How Ron Paul Could Destroy the GOP

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Yesterday I pointed out that the Libertarian Party is ready to offer up its nomination to Ron Paul should he lose his congressional bid and decide to continue his presidential race outside the GOP. Today CNN has some evidence that Paul could cost the GOP the state of Texas in November.

Assuming McCain is the Republican presidential nominee, 52 percent of poll respondents said they would vote for him, compared with 44 percent for Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, the current Democratic front-runner.

That's actually shockingly good: No Democrat has hit 44 percent in Texas since Bill Clinton in 1996. And in 1992 he got fewer votes but almost won Texas. George H.W. Bush only carried the state by about 214,000 votes while Ross Perot pulled in 1,354,000 votes. Which brings us to this…

However, a conservative third-party candidate could skew the results—and spell trouble for McCain, according to polling results. In that scenario, 19 percent of Texas poll respondents said they would vote for the third-party candidate, 37 percent for McCain and 41 percent for Obama.

Hm. A "conservative third-party candidate" with a Texas political base and the financial power to make a real run at this. Maybe a far-right congressman who refuses to endorse McCain and could run around the state warning Republicans that the GOP candidate supports amnesty and wants to extend the Trans-Texas Corridor to Nunavut. Can you think of anyone who'd fit the bill?

Oh, I know the argument that Paul would pull more votes from the Democrat since he'd be running against the war. That was true when Hillary Clinton was the frontrunner, but it's not going to be true if Obama gets the nod. The disgruntled vote will be all ornery Republicans who can't believe their party nominated "McVain." And if there isn't quite enough of that to give Texas to Obama, there could be enough to make McCain waste precious time and money in a state that went to Bush over Kerry by 23 points.

UPDATE: Texas election law is here. I know that Paul could not follow the usual protocols for a third party candidate as long as he's running as a Republican for the House. Texas isn't Connecticut. But I believe the LP might be able to nominate a placeholder candidate, yank him or her, and replace him with Paul. This is what Republicans tried to do with Tom DeLay, although he failed to meet the deadline and they eventually had to run an election with no GOP candidate. In that election the GOP told voters to write in a city councilwoman: She scored 42 percent of the vote this way. So that's another possible way for a purged Paul to screw with the GOP.

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  1. How Ron Paul Could Destroy the GOP

    …and how can I help?

  2. oooh oooh Me too please.

  3. Does it matter that he’s said he’s not running?

  4. How Ron Paul Could Destroy the GOP

    …and how can I help?

    So, we’re going to go from Republicans controlling the White House and both houses of congress, to letting the Democrats do the same thing? Smart, really smart.

    Paul’s first biggest problem is that people think his foreign policy is insane. It’s the most common reason I hear people say they won’t consider voting for him.

    The true blooded libertarian “core”, with its vast teaming hordes of election-controlling voters (not), can blow this off if they like. If they like remaining irrelevant, that is.

  5. I thought Dr. Paul said there was a “sore loser” law in Texas that keeps him off the ballot, were he to run third party.

  6. If this scenario begins to play out I’m sure Reason will be there once again to help neutralize the Ron Paul campaign and purge successful impure candidates.

  7. [sigh]
    More of this??? Not only has Dr. Paul *repeatedly* told everyone that he will not run 3rd party, but Texas Law forbids what you describe.

    Sheesh.

    The Repuglicans are going to lose this election all on their own. And it will have nothing to do with any 3rd party.

    They will lose because they are pro-war, pro-big government, and anti-Bill of Rights.

    But *if* Ron Paul could destroy the GOP, I’d be right there at his side helping.

    I will leave you with a quote from Frank Herbert’s sci-fi classic “Dune”

    “He who can destroy a thing, controls that thing.”

    I would simply add that you don’t actually have to be able to destroy the thing in question, so long as people believe you can destroy it.

    Later.

  8. I sure home Paul doesn’t run Libertarian.
    I’ll be voting for split government. Holding my nose the whole time, I’ll be “completing the arrow” (that’s how the ballots are here in NM…no pulling levers) for McCain. Obama is the most socialistic nominee the Dems have ever put up. There’s no way I could vote for him, but I fear he’s going to win.

  9. I think Paul is going to concentrate on keeping his House seat. It strongly looks like he’s not going to do an indie or LP run. And I hadn’t even thought of the possibility of a “sore loser” law in some states preventing him from doing so.

  10. Dear Mr Scrooge,

    GOP isn’t going to win the General Election anyway. To make matters worse there is a large number of Republican Congressmen leaving Congress. Which means you gotta worry about filling those seats w/ Republicans and trying to gain ground in either the house or senate. That’s my take on it.

    Secondly the implication that there is a difference between the Republican Party and the Democratic Party seems to stretch the imagination. Doubling the spending on education. Doubling the MZM money supply. Unfunded liabilities (Entitlements) spending went up 60%.National Debt went up 58%, dollar was purposely pushed down 36%.

    Meanwhile we have a huge core of the party that won’t even discuss strategic changes unless they’re uttered by President Bush or his advisors/The National Review. If it wasn’t heard on Fox News it must be spin. They’re spending a Trillion in Iraq and only a Billion annually to prevent terrorists from entering this country? We’ve endorsed torture and suspended Habeas Corpus?

    Remaining Your Faithful Servant,

    Jacob Marley

  11. If Paul loses his primary, couldn’t he just run for the seat as an “independent Republican,” ala Lieberman?

  12. I knew as early as 1999 that my state would vote for whoever’s the Democratic nominee in 2008 (and 2012 and 2004 and every other election year), so I plan to throw my vote away on the LP’s sacrificial lamb. I hope he’s not too nutty.

  13. “Paul’s first biggest problem is that people think his foreign policy is insane. It’s the most common reason I hear people say they won’t consider voting for him.”

    “The true blooded libertarian “core”, with its vast teaming hordes of election-controlling voters (not), can blow this off if they like. If they like remaining irrelevant, that is.”

    The Republican Party can continue to be the war party and continue to lose and become more irrelevant if they don’t learn that the public is tired of this insane meddling foreign policy that is making us less safe at home and draining our economy and driving oil prices sky high. They didn’t learn in 2006, maybe they need to lose their ass in 2008. Maybe then they can get it through their thick skulls that the public is tired of their useless wars and Israel first policy. I’ve been voting since 1968 and this will be the first time I’ve voted for a Democrat for President, if the candidate is Obama and not Hillary.

  14. “McVain” – that’s good. Though I’ve been using “McBain” (while actually a Simpsons parody of Schwarzenegger, the gung-ho hawkishness and simplistic world view of that character is appropriate to the senator too – who the Govenator himself endorsed, after all)

  15. I just don’t understand how Ron Paul can raise so much money and do extremely well in so many straw polls yet do terribly in the actual primaries/caucuses.

    I don’t know if I believe the results we’re being told.

  16. The destruction of the GOP would be a beautiful thing. It should be our goal, as the Republicans have shown themselves to be consistent and outspoken enemies of freedom.

    And then we need to destroy the Democrats, as they have shown themselves to be consistent and outspoken enemies of freedom.

  17. This is yet-another example of readers (especially “The It Girl”) exhibiting vastly more clue than Reason cosmotarians who seem genetically unable to listen to what the good Doctor says, no-matter how many times he repeats it. Dimwits…
    JMR

  18. Paul’s first biggest problem is that people think his foreign policy is insane. It’s the most common reason I hear people say they won’t consider voting for him.

    How do those people think of current foreign policy?

  19. “Obama is the most socialistic nominee the Dems have ever put up. There’s no way I could vote for him, but I fear he’s going to win.”

    True, and I’m opposed to socialism, but McCain is probably the biggest warmonger to come along in the long time, so there’s no way I could vote for him. The State grows during war time and you can be sure that we will be in war every year that McCain’s in office, so we have big government regardless. I’d rather have big government with less loss of life.

  20. Which means you gotta worry about filling those seats w/ Republicans and trying to gain ground in either the house or senate. That’s my take on it.

    Congress’s approval ratings are dismal. Republicans should be able to pick up seats in the House.

    The Senate is different, since so many of the seats up for election are Republican seats.

  21. Maybe the GOP needs to be destroyed before it’s rebuilt (and I’m a loyal republican).

  22. Sore loser laws have been given much more credit (blame?) than deserved.

    http://www.ballot-access.org/2007/07/20/do-sore-loser-laws-apply-to-presidential-candidates/

  23. If Ron Paul is not the GOP nominee, he will still get my vote via a write-in.

    Write-In Ron Paul.

    I like the sound of that. Time to start a new grassroots movement.

  24. The Republican Party can continue to ….. draining our economy ……

    And the Democrats aren’t going to do this same thing? Albeit going down a slightly different road?

    And if you think for a minute the Democrats are going to do anything different than the Republicans on Iraq, you’re in for a big surprise.

    There’s an opportunity for someone to hold up a rational alternative to the Dem/Rep parties. But “I’m picking up my toys and go home NOW!” is not going to cut it. As RP’s campaign has demonstrated.

    Going into Iraq may have been a really stupid thing to do, but it’s a done deal.

    Bash Bush & Co. all you like. But the problem of where we’re going from here in Iraq remains. And while the voting public can be immensely thick, their perception that picking up our toys and leaving right now isn’t rational, may not be just entirely off the mark.

    Until that gets through to the libertarian community, and they start working on putting a genuinely rational alternative up to the Dems/Reps, the libertarians are going to remain irrelevant.

    Which is the sum total of my point.

  25. I love reading any political scenario that requires any amount of voters to be even remotely informed.

    Over the last 2 weeks while on vacation I heard these three things from 3 separate people:

    1. Friend: (She hears a mention of Ron Paul in election conversation) “Who’s that?!”

    2. Other Friend: “You know what I heard the other day? Apparently some people have been taking out mortgages that have floating interest rates that they can’t repay.”

    3. Brother-in-law: Did you see that Bush authorized the tax rebate? (goes on about details of how much everyone gets)
    Other Friend: tax rebate? How did they manage that?
    Brother-in-law: I guess they had a surplus and decided that they should give the money back to people to help stimulate the economy.
    Me: No, that’s not it at all. In no way what-so-ever did we have a surplus. They’re just…
    Brother-in-law: Well, it’s a tax rebate. I read somewhere that the fed had a bunch of money set aside for a project that never went through, so they must be using that to give rebates.
    Me: *kills self*

  26. whew “far-right congressman” where did you get that from, David? One would rather think the GOP has moved so much to the right lately, with war-mongering, Patriot Act and total control based on fear-mongering as a way to get elected, that Dr. Paul stayed the traditional course and should be positioned as moderate, fiscally conservative, politically for the sovereignty and classical liberal (constitutional), social conservative himself, but not enforcing the position on to others.

    Why do you think Paul has to go third party for the GOP to lose in case McCain gets the GOP nomination? The GOP will implode as Paul and all his supporters would simply not vote for either McCain or Obama/Clinton, with some supporters a write-in. This would have the same effect, many pro-war GOP conservatives would also not vote for McCain. A third party run would be a stupid idea. With an imploded GOP Paul would be in the ideal position to take control of the party.
    BTW: DO not rule out an outsourced Clinton smear on Obama and winning TX and OH, which could ensure her the nomination. ALternatively, there could be a brokered solution with Al Gore as the king maker. (Same with the GOP).

  27. Ron Paul has already destroyed the GOP.

    He performance in the debates, and the loud cheering he received, made it safe for GOPers to oppose the war, and that’s the ballgame.

  28. The only good thing about Obama winning is that Republicans remember that they oppose government when it is led by a Democrat. Democrats always agree to more government no matter who leads it, but Republicans only agree to it when their own guy leads it. That’s why late Clinton saw the smallest budget deficits in recent history.

  29. Perhaps we must destroy the GOP to save it.

  30. Bash Bush & Co. all you like. But the problem of where we’re going from here in Iraq remains. And while the voting public can be immensely thick, their perception that picking up our toys and leaving right now isn’t rational, may not be just entirely off the mark.

    Dear Mr. Scrooge,

    Based on your inflammatory rhetoric in the reference of Bush Bashing, I submit to you that it is your duty as a patriot to question your government. A valid criticism, of any government policy should be entertained irregardless of the political affiliation of the individual. Your post seems to push the need to vote on Party Affiliation instead of Principle this November.

    As for your analogy, although I find it lacking, I submit to you a different analogy. You sound like a battered housewife, making excuses for your offender. As if somehow if we delay any negative consequence for the biligerence exhibited by the offender, we can somehow maintain high hopes for the future.

    As in any instance, whether it be person, financial or political; delaying consequence is not a good policy. Identifying the problem and ignoring it makes you apart of the problem. If the people rally around the Republican Party, then what message have you sent to the officials elected. Every election they will hold your vote for Ransom. Who will you vote for? You are a Republican. You will just not vote? And let the Democrats win.

    It’s circular reasoning.

    Remaining Your Faithful Servant,

    Jacob Marley

  31. There is, certainly, a difference between generic “conservative third-party candidate” and anyone who actually runs. The poll obviously shows dissatisfaction with McCain from conservatives. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they’d vote for any specific alternative.

    In Ron Paul’s case, the idea that he’d massively outperform all his primary results seems a bit dubious, once granting that this poll shows almost all his support coming from those who would otherwise vote for McCain, not Obama. It’s possible indeed that Paul could do well enough by running as the “anti-immigration, anti-trade libertarian” and going after the Perot vote. I’m skeptical that that would be good for libertarians either, though.

    I just don’t understand how Ron Paul can raise so much money and do extremely well in so many straw polls yet do terribly in the actual primaries/caucuses.

    I’m reminded of Pauline Kael’s supposed quote about Nixon and McGovern. And before that, Goldwater raised a lot of money from small donors as well. Fund-raising from small donors indicates a large band of committed supporters with deep support. However, the vast majority of primary voters and even caucus voters don’t give. Paul’s support is deep but not wide. It’s unsurprising that he’s performed better in caucuses than in primaries– whether open or closed, as he’s performed better in caucuses of only registered Republicans than in open primaries.

  32. Dear Faithful Servant,

    You have so completely misunderstood what I said that there is no point in my debating further with you. For I am hard pressed to believe your misunderstanding is entirely inadvertent….

  33. Oh, I know the argument that Paul would pull more votes from the Democrat since he’d be running against the war. That was true when Hillary Clinton was the frontrunner, but it’s not going to be true if Obama gets the nod.

    That’s OK. Michigan, Florida, and super-delegates are going to give the nomination to Hillary.

  34. The voting populace votes on perceived elect-ability of the guy running and not the issues. Part of the reason why McCain is popular is because a large portion of Team Red expects him to beat Team Blue’s guy in the general.

    And thats why I don’t think that a libertarian leaning candidate will ever be nominated or elected. Because Team Red, as a whole, feels a need to nominate economically squishy people in a desperate appeal toward “moderates”. Their pissed off conservative and libertarian base has been holding their noses and voting for the elephant for the last 20 years worth of election, and will continue to do so.

    Third-party doesn’t mean shit when everyone is convinced the game can only be played by two teams.

  35. The destruction of the GOP would be a beautiful thing. It should be our goal, as the Republicans have shown themselves to be consistent and outspoken enemies of freedom.

    And then we need to destroy the Democrats, as they have shown themselves to be consistent and outspoken enemies of freedom.

    These two statements, taken together, should signal that there’s something wrong with the system, rather than something that’s limited to the two specific parties that happen to control it.

  36. I still say Ron Paul will not run 3rd party for president.

    1. He likes being in congress, he will probably run to keep his seat.

    2. Running for president is very hard and exhausting, Ron Paul seems tired even from the primary campaign for president, the general election one will be even worse

    3. He is not driven by vanity and gets no real thrill from giving speeches like these other politians do. Running a 3rd party campaign does not appeal to him like it does a ralph nader or Ross Perot.

  37. In Ron Paul’s case, the idea that he’d massively outperform all his primary results seems a bit dubious, once granting that this poll shows almost all his support coming from those who would otherwise vote for McCain, not Obama. It’s possible indeed that Paul could do well enough by running as the “anti-immigration, anti-trade libertarian” and going after the Perot vote. I’m skeptical that that would be good for libertarians either, though.

    Don’t forget Huck’s Crusaders though… this theoretical conservative third party candidate (who might but probably wouldn’t be Ron Paul) would no doubt attract a good deal of Huckabee’s primary voters too (not to mention Romney’s)…?

  38. Dear Mr Scrooge,

    Your premise that the Libertarian Position is irrevelant stands refuted by History. It was the Fiscal Conservative/Libertarian Wing of the party that influenced the creation of the Contract W/ America that ushered in the Republican Party into Congress. The Original Comment about allowing the Democrats control Congress and the Presidency shelters the Republicans from the consequences of their actions.As for your idea that there was not a rational alternative, I submit to you the following:

    -Phasing out major entitlement spending, which have bankrupted this country is irrational.

    -Closing down the Cold War Network of Military Bases and bringing our assets home is irrational.

    -Using Diplomacy rather than military force is irrational.

    -Intervening into foreign affairs, although having created more problems historically, should remain unapologetically pursued and to waiver in this pursuit is irrational.

    -Refusing to nuke Iran, even though they do not have nuclear capability, is irrational.

    -Questioning the motives of what President Eisenhower called the Military Industrial Complex is irrational.

    -Leaving Iraq, a country that is splitting into 3 different countries, rather than forcing it to remain 1 is irrational.

    What then sir, by your metric is the rational alternative that Fiscal Conservatives/Libertarians can offer the Republican Party?

    Remaining Your Faithful Servant,

    Jacob Marley

  39. “Colin | February 21, 2008, 12:18pm | #

    If Paul loses his primary, couldn’t he just run for the seat as an “independent Republican,” ala Lieberman?”

    Connecticut does not have a “sore loser” law, which allowed Lieberman to pull of this trick. But other states, including Texas apparently, do have such a law, so it seems Paul wouldn’t be able to run in those states.

  40. “Running a 3rd party campaign does not appeal to him like it does a ralph nader or Ross Perot.”

    But it’s not an unthinkable option, as he has done it before.

    True, priority #1 for Paul is his congressional seat. But if that fails, the choices left are between retirement, and a LP run for the presidency. Unless Paul’s few delegates are going to get him any special treatment by the GOP (fat chance,) why not run under the LP banner?

  41. Another option: Ron Paul leaves Congress and gets starts putting out some crazy newsletters

  42. “Their pissed off conservative and libertarian base has been holding their noses and voting for the elephant for the last 20 years worth of election, and will continue to do so.”

    Bullshit. The GOP is dead. The libertarian wing of which I am a part, will not associate with these elitists anymore. McCain will get trounced.

  43. Shawn: He can’t. That’s the “Sore Loser Law.” If you run for nomination in a primary, you run in general election under that party’s nomination or you don’t run at all.

  44. I just don’t understand how Ron Paul can raise so much money and do extremely well in so many straw polls yet do terribly in the actual primaries/caucuses.

    It’s pretty easy to explain. He raised over $30 million, but it was from around 300,000 donors at $100 each. That’s a lot of people, but they are spread out over 50 states. Ron Paul managed 100,000 votes in California alone, but it was good for only 4 percent.

    As for the straw polls, most people don’t pay attention to them, so a relatively small but dedicated group of supporters can skew them. Caucuses are the same way, to a lesser extent, which explains why Ron Paul hit 8 to 25 percent in the caucus states, while only managing 3 to 8 percent in the primary states.

  45. These two statements, taken together, should signal that there’s something wrong with the system, rather than something that’s limited to the two specific parties that happen to control it.

    I think we have a winner!

  46. The destruction of the GOP would be a beautiful thing. It should be our goal, as the Republicans have shown themselves to be consistent and outspoken enemies of freedom.

    And then we need to destroy the Democrats, as they have shown themselves to be consistent and outspoken enemies of freedom.

    Just one problem with this strategy:

    8 years ago, libertarians were talking about destroying the Democratic Party. That didn’t work out quite like we planned.

    Now the Republicans are down. It’s a game of ping-pong, and we’re the ball.

  47. He can’t. That’s the “Sore Loser Law.” If you run for nomination in a primary, you run in general election under that party’s nomination or you don’t run at all.

    Sore loser laws are easily circumvented, even if the court challenges fail. Just nominate a buddy or a relative in those states. Voters are picking Electoral College Electors, not candidates. The Electors proceed to vote for Ron Paul, regardless of the placeholder name on the ballot (e.g. “Rand Paul” or “Carol Paul”.)

    Only a few states have criminal penalties for Electors pulling a switcheroo.

  48. Ron Paul or not, the GOP is about to be destroyed in the upcoming Congressional and Presidential elections. George Bush has fractured the base and tainted the GOP brand alienating many Republicans and most Independents, not to mention uniting Democrats. Ron Paul would ensure a total GOP embarrassment with a 3rd party run. Frankly, they have treated Ron Paul so poorly that they deserve his punishment.

  49. “And if you think for a minute the Democrats are going to do anything different than the Republicans on Iraq, you’re in for a big surprise.”

    Iraq isn’t the only issue here. I believe McCain being the warmonger he is, is more likely to get us involved in more wars.

  50. How is Ron Paul “far-right” you jackass? That’s the kind of stupid terminology I would expect from the New York Times, not a “libertarian” magazine. Do you just write here because no other magazines would take you?

  51. Ok, so reading comparisons of ultimate-socialist Obama and ultimate-warmonger McBain, is Hillary now the libertarian candidate of the big 3?

  52. “Ok, so reading comparisons of ultimate-socialist Obama and ultimate-warmonger McBain, is Hillary now the libertarian candidate of the big 3?”

    She’s the ultimate-crook and the worst of the three.

  53. The GOP (now, not the version of Goldwater and Reagan) is all too successful at destroying itself. It doesn’t require help. The late Senator John East of North Carolina sought some kind of internal fusion, but the Bush kooks have been so bent on purging or driving away the ‘Old Right’ element in the party that they forgot that the GOP cannot win without that contingent. With each sneer during the debates the variations-on-a-Bush drove a wedge so deep that whether Paul supports the GOP ticket or not, his supporters SURELY will not. I have heard more lifelong Republicans speak of voting for the first time in their lives for Democrats during the last election cycle and this one, that unless somebody offers a lot more than an olive branch to the Old Right Paul faction, the only thing the GOP will need after November is pall bearers.

    Except for the spending-drunk county commissioners here who jacked up taxes 30% that year, I voted a straight Democratic ticket in 2006. The Democrats may in many cases be deranged socialists, but at least they have the decency not to applaud when this madman President refers to the Constitution as a g- d- piece of paper and claims to take patently insane orders from God.

    What in the devil is the matter with those at Reason and Cato who apparently would rather toss in their lot with the loony neocons than to simply overlook the elements of Paul’s view that aren’t textbook libertarian?

    I disagree with the Congressman on a number of points — his pro-life stance being the most visible, and his obsession with the toothless UN debating society running a close second — but there’s no other major party contender even on the same continent as Paul.

    If voting for the lesser of two evils has been acceptable to the Reason-Cato contingent in the past, why suddenly now is it anathema when the delta is in the scheme of things downright trivial?

    The GOP as Bush knows it is toast. Possibly somebody can pick up the pieces after de-Bushification.

  54. Shouldn’t this piece have been titled “How Ron Paul can destroy the LP?”

    Because he’d do just that if he ran as the LP candidate for President.

    Ron Paul is no Libertarian. He’s a right-wing anti-gay anti-choice wingnut and a fairly thoroughgoing anti-federalist, but he’s no Libertarian.

  55. I keep seeing people in this thread expressing outrage that Ron Paul is called “far right.” Why? Individualism, localism, federalism, small government, and constitutional tradition… sounds politically right on the spectrum to me. Or has somebody turned that into a code word?

  56. I may be mistaken, but I thought that Texas, beginning in 1960, permitted someone to run for president or vice-president simultaneously with running for a Congressional office. Lyndon Johnson in 1960 ran both for vice-president and re-election to his Senate seat, as did Lloyd Bentsen in 1988, IIRC.

    Moreover, the qualifications for serving in the House of Representatives are set forth in the U.S. Constitution itself, and states may not require additional criteria. At least that’s what I recall of the Supreme Court decision that invalidated a state’s imposition of term limits for House members.

  57. rah62,

    Either you’re saying stuff you don’t believe, or you don’t know what libertarianism is.

  58. David Weigel,

    So how’s it looking for Dr Paul vis a vis the primary for his congressional seat?

  59. I beleive you have it backwards. The republican party has been wrokign hard at destroying itself and Ron Paul has been attempting to fix it. After all, he is the one that stands up for tradtional Republican values. the fact that you say that MCCain woculd ven come close to losing Texas is simple proof that the party has strayed from the people and not the other way around.

  60. Ok, so reading comparisons of ultimate-socialist Obama and ultimate-warmonger McBain, is Hillary now the libertarian candidate of the big 3?

    As the penultimate-socialist and the pen-ultimate warmonger, she’s worse, in total, than either of the others.

    Ron Paul is no Libertarian. He’s a right-wing anti-gay anti-choice wingnut and a fairly thoroughgoing anti-federalist, but he’s no Libertarian.

    Ron Paul is called anti-gay and anti-choice because he says that these are not issues for the federal government, but should be left to the states. How this makes him an anti-federalist, I’m not sure, but it may be that word doesn’t mean what you think it means.

  61. Doesn’t matter if he doesn’t run third party… we’ll write him in anyway.

    LP is a loser.

    He doesn’t want anything to do with them.

  62. Write-In Ron Paul.

    A write in vote is the wasted vote. Write in votes are NOT counted. They won’t even show up as “other” in the statistics. You might as well stay home if that’s what you want to do. You will actually send a bigger message by NOT voting, becaused at least the statistics will show people not voting!

    If you want to vote and Ron Paul is not running, and not a qualified write in candidate, then vote for a third party candidate instead. Vote the Libertarian candidate, or the Constitution candidate, or hold you nose and vote for the Green candidate. But don’t write in a name for an unqualified candidate and then pretend you’re making a protest vote.

  63. Wrong, Write-In votes are counted just as much as third party votes are counted. Strom Thurmond won in 1954 as a write-in candidate.

    It is true that write-in votes usually get less media coverage than even third party votes, but to say they are not counted is wrong.

    However, an organized and vocal movement could help make sure that write-in votes for a specific candidate do get reported. If Dr. Paul does not get the nomination (and neither Huck or Muck have it locked up at this time), I will present a petition with at least 50 signatures to my county auditor demanding that all write-in votes be reported to the media. if every Ron Paul Meetup group does the same in their own counties, our votes will be counted and our voices heard.

  64. as an interesting side note, the Tom DeLay write in candidate failed not because she didn’t get enough votes (which she did) but because she had a hyphenated name which voters were too lazy to write out. She lost due to many of the votes being correctly deemed ineligible.

  65. Brandybuck – voter turnout is going to be an all time high this election so your argument is discounted (for this election).

    Hey – what if the proxy candidate was named Ron Paul. Theres gotta be at least one in Texas.

  66. Ron Paul would be a mere hangnail for John McCain’s campaign. All those who think he could do real damage are just as delusional as Ron Paul is for ever thinking he could be president.

  67. Ron Paul would be a mere hangnail for John McCain’s campaign. All those who think he could do real damage are just as delusional as Ron Paul is for ever thinking he could be president.

    Right…. Because we all know that no recent presidential election would have been affected at all by the 3 to 8 percent of the vote Ron Paul has been drawing.

  68. Wrong, Write-In votes are counted just as much as third party votes are counted. Strom Thurmond won in 1954 as a write-in candidate.

    Strom Thurmond was a qualified write in candidate. If Ron Paul does not go through the hoops necessary to get re-registered as a candidate in your state, during the exceedingly brief period between Milwaukee convention and the general election, then he will not be qualified and you might as well be pulling the lever for Mickey Mouse. This may vary by state, of course, but in my state that vote will not be counted.

  69. Reason and Cato seem to have been co-opted by the communitarians – just like the GOP and the Dems before them.

    So, so sad… a mind is a terrible thing to waste – particularly when it’s controlled by elitists and psychopaths… who let them… do what they will.

    Fortunately, Ron Paul and his supporters know this country’s all but been lost completely… it’s sovereignty, its wealth, and the freedom of its citizenry… almost a memory.

    We’ve been systematically looted and lied-to. We’ve been force-fed un-American ideas spewed by counterfeiters and communists – and these traitors DO NOT CARE about us one whit, people.

    Our total defeat is imminent – unless more of us start awakening to the danger from within, all will be lost.

    But it ain’t over ’til it’s over, is it?

  70. Your premise that the Libertarian Position is irrevelant stands refuted by History.

    And this statement proves that you have no clue what I’m driving at. So I’ll try and be a little more explicit.

    I didn’t say the libertarian position is irrelevant. I am saying it needs some refinement. I’ll use our latest lost opportunity as an case in point, the Ron Paul campaign.

    Ron Paul went on the national stage and advocated immediate withdraw from Iraq. This was a no-starter, as history now proves.

    There are valid reasons for thinking that the US should not simply pull the plug on Iraq today. A libertarian could recognize this fact, and still advocate the “humble foreign policy” thing. Bush II did it in 2000 and it seemed to get traction then, so it probably still would today (Bush lied about it too, but that’s another story).

    I contend that Ron Paul would have gone much further if he had a) acknowledged that Iraq today is a sticky problem and a complete cut-and-run approach may not be the smartest answer, and b) advocated a humble foreign policy in general. Instead, the position he took alienated a vast swath of voters, who then lost interest in hearing anything else about him.

    Had he gotten into the White House, he could then have nudged things toward a draw-down. But he’s not going to get there, and because of that McCain is probably the only candidate who’s telling the truth when he says “we’ll be there 100 years from now”.

    Hillary-Billary / Hussein Obama / McCain / Romney are all wide open to attack on the fiscal front. Ron Paul could have made a strong sell for fiscal responsibility, and been the shining white knight against the competition.

    Instead, he pushed the gold standard. Whatever one may think about the gold standard, you can bet that pushing it on the national stage is going to make a good size chunk of the voters think you’re a nut.

    You can be a very strong advocate of fiscal responsibility without pushing for a gold standard…..

    The libertarian position is far from irrelevant. On contrare. But until we get a libertarian candidate with some common sense — rather than candidates who insist on pushing the lunatic fringe arguments — the libertarian position is going to remain impotent.

    Libertarian arguments need some repackaging, because they are relevant and they should not be left impotent.

  71. To say that “the public is tired of this War” is just liberal-leftist hyperbole. Every poll released since September shows exactly the opposite.

    The liberal media used to cite polls saying “fully 70% of the American public oppose the War in Iraq.” The actual number never got that high; it was around 66% to 68% at the height of 2005.

    But since September the numbers have shifted dramatically. Most Americans according to Gallup, Pew and other Surveyers, now express unease about the War, but still very much support the Surge.

    In fact, over 80% of “identified Republicans” expressed support for the War in Iraq, in a Washington Post poll, up from a low of 54% last June.

    So enough with the hyperbole garnered from far Leftwing sites like Huffington Post and Daily Kos. American DOES NOT oppose the War in Iraq, and they most CERTAINLY DO NOT oppose the overall War on Al Qaeda.

  72. The GOP is not in nearly as bad shape as some of the Commenters here believe. January fundraising found that the RNC actually exceeded the DNC in total dollars raised.

    Also, the generic Congressional ballot match-up is at 44% for Dems, 40% for Republicans, a huge gain for the GOP in recent months.

    And there’s even more good news on the horizon for Republicans. All of a sudden bigname attractive strong GOPers who had been reluctant are stepping forward to run for Congressional seats; Like Tom McClintock in California, and Alan West in Florida.

    With Obama heading the ticket, there’s likely to be a massive turn-out of Middle-Ameria against the hard leftist in November, which would greatly benefit downticket GOP seats. While they may not be enthusiastic about McCain, they will come out to the polls just to vote against Obama.

  73. I am completely confused on this guy! Even though I voted for him in the CA primary (and he STILL lost to Guilani!), I am wondering WHY he is again running for Congress (when I read that he was retiring due to this Presidential run!), and also, if he is as “adamant” about NOT running on a third-party ticket as Condi Rice is about not being chosen by McCain for the Republican V.P. slot! I will vote for Ron Paul if he is “drafted” by the Libertarians, but it is not gonna do him any favors if he does indeed run on their ticket (after saying he would not make a “third-party” bid!), as he is running again for Congress after saying he would not! It makes the man look like he is completely indecisive about anything! THAT is not what is needed in a Presidential candidate!

  74. Why and the fuck does this magazine and site continue to give favorable press to Ron Paul? The man is a disgraceful fucking bigot, unworthy of favorable mention.
    Furthermore, your heads are even further up Paul’s ass than I thought if you believe Ron Paul would have that much of an impact in Texas. Recent polls show him getting his ass kicked by his primary challenger. Do you really think he will throw Texas to perhaps the farthest-left political candidate in United States history?
    You guys need to get a fucking clue fast, because your continued cheerleading for Ron Paul is hurting Reason and the libertarian movement in general. Libertarianism does not need a bigoted panderer to Truthers as its figurehead.

  75. “Ron Paul has already destroyed the GOP.

    He performance in the debates, and the loud cheering he received, made it safe for GOPers to oppose the war, and that’s the ballgame”

    Yeah, and those huge fucking vote counts he got just reinforce everything you are saying. The man had zero fucking support outside of a small fringe, and his results demonstrate that beyond a shadow of a fucking doubt. I swear to god, joe, you are without doubt the dumbest fuck I have ever encountered on a message board anywhere.

  76. The GOP destroyed the GOP when they nominated Bush TWICE.

  77. It is really sad that so many people make comments when they haven’t done their research. Ron Paul is not anti-gay, he said he doesn’t think it is the business of the Federal governament to decide on the issue. This means the issue of gay marriage would be left to each state. Ron Paul said he is against sending money to Israel AND to the Arab countries. Gee, I guess that would mean there would be a lot less DEATH if neither one of them had guns to shoot each other with. And speaking of money, why the hell am I paying taxes to fund some other country’s needs? Shouldn’t my tax money help my own country first? Ron Paul said that he wanted to do away with the Department of Education. The DOE is a Federal agency. Why would we want to fund a Federal agency when it is our STATE taxes that pay for our schools?? There are already State Boards of Education to oversee our school systems. All Ron Paul is wanting to do is remove an extra layer of unnecessary bureaucracy and save the taxpayers some money.
    The higher your taxes are the less money circulates in the economy, the less money circulates the harder it is to find a job. So go ahead, vote for the socialist or the warmonger who will keep raising your taxes until you can no longer find a job because companies can’t afford to hire people anymore. Just remember this when you are sitting at home because you no longer have a job, but hey you have health insurance, or hey we’re still over in Iraq kicking butt. Neither kicking butt nor health insurance is going to pay your rent, electric bill, or groceries. Neither kicking butt nor health insurance is going to help you fund your retirement, your education or your kid’s education. But hey, if you are one of the lucky ones who is still employed you’ll be proud to have 25% less money in your paycheck each month to take care of all that yourself.

  78. The GOP is destroyed already if McCain is the nom. More neo-con welfare state bush type programs. Global warming and socialism. Either way McCain, Hillary or Obama we will all get more socialism, more debt and more wars. Obama will be rushing into Darfa or something other place to keep the peace. Either way all the ROn Paul supports will do one think come November Write IN Ron Paul and say F-U to the system even if he is not running.

  79. I find it funny how pushing the constitution and aleast offering gold to be legal tender is fringe. Also aleast make the dollars we print backed by something real and not “trust” and worth nothing more then paper. The congress also has no oversight into the FED, and it’s practices. Their is nothing wrong with Americans wanting the American Government and it’s elected people to have hard money that can be audited controlled by international bankers. Also what is wrong with getting rid of the IRS and replacing it with nothing. What is wrong with reversing the Trend of socialism and stop supporting the rest of the world thru tax dollars. Because Ron Paul is a princpled man telling us to get out of IRAQ is someone who is truthful. Appears Americans would rather here lies and half truths on what we are doing there. For once a president who doesn’t lie to the American people what a concept. Ron Paul shows America that good people with strong princples still exist and maybe more people like Ron Paul and it’s supports will run for congress and clean up the mess in DC. We need less government not more and 2 years of Bush and Clintons have given us more then we can stand. The fringe might be the only ones left who have good princples and believe in the constitution enough to save this country from socialism, Global warming hoax, The UN wars, amensty, taxes, trade agreements, and fake money.

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