The GOP Field: Theocracy, Michary, & Ambiguocracy

The GOP campaign really does present voters with sharp contrasts.

Remember when pundits accused the GOP of abandoning its big tent—the one big enough to include a broad diversity of views? You can kiss that meme goodbye. This year’s presidential candidates span the political spectrum. They are both pro-abortion and anti-abortion. They have both embraced and opposed bans on assault weapons. They have both accepted and rejected the idea of human-induced climate change, both promoted and derided a government takeover of health care, supported both amnesty for illegal aliens and building a giant wall on the border.

And that’s just Mitt Romney. We haven’t even touched on the rest of the field yet.

Jokes aside, the GOP campaign really does present voters with sharp contrasts. Take Rick Santorum and Ron Paul.

Santorum, the paladin of the religious right, opposes not only abortion but also birth control. (“Many of the Christian faith have said . . . contraception is okay,” he said in October. “It’s not okay. It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.”)  His views on homosexuality are simian. His economic platform is a mix of protectionism, tax-code social engineering, and industrial policy. His foreign-policy views are straight out of the GOP hawk’s nest. He is, as Paul observed during a debate in New Hampshire, a “big-government conservative.” 

And proud of it: In 2006 Santorum told NPR, “One of the criticisms I make is to what I refer to as more of a libertarianish right. … This whole idea of personal autonomy, well, I don’t think most conservatives hold that point of view. Some do. They have this idea that people should be left alone, be able to do whatever they want to do, government should keep our taxes down and keep our regulations low, that we shouldn’t get involved in the bedroom, we shouldn’t get involved in cultural issues. You know, people should do whatever they want.” That was not Santorum’s view then, and it certainly isn’t now: In July he said he would “fight very strongly against libertarian influence” within the GOP.

Paul, who once ran on the Libertarian Party ticket, has built his entire political career around “this whole idea of personal autonomy.” As a minarchist – someone who believes in minimal government – he would call off the war on drugs, slash government spending, eliminate five Cabinet departments, and allow states to legalize prostitution and recognize gay marriages. His foreign-policy views are isolationist—one staffer claims Paul opposed even the war in Afghanistan, although he ultimately voted for it. Paul supports gun rights and home schooling. (He falls short of perfect consistency on immigration, where he sounds like a Michele Bachmann wannabe.)

Between those two extremes lie Newt Gingrich and Romney. Gingrich’s ideological core seems to be an abiding belief in his own historical greatness. Romney’s core is pragmatism. He is the apotheosis of git-er-done business acumen: If it works, use it; if it doesn’t, fix it; if you can’t, drop it.

Pragmatism may be America’s most important contribution to philosophy, and there are many things to be said for the approach. Romney’s record as a rescuer of the Olympic Games underscores one of them. What’s more, the pragmatist is open to evidence. He can be persuaded by logic. He is not going to conduct a reign of terror against ideological deviationists and other Enemies of the People. Unlike the ideologue, the pragmatist is never in danger of believing that while certain notions might work well in practice, they are useless in theory. A little more pragmatism during the 20th Century might have saved a few million lives.

There are also several things to say against the pragmatic approach. First, there are often several practical solutions, and pragmatism can’t easily decide among them. Keynes and Friedman both offer compelling advice on economic crises. Whose do you take? Second, pragmatic solutions to certain problems can create others. Illegal drug use is a problem. Universal drug testing would be a pragmatic solution, but it would not be the right one.

Third, and most important, before you can decide the best way to do something you have to know what you want to do. And pragmatism offers little guidance on many profound questions – such as gay marriage, the rights of embryonic life, the right to collective bargaining, or the morally just degree of income redistribution in a market economy.

It’s possible that when Romney tells different audiences different things about the same topic, he is simply taking a very pragmatic approach to getting elected. But it also is possible that he gives contradictory answers about which way he would lead the country because, deep down, he simply doesn’t know.

A. Barton Hinkle is a columnist at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, where this article originally appeared.

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  • ||

    Isn't "Michary" covered under the sodomy laws in most states?

  • Ice Nine||

    Don't ask.

  • Almanian||

    Do tell!

  • Anomalous||

    Usually, you can get a charge of sodomy reduced to tailgating.

  • ||

    And that’s just Mitt Romney

    Mitt "I'll pretend to believe whatever it takes to get your vote" Romney?

  • Tony||

    Pragmatism =/= cynical opportunism.

  • ||

    If "pragmatism" is masked in the terms "Of course this is what I really believe", it IS cynical opportunism.

    Someone who is truly pragmatic would say "This is what I want, this is what I think I can get."

  • Almanian||

    Hello, shit facktory!

    /Gobbler

  • Masturbatin' Pete||

    Tony, I'm not sure what you mean by "pragmatism," and how it differs from "cynical opportunism." Could you elaborate?

  • ||

    "Pragmatism" = telling lies that support Tony's side.

    "Cynical opportunism" = saying things (true or not) that don't support Tony's side.

  • Tony||

    Pragmatism is the idea of determining the truth of a theory by examining the results of practical application of it. Cynical opportunism is Mitt Romney becoming whatever he needs to become to appeal to whoever he happens to be speaking to at the moment.

  • o3||

    but can mitt wisper sweet nothings into progressives' ears in the general? oh wait...

  • wareagle||

    pragmatism is what Obama's dogwashers told us he was for until reality set in and the nation realized that his aim of transforming the country is totally different from anyone else's.

    If I recall, Obama was going to shut down Gitmo, decried recess appointments, thought debt ceiling increases were a travesty, blathered about govt living within its means, opposes gay marriage AND DOMA, authorized the killing of an American national, called tax increases during recession bad (unless, apparently, they apply to folks with jobs), and whines about Wall St while holding the record for accepting its campaign cash.

    With that backdrop, I could see why Mitt's evolution is problematic. It's better if the candidate simply says one thing but does the opposite.

  • Tony||

    I suspect both Obama and Romney are pragmatists in the application of government policy--though Romney seems mostly concerned with having a title for himself.

    Romney isn't the opposite of a pragmatist--that would be, say, Ron Paul.

  • wareagle||

    Obama is hardly a pragmatist or he would have figured out that a course which adds 6T to the debt IN FOUR YEARS is not a very good one. A pragmatic Obama would have followed his '08 talk with '09 action that mirrored it; instead, we got "I won".

    He had the opportunity to be a consequential president; he is instead becoming a punch line. But despite that, I suspect he'll win given the Repub's Olympian ability to self-immolate.

  • Tony||

    Obama's offered measures to reduce the budget deficit and debt. The Republicans won't pass any of it because they refuse to let taxes be part of it, stupidly.

  • k2000k||

    No he didn't. He offered tax increases, which an abundance of research has shown will not reduce the deficit and debt burden because of a shrinking of the tax pool and GDP growth that results. Every succesful debt reduction scenario has been one that has been lead by spending cuts over tax increases. Obama has not offered one *real* spending cut, period. He simply has offered to reduce the rate of increase of our spending which doesn't come fucking close to whats needed.

  • wareagle||

    no, he has not. Obama offered nothing. His budget proposal last year did get a single vote in the Senate. Not one. He has talked about reduction but his actions have yielded increase.

    Paul Ryan actually spelled out reduction. Obama? Called a big presser so he could scold Ryan. By the way, where is the Senate in all this? Liberals always seem to forget that it, too, is part of Congress.

  • Tony||

    At least you acknowledge with your endorsement of the Ryan plan that to significantly cut government spending we'd have to essentially eliminate Medicare. Big problem--it will never, ever go over with the voting public.

    Tax hikes have to be part of any sane deficit reduction plan. The Bush cuts alone account for $7 trillion over 10 years. Most people just don't want the radical system you favor, and I doubt you would either once you lived in it for a while.

  • Blacksmithing||

    I'm okay without Medicare. Let me out of all the socialist programs, please. You can even keep all the money I paid in already.

    Tax hikes do not have to be part of any "sane" deficit reduction plan. If you give the Fed more money, it will SPEND IT. Sorry, that's what it does.

  • Blacksmithing||

    How about some spending cuts, though? If you give the Fed more money, it will spend it. On the next war, the next natural disaster, or the next transfer program. New tax money won't go into a magical debt reduction fund.

  • ||

    Pragmatism is the idea of determining the truth of a theory by examining the results of practical application of it.

    Testing the truth of a theory by measuring the results of an experiment based upon its premises is called the scientific method. If the theory proves untrue, then you don't use it.

    If your bridge design won't stand up, you don't build it. Obama believes building a poorly designed Solyndra bridge will work if you can get the right people to do it.

  • sarcasmic||

    If the theory proves untrue, then you don't use it.

    So when legislation / regulation does not have the desired effect, it is repealed, right?

    Haaaaaaaaaaahahahaaaaaahaaaa!

  • Tony||

    Pragmatism (as Hinkle rightly describes, America's most important contribution to philosophy) was all about bringing philosophy more in line with the scientific method.

    Every indication is that Obama is pragmatic rather than dogmatic (same with Romney, though he pretends to be dogmatic when it suits him). If you're harping on Solyndra then you must believe no experiment is worthwhile that occasionally fails.

  • ||

    No.

    If you find out that government sponsored enterprises don't work - and Solyndra is only one of many, many examples - then you don't keep promoting new ones.

    Only the deluded can seriously believe that government-backed companies (eg. HSR) work best.

  • Tony||

    Government sponsored enterprises don't work, like the enterprise known as national defense?

  • Blacksmithking||

    How is national defense a GSE?

    I suppose you can say it's "working," but not very efficiently.

  • sarcasmic||

    How is national defense a GSE?

    Tony isn't good with distinctions.

    He has basically said that there is no distinction between a policeman and someone on welfare, because both cases involve someone paying their personal bills with dollars collected through taxation.

    So it doesn't surprise me that he sees no distinction between a soldier and someone making solar panels in a GSE. After all, both involve people paying their bills with dollars collected through taxation.

    In short - Tony is a fucking moron.

  • pfft||

    Every indication is that Obama is pragmatic rather than dogmatic

    pffftttttttttt.......

  • Old Mexican||

    Tony =/= Semantics, logic, common sense, rational discourse, language.

  • Realist||

    With the exception of Ron Paul, the Republican field is full of idiots of every stripe.

  • ||

    Hinkle used the dreaded i-word! You're dead to me.

  • Almanian||

    I do not understand your objection to his use of the word "idea". Could you please expand a bit on your statement?

  • ||

    Income damnit! Isn't this a marxist blog?

  • ||

    I noted his use if the i-word too.

    Hinkle...I don't want to see at at the hotels, I don't want you near my house. When you see our mother, I want to know a day in advance so I won't be there... do you understand?

  • Ska||

    Fuck that's harsh. You don't just go about Fredoing people lightly.

  • ||

    But it also is possible that he gives contradictory answers about which way he would lead the country because, deep down, he simply doesn’t know.

    Romney doesn't know because, as Rand and Hayek said, conservatism is an entirely bankrupt political philosophy. Modernity is leaving the old fucks behind.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    Conservatism is the philosophy of the drogue. It points the ship in the approximate direction they came from, but without the will to get them there.

  • WTF||

    Not enough 'Christ-fag'.

  • ||

    Hinkle got that part. Less succinctly though.

  • Untermensch||

    “The study of the past is not merely a historical predilection: it is an immunological precaution.” -Umberto Eco.

    Simply leaving them behind is as stupid as you can be. Conservatism if is is mindless devotion to the past is stupid. But the idea that you can simply leave it behind without consequence is even stupider. You don’t have to accept everything from the past, but those old dead guys (like the framers) often knew a thing or two. As attractive as the idea of starting all over may be to some, it is a good way to make a real mess of things. If libertarianism is to succeed it must engage with the lessons of the past, not shoot them in the head.

  • Tony||

    The framers contributed to political thought in huge ways, but they were not more intelligent or informed than many modern people. Plus they owned people.

    That physicists now know much more about the universe than Newton does not render Newton useless or dumb, but he no longer has anything useful to add. Conservativism serves its uses but I think it's without question true that reverence for the past (most often a fantasy version of it) has held back much needed progress.

  • sarcasmic||

    They were white slave owners!
    All of their ideas must be wrong because they were slave owners!
    Four hundred years of oppression!

  • Tony||

    All of their ideas must be wrong because they were slave owners!

    Didn't say that at all. If anything, that fact should make you pause before worshiping them as demigods, though. Being worshiped, imo, is the last thing the great Enlightenment thinkers who founded the US would want.

  • sarcasmic||

    Worshipped? You and your phalluses, er, fallacies.

  • wareagle||

    jesus on a biscuit, Tony. They owned people in an era when doing so was legal and, even so, they knew slavery could not last. Ergo, they made provisions toward that end with some debate on what the proper course would be for blacks who were no longer enslaved. Indentured servitude was also legal then but that, too, went by the by.

  • k2000k||

    Not too mention that many of the founders were oppossed to slavery. What the left will do to discredit them (founders) astounds me.

  • o3||

    oops - revolution against the king was leftist. >it tries moar harder

  • shorter Tony||

    The constitution no longer counts because SLAVE OWNERS!!1111!! and also it's old and stuff.

  • Untermensch||

    Your reading skills need some work. Did you notice the quote I started with? That should clue you in that I'm not talking about reverence for the past. IN some areas we know far more than then, in others not so much. In some areas of scholarship we are still circling the same ideas articulated 1000 years ago; in other areas not. But shrike’s idea that you can jut throw out the past as if it isn’t an issue is stupidity: it’s the way to repeat the dumbest mistakes of the past. Hence the “immunological precaution.”

  • ||

    I never suggested throwing out the past. We need to know about geocentrism, Creationism, bloodletting, the gold standard, and other completely discredited theories. They help us understand where we are going as well as where we came from.

  • wareagle||

    we also know liberalism has been thoroughly discredited since every experiment in it has failed. But some folks keep pushing for more of it.

  • T||

    That physicists now know much more about the universe than Newton does not render Newton useless or dumb, but he no longer has anything useful to add.

    Look, just don't talk about physics, okay? It's painful enough when yiu talk about other things, but this just makes my ears bleed.

  • Tony||

    Amateur though I am, I'm somewhat certain that 100% of physicists agree that Newton is dead.

  • ||

    Newtonian mechanics work perfectly well in non-relativistic frames of reference. Newton's (and Liebnitz') calculus is the basis for almost all practical measurements.

    Anyone who says "Newton is dead" in the scientific sense is a ucking fidiot.

  • Tony||

    I meant Newton the physical human--I'm perfectly well aware that his contributions still bear fruit, I'm just saying that thanks to his contribution every high school student knows as much or more about the universe as Newton.

  • T||

    2nd law of motion works everywhere, relativistic or not.

  • Untermensch||

    Shrike’s notion would tell us that we can just throw Newton out, that he no longer has any use to us at all, that we need to start over.

  • Tony||

    I don't see where shrike claimed that.

    My point is that, while conservatism in theory has its use in pushing back against too-radical change, it's become somewhat of a cancer--now the difference between the golden years of capitalism and totalitarian communism is 5% taxes on billionaires.

  • wareagle||

    tony,
    should we not then, by the same token, declare liberalism not just dead, but thoroughly disproven given that every country that has had left-wing govt has experienced the opposite of prosperity?

    Even with its worst excesses, capitalism has to produce anything that mirrors the images we saw from the old Soviet bloc, what still exists in Cuba, the practically planned suicide of Western Europe, and so forth.

  • k2000k||

    Progrerssivism will never die unfortunately, its just a regurgitation of the need to have the state, top men, noblis oblige, run peoples lives. This includes American conservatism, which really is just another kind of progressivism.

  • sarcasmic||

    Even with its worst excesses, capitalism has to produce anything that mirrors the images we saw from the old Soviet bloc, what still exists in Cuba, the practically planned suicide of Western Europe, and so forth.

    Yeah, but capitalism allows people to get rich, and that just isn't fair. Profit is theft you know.
    The only way to remedy this is through sharing. Sharing means taking those ill-gotten gains and giving them to those who truly deserve them.
    You see?
    Government can both protect private property rights and give everyone the right to the property of everyone else.
    Doublethink is great!

  • wareagle||

    right, sarc. Nothing says utopia quite like shared misery.

  • ||

    The framers contributed to political thought in huge ways, but they were not more intelligent or informed than many modern people.

    Here we see the creeping fallacy that modern man is somehow better - smarter, more moral, more ethical - than his predecessors.

    He is not. Although "progressives" must believe he is to justify the application of their theories in the face of millenia of experience with human nature, modern man is the same as stone age man. Human nature hasn't changed.

    The Founders were smarter than nearly all of their peers. They were smarter than nearly all of us. As a group, they vastly exceed the competence and intelligence of our current political class.

  • sarcasmic||

    All Tony's got is fallacies.

    I think there's a short circuit in his brain that confuses them for phalluses, making him all hot and bothered when presented with mistaken beliefs and failed reasoning.

  • Tony||

    You're romanticizing them. They could be every bit as petty and divided as modern politicians. I don't wish to diminish their contribution at all, I just think that treating them as demigods is the opposite of what they, in their wisdom, would have wanted. They did not lay down stone tablets of truth, they invented a system deliberately designed to evolve beyond their own sensibilities.

    Every modern schoolchild knows more about the world than they did. It would be quite something if we hadn't learned anything about how to run a society since the founders.

  • wareagle||

    It would be quite something if we hadn't learned anything about how to run a society since the founders.
    ------------------------------
    and yet. Some in this country cling to the notion that liberal policies will work if only "our" liberals put them in place. They won't. The policies don't suffer because of who implements them; they suffer because they are bad policies. By now, there is more than ample evidence of the failure of central planning. Yet, the left keeps trying to reinvent that wheel.

  • sarcasmic||

    See what I mean? I count four in that comment alone.

  • Untermensch||

    I got at least five.

  • ||

    Every modern schoolchild knows more about the world than they did.

    We don't know more about human nature and the temptations and abuses of power than they did, although we have had more experience with its extremes thanks to the totalitarian experiment of the 20th century.

    Anyone who thinks that our modern ruling class, as a group, is smarter, wiser, even better informed about governance, than the Founders, is a fool.

    It would be quite something if we hadn't learned anything about how to run a society since the founders.

    Can you honestly look at our current ruling class and think they have learned anything that the Founders didn't know? If anything, what we have learned is that states can be even more barbaric and destructive than the Founders ever dreamed. Those who have learned from our experience over the last few hundred years shouldn't be pushing for more state power, they should be pushing for less.

  • ||

    They did not lay down stone tablets of truth, they invented a system deliberately designed to evolve beyond their own sensibilities.

    True enough. If there is a societal consensus to amend the Constitution.

    The change in our governance has happened without this societal consensus and without amending the Constitution.

  • stuartl||

    Due to the revolutionary war, and the reality of living under a king, the founders were bonded together far more than our current politicians. It gave them a reason to accept checks and balances on their own power and to listen to others with opposing viewpoints.

    Every modern schoolchild or politician does not have this understanding of what the world would be like if they always got their own way.

  • cynical||

    "but they were not more intelligent or informed than many modern people. "

    They managed a successful revolution and the establishment of a new nation without a bloody counterrevolution and rapid collapse into dictatorship, so they've got that going for them.

  • Blacksmithking||

    I'm not sure what a "bankrupt political philosophy" entails.

  • Old Mexican||

    His foreign-policy views are isolationist


    Yes, he's a regular Kim Jong Il.

    Give me a break.

    one staffer claims Paul opposed even the war in Afghanistan, although he ultimately voted for it.


    I do remember that he voted for going after Bin Laden, and then puttig forth a bill to issue letters of Marque and Reprisal to pay mercenaries instead of sending troops - how's that for pragmatism, eh Mr. Fink?

  • tarran||

    Come on, old Mexican, don't you know that you're only neighborly if you periodically put a couple of rounds through the wall of the house next door?

  • Untermensch||

    That unnamed “staffer” who claimed that wouldn't be the same one who claimed that Ron Paul wouldn’t use the bathroom in a gay man’s house and wants to see the state of Israel disappear would it? Because if Hinkle is citing Dondero for anything, my respect for Hinkle just hit a brick wall.

  • tarran||

    No it probably would be one of those other staffers who Dondero says shared horrified glances with him while Ron Paul ranted anti-semiticly and unpatriotically while watching the WTC towers smolder.

    I guess those other staffers will happily are starting to share their horrific stories finally.

  • Untermensch||

    Ahh yes, the uncounted minions who are keeping their stories secret out of fear of the Good Doctor.

  • Old Mexican||

    It’s possible that when Romney tells different audiences different things about the same topic, he is simply taking a very pragmatic approach to getting elected.


    If by "pragmatic" you mean being a two-faced liar, then I agree with you.

  • tarran||

    The thing about Romney, he's a technocrat. He sees himself as a consequentialist. IF policy X is predicatively modeled to have a positive effect on GDP or on life expectancy, he'll support it.

    In business, when one has to conform to customer demands in order to succeed, this consequentialist approach can be a very successful strategy that allows one to thrive.

    In politics, when one is essentially deciding how to use violence, it can lay the groundwork for horrific tyranny as the consequentialist cuts down the thicket that protects people from corrupt or oppressive rule so that the consequentialist can act with a free hand for the betterment of whatever function he is trying to maximize.

  • wareagle||

    Romney is the one who provides the answer to the test question of "do you want govt run as a business". The rest of hte GOP field, Paul excepted, wants to use govt as a cudgel for running parts of our lives which makes them no different from most Dems.

    The long-term upside is that Paul's ideas are gaining traction; people are looking beyond the media and establishment's dismissal of him; and a good many like the idea of making their own decisions without some bureaucrat imposing standards on light bulbs, food choices, and contraception.

  • sarcasmic||

    which makes them no different from most Dems

    Gays and abortion!

    Gays!

    Abortion!

    Abortion and gays!

  • juris imprudent||

    Guns and healthy-choices!

    Guns!

    Healthy-choices!

    Healthy-choices and guns!

    [same stupidity, different topics]

  • Hinkee Barton||

    Romney is the one who provides the answer to the test question of "do you want govt run as a business".

    Most people running businesses want their business to grow. Do we want a President who is determined to grow the government?

  • Fluffy||

    Ron Paul is at 20% in South Carolina now.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/ballo.....ting-tight

  • Live Free or Diet||

    Cool! Wasn't he just at 10%?

    It would do my heart good to see him take this thing.

  • Fluffy||

    He popped 11% in four days.

  • Mr. Chartreuse ||

    [Homer] Urge to be optimistic rising [/Homer]

    So, Dr. Paul has been asked if he would be a third-party candidate if he didn't get the GOP nomination. I think a more interesting question would be, if he somehow got the nod would the Red State permawar faction go third-party?

  • ||

    They'd probably force him into taking a pro-war VP and be satisfied, or, at least, satiated.

  • Untermensch||

    Yeah, that way they could always off him and get what they want the moment he actually does something they don't like.

  • Mr. Chartreuse ||

    He might not accept the "offer" though, so that would leave the Limbaugh/Hot Air/Red State folks with someone who is diametrically opposed to their foreign policy outlook. At that point they would have to vote for Obama, who doesn't seem to have any compunctions about drone wars and detentions, stay home, or draft someone to run against Paul and Obama.

  • tarran||

    It would be an awesome tragicomedy if Ron Paul won the election and the neocons let Obama win rather than give up their dreams of hegemony.

  • annonymous commenter some guy||

    Wow. I wonder if it's real or not. Such a quick jump is unexpected good news.

  • Fluffy||

    Even Rasmussen has Paul at 16% today, and they consistently underpoll him.

  • DK||

    Even better, both the ARG (20% Paul) and Rasmussen (16% Paul) polls are from likely GOP voters. SC is an open primary state.

  • k2000k||

    I think they underpoll him because of their methedology. Which is they poll likely voters, not the entire voting field. Ordinarily I think it is a more sound way to get an idea of who is going to win, but when you have an outlier like Paul, someone who can get people who otherwise wouldn't vote to vote, then yeah it isn't as accurate.

  • k2000k||

    Good to see. Here is a rasmussen that shows Paul at 16%. Either way he is moving up in the polls and I expect he will definetly make top three, probably another second place finsih. Which is fine considering that as the other candidates drop out I expect him to start winning the later states.

    http://www.rasmussenreports.co.....an_primary

  • Hinkee Barton||

    Don't get so excited. Ron Paul is just the vehicle that Democrats are using to interfere in the Republican primary. The Republican base doesn't support him or most of his ideas.

  • Jay S||

    WTF is Michary?

  • ||

    Yeah, I want to know, too. Seems to be a given name for a female, but don't get the ref.

  • Old Mexican||

    He falls short of perfect consistency on immigration, where he sounds like a Michele Bachmann wannabe.


    He has espused the libertarian notion that an employer should be able to hire anyone he or she wants, and has indicated that when the economy is in a downturn, the easy scapegoats will be immigrants. He has also said that what he cannot do is accept that people break the law with no consequences. Just looking at what is available regarding his immigration policy, one can see it is quite strict. What would a president Paul do would be something that remains to be seen, as there are contradictions between his libertarian position on hiring plus freedom of assembly plus contract, and immigration.

  • Beloved Rev. Blue Moon||

    *gasp* Trollixican says something slightly non-positive about RP! How can this be?

    For he IS the kwisatz haderach!

  • ||

    And that’s just Mitt Romney. We haven’t even touched on the rest of the field yet.

    Good one, Bart.

  • ||

    Pragmatism vs. Principle -- reminds me of an interesting speech presented to the Ford Hall Forum around 1988 by Leonard Peikoff titled "Why Should One Act On Principle?"

    If you can find the recording, it's well worth the listen. Interesting to note; the topic is as relevant today as it was when Dr. Peikoff gave it 24 years ago.

  • ||

    Pragmatism is tactics. For strategy, you need principles.

    For Romney and his ilk, the strategic goal is the acquisition and exercise of power. Their guiding principle is "Me in charge." They are pragmatic in that they are willing to do what it takes to acquire and exercise power. They really don't care, much, what the power is used to accomplish. They don't care, much, who they are swinging the nightstick at, or why. They just want to swing it.

  • typical dumbass lefty||

    All Republicans are evil and there isn't any difference between them.

    And CORPURAYSHUNS!!1!

  • ||

    New South Carolina poll: Romney 28 Gingrich 21 Paul 16 Santorum 16

    According to basically everyone, Paul isn't supposed to be doing this well. It's almost like people like what he stands for when they finally get to hear it from the man himself.

  • Hinkee Barton||

    More like all that taxpayer money funneled through stimulus programs is showing up in ads attacking Ron Paul's opponents. Wait for the closed primary states. Paul's alleged support will disappear.

  • Henry Patrick||

    Give me ideological purity or give a plane ticket out of this mess!

  • Number 2||

    "Remember when pundits accused the GOP of abandoning its big tent—the one big enough to include a broad diversity of views? You can kiss that meme goodbye."

    The pundits have. The meme this year is that the GOP is so hopelessly divided among its various diverse views that the Great One will have no difficulty dispatching of whoever survives the nomination process.

  • ||

    "he would...allow states to legalize prostitution and recognize gay marriages"... True, but he would also allow states to nullify the Civil Rights Act and outlaw sodomy and abortion. Homosexuals would be imprisoned in the south, women would come north for reproductive care, and blacks would be turned away from restaurants and other establishments.

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