Ron Paul’s Liberal Republican Base

July 28th, 2010 at 11:02 am David Frum | 48 Comments |

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Who is more right-wing, Ron Paul or Newt Gingrich? It’s a complicated question with no obvious answer – unless you are a New Hampshire Republican primary voter.

For them, the answer is overwhelmingly clear: Newt Gingrich is the most right-wing available Republican; Ron Paul, the least right-wing.

That is – if you believe today’s new survey from Public Policy Polling.

The headline news in the poll is the horserace standings: Romney leads the way with 31% to 14% for Newt Gingrich, 13% for Paul, 12% for Huckabee, 9% for Palin, 3% for Tim Pawlenty, and 1% for Mitch Daniels.

For those interested in the shape of this important state party, however, the most fascinating news is found below the headline.

Among those who are broadly happy with the current direction of the GOP, Romney leads Gingrich 42-12.

Among those who think the party is currently “too liberal,” Gingrich draws even with Romney, 22-22.

But among those who think the party is “too conservative,” Ron Paul leads Romney 24-22.

Among those who identify with the “tea party,” Paul ranks 5th, at 9%. Among those who say they would be favorably impressed by a candidate endorsed by Sarah Palin, Paul runs weakest. He runs strongest among those least likely to be favorably impressed by a Palin endorsement.

What can this mean?

Some thoughts:

1) Paul’s weak overall performance in NH suggests that Republicans who regard the party as “too conservative” are currently a small group, so we ought to begin with caution about over-interpreting from a possibly non-representative sample.

2) But if the information does have any validity, it suggests that those voters who want a more liberal GOP are much more concerned with foreign affairs and social issues than with modernizing the GOP’s economic message. If Palin and Gingrich are the right wing of the party and Paul the left, then this is not a party divided over, eg, healthcare policy or the extension of unemployment insurance benefits. Same point is suggested by the lack of enthusiasm for Paul among New Hampshirites who identify with the Tea Party’s anti-debt, anti-tax message. In NH at least, the Tea Party looks more like the Perot Party than the Paul party.

3) Romney has not (yet) offered many specific economic ideas. If Romney leads because of his presumed competence in economic policy, that suggests that Republicans are looking less for new ideas, than for a trusted brand: lower taxes, less regulation, the private economy will sort itself out in time. As yet, and maybe forever, the crash of 2008 has not prompted any rethinking of past economic views among core Republicans in NH.

4) If a candidate is saying something that people want to hear, they have an amazing ability to shut out the parts of the message they don’t want to hear. Those more liberal Republicans who like Paul’s message on foreign policy and drugs seem amazingly able to shut out the parts of Paul’s message that are actually most important to Paul himself.

5) Notice how poorly Mike Huckabee is doing in NH. If Sarah Palin can beat him in Iowa, Huckabee’s road to the nomination suddenly looks very rocky.

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48 Comments so far ↓

  • Will M

    Re Huckabee – ish. He’s within margin of error of 2nd for a state that Romney’s been looking bound to win for over the last year. Romney even moved house there, after all.

    In Iowa, by contrast, Huckabee’s had a strong lead in every poll there since he won the Iowa caucus in 2008. Moreover, given Palin’s negatives amongst independents, and the ability of independents to vote in Iowa’s caucuses, is it not highly likely that she’s going to lose Iowa?

    I’m far more interested in which of the 4 pre-Super Tuesday states Gingrich thinks he’s going to win. He seems to be running in all 4, with no great prospect in any of them…

  • Elvis Elvisberg

    I’d be wary of reading too much into poll results on this topic. After all, if you poll people on issues, they often come out to the left of both parties– eg, willingness to tax, public option. But if you ask people if they’re liberal or conservative, way more people say “conservative.” These labels are tough to figure.

  • DeepSouthPopulist

    Paul jumped up on the national radar because of his opposition to perpetual war.

    In this sense, war opposition is Paul’s “brand”; it’s what makes him stand out from every other Republican.

    The critics who want to write off Paul as a Tea Party whack job should take note:

    //But among those who think the party is “too conservative,” Ron Paul leads Romney 24-22.

    Among those who identify with the “tea party,” Paul ranks 5th, at 9%. Among those who say they would be favorably impressed by a candidate endorsed by Sarah Palin, Paul runs weakest. He runs strongest among those least likely to be favorably impressed by a Palin endorsement.

  • TAZ

    You need to be carefully reading anything into what todays Republicans say, such as, “Republicans who regard the party as “too conservative” are currently a small group”.

    Its my belief that all that is left of the Republican party is the Neocons, Tea partiers, and Crazies.

    It naturally makes sense that a small percentage sees the party too conservative.

    I consider myself still a member of the Republican party in theory, but describe myself as an independent publicly.

    For the record, I wrote Ron Paul in the past election…. no wonder I dislike Palin so much.

  • Annikan

    “Those more liberal Republicans who like Paul’s message on foreign policy and drugs seem amazingly able to shut out the parts of Paul’s message that are actually most important to Paul himself”

    …Or maybe by too conservative they mean too conservative on social issues, not fiscal issues. If they agree with Ron Paul on social issues (not that he’s the ideal, but he’s better than most, including many liberals) but not fiscal issues, then they’d be Democrats.

  • DFL

    It must be summer for an obscure poll to be so scrutinized. In actuality, Ron Paul wins the votes of libertarian-minded voters who choose to register as Republicans rather than waste their votes on the Libertarian Party. Paul does worst with the military wing of the Republican Party and the neo-conservatives. Wall Street, for a long time more dependent on the government than what it would like to think, dislike Paul as well. He is a threat, however tiny, to the financial aparatus of the country.

  • Madeline

    If they agree with Ron Paul on social issues (not that he’s the ideal, but he’s better than most, including many liberals) but not fiscal issues, then they’d be Democrats.

    Isn’t Paul pretty mainstream conservative on social issues except for drug legalization and the death penalty?

  • sinz54

    David Frum: If a candidate is saying something that people want to hear, they have an amazing ability to shut out the parts of the message they don’t want to hear.
    That’s exactly how Obama got elected President.

  • CitizenWhig

    Ron Paul is no libertarian, or rather, he is only a libertarian with regard to the Federal government. He is right-wing on most issues, but gets a pass from the media because he often sidesteps social issue questions by stating that he thinks it should be left to the states. However, once left to the states, if Ron Paul had his way, he would outlaw abortions, put doctors who perform abortions in prison, outlaw civil rights legislation, and repeal environmental regulations (because he thinks global warming is a “hoax”).

    I admire his willingness to take unpopular stances and think unconventionally about certain issues (the Federal Reserve and medical marijuana), but he is still a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I think he sheds light on many issues that are commonly swept under the rug, but he is a social conservative who wishes to impose control over people’s lives like all the rest, he just wants that control to be imposed by state governments rather than the national government.

  • CentristNYer

    sinz54 // Jul 28, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    “That’s exactly how Obama got elected President.”

    Not so. Polls consistently showed that the electorate was with Obama on all of his key campaign issues: reforming health care, winding down the wars, getting tough with corporate abuses, reducing energy dependence. They heard him loud and clear and voted for what he promised.

    It’s only the post-electoral FoxNews spin (“death panels!” “socialism!” “siding with the terrorists!”) that has chipped away at that support. But to suggest that people were somehow is duped is just plain stupid.

  • eugibs

    NYer

    I think you inadvertantly damaged your own argument. Think about how vaguely you listed Obama’s campaign issues: ” reforming health care, winding down the wars, getting tough with corporate abuses, reducing energy dependence.” Who doesn’t support those things? The way you frame them makes them near universal policy preferences. That’s exactly what Obama was able to do during the campaign – he made himself a blank canvass on which many people of different ideological persuasions projected their hopes . However, when it came to actually governing, the real question is how do you achieve those results. And on these questions, once Obama was forced to get specific, his policies have tended to consistently poll well below his share of the 2008 vote.

  • Paleocon

    “Those more liberal Republicans who like Paul’s message on foreign policy and drugs seem amazingly able to shut out the parts of Paul’s message that are actually most important to Paul himself.”

    How is it that those that believe our government can’t solve everyone’s problems all over the world are liberal, while those that believe that our government can build entire nations in foreign lands are labeled conservative?

  • Annikan

    Ron Paul certainly is a pro-life libertarian, and a strict Constitutionalist, but I wouldnt call him a social conservative just because of his abortion stance. He simply believes in strictly following the constitution when it comes to pushing his views (which he applies to the abortion stance as well).

    He did an interview with John Stossel (when Stossel was still on ABC), where he was asked what he would do if he were managing the government at the local level. His views on social issues outside of abortion (including marriage, drugs, gambling, prostitution) are extremely libertarian. He may have had some social conservative ties in the past, but based on that interview, he is extremely libertarian.

    The reason I say his libertarian approach is better than some liberals is that you can have the ‘live and let live’ attitude without all the litigation (lawsuits) and other nanny-state controls that liberals will impose on people (such as telling you what food you can eat, prosecuting self defense, attacking alcohol and tobacco sponsorships, banning speech etc). If you dont believe me that left-wingers can turn into a different form of social authoritarian just look at Britain and their “anti-social behavior” laws or Canada and their “human rights tribunals.”

  • The American Spectator : AmSpecBlog : Ron Paul and Liberal Republicans

    [...] Frum has a post talking about liberal Republican support for Ron Paul in a recent poll of New Hampshire GOP primary [...]

  • Granny T

    “5) Notice how poorly Mike Huckabee is doing in NH. If Sarah Palin can beat him in Iowa, Huckabee’s road to the nomination suddenly looks very rocky.”

    Paul really increased in this poll from his results in 2008. Romney dropped slightly from his 2008 results. Huckabee polled about the same as his 2008 actual results and is still ahead of Palin and only slightly behind Gingrich; so I don’t think he’s doing as “poorly” as you seem to think.

    Who in their right mind thinks Palin has a chance of beating Huckabee in Iowa? Huckabee still has a very strong Iowan base. Many of the Vander Plaats supporters (Tea Party members) are still furious at Palin for endorsing Branstad rather than Vander Plaats. She has no chance in Iowa. Branstad staff and supporters were mostly Romney people. Who does she really think Branstad would support?

  • Elvis Elvisberg

    eugibs– that could be true in theory, but it’s not how it actually worked in the real world. Obama actually had much more detailed policy proposals than McCain.

  • Annikan

    In short, I think liberals and conservatives are both authoritarian in their own ways. As someone who considers himself mostly libertarian, its a matter of choosing which candidate is the lesser authoritarian.

    Im not as far out there as John Stossel or Ron Paul on certain issues. Im not opposed to the government banning or at least restricting prostitution, certain forms of gambling (i.e. slot machines but not poker, pure luck vs skill games) and hard drugs (even if I support harm reduction programs and less incarceration for drug crimes) as well as reasonable regulation of the environment and the financial industry. But it seems that extreme libertarians are needed to offset the influence of the vast majority of authoritarians we have in the media and in politics. There really arent that many politicians especially that care about issues on a micro level instead of a macro level.
    The attitude seems to be “Ya this law sounds good so lets pass it” (never-mind that an existing law probably already covers the offence, never-mind that too many over-broad laws already exist, never-mind that this regulation or requirement will limit an employers ability to expand their company, therefore choking new employment, or may open up a company to frivolous litigation and result in people losing their jobs). Basically the attitude seems to be “Ignore the unintended consequences of our actions as legislators.”

  • pampl

    “Authoritarian” doesn’t mean what you think it means.

  • WillyP

    this is, at best, only tangentially related. but consider its source:

    “[The government] covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.”
    -de Tocqueville

  • anniemargret

    sinz: Obama got elected President because (besides Hillary Clinton who was my first choice)he was clearly best suited to the job at hand. He mightily impressed me with the way he actually thought solemnly about the issues and not just give predictable slogans. I was impressed with him then, and still impressed given the multitude and magnitude of the problems he has face now in this country against a wall of resistance – including hate and fear-mongering from the other side because he’s a half-black man (and some people simply cannot stomach that).

    And please….what were the Republicans offering? An over the hill out of touch military warrior who didn’t and wouldn’t ever see a war he didn’t like? (remember his stupid Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Iran ditty) – only he and his fans thought it was funny. I found it both alarming and immoral in a would-be leader. A man who didn’t know what was really going on economically. A poor choice all in all.

    And then he chooses his sidekick? Palin! The gal who can’t find the time to put herself in front of a hardball interview, then and now. She was totally unfit to take the rank of VP (since she wasn’t even sure what a VP did), and was even more totally unprepared to take over if McCain had died in office . Millions of Americans like myself shudder to just even consider that inane possibility. I lost complete respect for him after this poor decision.

    Obama is not perfect…but he thinks and he has heart. He is articulate and he listens. Perhaps too much and that would be my only criticism. He has gone the distance to try to work through problems with the Republicans only to realize their single approach is to ape Rush Limbaugh’s – “I hope he fails.”

  • CitizenWhig

    Annikan:

    I’m familiar with Paul’s interview with Stossel. I wouldn’t put him in the same category as the usual suspects of hard right social conservatism, but he’s not a true libertarian. Paul deftly intertwines the terms “government” and “state” in different contexts so as to confuse their meaning. Is he only talking about the Federal government, or about all government? It’s hard to tell with Stossel pitching him softballs during the entire interview.

    For the sake of argument, lets suppose that he is as liberal on these issues as you claim. How would it play out if his vision comes to fruition? He would remove regulation of the environment and leave it to private individuals to enforce their property rights in court. This would be madness. The example he gives is simple minded. He discusses how his home sits on a riverbank. In his own hypothetical, he feels it would be sufficient to merely give him recourse to enforce his own property rights if his upstream neighbor began polluting his river. Anyone who is familiar with adversarial systems realizes how expensive, time consuming and inefficient such a system would be. And on top of that, it would fail to protect the environment.

    Additionally, we would be faced with a repeal of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, repeal of the clean water act, and a removal of almost all regulation of financial markets. American culture would become regionalized and provincial. State governments would be competing for industry in their state, likely leading to weakened labor and environmental laws, not to mention the exclusion of the physically disabled from everyday life (no one really thinks that business will spend money to provide disabled access if not forced, do they?). In essence, we would return to the late 19th century. Enough robber barons and class warfare to make everyone miserable.

  • WillyP

    annie… living proof that a sucker is born every minute.

  • anniemargret

    willyp: And you are not? The view is different from our neck of the woods, Willy.

  • WillyP

    citizenwhig:
    “State governments would be competing for industry in their state, likely leading to weakened labor and environmental laws”

    Well you know, this happens on an international scale regardless of what state gov’ts do. in fact, the more we tax and regulate, the more we scare away industry and jobs.

    does this make you happy?

    do you think your forebears were so timid as to reject technological change and affecting the environment in unpredictable ways?

    this brand of liberalism is a sort of Luddite-ism.

  • anniemargret

    Ron Paul is correct on mindless war. Wars that are defensive in posture are not where we are now. Iraq was not a defensive posture – it was a geo-political move and a protection for Israel. We are stilly paying the price for that poor decision.

    And Bin Laden is still on the lam, almost 10 years after 9/11. Bush: “I don’t know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don’t care. It’s not that important. It’s not our priority.”
    - G.W. Bush, 3/13/02

    “I am truly not that concerned about him.”
    - G.W. Bush, repsonding to a question about bin Laden’s whereabouts,
    3/13/02

    I don’t agree with him on social issues, but I will say this at least for Ron Paul. He always comes across as a gentleman and while I may not agree with all his views, I can listen to him, and respect him despite.

  • WillyP

    annie,
    Say what you want, but I won’t have this gem forever attached to my name thanks to the enduring nature of the internet…

    “Obama got elected President because (besides Hillary Clinton who was my first choice)he was clearly best suited to the job at hand. He mightily impressed me with the way he actually thought solemnly about the issues and not just give predictable slogans. I was impressed with him then, and still impressed given the multitude and magnitude of the problems he has face now in this country against a wall of resistance – including hate and fear-mongering from the other side because he’s a half-black man (and some people simply cannot stomach that).”

    Clearly best suited? You’re talking about somebody with almost no practical experience outside rabble rousing, err, community organizing!

    yikes! talk about a poorly thought out vote!

  • CitizenWhig

    WillyP:

    I don’t think anyone is happy when American industry relocates its operations to a foreign country. But if that is your argument, then our solution is to relax regulation until we have the working conditions and air quality of China. Would this make you happy?

    I thought not. My point was that if you remove the national regulatory infrastructure, it would encourage individual states to relax needed regulation to the lowest common denominator level. If you want to argue about the rationality of national regulatory standards, be my guest. I would not advocate that the solution is to devolve those responsibilities to the state level. Our national trade policy is an entirely different issue upon which we may find some agreement.

    As far as my forebears are concerned, I admire the inventive and entrepreneurial spirit that made this country an economic world power. In hindsight, I think we can all agree that such progress was often borne on the backs of hardworking labor that suffered working conditions that would be deemed cruel by today’s standards. I won’t even get started on the repression of small business ventures by the immoral and sometimes illegal actions of large monopoly enterprises. We have learned lessons from our history and understand the positive and negative consequences of our forebears actions. Presumably, we can proceed in a more thoughtful and sophisticated manner in order to lessen the negatives. I understand that this requires nuance, a concept with which the modern conservative movement struggles.

  • anniemargret

    willyP: c’mon willy, give it a rest. That ‘rabble rousing/community organizing’ schtick is SO 2008.!

    Obama is President now.

    The problem rests with the Republicans who haven’t a leader to put against that ‘community organizer’ in 2012. Who? Palin? I hear she is the front-runner – holy cow. Huckabee? nice guy but no national appeal. Romney? I’ve got some respect for his smarts but he’s all over the place these days like a willow-o-the-wisp. Jindal? Nice guy too, but again…no national appeal.

    Instead of continuing to slam Obama about his past, which basically is a non-starter anyway given he won, you’d best be debating the merits or demerits of the above named individuals.

    btw….You say I had a ‘poorly thought out vote?’ As opposed to what? The Palin fans that say she should be President because 1) she’s a great mom or 2) because she is a Christian, or 3) she is a ‘pitbull with lipstick” or 4) because she’s a Real American?

    I can go on, but you get the picture. If anyone is talking about poorly thought out votes, it’s Republicans and Palin as the front-runner!

  • Krom

    I know WillyP is just intentionally being a useless idiot, but allow me to present information that would have taken approximately six seconds to locate via Google:

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

    Apparently being a lawyer, law professor, state senator and national senator don’t count as “practical experience”. Do you have to be in the military to qualify for this vaunted honor?

  • anniemargret

    Krom: none of that above education and experience matters, evidently to Republicans. They still prefer Palin, and that says it all.

  • S.L. Toddard

    Frum’s premise is that if liberal New Hampshire Republican primary voters like Ron Paul, that means Paul is on “the left”. This is categorically false (one’s beliefs and tendencies define their placing on the political spectrum, not others’ opinions of one). The claim is literally untrue, and demonstrably so.

    I wonder if Frum gets a bump in hits whenever he attacks Paul, and that is why he and his stable of writers obsess so much about the Pauls.

    Let me ask another question: if Republican readers of right-wing sites familiar with Frum were asked whether Frum was on the “right” or the “left” of the party, what would their verdict be? There is a reason FrumForum sells shirts that say “Who you callin’ RINO?”

  • msmilack

    Doesn’t New Hampshire — like Iowa — tend to vote differently than the rest of the country?

  • msmilack

    Is there some other way to look at the data besides right and left? I think maybe those categories have become very limited in their use, particularly as applied to Republicans. There is no way that Rand could be associated with liberal policies under any circumstance that I can think of (e.g. civil rights enforcement, etc.). I actually think Rand and Gingrich are both representative of extremes within the party and that the only person who could even be remotely competitive with Obama needs to move toward the center. Daniels seems like the best choice though that is at least partly because we know less about him; but also I’ve not heard him say anything that squarely pegs him into either extreme.

  • msmilack

    S.L. Toddard
    You asked: “Let me ask another question: if Republican readers of right-wing sites familiar with Frum were asked whether Frum was on the “right” or the “left” of the party, what would their verdict be?”

    Answer: I think it would first of all depend on who was answering the question and what biases they brought with them to the question; and second, would depend on the issue at hand. For example, if the subject were the environment, gay rights, or using simple fairness in describing the meaning of almost any domestic intiative enacted by Democrats (the reigning party), I’d guess the majority on the right would deem Frum left of center within the Republican right (not left of center in the overall spectrum — perhaps I am describing a RHINO); but if the subject were international affairs, particularly Israel, that old term “Neocon” would immediately be used (though I have never been clear about its actual meaning or if it really applies to him in equal measure to the other people it is used to describe). In any event, I think the majority would deem him right of center on international affairs involving military expenditure and American exceptionalism and left of center on domestic issues except for the economy where, like international affairs, deemed more right. Naturally, I am guessing and so making this up but I think he may prove the point that no one falls entirely into any one category. For that reason, perhaps he is the perfect example of how for a thoughtful Conservative, not any single label entirely applies. People are complex, the smarter the more complex; Frum is very, very smart so it fits that he would not be easy to categorize (which makes many people angry).

  • msmilack

    Paleocon // Jul 28, 2010 at 3:19 pm
    You wrote: “How is it that those that believe our government can’t solve everyone’s problems all over the world are liberal, while those that believe that our government can build entire nations in foreign lands are labeled conservative?”

    That is an excellent question and quite true. Could the difference be humility?

  • anniemargret

    msmilack: great analysis above. I especially like your attempt at ‘explaining’ Frum; perhaps that is why I am here. Even though I cannot consider myself a ‘true conservative’ (although that interpretation is still open to debate), I also have some streaks of conservatism within me.

    In fact, I would venture to say that most Americans, while feeling that they must join a party or be labeled “right or left” “Dem vs Republican” etc…are actually moderate when push comes to shove. I have never felt comfortable with the radical left, and the radical right also depresses me. I have a feeling many people feel that way and struggle with issues, although some are a lot easier to embrace than others.

  • anniemargret

    …and some issues are so complex and so frustrating and so mired in emotion that they simply are not easily solved with ‘liberal vs conservative’ solutions.

  • msmilack

    anniemargret
    I agree with you and your description of yourself could easily apply to me. I also feel it could apply to Obama. In fact it strikes me funny sometimes when people call him a socialist or a leftist because it seems so clear to me that he is actually quite conservative in how he governs but it’s not even an argument I’d want to have with most members of the GOP. David Brooks has written well on that subject (and was no doubt branded a traitor to the right for doing so). I’d give anything if we could eliminate the labeling of a person as strictly right or left, liberal or conservative; it really depends on the issue and people who are extremists worry me no matter what their point of view.

  • anniemargret

    -msmilack: I sometimes think perhaps we would do better as a nation if we didn’t have a two party system where everyone must get tightly locked into a woven tapestry of half-lies, half-truths, and exaggerations. I suspect there are moments where liberals might think conservatives have hit on a truth, and sometimes conservatives think liberals hit on a truth.

    Or ‘truthiness’ as Colbert would say. Great word.

    But of course we can’t go there. I’ve seen some real honesty on this blog, and I always admire it, whether it comes from the right, left or the middle. It would be better to just vote for an individual that embodies all that a person admires or desires in a leader and then them all try for the Brass Ring! The fact that what you say, that people who disagree with the party line, or admits the other side (might) occasionally speak the truth, but get trashed for it, says a lot about our national conversation.

    (more like a screaming match!)

    But that’s in Dreamland…but I occasionally go there when the news just gets too depressing.

  • mickster99

    I agree with Colbert that Frum is indeed “the balls of the Republican Party”. However, I believe Stephen also said that regrettably they are the cajones of a chihuahua.

  • msmilack

    anniemargret

    dreamland is a nice place to recover from the news.

  • WillyP

    the proof is in the pudding. he’s a terrible president overseeing the worst economic recovery since 1932 and losing our european and israeli allies.

    so fine, you think a few paltry, undistinguished years as a legislator qualify him as experience. i disagree. i point to his failure as president.

    although, alternatively, he is doing a spectacular job at transforming america into a third world, tin pot dictatorship. gutting the industrial and commercial base through massive legislation that he doesn’t bother to read, outsourced to pelosi and reid, he chases away industry as few others could.

    but sure. he did some time in the illinois state senate. his most remarkable vote was one in favor of partial birth abortion. as a U.S. senator, i can’t name one bill he authored.

    look, we’re not talking about ted kennedy. we’re not even talking about tom daschle. we’re talking about an underwhelming legislator with deep socialist roots.

    you may not find any of this pertinent to the discussion anymore. however, lift the veil and you’ll notice that he is acting precisely as an incognito socialist would act. and he’s dragging you and me down with the rest of the citizens.

    oh, and not to mention, he’s now losing the war. great. i’m so glad mccain isn’t in office.

  • WillyP

    and you know what, you might find me annoying and unspecific. i’ve tried being very specific, and the arguments just get mired in he said/she said antics. in the case of referring specifically to obama’s mentors and “spiritual adviser,” i’m told that it’s no longer important. right, 20+ years as a radical doesn’t mean anything once you translate that into electoral success.

    if i try to get technical, i lose the audience due to ignorance. plainly, few people here are conversant in even basic economic principles. supply and demand to you people is a bourgeois tool to oppress the masses. (what do i mean? look at the entire healthcare debate. you libs want to lower costs while restricting supply. oh sure, you say you’re expanding access by reducing prices. but it never occurs to you that you’ll only create a shortage. micro 101.) if i try to talk about monetary policy or the effects of inflation, you are stupefied and disinterested.

    if i refer to history, i’m told my examples do not apply to this day and age. FDR, i’m told, was a wise and caring leader. i’m told that capitalism had its day and was ushered away due to terrible “environmental” abuses and abuses toward labor. i’m told that private property is so 19th century, and that we should be more enlightened and share what little we have.

    so yes, i find the discussion wanting. i find a bunch of liberals, who still don’t know exactly how to think about politics/government/society. whatever sounds good to them and their friends must be good, and the herd carries me and the rest of the conservatives off the depression cliff.

  • Krom

    Fine, then stop posting.

  • Cato

    Of course the key to the survey and this article, is how do you define “conservative”? Labels have become meaningless as the word means much different things to many different people. Based on the results, it appears most polled were neoconservatives that equate conservative with empire, militarism and Israel and an acceptance of big government to accomodate the previous goals.

  • WillyP

    i won’t stop posting because i find it amusing.

    i’m sure many of you are successful in your personal lives and careers. some of you probably have incredible knowledge in different fields and specialties. the talent pool is evidently quite high, just based on the ability to rationalize… we have at least one person – msmilack – who claims to have been an ivy league professor of english (is that right?). i love literature, but my LORD, what depressing politics this english professor has!

    having said that, i find your civic knowledge almost non-existent – that is, it is all based on emotion – and civic beliefs borderline nihilistic. you are “liberals” with a lower-case “l.” you share nothing in common with 18th and 19th century liberals, who strove for explanatory theories on what allowed civilization to flourish. arguments i find here are not theoretically sound or even historically defensible – they are ad hoc, fear based, or class-based pandering.

    to shunt some of the likely criticism: no, the advancement of theoretical arguments is not “ideological.” at least no more ideological than newtonian physics. sure, theory is at times wrong. but the job is to refine the theory, not to carelessly throw it out the window and declare all theory invalid because it supposes some predictability.

    for example, you libs claim to want to expand health care access. to accomplish this, you propose a complicated, complex, confusing, and maddening scheme of government panels, price control boards, tolerance levels, comparative effectiveness research, redistribution, and the application of coercion to force insurers to pay for relatively minor procedures, or worse, cosmetic surgery.

    now, we know that all these measures will send the price of health care UP, thus reducing access. yet, despite all the evidence and theory to the contrary, libs continually insist on such measures, and finally the panacea of fully socialized medicine.

    WHY?

  • busboy33

    “i won’t stop posting because i find it amusing.”

    As do we all Willy.

    As do we all.

  • WillyP

    i’m never answered. nobody can refute my basic assumptions. you libs hate me, but can’t say say.