That’s why it’s silly to dismiss Romney as no different than Obama. Some wave off their obligation to choose with a cliché, that Romney is just “the lesser of two evils.”
That’s true, but the key is “lesser.” If you have to choose between pissing off Stalin or Hitler, you’d be a fool to shrug your shoulders and risk some face time with the dude with the funny mustache (no, the other one with the funny mustache). Make no mistake, you are obligated—obligated, I tell you—to choose between one of two pro-establishment candidates! Don’t throw away your vote by denying that obligation and refusing to lend legitimacy to the perpetuation of the status quo!
This is no time to “make a statement” or pout that Ron Paul got treated badly in Tampa. He did get treated badly in Tampa, and that was stupid and unnecessary. Again, let’s put that behind us! If you are truly dedicated to the Constitution you won’t let it be trampled on by a Democratic president in order to make some soon-to-be-moot point to the anonymous GOP party hacks responsible for not giving Ron Paul a primo speaking slot because they knew he would just repeat truths we really just don’t want to hear.
Priorities, people. Nothing less than the Constitution is at stake here. And I think we can all agree that it would be much better to have a Republican president trampling the Constitution.
Who, you might ask is Ted Yoho? Ted, God bless him is not really important to know unless you're from north central Florida or a lobbyist in Washington, D.C. But Ted is an example of what is happening to the GOP all over the country whether the establishment likes it or not.
I will admit that until a few days ago, I had never heard of Ted Yoho or that there was even a primary held recently in Florida. Yoho is important to know because he defeated 12 term Republican Congressman Charles Stearns in a safe Republican district. Rep. Charles Stearns is a pretty decent 12 term conservative Republican according to the Heritage Foundation with a score of 80% (average for House GOP is 65%) and 7th out of 25 from the Florida delegation. By comparison, Allen West has a score of 69%.
Yet, on August 14th, Ted Yoho, a large animal veterinarian and political newcomer defeated this 12 term incumbent running by attacking the NDAA, Patriot Act, neoconservative strains in the GOP, and out-of-control spending. Yoho points to his reading of the Federalist Papers, taking courses at Hillsdale College, and studying the US Constitution as motivations for his run for Congress (and the fact that he thought Stearns was not schooled on these issues).
Yoho represents a much larger trend that is not just a Tea Party trend within the GOP. The Tea Party story is, in my eyes, partly a reflection of the reactivation of conservatives to get engaged in the GOP but also something much, much more. There is something so much bigger that is beginning to percolate that even those of us within the movement itself have probably failed to grasp and recognize as well.
The libertarian view of government is beginning to take over the GOP. It is decidedly not Tea Party in the sense of what those in the mainstream press and many who call themselves Tea Party activists call it. Rather this new insurgent philosophy of government, that used to be relegated to the sidelines of mainstream political thought, has hit critical mass. It is popular and it is about to explode.
The philosophy of limited government and general distrust that large human institutions are any more capable of ruling lives than the individuals living them is taking hold in America. This is certainly not a new philosophy as many will point out when discussing the origins of the Revolutionary War and the philosophical discourse at the nation's founding. But the modern libertarian view of politics is different in ways that reflect real world experience watching socialism, fascism, keynesianism, and an ever expanding police state all over the world. With the power of the internet used to spread the ideas of libertarianism and, perhaps more importantly, show abuses of government power, people are being introduced and buying into the philosophy in larger numbers than ever before.
The story of Ted Yoho is becoming more and more common. In fact, it is so common that I don't even notice it even though it is everywhere. If it is present in congressional and senate races then you can be certain that it is even more prevalent at the state, county, and municipal level. I know of scores of state representatives in my state of Michigan that would be described as libertarian or at least with a strong libertarian bend which was not the case even 5 years ago.
Everyone who visits this blog is very familiar with Rep. Ron Paul who has been a consistently lonely congressman for nearly his entire career. Suddenly, and almost inexplicably in 2007 after launcing a quixotic presidential campaign on a shoestring budget his support exploded to the point that he could raise millions of dollars in one day! Then, in 2010, his son Rand Paul wins a senate seat in Kentucky. State representative Justin Amash wins a congressional seat in west Michigan. Now in 2012 libertarians are coming out of the woodwork. Michigan will soon have its second libertarian GOP congressman when Kerry Bentivolio wins the 11 district seat. Thomas Massie is all but assured a win in Kentucky.
There are probably many, many more who I am failing to mention which leaves only one question - is this a temporary flash in the pan or the future? The answer to that question is purely demographic and, as I'm sure anyone who follows Ron Paul or Justin Amash will tell you, the people in this movement are almost all under 40 with those under 30 being even more prevalent. From my experience, young people entering the GOP are comprised of two types: those who are libertarian leaning and those who find politics fun and want to stick with winners. That is a demographic trend that suggests we are just seeing the leading edge of the movement.
Our future is bright and it is officialy time for the GOP establishment to worry. We are coming and we are growing.
"Hey GOP! You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile."
As Laura promised more than a week ago here is my update of the RNC convention for 2012. This update is late thanks to not having any Internet access at the Nebraska delegation hotel. Likewise there wasn’t anything available near the hotel. Somebody made the comment that hotels are either Presidents, Minerals, or Animals. The Presidents are luxury, the Minerals want to be Presidents but aren’t, and finally Animals are the dogs. We stayed in an Animal on the beach. Nice location even though we were 45 minutes from the convention, but certainly not what you’d expect in regard to “deluxe” accommodations.
Paul Fest on Saturday night and the Ron Paul Rally on Sunday are what you’d expect. The Sunday event had a kind of “finale” appeal to it where we were summing up the efforts of most of us over the last 5 years.
Monday saw the convention cancelled, but we still had a delegate breakfast and lunch reception. Pretty much a down day since the weather wasn’t all that great due to the hurricane flying by in the gulf.
The biggest day of the convention came on Tuesday. With Monday’s business portion of the convention pushed to Tuesday that meant that the normal afternoon session would conflict with anything that may have been scheduled during the afternoon down time. For the Nebraska delegation that would mean making a choice between being there for the credentials report, rules reports, and the roll-call vote or participating in the booze cruise.
From what I could see on the floor, it looked like the current Chairman, Committeeman, Committeewoman, future Committeewoman, two establishment delegates, and two Ron Paul delegates stayed behind. The rest of the delegates, alternates, and guests were on the boat during the votes.
A couple notes about this part of the day. The two establishment delegates were somehow able to stay for the credentials and rules vote but left before the roll-call vote and headed to the boat which was waiting for them. Why didn’t the rest of the delegation stay on the floor for the credentials and rules vote since the boat was going to wait for them?
After the delegation returned, it was reported to me that one of the establishment delegates that left after the credentials and rules votes reported to the Governor that the two Ron Paul delegates booed the results of the credentials and rules vote. This made it sound like we were one of the few on the floor that were against the vote. Remember, none of the people on the boat knew what happened and many probably haven’t seen the video below even to this day. See the video below and you judge for yourself if only two people could make that much noise. Oh, and you might want to discern who won the vote, the Yay’s or the No’s. Also, can only Ron Paul delegates make this much noise? Not at all. There are many in the party upset at the centralization of power at the top. (My apologies for reshowing this video from a previous post here at RedStateEclectic.)
The roll-call vote was a lot of fun. Both Ron Paul delegates were asked for their vote earlier in the day at lunch. They both held firm. I asked the Chairman if he could just say Ron Paul’s name, and he wouldn’t answer that. I told him I understood he has his orders. It is the Governor who runs the Nebraska GOP and thus obvious where the Chair’s direction comes from. You can see the Nebraska vote below. Pay attention to how many votes Nebraska gets and how many Romney received.
As I said earlier the Nebraska delegation was told that there wouldn’t really be anything going on while they were gone. Two problems with this. One is that voting on credentials, rules, and the roll-call is the meat of the convention besides electing the nominee. The other problem is that they didn’t miss anything. It was a forgone conclusion that the RNC lawyers would shove the credentials and rules down the delegates throat, and of course Romney would be the only candidate’s name read aloud, or at least mostly read aloud and counted.
Tuesday’s business (or rather Monday’s business) was modified from the previous schedule for two purposes. For one, the roll-call vote which is normally a prime-time event and broadcast on television was originally moved to Monday night in prime-time. When they cancelled Monday’s session and began rewriting the RNC rules the RNC could tell that the rule changes were going to be unpopular. They were also concerned with Ron Paul’s name being used on prime-time TV during the roll-call. Thus, to ensure that more delegates would not skip the first session on Tuesday, they moved the roll-call vote to Tuesday’s afternoon session. This move made sure that the roll-call vote would not be televised and that more people, as in party regulars who don’t normally care about rules votes, were in attendance to help with the rules vote. In politics nothing happens by chance and the manipulation of the schedule is yet another example of this.
That wrapped up Tuesday and the first and only day with any real business. The rest of the week was spent with some great events for the Nebraska delegation. The convention in the evening had the typical speakers with maybe the exception of Clint Eastwood.
The convention is a political junkie’s final game. Having the floor fight and Ron Paul element there, even though squashed, was a great experience. Convention politics is a lot of fun. The RNC convention though is nothing but a marketing event where any dissenting voice in the party must not be seen by the public. Unfortunately, the rules changes that were adopted, even though watered down, will ensure that dissenting voices don’t even get to the convention next time. Perhaps more on that some other time.
“It is impossible to grasp the meaning of the idea of sound money if one
does not realize that it was devised as an instrument for the
protection of civil liberties against despotic inroads on the part of
governments. Ideologically it belongs in the same class with political
constitutions and bills of rights. The demand for constitutional
guarantees and for bills of rights was a reaction against arbitrary rule
and the nonobservance of old customs by kings. The postulate of sound
money was first brought up as a response to the princely practice of
debasing the coinage.”
In a remarkably incisive article, Bill Buckler reminds us (via Zero Hedge).
[W]ithout property rights, no other rights [of the type associated with individual freedom, G.T.] are possible [...]
Property rights are a prerequisite for any kind of exchange - direct
or indirect. The ability to exchange is fundamental to any type of
viable economic activity. The efficiency of exchange is fundamental to
the success of that economic activity and the resultant prosperity of
the nation that engages in it. Indirect exchange using a MEDIUM of
exchange or money is hugely more efficient than direct exchange or
barter. That makes money the most important economic good in existence.
The tragedy of our present global plight is the simple fact that money
is also the least understood economic good in existence.
The first pre-requisite of the establishment of a “society” of the
rulers and the ruled has always been the same. The rulers must gain
control over the medium of exchange. For obvious reasons, no nation can
ever progress to a state of advanced economic activity until a medium of
exchange is established. Once it is established, there is no going
back. An advanced economy cannot operate by means of barter. The problem
is that once the government or the rulers gain control of money, it
progressively ceases to be a medium of exchange [alone, G.T.] and becomes [additionally, G.T.] a medium of
control. That impinges on the functioning of markets which in turn
impinges on the maintenance of property rights. Thus, we come full
circle from a free society to a command society. There has never been
any shortage of those who want to rule. The problem has always been with
the vast majority who are content to be ruled. Today’s global outcry
for the manufacturing of more and more “money” out of thin air is an
eloquent testimony. It shows that most people have no understanding of
freedom, markets or money. Lacking such understanding - and having no
desire to gain it - most people have accepted government as their
As Robert Heinlein stated the problem - it is impossible to free a
serf or a slave. He or she must free themselves and most are much more
terrified of that prospect than they are resentful of being ruled.
For someone who has made a career out of being a government parasite, the honorable Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin has the audacity to demonize the poor who are merely the victims of the wealth-destroying policies his party is guilty of engineering. Ryan has produced nothing, created nothing, and has spent all of his adult life sucking on the teat of government and enriching himself at the expense of the taxpayers he purportedly defends. At least the poor worked in the free market.
Paul Ryan represents the fakery at the heart of the Republican project today. It starts with the contradiction that Mr. Free Enterprise has spent his life in the bosom of government, enjoying the added protection of wingnut welfare benefactors like the Koch brothers. If Herman Cain is Charles and David Koch’s “brother from another mother,” as he famously joked, Ryan is the fourth Koch, swaddled in support from Americans for Prosperity and other Koch fronts. The man who wants to make the world safe for swashbuckling, risk-taking capitalists hasn’t spent a day at economic risk in his entire life.
I agree with Joan Walsh's analysis of the odious Ryan. He was George W. Bush's lapdog in the House and because of this partisan loyalty, he is awarded by the Republican Party establishment with a vice president slot. This is the man that voted to make permanent the Patriot Act, sided with Barack Obama in passing the indefinite detention provisions of the NDAA, sided with corporatists in passing TARP, sided with corporatists in voting for the auto bailouts, voted for the massive expansion of the healthcare-industrial complex with Medicare D, and advocated for the liberty-infringing individual mandate. Does any of this sound libertarian? Yet the deceit that Ryan is libertarian is aggressively marketed by the Romney campaign and the establishment. Dave Gilson of the liberal magazine Mother Jones--not a real friend of libertarians--asked the question, just how libertarian is Ryan? And their answer: not at all.
Ryan's parody of a "budget plan"--hardly a plan and hardly a sensible budget-- eviscerates his claim to be a "deficit hawk." His plan does not cut spending for decades and any spending it does cut disproportionately affects the poor and underprivileged. Furthermore, it does not touch a single cent in defense spending and in fact increases it.
Ryan claims “years of ignoring the real drivers of our debt have left us with a profound structural problem,” and to him this means throwing grandmothers out in the street rather than cut one dime from billions going to Lockheed. The “Ryan budget,” endorsed by House Republicans, would cancel planned cuts in the growth rate of military appropriations, and increase the Pentagon’s budget by $20 billion. He’s right that the trajectory of our debt-to-income ratio is “catastrophic,” yet is patently dishonest in describing what or who is driving us over a fiscal cliff.
Ryan's chickenhawk bloodlust for more imperialist carnage against brown-skinned foreigners with "funny names" is completely at odds with the foreign policy of peace and prosperity that unites grassroots libertarians. Jesse Walker is more explicit, saying that libertarians should find it easy to reject Ryan, echoing the same points that Adam Kokesh raised (as depicted in this article's image) and the foreign policy issues Raimondo addressed. Jack Hunter laments, "If Paul Ryan wants to go down the old neocon route, Americans can expect Bush-Obama Part 2--the same foreign policy with the same tragic cost, debt, despair and hopelessness."
If I was not clear, I will say it much more explicitly: Ryan is a neoconservative with a very tenuous claim to libertarianism or the Tea Party movement. Ryan is as much of a "Tea Party libertarian" as Obama is a "bleeding-heart progressive." Libertarians should be wary.
So long as Paul appears in the name, so it seems. Ryan voted for the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003. He also voted for the TARP bailout and the auto bailout. With conservatives like these, who needs liberals?
Political insider Roger Stone reports on the appointment, which he sees as yet another sign of Romney’s less-than-conservative attitude concerning meaningful change. There is no love-loss here:
In my 40 years in national politics through nine national presidential campaigns, I have never met a more arrogant, unprincipled, duplicitous, and self-important jerk than John Sununu. After you shake his hand, I suggest you count your fingers.
Mr. Stone goes on to make the case that Sununu was Bush 39’s blocker – keeping freedom advocates away from the president’s ear. He’s indicative of Romney’s political bent as well:
Sununu's appearance high in the Romney entourage demonstrates again that Romney is no conservative and that his rhetoric regarding spending and tax policy is just that - rhetoric.
Some supporters of Ron Paul are guessing that the appointment of such a flagrantly statist attack dog signals Romney’s unwillingness to play nice at the convention; not so surprising as it is characteristic of the GOP.
What if the Ron Paul crowd voted straight ticket democrat? Strictly blue, arm in arm with the union folk.
What if the reasoning for this is due to the fact that, of the two candidates the duopoly offers, they seem slightly better at resisting the urge to escalate the war? Even though President BO kills indiscriminately, he sounds relatively sane compared to Romney.
What if this happened and the GOP and all of those loving compassionate conservatives noticed how crappy their election cycle was? Would they move back toward a Taft republicanism with hopes of luring the Ron Paul types back into the fold? It’s not like Romney is going to repeal Obamacare anyway.