our own destruction.

    Although I still believe Paul to be the best candidate, I agree Rick S is an improvement over Romney on domestic social issues.

  • Why wouldn’t you prefer that guy over Ron Paul unless you agree with Ron Paul’s more far-out speculation

    Mostly because Paul is running for the GOP nomination, of which this post is the subject, and Johnson is not.

  • Seems mere rumors or illusions of it are enough to send us into a tizzy and run headlong to our own destruction.

    Can you elaborate on the sequence of events you imagine?

  • I cannot stand the hypocrisy of so-called “pro-life yet pro-war” Catholics who relegate Ron Paul and his supporters to the “looney bin.” Catholics should be the first to listen respectfully to ideas that counter the status quo, and the last to resort to ad hominem attacks.

  • Lili you just called Catholics who do not support Ron Paul “pro-life yet pro-war” and then you ended by bemoaning ad hominem attacks. As Socrates noted, an unexamined life is indeed a tragedy.

  • I cannot stand the hypocrisy of so-called “pro-life yet pro-war” Catholics who relegate Ron Paul and his supporters to the “looney bin.”

    A dismissive disposition toward Dr. Paul or his supporters may be unfair. It is difficult to understand how it is ‘hypocritical’ (and is it really your contention that just war is an impossibility).

  • Mr. McClarey, with all due respect, I do not see how reading my comment can make you assume that I lead an “unexamined” life. I consider that a hasty bit judgmental. ; )) I never intended to portray all Catholics who do not support Ron Paul as pro-war. I was mostly commenting on the flippant “Coo Coo for Cocoa Puffs” rhetoric (I still love you, Tito Edwards!) Those of us who do not deem every last “police action” a just war should not be labelled “Coo Coo.” Sarah Palin makes a very important point about not alienating Ron Paul supporters. I personally believe that you cannot be authentically “pro-war”(meaning being the aggressor towards another country, not the defender of your own) and “pro-life”, because war is the greatest sin against charity towards your neighbor.

  • “pro-war”(meaning being the aggressor towards another country, not the defender of your own) and “pro-life”, because war is the greatest sin against charity towards your neighbor.”

    My Uncle Ralph who died recently was a Protestant, but he carried a rosary given to him by a Catholic family when he was in the Army and on his way to fight in the Korean War. He carried it through some bloody battles in the hills of northern South Korea. Now Ron Paul regards the Korean War as an unjust war because America was not directly attacked. My Uncle Ralph always told me that fighting so that the people of South Korea would not fall under Communist rule was the best thing he ever did in his life that didn’t directly involve his family. I agree with my Uncle Ralph on that score, and I don’t think that made him pro-war. In fact I can’t think of anyone I have known who was more anti-war than Uncle Ralph who had seen up close and personal the death, misery and folly of war. He simply understood that sometimes there are things worse than war.

  • I personally believe that you cannot be authentically “pro-war”(meaning being the aggressor towards another country, not the defender of your own) and “pro-life”, because war is the greatest sin against charity towards your neighbor.

    Your troops have to move forward every once in a while, if they are not engaged in a completely futile exercise. That aside, for American policy-makers, the actual choice has generally not been whether or not to commence a war, but whether or not to have American troops in combat in an extant conflict.

  • One thing that I do wish people would stop doing is calling Paul an isolationist. Let us not forget that George W. Bush won his election on a platform of avoiding foreign entanglements, and not until 9/11 did his position change. Wishing that he were not so liberal in our use of military forces doesn’t make Paul an isolationist. From his rhetoric, he appears to be nothing like an isolationist. What he seeks are peaceful relationships with other countries, based not upon the force of empire, but the peace of trade. This is not something to scoff at. For over 100 years, this was the defining philosophy of the U.S. in foreign relations. One might disagree with his philosophy, but why it requires belittling I cannot possibly fathom. If a person cannot argue a position without ad hominem, where is the strength of his argument?

  • Lizzie, Ron Paul can call himself whatever he wishes, but the reality of his foreign policy is the same. The US can hunker down behind the Pacific and the Atlantic in Fortress America and be safe and secure while the rest of the world goes to hell. He is the ideological descendant of the America Firsters prior to World War II who were perfectly content to have Hitler and Hirohito emerge triumphant in the War so long as the US could sit on the sidelines. Such a foreign policy is often immoral and always deeply unrealistic in the modern age, modern defined as after the Wright Brothers developed heaver than air flight.

    His emphasis on foreign trade is at war with his isolationism. Nothing creates foreign entanglements quicker than foreign trade and the foreign investment that such trade inevitably creates. Paul wishes to impose a libertarian fantasy world on stubborn reality, and like all utopian projects it is doomed to come a cropper and quickly.

  • One thing that I do wish people would stop doing is calling Paul an isolationist.

    It appears to bother you because you sense it is pejorative. It is a passbly accurate descriptor, however.

    What he seeks are peaceful relationships with other countries, based not upon the force of empire, but the peace of trade.

    1. There is no empire. 2. The portfolio of dependencies we once had was acquired during the era when American foreign policy was characterized by … hemispheric isolationism. 3. An aspiration to enhance trade relations (the policy of every administration since 1933) has not been a driver of the use of military force in the last seventy years.

    If a person cannot argue a position without ad hominem, where is the strength of his argument?

    The term ‘ad hominem’ does not mean what you think it means.

  • “For over 100 years, this was the defining philosophy of the U.S. in foreign relations.”

    The Monroe Doctrine argues otherwise.

Yep, Ron Paul (R.Pluto) is Pretty Much of a Wackdoodle Isolationist

Thursday, December 29, AD 2011

That Ron Paul is a conspiracy believing nutcase as the video above indicates should not be controversial.  This is the man who was the keynote speaker at the John Birch Society fiftieth anniversary dinner in 2008, an organization that has embraced such bizarre conspiracy theories as Eisenhower being a Communist and water fluoridation being a Communist plot.  Throughout his career he has given a wink and a nod to most paranoid conspiracy groups on the right.  We see this most clearly in the newsletters that came out for over a decade in his name.  Ron Paul claims now not to know what was in those newsletters which I find passing strange since he earned a million bucks on them in one year alone (1993).  However, Ron Paul the crank and coddler of cranks is not the focus of this post.  This post is concerned with Ron Paul the isolationist.  That he is an isolationist, and not simply a non-interventionist as he claims,  was amply demonstrated in  a recent column by Eric Dondero who worked for Paul for 12 years:

Ron Paul is most assuredly an isolationist.  He denies this charge vociferously.  But I can tell you straight out, I had countless arguments/discussions with him over his personal views.  For example, he strenuously does not believe the United States had any business getting involved in fighting Hitler in WWII.  He expressed to me countless times, that “saving the Jews,” was absolutely none of our business.  When pressed, he often times brings up conspiracy theories like FDR knew about the attacks of Pearl Harbor weeks before hand, or that WWII was just “blowback,” for Woodrow Wilson’s foreign policy errors, and such.

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104 Responses to Yep, Ron Paul (R.Pluto) is Pretty Much of a Wackdoodle Isolationist

  • How is it that a politician that predicted and gave us a way of avoiding the housing bubble and the attack from Bin-Laden is crazy and unelectable but their puppet say what he thinks will get him elected guy is not. Watch this video from 1999 and remember how much hate Dr. Paul received for saying that our foreign policies let to 9/11/2001. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=XguvMUUtTtI

  • This from someone who believes that there’s a worldwide conspiracy to invent climate change?

    Ron Paul is an isolationist but Eric Dondero just sounds like a disgruntled employee.

    “He immediately stated to us staffers, me in particular, that Bush/Cheney were going to use the attacks as a precursor for “invading” Iraq.”

    That makes Ron Paul a prophet. Fact is he voted for the war in Afghanistan and if there’s one thing you can’t deny him is that he always votes his principles.

    Paulites say that Paul is a non-interventionist, not an isolationist. What’s the difference? They say Paul wants to trade and “talk” with other nations. No, he doesn’t. He opposes free trade agreements. They say that FTA’s aren’t really free, they’re managed trade, which is true but they’re freer than the status quo. But Paul isn’t even for free trade. He wants the entire federal government funded by tariffs. Combined with his position on immigration which is the one area he’s at odds with libertarians, there’s not a shred of evidence that he’s anything but an isolationist.

  • “This from someone who believes that there’s a worldwide conspiracy to invent climate change?”

    Groupthink, as indicated by the climate-change e-mails, is not conspiracy RR. I also do not believe that there is a conspiracy among the mainstream media. When 90% of a group shares a similar world view, no conspiracy is needed.

    “Eric Dondero just sounds like a disgruntled employee.”

    Yeah, a disgruntled employee that Ron Paul kept on his payroll for 12 years and a disgruntled employee who spends a fair amount of time in his article defending Ron Paul.

    “Fact is he voted for the war in Afghanistan and if there’s one thing you can’t deny him is that he always votes his principles.”

    Actually I can deny that. Google Ron Paul and earmarks.

  • Ron Paul getting the nomination (which I do not think has any likelihood at all) would be the one thing that would for sure have me refuse to vote for the GOP candidate against Obama. I’d have to go third party or sit out. Ron Paul is so utterly and idiotically unsuited to be president.

  • Don, Paul votes his principles on earmarks. There’s a lot to criticize Paul for but earmarks isn’t one of them.

  • How is it that a politician that predicted and gave us a way of avoiding the housing bubble

    Asset bubbles can and do form in the context of a specie-based currency, as they did in equities markets in 1928 and 1929. What you cannot do with a specie-based currency is provide liquidity in response to demand. The history of the period running from the fall of 1929 to the spring of 1933 is sadly instructive as to the consequences.

    This from someone who believes that there’s a worldwide conspiracy to invent climate change?

    Just in case you had not noticed, there has been a conspiracy involving a small corps of faculty at the University of East Anglia, Pennsyvania State University, the Goddard Institute, the American Geophysical Union, et al. to block publication of papers which contradicted the thesis they were pushing and trash the reputations of scholars who composed such papers and editors who approved them for publication. These people have also, and in conflict with statutes and regulations governing the terms of public grant money they have received, refused to archive and distribute raw data for others to re-analyze and destroyed documents to frustrate freedom-of-information requests in the UK and the US. Alas, some of these folk held gatekeeper positions with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

  • Not at all RR. Paul rails against big government and the taxes and borrowing to support it until it is time to request pork for his district and then he is all aboard the gravy train:

    During fiscal year 2011 he was one of only four Republicans to request earmarks and here is what he wanted from our federal tax dollars:

    •$8 million from federal taxpayers for Recreational Fishing Piers.
    •$2.5 million from taxpayers for “new benches, trash receptacles, bike racks, decorative street lighting.”
    •$2.5 million from taxpayers to modify medians and sidewalks for an “Economically Disadvantaged” area.
    •$2.5 million from federal taxpayers for a “Revelation Missionary Baptist Community Outreach Center.”
    •$38 million in multiple requests for literacy programs to “encourage parents to read aloud to their children.”
    •$18 million from federal taxpayers for a Commuter Rail Preliminary Engineering Phase (light rail).
    •$4 million from federal taxpayers for the “Trails and Sidewalks Connectivity Initiative.”
    •$11 million from federal taxpayers for a “Community-Based Job Training Program.”
    •$2 million from federal taxpayers for a “Clean Energy” pilot project.
    •$5 million from federal taxpayers in order to build a parking garage.
    •$1.2 million for a “Low-income working families Day Care Program”
    •$4.5 million from federal taxpayers for a new Youth Fair facility

    He will request the earmarks and then vote against them in a truly hypocritical little dance he does each year to maintain the myth that he is against this type of spending, while he still brings home the pork for his district.

  • Don, that’s while saying it’s hypocritical for you to take the tax deduction for mortgage interest while still opposing the deduction in principle.

  • RR he poses as a peerless champion of small government, fiscal responsibility and being against any expenditures not specifically authorized by the Constitution. He then makes sure to fill his plate each year with bacon for his district. Hypocrisy is too weak a term for this grand canyon divergence between rhetoric and reality.

  • Don, what do you think of the mortgage interest deduction and do you take it? What do you think of Social Security and Medicare and do you plan to accept it? Is it your position that if you oppose a government program, you should not accept its benefits?

  • Mac,

    Pacem. Wwould you not give to your children, er, constituents?

    Apparently, Paul refuses to partake of the Congressional pension bonanza. I think that is true to his beliefs.

    And, ’bout his inflation-risk concentrated investments: if he were one of the economic apocalypse guys, he would not own 60% gold/silver mining stocks. You can’t barter, eat, or shoot mining stocks.

    Just saying.

    I’m for pretender that is
    Pro-God
    Pro-gun
    Pro-life
    Pro-America
    Not Obama.

  • If Paul wants to take the position that he opposes favors outlawing earmarks, but will nonetheless request and vote for them until they are outlawed, then this position would be at least somewhat analogous to your mortgage interest hypothetical. But by requesting them so as to appease local constituents and then voting against them so as to appease his national base, he is being at least somwhat hypocritical in my view. Given Paul’s reputation for being such a man of principle, I do have a problem with this. Most politicians embrace both the concept and the art of compromise, and live with charged of being insufficiently principled. Paul distininguishes himself as being distinctively principled, and therefore can fairly be charged with hypocrisy on the matter of earmarks.

    Finally, I agree with Don that Paul’s views are eccentric for a reason — they are wrong-headed and naive. Anyone who thinks tariffs are a good way to fund the federal government is just plain nutty.

  • “Is it your position that if you oppose a government program, you should not accept its benefits?”

    My position RR is that if an elected representative is going to pretend to be a champion of what Paul purports to be a champion of in regard to governmental spending, it is very much like a Congressman voting against abortion and then paying for one for his mistress. In regard to Ron Paul this is especially the case because his propaganda conveys a completely false impression of him and government spending. He has gloried in the nickname of Dr. No in Congress while always being Dr. Yes when it comes to pork for his district.

  • I want to see Congressman Paul debate Congressman Kucinich!

  • And the substantive difference between Paul and Kucinich is??????????????????????????

    They are both nut-cases.

  • Don:

    I totally agree I’m not going to vote for that racist Paul with his wing nut beliefs.

    Instead I am going to vote for a Republican candidate who between 1966 and 1969 actively recruited people for and since held successively higher leadership positions in an organization that believed as follows:

    • Blacks could not have leadership positions within the group or receive other benefits within the organization because being black was how they were cursed by God (until their supreme leader had a revelation in 1978 that God now believed Black people were OK).

    • The Garden of Eden was in Jackson County, Missouri.

    • Ancient Jews built boats and sailed to America.

    • As man is, God once was. As God is, man may become.

    • God lives on a planet called Kolob. Jesus has his own planet as well. As good members of the organization they will have their own planets one day as well.

    Yes, I will be voting for Gov. Willard Mitt Romney (R, Kolob)

  • Please Eva, satire should only be done by experts. If you expect virtually anyone to rise to the defense of Mitt “The Weather-Vane” Romney on this blog you are sadly mistaken. However attempting to defend Ron “The Strawberries! The Strawberries!” Paul by attacking Romney for his inherited religious beliefs is beyond the pale and will not be tolerated in this thread.

  • While it’s hard for me to say enough that I think Mormon religious beliefs are laughable (and I’m not a Romney fan, though it seems like the nomination is likely to end up with him because of no one else turning out to be a very credible candidate) I can’t help thinking that Romney’s religious beliefs are probably a lot less harmful to governing than Ron Paul’s political beliefs are.

    However, Eva does underline that should Romney land the nomination, there will a massive amount of work put into fanning anti-Mormon feeling by the Obama campaign and it’s operatives. The “Obama might be Muslim” whispering campaign will look pretty tame by comparison.

  • If you play the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas album backwards, it says “Ron Paul is dead.” The Zionist Illuminati Yoko Ono bankers are behind this, I tell you!

  • Ah, J. Christian, I am glad I had finished drinking my pop before I read your comment!

  • The only GOP candidate for whom I will NEVER vote is, unfortunately, the one most likely to get the nomination. I could hold my nose and vote even for Dr. Paul. But I will sit out or vote 3rd party before I vote for Romney (and his religious beliefs will play absolutely no role in my decision making in that regard).

  • Rasmussen Reports: Romney – 45%; Obama – 39%.

    It isn’t that Romeny is loved more. It’s that Obama is loved even less.

    If from his or her GOP nomination until Election Day, Romney or whomever says one word about a subject other than the horrid economy . . .

    Many Americans “are unemployed or have family members, neighbors and friends who are losing their homes, their jobs and their hope for a better future while Washington lives it up on their dime. They read stories on the Internet – stories their newspapers will not print – about billions lost on ‘green energy’ boondoggles while they pay $40 to $50 dollars for a tank of gas. They are losing their houses to foreclosure after Obama promised to fix that problem. They see trillion dollar deficits while their living standards erode and are demanding to know where the money’s going.

    They are that virtual mob with pitchforks that are desperate to anoint someone as their leader who will help them storm the castle and evict the ogre holed up there. Mitt Romney doesn’t look like the kind of guy who is comfortable handling a pitchfork, but if he’s the last man standing after all the others fail, he’ll be appointed to that role.” From The Virginian blog

    Meanwhile, on a golf course in Hawaii . . .

  • “It isn’t that Romney is loved more. It’s that Obama is loved even less.”

    Precisely TShaw. I pray that we will not have Romney as our standard bearer, but Obama is very beatable, and I expect that he will grow more so as election day comes clearer and people ask themselves the Reagan question:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loBe0WXtts8

  • Doesn’t matter. O will likely get a second term bc Romney’s Mormonism is just too odd for most voters. I will vote Paul just for the fun of it.

  • This isn’t 1928 cmatt. Appeals to religious bigotry would backfire against Obama big time. The Weather-vane additionally is as threatening as a piece of white bread with a glass of milk.

  • Paul is now admitting he wrote parts of the newsletters, but only the non-controversial bits and he is still insisting that he didn’t read or know about the controversial portions. It doesn’t pass the giggle test. It is on a par with Obama stating that he sat in Wright’s church for over a decade and didn’t hear any controversial sermons. (Obama should have used the excuse that he simply slept through most of the sermons; quite a few people could empathize with that!)

    http://hotair.com/archives/2011/12/29/paul-i-did-write-parts-of-the-newsletters-but-not-the-bad-parts/

  • What’s amazing about the support for Ron Paul is that there is another candidate who espouses pretty much all the same things Paul does but who is not certifiable. I am talking about Gary Johnson. Granted he’s a little loopy, but unlike Ron Paul he has an actual record of political accomplishment in his life.

  • In the past, I’ve quipped that Ron Paul’s slogan should be “Protecting Freedom at Home, Forsaking It Abroad,” but after this, I’m not sure of the first part.

    It’s strange that otherwise rational men like Mark Shea and John Zmirak seem to have fallen for some of his ideas (namely the ones involving American foreign involvement), though – thankfully – they haven’t embraced anti-Semitism or anything like that. (I do remember an article by Zmirak where he almost, almost comes to complete agreement with Pat Buchanan while reviewing the latter’s “Churchill’s Unneccessary War.”)

    On Paul’s proposal to grant letters of marquis and reprisal, two questions come to mind:
    1. Wasn’t privateering primarily a sea-based activity? If so, how could it effect al-Quaeda, the leadership of which resided in the decidedly landlocked country of Afghanistan.)
    2. Does Ron Paul know why letters of marquis and reprisal were outlawed under international law – because privateers often became pirates once the war is over? If he thinks sending patriotic, government-controlled US troops abroad causes international chaos, he should see what would happen after we’ve enabled a ton of free-booting mercenaries groups with military capabilities…

  • Tommy, Paul’s idea of simply picking up our marbles and going home strikes a chord with people who opposed the Iraq War, and that explains Shea. Zmirak I do not know enough about to comment. We live in a time of “let’s pretend” in our society and the idea that we can simply abdicate our role in the World without dire consequences is deeply attractive to more than a few Americans and plays to the isolationist sentiment never far below the surface in this country. (I can’t tell you how many people have told me over the years that we could easily balance our budget if we were not giving away all of our money to the “durn foreigners”. ) In the Nineteenth Century we could get away with isolationism courtesy of broad oceans and the Royal Navy. Now, it is simple lunacy.

    In regard to letters of marque and reprisal you are correct in your observations. I am certain that none of this would register with Paul since he has an ability to steadfastly ignore mere facts that contradict his ideology.

  • It’ll be interesting to see whether the groundwork laid by Paul will translate into votes for Gary Johnson.

  • Tommy, Paul’s idea of simply picking up our marbles and going home strikes a chord with people who opposed the Iraq War, and that explains Shea.

    Doesn’t explain Shea.

    Zmirak I do not know enough about to comment.

    It can be difficult to tell at times whether or not Mr. Zmirak is being tongue-and-cheek.

    We live in a time of “let’s pretend” in our society and the idea that we can simply abdicate our role in the World without dire consequences is deeply attractive

    More precisely, Paul et al deny the reality of political conflict and the consequences thereof in contexts which lack a coercive and adjudicatory authority. Joseph Sobran’s writings (his turn toward anarchism) made this more explicit. Paul trafficks in the notion that conflicts abroad will always and everywhere be inconsequential to us or that we face no conflicts ourselves if we do not generate them with policy errors (which we would not if we would stop listening to fools like Henry Kissinger and Bernard Lewis and start listening to savvy and well-informed folk like Ron Paul and Lew Rockwell). The pretense that one can turn the effects of political conflict on and off with a spigot does tend to save libertarians of a sort from giving consideration to trade-offs and qualifications.

    (I can’t tell you how many people have told me over the years that we could easily balance our budget if we were not giving away all of our money to the “durn foreigners”. )

    You might remind them that the sum of appropriations for various components of the State Department, the Defense Department, the Agency for International Development, &c. devoted to foreign aid amounted to about $58.4 bn during the fiscal year concluding on 30 September 2010. That would amount to 0.4% of domestic product, or about 1% of all public expenditure.

    In the Nineteenth Century we could get away with isolationism courtesy of broad oceans and the Royal Navy. Now, it is simple lunacy.

    Now try to tell that to folks who fancy that several sentences in Washington’s Farewell Address suffices for a permanent blueprint for American foreign policy.

  • Calling Ron Paul an isolationist only makes sense if you see American’s main role in the world as a military power. This is, unfortunately, all too common.

  • Ron Paul’s view of the World Nate is that the rest of the planet can go to Hell as the United States enjoys peace and security at home. He is the ideological descendant of the fools who made up the America First Movement prior to our entry into World War II and who would have been happy to see Hitler and Hirohito emerge triumphant from the War if the US could have avoided being part of it. The political and moral blindness of such a policy should be self-evident to all but the willfully blind or the terminally gullible.

  • “Doesn’t explain Shea.”

    I gave it my best shot Art, perhaps you would care to give me a hand? 🙂

  • “You might remind them that the sum of appropriations for various components of the State Department, the Defense Department, the Agency for International Development, &c. devoted to foreign aid amounted to about $58.4 bn during the fiscal year concluding on 30 September 2010. That would amount to 0.4% of domestic product, or about 1% of all public expenditure.”

    Oh I do Art. I am usually met with stunned disbelief. Then when I start talking about social security they want to change the subject!

  • I seem to recall that the America First Committee dissolved the 2d week of December in 1941, that Sen. Gerald Nye cast a vote in favor of a declaration of war, and that Charles Lindburgh volunteered for service. Sen. Vandenberg later said that the attack on Pearl Harbor pretty much discredited the foreign policy he had been promoting in Congress. An earlier generation of isolationists was less impervious to empirical data.

    I gave it my best shot Art, perhaps you would care to give me a hand?

    I’m already in the doghouse with Dale Price.

  • People believe things such as that Bush was behind 9/11 because it is much easier to find flaws with friends who won’t harm you than to deal manfully with enemies who wish to kill you. Paul represents the fundamental selfishness of modern life – the merciless disregard of anything that does not bring pleasure to the self. Bush, flaws and all, immediately saw the threat post-9/11; so did many others…but at the end of the day, the selfishness of our society triumphed over our duty to do what is right. Obama rode it to victory in 2008…Paul hopes to do the same in 2012. That literal millions of people are suffering the cruelest of repression doesn’t even enter in to the equation for the selfish…they are out of sight, out of mind and their problems – if they must be brought up, at all – are entirely someone else’s fault (the “neocons” or the “Zionists” or what have you..as long as you are attributing the problem to something that doesn’t actually exist … there are, actually, no “neocons” … it gets you off the hook for dealing with the real perpetrators).

    Paul, though, will flame out – my bet is that third place will be his showing in Iowa (and God grant us that Santorum finishes in first place!). So will Obama – I sense a swing in our nation back towards honor, back towards a willingness to just do what needs to be done. Not all of us, to be sure, but I think a majority…and a majority which will rule in 2012.

  • Not that I am any great fan of Romney, and I certainly don’t think he’s really the best possible candidate — but really folks, if he does turn out to be the GOP nominee, does anyone on this forum truly, honestly, believe that he would be worse than Obama?

    If anyone here truly would rather see Obama reelected than see Romney elected, let them speak now or forever hold their peace.

  • I am on record Elaine as stating that I will vote for the Weather-vane over Obama. The only Republican, out of the current field of candidates, I could not support would be Ron Paul. I think he has zero chance of being the nominee, but if he were I would not vote for President. On second thought perhaps I would write in Dead Ronald Reagan, as the corpse of Reagan would be a far superior President than either the Empty Suit from Chicago or Doctor Delusional! 🙂

  • If anyone here truly would rather see Obama reelected than see Romney elected, let them speak now or forever hold their peace.

    Just want to point out that if Romney is elected, we could be stuck with him for eight years, and many Republicans in the House and Senate will feel obligated to support his agenda out of loyalty to the party. If Obama is re-elected, we have only four more years of him and his agaenda faces a strong “loyal opposition” in Congress. Just sayin’.

  • Four more year of Obamanomics, Obama court nominations and Obama at the helm of our foreign policy in the perilous days I see ahead? No, the Weather-vane is much preferable to that in my opinion.

  • Court appointments are the only reason I’d consider pulling the lever for Romney. But even on that score, how much can we trust him?

  • I have zero trust in the Weather-vane Paul, but I find it hard to believe that he would be worse than Obama on any aspect of the Presidency, and I think he would be substantially better than Obama in the areas I set forth above. Additionally, a primary challenge could be brought in 2016 if Romney proves a disaster. Reagan came close to unseating Ford in 1976 and the party was much less conservative then than it is now. Additionally I think the Weather-vane is a political opportunist above-all. I think he will keep up his current born-again conservative act as President because it will be to his political advantage, at least through 2016.

    My motto if the Weather-vane is the nominee: Vote for the Weather-vane! He won’t be as big a disaster as Obama has been!

  • Whether Romney is preferable to Obama (a debateable point as far as I’m concerned) matters little to me. I’m tired of voting for whatever RINO stiff is placed before me simply because of dire warnings that “the alternative is worse”. I won’t vote for him under any circumstances (and I will use my blog to try to convince others to do likewise), so don’t bother playing the “but Obama is worse game” with me.

    And, besides, Paul Zummo’s assessment above is 100% correct.

  • I have too much respect for you Jay to try to convince you of anything, and I pray that the Weather-vane will not be the nominee, as I have little to no respect or trust in him. However, after the primaries, assuming Ron “The Trilateralists are coming!” Paul is not the nominee, I intend to hammer away on this blog the message that Obama must and shall be defeated. However, it still may not come to a Weather-vane-Obama contest.

    If Santorum can pull an upset in Iowa, and that is not beyond the range of possible outcomes now, I can imagine a national rallying of conservatives behind him a la Perry, Cain and Gingrich, and this time I think it would stick. Santorum is bright and articulate and I think he could win this if he once gains a front position. Most Republicans do not want the Weather-vane as the nominee and a viable conservative could defeat him.

  • I guess Paul was agreeing with Spambot, so it’s Spambot’s assessment (as well as Paul’s) that is spot on.

  • Obama dillenda est.

    Here is a metaphor for Romney. A man goes to the beach, fills his navel with glue, sticks a flag in it, and determines which way the wind’s blowing.

    Either Romney or Obama is less vital than the GOP taking the Senate and adding to the House majority. That is best case scenario for us greedy bankers.

    My prediction for 2012 Jay will again vote for Obama again.

    Obama must go!

    Call me a racist. Call me anything you want. Except don’t call me late for supper. No wait! I feed myself.

  • I’m with Jay on this one (except that I prefer Romney to Paul). There are only so many times I can be told to vote for the guy that is simply the lesser of two evils. I did it with McCain, I’ve done it with Dole, and I have no plans to rally ’round the Romney flag, especially when there are several preferable alternatives. If Romney is the nominee, I’m just sitting this dance out.

  • Court appointments are the only reason I’d consider pulling the lever for Romney.

    There is no reason you have to participate (and I generally do not), but it might be agreeable to have a chief executive who takes a passing interest in the quantum of public sector borrowing the country is undertaking each year (keeping in mind that Italy’s publicly-held debt is proportionately 60% higher than ours but their current public sector deficit is a THIRD the size of ours), has some experience with restructurings, and has a demonstrated ability to run something other than his mouth. The current incumbent is not that guy.

  • There are only so many times I can be told to vote for the guy that is simply the lesser of two evils. I did it with McCain, I’ve done it with Dole,

    I would cite Phyllis Schlafly on this point: all things being equal, you get more of what you vote for when you have a binary choice; the choice, however, is less palatable. Israel’s spectrum of political parties allows you to vote for precisely what you want. What you are going to get, though, is the Ministry of Parks and a minister without portfolio.

    John McCain has a temper (which seems to manifest itself only when dealing with colleagues), sometimes acts out of personal pique, and favors an inadvisable immigration policy. He has some other deficiencies which you find in working pols generally. He has made his political career in Arizona (which is not exactly Frisco), has twice been a vigorous competitor among the 10% or so of adult citizens who vote in Republican primaries and caucuses, and (per the American Conservative Union) votes for their preferred measures >80% of the time. You problem is not with Capt. McCain. It is with the culture and general thrust of the Republican Party.

    As for Dole, he was an intemperate Capitol Hill apparatchik who manifested signs of having absorbed far too much of the culture of our rancid national legislature (see the Americans-with-Disabilities-Act). He could add and subtract though, and had an allergy to public sector borrowing. Ronald Reagan failed on both counts.

  • Mark,

    While I agree, as you stated, “That literal millions of people are suffering the cruelest of repression doesn’t even enter in to the equation for the selfish…”, until you get the the charachterization of folks as “selfish”.

    I believe that America has a role to play in the wrld that trascends our narrow national political or economic interests. I think that all the goofy folks who have ever espoused US isolationism, as if thae bad actors wouldn’t eventually get around to trying to beat our behinds after dealing with the rest of the world, are ill-informed and ignorant of human nature (does accomodation and appeasement EVER work, from the school yard to the world stage?). But I believe that terming them “selfish” mischaracterizes the cause, and our duty.

    It isn’t selfishness that causes folks to not want to send their sons and daughters off to war. For it to be selfish, there would have to exist a duty to send people off to foreign wars. and just as not all of us are called to be policement or firemen, and are not selfish if we choose to pay others to do those jobs, neither is the US mandated by manifest destiny or whatever to send soldiers and to expend blood and tresure for the freedom of others. Is it a just cause to do so? Absolutely. And I joined the military because *I* thought *I* had a responsibility to participate in the defense of the weak.

    But those who espouse isolationism aren’t “selfish”. And if they avoid military service, they’re not “selfish”. At least, I don’t think so.

    Or maybe they are. But I think there’s a better characterization. Anyone gots ideas?

  • I used to be a regular reader of the American Catholic blog, but eventually I got really turned off by certain contributors. Every so often I check in to see if things have changed, or if they are at lease tolerable and readable— this post disappoints me.

    The hate some people display for Ron Paul is disgusting in the extreme, particularly the name-calling. The attacks some people lob over to the libertarian-wing of the GOP only serve to cloud the intellectual truth. It’s dispiriting to endure, and as a practicing Catholic in particular— it’s just sad to watch.

    I changed my registration in NYC from Independent to Republican specifically so I could vote for Ron Paul. I’m going to enjoy doing so, no matter what the outcome of these initial primaries.

    Not a single GOP nominee is any more than marginally “better” than Obama. Will the wars, the spending, or the social engineering end under any of these candidates? No.

    It is exhausting to watch year after year. What is the point of phrases like “the consent of the governed” if such notions feel more like a fraud every day?

    If Ron Paul is not the nominee or on the ballot in November, I will not be voting. I refuse to be morally culpable for the actions of war mongers and socialists. I’d rather send up a prayer than submit a useless vote for more of the same.

  • I cannot fathom how attacking Iraq had any relation to avenging 9/11. And why in the world did we send troops to Afghanistan? Congress never voted to authorize either of these presidential fiat wars. Mr McClarey, you have not given any sound reason why Mr. Paul is wrong for opposing these wars. Why is Mr. Paul criticized for stating the truth about Iran? Israel has 300 nuclear warheads, and refuses to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and allow inspectors in. Israel would wipe Iran off the map in a matter of hours with a few of those missiles. Iran is no threat to Israel, and certainly not to America.

    Furthermore, as it happened — you are the historian — the aftermath of WWII was worse than the war, for half of Europe. The allies gave the butcher Stalin (real name Jugosvili) all of eastern Europe, knowing full well what atrocities had already been committed by that quintessential dictator. How many millions of Christians died at this man’s hands, while he was ruling Russia, whose Central Committee, by the way, was not Christian as you must know. Was Saddam Hussein any worse than Castro? If the state department was so concerned about toppling dictators, we’ve had one off the coast of Florida for half a century, Any oilk in Cuba? Any in China? What have these legitimate questions to do with being a “nutcase”?

  • I used to be a regular reader of the American Catholic blog, but eventually I got really turned off by certain contributors. Every so often I check in to see if things have changed, or if they are at lease tolerable and readable— this post disappoints me.
    The hate some people display for Ron Paul is disgusting in the extreme, particularly the name-calling.

    I think ‘disdain’, not ‘hate’, is what you see manifested. At worst, ‘contempt’.

    We often do not notice what does not cut, so it is advisable to maintain some rules-of-thumb concerning the features of what you say, and that is often honored in the breach, regrettably.

    (For my own part, I would be pleased to hear as a matter of routine discourse from the ranks of the Rockford Institute, The American Conservative, et al that was temperate without being supercilious. I ain’t holdin’ my breath).

  • “If Ron Paul is not the nominee or on the ballot in November, I will not be voting.”

    Thank you for allowing me to help you choose your President for you Anthony.

  • I cannot fathom how attacking Iraq had any relation to avenging 9/11.

    Who said it did?

    And why in the world did we send troops to Afghanistan? Congress never voted to authorize either of these presidential fiat wars.

    Yes, they were authorized. In addition to the resolutions authorizing them, Congress has appropriated the money every year to fight them.

    — you are the historian — the aftermath of WWII was worse than the war, for half of Europe. The allies gave the butcher Stalin (real name Jugosvili) all of eastern Europe, knowing full well what atrocities had already been committed by that quintessential dictator.

    The military situation on the ground would not have permitted a geographic distribution of control much different than the one with which we ended up.

    If I am not mistaken, 27% of the population of Poland perished between 1939 and 1945. Disagreeable as the United Workers’ Party rule was after 1946, I do not think it quite rose to that.

  • The attacks some people lob over to the libertarian-wing of the GOP only serve to cloud the intellectual truth.

    The shorter version of you comment: how dare you use Ron Paul’s own words to demonstrate that the man is a kook. Like most Ron Paul supporters, you bury your head in the sand and refuse to acknowledge that the man goes well beyond supporting the issues that matter to you, and has a disgusting history of supporting insane conspiracy theorists, including 9/11 truthers. As I said earlier, if you are that passionate about the superficial platform of Ron Paul, Gary Johnson offers an alternative that is not out to lunch.

  • Wow sounds like this group is pro-war pro-send the troops in unconstitutional wars from whims of a dictator (whoops I meant president) instead of going to Congress & asking for declarations of war. Pray tell me WHERE is this in the just war cause? Offensive wars? perpetual wars? Is that all in the catechism? All war does is promote the state. NOW Dr Paul DID say if attacked then go to Congress, get a declaration of war, win it, come home…. HOW IS THAT KOOKY?!?!?! Isn’t that logical? moral? or is nation building for decades & decades, building bases everywhere (140+ nations have our footstep in it… team america world police?), occupying other people’s lands (I’m suuuure you would be cool with a Chinese base or Russian base in your back yards huh), etc .. wait? aren’t we BROKE!? Pray tell me how you want to pay for more wars? I’d love to hear that one. Roman empire anyone? The sun never sets on the American Empire does it? Lets see we send troops to Australia to be ready to fight China (as we ask them for more $) hahaha. Someone tell me where the common sense is for that? Oh, why are the troops, overwhelmingly supporting Dr Paul? Do you people know more then the troops? If everyone had to pay for these wars from their own pockets & NOT thru the unconstitutional FED that prints money for your kids & their kids to pay for AND if every family HAD to send at least 1 to said wars (since most people don’t have anyone in the military yet they ‘support the troops’ yet don’t want them home with their families …. no matter the divorce rate among military or the stress nah we must keep them overseas away from our land they are defend) these wars would end overnight. But, alas, we are a blood thirsty union of states that love war (its good for ratings) & really don’t like the Constitution nor freedom (like how freedom sounds but the practice of it we don’t care much for – Joseph Schumpeter quote) & we act as if Israel is our 51st state which its own Prime Minister said to us ‘we don’t need you’ (yet we gave them $3bil but its enemies over $15Bil hahaha yet we claim how much we loooove Israel hahah). Now the WWII thing you may want to read up on that b/c FDR (like Wilson in WWI) did everything he could to get us into the war. There was no need for us going. Oh well ‘blessed are the peacemakers’ huh? nah we want never ending wars!

  • TAC contributors beware: the PaulBots have been upgraded with Logic Boards.

  • Not a single GOP nominee is any more than marginally “better” than Obama. Will the wars, the spending, or the social engineering end under any of these candidates? No.

    Dr. Paul would have to persuade the Republican caucus in the Senate to do away with the filibuster rule and then persuade both houses of Congress to a approve a raft of bills closing down over fifty independent agencies, three cabinet departments, the bulk of a fourth cabinet department, and portions of two other departments and two other agencies of consequence. That might just take care of the ‘social engineering’ and some of the low-hanging fruit under the rubric of ‘spending’. That’s the easy part. Best of luck.

  • Steve,

    Paragraphs and common-and-garden rules of punctuation, please.

  • “I cannot fathom how attacking Iraq had any relation to avenging 9/11.”

    Who said it did Brian? Why we went to war against Iraq is set forth at the link below:

    http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=107_cong_public_laws&docid=f:publ243.107

    “And why in the world did we send troops to Afghanistan? ”
    Because the Taliban allowed the country to be the central base for the terrorists.

    “Congress never voted to authorize either of these presidential fiat wars.”

    Untrue. Congress through its authorization of the use of force votes authorized both of the wars prior to a shot being fired in either conflict.

    ” Mr McClarey, you have not given any sound reason why Mr. Paul is wrong for opposing these wars.”

    In regard to Iraq because Saddam was a clear and present danger to US interests in the region since his attempt to take over Kuwait in 1990. He also constantly violated the truce entered into which ended the Gulf War. Afghanistan because it was the central staging area for the terrorists.

    “Why is Mr. Paul criticized for stating the truth about Iran?”

    Because Paul is a loon who fails to recognize that the mullahs having the bomb is akin to tying a grenade to a gallon of gasoline and pulling the pin.

    “Israel has 300 nuclear warheads, and refuses to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and allow inspectors in. Israel would wipe Iran off the map in a matter of hours with a few of those missiles. Iran is no threat to Israel, and certainly not to America.”

    Israel is no threat to the US and the interests of the US. Iran on the other hand is, as demonstrated this week by its threat to attempt to blockade the Straits of Hormuz. Neither Israel nor the US has an adequate defense to a nuke arriving by missile or smuggled into the country. Iranian agents have been known to enter this country both through Mexico and Canada.

    “Furthermore, as it happened — you are the historian — the aftermath of WWII was worse than the war, for half of Europe.”

    Simply not true. Far more people died during the war than in its aftermath in Eastern Europe.

    “The allies gave the butcher Stalin (real name Jugosvili) all of eastern Europe,”

    Complete bunk. The Red Army took Eastern Europe. The only way to get the Red Army out was to follow Patton’s advice, start World War III and expel the Red Army by force. The American public was in no mood to have World War III immediately follow World War II.

    “How many millions of Christians died at this man’s hands, while he was ruling Russia, whose Central Committee, by the way, was not Christian as you must know.”

    Actually Stalin was a bitter anti-Semite if you were trying to imply that the Central Committee was a bunch of Jews which is simple rubbish. Stalin’s hangmen who were of Jewish ancestry were no more practicing Jews than his hangmen of Christian ancestry, the vast majority, were practicing Christians. Khrushchev in his memoir wrote this about Stalin and Jews:

    “A hostile attitude toward the Jewish nation was a major shortcoming of Stalin’s. In his speeches and writings as a leader and theoretician there wasn’t even a hint of this. God forbid that anyone assert that a statement by him smacked of anti-Semitism. Outwardly everything looked correct and proper. But in his inner circle, when he had occasion to speak about some Jewish person, he always used an emphatically distorted pronunciation. This was the way backward people lacking in political consciousness would express themselves in daily life — people with a contemptuous attitude toward Jews. They would deliberately mangle the Russian language, putting on a Jewish accent or imitating certain negative characteristics [attributed to Jews]. Stalin loved to do this, and it became one of his characteristic traits”

    Stalin used the fact that his great enemy Trotsky had been born a Jew greatly to his advantage. Stalin would refer to him contemptuously as The King of the Jews.

    “Was Saddam Hussein any worse than Castro? If the state department was so concerned about toppling dictators, we’ve had one off the coast of Florida for half a century,”

    Bay of Pigs-been there, done that. We could not take out Castro due to his being under the Soviet nuclear shield. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Castro has been on his best behavior so as not to give us a casus belli, unlike Saddam. I personally think that Kennedy made a grave mistake in not toppling Castro in 1961 with a corp sized landing, instead of relying on the CIA and its brigade of exiles.

  • “TAC contributors beware: the PaulBots have been upgraded with Logic Boards.”

    They should get their money back Nate, because the boards appear to be defective.