The GOP horse race

by Russ Roberts on November 21, 2011

in Politics

Steve Chapman eviscerates Newt and makes the case for Huntsman.

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Mark November 21, 2011 at 10:19 am

The GOP horse race is getting interesting. On one side new contenders like Newt pop out from nowhere to the top of the polls, yet on another hand I can not get overly excited about anyone because if they are pro free market they are often pro military industrial complex, which means spending in another way.
Why a guy like Ron Paul who is more Austrian Economics, combined with patriotism in the right measure, can not get elected is beyond me.

chad November 21, 2011 at 10:31 am

amen to that

Ubiquitous November 21, 2011 at 10:39 am

Why a guy like Ron Paul who is more Austrian Economics, combined with patriotism in the right measure, can not get elected is beyond me.

For one thing, many Americans find his statement that 9/11 was the fault of the victim rather than the perpetrator not quite patriotic in any measure.

Many also have a problem with statements he’s made regarding Israel and Iran. “Naive” is a diplomatic way of describing his positions, though “childish” might be more accurate.

KCKent November 21, 2011 at 11:09 am

Ubiquitous,

Your evaluation is based on misconceptions and purposeful twisting of Dr. Paul’s positions. Paul has never said that “9/11 was the fault of the victim” – he has never claimed those that died on that day caused the event. However, the CIA, the 9/11 Commission, and the writings of Bin Laden himself have all concurred that the attack was retaliation for our occupation and covert influence in the affairs and lands in the Middle East and the killing of over a million Iraqis during the Clinton years. How would you respond if China sent a drone bomb and “accidentally” killed your family?

Secondly, the only thing “naive” about ending all foreign aid is thinking it would hurt Israel – as we give twice as much to their enemies and they are beholding to our wishes. Also, “naive” is thinking that Iran has nuclear weapons, and that sanctions (an act of war) ever work.

MWG November 21, 2011 at 11:44 am

No, no KC,

They hate us for our freedoms.

/sarcasm

#OWS November 21, 2011 at 12:50 pm

“They hate us for our freedoms.

/sarcasm”

Books are trash. Corporations are people. Tents are terrorism. Pepper Spray soon to be declared a vegetable. #OWS

Greg Webb November 21, 2011 at 3:04 pm

No, MWG. They hate us because nearby weaker nations request our assistance, and to maintain a balance of power in that region, we assist the weaker nation in fending off the influence of more powerful nations. Some call that interference in another nation’s self determination. But, historically, nations, like the United States, use this approach to keep powerful rivals from developing.

Bin Laden thought, before his death, that the United States’ backing of these weaker nations kept an all powerful Islamic nation from reforming. He is wrong about that. The Islamic nation was only held together with force because of infighting by regional rivals.

Chucklehead November 21, 2011 at 12:48 pm

The suposed root cause was the US military presence in Saudi Arabia (Meca) as stated by OBL in 96′ or 97′. Bushes theory was to get Saddam Hussein out and install a democracy in Iraq not hostile to Israel (actually Paul Wolfowitz theory.)
Ron Pauls theory is that we just should of pulled out of Saudi Arabia and let them contain Saddam, and that our presence creates enemies faster than we can kill.
After Hussein was ousted OBL changed the demand tot the US get out of the Middle East all together.
History should be the judge.
Our current problem is Pak, Afgan, and Iraq are all playing us for financial support. I agree with Paul that the end result did not provide us with enough utility to offset the cost. The counterfactual is not available to settle the debate.

Nuke Nemesis November 21, 2011 at 2:05 pm

Let’s say your and Dr. Paul are correct in the reasons for 9/11. So what is the correct response? It’s Ron Paul’s answer to that question which tells all.

Gil November 21, 2011 at 8:56 pm

According from Libertarian articles the U.S. should have simply made a public apology for interfering in the Middle East, removed all military bases in the Middle East and should have left Isreal to fend for itself.

Greg Webb November 22, 2011 at 9:52 am

Gil, that’s nonsense.

Ubiquitous November 22, 2011 at 3:04 am

Also, “naive” is thinking that Iran has nuclear weapons,

Wrong. “Naive” is thinking that an outspoken pro-Hamas, pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel bigot like Philip Giraldi — ex-CIA goon and Ron Paul’s “foreign policy advisor” in 2008 — wouldn’t distort the truth for ideological reasons (that Paul hired him strongly suggests Paul would, too).

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

http://www.iaea.org/newscenter/focus/iaeairan/bog112011-65.pdf
G. Possible Military Dimensions

38. Previous reports by the Director General have identified outstanding issues related to possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme and actions required of Iran to resolve these.

Since 2002, the Agency has become increasingly concerned about the possible existence in Iran of undisclosed nuclear related activities involving military related organizations, including activities related to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile, about which the Agency has regularly received new information.

39. The Board of Governors has called on Iran on a number of occasions to engage with the Agency on the resolution of all outstanding issues in order to exclude the existence of possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme.

In resolution 1929 (2010), the Security Council reaffirmed Iran’s obligations to take the steps required by the Board of Governors in its resolutions GOV/2006/14 and GOV/2009/82, and to cooperate fully with the Agency on all outstanding issues, particularly those which give rise to concerns about the possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme, including by providing access without delay to all sites, equipment, persons and documents requested by the Agency.

Since August 2008, Iran has not engaged with the Agency in any substantive way on this matter.

40. The Director General, in his opening remarks to the Board of Governors on 12 September 2011, stated that in the near future he hoped to set out in greater detail the basis for the Agency’s concerns so that all Member States would be kept fully informed. In line with that statement, the Annex to this report provides a detailed analysis of the information available to the Agency to date which has given rise to concerns about possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme.

41. The analysis itself is based on a structured and systematic approach to information analysis which the Agency uses in its evaluation of safeguards implementation in all States with comprehensive safeguards agreements in force. This approach involves, inter alia, the identification of indicators of the existence or development of the processes associated with nuclear-related activities, including weaponization.

42. The information which serves as the basis for the Agency’s analysis and concerns, as identified in the Annex, is assessed by the Agency to be, overall, credible. The information comes from a wide variety of independent sources, including from a number of Member States, from the Agency’s own efforts and from information provided by Iran itself. It is consistent in terms of technical content, individuals and organizations involved, and time frames.

43. The information indicates that Iran has carried out the following activities that are relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device:

• Efforts, some successful, to procure nuclear related and dual use equipment and materials by military related individuals and entities (Annex, Sections C.1 and C.2);

• Efforts to develop undeclared pathways for the production of nuclear material (Annex, Section C.3);

• The acquisition of nuclear weapons development information and documentation from a clandestine nuclear supply network (Annex, Section C.4); and

• Work on the development of an indigenous design of a nuclear weapon including the testing of components (Annex, Sections C.5–C.12).

44. While some of the activities identified in the Annex have civilian as well as military applications, others are specific to nuclear weapons.

45. The information indicates that prior to the end of 2003 the above activities took place under a structured programme. There are also indications that some activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device continued after 2003, and that some may still be ongoing.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

If it were Liechtenstein, I probably wouldn’t care; but since it’s Iran — a country whose government has openly stated that “the cancerous tumor called Israel must be uprooted from the region” and that the “occupying regime must vanish from the page of time” — I think Israel should care and her allies should care. Since the U.S. is Israel’s most important ally, we especially ought to be concerned about a report such as this from the IAEA.

Ubiquitous November 22, 2011 at 3:54 am

However, the CIA, …

Wrong. The CIA never concurred with anyone or any group that the decapitation attempt by al-Qaeda was “blowback.”

the 9/11 Commission, …

Wrong. The 9/11 Commission never concurred with anyone or any group that the attack was “blowback.” Read the commission’s published report.

and the writings of Bin Laden …

Ah, well, yes, now there’s an authoritative, rational source of good intel. Let’s see, and we should therefore also believe Hitler’s claims in Mein Kampf and elsewhere that THE reason Jews must be exterminated is that they are a race of power-mad vermin who were attempting to take over the world via international banks and the media. That, and the fact that they were subhuman (a mere detail). C’mon, it’s all written down in The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Hitler had nothing against the Jewish religion, per se (LOL!!! “He hates us for our practicing of Judaism!” ).

Let’s see. In other places, bin Laden said that he believed the U.S. was a “paper tiger” based on its retreats after the Khobar Towers attack and the Black Hawk Down incident in Somalia, and that the time was therefore ripe to strike the US symbolically in a big way as the first volley in an attempted pan-Islamic renascence to re-establish the long-lost Caliphate.

(Yawn.) So? Who cares how or why a lunatic like bin Laden rationalized the outrage of 9-11?

I leave the hanging-onto-every-word-of-binLaden to the wing-nuts and revisionists at Mises.org, like the followers of Walter Block and Ralph Raico. “The reason MUST be blowback – bin-Laden said so!” Right.

Nuke Nemesis November 22, 2011 at 4:09 pm

“Who cares how or why a lunatic like bin Laden rationalized the outrage of 9-11?”

Only one reason – Know your enemy.

Jon Murphy November 22, 2011 at 4:12 pm

You cannot defeat your enemy if you do not know them.

A victorious warrior wins first and then goes to war while a defeated warrior goes to war first and then seeks to win.

Fred November 21, 2011 at 11:26 am

his statement that 9/11 was the fault of the victim rather than the perpetrator

There is a difference between provoked and deserved.

If you poke a dog with a stick do you deserve to have your face ripped off? Probably not. But was the dog provoked? Yup.

Ubiquitous November 22, 2011 at 4:15 am

There is a difference between provoked and deserved.

In this case, it’s a distinction without a difference.

I do find it interesting, however, that your story about a dog — minding its own business in that sovereign way dogs have — being provoked by someone meddling in canine affairs with no justification for doing so, is the same story some Muslim clerics have used to justify the rape (and sometimes, beatings) of infidel women by Muslim men. I mean, the women may not have deserved to be raped and beaten, but they certainly provoked such behavior from the men by means of showing their uncovered faces (gasp!) and perhaps wearing short skirts, jewelry, and (Allah, turn my nose toward Mecca!!) perfume. Look, if you throw a hunk of raw meat at a wild, hungry dog, don’t be surprised if you get your face ripped off. (See some of the news stories coming from Malmo, Sweden.)

I like it. A single guy like me could get very used to a patriarchy like Islam. (Oh, darn! I forgot! I’m not Muslim and have no interest in converting, so under Islam I’d be condemned to live as an official second-class citizen, or “dhimmi”, and be forced to pay a special tribute to my Muslim masters called a “jizya”. In that case, forget it.)

Fred November 22, 2011 at 8:56 am

There is a difference between tossing meat to a dog and poking it with a stick.
I would be more inclined to compare what our government has been doing in the Middle East to poking it with a stick than with tossing it some meat.
This notion that our mere existence is enough to provoke these people to violence, like a woman showing her face is enough to provoke them to rape, is not an argument I find to be persuasive. In fact I find it to be a cop out. People don’t fly planes into buildings because they don’t like our way of life. There has to be more to it than that. And it’s not like out government hasn’t been poking the Middle East with a stick for a long time.
That is not an attempt to excuse the actions of these people
However I do find your argument to be an attempt to absolve our government of any stick poking and place the blame 100% on the terrorists.
Sorry, but as I see it if our government had not been sticking its nose where it does not belong, thousands of New Yorkers would not have died that day.

Nuke Nemesis November 22, 2011 at 9:48 am

The very fact that our society is more prosperous and advanced than theirs is what truly offends them. We insult Islam by out-classing it.

Once you understand that basic fact, you come to realize that most everything else is just an excuse.

Fred November 22, 2011 at 10:00 am

How come nobody is flying planes into the Burj Khalifa skyscraper?

Nuke Nemesis November 22, 2011 at 11:34 am

Another fact — You will never succeed in trying to rationally understand fundamentally irrational behavior. You can take any stated reason the Islamists give for terrorism and pick it apart. It will make no sense.

Ubiquitous November 22, 2011 at 3:55 pm

I would be more inclined to compare what our government has been doing in the Middle East to poking it with a stick than with tossing it some meat.

You’re in good company. So would al-Qaeda. Jihadists, radical leftists, isolationist libertarians, and anarcho-capitalists conflate the idea of “poking it with a stick” with “tossing it some meat”, “petting it”, or in any way, “interacting with it” — even when such interaction has been invited by the owner or caretake of the dog.

In the case of Saudi Arabia, US troops were invited by the Saudi government to station themselves there during Desert Storm. In other words, the caretaker of the dog invited the people down the block to protect the dog, or pet the dog, or feed the dog, or in some way, interact with the dog, that one group found “offensive to their religious sensibilities”: “How dare those infidel neighbors place their bodies on the Holy soil near our dog-house!” That’s what it was all about. In any case, the “poking our dog with your stick” nonsense might, perhaps, rationalize 11 out of the 19 hijackers, but it doesn’t explain the others, whose Holy Land did not have infidels stationed on it. They were bedazzled by the thought of symbolically kicking the US in the groin in order to spur a “renovatio”, or “awakening”, in furtherance of a re-establishment of a pan-Islamic Caliphate.

(Nazi Germany, by the way, had a similar motivation by way of a pre-existing movement of Germanic/Aryan “awakening” known as pan-Germanism, which pre-dated National Socialism.)

Oh, you mean, there’s always someone, somewhere, who will take religious offense at something we do, even if it has the support of their government, or the support of other groups within Dar al Islam (such as groups who would like to practice a liberal, moderate form of Islam, and practice tolerance for other religions and cultures)? Tough.

The problem with your analysis is you. Unlike jihadists, you don’t take religion seriously; you think it’s all a crock of BS. Alas, they don’t think it’s a crock of BS and they take religion seriously. For them, a point of religion is a perfectly valid reason to make war (not the only valid reason, mind you, but a valid one). Many Americans, and non-fundamentalist Muslims in general, have a big problem accepting that as an explanation because they can’t accept that any one, let alone an entire culture, would take religion so seriously.

Fred November 22, 2011 at 5:48 pm

The problem with your analysis is you. Unlike jihadists, you don’t take religion seriously; you think it’s all a crock of BS.

I’m glad that you can read my mind. It makes all further conversation with you unnecessary.

Thank you.

Ubiquitous November 22, 2011 at 9:44 pm

@Fred:
I’m glad that you can read my mind.

It’s very light reading, I assure you.

Nick November 21, 2011 at 4:02 pm

God forbid we hear the disconcerting truth rather than the happy lie about “they hate us for our freedom”.

The government’s foreign policy in the middle east over the past several decades encouraged the creation and development of Islamic terrorism. The American government actively encouraged these islamic movements as hedges against the soviet union (see Soviet-Afghan war) To say otherwise is being completely blind to the facts.

muirgeo November 21, 2011 at 4:13 pm

Ron Paul gets the big picture on our Middle East policy. Now it’s about subsidizing our oil industry and military contracts.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldgbOxDX6DE&list=FLQC7bk26kgCA91pJsgKAhZg&index=73&feature=plpp_video

Younger Cato November 21, 2011 at 4:56 pm

Nice straw-man. Don’t confuse us for our government (aka politicians).

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises November 21, 2011 at 8:54 pm

how about “nut case”

Will November 21, 2011 at 1:38 pm

“Why a guy like Ron Paul who is more Austrian Economics, combined with patriotism in the right measure, can not get elected is beyond me.”

Clearly you are out of touch with average intelligence and politics in general. If you were to ask the average undergrad what Austrian Economics is they would not be able to give you a precise answer, let alone the general voting public. The average person would think a statement like “I want to abolish the Fed” as ridiculous because they would assume the Fed is short for the Federal Government in general. Ron Paul’s problem is that he does not know how to get his message across to those outside his base. That is, he does not know how to explain things in a way that the average person would truly understand what he was talking about and as a result he does come across as the “crazy Uncle” everyone tolerates.

Nuke Nemesis November 21, 2011 at 2:08 pm

His problem is in his policy positions.

chad November 21, 2011 at 2:55 pm

His problem is that he is a threat to all of those whose existence depends on the status quo. Thus, people who benefit from government programs at the expense of everyone else are threatened, and as we see on the news every night, they have the loudest voices.

Secondly, the media hates him much worse than your typical Republican. Not only is he a small government guy actually serious about major budget cuts, but he is challenging the bipartisan foreign policy status quo, which is occupy every land at any cost. The media’s on board with interventionist escapades in far-off lands.

Nuke Nemesis November 22, 2011 at 9:51 am

“His problem is that he is a threat to all of those whose existence depends on the status quo.”

Once again we see denial ain’t just a river in Egypt and obfuscation knows no ideological boundaries. In other words, if you believe that, you’re full of it. I would actually like a smaller government, less taxes and less regulation.

Jeff Neal November 21, 2011 at 10:26 am

Much of what Mr. Chapman has to say about Mr. Gingrich is inaccurate or skewed – I assume because he let his conclusion (I don’t like Newt) determine his conclusion (So, I don’t like Newt).

Give Newt any semblance of a balance evaluation of his past and the answer is not quite so black and white. He is a man with flaws, no doubt . . . and so was RWR and JFK and GWB and . . . .

http://www.newt.org/answers

Ubiquitous November 21, 2011 at 10:54 am

He is a man with flaws, no doubt

Incoherence on the issue of healthcare being one.

We’re counting.

Jon Murphy November 21, 2011 at 10:57 am

“Much of what Mr. Chapman has to say about Mr. Gingrich is inaccurate or skewed”

This time of year, Jeff, you can replace “Gringrich” with any other name. I’m a huge Paul supporter, and you see his name get dragged through the mud despite the fact that he’s a really nice guy in person. Kind of like that crazy uncle you love

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises November 21, 2011 at 8:57 pm

Paul is a wacko, nut job.

Anyone who supports him is a wacko, nut job.

The only public figure wacker is Noam C.

Yergit Abrav November 21, 2011 at 9:22 pm

Your tautology is really convincing!

Greg Webb November 22, 2011 at 9:53 am

LOL!

steve November 21, 2011 at 10:28 am

Yes, that was one of the more incoherent responses I have heard on health care. Since health care costs are the primary cause of our long term debt, and Gingrich worked as a health care lobbyist (unlicensed), you would expect a better answer. To be fair, most GOP candidates tap dance around health care. They may go fro repeal, but there is no replace forthcoming that I can find. I thought that the PCA might be revived, but was informed by our (GOP) congressman this is not likely.

Steve

morganovich November 21, 2011 at 11:22 am

it pays to be a bit careful here.

telling seniors and medicare moms you are going to slash their benefits has long been the third rail of american politics.

it is hardly surprising that a candidate would want to stay vague in a race this tight and unpredictable. it’s a bad time to alienate.

do not confuse political campaigning with political position.

newt is very bright and very well informed. he’s also a very effective practitioner of realpolitik.

sometimes, you say little for a reason other than having no thoughts on the topic.

steve November 21, 2011 at 11:42 am

IOW, I just assume he will have a good plan? If he will not tell me what he really believes, or what his health plan will do because he is afraid it will alienate seniors, how do I evaluate it?

Steve

morganovich November 21, 2011 at 12:50 pm

steve-

2 points: 1, hopefully, he will reveal it at some point, but i have not seen much better from any of his peers with a real shot. the only ones on record with serious plans for cuts have paid dearly for it in the polls and with superbland romney hoping to just wait out the field, this is not a great time to make enemies. to be effective, first yo need to get elected.

2. how much worse than the current guy;s plan could it be. he had me at “repeal obamacare”.

steve November 21, 2011 at 1:50 pm

“2. how much worse than the current guy;s plan could it be.”

It can always be worse. The unwillingness to reveal the plan suggests that as a possibility. At any rate, we need more than repeal. That will just keep us on the same path of escalating medical costs.

Steve

Methinks1776 November 21, 2011 at 6:31 pm

Steve,

If the choice is repeal and not replace with a better plan than the status quo, wouldn’t you prefer a repeal to the horror that is Obamacare? I would. It’s worse than the status quo.

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises November 21, 2011 at 9:00 pm

newt is very bright and very well informed

your are a nut job. newt makes Goebbels look honest.

the guy is a complete fraud, who will say or day anything and you think he is bright . . ..

Greg Webb November 22, 2011 at 9:56 am

Luzha, you are a nut job. You make Newt Gingrich look honest. You are a complete fraud who will say any stupid thing to advance your Marxist ideology.

rbd November 21, 2011 at 10:44 am

Any candidate out there right now is far more free-market than the current occupant of the White House. Newt would restrain the EPA (I think he’s even talked about abolishing it and replacing it with something very different), and probably work to repeal Dodd-Frank. He’s also floated some proposals to help fix Medicare (remember “wither on the vine” comment).

He’s not perfect, but perfect doesn’t exist. Perfect is the enemy of good. I’d vote for Newt.

William B November 21, 2011 at 1:23 pm

Perfect is the enemy of good? Wow.

Fred November 21, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Perfect is the enemy of good.

A lesser of two evils is still evil.

Nuke Nemesis November 21, 2011 at 2:35 pm

A perfect answer that won’t get implemented into law is useless.

Fred November 21, 2011 at 2:49 pm

Why is a new law the “perfect answer”?

Why not have the solution be the repeal of existing crappy laws?

Why is the solution to crappy policy always to add to it or modify it?

Why not just get rid of it?

Nuke Nemesis November 22, 2011 at 9:53 am

I concur. The current system is better than Obamacare.

Darren November 21, 2011 at 5:54 pm

A lesser of two evils is still evil.

Uh…so is the greater of two evils, but moreso.

vikingvista November 21, 2011 at 1:52 pm

Since voting doesn’t matter, I’m just trying to get interested in the horse race. But I’m still having a hard time at that. It will be easier during the Presidential campaign once a Rep candidate has been chosen. At least I think it will.

Fred November 21, 2011 at 2:08 pm

I have found I can accurately predict the results of an election by taking the inverse of my ballot.

Yergit Abrav November 21, 2011 at 9:24 pm

Exactly why I do not vote

cthorm November 21, 2011 at 11:17 am

If I was in an early primary state my vote would undoubtedly go to Ron Paul. I’m in California though, so the race will be a lot narrower before I get to have a say. If I can’t get Paul or Johnson on the GOP ticket, I’d be happy to have Huntsman. I think Huntsman is the only candidate that Paul might be willing to run with as VP (other than Johnson).

morganovich November 21, 2011 at 11:19 am

chapman has no sense of irony.

he thunders and roars about newt’s arrogance, Olympian pronouncements, and meaningless platitudes with arrogance, olympian pronouncements, and meaningless platitudes.

he certainly seems to be in love with the sound of his own voice for someone so inclined to lob that stone at others.

Brian November 21, 2011 at 11:39 am

Jon Huntsman is well spoken, articulate, reasoned, measured, worldly, and in fact very conservative.
Why he is only polling at 1%, when most of the others he trails by a lot are bumbling along, speaks more about the GOP than about Jon Huntsman.

vikingvista November 21, 2011 at 12:23 pm

The real question is why he’s still in the debates when he’s out polled by Gary Johnson, who is no longer invited. Surely Johnson has at least as much TV entertainment value as Huntsman.

Aten November 21, 2011 at 12:54 pm

I would love to see Gary Johnson get some traction. Similar to Ron Paul on the issues but seems much more electable.

Ken November 21, 2011 at 2:16 pm

Eh? Huntsman is in the race because the GOP leadership needs someone to run left of Slick Willard.

Odds are that the Republic is about to get a rhymes-with-Mitt Sandwich, come what may…

…followed by something much worse.

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises November 21, 2011 at 9:02 pm

because Huntsman makes sense and doesn’t live in never never land

Greg Webb November 22, 2011 at 9:59 am

Luzha, an endorsement from you will certainly kill John Huntsman’s campaign.

EG November 21, 2011 at 12:19 pm

A relatively poor assessment of both candidates. The flaws he assigns to Newt are flaws of all politicians. “He changes his mind”! What a shocker. How many people changed their minds on global warming since the time he did that commercial, since the time of Climategate? Probably a lot. Is someone changing their mind a negative? I don’t think so. Is someone trying to pander to his electorate something unusual? I don’t think so. Did Newt (and Heritage) support an individual mandate back in the day, and not now? yes. They are pandering to their electorate. Ultimately, for me, an individual mandate is not undesirable. There’s economic arguments to be made on why it would better to have one. Whether its constitutional or not, is another matter. But he has to say what his electorate wants to hear, so nothing wrong with changing your mind.

As for Huntsman, what exactly does he have that every other candidate on that stage doesn’t have? Besides speaking Mandarin? I didn’t realize Mandarin was required for being President. Why does he think that Evolution and Global Warming are electoral issues, when no one else on that stage has discussed them?

Ultimately, its not so desirable to have an ideological candidate that doesn’t change their mind or their behavior to fit reality on the ground. We have that now. So no point in trying to find “consistency” in a political race.

As for Ron Paul…what’s to say:

“Why a guy like Ron Paul who is more Austrian Economics, combined with patriotism in the right measure, can not get elected is beyond me.”

Because…Ron Paul is ignorant. “Austrian Economics” encompass a lot of things, most of which are mainstream economics. “Austrain Economics” encompasses also contradictory concepts; you have Hayek, and then you have Rothbard. One is mainstream economics today, the other is a hack. The two don’t necessarily relate to each other. Ron Paul is ignorant in that he didn’t “learn” economics as most people learn it. He learned it as a religion, and regurgitates it as Holy Scripture.

He is ideological, and he is often times wrong. He is insulting to anyone who doesn’t agree with him on every detail. He takes divisive stands on divisive issues, and catapults those issues to the forefront. Its like he is purposely trying to pis*-off every conservative in America, instead of trying to find common ground on issues that really matter.

His main policy points are not only wrong (his stance on the Fed, on gold, on the military), but he is also wholly incapable of understanding how to translate such broad policy ideas into actionable policies with real world consequences. “Abolish the Fed!!”. Ok. Then what? What’s your transition? What replaces it? What’s the improvement?

Plus he is a liar who doesn’t change his mind when presented with conflicting evidence (that’s the opposite of what Newt). He has an awful lot of baggage of some incredibly silly things he has said and done in the past (like, race relations), and necessarily attracts people on the fringe (in case you haven’t noticed, a lot of OWS creatures are attracted to his message, wrong and silly as it may be)

He is an ignorant lying old man with a personality cult. He is as far off from what American needs, as Barack Obama.

vikingvista November 21, 2011 at 1:01 pm

“Austrain Economics” encompasses also contradictory concepts;”

Any examples, oh master of the Austrian school?

“Ron Paul is ignorant in that he didn’t “learn” economics as most people learn it. He learned it as a religion, and regurgitates it as Holy Scripture.”

Your criteria for this judgement is…?

““Abolish the Fed!!”. Ok. Then what? What’s your transition? What replaces it? What’s the improvement?”

_The Case for Gold_
_Gold, Peace, and Prosperity_
_End the Fed_, Chapter 15 (Yes, you do need to read more than just the title the book, sorry)

BTW, how many books have the other candidates written about *their* positions, to cause you to single out Ron Paul?

“He is an ignorant lying old man”

Unlike other candidates? Or do you hate him for his resemblance to you?

Since you obviously don’t know much about Ron Paul (or in your words, are “lying” about him), I have to ask, did he do something to personally slight you at some point? Did he reject your advances? There must be a reason for your repeated rampages of falsehoods and vitriol. But if character assassination is your goal, why choose such demonstrable falsehoods? Surely you could do what other sleazebags do, and come up with a he-says/he-says lie that can’t be disproven. No?

EG November 21, 2011 at 2:39 pm

“Any examples, oh master of the Austrian school?”

Examples of differences between Rothbardian hackery and Hayek? Hmm…Gold, as one small example. Hayek was almost the same as Friedman; their disagreement was technical. Rothbard and the other “Austrians” are failed utopian economists diddling around in anarchism, and writing articles on why their cult of personality is so much better than that other guy’s cult of personality.

Ron Paul brings this sort of marginalism, to mainstream elections. I can’t see how that’s beneficial to anyone who works for free markets.

“Your criteria for this judgement is…?”

My criteria is simple: does the person sound like a bright-eyed Soviet Communist from 1935, and does he take his ideology for granted like a bright-eyed Soviet Communist from 1935.

“_The Case for Gold_
_Gold, Peace, and Prosperity_
_End the Fed_, Chapter 15 (Yes, you do need to read more than just the title the book, sorry)”

Neither I, nor any sane normal human being voting in this election, is going to read books by Ron Paul on gold. This is why the man is insane; he can’t explain his position in 3 sentences to the average person. Heck, 10 sentences. Heck, a WSJ article. That’s another criteria for silliness.

“BTW, how many books have the other candidates written about *their* positions, to cause you to single out Ron Paul?”

Newt? I don’t know why that matters. I am not interested in reading books on their ideology. Neither is anyone else.

“Unlike other candidates? Or do you hate him for his resemblance to you?”

Unlike other candidates? What other candidates on stage run around with a posy of foaming-at-the-mouth tweens waving his “little Gold book” around?

“But if character assassination is your goal, why choose such demonstrable falsehoods? ”

I believe I’ve covered this before, but it is interesting how your phrase this sentence. “Character”, and “falsehood”. Of course, all I said was that I disagree with his position on gold, on the fed and on the military, and that he has a cult of personality following. These happened to be…opinions…And yet your sentence would assume that there is a wrong and right position on Paul, and that those who are “wrong” are in it for “assassination”. Hmmm

But to answer your criticism, anyway (probably for the 4th time in this blog, in the past few months), I’ll repeat my earlier sentance: Ron Paul brings this sort of marginalism, to mainstream elections. I can’t see how that’s beneficial to anyone who works for free markets. He hurts…the cause of liberty, because he is a terribly poor representative for that cause.

vikingvista November 21, 2011 at 3:34 pm

“Hayek was almost the same as Friedman; their disagreement was technical.”

Wrong.

“their cult of personality”

Who’s personality would that be? Mises’s? Since Rothbard’s economics is entirely derivative of him, his politics notwithstanding.

“Ron Paul brings this sort of marginalism, to mainstream elections.”

Ron Paul isn’t even close to being an anarchist.

“My criteria is simple: does the person sound like a bright-eyed Soviet Communist from 1935, and does he take his ideology for granted like a bright-eyed Soviet Communist from 1935.”

Good thing you don’t use the criteria of a raving Nazi judge from 1944. You might not like who passes the Freisleian standard.

“Neither I, nor any sane normal human being voting in this election, is going to read books by Ron Paul on gold.”

Of course not. Why would you want to know what you are talking about when you malign another human being, when it is so much easier just to make things up?

At least you admit that you are a deliberate lying ignoramous. I’ll give you credit for that.

“This is why the man is insane; he can’t explain his position in 3 sentences to the average person.”

EG’s definition of insanity: can’t explain an idea in 3 sentences to an average person. Shall I come up with a list of the insane using that criteria, or are you already aware of your own stupidity.

“I am not interested in reading books on their ideology.”

Exactly. Because the definition of someone not having a position is that you have deliberately chosen not to read it. So far on this blog you’ve admitted to not reading Ayn Rand and Ron Paul, and I suspect Rothbard and Mises as well. And yet, you know ALLLLLLL about them.

You are officially a troll at this point.

DU: “He is an ignorant lying old man”
ME: “Unlike other candidates? Or do you hate him for his resemblance to you?”
DU: “What other candidates on stage run around with a posy of foaming-at-the-mouth tweens waving his “little Gold book” around?”

EG logic: If a kind of “tweens” wave your book around, then you are an ignorant lying old man.

Definitely a troll, completely devoid of any self-respect.

“These happened to be…opinions…And yet your sentence would assume that there is a wrong and right position on Paul”

It is a fact that Ron Paul has explained what would follow ending the fed, not an opinion. Now that you know that he has explained that position, any further utterance from you qualifies not just as a falsehood, but as a deliberate lie.

“Ron Paul brings this sort of marginalism, to mainstream elections. I can’t see how that’s beneficial to anyone who works for free markets.”

That may or may not be true (about what you are able to see), but has nothing to do with your falsehoods written here and elsewhere on this blog.

And once again, one must wonder, why you find it worthwhile to repeatedly post multiple long-winded comments of vitriol and demonstrable falsehoods about a man who has about as much chance of being elected President as you do, and whose rhetoric is no more offensive and ignorant than any of the leading candidates. There is no objective observable reason for your passion towards him. Please, just tell us, if you personally have met him and were somehow slighted by him. What do you hope to accomplish with this libel? Revenge of some sort?

EG November 21, 2011 at 4:58 pm

“Who’s personality would that be? ”
Whatever the flavor of the month is over at Mises dot org

“Ron Paul isn’t even close to being an anarchist.”
I didn’t claim he was. I said he brings that sort of marginalism to mainstream politics.

“Of course not. Why would you want to know what you are talking about when you malign another human being, when it is so much easier just to make things up?”
It is entirely irrelevant what he says in support for his obsession with Gold, just as it is entirely irrelevant what a religious person says for his obsession with God. At least, addressing those issues is irrelevant…to me not believing in either. Far smarter people than myself, including Hayek, have laid out why Gold is a bad and silly idea. Reading what Ron Paul has to say about it, would be an incredible waste of time.

“EG’s definition of insanity: can’t explain an idea in 3 sentences to an average person. ”
Or a WSJ article. What I said is, if you can’t communicate something which, supposedly, is self-evident, to the average person in a relatively reasonable space…then you don’t know what you’re talking about.

“So far on this blog you’ve admitted to not reading Ayn Rand and Ron Paul, and I suspect Rothbard and Mises as well. And yet, you know ALLLLLLL about them. ”
I’ve never read the Bible either, yet I’m fairly certain its fairy tales. Nothing against Mises. Or Ayn Rand for that matter, as far as her literary value is concerned. As a political philosopher…I don’t necessarily need to read her when I can see her followers. Same for Rothbard (although, I’ve read criticisms of him, and I’ve certainly heard his minions enough times to form an opinion on his positions).
IE…their fundamental positions (Rothbard and Paul) are known. Their fundamental defense of those positions, are known. I fundamentally disagree with them. The mechanics are irrelevant for my purposes.

“If a kind of “tweens” wave your book around, then you are an ignorant lying old man. ”
The two aren’t connected. He is an ignorant old man, but not because he has tweens waving his Little Gold Book.

“It is a fact that Ron Paul has explained what would follow ending the fed, not an opinion.”
My…OPINION…to reiterate, is that I DISAGREE with his position on Gold and the Fed. The fact that he has explained his positions, is quite irrelevant to the fact that I disagree with him. It doesn’t negate my disagreement. It doesn’t change it.
Explaining something, doesn’t mean others will accept that explanation. This is what religious people do to: “But its explained in Leviticus 4-13 that so and so happened, do you believe now?” No, I don’t.

“Now that you know that he has explained that position, any further utterance from you qualifies not just as a falsehood, but as a deliberate lie.”
So your reason (or lack there off), is that since he has explained “it” (the holy word?), therefore my disagreement with “it” is a “falsehood” :) I couldn’t have drawn a better parallel between Ron Paul-onians and religious zealots.

“That may or may not be true (about what you are able to see), but has nothing to do with your falsehoods written here and elsewhere on this blog.”
My disagreement is a “falsehood’?

“and whose rhetoric is no more offensive and ignorant than any of the leading candidates.”
Its slightly more offensive, to me.

“There is no objective observable reason for your passion towards him.”
There is no observable reason to object to a person who swarms Republican Party conventions with adolescent children who recite passages by heart from Mao’s Little Red Book as evidence of why they are right and you are wrong? Well, it…MIGHT…have something to do with the fact that I was born in a communist country and I don’t take kindly to ideological zealots waving Little Red Books around.

yet another Dave November 21, 2011 at 2:49 pm

Dr. Paul had the temerity to suggest ending EG’s most beloved military adventurism, so he is persona non-grata and must now be vilified with extreme prejudice.

EG November 21, 2011 at 2:59 pm

Don’t you mean…His Holiness Ron Paul the First? (Dr. is too belittling of him!)

yet another Dave November 21, 2011 at 5:11 pm

EG, it may surprise you that I’m not one of the avid RP followers you heap so much derision on. My issue is with your ridiculous mischaracterizations and baseless, content-free hyperbolic falsehood-riddled vitriol. If you have a defendable position wrt Dr. Paul you’ve yet to present it here at the café. What you have done is make yourself look like an incoherent rambling loon with a penchant for military adventurism.

vikingvista November 21, 2011 at 5:19 pm

YAD,

Well said. I’m not a Ron Paul supporter either, either than because he’s a libertarian, his views are necessarily closer to mine than other candidates. But there is something ugly, and enigmatic, about EG’s deliberately and admittedly unsubstantiated and demonstrably false tirades of calumny.

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises November 21, 2011 at 9:04 pm

yet another Dave

ron paul is a crackpot as are any of his followers

Sam Grove November 21, 2011 at 10:04 pm

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises November 21, 2011 at 9:04 pm

yet another Dave

ron paul is a crackpot as are any of his followers

So you are in alignment with EG?

tdp November 21, 2011 at 9:02 pm

This is why I much prefer Gary Johnson. Not divisive, thoughtful and not dogmatic about issues, and backs up his positions with calm, reasoned logic that seeks to build agreement and convince voters he wants the same things they do. He also has executive experience as Governor of New Mexico.

g-dub November 21, 2011 at 9:41 pm

He’s my favorite of anyone I know of running for president. It’s probably because I haven’t heard him say too much.

Of course, I am a learned pessimist.

vikingvista November 22, 2011 at 12:34 am

As governor, he vetoed pert near everything. And really, what more can you ask for?

g-dub November 22, 2011 at 10:27 am

hah(!), that would greatly exceed my wildest expectations, as I have learned to set them very low.

For example, I would consider it a major turn of events if the federal simply government stopped growing for a few years. It is probably too much to ever dream of.

I loved one of his buzz lines “As governor, I didn’t create a single job.”

g-dub November 22, 2011 at 10:30 am

I usually don’t bother correcting, but here is one: …federal simply government… => …federal government simply…

Ken November 21, 2011 at 2:17 pm

“Ultimately, for me, an individual mandate is not undesirable. There’s economic arguments to be made on why it would better to have one. Whether its constitutional or not, is another matter.”

Whether it’s moral or not is still another.

EG November 21, 2011 at 2:41 pm

Certainly. Morality is a separate issue from both constitutionalism, or economics. The latter two, however, aren’t subjective.

Ken November 21, 2011 at 3:16 pm

Whether others can be compelled into your preferred policy solutions doesn’t strike me as subjective, either.

EG November 21, 2011 at 4:31 pm

I have no desire to compel anyone into anything using a …moral argument. And if anyone is compelled by moral arguments, I don’t think I’d be interested in compelling them.

Ken November 21, 2011 at 7:12 pm

No, but you allowed as to how you might be okay with compelling me at (non-metaphorical) gunpoint; that’s what an individual mandate is.

Ken November 21, 2011 at 7:15 pm

And if you think gunpoint is better (for given values of better, and I can see where it would be for some, particularly so long as it’s someone else’s gun, enabling one to reap the benefit from the safety of a chair behind a keyboard) than “a…moral argument,” then that tells me everything I need to know about you, son.

EG November 22, 2011 at 11:02 am

“No, but you allowed as to how you might be okay with compelling me at (non-metaphorical) gunpoint; that’s what an individual mandate is”

You guys should put on a show. You people are very dramatic.

Again, the argument for or against can be put in economic terms, in legal terms, or in moral terms. I’m not saying it should, or shouldn’t, be done. Just that there are valid arguments.

The argument of “everything that is forced on me, is forced on my by gun, and is wrong”, isn’t a classical liberal argument. Its an anarchist argument, because by that definition the very existence of a “government” is wrong. That’s clearly an argument that has no economic merit, nor anything to do with classical liberalism.

“And if you think gunpoint is better (for given values of better, and I can see where it would be for some, particularly so long as it’s someone else’s gun, enabling one to reap the benefit from the safety of a chair behind a keyboard) than “a…moral argument,” then that tells me everything I need to know about you, son.”

The “son” at the end was a valiant attempt at something, I don’t know what. But valiant none the less. It is a moral “anarchist” argument to say that anything ‘forced” upon an individual is wrong. And that’s entirely irrelevant to me. It is not an economic argument, however, and it is not an argument that any “classical liberal” economist would have made (including Hayek, of course)

Ken November 22, 2011 at 1:01 pm

Nice dodge.

So tell me, son: When is it okay with you to coerce an individual into some positive action, the taking of which (or not) cannot be predicted to affect you directly in any way?

EG November 22, 2011 at 6:32 pm

“When is it okay with you to coerce an individual into some positive action, the taking of which (or not) cannot be predicted to affect you directly in any way?”

?? Worded that way, it is clear to me that you have realized the mistake of your previous stance, and are now attempting to change it.

Originally, you said that under no circumstance is it ok to “force” someone to do something. NOW…you are twisting into a question of when is it ok to force someone, if it doesn’t affect me.

The two are, in fact, two separate arguments. One is the collective action to solve a collective problem. The other is one group forcing another for one group’s benefit.

The first, can be called “common goods” problems in economics. The second, isn’t. Common goods problems are real, even if limited, and are the justification for the existence of a third party (government) to address them; things like military, police, roads etc. They are problems which deal primarily with coordination problems…real economic limitations which classical liberal economists have not been able to explain a market mechanism that solves them.

Is it therefore justifiable to “force” people to pay or perform an action in response to the common good problem? Yes…according to every classical liberal economist. The “force” is to compensate for the use or benefit of the good, either directly or as an externality…in the absence of a market for that good.

That addresses the first issue you brought up. The second one, is quite unrelated and not something I was claiming or defending

Nuke Nemesis November 21, 2011 at 2:37 pm

With all his faults and issues, he would still be better than Obama, at least on domestic issues. Foreign policy? It’s a toss-up.

EG November 21, 2011 at 2:46 pm

Failing in the application of “reasonable” policies (if for a second I suspend my disbelief and pretend that his policies are reasonable), isn’t necessarily better than successfully applying unreasonable policies.

Ron Paul’s policy solutions are unworkable because they are unrealistic. Attempting to apply those solutions, in the manner he wants to, may well cause worst problems.

vikingvista November 21, 2011 at 3:37 pm

How would you know? You’ve admitted that you have chosen not to read his solutions.

EG November 21, 2011 at 4:30 pm

I don’t need to read his “solutions” to know they are silly ideas. And that’s because the outcome he envisions is a silly idea.

Religious nuts tell other people “you can’t refute the Bible because you’ve never read it!”. Reading it, does me no good. Gold, just like God, is silly. Justifications for the rule of both, are irrelevant.

vikingvista November 21, 2011 at 5:05 pm

“I don’t need to read his “solutions” to know they are silly ideas.”

I know. Why would you need to know what Ron Paul has to say about his ideas, when you can rely upon the voices in your head to tell you these things. And when those voices tell you that Ron Paul did not address things that he has, in fact, published, you must not lose faith. Or does a burning bush tell you these things? Either way, makes perfect sense to me.

morganovich November 21, 2011 at 12:54 pm

eg-

i think that’s a good assessment of paul.

he’s a zealot who lacks any real practical understanding.

he loves to rail out abolishing the fed and returning to a gold standard, but has no idea what the ramifications of that really are.

the gold standard was disastrous. it amplifies every recession through liquidity restrictions. it necessitates non optimal trade arrangements.

using a gold standard to rein in inflation is like using a flamethrower to kill mosquitos.

while he makes some good points on some topics, at the core, paul is a kook and a zealot and simply unfit to lead.

vikingvista November 21, 2011 at 1:04 pm

“i think that’s a good assessment of paul.”

Yes, other than being devoid of truth.

William B November 21, 2011 at 1:25 pm

“he loves to rail out abolishing the fed and returning to a gold standard, but has no idea what the ramifications of that really are”

You should read his book The Case for Gold, where he clearly explains how this transition would take place.

William B November 21, 2011 at 1:26 pm

Oops… wrong section to reply to.

EG November 21, 2011 at 2:56 pm

That response sounds like the standard response of any religious zealot. When you ask someone, why do you believe this? Their response is ” Read Leviticus 4-13!”

Ron Paul, I’m certain, has developed in his mind a framework of how to get a Gold standard. Whether its realistic, whether it is beneficial, whether it is necessary, whether it makes sense…all those are far more important questions.

vikingvista November 21, 2011 at 3:39 pm

“Ron Paul, I’m certain, has developed in his mind a framework of how to get a Gold standard.”

You are “certain”, and yet you admit that you deliberately avoid reading what he has written about it. Sounds like religious faith to me.

EG November 21, 2011 at 4:26 pm

Again, in case you misunderstood the sentence: what he has conjured up in his mind is quite irrelevant to the issue of whether its a good idea or not. Its not a good idea because Gold is not a good idea…not because Ron Paul has failed to repeat the same old tired line for the past 35 years.

vikingvista November 21, 2011 at 5:10 pm

“Again, in case you misunderstood the sentence: what he has conjured up in his mind is quite irrelevant to the issue of whether its a good idea or not.”

I agree with you. What Ron Paul has “conjured up in his mind” is quite irrelevant to his ideas–which is why you admit that you deliberately avoid discovering them. All that matters regarding the facts about Ron Paul, are what the voices in your head tell you–even when it contradicts all third-party perspective. Do not let the Devil deceive you! He’s a deceiver! Keep the faith!

Younger Cato November 21, 2011 at 5:12 pm

e.g.

What Paul”s “conjured up in his mind” is nothing more than a most literal interpretation of Hayek’s “A Choice in Currency” and “The Denationalization of Money”. Somehow I can’t help but think that your slanderous canards are nothing more than a fanatic’s last attempt to save face.

Lee November 21, 2011 at 8:10 pm

Surely there is a difference between quoting scripture and a politician’s book. Especially one written by Ron Paul who quotes plenty of sources to back up his points.

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises November 21, 2011 at 9:17 pm

why would anyone even start reading a book by such an obvious kook.

Do you have no judgment, whatsoever? What would ever lead you to think he wasn’t anything other than a nut job.

Did you ever really read Smith, Keynes, Munger, Buffett, Krugman, Joseph E. Stiglitz, Lewis, Nouriel Roubini, Friedman—I could go on and on for page are page-lord the list is endless–there are thousands of books more worthwhile

all the man does is pander to idiots.

Jon Murphy November 21, 2011 at 9:23 pm

If something was written by someone you disagree with, isn’t that all the more reason to read it? You can see the arguments (or lack there of) made, refute or disprove them, and build a counter-argument. That’s how a lot of those you’ve named above made their names: in critiques. Imagine if Keynes had just dismissed Hayek as a kook and didn’t try to refute him. Imagine if Marx dismissed Capitalism as just some kooky theory and didn’t bother to refute it. Imagine if Obama just dismissed the Republicans as kooks and didn’t try to run. In fact, Martha Coaxly dismissed the Massachusetts Republicans and she lost to Scott Brown.

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises November 22, 2011 at 8:19 pm

If something was written by someone you disagree with, isn’t that all the more reason to read it?

No

You read things written by people with sufficient credentials to make a reasoned estimate that you will learn something from the invested time.

Listen to Paul for 90 seconds—he is a wack job.

Jon Murphy November 22, 2011 at 8:27 pm

Well, that explains a lot right there.

Jon Murphy November 22, 2011 at 8:29 pm

How can you know what Ron Paul believes in if you’ve never read his stuff?

And don;t say “sound-bites” ’cause that’ll make you look like an even bigger idiot.

And don;t say “I’ve read what other people have written” ’cause that’ll make you look like a pawn.

EG November 23, 2011 at 12:01 pm

“How can you know what Ron Paul believes in if you’ve never read his stuff?”

He’s been babeling for 35 years. We know what he believes in.

tdp November 21, 2011 at 4:24 pm

The problem is he is still more fit to lead than any of the other GOP candidates. He at least is consistent in his principles and platforms and won’t cave in to special interests or demands for big spending programs and measures to restrict the economy.

The GOP will, in 2012, become the first party to lose an election when the President presides over Election Day unemployment of above 7.2% because none of the competent candidates want to run.

Paul Ryan, Chris Christie, and Mitch Daniels have all said no, leaving us with Mitt Romney, whose proposals leave in place just about every big-government measure there is and refuse to touch entitlements, Herman Cain and Rick Perry, who are nutjobs, Newt Gingrich, who is a big-government neocon in the pockets of the AARP, and Michelle Bachmann, who is really a nutjob.

EG November 21, 2011 at 4:28 pm

Being consistently wrong and kooky, is not a good thing. This is why consistency, is overrated.

I don’t want consistent.

vikingvista November 21, 2011 at 5:11 pm

Okay, but do you have to embrace contradiction so passionately?

Ken November 21, 2011 at 7:18 pm

Well, he doesn’t appear capable of an actual argument, so he has to start somewhere.

(PS — Somewhere in the distance, I hear:

“Oh, I’ve had enough of this.”
“No you haven’t.” ;) )

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises November 21, 2011 at 9:21 pm

fit to lead than any of the other GOP candidates.

He at least is consistent in his principles

lead—he couldn’t lead a platoon across a parking lot

you don’t get it. you don’t pick a president for his or her principles, you pick them hoping they have the intangibles that made the Greats in history Great.

No one is more consistent with his principles than Obama. He, in fact, was more successful as a legislator than FDR, but we all know he has no vision that is coming across

Greg Webb November 23, 2011 at 12:15 pm

No one is more consistent with his principles than Obama.

Nope. Obama frequently prevaricates, spins, and obfuscates his principles. It he had been direct about what he believes in, he never would have been elected to anything.

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises November 22, 2011 at 8:20 pm

Paul has no principles, none

he was say or do anything, which is why he says such wacky daft bs

Lee November 21, 2011 at 8:13 pm

Morganovich, you should check out the inflation of the United States throughtout our history, and tell me if that’s not a compelling argument to move back to the gold standard and get rid of the federal reserve. Let’s just say that global-warming alarmists would love to be able to have that graph apply to raising temps in the U.S.

Jon Murphy November 21, 2011 at 8:17 pm

It is rather hockey-stick shaped.

Ken November 22, 2011 at 3:16 pm

Global warming is Mann-made…

…or so I have recently heard. :)

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises November 21, 2011 at 9:30 pm

what inflation

the price of computers, accessories, and software, the only thing that matters (and anything digital), have been falling since 1980

the price of food and clothing is way down. I pay less for a 100% cotton shirt or suit than I deed in college 40 years ago

cars, who knows.

housing, at 4% thirty year is the cheapest ever

Jon Murphy November 21, 2011 at 9:31 pm

Ah, good to see you have come around to our way of thinking.

Nuke Nemesis November 22, 2011 at 1:28 pm

Ron Paul is very rational compared to many, if not most, of his fanatical supporters.

EG November 22, 2011 at 4:59 pm

Compared to his supporters, yes. But there’s nowhere to go but up, if they are the baseline.

Chucklehead November 21, 2011 at 12:58 pm

“In a debate last week, the former House speaker was asked a simple question: What measures would he adopt after repealing President Barack Obama’s health care plan?”
The premise is wrong. Replacing Obama Care with NOTHING would be a improvement.

vikingvista November 21, 2011 at 1:23 pm

True. And that answer works elsewhere as well. SS should be replaced with nothing, MC should be replaced with nothing, etc. In other words, the best idea is to get the government out of it entirely and let free people come up with and choose their own replacements.

But the idea of a market solution, which CANNOT be described ahead of time (whether is for the production of shoes or the provision of health insurance), seems to be almost alien to everyone, in spite of all of us being constantly immersed in such solutions.

tdp November 21, 2011 at 9:04 pm

Republicans have proposed solutions to Healthcare that are actually more libertarian and pro-free market than “doing nothing” and returning to the status quo, such as actually creating a free market and removing, if you’ll excuse the term, pre-existing government interferences that jacked up the costs of healthcare BEFORE the ObamaCare law went into effect.

vikingvista November 22, 2011 at 12:48 am

Republicans have traditionally been occasionally good at rhetoric. Republican Romney had a chance to prove himself as governor, and his solution was, essentially, ObamaCare. Now he tells us he wants to repeal ObamaCare. Typical words/deeds conflict.

g-dub November 22, 2011 at 12:51 am

I don’t know with specificity what many say, although Ron Paul has said some good things.

The status quo really was bad. It was a potpourri of local, state, and federal regulations, mandates, and taxes. That kind of back door socialism is in one way worse than the real thing. It is so diffused that it is hard to put one’s finger on the “exact” cause of difficulties because the diffusion makes single factors seem less important. (It is very sneaky, that fabianism.)

And there is always the question of the composite of those things affecting things in a way greater than the simple sum.

Yeah, back door socialism is especially bad, as it can’t be pointed to directly. It is more dangerous than the direct kind, whose failings are undeniable. A drifting mixed economy might be harder to fix than something whose faults are obvious as to the cause.

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises November 21, 2011 at 9:31 pm

send around the carts, throw out you dead

vikingvista November 22, 2011 at 12:43 am

How did the human race ever manage to survive without massive government social programs? Or should I ask, how did the human race ever manage to get around the mountains of human corpses?

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises November 22, 2011 at 8:21 pm

Q. How did the human race ever manage to survive without massive government social programs?

A. It didn’t.

Jon Murphy November 22, 2011 at 8:27 pm

Right, which is why humanity didn;t exist until the 1900′s.

vikingvista November 22, 2011 at 11:20 pm

“It didn’t.”

What are you, a Martian?

Ubiquitous November 22, 2011 at 11:25 pm

What are you, a Martian?

Actually, he’s from Uranus.

Dan J November 22, 2011 at 11:50 pm

Wow! All this time I thought man has inhabited the earth for thousands of years and it seems that man as only been around for 100 years.

Nuke Nemesis November 22, 2011 at 10:02 am

Yes, repealing Obamacare would be quite an improvement. It would lift at least one boot that’s currently pressing on the neck of our economy.

But as a practical matter, it needs to be replaced with market-oriented reforms.

Fred November 22, 2011 at 10:05 am

What are “market-oriented reforms” other than removing government imposed rules and allowing the market to function?

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises November 22, 2011 at 8:22 pm

what is more market oriented than requiring people to buy insurance, forcing them to participate in the market for health care

Jon Murphy November 22, 2011 at 8:28 pm

The term “everything” comes to mind.

Jon Murphy November 22, 2011 at 8:32 pm

I think what we have here is a lack of understanding what a market is.

A market is the VOLUNTARY exchange of goods and services in which BOTH parties benefit.

In order for something to be market oriented, it must be led by the market.

Therefore, any form of coercion is, strictly by definition, not market-oriented.

Dan J November 22, 2011 at 11:51 pm

Progressives don’t believe in ‘voluntary’.

Greg Webb November 23, 2011 at 12:35 pm

That’s why their correct name is “regressives.”. Thay want to take us back to a time when the elite ruled, and life was brutish and short.

Chucklehead November 21, 2011 at 1:03 pm

“If Republicans are looking for the most conservative candidate, they won’t settle on Huntsman. But if they are looking for the most conservative candidate who can beat Obama, he may yet get his day in the sun.”
This is the line they use with the two republican progressives, Huntsman and Romney. If they are chosen, it will be Obama vs. McCain all over again.

Darren November 21, 2011 at 6:03 pm

Obama vs. McCain all over again

So? Obama didn’t really win by that much and he is in much worse shape now.

Yergit Abrav November 21, 2011 at 9:37 pm

Obama will win in a landslide. The reason is that the Republicans fail to offer enough coherent differentiation [with Romney] to motivate sufficient independent defection from the incumbent. Too much differentiation, also loses, of course. Its a tricky business, politics.

g-dub November 22, 2011 at 1:07 am

Maybe. I don’t pretend to be able to call these things.

Romney is more polished than croaking McCain, who couldn’t talk his way out of anything, and only had the worst snooze-fest buzz-lines. Palin didn’t help.

If Romney picked someone better than Biden, presuming Obama sticks with Biden, that too could sway things. Obama-Clinton would be a substantial strengthening, as Hillary is substantially more polished and talented than Joebee.

I sort of thought Romney could beat Obama because he could pick up a lot of moderates/independents — more than the libertarians he’ll definitely lose. It really depends on how much fatigue moderates/independents have for Obama, and their stance on state waivers to Obamacare. I just cannot gauge that.

Not saying I like these people. lol!

James Strong November 21, 2011 at 1:45 pm

It’s still just 2010. Why are we already planning elections for next year? Seems like the US is in a state of permanent election.

Fred November 21, 2011 at 1:47 pm

One of the joys of campaign finance reform.

Ken November 22, 2011 at 9:43 am

Sutton’s Law: It’s where the money is.

Chucklehead November 22, 2011 at 6:52 pm

Where I live, 2011 is almost over.

Jon Murphy November 22, 2011 at 7:11 pm

My primary is in little over a month.

Will November 21, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Newt is a Politician through and through. He understands more about the political realities of situations more than any other candidate on the GOP ticket. I have always found it interesting that he was Speaker more than a decade ago and yet he always stayed near the political front lines without a national campaign. I believe he has always wanted to be President and knew he had absolutely no chance if his election was to closely related to his tenure as Speaker. He was able to remain a National figure even though he remained out of the limelight. Now he has stepped in and is surging to the head of the pack. Whether he remains there I don’t know. He may be just what we need because I believe it is going to take a true politician to maneuver the repeal of Obamacare because I do not see it ever being repealed. I do not see Ron Paul or Herman Cain being able to accomplish that task. Now that does not mean that I support him. I have not made up my mind who to support.

Nuke Nemesis November 21, 2011 at 2:02 pm

The GOP field has a “flavor-of-the-month” club going. If the primaries run long enough (bite your tongue!), Huntsman should get his turn.

Greg Webb November 21, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Steve Chapman writes well and makes good arguments about Newt Gingrich and John Huntsman. But, he does not understand that both of these guys are politicians subject to the corrupting influence of the power that they crave. All politicians are egotistical and, at times, downright stupid. The key is to chose the one who is less politically correct than the others because political correctness is always wrong otherwise they would just call it correct and leave it at that.

Nick November 21, 2011 at 4:15 pm

As chapman shows through those bizarre and narcissistic quotes, Newt is essentially the charlie sheen of politics. He is thoroughly buffoonish and loves to pretend he is a intellectual.

muirgeo2 November 21, 2011 at 4:19 pm

Speaking of political positions, why do countries with far more government involvement in healthcare, the economy, enforced income equality, redistribution of wealth, etc. like the Nordic countries have higher life expectancies, lower crime, less poverty, greater upward mobility for the poor, nobody going hungry, just as much wealth, less corruption, and higher reported levels of happiness than countries like the US?

Lee November 21, 2011 at 8:22 pm

They haven’t ran out of other people’s money yet?

Yergit Abrav November 21, 2011 at 9:40 pm

A neat turn of hand to say “like Nordic countries” as if there are alot of countries that are “like Nordic countries.” There are lots of countries with the government involvement, redistribution etc but they are decidedly not nicer places to be than the USA (or the Nordics).

I suppose you are not the real muirgeo though so perhaps this is meant as sarcasm?

Ubiquitous November 22, 2011 at 11:28 pm

Ummm, let’s see . . .

Phony statistics, maybe?

muirgeo November 21, 2011 at 4:23 pm

That the Republicans have had Palin, Bachmann, Perry , Cain and now Gringrich as top contenders tells you what a looney Party it is and how far off the deep end they’ve gone.

The only sane people Huntsman and Paul are never gonna get the nomination. Huntsman belives in anthropogenic climate change and evolution science and Paul while amazingly he is a creationist he doesn’t believe in militarism.

They are a party of nut jobs. I’ll defend anyone’s right to be a creationist but I sure as hell wouuld prefer they don’t make policy.

Greg Webb November 21, 2011 at 4:46 pm

That the Democrats have Obama, Reid, Pelosi, Clinton, and Biden as top leaders tells everyone what a Party of Looney Leftists it is and how far off the deep end they have gone. There are no same people in the Democrat Party leadership. They are a party of nut jobs.

muirgeo November 21, 2011 at 5:13 pm

Greg, Not even a close comparison. Those democratic leaders you mentioned all believe in evolution and science. They are rational and consistent in their positions and mostly moderate, honest and nuanced.

By the way Clinton left YOUR man Bush a surplus and here we are. It’s not even close Greg. I don’t know how to say this but if you are defending the nut jobs creationist anti-science bigoted clowns running for the Republican presidential nominee you are my political inferior… you are an intellectual inferior….you really are. You’re not a serious thinker and you are so bound by some events that must have scarred you when you were a child that you’ve never been and never will know what it is like to be a free thinker.

Dan J November 22, 2011 at 1:32 am

Seems it was Newt who brought about the supposed and projected ‘surplus’.
If we are still going to go down the path of Clinton bringing about a surplus, then why did Clinton implement policies to cause the 2001 recession that then eliminated any projected surplus?

Greg Webb November 22, 2011 at 10:44 am

George, you said, “Greg, Not even a close comparison.”

I know, George. The Democrats are much more disreputable and disingenuous given their leftist bias.

Those democratic leaders you mentioned all believe in evolution and science.

No. They promote scientism to support their agenda to maintain power and reward political cronies. As all real scientists know evolution is a theory that has not been proven. And, even then, those corrupt politicians misrepresent what evolution actually means.

They are rational and consistent in their positions and mostly moderate, honest and nuanced.

LOL! Barak Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, and Joe Biden are the corrupt political elite who have spent the last few years rewarding political cronies with taxpayer money. Why would you want to be one of their “useful idiots”?

By the way Clinton left YOUR man Bush a surplus and here we are.

George Bush was your man. He advocated big-government programs. Bill Clinton left a surplus because the Republican Congress kept him from enacting HillaryCare, which would have created huge deficits just like we have now with ObamaCare.

It’s not even close Greg. I don’t know how to say this but if you are defending the nut jobs creationist anti-science bigoted clowns running for the Republican presidential nominee you are my political inferior…

I see that you still make silly personal attacks and cnoclusory statements in arguing for your position. The fact that you cannot make a logical, coherent argument properly supported with objective and verifiable evidence reveals that you are nothing more than a leftist ideology with nothing to contribute to a political discussion.

you are an intellectual inferior….you really are.

LOL! That is hilarious! And, so typical of the elitism of the left. Leftists disingenuously claim to want democracy, but then want to silence dissenting voices by falsely claiming that those dissenting are inferior. God made us all equal, and the Founding Fathers intended to create a Constitutional Republic with limited government power to prevent disingenuous people like you from getting too much power and creating a totalitarian regime.

You’re not a serious thinker and you are so bound by some events that must have scarred you when you were a child that you’ve never been and never will know what it is like to be a free thinker.

Again, more silly personal attacks and baseless idiotic conclusory statements. A free thinker should be able to do more than this. And, there are many free thinkers on this blog including Don Boudreaux, Russ Roberts, Methinks1776, Jon Murphy, Vikingvista, Vidyohs, George Selgin, Dan H, Dan J, Ken, Brotio, MesaEconoguy, etc.

Would you like to try to offer something other than silly personal attacks, false conclusory statements, straw man arguments, non sequiturs, and prevarications?

Jon Murphy November 22, 2011 at 11:02 am

“LOL! Barak Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, and Joe Biden are the corrupt political elite who have spent the last few years rewarding political cronies with taxpayer money. Why would you want to be one of their “useful idiots”?”

Don’t forget Ted Kennedy who KILLED A GIRL and Barney Frank who ran a prostitution ring out of his apartment.

Nuke Nemesis November 22, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Those guys would believe in the tooth fairy tomorrow if there was fund-raising attached to it. None of them have a clue about the scientific method.

BTW: What year was the budget surplus? There hasn’t been a budget surplus in decades. You also seem ignorant on how budgets are created. If there was a surplus under Clinton (there was not), it would have been due to the GOP-controlled House.

Nuke Nemesis November 22, 2011 at 10:05 am

You compare Huntsman and Paul, favorably? How could those two both be appealing to you? What in the world do they have in common?

muirgeo November 21, 2011 at 4:31 pm

It’s not a horse race is a Clown Parade.

Anyone attempting to defend Newt is beyond pathetic. I mean come on already.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/vp/45363831#45363831

Greg Webb November 21, 2011 at 4:41 pm

MSNBC is not a news organization. It is a Parade of Leftist Clowns.

Anyone attempting to use MSNBC as an accurate source of information is beyond pathetic. I mean, come on, really!

Younger Cato November 21, 2011 at 5:15 pm

I second Greg’s observation.

muirgeo November 21, 2011 at 5:15 pm

Greg I’ll go with a side by side comparison of a day of Sean Hannity and Rachel Maddow and compare who lied and distorted the facts the most with who was most truthful , honest and reality based. It’s not even close. And Hannity and Fox are so much more hateful and mean spirited as well.

Pick a day to watch both and lets do a comparison.

g-dub November 21, 2011 at 9:52 pm

Moron, he didn’t quote Fox/Hannity. There’s no tit for tat.

Greg Webb November 22, 2011 at 10:48 am

g-dub, you are right. Muirgeo is a moron.

Greg Webb November 22, 2011 at 10:10 am

George, I did not quote Fox News or Sean Hannity. In fact, I never even mentioned them You were the one who made the hateful, conclusory, and unsupported statements about the candidates for the Republican nominee for President by using a disreputable source like MSNBC.

NL_ November 21, 2011 at 4:41 pm

There really isn’t much of a reason to vote for Huntsman, except as a protest against the other candidates. He doesn’t really have any particular pitch to sell to people. Cain is the outsider with the 999 plan, Bachmann is the crusader conservative, Newt is the guy always telling you how smart he is, Romney is the guy who wants to seem reasonable and solid, Santorum wants to be the movement conservative but comes off like he’s in chronic pain, Paul is the libertarian-ish guy, and Huntsman is just sort of there making vaguely arrogant faces.

Huntsman wants to be the McCain of the campaign, I think. Sort of the “smart ideas that appeal to a subset of moderate and intellectual Republicans” but this doesn’t come across at all in debates, just in media love notes about him.

vikingvista November 21, 2011 at 5:27 pm

One things I noticed from all of them during the foreign policy debate is how cowardly and timid their rhetoric towards Pakistan was, regarding the issue of Pakistan having nuclear weapons. Every one of them was tiptoeing around the issue of how to treat them and keep them as our friends. I was waiting for one of them to simply say,

“So what if they have nukes, we have 1000x more. I advise *them* to try to earn *our* friendship.”

But no, I suppose it is better to let them know right from the start how scary they are to the PotUS. That’s how you gain diplomatic leverage, after all.

Lee November 21, 2011 at 8:29 pm

I like how Santorum had to say, “Pakistan HAS to be our friend because they have nukes,” and then they are all flabbergasted as to why Iran would want a nuke. I say ‘Iran would want’ and not “Iran is building” because Iran’s lame duck “President” has said there’s no point in Iran having 2 nuclear weapons when America has 20,000.

Nuke Nemesis November 22, 2011 at 10:07 am

It’s hard to argue with that type of logic. Not because it’s good logic, but because it would do no good pointing out how terribly flawed and illogical it is.

g-dub November 22, 2011 at 10:36 am

It really sucks really bad having to align with conservatives. In a natural world, I’d be savaging them. But there is the common enemy: the totalitarian “progressives.”

Conservatives are bad, but progressives want to destroy modern civilization.

Greg Webb November 22, 2011 at 10:54 am

Conservatives are bad, but progressives want to destroy modern civilization.

Republicans talk the small government talk but often walk the big government walk (i.e., George Bush). Democrats talk and walk the big government walk (i.e., Barak Obama). Republicans are bad, but Democrats are worse.

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises November 21, 2011 at 9:39 pm

what’s your plan for Pakistan and Iran, nuke them every 5 years?

and when the survivors or their friends attack, and they will, how do you will away the millions of deaths here.

the secret is exercising power and influence without making enemies, which is such a rare skill it would be like Pujols hitting .500

we live in a very very dangerous world. The Game requires skills and abilities far beyond Paul. Did we not learn anything from watching the idiocy of Bush II?

Yergit Abrav November 21, 2011 at 9:42 pm

Do I really need to point out that the purpose of reminding everyone we have alot of nukes is specifically so we never have to use them to begin with?

Jon Murphy November 21, 2011 at 9:44 pm

I say this as an aside and not really a direct challenge, but I’ve never understood the MAD principle.

Yergit Abrav November 21, 2011 at 9:54 pm

@Jon Murphy – While there’s lots you can read about MAD, it all boils down to the question of whether deterrance prevents war or not. It might not alone be necessary or sufficient to guarantee peace but its a major factor governing decisions to go to war between specific nations. While I’m no expert the principle makes logical sense. The last 50 years suggests that direct conflict between nations with nuclear deterrants is avoided and if it happens stays very limited, likely as a result of the deterrant itself

Yergit Abrav November 21, 2011 at 9:55 pm

@Jon Murphy – Actually you can learn everything you need to know about this from a great film: Dr. Strangelove. If you haven’t seen it please do – its very funny and explains MAD succinctly in the process.

Jon Murphy November 21, 2011 at 9:57 pm

I have seen that movie. One one my all-time favorites. I guess I saw that movie as an argument against MAD (you get one nutjob and the game is over), but I’ll watch it again over the weekend from your POV.

Yergit Abrav November 21, 2011 at 10:38 pm

@Jon Murphy

Enjoy! Consider the fact that the deterrant (the doomsday device) was not announced. The solo nutjob was not aware of the consequences and seemed to think the first strike would result in a victory, albeit pyrrhic in nature. Of course MAD requires assurance of such destruction that no victory in a conventional sense is possible. It is possible that had the Russians announced their doomsday device that even the solo nutjob in the film would have been deterred. Of course the irony of the whole situation with them “liking surprises” is central to the comedy itself.

MAD is about deterring nation states because the deterrant can be aimed at them. Even crazy nutcases running countries like north korea do not want all their friends and families fried as a statement against capitalism. So, I think in general it works.

However, your point about a solo nutjob acting outside of a state decision making apparatus is a real problem of course. A lone actor or terrorist group may not respond to the same incentives and exactly how to deter those actors is not clear at all. In fact, deterrance may be impossible.

Jon Murphy November 21, 2011 at 10:40 pm

You’re all right, Yergit. Anyone who’s a fan of Dr. Strangelove is OK in my book

vikingvista November 22, 2011 at 1:07 am

Yergit,

Whether or not nuclear deterrence works, there is no benefit to the US Commander-in-Chief publicly shaking in his boots every time some two-bit backwards nation manages to scrape up enough brain power to assemble a nuclear weapon. If anything, that reaction only increases the value of nukes in the eyes of foreign despots, and encourages American Presidents to make devil’s bargains with nasty people.

The fact of the matter is, there is bipartisan agreement in the US, and across the world, that Iran will have nuclear weapons, just as there was agreement about North Korea having nukes. Nobody admits it, but anyone who denies it, e.g. Mitt Romney, is lying. I’ve heard no one in the US advocating full scale war with either Iran or N. Korea. Ever.

And frankly, I’m glad it isn’t US policy to go to war with every nation that puts together a nuke against US wishes, because there will be a whole lot of that going on in the future.

g-dub November 22, 2011 at 1:14 am

ya> A lone actor or terrorist group may not respond to the same incentives and exactly how to deter those actors is not clear at all. In fact, deterrance may be impossible.

Well, *they* think they’ll get away with it. That sort of drives out the “mutual” out of MAD. MAD isn’t MAD without it. MAD works for nation-states, but not for renegade nuts, as you said.

Yergit Abrav November 22, 2011 at 2:29 am

@Viking Vista

I don’t disagree with anything you are saying. My comment was directed at Luzhin’s remark.

Also, it seems my remark was unclear as you have interpreted to be a broader remark in favor of war / warnings of war against NK or Iran. That was never my intention. I only wanted to emphasise that whether NK or Iran have nukes or not is pretty irrelevant to the USA as long as our deterrant capability is recognised as ready for immediate use.

For the record I am opposed to all foreign military adventurism and advocate non aggression.

Nuke Nemesis November 22, 2011 at 10:09 am

MAD worked because the leaders of the USA and USSR were not mad, but rational people.

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises November 22, 2011 at 8:26 pm

given Ron Paul and Iran the bomb—I wouldn’t give the World 180 days

Greg Webb November 23, 2011 at 12:45 pm

given Ron Paul and Iran the bomb—I wouldn’t give the World 180 days

Thanks, Luzha! Given that you are consistently wrong, I no longer have any qualms about Ron Paul…if I ever did.

vikingvista November 22, 2011 at 12:53 am

“what’s your plan for Pakistan and Iran, nuke them every 5 years?”

Yes! Of course! What else could I possibly have meant?

tdp November 22, 2011 at 1:20 am

Everyone on this blog who isn’t a far left nitwit is a libertarian, meaning we oppose military aggression, which would include Pakistan and Iran. I swear, you people make it so easy sometimes…

Yergit Abrav November 22, 2011 at 2:31 am

Exactly. And again, sorry for any who thought my comments about MAD were akin to sabre-rattling. Firmly opposed to military aggression here.

@Jon

Thanks as a fellow Dr. Strangelov fan, you are OK in my book too.

Steve W from Ford November 21, 2011 at 8:03 pm

I certainly would not say he “eviscerated” Newt with that silly oped. I actually found the answer Newt gave for reforming health care to be quite wise, for having to make it in 30 seconds, which was what he was ridiculing. I’d like to see anyone answer that question better and more incomprehensibly in 30 seconds!

steve November 21, 2011 at 9:17 pm

Could you interpret it for me. I am a physician. I read and write some health care policy. It was incoherent to me.

Steve

jorod November 21, 2011 at 8:52 pm

If you want to see Chapman go nuts, tell him global warming is a hoax.

jorod November 21, 2011 at 8:58 pm

Newt actually balanced the budget when he was in office. He did what others wish for.

Nuke Nemesis November 22, 2011 at 3:27 pm

Sorry, the USA hasn’t had a balanced budget in decades. Unless you mean to say Newt wrote a balanced budget that didn’t get passed into law? Sorry, that doesn’t count, either.

vikingvista November 22, 2011 at 3:37 pm

He’s referring to the years of annual on-budget surpluses. The very idea of zero Federal debt, or even in straightforward budget reporting, seems to be long extinct.

Fred November 22, 2011 at 3:32 pm

The balanced budget under Clinton was just smoke and mirrors.

The government borrowed from Social Security (government) to give the appearance of a balanced budget. But it was still borrowing.

Jon Murphy November 22, 2011 at 3:34 pm

Ironically, it was borrowed from a system that itself lives on borrowed money.

tdp November 21, 2011 at 9:07 pm

Cato wrote a good article about Newt recently.

Another Will November 21, 2011 at 9:23 pm

Very amusing article on Newt (part of a genre stretching back many years). Thanks to Russ for bringing it to my attention.

Denno November 21, 2011 at 9:33 pm

Outside of Dr. Paul there are no viable or ethical candidates on either side. Even if Ron Paul wins the nomination there would be no viable or ethical candidate to be his running mate.
Therefore, due to public choice, I’m not voting in 2012.

Jon Murphy November 21, 2011 at 9:34 pm

You could vote 3rd Party.

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises November 21, 2011 at 9:40 pm

please do

vote both 3rd and 4th party

then we can put you in the camps Obama has planned for his second term

Dan J November 22, 2011 at 1:34 am

Ethical? Ha!!!!

EG November 22, 2011 at 10:47 am

“What Paul”s “conjured up in his mind” is nothing more than a most literal interpretation of Hayek’s “A Choice in Currency” and “The Denationalization of Money”. Somehow I can’t help but think that your slanderous canards are nothing more than a fanatic’s last attempt to save face.”

Hmm. Quoting scripture…again.

It is one thing to make an economic argument for getting the government out of the business of making money, or to discuss possible currencies that would develop.

It is quote another to be an old cranck obsessed with Gold, for NO economic reason whatsoever, or to push for such a change to happen at a legislative level (quite weird for a “libertarian”)

Hayek, again, did not endorse “gold”. He not only considered gold antiquated, but the whole concept of a gold standard as unworkable. And it is the argument that almost anyone listening to Ron Paul (anyone who isn’t one of his zombies) makes; we don’t disagree that there are problems with the current arrangement. But what’s the obsession with Gold?

So again, the disagreement here is not on whether government issued money is ideal or not, or as to what alternatives exist out there. The disagreement is over an old crank crying out for Gold for no economic reason.

EG November 22, 2011 at 11:14 am

“EG, it may surprise you that I’m not one of the avid RP followers you heap so much derision on. My issue is with your ridiculous mischaracterizations and baseless, content-free hyperbolic falsehood-riddled vitriol. If you have a defendable position wrt Dr. Paul you’ve yet to present it here at the café.”

I am still confused as to how what I am saying is “content free”, “baseless” or “falsehood”. Ok, “falsehood” can’t really be used to characterize a person’s opinions. They are opinions. They can’t be false, they can only be disagreeable. They can only be false to people who view His Eminence Dr. Ron Paul’s positions as absolute truth, and disagreement on them as absolute lie.

Which brings me to this “content free” accusation. Considering that one of my contentions against Paul is, precisely, that he operates and is followed in a cult of personality religious manner, I’d say that claim isn’t “content free”. Its got content to it.

Second, I’ve said many times why I disagree with him on the Fed, on Gold and on the military. These obviously count as “content”. Now you may not agree with me, but saying its “a lie and content free”, is silly.

Jon Murphy November 22, 2011 at 11:38 am

Poor Ron. He’s like Frankenstein. Nobody understand him so they all demonize him. They twist his actions and his words. They intentionally misrepresent what he says. All the poor guy wants is freedom. All he wants is to be left to live his life as he wishes. But he is dogged by wild accusations, twisted words, and resistance to converse by his opponents.

EG November 22, 2011 at 12:14 pm

“All the poor guy wants is freedom”

And Gold. And to dismantle America’s military. Yeah, just freedom…and the silliest economic and foreign policies in history.

Jon Murphy November 22, 2011 at 12:16 pm

See? Content-free, baseless falsehood. Right there. See what we’re talking about?

EG November 22, 2011 at 12:30 pm

He…doesn’t want Gold?

Jon Murphy November 22, 2011 at 2:49 pm

He wants a gold standard. Not the same thing.

He wants to reduce America’s military commitments and reduce the size of our standing army. Not the same thing.

EG November 22, 2011 at 4:47 pm

You:He wants a gold standard.
Me:And Gold

How’s that not the same thing?

You: reduce the size of our standing army
Me: dismantle America’s military

How’s that not the same thing?

Jon Murphy November 22, 2011 at 4:49 pm

If you cannot see it, I shall not waste time explaining and I am sorry your reading teachers failed you.

Nuke Nemesis November 22, 2011 at 3:30 pm

When you say “silliest” in history you leave yourself wide-open to criticism. Do you really think Obama has serious economic and foreign policies?

Jon Murphy November 22, 2011 at 3:33 pm

Or the Nazi policy of “Blame the Jews?”

How about Mao’s policy “Every melt your stuff down and we’ll sell the metal?”

What about the Smoot-Hawley tariff?

EG November 22, 2011 at 4:52 pm

Ohh…when you guys act all dramatic, its ok! When I do, oh nooo!

Yeah maybe not in all of history. Maybe of the last 50 years. Its actually more silly than Obama’s, even if the opposite.

Jon Murphy November 22, 2011 at 4:56 pm

What about the North Korean “Let’s make everybody farmers!”

What about the Rowandan “There people make all the money, so let’s kill them in a massive genocide?”

What about the South African apartheid?

I can go on. There are a lot more silly foreign and economic policies then a gold standard.

EG November 22, 2011 at 12:27 pm

“and resistance to converse by his opponents.”

He’s been conversing for 35 years. Everyone’s heard him and conversed with him. His failure to attract anything more than tweens in their parent’s basement, or pot-heads, isn’t due to the fact that he hasn’t gotten his message out. Its that his message isn’t serious. But of course, to religious converts, failure to convince others is only evidence of not having tried hard enough.

yet another Dave November 22, 2011 at 1:08 pm

I’m glad you at least admit to your hyperbolic vitriolic mischaracterizations – it’s a step in the right direction. As to your confusion about the rest, vikingvista has already done a fine job pointing out several baseless falsehoods on this thread so I see no reason to repeat them.

You said: “I’ve said many times why I disagree with him on the Fed, on Gold and on the military. These obviously count as “content”.” If you have done this I missed it – all I’ve seen is unsupported assertions – you basically saying “I disagree with RP on (fill-in-the-blank) because his ideas are (insert pejorative here) and wrong” followed by strings of insults directed at RP, his supporters, or both. That’s about as content free as it gets.

That’s why I said “If you have a defendable position wrt Dr. Paul you’ve yet to present it here at the café.” Sorry, but the inexplicably hostile ravings of a military interventionism obsessed poster who admits never having even attempted to understand RP’s position make you look like the nutjob you claim RP to be.

EG November 22, 2011 at 2:46 pm

“I’m glad you at least admit to your hyperbolic vitriolic mischaracterizations – it’s a step in the right direction.”

Having an opinion contrary to His Excellency Ron Paul II, is “hyperbolic vitriolic mischaracterizations”? Weird

“baseless falsehoods”

How are they baseless falsehoods? My opinion is that I disagree with Ron Paul on gold/fed/military because…I’ve explained many times why. These obviously can’t be “baseless”, and they certainly can’t be “false”, since they are my opinions. Only to religious zealots are other people’s opinions…”false”

“If you have done this I missed it ”

If you’ve missed them, then what gives you the right to say I haven’t made them? I’ve explained why I disagree with him on gold, just in this very blog post. (in fact I just gave Hayek’s explanation of why a gold standard is a bad idea)

“inexplicably hostile ravings of a military interventionism obsessed poster”

??? A military intervention obsessed poster? To claim that Ron Paul is LYING in his count of US military bases (which isn’t an opinion, but a fact, on which you can be right or wrong), is apparently the equivalent of being “obsessed with military intervention”? Interesting
To ask that Ron Paul respect his listeners by not lying to them, continuously, even when pointed out that he’s wrong…is not to ask too much

“who admits never having even attempted to understand RP’s position ”

So to say…I understand his positions, I disagree with his positions, and therefore I have no interest in reading books on the details of how he intents to implement his positions…is apparently the same as “not understanding his positions”??

If I don’t understand his positions, what the heck has he been babbling on about for 35 years? I don’t think there’s a man woman or child in Madagaskar who hasn’t understood his position by now.

I don’t need to read how Hitler PLANS to kill the Jews, in order for me to disagree with him killing the Jews. I don’t need to read Stalin’s PLANS on collectivization, for me to disagree with him on collectivization. But apparently, for me to understand that His Eminence Ron Paul wants a Gold standard, I have to read his plans on how to get a Gold standard. Hmm…nop. I don’t, actually.

yet another Dave November 22, 2011 at 3:53 pm

I’ve explained why I disagree with him on gold, just in this very blog post. (in fact I just gave Hayek’s explanation of why a gold standard is a bad idea)

!!!?!?!?!?!???!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?

I did a scan through this post to find every reference you’ve made to gold. I see inexplicably hostile ravings full of ad hominems, undefended assertions and a few appeals to authority, but not even one explanation. Here they are, each paragraph copied completely for your convenience – please point out where you ”…explained why I disagree with him on gold, just in this very blog post.”

His main policy points are not only wrong (his stance on the Fed, on gold, on the military), but he is also wholly incapable of understanding how to translate such broad policy ideas into actionable policies with real world consequences. “Abolish the Fed!!”. Ok. Then what? What’s your transition? What replaces it? What’s the improvement?
Examples of differences between Rothbardian hackery and Hayek? Hmm…Gold, as one small example. Hayek was almost the same as Friedman; their disagreement was technical. Rothbard and the other “Austrians” are failed utopian economists diddling around in anarchism, and writing articles on why their cult of personality is so much better than that other guy’s cult of personality.
Neither I, nor any sane normal human being voting in this election, is going to read books by Ron Paul on gold. This is why the man is insane; he can’t explain his position in 3 sentences to the average person. Heck, 10 sentences. Heck, a WSJ article. That’s another criteria for silliness.
I believe I’ve covered this before, but it is interesting how your phrase this sentence. “Character”, and “falsehood”. Of course, all I said was that I disagree with his position on gold, on the fed and on the military, and that he has a cult of personality following. These happened to be…opinions…And yet your sentence would assume that there is a wrong and right position on Paul, and that those who are “wrong” are in it for “assassination”. Hmmm
It is entirely irrelevant what he says in support for his obsession with Gold, just as it is entirely irrelevant what a religious person says for his obsession with God. At least, addressing those issues is irrelevant…to me not believing in either. Far smarter people than myself, including Hayek, have laid out why Gold is a bad and silly idea. Reading what Ron Paul has to say about it, would be an incredible waste of time.
My…OPINION…to reiterate, is that I DISAGREE with his position on Gold and the Fed. The fact that he has explained his positions, is quite irrelevant to the fact that I disagree with him. It doesn’t negate my disagreement. It doesn’t change it.
Explaining something, doesn’t mean others will accept that explanation. This is what religious people do to: “But its explained in Leviticus 4-13 that so and so happened, do you believe now?” No, I don’t.
Ron Paul’s policy solutions are unworkable because they are unrealistic. Attempting to apply those solutions, in the manner he wants to, may well cause worst problems.
I don’t need to read his “solutions” to know they are silly ideas. And that’s because the outcome he envisions is a silly idea.
Ron Paul, I’m certain, has developed in his mind a framework of how to get a Gold standard. Whether its realistic, whether it is beneficial, whether it is necessary, whether it makes sense…all those are far more important questions.
Again, in case you misunderstood the sentence: what he has conjured up in his mind is quite irrelevant to the issue of whether its a good idea or not. Its not a good idea because Gold is not a good idea…not because Ron Paul has failed to repeat the same old tired line for the past 35 years.
It is one thing to make an economic argument for getting the government out of the business of making money, or to discuss possible currencies that would develop.
It is quote another to be an old cranck obsessed with Gold, for NO economic reason whatsoever, or to push for such a change to happen at a legislative level (quite weird for a “libertarian”)
Hayek, again, did not endorse “gold”. He not only considered gold antiquated, but the whole concept of a gold standard as unworkable. And it is the argument that almost anyone listening to Ron Paul (anyone who isn’t one of his zombies) makes; we don’t disagree that there are problems with the current arrangement. But what’s the obsession with Gold?
So again, the disagreement here is not on whether government issued money is ideal or not, or as to what alternatives exist out there. The disagreement is over an old crank crying out for Gold for no economic reason.
Second, I’ve said many times why I disagree with him on the Fed, on Gold and on the military. These obviously count as “content”. Now you may not agree with me, but saying its “a lie and content free”, is silly.
And Gold. And to dismantle America’s military. Yeah, just freedom…and the silliest economic and foreign policies in history.
He…doesn’t want Gold?

EG November 22, 2011 at 4:42 pm

Hmm…here, line 17 from the bottom :)

“Hayek, again, did not endorse “gold”. He not only considered gold antiquated, but the whole concept of a gold standard as unworkable. ”

Or to quote him directly: “The gold standard presupposes certain dogmatic beliefs which cannot be rationally justified, and our present generation is not prepared to readopt beliefs which were old traditions and have been discredited. But even more serious, I believe that any attempt to return to gold will lead to such fluctuations in the value of gold that it will break down. So although I must sympathize with the gold standard people, I don’t believe that is a possible way.”

So in the end he says, its antiquated, and unworkable. That’s what I said. That’s my reason for not supporting his obsession with Gold. Does this require a lot more explanation that this?

Oh wait, I know…my opinion is once more “content free, baseless, a falsehood and a lie!!”

Jon Murphy November 22, 2011 at 4:45 pm

Actually, it does require more explanation. You have repeatedly dismissed Hayek as a hack, a man who knows nothing and his followers should be subjected to various forms of torture. So, you must explain now why you cite him as a source if you disrespect him so.

yet another Dave November 22, 2011 at 5:41 pm

Your reference to Hayek in line 17 from the bottom is what’s called an appeal to authority. It’s not what’s called an explanation.

If you’d made the declarative statement “gold is antiquated and unworkable” it would have not have been an appeal to authority – it would have been an undefended assertion. Also not an explanation.

The more complete quote you copied in your reply is an example of Hayek stating his opposition to the gold standard. It’s missing any explanation of what dogmatic beliefs are presupposed, what old traditions have been discredited (and why), and what mechanism would lead to the fluctuations in gold value. So it’s really an introduction rather than an explanation, like an opening paragraph leading into the explanation. Even at that it’s vastly more explanatory than any of your previous statements.

Would it have been so difficult to give a brief explanation? I’m not suggesting excruciating detail on a blog post, but some defense of your position. Instead you chose to go off on rants full of ad hominems and undefended assertions with falsehoods and a few appeals to authority sprinkled here and there. Such tactics only weaken your argument (and make you look like a loon).

EG November 22, 2011 at 7:16 pm

“You have repeatedly dismissed Hayek as a hack, a man who knows nothing and his followers should be subjected to various forms of torture.”

WHAAT?? That’s the most ridiculous silly thing I’ve heard in this discussion. I’ve never said anything remotely close to what you describe, about Hayek. Good try though.

“Your reference to Hayek in line 17 from the bottom is what’s called an appeal to authority. It’s not what’s called an explanation.”

No. If I had said “I think so because Hayek said so”, that would be an appeal to authority. What I’m saying instead is, Hayek explained it better then me, and I agree with him.

“If you’d made the declarative statement “gold is antiquated and unworkable”

That’s…exactly what I said.

“The more complete quote you copied in your reply is an example of Hayek stating his opposition to the gold standard. It’s missing any explanation of what dogmatic beliefs are presupposed, what old traditions have been discredited (and why), and what mechanism would lead to the fluctuations in gold value. So it’s really an introduction rather than an explanation, like an opening paragraph leading into the explanation”

Its a heck of a lot more explanatory than anything Ron Paul has ever said. For me to explain any further, would require a degree of giving a c**, which I don’t have for Ron Paul. Plus, this is a lot of fun :)

“Would it have been so difficult to give a brief explanation? I’m not suggesting excruciating detail on a blog post, but some defense of your position”

That is a defense of my position. The defense of the position is quite clearly spelled out in what Hayek said: there is no economic justification for Gold, any more than there is for salt. Its a pretty simple and self-explanatory economic concept: why gold and not titanium? Why gold and not uranium? Uranium is a lot more valuable to me and other people. Why gold and not diamonds? Why gold and not sheep wool? A currency connected to a physical asset is far from ideal, even if it solves some of the current system’s problems. But the current system’s problems are…fiscal. (even though Milton would say monetary, he’d agree that the monetary is driven by the fiscal). But, equally importantly, we’re sort of there already; today you can instantly transfer your wealth into any currency or resource you want.

“and undefended assertions with falsehoods”

Again, its amazing how anything you people don’t agree with, certainly becomes an “undefended assertion and falsehood”. Being my opinion, it is clearly an assertion, but its not undefended if I give a reason for my opinion. Being an opinion, it also can’t be false, since you only have your opinion to judge against.

“and a few appeals to authority sprinkled here and there.”

I have absolutely no appeals to authority. The only ones with appeals to authority are the people here claiming that he is just saying that Hayek said. Well, apparently not. He’s just saying kooky crazy old man things.

yet another Dave November 22, 2011 at 9:06 pm

You have a different understanding than I do if you think you provided defense of your position earlier. You finally have given a little in this latest post, but…

Its a heck of a lot more explanatory than anything Ron Paul has ever said.

…this statement is just dumb (putting it kindly).
I don’t understand your enmity toward RP but you discredit yourself by making such a blatantly false statement. Whether you agree with him or not, RP has on many occasions given detailed explanations of his positions and the reasons he holds them. In stark contrast to your posts here at the café, most of the comments I’ve heard from RP have been coherent, clear, articulate and carefully reasoned.

Jon Murphy November 22, 2011 at 9:10 pm

“WHAAT?? That’s the most ridiculous silly thing I’ve heard in this discussion. I’ve never said anything remotely close to what you describe..”

Yes, you are right. I confused you for EF. mea culpa. You guys get to be interchangeable after a while.

EG November 22, 2011 at 9:48 pm

” RP has on many occasions given detailed explanations of his positions and the reasons he holds them. In stark contrast to your posts here at the café, most of the comments I’ve heard from RP have been coherent, clear, articulate and carefully reasoned.”

First of all, the word I used was “explanatory”. Explanatory is not contingent upon the length or the detail of the explanation you give. Simply on its ability to convey your message. 1 word is often sufficient. I know, myself, I am terrible in explaining things in short.

Ron Paul has babbled on for 35 years, has written countless books…and still has done a terrible job of explaining anything other than why he is a hack.

As for the second part of your paragraph, coherent is the last word that comes to my mind when I listen to Ron Paul. What’s the opposite of coherent? Yeah…that’s the one.

Ryan Vann November 22, 2011 at 12:16 pm

This thread has reminds me of open mic night at the a comedy club.

Jon Murphy November 22, 2011 at 12:17 pm

Doesn’t any discussion of politics sound like that?

Ryan Vann November 22, 2011 at 2:53 pm

Fair point. Also excuse my horrid grammar.

Liberty 1 November 22, 2011 at 1:35 pm

I believe similar to Adam Smith that there is a rule which can be broken, but I believe rarely is. It is that we as humans love/protect that which we have invested in above the greater good.
When Japan was hit by that terrible tsunami and resultant nuclear problems how many of us felt horrible for them, but took no action. Our actions went to caretaking our investments. By investments I don’t mean money, I mean that which we have spent our time and devotion. It could be our family, a lover, a career, money, a business, our physical appearance, etc… the list is subject to the individual.
The investment of a presidential aspirant is to his career, his political party, his victory, and the government which he hopes to lead.
To make it to that level the politician has to have to have an enormous ego, be willing to send our young to their death in battle, believe that they can effectively run 20 something percent of our economy in incredibly diverse and differing industries. Socially the politician has to be really good at throwing their opponent under the bus, then having the bus back up over him, and if he survives, offer him a position in their administration.
Hayek was right, the worst get on top, and I don’t want the government to do more or trust them to look after me and my family!

Vance Armor November 22, 2011 at 9:52 pm

Huntsman? Don Boudreaux is playing up Huntsman by giving space to Steve Chapman’s puff piece for Hunstman? On a Hayek web site? Are you kidding me? Let’s see — Hunstman — a man who worked for Obama’s “managed trade” with China. Hunstman — a man who thinks that God is a physical flesh and blood being near (or on?) the star Koleb. Hunstman — a GOP machine pol who has never ever said anything that holds a candle to what Ron Paul has said about the Beating Heart of the Progressive Empire (i.e. the criminal racket known as the Federal Reserve Board). Ron Paul has studied Austrian economics with extroardinary diligence over the past several decades and Don Beaudreaux wants to give Huntsman a leg up over Ron Paul? Is Don dreaming from the planet Koleb? Ron Paul understands that the Number One enemy faced by the people of the United States is not a regime seven thousand miles away in Iran. Ron Paul understands that the Number One enemy faced by the people of the United States is the United States Government — and what that government has become through the system of public finance controlled by the megabanks. Why do you think that the new Italian prime minister, Mario Monti, came straight out of Goldman Sachs, the European Central Bank, and the Bilderburger Group? It is because those at the VERY TOP started getting scared that the European Union (a/k/a The Fourth Reich) was starting to become undone. Ron Paul understands that we now live in George Orwell’s 1984, and it is time to overthrow it. We live in Revolutionary Times, and if Don cannot get with the program he is more of a problem than a solution. Yes — Orwell’s 1984 — Oceania, Eurasia, and East Asia. Let’s just rename the three — The Progressive Empire, The Fourth Reich, and the People’s Republic of China. But Orwell would never have dreamed that the government has plans to microchip all newborn babies so that they can be tracked by satellite. Perhaps Don is satisfied that Onstar gives real time information to the National Security Agency about his whereabouts when driving through the woods of Virginia. I’m not satisified with being tracked and harassed and bullied and taxed and regulated and manipulated in the Progressive Empire. End the wars. End the Fed. End the Police State. End the Administrative State. Restore the Constitutional Republic. Ron Paul, 2012. There is no other choice.

EG November 23, 2011 at 11:56 am

“Ron Paul has studied Austrian economics with extroardinary diligence over the past several decades ”

?? You mean he’s read Lew Rockwell’s website? Oh yeah, that’s what passes for economics these days.

Jon Murphy November 22, 2011 at 9:55 pm

Wow, there is some pent up anger coming out on this post. I think we’re all about to reach a group breakout session.

Jon Murphy November 22, 2011 at 9:59 pm

I have a challenge for everyone.

Everyone has skeletons in their closets. Newt had the Fannie Mae thing (most recently). Cain had the sexual allegations. Etc etc etc.

What does Ron Paul have?

Please don’t anybody do personal attacks on the guy. One of this “he’s a wackjob” or “I hate his guts” baby crap. Find a verifiable source of dirt on Paul.

Chucklehead November 23, 2011 at 1:24 am

How about this for a headline:
Ron Paul Has Performed 1,000 Abortions

Dr. Paul has delivered 4,000 babies. About 20% of pregnancies end in miscarriages, aka spontaneous abortions, meaning as a OBGYN he has had to deal with 1,000 miscarriages. After wich a procedure called a Dilation and curettage is performed to remove any remaining tissue. It is more commonly known as the abortion procedure. Even though it is not a abortion of a viable being, it can be characterized as an abortion for political purposes. Do not believe it is below other candidates to do so, no mater how unfair or misleading it may be.

Jon Murphy November 23, 2011 at 7:34 am

Abortions are legal, so that one we’ll pass.

Dan J November 23, 2011 at 1:35 am

“If you have ever been robbed by a black teen-aged male, you know how unbelievably fleet-footed they can be.” – Ron Paul, 1992

“Given the inefficiencies of what D.C. laughingly calls the `criminal justice system,’ I think we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal.” – Ron Paul, 1992

“We don’t think a child of 13 should be held responsible as a man of 23. That’s true for most people, but black males age 13 who have been raised on the streets and who have joined criminal gangs are as big, strong, tough, scary and culpable as any adult and should be treated as such.” – Ron Paul, 1992

“What else do we need to know about the political establishment than that it refuses to discuss the crimes that terrify Americans on grounds that doing so is racist? Why isn’t that true of complex embezzling, which is 100 percent white and Asian?” – Ron Paul, 1992

EG November 23, 2011 at 11:54 am

The stupidities that have come out of that man’s mouth are enough to make Herman Cain’s sexual scandals seem like a blessing for the Republicans.

How “libertarians” ignore the insanity of that man, is still beyond me.

Did you see him yesterday at the CNN debate? The man looked really senile. While the other candidates were talking, he’s waving his arms around, pointing, shrugging, making faces. Is he a teenager arguing about basketball…or a mature person who can listen to someone else’s viewpoint without acting disrespectful? You don’t have to agree with someone. You just have to act mature about it. He couldn’t even pull that off.

vance armor November 22, 2011 at 10:16 pm

Jon Murphy — the only dirt I can find on Ron Paul is that when God needs advice He gets it from Ron Paul. No greater saint since Francis of Assisi.

Dan J November 22, 2011 at 10:47 pm

What were the recent earmarks in his state for?

vikingvista November 23, 2011 at 1:52 am

I don’t know, but I’d like to bloody Rick Perry’s nose for imposing the goddamn TX franchise tax. I’d rather he had stole twice as much from me by simply raising the sales tax. Freaking accountant job security ambiguous bureaucratic nightmare.

Vance Armor November 23, 2011 at 4:07 am

Dan J — Your “quotes,” which were dug up in a 2007 hit piece against Ron Paul by the Progressive Imperialists at The New Republic, were mostly authored by Lew Rockwell rather than Ron Paul, yet I find them as innocuous (and presumptively factually correct) as Ron Paul would have found them.

Vance Armor November 23, 2011 at 4:18 am

His remark about the percentage of black males in D.C. in 1992 was probably about accurate. Might be only 90% today, I think. Racism is indeed an ugly form of collectivism when racism correctly understood is employed, but a sociological observation does not necessarily translate into the use of force against people based upon race any more than an observation about women or the wealthy or people from Syria or any other kind of classification by narrative translates into wrongful state action. Dan J has bought into the late Progressive myth that “racism” is the worst evil ever, worse than any viiolation of the Decalogue, and the codicil that any observation where there is a racial classification is outre and always out of bounds.

Dan J November 23, 2011 at 8:14 am

I haven’t bought into anything. You asked for scandal. I presented. I will take any of the Republican candidates over Obama. I’m not on board with Ron Paul foreign policy, but don’t necessarily think he is wrong. Just, that it is a bit too late for isolationism. I can get behind Many domestic issues that Paul espouses.

Vance Armor November 23, 2011 at 4:30 am

Maybe we should start with first principles, like the Decalogue, where it says “Thou shalt not kill [or more accurately, murder].” It does not say, “Thou shalt not murder, except upon presidential command to kill an American citizen by drone strike.” The Decalogue does not say, “Thou shalt not steal, except by majority vote in Congress,” either. Ron Paul gets the first principles, and Dan J doesn’t.

EG November 23, 2011 at 11:49 am

Wait…the Ten Commandments are the Constitution of the United States? Ron Paul gets…THAT?

Jon Murphy November 23, 2011 at 11:55 am

What, you don’t?

EG November 23, 2011 at 12:02 pm

I’ve never read the ten commandments in the Constitution. Maybe I don’t have the same version you have.

Jon Murphy November 23, 2011 at 7:35 am

Wow…this has turned out much more interesting than I had anticipated.

Ryan Vann November 23, 2011 at 2:55 pm

It’s the gift that keeps on giving. I’ve bookmarked it to vist if ever my spirits were to get low.

vance armor November 23, 2011 at 11:10 pm

Earmarks — strategic restitution to maintain a power base to fight the Progressive Empire — in Ron Paul’s case. They do not add to additional coercion or government spending in his case, at least.

Decalogue and Constitution. First moral principles? First legal principles? Actually our jurisprudence does not derive from the Constitution. The Constitution is not the fundamental law of the land. Any Hayekian should understand — following Law, Legislation and Liberty — that the rules of just conduct articulated through the spontaneous common law process (in the English common law world, though it has no monopoly on spontaneous ordering of legal norms) is the fundamental law of the land. To quote Hayek, “The founders of the American Constitution would have been horrified if it had been suggested to them that their handiwork was superior to the rules of just conduct embedded in the common law.”

vance armor November 23, 2011 at 11:15 pm

It find it absolutely appalling that a Hayek website is dominated by neoconservative chickenhawks who love the idea of bombing people “pre-emptively” seven thousand miles away. If you had to choose between Friedrich Hayek and Leo Strauss as the better diagnostician of our society, who would you choose? During the Reagan administration, the Hayekians lost and the Straussians won. There were no Hayekians in the US government by the time Lyndon Baines Bush took over and false flagged his way into setting up the police state we now suffer from.

vance armor November 23, 2011 at 11:20 pm

I suppose EG is impressed by the ever-glib Willard Mitt Romney, who has all of the core political convictions of a men’s department store mannequin. Peggy Noonan, speaking for the GOP establishment, just had to write in her usual Saturday GOP Establishment cheerleading column about how Romney “looked presidential.” After reading that I tossed a couple of tacos.

vance armor November 23, 2011 at 11:27 pm

I just do not understand the “conservative Republican” mind. Or do “conservative Republicans” have minds? Can a mind juggle the cognitive dissonence of advocating laissez-faire in domestic politics while advocating at the same time an Empire with 900 foreign military bases/installations? Can a mind promote the military Keynesianism of Martin Feldstein and then at the same time chirp allegience to the legacy of Hayek?

WhiskeyJim November 24, 2011 at 11:43 am

While I may agree with Mr. Chapman’s reservations regarding Mr. Gingrich’s seeming inability to follow a consistent philosophical compass, I disagree that he would represent a flightiness unknown in previous Presidents.

Mr. Obama decried the wars and then accelerated one while entering another. He lambasted Bush for the Patriot Act and Gitmo, then strengthened both of them. He promised a more conciliatory and transparent government, and has run one of the most divisive and crony administrations in modern times. We could go on.

That Mr. Chapman comments on the apparent splinter in a politician’s eye, we wonder why he does not lament the much larger log obscuring our vision sitting in the White House.

I agree that Mr. Huntsman would represent a more principled alternative than Mr. Gingrich, who it seems can not even decide who he wishes to marry, however Mr. Huntsman suffers from an almost unpardonable sin in both private and especially public spheres; like Gary Johnson, he is as interesting as a tree stump. No one wishes their leaders to be the shy guy standing in the back.

Mr. Paul’s sins are almost as bad; after 40+ years practice, he still can not find a way to inspire voters with his message of liberty; instead he garbles it and insults them with it. In the last debate, we marveled at his bungling of the Patriot Act argument with Newt Gingrich. Surely a campaign plank that forms such a critical difference between himself and others should have been rehearsed to a fine and cutting edge. Instead, his answers appeared idealistic and childish and impractical, and a magnificent opportunity to define freedom lay shattered on the floor in front of millions. I was angry at him for bungling such a precious opportunity.

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