The Coming of the Ron Paul Democrat

A very tiny group of journalists representing Taki's Magazine, The American Conservative, and, uh reason, had a lengthy lunch today with Bob Conley, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in South Carolina, running against Lindsey Graham. Conley's an engineer who hasn't held office, ran ("crawled," he corrected us) for another office in Indiana with little success, and was utterly ignored by the Democratic establishment until he won his primary. Once he did, they had to deal with a candidate who'd held leadership positions in the Reform Party and the GOP, and who'd voted for Ron Paul in this year's primary.

Conley, who'd raised $12,000 by the end of May, is not a stealth conservative. He's not stealth at all about it. "I'm running a populist campaign," he said. "The old Democrat is the new Democrat." That is, the old-style, protectionist, family values, sound money* Democrat—Conley spoke kindly of William Jennings Bryan--is the future of the Democratic Party.

In Conley's mind, conservatives have no place in the GOP anymore: They've been bamboozled by politicians who do nothing on their issues once they're safe in office. "Bush could have passed a marriage amendment," Conley said. "If he wanted something, he got it, and he got it as soon as he wanted it. The so-called PATRIOT Act? Introduced on a Tuesday, passed through the chambers on Thursday, and headed to his office. We were in the back of the bus, then they took the seat out of the bus and put us on a two-by-four, and then they removed the 2x4. I mean, you've got to cut the chain sometime."

On the war on drugs, Conley discoursed for a full minute on the history of marijuana criminalization and said, to understand his views, to "take a look at Clarence Thomas's dissent in Raich."

On FISA: "No way does anyone deserve immunity for what they did. The country I grew up in had a fourth amendment, plain and simple."

On his political pedigree: "Pitchfork Pat [Buchanan] plus Dr. No equals Flat-top Bob."

*I changed this from "gold standard" to better reflect where Conley is on the issue.

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  • Russ 2000||

    "Bush could have passed a marriage amendment," Conley said.

    For an engineer, this guy's pretty bad at math and terrible at understanding instructions.

  • ||

    For an engineer, this guy's pretty bad at math and terrible at understanding instructions.

    Must be a civil engineer.

  • ||

    Is Ron Paul so weakly libertarian that this is what it takes to be a libertarian-ish democrat?
    I have cut republicans some slack in the past due to some good rhetoric (also mostly in the past) and the lack of compelling democratic counter-woo. I would welcome more courting of libertarians by democrats.

  • ||

    He sounds like a anti-semite to me. Word has it that a member of the white supremcist group once spoke highly of him...how can you guys publicize this kind of trash?

  • ||

    Cosmo, you make me laugh :D.

  • Rovian||

    This fellow is obviously a Karl Rove Trojan Horse designed to smear the Democrats with the feces of the Bushpigs - thus tainting them in the fall election and preventing a filibuster-proof 60 Senators.

  • stephen the goldberger||

    Heh he sounds like an interesting monkey wrench at the least. He seems to have co-opted the most populist aspects of Ron Paul's platform, and does have several libertarian positions.

    I'll keep an eye on him, but I imagine Lindsey Graham is pretty safe.

  • Elemenope||

    As a former Democrat, let me say:

    Yech! [vomit]

    That is, the old-style (boo!), protectionist (boo!), family values (BOO!!), Gold Standard (yay?) Democrat.

    In other news, the American Nazi party, viewing low membership rates and high election year attrition, has started a new outreach program to the Jewish and African-American communities...

  • ||

    On his political pedigree: "Pitchfork Pat [Buchanan] plus Dr. No equals Flat-top Bob."

    So, we won't be hearing from this guy after November?

  • ||

    I give him a 3 out of 10. He sucks.

  • ||

    As a libertarian who is willing to entertain practical solutions since what I would really like just isn't going to happen, I love this idea.
    I've been saying for a while that if the democrats started preaching fiscal conservatism, they'd be a sure-bet.

  • Mister DNA||

    He's not a real Libertarian. His skin's not blue.

  • ||

    That is, the old-style, protectionist, family values, Gold Standard Democrat-Conley spoke kindly of William Jennings Bryan--is the future of the Democratic Party.



    I like how he can admire both the Gold standard AND William Jennings Bryant in the same breath. Neat trick!

    This is like the time the fascist-anarchists almost took over Amurica, back in '86

  • MattXIV||

    So, he's a paleoliberalconservatarian?

  • stephen the goldberger||

    It's interesting that most people here seem to be instantly rejecting him, despite basically running on Ron Paul's platform. I imagine the big reason is the lack of a voting record to establish commitment to limited gov't principles across the board, but I imagine the fact that he has a D next to his name hurts too.

    It's also revealing of just how populist/isolationist the Ron Paul campaign really was, despite everyone's best hopes that it was really for their own brand of Libertarianism.

  • ||

    anyone for "sound money" is speaking code...I looked it up in my white supremecy handbook..it really means "jews are controlling the federal reserve to scientifically engineer booms and busts, optimize their investments while using their media groups to shepherd the ignorant public schooled masses in life savings depleting asset allocations"....sure the Birchers will always bring up the idea that Rockefeller was a Baptist and they will usually claim "jews are great, some of my favorite economists are jews"....but we all know they are anti-semites and it is safe to assume they are also holocuast deniers if not global warming deniers as well.

    If you want a copy of the code handbook email James Kirchick. That is where I got my copy.

  • ||

    Watch out the Declare an Anti-Semite Gestapo is at it again. They throw that smear to see hoping it sticks. Ain't ya'll tired of hearing that fluff and slander. I sure am.

    G_d Bless the Revolution
    G_d Bless America

    Soldier on.

  • ||

    Conley spoke kindly of William Jennings Bryan

    Which worries me a lot - Bryan was the quintessential XIX Century, early XX Century Progressive/Liberal Fascist, along with Wilson and Teddy.

  • ||

    It's also revealing of just how populist/isolationist the Ron Paul campaign really was

    You were probably in another planet, because there is nothing "isolationist" about wanting to freely trade with people.

    anyone for "sound money" is speaking code...I looked it up in my white supremecy [sic] handbook..it really means "jews are controlling the federal reserve to scientifically engineer booms and busts, optimize their investments while using their media groups to shepherd the ignorant public schooled masses in life savings depleting asset allocations"

    Actually, sound money means backed up by hard assets, regardless of who owns the banks. Denouncing the monetary expansionism of the Fed hardly seems to me like a white-supremacist tirade, especially when such denouncements have come from economists of Jewish origin, like von Mises and Rothbard.

  • td||

    Paleoconservatarian. LOL.
    However you want to classify his platform, he's the closest thing to a conservative or libertarian South Carolina will have on the ballot this fall. At least 1/3 of those who voted in the Republican primary did not vote for Linsey Graham and a little more than 1/2 of Democratic Primary voters voted for Conley. That, plus the Obama factor could spell doom for McCain's Mini-Me Lindsey Graham. We may see Graham trying to play to the interests of the statist left.
    This may signal a significant change in the type casting of partisans politics. I think it's a good thing.

  • ||

    Francisco,
    I don't know about you, I guess you think the Fed has something other than our best interest at heart...are you a conspiracy nut? Everyone knows the fed uses only the most sophisticated science to manage interest rates and market failure means we have to take advantage of the economic geniuses amongst us to help mankind along.

  • ||

    PHD economist use sophisticated math to figure out the best interst rates...I assume you have are anti-math too huh Francisco? just what we need another anti-semite, conspiracy nut, anti intellectual on the message board here. That Ron Paul has ruined our community here!

  • ||

    I didn't see Ron Paul as being populist. But then again, I see populist as meaning essentially "writing a check to the people for whatever they want". That doesn't sound like a fiscal conservative to me.

  • ||

    populist is the new slur of the pro central bank crowd. Read Greenspan's new book and you'll see he goes on and on about the evils of "populism", claiming that all the socialists in south america were "populists" instead of socialist(ok fine)...then he does a good job of pointing how violating property rights is bad and gives a laundry lists of societies that have gone downhill when they start violating private property rights...then he connects anti-federal reserve anti-world empire people with "populism" and even calls people who don't want the military in Germany "isolotionists"....

    Greenspan even pulls a Wiegel and says Jennings Bryan was a populist(no probem there) and then goes on and on about anti-fed people are populists(trying to link anti-fed with socialists)...watch out for it....it's a new jedi mind-f**K in their repertoire.

  • ||

    Cosmo Overlord-

    We get the point.

    If one is critical of Israel, one is anti-semitic. If one is critical of AIPAC and its never ending quest to pilfer the pockets of american taxpayers in behalf of israel, one is anti-semetic. If one is critical of Israel's brutal, inhumane treatment of the Palestinians, one is a dangerous anti-semite with ties to terrorists.

    Now, if one is critical of the fed or horrors, wants to abolish it, one is also an anti-semite using "code".

    Cosmo, convinced me.

  • ||

    I have always thought Lindsey to be a pansy.

  • td||

    This is funny. Those who oppose the central banking monopoly are Nazis? Hilarious.

  • ||

    If its a new slur, then it isn't what I was talking about. I don't know what else I could say otherwise as the Fed predates me and there could be a pervasive pro-fed component to the root of my understanding.

    Granted that theoretically, "the people" could demand the government do less, now-a-days I see that as likely as water flowing uphill unaided, unfortunately.

  • ||

    Seriously, Cosmo Overlord, you're not funny. You're trying for satire and sarcasm and you just sound like an idiot child.

    Go away.

  • ||

    that was hilarious Ayn Randian please stay and entertain us.

  • stephen the goldberger||

    As my characterization of the Paul Campaign:

    He made a big deal about 1. securing the borders and 2. not entering Free Trade Agreements. The 1st argument was of the you can't have open borders with a welfare state, but its basically a Lou Dobbs populist/protectionist position/result.

    The 2nd is more interesting because Paul felt that free trade agreements were not free enough essentially, and were just gov't monitored/supported trade. However, his all or nothing stance results in a protectionist/isolationist position given the reality of modern business.

    SOOOOOO

    its interesting that this guy has the same positions as Paul, but because he doesn't have them for the "right reasons", and his alternatives are uncertain he comes across as not being libertarian at all, instead being a populist/isolationist.

  • ||

    I'm lost! How does wanting...... money that has actual value, responsible legislature who actually listen to the people they are supposed to represent, freedom to protect our children from misguided propoganda and the right to keep what we earn translate into Anti-Semitism? It's like saying one won't vote for Obama can only be making that decision based on his skin color. I like Obama, think he'd probably be a good neighbor, but I don't want him in the White House because he's simply not qualified for the job. I have friends who are Jews who support Ron Paul because he ADVOCATES the values that undergird a vibrant economy. I am an educated, intelligent and compassionate woman. If I don't vote for you for president, it doesn't mean I'm prejudiced against your race, it means I don't have faith in you to do the job. If I just don't like you, it has nothing to do with your race, it's because you are a jerk. I have supported jerks I didn't like if I thought that they could do their jobs in spite of being a jerk.

  • ||

    Wow, until today I had never heard of Taki's Mag and hopefully I never do again. Any magazine that has a "featured article" by Steve Sailer is usually one to be written off like yesterday's luncheon meat.

  • ||

    [...]I guess you think the Fed has something other than our best interest at heart...are you a conspiracy nut?

    I have the habit not to answer loaded questions. My skepticism of the Fed's "good intentions" does not ipso facto make me a conspiracy buff.

    Everyone knows the fed uses only the most sophisticated science to manage interest rates and market failure means we have to take advantage of the economic geniuses amongst us to help mankind along.

    Which is interesting to know - if they used the most sophisticated science for managing interest rates, I wonder why then we have all these booms and busts. Then again, maybe it is up to the Olympians to manage the economy.

    I believe you are simply too easily impressed by the FED's functionaries.


    PHD economist use sophisticated math to figure out the best interst [sic] rates...I assume you have are anti-math too huh Francisco?

    It is possible that the sophisticated math these Phd economists (and few in the FED actually are economists) is not really applicable to a chaotic system such as the market. Again, I believe you are too easily impressed by them, in a cargo-cult sort of way.

    just what we need another anti-semite, conspiracy nut, anti intellectual on the message board here. That Ron Paul has ruined our community here!

    Again, why would you think that criticizing the FED, something that Jewish economists (and my personal heroes) have done, would make me or Dr. Paul an antisemite?

  • Elemenope||

    SOOOOOO

    its interesting that this guy has the same positions as Paul, but because he doesn't have them for the "right reasons", and his alternatives are uncertain he comes across as not being libertarian at all, instead being a populist/isolationist.


    Well, my most emphatic "BOO!" was on his support for "family values" (whatever the fuck that means; usually code for medieval Christianist jackbooted thuggery), which for my left-libertarianism is a far greater sin than his economic tomfoolery.

    At least Ron Paul was quite considerate enough to keep his values out of his prospective subjects' lives and bedrooms, which makes him infinitely more of a libertarian than this SC yahoo.

  • ||

    He made a big deal about 1. securing the borders

    You would not?


    and 2. not entering Free Trade Agreements.

    No, because they are not needed - a government would simply take down tariffs and other impediments to trade, and you have free trade. "Free" Trade Agreements always tend to be MANAGED trade agreements, with protectionist clauses and provisos.


    The 1st argument was of the you can't have open borders with a welfare state, but its basically a Lou Dobbs populist/protectionist position/result.

    Not necessarily - Hans Herman Hoppe has the same argument as Paul's: If you subsidize something, you get more of it. My contention is that they both exaggerate, and that the country actually needs immigrants IF they want to keep the Welfare state, because SOMEONE must work and pay the taxes to support it. Many people are going to be retiring soon, and there is not enough young backs to carry their burden.

    But again, Paul's argument makes sense. Also, he is not for illegal immigration because he cannot be for breaking the law. That does not mean, however, that he opposes immigration.

  • SIV||

    I've repeatedly challenged anyone to produce a "libertarian-democrat". I think this guy is one.
    We'll probably never hear of him again.

  • ||

    the Great State of SC has donated some really intelligent input to this election... Starting with John McCain's economic policy stated by the raving genius Lindsey Graham. This profound South Carolina has more intelegence than either of the Senate canidates. " I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because uh some uh people out there in our nation don't *have* maps and uh I believe that our ed- education like such as in South Africa..."

    ROTFLMAO


    Bob Conley

  • Anti-Zionist||

    90% of the Jews aren't Semitic. They are Khazars from the Caucus Mountain region. They're actually Turkic. They converted in the 8th century. They were forced into Poland and western Russia by Ghengis Khan and spread out from there.

  • :-)||

    Cosmo Overlord-

    We get the point



    If liberty mike is calling you out as being insufferably overbearing, that's saying something. It's like lonewacko asking you to stay on topic.

  • Ebeneezer Scrooge||

    In Conley's mind, conservatives have no place in the GOP anymore

    They have no place in the DNC either.

    Which is not an endorsement of the Libertarian Frat House Rows Part.


    Now, this guy actually sounds interesting.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/weeklystandard/20080624/cm_weeklystandard/uncorkingenergysupplies;_ylt=AuFZdaDUS9JXc0M4E3hgvqn9wxIF

  • ||

    For all of you who don't "get it" about sound money, I'm putting a link to a video that explains it real simply using marbles. Even a child could understand it this way...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=so7Joh6Gj3o

  • ||

    Man there are a lot of people here completely blind to sarcasm and completely not-serious joking. It's pretty easy to see people like Francisco feed off of and thrive on arguments when he lays out these serious, almost angry replies to comments that no one else takes seriously and really were not even meant to be taken seriously.

  • ||

    "He sounds like a anti-semite to me. Word has it that a member of the white supremcist group once spoke highly of him...how can you guys publicize this kind of trash?"

    Sounds like an anti-semite? Why? Because he wants to destroy the federal reserve and reconstitute sound currency? Give me a break and dump the typical communist hyperbole.

  • ||

    Lindsey Graham is NOT safe, this guy wanted to give the biggest amnesty in our nation's history. Lindsey Graham is no friend of the people, it will be interesting to see who Conservative Republican's back in SC. A true conservative Democrat with alot of Libertarianism thrown in, or Bush (the lowest rating of any President) backer Lindsey Graham who wants everyone to speak Spanish.

  • J||

    Wow. I've like the idea of libertarian democrats (I've said it many times) because I think they are our best hope. This guys seems a bit more like a conservative than a libertarian though, with a focus on family values.

    I disagree with Dr. Paul on quite a few things, but he is much more of a libertarian than this guy sounds like. Not that he would be a bad start, though. I'd vote for him in that election.

  • ||

    Protectionist? Gaaagh! Why oh why did Ron Paul pander to the protectionists? That did far more harm to the libertarian movement than any possible newletter Kirchik can dig up. Protectionism is anti-freedom, anti-prosperity, anti-common-sense. Protectionism was soundly debunked over a century ago, yet pinheads like "Pitchfork Pat" still make it the centerpiece of their ideology.

    Sigh.

  • ||

    It's hilarious to see someone complain about the 'harm' that Ron Paul did to the Libertarian movement, like you guys were going to win elections any time soon.

  • PalmettoPatriot||

    I'm very excited about Mr Conley. He'd be a million times better than the open-borders advocate and traitor (and pansy) Lindsey Grahamnesty. Hopefully this points towards a new trend in Southern politics.

  • ||

    Mr Conley is a great example of just what is needed in DC. All you "anti-semite"(whatever that means) people are a joke. Shows you have no arguments just call him names. What is that 5th grade, 6th grade maybe?

  • Scooby||

    Some people supported RP because they desired the liberty to be left alone by an increasingly oppressive government; others desired the liberty to be ignorant assholes. We see which group of RP supporters this "libertarian democrat" attracts- if you have any doubt, follow the links to some of the commenters' websites.

  • Daniel Reeves||

    Another gold standard loony? Well, at least Ron Paul was pro-trade.

  • Scooby||

    Just want to add- I also support the right of ignorant assholes to exist, but I deny that they have any right to not be called "ignorant assholes."

  • ||

    This is it! The Right is Wrong the Left is Stupid! We need people willing to stand up to these party line Bozo's, and get it done. If you live in Michigan's 7th District vote for Sharon Marie Renier (D) Munith in the Aug. 5th primary. If you can and would like to meet Sharon come to "Votestock" 12 July 2008 at her farm.
    Sharon Renier
    10716 McCreery RD
    Munith,MI 49259
    (517)596-7014
    http://www.renier4rep.com
    We look forward to seeing you out there. Pick up a free Citizens Rule Book, and find out you are a Communist, and what to do about it. We are Spartacus!

  • ||

    man, didn't see it coming that people were going to get trolled by CO.

    seriously, he's still the worst poster ever.

  • ||

    i ran across a good interview with this dude.


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3A3xBPbUuPY&feature=related

  • Ian||

    Well, he cited the Thomas dissent in Raich, thats nice. Also he hates the new FISA provisions, and is pissed about the Patriot act. The fact that this makes him commendable is depressing and I will not lower my standards so much as to support a protectionist, or more to the point someone who's probably a little nuts, of course the mainstream politico's are just better at hiding their craziness. I don't like the gold standard idea but its not anti-semetic, just a bad idea. Money is always a little arbitrary, and thats good, infact i agree with Adam Smith, gold is a poor choice for money because it has an industrial use. Of course Fiat systems will be gamed by politicians but the rulars of europe devalued gold when they started forcing people to dig for it in the new world.

  • ||

    To be fair, Ron Paul did advocate free trade and did say many times that immigration is a great thing in the absence of the welfare state.

    BUT, Ron Paul is no dummy. He is a successful congressman (as far as getting elected goes) and he's good at raising money from outside his district.

    People give him a hard time about his communication skills, but I think that his skills are underestimated. In the same breath he can appeal to a libertarian as well as a Lou Dobbsian crowd. It helps him win votes at home and raise money from outside.

    That takes skill.

    The libertarians will look deeper by reading his essays to understand that he's really for free trade, limited government, and that he's really OK with immigration.

    The Lou Dobbs crowd only hears the anti-NAFTA and protect our borders sound bites.

  • ||

    I hardly see how a democrat can be a Ron Paul styled politician. The democrats kick people out for pretty small things, Ron Paul's republican/libertarian stances don't seem in line.

    But as he seems from what little i have read on him I like him. Lets see what he says on abortion, the second amendment, foriegn stationing of troops and foriegn aid as well.

    As one of the few people on the internet over the age of 18 I must say Democrats need to be more like this man and conversely more like Bill Clinton then the modern Obama democrat if they want my swing vote as a republican who votes democrat from time to time.

  • ||

    Another gold standard loony? Well, at least Ron Paul was pro-trade.

    Gold standard loony? Ah, so you support the fiat inflationary system that is run by private banks? Good job in supporting the destruction of the nation.

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