Michele Bachmann Wins Iowa Straw Poll, Ron Paul Places Second – Should We Panic?

As most of you have probably heard, Michele Bachmann won a poll in Iowa to determine their favorite Republican presidential candidates, with Ron Paul coming in second. It was apparently a big enough deal to cause Tim Pawlenty, at one point considered one of the frontrunners, to drop out of the race. But is a straw poll driven by money really the best way to determine who will win the Iowa caucus? Is it really time to start panicking about a potential President Bachmann (words I can barely stand to type)?

There are a lot of reasons to take the Ames Straw Poll with a pinch of salt. For one, it’s hardly an accurate cross-section of Iowa voters, considering how much of it is determined by money. It costs $30 just to get into the event, and in the past, candidates have often bought the tickets for their most ardent supporters and bussed them in from around the state. (It used to be that they’d bus them in from around the country, but the event now requires attendees to present proof of Iowa residency.) In addition, it is also frequently dependent upon the candidates’ willingness to cough up money. A minimum of $15,000 (to go toward the Iowa Republican Party) is required for candidates to set up a table outside the event, with the closer and flashier spaces going for higher amounts. This year, the highest bid was $31,000 from Ron Paul, whose booth featured everything from a classic rock band to a “Ben Bernanke lookalike in a dunk tank.”

via Reuters

In addition, two rather big names in the Republican presidential race sat out the Iowa straw poll: Mitt Romney, who decided to focus his resources elsewhere, and Rick Perry, who announced his candidacy too late to be included on the ballot. Jon Huntsman and Newt Gingrich also didn’t participate (Gingrich sent a representative, but did not bid for a booth).

According to FiveThirtyEight, in all the years the Ames Straw Poll has been around, the winner of the Iowa caucus — a historically loaded victory — has always placed first or second in the poll. However, this is only the sixth time the poll has been held; it’s too small of a sample size to determine if the pattern will continue.

And of course, winning Iowa does not mean winning the nomination. Yes, Obama got Iowa in ’08 — but the Republicans picked Mike Huckabee, who went on to lose the nomination to John McCain, who garnered an unimpressive fourth place in Iowa and did not win a single county. Iowa Republicans tend to favor strong social conservatives, who often go on to fail in the more liberal East Coast states. After all, the first stop after the Iowa caucus is libertarian New Hampshire, where McCain triumphed over both Romney and Huckabee in ’08. At the time, McCain was still seen as one of the more “moderate” Republicans, a reputation not tarnished until his choice of Palin as running-mate.

So just because Iowa Republicans like Bachmann, that does not mean that the rest of the country will — and gay rights could be the issue that dooms her in more liberal states, where even Republicans are uncomfortable with her degree of homophobia. Despite her recent attempts to dodge the issue or make herself sound more moderate, the evidence is clear that Bachmann is holding fast to her anti-gay beliefs while the country is rapidly moving in the opposite direction. For example, she has recently claimed that she would reinstate DADT.

Moreover, there is the fact that gay activists aren’t buying her backtracking. She’s been a favorite target of pro-gay-rights crusaders, who’ve done everything from glitterbombing Michele to dressing up as “barbarians” and glitterbombing her husband Marcus’s clinic. Most recently, Bachmann’s speech at the Iowa state fair was interrupted by Gabe Aderhold, a 17-year-old gay Minnesotan who shouted that she treated him “like a second-class citizen” and “shame on you!” It’s no wonder, really; as Bachmann’s profile rises, more and more comes out about her connections to ex-gay movements and anti-gay extremist and “heavy metal minister” Bradlee Dean, not to mention the fact that Marcus Bachmann is probably in the “pray away the gay” business himself. Her backtracking may appease her true-blue supporters, but it’s unlikely to convince anyone else.

via The Des Moines Register

It’s important to also keep in mind Iowa’s recent gay rights history; in 2009, the Iowa Supreme Court overturned the state ban on same-sex marriage, surprising many who expected such a middle-of-the-road Midwestern state to trail the coasts on marriage equality. A year later, Iowa was the only state with same-sex marriage that had less than 50% of the public in favor, and in 2010, Iowa voters responded by ousting three of the judges who voted for marriage equality. Choosing someone like Bachmann could just be a continuation of this backlash, and may not play out in other states where the anti-gay movement is less inflamed.

Ron Paul’s second-place finish is perhaps more surprising, though it’s easy to explain away: Paul was the highest bidder for the Ames straw poll, guaranteeing him a strong finish. In addition, Paul’s followers are among the most fiercely loyal of any candidate’s (although still relatively small in number), and thus would be overrepresented in a contest that’s largely about enthusiasm (to pay the money and to drive long distances to show up). And as with Bachmann, he’s buoyed by the fact that two of the likely frontrunners, Romney and Perry, were not included in the straw poll. That said, a lot of liberals see his finish as encouraging. Personally, though, I’ve read a little too much about Ron Paul to still see him as the “least of all evils.” There is, for starters, his rather disturbing record on race. Back in 1992, his newsletter The Ron Paul Political Report published some extremely racist statements around the time of the Los Angeles race riots. Some choice excerpts courtesy of Daily Kos’s series on Ron Paul:

“Our country is being destroyed by a group of actual and potential terrorists — and they can be identified by the color of their skin.. This conclusion may not be entirely fair, but it is, for many, unavoidable…Opinion polls consistently show that only about 5% of blacks have sensible political opinions, i.e. support the free market, individual liberty, and the end of welfare and affirmative action…Given the inefficiencies of what D.C. laughingly calls the ‘criminal justice system,’ I think we can safely assume that 95% of black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal. If similar in-depth studies were conducted in other major cities, who doubts that similar results would be produced? We are constantly told that it is evil to be afraid of black men, but it is hardly irrational.”

You can read more at the link above; The Houston Chronicle also dug up more troubling statements during Paul’s 1996 Congressional campaign. The New Republic also did a feature on Paul’s racism during the 2008 election (which, unfortunately, isn’t available in its full version online) plus a recent follow-up (which, thankfully, is). Needless to say, these kinds of statements have earned Ron Paul many fans among white supremacists, from whom he hasn’t done quite enough to distance himself. He even accepted a donation from Don Black, head of notorious white supremacist forum Stormfront.org.

via AP Photo

There is also the fact that Ron Paul is so extreme in terms of his distrust of any sort of federal government funding for anything (he wants to abolish the Department of Education, for example) and that, despite his reputation as a “rational libertarian,” he doesn’t believe in evolution and is very anti-choice, which make it hard for me to understand why liberals should be optimistic about his chances, especially in a race that also includes Fred Karger.

A kernel of hope, perhaps, can be taken in terms of the fact that Ron Paul is still billed as an alternative to socially-conservative Republicans like Bachmann, whatever his record suggests to the contrary. So his strong showing could perhaps indicate that even in Iowa, some Republicans would prefer somebody who is less virulently homophobic (Ron Paul’s position that gay marriage should be decided by the states isn’t great but better than most Republicans, and he voted to oust DADT, though he also opposes ENDA). Hopefully, Paul’s second-place win in the Ames poll will garner his less-savory views more news coverage.

However you want to interpret the Ames straw poll results, it’s up to you. But personally, I’m not panicking yet. On top of everything else, the Iowa caucus is still five months away. A lot can happen in five months. And a lot more can happen in the 15 months before the final 2012 presidential election. Time is still on our side.

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Rose is a 25-year-old Detroit native currently living in Austin, TX, where she is working on her Ph.D. in musicology. Besides Autostraddle, she works as a streaming reviewer for Anime News Network.

Rose has written 69 articles for us.


  1. i think we need a post on countries that are safe for us to move to if bachmann or perry or any of the rest of them win :( i’m kinda uber scared for the future right now.

    • I agree! A countries-that-love-queers post would be awesome, as well as the assorted pros and cons of living in those places.

    • Agreed!

      ALSO my gf and I have a plan to learn a second language together, and I want to choose this language based on what country I want to keep options open for moving to if the US becomes a republican dystopia.

      So a queer-friendly country post would be great, though it would possibly dispel my hopes about how certain countries like Canada being perfect, and filled with unicorns.

      • Unicorns are still pretty rare here in Canada, but the moose seem to leave them alone for the most part.

      • Sweden is a lovely place to be queer – speaking as someone who has been there and has family living there.

        And most Swedes are fluent in English, though you’d still probably need to learn some Swedish to read signs and stuff.

  2. While I agree that a post on countries-that-love-queers would be quite nice, I don’t think the Ames, IA straw poll is cause for concern. The every-lovely Rachel Maddow explains why here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/#44153532. (Especially notable is that Ames is predictive for Democratic candidates, but not Republican ones.) The most interesting fact, I think, and one I’m surprised Maddow didn’t do more with, is that Michele Bachmann’s campaign bought and handed out 6,000 tickets. (Each ticket cost $30, and one had to have a ticket to vote.) Despite that, she only received 4,823 votes. That means 1,177 people took a ticket from Bachmann’s campaign AND THEN VOTED FOR SOMEONE ELSE. That kind of failure to inspire loyalty, on Bachmann’s part, suggests to me that she is not a serious threat. Here’s hoping my optimism is not misplaced.

    • Oops — that’s just the link to yesterday’s Rachel Maddow Show. It is the first piece in the show, so that still works. Sorry, I’m too technologically inept to embed the link to the clip in this comment in any sort of neat and tidy way. Also, my totally original point about the disloyalty of people who took tickets from Michele Bachmann? Yeah, totally made in the post Becca linked above. Read, THEN post. *sigh*

  3. how the hell is a libertarian anti-choice? isn’t like the fundamental idea of libertarianism “fuck the government. it should let you do what you want”? and choice is, you know, doing what you want. so i’m super confused/FURIOUS.

    • Well, I am pro-choice. But this argument always gets me — “You say you hate big government but want to tell women what to do with their bodies!” or some variation. The thing is, the disagreement isn’t about the choice at all (at least if I am giving pro-lifers the benefit of the doubt). The difference of perspective, I suspect, is this: If someone believes that a human embryo does constitute a human being, then it’s entirely consistent to say human beings aren’t allowed to be murdered. I mean, I personally think it’s silly — it’s obviously not a person. It’s a clump of cells that aren’t anything YET and couldn’t possibly thrive on their own. But I get some people may believe it’s a human. Personally, I think that occurs somewhere during pregnancy which is why I’m against late term abortions, but accepting of terminating a pregnancy before that. YMMV.

      • The thing about late-term abortions, though, is they’re only ever allowed (in the U.S.) in extreme cases – like if the health of the mother is at risk or if the fetus isn’t viable. That’s why I can’t say that I’m “against late-term abortions.” I probably would be if they were offered on-demand. But they’re not. They’re usually cases where the baby was very much wanted and the decision was made with a very heavy heart.

        Otherwise, though, I agree with your comment. It’s the problem I’ve always had with “Don’t like abortion? Don’t get one.” That argument works with gay rights – other people’s sex and love lives really aren’t anyone else’s business, as long as everyone is consenting/able to consent – but with abortion, if you honestly do believe abortion is murder, that would be something you would feel called to stop, wouldn’t it?

        Then again, that doesn’t explain why so many anti-abortion organizations are opposed to birth control and comprehensive sex ed, two things that actually do lower abortion rates, unlike laws banning/restricting the practice.

    • If you have read the book Liberty Defined by Ron Paul you’d understand why he’s pro-choice. From what I gathered, he never said anything about making abortion illegal. He was simply stating that he is pro-choice because [quote chapter on his personal experience on abortion].

      Like Rose said, it should be up to the individuals. This is a morality issue, not a government issue.

      • Yes,you’re right, his personal views are often conflated with things he wouldn’t legislate. People aren’t use to candidates who are actually honest. He’s an OB-GYN, so it’s natural to think he would be pro-life.

        And while I’m here, the racism charge is unfounded. The Jamie Kirchick TNR article was a political hit piece. We learned back in ’08 that Ron Paul didn’t write that newsletter. Check his record. There’s thirty years to look at and you’ll see he’s never said anything remotely racist. This is nothing more than political character assassination attempts.

        And lastly, Ron Paul wants government OUT of everyone’s marriage, gay, straight or otherwise. He understands that it’s not the proper role of government to be involved in this matter. I tend to agree with him and think that’s the direction we should be taking. Why do people feel the need to have the government’s camel nose in our tents anyway? He also believes that people shouldn’t be required to get a marriage license. It’s a private contractual agreement and the state has no business being involved with that. If you remove the state from the equation, all of this marriage animosity will eventually go away.

        • You’ll note that I didn’t say he wrote those; there is some evidence that maybe he didn’t, though the only people who seem to think this is clear are Ron Paul fans. I wrote that they were published in his newsletter. Frankly, it doesn’t matter who wrote them; the fact is that he thought they were worth publishing, and shouldn’t that be enough to say that, at best, he doesn’t understand how horribly racist those statements are? At worst, he actually agrees with them. Neither is good.

          It’s not like his record exactly disputes this; he’s generally voted against anti-discrimination laws on the BS assertion that it “destroys the liberty” of business owners to be racist/homophobic/etc. He hasn’t exactly been a huge fund-raiser for or promoter of anti-racist causes. Sorry if I go more by what politicians do, and less on what they say in their books and speeches that are designed specifically to get more people to agree with them.

          Also, why is it “natural” that an OB-GYN would be anti-abortion? Many OB-GYNs are not; in fact, many are involved in the pro-choice movement. Besides, he’s still someone who will never have to make that choice, unlike the people whose choice he’s decided is not important.

          • Then, by all means, show me one sentence Ron Paul has spoken outside this newsletter fiasco that has been ‘racist’. It is well known in political circles that Reason Magazine isn’t part of Ron Paul’s “fan base”, so I’ll present this:
            Anyone in libertarian circles, knowing who Eric Dondero and Jaime Kirchick are, know exactly why they would cause this newsletter stir. They’re both neo-cons.

            Maybe I should have labeled him as both Christian and an OB-GYN, therefore it would be ‘natural’. Your point is taken. :)

            And what you’re missing about Ron Paul is that he believes in individual liberty, not collective group rights. Fighting from a collective rights stance is exactly the opposite of believeing in individual rights and protections. You don’t get “more rights” as a group. Collective battles for minorities aren’t going to gain much ground other than tiny, incremental advances when you’re actually lucky enough to win a vote. And being a minority, how often do you expect to win? The deck is already stacked against you. Every battle with this tactic will be uphill. If you honestly believe in individual liberty, then there should have never been a vote like Prop 8 to begin with had it been deemed unconstitutional from the beginning. If the collectivist rights battle continues to be the approach, then make yourself comfortable in the back seat. In a republic, where individual rights are held in the highest esteem, minority rights have just as much weight, validity and respect as majority rights. In a “direct democracy”, mob rule of the majority will win every time – and then the government will enforce that “law”, right or wrong, when you lose. Hence the pitfalls of allowing your rights to be put on the public voting auction block in the first place. Government “laws” can’t take your inherent, inalienable rights away, especially with a man-made law which denies your basic equality – it is invalid from it’s very outset. There is no Group A or B in a republic. Individualism says we’re all one giant group no matter if we disagree on issues. But if the LGBT community (and America at large) can grasp the concept of individual liberty, then it might eventually sink in that we don’t get rights as collective groups, whether it be as a religious collective or a gay collective, and that government has no expressed authority at the federal level to define things like marriage – much less restrict it via the collectivism of “Group A has more privileges than Group B.” It shouldn’t even be brought to a vote at the state level if *all people* believed that we receive our rights as individuals. That’s not how republics are supposed to work, but we have absolutely forgotten that.

          • That’s why I don’t believe in democracy. Oppressed minority is still oppressed.

            Sometimes I feel like we’re living in George Orwell’s mind.

          • Ron Paul TV ad: “Ron Paul wants border security now. Physically secure the border. No amnesty. No welfare to illegal aliens. End birthright citizenship. No more student visas from terrorist nations.”

            I mean, tomato, tomahto. I sense a little racism. He hasn’t exactly been a friend to Israel either.

          • Yeah, pretty much – his policies suggest someone who, at the very least, has tons of unexamined white privilege (among other types of privileges). And who just generally is too idealistic. Idealism and being principled are not bad things to have to a certain degree – I wish Obama had more of it – but you need to be practical, too. You need to recognize when sticking to your guns just isn’t possible, when sometimes reality contradicts what you want to be true. You need to be able to compromise. I don’t see any of that in Ron Paul. I don’t feel like I can trust him to really consider the facts and to re-examine his opinions if they contradict the facts. Which is something that a leader NEEDS to be able to do!

            That being said, I don’t agree that Ron Paul must be anti-Semitic because he doesn’t support Israel. There are a lot of reasons to disagree with the U.S.’s current policy on the Israel-Palestine conflict other than anti-Semitism. I can’t say I agree with it, and I’m hardly anti-Israel – I’m just against the idea that Israel is wholly innocent and Palestine wholly guilty. I think both sides have contributed to it. At this point I kind of wish the U.S. would stay out of it entirely.

          • I’ll tell you now, I know he’s not perfect. I don’t agree either with his immigration stance nor his abortion stance. But is immigration really your single-focus issue? If you’re waiting for the perfect miracle candidate to come along, well, good luck with that. This will be my 7th or 8th presidential election vote and I’ll save you the trouble and let you know that ain’t gonna happen. :)

            p.s. (The US Gov gives 3x’s more foreign aid dollars to Israel’s enemies than it does to Israel. So how does the current foreign aid policy help Israel then? RP wants to end all foreign aid. Remember Egypt, Mubarak, etc?)

          • My single focus issue is personally whether I think a candidate as a pragmatic, practical approach to the problems facing this country. I don’t think eliminating “anchor babies,” returning to the gold standard, pulling the U.S. out of the U.N., allowing restaurants to turn away black people or repealing the American With Disabilities Act are going to improve our country or enrich Americans’ lives. I appreciate your point about the difference between what Ron Paul has said he believes vs. a legislative agenda. But the thing is, you rule the way you believe. He’s not going to dismantle the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but what about the civil rights issues ahead of us? For women, gays, the disabled and other minorities? Do I really trust Ron Paul to help anyone who’s a minority?

            And what we really need to focus on right now is the economy. The fact of the matter is, Ron Paul hates regulations and looking at what happened in 2008, that scares me. Now, what happened is actually very complex and an economy as large as ours (plus the global interconnectedness) is not a simple math equation you can calculate an easy answer to — Paul supporters no doubt say a totally deregulated market would be safer than one with strong regulation. I think history shows us that’s wrong, shows us that we need regulations. Ron Paul also doesn’t support unemployment benefits. I see a litany of policies from Paul that would only serve to widen the gap between the rich and poor in this country, decimating the middle class and shitting on anyone who doesn’t live a privileged majority life.

          • magic,

            “…but what about the civil rights issues ahead of us? For women, gays, the disabled and other minorities?”

            This exact statement tells me that you haven’t grasped the concept of individual liberty vs. collective rights. People are treated much more fairly as individuals instead of being pitted as majorities against minorities. Minorities have to settle for crumbs. With individual liberty, we are treated equally under the law. It might take a while, but I hope you will begin to explore this concept. I understand and have your same concerns and there’s a lot we agree on about the plight of people so don’t think I’m dismissing your points. It’s the means to the ends where we disagree. But I do feel like I’m debating myself from ten years ago.

            “And what we really need to focus on right now is the economy. ”

            You mentioned you weren’t an expert on Ron Paul earlier. He has more economic and monetary policy knowledge in his little finger than all of congress plus the Federal Reserve put together. He’s forgotten more than they will ever know. The whole reason RP got into politics was when Nixon decoupled the dollar from any gold-backing in 1971 (Bretton Woods II) and our currency became officially fiat. Ron Paul is a student of the Austrian School of Economics, in the vein of Ludwig von Mises. He has written several books on economic policy/money. He’s the chairman of the House Committee on Monetary Policy. You ever watch any of those committee meetings on C-Span? It’s like wonky brain-candy.

            Although the Austrian school is dismissed by the mainstream Keynesians, the Austrian’s were the only ones who accurately predicted the dotcom bust, the housing bust and the banking/ economic collapse at a time when all the Keynesians economists were saying ‘everything is just peachy’ in 2005/ 2006. There are boatloads -literally boatloads – of articles, papers, youtubes, floor speeches that will back every bit of this up as bona-fide fact. Ron Paul accurately warned of the housing bust in 2002 and every year thereafter before it all came crashing down… just like he said. See if you can get through this video. It’s shocking, but once you understand the Austrian Business Cycle and praxeology, it gets fairly easy to predict these things:

            RP believes that the removal of Glass-Stegall was a bad idea, so he’s not totally anti-regulation. He just understands -intimately- that government interference in the markets cause distortions which lead to malinvestments which leads to booms and busts. It distorts market signals. And also the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy of increasing the money supply is devaluing the purchasing power of the dollar. Do you know how much money the Fed has injected into the money supply since 2007? Seriously, take a look. It’s off the friggin’ charts: http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/AMBNS?cid=124

            It’s fairly safe to say, looking at that chart, that we are in critical uncharted territory now. And the more dollars they print, the less value your dollars have. It waters it down. It’s not that prices are going up, to the contrary, it’s that dollars are becoming less valuable because of over-printing. This is a hidden tax which affects the poor and middle-class the most. The Federal Reserve is destroying the value of your money and this policy is destroying the middle-class. Don’t say RP doesn’t care about poor people when he repeats this over and over for years and years.

            He wants competing currencies to be allowed, not specifically the ‘gold standard’ as often perpetuated, even though that’s one of the terms involved. Right now the FedReserve has a monopoly on currency creation and can manipulate both the money supply and interest rates. Our current monetary system is crazy unconstitutional and it’s destined to fail if they stay the current course.

            I’ve been studying monetary policy/economics since 2006 and I can’t explain it all here. It’s too much for this format. If you want me to continue, I will. I could probably write a small book on it myself. Suffice it to say Ron Paul is the absolute *first person* you would want in office to hopefully head off this train wreck that’s about to happen, because it’s going to get worse. There’s too many factors to say exactly when it will happen, but it’s certainly not a matter of “IF” anymore.

          • I appreciate your responses on the subject. You’ve clearly done a lot of policy research and that just isn’t my specialty. The thing is, I think mostly our philosophies and perspectives come first and then we defend it with facts and policy. I think policy research can and does genuinely change someone’s position on an issue, but many times it does not. We just view this differently and seeing as how well-versed you are in this, I wouldn’t even dream of trying to convince to you’re wrong or ague about it. I think we just see this differently. However, if I had to guess, not knowing all of Ron Paul’s positions, I would guess that on economic policy, we’d probably agree the most, which still may not be a ton, but far more than I’d agree with Ron Paul on civil liberties or other social policies.

  4. Everyone ignored Ron Paul’s second place finish, yes, but who can take him seriously? I mean, didn’t he win the straw poll at CPAC too? He has a very dedicated, fervent group of supporters, but it’s small. I don’t think you win the nomination or the presidency without those middle-of-the-roaders, which I can’t see Ron Paul getting. He’s too liberal for hardcore conservatives and too conservative for liberals. Plus, he comes off as nerdy professor, not a president.

    I don’t know what to make of this crop of Repubs with Pawlenty gone, who I thought actually had mainstream appeal. Rick Perry may be a bit too much like George W. Bush and Bachmann is ultra conservative and intense. (Whenever I need a pick-me-up, I watch that clip of Marcus Bachmann gayly talking about how we are barbarians that need discipline — kinky!) Mitt Romney is the only one I think really has a chance to beat Obama, but can a Mormon from a liberal, homo, universal healthcare state like Massachusetts win his party’s nomination? I shudder to think of Bachmann, Paul, Perry (or gasp, Rick Santorum) being our new president, where Romney seems like he’d be more tolerable, kind of the way McCain was the most tolerable one last time around.

    Anyway, if you look at Ames poll results by cycle and then compare it with what actually happened, you wonder why anyone gives a shit about the Ames poll at all. Pawlenty dropping out over it is suspect. Maybe he had a change of heart about the whole being president thing.

    • The fact that Rick Perry is a lot like Bush may be what helps him, though; he’s an extremist who can position himself as a “regular guy you can have a beer with.” Alternet has an article where they point out that, while Rick Perry’s extremism is well known to people who follow politics, there are a lot of people who don’t who could be easily fooled by some “regular guy” act:

      (Unrelated – is it just me or is Alternet completely obsessed with Rick Perry these days?)

      • Well there’s two ways of looking at it. Even a lot of Republicans ended up hating George W. Bush, let alone the average independent/apolitical voter. He may bring up some bad feelings and memories. Not only does Perry sound a lot like Bush, he was Bush’s lieutenant governor. I have every confidence that the left will do an adequate job of pointing out Perry’s extremism. Bush, despite everything, had a likable personality. I don’t know if Perry is quite as likable and as jovial, but we’ll see. I haven’t followed Perry very much, other than in his role as head of the RGA. He is certainly positioning himself as being a powerful, decisive and strong everyman. It’s still very early. He just announced and the media has found someone new to talk about, so more will be coming out, for sure.

        • I’ve also heard that apparently even Bush thinks Perry is too extreme and not very intelligent. Though I’m having trouble finding the link to that.

          • as a texan i would love to get perry the fuck out of austin. but oh for the love of god i will cry myself to mexico if he gets close to washington. he should only be in washington on vacation. or something.

    • Remember this, of *all* the candidates running, Dem or GOP, Ron Paul is the *only* one who is pro-civil liberties, pro-individual liberty, anti-drug prohibition, anti-corporatism, anti-war, anti-establishment, and who believes that government has no role in anyone’s marriage. In this 2012 election cycle, there are Democrats, liberals, progressives and Independents registering as Republicans to vote in the primary to help get Ron Paul the GOP nomination.
      Obama has made it very clear where he stands on gay marriage, war, civil liberties and corporatism…

      • “who believes that government has no role in anyone’s marriage”

        Yeah, except that also means that he thinks there shouldn’t be federal recognition of same-sex marriages. There are good reasons for this; people should be able to travel between states and have the same rights should, say, their partner end up in a hospital over vacation and they want to visit them.

        In fact, there are a lot of good reasons why Ron Paul’s “states’ rights” attitude toward everything is impractical. Letting each state have an entirely different set of laws means you’d more or less be entering a whole new country every time you visit another state. This is why the Founding Fathers decided against this when they wrote the Constitution; a lot of what Ron Paul claims in his philosophy is from the “Constitution” is really from the Articles of Confederation which, you know, we stopped using for a reason.

        And a lot of your statements there are basically glittering generalities. Yeah, it sounds nice when you say he supports “individual liberties,” but let’s unpack that statement. Indeed, he does support some real liberties like dismantling the Patriot Act. But other “liberties” he supports are really just stripping poor people and minorities of what little labor protections they have. Like his son, he is against the Civil Rights Act and any sort of anti-discrimination law (including ENDA) because he thinks business owners should have the “right” to be discriminatory in hiring and firing. He also wants to get rid of Pell Grants and other ways that are often the only way for poor people to attend college. Whose liberty is he fighting for, really? Certainly not mine, as a queer person still navigating a work world full of homophobes who would love to fire me purely for my sexual orientation. Certainly not mine as someone who couldn’t afford college — and won’t be able to afford grad school — without some degree of government assistance.

        • What role does government have in *anyone’s* marriage? And from what authority do the have to define and/or restrict it?

          The real question that needs to be asked is this: If people really believed that marriage was such a sacred covenant between you, your spouse and your creator, then why do they feel the need for government approval of their marriage? I understand the LGBT’s fight for equality and agree with you, but why do heterosexuals and homosexuals alike feel the need for government approval? Does it not say a lot about who they believe to be the higher authority in this matter? Why do people, whatever their religious preferences may (or may not) be, why do they need the government’s stamp if this is such a “sacred covenent” to begin with? We should be working to get government OUT of everyone’s marriage, frankly.

          • “What role does government have in *anyone’s* marriage? And from what authority do the have to define and/or restrict it?”

            Simple question here; do you think that marriage should just be a religious ceremony? In that case government should have no role in it, and people should just be able to have a ceremony with their friends and not sign any legal documents, have no legal next of kin rights, tax breaks and what-have-you conferred by being married, and none of that other stuff. If you do wholeheartedly support that view and support the disestablishment (hope that’s the right word…) of marriage as having ANYTHING to do with legality, well, fair enough, that’s a consistent position.

            If, however, you think marriage should confer legal next of kin rights and things like that, then the state is, by necessity, involved.

            Marriage is not, and hasn’t been for a long long LONG time, a purely religious thing. Hell, if you don’t care about any of the legal rights, then there’s nothing stopping you AT THE MOMENT from having a ceremony and calling yourself married everywhere except on legal documents. So if you don’t want the government in your marriage, go do that.

          • I don’t think that even if marriage were no longer a state-run institution, that it would become a religious institution. Because non-religious people still value the trappings of marriage beyond what the state gives. Marriage is really a cultural institution.

          • Vinny, you should be free to make any consensual, contractual arrangement/agreement with any other consenting adult(s), either religious or secular, business or personal. The maximum role the government should have at most is that of record keeper in case of future litigation and/or breech of contract. Fairly simple, huh.

          • I wholeheartedly agree on the first point; indeed, fairly simple. I’m just asking what your stance is on the LEGAL rights. If laws are involved, lawmakers are, by necessity, involved. Do you or don’t you think that marriage should confer certain legal rights? If you do, then how do you suggest they should be applied AND have the government taken out of the equation? And if not, why do you need a legal marriage contract at all?

          • The Bill of Rights and the Declaration of independence are both considered ‘legal rights’ documents. If you believe that we get our rights as individuals, not as collectives or as factions, then my premise would only require that you take your contract to a notary public. Why does it have to be any more complex than that? The way it is now, this country has legislated for collective rights, meaning Group A has more privileges than Group B. That’s not constitutional in a republic. If we truly believed in individualism, per the Dec of Ind, there is no Group A or B, we’re all one big group regardless of sex, race, class, gender, etc. etc.

            LOL, I know, I know… it will surely put a lot of lawyers out of work.

            Are you referring to something more specific that I’m missing?

          • Actually, The Declaration of Independence is not a legal document. It was a petition to the King of England, not a set of laws. It’s only important to constitutional scholars in how it influenced what became the Constitution, and the Supreme Court would never use it as a basis to declare a law unconstitutional, like they would with the Bill of Rights (since it is a part of the Constitution). So the two documents are not equivalent.

            I’m trying to stay out of the comments at this point, but I just wanted to clear that up. My mom is a Constitutional lawyer and that’s a big pet peeve of hers!

          • I will agree with your comments somewhat there, Rose. :) Do stay and chat. Certainly we can debate like scientist do; dispassionately. We don’t always have to agree, but it’s good to stretch the mental muscles.

            Jefferson also used the declaration to establish the natural rights of man (people) because in it’s historical context he was negating the pervasive ideology of the day – the Divine Right of Kings. The DoI was not only a slap in the face of King George, but it was the fruit of the Age of Enlightenment. :)

            And everyone from Elizabeth Cady Stanton to Martin Luther King, Jr have used the most poignant phrase from the DoI in establishing and acknowledging (owning) their inalienable rights in the struggles for equality against arbitrary, man-made laws which allows for state-enforced discrimination:
            “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”

            Now whether the Supreme Court wants to deny it’s validity that’s there business, as their function is purely an arbitrary one. I bet if even polled, SCOTUS would deny in this modern day and age that our rights are indeed inalienable, even in light of the DoI coming into existence long before their roles were established.

            And if you do not believe that your rights are inalienable, then you don’t own yourself. That puts anyone in a position to become subservient to a supposed higher human ‘authority’. Hence the importance of asking: “Who owns me?”

      • @duchessofdykedom I hate to burst your bubble, but for every great thing I agree with Ron Paul on, like getting out of wars, there are things I think are crazy. Pulling out of the U.N. and amending the 14th amendment to keep dirty illegals out of the U.S.? Hmm, I’ll pass. I will admit I am not an expert on Ron Paul, but I promise you, I am an absolute expert on Rand Paul and if they agree even a little bit, we have a huge problem. The apple doesn’t fall far from the crazy. And going back to my original post which started this discussion, that’s exactly why Ron Paul will never win over mainstream voters. Practicality is not a consideration with him. His views are taken to the most strict extreme to the point where what is mostly good starts to veer off into dangerous territory. Now, I’m pretty sure every politician holds some views that won’t be popular and may hurt some people. The difference is, with Ron Paul, some of them are just so unusual, it’s hard to take him seriously. Whatever his campaign does, it will be very difficult to turn Ron Paul into a serious candidate.

        • Please, feel free to burst away. So what exactly is crazy? The way I understand it is that you just can read things into (or out of) the law or the constitution because they don’t fit your particular views or that it ‘feels good’. I mean, there’s a process and a way to remedy that. Especially if you say you believe in the rule of law to begin with. So what is crazy, again?

          I was never a fan of Rand, if fact, I thought he would end up being the New Scott Brown, lol.

          The UN undermines US sovereignty and gets us entangled in wars. Just look how well the UN “Peacekeeping forces” (oxymoron) worked out for Korea, Yugoslavia, Iraq, Haiti, Bahrain, Libya etc., etc., etc.

          • So you agree with Ron and Rand that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 should’ve been voted down because of the part related to private property? In other words, we should’ve let lunch counters refuse to serve black people? If you want me to keep coming up with views I think are crazy, I can. Would you like me to do that? The thing is, we clearly define crazy differently. I know, I get it: liberty requires that we tolerate boorish behavior. It’s my favorite Rand Paul paraphrase. I consider myself a capitalist and I believe a free market will mostly take care of itself, but I can’t support a candidate with such an excessive and extreme view of free market capitalism.

          • You do understand that the entire segregation scenario was created by government laws, right? I mean what’s not clear about the fact that these ‘laws’ created the problem and this environment in the first place? Had the unconstitutionality of “legalized” state-sanctioned discrimination been held in check in the beginning we wouldn’t even be having this conversation, which I’m enjoying, btw. :)

            I don’t know about you, but I’ve sworn that oath to uphold the constitution. I held an elected seat on our town’s Charter Enforcement Commission, basically to interpret/enforce our town’s constitution. So I get it. Ron (or Rand) isn’t going to violate that oath if a bill is unconstitutional. It’s as simple as that. It may be one sentence or even part of a sentence in a bill. But if your bill fails because it’s unconstitutional, which has certainly happened to me before, then write a better bill. Tons of bills are unconstitutional and it’s why Ron Paul will be the single man out on a 434-1 house vote. He won’t lie. And he would probably rather die than to break an oath. That’s called principle. Swearing an oath used to actually *mean* something to people. Is that passe now? Are people not as good as their word? Or is it okay to bend the rules a little here, a little there? The proper role of government is to exactly protect life, liberty and property. No more, no less. And if we truly believed in the integrity of oaths and individual liberty, all of this bs unconstitutional state-sanctioned discrimination might not have been as devastating as it has been. Granted, this country got off to a really, really bad start with the unfortunate advent of slavery. And we’ve suffered some ugly racial history. On that, I think we agree.

            I just watched that PBS documentary, oh what’s the name? Freedom Riders? Yeah, it’s hard to watch things that eff’ed up socially. I grew up in the south, so I’ve witness some of it first-hand when I was young. Plus I was a baby dyke when Jesse Helms (if you know who that a-hole was) was in office during the height of the AIDS epidemic. I’ve seen my fair share of death and discriminatory crap. It’s truly sad that people are so hateful to each other. So even with all the bad laws that allowed discrimination, it was the product of government force. Laws are the power to restrict (not necessarily equalize or liberate) and with every law comes a punishment. We haven’t realized that government *is* force. Washington warned us about that in his farewell address and as far as I’m concerned, he was absolutely right.

            I can’t defend capitalism in it’s current incarnation, but I am pro-freed markets. I am a voluntaryist and mostly left-libertarian. I can share an article if you want to see where I’m coming from. You might be pleasantly surprised that we could have a lot more in common than you realize. Or not. I’m a little bit of a policy wonk.

          • Well of course. We had racist laws. Laws create culture and morality in a society. So when we did away with Jim Crow laws, we’re we supposed to just hope people stopped being racist? I think eventually racism would fade out, but without the Civil Rights Act, I firmly believe we would still have whites-only businesses all around the U.S. (well, let’s be honest, mostly the south). If you want to wait 100 years for businesses to stop discriminating against minorities, that is a personal value I don’t share. I think immediate action was necessary. Society’s attitudes follow the law. When Loving V. Virginia was decided, 15 states still banned interracial marriage. That was in 1967, just 44 years ago. Without Loving V. Virginia, how many states would still be banning interracial marriage?

            The thing about the constitution is, it was written in a different time with different circumstances. We can be a strict constitutionalist, or interpret it loosely. What may appear constitutional in 1940 may not appear constitutional in 2011. Tea Party people, and the Pauls, talk about the constitution as if it’s this entirely clear, obvious set of rules and it isn’t. (And one thing that always baffled me: How can Rand Paul and Ron Paul proclaim themselves to be constitutionalists, but want to repeal the 14th amendment simply because they disagree with it? I thought the constitution was the end-all and be-all document for them?)

            If defending the constitution is your goal, have it. I can’t say my loyalty to the constitution supercedes any other values I hold. We just won’t agree on this. I appreciate your responses though. I just don’t think there’s any debate left to have.

          • Okay. So I’ll leave you with this. Remember the US has the highest incarceration rate in the world. It’s disproportionate amongst blacks, especially. Most of those incarcerated are non-violent drug offenders. Ron Paul recognizes this and wants the decriminalization of all substances. Obama, not so much. It might be something you might take a closer look at, at some point.

            “I would like to believe that if we had a freer society, it would take care of Blacks and whites and everybody equally because we’re all individuals. To me, that is so important. But if we had equal justice under the law, I think it would be a big improvement. If we had probably a repeal of most of the federal laws on drugs and the unfairness on how Blacks are treated with these drugs laws, it would be a tremendous improvement.” -Ron Paul

            In contrast, here’s Obama on the same issue:
            “Just to make sure that I’m actually answering your question, am I willing to pursue a decriminalization strategy as an approach? No.” -Barack Obama

          • I think you’ve shifted topics entirely, but Obama isn’t perfect. On that we can agree. Thanks for the discussion!

          • Same here.

            I always keep this in mind when considering the motives of politicians:

            “Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people, who have a right, an indisputable, unalienable, indefeasible, divine right to that most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge, I mean the characters and conduct of their rulers.” ~John Adams


  5. I have a question: why is the “Iowa vote” so important? Like, why that state? Do other states not have the caucus? I’m confused, could someone explain this to me?

    • Because Iowa goes first. New Hampshire goes second, which is why you also hear a lot about it. They’re important in that anybody who fails big in both states tends to drop out of the race soon after, especially if s/he was expected to do well.

      But yeah, there have been a lot of people who feel like it isn’t fair for those states to have such a disproportionate influence on the race relative to their actual size and influence. No offense to Iowans and New Hampshirites.

      • Yes, it’s because Iowa goes first and historically that’s just based on the scheduling process that happens to be in place. I think now at this point, given the economy around this event, it is law in the state of Iowa that they must hold theirs first. The state lobbies the DNC and RNC to make sure they stay first. Some states have attempted to push up the dates for their primaries to be more relevant (famously in 2008 during the Democratic primaries when Florida and Michigan changed their dates without being allowed to do so).

        Early states are important for momentum, which is important for fundraising, publicity and all the tools you need to be in the race for the long haul. Candidates may sometimes focus on New Hampshire as part of their strategy instead of Iowa, but winning early states is pretty important. In 2008, Guiliani’s big plan was to skip those states and instead focus a few states ahead. Well, by the time they rolled around, people were talking about the candidates winning those early states and basically forgot about Guiliani.

        It may be a flawed system as Iowa and New Hampshire may not actually represent the rest of the country that well. But in my opinion, our electoral process has many flaws of which the status of Iowa and New Hampshire in the process is only one.

        • As a Michigander, that whole mess in 2008 where they stripped us of our delegates, the Democrats didn’t campaign there and our primary basically meant nothing just made me so mad.

          I mean, they eventually gave us back the delegates, but it wasn’t necessarily an honest reflection of who Michiganders really wanted, considering two of the three frontrunners (Obama and Edwards) weren’t even on the ballot.

          • I’m from a state that’s completely irrelevant in the primary process… but that’s fine, since we will vote for the Dem in the general no matter what anyway. :)

          • “…we will vote for the Dem in the general no matter what anyway.”

            No matter what? Really? Whoa, you’re pro-war then??? Interesting. Bush only bombed in 4 countries, Obama has bombed 6 countries in 2.5 years. Oh well, I guess your “default to the Democrat” idea is much easier than doing any real critical thinking about innocent civilians being slaughtered by predator drones and smart bombs, right? A minute ago you were worried about those ‘dirty illegals’. I guess those other brown people whose lives are actually being snuffed out with white phosphorus and depleted uranium halfway around the world don’t need much consideration since Mr. Peace Prize is a Democrat.

            “I do not support gay marriage. Marriage has religious and social connotations, and I consider marriage to be between a man and a woman.” ~Barack Obama, from HRC’s presidential questionnaire.

            Oh, and by the way, Human Rights Campaign has already endorsed Obama for re-election before there is even a GOP nominee, or Green, or maybe even a Dem challenger, so HRC has basically thrown the entire gay community under the bus already without any sort of bargaining chips to hold out on Obama. How stupid was that? Real equality and advancement, there. Guess HRC likes an early start rubbing elbows at fancy DC political cocktail mixers.

            Careful what you wish for.

          • LOL. Who says Paulbots have no sense of humor? That comment was pretty much in jest.

            I will humbly agree to disagree with you on whether Obama is pro- or anti-gay. The only thing I’ll say is: the guy who has all the right views but can’t get elected is worse to vote for than the guy with some of the right views who can. If I’m wrong, so be it. You support your guy, I’ll support mine.

        • Wow, very knowledgeable – thanks both!

          So, is this just for primaries, like to decide who gets the Republican vote, or is it the same order of voting in the federal election as well for President?

          • It’s just for primaries (and Democrats tend to have the same order of states as Republicans, but of course incumbent parties don’t usually have primaries so they won’t have one this time).

            With the federal election, everybody votes on the same day (first Tuesday in November).

  6. Okay, this seems like the best place to ask this question… so no one is running against President Obama as a Democrat? Like, is that even allowed? Or does he just automatically get the Democratic vote? (I’m pretty sure that’s not the case because, if I remember correctly, McCain ran against Bush in the ’04 elections.)

    This is a huge, embarrassing gap in my political knowledge, I know.

    • Well someone could run, but it’s extremely rare. Incumbents in general, not just for the White House, win re-election the vast majority of the time. So a party is not going to want to give up an incumbent and start fresh. Incumbents have huge advantages in fundraising, staffing, organization and visibility. The challenger would need to force primaries and win delegates that way and then (if it’s close) somehow convince superdelegates at the party’s convention to vote against the incumbent. In 1976, Ronald Reagan challenged President Ford and made it all the way to the convention, but lost. Ford lost to Jimmy Carter. In 1980, President Carter then faced a challenge from Ted Kennedy, but Kennedy failed. Carter then lost re-election to Reagan and we got stuck with hearing conservatives invoke Ronald Reagan constantly for the next 30 years.

    • Bush did not face any opposition in 2004. Sen. McCain ran in 2000 against then-Gov. Bush when President Clinton was term-limited.

      • You’re right. I thought I just remembered seeing McCain’s hangdog face an especially large amount during 2004. And thanks for clarifying!

    • There was some talk in liberal circles about primarying Obama to try and get him to move left on some issues, but no one (or hardly anyone) was really serious about it and that talk has pretty much died out.

      You can challenge an incumbent, but it’s hard to do and generally only happens if the President is really unpopular or for some reason has decided not to run for a second term. In this case there’s virtually no chance that anyone would beat Obama in a primary.

      • That makes sense. Honestly I was asking for that very reason – thinking that maybe someone more liberal would run and I could vote for them instead. OH WELL.

  7. I could spend all day and debate this but then I’ll never sleep. But I’m still going to throw in my two cents and disagree with a lot of this article’s opinion on Ron Paul.

    First of all, Daily Kos looks to me like a communist website. So I’m not surprised why they would bash on Ron Paul. And TNR was another inaccurate attempt to distract people from what the major issues Ron stand for, which is to end the federal-reserve, the IRS, the war, and decriminalize drug offenses.

    When he said “race” he doesn’t mean every minority in the world. He was associating race with its history.

    On abortion: “You have to understand where that liberty and that life comes from. It does not come from the government. It comes from our creators.” – Ron Paul

    I’m fairly certain he was just stating his opinion and wants the state (instead of the feds) to decide whether abortion should be legalized or not..

    On him being anti-evolution: again, personal matter.

    If his plan to abolish public education is extreme and that sort of extremity is bad. Then please re-read that link you posted on that subject.

    I could be wrong about all this. But I’ve met Ron Paul in person and–at least so far–I really think he’s legitimate.

    What I’m saying is.. read his book (or at least watch videos with him in it that’s not a remix), then watch what the media says, and then make an educated judgment.

    Oh and I’d highly recommend the video of the Corn Polled Edition of the Daily Show, Jon Stewart did a good piece about Ron.

    • Agreed. It’s important to hear what Ron Paul actually says himself vs. what someone in the media says *about* him. At least Jon Stewart got the memo… Rachel Maddow? Not so much.

      Rachel has admonished Ron Paul’s views completely out of context because even she hasn’t grasped the concept of individual rights. Maddow, who is ever advocating for “more government”, hasn’t deduced the fact that it is *because of government* there were slavery laws, *because of government* there were Jim Crow laws, *because of government* there was segregation and laws restricting women, blacks, LGBT’s, (etc.) freedom and equality under the guise of “law”. These things all happened because of government laws. Government ‘laws’ are the power to restrict, not to equalize. And it’s quite refreshing that Ron Paul “gets” that.

    • First of all, Daily Kos isn’t a communist website, it’s just a regular liberal political site. It’s actually fairly well-respected within progressive media.

      Second of all, this idea that abortion is a “states’ rights” issue, rather than an essential right for women that should be protected at the federal level – that’s NOT okay. Women should not be second-class citizens in certain states. Also, most people who describe themselves as “pro-life” (a really inaccurate term for the anti-abortion movement that I personally won’t use) are where Ron Paul is – they want to overturn Roe v. Wade and let individual states be able to ban abortion again. It’s not like he’s really out of pace with the anti-choice agenda on this one. The anti-choice movement has always been a state-by-state one.

      As for saying “race” doesn’t mean every minority in the world – perhaps not, but the bigoted statements shouldn’t have to apply to every minority to be sufficiently racist. They just need to apply to one.

      A history of racist statements is anything but a distraction. With the current racial climate in the U.S. and especially in the anti-Obama movement, it’s an essential conversation to be having with any of the Republican candidates. Being anti-evolution isn’t, either; someone who doesn’t believe in something for which there is overwhelming proof is someone I can’t really trust to put the facts over their own ideological assumptions. Which lines up with a lot of what I’ve seen from Ron Paul, really — putting ideological purity to his particularly rigid version of “states’ rights libertarianism” over the reality on the ground.

      • “Second of all, this idea that abortion is a “states’ rights” issue, rather than an essential right for women that should be protected at the federal level – that’s NOT okay.”

        Says you. But again, from what authority does the FedGov have to decide morality issues like these?

        Here’s the deal, (I’m pro-choice, btw) If you asked me my opinion on abortion… it doesn’t matter! There is always, ALWAYS going to be someone who believes the exact opposite of what I believe. So basically, you’ve already decided that everyone has to believe as you do, but what about the people who find abortion morally reprehensible? Where do they go in this one-size-fits-all federal legislation? It took me a while to wrap my head around it, but it is a state’s rights issue. And yes, I do realize that some states will outlaw abortion. It will probably fall along the red/blue lines, but until people who don’t believe as you and I do get to have their own say in the matter and get to choose for themselves what they believe is right for them, then this issue will never be put to bed. :)

        • I don’t see how it’s imposing my views on anyone to keep abortion legal. They can still not get abortions. They can pursue alternative and FAR MORE EFFECTIVE methods of stopping abortion, such as ensuring that women have more access to birth control and everyone gets good sex education. (Seriously! Look at the Guttmacher Institute’s statistics about it, banning abortion does nothing to reduce abortion rates. In fact, countries where abortion is illegal tend to have HIGHER rates of it because usually birth control is restricted to some degree as well.)

          Giving women in different states different sets of rights based on what their neighbors think is in violation of the 14th Amendment, and also goes against what the Founding Fathers actually intended with voting. They did NOT mean for it to be a way of having the tyranny of the majority stomp on the rights of minority groups (or in this case, not a minority but historically oppressed group). Read what Madison said in Federalist no. 10 and 51.

          • Rose, it’s fairly simple: your views are forced on them because they have to pay money in taxes which are taken from them involuntarily to fund what you want and what they deem morally reprehensible. They are forced to pay for something they abhor. We could apply this same logic to 100 different issues. It’s not rocket science and I certainly don’t need to bother dusting off my Federalist/Anti-Federalist papers to understand something so fundamentally basic as that. You’re obviously smart. Figure out a way to fund this plan voluntarily without coercion and allow an ‘opt out’ for those people who don’t agree with you. Voluntary exchange through mutual consent, not government force. If the gay community learned anything from the AIDS crisis, it was about the benefit of non-governmental mutual aid groups.

            I’d much rather read Madison and Jefferson’s exchanges when Jefferson was ambassador to France. Jefferson convinced Madison through honest debate and persuasion to eventually become an Anti-Federalist. Jefferson didn’t force him to do it via involuntary taxation or under duress of government threat. And Madison chose this of his own free will… imagine that.

  8. “Second of all, this idea that abortion is a “states’ rights” issue, rather than an essential right for women that should be protected at the federal level – that’s NOT okay. Women should not be second-class citizens in certain states. ”

    You’re saying that it’s not okay for the state to decide on the legalization of abortion and it should be the federal government’s job because in certain states women would be second-class citizens.. Well if there is such a state, then don’t move there. If no women move there, the men will eventually die out? No?

    I’m a darwinist, and speaking of that:

    Though many of us may think the proof on evolution is overwhelming, but in the end of the day, evolution is still a theory and a fact..but still a theory. Science has been proven wrong countless time in history. I mean we used to think the earth was flat. What makes us think we’re so right this time? All we can do is continue to grow and learn and progress as a society. Who is to say creationism isn’t a fact also?

    Brb. To that I share with you this quote I found today:

    “Have you heard about the libertarian conspiracy? We want to take the government and then… leave you alone.”

  9. Ron Paul supporters love useless forms of campaigning, including but not limited to: -Flooding internet forums and -Posting Ron Paul signs/stickers every-fucking-where and on every stretch of road. So, watch out.

    • It’s cool, I was expecting it. You can’t write anything that is critical about Ron Paul on the Internet without his fans finding it and getting mad about it.

      • God forbid somebody else cares and thinks differently.

        We’re all fighting the same battle here people. : /

        • If I couldn’t handle people disagreeing with me, I’d be editing or deleting your posts, not engaging with them.

      • hey, just glad to see that you’re here, duchessofdykedom, I start to get a little worried when the queer/feminist sites I visit imply that I’m an evil racist for being a libertarian :)

        • Kyla, Wendy McElroy (dotcom) is my kind of feminist. ;)

          It’s fairly common than when folks run out of argument, they start up with the ad hominem. I surprised they didn’t throw a “paultard” jab in there, lol. It humors me the great lengths and verbal contortions used to admonish the “other side”, but yet they can see no wrong with “their guy”. Forest for the trees, I guess. What they haven’t figured out yet is that it’s not about left vs. right. It’s about you vs. the establishment. They don’t understand they’re siding with establishment. I reject this team red/team blue notion of a “one-side-or-the-other” dichotomy altogether. I recognize it as the divisive tool that it is. It would be a mistake to think that because I removed myself from the ideological left that I automatically ‘went over’ to the ideological right. Just the opposite. I reject both the right and left because it’s just that repugnant.

          Now I’ve admitted to the things I don’t like about RP, but it seems they’re willing to defend their guy “no matter what”. That is very telling, especially in the face of Obama’s human rights violations, domestic and international law violations and flat out genocide. And they’re proud to support that???
          Cognitive dissonance much?
          There is nothing more de-humanizing and racist than war. And they can’t respond to that.

          They feign concern about the economy and they have legitimate reason to be concerned, yet support a guy ‘no matter what’ based solely because he has a “D” behind his name. I highly doubt they can admit that it’s their guy’s policies and his giant pink elephant in the room that are the very catalysts perpetuating all of these problems they seem so concerned with. It’s very clear to the rest of us where their guy’s priorities lie. The nice folks at National Priorities Project did all the hard work and thinking for them. But they won’t look at it. They’ve already admitted their thought process has shut down. (I can’t post the link here because doing so seems to block my posts. I’ll try to follow up with the link.) Suffice it so say that 59% of the federal budget is spent on war. Yeah, like $0.59 of every single tax dollar goes to warmaking today.

          They can ignore it, deny it all they want, and reason it away however they like, but facts are stubborn little things. War itself doesn’t affect them personally, but to think it doesn’t affect them economically would be terribly naive.

          Having an open mind is having the ability for fluid thought, even when truths are uncomfortable. When your thought process is not fluid, then it has become stagnant and static which will prevent any sort of in-depth critical thinking. One becomes rigid in this state and resorts to parroting lines spoon-fed to them. But the simple truth is this: If you can’t change your mind, forget about changing your life.

          Steady as she goes…

          • No one ever said Obama is perfect. People just said they like him better than Ron Paul. If you’re going to chastise other people for supposedly misrepresenting you, you can’t misrepresent them, either.

          • Like him better? This isn’t a vote for prom king, lol.

            If you haven’t been paying attention, Obama is a just as much a war criminal as GHW Bush. Between expanding Iraq/Afghan/Pak wars, continuing with torture abroad and secret prisons, violating the UN charter for depleted uranium and white phosphorus use, holding Bradley Manning without due process of US law and in defiance of the Geneva Convention mandates, attacking four sovereign nations without congressional approval, declaring via decree the executive right to assassinate American citizens without due process of law, exponentially increasing drone bombings, continuing with warrentless wiretapping, not closing Gitmo, not restoring habeas corpus, sending the FBI to harass anti-war protesters and detain their property without charges, denying citizens 4th amendment rights via the TSA intrusions, extending the Patriot Act, arresting medical marijuana patients/dispensaries in SWAT team raids in states that have legalized it, etc. etc…. you cannot expect me to take you seriously – unless you are a self-admitted supporter for Obama’s authoritarianism.

            Come on now, you’re smarter than that. Explain to me, please, how you justify ‘liking better’ any of this?

          • I’ll continue to engage with you on these points when you start phrasing your responses in a way that doesn’t imply that people are less thoughtful or knowledgeable if they disagree with you. As a writer for this site I have an obligation to treat every commenter with respect, but it is hard to do that when one is being as disrespectful and condescending as you are here.

          • My apologies if I sounded condescending, but I do think you are smart. On that point, I wasn’t kidding (it was actually a compliment), so I guess I’m a bit confused as to how someone with your obvious intellect can support this man. I didn’t mean to be a heel. So again, I’m truly sorry if my words came off badly.

            So, regarding Obama, let me rephrase what I take issue with:

            Besides everything he lied about, like transparency, Iraq, and Gitmo, and in addition to his war criminality listed above, I don’t see the draw.(Well, known war criminals aren’t particularly attractive to me anyway.) How could you have missed this? And I don’t mean this with any sort of animosity – You’re either 1) isolated, 2) turning a willful blind eye to it, or 3) an apologist for Obama because you care more about *winning* for team blue than about principle or morality. To someone like me, it seems you care more about him than you do your own rights.

            Obama and his administration have actively advanced this big brother, biometric, backscatter van, checkpoint, TSA groping, RFID chipping, email tapping, surveillence-police state at light speed. His “justice” department went to court to get Bush and Cheney off the torture/waterboarding hook, they went to court to keep state secrets in place, they deep six’ed the last batch of torture photos, and they defied the court on Gitmo detainee rulings. Now they just torture people at Bagram or rent corporate jets to ship them off and let the Syrians do the torturing. The rest of the world considers the US to be the Torturers of the 21st Century. Nice legacy, that.

            Monsanto now owns the USDA, EPA, & FDA. The FDA are raiding food co-ops at gun point. Goldman Sachs runs the USTreasury department now and are making their get-away with the $poil$. They actually considered JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon to take over Tim Geithner’s role. Jamie Dimon should be in prison. GE’s Jeffrey Immelt is on the economic recovery team and he’s raking in as much money as Halliburton and KBR in these wars. Ben Bernanke has his printing press so smoking hot that you can’t buy a yellow or cyan ink cartridge in the continental United States anymore. Larry Credit-Default-Swap Summers is in charge of the economy. Bob I-bankrupted-Citibank Rubin, too. Wall St. banks not only were the top donors to Obama’s ’08 election, but they dominate his economic and treasury department, not to mention the federal reserve.

            The military is now being used domestically in defiance of posse comitatus. Obama is punishing government corruption whistle-blowers more than any president in history. Thanks to the failed drug war we have the highest incarceration rate in the world of non-violent offenders for drugs like pot and disproportionately so among blacks. Homeland Security is passing out grenade launchers, tanks, APC’s and full-auto assault rifles to local & state police departments faster that you can say, “Can I get a DHS grant?” Meanwhile, Janet Napolitano is now sleeping under your bed when she’s not violating the 1st amendment shutting down websites or letting her goons feel people up in airports. Seriously, I could go on for pages. Anyone who has been following this daily knows that Obama’s tenure has to be the most epic farce of cosmic proportions for human rights and civil liberties.

            Four more years? Try four more wars….
            And knowing all of these things, it’s hard on my end to hear his supporters claim to care about poor and disenfranchised people, claim to care about the rule of law, or the economic situation. It’s especially hard to hear claims of caring about the environment, since the Department of Defense is well known to be the world’s number one polluter for a decade running now. It kind of coincides with all that war. You can’t have it both ways. I mean, really. An embassy in Iraq larger than the Vatican? 14 permanent bases in Afghanistan? The cost of the first 10 minute volley of Tomahawk missiles fired into Libya would have funded NPR for five years.

            I’m baffled, truly. I respectfully listened to all the negative points about Ron Paul and I countered with solid facts, economics, points of reference. I will be anxiously awaiting your refutation and/or justification for *any* of these deeds I’ve presented and see if you can, with a clear conscious, say you support this. Where’s the attraction here for another term of it?

  10. Just FYI: if you try to comment and it doesn’t show up, it means the comment is caught in the spam filter. It’s best if you just leave a simple comment saying your comments aren’t appearing so that someone knows to check the spam filter.

  11. Personally I think that if Michelle got so far in the race as to run for the presidency it would be a God send. I come from a very conservative family of republicans and I know that if it came down to Bachmann and Obama they would choose Obama. I believe that is the case with most republicans. Even they have a limit on how much crazy is too much.
    At the same time she will push those voters that are sometimes republican, sometimes democrat to vote for the more liberal candidate.
    Unfortunately, I don’t think she will get that far and I believe that Julliani is going to pull a lot of weight.
    All that being said, I know nothing of politics. :)

    For Women.
    For the Love of Women.

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