Tag Archives: GOP

Real hope and change, or why Rand Paul turned out alright

Last year, when then-candidate Rand Paul was running for senate, I wrote this about him (in full):

The clarity and the consistency of Ron Paul’s ideology was what convinced me that he is worth listening to. His credibility in my eyes was bolstered by his principled, ethical, and educated positions in everything from abortion to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to his defense of the writ of habeas corpus for even “terrorists.”

Unfortunately, Ron Paul’s intelligent reasoning and ethical defense of individual rights did not rub off on his son, Rand Paul, who is currently seeking the Republican nomination for Kentucky’s senatorial race.

What I am experiencing with Rand Paul is similar to what I experienced with Barack Obama during the early days of his campaign. I gravitated to Obama initially because of what I thought his views were on perpetual, unethical, and illegal wars then and still taking the lives of American service members and innocent farmers and children abroad. As I paid more attention to Obama’s often tepid, vague, and substance-deficient speeches, the more I realize that he was just as bad as any other war-mongering neoconservative out there. He was not against illegal and unethical wars; he was just against the Iraq War for politically convenient reasons.

Rand Paul suffers from the same deficiencies of character and ideology.

I have yet to hear anything definitive about his stance on the war, except on his website where he states that he believes “that defending this country is the primary and most important Constitutional function of our federal government.” His YouTube video titled “National Defense/Foreign Policy” was just as vague. He basically said that he would have pushed for a vote for a declaration of war in Iraq, but would have voted against it. And then says he would have supported the war in Afghanistan! It all sounds very convenient and very much in line what Obama has publicly stated regarding both wars.

And there is this deal-breaker of a quote:

“With regard to: is there ever a time when we can go into war without a declaration? I think most pundit have agreed that in a nuclear age that there certain things that a president can do with either secrecy or immediately in retaliation or prevention of a nuclear attack? So, I think that it is acknowledged.”

And regarding his position on what the president could have done after September 11 attacks:

“There might have been a reason why a president could have sent Special Forces in secretly within a few days and I think that could have been something that would have been justified.”

So Rand Paul’s position is that the president is justified in invading other countries at will and in secret and without a declaration of war and assassinate people to not only prevent nuclear attacks, but also in retaliation for non-nuclear attacks. Sounds familiar? It is called Bush’s Doctrine of Preemptive War.

Maybe I mishearing what I am hearing directly from his mouth. Maybe he misspoke. Yet the Houston Chronicle labels him as being an “interventionist” with “more mainstream conservative on national defense” unlike his “quirky” father.

I remain suspicious of Rand Paul. He does not seem to be cut from the same cloth as his father. How can I throw my support behind a candidate that advocates the continued murder of innocent farmers and children in foreign lands? And it is that simple. There is not such a thing as degrees of non-interventionism. He is either for the deployment of armed troops to foreign countries and for the violence, the drain on the nation’s wealth, and abridgment of liberties and freedom that inevitably follows that intervention; or he is for non-intervention, peace, and liberty.

Through his own words, it seems that Rand Paul is set to disappoint those who value the latter.

It was a scathing rebuke, but I am not one to mince words.

Sen. Rand Paul is not Ron Paul. He is not even in the same realm as his father. Let us be honest, Ron Paul’s ideas are changing the Republican Party from within and without. Ron Paul Republicans are moving up the ranks in local party committees throughout the country and their presence will soon be felt in as little as six years. From outside the party structure, organizations like Campaign for Liberty and a whole host of websites are spreading his ideas and affecting the country’s political discourse. Young people galvanized by his message are proudly propelling the liberty movement forward through such organizations like Young Americans for Liberty. Ron Paul’s populist message has even influenced movements like the tea party and the Occupy Wall Street movement.

But what can we say about Sen. Paul? Well, he won an election.

However, credit must now be given where it is due. The new senator from Kentucky is unlike the candidate that originally filled me with suspicion. In this past year, Sen. Paul has averted a future war with Russia, opposed the intervention in Libya, and defended due process rights in opposing the horrific provisions contained within the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). He also proved to be a very articulate political surrogate for his father who is currently campaigning for the Republican presidential nomination. Actions speak louder than words and thus far, Sen. Paul has proven to be a consistent defender of liberty.

Yes, the son is unlike the father. In fact, not once was the “unelectable” charge ever levied against the younger Paul as he is that mainstream enough. It is becoming increasingly clear, however, that the savvy senator from Kentucky is not only as principled as Ron Paul, but might prove to be a more effective standard-bearer for his father’s ideas. Coupled with the rise of the new liberty movement, the face of American politics will not remain the same.

Now, that is real hope and change.

Newt Gingrich recently received an endorsement from the Manchester Union-Leader

Newt Gingrich will fit perfectly right in, according to Charles Burris:

Endorsing the arrogant warmongering neocon Newt Gingrich is perfectly consistent for the Manchester Union-Leader, the biggest embarrassment of the Granite State… No one will forget his scurrilous front page editorials, “Kissinger the Kike,” attacking Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, or “Jerry the Jerk,” slandering President Gerald Ford. The paper hasn’t changed its tabloid attack journalism under publisher Joseph McQuaid. Newt will fit in perfectly with this crew of Muslim-hating, un-American fascists.

Ouch.

Though, honestly, this just further proves that partisan Republicans fear Muslims more than they fear the country-collapsing debt spurred by this country’s obsession with freedom-destroying, death-spreading “War on Everything.”

In which case, you could argue that partisan Republicans hate Muslims more than they love America.

Mitt Romney’s tepid poll numbers are a ceiling

Despite months of being crowned the inevitable Republican nominee by the corporate media, Mitt Romney’s polling numbers have been stagnant. With the exception of New Hampshire where he enjoys a 40 percent support, there seems to be a hard ceiling of support all over the country.

Jonathan Bernstein pointed out that Romney’s lackluster numbers does not mean GOP primary voters hate Romney; they are just not passionate about him. So it could be that Romney will consolidate this support and turn that ceiling into a floor.

The thing that is worth noting, however, is the fact that unlike Michelle Bachmann, Rick Perry, and Herman Cain whose poll numbers surged because of increased media coverage, Romney’s numbers have remained tepid despite consistent, overwhelming, and positive media coverage.

I argue that Bachmann, Perry, and Cain’s numbers surged because of increased coverage. It is not until that coverage became overwhelmingly negative due in large part to these candidates’ numerous gaffes that their numbers tanked. If Romney were ever to experience the same level of mocking media scrutiny that Bachmann, Perry, and Cain had to and deservedly suffered, could anyone in the pundit class still say with a straight face that Romney is the “inevitable” nominee?

It is bizarre to me that the conservative GOP base have come to accept Romney’s flip-flops while at the same time harshly condemning the other candidates for doing similar things. Will partisan GOP and principled conservatives play along with the approved corporate media narrative that Romney will be the nominee?

The corporate media intends to be the GOP’s kingmaker with the nomination of Romney… and thus handing the election to Barack Obama.

The tea party mandate in Iowa

Now that Michele Bachmann had won the straw poll at Ames, the corporate media narrative has shifted from questioning the importance of the straw poll to reaffirming its relevance this presidential election.

However, there is a real message to be taken from the results where nearly 60% (Bachmann’s 28.5% and Ron Paul’s 27.6%) of the votes cast were for candidates who were aligned with the tea party.

If there was any backlash against the tea party after the very recent debt ceiling debacle, it is absent in Iowa and especially among the Republicans there.

People might quibble about the poll’s value as a predictor of the eventual Republican nominee, but it is clear today that in Iowans’ choice of Bachmann and Paul is a mandate for the tea party.

Romney campaign’s $1 million loot from mystery firm

Mitt Romney, the corporate media-sanctioned front-runner, has been the recipient of one the largest political donations ever this election season. Except how his campaign received some of these money is raising some serious legal questions.

A mystery company that pumped $1 million into a political committee backing Mitt Romney has been dissolved just months after it was formed, leaving few clues as to who was behind one of the biggest contributions yet of the 2012 presidential campaign.

A former FEC counsel describes it as “subterfuge” while Dave Weigel calls it money laundering.

Who are these people donating such large sums to Romney anyway? According to Politico, Romney’s donor list includes a billionaire who profited off the housing bubble’s collapse, bankers, and a few wealthy people.

This campaign revelation has come at a bad time for Romney. With the debt ceiling brouhaha over and no major news going on in the next few weeks, all eyes are will be on him.1 His prolonged silence in the debt ceiling debate, Sarah Palin’s salvo, fellow Mormon John Huntsman’s imploding campaign, his non-participation in the Ames Straw Poll, and now this mysterious campaign donation will ensure that he will suffer the brunt of unwelcome media scrutiny in the next few days.

Though, it is doubtful that this controversy would seriously hurt Romney’s presidential campaign in any significant way. If his ideological flip-flops have not hurt his lead in the polls, then why would illegal contributions? If anything, this would be seen as yet another media-led witch-hunt against the wealthy and their expensive political speech. Romney would only benefit from such “attack.”

1 Except the deepening famine crisis in Somalia, the increased violence in Afghanistan and Iraq, the continued violence in Libya, the stock market’s free-fall, the weakening dollar, and so on. But I digress.

Iowa a Test of Ron Paul as Mainstream Candidate

Mr. Paul’s libertarian views have moved from the fringe toward the mainstream of conservative thinking in the past several years, with his warnings about fiscal meltdown gaining new resonance and the 2008 financial crisis allowing him to press his longstanding critiques of the Federal Reserve.

Now, as he again seeks the Republican presidential nomination, he is hoping to show that he can translate the new attention into votes. And his first test is the straw poll next month, where he is hoping he can organize his band of followers into a political machine capable of beating some or all of his brand-name rivals.

It has been very interesting (and illuminating) to watch how corporate media treats the Ames Straw Poll in their reporting. It is at once both: a “political bell-weather” or a “test” that would make or break a presidential run, and utterly inconsequential with the corporate media-sanctioned front-runners (i.e., Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, and inexplicably Gov. Rick Perry of Texas) not participating in the straw poll.

Regardless of the outcome of the straw poll in Iowa, one thing is for sure: Ron Paul would never be mainstream enough for corporate media. His consistent antiwar views has all but precluded him from that.