Rand Paul and Ted Cruz Are Battling for the Evangelical Vote

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) last week made his second pilgrimage to Iowa in three months, this time for the Iowa Renewal Project, a gathering of conservative evangelicals. Joining Paul in coach was Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx.), who was also slated to speak at the weekend event. The two men gave very different speeches, as NRO's Robert Costa reports:  

Though this was Cruz’s first trip to the Hawkeye State this year, the pastors warmed to him quickly. Their cries of “Amen!” punctuated his speech, and ovations were frequent. Ten minutes in, the lecture turned into an informal call and response, as approving murmurs burbled among the tables. Cruz’s call to abolish the Internal Revenue Service was met with raucous cheers.

In his usual style, Cruz spoke extemporaneously and didn’t use the lectern. He began by quoting passages from Scripture, including Ezekiel 3:17 — “Son of man, I have made you a watchmen for the people of Israel.” He warned apocalyptically of moral decay and blasted liberals for mocking the dangers of Satan. He asked social conservatives to get down on their “hands and knees” and pray to protect the unborn and traditional marriage. “Belief, saying I believe in something, is not sitting there quietly doing the golf clap,” he said.

Paul, whose previous appearance before an Iowa crowd saw him denouncing aspects of libertarianism that conflct with the evangelical preference for low taxes and high repression, was far more reserved:

Whereas Cruz had a fire-and-brimstone edge, Paul had a low-key drawl and talked calmly about the need for peace and a spiritual and civic revival. Unlike Cruz, he spoke from a prepared text and stayed steady at the podium. He knocked both parties for “looting the treasury” and “destroying the currency,” and cited faith as a guide to fixing these crises. “As Billy Graham might say, America needs to revive the hope that springs eternal from the transcendent teachings of a humble carpenter who died on a cross,” he said. He then quoted Mother Teresa, Thomas Paine, and Pope Benedict XVI.

Paul’s most rousing moment came when he brought up foreign policy. The pastors were on their feet when he said the U.S. should not give “one penny more” to any country that burns the American flag in the streets. “Congress responds by sending more of your money to these haters of Christianity?” he asked, incredulously. “It is time to put a stop to this madness!”

Someone recently argued to me that Paul's criticism of sending aid to countries hostile to Christianity may do more to divide interventionists and evangelicals than a library's worth of more complex and libertarian-sounding anti-war arguments. I think that might actually be true. 

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  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -He warned apocalyptically of moral decay and blasted liberals for mocking the dangers of Satan.

    I think it was Harry Truman who advised his fellow Democrats not to run as a conservative because you can never out conservative an actual conservative. I think of that because while I think Paul has been quite adept at talking to evangelicals I don't think he can match Cruz's kowtowing.

  • Cytotoxic||

    I think Rand knows that and it is reflected in his more low-key style. He knows he can't 'Cruz' on them but he can't cede that field either.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    He just has peel some off and not enrage them. He's shown he can be pretty good at that so far, but we'll see.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    I don't know what Cruz did or didn't say, but I'd like to see more quotes and fewer editorial impressions.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Don't mess with the narrative!

    Seriously, I couldn't find a text or video of the Cruz speech, so if anyone can supply such, I'd be grateful.

  • Fluffy||

    Someone recently argued to me that Paul's criticism of sending aid to countries hostile to Christianity may do more to divide interventionists and evangelicals than a library's worth of more complex and libertarian-sounding anti-war arguments.

    Yeah, it's brilliant.

    The inescapable weak spot in the evangelical / national security conservative alliance is that every last one of the neocon lackey states is ruled by people who hate Christianity.

    Every critical WoT "ally" will execute a Muslim for apostasy if they convert to Christianity, and will execute or imprison Christians for illegal proselytizing and/or blasphemy.

    That's old time "Christians to the lions" shit and it's all on the neocon dime. How can you not hit that as hard as you can, if you're Paul?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Not sending aid to the Muslim countries is not as seat-wetting to conservatives as invading them and converting them to Christianity (Ann Coulter's solution).

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    He's very adept at this. Look above where he quoted Thomas Paine to them. It probably took all he had to hold back a grin.

    I don't think he can win evangelicals because someone like Cruz will just up the kowtowing and promise to start a DHS program to catch Satan or something. But he can peel off quite a few.

  • CE||

    Oh really? Try saying "and not one penny more for Israel" and see how that goes over.

    And wasn't Thomas Paine an atheist?

  • ||

    Is sucking up to evangelicals really that important? Are there really enough of them to make a big difference? I'm genuinely asking here as I don't know.

  • ChrisO||

    In many of the important presidential primary states--including Iowa--yes there are. Rand Paul can't have serious presidential aspirations without turning out the evangelical vote.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    They're around 40% of the GOP - easily the largest bloc.

  • ||

    I didn't give you permission to address me, sockpuppet.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    I wouldn't ask anyway.

  • Cytotoxic||

    This is the adults' table. What are you doing here?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    You are just the lackey to explain what fundies think.

  • Cytotoxic||

    What is this I don't even

  • ||

    Romney won the nomination without them, so they aren't that essential if your opponents are Santorum and Gingrich.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Is there evidence you can point me to that Romney won the nomination without them?

  • ||

    Consider how long it took for the rest of the field besides Ron Paul to fold in the primary. Santorum and Gingrich stayed in way longer than they had any business being there because the evangelicals didn't like Romney.

    Romney prevailed because despite not having solid evangelical support he had the money and the media aura of the being the serious candidate.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I've yet to see your evidence he did not have 'solid evangelical support.' He consistently got a third or better of the evangelical vote in primary after primary. He worked hard for their votes.

  • kinnath||

    There are three tickets out of Iowa. . . . .

  • CE||

    But they all don't vote in unison, or Bachmann would have won.

  • ||

    It's a combination of the fact that evangelicals vote consistently and media stupidity. You need evangelicals to win Iowa, the media views Iowa as the bellwether for the entire primary, therefore you suck up to the evangelicals because you want your campaign to have momentum moving forward.

    That being said, Romney did not do well among the evangelicals for obvious reasons, so that strategy might be overrated.

  • ||

    But is the perception real, or just a figment of the media's imagination? I mean, how many evangelicals are there really?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    According to these exit polls 23% of those who voted in 2012 identified as white Protestant born again evangelical.

    http://www.pewforum.org/Politi......aspx#comp

  • Almanian!||

    So, really, you're asking "how many evangelicals can dance on a pinhead like Santorum", right?

    Not enough - he keeps getting up.

  • Tonio||

    "You need evangelicals to win Iowa."

    I think it would be more accurate to say you need the evangelicals to win the Republican nomination in Iowa.

    But, yeah, they're going to double-down on that culture war BS, and lose again. How many election cycles will it take before the socons implode?

  • ||

    Well yeah, I'm referring to Iowa in the context of the GOP primary. In the general that edge disappears as they fall in line behind the GOP nominee.

    Again, Romney did not need solid support from evangelicals to eventually win the nomination and they voted for him anyway in the general.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    If 23% of all voters in the 2012 general election were white evangelicals you need them for more than Iowa.

  • ||

    KULTUR WAR literally makes people retarded. It's the stupidest thing ever, and they buy into it like it's their salvation.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "How many election cycles will it take before the socons implode?"

    Yeah, fanatical socons like McCain and Romney really ruined the brand.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    /sarc

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    If you want the GOP nomination, yes. They made up about 50% of nomination voters last time out.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    So how did Romney get them?

  • kinnath||

    He didn't

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    But he still got the nomination so...

  • kinnath||

    The old saying is "there are three tickets out of Iowa". You have to win, place, or show in Iowa, and then win, place, or show in New Hampshire to survive the first two contests in the election.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    The race was largely more than a two man race in many places. Romney didn't do terrible with evangelicals from the exit polls I've seen, getting a third of them or more pretty consistently.

  • kinnath||

    A mormon and a roman catholic split most of the SoCon votes last election. The southern baptist was mostly ignored by the SoCons, because of Israel.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    So here's the thing I think Epi is getting at, if I may be so bold: it's all well and good a bunch of people self-identify as evangelical, but it seems to me if you can score 1/3 of them by being a wealthy, Northeastern Mormon who wasn't really wedded to social issues, then maybe these "evangelicals" aren't so evangelical after all.

  • ||

    That is essentially the question I was asking: really, how important is it to please a bunch of fundie evangelicals? I don't think it actually is, but the media and the GOP think it is, so that's how they behave, even though there isn't much basis in reality.

  • kinnath||

    Other candidates have ignored Iowa in the past without significant penalty. The candidate basically says the election starts in NH.

    But that's probably not a bright idea for Rand considering Ron's people basically took over the state party apparatus (at the top anyway). So he would be throwing away alot of prior goodwill.

    He just needs to avoid causing a major conflict with the SoCons at this point.

  • Tonio||

    But every time he sucks up to the SoCons he loses the votes of rationalists. So it seems his strategy is to win with the traditional republican base alone. GLWT in 2016.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Romney did a lot of kowtowing to the evangelicals, a lot. He made them lots of promises and made lots of statements they would like and many believed him. Believing hard to believe stuff is kind of something they are really good at, but they were not plucking it out of thin air.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    I have to tell you, Bo Cara, that I didn't really see that but I'll take your word for it. That said, I bet it wasn't a hard sell.

  • ||

    There was a decent push within the Evangelical movement to make Romney likable, mostly along the lines of pastors explaining to their flocks how socially conservative Mormons are and how he'd be the best point man for pushing the SoCon agenda once it was clear that Santorum, Huckabee and Perry weren't going to be able to cinch the nomination.

    I think it was less about making sure Romney would get the nom and more about making sure that Evangelicals didn't stay home on election day though.

  • Calidissident||

    Romney also had an advantage in that his only Protestant competitor (after the first couple races) was a libertarian viewed by many Republicans as a kooky old man who wants kids to do heroin in the streets and supports al-Qaeda

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Right. Who were they going to vote for? Herman Cain? Not after his affairs came out. Gingrich the Catholic with all the divorces?

    Romney, like McCain, worked very hard to court evangelicals, because he knew they are the biggest voting block of the Republican Party. He went to Liberty University, (McCain did the same, and that must have been particularly humbling for him given his past fights with Jerry Falwell) the Values Voter Summit, the whole nine yards. He talked about the 'war on religion,' promised a federal marriage and personhood amendment.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Uh, Rick Santorum did pretty well...

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Yes. Here's a good example of the dynamics: in the Michigan primary Romney got 35% of the white evangelical vote, Santorum got 51%, on the same day in Arizona Romney got 35% and Santorum 27% of the same.

    http://www.pewforum.org/Politi.....higan.aspx

    Even when the race had essentially come down between him and Santorum Romney was consistently pulling over a third of evangelicals.

  • Zeb||

    Another Catholic.

  • Tonio||

    But Romney is a Mormon. From what I've heard most evangelicals see mormonism as a non-christian cult.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Evangelicals are perhaps a bit more pragmatic than you give them credit for.

  • robc||

    From what I've heard most evangelicals see mormonism as a non-christian cult.

    Yep.

    But a lot practically see catholicism that way too.

  • kinnath||

    That was such a weird fucking night seeing all the good Christians lining up to vote for Romney and Santorum. There was a lot of general hostility towards Paul just because he said he wouldn't bomb the shit out of the middle east to protect Israel.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    It is amazing to see how absolutely important a certain view on Israel has become for so many white Christian conservatives. It really trumps quite a lot.

  • Tonio||

    The fundamentalists (evangelicals?) long ago made their peace with catholics as a result of mutual opposition to Roe v Wade. AFAIK, mormons are still viewed as heretics by both camps.

  • robc||

    Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism are two different, sometimes overlapping, movements.

    And the "peace with Catholics" comes from two groups, those who are more ecumenical (myself included) and those that are uniting for "political" purposes. But, as far as politics go, they are at peace with Mormons too.

    Mormons arent viewed as heretics so much as cultists.

  • Tonio||

    They have long had a reputation for being uncompromising, ie either tow their lion or they stay home. Now that their influence is waning they may be learning the art of compromise. Remember that a beast is most dangerous in its death throes.

  • Tonio||

    And they've been spinning that as why Romney lost the entire election. Which is easy to say after the fact.

  • cavalier973||

  • Spoonman.||

    I was in Iowa in December 2006 going door-to-door for Ron Paul when Huckabee somehow became the evangelicals' anointed one. Suddenly half the doors we approached in promising neighborhoods had become Huckabee voters.

  • kinnath||

    SoCons are maybe 10% of republicans in Iowa, but they probably approach 50% to 60% of the active party base. So it is pretty much impossible to win, show, or place in the caucuses without SoCon votes.

  • robc||

    One important thing to remember is evangelical != socon.

    There are left wing evangelical christians. There are libertarian evangelicals.

    Evangelical denominations cover a huge percentage of the population.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    That's true, but 70% of self identified white evangelicals voted for Romney in the general election. Of course that leaves 30% who did not.

  • robc||

    Many evangelicals are black, which you left out of your numbers there.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Of course, because they voted for Obama at rates higher than 9 out of 10.

  • robc||

    So evangelicals across the board voted for Romney in a slight majority?

    Maybe even 60%. Maybe.

    I never claimed many evangelicals werent socons, Im claiming its not some sort of universal connection.

    Just for example, and I have no clue how to prove or disprove this, but Im willing to wager a 6-pack that a larger percentage of evangelicals voted for Gary Johnson than the percentage of catholics who voted for Gary Johnson.

  • kinnath||

    Definitely.

    The SoCons in Ia are SoCons and are mostly mainstream protestants, not even that evangelical.

  • Tonio||

    There are left wing evangelical christians.

    Sure. But my guess is that they are very much in the minority compared to evangelicals as a whole, ie electorally insignificant.

    Happy to be proved wrong on this, but show me the proof.

  • robc||

    Is sucking up to evangelicals really that important? Are there really enough of them to make a big difference? I'm genuinely asking here as I don't know.

    According to wikipedia (YMMV), 28.9% of Americans.

    An older study had it a few percent lower. So somewhere in the 25-30% ballpark.

  • ||

    But, rob, as you yourself said, evangelicals are all over the board in terms of their political beliefs. The ones that TEAM RED seems to suck up to are hardcore KULTUR WAR socons. Are there really enough of them to matter?

  • robc||

    Yes.

    Ask Ronald Reagan.

    But, as kinnath pointed out, Iowa socons mostly are mainline, not evangelical, so the whole premise of the article might be off.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -evangelicals are all over the board in terms of their political beliefs

    To the extent that 70% of them voting for the same man in November can be said to "all over the board in terms of their political beliefs" then I guess.

  • robc||

    70% is false, you failed to include black evangelicals.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I think throughout this discussion I've taken pains to say 'white protestant evangelical.' They are grouped separately from black protestant evangelical because they are distinct in their voting. 70% of the first voted Republican while over 90% of the second voted for Obama. If you're wondering about how important 'evangelicals' are for a potential GOP candidate you're clearly talking about the first group.

  • Tonio||

    It's not their numbers, Epi, but rather the fact that they are the ones who control the caucuses and other party apparatus.

    But they do have enough numbers to swing an election by staying home if they don't get everything they want.

  • robc||

    Except kinnath, who knows Iowa caucuses better than any of us, says that isnt true, they are mainline protestants.

  • ||

    I wonder if part of the problem isn't just in talking about "evangelicals." To someone like me, there's no difference between a mainline protestant and an evangelical protestant if the mainline protestant is socially conservative. In my milieu, mainline protestant is like...Unitarian. (I mean, I know what the words mean, but it's not what I think of. You're either "actually Christian" or not.)

  • robc||

    You're either "actually Christian" or not.

    Ecumenical robc agrees 100% with this. I dont like all the distinctions and differences.

    If someone asks me my religion, I say "Christian". Which confuses some people, as they expect more detail, which, if they ask the correct question, I will give them.

    But, within all of the Christian denominations there are divisions, and mainline protestant vs evangelical protestant is one of them.

    To someone like me, there's no difference between a mainline protestant and an evangelical protestant if the mainline protestant is socially conservative.

    To me, the political views have nothing to do with the other. There are mainline socons and evangelical socons and catholic socons. There are mainline liberals and evangelical liberals and catholic liberals. Ditto for neocons and progressives and libertarians and rockefeller republicans and blue dog dems.

    In varying degrees within the different branches, but they are all there in all of them.

  • Tonio||

    OK, Socon religious voting bloc. Whatever.

    Remember that religious beliefs that are mainstream in one region are viewed as fanatics or heretics in other regions.

  • Rasilio||

    In the Republican primaries, yes.

    They also can be difference makers in a couple of important battleground states like Ohio and Virginia

  • ||

    He then quoted Mother Teresa, Thomas Paine, and Pope Benedict XVI.

    Now there are three people that I'd like to see walk into a bar together.

  • cavalier973||

    Mother Teresa, Thomas Paine, and Pope Benedict XVI walk into a bar. The bartender asks, "What'll you have?"

    *finish the joke

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    "He's not an eggplant. He's retarded!"

  • Killazontherun||

    Bartender grabs his double barrel shotgun, takes them all out in one spread.

    Mutters, 'fuck'n zombies.'

  • Fluffy||

    LOL.

    Karma +1

  • ||

    Pope Benedict is still alive.

  • Zeb||

    A different, more dead, pope might be a good idea if that is to be the punch line.

  • Almanian!||

    "World Peace!"

    Nick threw them out with the other "pixies" who were providing "atmosphere".

    The End.

  • ||

    The bartender asks, "So which of yous is infallible?"

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Then two out of three pointed to B16.

    Tom Paine said, "nobody, especially me, since I bet on the wrong horse in the French Revolution. I'm lucky my body and head are still connected. I mean, they still are, right?"

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    You're the worst character ever, Towelie.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    *You're* a Deist!

  • cavalier973||

    Mother Teresa says, "I'll just have a glass of water." The bartender hands her the class, and the good mother looks at the other two, and says, "Watch this, brothers." She waves her hand over the glass, and changes the water into wine.

    Pope Benedict XVI also asks for a glass of water. He says, "Watch this," and waves his hand over the glass, and the water in his glass also turns to wine.

    Thomas Paine asks for a glass of water, and says to the other two, "Watch this," and throws the glass of water on the floor, while the other two are looking at the mess, Tom drinks their wine.

  • Fluffy||

    What's also amusing is that 100 years ago if any self-respecting evangelical saw the Pope, a nun, and an atheist walking down the street, he'd pick up a shotgun and some rope.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Glenn Beck and the TP have re-engineered Paine into a Bible-thumping Founding Father.

  • robc||

    Who says it has changed?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Paine wasn't an atheist, he was a Deist.

  • Tonio||

    But two hundred years ago deists like Paine and Jefferson were seen as dangerous heretics.

    Actual atheists were viewed as literally insane. So it's possible that they were atheists or agnostics, just closeted about their beliefs.

  • SugarFree||

    But two hundred years ago deists like Paine and Jefferson were seen as dangerous heretics.

    They still would be to most Christians. God created the universe then split? Praying is useless? Miracles don't exist? The Bible is not always true? Denying the Trinity?

    In many ways Deism is more antithetical to modern Christianity than Mormonism.

  • Lord Humungus||

    OT: Zimmerman pulls out a driver from an overturned truck

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/georg.....d=19735432

    The question is, what color was the driver?

  • ||

    President Obama then issued another statement calling the accident 'tragic' and that if he had a overturned, wrecked truck it could be a fitting metaphor for his entire presidency.

  • Almanian!||

    Clearly, the driver was the same GOPtard who put the car in the ditch before and couldn't get it out.

    So he walked home, got the truck...and we see how that ended.

    Know your Obamemes! "Thanks, GOP!"

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    If you suggest Obama cannot govern, Dave Weigel will call you a racist.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    Since you mentioned Weigel:

    David Weigel

    ....I’m voting for Barack Obama [in 2008], the only remaining candidate whom I trust not to run the country (further) into the ground with stupid and erratic decisions,...

    [Journolist] E-mails reveal Post reporter savaging conservatives, rooting for Democrats

    ...In the e-mails, Weigel appeared particularly invested in the President’s health care law, expressing undisguised scorn for moderate Democrats who seemed fearful about voting for it....

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    In Which Dave Weigel Forgets He Was a Member of JournoList
    ...Yeah, I saw him hanging around an Obamacare rally in DC and was kind of shocked by how he looks in person. Granted not everyone can have movie star looks, but he’s pretty cocky for someone that’s short, overweight, and has a bad complexion. He thinks he’s cool but he’s just cynical....

  • Rich||

    Since the article doesn't mention it, I'll presume Black.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    So is he the Scarlet Pimpernel or something?

    I'd like to see Antonio Banderas playing Zimmerman as the Latin Liberator, pulling people out of wrecked cars, saving women from muggers, capturing criminals, then, like Spiderman or the A-Team, fleeing into the shadows because the police are after him despite his attempts to Protect the People.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Because he's the hero we deserve, but not the one we need right now. So, we'll hunt him, because he can take it. Because he's not our hero. He's a silent guardian. A watchful protector. A White-Hispanic Knight.

  • Mike M.||

    How long before the psychotic, unhinged left suggests that Zimmerman and a friend staged the truck accident in order to make him look good?

  • Swiss Servator - past LTC(ret)||

    You mean it has not already happened?

  • Tonio||

    So if a US flag is burned by anyone, anywhere within a given country we cut off all foreign aid? [rubs palms together, cackles] Take you then these flags, my minions. Fly, my pretties, fly!

    Also anti-US is not the same as anti-christian.

  • cavalier973||

    Anti-US Gov't is not the same as Anti-American. Get people to realize this, and we've made a great step forward in winning the argument for liberty.

  • LynchPin1477||

    So if a US flag is burned by anyone, anywhere within a given country we cut off all foreign aid?

    So if I burn an American flag in America, can we zero out the entire federal budget? I'm not big on flag burners, but...

  • Almanian!||

    I like your ideas and am interested in subscribing to your newsletter.

  • Smilin' Joe Fission||

    Newsletters? Racist...

  • Brandybuck||

    Am hoping Rand Paul can get the isolationist brand of fundamentalist Christianity back in the political forefront, rather than their interventionist evangelical cousins. Not that I like the isolationists necessarily, but they're a hell [sic] of a lot better than the interventionists.

  • Tonio||

    They may be isolationists as far as foreign policy, but they're still interventionist busybodies as far as domestic policy.

  • robc||

    Not universally true.

    Evangelical != SoCon.

  • Tonio||

    But numerically true. Again, I'm not interested in that 1% or 5% of evangelicals who are socially liberal; they're insignificant compared to the majority.

  • robc||

    About 40%* voted for Obama, I think your percentages are off.

    *guessing, as I dont know what the black percentage of evangelicals is. Or the hispanic/asian percentage either, for that matter.

  • Brandybuck||

    I didn't say evangelicals, I said fundamentalists. The popular media likes to conflate the two, but there is a big difference. Although "evangelical" is a very broad term, modern right-wing evangelicals have picked up government intervention as a legitimate tool of social activism. Fundamentalists on the other hand, have a deep distrust of government. The Biblical mission of government, in the New Testament, is merely to keep the peace. You don't even have to squint to see that this is compatible with the non-aggression principle.

  • Brandybuck||

    A good example are the John Birchers. They are overwhelmingly Christian of the fundamentalist flavor. But take away their conspiracies and protectionism, and they're not much different from mainstream libertarians. And very alien to the popular media portrayal of the religious right.

  • Tonio||

    Are there actually any non-christian Birchers? Or did you mean they are all christian, but tend towards fundamentalism?

  • Brandybuck||

    There are actually a few Jewish Birchers, believe it or not. But those who are Christian do seem to gravitate more towards the fundamentalist pole of modern protestantism.

  • Brandybuck||

    p.s. This is from my perspective, of course. I've never actually done a statistical survey of them.

  • Tonio||

    Not that unbelievable. Thanks for the info.

  • Tonio||

    In deference to robc, I will henceforth use the term SCRV (Socially Conservative Religious Voter, pronounced "scurvy"). Please accept this term as my contribution to the ongoing debate.

  • robc||

    SCRV

    Works for me.

  • Swiss Servator - past LTC(ret)||

    Looks like a moon lander part.

    Simultaneous Crater Reentry Vehicle?

  • Hyperion||

    Here we go again. Suck up to the SoCons so you can win the nomination, but not the election. Brilliant.

  • Cytotoxic||

    How dare he try to be electable!

  • Cytotoxic||

    He should be more like his Dad: a failure at actually getting anywhere or influencing anything beyond the House. Failure to fail will incur the Sanctimony of Hyperstupid.

  • cavalier973||

    I'd say that political success != real life success; not necessarily, anyway. Ron Paul introduced a lot of people to the ideas of non-interventionism and Austrian Theory of the Business Cycle.

    In 2008, I was a strong Huckabee supporter, in the sense that I argued with friends and family in his favor. In 2012, I was a strong Ron Paul supporter, in the sense that I actually gave money to his campaign and became a delegate in the local GOP to try to get him nominated.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    DES MOINES, Iowa--Ron Paul, standing backstage before a Republican presidential debate in Spartanburg, South Carolina not long ago, was talking to Doug Wead, one of his senior advisers, about his Christian faith.

    In the moments before the debate, Paul explained how his beliefs in limited government and even his opposition to the Federal Reserve had their foundations in scripture, combined with his study of the Constitution. Before he left to take the stage that night in November, Paul smiled and said to Wead, who told this story to Yahoo News, "You know, the libertarians are just baffled by me. They didn't think it was possible for someone to come this direction. A person of faith."
  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "Does...not...compute...true libertarians are atheist...does...not compute...buzz...crack...boom..."

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Please shut up.

  • Brandybuck||

    Back in college I joined the LP and was excited by a political philosophy that actually fit my own. The national LP convention was in my city so I went over for the weekend. I almost quit the party and the movement that weekend! It wasn't a libertarian party so much as a libertine party. Prostitutes were running for office, ferchrisakes! The guy who was Larry Flint's running make was seeking the nomination! Walter Block was busy defending the undefendable! Everywhere greed was seen as the highest virtue!

    I stayed in the party and the movement because of two men, both of whom where Christian: Marshall Fritz and Ron Paul.

  • ||

    Why shouldn't prostitutes be able to run for office?

  • Vincent Milburn||

    They should certainly be allowed, but everyone would have a right to question their character.

    That's a problem I have with the libertarian movement sometimes. Not content to merely leave people alone, some of them also have to absurdly argue the merits of every crazy alternative lifestyle, such as "kids would benefit from ten parents in a polyamorous union."

  • MWG||

    "In 2008, I was a strong Huckabee supporter..."

    May god have mercy on your soul.

  • Swiss Servator - past LTC(ret)||

    BECAUSE I WILL NOT!

  • Tonio||

    Uh...

  • robc||

    Evangelical != SoCon.

    I guess Im going to get tired of typing this soon.

  • Tonio||

    I've heard the kids have something called "cut and paste" on their computers. Maybe you could get one of them to show you.

  • robc||

    Or, you know, people could start using the terms correctly.

    Tomayto, tomahto.

  • Tonio||

    OK, "copy and paste." Happy?

  • robc||

    OK, "copy and paste." Happy?

    I didnt even catch that.

    I was referring to "evangelical" and shorthand for "socon".

  • robc||

    *as*

  • Tonio||

    I know. I was punking the shit out of you.

  • Killazontherun||

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    I agree! The first celebrity death to bother me in a long while.

  • Killazontherun||

    Midnight Run, Get Shorty, Snatch.

    The most convincing tough guy asshole ever.

  • Almanian!||

    Yep. He made a great "Tough Detective/Cop/Investigator/Mafioso" guy.

    RIP Dennis Farina!

  • ||

    He was the iconic Miami Vice villain.

  • Cytotoxic||

    We need these Evangelical fucks to die off, and they will, but in the meantime they can be mislead pretty easily. I like Rand's style and substance from that perspective.

  • Hyperion||

    We need these Evangelical fucks to die off

    Along with the war mongering NeoCons.

  • Cytotoxic||

    They've already lost the mojo.

  • Almanian!||

    When you've lost the mojo...

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -We need these Evangelical fucks to die off

    What a horrible thing to say. I don't care for their politics either, but let's not wish death on them.

  • Rich||

    Why? They'll just be born again.

    /Captain Obvious

  • robc||

    Evangelical != SoCon.

    Really, this is fucking simple to understand, you all are being fucking dense.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    rob, in the Republican party, they are considered to be one and the same.

  • robc||

    Im a registered GOPer, so they arent the same.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    A sample size of one? Compelling.

  • robc||

    It only takes one to disprove an absolute statement.

  • Tonio||

    Someone's sensitive.

  • kinnath||

    I cannot speak for robc or any other evangelical, but the following link describes what I recognize as the evangelical movement.

    http://www.nae.net/church-and-.....vangelical

    Conversionism: the belief that lives need to be transformed through a “born-again” experience and a life long process of following Jesus.

    Activism: the expression and demonstration of the gospel in missionary and social reform efforts

    Biblicism: a high regard for and obedience to the Bible as the ultimate authority

    Crucicentrism: a stress on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross as making possible the redemption of humanity

    Some evangelicals are politically active, but many are not.

  • kinnath||

    The hardcore, political SoCons in IA do not universally fit this description as I have encountered them.

  • robc||

    Ive seen worse definitions.

    It seems reasonable enough.

  • kinnath||

    It's always hard for an outsider looking in to accurately describe what's going on inside;-)

    {retired catholic who spent 6 years growing up with southern baptists in Ga and TN}

  • Zeb||

    You don't need to wish death on them. Just hope that when they die of natural causes, there aren't a lot of young ones to replace them.

  • cavalier973||

    A statement that will assuredly win hearts and minds.

    An interesting claim: that a group that has lots of children and who are increasingly taking said children's education in hand to perpetuate their belief system will one day die off.

  • Tonio||

    a group that has lots of children and who are increasingly taking said children's education in hand to perpetuate their belief system will one day die off.

    That fails to examine the retention rates, ie what percentage of evangelical-raised people stay in the faith.

  • robc||

    That fails to examine the retention rates, ie what percentage of evangelical-raised people stay in the faith.

    No idea. Based on personal anecdotes, I would say slightly higher than Catholics, but way lower than Mormons.

    But one thing keeping the numbers up is movement from mainline denominations to evangelical denominations.

  • Rasilio||

    And yet their numbers continue to dwindle.

    I will admit the Quiverful movement and Christian based Homeschooling are relatively new enough that they could in theory reverse that trend but I'm not buying it.

    The more those parents withdraw their children from the world the less successful they will be in propogating their ideas to the outside world and when those kids go out and see the outside world and experience it way too few are willing to continue in their parents beliefs.

  • Tonio||

    Sounds like desperation to me, like they're trying to overcome low retention rates, suicides by gay kids, etc. Again, I don't have any numbers.

  • cavalier973||

    Wait; taking one's children out of government schools will make them less successful in real life?

    Huh.

  • robc||

    Evangelical != SoCon

    As an evangelical fuck, fuck you.

  • Hyperion||

    Most evangelicals that I know, are socially conservative. Almost all of them totally believe in the WOD, for one thing.

    Of course, they all are not SoCons, but in my experience, I think it's a pretty high percentage.

  • Hyperion||

    And, BTW, I don't consider myself an atheist.

    I don't really know what I am for that category.

    Then again, I didn't know I was a Libertarian until I was in my late 40s, even though, thinking back, I always have been. I think there are a lot of Libertarians out there who don't know that's where they would fall on the political spectrum.

  • ||

    You didn't know you had joined the Libertarian Party until your late 40's, but you had always been a member??

    (yes, I'm being a semantic bitch, but I hate it when people call me a Libertarian - I am most certainly not. I am a libertarian.)

  • Hyperion||

    Duh. Let me mansplain it here (continues action to ensure that there will never be more than 3 Libertarian wimninz).

    Ok, here goes. I was a Libertarian, but I had not joined the Libertarian Party, until 2007. I just wondered why I couldn't fit into either team Red or Blue. Imagine, I was a fiscally conservative free marketer, but I wanted to legalize all drugs. So no matter which friends I tried discussing Politics with, Team Red or Blue versions, I didn't fit in.

    I used to be a small l, but the last 10 years of bullshit in this country, caused the L to go capital.

  • ||

    Reason needs a Venn diagram function!

    But first fix the preview button for people with listed email addresses and maybe an edit button.

  • Tonio||

    As an evangelical fuck, fuck you.

    Wow, that's some exemplary turning the other cheek, robc.

  • robc||

    Ive never claimed to be a very good example.

  • John||

    We need these Evangelical fucks to die off

    And you just can't understand why they never vote for your candidates. Not only do they outnumber Libertarians, they have more children than Libertarians too.

  • ||

    Cytotoxic is not a libertarian, he is a sociopathic Randian Canadian virgin with a raging WAR BONER.

  • cavalier973||

    A Canadian virgin? Some times, Epi, you go too far.

  • John||

    Well if you put it that way...

  • Cytotoxic||

    Still more mature thoughtful and useful than any anarcho-tard.

  • cavalier973||

    John's not an anarchist.

  • Cytotoxic||

    And you just can't understand why they never vote for your candidates.

    Because they're stupid.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "We need these Evangelical fucks to die off"

    Uh, they tend to have more kids than secular-minded people. And many immigrants are evangelicals. So, no, I don't think they will conveniently disappear to make room for ironic, childless hipsters.

    Better put your money on Sloopy, banjos and Brett, if you want the libertarians to outbreed the Socons.

  • robc||

    Sigh...oh well, lets try it one more time...

    Evangelical != SoCon

  • Hyperion||

    So, no, I don't think they will conveniently disappear to make room for ironic, childless hipsters

    And yet, the ironic childless hipsters are in near complete control of our education system, the media, and pretty much every facet and level of government.

  • robc||

    Thats because more and more of the evangelicals arent sending their kids thru the education system.

  • cavalier973||

    If you meet a family that has four or more children, I can almost guarantee that they homeschool.

  • robc||

    I went to HS with a girl who was in the middle of 12 (they may have had a 13th later). They went to public school. But, they were Catholic.

  • cavalier973||

    Yeah, but that was forty years ago!

  • robc||

    I started HS 30 years ago.

  • Rasilio||

    My sister has either 9 or 10 kids (I don't know because shining example of Christianity that she is she won't associate with a godless heathen like me) and homeschools them for religious reasons.

    I on the other hand have 4 kids and have in the past homeschooled also for religious reasons.

    The differences being, my sister has 10 kids because she is part of the Quiverful movement and I have 4 kids because my wife and I can't stop fucking like bunnies. My sister homeschooled so she could keep her children from being influenced by Satan, I homeschooled because I lived in the Bible Belt and did not want my kids pressured into becoming Christians or bullied because they weren't.

  • Zeb||

    There are other things that one can be in the world besides conservative christian and childless hipsters.

  • Cytotoxic||

    A bunch of those kids are gonna join the 21st century. Our world is getting harder and harder to live in with backwards beliefs and practices.

  • Hyperion||

    He warned apocalyptically of moral decay and blasted liberals for mocking the dangers of Satan

    Well, I guess we can already rule out one of the potential candidates.

    Paul has the much better chance. But it really doesn't matter. The candidate will be another RINO, like Christie or Jeb Bush, no matter what, the old cronies of the GOP will make it happen. And the Dems win again.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Rand Paul + legal MJ = 80% win probability over Dems.

    He won't do it though.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    BS. You guys will just raise Jack Hunter and his opposition to the private mandates in the 1964 CRA and then worship at the altar of HillDawg.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Nope. Legalizing drugs is my #1 issue. I would vote for Gingrich if there were a 100% chance it would happen.

    And yes, Obama is worthless there but he never campaigned on such.

  • John||

    No Sucking Obama's cock and lying on his behalf is your number one issue. If drugs were, you wouldn't be sucking Obama's cock so much.

  • Hyperion||

    John, Obama would have already legalized all drugs, but Rethuglicans won't let him.

  • Slammer||

    Sucking Obama's cock does seem to be addictive...

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I sincerely doubt that. You are forgetting 'war on women,' 'war on workers' and such. There are major Democrat interest groups that could give a fig about marijuana legalization. They would probably actually attack him on it, as his Democratic opponent for his Senate seat did.

  • Hyperion||

    They would absolutely attack him on it. And we all know that their next anointed one, the Hildebeast, is a big time drug warrior.

    The team blue sheep just go with whatever their masters tell them to think.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Never forget George Stephanopolous selling his soul as a "debate moderator" in January 2012.

  • SugarFree||

    Oh, that reminds me of the thread where joe was trying to say that Gwen Ifill, a woman who had written a hagiography of Obama, was an impartial debate moderator.

  • Mickey Rat||

    He was a Clintonista, Steffie sold his soul long ago.

  • Vincent Milburn||

    I hope it's not Bush because only a moron would think that another Bush could make it to the White House. I mean, he's the brother of a still very much loathed president.

    But Republican primary voters are funny. All the candidates trip of each other arguing about who's the most conservative, but in the end, they vote for Romney or McCain.

  • Outlaw||

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/georg.....d=19735432

    Because he's the hero Sanford deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So, we'll hunt him, because he can take it. Because he's not our hero. He's a silent guardian. A watchful protector. A Dark Knight.

  • Almanian!||

    I do wonder the race of the rescue-ee, as noted above.

    Pretty sure he wasn't black, cause the crypto-racist American Nazi White Caucasian Lab Rat Zimmerman fucking HATES black people. Kills 'em on sight.

    So...prolly a white guy.

  • Outlaw||

    If he was black they would've said he ran them off the road, thereby leading to the crash.

    Or it's possible they didn't mention the race of the driver because he was black and it doesn't fit the narrative.

  • ||

    This is Zimmerman we are talking about it. If the occupants were black he would have doused the car with gasoline and set it on fire.

  • Hyperion||

    After he sprayed countless rounds from his assault weapon into the bodies of the defenseless victims, until all of his high capacity magazines were emptied.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Speaking of Rand:

    Sen. Rand Paul on Detroit bailout: 'Over my dead body'

    “There’s some good things that come out of bankruptcy,” Paul said in a phone interview to Bretitbart.com last week from Iowa. “One is you get to start over. Bankruptcy lets you be forgiven of your debt. And you do so by getting new management, better management and by getting rid of unwieldy contracts, contracts that give you where public employees are getting paid twice what private employees are and things come back more to normal. That’s the way cities and businesses can recover."

    "I basically say he [Obama] is bailing them out over my dead body because we don’t have any money in Washington,” Sen. Paul added.
  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Obama has already said No to a Detroit bailout. The low-info Fox News viewer won't know that though.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Yes, because if there's anything we know about Obama, it's that he's a man of his word.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Obama is a lawyer, so the definition of "bailout" is probably very narrow. Now, if he pulls some shenanigans with the bankruptcy (like, you know, he's done before on this very issue)...

  • John||

    And Bernake printing money isn't really the kind of bailout Obama meant.

  • John||

    Just like Detroit was never going to go bankrupt, you can keep your insurance if you like it, and so forth. Just because you believe Obama when he tells you he won't cum in your mouth, doesn't mean anyone else does buttwipe.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    OK, you will be wrong again, you fascist.

    Just like you said he would get us into a ground war in Syria, that Romney would win, etc.

  • John||

    Obama loves you dipshit. He is a light worker. He would never lie.

  • Hyperion||

    Detroit will get boat loads of tax payer money, no matter what they choose to call it. So they won't call it a bailout, it will be the same effect.

    Then nothing will change, and Detroit will be back in the same situation again, within a year or two, or as soon as the party money runs out.

  • John||

    Exactly. But they don't care about that. All they care about is paying union workers today. Tomorrow can go to hell.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Detroit will get boat loads of tax payer money

    You have an annoying habit of exclaiming faux-clairvoyance.

  • Zeb||

    Still waiting for those riots.

  • Slammer||

    Monica Lewinsky's going to be 40?

    Now I feel old.

    YOU KIDS GET OFF OF MY LAWN!!

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    No, she's a 20 y/o intern, you're just lying!

    Oh, dear God, you're right...

  • RightNut||

    Someone recently argued to me that Paul's criticism of sending aid to countries hostile to Christianity may do more to divide interventionists and evangelicals than a library's worth of more complex and libertarian-sounding anti-war arguments. I think that might actually be true.

    I suppose its generally true that countries that are hostile to Christianity are generally also hostile to the US.

  • Robert B. Sklaroff, M.D.||

    Regarding this innovative observation ["Paul's criticism of sending aid to countries hostile to Christianity may do more to divide interventionists and evangelicals than a library's worth of more complex and libertarian-sounding anti-war arguments."]:

    It is hardly desirable to reinforce the Islamists' desire to continue to fight the Crusades when, instead, the GOP's recent tradition has been to promote freedom as strategically as possible [consonant with the Bush Doctrine].

    To be manifest in a fashion with which religious people can resonate, it need not be animated by a primarily religious underpinning.

  • Tonio||

    To be manifest in a fashion with which religious people can resonate, it need not be animated by a primarily religious underpinning.

    Can somebody translate this from Pretentious to American?

  • SugarFree||

    You can make make non-religious based arguments to the religious if you dog-whistle the tune in a pleasing manner.

  • Tonio||

    Thank you, Sug, you are a treasure.

  • Robert B. Sklaroff, M.D.||

    Although I might quibble with this "simultaneous translation," the point here is that religious people are patriotic and believe in the Constitution, so they will not recoil if the argument is conveyed as "freedom promotion" rather than merely "spreading the Gospel."

  • Vincent Milburn||

    The Republican primaries are stupid. They just cannibalize the party and feed democratic talking points before phony unity is displayed at the convention. I suppose all primaries are like this to some extent.

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