Campaigns/Elections

"Residents Who Have Given Up on Politics"

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They are still calling it "quixotic" in the headlines, but at least they are paying it serious attention: Today's Washington Post has a reported piece on the Ron Paul campaign in New Hampshire that actually treats him as a player. Excerpts:

[Paul] has raised more than $10 million for his run for president in the past two months, leaving him well positioned to help swing the outcome of the first-in-the-nation primary in New Hampshire, a state well suited to his libertarian, antiwar platform.

And yet it was only late last month that his state headquarters here acquired a basic campaign tool: telephones. For months, Paul's avid supporters were perfectly willing to make campaign calls with their own cellphones…..

Paul admitted how much his election prospects are outside his own control…."They've been out walking the streets all day, and we didn't plan it. We didn't plan the money-raising. It is in a sense a revolution, a grass-roots revolution in the best of its meaning," he said.

Asked if he hopes to exert more control over the effort as the primary nears, Paul demurred. "It's the way I want the markets to work, so the market of politics should work that way, too," he said.

He added with a chuckle: "The only thing that's going to close it down is some [Federal Election Commission] ruling or something: 'That's too much freedom. We better abolish this spontaneity.' "

…………..
The campaign's other challenge is deciding where exactly to aim its pitch, because Paul is attracting such an idiosyncratic mix of supporters. Campaign officials say they have relied on mailing lists that include antiabortion voters (Paul opposes abortion despite his opposition to government intervention in other areas), gun owners and opponents of mandatory mental health screening in the schools. But the volunteers working the new phones at the Concord headquarters last week were still doing basic outreach of the sort most campaigns were perfecting months ago, cold-calling voters to find out their favorite candidate and top two issues.

Not that Paul is necessarily competing directly against his rivals. Campaign officials and volunteers alike say they see themselves as striving more to reach residents who have given up on politics……

Hat tip: Daily Paul.

NEXT: Questioning the Need for the Federal Reserve

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  1. That FEC comment was gold. GOLD I tell you.

  2. Cue Edward.

  3. They are still calling it “quixotic” in the headlines..

    In American politics, there is no such thing as a quixotic political campaign. Individual politicians do not have to win election to profoundly influence the course of the nation.

    In the end, ideas count more than individuals. Votes are the currency in the free-market political economy of liberal-democracy. When dark horse candidates win a even 5%-10% of the vote, even in primaries, mainstream politicians take note.

    Individual politicians are just there to sell product. They seldom care what ideas they advance as long as it gets them re-elected. When they see ideas “selling” successfully to 5% of the electorate they take it seriously. After all, most election turn on just 1%-3% of the total vote.

    Every major sea change in American politics began as minority movement on the margins of the political world. As the ideas spread through the electorate, the mainstream political parties began to adopt them.

    Ron Paul’s campaign in this regard will bear significant libertarian fruit in the fullness of time. The more people who vote for him, the more rapidly that time will come. He himself will never hold the office he seeks but somebody using many of his ideas, will.

  4. EDWARD IS INDISPOSED AT THE MOMENT. HE IS ADMINISTERING A COFFEE COLONIC TO THE LURKOTARD?, WHICH IS ONLY ONE OF HIS DAILY CHORES AT LURKOTARD? HQ.

  5. I just read an article that said “Ron Paul is no longer running for president, the people are running for president through Ron Paul.”

  6. Word, KH. It’s like David telling Goliath he’s going to go over to the battle tents and fuck Goliath’s second wife. It pumps up the troops and makes Golaith sloppy.

    OTOH, Goliath is a big MF. Hope Ron Paul’s sling arm is up to snuff.

    The FEC blows nearly as much as the Commission on Presidential Debates; “bipartisan” duopoly protected by courts is ridiculous…bring back the League of Women Voters to manage and moderate (I picked up one of their handy little Voter Guides from 1972 as a collector’s item–talk about culture shock!).

  7. I should think that a lot of libertarian-minded people should be watching this primary season closely. Even in the absense of a Paul win, we should get a good idea of which states, or districts even, are ripe for a libertarian win for national office. We already know that we have the collective resources necessary to fund a good number of House and maybe Senate campaigns, and could focus our efforts on mid-term elections as well.

  8. I just read an article that said “Ron Paul is no longer running for president, the people are running for president through Ron Paul.”

    That’s awesome. Care to share the link (assuming it’s online)?

  9. I love it when a spontaneity for freedom comes together.

    2008 the year we take the country back.

  10. Some newspaper has published a piece about Ron Paul that “actually treats him as a player”???!!! Well, I guess the tide has turned! Fuck!

  11. Shannon –

    I agree that it might help. However, the Libertarian message is different from many other fringe messages that have gotten more purchase in the mainstream due to a good showing (e.g. Populists in the 19th, Evangelicals in the 20th).

    The difference is that Libertarian ideas, in order to be implemented, require that the political apparatus (and its functionaries) give up a great deal of their power. It’s hard to pay more than very transparent lip-service to Lib policies and still hold on to the reigns. Both the populists and the evangelicals were oh-so-willing to hand more power to their champions in power to make their visions a reality; anyone who loves power (e.g. politicians) will, as a group, get behind anything that can hand it to them. All libertarian ideas can hand them is a clear conscience and an opportunity for statesmanship, and that ain’t so sexy.

    So, while I agree that a good Lib showing will be a good indication that all is not lost in Amerika, I wouldn’t hold my breath for the moment when a Lib insurgency leads to a mainstreaming of small government policies.

  12. Paul is up to 8% in today’s national Rasmussen tracker. Because Rasmussen uses a 4 day sample, in order to rise to 8 he had to have had at least one day at 9 or 10.

  13. No way that was the real Edward.

  14. Paul’s down a point or two in some statewides I caught at RCP. I believe one of the states was even New Hampshire, where he dropped from 8 to 7 in the dailys. Not much of a drop, but might be an indication that he’s peaked.

    Let’s give it a couple more days to see if there is indeed a trend here.

  15. The most interesting question is this:

    Say it ends up being Huck vs. Rudy in March and April. Everyone else pretty much having dried up their resources, and only managing to gain a smattering of delegate support.

    What will the Ron Paul people do at that point?

    There’s some crossover between the Fair Tax crowd and the Ron Paulists. So, some of them may go Huckabee.

    Will the others align with the Club for Growth, Grover Norquist, Forbes and the Cato crowd being Giuliani?

    Huck vs. Rudy presents the most interesting of all set-ups and predicaments for the Paul people.

  16. Elemenope,

    I wouldn’t give up hope. Changing technology creates changes in optimal forms of organization.

    From about 1840->1970 technology, especially information processing technology, favored large, hierarchal, vertically integrated organizations in the military, business and government. Since then, however, the increasingly peer-to-peer nature of information technology has favored smaller, flatter more independent and diversified organizations.

    The evolution of organization is seen first in the military, then business and only lastly in government. Military centralization peaked in WWI. Business centralization peaked in the 50’s and government centralization peaked in the 70’s. Since then, even though spending has increased, the actual degree of centralized decision making has shrunk dramatically. For example, in 1971 wage and price controls seemed like a good idea. Today, no one would even think of them.

    Those in power always try to stop such changes but I don’t think that in our system they really have the ability to do more than slow it down.

  17. Whoopsie Daisy…

    Looks like Ron Paul has slipped in one very important State:

    Rasmussen Reports- South Carolina GOP Primary

    Mike Huckabee 25% (12%)
    Mitt Romney 18% (21%)
    Fred Thompson 18% (21%)
    Rudy Giuliani 12% (13%)
    John McCain 9% (12%)
    Ron Paul 4% (8%)
    South Carolina Survey of 654 Likely GOP Primary Voters
    Conducted December 3-4, 2007 by Rasmussen Reports

  18. Not much of a drop, but might be an indication that he’s peaked.

    Short-term changes that are within the margin of error are indications of exactly nothing.

  19. For example, in 1971 wage and price controls seemed like a good idea. Today, no one would even think of them.

    Oh, really?

  20. What will the Ron Paul people do at that point?

    I will go back to my default position, which is not to vote at all when the choice is between two nationalist-socialist candidates.

  21. What will the Ron Paul people do at that point?

    Depends on why you’re voting for R. Paul, I’d imagine. The right-libertarians will undoubtedly stay home and/or shoot themselves. The left-libertarians (like myself) will bite the bitter bullet and vote for a Democrat (but not Hillary!–she wins, I puke.) As I’ve said before, statism sucks, but I’ll take left-statism over right-statism any day of the week. At least they care while they’re killing you or taking your livelihood away. Or so I’m told.

  22. Shannon –

    I really do hope you are right, but while there may be structural decentralization, I don’t see power as having devolved outwards with the structure. A heap of authority is still concentrated in very few hands…and who needs wage controls when you can have “bankruptcy reforms” and price controls when your president is bully-pulpiting you to GO SHOPPING to defeat TERRORISM?

    I look at projects like Wikipedia and community news blogs/boards like this and Slashdot and see some of the signs that you are talking about (communities extending horizontally and power being diffuse in those contexts) but until that ideological shift percolates into the halls of power, I will remain cautiously pessimistic.

  23. Dondero, you already know that the 8% of the primary electorate that supports Paul won’t vote for Giuliani under any circumstances. Paul supporters tack Rudy and heckle him everywhere he goes, because out of all the men seeking the nomination this year, he is the particular focus of their hatred.

    So if you’re hoping they’ll have no choice but to support Rudy if it comes down to the Huckster vs. the Fuckster, you hope in vain. They will choose scorched earth instead.

  24. “but until that ideological shift percolates into the halls of power, I will remain cautiously pessimistic.”

    It probably won’t happen until a significant number of the (generally young) people that are involved in those things get actual positions of power in business & government institutions. So, what, 20 more years I guess?

  25. It probably won’t happen until a significant number of the (generally young) people that are involved in those things get actual positions of power in business & government institutions. So, what, 20 more years I guess?

    Read more Hoppe. No matter the time period, there will be plenty of people desirous enough of power to fill the halls of Congress and the upper level of the bureaucracy many, many times over. Democracy attracts and grooms power-hungry crooks.

  26. The campaign’s other challenge is deciding where exactly to aim its pitch, because Paul is attracting such an idiosyncratic mix of supporters.

    I was once foolish enough to try figuring out what group individualists clustered in. I’ve realized the contraditions since then.

  27. If Ron Paul does not get the nomination, I will not be angry or cry about it. I will figure that the players in the smoke filled room of the Republican Party fixed it that way and go on with my life.

    I will support the Libertarian Party candidate and actively oppose the Republicans any way I can. I will do this by pointing out that with GWB in charge, life in the USA has become more expensive and our Consitution is refered to as, “just a goddamned piece of paper.” There are many people who are not better off than when GWB was elected, and they are not going to buy the Republican Kool Aide any more.

    If a Democrat gets elected then we get the representation that we deserve. I will be able to sleep at night knowing that I voted my conscience and wasn’t a band wagon jumper. I stood by my principles and lost, but I made a stand for something other than the flavor of the month.

    I will thoroughly enjoy watching the gnashing of teeth and wailing of voices emitted from the Republicans camp. The entertainment value from watching the Republicans walk around wondering why the Democrats beat us again will be worth it.

  28. There is a psychiatric / pharmaceutical plan to “suicide screen” every
    child in the United States before they graduate from high school.
    Evidence exists that shows massive pharmaceutical backing that will
    result in even more overdrugging of kids with psychiatric drugs .

    Can you take a moment to view this very short video? Click here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfU9puZQKBY

    And then sign and forward this petition
    http://www.petitiononline.com/TScreen/petition.html to your associates
    and everyone you know? It already has over 23,700 signatures.

    It’s simply a race to inform enough parents so something can be done
    about this.

  29. “Campaign officials and volunteers alike say they see themselves as striving more to reach residents who have given up on politics……”

    Q: When do you know a canidate will lose?
    A: When he says “all the people who normally don’t vote will turn out to vote for me”.

  30. “Q: When do you know a canidate will lose?
    A: When he says “all the people who normally don’t vote will turn out to vote for me”.

    On that basis, Hillary will lose since she’s going after young women who normally don’t vote.

  31. Many Paul people will vote Libertarian Party if RP goes down and defnitley not for Rudy. Others will simply not vote as usual.

    “Freedom is about authority” -Rudy

  32. “If Ron Paul does not get the nomination, I will not be angry or cry about it. I will figure that the players in the smoke filled room of the Republican Party fixed it that way and go on with my life.”

    If that happens, I will be angry. I would rather him lose fair and square than to lose that way.

  33. “Freedom is about authority” -Rudy”

    How can a true libertarian support that? Dondero can’t be a libertarian in spite of what he claims.

  34. “So if you’re hoping they’ll have no choice but to support Rudy if it comes down to the Huckster vs. the Fuckster, you hope in vain. They will choose scorched earth instead.”

    Or vote Libertarian like me.

  35. “Looks like Ron Paul has slipped in one very important State:”

    Eric, the same poll shows that Guiliani is running behind Huckabee nationally, 18 for Guiliani, 21 for Huckabee.

  36. When RP goes down, the important thing is that the phenomenal libertarian grassroots support and activism continue. If 5% is enough to be pandered too, but in lip-service fashion, then the 5% can be the balance of power in many races around the country where they can vote the lip service candidate out of office. Eventually, one party or the other will pay more than lip service or face being a permanent minority.

  37. HEY!! What do ya know, there’s Eric Dondero posting some downer stuff about RP…what a surprise.

    Apparently when you get fired by a politician you make it your only goal in life to try to drag him down…

  38. Fluffy, what’s so hilarious about all this, is that the Ron Paul supporters are going to go towards the Libertarian Party after Feb. and March, and they’re going to find Wayne Allyn Root. Root, is a Pro-Defense Libertarian. So, here all these Ron Paul-bots are going to be faced with the following choice for 2008:

    1. Republican – Rudy Giuliani or Mitt Romney
    2. Democrat – Hillary Clinton
    3. Libertarian – Wayne Root
    4. Greens – Cynthia McKinney

    I’ll be laughing my ass off watching them all squirm over their choices.

    And how much you wanna bet a healthy chunk of them will end up voting for Rudy.

  39. Wrong Joel, I was moderately supportive of Paul’s effort back in January or February.

    Please take a second and go back to the archives at http://www.libertarianrepublican.blogspot.com to see an article I wrote when he first announced, saying how it would be a net positive for the movement.

    No, it was only his idiotic statement in that debate blaming America for the attacks of 9/11 which changed me.

    And followed up by his associations with Don Black, David Duke, and the Nazi StormTrooper Front.

    So, don’t try to say that I’m just mad at Paul because he supposedly “fired me.”

    Hell, Ron called me for months after I left staff just to shoot the shit about gardening.

    And I’ve used Ron as an employment reference for the last 3 years.

    I’ve considered him to be a friend all the way up til that date in May where he made that utterly offensive statement.

  40. Rattlesnake Jake, if you’re looking for me to admit that my guy Rudy Giuliani has had a couple tough weeks, consider it done.

    Eric Dondero Rittberg, issues the following public statement:

    THE MAN THAT I SUPPORT FOR PRESIDENT RUDY GIULIANI HAS HAD TWO TERRIBLE WEEKS, AND HAS DROPPED IN THE POLLS FOR THE GOP PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION.

    There, you happy?

    I hope Rudy gets it. But I’ve got a fallback. I like Mitt. Always have. And I cannot see the GOP nominating anyone but either Mitt or Rudy. So, I win either way.

    The only scenario where I really lose is if the GOP goes McCain or Huckabee.

    And at the same time, the Libertarian Party passes up Wayne Root, and nominates a Nobody like George Phillies or Steve Kubby.

    That’s when I move to Mexico.

  41. Fluffy, Zig Zag, you all do realize that Wayne Root is the current frontrunner for the LP nomination right?

    And you do realize that Root is a Pro-Defense/Goldwaterite Libertarian right?

    I’ll be laughing my ass off at you all when you leave the GOP to go back to the LP, only to find that the LP is running a Pro-Defense Republican for President.

  42. So Eric, is it that you don’t agree with Chalmers Johnson, Michael Scheuer and the 9/11 Commission Report – or do you agree but don’t feel that people should speak about these things publicly?

    Maybe you feel that you know better when it comes to foreign policy and think that the terrorists just hate us for our freedoms?

    Either way, if the main reason that Ron lost your friendship is his willingness to discuss American foreign policy and it’s probable effects, then perhaps you weren’t that much of a friend to begin with?

    Personally, I wouldn’t let a policy disagreement cause me to try to drag down what seems such a honest, dedicated and humble guy. I’m sure he’s human (just like the rest of us) but his history seems to belie a person with quite a lot of integrity. I’m sure that I don’t have to tell you, but when you meet the guy and speak to him, you generally get a feeling that what you see is what you get…

    Regardless, there is still the matter of what the ‘experts’ (see above) say about terrorist attacks against the U.S.

    I have no problem with the fact that you apparently disagree with their findings…however, don’t expect people to hold your layman’s views with higher regard than the expert views.

    As far as your feelings about Congressman Paul; you no doubt have the right to back the candidate the most closely resonates with you – however, consistently attempting to drag down another candidate and his supporters (supposedly over a well-documented view of history) is most likely not going to gain you or your candidate of choice any friends.

    Just my humble opinion.

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