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Understanding “Pro-War” Republicans

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Many Ron Paul supporters find themselves at odds with the Republican Party over the issue of American involvement in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Like Ron Paul they believe that wars of occupation and nation building are unconstitutional and they cannot understand why Republicans who claim to share their belief in the Constitution support those wars.

They make the same mistake that Ron Paul himself did when he attacked Rudy Giuliani over this issue in the first presidential debate of 2008. They make themselves look anti-Republican and even anti-American because they do not understand the perspective of many traditional Republicans or the basis on which those Republicans find themselves supporting these wars.

Then the battle-lines are drawn up and both sides become entrenched in their ideology without trying to understand each others' perspective. The Ron Paul supporters become convinced that traditional Republicans are a bunch of pro-war "neocons" and more mainstream Republicans get the idea that Ron Paul supporters are radical, anti-American peaceniks, when the truth is that neither perception is even close to accurate.

While there are a small number of Stalinistic, pro-war expansionists in the GOP, their viewpoint is alien to the party and is not shared by most Republicans. Most Republicans who support our current wars do not do so because they are in favor of war or of imperialism, but because they are unquestioningly pro-America. They may believe in a strong national defense, but they do not believe in wars of conquest and occupation. They oppose the anti-war position, not because they like war, but because they dislike those who take issue with the actions of America as a nation no matter what the reason.

They operate from the perspective that our government is good, not because government is good, but because our government is American and America is good. They therefore assume that the actions of our government, including making war, must be good and right actions because they are the actions of an American government.

Despite its inherently irrational nature, this would be an understandable and even excusable position for them to take if the government of the United States were, in fact, the government which we are supposed to have under the Constitution and if the government still followed the principles of the Constitution and the founding fathers. If that were the case and the government entered into a war, then it would be impossible for that war not to be undertaken justly and it would be traitorous to oppose it.

Most Republicans act on the assumption that we still live under a government which operates legitimately and constitutionally and that is the basis for their outrage with those who oppose the government's actions. They are not awakened to how far we have drifted from legitimate, American-style, constitutional government and they are still acting on the mistaken assumption that we have the government which we ought to have and that its actions are legitimate on that basis.

So if you are a Ron Paul style constitutionalist, don't make the mistake of calling other Republicans "neocons" or warmongers just because they defend the nation's actions even when you believe those actions are wrong. From their perspective that makes you a traitor and an enemy of the Constitution, because all they see is that you are attacking the Republic, not the reasoning behind your actions.

You can't change the perception that the government is good by attacking the government because those who still believe the government is good will turn against you. It's kind of a catch-22 situation.

You need to convince them not that our government is bad, but that the government we have is effectively not our government at all. You can do this by laying out for them what government ought to be under the Constitution and then let them see for themselves the shortcomings of government as it is compared to government as it should be.

The fact that the Democrats are in power also presents a valuable opportunity, because Republicans of all varieties are willing to believe that Democrats and their policies are evil. So if you go after big government and its excesses as products of Democrat policy you can get your foot in the door very easily.

About Dave Nalle

  • bks

    So are you for continued war in Iraq and Afghanistan or not?

    This column is as fine a realization of
    wanting to “have your cake and eat it too” as I
    have ever seen.

    –bks

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    I got a bit dizzy reading this, so many twists and turns of logic [and non-logic].

    The left of course is split over Afghanistan as well. I think the president [and any other president hypothetically facing this situation] is in a damned if you do, damned if you don’t position.

    As usual, he took a thoughtful and thorough approach, and allowed the generals to have the resources they asked for — while setting a strict time limit on continuing escalation. It was predictable that he was both criticized and praised by some voices, but a number of Republicans did join in the praise, this time.

    Dave’s article is about a small group of true believers. I don’t believe isolationists are a very large political group in the US. They may form a part of the tea partiers, but not monolithically. Isolationism is probably more of a force on the left actually.

    At any rate, war is not likely to be a deciding issue in the 2010 elections — and in 2012 only if there is some major disaster.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “war is not likely to be a deciding issue in the 2010 elections — and in 2012 only if there is some major disaster.”

    A cynical thing to say, Handy. The matter of war and peace, especially of a just or an unjust war, should take precedence over whoever the fuck wins the next elections.

    The issues of life and death, who lives and who dies, surely take precedence over any corrupt political party, be they Democrats or the Republicans. Human life should rule, don’t you think so?

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Both the human and the political effects depend on how the war goes. Nobody knows that yet, not me, not you, not Dave.

  • zingzing

    so now is the time to attack what republicans do because dems are in office? blame the dems for republican doings, and then, at the magical reveal, tell them it was the republicans all along? is that what this is saying? that’s some manipulation… are you saying that republicans are easily manipulated?

    i have a sneaking suspicion that either dave is severely stoned or someone hacked his account. i can’t decide if i agree with any of this because my head is so twisted by it all… but i guess, from a realpolitik kind of angle, it’s shrewd, if a bit convoluted.

    it’s certainly a fucked up picture of the republicans… do you think they really believe that everything america does is good just because it’s america doing it? that’s downright foolish and totally ignorant. i can’t see anyone believing that, especially in this politically polarized time.

    seriously, dave… what gives?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    and in 2012 only if there is some major disaster.

    Ah, yes, Major Gilles François Bétancourt de Zastre, graduate of Saint-Cyr, late of the French Foreign Legion, and one of the most unfairly maligned figures in military history.

    In 1895, de Zastre presided over one of the most ignominious episodes in the Legion’s history when the fort he was commanding deep in the Libyan Sahara fell to a Berber raiding party.

    Outnumbered two to one but superiorly armed, the 150 legionnaires valiantly held the Berbers at bay for a day and a half. Then, shortly after daybreak and after taking severe casualties in a raid on the southern wall, the enemy appeared to retreat over a sand dune. It was at this point that de Zastre, without apparent reason or explanation, ordered the gates of the fort opened. Immediately, several hundred tribesmen who had lain camouflaged in the sand rushed the gates, overwhelmed the guards and massacred every man in the fort.

    So spectacular was this defeat that de Zastre’s last stand became synonymous with calamity – as in ‘the President’s administration is shaping up to be a Major de Zastre’.

    Then, in 1989, a historian doing research for a souvenir brochure to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the storming of the Bastille uncovered a file marked ‘Top Secret’ in a long-forgotten cellar of the Ministry of Defence in Paris. It was a dispatch from de Zastre’s commanding officer in Tripoli, General Roulle, and detailed how the two officers had set up a concealed telegraph line and were transmitting messages to each other using a code of Roulle’s own devising. Upon closer examination, it transpired that this impenetrable cipher consisted of nothing more than the substitution of the initial letter of each word with ‘A’.

    Once they’d found the telegraph wire hidden in the sand, it had taken the Berbers about forty-five seconds to tap into it, crack Roulle’s code and transmit to de Zastre the message, ‘Aave arrived. Aerbers an aetreat. Apen ahe aates. Aill aendezvous an awo ainutes.’

  • cannonshop

    Yeah, it does not fit. I suppose it might fit wherever Dave lives, though. Most of the pro-war conservatives aren’t really in favour of ‘war’, so much as opposed to the enemies we’re fighting, or of the belief that once blood is shed, it’s got to be finished-and if you’re not the winner, then by definition, you’ve lost.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    bks: So are you for continued war in Iraq and Afghanistan or not?

    Not a relevant or even meaningful question. In fact, just asking that question shows that you kind of miss the point.

    handy: Dave’s article is about a small group of true believers. I don’t believe isolationists are a very large political group in the US. They may form a part of the tea partiers, but not monolithically. Isolationism is probably more of a force on the left actually.

    It’s not so much about that group of true believers as it is directed at them. And they are more numerous than I think you realize.

    Dave

  • zingzing

    “the belief that once blood is shed, it’s got to be finished”

    of course, it’s rarely finished these days. more likely it’s abandoned.

    “and if you’re not the winner, then by definition, you’ve lost.”

    all we gain by “winning” is new targets.

  • Cannonshop

    #9 That’s because of the fiction that you can somehow ‘limit’ warfare into ‘police actions’ that leave the offender operating, Zing.

    WAR is horrible, awful, uncomfortable, terrifying, brutal and largely something to be avoided…

    but once you’re in one, you’d better destroy your enemy or you’re going to have to do it all over again, only more horrible, more bloody, more costly, and with greater human suffering than you (and the bystanders in between) suffered before.

    Case in point: Iraq. We bowed to international pressure in 1991, and as a result, the regime we left there the first time went out and pulled a genocide, ramped up the oppression and the horror and the atrocities, cut deals with outside powers to fund itself in violation of the ‘sanctions’ it was allegedly under (and, which we as U.N. signatories were supposed to enforce…) and generally made things even worse than they were before we intervened the first time-then, we wound up going in again-only THIS time, it took a lot longer, was more damaging, and is still going on.

    Contrast that with Japan. Once in, largely out now, they’re not a threat to anybody, they’re prosperous, healthy, relatively safe, and one of the economic powerhouses of the world.

    If we fought every conflict like we did the Pacific campaign of WWII, we probably wouldn’t have to fight as often as we do, and we sure as hell wouldn’t have to repeat the experience every generation.

  • Mark

    The image of Republicans as essentially irrational moralists that underlies this piece is pretty accurate, imo. I appreciate Dave’s honesty.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I wouldn’t call them irrational, Mark, it’s just that they are operating on a different set of underlying assumptions.

    Dave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I do agree with Mark. This is an honest appraisal, Dave.

    A question, though. You say,

    “They oppose the anti-war position, not because they like war, but because they dislike those who take issue with the actions of America as a nation no matter what the reason.”

    But that’s like saying that America can do no wrong. Does it all come down then to such a simplistic, uncritical position?

    Perhaps that’s what Mark may have had in mind when he used the term “irrational.”

  • Glenn Contrarian

    C-shop -

    Do you not remember that the reason George H.W. Bush didn’t continue on to Baghdad was because he didn’t have a viable exit strategy. From his book A World Transformed:

    Trying to eliminate Saddam, extending the ground war into an occupation of Iraq, would have violated our guideline about not changing objectives in midstream, engaging in “mission creep,” and would have incurred incalculable human and political costs. Apprehending him was probably impossible. We had been unable to find Noriega in Panama, which we knew intimately. We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq. The coalition would instantly have collapsed, the Arabs deserting it in anger and other allies pulling out as well. Under the circumstances, there was no viable “exit strategy” we could see, violating another of our principles. Furthermore, we had been self-consciously trying to set a pattern for handling aggression in the post-Cold War world. Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the United Nations’ mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression that we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the United States could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land. It would have been a dramatically different outcome.

    I clearly remember how many of my shipmates were wondering why we didn’t continue on to Baghdad. Bush 41′s refusal to invade Iraq proper to remove Saddam was almost a form of coitus interruptus on a grand scale as far as the military was concerned.

    But the popular thing to do…isn’t always the right thing to do. Bush 41 made the right choice, and in retrospect, as wrong as Iran-Contra certainly was, Bush 41 was not that bad a president. At least he had the guts to raise taxes when the economy needed it…and set the stage for boom years we enjoyed under Clinton.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    And C-Shop -

    Here’s a little something Bush family friend and author Mickey Hershowitz was told by George W. Bush in 1999:

    “I’ll tell you, he was thinking about invading Iraq in 1999,” Herskowitz told [freelance journalist and blogger Russ] Baker. “One of the things he said to me, is ‘One of the keys to being seen as a great leader is to be seen as a commander-in-chief.’ And he said, ‘My father had all this political capital built up when he drove the Iraqis out of (Kuwait) and he wasted it.

    He said, ‘If I have a chance to invade Iraq, if I had that much capital, I’m not going to waste it. I’m going to get everything passed I want to get passed and I’m going to have a successful presidency.’ “

    This was in 1999, two years before 9/11. So WHY did we really invade Iraq? Hm?

  • STM

    Doc at #6. Lol. You had a couple of cold ones, mate?. I notice the time .. 1023 … which is what, about 7.23 in your neck of the woods. Just enough to dash from work, straight to a high stool somewhere, and throw a couple of cleansing ales down your neck.

    Love it. Either that, or what have you been smoking and where can I get some?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Stan,

    Yep, it’s amazing how a couple of ales can limber up the creativity muscles. But it was 10.23: since BC partnered up with Technorati, we’re now living on their servers in San Francisco, so the timestamp is Pacific Time, not Eastern Time any more.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Most Republicans who support our current wars do not do so because they are in favor of war or of imperialism, but because they are unquestioningly pro-America. They may believe in a strong national defense, but they do not believe in wars of conquest and occupation. They oppose the anti-war position, not because they like war, but because they dislike those who take issue with the actions of America as a nation no matter what the reason. (except that they don’t ever look at any reasons as they are reactionary robots who have been manufactured by the culture to support the status quo)

    Dave, you do realize you are describing the behavior of cult members? Not surprising as that is what most of us are.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    “Pro-War” Republicans are a danger to humanity and should be marginalized. They’re not only irrational, they’re nuts.

    If I believed in war, these are the people I would wage a war against. The world would be better off without them.

  • Baronius

    Dave, I don’t think you account for those of us who believe that the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars were right, but who aren’t warmongers.

    We liberated Kuwait from a foreign aggressor in 1991. The Iraq War was a continuation of that action. We were attacked by Taliban-supported terrorists in 2001, and responded by aiding in the overthrow of Afghanistan’s ruling faction. We gained no wealth or territory by those actions.

    I’m not for every war. I oppose wars of aggression, and wars for territory. But the US has been just in its military actions for most of the last 100 years.

  • Stebro

    Dave, I think you are right on the money with this. Ron Paul leads by example and it appears to me that he is more interested in educating the public than in running for office.

    I can think of numerous encounters I’ve had where this explanation clearly applies.

    If we really want change in the direction of liberty, I mean to the point of working for it,the long hard slog of changing people’s fundamental beliefs has to be addressed. I appreciate your voice.

  • STM

    Doc: “The timestamp is Pacific Time, not Eastern Time”.

    Fair dinkum. I thought it was because of daylight saving ending here, and possibly beggining over there on the east coast.

    Must pay more attention.

    I’ve just eaten a Califrnia orange, BTW, Doc, as they’re out of season here at the moment. Well, two actually. I can never eat only one orange.

    Probably grown not that far from you I’d reckon in that central valley joint?

    Should’ve had a beer or 10 instead though :)

  • STM

    Small world eh?

    PS, you might know my cousins in Nevada.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    If you’ve just eaten a California orange, Stan, it was probably grown within 50 miles of where I live. There are citrus groves everywhere around here, even in people’s back gardens.

    I even have one on my back patio that I planted a couple of years back. Bastard thing hasn’t produced any fruit yet, though. Probably not getting enough sunlight.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    you might know my cousins in Nevada

    What, those Aussies in Pahrump? Third trailer on the left past the gas station? With the barbie out front?

    Yeah, I know ‘em.

    :-)

  • Cannonshop

    #14 Glenn, I always find it kind of horrifying that people think standing on someone’s neck for an indefinite period of time is better than finishing them off.

    In 1999 the U.S. was stuck acting like a border-police enforcing a blockade that had zero end in sight in the Middle East, kind of like how the Army is stuck enforcing the DMZ in Korea.

    The U.S. didn’t have a “Clear Exit Strategy” from Japan in 1945, either. Fact is, the 1990′s were a ten year cease-fire in a war that wasn’t over, and the sanctions we were enforcing weren’t helping anybody, and weren’t really hurting the regime they were directed at. Further, we sat there in our site, and watched the son of a bitch attack his own people, Glenn, with orders NOT to interfere.

    He used fucking NERVE AGENT ON THEM. Honestly, you have to be a pretty sick bastard to be good with that, or to think NOT doing something is the “Right thing to do”. If GHWBush or Clinton hadn’t been good with letting that monster (a monster OUR CIA created) keep going, if they’d finished the fucking thing in the nineties, we’d still have been dealing with ‘insurgents’ but we’d be a hell of a lot closer to leaving that country in better condition than we found it in the today, than we actually are.

    But what the hell do I know, I never made it past SP4.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    C-Shop -

    Saddam Hussein wasn’t a threat to AMERICA. There’s a lot of very evil people out there, but if we went after every murdering dictator we’d be attacking half the world and you know it. North Korea’s a far greater threat than Saddam ever was – so does that mean we have to invade them, too?

    Yeah, Saddam talked a bunch of crap, but he was far more worried about Iran than about us. You have to see through the “we will bury you” rhetoric and understand what’s really making the person tick before you go off half-cocked and waste thousands of lives of American servicemembers and hundreds of billions of dollars only to find out that there were NO WMD’s and NO threat to America to begin with.

    And btw – the guy who said “we will bury you” (Krushchev) was actually pretty progressive by Soviet standards, and the Soviet Union might have begun behaving a lot nicer if Breshnev hadn’t engineered Krushchev’s fall. Krushchev wasn’t a dyed-in-the-wool enemy of America…but all that most people recall of him is his “we will bury you” statement.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    And the reference to Japan is like comparing apples to dog crap, because Iraq didn’t attack America.

  • John Wilson

    This article is just another attempt by rightists to wriggle out of responsibility for entering (by lying and bullying) a stupid war and not having any strategy for winning it. How irresponsible. How cowardly.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    No one seems to have mentioned today’s NY Times poll that tries to define tea partiers more precisely. It’s full of priceless factoids and quotes:

    Tea Party supporters are wealthier and more well-educated than the public as a whole.

    The 18 percent of Americans who identify themselves as Tea Party supporters tend to be Republican, white, male, married and older than 45.
    [Elites!!]

    Most describe the amount they paid in taxes this year as “fair.”

    A plurality do not think Sarah Palin is qualified to be president

    Tea Party supporters’ fierce animosity toward Washington, and the president in particular, is rooted in deep pessimism about the direction of the country and the conviction that the policies of the Obama administration are disproportionately directed at helping the poor rather than the middle class or the rich.

    25 percent think that the administration favors blacks over whites – compared with 11 percent of the general public.

    “I just feel [Obama’s] getting away from what America is,” said Kathy Mayhugh, 67, a retired medical transcriber in Jacksonville. “He’s a socialist. And to tell you the truth, I think he’s a Muslim and trying to head us in that direction, I don’t care what he says. He’s been in office over a year and can’t find a church to go to. That doesn’t say much for him.”

    Of the 18 percent of Americans who identified themselves as supporters, 20 percent, or 4 percent of the general public, said they had given money or attended a Tea Party event, or both.

    They do not want a third party and say they usually or almost always vote Republican. The percentage holding a favorable opinion of former President George W. Bush, at 57 percent, almost exactly matches the percentage in the general public that holds an unfavorable view of him.

    But in follow-up interviews, Tea Party supporters said they did not want to cut Medicare or Social Security – he biggest domestic programs.

    Some defended being on Social Security while fighting big government by saying that since they had paid into the system, they deserved the benefits.

    Others could not explain the contradiction.

    “That’s a conundrum, isn’t it?” asked Jodine White, 62, of Rocklin, Calif. “I don’t know what to say. Maybe I don’t want smaller government. I guess I want smaller government and my Social Security.” She added, “I didn’t look at it from the perspective of losing things I need. I think I’ve changed my mind.”

    Countdown tonight named Jodine “The Best Person in the World! or at least in the Tea Party.”

  • Irene Wagner

    You are describing some pretty tough rows to hoe, Dave Nalle. But, behold! lift up your eyes unto yon Democratic fields, for lo, they are white already unto the harvest.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    “Pro-War” Republicans are a danger to humanity and should be marginalized. They’re not only irrational, they’re nuts.

    You clearly didn’t get the message of the article. They’re not nuts, they just don’t understand where defending the nation ends and conquest begins.

    If I believed in war, these are the people I would wage a war against. The world would be better off without them.

    In different circumstances they would be hailed as heroes and patriots — if the threat to the nation were more substantial than it is, anyway.

    Dave

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    This article is just another attempt by rightists to wriggle out of responsibility for entering (by lying and bullying) a stupid war and not having any strategy for winning it. How irresponsible. How cowardly.

    John, do you read the articles you comment on? How idiotic. How arrogant.

    Dave

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    You are describing some pretty tough rows to hoe, Dave Nalle. But, behold! lift up your eyes unto yon Democratic fields, for lo, they are white already unto the harvest.

    Irene, Raimondo is the quintessence of the non-empathetic libertarian whose arrogant and self-righteous attitude is counterproductive in resolving this division.

    Dave

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    They’re not nuts, they just don’t understand where defending the nation ends and conquest begins.

    They don’t understand because they are reactionary brainwashed cult members who can’t possibly think as long as they hold onto their prepackaged biases. That makes them irrational. What makes them nuts (psychopathic) is their lack of comprehension that conquest is not an abstract action. It means real actual living human beings have to die and be injured. To be able to use the words ‘collateral damage’ for the death of OTHER human beings or to fail to imagine and empathize with the reality is psychopathology, in my book. This makes them a danger to humanity. They are psychopaths.

    In different circumstances they would be hailed as heroes and patriots — if the threat to the nation were more substantial than it is, anyway.

    That can be said of any murderer, serial killer, or other psychopaths of their ilk. Having a standard reactionary position of ‘war is justified’ as long as my country does it, is NUTS!

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    The first sentence is a quote, I forgot the italics.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “they just don’t understand where defending the nation ends and conquest begins.”

    Dave, that’s an incriminating statement, you surely realize. It’s thinking of America as though it was their offspring, psychopathic and all.

  • Irene Wagner

    Obama (42%) and Ron Paul (41%) in a dead-heat for 2012, depending on how much stock you put in polls that are so early.

    Some, not all– I’m not going to quantify further– Republicans support Israel’s actions, including her military ones, not because these Republicans are sociopaths, but because they consider lack of support for modern-day Israel to be part of the same anti-Semitism that fueled the Holocaust. I’m not one of those Republicans, but I can tell you that the ones I know are SALT OF THE EARTH people who are too busy teaching English to the refugees in their town, pulling weeds in community organic gardens, and stocking shelves in the local food banks to have read enough to know that their sympathy for the Jewish people is a point on which they are being taken advantage of, politically. Point taken, Dave Nalle. When I sit down and think about it, I DON’T paint them all with the same Neocon brush, and so I shouldn’t speak in public as if I do.

    The Democrats who found expression for their opposition to the Iraq war by campaining for Obama are lost and without a home now, and I posted the link about the Rasmussen poll to show that some of them may be taking a second look at Ron Paul.

    So WHOA!!! Dave Nalle, where in the H – E – Double HoCKey Sticks did #34 come from? Oh, I see. Later on in the link, the author, Raimondo, says:

    Paul sweeps the independents in the Rasmussen poll, with an astonishing 47-28. Add to this Paul’s appeal to what a recent Pew poll characterized as rising “isolationist” sentiment, and what you have is a new American majority based on the proposition that the US government should start minding its own business, both at home and abroad.

    So much, by the way, for those “libertarian” academics and ivory tower Deep Thinkers who pointedly snubbed Ron, and his supporters, just as they had been doing for years, constantly denigrating his chances of making a significant difference and echoing the orchestrated smear campaign launched by neoconservatives against Paul’s personal character and that of his supporters. Accurately tracing the Paulian strategy to a series of articles by Murray Rothbard written in the 1990s in favor of cultivating “right-wing populism” as a vehicle for the introduction of libertarian ideas into the national discourse, these self-styled ultra-sophisticates sneered at the “rednecks” and rubes the Rothbardian strategy would attract: and they specifically turned up their noses at Ron Paul.

    YOWZA! I’ll sit on the sidelines and watch you and Raimondo duke it out, but I’d sooner watch you mend bridges.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    where in the H – E – Double HoCKey Sticks…

    Where in the herr?…?

    …Oh, wait a minute. My hockey sticks are hanging upside down. I see what you did there.

    :-)

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Irene -

    Obama (42%) and Ron Paul (41%) in a dead-heat for 2012, depending on how much stock you put in polls that are so early.

    That’s from a Rasmussen poll – and they always, always, always somehow come up with results significantly further to the right than the more mainstream pollsters like Gallup, ABC, CBS, Harris, etc. Figures can lie, but liars certainly figure. Either everybody else is lying…or Rasmussen is.

    There is no way – absolutely no way – that Ron Paul would stand a chance against Obama in 2012…unless our economy suddenly tanks to where we saw it in March of last year, or unless there’s a truly major terrorist attack.

    And currently, the same goes for all the currently prospective Republican candidates. I must admit, though, I’m really hoping for a Palin/Bachmann ticket (since Glenn Beck turned her down).

  • Baronius

    Handy, I don’t know what to make of that NYT/CBS poll. 78% of the people labelled “tea party supporters” have never attended a tea party rally or meeting, or donated money. 68% have never visited a tea party website.

  • Baronius

    Irene, the poll you cited isn’t good news for Paul. Consider the scattershot results for people’s opinion of the man:

    10% Very favorable
    29% Somewhat favorable
    18% Somewhat unfavorable
    12% Very unfavorable
    32% Not sure

    When asked if Paul represents a force in the GOP, a plurality of 45% said Not Sure. When asked if Paul shares the values of most Republican voters, 54% said Not Sure. I’ve got to figure that this poll means nothing.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Baronius, #41:

    And yet even by the expansive definition used [people who answered yes to "Do you support the Tea Party movement?"], they are only 18% of the population.

    But it’s not really surprising that so few have gone to rallies. That would probably be the case with many “movements.”

  • Irene Wagner

    I can’t figure why you’ve got to figure what you said you’ve got to figure. 29 + 10 = 39% said they were very or somewhat favorable toward Ron Paul.

    41% gave Yes votes to Paul. We may safely assume that they made up the aforementioned 39%.

    41% – 39% = 2% who can say nothing more damning than “somewhat unfavorable” but have decided to vote for him anyway, especially considering the alternative….

    …as for the other 59%:
    42% said that they’d vote for Obama, and the other. 17% said they weren’t sure or would vote for someone like…the Communist party gal who steps up to take her place in the democratic process.

    The 32% who weren’t sure, perhaps, had never heard of Ron Paul. How they would have voted HAD they heard about him is anybody’s guess. They may be really sure they dislike Obama but don’t know if they’d like Ron Paul any better, because they don’t have internet access, perhaps. They may be squarely on the fence, loving Obama’s pro-choice stance while hating his gung-ho! Afghanistan stance. Or it may be just the reverse.

  • Baronius

    Irene, it’s statistically possible, sure. But these people clearly didn’t know or care who Paul is. That’s not the kind of support you can count on.

  • Irene Wagner

    See last comment on Kenn Jacobine’s latest, Baronius.

  • Irene Wagner

    But since you asked, “these people” were the 32% who didn’t know or care who he was. The other 68% did, and about half of them voted for Paul, when given the chance to make a choice between Ron Paul and…here’s where I’d point out the poll’s “damning him with faint praise” qualities…Obama.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Ron Paul will be 77 by the time of the 2012 election. He seems quite spry, but I’m just saying.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Ron Paul’s not a realistic candidate, but he is a bellweather. He’s what I would call a precursor candidate. He’s the Barry Goldwater to a future Ronald Reagan, or the John C. Fremont to a future Abraham Lincoln. William Jennings Bryan to Woodrow Wilson.

    The precursor candidate establishes the political groundwork and introduces the ideas which a more poiished and somewhat more realistic candidate popularizes in a subsequent election.

    The question is who is waiting in the wings to be the Reagan to Paul’s Goldwater and how long will it take for Paul’s ideas to percolate and gain enough acceptability for someone else to run on them successfully. Goldwater to Reagan was 16 years. Fremont to Lincoln was only 4 years. Bryan to Wilson was 8 years, which seems about average.

    So the successor to Ron Paul is probably still relatively early in his political career. Likely preparing to transition from local office to his first national office.

    There are some obvious candidates who could be ready to run in 2016 or 2020. Rand Paul is one and so is former NM Governor Gary Johnson. But there are probably others coming out of the tea party movement who will surface in the next two elections.

    Dave

  • Libertarian

    Don’t hold you breath on anyone from the Tea Party being the next candidate who will be a true advocate for small govt. They almost completely ignore the military aspect of large scale govt spending, while talking about everything else.

    “They’re not nuts, they just don’t understand where defending the nation ends and conquest begins” – and that is what has lead to the biggest curse this nation has endured for decades – an invasive foreign policy at tremendous cost to the tax payer, not to mention everything else that comes with it. Over 700 military bases spread across 140 countries (as per Ron Paul)! To say that they simply “don’t understand” is a gross understatement of what is the worst mistake successive govts have made. These are the first folks to be reformed if we need a true small govt.