Back in Broun

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A few months ago I profiled Rep. Paul Broun, a social conservative Republican with libertarian leanings who blindsided his party by winning an open House seat. He's been facing primary challenges since the moment he was sworn in, and big-deal conservative blog RedState is… actually, rallying to his defense.

Some of us around here like to call Paul Broun "Ron Paul without the crazy." A doctor by training, Broun ran a campaign that tied together conservative Christians and hardcore libertarians. We don't always agree with him; for example, he's opposed to the war on drugs and supports state medicinal marijuana programs. We cannot, however, help but like and admire Paul Broun — a champion for home schoolers, free markets, and life.

Broun has two primary opponents—Barry Fleming and Nancy Schaefer. They are both good people, but Fleming is a party man through and through. He craves leadership and will not be a conservative fighter against a drifting GOP establishment. Nancy Schaefer is a social conservative, but, in her years in the Georgia General Assembly, has done little to lead and has been an ineffective campaigner. And frankly, we give credence to the rumors that Schaefer is in the race to hurt Broun—putting her party ties ahead of conservative conviction.

Fleming has been running for a while, but Schaefer just jumped in this month. Sometimes a split primary is good for the incumbent, like it was for Dennis Kucinich in Ohio, and sometimes it sinks them, like it did Wayne Gilchrest. In any case the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has a fresh profile of Broun that should amuse his detractors and fans in equal measure. Among the revelations: Bob Barr is a big Broun donor and supporter. And Broun has a good sense of humor about the campaign against him:

"Early on, [Whitehead] was saying I was a liberal and a Democrat," Broun said. "Now, some of his people are saying I'm a wacko, that I'm a loner, that I have no support up here, that I'm just totally crazy."

Back home, a whisper campaign is going on, Broun said, that claims he spent three years in a mental institution.

"The only mental institution I've been involved in is the House of Representatives, " he said.

I called for a wackier Congress back in February.

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  1. Back home, a whisper campaign is going on, Broun said, that claims he spent three years in a mental institution.

    Good for Paul Broun. He’s the closest politicians in my home state have come to having a grip on reality.

  2. That’s the GOP we know and love.

  3. We don’t always agree with him; for example, he’s opposed to the war on drugs and supports state medicinal marijuana programs. We cannot, however, help but like and admire Paul Broun – a champion for home schoolers, free markets, and life.

    And the Republicans like him why? This is the party that just vaulted McCain to victory.

  4. And the Republicans like him why? This is the party that just vaulted McCain to victory.

    They did it, but they hate themselves for it. Consider this penance.

  5. Although he never had to vote on the Iraq war, his take on it closely resembles those of other Georgia lawmakers: He still believes that the invasion was “the right thing to do” and that President Bush’s decision to send additional troops last year is helping.

    So that’s why those RedState asshats like him. I thought as much.

    After all, nothing says “sane” like waging never-ending preemptive wars to spread democracy exactly where it’s incompatible.

    RedState sucks.

  6. Ron Paul without the crazy is like Hitler without his mustache.

  7. And the Republicans like him why? This is the party that just vaulted McCain to victory.

    He still believes that the invasion was “the right thing to do” and that President Bush’s decision to send additional troops last year is helping.

    Answered! I expect furious self-back-patting from Dondero any second now.

    This guy has all of the problems Ron Paul has as far as libertarians are concerned (which, keep in mind, aren’t overwhelming compared to those of most other politicians), with the addition of being a pro-preemption guy. Certainly not enough to make him worse than every other candidate available, especially not some of those he ran against in Georgia (who were douche-tools), but maybe not enough to start cheering either.

  8. MK2, I know how you feel. My garbage bag smells like Hitler when I have forgotten to take it out. Oh! Oh, Oh! And my headache feels like Hitler after a hangover. I love your creative metaphors. You’re cutting edge, man.

  9. I am from Athens, Ga. and know the local politics (which is almost completely irrelevant).

    Broun appeals to the nutters in the district – the anti-abortion, anti-embryonic stem cell research, anti-science crowd.

    Broun patched together UGA natives with the fundies in the district. He won his seat in a run-off against another conservative (Whitehead).

    And – Broun supports the Fair Tax initiative – another local wingnut spigot for rolling back the estate tax sponsored by a local low-brow named radio jock named Neil Boortz.

    Broun is a totalitarian – not a libertarian.

  10. jj, damn, what the hell were you drinking 😉

    For those of you who have never lived in Gegorgia, let me break it down for you. This is one of the few states Huckabee won. Questuoning the Iraq war is almost blasphemy. Same with asserting a pro-choice stance. Saying anything else will cost you your political career. I don’t think the Ron Paul comparison works in light of the fact that Broun chose to toe the party line as opposed to going his own way.

    Paul, I don’t think the GOP vaulted him to victory, I think they kinda feebly pushed him toward the nomination. They’ll suck it up and vote for him, but they won’t be happy about it.

  11. Thanks for highlight Broun’s campaign. The Republican Liberty Caucus was heavily supportive of him the first go-around, and libertarian Republicans will undoubtably assisting him again this time. My bet, he’ll overcome the moderate establishment GOP opposition.

    Tom McClintock is now officially annouced for Congress in California.

    Woodey Jenkins is just 3 weeks away from a possible run-off victory in a GOP leaning District which would score him a Congressional win.

    As bad as things could get for libertarians this election year with the possible election of Authoritarian Socialist Obama as President, imagine if you will, 3 or 4 hardcore libertarian Republicans in Congress:

    Jeff Flake – Arizona
    Tom McClintock – California
    Paul Broun – Georgia
    Woodey Jenkins – Louisiana

    That’s something to cheer about.

  12. Broun is an authoritarian fascist (redundant), Dondero.

    He is against the “right to privacy”. He supports SCOTUS judges who want to roll back case law 200 years.

    Should you not post on Free Republic or Stormfront instead?

  13. Eric,

    I think you forgot someone whose name rhymes with Don Gall.

  14. Christ-Nuts like Broun are stuck in time 2000 years ago – fawning for a Dead-Guy-on-a-Stick who will never return to save their shabby asses – much less their constituents.

    This kind of backwardation in logic is no way to confront the challenges of today. Reason and logic will prevail. We need a forward looking leader in this new century.

  15. Prediction successful.

    Dondero appears; back-patting is indeed ferocious!

    My studies into psychic phenomena have finally started to pay off.

    Now all’s I need are those damn lottery numbers!

  16. He supports SCOTUS judges who want to roll back case law 200 years.

    WTF? My God shrike, if they do that we would be stuck with the Constitution as written! It could take a century or more to find all those hidden penumbras and discover how all encompassing the Interstate Commerce clause really is.

  17. Jen, I overdosed on sarcasm ;( People comparing any mildly bad thing to Adolf Hitler is a pet peeve of mine. Hitler’s a bad guy, and you must be nigh on a Nazi to defend whatever they are grouching about, or so they would have you believe. Ron Paul’s not Adolf Hitler, I think we can all agree.

  18. Christ-Nuts like Broun are stuck in time 2000 years ago – fawning for a Dead-Guy-on-a-Stick who will never return to save their shabby asses – much less their constituents. This kind of backwardation in logic is no way to confront the challenges of today.

    You’re darn right, Shrike. Those fundies need a good, firm leader to think for them since they obviously can’t think for themselves. If Giuliani’s unavailable, perhaps you would take on the job? A libertarian dictator is more than just a contradiction in terms. It’s a para-dox.

  19. Hopefully the GOP is going libertarian. Social conservatism is dying anyway.

  20. Bob Barr is a big Broun donor and supporter

    So an official on the Libertarian National Committee is supporting and contributing to an elected official of another party?

    That ought to be enough right there to get Bob Barr bounced once and for all off the LNC (where he never should have been in the first place).

  21. Based on the AJC article, it seems like the only difference between Broun and the GOP establishment is medicinal pot. So if he votes with the GOP establishment 90% of the time instead of 100%, how does that make him a libertarian hero?

  22. This is hardly Ron Paul without the crazy. Sure he has some different crazy but it is there. The man said Jesus and the Holy Spirit got him elected — is that vote rigging? He wants the wall the border — same crazy as Paul. He wants legislation only if it is consistent with the Bible. Like Paul he introduced legislation to try and ban abortion (Paul tried through defining life as begining at conception). This is what Dondero calls a “libertarian Republican”. Sad really.

  23. He wants legislation only if it is consistent with the Bible.

    So what legislation would you like to see enacted these days that wouldn’t be?

  24. He wants legislation only if it is consistent with the Bible.

    He doesn’t seem too big on the whole “turn the other cheek” thing.

  25. “Hopefully the GOP is going libertarian. Social conservatism is dying anyway.”

    LOL!

    The GOP is held afloat almost entirely by social conservatives.

    Keep wishing.

  26. Re: For The Sake of Reason

    Drink!

  27. reason sucks

  28. Pathetic cocksuckers, taking effort to rip on Ron Paul as “crazy” then pay lip service to Bob Barr, who has glowing things to say about Ron Paul.

  29. “Drink!”

    What’s in it?

  30. Whatever’s handy!

    It’s part of the drinking game. Admittedly, your handle isn’t quite a “for a magazine called Reason…” line, but I thought it was close enough.

  31. Fill me in. I’m new here, and I feel naked.

  32. Oh, sorry! Here is an explanation.

  33. Drunk!

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