McCain's Streak of Luck … and Good Planning

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John McCain's victory tonight, which finally ripped the eight-year-old South Carolina monkey off his back, is the culmination of a whole season's worth of remarkable good luck for a campaign that was declared dead more times last summer than Abe Vigoda. Much of the campaign's once-wishful sounding dominoes fell almost perfectly into place:

1) Mitt Romney, McCain's chief early-state-strategy rival, was knocked off of his front-runner's perch in Iowa by an out-of-nowhere revolt from a candidate not named Giuliani. 2) That candidate, Mike Huckabee, caused the GOP establishment to rear up on its hind legs, let out a mighty hiss, and start looking for an "electable" alternative. 3) The Romney defeat, combined with McCain's natural talents at door-to-door campaigning in independent-heavy New Hampshire, led to a repeat of his 2000 victory there. 4) McCain's early poor polling, plus his personal friendships with other candidates, basically gave him a free ride in terms of criticism from the contenders. 5) Giuliani's late-state strategy, as predicted but not guaranteed, caused his early national lead to evaporate, and led to routine humiliations in early primaries by Ron Paul. 6) Paul's libertarian revolt, while exceeding most expectations, nevertheless failed to take a serious bite out of McCain's support among independents. 7) McCain's friend Fred Thompson, who entered the race when it looked like McCain was going nowhere, failed to catch fire, and fizzled in the very state he was supposed to take: South Carolina. He looks set to drop out and back his old campaign finance reform buddy.

So, it's mostly all broken right for McCain. But not everything—Romney has pivoted pretty quickly into an opportunistically delegate-scarfing strategy, and he beat McCain in Michigan. Florida, which McCain and everyone else has identified as the kingmaking state, is currently a threefour-way tie. Guiliani's late-state strategy might yet pay off on Super Tuesday. And McCain has longstanding deficits in money, organization, and love from the GOP base. This race is still wide, wide open … and interesting.

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  1. Ron Paul did well in Nevada.

  2. That three way tie in Florida looks an awful lot like a four way tie.

  3. Intrade says McCain has an over 50% chance of winning the nomination; Romney has about a 23% chance; Giuliani still has a 17% chance; and the rest is divided between Huckabee, Paul, and deii ex machina of various stripes.

    I like the idea of a brokered convention choosing David Petraeus, the war hero general, as the GOP candidate. Voters suspected of not supporting the Princeton-educated officer could be asked, in censorious and menacing voice,

    “Why do you hate our troops? Why do you hate America?”

  4. Ron Paul did well in Nevada.

    Now that he has shaken loose an unpleasant, suspect “fringe group” association he is more acceptable to thinking voters.

  5. Been watching the McCain speech and all the pundits summation of McCain’s victory.

    Seems everyone is saying that it’s because of the success of the War in Iraq, and McCain’s steadfastness with the Surge.

    McCain is talking the same line in his speech.

    Wonder what all the Anti-War Libertarians have to say about this? They’ve been awfully silent as of late on the War.

  6. I don’t like the idea of a general running for president during the same year he’s actually serving in the military. It would blur the divide between civilian command and the military.

    This wasn’t a problem with Eisenhower, but he’d been out of the military for a few years before he entered politics.

  7. Wonder what all the Anti-War Libertarians have to say about this?

    Republicans continue to delude themselves about Iraq?

  8. Dondero,

    The situation in Iraq has improved temporarily before (usually during the winter). We’ll see if violence ramps up again in the spring like it has in the past. If not, that’s obviously a good thing, but we still don’t have much in the way of an exit strategy.

  9. Brokered convention – Jeff Flake and Gary Johnson run.

  10. http://www.pollingreport.com/iraq

    Please please please, Republicans, I beg from the bottom of my Democratic heart – nominate a candidate based on the success of the War in Iraq, and his steadfastness with the Surge.

    What’s most impressive about those polls – all of those polls – is the actual decline in support since people started using the phrase “success of the surge” earlier this winter.

    The public remembers the strategy laid out in the SOTU, even if the Republicans have tried to shove it down the memory hole.

  11. Goiter,

    You’re talking about the Libertarian Party, right? 😉

    I’d vote for Hagel/Bloomberg in the general, but not the other way around.

  12. Dondero, Shouldn’t a libertarian pledge not to use force to achieve objectives? How is the war in Iraq any different?

    You say you want to see a libertarian in higher office in your lifetime. How about learning from our foreign policy mistakes in your lifetime?

  13. A libertarian pledges not to use force inside the libertarian govt’s area of jurisdiction. The use of force may be necessary internationally, because there’s no government to appeal to if another nation initiates force against yours.

  14. Republican numbers seem impressive sometimes until you see this:

    IOWA: 236,000 Democrats and 119,000 Republicans

    NEW HAMPSHIRE: 284,000 Democrats and 233,000 Republicans

    MICHIGAN: 593,000 Democrats and 867,000 Republicans (NOTE: Republicans had a primary with delegates at stake. Democrats did not)

    NEVADA: 114,000 Democrats and 43,000 Republicans.

    WOW!!!!!!!!!!

  15. Comrades,

    I have a book about McCain coming out soon. Please look for it at better book sellers near you.

    Your Pal,
    Matt

  16. crimethink, agree. however, no force was initiated by Iraq to provoke this war. WMDs have yet to be found. Tho, they may be with Colonel Mustard in the library.

  17. That would mean that more people voted for Hillary than all the Republians combined…

  18. James,

    The fact that only Romney and Paul made a serious effort in Nevada makes it more like Michigan than like Iowa and New hampshire.

    Still, those Iowa and New Hampshire numbers are impressive, considering they were 50/50 states in the last two elections, giving each party one victory.

  19. Now that he has shaken loose an unpleasant, suspect “fringe group” association he is more acceptable to thinking voters.

    Cosmotarians?

  20. Yeah…true…though in Iowa Hillary’s 3rd place was almost twice as many votes as the Republican 1st place.

  21. The nominees are Clinton and McCain.

  22. 8) McCain has never written any newsletters, or had them written for him 😉

  23. Hillary came in second in Iowa, didn’t she?

  24. Nah, neither of the races are over.

    They’re the frontrunners, sure, but neither one has a prohibitive lead.

  25. I’m just making a projection for the hell of it (I’m 100% accurate so far!)

  26. Yeah, she was second in Iowa. She will probably be second in SC. But she will clean up in the Super Tuesday primary sans the South and Illinois.

    McCain will clean up the Super Tuesday primaries, maybe even in the South given his victory in S.C.

    Then you will have your nominees.

  27. You’re going with the smart money, Cesar. No doubt.

    But those are some big qualifications on your Hillary predition: the South and Illinois, oh is that all? She’d need to pretty much sweep the rest of the Feb 5 states to end the race that day.

    Oh, and I was answering James, who wrote that she was 3rd in Iowa, I think.

  28. But those are some big qualifications on your Hillary predition: the South and Illinois, oh is that all? She’d need to pretty much sweep the rest of the Feb 5 states to end the race that day.

    I bet she will. Shes a machine. However, if she doesn’t completely sweep them, then it comes down to the “Capital Primary”–Maryland, D.C., and Virginia.

    Maryland: Obama
    D.C.: Obama (duh)
    Virginia: Clinton (Sorry, Gov. Kaine)

    I’m not sure what comes after us, but I don’t think my vote will matter much given that she will sweep Super Tuesday.

    I’m 75% confident barring a George Allen moment that she will win the general against McCain as well. It will be 1996 all over again–a Clinton vs. a war hero thats past his time. As I said, shes can make McCain look like McGovern before its all over.

  29. Pundits see a 4 way tie in Florida, I see a McCain clear win w/ Romney and Giuliani beating each other up for 2nd place and Huckabee deflating like the windbag preacher he is, coming in 4th. Looking at the momentum. McCain is proving himself to be very electable and is thriving in this rotating 6 man race.

    And more than that, you know Giuliani is dead when Dondero clears the ship with pole vaulting distance, in an attempt to land on the SS Romney-fiscal-conservative-blahblahblahblah…

  30. Wasn’t it Obama, Edwards, Clinton in Iowa?

  31. Cesar,

    Never underestimate the blind hatred alot of us have about HRC. I would vote for Romney and McCain before I even thought about voting for her. She’s pretty much the epitome of what should be despised about politicians and although her husband didn’t really screw anything up, I have no doubt that she has plans to europeanise the USA with the new found executive powers granted to Mr. Bush.

  32. “McCain’s Streak of Luck .. and Good Planning”

    I think it comes down to basics: McCain is politically transparent (a plus, agree on the issues or not), not a drone or a yes-man (he’s for the war but against the de facto use of torture), and is morally conservative and socially moderate.

    Basically, an Independent Republican. Can run against Bush credibly in the general election.

    Also, McCain is NOT Mormon or Catholic.

    Plus McCain was just endorsed (yesterday?) by Sen. Tom Coburn, one of the few politicians whose endorsement could actually garner votes among the fiscal hawks.

    McCain’s only “luck” was having Romney and the Ghoul suck a year’s worth of oxygen out of the coverage early on through heavy public relations campaigns, which only served to underline the clients’ psychoses.

  33. James,

    You are correct.

  34. I think Clinton wins in the general exactly because of the hatred conservatives have for her…they will overplay their cards and she will receive a massive turnout from black and latino voters as well as a huge turnout from white women.

  35. Never underestimate the blind hatred alot of us have about HRC.

    Oh, I hate her fucking guts. I’d vote for any Republican over her except Huckabee and Giuliani. But baby boomer white women will swamp people like you and me. Shes the Democratic Karl Rove when it comes to politics.

  36. Wow, I’d forgotten that, James. Right you are. Hillary got just over 29% and Edwards got just under 30%. I just remembered it as a tie for second.

    I think Clinton wins in the general election because Iraq will still be a mess, the economy will be in the toilet, and the Republicans will be the incumbent party.

  37. Cesar, you really think she, personally, is a political strategist comparable to Karl Rove?

  38. (scared that joe is correct, LIT prepares his VISA documentation for overseas work come November)

  39. (LIT also prepares his visa realizing he is an idiot)

  40. Cesar, you really think she, personally, is a political strategist comparable to Karl Rove?

    Not her personally, but the machine backing her. I bet they’ve all studied Karl Roves tactics and not only learned them, but learned how to defeat them.

  41. McCain won South Carolina with just over half of the votes he received in 2000…boy Republicans do hate their candidates don’t they?!

  42. Dr Paul came in 2nd in NV, beating McCain from neighboring AZ, Huckabee, Thompson, and warmonger Giuliani.

  43. So now that HuntforFredOctober is effectively dead, who are you going to pretend is the most libertarian-leaning candidate now, Matt?

  44. I don’t like McCain. He is a statist through and through. But of all the GOP candidates, he is the only one besides Ron Paul who condemned torture. Which means he still has an ounce of humanity in him. So I could live with a McCain presidency.

  45. McCain is an acceptable divided government candidate. He wouldn’t move the country in a libertarian direction, but he would hold the line on the dreaded growth of government spending. I’d worry about his executive competence, though.

    Really, right now the only completely unacceptable Republican candidate is Huckabee. If we’re going to get a fiscal liberal, it might as well be an actual Democrat.

  46. I can’t see where Hillary would be worse than McCain. Anyone who sings gleefully about bombing another country and boasts about hundred-year occupations is a first-class nut job. She may be a bitch, but she’s a sane bitch, and sanity is the first requirement for the job of baby-sitting the nuclear button.

  47. I’m probably going to catch hell for saying this, but I don’t think McCain’s position on torture has anything to do with morality.

    He signed a confession of war crimes, for Christ’s sake. How could he stand up now and say that torture yields accurate intel?

    Notice that on all the other issues, he’s twice the son of perdition. A quarter million troops in Iraq? Make it half a million, ha ha! Stay there fifty years? Make it a hundred, ha ha ha! And what about the Iran NIE? Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha HA HA HA HA HA HA!

    You would never guess from his cheerfulness that he’s talking about events that will result in the loss of lives of thousands of innocent people. His psychosis goes well beyond insenstivity and far, far into sadism.

    He reminds me of the Joker: twisted smile, sick sense of humor, superficial cheeriness broken by eruptions of rage whenever he perceives a slight — which is all the time.

    How dare I make such a comparison with a man who has suffered so much? Well, you’ll remember that falling into a vat of acid didn’t make the Joker a better person . . . .

  48. First time in my memory that I have absolutely no clue who the nominee will be from either party at this stage of the election.

    I hope this is some sort of sign that the two-party system is breaking: the fact that both parties have trouble uniting behind a candidate reflects a factionalism that has not only split American into red/blue, but produced rifts within the parties. If the evangelicals and the fiscal cons don’t fall in line anymore, and the anti-war, Clinton machine, and unions all fight each other, maybe the current coalitions and political spectrum will break and resettle in some manner more favorable to libertarian views. Creative destruction or something.

    I know it would be acting in bad faith, but I sometimes wonder if a divisive presidency would be the trick to end the current system, the way the W’s incompetent presidency has made libertarianism more fashionable nowadays. At least that will be how I console myself when I am forced to decide between Giuliani and Hillary come November.

  49. I think rightsaidFred might stay in to draw away Huckabee votes to help McCain. It worked pretty damn well in SC. We’ll see.

    He has to talk to his mommy about it.

    Matt Welch is a near-sighted poodle.

  50. Has Reason done investigative political reporting into McCain’s corporate entities? Is it true he’s mobbed up in Arizona? Wife is a liquor heiress…

  51. But baby boomer white women will swamp people like you and me.

    You know, I used to think so, but my solid lifelong democrat mother (who’s technically a year or two older than a baby boomer, but close enough) hates her guts as well.

    I got to look up the correct numbers but I think Sen Clinton’s unfavorables among older female boomers are still around 50% (and I believe that it’s probably mostly because the women of front end of boomer gen tended to be stay-at-home moms and not go to college more so than the back end, and esp more so than gen xers)

  52. I might suggest that if it comes down to say, Hillary vs. McCain – I for one will either vote for whoever gets a libertarian nomination, write in Ron Paul or simply not vote.

    My job has me out of the country most of the year anyway so I guess not voting is certainly the easy choice.

    I assume I’m not alone here when I suggest that voting your conscience is the only way to really use your vote in a democratic society. I refuse to vote for the lesser of two evils and thereby contribute yet more evil into an already evil-filled political system.

    It winds up being more or less futile either way when you think about it, so I’d rather be proud of myself than vote for a “winner” who barely shares 1/3rd of my philosophy.

  53. I think that dondero is making me become an anti-war guy. Must resist the manipulation. Hmmm maybe he still secretely works for Paul…. brilliant

  54. “Romney has pivoted pretty quickly into an opportunistically delegate-scarfing strategy.”

    No candidate worth his salt would stoop to gather low hanging fruit, eh? I mean, really, how low can you go? He should be fighting for symbolic victories like the other candidates.

  55. LIT — it’s funny though, because the first letter of the company name acronym VISA stands for the word visa.

  56. Transgender Libertarian, I’m sorry you’re the fist victim of this, but I’ve adopted a new line here at Reason H&R not to respond to anyone who uses silly psuedonames on line, initials or post under Anonymous.

    I will respond to people who completely disagree with me who use their real names, people like Jake Boner, Franklin Harris, John Randolph, Matt Welch, Joe Allen, et.al.

    I have a policiy over at my Libertarian Republivcan Blog to delete posts under Anonymous. Only consistent to keep that policy in Forums that I attend.

  57. Okay, every one of you here needs to take a gander at the Web’s number one political junkie site for Republicans – Race42008.com Big article this morning: “It’s Over, McCain has won.”

    The thread is already up to 400 posts.

    Of the 400, not a single mention of Ron Paul. The regular Republicans are completely ignoring him.

    His 13%, tied to 2nd place showing in Nevada has not phased them in the least.

    Not good news for me either, because the story line has shifted from Romney’s huge NV win to McCain, McCain, McCain.

    Ironically, most of the posters are now saying that Rudy Giuliani is the only one who can head McCain off. They’re saying that the only chance left to stop McCain is Florida with Rudy.

    I don’t agree of course. Mitt has more delegates than anyone else in the field. Ironically, Mitt seems to deal better than anyone else in Western States. NV and WY completely rejected McCain.

    I suspect that would carry over to delegate rich California.

    But, and I hate myself for saying this, only one Economic Conservative candidate can remain standing.

    Rudy and Mitt need to cut a deal. If they don’t, we’re stuck with McCain.

  58. Oh, the one bit of really, really good news to come out of last night for libertarian Republicans is that Huckabee is pretty much finished. If he can’t win SC, he can’t win anymore. (Except for maybe Arkansas, like Ron Paul has a shot in Alaska).

    So, there’s a silver lining for all libertarians Republicans from last night’s results.

    I am all over the place on the political sites, and I have not seen nor heard of a single libertarian Republican who is supporting Mike Huckabee for President.

    Well, strike that. There are two, and they are both sort of flukes: Florida State Sen. Mike Haridopolous from Orlando, and Ted Nugent of course. But I think Ted had a momentary lapse of Chuztpah in an interview.

  59. Transgender Libertarian, I’m sorry you’re the fist victim of this, but I’ve adopted a new line here at Reason H&R not to respond to anyone who uses silly psuedonames on line, initials or post under Anonymous.

    Could you be more pompous?

  60. I’m sorry you’re the fist victim of this…

    As if you not talking to me somehow makes me a victim.

    I won’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

  61. Guess my posts won’t get any replies either.

  62. Eric Dondero | January 20, 2008, 6:09am | #

    Transgender Libertarian, I’m sorry you’re the fist victim of this, but I’ve adopted a new line here at Reason H&R not to respond to anyone who uses silly psuedonames on line, initials or post under Anonymous.

    I cannot speak for others, but as for myself I would be more than happy not to respond from now on to any posts made here by Dondero. Would anyone else like to join me on that? I mean, the guy is really becoming tiresome.

  63. Kolohe – RE: your 2:24 a.m. post
    Exit polls from MSNBC show the boomer and older set breaking for Clinton/McCain. Your mother seems to be a little brighter than most.

  64. You would think that I would have learned by now that arguing issues is far more important than making some pompous stand about names.

    Especially since I changed my own name from Rittberg!

    Let this post be a lesson to me.

  65. McCain won’t win in November because he is against torture and he doesn’t hate Mexicans enough.

  66. Someone is posting under my name yet again. Two posts up. Again, if any of you all wish to confirm that it’s a post from me pick up the phone and call my cell phone. 832-896-9505.

  67. If that’s the real Dondero and not just a spoof, give me a fucking break. (Although if you’re a spoof, you’ve got his aura of whiny entitlement down just fine.)

    I figure that if anonymous handles were good enough for the writers of the Federalist Papers, they’re good enough for us.

    Pompous idiot. Who in the hell cares if he answers any of us posting? The man is an ex-parrot.

  68. Stark choices you all fringe libertarians need to make in the next couple weeks. Y’all either back Romney or Rudy and abandon Ron Paul, or you’ll be stuck with John McCain vs. Hillary Clinton (and Bloomberg).

    The only scenario where this might be a positive is if the Libertarian Party nominates someone decent like Bob Barr, Ed Thompson or Wayne Root.

    Worst case scenario for everyone:

    Hillary Clinton – Democrat

    John McCain – Republican

    Michael Bloomberg – Independent

    Steve Kubby or George Phillies – Libertarian

    Decent scenario:

    McCain, Hillary & Bloomberg

    Wayne Root or Bob Barr – Libertarian

    Good scenario:

    Rudy Giuliani or Mitt Romney – Republican

    Anybody, good or bad – Libertarian (Good might hurt Rudy or Romney in the Fall, Kubby or Phillies the standard 350,000 votes which would have little effect.)

  69. Grumpy Realist, post made at 8:37 am was a spoof.

  70. Matt Welch, any way to track down ISPs to see who is posting under my name? At the least, could you all number the posts so that I may easily reference the spoof posts. Thanks.

  71. And so who the fuck are you? I’ve never run into you out on the petitioning trail for the Libertarian Party or the libertarian movement. Never heard of you before.

    Who the fuck died and made you boss?

    What makes you think you’re suddenly King of the Libertarians, able to decide who is and who is not a “Real Libertarian.”

    Hey buster, I’ve got 22 years of hardcore libertarian activism under my belt. I’ve been called “America’s Greatest Libertarian Political Activist.” (See my site for just a tiny taste of some of the quotes praising me at http://www.libertarianrepublican.blogspot.com.)

    Don’ you fucking dare try to tell me who is and who is not a “real libertarian.”

    I’ll compare libertarian resumes with you any day of the week.

    Bring it on mother-fucker. Bring it on…

  72. the fact that both parties have trouble uniting behind a candidate reflects a factionalism that has not only split American into red/blue, but produced rifts within the parties.

    A GOP friend of mine has acknowledged and is upset over the fact that the GOP seems split into factions just like he always accused the Dems of. He is despondent over Fred never taking off, he doesnt feel like he has a “real conservative” left to vote for.

  73. Hitlery Clitler– Democrat as President would usher in a Renaissance in the militia movement
    and Ron Paul could revive the New$letter$.

    Rush Limbaugh will be swamped with callers proposing secession,- the neo-confederate ranks will swell.

    She may lose “the Blacks” for the Ds in securing the nomination .

    Moonbat lefties will join in as her foreign policy will be the same as BushCo.

  74. joe,

    Did we ever come up with a name for the “petition in the snow” fallacy?

  75. I remain convinced that McCain must be some sort of decent candidate if Dondero hates him so much.

  76. robc,

    Appeal to “Who the Fuck Are You?”

    Dondero, I know who Ayn Randian is, just as well as I know who Rick Barton is.

    Or do I get ignored because I’m just little-j joe?

  77. Who the fuck are you? I gathered signatures in the snow! I gave Murray Rothbard a back rub! Bring it on, Heloise! Let’s roll!

    Arrrooooooooooo!!!!

  78. Must resist the manipulation.

    O, kwais. coffee out nose lol here.

  79. Transgender Libertarian, I’m sorry you’re the fist victim of this, but I’ve adopted a new line here at Reason H&R not to respond to anyone who uses silly psuedonames on line, initials or post under Anonymous.

    I hereby declare this “the Fluffy rule”, otherwise known as “Fluffy follows me around showing people posts where I advocate genocide, and where I say that Saddam Hussein was behind the Oklahoma City bombing, and where I say that Barack Obama is secretly a Moslem programmed to be a Manchurian candidate – and I have no response to give.”

  80. Sure, Dondero, Welch is going to e-mail you the IPs of everyone who pisses you off.

    If you’re foolhardy enough to post your cell number on the Internet, your skin should be thick enough to handle people spoofing you.

    What do you think you’re going to do with IPs, anyway? Do you even know enough about how the Internet works to know what info you can and cannot divine with an IP?

  81. HALP ME MATT WELCH THEY BE MAKIN’ FUN OF ME NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

  82. I remain convinced that McCain must be some sort of decent candidate if Dondero hates him so much.

    L_I_T, I know what you mean, but you can’t just go by the Bizarro-Dondero vote (although Bizarro-Dondero love Ron Paul). ED has also stated that Huckabee is the worst (R) candidate, and I agree with him on that.

    He has convinced me that Kubby would be the best LP candidate, though.

  83. Uh, spoofing anyone is not cool, even Dondero.

    Also, I’m sorry you’re the first victim of this policy, Dondero, but I’m no longer responding to neocon fucktards. If you want to verify that I am the real crimethink, you can call me at 1-800-EAT-SHIT.

  84. I will respond to people who completely disagree with me who use their real names, people like Jake Boner

    What about Dick Pound, Dondie?

  85. I know a lot of people who never vote Republican or are apolitical independents who would vote for McCain in a minute. They just like the guy. If I had to bet my life on the election, I would say it is going to be McCain versus Hillary after Hillary emerges from a brutal divisive Democratic Primary where she uses every dirty trick in the book to maul Obama. Ultimately, people vote on likability for President as much as anything. The only really unlikable guy who has ever won an election in my lifetime was Nixon, but he won a very close election against Humphrey, after the Democrats completely imploded over Vietnam and then in a blow out election against the only real fringe candidate ever to win a major party’s nomination. Nixon is a wierd exception. Hillary is a lot like Nixon. She could win a general election if the Republicans imploded over Iraq or ran a fringe candidate like Huckabee or Paul. Since that does not appear to be happening, I don’t think there is any way someone with her negatives is going to win the general election. But I think her and Bill’s money and ruthlessness will get her the nomination.

  86. Jim Bob – to turn this into a Teaching Moment, what info can and cannot one divine with an IP? I’ve wondered and confess that I’m too lazy to look it up.

  87. John —
    I think there is a real distinction between politicians who depend on wide popularity, and those who get their power from organizational strategy. They govern differently; a popular figure like Bill Clinton was extremely cautious about using the military because he was concerned about public support, while Bush, who’s never had an electoral mandate, is comfortable with policies that don’t poll well. I worry about presidents who don’t strive to be liked; they seem to be more secretive, more likely to value loyalty over dissent. In that, as far as I can tell, Hillary is like Nixon.

    But it doesn’t mean she can’t win. Voters right now would choose a Democrat over a Republican, and I doubt the Democrats who dislike Hillary would switch to Romney or Huckabee. A McCain-Hillary general might be interesting, though.

  88. I know a lot of people who never vote Republican or are apolitical independents who would vote for McCain in a minute. They just like the guy. If I had to bet my life on the election, I would say it is going to be McCain versus Hillary after Hillary emerges from a brutal divisive Democratic Primary where she uses every dirty trick in the book to maul Obama

    This is why Ron Paul, IMHO, has to go negative on McCain and maybe Romney.

    His TV ads so far have been about: I am really a Republican. Not a cook.

    Now he has to go after the jugular more. Use the debate clips, his speeches, etc.

    As for McCain, there is plenty out there to illustrate his flip flops and his terrible temper and warmongering attitude. Just ask Matt Welch.

    RP has to show that Hillary will beat McCain. Because she will. Why vote for liberal lite when you can have liberal for real?

  89. Sorry–“cook” of course should have been “kook”.

  90. Lessee… Neocon thought police Coulter, Rush, Dondero etc. are endorsing Romney. Cosmotards are pushing McCain. I think I have to go with Paul just by default, just like Ilana Mercer, Vox Day, and all those hookers in Nevada.

  91. The last Ron Paul TV ad was very weak. It basically, said RP is a Republican, and the USA is a good place to live in. The money that has been wasted on his TV ads must be huge. He’s got nothing to lose by hitting McCain or be emphasizing what makes him different – ending the drug war, civil liberties etc.

  92. Hey Joe,

    When you and Ron Paul are doing shooters and having fun with Iiana Mercer and those hookers don’t forget Paul”s other supporters.

    David Duke

    Stormfront.org

    William Pierce(Turner Diaries)

    Hutton Gibson(Mel Gibson’s anti-semite father)

    9/11 truthers

    John Birchers

    Cindy Sheehan(I wonder if she will bring Lew with her?)

  93. Interesting comparison to Nixon: people who despised him and thought he was a joke voted for him in 1968, just because they wanted to punish the Democrats for Vietnam.

    And that was at a time when the public supported Humphry’s party over Nixon’s on policy issues. Today, Hillary’s Party is just about running the table in policy polls.

    The deck is really stacked against the Republicans this November. It’s only because of the popular image the press has created for McCain that they have any chance at all.

  94. If any of you all wish to confirm that it’s a post from me pick up the phone and call my cell phone. 832-896-9505. Ask for Erica.

  95. Common Sense,

    Don’t forget the transgender supporters of Ron Paul. We count too. btw – I always thought Guilt by association was weak, but whaddya I know??

    Tranny Granny

  96. >>>If not, that’s obviously a good thing, but we still don’t have much in the way of an exit strategy.

    from yesterday, crimethink 10:16pm…Ever wonder that we never had an exit strategy because we never plan to exit?

  97. I don’t know who’s posting here, but there really is a transgendered Libertarian candidate out there

  98. Hey, dont forget the loneliest Ron Paul Supporter: Shimshon Weisman!

    (he’s the secret orthodox Jew Nazi)

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig9/weisman1.html

  99. Does Hillary beat the future McCain-Lieberman ticket?

    Hillary fires up the base on the right. McCain-Lieberman pick off a big chunk of independents.

  100. Echoing Trans-Lib,

    If anybody wants to verify these posts are from me, call me on my cell..wait no…fuck off. Dondero, you can go take a flying leap off Dover cliffs. This is retarded.

  101. I matters because Ron Paul refuses to disassociated himself with these types. They have given $$$ and he will not return it.

    Sharp contrast to say when Howard Dean in June 2005 got up and told 9/11 truthers that the DNC would not take their money and their opinions were “vile, anti-semite rheortic”

    Why can’t Ron Paul do the same thing?

  102. M,

    I’m sure there are computer science-type people who can answer the question more accurately than I can, but as far as I know an IP can be used by anyone who can see it to identify someone’s geographic location fairly specifically (maybe down to the city level), but not who that person is individually. In order to identify someone personally the ISP has to dig through their logs and see what person was assigned what IP at what time.

    Static IPs are different in the sense that you’ll always have that IP, so it would be easier for your ISP to identify you to someone.

  103. I would say it is going to be McCain versus Hillary

    I think this is the only scenario in which a Republican could win. Obama would kill any Republican.

  104. Obama would have a much better chance against any Republican, but once again the Democrats are too stupid to realize how to win.

    Hillary is the Democrat’s Nixon–shes sneaky, secretive, mean-spirited, and intelligent. Thats not a good combination.

  105. Though I might might be tempted to vote for Clinton just so the neocons see what happens when their “unitary executive” isn’t one of them.

  106. It’s funny that these “Vile, anti-semitic types” used to be called “Reagan Democrats.”

    I’m going with Paul because the Reason/Cato strategy of incrementalism hasn’t produced ANY results. The country is going backwards, which even Reason acknowleges constantly in Brickbats.

    The big difference is that now I am convinced that the Reason/CATO strategy isn’t intended to show any results.

  107. Clinton has the advantage of being able to portray herself as the anti-war candidate, relative to McCain, and his ambition to stay in Iraq for 100 years .
    Also if Bush struggled in 2000 to get the evangelical vote out, won’t McCain struggle too, even against Clinton?

  108. Joe,

    So are you saying that Regan Democrats are all 9/11 Truthers?

  109. common_sense, I’ve made a new policy to not be an uptight bitch. Paul is wrong on the newsletter tip, and his excuse is lame. However, how is he to surmise what supporters are truthers from skinheads from trannies? He doesn’t support their position and has stated so. What else does he have to do? Howard Dean makes sausage.

    PS- I am a real person, let’s keep it that way.

  110. Dondero

    Perhaps you could address John C Randolph’s question about how you can possibly consider a gun grabbing socialist to be a libertarian

    if possible please do this without dropping any names or any personal stories of yours

  111. The Primary is still open on the Republican side. I think McCain has the best shot, but he will still have to deal with the brokered convention.

    Hillary Clinton vs John McCain:

    Sure, Hillary may not be liked, but she’ll win. The two campaigns represent the old school divide and conquer strategy. Hillary will be looking to the soccer moms and McCain wll be looking to the nascar dads. Interesting thing, for every white woman I’ve met that will vote for Hillary for the sake of being a woman, I know another white woman that won’t just because she’s a woman.

    Problem is two fold: Hillary’s Record isn’t that different from GWs. So she can say she’s “responsible” about the war to promote democracy at gunpoint. She can actually boast being tougher on immigration than McCain. She’ll talk about how the government can provide healthcare coverage for the poor and the uninsured. She’ll talk about how the government needs to stop jobs from going overseas and make things fair for the Middle Class.

    McCain will talk about how he’s been in government for 25 years. He’s the only one with the foreign policy to save us from unbathed towelheads. He’ll mumble on and on about some sort of half baked market solution to healthcare in which most of the electorate won’t have time to understand inbetween flipping to their favorite tv shows.McCain will also see how fickle his friends in specific media outlets really are. Of Course CNN is routing for him, he’s too liberal for his own party. Wait until he gets the nomination and the gloves come off. He’s not a looker, he’s doesn’t have anything new to say, and he’s not offering me money from the government. He’s not gonna win.

    Neither candidate appeals to young people, not that they’ll vote. McCain will be ultimately hurt by the fact that the Republican Party is fracturing, isn’t raising enough money, and they’ll be facing the political machine which got Clinton re-elected during a huge correction to the Republican’s Favor. Simply because McCain won’t be able to change the dynamic of this election and force Clinton to compete by new standards.

    If Hillary is really worried about the likability factor, all she has to do is pick Obama as her running mate. A Hillary/Obama ticket, McCain/ Other wouldn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell.

    The real story of this election is how the internet has played a huge role. The average person is afforded a bigger role in the process. Where as in the past you needed to know somebody to really get involved, now grass roots is making a difference. Now you can meet up with anyone via the internet and distribute flyers in your precinct. You will see direct mail budgets shrink in future campaigns. You’re going to continue to see that primaries in the future will be broken up and fractured.

    People in states that used to not make a difference will suddenly find themselves with a more concrete opportunity to change the electorate. The Money will follow as ratings will boost when they promote the hype of later state’s primaries. State and local gov will also promote the new trend hoping to soak up some of the money state’s like Iowa and New Hampshire take for granted every four years. The Traditional Media is not going to be able to compete with an unregulated media. Now you can just email or text your friends.

    The average voter average is younger in this election and that trend is going to continue downward for the next few election cycles. As the internet continues to revolutionize our lives and allow for revolutionary networking, you’re going to see more and more “Fringe” candidates raise money and compete on a national level.

  112. The reason I do not use my full name, do not post my real email address, do not post my phone number, is because this is the freaking internet! Yes I am tryin to hide. I am trying to hide from the trolls and nuts and spammers!

    If H&R had accounts (which I encourage them to adopt) then I would have an account and Dondero would know that my posts are my own. But I am not going to give him my phone number because I do not want him calling me at three in the morning, screaming at me about his libertarian resume.

  113. Common Sense asked:

    “So are you saying that Regan Democrats are all 9/11 Truthers?”

    No. I have condemned the Truthers here on Hit and Run and in my column “Truthers, Truth and the Man” on nolanchart.com. Dr. Paul has publicly stated that they don’t help him. I suspect you are just trying to change the subject.

    The Reagan Democrats are the southerners and rednecks that hated the GOP because they associated it with Licoln.

    It is a valid argument to say that Lincoln had noble intentions, but used many immoral tactics. It is a cornerstone of ethics to say that the ends do not justify the means. Jailing newsaper editors, political opponents and suspending habeus corpus even in wartime is unlibertarian and unamerican.

    The unintended consequences of Lincoln and the civil war was a much more powerful federal government. How any libertarian can support that effect is beyond me.

    Freeing the slaves WAS worth every life it cost and more, but it may have been unneccesary. England and every other country I know of ended the evil institution peacefully.

  114. Does anyone else have the feeling that if it is indeed a brokered convention for the Republicans, that this could be a re-aligning election? Maybe the party system we’ve had since 1932 is breaking down.

  115. Er, I mean since 1980. The New Deal coalition split up a long time ago. I think its the Reagan Coalition’s turn to break up.

  116. Still hoping:
    Cheney-Quayle ’08.

  117. Really, right now the only completely unacceptable Republican candidate is Huckabee. If we’re going to get a fiscal liberal, it might as well be an actual Democrat.

    Giuliani is completely unacceptable here. As a person, as a politician, as a mammal – unacceptable. My feelings about the ignorant, hillbilly, whack job preacher have already been expressed. My feelings today, if Obama gets the nomination, he’ll get my vote. If it’s Hillary vs Romney, I’m leaning Hillary. If it’s Hillary vs. McCain, I’m leaning McCain. If it’s Edwards vs. moldy cheese, I’m backing the penicillin culture.

  118. Edwards vs. Huckabee I leave the country for real.

    Clinton vs. Romney I’m leaning to Romney.

    Clinton vs. McCain I lean slightly to McCain.

  119. Transgender Libertarian, I’m sorry you’re the fist victim of this, but I’ve adopted a new line here at Reason H&R not to respond to anyone who uses silly psuedonames on line, initials or post under Anonymous.

    Darn, I so wanted to be the first “victin” of Dondi’s no respond policy. [sits in corner, sulks].

    I cannot speak for others, but as for myself I would be more than happy not to respond from now on to any posts made here by Dondero. Would anyone else like to join me on that? I mean, the guy is really becoming tiresome.

    I’m with ya. The above was my last.

  120. Dandy Dondero is indeed a boob, a neocon boob.

  121. “The last Ron Paul TV ad was very weak. It basically, said RP is a Republican, and the USA is a good place to live in. The money that has been wasted on his TV ads must be huge. He’s got nothing to lose by hitting McCain or be emphasizing what makes him different – ending the drug war, civil liberties etc.”

    Let’s be happy he didn’t attack Martin Luther King.

  122. Thanks, Jim Bob.

  123. I cannot speak for others, but as for myself I would be more than happy not to respond from now on to any posts made here by Dondero. Would anyone else like to join me on that? I mean, the guy is really becoming tiresome.

    Yeah, but that’s probably an exercise in futility. He appears to be one of those people who’s the last to know when he’s making an ass of himself, no matter how many people let him know it….

  124. Dondero’s tone reminds me of this guy’s.

  125. Well, I personally think the worse possible candidate is Guliani.
    I seriously would much Rather a Hillary presidency than a Guliani presidency.

    Huckabee is horrible in so many ways. Except that he wants to get rid of the IRS, if he can do that, I forgive most everything else.

    I guess my favorite is
    Ron Paul
    followed by Fred Thompson
    followed by maybe Obama?

    The only two talking about getting rid of the IRS are Huckabee and Paul though.

  126. Hey so um Rush Limbaugh endorsed Romney?

    Well that is disappointing. I guess Romney is better than McCain. Or at least what he pretends to believe now, at this moment, is slightly better than McCain.

    Still Dondero approves of the guy, so instinctually I feel there is probably a strong reason the guy should lose.

  127. Also as far as McCain running against Hillary or any other Democrat. He may have the independent’s vote but can he win without the base? I don’t think so.

    I am kind of hoping that Ron Paul goes 3rd party and hands the Dems a win.

    Just because there is no Republican that is worthy.

    I mean I more hope that RP gets the nomination, but that isn’t looking so likely now.

  128. Giuliani is completely unacceptable here. As a person, as a politician, as a mammal – unacceptable. My feelings about the ignorant, hillbilly, whack job preacher have already been expressed. My feelings today, if Obama gets the nomination, he’ll get my vote. If it’s Hillary vs Romney, I’m leaning Hillary. If it’s Hillary vs. McCain, I’m leaning McCain. If it’s Edwards vs. moldy cheese, I’m backing the penicillin culture.

    Well, barring a miracle, I don’t think we’re going to have Giulliani to kick around much longer.

    But, the way I see it, if it came down to Giulliani vs Hillary, they’d both be equally bad in terms of government secrecy and authoritarianism (don’t forget both Waco and Elian occurred under the Clinton DOJ – anyone really think another Janet Reno will be any better than whoever Giulliani would bring in?). The difference is Giulliani would continue divided government. With Hillary, the Democratic congress will rubber stamp everything she wants and look the other way when she abuses her power. With Giulliani, they’ll be all up in his grill and we can look forward to four more years of gridlock. Which sounds pretty good to me.

  129. Well that is disappointing. I guess Romney is better than McCain. Or at least what he pretends to believe now, at this moment, is slightly better than McCain.

    Still Dondero approves of the guy, so instinctually I feel there is probably a strong reason the guy should lose.

    Well, Dondero isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed. I remember him crowing about Paul Weyrich supporting Romney.

    What Dondero may not know is that Weyrich has always opposed the Iraq war, and Romney is the only candidate besides Paul who has never explicitly said going into Iraq was justified.

    I have a feeling Weyrich would never have given Romney his endorsement without having gotten some assurances from Romney on the matter.

  130. The difference is Giulliani would continue divided government. With Hillary, the Democratic congress will rubber stamp everything she wants and look the other way when she abuses her power. With Giulliani, they’ll be all up in his grill and we can look forward to four more years of gridlock.

    See I was thinking just the opposite, that because Guliani is a Republican, only the fringe groups would oppose his socialistic ideas.

    Where every Republican alive would vociferously oppose everything the Hilderbeast did.

    She would get nothing accomplished, and would be out in 4.

  131. If this was an open thread I would mention that kook fringe cosmotarians are now proponents of cultural marxism. Marxists are, to use Wilkinson’s own words,far more willing to use the state to enforce those views than those who have opposed them have. Sice it is not an open thread I apologize for being off topic.

  132. Pig Mannix:
    What are you smoking? On Brother Bill’s Fox Show, when asked about Iraq Mitt Romney said, “I wouldn’t presume to present a plan different from that of the President. But I believe he was right to take on the war on terror on an aggressive front rather than a defensive front. We toppled the government … walking away would mean a humanitarian disaster. We’re there and we have a responsibility to finish the job.” [O’Reilly Factor, FNC, 9/27/06]

    I remember in one of the early debates, in answer to RP’s comments about how the War was crazy and we should just “come home” Romney jumped in and said “Has he forgotten about 9/11?” And he’s against any timetable and basically had an orgasm for the troop surge…

    That tool is for the war alright (as long as such a position is seen as helpful to him by his consultants).

  133. Tranny, I think what that guy was saying is actions speak louder then words. Ron Paul could start by giving that $500 by he got from that neo-Nazis that made the natl news and say, “My campaign refuses to knowingly take money from such groups”

  134. Rudy catches hell (and rightly so) for his gun control support. Well, Romney has the same problem:
    And as the GOP gubernatorial candidate in 2002, Romney lauded the state’s strong laws during a debate against Democrat Shannon O’Brien. “We do have tough gun laws in Massachusetts; I support them,” he said. “I won’t chip away at them; I believe they protect us and provide for our safety.”

    In his 1994 US Senate run, Romney backed two gun-control measures strongly opposed by the National Rifle Association and other gun-rights groups: the Brady Bill, which imposed a five-day waiting period on gun sales, and a ban on certain assault weapons.

    http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2007/01/14/romney_retreats_on_gun_control/

  135. That tool is for the war alright (as long as such a position is seen as helpful to him by his consultants).

    Which pretty much describes all of his stances on the issues. He’s a weather vane in an expensive suit. And of the viable Republican cadidates, he is one of the two least odious. After this election I’ll likely be pounding the drums for congressional supremacy.

  136. I find Romney worse than Rudy.Giuliani offers explanations for why he held a position and says what he intends to do in the future. Mitt just flip flops with no explanation. Rudy strikes me as wrong but consistent and doesn’t deny what he believes. I have no idea what Romney believes on much of anything other than that Jesus made a second trip to North America to meet with some white supremacist mound builders who don’t appear in the archaeological record.

  137. Romney

    Supports socialized health care, corporate welfare to benefit the manufacturing sector, and an aggressive foreign policy.

    Honestly, I just don’t understand why some people are so worried about McCain winning the Republican nomination rather than Romney. All the Romney supporters need to do if Romney doesn’t get the nod is to cast their votes for Hillary Clinton, and they’ll get a president who will happily enact Romney’s policies.

  138. Please, guy whose handle refers to his passionate support for cockfighting, tell us more about who is properly described as a “kook fringe.”

  139. joe,

    In the wide world of libertarianism no one is kookier or more “fringe” than marxist “libertarians”.There is a bit of an unresolvable ideological clash there.

  140. There is nothing “fringe” about cockfighting in America.

    From Wiki:

    Cockfighting has a very long tradition in American culture and history. Many of the founding fathers participated in the sport of cockfighting including Washington and Jefferson. [7] First the British and then the Irish brought in their favorite breeds of fighting roosters. These breeds make up most of the modern American breeds.[citation needed] With the influx of immigrants from Central America and Asia, they have each added new forms of cockfighting.

  141. SIV,

    We used to hang people in the town square. Folks brought their family, a oicnic lunch and partied down. The highlight of course was the execution of a human being, Yeah, we used to do that. We, as a cxulture, have outgrown it. We, as a culture, have outgrown animal fights to death for entertainment. If you fell bad about being left behind, look inward.

  142. Public executions are better both as deterent and to remind people that State violence, however justified, is conducted in their name right out in the open.

    That said, State violence is irrelevant to a wholly private, consensual activity–particularly a traditional one like cockfighting with roots as deep as civilization.

    joe is responsible for this mini-threadjack.

  143. We, as a culture

    J sub D

    Who appointed you, or animal rightists in general, as cultural arbiters?

    Your assertion is both collectivist and anti-liberty.

  144. We used to allow parents to send their kids to work for other adults for 60-70 hours a week. That was consensual (the employer and the parent agreed, the kid often had no say, just like the cock). Was prohibiting that OK?

    What if we had the kid fight another kid for our amusement? Or have sex with another kid for our amusement? All the adults involved would of course be there by consent…

  145. I agree with SIV on Rudy/Romney though. I even think Huck is better than Romney. If any place could justify a tax raise for infrastructure repair it would be Ar-Kansas.

  146. I imagine even SIV would be against the kid fights and sex rings, even allowing the dreaded State to “arbitrate” in this cultural matter. The issue is not in whether it is always wrong to have the State coerce immoral behavior, its what types of moral behavior the state should be limited to applying coercion on (even heavy libertarians think the state should coerce me from assaulting you or squatting on your land w/out permission, probably because you find such behavior immoral (wrong).

  147. I think a sensible libertarian position is that the State should only be allowed to coerce behavior when it causes an unjustified, rather direct harm to a being with some rationality, sentience and/or ability to feel pain. The justifiation would have to be commensurate to the harm (so something without much of the values I list above, say, a cock, could be humanely killed to provide food, but not inhumanely killed for mere amusement).

    And S sub D, you think animal fighting is regressive? You cosmotard 😉

  148. @Mr. Nice Guy

    Pig Mannix:
    What are you smoking? On Brother Bill’s Fox Show, when asked about Iraq Mitt Romney said, “I wouldn’t presume to present a plan different from that of the President. But I believe he was right to take on the war on terror on an aggressive front rather than a defensive front. We toppled the government … walking away would mean a humanitarian disaster. We’re there and we have a responsibility to finish the job.” [O’Reilly Factor, FNC, 9/27/06]

    I stand corrected, I hadn’t heard that.

    @SIV

    If this was an open thread I would mention that kook fringe cosmotarians are now proponents of cultural marxism. Marxists are, to use Wilkinson’s own words,far more willing to use the state to enforce those views than those who have opposed them have.

    Does that surprise you? There’s no such thing as a “left-libertarian”. When push comes to shove, they’re inevitably leftists before they’re libertarians. If allowing free people to exercise their legitimate rights doesn’t produce the kind of society they think we ought to have (and my money says that’s highly unlikely!), they’ll be the first to reach for the truncheon.

    Turning your back on that crowd can have consequences that will seriously mess with your serenity.

    Cosmotarianism – Socialist Ends by Free Market Means!

  149. MNG,

    Kids aren’t chickens.

    I dislike and disagree with Romney as much or more as I do the Huckster and McCain.

    I could be wrong about Romney as there is no telling what he would actually do.McCain and Huck at least have some definable positions and principals.

  150. MNG do you want to ban KFC?

  151. Pig Mannix,

    Not suprised in the least.The left-libertarian thing is what brought me to H&R well before the “single issue”.I had no idea how widespread the bs had become beyond Brink Lindsey. I was also under the mistaken impression that “left-libertarianism” was a result of confusion among younger people who didn’t fully understand the ideology.I didn’t realise commies would have the chutzpah to try and coopt it.


    Cosmotarianism – Socialist Ends by Free Market Means!

    Mind if I use that sometimes? Kinda catchy, and apropos.

  152. guy whose handle refers to his passionate support for cockfighting,

    R/R explanation? Google reveals basically nothing (but our little sandbox here) for “SIV” + “cockfighting”

  153. @SIV

    You not only have my permission, you have my encouragement! Spread the meme!

  154. PM and SIV,

    Would you say that anyone who defends libertarianism/free markets on consequentialist grounds is suspect? If I argue that the reason I support libertarianism is because it produces certain results that most people seem to like (peace, prosperity, and perhaps especially for the worst off among us), does that make me suspect?

    After all, I’d abandon my libertarian policies if they produced misery and conflict and/or would adopt other policies if they could be shown to produce peace and prosperity.

    Does that make me a “leftist before a libertarian?” Does that make me likely to “reach for the truncheon?”

    Before you answer, consider that this is more or less the position that Mises held.

    I’m happy to cede to you all the “I’m in favor of freedom even if it produces misery, poverty, conflict, and strife” position.

  155. kolohe,

    When I decided to largely use a single identifying “handle” in commenting here I chose
    “single issue voter”. My first comments under this name were disputing that there was anything libertarian about New Mexico Democrat Party Governor Bill Richardson-then being touted as a ” democrat libertarian” hope for POTUS, who campaigned implying he wouldn’t advocate for or sign a ban on then legal cockfighting in his state.Needless to say he was a lying SOB, probably for politically expedient ends rather than ideological ones.

    I shortened it to SIV (nothing to do with the then obscure Structured Investment Vehicles)

    I pledged to vote for whichever candidate most supported legal cockfighting (I knew exactly where this was going as there was no chance LA Democrat Chris John was going to run for President) as a “libertarian purity test”.

    Cockfighting is a good issue for smoking out Statists and promoting thought among urbanized libertarians.

    Sorry for the long explanation. I’m supporting Ron Paul, despite a few foreign policy disagreements, as there is no way he supports any Federal Animal rights law unless it is in the Constitution!

  156. Steven Horwitz :

    Does that make me a “leftist before a libertarian?”

    Actually Yes it does.Liberty is it’s own virtue and end.

    …would adopt other policies if they could be shown to produce peace and prosperity.

    I shudder to think, although dystopian novels and the empty promises of tyrants offer a glimpse down that road.

    I’m happy to cede to you all the “I’m in favor of freedom even if it produces misery, poverty, conflict, and strife” position.

    I’m not, Mises was an excellent economist though.

    I reject utilitarianism and I suppose “consequentialism” on moral grounds.

  157. SIV-
    arigatoo

  158. I’m happy to cede to you all the “I’m in favor of freedom even if it produces misery, poverty, conflict, and strife” position.

    I have no doubt collectivists will find all of those in abundance in any free society and proceed to undermine it by force.I have faith those natural human conditions will be minimized but that isn’t why I am for freedom.

  159. @Steven Horwitz

    Would you say that anyone who defends libertarianism/free markets on consequentialist grounds is suspect? If I argue that the reason I support libertarianism is because it produces certain results that most people seem to like (peace, prosperity, and perhaps especially for the worst off among us), does that make me suspect?

    I’d say at a minimum, they’re missing the point. First, I have no reason to believe libertarianism will necessarily secure any of those results, at least not any better than any number of other systems. Scandinavia seems to do quite well producing those things with social democracy, in fact, I’d say they’ve done a better job of it over time than the United States has done.

    I don’t claim to answer for the welfare of society at large. Nor can I. I claim my rights not because they’re “good for society”, I claim them simply because they’re my rights.

    After all, I’d abandon my libertarian policies if they produced misery and conflict and/or would adopt other policies if they could be shown to produce peace and prosperity.

    I offer you the history of the first 150 years of the United States. I’ll grant that it wasn’t a perfect libertarian society, but I submit that if you were to exclude it from your list of examples you wouldn’t have many to make a case with!

    Does that make me a “leftist before a libertarian?” Does that make me likely to “reach for the truncheon?”

    Before you answer, consider that this is more or less the position that Mises held.

    I offer you the views of another econ professor, one Friedman:

    I wrote an article once arguing that a free society is an unstable equilibrium. Fundamentally, I’m of the opinion that it is. Though we want to try to keep that unstable equilibrium as long as we can! The United States from 1780 to 1929 is not a bad example of a limited-government libertarianism that lasted for a long time.

    Note that he doesn’t defend freedom on the grounds that “it works”; he concedes up front that it’s unstable. I submit history has handed more ammunition to Friedman than Mises.

    I’m happy to cede to you all the “I’m in favor of freedom even if it produces misery, poverty, conflict, and strife” position.

    I’m not in a position to say what it will produce. Given that more societies have been failures than successes, I submit that nobody really knows what elements are necessary to produce successful societies. I advocate for freedom not because I can guarantee good results as a consequence, but because freedom is a good in itself. If I trade my freedom for your social democracy/fascism/communism, I have no assurance of any improvement of my situation, all I have is the assurance I’ll be exchanging a certain good that I have for hypothetical goods that may never materialize.

  160. It is irrelevant who wins the Republican nomination. Does anyone actually think the public mood could possibly change enough by next fall such that a Republican could be elected? I seriously doubt it.

    For all practical purposes, it is down to two people: Clinton and Obama.

    I beg you. I plead with you. I grovel before your almightyness. I will do anything in order for you to choose Obama over Clinton.

    There is no significant policy difference between the two. One is likeable, one is a complete phoney whom is loathed by a third of the country and disliked by a whole bunch more.
    A vote for Clinton is a vote for 4-8 years of partisan bickering. Obama won’t make it magically go away, but it will at least be muted. The Republicans I knoew LIKE Obama, even if they disagree. That is a rare thing, and we should take advantage of it.

  161. It is irrelevant who wins the Republican nomination. Does anyone actually think the public mood could possibly change enough by next fall such that a Republican could be elected? I seriously doubt it.

    Coin flip 50-50

    This is a conservative country and there are endless scenarios under which even the worst Republican candidate could win.

    That said , I prefer Obama over Clinton as he probably has less knowledge of where the levers of power are located and might actually have desires beyond the mere exertion thereof. I’d like to think his election(or even nomination) might deal a blow to some popular collectivist notions of identity politics as well.

  162. I love it when vile people defend Republicans.

    Flushing you out was so easy.

  163. I gotta confess, I’ve been wrong about Dondi. He may be on to something with Romney. Of all the Republicans he may be the least of the evils.

    This Newsletter thing with Ron Paul has got me less supportive of his candidacy. Rockwell should come clean and save Paul the embarrassment. Unless Paul explains what happened, I’m moving towards Romney.

  164. About this consequentialist business —
    let’s take a concrete example.

    A. Some people oppose a minimum wage hike because it will cause unemployment and contribute to poverty.

    B. Some people oppose the minimum wage, period, because it interferes with the rights of workers and employers to voluntarily agree on a price for labor.

    A utilitarian or consequentialist would take position A, but not B. I tend to think this diminishes the importance of individual freedoms, which is why I’m not a strict utilitarian. But arguing, as some libertarians do, that social concerns like A are irrelevant, misses the fact that there are dangers besides the loss of liberty. When someone comes to you and says that the challenge of the present is to end extreme poverty, do you say, “Sorry, not interested”? Or do you say, “Yes, and libertarian policies are the best way to achieve that”?

    I don’t think Steven Horwitz was advocating communism or fascism, and neither am I. This is just a plea for pragmatism; too few people are even aware that individual rights are valuable.

    Friedman wasn’t saying that a free society doesn’t work, only that there will always be political forces seeking to overturn it. He was more than willing to argue that the free market could reduce racism and poverty, improve education and national security, in addition to the intrinsic value it gives to human freedom.

  165. Sorry J sub D, but Rudy is more principled than Romney. I’m leaning towards him.

    I agree, the Newsletter scandal has hurt Ron Paul. And his sorry showing in Nevada and South Carolina doesn’t help. He should have won Nevada easy. But he got creamed by Romney with 3 times less votes. And Paul campaigned in the State, bought radio ads.

    I’ve lost my faith in Paul’s campaign and in his ability to run an honest effort. Why is he holding back on Rockwell?

    Well, Rudy seems the best shot we libertarians have at this point. Romney’s okay. But Rudy’s at least good on taxes.

  166. I agree, Ron Paul is finished. It’s been two weeks now, and he still hasn’t named who wrote those Newsletters. We all know it was Rockwell. So, I don’t understand why he won’t just throwin him under the bus.

    I’m going with McCain. I agree, Rudy is good on taxes. And yes, Romney seems Pro-Business, entreprenurial. But McCain is best on spending.

  167. Count me in too, Brandybuck. I’m going with McCain. If Dondero doesn’t like him, he must be good.

    And Paul has just lost it. 3.6% in South Carolina? That should’ve been a state where he did well. It’s very NeoConfederacy, States’ Rights, and all.

  168. Yeah, I’m ditching Paul too. The way he’s handled this Newsletter scandal. I’m not a PC guy, and I don’t think the comments in those Newsletters were over-the-line. But surely he could have just saved face by admitting that they were written by Rockwell.

    I’m torn between Romney or Giuliani right now. They’re my fallback candidates. And since I can no longer support Ron Paul, I guess its one of them.

  169. A vote for Clinton is a vote for 4-8 years of partisan bickering. Obama won’t make it magically go away, but it will at least be muted.

    When the two parties are clamoring for different flavors of bigger government, then partisan bickering might be the best we can hope for.

  170. I don’t think the newsletters have hurt Paul too much. They’re a symptom, not a cause.

    The root cause, which has become abundantly clear in the past few weeks, is his staff is completely incapable of running a serious campaign. They have the war chest, but they’re still more or less running an ideas campaign. Their ‘serious’ attempts like the ads come off as amateurish at best. Honestly, they’d be better off just cleaning up and running some of the Youtube ads the movement has created.

  171. Sorry J sub D, but Rudy is more principled than Romney. I’m leaning towards him.

    Yeah, but it’s his principles that are the problem. Giuliani clearly believes in social order at the expense of liberty. Sorry, but that’s a principle I can’t support and it’s one of the few Giuliani’s entire career makes clear.

  172. Here’s all the “luck” McCain needed:

    South Carolina wouldn’t vote for a non-conservative candidate like McCain in a hundred years (or more like 300.) He benefited from the very calculus Ron Paul’s most optimistic supporters (like me) were counting on:

    When your appeal is limited to about 1/3 of the electorate (South Carolina Republicans), your only hope to win is if the other 2/3 of the vote is split between more traditional candidates — in this case, Huckabee, Romney, and Thompson.

    I suspect that if Thompson had dropped out after dismal showings in Iowa and New Hampshire and Michigan, Huckabee would have won South Carolina and the “Mac is back” chants would sound even cornier than they do now.

    The more conspiratorial among us might wonder if this wasn’t Fred’s role all along — campaign hard enough to chip away at Romney’s and Huckabee’s and Paul’s support, to allow “establishment” candidate A (Giuliani) or B (McCain) to win.

  173. I haven’t commented since 12:15 AM
    Should be pretty obvious that last one isn’t me
    anyways.

  174. Lost_In_Translation said…
    Count me in too, Brandybuck. I’m going with McCain. If Dondero doesn’t like him, he must be good.

    And Paul has just lost it. 3.6% in South Carolina? That should’ve been a state where he did well. It’s very NeoConfederacy, States’ Rights, and all.

    OMG, I’ve been spoofed. I’d feel honored, but I think someone just forgot to change their name when spoofing me somewhere else. Congratulations spoofer, I’m blushing.

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