Election 2012

Meet the Constitution Party's Candidate


The Libertarian Party isn't the only alternative party to nominate an experienced politician for president this year. The right-wing Constitution Party has tapped former congressman Virgil Goode of Virginia, whose website says he's running to "Save America!"

The Constitution Party is basically a paleoconservative outfit, but to judge from Jim Antle's informative profile in the current American Conservative, Goode hasn't always been a proper paleocon. He's bad in the places where paleos tend to be bad, such as immigration; but in areas where they're better than the mainstream right, such as foreign policy, Goode's record is…still pretty bad:

Goode is not so good.

He voted for the Iraq War and the Patriot Act. Unlike North Carolina Republican Rep. Walter Jones, in Congress he never budged from these positions. He subsequently voted to make the Patriot Act permanent. When Goode voted against a congressional resolution opposing the surge in Iraq, he said he didn't want to "aid and assist the Islamic jihadists who want the green flag of the crescent and star to wave over the Capitol of the United States and over the White House of this country." Goode warned of "In Muhammad we trust" appearing on U.S. currency.

Antle reports that Goode's public views on these subjects have been "evolving in the Constitution Party's direction." Specifically, "He conceded he was wrong to vote for the Patriot Act and called for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan." But the evolution doesn't sound like it's complete:

In our interview in March, Goode was somewhat equivocal about foreign policy. He emphasized Congress's constitutional power to declare war and opposed following the dictates of the United Nations. "We can stay in Afghanistan and the Middle East forever, and it won't make a difference," he argued. Goode said he was in favor of reducing the number of troops and bases overseas but against cutting veterans' benefits.

The former congressman was harder to pin down on his past record, however. "I still believe to some degree that Iraq had WMD," he confessed. Goode said we should "send Iran a clear message that if we are assaulted, we will meet it and trump it." That's not the same as calling for war with Iran—under Goode's scenario, Tehran would be the aggressor—but the tone is a bit off for someone who is leading a party that truly advocates a humble foreign policy.

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  1. I know next to nothing about the Constitution Party, but in their defense, if they’re lookin’ to nominate someone who’s both decidedly pro-Constitution and has experience in federal government over the past 12 years?

    Then that’s a really short list of people to choose from.

    1. “He subsequently voted to make the Patriot Act permanent.”


      1. Of course he’s not.

        That’s the point.

        How many genuinely pro-Constitution people are there to choose from who also have experience in the federal government?

        Well, let’s see. There’s Ron Paul! But he’s not about to run for the Constitution Party. He’d run as a Libertarian first…

        So, who’s next on the list?


        I’m stumped!

        So, maybe the Constitution Party can’t find anyone that’s both pro-Constitution and has experience in the federal government–becasue only one such person exists–and this guy was the next best thing.

        P.S. That’s what I said the first time, too.

    2. Goode is not pro-Constitution.

  2. I’ve met and spoken to Virgil a couple of times. He’s none too bright, hence his long career in government.

  3. Antle reports that Goode’s public views on these subjects have been “evolving in the Constitution Party’s direction.”

    So the Constitution party found their Bob Barr?

    1. So the Constitution party found their Bob Barr?

      That was my thought as well. Must mean Goode’s career as a (R) is over. Amazing that they can’t have these views until the end.

      1. I believe Goode was an independent in his later years in Congress.

  4. I’ve been wanting to be enthusiastic about the CP candidate, but haven’t been able to. For him to take votes away from Romney, he will have to draw a clearer contrast. Otherwise we might as well vote for Mittens.

    1. It would be nice to be able to get enthusiastic about the CP, but this

      The goal of the Constitution Party is to restore American jurisprudence to its Biblical foundations and to limit the federal government to its Constitutional boundaries.

      really gives me pause. The second part is great, the first, not so much.

      1. Exactly. Virgil is a bible-thumpin’ nutjob that participates in the Islamo-Fascist bullshit as a way to drum up support. He has no interest in small government as long as the right people are in charge.

        1. Ole Virg has been responsible for almost every insane reactionary law proposed in VA for the past decade or so. The CP is welcome to him. He’s sort of a Republican Chuck Schumer.

      2. I’ve long suspected that the Constitution Party are trying to get the nose of the camel that is Christian Dominionism into the tent.

        1. They’re more or less just warmed over republican so-cons with a slightly less imperialistic foreign policy. Or at least that’s what they seem like to me.

      3. We’d be a crapload better off with that flawed system than we are with the liberal authoritarian system we’re slouching toward right now.

        Libertopia is, for the time being, not an option.

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  6. Sounds like the Bob Barr stunt casting of aught-eight.

  7. What is a paleoconservative, anyway? Sounds like a made-up label on a Chip Bok cartoon.

    1. Think Bob Taft in the 1950s.

    2. Limited government views combined with socially conservative views.

  8. So the “Constitution Party” isn’t so much about the Constitution as it is about….something else.

    Good to know, and *shocked face*

    1. Constitution Party: Federal government tyranny is bad, but state tyranny is good. That’s why we look so libertarian when we’re talking about the federal government, but look like complete sociocon bozos when we talk about state’s rights.

  9. And still arguably better than the only Libertarian Party nominee *not* to call for tax cuts, and who called for invading Uganda on the basis of the liberals’ weekly two-minutes’ hate.

    1. Well, no, not arguably better. Not in any way better, actually.

      1. Goode is at least a forceful advocate for some good policies; Johnson is a complete lightweight who supports nothing substantial except legalizing weed, maaannn and invading whatever third-world country is highlighted in this month’s flashy YouTube video. He makes “low-tax liberal” Ed Clark look like Murray Rothbard. I’ll give him that he’s better than Barr, but I didn’t vote for Barr either.

        1. Goode is at least a forceful advocate for some good policies;…

          Such as

          He voted for the Iraq War and the Patriot Act.
          He subsequently voted to make the Patriot Act permanent.

          So, which policies has he advocated that are good? Because these aren’t.

          1. Taxes, spending, gun control etc. (and he’s flip-flopped on those two at least).

            Not supporting Goode either, mind you (well, actually, in my state, MA, only Jill Stein made the ballot…)

            1. Thank you for your recent communication. When I raise my hand to take the oath on Swearing In Day, I will have the Bible in my other hand. I do not subscribe to using the Koran in any way. The Muslim Representative from Minnesota [Keith Ellison] was elected by the voters of that district and if American citizens don’t wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Koran. We need to stop illegal immigration totally and reduce legal immigration and end the diversity visas policy pushed hard by President Clinton and allowing many persons from the Middle East to come to this country. I fear that in the next century we will have many more Muslims in the United States if we do not adopt the strict immigration policies that I believe are necessary to preserve the values and beliefs traditional to the United States of America and to prevent our resources from being swamped.

              The Ten Commandments and “In God We Trust” are on the wall in my office. A Muslim student came by the office and asked why I did not have anything on my wall about the Koran. My response was clear, “As long as I have the honor of representing the citizens of the 5th District of Virginia in the United States House of Representatives, The Koran is not going to be on the wall of my office.” Thank you again for your email and thoughts.

              Sincerely yours,
              Virgil H. Goode, Jr.

            2. Link for full letter

              And Ellison is a native-born American, btw.

              1. Well then we need a new immigration policy. In my proposed policy, instead of just allowing immigrants into the US, we’ll also forcibly deport emigrate our more useless native-born citizens to other countries, causing these “immigration buddies” to swap their US citizenship status. Mr. Goode can be part of the pioneer case for this legislation.

        2. Yes at least he forcefully advocates for terrible positions and his particular brand of lunacy. Anyone who talks about the crescent and green flying over DC is a full stop moron.

          1. Full stop moron?


            Man the barricades!!!111 Teh Mooselimbs are here!!111 Fight for your homes and your women, lest they be forced into dhimmitude!!!!!!1111

        3. Your examples of “good” are gun control, taxes and spending. Tell me how Johnson is “lightweight” on any of the above?

  10. He’s bad in the places where paleos tend to be bad, such as immigration

    I don’t think paleos are bad on immigration, and neither does Ron Paul BTW.

    Goode is a horse of an entirely different color, an actual anti-immigration politician, not merely the anti-open-borders politicians that you guys smear as anti-immigrant.

    1. I don’t think of Ron Paul as anti-immigrant, I just don’t think he’s pro-immigrant enough. Our immigration system needs serious reform so “harder” enforcement isn’t needed.

  11. No Goode can come of this.

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