Iowa and Beyond: Friday Morning Questions

After coming in third, can Clinton win in New Hampshire? If not, can she survive to Super Tuesday?

Is John Edwards right that the race is now down to him and Obama (video)?

Will an endorsement from Chris Dodd or Joe Biden (who both dropped out tonight) make a difference to anyone?

What does it mean to you that Mike Huckabee got less votes than Hillary Clinton?

Can Rudy Giuliani come back after a 3% showing in Iowa?

With three times as many votes as Rudy Giuliani, will Fox News be forced to include Ron Paul in the upcoming debate?

The entrance polls showed Obama 35%, Clinton 27%, Edwards 23%. So, the second choices gave a huge boost to John Edwards. With the "second choice math" irrelevant going forward, does this bode well for Hillary?

Can Romney win in New Hampshire after losing to Mike Huckabee, despite spending five times as much ($7 million to $1.4 million)?

Turnout among young Democratic voters in Iowa was enormous. Is this a harbinger of the general election? Or an anomaly?

The Republican Party national chairman refused to say the name "Huckabee" when interviewed on CNN. Right-wing direct-mail demi-god Richard Viguerie called him a "Christian socialist". Are we about to see fratricide explode in the Republican Party?

John McCain and Mike Huckabee both say Huckabee won because he refused to go negative. Are they right?

What questions would you like answered by your fellow BlueOregon readers?

What do you think? What are your answers? Discuss.

Comments

  • Doug (unverified)
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    After coming in third, can Clinton win in New Hampshire? If not, can she survive to Super Tuesday?

    Yes. Yes.

    Is John Edwards right that the race is now down to him and Obama (video)?

    No, but nice try.

    Will an endorsement from Chris Dodd or Joe Biden (who both dropped out tonight) make a difference to anyone?

    To about 1%, judging from the returns.

    What does it mean to you that Mike Huckabee got less votes than Hillary Clinton?

    w00t!

    Can Rudy Giuliani come back after a 3% showing in Iowa?

    No.

    With three times as many votes as Rudy Giuliani, will Fox News be forced to include Ron Paul in the upcoming debate?

    No.

    The entrance polls showed Obama 35%, Clinton 27%, Edwards 23%. So, the second choices gave a huge boost to John Edwards. With the "second choice math" irrelevant going forward, does this bode well for Hillary?

    Maybe.

    Can Romney win in New Hampshire after losing to Mike Huckabee, despite spending five times as much ($7 million to $1.4 million)?

    Yes. Regional prejudice, sorry, local advantage is alive and well.

    Turnout among young Democratic voters in Iowa was enormous. Is this a harbinger of the general election? Or >an anomaly?

    More likely the latter. But it bodes well for the Democratic future.

    The Republican Party national chairman refused to say the >name "Huckabee" when interviewed on CNN. Right-wing direct-mail demi-god Richard Viguerie called him a >"Christian socialist". Are we about to see fratricide explode in the Republican Party?

    Heh. Indeed. It is devoutly to be wished, but I wouldn't count on it.

    John McCain and Mike Huckabee both say Huckabee won >because he refused to go negative. Are they right?

    No.

    What questions would you like answered by your fellow BlueOregon readers?

    How 'bout some hard questions?

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    After coming in third, can Clinton win in New Hampshire? If not, can she survive to Super Tuesday? Is John Edwards right that the race is now down to him and Obama (video)?

    Clinton can win, but she won't. This is fundamentally a two-person race with Hillary badly mispositioned. With the intensity of the race and compressed timeline till the next vote, I just don't see Hillary having the ability to effectively introduce yet another theme. Obama's on a roll, and New Hampshire is looking great.

  • tl (unverified)
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    I agree with every answer Doug gave except the one for Rudy G. I think he can still come back (unfortunately).

    What questions would you like answered by your fellow BlueOregon readers?

    What will be the tipping point for the Clinton campaign to inevitable success or failure? What will that point be for Obama or Edwards?

    -tl

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    The interesting events for me in Iowa were not the winners but the fact that Biden and Dodd dropped out. In 2004 Gephardt and Lieberman had next to no prospects of winning the Democratic nomination and in Iowa their primary activities were devoted to attacking Howard Dean instead of promoting themselves, presumably to help Kerry win. In 2008 Biden and Dodd didn't have any better chances of winning than Gephardt and Lieberman so I suspected they were on board to attack any candidate who threatened Hillary, the presumed party choice. Not so, and the question now is, "Why not?" Can it be that Hillary has limited support inside the Democratic establishment? Is there another faction seeking ascendancy there and has chosen Obama for its face? We know there are corporate lobbyists donating to Obama which means there most likely won't be all that much "change," but who are the political players behind him?

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    The entrance polls showed Obama 35%, Clinton 27%, Edwards 23%. So, the second choices gave a huge boost to John Edwards...

    With the "second choice math" irrelevant going forward, does this bode well for Hillary?

    NO!

    Between them, Edwards and Obama have nearly 70% support within the party. Very, very few Edwards supporters would support Clinton as their second choice; probably the same with supporters of Obama, Kucinich and even Richardson (despite his own preferences.) Other candidates' supporters will not migrate to Clinton after 15 years to decide whether they want her (they don't.)

    Even counting "second choices," Clinton's support within the party is well under 50% and not likely to budge. If she loses again in New Hampshire, Clinton is done and America will be rid of both of our dominant, self-serving political dynasties--the Clintons and the Bushes--at the same time in November.

  • mamabigdog503 (unverified)
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    Hillary’s main problem is that in the minds of many voters she stands for the past, simply by being a Clinton. Even though the country was in better shape under Bill’s leadership, the takeaway from last night’s caucus is that voters are ready for real change. They want to throw off the past and go in a completely new direction.

    The race will be between Obama and Edwards, with young people gravitating toward Obama and the over 30-younger than 45 female demographic heading for Edwards. Women over 45 will still want Hillary, but that will become less viable after Super Tuesday.

    Endorsements may help only in giving us an idea of who the candidate is choosing for cabinet posts. I’d still love to see a candidate provide the slate of cabinet members and senior staff prior to the election. After all, these folks are the ones with the President’s ear, and who we’ve seen in the past make history-altering choices for this country.

    Huckabee getting more votes the HRC only shows how much the GOP will suffer in November. The turnouts are going to be great in the Dems favor, as we saw last night, reduced only a small amount by campaign fatigue. This outcome shows how the Independents will break for the Dems. It also shows that the Dems could run a ham sandwich in the race, and still beat the GOP handily.

    Rudy’s toast. The end. Rommney can’t overcome his documented flip-floppiness and issues of trust within the GOP. The question you’re not asking is what happens when Mike Bloomberg enters the race as an independent and draws most of the non-Christian evangelical vote away from Huckabee, and smaller percentage of the Independent vote from the Dems. The GOP created this situation by stoking the evangelical vote since 1994. Now that their Frankenstein has broken his shackles, the GOP lost control over them. Problem is, they have no where else to turn. McCain is as much about the past at HRC is for the Dems.

    McCain and Huckabee didn’t go negative? Obviously you’re not paying attention. McCain has been ripping people up left and right, GOP and Dem alike (see here, here and here). Huckabee’s press conference about the “negative-ad-we’re-not-running-because-it’s-too-negative-and-here-it-is-anyway” side show was only a preview of what to expect come South Carolina. His own campaign chairman, Ed Rollins, said so himself: http://www.townhall.com/blog/g/13a3122e-dfd6-4d8a-81a3-bc8c6e11f550. Huckabee just wants others to do the dirty work for him, like Chuck Norris.

    Put on your seat belts folks, this is going to be a rollicking election season!

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    One thing I realized last night as I watched the results come in at the Venue on MLK was that all three of the major Dem candidates had supporters with a heart connection to their pick. For Edwards and Hillary supporters, I want to extend my feelings of sympathy. It sucks to lose, but it sucks far worse when you actually care about and like your candidate. (In a story of two parties, it's interesting to see that the GOP seems to have no candidates about whom voters feel tender.)

    That said, I think Edwards' campaign is done. Without the money, he can't continue to try to build support in states where he already trails substantially. I said yesterday I didn't think he had a route to the nomination, and now I really don't see it. Hillary's not out yet, though. Her current strategy has to be to keep it a two-person race to Feb 5. If the narrative going in to Super Tuesday is that there are two viable candidates, she stands a good chance to win the nomination. (It wouldn't hurt if she could finish a strong second in NH and win Nevada.)

    Although it's becoming conventional wisdom to think that Rudy's done, I think the overall weakness of the candidates and the inevitable backlash against Huckabee (already the vitriol is profound) means another candidate will rise. Can a 71-year-old candidate who's never been loved by money-cons (McCain Feingold) or Christian conservatives fill the void? Perhaps, but Rudy's humiliation may be more of a flesh wound that a mortal injury.

    I think the Huckabee phenomenon is a response by the increasingly poor electorate. The media empires and GOP mandarins have spent 7 years offering bogus stats to deny it, but most Americans are hurting. Huckabee is the perfect wedge candidate because he appeals to working-class Christian conservatives--exactly the demographic who continued to prop up the plutocratic Bush regime. If we can take a lesson from Iowa (and that's probably unwise, but how can we help ourselves?), it's that the poor and middle class are jumping off the Good Ship GOP.

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    Bill askes a compelling question of why. His observations are adroit, IMO. Whether Gephardt and Lieberman wanted Kerry to win or wanted to prevent Dean from winning is debatable. But it does seem clear that they deliberately chose the spoiler role for some reason, whereas Dodd and Biden made the opposite choice in the same circumstances. Why indeed!

    It's tempting to see Dean's handiwork as DNC chair as part of the reason, however indirect. If so then it may be a harbinger of a changing of the guard within the party.

  • David Wright (unverified)
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    After coming in third, can Clinton win in New Hampshire? If not, can she survive to Super Tuesday?

    Of course she can win, though she may not. But she has enough money (and enough of an ego) to remain in the race through Super-Duper Tuesday no matter what.

    Is John Edwards right that the race is now down to him and Obama?

    Uh.... riiiiiiiight...

    What does it mean to you that Mike Huckabee got less votes than Hillary Clinton?

    About what it means that Mike Huckabee got a bigger percentage of votes cast than Hillary Clinton -- not much.

    Actually, what it means is that the range of candidates on the Democratic side was more interesting than the range of candidates on the Republican side. Turnout for the Dems was huge compared to the Republicans, which tells me that people cared more about who ends up as the nominee for the Democrats than for the Republicans. And 20% of that turnout for the Dems was made up of self-identified "Independents" (compared to 13% for the other side). Nearly half of those Independents went for Obama, meaning nearly his entire margin of victory was due to the non-Democrat contingent last night (among actual Dems he was 32/31 with Clinton). Now THAT is an interesting fact to ponder.

    Can Rudy Giuliani come back after a 3% showing in Iowa?

    Given that he didn't really run in Iowa? Of course. But his strategy of waiting until Florida is quite likely to backfire on him anyhow.

    Can Romney win in New Hampshire after losing to Mike Huckabee, despite spending five times as much?

    Absolutely. He's more concerned with McCain in NH than with Huckabee, for good reason, and his Iowa showing compared to everybody but Huckabee was quite strong. The Iowa Bump probably won't apply to Huckabee until SC, where I do think it will be a factor.

    Are we about to see fratricide explode in the Republican Party?

    Explode? Hardly. But there are real divisions in the Republican party, which has for the last 30 years been made up of very disparate groups held together with common cause. That common cause isn't going away, but it's less motivating to fight against a common enemy than to fight for a common goal, which also helps explain lower Republican turnout.

    BTW, speaking of fighting for something rather than against something, it might be worthwhile to post Huckabee's victory speech as well, where he makes that very point.

    Are they [McCain and Huckabee] right?

    Probably, to a large extent. Huckabee got a huge boost from evangelicals, who weren't about to vote for anyone else, but they could easily have just not voted instead. But Huckabee's positive approach allows people to actually feel good about voting for him, so I do think that helped a lot.

    What questions would you like answered by your fellow BlueOregon readers?

    Given Obama's big edge with Independents in Iowa, do you expect him to do as well in other states with more closed primary systems? Do you think he's actually increasing the rolls of the Democratic Party? And if there are a lot of NAV and moderate Republicans who are actually entering the Democratic Party to support him, what does that mean for the internal politics of the party for the future? Will he pull the Dems to the right?

  • mamabigdog503 (unverified)
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    My links didn't work... McCain's Negatives:

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/jonathanmartin/0108/McCain_goes_neg_on_web.html

    http://blog.washingtonpost.com/thefix/2007/05/mccain_vs_obama.html

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22326360/

    Huckabee & Chuck Norris:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/01/02/chuck-norris-goes-negativ_n_79144.html

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    It's tempting to see Dean's handiwork as DNC chair as part of the reason, however indirect. If so then it may be a harbinger of a changing of the guard within the party.

    Kevin: I had a similar thought about Howard Dean but little more than speculation to support it. In that vein, my suspicion is that there is a faction opposed to the Clinton-DLC cabal and Obama is their candidate to facilitate the takeover. Dean could be involved, but there are probably other players that took the initiative of promoting Obama. Who arranged for him to speak at the Democratic convention in Boston when Dean was on the sidelines?

  • Robert Harris (unverified)
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    Jeff Alworth is spot on for Huckabee's phenomenon. The blue collar and/or religious and/or modest means republican base can now reject the Wall street republicans power brokers' candidates. Finally, a republican candidate who shares the moral values of this base, but also actually cares about the economic well being of all Americans.

    A general election between Huckabee and Obama would be very very interesting, and a lot closer than people believe. But many in the Republican party would prefer to lose with Romney than be competitive with Huckabee.

  • Robert Harris (unverified)
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    Jeff Alworth is spot on for Huckabee's phenomenon. The blue collar and/or religious and/or modest means republican base can now reject the Wall street republicans power brokers' candidates. Finally, a republican candidate who shares the moral values of this base, but also actually cares about the economic well being of all Americans.

    A general election between Huckabee and Obama would be very very interesting, and a lot closer than people believe. But many in the Republican party would prefer to lose with Romney than be competitive with Huckabee.

  • DanS (unverified)
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    Does Iowa matter anyway?

    When was the last time that the winner of the Iowa caucus picked the next President?

    Seems it was Jimmy Carter. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

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    Don't count Giuliani out. Many self-identified "evangelicals" within the GOP--including high-profile endorsers--are more than willing to support him in the general election as a foil to the much-loathed Democratic party. The distaste for the Democratic party in that community runs very deep (deeper than logic, it's based on aethetics and identity issues) and the right-wing branch of the evangelical movement (as opposed to the left-wing branch) is firmly dedicated to the GOP brand, whomever its nominee is.

  • LT (unverified)
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    I agree with Robert Harris and believe that Bill is a little too cynical when he says, "In that vein, my suspicion is that there is a faction opposed to the Clinton-DLC cabal and Obama is their candidate to facilitate the takeover. ".

    I was a Hart delegate in 1984 after Hart got 59% of the Oregon vote. That convention was a lot less cut and dried than outside commentary suggested. Mondale won the nomination but only after everything fell his way except for some procedural losses and at least one platform fight he decided not to contest because he might lose.

    Roughly 2/3 of Iowa caucus goers voted anti-establishment, after all those months of being told that Hillary was inevitable. I celebrate that result.

    And I still believe in the Will Rogers principle, "I belong to no organized party, I am a Democrat. If there is as much activism across the country as there was in Iowa, any Democratic Party cabal (esp. one on the E. Coast which doesn't involve the Assoc. of State Dem. Chairs or some other nationwide grass roots Democrats) will not survive an onslaught by ordinary activists and voters.

    Please remember Dean defeated conventional wisdom to become DNC chair.

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    Please remember Dean defeated conventional wisdom to become DNC chair.

    It also helped that we got a lot of Deaniacs across the nation elected as DNC Committee members. ; )

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    I agree with Robert Harris and believe that Bill is a little too cynical when he says, "In that vein, my suspicion is that there is a faction opposed to the Clinton-DLC cabal and Obama is their candidate to facilitate the takeover. ".

    LT: You may be right. My suspicions weren't justified about Biden and Dodd and they may not be justified in the case of Obama's support, but that doesn't answer the question as to who is behind Obama politically. I'm sure he didn't walk up to the Democratic committee involved with the convention and say he was a state senator from Illinois and he wanted to give a speech at the convention and that they were so impressed with his credentials they gave him a spot. He had to have had some people with influence to get on the stage. Again, who are they?

  • Blueshift (unverified)
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    DanS:

    The Iowa caucuses never pick the president because there are two caucuses, one for each party...which means there are two winners. If you're asking for the last time that the Iowa caucuses picked a presidential nominee, that would be John Kerry in 2004.

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    I have a friend who's a big supporter of Ron Paul. While I think he's a wack job, I watched the CNN pie charts with interest last night.

    In the pie charts on the Democratic side, you had Richardson appearing as 2% (along with Edwards, Obama, and Clinton, of course). On the Republican side you had Huckabee, Romney, Thompson, McCain, and "OTHER". Paul's 10% didn't even appear on the pie chart, although it was 5 times as much as Richardson.

    You could argue that they only listed the top 4 candidates in each race, or you could believe that the media are really refusing to take him seriously, despite his respectable finish. I just think it's incredibly poor journalism, and a reminder that the media filter news based on their own views, not just the facts.

    I'll be interested to see what a 10% finish in NH will lead to, media-wise.

    The other thing I was waiting to see is if Clinton is described as "third" or "fighting a close second with Edwards." Ah, the language.

  • Brian (unverified)
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    You don't have to like Ron Paul, find him particularly telegenic or agree with his positions, but this man is no "wacko". In my experience, most who affix that label on him are woefully ignorant and/or blinded by partisanship. Just sayin'

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    Brain, the man is a whacko.

  • Miles (unverified)
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    Clinton is in this to the bitter end -- and IMO still has a better than 50% shot of winning the nomination. She has the money, organization, and establishment support to stay in up until the point that another candidate gets a majority of delegates.

    The points about Obama pulling from independents and young voters are really important. In closed primary states, without the time necessary to mobilize the young vote, he may very well routinely finish 2nd place to Clinton's 1st. I'm not saying that's going to happen, but Clinton's 3rd place finish will be quickly forgotten with a win in NH, NV, or SC (or all three).

    In order to get the nomination, Obama needs a huge bump from this. He needs to either win NH or come in a very close 2nd, and then get a win in NV or SC (or both). If Clinton gets just a little bit of momentum, the Clinton machine will take over.

    I'm sad to agree with Alworth that Edwards is done. I predict he'll finish 3rd in every primary from now until he drops out.

    As for Huckabee. . . wow. Both scary (because the man is a little crazy) and inspiring (because he's running as an economic populist, which means there is broad support on the left and right for such a message). He's the Republican's Howard Dean, and he'll lose the nomination, but he'll change the GOP as he does so. Not clear yet for better or worse.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Bill, about this:

    "the question as to who is behind Obama politically. I'm sure he didn't walk up to the Democratic committee involved with the convention and say he was a state senator from Illinois and he wanted to give a speech at the convention and that they were so impressed with his credentials they gave him a spot. He had to have had some people with influence to get on the stage. Again, who are they?"

    As I recall, there is not necessarily a committee choosing the Keynote Speaker--if there is a presumptive nominee, that nominee has a lot of control over who is the keynote (or any other prime time) speaker. Usually what is wanted is a great orator (Mario Cuomo 1984, I think Ann Richards was in 1988 and Barbara Jordan in 1992). There is also an attempt to use the convention to highlight promising US Senate candidates.

    By 2004, the first Obama book DREAMS FROM MY FATHER had already been out for several years. I doubt there is any conspiracy. I think someone made a great decision (may have been Kerry or his staff) in choosing Obama in 2004. But basically, I think what happened in Iowa was people power.

    Bill, to get philosophical for a moment, I think there is a time to be cynical and a time to accept things at face value. And maybe this week is the latter.

    I speak as someone so burned out on politics by 1984 that it was only because I was going with a friend that I went to see what was going on with the organizing meeting for Gary Hart in 1984. It was run by a friend of the Hart family living in Oregon. As it turned out I ended up local volunteer coordinator, and a delegate to the national convention, and then nominated and elected a member of the State and District central committees in Oregon.

    Bill, I don't know your age, but this seems to me like one of those generational page-turning moments. It has all the hopefulness of the Eugene McCarthy and Bobby Kennedy campaigns (scratch a 60 year old or so activist and you may find their start in politics was Eugene or Bobby) before both MLK and then Bobby were killed.

    I do know that Ted Sorenson and Tom Daschle see something hopeful in Obama which they haven't seen in many years. But that isn't a "cabal", it is 2 people born in the heartland (Nebraska and S. Dakota) who rose to national fame.

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    Clinton is in until Feb 5th. Only a poor showing there will take her out.

    Edwards is done. Anyone on the fence between Edwards and Obama (and it was clear from Iowa that they are drawing from the same voters) will switch to Obama.

    Dodd, Biden: irrelevant (or as relevant as any other Senatorial endorsement).

    It means that there were fewer GOP caucus goers. It may indicate less enthusiasm among the GOP faithful. But it may also mean that 80 million dollars buys a lot of caucus attendance.

    Rudy did not run in Iowa.

    No. Fox is in Rudy's pocket, or vice versa.

    Yes, but I would not presume an entrance poll is very meaningful.

    Romney in NH: Yes. Huckabee is a one state wonder. He'll get beaten badly in NH, then perhaps revive in the South. Once nationwide GOP voters hear his foreign policy views (or lack of them), he's toast.

    A bit of a harbinger, a bit of an anomaly. Dems spent > 80 million in one state for a few hundred thousand voters.

    No. GOP always lines up behind the nominee.

    No. Huckabee was the anti-Romney and a large percentage of GOP Iowans are evangelical.

    Now that Kari backed the wrong candidate, is his future media mogul-ship in jeopardy?

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    Clinton, Biden, Dodd and Edwards voted to give Bush authority to go to war when he felt like it which happened to be on or before he held his first cabinet meeting ten days after his first inauguration. Ron Paul was against the war and was one of very few Republicans to vote against it.

    Clinton, Biden, Dodd and Edwards ignored their pledges to defend the Constitution and their Constitutional responsibilities in voting to give Bush authority to wage war on Iraq. Ron Paul adheres to his oath and responsibilities to the Constitution.

    Clinton, Biden, Dodd, Edwards and Obama indicated at one time that they were in favor of a long-term occupation of Iraq and that a war with Iran was on the table. McCain is talking about having troops in Iraq for a thousand years. Ron Paul wants the troops out of Iraq immediately and no war with Iran.

    Now who is (or are) the whacko(s)?

    I know, Ron Paul has his problems and I disagree with a lot of his ideas, but which is worse? A war that has cost hundreds of thousands of people their lives, millions of people their well being and has been estimated to eventually cost the American taxpayers more than a trillion dollars or someone with a threat to end social security that can't go anywhere without Congress going along with it. Without checking Ron Paul's list of ideas, I believe most of the people on this blog would disagree with them, but most of his ideas would require an agreement with Congress that would be very unlikely to happen.

  • Brian (unverified)
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    "Brain, the man is a whacko."

    What is it specifically you find "whacko" about Ron Paul? I'd really like to know. Do you find him frightening as Bill O'Reilly does or is it something else? Are Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel also wacko's in your opinion?

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    Posted by: Brian | Jan 4, 2008 4:20:56 PM

    "Brain, the man is a whacko."

    What is it specifically you find "whacko" about Ron Paul?

    I'll let Orcinus begin to count the ways Ron Paul is a wacko:

    -- He opposes the right of women to be free to control their own reproductive systems if they happen to live in particular states or other countries, or if they work for the Peace Corps. -- He wants to erase the distinction in U.S. law between a zygote and a person -- He would deny the use of the Federal court system -- and even Federal precedent -- to people discriminated against because of their religious beliefs or sexual orientation. This would also limit the cross-state recognition of same-sex marriages. Some of these bills he cynically calls this the "We the People Act". -- This includes limits on courts' hearing cases related to abortion, and he has introduced bills specific to these kinds of cases. He also uses the deceptive term "partial-birth abortion". -- Even though he claims to be a "libertarian", he opposes people's freedom to burn or destroy their own copies of the design of the U.S. flag. -- He has tried to repeal the Occupational Safety and Health Act. -- He would like to make it much easier to decertify labor unions. -- He opposes the Minimum Wage. -- He would deny the prevailing wage to employees of federal contractors, and remove prohibition on kickbacks in Federal projects: -- He wants to severely weaken Social Security by making it optional. -- He has come out against attempts to make the United States more democratic, including the idea of eliminating the Electoral College, even *after* the debacle in the 2000 Presidential election. -- He wants to repeal the "Motor Voter" Act, which has made it easier for people to register to vote. -- He would repeal significant portions of antitrust law, including the Sherman Antitrust Act, the Clayton Antitrust Act, and others. -- He would gut the regulatory power of Federal agencies, forcing Congress to micromanage all decisions. -- He has tried to make it easier for racial and ethnic discrimination in our society. -- He would propose an amendment to the Constitution to gut the Fourteenth Amendment by denying citizenship to people born here whose parents aren't already citizens "nor persons who owe permanent allegiance to the United States". That latter part could produce some serious political discrimination, especially if radicals can have their citizenship revoked. -- He would limit or try to repeal the Clean Air Act, the Soil and Water Conservation Act. -- He would promote offshore oil-drilling, the construction of more refineries, coal-mining on Federal lands, and block conservation measures. This would further threaten our coastal and internal environments, and further trap our economy in fossil-fuel dependency. -- He has fought ratification of the Law of the Sea. As President would he "un-sign" it? -- This "champion of peace" wanted to prohibit the dismantling of ICBM silos in the U.S.. -- He would continue U.S. opposition to the International Criminal Court, despite the usefulness of this body for prosecuting war-crimes that are not challenged domestically. -- He has promoted the Bricker Amendment to the Constitution, and otherwise sought limit the protections of international law. He would also prohibit U.S. courts from citing foreign laws or policies (other than English ones) in their decisions. -- He would end U.S. participation in the United Nations. Failing that he would prohibit or severely curtail appropriations for U.S. payments to the U.N. or its affiliated agencies. -- Not having any success in having the U.S> leave the U N. he has worked to block U.S. membership in the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. -- Would he pull the U.S. out of the ABM Treaty. -- Oh, but he would "protect" U.S. soldiers from wearing any insignia of another country or the U.N. -- Would he try to re-establish U.S. "sovereignty" over the Panama Canal. -- He would allow guns in schools and National Parks, repeal requirements for background checks and gun-locks, use Federal authority to nullify state laws regarding concealed weapons, and eliminate many other regulations including prohibitions on gun possession by minors, recent felons, fugitives, addicts, and domestic abusers, and prohibitions relating to semiautomatic weapons. -- Speaking of schools, he would weaken educational standards by using Federal power to interfere with states improving their standards for teacher certification. -- He wants to dramatically reduce the tax obligations of people who make inordinately high incomes and who inherit large fortunes they did not earn. Specifically, this includes attempts to repeal the estate tax, and to apply one tax rate to all income levels. -- And short of that he wants us to pay our income taxes every month, and not use withholding.

    Finally, the even weirder parts of Ron Paul's record:

    GOLD! GOLD! GOLD! -- What is his obsession with gold, and does this make for sound economic policy? He wants to reintroduce the gold standard which would destroy our economy overnight since the dollar has been a fiat currency since the 1930s and is the only thing keeping us afloat at the moemnt. -- He might even try to get rid of the Federal Reserve, which has long been a bogeyman of the far right. -- Does he want to abandon the dollar and set up 50 separate state currencies? Does that even make sense? -- He has favored all manner of other right-wing policies, in the following case with a single bill, which includes provisions for such things as supporting corporal punishment, requiring that young people seeking reproductive care have their parents notified, allowing churches and religious organizations that run "public" services to discriminate against potential clients, and moving us back to school segregation.

    And that is just actual legislation he has tried to get passed into law already, not to mention the guy is a racist to boot.

    The guy is beyond a wack-job.

  • (Show?)

    Let me repeat one of the gems of Ron Paul up-thread just to give a clear idea how insane this guys polices are. Here is a little harmless policy idea he introduced in Congress which nobody cosponsored... he wants to make all our money no longer legal tender.

    H.R.2779 Honest Money Act - Amends Federal law to repeal the status of U.S. coins and currency as legal tender for all debts, public charges, taxes, and dues (including Federal reserve notes and circulating notes of Federal reserve banks and national banks).

    Think about that one for just a second or two. Make all U.S. currency no longer legal tender, i.e. every dollar bill, coin, etc. in circualtion as money is no longer money.

    Yeah, nothing wacked about that fucking idea.

  • Jennifer (unverified)
    (Show?)

    I know two conservatives who said they would prefer Hillary over Ron Paul (and they HATE Hillary). One of them said that Ron Paul scares him more than Ross Perot.

    My most liberal friend said he thinks Ron Paul is (direct quote), "Crazier than a shit-house rat". Any candidate who can alienate the extremes on both sides of the political divide is unlikely to win a general election. I would be shocked if Ron Paul is still campaigning after Super Tuesday.

  • Brian (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Well, can't say that you didn't offer a thorough response to my query. Fair enough...sort of. However, there's nothing sinister about some of those ideas and at least a few of the ideas you noted are taken a bit out of context. A lot of it has to do with a major philosophical schism regarding the role of the federal government. You & I can disagree, but I concur with most- not all, but most- of Dr. Paul's position when looking at the big picture. Adhering to the fundamental tenants of our constitution, smaller government by & for the people, self determination and withdrawing our troops abroad sounds pretty good to me. Not so much for socialist/communist types or country club Republican/Democrats, but I don't fall into either camp. I'll take freedom and let the chips fall where they may.

  • (Show?)
    Posted by: Brian | Jan 4, 2008 6:14:19 PM Well, can't say that you didn't offer a thorough response to my query.

    Wow. I cite specifc legislation that Ron Paul crafted and sponsored that would eliminate all U.S. currency, and you fail to see how that is but one small example of how Ron Paul is a whacko?

    What would it take, Mr. Paul literally shitting himself live on television and writing 'the trilaterial comision made me do it' on the wall with his poop before you acknowledge his is a nutball?:

  • Brian (unverified)
    (Show?)

    No, if he displayed that sort of behavior even I'd view him as bat shit crazy. However, I think you fail to understand the point he was trying to make regarding our current monetary system. That was largely a symbolic move designed to point out how worthless our currency is destined to become when it's based on...well, shit. Just print more of it, right? Just because Ron Paul is the only candidate raising that very real concern doesn't make him nuts.

  • (Show?)

    Actually, Mitch, I don't see much of anything on that list that most of the Republican party hopefuls probably wouldn't agree with. Paul's real problem is that he's upfront about all of that crap, and like with Huckabee the people in charge of getting Republicans elected know that the full monty crazy doesn't play well in the general elections.

    Anti-abortion/life begins at conception? Check.

    Anti-flag burning? Even Hillary Clinton thought that was a good political move.

    Anti-OSHA, labor unions, minimum and prevailing wage? Quadruple check.

    Optional Social Security? There are Democrats supporting those kinds of plans, too.

    Opposed to eliminating the Electoral College? Wow, has anyone seriously proposed that? I'm all for it, but I think even some Democratic pols from smaller states might have problems with it.

    Against anti-trust laws, government regulations, environmental rules, and civil rights laws? You mean simply failing to enforce them like most Republican administrations isn't enough?

    Pro-drilling, mining, and refining in wilderness areas? How is that different from the current administration?

    Opposed to international laws? Anti-UN and the ABM treaty? Would a President Paul nominate some wacko like John Bolton UN ambassador or what? Would he ignore the Geneva Conventions, too? Oh, my pearls!

    And a racist? The only one in the GOP??!!

    The truth of the matter is, Paul's no more of a wacko than most of the Republican candidates if the above points are your definition of wackohood.

    I don't have any interest in Paul whatsoever -- Lyndon Larouche and David Duke were against the Iraq war (and I dare say so was Saddam Hussein) and they're still scum -- but Niewart's list is hardly proof that Paul is deserving of singular disdain. He's just a Republican who agrees with the party on virtually every point except the war.

  • Dayreive (unverified)
    (Show?)

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