Don’t Endorse Ron Paul

December 15th, 2011 at 11:08 am David Frum | 148 Comments |

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Andrew Sullivan declares himself for Ron Paul as the GOP presidential nominee, as he did in 2008 as well.

As Andrew himself jokes, the Sullivan endorsement is more likely to hurt Paul than help him. In any event, there is precisely zero likelihood of Paul winning the GOP nomination, although he may well help to stop Gingrich from winning it. Paul is inescapably a boutique candidate, appealing to a very particular fringe within the GOP.

But here’s what does need discussing, in the wake of Andrew’s endorsement of Paul.

Paul has had an outsize appeal to writers and intellectuals dissatisfied with the present state of Republicanism.

Some see him as a corrective to militaristic nationalism. Or as a principled champion of limited government. Or as a leader who can curb the excessive influence of social conservatives.

Those perceptions are not very realistic, but leave that pass for now. More to the point–even if true, which they are not, these are not the correctives present-day Republicanism most needs. The thing most wrong with present-day Republicanism is its passivity in the face of the economic crisis, its indifference to the economic troubles of the huge majority of the American population, and its blithe insistence that everything was fine for the typical American worker up until Inauguration Day 2009 or (at the outer bound of the thinkable) the financial crisis of the fall 2008.

It is the lack of concern to the travails of middle-class America that “reform Republicans” should most centrally be concerned with.

And no candidate in this race–ok, except maybe the defunct Herman Cain–has been more persistently, aggressively, and forcefully heedless of those travails than Ron Paul.

Everything else that’s wrong with Paul–the paranoia, the crank theories–exists as an adjunct to this first prime fault. And the success of Paul in winning a boutique audience for his message has driven the rest of the field to mimic his crank monetary theories. In the midst of the worst crisis since the 1930s, the one thing that all the current and former first-tier candidates have agreed upon (even Mitt Romney!) is the need for tighter money and higher interest rates. That should seem obviously nuts, and not in a theoretical or marginal way that denying evolution is nuts. The press for tighter money and higher interest rates now is the kind of nutty thing that a government can actually do--and that would inflict severe, immediate real-world harm on the US and world economy.

There’s much to dislike about Ron Paul’s politics, and I dislike every bit of it. (It’s maybe remote from current concerns, but at a minimum, I have no patience for a professed libertarian who openly prefers the slaveholding cause in the US Civil War.)

But the Ron Paul problem is bigger than Ron Paul the candidate. The real shame is the gravitational pull Paul exerts on exactly those people, like Andrew Sullivan, but many others too, who ought to be leading the fight for a GOP more attuned to the challenges and aspirations of middle-class America–but who have been attracted via Ron Paul to an ideological cure even worse than the right’s present political disease.

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148 Comments so far ↓

  • Carney

    Frum’s wearing down my resistance about economics. Against my inclination I’m coming around on issues like making deficits and debt a lower priority issue than immediate improvement in the economy and employment situation, including via active measures such as loose money and fast-moving spending on infrastructure.

    But for me, still, what chafes the most about Ron Paul is his foreign and national security policy. Ron Paul agrees with our enemies that America provoked 9/11, that our country is a “bully”, and that our troops should be forced to flee. He says he would have tipped off the corrupt, enemy-riddled government of Pakistan about our raid to get bin Laden. He believes with evident passion that the genocidal, apocalyptic zealots running Iran deserve to have nuclear weapons – note, not just that we should do nothing to stop them, but that they deserve nukes.

  • Ray_Harwick

    I will await Andrew’s response, which he virtually always offers to Mr. Frum, before making my endorsement. All this talk about gratational pull has me a little disoriented.

    • Ray_Harwick

      Just kidding.

      Paul 2012!

      No way I’m going to support the f*g bashers Romney, Gingrich, Santorum, Perry or Bachmann. In the aftermath of yet another gay teen suicide last week in Tennessee, all five of these bigots used the national stage to boast about their intention to punish gays the moment they get the power to do so in their hands. I’m sick of having a bigot like Romney rubbed in my nose and I just don’t know how David Frum could support a person of such a vulgar and de-humanizing sense of leadership; support that blackens the reputation of an otherwise reasonable man.

      • Ray_Harwick

        and finally…

        Sullivan: “And David is still wedded to a neoconservaive foreign policy, which is where another deep difference resides.”

        Nuff said.

        • Ray_Harwick

          SANTORUM UPDATE: From the confidental source for Dan Savage who attended a Santorum fund raiser in Iowa and took this picture:

          http://www.thestranger.com/images/blogimages/2011/12/12/1323757535-santorumspellsitout.jpg

          1.” Tim Kapucian (Iowa state senator) chatted up the two guys from Pennsylvania who brought the sign. He told them the following joke: “Why did Barney Frank decide to leave congress? Because he got offered the head coaching job at Penn State!”
          http://www3.legis.state.ia.us/ga/member.do;jsessionid=23A2249D485978BB1FAC020DDD075903?id=7483&ga=84

          2. [Source speaking about Santorum's remarks] “There was nothing explicitly homophobic in his remarks, as some might expect. His points were more generally about values and America. But contained therein was some pretty oddball conspiracy theories. To summarize, Barack Obama is purposefully pushing for college to be more affordable because he wants our children to be indoctrinated with liberal thinking. He called out the University of Iowa and Cal Berkley in particular. Apparently 62% of people of faith who go off to college become less religious as a result. Also, Obama’s emphasis on an information-economy rather than an old-style manufacturing-based economy is a plot to drain people out of the heartland into the big cities, where they become liberal. “Look at the map” he asked “where are the biggest pockets of blue? In the cities.” And all this is eroding America’s heritage and values, etc. As someone who was born and raised in a big city and continues to live there, and also went to college, I felt as though I and my friends and family were being made out to be the enemy, and somehow less-American that people who live in rural areas. So, that offended me. I mean really, college is the enemy?”

          See Mr. Frum? That’s your party. It now a plot against America for people to go to college.

        • think4yourself

          According to Santorum, it’s a vast Left-wing conspiracy.

        • Ray_Harwick

          Today In Romney Anti-gay bigotry:

          Romney Supports Constitution Amendment:
          After suffering national embarrassment at the hands of a gay-married Vietnam veteran, Mitt Romney has issued his new plan for marriage in which gays aren’t just second class, some of us are third. The Boston Herald notes:

          http://www.bostonherald.com/news/us_politics/view/2011_1214romney_moneys_no_object_for_voters_in_prez_election/srvc=home&position=5

          “[Romney] expressed support for a constitutional amendment that could create a complex three-tier system of marriage — maintaining marriage rights for straight couples, allowing gays who have already married to remain married, but barring future same-sex marriages. “I think it would keep intact those marriages which had occurred under the law but maintain future plans based on marriage being between a man and a woman,” Romney said.”

          So, now we’re talking 3rd class citizens for gays and lesbians. How “conservative” is that. How much more DAMAGING this would be to the institution of marriage!

  • LFC

    “And the success of Paul in winning a boutique audience for his message has driven the rest of the field to mimic his crank monetary theories.”

    You aren’t seriously blaming the failure of every Republican candidate and Congressman to embrace anything resembling sane economic policy on Ron Paul, are you? This brand of insanity started well before this Presidential election cycle and is vastly bigger than Ron Paul.

    As to Sullivan’s “endorsement”, I view it as pretty much an actual conservative saying “WTF” about the field of Republicans to choose from. Andrew simply realizes that Obama is the only sane person running for the Presidency and that’s who he’ll back. Waddya’ say, David. You know he’s right. Swallow hard and express your support forthe center-right candiate, Barack Obama.

  • Geprodis

    Carney – you are drinking the kool-aid. Ron Paul wants our troops to “flee”! Flee our hundreds of bases in other countries. We bring our troops home and then the Soviet Union comes in, and..oh wait, I mean Russia and China, yeah…they come in and take over the world! Our country didn’t deserve 9/11, but why didn’t the Eiffel tower get knocked down instead of the Trade Center?…because we have an empire in the middle east. You don’t like the word empire?…too bad.

    He never said Iran deserves nukes, but you have to keeps things in perspective…the crazy Islamic government came to power BECAUSE of American involvement in Iran.

    It isn’t enough to just read history, you have to also understand the lessons.

    As for Frum, he’s a joke. I read his forum for entertainment.

  • Secessionist

    Good for Andrew Sullivan. He is a man everyone respects.

    Some people are tired of the war on drugs, the endless war against “terror,” the increasingly routine use of police state measures in this country, the wealth transfers to the military industrial complex, and bailouts for Wall Street.

    On divisive social and cultural issues, Ron Paul’s vision for the country actually offers hope for reasonable compromise. Paul’s solution is simply to send many of these issues to the states so that the people who live in those states can resolve them. Why do Mississippi and Utah have to operate the same as Vermont and California?

    The US Federal Reserve System is network of private banks that control the entire US money supply with no accountability to the people. Giving private banking interests control of the money supply with no accountability to anyone but other bankers is outrageous and reason enough to take a hard look at abolishing that institution.

    • Cforchange

      “Why do Mississippi and Utah have to operate the same as Vermont and California?”

      Well I dunno, maybe to avoid a Euro type situation.

      If we go for states rights, cherry picking issues will not work. You might think it should be strictly social issues. But plenty may step forward and declare why stop there. Like, why not discontinue handouts from states that pay more into the Federal coffers than they receive.
      Perhaps states like Arkansas, Kentucky, and Lousiana should be required to live very lean based upon their own means. States rich with existing infastructure and abundant natural resources like New York and Pennsylvania would be wonderful places to be if we start looking at an unUnited States. Activities like interstate travel would come to an end. Mobility in every sense would cease should we travel this path.

      Do you really think that all 50 states could reach concensus on how we disagree? End you secession fantasy – migrating foreign is a simpler option. All this silly talk – we need a leader that can motivate the majority so we can tackle our serious issues.

      • Larz99

        But the federal system we have now leads to nothing happening, because there is so much arguing the only thing they can agree on is sending more money to Wall Street. We aren’t Europe, we don’t have linguistic and cultural differences going back thousands of years, but we do have differences, so why not let us be different rather than forcing us all into a middle road that satisfies no one and only enriches the politicians and their cronies.

        How about we let Kansas ban abortion and the West Coast legalize marijuana. Deal?

        • sweatyb

          Seriously?

        • Larz99

          Yes, because it is none of my business. I don’t like some of the laws they make in Ecuador, but I also don’t feel it is my place to tell them what to do, they make their own laws. Why should it be any different with Kansas? I am 1600 miles from Kansas, but only 100 miles from Canada, should I get to have a say in their laws. ( Yes, I realize the irony of saying that on a Canadian blog about American politics…)

        • think4yourself

          @ Larz: “But the federal system we have now leads to nothing happening, because there is so much arguing the only thing they can agree on is sending more money to Wall Street.”

          And you think a massive expansion of States Rights will cure that?

          Should Arizona be allowed to post their National Guard on the Mexican Border and have different rules of engagement than Texas, New Mexico or California?

          If black & white couple get married in CA, should OK be allowed to nullify that?

          And I didn’t even bring up those depts. that RP wants to shutter such as the Dept of Education (not gonna happen, the states won’t give up the 130 billion in Education funds that Washington sends their way), or Dept of Transportation (same as Education).

  • Reflection Ephemeral

    Y’know, I’m inclined to agree with about everything you say about Ron Paul, particularly his gold-standard-as-silver-bullet crankishness and his mind-bendingly mistimed ideas about monetary policy. What’s more, Paul has some extremely sketchy associations in his past, his newsletter having run some extremely distasteful commentary about various minorities.

    But he at least tries to come up with some intellectual framework for his ideas. Yes, the GOP is stupid to be following Paul’s stupid ideas about monetary policy. But that’s where Paul’s been all along. As opposed to people like Paul Ryan, who rode the Bush-Cheney “deficits don’t matter” train for all it was worth– voting for Medicare Part D, voting against making it more cost-effective, voting for the invasion and occupation of Iraq, voting for the Bush fiscal policies. And who now claims that we need to phase out Medicare. Because of the deficit. That he worked so hard to create.

    Republicans like Ryan, Romney, Gingrich, et al are just opposing whatever America is doing right now, without regard to rationality or consistency, because they are animated by rabid resentment for the commander-in-chief. (See here for a slew of issues on which the entirety of the GOP has entirely reversed field, because they care only about tactics, not about policy or America’s well-being: http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_06/024459.php ). Paul may be egregiously wrongheaded, but at least he’s honest about it. Which puts him light years ahead of pretty much anyone else in the entire Republican Party.

    And that about sums things up for today’s GOP. No one else in the GOP can do any better than that. “Wrong, But Principled. Paul ’12!”

    It might be that our discourse would be more rational if people like Ron Paul were more frequently included in the national debate. http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=1628

    Looking at two weeks of coverage (1/30/03-2/12/03), FAIR examined the 393 on-camera sources who appeared in nightly news stories about Iraq on ABC World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly Newsand PBS’s NewsHour With Jim Lehrer. The study began one week before and ended one week after Secretary of State Colin Powell’s February 5 presentation at the U.N., a time that saw particularly intense debate about the idea of a war against Iraq on the national and international level. More than two-thirds (267 out of 393) of the guests featured were from the United States. Of the U.S. guests, a striking 75 percent (199) were either current or former government or military officials. Only one of the official U.S. sources– Sen. Edward Kennedy (D.-Mass.)– expressed skepticism or opposition to the war. … Of all official sources, 75 percent (222 of 297) were associated with either the U.S. or with governments that support the Bush administration’s position on Iraq; only four out of those 222, or 2 percent, of these sources were skeptics or opponents of war. … Of all official sources, 14 percent (43 of 297) represented a position skeptical or opposed to the U.S. war policy. … Yet, at a time when 61 percent of respondents in a CBS poll (2/5-6/03) were saying that they felt the U.S. should “wait and give the United Nations and weapons inspectors more time,” only 16 of the 68 U.S. guests (24 percent) who were not officials represented such views. Half of the non-official U.S. skeptics were “persons in the street”; five of them were not even identified by name. …

  • Oldskool

    I’m for anyone who reminds me of Pat Paulsen.

  • anonoped

    So Republicans have just sat idly by while the economy was driven off a cliff waging two wars with a cost coming in north of four trillion dollars?

    You need to lay off the Xanax because it’s affecting your memory.

    Republicans are fully 50% responsible or more for our current crisis and to pretend otherwise is disingenuous bordering on propaganda.

    There is no difference between Obama and the rest of the Republican field in any way except for Ron Paul and that’s why he’s gaining traction.

    You ignore it at the expense of your credibility.

    • armstp

      “There is no difference between Obama and the rest of the Republican field in any way except for Ron Paul and that’s why he’s gaining traction.”

      Your tinfoil hat is on sideways. No difference between Obama and the Republican field? How do you figure?

      > cutting taxes versus increasing taxes
      > saving the auto sector versus letting it die
      > limiting damage to Medicare and Social Security versus and all out war on Social Security and Medicare
      > Gays in the military.
      etc. etc. etc.

      • anonoped

        Presidential assassinations.
        Continuation of Guantanimo Bay.
        Continuation of extraordinary rendition. (Afghanistan)
        Obama balked at ending Bush’s Iraq war – wanted it extended.
        Continuation of deficit spending.
        Approval and continuation of the bailouts.
        Continuation of the neocon trotsky foreign policy of invade first spread ‘democracy’ later.
        foisting a government mandate – healthcare on the people – romney’s plan.

        I could go on and on. Most of you have your head in the sand.

        • sweatyb

          Says the person who thinks putting just the right person into the White House would make all the problems of the world go away.

  • overshoot

    And no candidate in this race–ok, except maybe the defunct Herman Cain–has been more persistently, aggressively, and forcefully heedless of those travails than Ron Paul.And no candidate in this race–ok, except maybe the defunct Herman Cain–has been more persistently, aggressively, and forcefully heedless of those travails than Ron Paul.

    That’s true, but only because there aren’t any of them any less unconcerned than he is. It’s a uniform characteristic, although admittedly the others haven’t gone so far as to join Romney in explicitly blaming the current economy on Barack Obama.

  • David Frum Accuses Ron Paul of Openly Preferring "the slaveholding cuase," and says "there's much to dislike about Ron Paul's politics, and I dislike every bit of it" - Hit & Run : Reason Magazine

    [...] "Unpatriotic Conservatives" Frum has, in the wake of Andrew Sullivan's endorsement, delivered a withering anti-endorsement of Ron Paul for president. [...]

  • jdd_stl1

    “It is the lack of concern to the travails of middle-class America that “reform Republicans” should most centrally be concerned with.”

    And, Mr. Frum, will you vote for the candidate in the general election that
    most supports POLICIES that will address the travails of middle-class America?
    Or will you vote for the GOP candidate?

  • JosephP

    Andrew Sullivan writes, “The constant refrain on Fox News that this man has ‘zero chance’ of being the nominee is a propagandistic lie. Nationally, Paul is third in the polls at 9.7 percent. In Iowa, he may win. In New Hampshire, it is Paul, not Gingrich, who is rising this week as Romney drifts down.”

    The fact that Frum actually uses the “zero likelihood” line in his comments above does say something about Frum. Frum can show independent thought, which is a breath of fresh air in Republican circles. But although he may be in poor standing, he ultimately is a Tribal Member of the Party, and sees it as his duty to help prevent a mutiny from below by repeating the talking points from above.

    • Reflection Ephemeral

      Lemme defend David Frum on this one.

      It’s one thing for Fox News, the PR wing of the Republican Party, to constantly reinforce to voters that Paul can’t win. It’s different for Frum, as a pundit, to write that, in his view, Paul has no chance. I think it’s true: the entire GOP elite can’t stand that guy, and if he comes anywhere near winning anything, the entirety of the Party will be attacking him day & night to drive his support back down.

    • medinnus

      Frum is correct; Ron Paul does have an essentially zero chance, but his value (at least to me) is not as a GOP nominee. His value is as an unflinchingly consistent voice, raising issues from alternate perspectives. While I agree with him on several issues, he’d be a disaster of a President; but as a voice who speaks to the waste of the War on Drugs, the futility and mis-characterization of the War on Terror, the erosion of American civil liberties and fundamental values *waves g’bye to h. corpus*, he greatly adds to the national discussion.

  • Rabiner

    I support Paul on half of the issues. The problem is the other half I completely disagree with him on is what drives me to never vote for the man.

    Agree with him on the War on Drugs, preemptive war, and civil liberties.

    Disagree with him on State Rights, isolationism, abolishing the Fed, and the gold standard.

    • anonoped

      So you’re okay with the FED bailing out Europe with taxpayer money with no oversight from the Congress?

      Where is Ron Paul an isolationist? What isolationist statements has he made?

      • LFC

        Looking at the GOP lead Congress’s track record on the budget, I wouldn’t want them within a million miles of the nation’s monetary policy. I fear what the Fed can do far less than I fear what I know Congress would do.

      • Rabiner

        First off, I’ll never want Congressional oversight of the Fed. They’d just inject politics into the policy making decisions of the Fed. The occasional audit is about all I’m okay with.

        Second, the Fed doesn’t actually use taxpayer money except in the sense when it buys and sells the Treasury bonds it owns to change the interest rates of the US dollar. If purchasing some sovereign debt of European countries causes economic growth, a trend towards full employment, and low inflation here (its dual purpose) then whats the problem?

        Ron Paul is very isolationist with his world view and where America stands in it. He talks about preemptive war and the requirement of Congress to approve war (I agree with) but does not stop there. He seems to be openly willing to let other countries act how they see fit regardless of the implications on American interests (a libertarian approach). While I don’t agree with neo-Conservatives, I do think there is a role for America in using soft power to influence other governments to act in our best interest.

        Again, his economic policies are the largest problem since they have the ability to put the world in another depression (not recession).

        • anonoped

          First off. You need to read the Constitution. The Congress is to control the issuance of money not a private bank (the FED). Politics are already injected into the FEDs monetary policy and to believe otherwise is delusional.

          You profess for an audit yet the only one ever done in the last 100 years was push for by Ron Paul and it was only partially acquiesced to: The outcome was Senator Sanders publishing the results on his .gov page showing the FED had created an extra 16 trillion dollars on the books and given without recourse half of it away including about 5 trillion to overseas banks and countries.

          Your second paragraph defies logic and if you think inflation is low here then again you’re delusional. Inflation is at 8% and rising.

          You agree with Ron Paul about the Congress’ need to declare war yet don’t care that we don’t.

          The rest of your third paragraph pretty much confirms you’re not a conservative but a fascist socialist. And you are agreeing with the Trotskite neocons whether you say you are or not.

          FYI, we’re already in ‘another’ depression. Caused by Greenspan and Bernake playing politics with the money supply.

          Why don’t they report the M3 anymore?
          Why does the central bank in all countries hold gold as a reserve? Tradition?

        • Rabiner

          “First off. You need to read the Constitution. The Congress is to control the issuance of money not a private bank (the FED). Politics are already injected into the FEDs monetary policy and to believe otherwise is delusional.”

          If that’s the case, then the First Bank of the United States (the one Hamilton ran) would of been unconstitutional. Congress controls the purse of government, not the currency. Currency is an Executive Branch directive which the Federal Reserve resides as its Governors and Chairmen are appointed by the Executive Branch.

          “Your second paragraph defies logic and if you think inflation is low here then again you’re delusional. Inflation is at 8% and rising.”

          Show me the statistics that inflation is 8% and rising because I haven’t seen anything close to that from government reports.

          “The rest of your third paragraph pretty much confirms you’re not a conservative but a fascist socialist. And you are agreeing with the Trotskite neocons whether you say you are or not.”

          First off, I never said i was a conservative. Also I don’t see how I’m being fascist when I want our government to use diplomacy in a more active way to achieve our national interests, you’ll need to enlighten me on that.

          “Why does the central bank in all countries hold gold as a reserve? Tradition?”

          Some of it is tradition, some of it is the fact it’s a commodity they own and are holding onto it until they need to sell it. It’s an asset.

        • Larz99

          “First off, I’ll never want Congressional oversight of the Fed. They’d just inject politics into the policy making decisions of the Fed.”

          Yes, because letting a bunch of unelected businessmen decide which of their friends to give a trillion dollars to is much better.

        • sweatyb

          mentioning Paul’s name has flushed out a couple new libertarians apparently

        • gmat

          “Ron Paul is very isolationist with his world view and where America stands in it.”

          I don’t think that word means what you think it means. Look it up. Then specify what Ron Paul has advocated that makes him an “isolationist.”

      • think4yourself

        @ Anonoped: “So you’re okay with the FED bailing out Europe with taxpayer money with no oversight from the Congress?”

        The FED is independent, but they do report to Congress and are responsive to what Congress has to say. They are not controlled by Congress, because Congress has proven itself to be interested in politics first (and last) and governance not at all.

        As to FED bailing out Europe, while RP would prefer we have zero entanglements with any country, the facts are our economies are connected worldwide. The US does better if Europe is also doing better (and Asia and South America, etc.). The reality is that America became a superpower because of bailing out Europe with the Marshall Plan – so a knee jerk response about “bailing out Europe seems to me to require greater thought.

        And yes, Ron Paul is an isolationist. It would be tough for him to do as much damage to foriegn relationships as GWB, but I’ll bet he’d give it a try.

  • Graychin

    “Andrew Sullivan… ought to be leading the fight for a GOP more attuned to the challenges and aspirations of middle-class America–but (has) been attracted via Ron Paul to an ideological cure even worse than the right’s present political disease.”

    That’s true only if you care more about the health of the Republican Party than about anything else. It’s easy to see why someone who makes his living as a Professional Republican feels that way. Others feel party loyalty to Republicans because Daddy was a Republican – or something like that.

    Yes, Ron Paul is a crazy crank, but I’m not convinced that he would make a worse president than any of the other Republican candidates. Bachmann and Santorum are even crazier cranks, and at least Paul believes in something besides his own ambitions – unlike Romney or Gingrich.

    I was actually a registered Republican before 1998. When we moved, my wife and I both changed our party when we updated our voter registrations. As my wife put it, being a Republican made her “feel dirty.” Newt of the Nineties had a lot to do with that “dirty” feeling.

  • zaybu

    “…the one thing that all the current and former first-tier candidates have agreed upon (even Mitt Romney!) is the need for tighter money and higher interest rates. That should seem obviously nuts, and not in a theoretical or marginal way that denying evolution is nuts.”

    I agree. That is sheer insanity. Plus, the idiotic pursuit of making a constitutional amendment for a balanced budget. Adding to that is the GOP gone on bashing the FED, which can only make it harder for the FED to stabilize the economy in future downfalls.

    This country is going down the tube if any of these mad men wins in 2012.

    • JimBob

      So trashing the dollar and adding more debt is good for the economy?? Frum is a lousy historian .

      “We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work. I want to see this country prosperous. I want to see people get a job. I want to see people get enough to eat. We have never made good on our promises. I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started. And an enormous debt to boot! —–Henry Morgenthau Jr. — close friend, lunch companion, loyal secretary of the Treasury to President Franklin D. Roosevelt — and key architect of FDR’s New Deal.

      The date: May 9, 1939. The setting: Morgenthau’s appearance in Washington before less influential Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee.

      What Frum pushes didn’t work in the 1930s, 1970s, and it sure in hell isn’t working now.

  • Rick123

    Each candidate must pass the “shiver test.” If the thought of that person having access to the nuclear codes gives you the creepy shivers, then they should never be president, no matter what their other policies. Paul is the only Republican candidate in my mind that passes this test.

    • LFC

      On the upside, half the Republican field wouldn’t be bright enough to read the nuclear (excuse me, nucular) codes and punch them in on a keypad.

  • adamcarralejo

    “The thing most wrong with present-day Republicanism is its passivity in the face of the economic crisis, its indifference to the economic troubles of the huge majority of the American population, and its blithe insistence that everything was fine for the typical American worker up until Inauguration Day 2009 or (at the outer bound of the thinkable) the financial crisis of the fall 2008.”

    Fantastic, fantastic point that can’t be repeated enough – why I check FrumForum everyday.

    Here’s the problem, Frum; which presidential candidate is most likely to correct the party’s perspective and encourage “… a GOP more attuned to the challenges and aspirations of middle-class America …?”

    hint: he’s probably not running for the Republican ticket … maybe the Republican party needs (deserves?) to lose right now.

  • Frumplestiltskin

    To be fair to Sullivan, he said if Huntsman were getting traction he would have endorsed him. I still don’t understand why David does not outright endorse Huntsman, and then list Romney as his second choice (hell, the only other viable choice, and what a bizarre world it has become when the only two viable Republicans are both Mormons)

    Ron Paul is an old man, he would be nearly 77 and a 1/2 in Jan. 2013 (at his age I simply can’t say will be). I would not trust a 77 year old to drive a school bus much less be President of the United States. I would deride his narcissism for running if I believed he thought he had an honest chance, I think he is simply trying to push the Republican party in his direction. I simply don’t take him seriously.

    • anonoped

      Gingrich is only five years younger. So he’s disqualified also right?

    • Larz99

      How old was Reagan when he was elected?

    • PracticalGirl

      To be fair to Sullivan, he said if Huntsman were getting traction he would have endorsed him.

      Many conservatives mouth this sentiment. When they want to appear “sane” even while spouting insane things, Huntsman has become the go-to guy for the rank and file base as well as pundits and media types. Sullivan is a top tier offender. “I’d back Huntsman, if I thought he had any traction…” and then…A Ron Paul endorsement??? There is absolutely no line that would naturally take one from Huntsman to Paul, unless that person is admitting that Barack Obama is the only sane choice (a position I think Sullivan holds) and that his “endorsement” is simply to find the GOPer easiest to beat.

      And BTW- it’s time to call Sullivan and all the rest on this “oh-but-only-if-he-would-show-well” crap. Huntsman has just overtaken Paul in New Hampshire.

      • sweatyb

        If Huntsman was as feisty as Paul (or if Paul had Huntsman’s worldview) the Republicans would have their candidate for 2012. But Huntsman cannot seem to muster the charisma necessary to step out of Romney’s ever-diminishing shadow.

        • PracticalGirl

          If the Republican base had anything resembling a true conservative bend, they would have gotten behind Rick Santorum a long, long time ago. Instead, they seem to be pinging from one charismatic flip-flopper to the next. Sort of funny when you remember that, in ’08, charisma was a dirty word specifically because Obama had it.

  • Frumplestiltskin

    oh, and great piece by David, I had to double check to actually see it was written by him.

  • Cato

    Perfect endorsement Frum. Your a neoconservative socialist warmonger statist.

  • midwest guy

    Ron Paul should definitely not be our next President—-and I suspect even Andrew Sullivan secretly agrees with me. The reason for Andrew’s endorsement is because Ron Paul is the only authentic person running for the GOP ticket. All the others (with perhaps the exception of Huntsman) are self-promoting narcissists without a shred of moral character. The GOP has devolved into a circus, which is why Ron Paul stands out.

    Andrew knows that Paul is the only man in the race who has told the truth about the unnecessary wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Paul correctly understands that these failed wars have cost and will continue to cost our nation dearly for many years, with no clear benefit whatsoever.

    While it apparently drives Mr. Frum crazy, and is undoubtedly the source of Frum’s greatest discomfort with Paul, Mr. Paul also tells the truth about our relationship with many of our
    current foreign beneficiaries, including Israel.

    Andrew likes Paul because Paul really believes what he says, and really believes these policies he promotes are best for our nation, no matter how strange some of his ideas may be.

    Paul may be a nut, but he is an honest, consistent, and honorable nut. We certainly cannot say any similar things about the rest of the GOP field.

    • medinnus

      As a regular reader of Andrew Sullivan, I can assure you that he is a supporter of President Obama; his endorsement of a GOP candidate is problematic, at best.

    • jamesj

      “Andrew likes Paul because Paul really believes what he says, and really believes these policies he promotes are best for our nation, no matter how strange some of his ideas may be.”

      I totally understand what you’re saying and I really like Paul on a gut level for the same reasons. But strict ideological adherence to bad/harmful ideas is a powerful disqualifier in my eyes. I’d much prefer good ideas/policies to ideological sincerity.

      “Paul may be a nut, but he is an honest, consistent, and honorable nut.”

      I’ll support a disingenuous sane politician over a genuine nut politician any day when it comes to such an important position. I’d rather be friends with the honorable nut. I’m sure he’d be the better overall human being, but sanity and prudence are highly underrated qualities in modern politics. I believe they are preferable even to the quality of honesty (although one can certainly find modern politicians who possess all of the above). The stakes are really high and the quality of a candidate’s ideas/policies are of utmost importance.

  • jamesj

    Gotta agree strongly with Frum’s main points. I see that Sullivan offered a short rebuttal which says, in part:

    “My endorsement was not of all his proposals but in part to expose the fallacy of these abstractions in our current context, by airing them openly. An electoral defeat on pure Tea Party grounds would advance the kind of reforms David and I want.”

    Haha. So Sullivan is saying he’s shrewdly endorsed Ron Paul because he is certain some of Paul’s ideas are rubbish and that Paul’s electoral defeat would bring about positive changes in the Republican party. Not very good reasoning if you ask me. And also not what Sullivan outlined in his actual endorsement text.

  • jamesj

    The modern party is obviously stuck in a horrific position of its own making. No one with any sense actually likes any of the current crop of presidential contenders. All this hand-wringing stinks of desperation. But we reap what we sow.

    I’m half-heartily putting my support behind the most sober Republican candidate when it comes to the most sobering issue of our times, the economy and the fake panic some have created about debt/spending. Romney or Huntsman look like they hold the winner’s trophy so far.

    I agree with Frum that Ron Paul is 100% incorrect/unrealistic about this most pressing issue. I like him as a person, but I disagree strongly with his policy positions on this important issue. You can do the most good with your primary vote by supporting the most reasonable policy option, not by playing tricks and setting up some kind of Rube Goldberg contraption that hoists up the worst policy in order to watch it topple down. I think Sullivan is playing silly games here.

    Note that I said I’d support the “most sober” Republican in the primary. In the general election I will once again support the “most sober” option. That will likely be Obama from everything I see so far. I won’t abide mindless pandering to austerity and fear mongering from the depths of a recession. If a Republican candidate wants a shot at my vote in the general election they’ll have to swiftly pivot from the bull dung they are peddling and actually talk some sense in the general election environment. Even then, I’ll be left with an awful task trying to decide if they are sincere. We can see Obama has been pushing reasonable traditionally Conservative economic policies for the most part, and he’s gotten little in return aside from spit in his face.

    • anonoped

      “I won’t abide mindless pandering to austerity and fear mongering from the depths of a recession.”

      So your solution is to spend money until we’re out of debt/recession and then to institute a plan to pay it all back? If so then you may want to stock up on guns and bullets because that idea has not only never worked in the history of mankind but if successfully implemented will bring the collapse of the American Empire.

      You’ll need to have a conversation with yourself one day. Ask yourself: If I ran my household budget like the government runs theirs. How long until I would be bankrupt, in debt and have IRS agents seeking my imprisonment?

      • sweatyb

        If I ran my household budget like the government runs theirs…

        Similarly non-sequitor:

        “If I drove my car like this pilot flies the airplane…”
        “If I ate dinner like a car mechanic fixes a transmission…”

        You’re new here, so I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. Please understand these two facts:

        1. A government is not like a household in any practical way.
        2. Macro-economics is a vastly different field than micro-economics.

      • icarusr

        “How long until I would be bankrupt, in debt and have IRS agents seeking my imprisonment?”

        Evidently, you are ignorant not just of the basic principles of economics, as Sweaty notes, but also of simple rules of tax law. The IRS will seek your imprisonment not because of bankruptcy or debt, but because of tax evasion. As in, lying on your tax returns. That is to say, pretending that your income is lower than it actually is or presenting fake receipts for your deductions. You can owe the IRS back taxes; you just pay a relatively high interest rate (and penalties).

        Hard to take you seriously with these pedestrian exaggerations.

      • jamesj

        Hello anonoped. I’d like to respond to your comment. It seems to lack a sense of proportion. At the very least it is hyperbole, no? But I’d like to give you the benefit of the doubt and respond to a few points you made.

        1) “So your solution is to spend money until we’re out of debt/recession and then to institute a plan to pay it all back?”
        Spending money will increase our debt in the short term for the most part, so no you have not accurately described my plan. But no one, not Obama and not the majority of Democratic lawmakers on capitol hill, is proposing to spend and spend until we’re out of a recession. That is only ONE major tool that could help according to mainstream economics, most policy makers throughout Western Civilization, and little old me. Why dismiss it so quickly? There is of course a trade-off between debt and deficit spending/investment to help alleviate a recession. We have to decide which is the more pressing concern. I believe that there are ways for a society or a nation to invest wisely in itself, in its own infrastructure, in its own education, etc. That hardly makes me a Socialist.

        2) “If so then you may want to stock up on guns and bullets because that idea has not only never worked in the history of mankind…”
        It sounds like you are implying that never in the history of mankind has a society or government fell into an economic recession and then used collective spending/investments (amongst other tools) to pull the economy out of its nosedive. Is that really what you are implying? Most modern economists would disagree with this view. We can think of counter-examples pretty quickly. How about massive spending and government subsidized industrialization for WWII? Sure, no historical example could prove you right or wrong 100%, but there are many historical examples going back to the Greek city states that circumstantially sit counter to your position (as well as many examples that circumstantially support you). There is no rule saying that deficit spending is always bad. That’s all I’m saying. I disagree with a knee-jerk reaction to say that deficit spending is categorically bad for a country. It can be beneficial in the right context.

        3) “If I ran my household budget like the government runs theirs…”
        This analogy has been discussed and dismantled many times in many discussion venues over the last few years. I won’t rehash all of the well-known reasons why such an analogy is inaccurate and misleading (sweatyb mentions one good point above). But I will say this: the notion that the finances of a nation should be simple and austere like the finances of an individual or family is not only inaccurate but also dangerous. There are important reasons why the majority of living economists feel the gold standard exposes a nation to painful economic shocks. There are important reasons why the majority of living economists feel a low level of constant monetary inflation is the best blend of risk and stability for any growing economy. There is a reason why almost no successful nation in the modern world institutes anything similar to a balanced budget amendment. These are complex issues and we can’t get into the details right now, but when you study macroeconomics you start to realize there are no easy answers and treating the finances of a country like the finances of a man would be a disaster for several important reasons. This is why The Austrian School is so marginalized within the field of mainstream economics. I’ve read every major work from the Austrian School. I respect those great thinkers and learn much from them. But their overall view on macroeconomics is too idealistic and suffers great problems when practiced on a large scale, mainly because competitors who don’t practice the same policies will outgrow you and leave you in the dust within a generation. As a result, the Austrians have always been a marginal school of thought to professional economists despite recently coming into vogue from an ideological angle because their policy proposals happen to sit well with a new ideology that is cropping up.

        4) From a traditional Conservative point of view I think it is important to recognize the reactionary and utopian flavor of this new style of popular libertarianism that’s sprung up in the last 10 years in some parts of the Western World. If the economics of radical libertarianism made sense pragmatically then I’d support them in a heartbeat. But after spending over a decade studying these issues deeply I don’t find libertarian economics convincing and as a result I feel this new philosophy is dangerous for the country. Case in point: the debt ceiling debacle.

        Just wanted to explain a little bit about why you and I disagree. I hope you’ll read these comments in the spirit of respectful debate and not take them as an insult, which they are not meant to be.

  • Larz99

    “there is precisely zero likelihood of Paul winning the GOP nomination” Why not? Because you don’t want him to?

    I voted for Obama in 2008, and you can definitely call me disappointed, but I’m never going to vote for any of the other war-hungry Republicans. If it’s Ron Paul, however, me and a lot of others like me will vote for him, and no matter what David Frum has to say about it, he just may win.

    I will vote for Ron Paul, because I am sick of Wall Street getting showered in money from Washington DC no matter which party is in office. Mark my words if it’s not Ron Paul the giant vampire squid and the rest of wall street will just keep leeching money off of the rest of us.

  • armstp

    The most interesting thing about Paul is that he might run as a third-party candidate. That will have to hurt the Republican Party.

    • Larz99

      It won’t be good for the dems either if he wins!

      • sweatyb

        Keep shining you crazy diamond! Dream the impossible dream.

        Though it seems to me that once libertarian politicians start debating against people who are capable and willing to point out the disastrous consequences of their policy positions, the electorate loses interest.

        • Larz99

          It’s ok, they said Ron Paul was a vanity candidate, then they said he was a sideshow, then a spoiler, and now he might win, but it will only prove the irrelevance of the Iowa Caucuses. I wonder what they’re going to say next week…

        • Watusie

          They will say “Ron Paul as the GOP frontrunner? LOL, and thank you very much, Baby Jesus!”

    • Secessionist

      Is that a bad thing?

    • Cindyflo

      It will hurt both sides.

      • sweatyb

        I’m pretty sure it’ll just hurt Republicans. Just like Nader hurt Gore and Perot hurt Bush I. Sure they probably pealed off a few votes from the other party, but the majority of their support came out of one party’s base.

        In this case, Paul would deprive the Republican candidate of the 10% of their base that’s libertarian. I don’t think the anti-war left would abandon Obama in large enough numbers to counteract that.

        • SeaTeaPea

          I actually know quite a few Obama voters who say they would vote for him. I don’t know how far you can extrapolate my anecdotal evidence, but it has been a lot more people saying it than I would have expected.

  • Houndentenor

    Of course the GOP establishment is freaking out (again) over Ron Paul. Paul blows the lid off their own duplicity. Paul actually is a small government conservative. He’s the only one on the stage and his presence only serves to highlight the fact that the GOP has talked about smaller government for 35 years now while expanding the government every time they got in power.

    I disagree with Paul about a lot, but I probably agree with him about more things than I do any of the others. He has no chance of winning mostly because most Republicans don’t really want smaller government. They just want other people’s benefits to be cut.

    • kuri3460

      What precisely do you agree with? Going back to the gold standard, which was governed and manipulated by regulatory bodies like the Fed? His isolationist international policy? His argument that, theoretically, states should still allow slavery if they really want to?

      • Houndentenor

        Let’s see: He voted to repeal DADT. I agree with him on that. He was against the Iraq War. So was I. He’s not a fan of the war on drugs or prosecuting people under federal law when state law allows them to use marijuana medicinally. Things like that.

        I’m not going to vote for him over Obama. I’m probably not even going to vote for him next Novemember (I’m currently living in his district). But I do agree with him more often than I agree with Gingrich or Santorum. Don’t strawman me. You know full well I don’t agree with most of what he says, but that’s more than the zero times I agree with most of the other right wing buffoons running this year. His libertarian stance on many social issues lines up with mine. No, I don’t think we should go back on the gold standard and the other loony tunes economic ideas he spouts.

      • JimBob

        You don’t understand the Classical Gold Standard. Under the CGS people not bankers or politicians are in charge of money. That’s what makes it the ideal monetary system.

        When banks have issued too much currency and credit people can take their paper and exchange it for a fixed amount of gold. When enough people start doing it, this signals the monetary authorities that they’ve put too much currency in the economy. They withdraw paper until people stop. The free market at work. Not central like we have now.

    • Okie Exile

      Ron Paul sometimes talks a good game, but the truth is that he hasn’t really accomplished much of anything toward his supposed goals in his many years in Congress. He complains about the Fed and about spending, but makes sure his home district is nicely pork-fed. He talks about civil liberties, but seems to be very quiet when it comes to promoting those ideas as a contrast to other candidates (he’s anti-choice for “personal reasons”, and if he’s against the PATRIOT Act, the “War on Drugs” and DOMA, I haven’t heard it in any of these debates).

      Contrast this to someone like Gary Johnson, who actually governed in a libertarian-influenced fashion. It seems that if people really wanted a Libertarian, they would support Johnson; Paul’s appeal often appears to be his crankiness.

      • hisgirlfriday

        Ron Paul talked about the Patriot Act in the last debate and earlier debates.

        Drugs didn’t come up IIRC, but he has explained his position on the war on drugs several times during this election campaign.

        I personally prefer Gary Johnson to Ron Paul because of Johnson’s pro-choice stance and his only wanting to legalize pot rather than all drugs, but Ron Paul has not hidden from his stances on the war on drugs or the Patriot Act. It’s precisely why he’s so popular with young people.

  • kuri3460

    Saying that Ron Paul has some good some points is like saying that drinking a mixture of water and antifreeze will quench your thirst.

  • Secessionist

    Ron Paul/Ralph Nadar

    A third party dream ticket that with the potential to wreak havoc on this election.

    Anti-war/anti-Wall Street. Enough said.

  • Ray_Harwick

    Romney Supports Constitution Amendment:
    After suffering national embarrassment at the hands of a gay-married Vietnam veteran, Mitt Romney has issued his new plan for marriage in which gays aren’t just second class, some of us are third. The Boston Herald notes:
    http://www.bostonherald.com/news/us_politics/view/2011_1214romney_moneys_no_object_for_voters_in_prez_election/srvc=home&position=5

    “[Romney] expressed support for a constitutional amendment that could create a complex three-tier system of marriage — maintaining marriage rights for straight couples, allowing gays who have already married to remain married, but barring future same-sex marriages. “I think it would keep intact those marriages which had occurred under the law but maintain future plans based on marriage being between a man and a woman,” Romney said.”

    So, now we’re talking 3rd class citizens for gays and lesbians.

  • Secessionist

    The complete dishonesty of the anti-Paul liberals who reject Paul’s stance on the Fed is disgusting in addition to ill informed.

    Liberals correctly point out the need for aggressive oversight of banking and finance. At the same time, however, they support allowing an entirely private banking cartel unfettered control of the American money supply.

    Who do the hell do you think OWNS the private banks in the Federal Reserve system people?

    • sweatyb

      Dishonesty? Really? Look in the mirror.

      Ron Paul is a libertarian. He’s not going to push for stronger regulations on anything. Are you so desperate for an alternative to the status quo that you will back a candidate who actively champions the opposite of what you clearly believe in?

    • think4yourself

      Are you suggesting that we ought to nationalize the banks? That’s what Krugman thinks.

  • Saladdin

    Doesn’t matter if Paul wins IA and NH. The southern firewall will stop his momentum. Brokered convention anyone?

    • Larz99

      I dunno, that is State’s Rights country…

      • Saladdin

        Not really. FP hawks in military country, so no way he wins SC or FL. No way.

        • Watusie

          Perhaps his undeniable white supremacist cred will be enough to offset this weakness and allow him to squeak through.

        • think4yourself

          I doubt it, Paul’s followers are not evangelical enough (your known by the company you keep). SC is too evangelical and FL is both evangelical and seniors who really don’t want RP messing with the parts of gov’t that pay them.

        • JimBob

          You still haven’t said one intelligent thing on this forum.

          NAACP defends Ron Paul

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGhv3paNz6U

        • Watusie

          You lie.

          The NAACP never defended Ron Paul. You are banking on the assumption that no one will click on you link and see how lameass your support for your ridiculous assertion is.

          Not only did Ron Paul send out vile racist crap in his newsletter but he is still pal’n ’round with white supremacists and accepting their campaign donations to this day.

        • nhthinker

          UPDATE: Nelson Linder contacted our office and wanted prisonplanet.com to stress the fact that he made his comments as a private citizen, not as president of the Austin NAACP. He said the libertarian platform deserves the same scrutiny as the Democratic and Republican parties receive in this nation. He went on to say that some on the web have construed that he is endorsing Ron Paul. And that is not the case. Mr. Linder went on to say that the interview was designed to discuss local issues concerning civil rights and civil liberties and his knowledge of the Libertarian party and Ron Paul.

        • nhthinker

          For interview Linder was speaking in his capacity as a private citizen and not as his role as the Austin President of the NAACP.

          It’s not the only time Linder said he did not think Ron Paul was a racist. Here is an excerpt from prison planet:
          “Knowing Ron Paul’s intent, I think he is trying to improve this country but I think also, when you talk about the Constitution and you constantly criticize the federal government versus state I think a lot of folks are going to misconstrue that….so I think it’s very easy for folks who want to to take his position out of context and that’s what I’m hearing,” said Linder.

          UPDATE: Nelson Linder contacted our office and wanted prisonplanet.com to stress the fact that he made his comments as a private citizen, not as president of the Austin NAACP. He said the libertarian platform deserves the same scrutiny as the Democratic and Republican parties receive in this nation. He went on to say that some on the web have construed that he is endorsing Ron Paul. And that is not the case. Mr. Linder went on to say that the interview was designed to discuss local issues concerning civil rights and civil liberties and his knowledge of the Libertarian party and Ron Paul.
          —–

  • IvanGrozny

    One good thing about Ron Paul – he is against provoking a war with Iran. He supports only defensive wars. Give him credit for that.
    Otherwise, he is a disaster, because he supports open borders. As with Obama, Gingrich and Romney, Ron Paul would invite an additional 100 million immigrants from the Third World – including Mexico, Somalia, and Pakistan. This is suicide. Worse than war

    • _will_

      “he supports open borders”

      ^i’m not sure that’s true. in fact, there are a LOT of places where Paul breaks with classic libertarianism. which is why i think – outside of his stance on foreign policy, particularly w/r/t Israel – he could make more headway with evangelicals than people think.

  • NRA Liberal

    This is just the kind of thing one expects from that loathesome poseur, Sullivan.

    Frum’s disagreement makes me think all the better of him.

    • Watusie

      look^. Someone using the word “poseur” without knowing what it means.

    • WaStateUrbanGOPer

      Ditto Watusie. What, if anything at all, are you trying to convey by calling Sully a posuer? How is he not real, or real enough, to you? Could you please provide some evidence here?

      In what way you could possibly consider Andrew Sullivan a fake or a fraud is totally beyond my comprehension. By my lights, he’s one of the most refreshingly honest and courageous journalists extant. And with respect to style as well as personal integrity and candor, he’s damn near the best journalistic writer we have (second only to a moral giant of a man who is about to die of throat cancer), and FAR better than our appalingly decadent culture deserves.

      That said, NRA, if your post earns you a place on Andrew’s “Posuer Alert,” I’ll offer you my sympathies!

  • Emma

    Query: Is Frum suggesting that no one in the Republican field
    really gives a darn about the struggles of middle class folks?

    • Grace

      Yes, Emma, that is his suggestion. If one can call remarking on the elephant plainly standing in the middle of the room a “suggestion” that there is an elephant plainly standing in the middle of the room. But not to worry … a lack of concern about the collapse of the middle class and the rapidly growing ranks of the poor is a feature, not a bug, for today’s GOP. They worship at the altar of wealth and if you don’t have it, well, it would be impolite of them to ask what the Baby Jeevus is punishing you for.

  • Ray_Harwick

    Gay Bashing Daily: Newt Gringrich Part II 12/15/2011

    Gingrich Signs National Organization “for” Marriage Hate Pledge calling for Constitution Amendment barring gays from marriage equality.

    http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2011/12/15/389935/gingrich-signs-noms-anti-gay-marriage-pledge/

    No word on his married lesbian sister’s (Candice Gingrich-Jones) reaction. He would nullify his sister’s marriage and flaunt his recently adopted attempt at fidelity to 3rd wife, Calista.

    • Watusie

      It is interesting that Newt waited until he was to old and fat to get it up to embrace the idea of marital fidelity.

  • nhthinker

    Ron Paul is doing well and I hope it continues.

    I also hope that as he collects a significant share of delegates that he extracts significant concessions from Romney at the convention…

    Just imagine, Romney pushing through “Cut, Cap and Balance”

    and choosing

    Ron Paul for Fed Chairman! :)

  • jakester

    Forget Ron Paul, I’m voting for Ru Paul, He is the perfect match for the rest of those clowns.

  • WaStateUrbanGOPer

    I can’t wait to see that little creep Hannity in tears on election night 1/3/12!

  • David Frum is afraid of Ron Paul - Stormfront

    [...] David Frum is afraid of Ron Paul David Frum is afraid of Ron Paul because he can win. Don't forget to vote. Read more: Don’t Endorse Ron Paul | FrumForum [...]

  • Baron Siegfried

    Coming in on this late, but . . . Ron Paul is a cranky old gadfly. Intelligent, principled, and annoying, but just a chicken tender short of a combo platter. He’s like everyone’s crazy granduncle who is a really nice guy as long you don’t get him started on [insert bugaboo here] after his second Old Fashioned, and for god’s sake, don’t turn on the news.

    I’m very glad he’s in the race, as he provides a powerful contrast with the rest of the whores working this brothel. He has principles, which discomfits the pimps running said whores to no end. However, a principled whore has no business working a house that fleeces its customers.

    Can he win the nomination? I doubt it – if you think the GOP establishment has cut loose on Newt (bravo, I might add), that’s nothing compared to the thousand serpents and furies that would be unleashed on Paul. They would gladly toss the election rather than to have him in office. Pimps don’t like their whores getting out of line. Paul wouldn’t be a loose cannon, he’d be a loose artillery company that just liberated a liquor warehouse. The pimps can work Obama, but Paul is a whole ‘nother issue. No, they will order a safe from the Acme catalog and drop it on his head if necessary.

    Can he embarrass the rest into something resembling sanity? I doubt it – bad whores resent good whores. And pimps really get upset when their carefully constructed facades are shown as being that.

    Can he win the general election? No. His major problem is that while he has a very great many interesting and nontraditional ideas, everyone will find a few they like and a few that are absolute dealbreakers, And since Paul is principled, he’s not going to give ground on any of them. Which means he can garner the libertarian vote and the protest vote, but all he could realistically do is pull a Perot or a Nader. While having chaos theory manifest itself in the electoral process might be amusing on some level, the outcome would be ‘interesting’ in the classical chinese sense of the word.

    If this goes to a brokered convention, Paul can play kingmaker and extract any number of concessions which will be immediately repudiated should the GOP candidate win. (unprincipled pimps & whores, just can’t trust ‘em . . .)

    Paul is not a really viable candidate, but he is an excellent talking point. He keeps the rest looking over their shoulders with a certain degree of trepidation, which is always a good thing. (Obama needs someone sneaking up on him, too, I think) I wish him well, I just don’t wish him any success.

  • think4yourself

    Ron Paul has zero chance of winning the nomination because he has zero chance of winning the general.

    Can you imagine the fun that democratic operatives would have with Ron Paul? How many internet and television commercials? How easy would it be to paint hi as a white supremacist, isolating America, while sitting on a hoard of gold? I can picture the cartoon on Time Magazine right now.

    Ron Paul appears sincere in his belief’s. And what he says is important for the ongoing debate about what type of government that we have (I like that). I think some of his positions have value.

    But I think few Republicans in Congress would be happy with a Ron Paul Presidency. He would want to do more to shrink the military industrial complex than any President in the last 50 years. The experiment in expanded States Rights would drive the GOP nuts (they only want States Rights when the states are against liberal causes).

    Not a chance he wins the nomination. But it would be fun to watch if he did.

  • hisgirlfriday

    No FF livechat for tonight’s debate either? Grrrr.

  • Jack E. Lope

    Federal spending in Paul’s district QUADRUPLED in 10 years, thanks in part to earmarks that Paul got. That ruins his reputation for a consistent and principled stance, in my eyes.

  • anniemargret

    I’m a Dem and will be voting for Barack Obama again.

    But as I write this I’ve got Fox on and watching the GOP debate. Ron Paul rocks.

    Rocks!

    He is the only one telling the truth. And the mainstream Republican American are full of macho stupidity. Iran is not going to bomb anyone. This loose talk from the others there on that stage to build up hate and fear (again, again!) from the neoconservatives and right wing zealots to bomb Iran to ‘protect Israel” is the most dangerous thing I”ve ever heard.

    What have they learned from the fiasco in Iraq? How many of our children are they going to sacrifice so they can become the imperialist nation that we are fast becoming.

    We should be the arbiters of peace, not war. We should be demanding that Israel and Palestine make peace, not sabre rattling about Iran and lying once again to the American people and hyping up danger.

    I hope no Republican ever steps foot in the Oval Office, unless Ron Paul takes it from Obama. He has the only rational, intelligent answer to the world’s divisions and the dangers of a nuclear Holocaust which will devastate this nation and so many others.

  • Raskolnik

    I donated a small but non-negligible amount to Ron Paul’s campaign, and am considering giving more. Not so much out of any hope that he will win the nomination, nor even necessarily from a desire to see him in the White House (although I don’t think a Paul presidency would be the apocalyptic nightmare some seem to think it would be), but mainly because the greater the extent and duration of his viability as a Presidential candidate, the more the national political discourse will deal with 1) the military-industrial complex and 2) the need to make the Federal Reserve accountable to taxpayers. Ron Paul is more than a little bit kooky, but his heart is in the right place and he is asking the right questions.

    • sweatyb

      the need to make the Federal Reserve accountable to taxpayers

      I think the word you’re looking for there is “voters” or more broadly “the people”. And we would need specifics about how this “accountability” would be accomplished.

      Frankly, we have many institutions that are “accountable” to the voters. And they don’t always work so great. The US Congress is (theoretically) accountable to the voters in each member’s state/district. And the Fed is accountable to that very Congress (to people like Ron Paul in fact) as it is governed by Congressional statute and subject to Congressional oversight.

      I’m not really sure what there is to complain about in regards to the Fed. There are a lot of parts of our government that are not directly accountable to voters (the Federal courts, the post office, Amtrak, the Pentagon).

      If you’re mad because the Fed bailed out the banks, I’d urge you to recall that the Fed’s actions stabilized an economy in free-fall and staved off a depression.

      If you’re angry that the banks never paid for it, I’ll remind you that it was our directly representative and currently dysfunctional Congress that instituted only minimal changes to the law to punish/restrict banks and protect citizens from predatory practices. (And the obstructionist Republicans would do away with even those minimal protections, such as the CFPB that were enacted).

      • nhthinker

        Through act of Democrat controlled Congress, the Fed was changed to attempt to get money policy help the economy get to full employment, totally independent of the balance of trade. And for the decades since then, America’s sovereignty has been eroding. It is now eroding at over a half a trillion dollars per year, (similar to the rate of erosion of Greece).

        The Fed has too much power, a revolving door with the major banks, attempts to hide its transactions- especially as it relates to propping up foreign banks, and is a willing participant in creating moral hazard.

        Its actions have been such as to try to delay the impacts of transitioning American wealth to the Middle East and to China instead of dealing with systemic imbalances in a timely fashion.

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