February 26, 2014

"Rand Paul Is the GOP’s Early Presidential Front-Runner."

"While the establishment hopes for a governor to emerge, he is quietly putting together a formidable operation."

That's an Instapundit post. There are 29 comments there right now, many of which bring up what is — at least to my ear — the obvious name: Scott Walker.

I like Rand Paul. He's got youthful vigor and a libertarian spirit. He can speak, and by speak, I mean he doesn't merely stay on message with excellent talking points. He seems to be speaking from a real and lively mind. He needs to convince us that it's a normal, nonweird mind.

219 comments:

1 – 200 of 219   Newer›   Newest»
Insufficiently Sensitive said...

He seems to be speaking from a real and lively mind.

He is. He demonstrates clear thinking, is articulate beyond the powers of our last three presidents, and doesn't hide behind platitudes.

He needs to convince us that it's a normal, nonweird mind.

You hold him guilty unless he proves himself innocent? Some law professor!

We didn't hear you express that requirement of one B.H. Obama.

chickenlittle said...

Scott Walker needs to hold Wisconsin together for the time being lest it detach itself again from the house of reason like some old-fashioned garage.

His time will come. Not just yet.

Tank said...

I like Paul a lot, but, like his father, he's an idiot on immigration.

Fen said...

He needs to convince us that it's a normal, nonweird mind.

Nah. We don't look around to see who the cool kids are voting for before we cast our vote.

Simon said...

One despairs of our retaking the White House with so terrible a bench. What I find deperssing about the campaign is not just the mediocrity of the presumed contenders, but the lack of anyone to whom one might point and say "that guy ought to be running." We have no grandees. We have no gas giants—we have no one posessed of such scale and gravity who can come in and clear a path through the infinitessimals, lock up the nomination early, unite the party, and turn to the business at hand. It is depressing to think that there is no one running—and no one who might and no one who could—who could do so without an asterisk and a footnoted list of caveats and concerns. What a shattered mess we have become.

whswhs said...

We've had a series of normal, nonweird guys in the White House, and I haven't liked any of them all that much, or though any of them did a very good job. In terms of Jeffrey Tucker's essay on geeks and wonks in politics, "nonweird" minds appeal to wonks; but wonkish government has gotten us into the mess we're in.

Fen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
madAsHell said...

"that guy ought to be running."

Trey Gowdy

Oso Negro said...

George W. Bush was mocked as stupid, despite graduating from Yale and Harvard. Sarah Palin was demonized, in part, because she graduated from University of Idaho. This was an object of mockery. If you are a Scott Walker true-believer, do you think that:

A) He is good and they were not, therefore no one will notice or mind.

B) He is from Wisconsin. Wisconsin, people!

C) As Governor of Wisconsin he has exuded mastery of all the canon of classical Western Civ. He was just too fucking smart for college. Bill Gates. Steve Jobs. Scott Walker

D) Ann Althouse has a crush on him. 'Nuff said.

Tank said...

@Simon

In the age of the internet, these perfect candidates do not exist. Obama was as close as you could get (because he had never actually done anything of note), but, even with him, there was plenty to see - people looked away.

Fen said...

he's an idiot on immigration.

No more immigration "reform" until the borders are actually closed to illegals.

I don't care if you're Ronald Reagan incarnate resurrected to save us all - you are NOT getting my vote unless you fulfill your promises (two now) to secure the borders.

SGT Ted said...

He needs to convince us that it's a normal, nonweird mind.

Appeal to conformity with the social constructs of progressives.

Michael K said...

I like him, too, but we need a governor. I fear our last best hope was Romney. He was just too normal for politics. Alan Greenspan once said the only normal person he ever met as president was Ford.

Revenant said...

What I find deperssing about the campaign is not just the mediocrity of the presumed contenders, but the lack of anyone to whom one might point and say "that guy ought to be running."

To each his own, I guess. Rand Paul would be the first major party candidate I actually would WANT to vote for, as opposed to just voting for him because the other guy is worse.

If the Republican Party has a future, it is with people like Rand Paul.

Lyssa said...

I like Rand Paul, and I've been particularly impressed with his early willingness to go after the Clinton machine (the failure to attack being a damaging error for the GOP in the last two races). But I really want to see leadership skills, and I don't have any reason to think that Paul has them. Walker, or a number of other GOP governors out there, seems like a better choice.

Re: Oso Negro - I'm concerned about Walker and the college thing, too. However, I see two things in his favor - 1) that they always deride the GOP candidate as an idiot, no matter what, so you might as well just write it off, and 2) that if they push this too hard, there's room for considerable backlash. We Americans don't like in-your-face elitism or to be told that some people are better than others because of their educations. There's room to work this to Walker's advantage.

Opinh Bombay said...

Historically, senators are not the best presidents. This is simply because they have not risen through a leadership/management crucible. They do not understand how information gets garbled as it rises and falls through an organizational chart. They don't understand the difference between the formal and the informal leadership structure. They think that an order given is an order executed. And, yes, The Affordable Care Act is a first class example of what I'm talking about.

garage mahal said...

I really think Scott Walker is the GOP's best choice for 2016. Heck, unite behind him now?

Freder Frederson said...

Isn't "Libertarian" and "normal, nonweird mind" an oxymoron?

Oso Negro said...

Lyssa, you lovely redhead, I don't personally equate diplomas with brains, but there are some risks to having a President who is undereducated. For one thing, he or she will be assailed continually with compelling reasons to do stupid things. These will be crafted with utmost sophistry by the vested members of the ruling class. Some will prove too seductive to refuse. Chaos will ensue.

Oso Negro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Revenant said...

Isn't "Libertarian" and "normal, nonweird mind" an oxymoron?

Kinda. :)

The Cracker Emcee said...

What passes for the "normal, nonwierd mind" these days is exactly the kind that got us in this mess. Time for some genuinely original thinkers.

Freder Frederson said...

that they always deride the GOP candidate as an idiot, no matter what

Bullshit, who derided Bush Sr, Bob Dole, McCain, Romney, or Nixon as an idiot? Of the post-war Republican candidates, the intelligence of Reagan, Ford and Bush Jr, are the only ones whose intelligence was questioned.

Humperdink said...

At this point Rand's my guy, with Cruz a very close second. Walker and Rubio trailing.

If any of the four cannot be beat the Beghazi Flash or the dumbest VP ever to walk the White House grounds, the country is toast.

It will take a miracle for the country to recover from the downward spiral we are on. Even if the R's win, it is doubtful we can recover in my mind.

chickenlittle said...

Simon said: We have no grandees. We have no gas giants—...

Was that sarcasm, Simon?

SGT Ted said...

Isn't "Libertarian" and "normal, nonweird mind" an oxymoron?.

Another appeal to conformity.

"You're a weirdo, shut up and get un-weird by agreeing with me and conforming to my demands".

I remember when that was used on gays and the rest of the LGBTOMGBBQ folks by the straights, to enforce social conformity with heterosexuality. Now, it's used on dissenters from the LGBTOMGBBQ Party Line.

It's really bigoted and hypocritical.

SGT Ted said...

The "other-izing" of dissent is part of the Catechism of the progressive authoritarian religion, just like all other authoritarian creeds.

SteveR said...

I think Rand Paul would be a better presidential candidate "from the senate" than typical, although its a low bar. I do think he's capable of dealing with Hillary, which will include taking on the MSM.

As for Walker, he's better off being close to garage.

Michael K said...

" Of the post-war Republican candidates, the intelligence of Reagan, Ford and Bush Jr, are the only ones whose intelligence was questioned."

Whereas, Dole should have been questioned and I am still in doubt about McCain. Reagan and Ford are the best since Eisenhower who was widely ridiculed by the left. Perhaps you're too young to remember.

Revenant said...

he's an idiot on immigration.

No more immigration "reform" until the borders are actually closed to illegals.

Um, Fen... making reform contingent on a secure border IS his position on immigration.

Big Mike said...

He needs to convince us that it's a normal, nonweird mind.

I'm not certain what "a normal, nonweird mind" looks like to a professor at one of the furthest left-leaning universities in the country, and who is living as strange a place as Madison.

Thorley Winston said...

I think the last six years should have shown everyone the folly of electing a guy with no major executive experience to the top executive job in the world.

Nonapod said...

I like Rand Paul as well, but I'm hugely skeptical of him actually being electable in a real sense. I suspect his views on foreign policy may turn off a lot of hawkish conservatives. And I'm guessing some of his views on fiscal policy may scare off the more impressionable lowinfo/independent types. Of course the Dem machine will paint him as an extremist. Basically it will be a very uphill battle.

jacksonjay said...

Noted Obama voter likes Rand Paul.

"He can speak. He speaks from a real and lively mind."

Beldar said...

Rand Paul is less weird than his dad, whom I first met and spoke with at a Texas Young Republicans Convention in Dallas in 1973 when Ron Paul was running for the Texas Legislature and I was a high school kid trying to score with the college girls at the convention.

But Rand's still pretty weird. I'm glad to have him in Washington, and I'm glad his viewpoints are getting debate. He's not in the top five of my personal favorites for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016 (which is still so very, very far away, since we're just barely through the first year of Obama's second term).

Big Mike said...

@Fen, Revenant is right. Don't you think you should research a person's positions before being against him (or her)?

MadisonMan said...

I think Rand Paul would be a better presidential candidate "from the senate" than typical, although its a low bar.

Agreed. But I can't get excited about Yet Another Senator running.

My consolation is that it is 2014.

Big Mike said...

@Freder, I note in passing that the left also pushed the line that Ford was physically clumsy, his hole in one at a Pro-Am golf tournament and his selection to play in the 1935 College All-Stars game (back when the All Stars played against the professional champions) notwithstanding.

In other words, the lefties hardly ever know what they're talking about.

Simon said...

Revenant said...
"To each his own, I guess. Rand Paul would be the first major party candidate I actually would WANT to vote for, as opposed to just voting for him because the other guy is worse."

He's a libertarian, which isn't fatal, I can work with libertarians, and dumb as a box of rocks, which is. The dozens of stupid, crazy comments that he's come out with over a surprisingly-short career were bad enough, but what should have killed his career on the spot was his behavior in regard to the debt ceiling. I don't have a problem if someone doesn't think that abolishing the debt ceiling is a priority; fair enough. But when someone makes very clear that they don't understand what the debt ceiling is and how the treasury works, and when they flirt with not raising the debt ceiling, that person needs to be kept as far from political power as possible.

"If the Republican Party has a future, it is with people like Rand Paul.

Yes, by all means, if the Republican Party has a future, it's by becoming more like a third party that routinely gets, well, you could round it up to 1%, using candidates who think that Alex Jones is a credible source. That's a great play if our goal is to play Justice Harlan to the Democratic Hegemony's Warren Court. Most Americans have a degree of sympathy with libertarianism because fundamentally they want to believe that they just want to be left alone. And libertarians, you know, they think "boy, that means that we could really get somewhere here," and what they fail to realize is that almost none of those sympathizers are actually libertarians, very few of them really want to be left along when they realize what that means ("what do you mean you want to abolish social security? Leave me and my social security alone!"), and most of them, when they are confronted with what libertarians—the sane ones, even, I don't even mean the Ron Paul nuts—have the same reaction to it that Althouse did in 2006, which is to run away screaming.

No, if the Republican Party has any future, it is with a Republican version of Kai Ryssdal—it is with people who know what they don't know, understand what they need to know, and, fundamentally, aren't, you know, fucking crazy people.

Revenant said...

I like Rand Paul as well, but I'm hugely skeptical of him actually being electable in a real sense. I suspect his views on foreign policy may turn off a lot of hawkish conservatives

I'm skeptical he can win the nomination for much that reason. The hawks still have a lock on the party at this point, sadly.

But in an election itself it would be a big *advantage* to be seen as a non-hawk. Polls show that Americans are sick to death of wars and of sending American troops to die in third-world shitholes that pose no threat. Even the war in Afghanistan -- which started off with the same level of Congressional support as the declaration of war against *Japan* -- is now opposed by the majority of Americans.

Revenant said...

Yes, by all means, if the Republican Party has a future, it's by becoming more like a third party that routinely gets, well, you could round it up to 1%

Kick that straw man's ass, Simon. Teach it a lesson.

Hagar said...

It is not so much about the candidate having executive experience with us, as it is about us having experience with him, so that we can have some idea what he is going to do with that executive power.

Ann Althouse said...

"We didn't hear you express that requirement of one B.H. Obama."

Why don't you go back and check? I'm pretty sure I did.

Especially when it came down to the final pick.

Ann Althouse said...

"Isn't "Libertarian" and "normal, nonweird mind" an oxymoron?"

A hardcore libertarian is weird to me, and I'm on record finding these people -- the hardcore ones -- to be missing some parts.

So anyone with a libertarian reputation has a burden to prove that he's not one of those excessively abstract, low empathy people. I don't trust them. I need some good pragmatism and contact with real life in the mix.

Simon said...

What we're so desperately lacking today are serious candidates and people like WFB. That's what's missing here. When I talk about people with asterisks after their name, I mean that we've got a lot of people who are good on this point or that, or who are great on a number of points but deficient or just bloody terrifying on one important issue. And so you have someone like Mitch Daniels, who's good on the economics but he's unacceptable on the social prong of things. And you have someone like Mike Huckabee, who's a great guy, you know, and he's good on the social stuf, but he's a Larsonite. And you can go down the list, you know the list as well as I do.

And sure, you have people like Scott Walker and Paul Ryan, who seem like serious, sober people, but in better days, we'd think it was a joke that someone so early in their political career was running for President. We have no generals, we have no judges, we have no succesful six-term governors, we have no former Fed governors or Fortune 500 CEOs or what-have-you. We just have these unbearably small, flawed candidates who tear each other into even smaller pieces in the primary. And I wouldn't care—I would say that we don't deserve to win an election in this state, which is true—but that the stakes are so incredibly, unbearably high.

Fen said...

Even the war in Afghanistan -- which started off with the same level of Congressional support as the declaration of war against *Japan* -- is now opposed by the majority of Americans.

I don't think thats a qualifier. Most Americans polled don't know where our troops are and don't really care why.

Michael K said...

"Polls show that Americans are sick to death of wars and of sending American troops to die in third-world shitholes that pose no threat."

I agree but Obama, like Clinton, is leaving a big surprise for his successor. He is also, like Clinton, gutting the military. I think the Pentagon is corrupt but the way to deal with that is with someone, like Rumsfeld, who knows his way around and has a plan to prune the dead wood.

Hagel is a fool although a useful one for Obama.

Ann Althouse said...

I am also very Senator-averse.

JRoberts said...

As the GOP prepares for 2016, I've found myself studying the mid-20th century GOP when you had the Thomas Dewey/Nelson Rockefeller (Eastern Establishment) wing of the GOP and the Robert Taft wing.

It seems many of the issues are the same. While I would prefer the GOP to nominate a good Governor, Rand Paul sometimes comes across as a Robert Taft for this generation.

Revenant said...

The dozens of stupid, crazy comments that he's come out with over a surprisingly-short career were bad enough

Such as?

I suppose "crazy" is in the eye of the beholder. For example, Romney proposed *increasing* military spending, which to me is the kind of comment I'd expect from someone who has to be restrained from eating his own feces. Yes, Mitt, we're running the biggest deficits in the history of the planet, face no military threats of any kind, already have the most powerful army in the world, and have a public that is sick of war -- let's *increase* military spending.

Michael K said...

"we have no former Fed governors or Fortune 500 CEOs or what-have-you."

All they have to do is watch what was done to Romney and they quickly drop any willingness to drain the swamp. There has been a Gresham's Law of politics in operation since Eisenhower.

Michael K said...

"face no military threats of any kind,"

Read the papers much ?

Seeing Red said...

It depends on where the spending is increased.

Ann Althouse said...

What I want is strong libertarian values in a fully dimensional person who's grounded in real life.

That might be Rand Paul.

Fen said...


Um, Fen... making reform contingent on a secure border IS his position on immigration.

If its the bill where DHS "deems" the border secure, then no. Not the same thing.

Not falling for the bait and switch. Seen it played twice now.

Nov 6th: I'll secure the borders!

Jan 20th: Tomorrow. Maybe later. First, lets give 10 million illegals amnesty...

Seeing Red said...

And the republicans did accept defense cuts.

jacksonjay said...

I note in passing that the left also pushed the line that Ford was physically clumsy,...

Of course, Chevy Chase on SNL made this the "truth" with his clumsy impersonations of Ford! (Long before Tina Fey could see Russia from Alaska!)

Entertainers are the best weapon the lefties have.

Revenant said...

I agree but Obama, like Clinton, is leaving a big surprise for his successor. He is also, like Clinton, gutting the military.

We are currently spending more on the military, in inflation-adjusted terms, than we have at any point since the Korean war.

Obama is "gutting" military spending to levels well above what Reagan during the Cold War, when we faced a *real* threat.

MadisonMan said...

Nov 6th: I'll secure the borders!

Jan 20th: Tomorrow. Maybe later. First, lets give 10 million illegals amnesty...

So they use something like Immigration reform just like they use abortion.

Michael K said...

I suspect your views on gay marriage, Ann, may have persuaded you to avoid the Arizona story but Here is a reasoned opinion on the issues. You might consider reading it.

Revenant said...

"face no military threats of any kind,"

Read the papers much ?

Yes. Do you?

What's the military threat you think we're facing, pray tell? Iran? Do you know what the words "military" and "threat" even mean?

The biggest threat we face -- which is trivial compared to the various threats we faced during the 20th century -- is terrorism. If you look at the countries which have been successful at curtailing terrorism, they didn't use a huge military to do it.

AReasonableMan said...

Revenant said...
The hawks still have a lock on the party at this point, sadly.

But in an election itself it would be a big *advantage* to be seen as a non-hawk. Polls show that Americans are sick to death of wars and of sending American troops to die in third-world shitholes that pose no threat. Even the war in Afghanistan -- which started off with the same level of Congressional support as the declaration of war against *Japan* -- is now opposed by the majority of Americans.


A Rand Paul nomination would result in a complete rethinking of national security and what security actually means. It would force the Democrats to deal with their own mindless hawks and military-industrial dependence. He is my favored candidate for the nomination. He could force Clinton to make commitments that would be difficult to go back on if she was elected president. Otherwise, as a woman, I think she would be too eager to prove her 'toughness'.

Seeing Red said...

What's a huge military for 300 million people?

jacksonjay said...

How about the discussion yesterday about doctors in politics? Rand Paul is a Senator doctor who talks real good! Overrated!

Obama is a Senator instigator who used to talk real good!

Damn!

Revenant said...

If its the bill where DHS "deems" the border secure, then no. Not the same thing.

He voted against that bill.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

I think Rand Paul will run. You'd have to give him better odds of getting the nomination than Ron Paul. Rand Paul also has a shot for the VP slot, which Ron Paul never had.

Let's say it's a field of three: Chris Christie, Scott Walker, and Rand Paul. Who has the best chance to beat Hillary Clinton?

SGT Ted said...

So anyone with a libertarian reputation has a burden to prove that he's not one of those excessively abstract, low empathy people.

When examining the actual results of the people you voted into office, this doesn't mean much.

I see a complete lack of empathy from those that you voted into office towards the people their policies are screwing over.

What we get is a phony empathy, typical of politicians, from those you voted for, while they ignore and excuse the real damage Progressive policies are doing to ordinary peoples lives.

You are excusing their lack of empathy because...why?

Care to explain how their lack of empathy is not operative when it comes to your vote for THEM, as opposed to Rand Paul?

Fen said...

may have persuaded you to avoid the Arizona story but -

Still can't find any good analysis on this. Wish Althouse would do it here. Nothing from Volokh or Legal Insurrection either.(?)

Powerline starts it off, but that doesn't get into the meat of it.

Revenant said...

What's a huge military for 300 million people?

It is a military, not a police force. Police needs are a function of population size, military needs are a function of military threats.

Fen said...

He voted against that bill.

Good.

Simon said...

Chickenlittle said...
Was that sarcasm, Simon?

Nope. You mean the gas giant line? The metaphor comes from the theory of planetary formation that says that one of the variables is the development of gas giants, because what the gas giants do is that they don’t just clear their own orbital path, they hoover up a whole bunch of material from the accretion disk which makes for a much safer, more peaceful neighborhood. We desperately need that kind of candidate—someone who is a heavyweight and who discourages embarrassing pebbles like Bachman from running in the first place and obliterates gravel like Rick Santorum when it insists on being there.

Tank said...
In the age of the internet, these perfect candidates do not exist.

I don’t agree. Or rather, I agree that they don’t, but I don’t think that there’s any reason why they can’t. What you can’t do today, what the internet has changed (and politicians still don’t seem to get this) is talk out of both sides of your mouth anymore. You can’t tell the Country Club that you’re against unions and the unions that you’re for unions, for example. And that is a “problem,” certainly—a candidate who pleases me on immigration is going to lose Fen (ante, at 2/26/14, 10:10 AM (“you are NOT getting my vote unless you fulfill your promises … to secure the borders.”)). But that’s not what I’m talking about; I’m just talking about candidates who have and can articulate and defend intelligible, coherent, political views that aren’t terrifying and who don’t have seriously-defective views on any important issue. (OTOH, I realize that “important issue” is a moving target; for Fen, immigration is an important issue, whereas for me I just want the damn thing to go away so that it can stop killing us with latino voters. What I mean is, you can’t run for President on the GOP ticket if you have views that are completely inimical to one or more major parts of the coalition; a libertarian can run, for example, but s/he can’t be that kind of libertarian who says “abortion ought to be legal.”)

Michael K said...

"Do you know what the words "military" and "threat" even mean?"

Yes, I do. Shall we compare ?

China and Japan may get into a war. Iran may detonate a nuke in NY harbor. Or it may attack Israel and set off a nuclear war in the middle east.

I don't recommend invading anybody, even "from behind" but threats exist even if you are clueless.

Fen said...

Rev: If you look at the countries which have been successful at curtailing terrorism, they didn't use a huge military to do it.

Curtail? I think thats an admission that those countries are losing to terrorism.

We're going to be 180 on foreign policy and military spending.

But I could still vote for Rand Paul. Though he better bring his Domestic A Game and beat the snot out the Establishment Party (E).

Fen said...

Hat tip to Simon for making the Gas Giant metaphor work. ;)

Jon said...


Despite what he says, I don't think that Romney has really completely ruled out a third run.

His speaking out against the AZ gay bill yesterday makes me more confident in that view.

Fen said...

What I mean is, you can’t run for President on the GOP ticket if you have views that are completely inimical to one or more major parts of the coalition

Churches have had this problem for some time. I'll wager the Increase Membership VS Dilute Teachings arguments that played out will cover whatever we would debate here. I might go look them up just for fun.

I guess I'm in the "fix it or let it burn" camp. Others are still in the "we can get another few thousand miles out of this clunker"

Simon said...

AReasonableMan said...
"A Rand Paul nomination would result in a complete rethinking of national security and what security actually means."

It would result in a landslide victory for Hillary Clinton and the total loss of the Supreme Court for a generation, at the cost of millions of lives.

Revenant said...

China and Japan may get into a war.

I see the source of your confusion. When I said "we face military threats", you mistakenly assumed I was Japanese. I'm actually from the United States.

Iran may detonate a nuke in NY harbor.

And that's a military threat how, exactly? You're describing a terrorist attack. Short of blockading New York and searching every truck and shipping container from now until the end of time, you can't stop a nuke in NYC using the military.

Or it may attack Israel and set off a nuclear war in the middle east.

To reiterate: WE, meaning the United States, face no military threats. Is it possible that Iran will commit suicide in order to attack Israel? Sure. Is it likely, no -- if Muslim nutjobs were as eager to die as they claim to be, Israel would already be wiped out. But whether it happens or not, it isn't a threat to America and it isn't a problem solvable with a million-man army.

Revenant said...

What I mean is, you can’t run for President on the GOP ticket if you have views that are completely inimical to one or more major parts of the coalition

Of course you can. Reagan did. So did Bush, with his "compassionate conservatism" big-government bullshit.

garage mahal said...

Surprised there isn't more love for Walker. He seems like the perfect GOP candidate. Definitely not a RINO, has executive experience. He crushed unions for heavens sake. Is there something holding him back, like an old email, or something from his past?

Michael K said...

"But whether it happens or not, it isn't a threat to America and it isn't a problem solvable with a million-man army."

Clueless and apparently content to be so.

AReasonableMan said...

garage mahal said...
Surprised there isn't more love for Walker.


I do not believe that Garage is writing this in good faith. I am posting this as a warning to others.

SayAahh said...

There is a possible great presidential candidate. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder.
Intelligent, pragmatic, a proven leader, a self confessed "nerd", and capable of working both sides of the aisle.
He has the documented tickets.

Fen said...

Garage, being a republican means you have to hide your actual preferences so the media doesn't pick up the scent and start their propaganda war.

Whats pathetic is that you like it that way. Fricken Lefist scum.

Simon said...

Fen said...
'I guess I'm in the "fix it or let it burn" camp. Others are still in the "we can get another few thousand miles out of this clunker"'

In a world where liberalism had never been corrupted into progressivism, in a world where the New Deal and the 1960s had never happened, in a sane world where the gap between Revenant's views and mine were the political endzones and the game were played 'twixt and 'tween, I would agree. But in this world, where libertarians and conservatives are besieged by a powerful and common enemy, we have to find ways to make the marriage work, for if we do not hang together, we will hang apart, and that's no more a metaphor today than it was when originally quipped. As Tank's avatar so vividly reminds us, the left is, ultimately, force and violence.

Revenant said...

Curtail? I think thats an admission that those countries are losing to terrorism.

The phrase "losing to terrorism" doesn't actually make any sense. Terrorism is a tactic, not a country. It is a tactic that is enormously effective in specific cases, which is why it has always been and WILL always be used. You cannot get rid of it -- all you can do is take steps to limit it.

chickenlittle said...

Simon said: We desperately need that kind of candidate—someone who is a heavyweight and who discourages embarrassing pebbles like Bachman from running in the first place and obliterates gravel like Rick Santorum when it insists on being there.

And yet, when I strip away all that is said about such candidates (and I would include Sarah Palin on that list BTW), I see representatives of block of voters whom the modern Republican Party would like to disenfranchise. With all due respect Simon (and there is a lot there for me for you), you just don't like Tea Party types. I understand why though. :)

Revenant said...

Is there something holding him back, like an old email, or something from his past?

So we're withholding love for Walker because of a secret we don't know about? Damn, we're pretty shrewd.

Simon said...

SayAahh said...
"There is a possible great presidential candidate. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder."

He's also a first-term governor, which reinforces my point about the shallowness of our bench as things stand today.

Drago said...

Simon: "It is with a Republican version of Kai Ryssdal."

Kai Ryssdal?!

Where did that come from?

Marshal said...

Revenant said...
Um, Fen... making reform contingent on a secure border IS [Paqul's] position on immigration.


It's Boehner's also. It's Paul's responsibility to show he's serious about border security - since virtually none of the nominally pro-immigration pro-border security politicians actually give a crap about the border security side.

The Crack Emcee said...

I don't care who conservatives pick, as long as they don't recognize how much they're disliked.

Run anybody - Paul, Cruz, anybody - they'll lose.

I told you:

Your stubbornness has begat stubbornness,...





MadisonMan said...

Let's say it's a field of three: Chris Christie, Scott Walker, and Rand Paul. Who has the best chance to beat Hillary Clinton?

I am unconvinced that Hillary!!! will be the nominee, and I think it shortsighted to gauge the Republican nominee on their ability to beat her.

MadisonMan said...

And I think any of those three could beat Hillary, FWIW.

Seeing Red said...

Security over liberty. We shall have neither.

AReasonableMan said...

Revenant said...
you mistakenly assumed I was Japanese.


Maybe he thought you were turning Japanese.

Revenant said...

But in this world, where libertarians and conservatives are besieged by a powerful and common enemy, we have to find ways to make the marriage work, for if we do not hang together, we will hang apart, and that's no more a metaphor today than it was when originally quipped.

Simon, we aren't allies against a common enemy. You and the Democrats are allies against a common enemy -- namely, people who actually want to limit the power of the government. You strip us of rights and grow the government, the Democrats strip us of additional rights and grow the government more.

Oh, sure, the Republicans like to talk a good game about supporting small business and getting the government off people's backs. But then you turn around and add a few more thousand pages of regulations, another couple dozen felonies, find another handful of "exceptions" to the Bill of Rights, and borrow an extra trillion or two we can't pay back.

"You have to support us, we'll fuck up the country marginally more slowly than the Democrats will" is a song and dance that's gotten old. Like, Village People "In the Navy" old.

Gahrie said...

. For one thing, he or she will be assailed continually with compelling reasons to do stupid things

A lack of formal education does not necessarily denote either stupidity or ignorance.

And as has been said before, if you go to Harvard and Yale, but you are Republican they will call you stupid anyway.

Revenant said...

It's Paul's responsibility to show he's serious about border security - since virtually none of the nominally pro-immigration pro-border security politicians actually give a crap about the border security side.

Saying "Paul needs to show he's serious about border security" is one thing, saying his position on immigration is idiotic is quite another.

His position is that border security comes first. You can believe him or not, but calling that position idiotic when it is the most conservative position short of "fuck you, nobody gets to immigrate here again ever" is a bit over the top. That's what I was objecting to.

Paul's proposal was to require Congress to certify that the borders are sufficiently secure before allowing work visas. Of the three options for "who says when the borders are secure", Congress is the one that makes the most sense -- the Congresscritters will have to face voters, after all, instead of just passing the buck to unfireable bureaucrats or judges.

Now, you can say "well they'll just go ahead and certify it whether it is true or not" -- but if they were willing to do that, they'd just do it now, wouldn't they?

Marshal said...

SayAahh said...
There is a possible great presidential candidate. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder.


Mike Pence deserves more recognition than he's getting in this thread.

Revenant said...

For one thing, he or she will be assailed continually with compelling reasons to do stupid things

The government and the issues it faces are several orders of magnitude too complicated for any one person to understand. It doesn't matter how educated you are -- you will be hopelessly unfamiliar with and/or unqualified to decide on pretty much every choice you face.

This is one of many reasons why I'm a libertarian. It isn't just that the government is incompetent, but that the government cannot be competent.

jacksonjay said...

Crack sez:

I don't care who conservatives pick, as long as they don't recognize how much they're disliked.

Obama got 66 million votes in 2012.
Mitt got 61 million votes in 2012.

"Dislike" differential - 4%

Data is a bitch!

Civilis said...

And yet, when I strip away all that is said about such candidates (and I would include Sarah Palin on that list BTW), I see representatives of block of voters whom the modern Republican Party would like to disenfranchise. With all due respect Simon (and there is a lot there for me for you), you just don't like Tea Party types. I understand why though.

The underlying fault is that due to inaccurate self-reinforcing caricatures of the three major parts of the 'right' coalition that dominate national media discourse, the Republican Party hierarchy feels it needs to distance itself from these caricatures to get elected, without realizing that this feeds in to its own inaccurate characterization.

People have to deal with this media caricature of the Tea Party and Sarah Palin. This caricature emphasizes the negative. Being associated with this negative caricature hurts Republican poll numbers, so they have to take actions to explicitly distance themselves from Palin and the Tea Party, which gets Tea Party members (who have a positive view of themselves) take this explicit distancing as a betrayal, and respond naturally. The Republican party may not want to distance itself from any of its support blocks, but it may feel it needs to do so to get elected.

My greatest fear is that the whole system collapses when these varying caricatures of both sides either grow so disjointed that normal governance is impossible, or too many people see through the caricatures and get pissed that they've been accidentally deceived.

Simon said...

ckenlittle said...
"With all due respect Simon (and there is a lot there for me for you), you just don't like Tea Party types. I understand why though. :)"

You're right, I don't generally like loud, rowdy, low-information, gullible, protest-minded populists, of either part. OWS, the tea party, Francis, it's all the same thing. Populism. On the other hand, there are some tea partiers I like a great deal, and I sympathize with much of the substantive agenda that has come to be associated with them. There's a lot of looniness, but there are things on which we can surely agree. And I think that's the point—imagine a hypothetical grandee, Justice Orson G. Wells. Wells served briefly with honors in the marines as a young man before being graduated from a reasonably good university with a degree in finance and economics and from Marquette with a law degree. We went into business, served a term on the board of the Minneapolis fed, served three terms as the Governor of Montana, was briefly our ambassador to Ireland, and has won acclaim on the right as a smart, conservative judge on the Supreme Court of the United States for three years. His pro-life credentials are unquestioned. As a westerner and a finance guy, he is vocally-sympathetic to the tea party's concerns and goals, but he isn't a loony on things like the debt ceiling. Don't you think that a guy with that kind of resume could not only come in and clear the accretion disk, but he could do so without making any major constituency feeling threatened or "disenfranchied," up to and including the tea partiers and the libertarians? The problem is that we can invent resumes all day, and that's great if we're writing "The West Wing," but it's fiction. We don't have people like that.

Marshal said...

Of the three options for "who says when the borders are secure", Congress is the one that makes the most sense

There are many more than three options. For example you could set specific criteria [a net decrease in illegal immigrants, all businesses required to use e-verify, etc] backed up by certification requiring a supermajority. Or you could require certification by all three groups.

Now, you can say "well they'll just go ahead and certify it whether it is true or not" -- but if they were willing to do that, they'd just do it now, wouldn't they?

You're changing the benefits of the certification from something <0(Dems and certain Reps would reveal their dishonesty in advance to no benefit since the law directing action doesn't exist) to something >0 (getting the policy they want). Why would you believe the lack of certification now is in any way comparable to certification when it counts?

Michael said...

Garage: "Is there something holding him back, like an old email, or something from his past?"

Garage, we are now at T+one week. There are 27,000 emails. Even slow reading lefties will have plowed through them by now since they are likely to be less than three paragraphs long on average.

When do we conclude either lefties are slow readers or there is no there there?

Simon said...

Marshal said...
"Mike Pence deserves more recognition than he's getting in this thread."

Mike Pence is a first-term governor whose only prior experience is in the House of Representatives. Same problem. Better than Scott, but same basic problem. We have a whole bunch of people who may end up benig great candidates one day, but we need someone in eight months.

garage mahal said...

So we're withholding love for Walker because of a secret we don't know about? Damn, we're pretty shrewd.

I'm wondering what is holding him back with GOP primary voters. He has more executive experience than Cruz, Rubio, or Rand Paul.

Marshal said...

Simon said...
We have a whole bunch of people who may end up benig great candidates one day, but we need someone in eight months.


You seem to think this is something unusual. All Presidential candidates are flawed. If you think now is different from the past (for either party) I think you're retrofitting.

Civilis said...

Simon, we aren't allies against a common enemy. You and the Democrats are allies against a common enemy -- namely, people who actually want to limit the power of the government. You strip us of rights and grow the government, the Democrats strip us of additional rights and grow the government more.

Oh, sure, the Republicans like to talk a good game about supporting small business and getting the government off people's backs. But then you turn around and add a few more thousand pages of regulations, another couple dozen felonies, find another handful of "exceptions" to the Bill of Rights, and borrow an extra trillion or two we can't pay back.

On a small and large scale, I believe the issue is Republicans by and large do intend to shrink government and regulation, but the situation makes that very difficult.

An individual Representative needs to get re-elected, and for that they need to campaign. So they get this 'a little pork is okay if it benefits my district and gets me re-elected' and then 'I need to scratch other Rep.'s back so he'll vote for the benefit for my district'. That, coupled with the ongoing risk that anything you do will be spinned against you by someone that believes that government is the way to solve problems, makes quick and dirty deregulation and cuts impossible.

The larger Catch-22 is this: people think Republicans won't clean up government so they don't vote for Republican politicians, so Republican politicians are more dependent on voters that have one or more other reasons to vote Republicans, which requires the politicians in power to cater to those voters.

The Democrats, meanwhile, can get votes by creating more "Us" groups to give benefits to, as long as they can find a "Them" to get benefits from (even if the "them" is later generations).

BDNYC said...

Rand Paul is great. He has the right instincts and, unlike his father, he's thoughtful. Ron Paul is a rigid ideologue. His ideology freed him from the lawmaker's obligation to learn about complex issues, to compromise with opponents, to have priorities, to not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

Rand is more pragmatic and formidable as an advocate for the libertarian cause. He's capable of making the GOP more genuinely committed to personal freedom and limited government. He might even give voice within the GOP to a more restrained foreign policy and a less expensive military.

Rand Paul's instincts and basic assumptions on rights and government powers comport quite nicely with what AA posted earlier this morning re: the Bittman-Freudenberg contingent.

cubanbob said...

Michael K said...
I like him, too, but we need a governor. I fear our last best hope was Romney. He was just too normal for politics. Alan Greenspan once said the only normal person he ever met as president was Ford.

2/26/14, 10:13 AM"

Considering he (Ford) is the only president ever appointed that's a scary thought.

cubanbob said...

Oso Negro said...
Lyssa, you lovely redhead, I don't personally equate diplomas with brains, but there are some risks to having a President who is undereducated. For one thing, he or she will be assailed continually with compelling reasons to do stupid things. These will be crafted with utmost sophistry by the vested members of the ruling class. Some will prove too seductive to refuse. Chaos will ensue.

2/26/14, 10:24 AM"

How is that in practice any different from what we have now and have had for the most of the last eighty years?

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

I don't personally equate diplomas with brains, but there are some risks to having a President who is undereducated.

Oh, do give your opinion of Harry Truman, who appears to have been a reasonable President. No college degree whatever.

And can you assert that Obama is 'educated'? The press diligently refused to illuminate his degree path, and his credentials can be as well ascribed to leftist conformism as to love of broad learning.

TMink said...

I think either of those two would make a fine president who could really help the country. I am not sure which I would vote for in a primary.

Trey

Lydia said...

After Rubio’s passionate takedown of Tom Harkin two days ago, I’m now firmly in the Rubio camp. If you don’t know what he said, the video is here and the full text is here.

His comments were made after Harkin gushed over Cuba following a recent trip there. Rubio also talks about politicians who played nice-nice with Chavez in Venezuela and about what’s happening there now.

cubanbob said...

Revenant said...
I agree but Obama, like Clinton, is leaving a big surprise for his successor. He is also, like Clinton, gutting the military.

We are currently spending more on the military, in inflation-adjusted terms, than we have at any point since the Korean war.

Obama is "gutting" military spending to levels well above what Reagan during the Cold War, when we faced a *real* threat.

2/26/14, 10:59 AM"

Wow! The things one learns on this blog! Who knew that the next president will have the same number planes, ships and troops Reagan had if things get ugly in the Pacific.

Jon said...


His position is that border security comes first. You can believe him or not, but calling that position idiotic when it is the most conservative position short of "fuck you, nobody gets to immigrate here again ever" is a bit over the top. That's what I was objecting to.

Rand Paul opposes E-Verify, and wants to massively increase the number of "guest workers", both of are indeed idiotic positions.

You could have 100% effective border security and it would only stop at most about 50% of illegal immigration, because about half of illegals came here legally and overstayed their visas. And importing more guest workers will increase the number of visa overstays.

Lydia said...

Michael K said…Alan Greenspan once said the only normal person he ever met as president was Ford.

Ah, Greenspan. The man who idolized Ayn Rand, and who is married to Andrea Mitchell.

grackle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
grackle said...

At this point Rand's my guy, with Cruz a very close second. Walker and Rubio trailing.

My similar choices, very preliminary: Cruz, with Walker and Rand close behind in that order. Rubio trails far behind because of his dissembling on immigration.

Cruz, because he keeps campaign promises and is willing to fight. Walker because of a sterling track record. Rand because he thinks outside the box. I would vote for Christie reluctantly.

No more Bush family, please.

I suspect his[Rand Paul's] views on foreign policy may turn off a lot of hawkish conservatives.

Maybe. It worries me. I would not want to vote for an isolationist. Might have to, though. I believe many isolationists would waiver and make exceptions after the first few Presidential intelligence briefings.

… military needs are a function of military threats.

We were unprepared for two world wars and Korea because of similar viewpoints. History is adamant: Aggression is invited by a perception of weakness. "Military threats" cannot be foreseen. The advantages we have against our enemies is military technology(stealth, smart bombs, drones, etc.), eavesdropping capabilities and a well trained, large armed force. Those advantages are being nullified by circumstance and policy.

cubanbob said...

"Revenant said...
China and Japan may get into a war.

I see the source of your confusion. When I said "we face military threats", you mistakenly assumed I was Japanese. I'm actually from the United States."

And no doubt you are convinced that two very big oceans will keep all these possible parades of horribles safely away from the United States.

Fortunately for the Democrats it's a pretty sure bet the national Republican's will find a way to nominate a candidate and possibly the only candidate that will make Hillary look good by comparison. None of the so-called current Republican front-runners are up to that task so fear not.

gadfly said...

So what am I to think? The "nonpartisan" National Post likes Rand Paul and the "liberal" Politico likes Rand Paul ... and Scott Walker.

NP says:The 2016 Republican nominating fight will go a long way toward determining whether Paul is the modern version of Barry Goldwater or at the leading edge of a new, more libertarian brand of Republicanism.

So suddenly Barry Goldwater is a bad guy? Don't get me wrong, I would love to have more libertarian thinking in government, but Goldwater was further right than Reagan - so what's not to like?

However, Jonathan Tobin gets it right about Scott Walker. He is the strongest candidate available because he has been thumping the unions and he will again in his next gubernatorial campaign.

Civilis said...

The defense budget does have a certain level of pork in it, in the form of unneeded bases, programs, and commitments. The problem is that most of us aren't sufficiently in the know as to what the needs are, especially given a lack of knowledge as to what the next threat will be.

Is it worth cutting the proven A-10 and several Army combat units to keep the F-35 program going? I don't know. I do know that we can probably find things in there that can be cut.

Lyssa said...

Since we're throwing names out, I've never understood why TN gov. Bill Haslem doesn't get more national play. He's smart, articulate, popular, and TN's been doing extremely well lately. He's in his first term now, but he'll sail through re-election this year for a second term.

David said...

Sins of the father.

Revenant said...

You're changing the benefits of the certification from something <0(Dems and certain Reps would reveal their dishonesty in advance to no benefit since the law directing action doesn't exist) to something >0 (getting the policy they want). Why would you believe the lack of certification now is in any way comparable to certification when it counts?

You're missing the point.

If work visas are conditioned on Congress declaring the borders to be secure then, yes, Congress could lie and say the borders are secure in order to get something.

... and they could do that right this minute. They could say "the borders are already secure, so we're going ahead and authorizing work visas or amnesty or whatever". So why don't they? The reason is that the American people won't go for it. If the borders aren't secure, we know, and we hold Congress accountable. That's why the various attempts at amnesty have been going nowhere for 25 years now.

That's why Congress keeps proposing laws that would place certification of security in the hands of unaccountable bureaucrats in the Executive branch of a second-term President. Obama and/or his underlings can certify whatever they want whether it matches reality or not, an Congress can cry crocodile tears about how the executive branch failed in its responsibility... and quietly pat themselves on the back for getting amnesty passed.

By making Congress itself certify that the borders are secure, we make it impossible for Congressmen to dodge responsibility. Any objective criteria can be and will be fudged by the executive branch, but the legislative branch has to stand for re-election.

EMD said...

Think of all of the original, daring, interesting and amazing things you've come across.

They've all come from weirdos.

Non-weird is almost the worst thing a person can be.

Brando said...

Whoever the GOP nominates, they'll need someone who can broaden the party's usual constituency. It's a losing bet to count on the Bush '04 states these days--it gives the Dems the initiative and Florida, Colorado, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia are getting bluer each year.

Paul's a bit of a wild card, being the most libertarian of the bunch--if he can appeal to more young people and blunt the usual charges against the Republicans, he might have a shot.

Of course, it'll also be important to see how the economy and Obama's numbers are doing by '16. That might trump everything else.

Revenant said...

I'm wondering what is holding him back with GOP primary voters. He has more executive experience than Cruz, Rubio, or Rand Paul.

Walker has a lower profile. When the real campaigns kick off in 2015 I expect Walker to do very well.

Revenant said...

On a small and large scale, I believe the issue is Republicans by and large do intend to shrink government and regulation, but the situation makes that very difficult.

I used to believe that, I just couldn't sustain the belief in the face of the evidence.

Republicans controlled both branches of government for four solid years, 2003 through the end of 2006. They took the opportunity to further grow government, further curtail liberty, et al.

It is certainly true that there are *some* people in the Republican party who genuinely want to reduce the size of government, but the party establishment types -- the Simons and Karl Roves and Mitt Romneys -- invariably undermine them at every opportunity. There hasn't been a genuinely small-government Republican President since *Coolidge*, for pity's sake.

Oso Negro said...

@Insufficiently Sensitive -

Don't confuse "credentialed" with "educated". Harry Truman was raised on a farm, served as a combat artillery officer in WWI, failed as an independent business, worked in the Boss Pendergast machine in KC, and sold automobile club memberships. That is a hell of a lot more education that Barack Obama had prior to his ascension. I would argue that the nation would have been better off if Roosevelt had taken William O. Douglas as his Veep and Harry Truman had been appointed to the Supreme Court.

Oso Negro said...

Blogger cubanbob said...

How is that in practice any different from what we have now and have had for the most of the last eighty years?

2/26/14, 12:18 PM

It isn't Bob, and that is a source of despair. But we can always hope for more.

Revenant said...

Rand Paul opposes E-Verify, and wants to massively increase the number of "guest workers", both of are indeed idiotic positions.

E-Verify = you cannot have a job in America without an ID card issued by the federal government. Thinking that Americans should be allowed to have a job without the permission of Washington bureaucrats is not "idiotic". Terror of Mexicans is no reason to transfer even more power to Washington.

As for increasing the number of work visas, feel free to explain why that's "idiotic".

SayAahh said...

The presumption is that H. Rodham will be trying on her inevitable tiara, that is, if she doesn't break the mirror while looking into it.

It is not delusional to consider an unfamiliar candidate.
At the risk of belaboring the point, Rick Snyder albeit a first term governor, has extensive executive business experience, has been a venture capitalist, was able to bring Right to Work to the number one labor state in the country, and has many other major accomplishments in his first term. He is respected for his keen mind, leadership abilities and would provide enormous value to the GOP and as president.

As hard as it may be for some, try to think of a fresh face. One who is not constantly trying to mug the cameras and capture the sound bites. A candidate with a documented unblemished record and a proven list of legislative accomplishments, a willingness to collaborate and most importantly a positive style. The time is ripe for those qualities.

He would be a surprisingly effective and successful candidate. Take a look. You may be surprised.

Revenant said...

History is adamant: Aggression is invited by a perception of weakness

If we disbanded the Army and Navy tomorrow we would still retain the ability to kill every living thing on the face of the Earth.

What "perception of weakness" are you talking about?

jr565 said...

Scott Walker with Ron Paul as vice president.

Revenant said...

Scott Walker with Ron Paul as vice president.

While that wouldn't be my preference, that is what I would expect to happen. Walker/Cruz is a possibility too, but I think Cruz is making too many enemies.

jr565 said...

Althouse wrote:
A hardcore libertarian is weird to me, and I'm on record finding these people -- the hardcore ones -- to be missing some parts.

I have the same feeling about libertarians as I do about liberals. They're both a bridge too far for me. Can't go that far into crazy town.

traditionalguy said...

Randy Paul and Scottie Walker against Jebbie Bush...its a GOP youts movement against a burned out Hillary Clinton.

jr565 said...

I though Ron Paul was bat shit insane. I think Rand is a lot smarter and more temperate than his dad.
But, I also kmow that apples don't fall far from the trees.

The Crack Emcee said...

Rand Paul's The GOP Front-Runner Who Knows Slavery

Paul Zrimsek said...

Defining one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe is fine for women who want abortions, but those who want to let just anyone philosophize like that are missing some parts.

Simon said...

Marshal said...
"You seem to think [being stuck with a bunch of people who may become, but are not yet, viable candidates] is something unusual. … If you think now is different from the past (for either party) I think you're retrofitting."

That's fair. That may be the case.

Revenant said...
"Simon, we aren't allies against a common enemy. You and the Democrats are allies against a common enemy -- namely, people who actually want to limit the power of the government."

That's both obnoxious and stupid. It's obnoxious because it implies that I don't want to limit the power of the government, which is absurd and speaks ill of you after all these years. You know me better—or I would hope you do after nine years. And it's stupid because, in fact, libertarians and conservatives have been allied in the GOP since the 1960s. That was the whole "fusion" project championed by the National Review taht was so obnoxious to Althouse yon those many years ago—to ditch the John Birchers and to unify conservatives and libertarians behind one party, the GOP.

Conservatives want to restrain the government to its traditional scope within the Anglo-American tradition and American constitutionalism, but we want it to be robust and efficient within those limits. Libertarians want an emaciated government that can't threaten "individual liberty." Progressives want an omnicompetent government that can do everything in the name of maximizing "liberty" (i.e. the politburo-approved list of liberties). Libertarians are not natural allies of conservatism because the traditional scope of government is too big for your taste and our unwillingness to make sudden, revolutionary changes—even in the direction you want to go—confuses you. What allies us is the common goal created by the massive overreach of 20th-century progressivism. When we face a journey of a thousand miles, it makes no difference to our ability to work together today whether we are willing to join you for the full thousand or not. Wisely, then, libertarians have allied themselves with the GOP, aside from a few purists, who, as I've mentioned, win about 1% of the vote and can be dismissed as marginal.

Simon said...

Civilis said...
"The larger Catch-22 is this: people think Republicans won't clean up government so they don't vote for Republican politicians, so Republican politicians are more dependent on voters that have one or more other reasons to vote Republicans, which requires the politicians in power to cater to those voters."

Great analysis.


cubanbob said...
"Considering he (Ford) is the only president ever appointed that's a scary thought."

No, that figures. Think about the skillset that one needs to win the Presidency. It's not the kind of skillset that's readily-compatible with being a good person, and, more troublingly, it's decreasingly-compatible with being a good President.


grackle said...
"My similar choices, very preliminary: Cruz, with Walker … I would vote for Christie reluctantly."

That's kind of where I'm landing—unhappily, on a Cruz/Walker ticket, and I could vote for Christie (or Huck) if it comes to it. I don't like Cruz as well as I did; I don't like these stupid attention-getting stunts like the fake filibuster, I don't like the tea party populist rhetoric, and I was disturbed by his behavior on the debt ceiling (Cruz understands the debt limit perfectly well, which distinguishes him from Paul, but the fact that he was willing to pretend to not understand it for political reasons is shameful), but who else is there?

"No more Bush family, please."

So here's one of the asterisks that I didn't mention above. Jeb Bush ought to be a strong contender for the nomination, but he doesn't just have an asterisk after his name, he has a whole scarlet-letter of a name. We're not going to nominate another Bush, and America's not going to elect another Bush, for a good long time, and that's stupid and it's unfair and it's irrational, and it's true.

Lydia said...

Thanks for the Rand Paul video (@1:25 p.m.), Crack. Shows the guy's way out there, and pretty much proves, as jr565 said, that apples don't fall far from the trees.

Simon said...

jr565 said...
"I have the same feeling about libertarians as I do about liberals. They're both a bridge too far for me. Can't go that far into crazy town."

That's because they're two sides of the same coin. Look at the history of it; they are descendants from the same Corvinian mistake—Liberalism. That they split in the 18th century over whether government could be made an engine of liberty and who gets to decide which liberties mater and so took different paths thereafter doesn't change the fact that in their blood they are the same, the same assumptions, prejudices, premises, all of it. That's why it's weird that conservatives—who have always been the oppenents of liberalism—are now allied with the vampires against the lycans. (If you'll forgive the vivid Underworld metaphor.)

virgil xenophon said...

"If we disbanded the Army and the Navy now we would still retain the ability to kill every living thing on the face of the Earth."

a) Manifestly untrue--even in the days when we had 24,000+ nuclear warheads

b) more to the point, Revenant confuses the concepts of "Deterrence" (and the force postures associated with it) with the concept of "defense" (and the force postures that go with that)

Forces for "Defense" are what are employed when our "deterrence" posture fails to deter, i.e., is no longer believable.

A gutted conventional capability combined with a vastly improved Chinese one and a degraded nuclear force barely better than that which the Chinese can muster is a mighty slim reed upon which to support a force to protect the fate of a nation via either deterrence OR defense should deterrence fail..

EMD said...

excessively abstract, low empathy people. I don't trust them.

Those are the people you should trust the most.

Simon said...

Revenant said...
"Republicans controlled both branches of government for four solid years, 2003 through the end of 2006."

And that should not have been done. Just like the Democrats, you assume that conservatives liked what the Bush Administration did. We didn't. Bush ran as a "compassionate conservative" (read: big-government larsonite, not a conservative), and he governed as a "compassionate conservative" (read: big-government larsonite, not a conservative). What he did on domestic policy was bad. It does not reflect what I believe, or what any conservative I know believes.

"It is certainly true that there are *some* people in the Republican party who genuinely want to reduce the size of government, but the party establishment types -- the Simons and Karl Roves and Mitt Romneys -- invariably undermine them at every opportunity."

Again, I resent that—I find that incredibly insulting that after nine years here—confessedly with a break, and not often in recent months, but still—you're going to sit there and tell me that I'm against shrinking the government. That's unbelievable that you're either going to sit there and say that or that you are actually willing to conflate "doesn't want to shrink government as much as I prefer" with "doesn't want want to shrink government at all." Neither is an attractive posture this late in the party, Rev.

Revenant said...

You know me better—or I would hope you do after nine years.

I know you say you want to limit the government, but when push comes to shove you always back someone who wants to expand it.

And it's stupid because, in fact, libertarians and conservatives have been allied in the GOP since the 1960s.

Come off it, Simon. You tipped your hand when you sneered at the idea of moving the party in a libertarian direction. You don't get to pretend you're our allies now. You've never been OUR allies. We've been YOUR allies. We support you, and in return you shit on us. And every four years you whip out the "but we have to stop the Democrats, the future depends on it" card and play it yet again.

Freeman Hunt said...

"What I want is strong libertarian values in a fully dimensional person who's grounded in real life."

This. That should be the description for the GOP candidate job opening.

Simon said...

In fact, I'd risk going so far as to say that the only things that the Bush administration did of which I wholeheartedly approve are the decisions to go into Afghanistan and Iraq (not withstanding how those missions were executed) and his judicial appointments. Everything else was disappointing, if not necessarily surprising. I'm sure that there are things that I'm forgetting. But fundamentally, to me, his legacy is John Roberts, Sam Alito, Diane Sykes, et al.

Revenant said...

And that should not have been done. Just like the Democrats, you assume that conservatives liked what the Bush Administration did. We didn't.

I'm not assuming anything. I'm observing that you controlled the government and took the opportunity to increase government.

Nor can you blame Bush's "compassionate conservatism" for that. His "compassionate conservatism" -- which, I should note, the part has yet to repudiate -- is just why the laws and budgets were *signed*, not why they were *passed*. They were passed by people with supposedly solid conservative credentials, people you're saying we need to continue to support because "Hillary!" looms on the horizon. Sorry, but no sale.

If conservatives really care about shrinking the government all that proves is that there aren't enough conservatives to be a significant factor in US politics -- because there aren't enough small-government Congressmen to fill a minivan.

Big Mike said...

Shorter Crack Emcee:

"I hate Republicans, I hate Republicans, I hate Republicans.

I wouldn't ever vote for Republican, and I don't even know anybody who would vote for a Republican.

But I want Republicans to pander to me and other Black folks because otherwise I'll get all pissed off at them.

So there!"

virgil xenophon said...

Warming to the subj of "deterrence" and "defense" I am at pains to point out that neither the Soviets nor the PLAN EVER accepted MacNamera's concept of MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) only MacNamera did. He--and he alone--selected a level of destruction of industrial, military and civilian population (20%) that he, MacNamera thought would deter him. (It should be remembered that in the treaty of Brest-Litovisk which took Russia out of WW I and preserved the Communist Party the Communists gave up 94% of their steel mills, 89% of their working coal mines and 20% of their most educated population--all in order to preserve Party control--so why would they be deterred by the prospect of 20% losses?) ALL academic studies of Soviet documents after the fall of the Berlin wall as well as interviews with the key Soviet officials involved reveal that they truly believed there would be "winners" and "losers" in the wake of world-wide nuclear war and the ONLY thing that deterred/stopped them from unilaterally initiating a nuclear war was the fact the forces were roughly equal and they thought that there was the serious possibility they might "lose."

Within the past three years prominent generals in the PLAN have openly speculated that they would welcome a nuclear war with America if they could hold their casualties to 600 million while wiping out America by killing the majority of our 300 million--leaving them with still a billion people with which to rebuild and assume dominance of the globe.

Everyone still unfazed by massive budget cuts to the armed services in this era of fast-paced across-the-board PLAN modernization and aggressive claims to foreign territories?

Simon said...

Drago said...
"Kai Ryssdal?! Where did that come from?"

Intelligent, patient, low-voltage, humble, personable; someone who, as I said, knows what s/he doesn't know, understands what s/he needs to know, and isn't crazy. If you could somehow merge Mike Huckabee, Paul Ryan, and a credible resume, you'd have a really good candidate. I was never one of the Patraeus boosters—I criticized the idea because we knew nothing about the man and it was by no means apparent that the man was even a Republican—but deep down I really, really wanted that movement to succeed and for the man to turn out to have workable political views. And when it turned out that he wasn't going to work, regardless of his views, I really despaired of us finding someone who was going to work.

(I assume that Kai is a Democrat, but I actually have no idea. Maybe our Kai Ryssdal is... Well... Kai Ryssdal.)

I'd consider Kevin O'Leary, too, if he wasn't Canadian.

Revenant said...

Everyone still unfazed by massive budget cuts to the armed services in this era of fast-paced across-the-board PLAN modernization and aggressive claims to foreign territories?

Paranoia followed by rhetorical slight-of-hand to equate "military budget cuts" with "hundreds of millions of Americans die"? Can't say you're impressed me, no.

Also, 1.35 billion minus 600 million is 750 million, not 1 billion. :)

Bob Ellison said...

virgil xenophon, don't be too harsh. The people who study and practice international politics think they understand international politics and negotiation. They don't, but someone has to take those jobs. It's not as though we're gonna go all Monroe Doctrine and tend our own gardens over here.

The last competent Secretary of State America has had was George Schultz.

Kirk Parker said...

"I don't personally equate diplomas with brains, but there are some risks to having a President who is undereducated"

Good grief, Oso, what a non sequitur! Surely you aren't saying that Walker is uneducated merely because he doesn't have a B.A. in English from a place like Marquette, are you?

And where's that evidence that he's easily led into stupid things? Surely that's the province of our current, law-school-graduate, president?

Kirk Parker said...

"we have no succesful six-term governors"

[Simon continues his self-othering...]



"... Fortune 500 CEOs or what-have-you"

So Romney was chopped liver? And a governor, to boot...

Civilis said...

Republicans controlled both branches of government for four solid years, 2003 through the end of 2006. They took the opportunity to further grow government, further curtail liberty, et al.

Everything about that time period is distorted by the one truly outside event, 9/11. We were stuck with a lot of bad options. We could have solved the domestic side of the security arrangements by merely securing the flight deck doors on commercial airlines. However, Americans demanded security theater, and so we're stuck with DHS and the TSA and all that comes with it. Likewise, with foreign policy.

To the left, Bush (and, by extension, the rest of the mainstream Republican party) was an arch-paleo-fundie-conserva-libertarian. To the right (both Conservative and Libertarian), Bush was a compromiser that went too far in accommodating for the sake of national unity. Both of these are caricatures of a complex political set of issues. I know I think Bush went too far towards the center, but I also see the political calculations that may have caused him to do so, and they're not necessarily wrong.

For many reasons, often illogical ones, people are not going to trust Republicans in power until they can prove that cleaning up the government and reducing its burden isn't going to be the nightmare scenario depicted by the Democrats. However, they can't prove this until they get elected. They're not helping by getting elected and then getting distracted by the promises of office or entrapped by their opponents.

Civilis said...

What's needed in a president is honesty, a work ethic, humility, wisdom, leadership and common sense. Education is supposed to be a marker for some of these, but increasingly, it's not.

If you can prove you have these without having the credentials, you'll do just fine. If you can't, you're SOL. The problem is your opponents will paint you as lacking these if the you lack the credentials.

Revenant said...

I feel a need to follow up on this, because I'm still trying to wrap my mind around this belief that China will sacrifice half a billion people to take us out.

Do you realize that Russia and India border on China, don't like it, and have large militaries of their own? The 3rd and 5th largest in the world, respectively.

You think a China that has just lost all its cities, industrial centers and military bases will go on to dominate the world? Heh. "Go on to be a third-world nation dominated by India and Russia, you mean. To say nothing of the fact that the fortunes of the kleptocrats who run China these days would literally go up in smoke during the war.

You're making the mistake of equating trash talk with intent. Generals are always saying shit like that. Our generals said it about the Soviets and the Chinese back during the Cold War. It doesn't mean we were retarded enough to actually start that fight.

China can get away with messing with Japan because when push comes to shove we're not going to go to war with them over a handful of largely barren islands owned by somebody else. Plus, pretty much every nation in Asia still hates the Japanese, so the Chinese have diplomatic protection. China is not going to pick a fight with one of the strongest nations in the world -- which we would still be even if our military was a quarter its current size -- just for the sake of picking a fight.

jacksonjay said...


we have no succesful six-term governors"

Governor Oops is a 4.5 term governor of a somewhat significant state. Not a mention!

Simon said...

Kirk Parker said...
"So Romney was chopped liver? And a governor, to boot..."

No, but we're talking 2016 not 2012. Romney was okay; I voted for him happily. He lost. He moved on, and so should we; one performance only, no encores.

Revenant said...
"I'm not assuming anything. I'm observing that you controlled the government and took the opportunity to increase government."

No, we didn't. Bush did that. Tom DeLay did that. Bill Frist did that. Imputing responsibility to conservatives for those things on the theory that we're members of the GOP makes as much sense as imputing responsibility to libertarians for those things simply because they're members of the GOP. Are the many, many libertarians who voted for Bush responsible for "increasing government"? Of course not. They voted for the GOP because the alternative was complicity in Democratic victory. The choice is the best we can get out of the GOP or worse than we can bear from the Democrats.

Simon said...

cksonjay said...
"Governor Oops is a 4.5 term governor of a somewhat significant state. Not a mention!"

Yeah, but last time out, he spent almost his entire candidacy backing away from the very things that made him an appealing candidate in the first place. The other gaffes—y'know, ehh, I'm willing to accept arguendo the claim that he was taking some real powerful medication.

rcommal said...

Simon, there is a five-term governor who's pursuing a sixth term, not that I'd suggest Branstad run for president, that he'd want to or that I think he'd win if he did. Which perhaps supports your larger point. ; )

EMD said...

we have no succesful six-term governors"

We have no successful six-term anyones.

Calcification and atrophy into the ruling class settles in after 3 terms.

AReasonableMan said...

Revenant said...
E-Verify = you cannot have a job in America without an ID card issued by the federal government. Thinking that Americans should be allowed to have a job without the permission of Washington bureaucrats is not "idiotic". Terror of Mexicans is no reason to transfer even more power to Washington.


The only practical way to stop illegal immigration is to stop the employment of illegal immigrants. I can understand the reluctance on E-verify but the idea that the borders can be made completely non-porous is a non-starter. It is a one or the other choice.

Kirk Parker said...

Rev,

"If we disbanded the Army and Navy tomorrow we would still retain the ability to kill every living thing on the face of the Earth."

And that would be useful how, exactly?


"I know you say you want to limit the government, but when push comes to shove you always back someone who wants to expand it."

This.




Freeman,


"What I want is strong libertarian values in a fully dimensional person who's grounded in real life."

"This. That should be the description for the GOP candidate job opening."

I have two words for you: Sarah Palin. How well did that work out?

EMD said...

The only practical way to stop illegal immigration is to stop the employment of illegal immigrants.

Well, filling the Rio Grand with alligators with laser on their heads would help, too.


EMD said...

Rio Grande, sorry.

EMD said...

I have two words for you: Sarah Palin. How well did that work out?

GOP insiders ruin everything they get their hands on?

EMD said...

I think amnesty of some sort is inevitable.

I just hope the advocates realize the aftermath of impact on the national economy.

Kirk Parker said...

Civilis,

" However, Americans demanded security theater"

I call bullshit. Let's see some links to original sources describing this demand...

Carl said...

He needs to convince us that it's a normal, nonweird mind.

If I were he, I would essay no such thing. If a man is capable of simply looking around and still thinking we can afford the luxury of additional experiments in statism, he is beyond hope and ready for the collar.

If there are enough in whom the spirit of liberty is so extinguished, there is no hope for the republic, and it's just a question of waiting to see when Caesar will come along and put a contemptuous end to all these silly pretentions of exercising command of your own life.

The Crack Emcee said...

Big Mike,

"I want Republicans to pander to me and other Black folks because otherwise I'll get all pissed off at them."

I really am the only one who clearly heard Republicans admit THEY had a race problem, aren't I?

Well, sorry buddy, but pretending it's me doesn't make it so:

The Political Progression Of Patrick Joseph Buchanan

You and yours, my friend, have a race problem.

I'm the guy telling you about it.

Don't shoot the messenger,...

jacksonjay said...


Not defending or promoting Gov. Oops! I'm glad to see him go! His support of in-state tuition for illegals was the last straw for me! Okies pay twice as much as Mexicans in Texas!

The Crack Emcee said...

Shit, as a Republican - taking your shit in return - you should be thanking me.

Civilis said...

I call bullshit. Let's see some links to original sources describing this demand...

I guess the election records should probably speak for themselves in this case, as the Democrats just wanted Unionized Security Theater. Of course, supporters don't think of it as 'security theater'. People expect to be secure. They expect to not die; to not be a random crime victim. If you promise that to them, they'll vote for you.

I don't have any specific sources, because based on election records and political promises since 9/11, I thought that public support for increased security was non-controversial (as is my belief that most voters don't care to look into how effective that spending is, just like most voters don't look at how effective most spending is.)

Again, can't prove it, but what I, personally have seen means that you'd have to provide some pretty strong evidence to convince me otherwise.

Civilis said...

I have two words for you: Sarah Palin. How well did that work out?

Do you think you would get a different result on the public opinion between asking people if they would vote for Sarah Palin, and asking people if they'd vote for a politician with Sarah Palin's record with the identifying characteristics filed off?

jacksonjay said...

Someone tell Crack that Patrick Joseph Buchanan left the Republican Party 15 years ago! It was in all the papers.

Kirk Parker said...

Civilis,

Not only is that a virtual certainty, with regard to those who shriek about Palin, a huge percentage would be not just accepting, but actually laudatory, if: rather than filing off the (R) after Palin's name, it were replaced with a (D).

My evidence? The utterly reprehensible Patty "Osama the Daycare Provider" Murray (née 'Patty "Mom In Tennis Shoes" Murray', to all you (D) apparatchiks out there.)

John Lynch said...

No more Senators.

Oso Negro said...

Kirk Parker, you are right! Wendy Davis would kill to have Sarah Palin's credentials and family life. It wouldn't have worked out so well for Trig, of course.

Drago said...

Simon: "ntelligent, patient, low-voltage, humble, personable; someone who, as I said, knows what s/he doesn't know, understands what s/he needs to know, and isn't crazy.
(I assume that Kai is a Democrat, but I actually have no idea. Maybe our Kai Ryssdal is... Well... Kai Ryssdal.)"

I will say this about that.

I am somewhat familiar with Kai Ryssdal and several of your adjectives do not apply.

Some others do.

And some others are a teensy bit exaggerated.

But again, what made you pull that name out?

Too funny.

Plus he lives in San Francisco.

You know, right next door to those "San Francisco Democrats"!

Very much miss Jeane Kirkpatrick.

JRH, esq. said...

>> He needs to convince us that it's a normal, nonweird mind.

Because all Republicans are presumed defective?

Stop being part of the problem, Prof.

JRH, esq. said...

>> He needs to convince us that it's a normal, nonweird mind.

Because all Republicans are presumed defective?

Stop being part of the problem, Prof.

Drago said...

JRH: "Because all Republicans are presumed defective?"

This is simply the opening gambit for Althouse as she weaves a tapestry of requirements that no republican can meet in order to justify her inevitable vote for whomever the dem is because: "ugly" and "mean" and "libertarian" and "War on Gays" and "War on Women".

Etc.

Remember Althouse, voting republican means voting Dixiecrat!

That is verboten and would certainly be frowned upon in the faculty lounge and our more elite salons.

Michael said...

Cradk. Is your news flash that blacks dont vote Republican and wont?

Michael said...

Cradk. Is your news flash that blacks dont vote Republican and wont?

Michael K said...

"A gutted conventional capability combined with a vastly improved Chinese one and a degraded nuclear force barely better than that which the Chinese can muster is a mighty slim reed upon which to support a force to protect the fate of a nation via either deterrence OR defense should deterrence fail.."

I agree and see that Revenant has not learned anything while I was gone.

China has two targets that could involve us. Japan and Taiwan. The best way to prevent war is to be prepared, within reason, to fight one. I think the military could be slimmed down, starting with half the generals and colonels. Unfortunately, Obama is forcing out the good ones.

One big reason the GOP failed to control spending is that Clinton demoralized them with the shutdown. Remember that ? Plus Gingrich decided to cash in on his book deal instead of lead.

I was not a Bush (either) supporter but who was going to vote for Clinton or Gore ? Actually, I didn't think Gore was that bad but he seemed to go crazy after 2000.

Personally, I think we will have a massive meltdown before we get control of spending. I just hope I'm not around when it happens because it will be ugly. Fortunately, I'm 76 and may miss the excitement.

Simon said...

Drago, do you mean personally? Or just from listening to Marketplace? I’ve never met him, but from what I hear on Marketplace, I would stand by my assessment. I don’t know why his name jumped out, I was just trying to think of a nationally-known figure who personifies those kind of virtues, and it's a short list.

As to his residence, it's a giveaway, but not everyone in Frisco is fruitloops. Archbishop Cordileone lives there, after all.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

REASON: Governor Reagan, you have been quoted in the press as saying that you’re doing a lot of speaking now on behalf of the philosophy of conservatism and libertarianism. Is there a difference between the two?

REAGAN: If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. I think conservatism is really a misnomer just as liberalism is a misnomer for the liberals–if we were back in the days of the Revolution, so-called conservatives today would be the Liberals and the liberals would be the Tories. The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is.

The Crack Emcee said...

Michael said...
Cradk. Is your news flash that blacks dont vote Republican and won't?


No, it's that there's a good reason for that,...

NotquiteunBuckley said...

If we want the economy to get back to Carter levels, we need a Governor.

The Crack Emcee said...

I like how you guys would rather go down with the ship than change anything.

It makes it all worth it,..

NotquiteunBuckley said...

WFB calls himself a "Libertarian Journalist" in the subtitle of his wonderful Happy Days Were Here Again.

Michael K said...

"
Blogger The Crack Emcee said...
I like how you guys would rather go down with the ship than change anything.

It makes it all worth it,.."

Crack, you are a clown. I stopped reading your links. Too bad but you are off the deep end. Why not worry about the education of black children and stop tilting at slavery windmills ?

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