David Kirkpatrick

December 1, 2008

Dreher likes Ron Paul …

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:59 pm

… really, really likes him. Man talk about a day late and a dollar short. Before I dumped my subscription to the Dallas Morning News I regularly read the weak-kneed drivel Dreher puts out. Now it takes a link from some online resource to lead me that way (this time it was the Daily Dish, thanks Sully).

Dreher wants to be a theocrat but lacks the conviction, and clearly he’s no libertarian. So why throw love Paul’s way? Maybe because the rest of the GOP is becoming exposed as a losing option in the voting booth?

At any rate Dreher nominates Paul for the DMN’s Texan of the year.

From the link:

I didn’t vote for Ron Paul in the Republican primary (I was a Mike Huckabee man), nor did I write him in on Election Day (I penciled in farmer-poet Wendell Berry). But no Texan this year did more good for conservatism and his country than the congressman from the coast.

Lord knows there was no Republican in the 2008 campaign who talked straighter.

Dr. Paul – he’s a physician – never had a chance, of course. He is too peculiar in his opinions and doesn’t know how to spin like a TV slick. What he had was ideas, integrity and authenticity. On the most critical challenges facing America, Dr. Paul was more right than the well-funded GOP regulars who bigfooted the campaign trail.

His best moment came in a May debate aired on Fox News. Dr. Paul asserted that too much U.S. meddling in the Middle East invites terrorist blowback – a conclusion shared by the 9/11 commission and former CIA bin Laden unit chief Michael Scheuer. Rudy Giuliani pounced, accusing Dr. Paul of trying to blame America for the Sept. 11 attacks.

July 30, 2008

Ron Paul sponsors bill to decriminalize pot

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 10:47 pm

Republican Ron Paul and Democrat Barney Frank have co-sponsored a bill to decriminalize possession of less than 100 grams of marijuana. The “war on drugs” has been such an abject failure, I’m not even going to go into the issues here (for the very lazy who want more, here’s a Google search to get you started.)

It’s not surprising sensible, privacy respecting civil liberties legislation is coming from Ron Paul. The blatant hypocrisy of US drug laws is a joke. i doubt this bill goes anywhere, but I’m pleased Ron Paul’s new found name recognition and political clout with the public translates into actual policy every now and then.

There’s really no libertarian blueprint. That much is clear if you take even a sidelong glance at the big-L Libertarian Party. It’s full of all manner of cranks, malcontents, isolationists, druggies, tax dodgers and then a whole lot of otherwise average people who just want the government to stay out of their way.

I don’t participate in any party activities for a variety of reasons, most importantly I don’t think the Libertarian Party is honestly serious enough to achieve any real policy goals.

Here is a paraphrase of a common joke among party participants — I’ve read this somewhere, but can’t recall where. Maybe on Wendy McElroy’s blog.

(This block quote is just the joke, not a quote from anyone’s blog)

First time Libertarian Party meeting participant, “Oh my god, look at that table of Nazis!”

Old vet, “Yep, there’s always at least one.”

First-timer, “What? Nazis?”

Vet, “Nope, someone who bitches about ’em.”

Ron Paul is a little bit Libertarian, and quite a bit more libertarian and is the most libertarian congressman, at least publicly. I hope he can translate a wildly successful (given the expectations) presidential bid into real policy results for his ideals.

July 25, 2008

All credit card transactions to be reported to the IRS

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 9:47 pm

Here’s a disturbing bit of privacy loss that’s not all that publicized. All links are from the blog at RonPaul2008.com, now the site for Paul’s “Campaign for Liberty.”

First the humdrum bit of congressional news:

Yesterday Congress passed a housing bailout bill by a vote of 272 to 152. Here is a typical MSM story about the bill from the LA Times that lauds the importance of these “sweeping measures” that will “stave off foreclosure for 400,000 or more homeowners,” and allow the Treasury to “bolster confidence in Fannie and Freddie” by allowing the government to “temporarily increase its lending” and “buy their stock.” Couched in these terms, it probably sounds good to most Americans.

But there is much that the typical MSM dispatch does not mention (for example, where will the money come from?). For the rest of the story, take 7 minutes to watch Dr. Paul’s video commentary on the bill, which made the front page of Digg in a screaming three hours.

And then comes this odd, and somewhat frightening little tidbit some tax-happy elected official threw in:

  • Finally, buried deep within the bill, and not mentioned in any MSM source that I am aware of, is the provision that every credit card transaction will now be reported to the IRS. How this fits in to the housing crisis is anyone’s guess.
  • Yowzaa. More government creepage. The system really does need blowing up coupled with an effort toward building a new, smaller, better and smarter government — by the people, for the people.

    May 30, 2008

    Ron Paul looks for speaking slot at GOP convention

    Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:47 pm

    I blogged about this eventuality way back in early February. Now it looks like Paul is pushing for a slot.

    From the second link:

    And he’ll probably get one. But here’s betting it won’t be in prime-time, early prime, or even afternoon drive…

    May 18, 2008

    The GOP convention …

    Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 7:28 pm

    … in September should be a more interesting affair than I realized. There’ll be plenty of sideshow at this circus.

    From the link:

    And then, on Sept. 1, comes the virtually all-white G.O.P. vaudeville in Minneapolis-St. Paul. You’ll be pleased to know the show will go on despite the fact that the convention manager, chosen by the McCain campaign, had to resign last weekend after being exposed as the chief executive of a lobbying and consulting firm hired by the military junta in Myanmar.

    The conventioneers will arrive via the airport whose men’s room was immortalized by a Republican senator still serving the good people of Idaho. This will be a most picturesque backdrop to the party’s eternal platform battles over family values, from same-sex marriage to abortion.

    For good measure, antiwar demonstrators from within the G.O.P. — Ron Paul devotees — could provide at least a smidgen of the 1968-style disruptions the Democrats may avoid. In April, the Nevada Republican state convention abruptly adjourned in midsession after the Paul forces won rule changes. The Los Angeles Times reported last week that other Paul cadres, operating below the national press’s radar, have also been fighting guerrilla battles “at county and state conventions from Washington and Missouri to Maine and Mississippi.”

    March 12, 2008

    Does Clinton have Pennsylvania locked up

    Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:11 pm

    This is an interesting bit of analysis that proposes just that.

    From the link:

    The press will try to make a race of it. There will surely be polls showing the race tightening, perhaps even suggesting that Obama could win it. But that’s just part of the predictable song-and-dance to sell newspapers and up ratings (and hit counts, for the political blogs and news sites that sell ads). The way the odd-numbered delegate districts break down, the demographics, the fact that it’s a closed primary (no Independent voters allowed), and its long border with the senator’s New York state make it a lead-pipe cinch for Clinton; to the extent that Obama supporters enter the “no, but yes, we can win it” narrative they’ll be walking into a trap.

    Clinton has now moved 250 staffers (about 13 for each of Pennsylvania’s 19 Congressional districts) into the Keystone state and is opening two dozen field offices. She has the support of Governor Ed Rendell and his considerable machine, not to mention a phalanx of mayors including Michael Nutter of Philadelphia. They’re carrying a straight flush and they’re betting everythingon it. That makes it tempting for Obama fans to seek a knockout punch, but all their candidate really needs to do is survive to the next round – North Carolina, two weeks later – without having fallen into a rigged expectations game to clinch the nomination.

    The new SurveyUSA poll(Clinton 55 percent, Obama 38) tells part of the story.

    But a bigger part of the story was already told in Ohio’s 6th Congressional District. That’s the long, thin border district with West Virginia that The Field called the “Pennsyltucky” district. The Obama campaign outspent Clinton on TV and media advertising there, and Obama dedicated his final Ohio appearance in Athens, within that district (as well as sending rockers Arcade Fire to stoke up the youth vote on primary eve), but the Appalachian demographics were against him from the start: Clinton won there with 72.4 percent to just 27.5 for Obama.

    The takeaway for Obama according to the post is to avoid too high of expectations in the state, and not let the media machine turn a Clinton victory into more than it it really is demographically.

    In the big picture I don’t think even a Pennsylvania blowout for Clinton significantly changes her losing position math-wise. This Democratic nomination is an interesting game this year, but as has been written many other places, I wonder if it may not chew-up and disillusion many young voters who just joined the process.

    It seems a lot of Ron Paul’s support has already begun slipping back into fringe-issue groups rather than a new libertarian/conservative political movement, and I bet many college-age voters tracking this campaign who thought the GOP had a stranglehold on scorched-earth politics and dirty tricks are growing more and more disgusted with the Clinton campaign and its ongoing “kitchen sink” attack.

    March 8, 2008

    Ron Paul looks to big picture

    Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 6:41 pm

    Ron Paul has all but dropped out of the GOP race now that McCain will be the party’s nominee barring some tragedy. He’s focused on reelection to the House and on the bigger picture of injecting his brand of libertarianism into politics.

    From the link:

    “Elections are short-term efforts,” Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, told supporters in a Web video tonight. “Revolutions are long-term projects.”

    Paul indicated that the 2008 presidential campaign portion of his revolution is over.

    An earlier version of this report indicated that Paul would “drop out” of the race. In the video, Paul did not use the words “drop out,” opting instead to say the campaign is “winding down,” and he encourages supporters to still cast votes for him. But he referred to his campaign in the past tense.

    “We are still in the early stages of bringing about the changes that this revolution is all about,” Paul said in the video. “Let us hope that we can one day look back and say that this campaign was a significant first step that signaled a change in direction for our country. Our job now is to plan for the next phase.”

    February 19, 2008

    Wisconsin vote

    Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 8:04 pm

    Polls just closed in Wisconsin and CNN calls the GOP vote for McCain (surprise.) The Democratic side is too close to call, but exit polls indicate Obama has the lead. If he wins Wisconsin that’ll make nine states in a row. That’s some momentum.

    I’ll periodically update this page tonight with fresh numbers. As usual, all numbers will come from CNN unless otherwise noted.

    Update 8:20 — CNN just projected an Obama win.

    9:05 — Right now with 28% of the vote in Obama leads 55% to 44%. If he gets to 60% or higher with all votes in, Clinton should seriously consider conceding tonight. She won’t, of course, and will at least fight on through March 4.

    Some serious holes are being punched in her core message right now. She’s running a statistical dead-heat with Obama in Texas, one of her three latest firewall states (Pennsylvania and Ohio round out that trifecta.)

    All the big mo is going Obama’s way. The ongoing memes about Clinton are how her campaign resembles Giuliani’s failed efforts by focusing on big states and ignoring smaller states and caucuses. Ouch. Her readiness to lead on day one? She can’t even figure out how the delegates are distributed in Texas. A potential loss her campaign is already spinning in a state she fully expected to win as late as last week.

    9:10 — I know other states, namely Washington and Hawaii, are voting today. I don’t have any number for either at the moment. Anyway I bet Obama will get Hawaii 100% to nil. And I’m just barely joking there.

    And I know the GOP is voting tonight, too. With a little over 30% of the vote in, Huckabee is pulling over a third of the vote. I’d say conservatives are still involved in a bit of protest voting. Ron Paul is back there, but he’s getting some votes

    10:50 86% reporting and Obama’s up to 58%. Considering recent polls had this vote pretty tight, this is a blowout. His numbers are actually rising as more of the vote comes in. The Washington vote looks pretty close, but Obama’s leading there right now.

    Huckabee is actually running behind Romney by a hair in Washington.

    11:15 — Final update of the night. With almost half the Washington vote in, Obama leads 50% to 47% and will likely take the state. Over at the GOP McCain obviously leads, but Huckabee has taken a tiny lead over Romney for the runner-up slot. Each is pulling 21% of the vote.

    February 9, 2008

    Ron Paul scales campaign back

    Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:08 pm

    In a “Message from Ron” dated February 8, Paul announced a scaling back of his presidential campaign. He intends to focus on his bid for congressional reelection, but will continue to seek votes in the GOP presidential primaries.

    Probably a good idea on both fronts. He was never going to win so it’d be silly to lose his seat in the House because he’s focused on the national election.

    By the same token, he was never going to win so the only real reason to run for president was to inject his libertarian ideals into the primary debates, and more importantly try and rein-in the GOP platform at the convention by dint of his surprising presidential run.

    Paul also ruled out a third-party run.

    From the message:

    Let me tell you my thoughts. With Romney gone, the chances of a brokered convention are nearly zero. But that does not affect my determination to fight on, in every caucus and primary remaining, and at the convention for our ideas, with just as many delegates as I can get. But with so many primaries and caucuses now over, we do not now need so big a national campaign staff, and so I am making it leaner and tighter. Of course, I am committed to fighting for our ideas within the Republican party, so there will be no third party run. I do not denigrate third parties — just the opposite, and I have long worked to remove the ballot-access restrictions on them. But I am a Republican, and I will remain a Republican.

    January 12, 2008

    Ron Paul newsletter scandal, pt. 3

    Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 7:10 pm

    This link is my last post on the Ron Paul newsletter scandal barring some amazing change in the situation. The link goes to Wendy McElroy’s roundup of many fine sources.

    Anyone who has any ongoing interest in the issue should enjoy her entire set of links.

    My thoughts are: the Ron Paul phenomena really interested me. I loved the philosophy of hacking government back like so much kudzu weed and I really liked his preaching the ideal of a “you do what you want, I do what I want and let’s stay out of each others way if we don’t get along” brand of personal liberty.

    In fact that’s his explanation of tolerating extreme (and unpleasant) points of view. He doesn’t judge, but he also doesn’t congratulate or even necessarily affirm. I personally love the idea of “live and let live.”

    I thought, and still hope, the good doctor believes and lives that idea beyond simply giving lip service to it. Some of this information gives me pause, but I’m not going to make a judgement on Ron Paul.

    I am, sad to say, disappointed with all these revelations. I was pumped about the notion that Paul had raised enough money to remain a minor factor in the GOP race and could at least present his small government/personal liberty version of conservatism at the convention and catch a few ears of those who became lost during the Bush 43 regime of bloated government, stolen personal liberty and zero accountability or shame.

    (Find part one here, and part two here.)

    January 11, 2008

    Paul’s newsletter scandal, pt. 2

    Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 10:08 am

    Here’s a fascinating account from RightWatch, a group that’s been tracking Paul’s darker associations. Part of that link can also be found at Wendy McElroy’s site.

    I hope these revelations, however they play out for Paul, don’t harm the libertarian movement. Paul’s message of small government and personal liberty attracted many Americans to the basic ideals of libertarianism.

    It’d be a real shame for this movement to stall because of the stench of this scandal. And believe me, this is a scandal at this point.

    The more I learn about the newsletters, the more I think Paul needs to come clean. Claiming to not know who ghosted the bigoted articles — and that it’s all in the past — doesn’t really wash anymore and the implausible denials will only create more media heat.

    January 10, 2008

    Ron Paul’s newsletter scandal

    Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:37 pm

    I’m not a huge backer of Ron Paul, although as something of a libertarian I do like some of the ideas he’s bringing to the GOP table.

    In light of the fact I posted a primer on Paul …

    And the ongoing scandal of newsletters published in his name containing bigoted commentary brought to mainstream attention by a New Republic story …

    Here’s a link with subsequent links to good information and commentary from Reason readers, a group fairly invested in the Paul movement and how it’s drawing new libertarians to the fold.

    (edit: Here’s my second post on this issue with more information on the newsletters’ background. You can find my third, and presumably final, post here.)