GOP debate

by Russ Roberts on October 9, 2007

in Politics

I’m currently live-blogging on the GOP economics debate here at the New York Times. Not a lot of inspiration or economic intuition on display. As usual, a decent amount of rhetoric but not much courage or wisdom.

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DRDR October 9, 2007 at 11:02 pm

Russ — great job. Your commentary was a pleasure to read. Why do you think the "trade is good because of exports and job growth" rhetoric continues? Does the average person simply think "Export increase => GDP increase => Employment increase" making this an effective political tactic?

Invictus October 10, 2007 at 1:34 am

I appreciate your bloging on the debate, I actually found it more interesting than the debate itself.

The strategic placement of the candidates is painfully obvious, along with the favorable questions asked certain candidates in not just this debate, but all of them. Rudy, Mitt, and now Fred all bunched together. The Republicans "outcast" who raises some very valid points, Ron Paul, separated way to the right, and only given close up camera shots to further isolate him. Huckabee and the others just taking up space on the stage with very little pithy time spent on them. Maybe, the placement should be random, and all questions in the "lightning" round format…

Brad October 10, 2007 at 4:34 am

The real interesting interview today was Vicente Fox on O'Reilly. Now there is a guy who I wish could run for President of our country. Yeah, I know. The Constitution…

Neil West October 10, 2007 at 9:04 am

The best blog line of the night:
"Ron Paul thinks we’re in a recession at a time when unemployment is under 5 percent and blames it on monetary policy. This resonates with people who are scared and confused. I’m neither, so I’m not sure what he’s talking about."

Great job professor.

dave smith October 10, 2007 at 9:16 am

I am left with no one to vote for. No one can explain the benefits of free trade. No one from either party.

We like to call politicians stupid if they can receite the leader of every contry or if they stutter a bit while they speak. Or if they can pronounce every word correctly.

What I would consider much more a meausure of intellect and evidence of education would be the abilty to explain the simplest concepts clearly and accuately. The benefits of free trade and economic change are easily explained, yet these guys can't do it. (Maybe they can, but they know they'd be better off pandering. I doubt it.)

Paris Lovett October 10, 2007 at 11:05 am

Along these lines, I would propose a competition: who can describe the benefits of free trade in the most succinct, accessible and pithy passage? Could such a competition be hosted here?

Lee kelly October 10, 2007 at 11:58 am

Along these lines, I would propose a competition: who can describe the benefits of free trade in the most succinct, accessible and pithy passage? Could such a competition be hosted here? – Paris Lovett

As opposed to what, coerced trade? The only alternative to trade is theft, and it shouldn't be difficult to figure out the downside of that!

Randy October 10, 2007 at 12:42 pm

Good point, Lee – but there is also hunting and gathering. The value of free trade is the difference between how we live now and how we lived as hunter-gatherers.

andy October 10, 2007 at 12:50 pm

"Ron Paul thinks we’re in a recession at a time when unemployment is under 5 percent and blames it on monetary policy. This resonates with people who are scared and confused. I’m neither, so I’m not sure what he’s talking about."

Since when is recession defined as high unemployment? Isn't unemployment incidentally caused by rigid labour market? Anyway – considering the massive government debt, money expansion, decline of the US dollar… saying that US is in problems seems to me spot-on. And back to the definition of the recession – if you use unofficial inflation numbers (those including cost of energy and food), you may as well end up with negative GDP growth – which does indicate recession. It seems to me that you used a too cheap way to dismiss Paul's claim.

Rob Dawg October 10, 2007 at 1:00 pm

Seeing as the simplified definition of recession is two previous quarters of negative growth can you at least acknowledge that we could be in a recession that won't be called for 7, even 10 months? Likewise rather than the official unemployment and inflation rates what does the economy look like using labor participation and shadow stats instead? It is a cheap shot to to marginalize a candidate with a soundbite of a soundbite.

markwriter October 10, 2007 at 3:01 pm

Ron Paul's not a real candidate for President. He's a side show freak. He's as viable as Alan Keyes or Gary Bauer or your uncle Elmer. Russell did not marginalize Ron Paul. Ron and his followers have already done that. Example: Ron's campaign "posters" in the Phoenix area are scrawled by hand and put up on public property. They are only one step up from graffiti! He comes across as the perfect cadidate for the tin-foil-hat crowd.

andy October 10, 2007 at 4:39 pm

Markwriter, Russel basically said that he does not understand, why Paul proclaims US is in depression. In my opinion given the economic data such interpretation is perfectly plausible and slashing it with one sarcastic sentence is showing more ignorance on Russel's side than on Pauls. If you look at his other speeches, he does not believe current inflation numbers (that is very resonable, isn't it) and that is just one step before saying that real GDP growth is negative. He would be able to defend his position.

That said, I quite don't understand your resentment especially on this site, as he is probably the only candidate who fully supports policies based on austrian school of economy. I don't know if he has any chance of being elected, but as far as my economic education tells me, he would be by far the best choice. Unfortunately democracy doesn't choose the best people as is probably this case.

vidyohs October 10, 2007 at 6:30 pm

Hmmmmm, markwriter,
Are you implying that a candidates viability is directly related to the slick finish of his campaign posters?

After that do we look at his hair? His suit? His automobile? His wife? His teeth? Where he vacations? The celebreties he hangs with? The manly way he kissed his wife on stage?

I agree that Ron Paul has zero chance of being elected, but for the purposes of debate on this blog why not look at the ideas he expresses, his character, his resume, and his goals?

How does he compare with the other panderdates from both parties on those standards?

Leave the slick finish advertisements to the Demosocialcrats and flippy floppy pandering Republican front runners.

markwriter October 10, 2007 at 8:24 pm

Ron Paul's ideas are not worth talking about because he has 0 chance of a getting the nomination. Hand-drawn campaign signs hanging from freeway overpasses merely attest to his lack of support. Instead of living in the fantasy land where the guy with the "best ideas" wins (as if politics has ever worked that way), why don't we live in the real world and discuss which of the viable candidates would be best (i.e., least damaging). After all, the election is going to come down to 2 people, and Hillary Clinton is most likely to be one of them. If you do not find her appealing, then you've got one other option: the Republican. So, the question is not which of the debate participants is your intellectual soulmate. The question is which of the viable candidates would you rather have in office *instead of Hillary*. All a presidential election is asking you to do is make a choice between two alternatives, not to send a ringing endorsement of one person or another. So, the fact that Ron Paul has some Hayekian ideas about economics has little to do with anything because he has no hope of getting the nomination. He's a distraction and a waste of time.

vidyohs October 10, 2007 at 9:10 pm

I guess I am still getting my mind around the concept that hand lettered campaign signs supporting Ron Paul hanging where they were not hanging before is a sign of lack of support? That is counter intuitive, wouldn't you say?

Perhaps it shows a lack of campaign funds, I could go along with that; but, that just cycles us back to my previous post about finished and polished campaign signs or ads.

I agree that it is an extremely long shot to expect Ron Paul to be elected, but then they said the same about Jesse Ventura in Minnesota when he ran for governor as a libertarian.

If lightening should strike, Paul would face what Ventura did, trying to get his ideas (legislation) to go any where in a congress that has virtually no libertarians much less enough to pass legislation.

Even so, a libertarian could accomplish great good while in office by canceling every Executive Order issued prior to his presidency, and issuing Executive Orders of his own in as much as possible reflecting his libertarian ideals.

So, you can shrug your shoulders, I sympathize and empathize, and say we (the people) can't do anything so we need to just accept the better of two stinking choices; or, you can do what you can to stink up their little charade by sending Ron Paul either to the Presidency or as close as we can get him there.

We really wouldn't have a thing to lose because we are obviously on the path to socialist hell no matter who winds up in the White House. Hillary will take us instantly there, and any republican I see will simply take us there on a more careful and sedate pace.

The only thing it would do is alert the nation that there is enough people so disgusted with the government status qou of Republicrats that they are willing to try something different.

markwriter October 10, 2007 at 10:33 pm

If you can't see the lack of class in using hand-made signs in a presidential campaign, then it's also unlikely you'll see the futility of your idea to "stink up their little charade." Do you think Ronnie's going to make the Republican party change its ways? Are they going to see his surging campaign and resolve to bring the troops home immediately and reinstate the gold standard? Of course not. It didn't work with the Religious Right and Gary Bauer (a much bigger bloc than libertarians). It didn't work for Ross Perot. But keep dreaming. It's a nice, irresponsible fantasy world you've got going. You can't find a perfect individual in whom you can place all your hopes and dreams, so you have a tantrum and stay home. You should send Hillary your address so she can send you a thank-you note from the White House.

andy October 11, 2007 at 5:53 am

markwariter, I still do not see the connection between "he is unlikely to win" and "He comes across as the perfect cadidate for the tin-foil-hat crowd". While the first proposition is perfectly correct, whether he is perfect candidate for somebody or not has everything to do with his positions and absolutely nothing to do with hand-written signs or likelihood of being elected. At least I thought democracy means that people choose someone closest to their position, so that the leader is closest to the majority. You seem to suggest that people should try to guess who wins and vote for him….

vidyohs October 11, 2007 at 6:15 am

I often wonder if I am the last man on Earth that can read. Evidently you can see the printing but the meanings do not seep in.

"If you can't see the lack of class in using hand-made signs in a presidential campaign"

So, for you it is about the slick polish of expensive ads. Okay. Not everyone sees support in the same light as you do. I see the report of hand lettered signs as a sign of support, in numbers and initiative, far beyond what Ross Perot received from spending all his dollars. This doesn't mean that I believe that it will translate into a superior vote tally on election night.

"Do you think Ronnie's going to make the Republican party change its ways?"

I challenge you to show me in anything I wrote that would even remotely suggest I think this or believe it. As a matter of fact I even stated in my last that Paul would run into a congress consisting of Repulicrats which render his ability to get legislation through the congress extremely difficult if not impossible.

Try opening up your mind to the idea that we are exchangeing thoughts on a really bad situation and not gunning for each other in the middle of the street.

I have indicated that I understand what you are saying. I have told you I sympathize and empathize (but evidently you do not see those words). I do so because I have despaired in exactly the same way since the early sixties. Yet something in me keeps coming back to the knowledge that not even a revolution can begin if we let all ideas of freedom die.

markwriter October 11, 2007 at 10:18 am

Andy – the key is to pick from people who have enough financial and popular support to actually put on a campaign. I agree with Russ that Paul appeals to "people who are scared and confused." The type of people who are so mad at the Republican party that all they can do is "do what you can to stink up their little charade by sending Ron Paul either to the Presidency or as close as we can get him there". People like this need to get their diaper changed and go down for a nap. They are the people who gave us Bill Clinton by voting for Ross Perot. They are people who refuse to deal with the real world.

andy October 11, 2007 at 1:40 pm

markwriter, try reading something about Ron Paul first. It seems to me that you are totally ignorant of his position. What you say seems to me practically the same as what have said communist leaders about their opposition. Ohh, the people who propose democracy need to get their diaper changed. They refuse to deal with the real world…. Or do you say that free markets, no budget deficit, low taxes and stable money is something that should NOT be voted for? That people who long for it refuse to deal with the real world? That people criticizing current situation are lunatics?

markwriter October 11, 2007 at 2:37 pm

Reading Ron Paul? Boooooooring. I'd rather spend time reading any of the books Russell recommends than waste time reading the positions of a person who has no hope of being elected. Does anyone know when he plans to drop out? Or is he having too much fun stinking up the Republicans' charade? He sure is causing them a lot of pain. Teaching them a lesson they won't soon forget. Viva the Ron Paul Revolution!!!

Brad Petersen October 11, 2007 at 3:03 pm

I'm confused by the venom and anger markwriter is venting at us Ron Paul supporters who, according to him, are part of the "tin-foil-hate crowd."

According to markwriter, we shouldn't pay attention to or listen to Ron Paul's ideas because he has no chance of getting elected President.

But then why on earth should we listen to or read Russ Roberts or Don Boudreaux or any other free market thinker since their ideas have zero chance of ever being implemented?

Besides which Ron Paul's views on economic issues are virtually indistinguishable from Russ's and Don's, so I guess that makes Russ and Don the perfect economists for the tin foil hat crowd.

In any case, surely there's room for one idealist in a presidential campaign. He may not be electable, but someone needs to stand up for what is right.

markwriter October 11, 2007 at 4:23 pm

Brad, you didn't read where Russ dissed Ron the Idealist:

"Ron Paul thinks we’re in a recession at a time when unemployment is under 5 percent and blames it on monetary policy. This resonates with people who are scared and confused. I’m neither, so I’m not sure what he’s talking about."

I spew venom at RP and his supporters because they are supporting him as a *candidate*. He is not a legitimate candidate, and therefore is not worthy of attention. You guys are supporting a fantasy. Just admit that you're a bunch of misty-eyed dreamers, and we've got no problems here. I know that's not going to happen, because some people think of the good Dr. Ron as a tool to "alert the nation that there is enough people so disgusted with the government status qou of Republicrats that they are willing to try something different". With high hopes like that, and with enough homemade butcher-paper campaign signs, these folks think that they can upend the political establishment in a radical Ron Paul Revolution.

¡Si, Se Puede!
¡Si, Se Puede!
¡Si, Se Puede!

Brad Petersen October 11, 2007 at 9:02 pm


Actually, I did read where Russ remark "dissed" Ron Paul, as you put it. However, it is irrelevant to this discussion. Believers in the free market disagree about all sorts of things, including the current state of the economy.

I'm so glad to hear that we'll have no more problems if I'll just admit that I'm a misty-eyed dreamer. How generous of you. How giving. However, I must decline your kind offer because I support Ron Paul for no other reason than that I agree with him on most things and it's nice to see someone standing up for what is right.

Clearly that makes you angry and venomous, but I would suggest you not upset yourself so over the opinions of other people. Save it for your real enemies — men like Giulani, Romney, and McCain who won't hesitate to raise your taxes and stomp all over your rights if they get into the White House.

markwriter October 11, 2007 at 10:12 pm

Wow, I thought I was angry, but Brad takes the cake: "men like Giulani, Romney, and McCain" are…"ENEMIES"!!! I just called Ron Paul a low-class goof, but you've really upped the ante here, Brad. Wow. Enemies!! You're illustrating for us why Libertarians are so utterly marginal and laughable. Enemies. That's really good.

roystgnr October 12, 2007 at 2:35 am

Mark, did you realize that your philosophy of only considering voting for people high in the polls (months before the first primary!) is an example of what engineers call "positive feedback"? The usual connotations of the adjective "positive" here don't apply; try turning your speaker volume to max and holding a live microphone in front of them to see what I mean.

It's just not a good way to run a sound system, much less a country.

andy October 12, 2007 at 4:16 am

markwriter, incidentally Ron Paul among others wrote:
Case for Gold: A minority report of the United States Gold Comission
Gold, Peace and Prosperity: The birth of new economy
Mises and Austrian economics: A personal view
Freedom Under Siege: The U.S. Constitution After 200 Years
and some others. I very much doubt Russel would object against these books.

You may not like to learn about his positions – but if you want to educate yourself in free market economics, I doubt Russel would object against these books. And I can assure you no other candidate understands economy nearly as well as Paul does.

vidyohs October 12, 2007 at 10:17 am

Concrete, ahh the strength of concrete!

muirduck, and now markwriter, demonstrate that they have minds like concrete.

Concrete…..all mixed up and permanantly set.

The opinion by markwriter that because Ron Paul is not mainstream and is actually promoting the idea of government being restricted to the duties dictated in the constitution (including gold standard and contol of "money" by congress and not a private "for profit" bank) makes him a kook and a nuisance tells you more about markwriter than it does about Ron Paul vis-a-vis the direction this nation should be going in.

But, just to make sure "we" (the republican party and the media) get the point across to the public that they should consider Ron Paul a kook, let's set the stage up with all of the good guys microphones to the left of dead center in the camera view, and put Ron Paul along to the right of dead center and have a considerble space between them. Let's don't compete on ideas, let's compete on the polished segregated facade so admired by people like markwriter.

Here is a link to a Michigan Dailey report on the debate. The article reports the fact that after the debate was over a faculty panel conducted a straw poll of the audience that showed Ron Paul at 49% approval and the next highest, Romney, at 13%

Strange that this was not reported anywhere else, eh? Or, maybe it is not so strange, just the status quo.

Anyone who advocates maintenance of the status quo (Nanny state government) in our politics and our economic policies could very easily be labeled an enemy of the country.

It is obvious that we are approaching a crash point as the burdens of the welfare state grow and grow. There is no way the SS system can be maintained at the promised and expected levels, it will implode, and if I stay healthy I will live to see it. The Medicare system, the Medicade, system, and the new Drug benefits program all simply add weight enough to nearly double the burden of the already crushing SS system.

Unless there is a source of money to provide for those programs that we aren't being told about, it is either more debt (and how long will creditors carry us), or a crash like we can't imagine.

The status quo is one of lies, cheating, stealing, increasing reglatory interference in every facet of life, and perversion of the very word freedom. I personally say that if anyone lies to me, cheats me, steals from me, regulates my every move, and perverts my freedom is my enemy.

Kind of a natural thought process there.

markwriter October 12, 2007 at 1:26 pm

"if anyone lies to me, cheats me, steals from me, regulates my every move, and perverts my freedom is my enemy."

This is hyperbole that marginalizes. Playing the political drama queen must be enjoyable for some reason. Those on the far left revel in their delusions of victimhood, and all the Paulite 'enemy' talk shows want into the victim camp. Have fun over there in the corner stroking yourself in admiration of your own perspicacity. You are wise! You are enlightened! You and Ron saw doomsday, and warned the bleating sheep about it, but they didn't listen to you. It will be exciting to see the day when it call comes crashing down, won't it? You and Ron will still be there, in the corner, holding each other, whispering, "We told them so…we told them so…" On that day, the sheep will apologize to you for not seeing how wise and holy and wonderful and pure is Ron. How Ron, and Ron alone put the interests of others before the interests of himself. How Ron, and Ron alone knew true knowledge and wise wisdom and was the only one to display true love for his countrymen and constitution. Yes, all others were foul and wretched self-seekers, but Ron, Ron, Ron Paul loved every American more than himself and would rise above the defiling temptations that besotted so many lesser men who entered politics. If only the bleating sheeple would have listened to Ron and those who agreed 100% with everything Ron ever said or thought — because Ron loved the constitution and his fellow man more than anyone before him — then disaster could have been averted. But this did not happen because the foolish people followed after the eeeevil enemies of all that is good and constitutional by creating positive feedback loops that made it inevitable that their stereos would create a loud, howling noise!!! The fooloish people put their fingers to the wind and only voted for people that other people voted for because other people were voting for people who were being voted for by other people. Fools!! Why didn't those people vote for people who had no support?! It made no sense. So that is why the foolish people deserve the swift destruction being brought down on them by the enemies…ENEMIES!!! "We told them so…we told them so…"

andy October 12, 2007 at 2:26 pm

markwriter, just wonder what you wanted to say… Either Paul is right or not. In case he is right, it may be a damn good idea to support him. You did not challenge his economics, so I assume you accept he might be right and that he might support solutions to these problems. I only wonder what use is to ridicule somebody, who is right?
And I wonder about your logic – "why didn't those people vote for people who had no support"…the support is created by the people who vote. Why should people vote for somebody, for whom people vote (i.e. who has support) is somehow beyond my mental capacity… I think I would ask instead: Why don't people vote for somebody who is right. Maybe you can answer the question: because they are sheep, and vote for whoever "has the support"(i.e. vote for whoever are told to)….

markwriter October 12, 2007 at 3:38 pm

History – from recent to ancient – is littered with non-candidates whose small faction of supporters sincerely believed that their candidate were right. They also believed that their candidates held in themselves the power to right many of the wrongs. The members of the faction, instead of influencing the mainstream, contented themselves with self-righteous, self-gratifying carping. Witness all the people posting to this forum who complain about how miserably compromised and stupid all the filthy disgusting Republicrats are. These factionalists set themselves above the cadidates and political processes. They claim to understand politics and the the constitution, but support folks like Paul (or Perot, Bauer, Keyes, Nader, Tancredo or Buchanan) who *promise* radical overhaul of the system. Never mind that our system of government guarantees slow change, these guys think their political messiah will bring change NOW!!! That's why the Paulites speak of revolution. The people who make up these groups think EXACTLY THE SAME THOUGHTS ABOUT THEIR GUY:

"why don't these fools get behind [insert political messiah name here]? they must be stupid not to see how stupid those other guys are and how brilliant [insert political messiah name here]."

"can't those idiots see what a desparate situation this country's in? [insert political messiah name here] is our only hope to fix it!!!"

"even if my guy can't win, he'll show those [insert Republican/Democrat party here] a thing or two"

"if my guy isn't nominated, I'm just staying home on election day. that will show those darn [insert Republican/Democrat here]'s"

"if only people would see the [insert political messiah name here]'s common sense, there would be a groundswell and we could finally get our country back"

"[insert political messiah name here] is above all that political corruption stuff. He would never disappoint me"

"if [insert political messiah name here] would get elected, we'd finally get [insert pet political issue] fixed"

"i'm sick of having to hold my nose when I vote. I want to vote for [insert political messiah name here] because I agree with everything he says and does. I'd clean his rectal orifice with my tongue if he asked me to because I think he's such a wonderful guy. I'll only vote for someone who I'd want to marry, or have as my pastor, or my kid's godfather, or my own personal lord and savior"

"I would only vote for someone whom I can worship. Asking me to vote for anyone else is asking me to violate my principles"

"We're headed for a [socialist hell, soddom] so it doesn't matter if we get there in 2 years or 20. If [insert political messiah name here] were in office that wouldn't happen. If I wish hard enough maybe enough people will agree with me and we'll save America"

"If I vote for the mainstream candidate, that is a 100% endorsement of him, his life, his values, every decision he has ever made and will make, and it personally puts me on the line as enthusiastically supporting everything that happens during and after his presidency"

"If I stay home and don't vote, the Repulicrats are going to know that I was really wanting to vote for [insert political messiah name here] and give me a choice much more like [insert political messiah name here] next time"

"This is it!!! If those idiots don't vote for [insert political messiah name here] then America is finished!!!"

"if [insert political messiah name here] is elected, he won't have to compromise with anybody. he'll have so much support that all his ideas will flow straight from his mind thru the congress and never be challenged by the supreme court. All of his political opponents will stop fighting him once he gets to office and everything will change"

"I love [insert political messiah name here] and his ideas so much that I wouldn't want to vote for anyone else because it would feel as if I were cheating on my spouse our being a traitor to my country or committing the unpardonable sin against almighty God"

"I've spent so much time adulating [insert political messiah name here] and badmouthing his opposition that I can't go vote for anybody else on election day. I've got too much emotion invested in defending my principles."

"If people don't see things my way, they are evil and unamerican, and even though I may agree with them on some things I'll spit at them and refuse to work with them on anything. And I'll voice all these same complaints in the next election cycle, unless these idiots wise up and start agreeing with me"

"theres a lot of people who agree with me out there. if only we'd all stand together on our principles, we'd get [insert political messiah name here] elected and things would really start to change in this country"

"In the past, people had candidates with whom they agreed with and who delighted them. Why should I have to put up with the lesser of two evils? I'm above that!!! Bring me [insert political messiah name here], or I'm staying home. I want to be delighted with my choice. I want to shed a tear of joy as I vote, and the only way to do that is to vote for [insert political messiah name here]"

So, you Ron Paul supporters, do you see yourself in these statements? C'mon, you misty-eyed, constitution-pounding, budget-balancing, war-declaring, pot-protecting liber-tardians! If you're objective, you've got to admit that many of the above thoughts have made their abode in your brain! Well, the truth is, all the factions feel this way. You're not unique!! You're not special!! You don't hold the key to save the republic and neither does Ron Paul. This is not to deride everything the man stands for, but it is to deride the melodramatic messiah complex that you guys have. Just pick your mainstream party and try to influence it for the better. If you say that it's no use, that it doesn't work, what you're telling us that if you don't get your way in politics you'll get in a huff and go home. And that is the consistent fate of the marginalized malcontent. Can't work with others…just complains from the sidelines.

vidyohs October 12, 2007 at 9:38 pm

"if anyone lies to me, cheats me, steals from me, regulates my every move, and perverts my freedom is my enemy."

This is hyperbole that marginalizes.

From hand lettered signs of support for Ron Paul being cited as proof of lack of support for Ron Paul to the inability to understand simple English, markwriter, you reveal yourself to be an intellect of the least order.

You have rant, for sure. Thought, however appears to be a different story.

Everything about your approach, your attitude, your venom for disagreement with your views, your style of expression, and your devout ignoring of the words of opposition in favor of your own fantastical interpretation of those words remind me of the style I see on, the democraticunderground, dailykos, and huffingtonpost as the nutcases and haters there attack any one or anything that disagrees with them.

It is always a bit of a surprise to read something interjected into a reasonable discussion that comes with such arrogant ignorance as you display. I guess in a polite way I am trying to say that most people have one, but they just generally pass waste through it and wipe it; you on the other hand seem to wear yours between your ears and use it to express yourself.

Just be careful of your hemmoroids when you shave and brush your teeth.

Now that I am beyond the fun part of this note, let me suggest you stop conjuring up your own stupid presumptions about what people think or do, and who they are. Your ignorant fantasies written out in such detail about how those who disagree with you will sink into corners and suck their thumb just lend to the understanding that you are an arrogant fool of the first magnitude.

To me you are no more than print on a screen and I know for sure that is all I am to you, so it is impossible for you to presume I am this or that, while I can absolutely stand by by characterization of you above because your words condemn you, ignorant and arrogant about it.

roystgnr October 13, 2007 at 12:20 pm

Just pick your mainstream party and try to influence it for the better.

So, instead of supporting a primary candidate in one of the mainstream parties, you think we should be… trying to influence one of the mainstream parties.

This is a troll, right? You can't actually be *this* stupid.

markwriter October 13, 2007 at 3:22 pm

You're supporting a crank in a mainstream party, not trying to influence the party (how influential can you be when you refer to the front-runners as 'enemy', as is done on this forum?). Ron Paul can't even bring himself to support one of the other candidates if he loses. Is he (and by extension, are you) going to influence anything? Do you think the Republican party – after being subjected to repeated wild-eyed Ron Paul sermons- is going to adopt restoring the gold standard as a plank in the platform? Good luck with that. Keep reaching for the stars!!! :)

lee Kelly October 13, 2007 at 5:42 pm

I do not think it follows, that because we will never eliminate injustice entirely, that we should support that injustice we fail to eliminate.

markwriter October 13, 2007 at 5:55 pm

Don't worry Lee, Paul will eliminate himself.

Lee Kelly October 13, 2007 at 7:48 pm

Don't worry Lee, Paul will eliminate himself. – markwriter

Since we are on the topic of things that do not follow, I will assume you are trying to be ironic.

vidyohs October 13, 2007 at 9:50 pm

We will do this in a civilized manner.

Ron Paul is my Congressman, if it can be said that I acknowledge congressmen. I have met him, I am very familiar with his views, going way back to when he ran for president as a libertarian. I am not impressed with his practical application of those views, and to me it is all about that practical application, just how does the rubber meet the road. Suffice it to say that I see no more courage in Ron Paul than I do in any other congress critter.

Of the candidates I would vote for him and pray for his election simply because if elected he would at least bring the libertarian ideas into the mainstream awareness. Not because I believe he would affect more than minute changes unless he did what I said before, cancel by presidential executive order all executive orders issued previous to his election….which would be in his power to do. Now that would make a difference.

With that being said: This is the last paragraph of an article written in the Michigan Dailey reporting on the debate. (look for the link on the next Cafe Hayek blog, Rudy's to lose".

"Paul didn't get as many chances to speak as some of the more mainstream candidates, but every time he did, the crowd in the University Center applauded. At the end of the debate, a faculty panel conducted a straw poll of the audience. Paul got 49 percent. Romney came in a distant second with 13 percent."

Now, don't leap to answer, markwriter, just think for a moment about this question. "Could the shit be hitting the fan and you not know it because the MSM isn't telling you about it, and they are doing everything they can to marginalize Ron Paul?"

You gotta admit there is a pretty big gap between 49% and 13%.

I have to admit that I am going to be very interested in the way this all plays out.

markwriter October 13, 2007 at 11:40 pm

"if it can be said that I acknowledge congressmen."


vidyohs October 14, 2007 at 12:17 pm

To explain that we would have to sit and consume muchas cups of coffee.

Just a hint, Texas has congress critters, and Texas also has a state bird. Neither has ever done much, if anything, for me. So, is one more meaningful to me that the other? No.

When I do have the occasion to meet face to face with a crongress critter I take particular delight in addressing them as an employee and not as royalty.

For instance I took exquisite pleasure in listening to one for 15 minutes telling me and my fellow club members about what he was going to do when he got to D.C., and then in the Q&a session asking this question, "You just spent 15 mintues telling us what you're going to do and made no effort to ask us what we wanted you to do. As our employee doesn't that strike you as being ultra arrogant?"

I am aware of, and certainly agree with, the ancient proverb that says, "one may ignore politics, but politics will not ignore you." However, that does not mean that as a general rule the politicans as individuals are worth acknowledging, only worth acknowledging is the collective evil they do when together.((Yes, that statement means that I can not actually put my finger of memory on any "collective good" that has been done by politicians.))

roystgnr October 15, 2007 at 6:49 pm

You're supporting a crank in a mainstream party

Isn't "crank" an odd typo for "elected federal Representative"? Well, don't feel bad; the keys are practically right next to each other.

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