Civil Liberties

The Ron Paul Challenge for Progressives


"Barack Obama — advocates views on these issues (indeed, has taken action on these issues) that liberals and progressives have long claimed to find repellent, even evil."

As conservative voters in Iowa get set to deliver their verdict on whether the GOP should have at its head someone with a long and clear philosophy about reducing the size of government, some liberal commenters around the country are grappling with a similar conundrum: What to say about a presidential candidate who wants to end foreign and domestic wars and protect civil liberties against the imperial presidency?

While there is plenty of material in the don't be fooled, he's really a moral monster category, here's a roundup of progressives defending the Texas congressmen from their ideological fellow travelers.

Glenn Greenwald, Salon:

Whatever else one wants to say, it is indisputably true that Ron Paul is the only political figure with any sort of a national platform — certainly the only major presidential candidate in either party — who advocates policy views on issues that liberals and progressives have long flamboyantly claimed are both compelling and crucial. The converse is equally true: the candidate supported by liberals and progressives and for whom most will vote — […]

Ron Paul's candidacy is a mirror held up in front of the face of America's Democratic Party and its progressive wing, and the image that is reflected is an ugly one; more to the point, it's one they do not want to see because it so violently conflicts with their desired self-perception.

Matt Stoller, Naked Capitalism:

Modern liberalism is a mixture of two elements. One is a support of Federal power – what came out of the late 1930s, World War II, and the civil rights era where a social safety net and warfare were financed by Wall Street, the Federal Reserve and the RFC, and human rights were enforced by a Federal government, unions, and a cadre of corporate, journalistic and technocratic experts (and cheap oil made the whole system run.) America mobilized militarily for national priorities, be they war-like or social in nature. And two, it originates from the anti-war sentiment of the Vietnam era, with its distrust of centralized authority mobilizing national resources for what were perceived to be immoral priorities. When you throw in the recent financial crisis, the corruption of big finance, the increasing militarization of society, Iraq and Afghanistan, and the collapse of the moral authority of the technocrats, you have a big problem. Liberalism doesn't really exist much within the Democratic Party so much anymore, but it also has a profound challenge insofar as the rudiments of liberalism going back to the 1930s don't work.

This is why Ron Paul can critique the Federal Reserve and American empire, and why liberals have essentially no answer to his ideas, arguing instead over Paul having character defects. Ron Paul's stance should be seen as a challenge to better create a coherent structural critique of the American political order. It's quite obvious that there isn't one coming from the left, otherwise the figure challenging the war on drugs and American empire wouldn't be in the Republican primary as the libertarian candidate.

This is just an outstanding look, Bob

Robert Scheer, Truthdig:

It is official now. The Ron Paul campaign, despite surging in the Iowa polls, is not worthy of serious consideration, according to a New York Times editorial; "Ron Paul long ago disqualified himself for the presidency by peddling claptrap proposals like abolishing the Federal Reserve, returning to the gold standard, cutting a third of the federal budget and all foreign aid and opposing the Civil Rights Act of 1964."

That last item, along with the decade-old racist comments in the newsletters Paul published, is certainly worthy of criticism. But not as an alternative to seriously engaging the substance of Paul's current campaign—his devastating critique of crony capitalism and his equally trenchant challenge to imperial wars and the assault on our civil liberties that they engender.

Paul is being denigrated as a presidential contender even though on the vital issues of the economy, war and peace, and civil liberties, he has made the most sense of the Republican candidates. And by what standard of logic is it "claptrap" for Paul to attempt to hold the Fed accountable for its destructive policies? That's the giveaway reference to the raw nerve that his favorable prospects in the Iowa caucuses have exposed. Too much anti-Wall Street populism in the heartland can be a truly scary thing to the intellectual parasites residing in the belly of the beast that controls American capitalism.

Coleen Rowley and John Walsh, Des Moines Register:

There is today only one anti-war, anti-corruption, pro-Constitution, pro-civil liberties candidate for president in either party who stands squarely against expanding military empire and for democracy. That candidate is Ron Paul. Like prairie anti-interventionists Eugene McCarthy, George McGovern and Harold Hughes in an earlier era, Paul is a maverick in his own party. He believes in an adequate force to defend America but not 1 cent for wars of aggression.

Tactically it makes sense for anti-war activists to vote in the Republican caucuses/primaries for Paul. If he wins or does well in Iowa and New Hampshire, then the questions of war and peace will appear on the national scene. If Paul goes on to win his party's nomination, these questions will finally make their appearance in the general election.

And if Paul wins the presidency, hundreds of wasteful overseas military bases will be dismantled. Our costly, counterproductive military empire could hopefully be reigned in before the blowback worsens.

Reason on Ron Paul here.

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  1. First!

    1. ? Universal Koch Oil pollution for all!
      ? Universal birth defect opportunities for all!
      ? Universal asthma opportunities for all!
      ? Universal health care for the victims! Uh, wait, that’s collectivist.

      1. “We disavow ownership of the deadly radioisotopes released from our nuclear plant. Things happen.”

        Capitalists are all the same.

        Marge, don’t discourage the boy! Weaseling out of things is important to learn. It’s what separates us from the animals! Except the weasel. ~Homer Simpson.

        1. Of course, I wouldn’t be so incredibly fat if I spent less time trolling the internet on a tool I denounce, instead of living the life I insist others should live…

          1. …others should live.

            The Anarchy Advantage in Somalia
            Brian Doherty | December 27, 2006

            Stateless in Somalia, and Loving It
            Mises Daily: Tuesday, February 21, 2006 by Yumi Kim

            1. Meanwhile, I’m touting the life of primitivism while getting fatter from being parked behind a computer.

              1. You bastards call me fat but you should see the dreamy and masculine warrior avatar I use on other websites.

              2. You bastards call me fat but you should see the dreamy and masculine native American warrior avatar that I use on other websites.


              3. Any relation to Jerry? He likes to molest young boys. He used to gambol about with them at Penn State.

            2. Actually you should appreciate the Mises article, WI. Sounds like traditional tribal law and clan negotiation has replaced command and control government.

        1. This is very true. Anti-authoritarianism always promotes its exact opposite. Also War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, etc.

    1. Fit!

          1. Wi Not?

            1. Wheeeeeeeeeeeee!

  2. I never had any great hopes that the previous RP runs would make it. This one has a far stronger feel. It did even while he was being roundly ignored by the media. Am I fooling myself this could be the time? Maybe. Hope not.

    We — the country and the world — need this.

    1. NO, I don’t think you are fooling yourself. I agree with you. This feels like the real deal. There has been a real paradigm shift in the country and Ron Paul is the primary beneficiary of that paradigm shift.

      1. In just a few centuries, the people of Easter Island wiped out their forest, drove their plants and animals to extinction, and saw their complex society spiral into chaos and cannibalism. Are we about to follow their lead?

        Easter’s End
        by Jared Diamond, UCLA School of Medicine
        Discover Magazine

        1. Easter Island? Science H. Logic why didn’t I see it before now?! It IS true. All of those stone heads we are carving by hand is just like then!

          Please, please, please let a “dieoff” be in the process. Perhaps a certain H&R troll could be the first?!!!

          1. iPods and SUVs are way different than stone heads. I mean, like, really, dude.

            1. WI may not be aware that there have been people predicting a “population bomb” in 18##, 19##, and 20## for centuries.

              Panic! People are having babies! This has never happened before!!! Oh noes!!!!

              1. hyperinflation and monetary collapse in 18##, 19##, and 20## for centuries.

                Panic! The Fed is printing money! This has never happened before!!! Oh noes!!!!


                1. So I take it you have not looked at the employment numbers lately?

                  1. …you haven’t looked at the starvation and hunger numbers lately?

                    (Hint: Six million children die of hunger every year. 925 million undernourished people in the world in 2010. 3 billion people in the world today struggle to survive on US$2/day.)

                    1. Yes, and you are making my point for me.

                      Above you sarcasticly wrote: “hyperinflation and monetary collapse in 18##, 19##, and 20## for centuries.

                      Panic! The Fed is printing money! This has never happened before!!! Oh noes!!!!


                      And now you have the gall to say:

                      “…you haven’t looked at the starvation and hunger numbers lately?

                      (Hint: Six million children die of hunger every year. 925 million undernourished people in the world in 2010. 3 billion people in the world today struggle to survive on US$2/day.)”

                      So please, make up your mind. Are we or are we not in a terrible economic situation at the moment? You can’t have it both ways.

                    2. …..6 million children dead are not anywhere near the 150 million that Communism killed. Whew, the record that was set by his beloved ideology cannot be touched!

                    3. Also, I am fat

                    4. Again…in case you missed it, my daily caloric intake would sustain 1.5 to 2 million of those starving waifs that I concern troll about.

                      And I have a link to prove it.

                      My Battle with Love Handles and Man Boobs
                      by Jason Godesky, Failed Jenny Craig member
                      Hostess Consumer Products and Foreign Influence Division

                    5. Jason reminds me of Comic Book Guy on The Simpsons

          2. Their codependent relative* would never let that happen.

            (*whoever’s basement they live in)

            1. Did the float valve independently enter your anus, wylie? Do you take full personal responsibility for that little episode?

              1. Oh snap, yo, I’ve been retorted like a mofo!

                1. …in da haus!

              2. Hey, dipshit. Whoever it was installed the one-way check valve in your ass put it in backwards.

                1. That was for Wylies Sump Pump Seat.

        2. If Easter Island had “privation property” it wouldn’t have happened that way.

        3. Everybody remember, douchebag here has said he would prefer a culture where food was produced by hunting and gathering, but when pressed acknowledges that he also supports non-property-based primitive agriculture of the kind practiced by North American Indian groups as well.

          That just happens to be the culture tool mix that destroyed Easter Island.

          In the absence of a system where some resources can be “arbitrarily” monopolized by individual owners and reserved for future use (i.e. “privation property”), you get Easter Island.

          1. But they made those cool statues.

        4. So are you going to eat yourself to death soon and shut the fuck up?

  3. Oh noes!!! Someone who actually supports capitalism might win the Republican nomination!!! Panic!!! Dig up all the dirt you can!!!!

    1. Everybody knows it doesn’t work that way in real life.

      1. ???? I might be able to respond to this if it were an actual coherent thought.

        1. …went right over your head. Whoosh!

          1. The purpose of communication is to express ideas in a way the intended audience can understand. If you are not doing that blaming the intended audience is bad form. Don’t blame your intended audience for not speaking the language of Homo habilis.

            1. …is mostly deceit. But occasionally, somebody like White Indian speaks directly, and makes the monkeys-in-man-pants howl in rage and start throwing shit.

              1. I will cease responding to you until such a time as you make an actual effort to communicate thoughts or ideas.

                1. Can you teach me to communicate like you?

                  Oh noes!!! ~PIRS

                  Are three fucking exclamation points that like from Shakespeare or some shit?

                  1. Your bait of falsehood takes this carp of truth.

              2. Mostly deceit? Well I guess you’re holding true to your claim, because that sounds like BS.

                1. Humans lie mostly. Especially Libertards.

                  1. Thy tongue outvenoms all the worms of Nile.

                  2. Deceit still requires transmission of ideas, so PIRS is right, and you are wrong, as your statement admits.

                    1. I should really see if there are still pancakes from breakfast left in the fridge.

            2. No it isn’t. An argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition….Argument is an intellectual process. Contradiction is just the automatic gainsaying of any statement the other person makes.

              1. No it isn’t.

      2. Funny, seemed to work just fine for a couple hundred years.

  4. The only candidate who has the right bold ideas is Ron Paul and, only Ron Paul can beat Obama.

    If, Ron Paul gets the GOP nomination: Ron Paul gets the following voters:

    (A) 2008 Obama voters who thought they were going to get ‘Change’
    (B) 2008 Obama voters who voted to end the wars.
    (C) The VAST majority of the Independent vote,
    (D) The entire GOP voting block who dislikes Obama enough to vote for Ron Paul instead.
    (E) Ron Paul supporters coming out to vote in DROVESand, a machine like no other for the General Elections! (No other candidate can compete against Obama’s machine but Ron Paul! Wake Up People!)
    (F) Same-sex couples who want to be set free.
    (G) Democratic, disillusioned Anti-Drug war voters.
    (H) Libertarians.
    (I) Youth Vote (Obama has lost them to Ron Paul but, if RP does not get the nomination, they will go back to Obama)

    Also, keep in mind, that the Independents have the largest voting block in this country. Republicans and Democrats are the minorities. For the GOP to attack the only candidate on the GOP ticket that can beat Obama is truly insane!

    The GOP did not learn anything from 2008. They keep doing the same thing over and over expecting different results! Only idiots do that!

    Listen up MINORITY GOP…If, you do not get behind Ron Paul, YOU WILL get 4 more years of Obama! GUARANTEED!!!!!!!!

    No Ron Paul supporter will vote for any other GOP Candidate. Independents will go back to Obama as will the disenfranchised Democrats and the youth vote!

    1. ? Smart if they vote for my guy.
      ? Stupid if they vote for the other guy.

      1. Don’t you have a Team you should be off rooting for?

        1. I disavow any team I signed on with. I just sign stuff and don’t mean it. Things happen.

    2. You underestimate the doe-eyed Obama sycophants who think the only reason his presidency sucks is because of them blasted Rethuglicans fouling everything up!

      After all. Bush. You know?

      1. This is sadly true. I talked to a liberal relative over the holiday and I said “you know, Obama really hasn’t done anything warranting his re-election, we were in three wars under him, the economy is terrible, etc.” While they couldn’t name anything he had done they liked they still were very positive on him…I think politics has become so “symbolic” lately; Obama doesn’t say “nuclular” so he must be OK…

        1. I had the same conversation. My head still hurts.

          Of course, this same relative still makes Reagan jokes, so you gets what you pays for.

        2. Obama is still black. He still gives all those bleeding hearts salvation for the original sin of racism. He could be grilling babies on the white house lawn and they’d vote for him.

          1. That is a a big deal for many liberals, yes. I’ve always said if Obama were white he’d be John Edwards (pre-scandal).

            1. Nah. Post-scandal. There’s plenty of dirt in his Chicago career that would have killed any white politician’s national ambitions.

        3. No one says nuclular.

          Bush and Perry say nucyular.

  5. “Tactically it makes sense for anti-war activists to vote in the Republican caucuses/primaries for Paul. If he wins or does well in Iowa and New Hampshire, then the questions of war and peace will appear on the national scene.”

    Tru dat. RP is the only person out there offering that alternative, one that should be attractive to many liberals. But there is another big area where RP could draw liberals:

    “The highest level of support for decriminalizing the use of marijuana today is seen with self-described liberals, among whom 78% are in favor. In contrast, 72% of conservatives are opposed.”…..-high.aspx

    1. “RP is the only person out there offering that alternative”

      Well, of course I should say that Gary Johnson does too, but RP is the one getting national attention right now.

      1. MNG,

        If Ron Paul does win the Republican nomination and Donald Trump runs as an independent, for whom would you vote?

        1. The ACLU ranking of the candidate in the thread below this one accurately reflect my voting preferences: Johnson, Paul, Obama, Huntsman. Dead last would be that cretin Romney.

          I wouldn’t vote for Trump if he were running against Kim Kardashian.

          1. I happen to agree with you on that. Except I would rank Santorum dead last – even below Romney. The only way I would even consider voting for Santorum is if Donald Trump were the only other candidate on the ballot – and if I thought it were a close election. I would probably vomit behind the building my precinct’s booths were in after I marked the X on the paper ballot. I don’t happen to like frothy fecal matter.

            1. I would only vote for Santorum if Gauron were his only opponent, and were doing well.

            2. PIRS-you’ll like this then:


              1. Thanks! I will send this to some “conservatives” who are thinking of voting for Frothy.

    2. “The highest level of support for decriminalizing the use of marijuana today is seen with self-described liberals, among whom 78% are in favor.

      Of which Obama isn’t one.

  6. “only Ron Paul can beat Obama”

    If you are a libertarian I would think simply getting a mostly libertarian candidate on the national scene would be more important than simply “beating Obama.” Goldwater lost big time but his ideas influenced future debate and elections for decades later.

    1. Unlike Ron Paul, Goldwater was not seen as an independent candidate. Goldwater and Ron Paul would probably agree on many things but foreign policy is not one of those things.

      1. And people were convinced Goldwater would start a nuclear war. I wonder if the candidates were so gung ho on getting into a hot war with China whether the public would be “war ra ra”. No, its safer to just beat up on people we don’t believe can really hurt us.

        1. Exactly, and if Libya had not agreed to give up on its nuclear weapons Colonel Muammar Gaddafi would still be the leader. We don’t f*** with countries that have nukes. By the way, why didn’t Colonel Muammar Gaddafi promote himself to General?

    2. Fox News has been selling the Goldwater comparison, saying that RP has no chance to beat Obama.

  7. The Left’s overriding desire is to look “cool”. Criticizing Bush was “cool” because he was a devoutly Christian guy who didn’t worship Ivy League academics. Criticizing guys like Clinton and Obama isn’t “cool”. Even if very few soldiers died while Bush was in office, they still would have gone after him just as hard.

    1. I’m intrigued by your political insights. You’re like the coolest guy ever.

    2. The Left’s overriding desire is to look “cool”.

      Ima gonna wear cheap sunglasses when I cast my vote for RP.

      1. Me too! I’m voting Ron Paul, if given the opportunity.

        Because he’ll destroy city-Statism (civilization) even quicker than the rest of the nut-cases.

        1. Of course when civilization falls I will look like a suckling pig to the starving masses… I guess no [GAMBOLING] for me.


        2. Every vote counts I guess. If if they come from crazy cave-people.

          1. Your words are hurtful! I’m taking the bus and you will not see me at the pancake social tomorrow!

  8. A Paul nomination makes all of these Progressive and leftist issues commonly associated with Democrats that of Republicans, and ghastly libertarian ones at that.

    I’d wager that many of them are more concerned about about having to consider voting R. Of course, they probably wouldn’t.

    I mean, Republican? Come on!

    1. Some truth to this. I live in a very liberal place (Madison, WI) and the word “Republican” is used only in a derogatory manner. “Republicans” are not to be considered regular people, and are generally referred to only in the abstract, collective sense, not as individual human beings. Here, Republicans are not thought to be capable of independent thoughts that were not dictated to them by their corporate masters. This is a very popular political philosophy in these parts.

  9. As someone who came to the freedom movement from the Left (broadly construed), I can definitely relate to this. The issue isn’t that the left isn’t against big government per se. They just want the massive apparatus to be used for Good ™. Their biggest beef with the Right isn’t their abuse of power as much as the misuse. They’re OK with power-mad Right-wingers so long as they do the right thing with power.

    Sadly, the Left is deluded to think that government power can be used only for Good ™ and that you just need the Right People ™ to do it. While out-and-out Marxism is out of fashion, there is this strong, and ultimately misguided, belief that people can transcend themselves to become Right People who function beyond base humanity. How silly they are.

    1. Or libertarians? I really can’t tell the difference in what you’re saying there.

      1. The issue isn’t that the left isn’t against big government per se. They just want the massive apparatus to be used for Good

        Libertarians are against big government. Period. Reading comprehension is apparently not your strength.

  10. IMO, the unspoken reason some resist Paul so vehemently is that Paul vs Obama — regardless of the outcome — um, brings things to a head.

    1. And so is, apparently, Rich. That tends to brings things to a head.

      1. ** doffs Eric “Nation of Cowards” Holder hat **

        This is a national conversation that *will* take place. I hope it will take place peacefully.

    2. Right, they actually have opposing views, instead of Romney vs. Obama.

  11. I enjoyed reading your article, thanks.

  12. I’m voting for Tim Tebow. Anything to get him out of the NFL.

    1. I like the guy…he’s plucky! But he should be available after this weekend.

      You should give him a call.

  13. Over on Metafilter there was a lengthy discussion on Greenwald’s great article. No one could face Greenwald’s arguments – it was all “eeww, Ron Paul’s so icky!”. Then there was one on the NDAA. This was at least bad enough to get a lot of comm enters to admit that they’d been had, but it was mostly “the evil Republicans made him do it!” Cognitive dissonance this bad has got to hurt.

    1. b..but…but NEWSLETTERS!!! John Birch society!!!!!!!

      It’s pretty pathetic how shallow “liberals” are

  14. “I’m sorry 20 year old newsletters are war more important then foreign policy, monetary policy, deficit financing, and war. He’s lost my vote” – average Democrat on Ron Paul

    “What!? He doesn’t want to murder more muslims! Not my president!” Average Republican on Ron Paul

  15. Can we get a confirm or deny on registration? Because if it is coming, I’d like a countdown clock.

    1. Hi, SF. Do you have something you’d like to share with the class?

      1. I only have three sticks of gum. If you want to take them from me, I guess I can’t stop you.

    2. so SugarFree is a registration denier – I KNEW it!

      1. There’s just no way that burning jet fuel can handle the trolls. They just don’t melt at that temperature!

    3. Sugarfree. This site has lots of information about registration:

    4. Can we get a confirm or deny on registration? Because if it is coming, I’d like a countdown clock.

      It’s right next to the Doomsday clock.

  16. And by what standard of logic is it “claptrap” for Paul to attempt to hold the Fed accountable for its destructive policies? That’s the giveaway reference to the raw nerve that his favorable prospects in the Iowa caucuses have exposed. Too much anti-Wall Street populism in the heartland can be a truly scary thing to the intellectual parasites residing in the belly of the beast that controls American capitalism.

    You Betcha!

    1. nice tits.

  17. I’m a little depressed about the caucus today.

    I think the Paul campaign had a great chance to win this thing and then fucked up.

    And no, I don’t mean anything about their response to the newsletters.

    I mean the in-retrospect-really-dumb Sorenson gambit.

    They needed Sun Tzu to be in their HQ to tell them that when your enemies are fighting among themselves, you let them fight.

    Destroying the Bachmann campaign (and that’s what they did – pulled the plug on a campaign that was on life support) let that Santorum fuck crawl off the mat.

    If Santorum comes in first or second today, someone needs to track Jesse Benton down and smack him in the mouth. Because Rick Santorum may be the most repulsive candidate out there, and finding a way to get his campaign off the mat (which he would never have been able to do for himself) means you deserve a smack.

    1. Well said, Fluffy.

      And anyone who has not yet read Sun Tzu should read him soon.

      1. I got Shogun 2 on Steam’s holiday specials, been enjoying the load screen “tips”, which are just excerpts from The Art of War and various Japanese military scholars.

    2. The Duggars showed up to support Santorum. Only 12 kids in tow. I guess the other seven are off gestating in some underground bunker.

      1. I used to not mind the Duggars, despite that whole thing where they’re trying to start their own race of people.

        They seemed like nice enough folks.

        But now they have exposed themselves as snakes.

    3. Bachman has her quirks. But she is at least a honest person. Santorum is just a crook. He doesn’t believe a word of what he is saying. Every time he has been in a position of authority, he has used that authority to steal and create a bigger government.

      All of the Republican candidates, even Paul, are identical on the big issues for SOCONs. The SOCONs have won. You can’t even think of running for President as a Republican unless you are pro life and at a minimum think the federal government should be out of the issue of prayer in school and gay marriage and so forth.

      This should be the year that SOCONs vote on other issues. But instead they have convinced themselves that a lying crook is somehow one of them.

      1. Actually I think Santorum has been fairly consistent on his pro-government stances:

        “In his book he comments, seemingly with a shrug, “Some will reject what I have to say as a kind of ‘Big Government’ conservatism.”

        They sure will. A list of the government interventions that Santorum endorses includes national service, promotion of prison ministries, “individual development accounts,” publicly financed trust funds for children, community-investment incentives, strengthened obscenity enforcement, covenant marriage, assorted tax breaks, economic literacy programs in “every school in America” (his italics), and more. Lots more.”…..overnment/

        “All of the Republican candidates, even Paul, are identical on the big issues for SOCONs.”

        DOMA is not a one of them?

      2. Considering Santorum is catholic and Paul is baptist, you think the vote would be different (not that there arent catholic socons, but the majority arent).

        1. Many catholics are not socons but catholics have an incredible influence on socon thought. Read conservative mags and journals like NR, ICR, Modern Age, etc.

    4. You think Santorum is pulling from Bachman? I assumed he was getting the Cainanites that Gingrich was and is losing.

      I’l be much more disappointed in New Hampshire than Iowa. I understand they know Romney up there, but if there is a state in the union more theoretically open to libertarianism you would think it would be NH.

      1. but NH is also a primary state so you have a larger electorate. But for a primary state, NH libertarian strain is why hes polling better there than most.

        NH is a wierd mix of libertarian leaning independents and republicans, white, blue collar democrats, and moderate northeast squish republicans.

    5. Maybe they started to belief the people that said Paul couldnt win a 2-way race with Romney, that it needed to be 3-way.

      1. “that it needed to be 3-way.”

        Ususally Santorum would stridently object to any 3-way.

        1. unless it’s in an airport men’s room

    6. Because Rick Santorum may be the most repulsive candidate out there…

      Such nice teeth though.

    7. NO offense, but it takes a particularly stupid individual to think Santorum has any chance whatsoever of finishing first or second.

      Your speculation is moronic.

  18. its either gonna be a ron paul revolution or a bloody one take your pick….

    1. Careful with the false dichotomies.

      Incendiary, you know.

  19. In 2004, there was no small government candidate available. The choices were Bush who would try to win the war in Iraq or Kerry who wouldn’t. So conservatives had a choice, what was more important, punishing Bush for being a big government guy or winning the war in Iraq. They chose the latter and turned out for Bush.

    In 2012, there is a pro civil rights candidate who has rightist economic views (Paul), a bunch of candidates with right economic views but are not pro civil rights, and a sitting President who has left wing domestic and economic views but is a carbon copy of the non-Paul Republicans on civil rights.

    So liberals can have left wing economic policies or protection of civil rights. But they can’t have both. Like conservatives in 2004, they have to make a choice. What is more important to them, civil rights or left wing social and economic policies?

    They are certainly free to chose the latter and vote for Obama. But when they do, they need to be honest enough to admit that undeclared, illegal wars, assassinations of American citizens, internet censorship, and indefinite detention of American citizens arrested on American soil is the price they think is worth paying for two more seats on the Supreme Court and a full fledged European Social welfare state.

    1. So liberals can have left wing economic policies or protection of civil rights. But they can’t have both.

      I want it all.

      1. “So liberals can have left wing economic policies or protection of civil rights.”

        It’s not as simple as that. Many liberals would include abortion rights and protection of immigrants within “civil rights,” not to mention 1960’s civil rights stuff like the CRA, all things where Paul’s positions might be off-putting.

        The better angle to take with liberals is: look, you care about war and drugs but NOONE is talking about that, so support Paul to get that conversation started.

        1. I’ll give the dems obviously abortion – the one negative right they actually believe in – but as far as “protecting immigrants” they don;t really do that either. Obama has just given lip service to buy votes then keep deporting people at record levels and put any kind of immigration bill way down on the list of priorities.

        2. But the president can single-handedly end the wars and the assassinations. Ending abortion and repealing the CRA would be much tougher.

    2. “The choices were Bush who would try to win the war in Iraq or Kerry who wouldn’t.”

      Well, and all those states with SSM bans on the ballot…

      1. But you can vote for that and leave the Presidential ballot blank. Conservatives could have not voted or voted third party in 2004 in order to punish Bush for Medicare Part D and no child left behind. But they didn’t. That shows that they thought Iraq was more important. And those programs were a price they were willing to pay for it.

        Liberals face a similar choice this year.

        1. “But you can vote for that and leave the Presidential ballot blank.”

          I don’t think a lot of people do that…Like I said above, politics has become largely symbolic. Sure there was not that much difference between Bush and Kerry in policy, but that Kerry guy spoke French and windsurfed while that Bush guy loved Jesus and drove a pick-up truck.

          The choice was clear…

          1. No Kerry let the Democratic left make him the party of Micheal Moore. It didn’t matter how much Kerry swore to the contrary, the moment they made Moore a distinguished guest at the convention, Kerry was done. I really think that fat bastard was on Karl Rove’s payroll.

            1. I don’t think very many people were thinking of Moore when they cast their ballot in 04. They were thinking “my guy drives a truck, kicks terrorist ass and loves Jesus” or “my guy is a nuanced, sophisticated answer to that guy who can’t pronounce nuclear.”

              1. I have to kinda agree with MNG on this – so much of politics is about identity to groups.

                Look at the 2008 dem primary. Both hillarty and Obama were virtually identical in policy. But why did an overwhlming amont of blacks and northern gentry liberals go with Obama while blue collar women and hispanics went with hillary? Its all identity politics. Its the reaosn why Clinton did reasonable well in the South – cause he was one of them. Same reaosn why Christie was able to do well with the blue collar white guys in New Jersey – cause he seemed to be one of them.

              2. Bush and Rove made the election about voting for Bush or voting for Kerry and surrendering to the terrorists. The fact that Kerry let Bush do that to him, shows what a weak candidate he was.

    3. In 2004, there was no small government candidate available.

      Bullshit, Badnarik was available.

      1. But a vote for Badnarik would have meant the terrorists would have won. What a pre-9/11 mindset you have!

    4. They don’t actually have a choice on the left-wing economic policies, either. Obama has governed as a moderate Republican on that front. Extension of the Bush tax cuts (which doesn’t make them Bush’s anymore, in my book), a health-care mandate that has been championed in recent times by both Romney and Gingrich, a bailout supported by Republicans, etc.

      So, really, the choice is civil liberties, or teachers’ unions. They’ll end up kissing teacher ass.

  20. It’s nict to fantasize about all our troops coming home, closing bases in Germany and Korea, helping our own citizens instead of providing economic props to wealthy nations.

    1. And so that’s why we can’t have nice things

  21. Ron Paul is the only candidate completely opposed to all forms of Racism and Favoritism.

    Check it:…..avoritism/

  22. I assume Sorenson is the rat who slithered off Bachman’s sinking ship the other day.

    The obvious (to me) question is, if this guy is such a fucking genius, why is her campaign so far out in the weeds? I’d consider offering him an unpaid probationary position knocking on doors in South Carolina.

    I suck at politics and group decision making; have I ever mentioned that?

    1. That is a good question. Bachman has all of the street creed she needs with the SOCONs. She is a good speaker. In an election with no clear favorite and most voters looking for any alternative to Romney, Bachman should have been a force.

      1. Bachman has to my knowledge never won an election outside of a Minnesota district.

        The same could be said about Paul, but he’s run for President several times and earned a following over decades.

        1. Obama had never won an election outside of Illinois which is practically a one party state. Same with Bush in 2000. To say you have to win an election outside of your district, is to say that no one from the House can ever win the Presidency. Maybe that is true. No one has ever done it maybe since like Garfield. But I don’t see why it has to be. And Nixon and George HW Bush had never won elections outside of their districts outside of being the VP for really popular Presidents. Anyone could have been the VP candidate for Reagan and Eisenhower.

          1. Illinois has recently had GOP governors and currently has a GOP senator. Nixon was a former governor of the biggest state in the nation. And Texas is one of the biggest states in the union. Being VP makes you on the national scene. All that > than winning a single congressional district.

            1. Nixon lost his gubernatorial run in CA, that’s wrong. But he was VP, that’s what made him.

              My point is that while Bachman seems to have some positives she has never won anything really notable, so it’s little surprise that she has not done better.

              1. Barrack Obama ended the idea you had to accomplish anything to be President if you have the hook of being a minority or a woman.

              2. Palin had the misfortune of being picked as the VP candidate for John McCain in 2008. Had it not been for that, and if she had focused on being governor and possibly won reelection she might be in a better position to run for POTUS this year.

                1. You can always turn down a VP nod. She screwed up. Though it sounds like she was screwing up in Alaska, hence her resignation afterwards.

                  1. Her “screwing up” in Alaska consisted mostly of underestimating the amoral viciousness of the Republican machine there, which HATED her.

                    So, yeah, maybe she’s not really Presidential material. If she couldn’t handle the Republithugs in Alaska, she certainly can’t handle the Dems in DC.

      2. Yeah, I’m not really understanding the traditional explanation that the vaccine flap was what sunk her. She definitely has a problem with speaking contrary to fact, and I personally despise her, but while I see why she’d have dropped after Perry came into the race and Cain rose, I’m not getting why she never got another bounce. The vaccine thing was a gaffe, but serious enough to sink a campaign?

        I’m actually not surprised Santorum’s making a run (no pun intended). He’s consistently stuck to his script and hasn’t yet had any scandals. Even more so than Paul he’s run a very down-to-earth campaign in Iowa. The explanation was always that he “just hasn’t caught on” or “couldn’t beat Obama” – but there was nothing implicitly preventing a Santorum surge (no pun intended). He’s the last option they haven’t tried yet. Hopefully the media will quickly slap him down and the salty ham tears will be ever saltier.

    2. Re: P Brooks,

      The obvious (to me) question is, if this guy is such a fucking genius, why is her campaign so far out in the weeds?

      I’m going out on a limb on this one and say: Because of Bachmann herself?

      You think?

  23. In Soviet Russia, politics sucks YOU!

  24. Is it true that Gabby Giffords said she needs all this Team Red politicking in Iowa like a hole in the head?

    What – too soon?

  25. lol, they are ALL bought and paid for, so in the end, it does not matter.

  26. No Matter what happens, I’m voting for Dr. Paul. If I have to write him in, so be it. He’s the ONLY chance we have to get out of this oligarch hell. I’m so sick of being subjected to control freaks an liars from both parties. I want these humanity hating, Malthusian psychos out of my government and schools.

  27. Hi Matt,

    Well written article. I think it is fair and balanced, and is something that journalism should be. Instead of touting off the mainstream rhetoric you seem to have written about something different; why liberals should support RP or why they can’t really say anything against him. Bravo, thank you for attempting to forge a line of thinking outside of what the mainstream has been writing for a while.

    It seems like everything you read about Ron Paul is written by a college student’s plagiarized essay paper compiled by a dozen or so copied and pasted lines.

    I had to read your article twice to get a grasp of what you were trying to say, it wasn’t an easy message to understand. It requires some knowledge and depth of history. You’ve put some thought into this. I mean that in a very appreciative and sincere manor.

  28. Nuggets from Santorum:

    “This whole idea of personal autonomy, well I don’t think most conservatives hold that point of view. Some do. They have this idea that people should be left alone, be able to do whatever they want to do, government should keep our taxes down and keep our regulations low, that we shouldn’t get involved in the bedroom, we shouldn’t get involved in cultural issues. You know, people should do whatever they want. Well, that is not how traditional conservatives view the world and I think most conservatives understand that individuals can’t go it alone. That there is no such society that I am aware of, where we’ve had radical individualism and that it succeeds as a culture.”…..overnment/

    1. That there is no such society that I am aware of, where we’ve had radical individualism

      You’re right, I’m not aware of any countries where we’ve had radical individualism.

      1. Somalia beckons you.

        1. What? Somalia is an intensely tribal society. Tribalism and individualism are fairly mutually exclusive.

          1. I know, I was being sarcastic.

    2. Classic Santorum! =
      One of the criticisms I make is to what I refer to as more of a libertarianish right. You know, the left has gone so far left and the right in some respects has gone so far right that they touch each other. They come around in the circle.


      His concept of the spectrum of political thought is…. a circle….

      I guess that does make it hard to pin someone down. ‘Im not right wing! I’m *270 degrees*…’ Apparently we libertarian types confuse him… unsure whether we’re 360…. or ZERO?

      This i like even more:

      “We have a whole culture that is focused on immediate gratification and the pursuit of happiness…and it is harming America”

      “…Also: this fixation on Life, and Liberty… is bad for America!… don’t get me started on how self evident this is!”

      One wonders what he means by ‘America’ at times. Apparently things that are considered ‘good’ by *actual people* – individuals? Citizens? Not good for amorphous concept of nationhood!

      “See, if things are too focused on actual *People*… you end up screwing things up for *the Country*. We can’t have that.”

      I’m not sure how it works that “The Nation” exists on some ethereal plane where actual citizens of said entity are of secondary concern.

      Reminds me of the comment:

      “”I love humanity, but I hate people. “”

      1. “‘Im not right wing! I’m *270 degrees*…’ Apparently we libertarian types confuse him… unsure whether we’re 360…. or ZERO?”

        He’s not entirely wrong, although I see politics as parallel lines instead of a circle: a left-wing (egalitarian) and right-wing (propertarian) equivalent of the same sized government.

        Anarchocommunism and anarchocapitalism are both still forms of anarchism. The infinite governments of communism and fascism are but a few steps different. Likewise with neoconservatism and the technocratic nanny state.

    The only way to defeat the monopoly of influence held by the party leaders and mainstream media, is for WE THE PEOPLE to educate our neighbors first hand.

    Want to get involved in the movement?
    STEP ONE: Mark every upcoming MoneyBomb on your calendar. Even if you can’t afford to donate personally, you can still promote these via social networks and by calling your friends and family.
    Next MoneyBomb: MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DAY, JAN. 16th

    STEP TWO: Go to to make phone calls for the campaign. Provide a valuable service to the campaign by allowing them to identify (1) Fellow Supporters (2) Their biggest rivals (3) The most important issues to the voters in the states you will be calling. The campaign on the ground in those states will then use that information to energize and mobilize the supporters they already have, and effectively target those they wish to convert.

    STEP THREE: Join your local meetup group at – These groups are very casual and made up of easy going, amazingly creative supporters across the nation. If you believe in personal liberty, you will fit right in. There is always something- big or small, you can do to help your local groups out- this is VERY important to our grassroots efforts. If you have a business, you can also sponsor meetup groups in exchange for advertising on their page- or if you have a diner, restaurant or other venue your local meetup groups can use, you can make your space available to the meetup groups, helping them, and your business at the same time

    STEP FOUR: Look up ways to promote the message locally, online, within your meetup groups, etc. There are tons of Resources, tips, and downloadable flyers here:

    STEP FIVE: Be sure to participate in and promote every grassroots event. Find upcoming grassroots events at and here is an easy link for promoting most of them at one time- (if any are missing just inform the site through the comments and they will be added)

    STEP SIX: Donate to and Promote REVOLUTION PAC – Revolution Pac has created some of the most moving and effective ads for Ron Paul – along with organizing other major efforts for spreading the word of liberty. Please check them out and spread the word

    STEP SEVEN: When you shop for anything online, be sure to check the retailers at first. Retailers featured on the site will pay into the Ron Paul Fundraiser by shop4liberty for every sale made through the banner ads on the site. Retailers include Amazon, CafePress, Tiger Direct, Barnes N Noble, and 100+ more …. 100% of the money raised through the site goes to fund the creation and distribution of FREE RON PAUL GRASSROOTS CAMPAIGNING MATERIALS to supporters all over the nation. Sign up for your kit on the site (there is a long waiting list, so help us send as many of these kits as possible, as quickly as possible by doing all of your shopping through the site!)

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    1. STEP NINE: Profit????

    2. This, ladies and gentlemen, is why you never go Full Paultard.

  30. Ug vote TEAM BLUE! NO TEAM RED!!

  31. Interesting post, particularly the civil liberties aspects. For those interested, a good piece on national security and civil liberties post 9-11:

    1. that ain’t the real gabe…

  32. I am one of those Liberals who long to see Ron Paul and Barrack Obama debate foreign policy.

    Disclaimer: Yes, I am completely aware of Paul’s lack of a domestic policy. Under a President Ron Paul, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid would all fact the chopping block. A large percentage of our poor, sick and elderly would perish. Because of this a President Ron Paul would be (in my opinion) unacceptable.

    I am under no illusion that Ron Paul would win a general election. Unlike the other Republican candidates who would also cut the domestic social safety net, Paul would also deal a crippling blow to the Military Industrial Complex (MIC) and introduce Wall Street to Capitalism. I suspect this is why both MSNBC and FOX are bent on destroying Ron Paul. Both the Democrats and Republican equally serve Wall Street and the MIC. Both the Democrats and the Republicans support the “Patriot Act” and the “Global (never ending) War on Terror”. Ron Paul when it came to civil liberties would deviate from the script. Thousands, if not “millions” of “little Brown people” in the Middle East with names we find hard to pronounce would live to see another son rise under Ron Paul.

    Knowing that Ron Paul could not win a general election against Obama, I would give my left (something or the other) to see these two men on national TV debating foreign policy! Ron Paul would not stick to the tightly controlled script the corporate media has constructed for most of our public officials. If Paul is anything, he is an honest man. He would drain the swamp that keeps us as a country mired in a mucky pit of lies and hypocrisy. Obama would be forced to answer for his participation in the Bush “crimes against humanity”. Misdirection does not seem to work against Ron Paul; unlike the so-called “constitutional scholar” (Obama), Paul seems to not only “talk the talk”, but he has been shown to also, “walk the walk!” Candidate Obama once said that “sunlight is the best disinfectant”, surely Ron Paul would shine the light of the constitution into the darkest corners of President Obama’s cover-up of the Bush crimes, Obama’s drone assignation program; extra-judicial killings of US citizens?
    Most, if not all of these crimes against humanity and the United States would be brought to light. Because Obama is Wall Street and the Military Industrial Complexes’ man (thus the corporate media’s choice) he will surely win. The only thing different is that he (Obama) will know that we know who he represent. The fa?ade will come apart.

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