By What Criteria Is Tim Pawlenty a "Major Candidate" But Ron Paul Is Not?

Here's how the L.A. Times describes this week's presidential debate in South Carolina:

The first debate of the 2012 Republican presidential primary contest appears set to go forward Thursday – even if there is just one major candidate on stage.

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is the only top-tier candidate expected to participate in the forum at the Peace Center in Greenville, S.C.

Fox News, which is producing the debate with the South Carolina Republican Party, said the other anticipated participants are former Sen. Rick Santorum, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, restaurant executive Herman Cain and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson.

"Reporting" like this has always irritated me, even when I don't care about any of the candidates involved. It's marginalization presented as sophistication, long before there's any cause to declare any particlar carnival barker as "major," "minor," or "minor major seventh."

Bill Clinton was certainly not deemed a "major" candidate 20 years ago this month, and the last man standing against him was never taken seriously by anyone except voters. As for the candidates mentioned above, I'm pretty sure there's only one who made the Final Four last time around, while only growing in influence since then. And his nickname is not T-Paw.

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  • Rich||

    Well, what do you expect from a minor newspaper?

  • ||

    Fuckin' A! I was already a Ron Paul fan, but seeing him rock the Astros "tequila sunrise" jersey WITH stirrups only increases my admiration for the man.

  • The Thinking Man's NASCAR||

    This man needs to be president. By yesterday, if possible.

  • Jason||

  • ||

    Bad photoshop is bad. What team dresses their third base coach in a different uniform than the players?

  • Monkey with Feces||

    An All-Star team, for one.

  • ||

    How you ever worked at that rag is beyond me.

  • ||

    Yes, I'd say that the media anointings are worse than useless. They're positively harmful to the process. How about letting voters decide which candidate is "major" and just present the facts without the opinion? At least until endorsement time?

  • ||

    The best part is that they're just so utterly wrong all the time. What happened to Giuliani? Romney? OOPS.

    I swear, someone should start a media outlet that all it does is point out how much and when all the other media outlets are spectacularly wrong. They'd never lack for stories, that's for sure.

  • ||

    Accountability of any kind, anywhere, is dead.

  • The Gobbler||

    Prove it.

  • ||

    Eliot Spitzer.

  • ||

    I see your Spitzer and raise you a Jamie Gorelich and a Donald Trump.

  • ||

    People need to know that the documentary film "Client 9"--available on Netflix streaming--is excellent

  • ||

    There is such a great thing?

    O, wonder!
    How many goodly creatures are there here!
    How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
    That has such programs in't!

  • ||

    We're Doomed!!!

  • Pedant||

    That's kinda-sorta what The Daily Show does.

  • Johnny Clamboat||

    Isn't that the domain of Media Matters?

  • cynical||

    If by "media" you mean Fox News and right-leaning talk radio and websites.

  • Robert||

    I'd say that the media anointings are worse than useless. They're positively harmful to the process.


    How can you say that unless you believe they're not part of the process? In politics as well as in financial, sports, technology, and entertainment reporting, they're trying to get it right. Being critics and helping decide where att'n is to be focused is part of their job, because everybody's att'n is limited. It's a finite resource. Of course they get it wrong; they're not clairvoyant, apparently. Does that mean they shouldn't try?

    To the extent clairvoyance can be found and/or developed, would you not want them to hire clairvoyants and put them to work? And how can you know anybody is or is not clairvoyant other than by relevant testing?

  • cynical||

    You're assuming that they're trying to focus attention where it should be, as opposed to where they want it to be. They're stage magicians, though I suppose you could argue they simply lack the humility/perspective to distinguish the two.

  • Robert||

    They're trying to focus att'n not where it "should" be nor where they want it to be, but where they think it will eventually wind up.

  • ||

    The problem is that the meaning of "major" is quite vague; it's not even a case of making a prediction.

    Was Rudy Giuliani a "major" candidate in the 2008 GOP primaries? He wound up getting fewer delegates than Ron Paul and raised far, far less campaign money, but the media still considers him to have been a major candidate if only because he got media attention.

  • Achtung Coma Baby||

    Seriously, it's been 20 years since Clinton, the closest we've ever gotten to Libertopia, ran? Granted, during 93 to 94, he was the second-coming of Lyndon Johnson, but he did have the good sense to let the Republicans run the government and ride the wave of economic success to two full terms. I miss that guy.

  • Trespassers W||

    Me too -- it's been a while since we had a good old-fashioned mass slaughter of American citizens by their own government.

  • Max||

    By outting forth views that fall outside the generally accepted parameters, Ron Paul has made himslef practically invisible to those who operate entirely within those parameters. The ket is to change and expand the parameters to include such ideas as replace intervenionism with engagement. Once that happens, Ron Paul will be a top-tier candidate.

    The rodent thing is maybe the hair and the cheeks.

  • Warty||

    Who's spoofing Edward today?

  • Max||

    I meant to say something about Ron Paul's cock, but got sidetracked

  • Joe M||

    Fucking obnoxious. They so desperately want to remain the gatekeepers, but it's just not possible anymore.

  • Robert||

    You really misperceive this. They don't want to be gatekeepers at all. They want to gain a reputation as clairvoyant, or at least as not wasting news consumers' time. They don't want readers & viewers to say later, "Why'd you waste my time focusing on something that turned out to be irrelevant?"

  • Joe M||

    Wrong.

  • Joe M||

    You know what's funny? This will probably be the best debate of the entire campaign.

  • SIV||

    I predict Herman Cain "wins".The media will then continue to treat him as a minor "fringe" candidate.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Oh, who cares, anyway. The one who ultimately emerges victorious from the primary is going to be a person we all come to hate (if we don't start at that position), either for his policy views or his lack of conviction and follow-through. Let the papers unofficially pick their horses early.

  • rather||

    "Reporting" like this has always irritated me, even when I don't care about any of the candidates involved. It's marginalization presented as sophistication, long before there's any cause to declare any particlar carnival barker as "major," "minor," or "minor major seventh."

    Holy shit, I thought you were in a confessional writing that piece of shit

  • ||

    Don't be silly, rectal; we've already established that you don't think. You merely have autonomic tics that appear to be speech, but in fact are just your large intestine moving the colossal amounts of algae you eat through.

  • The Gobbler||

    I think wales eat plankton, not algea. Of course a beached whale doesn't eat at all.

  • rather ||

    speaking of eating, do you enjoy sugarfree's sperm?

  • bah||

  • Corporate Drone||

    So sayeth the LA Times!

  • Name Nomad||

    Forgive me, but please let me be the first to say: GOOGLE GARY JOHNSON

  • The Thinking Man's NASCAR||

    Nah, too similar to another candidate's unofficial slogan. Might I suggest "Bing Gary Johnson"?

  • rather||

    Next lecture by Matt Welch

    Why Maxim Is Disrespectful To Women

  • Tim||

    You're being awfully oppositional, is that bastard SugarFree to blame?

  • rather ||

    Are you having an Oedipus Rex fantasy? ;-)

  • Tim||

    Don't get saucy with me Bernaise.

  • Terr||

    Win.

  • World's Shortest Lecture||

    $$$$

  • Tony||

    You guys don't really want Ron Paul as president. His policy ideas are, compared to the status quo, way more radical than Obama's. Yet he, like Obama, would still have to deal with political and practical reality. If you think liberals are disappointed in Obama as a result, think of how let down you guys would feel once Ron Paul isn't able to do a single thing he promises because Congress won't let him or for other reasons. Don't you prefer sniping from the peanut gallery and not taking any responsibility for anything?

  • Warty||

    Hey look, it's the fucking peanut gallery. Fuck off, cunticle.

  • Ska||

    Is that some kind of protective, excess skin connecting pussy lips and the groin?

  • Warty||

    More of a vaginal stalactite.

  • ||

    He wouldn't know a vagina if it slapped him in the face.

    NTTAWWT

  • IceTrey||

    How is Obama radical? Maybe because he is MORE war like than Bush? He's brought no change, no hope, no nothing.

  • Tim||

    He did fast rope in and shoot Osama twice in the head, leaving behind free health care for his widow and orphans.

  • ||

    So my options are be let down by my guy or be let down by somebody else's guy... Is that supposed to lead me to support somebody else?

  • Tony||

    I bet you $10,000 that the president in 2013 will be either a Democrat or a Republican and not Ron Paul. That's practical reality, so if you actually care about it, you might figure out what suits you best among the real choices that exist.

  • Shorter Tony||

    "I've learned to love the taste of shit, and you should too."

  • Joe M||

    Go ahead, throw away your vote!

  • ||

    ---"Go ahead, throw away your vote!"---

    Most people have this attitude when I talk about voting for a third party candidate. If more people would vote for who they want rather than trying to be on the winning side, or worse yet, voting for some piece of crap candidate because that's what the two major parties put up, maybe the system would change and allow more real options in the voting booth.

    As for me, I'll vote for the candidate I think is best, third fourth or fifth party, and when things don't work out with your major party candidate, don't come whining to me.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    This. Not voting your conviction is a MAJOR part of the problem.

    I refuse to any longer be a part of the problem. Either one has principles or one doesn't. And voting based on expedience is not a principle.

  • Tony||

    Okay but hoping that a majority coalition will form outside the two major parties on the national scale is just magical thinking. I'm not saying it's good--I'd much prefer a more parliamentary system in which minor parties have influence and third or fourth parties are viable. Unfortunately we don't--the system inevitably maintains the duopoly. One of the several flaws in our system. Yet also reality. To change that system requires political power. To get political power requires being an influential segment of one of the two parties. Anything else is vanity. How does you merely expressing principles affect anything but your ego?

  • ||

    I would agree with your sentiment if there were a non-Paul, non-Gary Johnson candidate who was actually better than anybody else. For now, however, I think that promoting Paul and Johnson can have practical impacts (shifting the debate within the G.O.P.; perhaps even shifting Democrats towards a less-interventionist policy) that outweigh any negligible benefit to backing statist A over statist B because he's 0.5% less statist.

  • Tony||

    While I maintain that the difference between D and R is hardly negligible (unless you see the world through a prism of statism vs. anti-statism), I agree that they could have a positive impact. The GOP would do themselves good to be forced out of their bubble.

  • ||

    Tony, Ron Paul, as president, would be able to do quite a bit without congressional approval.

    For example, he could end the federal WOD instantly. He could refuse to fund any WOD efforts. He could fire all of the United States attorneys; he could clean house at the justice department itself and declare that there shall be no drug prosecutions. The best part is that, practically, there would not be a damn thing the statists could do to stop him-other than a bullet.

  • Tony||

    Impeachment...

  • bah||

    you know, there is a hardly negligble difference between a giant douche and a turd sandwich.

  • Sam Grove||

    While I maintain that the difference between D and R is hardly negligible

    Unless one goes by actual changes in the course of the government.

  • Tony||

    At this point the only thing we need to be concerned about is the fact that Republicans are radicals who will destroy this country because they're too stupid to do otherwise except by miraculous accident. No guarantee Democrats will be able to fix things, but Republicans most likely will just destroy the country.

  • The Thinking Man's NASCAR||

    Untrue. As Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, a putative President Paul would be able to fully carry out his pledges to end the wars, bring the troops hope from Europe and Asia, and practice non-intervention in the internal affairs of other nations, even if his entire domestic agenda were to be blocked.

    And that alone would be worth electing him: the most revolutionary change to US foreign policy in over a century.

  • Joe M||

    And veto a TON of bills.

  • The Thinking Man's NASCAR||

    Oh yes, that too. Can you image Congress trying to assemble a veto-proof majority to pass any unbalanced budget? Watching the negotiations would be priceless.

  • Tony||

    I really don't think this country can survive the Republicans if they ever take over again, and that's true of RP too. Balanced budget fetishism is just one reason. RP's distinction is being even more economically ignorant than the mainstream of his party.

  • ||

    Yeah Tony because the current state of bankrupting the country, ruining our credit rating and creating hyper inflation by financing unprecidented deficit spending by printing money is so wonderful.

    I kind of feel sorry for people like you Tony. Everything you have been taugh to believe in is turning out to be completely unsustainable. It is not a question of if the big government of the last 70 years ends, it is when and how badly it ends. Given that, I can kind of understand why you live in such denial. The truth must be pretty disturbing to you.

  • Tony||

    Yes that's a good illustration of why your team would run this country completely into decline. You think the biggest economic fear is hyperinflation? Why? Is there any evidence that this is a real threat at the moment--bigger than the threat of another recession?

    Everything you have been taugh to believe in is turning out to be completely unsustainable.

    And this would be the punchline to the joke that is right-wing economics. You may just be ignorant of the tactics of your party--I'll assume good faith. They don't want to dismantle the welfare state because we have to. They want to dismantle the welfare state. And they have a little handbook of economic policy catch phrases meant to service that end. There is no credible reason to think we have to dismantle the welfare state. We're a very rich country. We can afford it. We just can't afford it if we're busy looting that wealth further and giving it to the top tier. You guys aren't even pretending it trickles down anymore, right?

  • ||

    "There is no credible reason to think we have to dismantle the welfare state. We're a very rich country. We can afford it."

    I am sure the graveyard enjoys your whistling Tony. We have a trillion and a half dollar deficit. Moodies has down graded our credit. And it only gets worse from here.

  • Tony||

    We have a large deficit--thanks mostly to your team not paying for 2 wars or massive tax cuts. I'll be damned before I accept their terms on just exactly how we need to rectify the situation.

    You do realize that they didn't pay for their massive unprecedented spending because they actually want to dismantle the welfare state and know that they can't achieve it unless forced by crisis? What a sad, cynical way to go through life.

  • Ray Pew||

    We have a large deficit--thanks mostly to your team not paying for 2 wars or massive tax cuts.

    But you don't have any desire to cut spending, you just wish to redirect it to your agenda. So instead of 2 wars, it becomes universal healthcare.

    Either spending can't go on unpaid forever or deficits only matter when they are to pay for wars. Which one is more plausible?

  • Jason||

    We have a large deficit--thanks mostly to your team not paying for 2 wars or massive tax cuts.

    1. This is not a conservative or Republican forum. This is a libertarian forum. Team Red is not "our team".
    2. If you read back in the archives, you'll see that Reason has criticized the wars, even when The Forerunner of the Obama was president.
    3. Team Blue is just as responsible as Team Red. They have had plenty of opportunities to scale back or otherwise influence the war.

  • Tony||

    1. This is not a conservative or Republican forum. This is a libertarian forum. Team Red is not "our team".

    I'm not talking to you. I'm talking to John, and it certainly is his team.

  • Spiny Norman||

    ...thanks mostly to your team...

    Is that the team that you said would never be elected in the real world?

  • ||

    Math is such a hard thing for progressives. No wonder you all major in gay native american studies and such stuff. Simple multiplication seems beyond your grasp.

  • Ray Pew||

    Yes that's a good illustration of why your team would run this country completely into decline. You think the biggest economic fear is hyperinflation? Why?

    Do you believe that inflation occurs all at once? In all industries simultaneously?

    Is there any evidence that this is a real threat at the moment--bigger than the threat of another recession?

    Why are the two mutually exclusive? It is very reasonable that the fear of inflation reduces the incentive to invest or at least changes where investments are made.

    They don't want to dismantle the welfare state because we have to. They want to dismantle the welfare state. And they have a little handbook of economic policy catch phrases meant to service that end.

    And the Left doesn't have it's book of catch phrases also, right Tony?

    There is no credible reason to think we have to dismantle the welfare state. We're a very rich country. We can afford it. We just can't afford it if we're busy looting that wealth further and giving it to the top tier.

    You mean like TARP and all the state capitalist policies necessary to perpetuate the big government/big industry complex? The welfare state does the best job at stratifying economic classes. The masses eek out an existence while the connected few make out like bandits.

    You guys aren't even pretending it trickles down anymore, right?

    I never did. Supply Side economics is nothing more than conservative Keynesianism.

  • Tony||

    I found this explanation of why hyperinflation is a boogeymonster meant to scare us into a certain political agenda, not a real threat (as the author says, he shares that agenda, but isn't into dishonest fearmongering).

    The masses eek out an existence while the connected few make out like bandits.

    That's true--how is that the fault of the welfare state? I'm not talking about corporate welfare. That's sure to be maintained if the GOP gained total power. Their love of welfare for the elites is precisely why they want to dismantle it for the downtrodden.

  • Ray Pew||

    That's true--how is that the fault of the welfare state? I'm not talking about corporate welfare. That's sure to be maintained if the GOP gained total power. Their love of welfare for the elites is precisely why they want to dismantle it for the downtrodden.

    Because a government requires a functioning economy from which to exploit resources from. People desire jobs and goods. State capitalism rewards those most politically beneficial with barriers of entry, direct subsidies, tax breaks, bail-outs, etc., allowing them the upper hand against competitors.

  • Sudden||

    We have a large deficit--thanks mostly to your team not paying for 2 wars or massive tax cuts. I'll be damned before I accept their terms on just exactly how we need to rectify the situation.

    Tony,

    The deficit is the one year imbalance between revenue and spending. I hope you realize that the restoration of the Bill Clinton 39% tax rate would net, at the extreme high end, $250bn/year and the ending of Iraq/Afghanistan/Libya would net, again at the high end, $200bn/year.

    That still leaves the $1,600bn deficit at $1,150bn per year. So yeah, ending both of those things would pretty much do all of jackshit to reduce the deficit.

    The reason the deficit has gone up in recent years is because there are more old fucks collecting the gov't dole than ever before.... and this is before the REAL FUCKING DEMOGRAPHIC BOMB hits.

  • Tony||

    It's not really the fact of people being on the dole--it's the fact of healthcare costs.

    The Democrats tried to do something about that, and made some progress. The fiscal nannies said it was Hitler.

  • Ray Pew||

    It's not really the fact of people being on the dole--it's the fact of healthcare costs.

    So it really doesn't cost anything for people to be "on the dole"? And Obamacare for all is gonna decrease government spending?

    Pass me some of that shit you smoking.

  • Tony||

    Obamacare reduces the deficit according to the CBO. Yeah universality would cost more upfront, but the whole point is that it reduces healthcare costs overall in the long-term. People still have to spend money on healthcare whether there's a program or not.

  • Sudden||

    The democrats tried doing something about that? You ARE kidding right? The democrats cut Medicare reimbursement as part of Obamacare only so it would grade out prettier by the CBO. Thereafter, they proceeded to pass the infamous "Doc Fix" to restore the same fucking Medicare reimbursement cuts they had passed only to impress CBO. And the whole time the guy at CBO prtty much said "please note, this analysis only applies if the current law is enacted as is with no subsequent revisions" because he fucking knew they were going to pass the "doc Fix" the whole damn time.

  • Sudden||

    Oh, and meanwhile, Paul Ryan ACTUALLY has a plan to limit the govt's share of old people medicine by saying to the more well off, we'll pitch in for the basics, but after that, you gotta pony up your own damn coin. And you are screaming that he wants to starve granny, without seeing that granny is trying to starve fucking infants.

  • Tony||

    Paul Ryan wants to destroy Medicare because he is a free market ideologue. The only way his plan services debt in any way is by invoking magic.

  • Ray Pew||

    Paul Ryan wants to destroy Medicare because he is a free market ideologue.

    Bahahahahahahahaha!!!!

  • Tony||

    Ok fine, corporate stooge. Not that there's much of a practical difference.

  • Bob||

    You're actually stupid enough to think that ObamaCare is going to control healthcare costs? Do you just recite team blue talking points and don't even think about them?

  • ||

    Tony, putting ideology aside, your assertion that RP is economically illiterate is claptrap. You lose credibility by making demonstrably false asseverations.

  • bah||

    I found this explanation of why hyperinflation deflation is a boogeymonster meant to scare us into a certain political agenda, not a real threat.

    FIFY.

  • Tony||

    Ron Paul is a stroked out curmudgeon on porch when it comes to economic policy. He truly does not know what he is talking about, but makes up for the ignorance with certainty.

    Even without the details, being that certain about such radically retrograde proposals is a pure dogmatism.

  • The Ingenious Hidalgo||

    And they have a little handbook of economic policy catch phrases meant to service that end.

    That handbook would be the writings of Smith, Mises, Hayek and hundreds of other economists of the Austrian school. Tell me, why should anyone take you seriously when you refuse to debate seriously?

  • Tony||

    Why should I take Austrian economists seriously?

  • The Ingenious Hidalgo||

    You should take the arguments of those who disagree with you seriously. Do I need to explain why? Instead, you treat everyone who's not a progressive like they're all brain-dead cultists.

  • ||

    Indisputable argument there.

    That is also why he has no chance.

  • ||

    Be careful putting too much faith in politicians. I recall another group of people who got all hopey changey in excitment over their candidate ending all of the wars. It didn't work out quite that way. Saying something and doing it are two different things. And the enemy has a nasty habit of using its vote when it comes to ending wars.

  • Warty||

    The difference is that Obama was never sincere. He never meant that hope shit, I think.

  • ||

    What politician ever is sincere? And even if they are being in power does wierd things to them. I am not saying Paul wouldn't do all of that. I just saying he is a politician and only a fool ever gets their hopes up about a politician.

  • Warty||

    Sure, fine. But Ron Paul is about as unpoliticiany as a politician can get, which is a large part of his appeal.

  • ||

    True enough. I just would hate to see libertarians go as bat shit crazy over Paul or any politician as the liberals went over BO.

  • yonemoto||

    50% rule.

  • The Thinking Man's NASCAR||

    How can you possibly think this is a valid comparison? First of all, Obama never promised to end the wars; indeed, during his campaign, he specifically accused Bush of not devoting enough troops to Afghanistan, and pledged to escalate our involvement in that war; so to the extent he's a greater warmonger than Bush, he's partially fulfilling a campaign promise.

    Also, during the brief time Obama spent in Congress, it was already obvious that he was an unprincipled greasy pole climber, willing to say anything to get elected, and then break his word (just look at his vote on telecom immunity). After all, you don't succeed in the Daley political machine by being principled.

    Whereas Ron Paul has been taking consistent, usually lonely stands against foreign interventionism, in the face of mockery and abuse from his own Party's base, for longer than I've been alive.

  • ||

    Obama promised to end the war in Iraq. And all politicians are greesy poll climbers. No normal person would ever want the job. I am just telling you, you are asking to get your hopes and dreams crushed if you place too much faith in a politician, especially about things like wars that involve the actions of third parties.

  • ||

    What happens when Congress passes another overgrown budget and includes extra hundreds of billions $$$ for wars?

    The Constitutionalist Commander-in-Chief Pres. Paul would have to spend it, right?

  • Ray Pew||

    You guys don't really want Ron Paul as president. His policy ideas are, compared to the status quo, way more radical than Obama's. Yet he, like Obama, would still have to deal with political and practical reality. If you think liberals are disappointed in Obama as a result, think of how let down you guys would feel once Ron Paul isn't able to do a single thing he promises because Congress won't let him or for other reasons. Don't you prefer sniping from the peanut gallery and not taking any responsibility for anything?

    Ironically, Tony, I agree. I have always maintained that regardless of anyone's positions, the reality is that they are confined, for good or bad, by the structure of the system. For even the hint of passing legislation, one must at least have the support of their Party members. Though it would be interesting to see how Paul's fellow Republicans would take to his positions on immigration, foreign policy, agricultural subsidies, and the Fed.

    I suspect the Left would just sit back and watch the Right eviscerate themselves.

  • ||

    Yeah. Tony is making sense today. It is kind of scary.

  • Invisible Finger||

    No, Tony misses the point, as usual.

    The advantage of having Ron Paul in the White House is NOT to have him pass all kinds of radical legislation, for anyone with an IQ of 103 or more already knows that nothing Ron Paul wants will ever get passed.

    The advantage of having Ron Paul in the White House is to veto all the bills that come by with the few added lines of shit that wind up slicing away civil liberties a little bit more. The man seems prepared to let the government stop functioning at all until it behaves like a responsible adult. He's old and he doesn't give a fuck what some moron like Tony thinks of him; if they don't like it they can wonder why Congress can't get a supermajority rather than use the POTUS as a convenient scapegoat for inaction.

  • ||

    It is too late for that. We need someone who will shrink government not just veto bills and keep it from growing. And about 40% of the population is like Tony and in complete denial about the fiscal reality we face. We are fucked. We are going to keep spending and borrowing until the bond market says enough and we default.

  • Tony||

    Stop saying it's "fiscal reality." Grow some testicles and say "I want to destroy the welfare state because that's my policy." There is no reason we have to be fucked debt-wise. The money is there. We are the richest country on earth. We just have to be willing to get it.

    Now if your team would stop causing recessions we would be in a much better position, that's true. But they have an agenda, one you're dutifully soldiering for. What's sad is I think you actually believe their fearmongering bullshit. But hey at least that means you're just dumb rather than dishonest and evil, like the policymakers trying to sell this bullshit.

  • yonemoto||

    Grow some testicles and say, I'm too much of a dick to give people my own money, so I'll take other people's to pat myself on the back for taking care of the disposessed in this world.

  • ||

    Tony, as I posted upthread a few minutes ago, a Paul presidency could succeed by his de-funding and refusing to prosecute a veritable plethora of warfare / welfare / national security military industrial complex programs.

    His mission is to end the warfare / welfare state. Congress could not force him to prosecute Julian Assange. Likewise, Congress could not prevent him from freeing Bradley Manning.

    Remember, if RP is the president, he's got the guns. He can dismantle the IRS if he so chose. How could he be stopped?

  • The Ingenious Hidalgo||

    You know, I don't think I've ever seen Tony actually make an economic argument. Why doesn't he just say 'assume Keynesianism'?
    And yes, Tony, libertarians want to dismantle the welfare state. Well observed, sir.

  • Tony||

    libertarians want to dismantle the welfare state. Well observed, sir.

    I know. So defend that policy in the context of empirical reality. Stop making up bullshit lies to distract from the horrific reality of your policy choice.

  • The Ingenious Hidalgo||

    Sorry, which part of the following is a bullshit lie?:
    1. It's wrong to steal.
    2. Charity is a-okay.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    The money is there. We are the richest country on earth. We just have to be willing to get it.

    Classic.

    "We just have to lose all of our principles and be willing to steal it for the common good!"

  • Tony||

    Having an army is against our principles and stealing?

  • Sam Grove||

    It's all about the money.

    Let's all knock off work and just print money for a living.

    Worked for...?

  • ||

    The money is there. We are the richest country on earth. We just have to be willing to get it.

    There's still a few people left with some money, so let's take it and spend it on buying baby diapers for welfare mothers.

    After all, those people with the money were just going to invest it in stupid shit like startup technology companies. Who needs those?

  • Ray Pew||

    Good point, Invisible Finger.

  • ||

    I'm not too concerned with Ron Paul being kept from doing what he wants to do because "Congress won't let him."

    What gets me all happy inside is him keeping Congress from what they want to do because he wouldn't let them.

  • Tony||

    I'm laughing on the inside because it's guaranteed that the single most efficient way to destroy libertarianism's appeal is to actually have a libertarian government for a while.

  • Ringing Endorsement||

    LET'S DO IT!

    I want a veto for president.

  • Ray Pew||

    Constant failure never stopped the appeal of the welfare state.

  • ||

    And I'm laughing openly because I want everyone to know that you are a fucking idiot.

  • Tony||

    I wonder how many months of democratic rejection of libertarian policies would have to pass before your leaders start being tempted to declare martial law to impose them.

    It's the only way it's ever worked!

  • Ray Pew||

    I wonder how many months of democratic rejection of libertarian policies would have to pass before your leaders start being tempted to declare martial law to impose them.

    It's the only way it's ever worked!

    This has to be a joke, right? Martial law to enforce libertarian policies?!?! How does that even work?

    This is as absurd as the Left's intellectual turd claiming that libertarians want to "force" people against their will to be free.

  • Tony||

    That's a good question. It is a contradiction. But wherever radical laissez-faire policies have attempted in the modern world, they usually had to be imposed. If democracy ever regained a foothold, it usually resulted in more socialism than ever. It's the central political conundrum of libertarianism: if people in large numbers actually want what you're selling, it's because they don't understand what you're selling.

  • ||

    More doublespeak from Tony, what a surprise.

  • Jason||

    Someone's been reading Naomi Klein's crock of a doctrine...

  • Ray Pew||

    If democracy ever regained a foothold, it usually resulted in more socialism than ever.

    There's nothing contradictory about democracy and greater "socialism". Democracy is simply the "civilized" man's version of pillaging. No longer does one have to actually face others and forcefully extract their belongings. In a democracy, he can enter a booth under anonymity and vote for his neighbors goods.

    Man will utilize whatever system is present for his self-interest.

  • Tony||

    Yes Ray Pew, thank you for admitting that you'd prefer libertarian despotism to democracy, because you're just right.

  • Jim||

    By that mode of thinking, Tony, you are a despot for preventing the burglar from robbing your house (if indeed you would prevent him).

    When we're talking about forcing this on people, we're talking about repelling the aggression which is ongoing - namely, forced confiscation of wealth to fund handouts to farmers, to Union Carbide, GM, Archer Daniels Midland, and other massive corporations, as well as safety nets for the poor (and they will ALWAYS go hand-in-hand; you frequently accuse us of not living in reality, but if you persist in your delusion that all we have to do is have the right men in charge then the one-hand-washes-the-other mode of doing things will vanish, then you're living in the same fantasy land). It is not the initiation of force, it is the attempt to end force currently in use.

  • ||

    If democracy actually meant rule of the people, then democracy would be libertarian. Rule of the majority is not rule of the people. If everyone rules than no one has power over anyone else.

  • Ray Pew||

    libertarian despotism

    Is this like dictatorial freedom? Voluntary taxation?

  • prolefeed||

    But wherever radical laissez-faire policies have attempted in the modern world, they usually had to be imposed.

    * facepalm *

    Laissez-faire is the effing DEFAULT. Free trade is what happens unless some meddling government interferes.

    If you want to call preventing people from imposing government on the default behavior a form of imposing, you're well on your way to Orwellian doublespeak.

  • Ray Pew||

    Laissez-faire is the effing DEFAULT. Free trade is what happens unless some meddling government interferes.

    You do realize that Tony is the person who claims that the absence of policy is still a policy.

  • cynical||

    So, a world with few or no humans would be libertarian. Libertarianism is organic and natural and shit. Can we use this to persuade some of the dumber radical environmentalists?

  • Sam Grove||

    You sound just like George muigeo.

  • Somalian Road Corporation||

    impose martial law to ensure the peaceable selling of marijuana and gay marriages, yes

  • CE||

    So you'll vote for Ron Paul, then? Cool.

  • prolefeed||

    You guys don't really want Ron Paul as president.

    Compared to who? I'd take him over any of the guys who got elected since Grover Cleveland, the last president worth a damn.

    And if you think a president with a hostile Congress can't get anything done, you must be defining "vetoing the crap out of what Congress passes" as "not getting anything done".

  • ||

    You got a problem with Calvin Coolidge?

  • tarran||

    He had that big government loving Herbert Hoover as an activist secretary of agriculture. Several of the government interventions that created the unsustainable bubble whose bursting we call the great depression were the product of Hoover's 'brilliant' ideas as to how the government could 'improve' the economy.

  • The Ingenious Hidalgo||

    Oh goody it's Tony to tell us what we want.

  • ||

    The Guardian has a nice piece on "The 10 key myths about Osama bin Laden."

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/worl.....ia-arsenal

  • ||

    Thanks, I enjoyed this piece.

  • Joe M||

    Actually, it could be that the media is afraid that the "radical libertarian" view will be overrepresented in this debate (40%!), so they're trying to dissuade people from even tuning in in the first place. I, for one, will be telling everyone I know to watch this debate.

  • ||

    What a stupid question.

    Its because Republicans snicker at Ron Paul - they think he is a lunatic relic like Ruby Guiliani treated him in the 08 debates.

    Have a Libertarian debate and Ron Paul will do fine. Libertarians will never take over the GOP.

  • Shameless||

    Ha ha, the joke's on you, because today is opposite day!

    Our victory is now assured!

  • ||

    Ron Paul had a bigger war chest and more delegates in 2008 than Giuliani did. By far.

    So it's not clear Rudy won that little exchange.

  • ||

    So I guess Bin Ladin wasn't armed and the woman wasn't killed or used as a human shield but shot in the leg trying to protect Bin Ladin. So it looks like Obama really did go gansta on his ass. So much for the "we would have captured him alive if we could have" theory.

  • cynical||

    That pretty much makes the team an assassination squad. Although not Cheney's, any more. Looks like HC is the evil puppetmaster now.

  • ||

    Can't say that I really care that they whacked him. And I doubt many other people will either. But it does cut the legs out from under Obama supporters who think this is hunky dory but were convinced Bush and Chaney were the focus of evil in the modern world.

  • cynical||

    I don't really much care either, from a practical perspective. Congress should have formally issued a letter of marque and reprisal against bin Laden (I don't know if would have to explicitly be granted to the office of the president or just generally granted to anyone that felt like whacking a terrorist), but there's no denying that the feds broadly speaking have the power to kill foreigners in foreign territory for reasons of exacting retribution for wrongs done to us. American citizens or persons in American territory merit Constitutional protection, though.

    I was only pointing out that "assassination" is the correct term when a group of armed people are deployed with more or less explicit orders to find and kill another specific person, as was almost certainly the case.

  • Tony||

    I've always wondered why assassination is considered more nefarious than waging war. As if a much higher body count lends the act nobility.

  • Ray Pew||

    I am not sure that the mainstream journalists are "deciding" that Pawlenty is a "major candidate" but simply repeating what Right-wing pundits are claiming. I have heard Pawlenty's name numerous times by conservative radio types. And to be expected, Paul is rarely ever mentioned, save for the moments when they can take shots at him.

    Cause errbody knows that the only position that means anything for conservatives/Republicans is military intervationism.

  • ||

    The first debate of the 2012 Republican presidential primary contest appears set to go forward Thursday

    *checks calendar*

    Oh, for fuck's sake.

    This is why I want to establish a lottery for the selection of the President.

    Instead of shoveling ever-increasing amounts of money into the maw of the Industrial Candidacy Complex, each citizen who so desires will purchase (from the Treasury- all proceeds to go to servicing/retiring federal debt) a ticket for the Presidential Lottery.

    I have not finalized the process; my preference is to make the winning ticket nontransferable, but my predilection for revenue enhancement tempts me to permit transfer, which would establish a "vote" of sorts.

    How could it be worse than what we have now?

  • The Thinking Man's NASCAR||

    I think the approved term is the "Electoral-Industrial Complex".

  • cynical||

    "This is why I want to establish a lottery for the selection of the President."

    Would be more robust (and would require no Constitutional change) to maintain EC and have each state use a lottery to select delegates.

  • ||

    I think the approved term is the "Electoral-Industrial Complex".

    Better.

    But Industrialized Candidacy is a blight on this fair land.

  • ||

    For all you naysayers, I will add this:

    If Michael Bloomberg (or kndly old Grandpa Buffett) decided to "buy" the election, I would also limit the budget for Presidential protection to $500.- in any fiscal year. Any expenses over and above that would be the responsibility of the officeholder.

  • ||

    The date of the debate just proves that the Republican Party hates Messikens and will do anything to upstage them on their holiday. What's next, a debate on the Day of Ashura to drive away the Mooslems or Rosh Hashanna to alienate the Jooz?

    I will be protesting this debate by going to my local bar and drinking considerably more Don Julio that is good for me.

  • Sudden||

    My wedding is on Yom Kippur weekend. Us libertarians must hate Da Joos.

  • Fluffy||

    There unfortunately is ONE criteria by which Pawlenty is a major candidate and Paul is not:

    There is a scenario out there where Pawlenty wins the nomination.

    There really isn't one where Paul wins it.

  • Trig Palin||

    Hyperinflation, bipartisan TARP II and a few more wars is a scenario where Paul could win.

  • ||

    G-dot-Johnson is going to walk on to the stage smoking a fat blunt and he gonna put his ashes out on Tim Pawlenty before he puts him in a devastating pile-driver. What?!?

  • CE||

    Ron Paul has enough supporters right now, today, to win the nomination. They just have to register as Republicans and vote in the primaries. Turnout is so low that anyone polling above 5 percent nationally could win a primary.

  • ||

    So, let's just carpet Money Bomb the bastards and thin the herd for Dr Paul!

  • CE||

    Usually "top tier" candidates are defined by something reasonably objective, such as polling numbers or fundraising numbers or prior national election results. Ron Paul arguably falls short on 2 of those 3 tests, but Tim Pawlenty clearly fails on all 3.

    I guess "top tier" means whoever the LA Times says is top tier.

  • CE||

    Debateday dot com -- May 5th money bomb....

  • ||

    At least 'T-Paw' is better than 'T-Pawty'. I think...

  • ||

    I wonder if they are blushing at all now that the new CNN poll shows that Ron Paul does best against Obama of the entire GOP field?

    By What Criteria Is Tim Pawlenty a "Major Candidate" But Ron Paul Is Not?

  • ||

    Sorry! Here's the CNN poll article: http://politicalticker.blogs.c.....omination/

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