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The Ronulution

With the Iowa Caucuses well underway, I feel it’s time to weigh in a bit on the 2012 GOP primary race. I am mostly despondent, a state of which I am quite familiar with when it comes to GOP politics. But, but, RON PAUL!!! How could I possibly be despondent?

Sorry, never liked the guy. I don’t think he’s a good libertarian standard bearer. I share Ilya Somin’s view that Gary Johnson would have been a better candidate, from an ideological perspective. I share Professor Somin’s disdain for the now infamous Ron Paul Newsletters. Probably the best account that covers the topic of Ron Paul’s craptacular candidacy can be found over at Bleeding Heart Libertarians.

Clayton Cramer notes:

There is not even a pragmatic argument for refusing to condemn white supremacists–we are not talking about a significant fraction of American voters, even in the Deep South. For every white supremacist that might sit out the election if Ron Paul condemned their views, there would likely be a dozen voters who are charmed by Ron Paul’s blunt speaking and in love with his foreign policy approach who would be more inclined to vote for him. My guess is that Ron Paul is not as hostile to those offensive ideas as he pretends.

That disturbs me as well. Roger Simon thinks Paul’s actions border on blatant racism. I’m not sure I’m willing to go that far, but I’ve never gotten excited about Paul. Like many politicos, he strikes me as any other panderer, and he’s certainly not been above bringing in the pork for his district to stay elected. That certainly isn’t a mortal sin, in my view, being a politician, but a lot of folks seem to be convinced that he isn’t your ordinary politician. I am less convinced.

Paul needs to answer for the material in the newsletters. If it were me, I’d disown them all. I wouldn’t want that kind of support. But Paul has not done that. That tells me he’s not really any different than other politicians, and you don’t get to claim you’re my savior when that’s the case. So count me out as a fan of Ron Paul. I’m not going to endorse Mitt, by any means, at this stage in the game, but I’m not liking my alternatives.

42 Responses to “The Ronulution”

  1. I don’t agree with Ron Paul on every stance, but saying he condemn’s something just to gain 12 fold support for each vote lost would be the definition of pandering.

    I think he would be far more electable if he actually did a little.

  2. MicroBalrog says:

    Ron Paul’s supposed racism is a thorough non issue. Even if Ron Paul wrote the newsletters by hand in his own blood.

    • DevsAdvocate says:

      For real. Who cares about his personal stance when his intellectual honesty leads him to do nothing about it.

      The man obviously doesn’t approve of gay marriage, but he will make life better for everyone by getting the gov’t out of regulation a religious institution. I bet he probably doesn’t condone drug use (being a doctor and all), but realizes that combating the negative aspects of it is not only a waste of taxpayer dollars, but also leads to gross violations of our constitutional rights.

      If there were ever a GOP candidate who would sign off on a repeal of NFA ’38, GCA ’68, and FOPA ’86 (Hughes), then Ron Paul is it. I doubt Romney would ever do anything close to that, or Gingrich, or Santorum.

      • Nathaniel says:

        If there were ever a GOP candidate who would sign off on a repeal of NFA ’38 [sic], GCA ’68, and FOPA ’86 (Hughes), then Ron Paul is it.

        This.

      • MicroBalrog says:

        Not to mention, Ron Paul could – and said he would – use the executive power to undo previous unconstitutional executive orders. He does not need the help of Congress to do that.

      • So? Ron Paul as nominee guarantees an Obama landslide. Gingrich and Romney are going to be serious disappointments as President. But not as serious as Obama’s second term.

        • Wes says:

          I don’t see how. Most on the right are going to vote for “anyone but Obama” anyway, and Paul can arguably bring in more votes from the left and independents than any other candidate.

          It’s hard to believe, but it’s looking like a lot of people simply want an honest President for a Change.

        • DevsAdvocate says:

          Disagree. The average GOPer, given a choice between Paul and Obama will always vote for the good Dr. Why would they ever vote for 4 more years of Obama? So there, you have all of the GOP vote that you had in 2008. Add those independents who have grown to dislike the current administration and you have a very electable candidate with views that most intellectually honest folks can agree on.

          Simple political arithmetic shows that Paul gets a net increase in votes whereas Obama loses them, especially considering the fact that Obama has essentially disenfranchised the liberal elements of his party to gain support from the unions, corporate scumbags, etc.

          Paul is not only very electable, but winnable too.

        • MicroBalrog says:

          1. I disagree. Romney winning would guarantee a rise in the power of North-Eastern Rockefellerites for decades to come. Effectively it means radical conservatives and libertarians go to the back of the bus. I prefer not to go to the back of the bus.

          2. Please provide polls to support your view that Nominee Ron Paul equals Obama landslide.

  3. MicroBalrog says:

    And Johnson has quit the race.

  4. DevsAdvocate says:

    Meh, given Paul vs. the rest of the moron GOP lineup, I’d still vote for him. He’s more of a libertarian/Pro-Constitution guy than anyone else, and actually has a chance at being accepted. Gary Johnson was a hopeful choice to have, but he was a ‘never-was’ in the GOP primaries.

  5. A Critic says:

    @Sebastian

    How many times does Ron Paul have to condemn those newsletters before it counts?

    That tells me he’s not really any different than other politicians,

    1. He did condemn those newsletters

    2. He is in favor of the gold standard, that alone makes him substantially different from other politicians.

    • Justin Buist says:

      How many times does Ron Paul have to condemn those newsletters before it counts?

      Daily, I think.

      • MicroBalrog says:

        I’m beginning to think that some semi-libertarian and conservative people simply do not actually want a radical to have a shot.

        • Wes says:

          Which radical guy? Ron Paul is the most constitutional guy running. Well, I suppose nowadays that would make him a radical. :P

          “To me, the radical part is overspending, over-borrowing, and then resorting to printing money when you run out of it. And then you wonder why you have financial problems….” – Ron Paul

  6. Wes says:

    People like picking out 10 sentences in newsletters from 20 years ago that Ron Paul says he didn’t write and has said they shouldn’t have been printed anyway. Meanwhile, the guy has been followed by the media for 25 years, has written 15(!) books, has made tons of speeches, is all over the internet, and has videos all over Youtube.

    Anyone who thinks he’s such a racist, post up some racist stuff from his 15 books and from the videos all over the internet. I’m sure there must be tons of racist things he’s said over the past 25 years, so go ahead and post them up. …

    IMO, these are the two best overall RP vids on the internet right now. There are plenty of good ones for specific topics, but if someone wants a Ron Paul 101 primer course, these are very good. Unfortunately, I see a lot of people bashing Paul who clearly have been misinformed on his actual policies. They’ll say blatantly wrong things like he’s for amnesty and open borders, etc, when that is the opposite of his position.

    Anyway, “The Only One We Can Trust” and “Stop Dreaming”
    If people watch these and then still want to bash Paul, fair enough.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohKz9OeiI0g
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3Bfz4qf_rA
    If someone is iffy on Paul’s foreign policy, “You Like Ron Paul, except on foreign policy” is excellent. Should probably be mandatory viewing in history classes, actually.

  7. Jeff says:

    I’ll be voting for Paul. I think he’d be a disaster in the general election, but he has little chance of getting the nomination. What I’m hoping for is that he wins enough delegates to have significant influence at the convention. I really think our best chance of saving the republic is to reform the Republican Party from within and get them back to their fiscal conservative roots.

    • I can’t say that I have any hope of getting the Republican Party back to its fiscal conservative roots, no matter how many delegates Ron Paul has at the convention. Our society is way too far down the moral slippery slope for that.

  8. mobo says:

    Ron Paul is the definition of authentic historical libertarianism. The Cato crowd is the new school, and has redefined what people believe libertarianism to be. I have respect for both camps, but it really bothers me when a Catoite accuses a (paleo)libertarian such as Ron Paul of being unlibertarian when nothing could be further from the truth.

    I like Ron Paul, but unfortunately I have family members living in DC who would almost certainly lose their jobs if he were elected. Family comes before principles.

    • Wes says:

      Proof that the handouts and welfare and bribes of big government work to further its agenda. Doing the right thing comes second when big government is paying you off.

    • DevsAdvocate says:

      Well, maybe they should work somewhere more worthwhile. If they aren’t doing something useful for the people, then I see no reason to spend taxpayer money on their salary and benefits.

      This being made on the assumption that your family works in one of the useless departments (EPA, ED, HUD, etc)

      • mobo says:

        Devilsadvocate:

        My father works for the Smithsonian and my Stepmother works for the NEH. We could definitely live without either of these departments, but atleast they’re not among the worst offenders.

    • I wouldn’t accuse Ron Paul of be unlibertarian. But refusing to reject support of neo-Nazis (who are explicitly unlibertarian) is just stupid.

      • mobo says:

        Clayton, I spent a bit of time reading through white nationalist forums, and they appear to be divided and confused as to what exactly they are supposed to stand for. Some are legitimate libertarians who want the government out of the way so they can be free to discriminate in the private sphere. Others want a powerful central government to enforce positive racial policy. There is quite a bit of difference in opinion among them, actually.

        In any event, Ron Paul is as close as any human can get to uncorruptable. I’d like to think that no interest group could buy his favor.

        • Confused is a good description. National socialism was never libertarian in Europe. Many American neo-Nazis, such as the guy who wrote The Turner Diaries, are clearly hostile to free market capitalism. There is a reason that segregation in this country required governmental regulation to maintain itself.

      • DevsAdvocate says:

        He pretty much stated he didn’t write those letters, and took responsibility for having them published under his name. He also doesn’t espouse those ideas either. What more do you want? Or are we gonna continue to waste oxygen over a few lines written in some no name newsletter two decades ago?

        • It is Ron Paul’s unwillingness to disavow neo-Nazis support NOW that is at issue, and which raises questions about how seriously he had not a clue about those newsletters.

          • MicroBalrog says:

            And this outweighs in your mind his position on gun rights, taxes, government spending, regulations…?

  9. Jeffrey H says:

    I will be voting for Ron. That being said I think he has a pretty low chance in the nomination race of the primaries but he actually polls extremely well against Obama. There are many on the left who will vote for Paul because of positions like being Anti-war, his stance on drugs and the patriot act. He can build a different coalition of independents, social liberals, and fiscal conservatives that no other candidate can build. And as far as guns go he is hands down the best candidate on guns. We would also see better judges nominated under Ron.

    • There are many on the left who will vote for Paul because of positions like being Anti-war, his stance on drugs and the patriot act.

      Whee! The 15% of Americans on the left, plus the 1% that are neo-Nazis, 2% that believe the Trilateralists/Illuminati/CFR/”international bankers of unspecified ethnicity” run the world, 3% who are gold bugs, and the 2% who believe the Federal Firearms Act of 1938 violates our Second Amendment rights comes to…not enough to win the election (except for Obama).

      • Wes says:

        If Paul gets 15% of the left vote, that’s 15% Obama isn’t getting. The only other Rep candidate to even have a chance at pulling in left voters is Romney, and I think he’d definitely pull in fewer than Paul would. Also, basically nobody on the right is going to vote for Obama. And Paul does great with independents.

      • DevsAdvocate says:

        +40% of the GOP that doesn’t want Obama winning another 4 years… Geez Clayton, how difficult is it for you to understand that given a choice between more Obama and less Obama, the GOP voters will always go for less. Even if it means electing Count Chocula. For the GOP, reason simply does not exist, they just want anyone but Obama.

        • Instapundit keeps saying that he would vote for a syphilitic camel over Obama. But much of America is going to either sit out the election, or vote for Obama, even if Obama’s attack ads accurately describe libertarian positions.

          Most Americans do not want the government to go away, or even substantially shrink. They may want particular nuisances to go away, but you can’t find much agreement about which nuisances that will be. Abolish all drug laws? Okay, that’s 80% of voters who will vote against Ron Paul. Abolish all governmental assistance to the blind, disabled, and TANF? That’s at least 80% of Americans who will be upset. Abolish governmental aid to colleges and college students? At least 60% of Americans will be upset by that. Abolish anti-discrimination laws? At least 40% of Americans will be riproaring upset, and another 20% will be uncomfortable.

          Americans are not comfortable with progressive nonsense. But they are even more uncomfortable with a libertarian society.

          • MicroBalrog says:

            Look at the numbers. Right now Ron Paul would be polling within a percentile point or two from Barack Obama. It’d revolve around who turns out more effective ads, ground game, and even on turnout.

          • mobo says:

            Clayton nails it right here. A libertarian society is something we should work toward, but it would be quite a shock if it came through like a tsunami.

  10. Diomed says:

    Meh. It’s just a farce at this point.

    The bus is heading over a cliff, so what good does it do to change drivers when there’s air under all the tires?

  11. John A says:

    Ron racist? Why, for the 2008 Presidential election, he endorsed Cynthia McKinney!
    And Ralpg Nader. And two other non-Republicans.

  12. DirtCrashr says:

    Ron Paul will get swept by the Establishment if he wins anything, and his supporters will still act like brownshirts.

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