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There Are Many Tall Pines, But Is There a 2012 Contender?

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Some interesting tidbits in this American Conservative cover story on South Carolina Gov. and soul-of-the-GOP hopeful Mark

I'm so excited!

Sanford:

Though he had endorsed John McCain in 2000, Sanford stayed out of the Republican contest in 2008. Two days before the primary, Sen. Lindsey Graham was dispatched to Sanford's office with a plea and an offer. Graham told Sanford that an endorsement from the popular governor could put McCain over the top in the key primary state. In return, he promised a spot on McCain's veep shortlist. Sanford responded cooly, "I don't need your help getting on the shortlist" and declined. […]

He calls the public-education system "a Soviet-style monopoly." He promoted school choice through tax rebates to avoid the appearance of government control. He passed a "Castle doctrine" bill that was supported by the NRA. He favors a law-and-order approach to immigration, but opposed REAL ID on civil liberties grounds. […]

But the governor edges closer to pure libertarianism at times. He rolls his eyes at the Columbia sheriff's department's zeal in investigating Michael Phelps's recreational pot use. And he criticizes Alan Greenspan's management of the "opaque" Federal Reserve. "If you take human nature out of a Fed, it might work," he explains. "But you can't. You can have these wise men. But who wants to turn off the spigot at a party that's rolling?"

He also deviates from the Republican line on foreign policy. In Congress, he opposed Clinton's intervention in Kosovo. And he was one of only two Republicans to vote against the 1998 resolution to make regime change in Iraq the official policy of the United States. He says that it was a "protest vote" in which he tried to reassert the legislature's war-declaring powers. When asked about the invasion of Iraq, he extends his critique beyond the constitutional niceties. "I don't believe in preemptive war," he says flatly. "For us to hold the moral high ground in the world, our default position must be defensive."

Whole thing here. Sanford is certainly no stranger to Reason's pages.

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  1. I can’t help but laugh everytime I see Sanford mentioned after watching this video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWTh9_A6t8w

    (Go to around 0:43 to see what I’m talking about).

  2. How long until a real libertarian gets appointed as the Great Libertarian Hope? We’re tired of conservatives being our standard bearers.

  3. I’d vote for him. Of all GOP contenders with any hope at all of winning, he appears to be the most libertarian.

  4. I’d vote for him. Of all GOP contenders with any hope at all of winning, he appears to be the most libertarian.

    Same here. At some point you have to give
    way to realism otherwise the march toward the socialistic, politically nannystate will continue unfettered.

  5. Plus he called Obama a lazy coon.

    Oh, sorry, he was called a racist because he didn’t want to take the stimulus dough (sorry, I can’t let that stupidity go).

    Considering the success of 3rd party candidates, and all the Huckabee/Palin love, Sanford would be a huge improvement and make voting R feasible.

  6. Sanford/Flake would be nice, but I suppose he’d have to throw a bone to the more paleolithic members of the party with his VP pick. Not that that matters if it gets us a libertarianish president.

  7. Based on just those quotes, I like the guy.

  8. I’ll hold off on buying my lipstick for the Sanford rainbow party until I see what he’s saying as a real candidate (and watch BDB’s video).

    I’m still feeling a little singed after Richardson’s change of face when potential presidential candidacy loomed.

  9. Rimfax,

    Betrayal is a given in politics–it’s wise to be skeptical.

  10. I’d certainly vote for a sane conservative like Sanford before I’d vote for a cosmotarian. Hell, I’d probably vote for a fascist before I’d vote for a cosmotarian. Under the fascist I might not have a free country, but I’d at least have a country. Elect a cosmotarian, and by the time he’s done handing it out from under us, we’re not likely to have our freedom or a country.

  11. The video is just a joke video, and his actual views are decent (especially the one about no pre-emptive war).

  12. It is certainly possible that Obama won such a big victory because people wanted to repudiate George W Bush for his wars, his deficits and his big government conservatism. Since Obama has shown he is committed to big government, and the economy continues to have serious problems, it looks like BHO will be a one-term President, like Jimmy Carter.

    Most libertarians have lost trust in the Republican Party, but none of the third parties are likely to be viable in 2012, so we can hope the Republicans don’t give us a new Bush. Maybe Gov Sanford is a choice we can live with, even if he does betray us.

  13. Sanford/Son 2012

  14. micro2000 speaks wisely. Please, please let there be a GOP politician out there named Son. Or, barring that, Lamont.

    Elizabeth! This is the big one, baby! I’m coming to you, Elizabeth!

  15. Let’s say for a moment that Sanford becomes the next Ron Paul in a future presidential race – how long will it take Reason to write articles full of innuendo to discredit him, if he ever becomes “too libertarian” for the Beltway to stomach?

    I would say – about 1-2 months after a first debate. Maybe less.

  16. Just to remind everybody – Bush ran on 2000 on a limited government, no nation-building platform. Sanford may succumb as well.

  17. Oh noes! TEH BELTWAY!!@!1

  18. Sanford/Flake would be nice, but I suppose he’d have to throw a bone to the more paleolithic members of the party with his VP pick.

    Sanford is one of the more “paleolithic” members of the GOP.

    Why wait for 2012?Sanford could take us out of the Union anytime as far as I’m concerned:)

  19. I don’t know what his current position is, but from Reason’s POV he got straight-A’s on one certain issue. From the American POV, he got Ds and Fs.

  20. I see the CorporateHack “SIV” also likes him.

  21. LGF openly hates him? He has my vote.

  22. By the way he is a creationist.

    I really can’t bring myself to vote for anyone who is so willfully ignorant. Makes me believe when evidence challenges his or her presumptions in other areas, they will be similarly reluctant to change.

  23. “Just to remind everybody – Bush ran on 2000 on a limited government, no nation-building platform. Sanford may succumb as well.”

    I agree, this is always the great danger.

    But it seemed to me that Bush’s campaign committee decided this was the line for Bush to take, and Bush just mouthed the words, clueless about the real meaning behind the ideas.

    Sanford appears to have a intellectual foundation of his own. Hard to imagine him referring to the Constitution as just a damn piece of paper, like Bush did.

  24. “Elect a cosmotarian, and by the time he’s done handing it out from under us, we’re not likely to have our freedom or a country.”

    I find it interesting that Americans today would even consider submitting to a world body given that the founders were unwilling to submit to a small island nation in the North Sea.

  25. Sanford appears to have a intellectual foundation of his own.

    Really? An intellecual foundation? Here’s Sandford’s opinion about evolution:

    Gov. Sanford: Well I think that it’s just, and science is more and more documenting this, is that there are real “chinks” in the armor of evolution being the only way we came about. The idea of there being a, you know, a little mud hole and two mosquitoes get together and the next thing you know you have a human being is completely at odds with, you know, one of the laws of thermodynamics which is the law of, of … in essence, destruction.

    Whether you think about your bedroom and how messy it gets over time or you think about the decay in the building itself over time. Things don’t naturally order themselves towards progression. Uuummm.. in the natural order of things. So, it’s in fact, it’s against fairly basic laws of physics and so I would not have a problem in teaching both Uh, you saying this is one theory and this is another theory.

  26. If the governor of SOUTH CAROLINA is a libertarian then I’m mild mannered Clark Kent by day, Superman by night. Get real.

    Why in the world would libertarians pass up on Gary Johnson? He’s your man goofballs…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_E._Johnson

  27. Here’s the South Carolina Republican Party Platform for 2007: have fun libertarians!

    I like section III. the best, don’t you?

    http://www.scgop.com/upload_files/2007SCGOPPlaform.pdf

    Jesus Christ!

  28. I’d vote for him. Of all GOP contenders with any hope at all of winning, he appears to be the most libertarian.

    I imagine many so-so GOP candidates stayed away from the 2008 elections, fearing a bloodbath…

  29. I really can’t bring myself to vote for anyone who is so willfully ignorant. Makes me believe when evidence challenges his or her presumptions in other areas, they will be similarly reluctant to change.

    But won’t that be as likely to work in your favor as against? Like when a position you favor turns out to have the evidence against it.

  30. “If the governor of SOUTH CAROLINA is a libertarian then I’m mild mannered Clark Kent by day, Superman by night. Get real.”

    Quite frankly this sounds like regionalist prejudice. I like Gary Johnson also but to assume someone can’t be libertarian just because of the state they happen to be from is absurd. That is the equivalent of saying that Fr?d?ric Bastiat couldn’t possibly be a capitalist because he was French.

  31. The President is not the Scientist-in-Chief, folks.

  32. Well, I won’t bring myself to vote for somebody as wilfully ignorant of economics as any of the recent past or likely future Democratic candidates. So where does that leave us? Douche on the right, turd on the left.
    -K

  33. Is that the real lonewhacko calling me a CorporateHack ? With joe gone I was afraid my only sworn enemies were going to be MNG and Neu!

  34. Ron Paul’s a creationist too, remember.

    Being a creationist is a definite black mark against a candidate (or anyone else), but I think they can overcome it (barely) if they believe in the separation of church and state. I don’t know enough about this wigger to say if he does, but he sounds encouraging otherwise.

  35. Of course Darwinism does have chinks in its armor. You would be as hard pressed to find Darwinians in the scientific community as you would Newtonians. The theories are way past that.

    Unfortunately, the school textbooks are still stuck in 1920’s evolution, with survival of the fittest and missing links and steady state change etc.

  36. “Of course Darwinism does have chinks in its armor. You would be as hard pressed to find Darwinians in the scientific community as you would Newtonians. The theories are way past that.”

    There is a differnce between saying Philolaus’ theory of the solar system needs to be updated and saying you believe in the geocentric model of the universe.

  37. Hickory Wind, righteous

  38. Without toeing the creation line, Sanford (and Ron Paul for that matter) couldn’t get elected dog catcher in the deep south. Nodding to creationism is nigh on manditory. Y’all can stand around examining your belly buttons and waiting for the Libertarian Messiah to come down the pike (and somehow win?). Good luck with that crap. Paying lip service to the invisible man in the sky is way down my list of things I’d throw a candidate overboard for.

  39. Hickory Wind, righteous

    Welch really had to stretch there to get a Gram reference in the title.

  40. Paying lip service to the invisible man in the sky is way down my list of things I’d throw a candidate overboard for.

    Yeah, but it’s a sure way to disclaim responsibility for ANYBODY that is going to get elected.

  41. I’m still thinking about Newt’s announcement the other day that he would run in ’12 if necessary. If he does, I don’t think it will matter who else does on the R side. The R’s will fall in line behind him in a fit of fond remembrance of how he engineered the contract on america. or something like that

    with Huckabee as vice. that’s my prediction.

  42. with Huckabee as vice. that’s my prediction.

    I’m guessing the Obama presidency would have to end in disaster for any libertarians to vote for that ticket :D.

  43. I don’t see that happening Art. I think we are in just the right time for Obama to make a 2 term run. The country is in, imo, a hand out state of mind.

  44. The country is in, imo, a hand out state of mind.

    Oh, yeah, I agree with you on this one.

  45. Gee another McCain clone. Who’d have guessed you promote him?

  46. Really the creationist litmus test is absurd. In my life so far, I found most people very competent in one field or another and entirely lacking sometimes to the point of profound ignorance in others.

    When dealing politics, I rather see principled libertarian ideas coupled with an idiotic view of biology, unless US gov’t sponsored stem cell research were my number one issue. Of course, this doesn’t preclude private US research and foreign research.

    A principled libertarian would stay out of government research anyway.

    If libertarian ideas are to go anywhere they will join with intellectual and anti-intellectual adversaries to propund that a free mind is the ultimate trump card. Anti-intellectualism is dangerous only in the hands of Conservatives when used as a baseball bat to beat people. Similarly, Liberals claiming a biased ‘consensus’ science can beat people as well.

    “I want the truth.”
    “You can’t handle the truth.”

    Does it have to be some silly line from a bad movie.

  47. Good points, chester. If Sanford really believes in separation of church & state, I’d say that renders the awkwardness of his scientific and religious views somewhat moot. Smart people believe goofy shit sometimes, anyway.

  48. As incompetent as the bozo we have in office now is showing himself to be (surprise, surprise), Mullah Omar could probably run in 2012 and beat Obama. Anybody would be better at managing the economy than the jackasses in there now.

    “‘m guessing the Obama presidency would have to end in disaster …”

    Hell, the Obama administration couldn’t get any worse than it is now. He is making Jimmy Carter look like Abraham Lincoln.

  49. “Nodding to creationism is nigh on manditory”

    Firstly, mandatory doesn’t have an “i” in it. Secondly, the above statement is a bunch of bullshit. Thirdly, I would love to hear how the electorate in South Carolina is so markedly different than that of Georgia or Alabama.

  50. Hell, the Obama administration couldn’t get any worse than it is now. He is making Jimmy Carter look like Abraham Lincoln.

    For better and for worse, history tells me you have to wait awhile (more than 2 months) before you judge a presidency. I believe the Clinton Administration was somewhat chastened when the Republicans took control of Congress in 1994 [citation needed].

  51. Also, I have to tip my hat to BDB’s comment @ 8:30.

  52. It’s funny to me that creationism gets singled out as a superstition too far. Even non-creationist christians like Obama believe in the trinity, i.e., that 3 literally equals 1. Isn’t that even more absurd? But no one ever says “Dude, I can’t bring myself to vote for a guy who believes that 1=3. Who knows what other wacky things they believe?”

  53. “but to assume someone can’t be libertarian just because of the state they happen to be from is absurd”

    PIRS
    I don’t think that someone can’t be a libertarian because of the state they come from. I’m sure there are libertarian Georgians as well as liberal Utah(ians?) and conservative Vermontians. My point is that Sanford is not just a guy from S. Carolina, he is the elected Governor. And given S. Carolina’s political culture you simply cannot be elected there with many libertarian views. I posted the S. Carolina Republican Party Platform in my 7:48 post as some evidence of their political culture. Take a gander…

  54. I don’t think the Trinity is like Creationism. The Trinity doesn’t really state something that intersects with science: it basically states that there are these Supernatural entities that are 3 in 1, and if its stipulated that they are “supernatural” then it’s not exactly far out that they don’t obey the rule of mutual exclusivity that exists in the natural world.

    Creationism on the other hand makes a natural empirical claim based on supernatural doctrine, namely that the state of the natural world came into being in a certain way. And we have a branch of folks who look at the natural world and they have a better explanation for that and natural evidence which contradicts it. And so someone who believes differently in the face of that evidence is just stupid…

  55. Barack Obama… then Newt Gingrich? Who’s next? Jerry-Dean Funnypants?

    Our decendants will look back on this time as the reign of the Five Funny-Named Presidents…

  56. Firstly, mandatory doesn’t have an “i” in it. Secondly, the above statement is a bunch of bullshit. Thirdly, I would love to hear how the electorate in South Carolina is so markedly different than that of Georgia or Alabama.

    You started out so well, pointing out a spelling error. After that you kinda fall apart. You call BS as a stand alone point, and then request a comparison between SC’s electorate and those of GA or ALA.

    The south is rife with Jesus freak Baptists that will not vote for someone who doesn’t at least give a nod to the belligerent and marshal flavor of religion practiced down there.

  57. And given S. Carolina’s political culture you simply cannot be elected there with many libertarian views

    Goldwater carried SC in ’64.

  58. Okay, if Sanford runs on banning the teaching of evolution, I won’t vote for him. But he won’t. If he’s truly on the limited government bandwagon, his various believes won’t matter, anyway. If not, well, more of the same.

  59. The Trinity doesn’t really state something that intersects with science: it basically states that there are these Supernatural entities that are 3 in 1, and if its stipulated that they are “supernatural” then it’s not exactly far out that they don’t obey the rule of mutual exclusivity that exists in the natural world.

    Doesn’t the statement that a “supernatural” exist intersect with, and cancel out, science? If there is a supernatural being(s) so powerful that it overcomes the law of mutual exclusivity, why can’t it create the world 6,000 years ago with rocks that look millions of years old to our puny natural brains?

    Besides, trinitarinism isn’t the only superstition people don’t have a problem. Even the wishy-washiest Christian has to believe that Jesus performed some miracle at some point. How is a 2000 year old miraculous carpenter any less silly than the notion of creationism?

  60. I don’t care if a person is a creationist. It’s his right to believe what he wants. I have a problem with people who want to force their beliefs on others by way of law. I have the impression Paul would not. I don’t know enough about this guy.

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