A Tale of Two Conventions

Some points to take away from Denver and St. Paul

If convention success determined presidential elections, we should call 2008 for the Democrats right now. The contrast between the Democratic National Convention last week in Denver and the Republican National Convention this week in St. Paul was Gallant-and-Goofus sharp.

Downtown Denver was choked by foot and vehicle traffic and each night's official convention session was crammed with excited attendees and delegates. As noted here and elsewhere, Sen. Barack Obama's (D-Ill.) seemingly vain choice of Invesco Field as the venue for his acceptance speech proved to be too modest; the place was surrounded by Democrats, media types, and fans trying to get into the sold-out event.

In St. Paul, not a single event I attended was full. This ranged from networking meetings, policy discussions, and after-parties to the floor sessions themselves and Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) closing night performance. And while McCain's adequate speech drew a respectable audience, there were still plenty of empty seats in the Xcel Center. The crowds were not only sparse but subdued, unable to muster much excitement for anything except the choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as McCain's running mate. That excitement, at least, turned out to be justified, but even Hurricane Sarah wasn't enough to save a week soured (or saved) by Hurricane Gustav.

Does this difference matter anywhere outside the convention bubble? Possibly not. Palin's vice presidential acceptance speech drew almost as many TV viewers as Obama's presidential one, indicating that the dynamics of the race have yet to finish shifting.

Nevertheless, the conventions leave some interesting points to chew on in the next two months.

Red and Blue are still important:

If you don't believe there are two Americas, spend a week surrounded by people who think their salvation will come from voting for Barack Obama, then a week surrounded by people who believe the same about John McCain. The cultural differences on display in the two conventions were real and deep.

But the rules have changed. Who could have guessed that the first black man running as a major-party presidential candidate would be battling accusations that he's an elitist who's had life too easy? It's almost as weird as the second woman running for vice president getting flak for being insensitive about women's issues.

Now it's the Democrats who have the bigger tent:

Who dares to speak of 2004, when the Republicans seemed to hold all the crossover appeal among voters? The rock star treatment for Barack Obama in Denver was pretty stunning, and his fans included self-identified fiscal conservatives, libertarians, vegetarians, old, young, black, white, brown, and green. All those people may be deluding themselves, but the Democrats clearly have a brand with wide appeal. The Republicans need to get some of that appeal back. It's not clear even a fully-rallied GOP base is enough to win anymore.

The Republicans are now the disorganized party:

The Democrats stayed remarkably on-message, inside and outside the convention. New Green Jobs, McCain's houses, and the busted budget weren't just the talking points during the speeches. They were repeated by delegates and guests throughout the week. By comparison, the Republicans were all over the place in their rhetoric, with fanciful calls to repopulate the Midwest, mutually exclusive goals like simplifying the tax code while instituting new tax breaks for various environmental and personal behaviors, constant prattle about special needs kids, and so on.

Libertarians on the lam:

Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) was shut out from the Republican convention, while premium spots were given to lesser performers like former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, whom Paul consistently beat in the primaries. All but Alaska among the delegations maneuvered to nix the handfuls of delegates Paul had picked up. That the Paulites did themselves no credit with their cockamamie, conspiratorial gatherings should not obscure the main point: The Republican Party has no interest in nurturing its libertarian wing. And the Democrats never even pretended to be interested. If there's a libertarian surge pending in the 2008 election, it will have to come from Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr.

The parties are getting even harder to tell apart:

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  • ||

    Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) was shut out from the Republican convention, while premium spots were given to lesser performers like former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, whom Paul consistently beat in the primaries.

    Awww thanks Tim. I'm afraid I didn't get you anything.

  • Elemenope||

    Well, that is a thing. The Dems managed to pull themselves together, while the GOP still has this gaping "freedom wound" that they have yet to even acknowledge they have, much less seek care for.

    If they were not idiots, they would have co-opted Paul even a little by giving him what the Dems gave Kucinich: a slot on dead air.

    But they're idiots.

  • Federal Dog||

    Cavanaugh equates extreme public emotionalism with political commitment. That is an obvious fallacy.

    The fact that some people do not make public displays of themselves does not necessarily mean that they do not have strongly-held political beliefs on which they will act. We saw very similar displays of extreme emotionalism in 2004, and very similar predictions that they heralded victory for Kerry, and Bush's victory was a sound one.

  • Dem Blues||

    Tim, why in the world would anyone hope for another disastrous four years for this country, followed by the extremely unpredictable results a Palin presidency would bring?

  • Bingo||

    USA USA USA

  • ||

    Or maybe we can just hope the Obama presidency will be a Carteresque four-year disaster that paves the way for a Reagan-style romp by Palin in 2012 (which may be the Republicans' actual strategy).

    A year ago I'd have predicted Giuliani and Clinton as the nominees. I'm not going out on a four year limb after that.

  • ||

    Guiliani crashing and burning is surely one of the most remarkable events of this political season. He was the leading candidate. People were confidently predicting Rudy vs. Hillary.

    Face it: people just don't like mayors.

  • ||

    We saw very similar displays of extreme emotionalism in 2004, and very similar predictions that they heralded victory for Kerry, and Bush's victory was a sound one.

    I don't recall any sort of an enthusiasm gap being discussed in 2004. I'd say that Kerry's campaign got the Democrats stirred up almost as much as the Republicans that year.

    Remember, Commander Guy was still very, very popular among Republicans.

  • MAVRICK||

    USA USA USA

  • ||

    Face it: people just don't like mayors.

    But they do like governors.

  • Elemenope||

    A year ago I'd have predicted Giuliani and Clinton as the nominees. I'm not going out on a four year limb after that.

    I got lucky and called Obama early (though I really would have preferred Richardson), but McCain was too crazy a pick back then to consider. He was too old, as the common wisdom went, and he had gone back too much on his "maverick image".

  • ||

    But they do like governors.

    Like Richardson. And Huckabee. And Warner (or is it Gilmore? I can't tell them apart). And Mittens.

    It's funny how the governors all tanked this year. Wonder why?

  • ||

    Add tags as required. That is all.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Palin's vice presidential acceptance speech drew almost as many TV viewers as Obama's presidential one,

    Let that be a lesson to the Chinese - people apparenltly enjoy bad platitudes.

  • ||

    Oh.

    Right.

    Shrub, duh.

  • ||

    Good question joe. Maybe the sheeple think that a Senator in the White House will bring about the positive change we all crave. Or something.

  • ||

    Face it: people just don't like mayors.

    Especially NY mayors.

    Damn, the internet can be fun.

  • Anonymoose.||

    joe | September 5, 2008, 3:58pm | #
    But they do like governors.

    Like Richardson. And Huckabee. And Warner (or is it Gilmore? I can't tell them apart). And Mittens.

    It's funny how the governors all tanked this year. Wonder why?

    Surely because the voters have a vendetta against governors!

    Scraping the bottom of the barely, eh joe?

  • Paul||

    I would like to personally thank the Reason staff for covering this convention. I kept changing my radio from NPR to...anything else this last few weeks because I just can't listen or watch scripted political theater.

    Your coverage has been great, and I'm more than happy to view and read about them through your filtered lens, which I trust more than the Democrat's or the Republican's pre-programmed bullhorn.

    Great article, Tim.

  • Paul||

    Right.

    Shrub, duh.


    And Bill Clinton. Just sayin'

  • Russ 2000||

    The Republican Party has no interest in nurturing its libertarian wing.

    I'm not sure I buy that, seeing that they picked a VP from the one state that kept its Paul delegates. I just think they don't want to nurture libertarians on TV. They tossed a bone to a schmuck like Giuliani because he's from the biggest market.

  • ||

    Face it: people just don't like mayors.

    Well, except when they do. Palin was well-liked enough as a mayor to get elected Governor.

    And they do like Governors on presidential tickets - three of the last four Presidents were Governors. So its a good thing for Palin that she is a Governor, not a mayor, these days.

    Sure, lots of Governors run for President and lose. But they don't lose every single time in the last forty-five years, like Senators. Although, admittedly, this year will break the streak.

  • ||

    Although, admittedly, this year will break the streak

    No, Ron Paul can still win!!!

    (sticks head in tinfoil-lined paper bag)

  • ||

    well, giuliani was anointed as 'teh frontrunner' by the media a while ago, since he obviously had the greatest potential drama factor, and mixed up the culture war in a new way, which they also love. the voters proved them wrong, but they were still completely unwilling to acknowledge the widespread enthusiasm for ron paul, despite their refusal to cover him or take him seriously. still, paul got many more votes than giuliani, certainly that and the excitement around him and the novelty of his ideas compared to the mainstream of politics and government, should have gotten more of the media's attention. instead 'conventional' media/pundit wisdom was that OF COURSE, write this guy off completely.

    it got to the point where paul's own blunders (newsletters, atrocious ads) didnt even register much in the media since he was invisible in their domain beyond the blogosphere. too bad for them, since all that would have totally reinforced their stereotypes about him anyway. he needed to construct an obama-style organization to force his way into the spotlight, but maybe that wasn't possible given his style, and libertarianism in general, not to mention that he distinctly lacks obama's star power. which is a plus in my book. (i say this as someone who will probably vote obama.) oh well... it's all water under the bridge now. i'm glad that he helped spread libertarian ideas.

    informal poll: how many of you H&R commenters will be voting bob barr? mccain? obama? other/write-in? how many will be not voting at all?

  • ||

    Damn, you two are easy.

    I think the most likely explanation is that the primary fields were winnowed down during a period when this was very much an Iraq election. The Democrats wanted a candidate who had a record against it, and the Republicans wanted a candidate who looked like he might have ripped a guy's artery out of his neck with this teeth.

  • ||

    how many will be not voting at all?

    (raises hand)

  • Russ 2000||

    That last paragraph summed up the feelings I had before these conventions started and which the last fortnight only confirmed.

  • ||

    i may write in Shub-Niggurath. just to shake things up.

  • ||

    I certainly won't be voting for McBama, but Barr is at the top of my list right now. My vote really won't count anyway: Seattle (and therefore WA state) will go for Obama.

  • ||

    Have we learned nothing from American Idol?

    The favorite will fall by the wayside in the semi-finals, leaving only the second-best and the longshot still in the race.

    I'm looking for Soupy Sales to fill the longshot role.

  • Paul||

    I'm not sure I buy that, seeing that they picked a VP from the one state that kept its Paul delegates.

    Ok, why then, does nothing coming out of the mouths of the national Republican party resemble anything...libertarian?

  • ||

    What is there to compare? both sides tell the Sheeple what they want to hear, neither has ANY intention of doing anything about it. Its all lip service.

    Jiff
    http://useurl.us/12m

  • ||

    I supported Ron Paul, but can completely understand why they didn't give him a speaking slot. He hasn't endorsed McCain - all the other "also rans" did. It would be interesting to hear, however, how the states wtih committed Ron Paul delegates managed to twist everyones' arm. Were they threatened?
    Were their votes just ignored and put down for McCain? I know that had I been elected a delegate, and my delegation chair didn't announce my RP vote, there would have been a real scene at that microphone.

  • PacificGatePost||

    GIULIANI REMINDED US OF WHAT ALL POLITICIANS SHOULD BE DOING

    The restrictive shackles strapped to politicians when running for office too often hide the personality.

    http://pacificgatepost.blogspot.com/2008/09/rudolph-giuliani-reborn.html

    Thanks Rudolph.

  • ||

    Think about how much time, effort and money are wasted on presidential elections only to have the winners be "least worst" for approximately 50% of the voters (and a virtual anti-Christ for the other 50%). Then, after the election, the result is a bunch of give-aways and promises for future give-aways to a selection of the population in order for them to continue considering them "least worst".

    I beginning to think we should choose our presidents with a system like the one we use for jury duty. People are randomly selected to serve as president for, say, one month at a time, and they're paid only minimum wage for the time served. "Damn it! I got selected for presidential duty again" would be the common sentiment.

  • Old timer||

    The election comes during hunting season. I have my priorities. I'm glad I'm old.

  • Elemenope||

    NAL --

    Somewhere between Ancient Greece and Harrison Bergeron? Hmm.

  • Paul||

    "Damn it! I got selected for presidential duty again" would be the common sentiment.

    Right, then anyone smart, employed in the private sector, or not retired would get out of it.

    Oh wait...

  • <i>REASON</i> Commenter||

    I would like to personally thank the Reason staff for covering this convention........

    which I trust more than the Democrat's or the Republican's pre-programmed bullhorn.


    Paul,
    You skipped Weigel's posts?

  • ||

    No, Ron Paul can still win!!!M



    Remember when Ron Paul suspended his campaign? Remember those supporters who insisted it was a stroke of genius, that he had a master plan to get the nomination? Remember how they talked about all those "soft" delegates? How McCain didn't have enough "hard" delegates to win?

    I wonder if they've accepted reality yet. I'm afraid to go to any of the Ron Paul forums for fear that there will a whole cadre of nutcakes insisting that Ron Paul can still take the oath of office in January.

  • duster||

    I know that had I been elected a delegate, and my delegation chair didn't announce my RP vote, there would have been a real scene at that microphone.

    That's assuming the 'black caps' didn't get to you first.

  • ||

    Remember when Ron Paul suspended his campaign? Remember those supporters who insisted it was a stroke of genius, that he had a master plan to get the nomination? Remember how they talked about all those "soft" delegates? How McCain didn't have enough "hard" delegates to win?

    I wonder if they've accepted reality yet. I'm afraid to go to any of the Ron Paul forums for fear that there will a whole cadre of nutcakes insisting that Ron Paul can still take the oath of office in January.



    I'm still on one of the group emailing lists just because I never bothered to unsubscribe. It's been pretty quiet overall. Nothing about the convention since it happened that I've seen, but there have been a few exchanges about politics on the local level. I'll probably linger on the list a while longer just to make sure the crazies have stopped stirring and have piped down for good.

  • ||

    Although now an evil part of me wants to post an email to the list about how "Ron Paul can Still Win!!!" just to see who takes the bait.

  • Lefiti||

    Tim, why in the world would anyone hope for another disastrous four years for this country, followed by the extremely unpredictable results a Palin presidency would bring?


    Trotskyists...er, I mean, libertarians believe that the worse it gets, the better.

  • Lefiti||

    Ron Paul can still win! He can win The Most Boring Old Fuck of the Year award.

  • VM||

    Episiarch | September 5, 2008, 4:22pm | #
    how many will be not voting at all?

    (raises hand)



    raises hand, as well. Will vote for whomever against Shithead.... errrrrr. DICK Durbin and Rahmmie.

  • ||

    So Reason...
    Where is the equivalent review of McCain in Minni that was given to Obama?

    (Remember this? "Dave Weigel on Obama in Denver")

    I'm just saying....I didn't see an equivalent review of McCain's speech.

    This article was a nice way of heaping more undeserved praise on the Dems.... and if you don't think we are headed for full-out socialism under Obama....check this out....

    http://www.investors.com/editorial/editorialcontent.asp?secid=1501&status=article&id=305420655186700

  • jtuf||

    Not seating the Ron Paul delegates was foolish. Given Alaska's and Palin's up of center leanings, the Ron Paul supporters might have voted for McCain. Now they are likely to vote for Barr.

    The Republican Party's lost is the Libertarian Party's gain. The Republican Party lost ground when they increased domestic spending. A large number of pro-capitalism Republicans in my area have switched to the LP or made plans to. They are willing to call off the Drug War if it means getting economic freedoms back. I'm still amazed that more hemp supporters aren't leaving the Democratic Party for the LP. I guess the Democratic Party makes sure to boil the watter a bit more slowly.

  • ||

    QUOTE: " The Republican Party has no interest in nurturing its libertarian wing. And the Democrats never even pretended to be interested. If there's a libertarian surge pending in the 2008 election, it will have to come from Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr. "

    Well any libertarian surge certainly isn't going to come as a result of Reason, who, despite it's claimed political bent, appears to be doing it's damnedest to undermine any libertarian political momentum.

  • Lefiti||

    "...appears to be doing it's damnedest to undermine any libertarian political momentum."

    Libertarian political momentum? What momentum? There's more momentum in the bowel movements of a gnat.

  • ||

    ...spend a week surrounded by people who think their salvation will come from voting for Barack Obama, then a week surrounded by people who believe the same about John McCain...

    Particularly pathetic are the people who claim to be "excited" and "electrified" by Palin...

  • ||

    When you said you would compare party conventions in Denver and St. Paul, I assumed you meant the Libertarian Party and the Republican Party.

    Quite a contrast -- one tried to put down any semblance of an actual contest for the nomination, opting for a coronation instead. The other gave every candidate with any whisper of support a chance to state his or her case. One required a brutal police presence to keep it going, and took tens of millions from the taxpayer trough, the other paid its own way.

  • ||

    Point #504: We are fooking doomed no matter who wins.

  • JMR||

    Must...resist...temptation...to write-in Sanjaya!

  • ||

    No difference between the parties? Never has the chasm been wider. On every major issue of our times, the Dems are headed one direction, the Repubs in another: energy independence/"drill now," the War ("pull out soon" vs. "wait till the job's done"), healthcare, taxes, abortion, international diplomacy... Tim, you gotta get out more, man!

  • ||

    Randolph: Other than the Democrats being black on the left side rather than the right side, I don't see much practical difference between the two parties. The rhetoric is different, but the actions lead to the same results.Sure, you can find a few real differences on some issues, but overall they're cut from the same cloth.

    Bush will announce a timetable for Iraq before he leaves office. Bush increased spending so significantly that his tax cuts were meaningless. He gave us the prescription plan, the silly no-child-left-behind plan, advocated amnesty, etc, etc. And Bush was considered the *conservative* president! McCain is far more liberal and "big government" than Bush, so it's going to be worse on his watch.

    Then there are the Democrats in Congress, who have given Bush everything he asked for, and more. They overwhelmingly voted for the two invasions and occupations, overwhelmingly voted for the PATRIOT act and its renewal, say they want to get out of Iraq but from their talk sounds like they want to invade Iran, Pakistan or Darfur instead, etc.

    Their reasons and methods may be different, but their actions and results are the same. We're getting dry-humped by both parties.

  • ||

    Randolph-

    You can't be serious?

    Example 1: Neither party has sought to eliminate the income tax. One lone republican has-but he isn't really a republican.


    Example 2: Neither party has sought to end the military keynesiansism that is bankrupting us. One lone republican has-but he isn't really a republican.

    Example 3: Neither party has sought to end the drug war. Sure, an additional republican and democrat or two have joined the one lone republican who isn't really a republican in seeking the end to the drug war.

    Randolph, you are too smart to fall for the false left/right paradigm.

  • ||

    So let's see if we can summarize the GOP platform based on policies and statements put forth by McCain and Palin.



    1) Provide disproportionate tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans (cuz you can never have too much freekin' money)



    2) Eliminate all porkbelly spending and federal earmarks (unless you're the governor of Alaska)



    3) Show our military might wherever needed overseas (cuz the military has SO many underutilized soldiers with nothing to do. Can you say DRAFT?)



    4) Continue to deregulate the energy and financial industries (cuz they are so capable of self-regulation, as can be seen in the oil futures market and the mortgage industry)



    5) Keep government small and respect state's right. Do not intrude in the policies and decisions of states (unless you happen to be gay, need an abortion, or use medical marijuana during cancer treatments)



    6) Continue to push for abstinence-only sex education in the public schools (cuz you can see how well that worked for Palin's family)



    7) Strive to improve public education to make us more competitive in the global economy (except that we'll replace evolution with creationism)



    8) Ignore the melting ice caps resulting from global warming (cuz who gives a damn if polar bears go extinct. There are plenty of other animals to hunt anyway)



    9) Use up the planet's natural resources as rapidly as we can--drill, baby, drill (cuz that's what God intended)



    10) and as McCain was recently quoted, "The economy is basically sound". (cuz, holy crap--he has more houses than he can count, so the economy must be sound FOR HIM).

  • ||

    Quite by accident, as I was flipping channels late last night, I landed on C-SPAN's rebroadcast of a large chunk of the proceedings from the Ron Paul rally. Based only on what I saw and heard over the course of an hour or two of this coverage, I can say this:

    1. Johnson/Ventura (or Ventura/Johnson) in 2012. Jesse's speech brought the house down and Gary's "here's what you can do in office if you really want to" speech was more than enough to build it back up again and hold the roof up long enough to inspire the crowd with visions of possibilities.

    2. I had read snarky comments at Hit and Run and elsewhere, that seemed to suggest the Paul rally was an embarrassing trainwreck. Through the C-SPAN cameras, I saw huge crowds, enthusiastically cheering full-strength liberty. So whom do I believe? The snarky commenters or my (C-SPAN's) own lying eyes and ears?

    3. The crowd's disgust at the content-free campaigns we are seeing from the major parties was palpable, and was well articulated (and encouraged!) by Jesse Ventura. I see an opportunity for Paul's new revolutionary group to hold real, people's debates, open to all serious candidates who have a mathematical chance of winning. Invite Obama and McCain. If they don't show up, rub their faces in their manipulative disdain for the public they claim to serve. Hold the debates, whoever shows up, and conduct them as serious, content-filled events. I think Ron Paul's prestige and the strength of his organization would be enough to get good coverage for his debate events, enough to shame McBama if they neglect to attend, and enough to focus public opinion on the shams that the "official" debates have become.

  • nonsubscribernow||

    "I had read snarky comments at Hit and Run and elsewhere, that seemed to suggest the Paul rally was an embarrassing trainwreck. " You mean like this:

    "That the Paulites did themselves no credit with their cockamamie, conspiratorial gatherings should not obscure the main point..."

    Reason is full of shit. Your lying eyes didn't deceive you. I was there. The 9/11 conspiracy talk was approximately 2minutes of about 10 hrs of speeches and music. 2MINUTES! Literally. Only during Jesse Ventura's speech was this topic brought up. Jesse Ventura the independent. Who isn't even in politics right now but is somehow conflated to be the demi-god Ron Paul Troofer of the year by Reason staff.

    Reason is jealous that all those libertarian minded folks had a kick ass counter-convention completely without them. The ship has sailed Reason - thankfully without you. Good luck groveling for attention from Obama & co.

    Sellouts.

  • Brian||

    WTF is up with the all of the Paul-bashing?

    The paleo-vs-cosmo thing has got to be the stupidest, most counterproductive, endeavor that libertarians have even engaged in. Even worst than the minarchist-vs-anarchist or Objectivist-vs-everyone-else things.

    I'm more of a cosmopolitan/individualist libertarian myself -- pro-choice, pro-immigration, socially liberal, live in a big city in a Blue State -- but I think Ron Paul has done more than anyone else in history to introduce libertarianism to the general public, and he deserves credit, not ridicule, for that accomplishment. We should be trying to unify the libertarian movement, and not trying to fight our own pointless civil war.

  • ||

    Well the rhetoric was certainly ugly at times from the Republican convention, especially the night Palin gave her speech. It was nonstop snark, condescention, be-littling culture war nonsense. The Democrats almost never stooped to that during the convention in Denver.

  • ||

    Labman57

    I know what you are trying to do. You are trying to get me to vote for McCain.

    You take a couple of the things that Republicans are supposed to stand for, put a liberal spin and negative connotations, to make it sound like they really ARE going to cut government spending and taxes, and government intervention.

    But they are not.

    So I will still not vote for McCain.

    Nice try though.

  • Tim||

    Not only is there no real suspense or debates at the conventions, there are hardly any funny hats any more.

  • ||

    # PacificGatePost | September 5, 2008, 4:58pm | #

    # GIULIANI REMINDED US OF WHAT ALL
    # POLITICIANS SHOULD BE DOING

    20-to-life in a maximum security facility?

  • ||

    # nonsubscribernow | September 6, 2008, 7:32pm | #

    # The 9/11 conspiracy talk was approximately
    # 2minutes of about 10 hrs of speeches and
    # music. 2MINUTES! Literally. Only during
    # Jesse Ventura's speech was this topic
    # brought up.

    As I recall, Jesse Ventura only brought up the interesting point that Osama bin Laden had not been officially charged for the 9-11 attack through the normal grand jury and indictment process that we have used in so many other terrorism cases (and even in connection with earlier bin Laden crimes). He simply encouraged the audience to ask "Why?" If his assertion is true, we SHOULD be asking "Why?" That is completely reasonable. The snarky comments at the Reason website led me to expect a lot of wacky theory-spinning during the Jesse Ventura speech. Instead, I encountered only an assertion which is easily proven or disproven. If Ventura is wrong, it won't be the first time a wrestler shouted an over-the-top statement to an overheated crowd. Big deal. But if he is right, then something needs to get fixed. Regardless, the topic of 9-11 was a very tiny component of all the substance I heard while I was watching the coverage.

    Coincidentally, as I was writing this, I flipped past CSPAN again to find yet more coverage of the rally: this time, Ron Paul's big speech. He's making sense, folks. Poking fun at his earnest candor only makes the the people doing the poking look bad, I think.

  • ||

    What do you know, Ventura appears to have been correct. In my posting above, I paraphrased what I recalled he said during his speech, but to be more precise, he invited people to go to the FBI's website and pull up the "Most Wanted" page on Usama bin Laden, and notice that there is no specific mention of 9-11, although there is specific mention of other crimes. "Why?" he asked. Ventura explained this by saying that there were formal indictments for the crimes mentioned in the "Most Wanted" page, and he concluded that there is no formal indictment of Usama in connection with 9-11. Again, he asked -- and encouraged us all to ask -- "Why?"

    So, I just went to the FBI's website. Usama's "Most Wanted Page" is http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/terrorists/terbinladen.htm.

    Read it. Sure enough, there is no mention at all of 9-11. Only of Usama's involvement in the US embassy bombings of the late 1990s. That certainly strikes me as strange.

    Does anyone know whether Usama was ever formally charged in connection with 9-11? And if not, why not? It is legitimate to ask "why" and to demand an answer from elected officials.

  • ||

    Obama supports school choice, and is even willing to try vouchers if they are shown to work.

    McCain and Obama are not very far apart economically. McCain is a RINO who works with Democrats, and Obama is someone who takes positions far off from the wingnuts who want to ban guns and force everyone to go to public schools.

    Libertarians are deluding themselves if they vote for McCain. Obama and McCain are both econmically centrist, and Obama's econonmic advisor came from university of Chicago.
    Obama's rhetoric may sound left-wing, but his advisor will keep him from doing anything stupid.

    With two centrist fiscal candidates, the war and social issues are all that are left. And on that Obama is the best choice.

    Any sane Libertarian in a swing state should be voting Obama. Palin will have no influence over McCain's policies.

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