Category Archives: Alan Keyes

Santorum seeks votes from the Alan Keyes wing of the GOP

Rick Santorum is trying to highlight differences between himself and Ron Paul because he knows another fourth place finish will cripple his campaign (especially if Newt Gingrich finishes ahead of him in South Carolina). In so doing he’s gone the Declarationist route according to Dan Larison over at Eunomia:

“(According to Santorum) Ron Paul has a libertarian view of the Constitution. I do not. The Constitution has to be read in the context of another founding document, and that’s the Declaration of Independence. Our country never was a libertarian idea of radical individualism. We have certain values and principles that are embodied in our country. We have God-given rights.

The Constitution is not the “why” of America; it’s the “how” of America. It’s the operator’s manual. It’s the rules we have to play by to ensure something. And what do we ensure? God-given rights. And so to read the Constitution as the end-all, be-all is, in a sense, what happened in France. You see, during the time of our revolution, we had a Declaration of Independence that said, “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.”

So we were founded as a country that had God-given rights that the government had to respect. And with those rights come responsibilities, right? God did not just give us rights. He gave us a moral code by which to exercise them.

Santorum’s position is a fairly common one among certain groups of Christian conservatives. It also confuses several things at once. It isn’t particularly “libertarian” to read the Constitution without referring to the Declaration. The Constitution is the federal republic’s fundamental law, and the Declaration was mainly a list of complaints, so there’s no reason why we should read the one in connection with the other. Constitutionalism as such doesn’t endorse “radical individualism.” Among contemporary constitutionalists, one is more likely to find people sympathetic to communitarian ideas and critical of social atomization.

The Constitution was originally a centralizing power-grab at the expense of the states, and until the Bill of Rights was added to it there was nothing very “libertarian” about it, except that it defined and limited the powers of a government. Incorporating explicit protections for the rights of individual citizens was a concession to critics of the Constitution. These protections were originally included solely to restrain the powers of the new federal government. The legal rights in the amendments to the Constitution are something different from the rights and responsibilities Santorum is describing, but he is muddling them together to tie his concerns about moral conduct to constitutional law.”

Indeed it seems Santorum is trying to claim the mantle for the Alan Keyes-wing of the GOP, which views the Declaration as the moral basis of U.S. government which therefore trumps the Constitution. This is nonsense of course and explains largely why Keyes has become a nobody in U.S. politics and why Santorum is heading this way (although I’m sure Keyes AIP would be more than happy to bestow its presidential ballot line is two or three states to Santorum this fall). To them , the Declaration is the pure example of Americanism (without all that messy, nasty stuff about slavery, which was added by the Northern states by the way) while the Constitution is just the instruction manual. No, it is law. It has the force of law and the authority of law while the Declaration, albeit a very nice document (written in humanistic language unfortunately), is basically rhetoric .

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My Reply to Kevin Thompson: Third Parties are Really not About Winning but That Doesn’t Mean They are not Worthwhile

I have long been conflicted about how much effort conservatives should put into third parties (see here) because I can see both sides. As I tried to write a response to Kevin’s letter, I couldn’t keep it under several thousand words. So I will work on a large article for later publication and just answer some of his arguments briefly.

1.) First of all, as the situation regrettably currently stands the purpose of a third party is not to win. Anyone who believes that is the purpose is deluded and bound to wind up frustrated. If you want your candidate to win, or you personally want to run a winning or even competitive campaign, do so within one of the two major parties. The purpose of a third party should be first to secure ballot access, second to recruit candidates, and third to use those campaigns as platforms for informing the voters and punishing unfaithful major party candidates. In our current rigged system, ideological third parties do not exist to be serious players in electing candidates and third party activists who don’t realize this are kidding themselves. When third party and independent candidates do well, they are almost always centrist, outsider, and/or represent one of the two already existing dominant coalitions, center right conservatives or center left liberals. Successful independent and third party candidates usually have money (Ross Perot) or previously existing name recognition (Charlie Crist, Lincoln Chaffee). Ideological third parties (Libertarians, Greens, the Constitution Party) that represent more or less “purer” versions of one of the dominant coalitions almost never poll above a few percent and almost never win. (The Libertarians are a little harder than the Greens or the CP to characterize as a purer version of one of the dominant coalitions, but they are definitely an ideologically pure party relatively even though some of the “radical faction” might disagree.)

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Kevin Thompson Leaving the Constitution Party

Editor’s Note: Kevin Thompson is a friend of this website, so I thought I would pass on his thoughts. While I am sad to hear he has made this decision, in some ways I don’t blame him. I agree with part of what he writes, and I disagree with part of it. I will post this now and let it simmer and then I plan to post a rebutal tomorrow. Thoughts? ~ RP

Here is a link to the original.

Dear Constitution Party Members,

This letter comes after much prayer, thought and discussion.  I have decided that it would be best to conduct my political activity within the Republican Party.  This was not an easy decision, but it is one on which I am confident.  Let me reasons for leaving the party.

(1)    For quite some time, I have been growing disenchanted with the Constitution Party.  The fact of the matter is, I no longer see the rationale of placing much time, effort and money into a party that will constantly and consistently lose in the end.  In the summer of 2008, I can’t think how much time I spent traveling all over Massachusetts dropping off and collecting signatures for Chuck Baldwin.  While it was nice seeing the sights, was all that effort worth the less than one percent that Pastor Baldwin was able achieve.  I also think of my own campaign for Congress three years ago.  Several months of my life were spent in an effort that gave me less than half of one percent of the over all vote.  While this race taught me a lot about the political system and gave me an experience I am now able to pass on to my students, but overall it really did little to help the party or the state of Massachusetts.  The party has been in existence since 1992.  What signs of growth or accomplishment can we really show to justify the party’s existence?  What is the point in exerting all this effort to accomplish nothing?  What really bothers me is that some in the party actually take pride in losing.  They proclaim their moral and ideological superiority as the reason for their defeat.  At least I didn’t compromise…  But, the problem is, you didn’t do anything else either.

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Duelling State Conventions for California AIP Factions

Independent Political Report has the story. Sean and I have already commented there.

For those unfamiliar with this story, due to some shoddy work on the part of the California’s Secretary of State, the minuscule Keyes’ faction is the officially recognized faction by the State, and they are now technically affiliated with America’s Independent Party, Keyes’ personal vanity vehicle. Technically the Constitution Party does not have a state affiliate in California even though the CP loyal faction is much larger.

Roy Moore for the Constitution Party Nomination in 2012?

Our friend Trent Hill, who edits Independent Political Report, made this comment in the Roy Moore post below.

Look for Moore to go to the CP meetings now and start stumping for the Presidency in 2012.

I had had this thought myself. Moore has long flirted with the CP and the CP has openly pursued him. Moore would be at home in the CP, but I believe he held out against pursuing their nomination in the past because he had plans on running in the GOP primary in Alabama and knew that open affiliation with a third party would hurt him. But now after two less than stellar showings in GOP primaries,  he has little to lose.

While Moore’s status as a marquee candidate nationally has been diminished by his lack of electorial success in conservative Alabama, he remains a celebrity in CP circles and could likely have the nomination for the asking. No offense to past nominees Howard Phillips, Michael Peroutka and Chuck Baldwin, all honorable men and faithful servants to the cause, but Moore has a higher national profile than any of these men even after his loses in Alabama. And recall that the CP could not hardly give its presidential nomination  away in 2008. Interloping neocon Alan Keyes would have likely claimed the nomination in ’08 against some decent but not nationally credible contenders had not Chuck Baldwin been persuaded to step up to the plate and drop his name in the hat. (Again, I mean no disrespect here. I support the CP and attended the 2008 nominating convention, but I can say as someone who was franctically grasping for an alternative to block Keyes that credible candidates were not coming out of the woodwork.)

While Moore would have been a bigger coup for the CP right after his Ten Commandments battle, the CP could certainly do worse in 2012 than Moore.

Have any other contenders even been floated so far?

Baldwin and Keyes to Address Same Conference

Well this should be fun. As our readers who were following this blog at the time know, we were heavily invested in the 2008 contest for the Constitution Party’s Presidential nomination. The fight for the nomination got pretty nasty, and much bad blood still remains. Just check out the comments below the linked article.

Here is a link to the Faith and Liberty Conference.

Alan “Sour Grapes” Keyes Disses Rand Paul

This is old news (Sept 09). I’m sorry I missed it at the time, but I just stumbled across it (in the thread I linked to in the post below) and felt inclined to pass it along because … well because it is just so much fun to needle bitter ol’ Alan Keyes.

For background, Alan Keyes has endorsed Bill Johnson, a movement style conservative  Senate candidate in Kentucky. To be fair, Johnson seems right on most of the issues except he is an interventionist on foreign policy. Johnson is running against Establishment candidate Trey Greyson and Rand Paul. Johnson seems to be getting little traction because the rightward and otherwise anti-Greyson support is going to Paul who leads in the polls.

Anyway, in his endorsement of Johnson, Keyes takes a swipe at Rand Paul on foreign policy. (Funny how he felt it important enough to take a swipe at the rightward Paul by name but not the centrist Establishment man, Greyson.)

Keyes wrote:

Ron Paul’s son is mounting a well funded effort to exploit the rising tide of voters who identify with the conservative name. But like his father, he rejects Ronald Reagan’s ‘Peace through strength’ acceptance of America’s leadership for freedom in the world. Like his father, he echoes Barack Obama’s illogical willingness to pretend that America is to blame for the hateful attacks directed against us by Middle East terrorists.

Keyes is a bitter sore loser. He lost his bid for the nomination of the Constitution Party to the much lesser known Chuck Baldwin because the CP rejected Keyes’ neocon interventionism. The CP has been basically non-interventionist from the beginning because it was initially formed as a hopeful vehicle for a Buchanan third party run, but Ron Paul’s campaign definitely solidified the place of non-interventionism on the “far” “outside the mainstream” right and among Constitution Party activists. Keyes could definitely see the finger print of the Paul campaign on the mindset and rhetoric of his Constitution Party detractors. Keyes and his allies tried to downplay his interventionism when he was seeking the nomination, but once he lost the nomination he seemingly embraced an even more hyper and unapologetic form of it as if to spite us all.

Keyes faults Paul for his failure to accept  “America’s leadership for freedom in the world.” Perhaps Dr. Keyes would like to point out what part of the Constitution authorizes America to be the leader “for freedom in the world.” Last I checked, Rand Paul was running to be a UNITED STATES Senator representing the great Commonwealth of Kentucky, not the Emperor of the World.

Gavin Newsom Out of California Democrat Gubernatorial Primary

This is, in and of itself, not particularly interesting news for a conservative website, except that the likely nominee, Jerry Brown, has some decentralist potential and is not a complete cookie cutter liberal. His rogue Presidential campaigns had promising elements. But I was intrigued by the alleged failures of Gavin as a candidate.

As one former insider said, in a group of 30 to 3,000 people, Newsom is one of the best politicians he’s ever seen. But one on one, he’s one of the worst.

There is an element of pettiness to this. Some of those who are speaking up have axes to grind. But even valued, trusted members of Newsom’s staff have begun to back away from him in the past 12 months. It is a distressing trend for any politician to find that the closer people get, the less they seem to like you.

Newsom’s personal style can be off-putting. He occasionally flashes a self-deprecating sense of humor, but people often mention his self-absorption and lack of interest in others.

And sure, a healthy ego is almost a prerequisite for a politician with national aspirations…

The larger issue, which plays into some of the disillusionment of his staff, is that Newsom doesn’t have conversations – he lectures. The same guy who can speak smoothly at a town hall meeting never seems to shut down the informational fire hose and relate on a human level.

I was taken aback by how well that describes another politician this site has tangled with in the past, Alan Keyes. Never was there a man of whom it could be said more appropriately that “he doesn’t have conversations – he lectures.”

Peg Luksik Needs to Reconsider Her Rhetoric

Below I mentioned Peg Luksik, who is challenging Pat Toomey for the Republican nomination for Senator of Pennsylvania. (* See Editor’s Note in the comment section below.)

Mrs. Luksik is an ex-Constitution Party member and candidate and as such is likely highly reliable on issues that matter to us, certainly more reliable than ex-Club for War … err … I mean Growth President Toomey. If I lived in Pennsylvania I would surely vote for Luksik.

But that said, I noticed when I was looking over her website that there are problems with Luksik’s rhetoric that are extremely common among a certain type of Constitution Party candidate and the mainstream right. While I largely agree with her on the laundry list of issues she mentions, the intro to her “Issues” page screams “Declarationism” and opens by repeating the Proposition nation fallacy. It is the very first sentence, in fact. :-( Her intro has a distinctly Alan Keyesesque feel to it, which shouldn’t be at all surprising since Luksik is a strong pro-lifer, and I believe she was a former Keyes supporter.

She opens, “America was founded on an idea.” NO IT WAS NOT! This is an incredibly pernicious idea and what these misguided conservatives don’t seem to understand, it is an entirely liberal (in the first sense) idea. America was not founded “on” an idea. It was founded BY a particular people in a particular time and place. This “idea nation” universalism is fundamentally hostile to the Christian particularism that candidates like Luksik in many ways support.

Her “My Beliefs” page is better, focusing as it does on the central importance of the family, and the importance of a family-centered society vs. a government centered society. While I have issues with the philosophical and theological concept of endowed rights which she invokes frequently, that is for another essay. That reservation aside, her “Beliefs”  page has shades of paleoism (societies arising out from the family) and shades of Kuyper, that should make paleocons happy. But what is baffling is how she and so many others can not see the obvious contradiction here with her promotion of Proposition Nation nonsense. Propositionalism is inherently government centered. It is inherently hostile to the blood and soil concept of the nation that arises from family-centeredness.

The Obama Birth Certificate Saga

I have avoided commenting on this issue because it is more complicated than most are making it, and I didn’t have the time nor the inclination. But here is a very good discussion of the issue. My thoughts are in the comment section. I may collect my thoughts into a more coherent column at some point, but the comment thread is well worth reading.

I am not normally inclined to believe conspiracy theories, but what is being alleged here is not completely implausible. Aspects of it border on implausible.

But something definitely seems fishy? Obama could shut everyone up by just paying the 12 bucks and getting a copy. Why has he not done this? You hate to ask someone to prove a negative, but this whole thing could be put to rest so easily that it has to make you wonder why he hasn’t done so.

It is not even clear that he would be inelligible even if he was born in Kenya since “natural born” likely was not intended to mean born on American soil but rather not a naturalized citizen.

Do note that our old nemesis Alan Keyes is publicity seeking again.

Keyes’ America’s Independent Party Holds Electronic “Convention”

When is Keyes going to give it up? He is embarrassing himself. The AIP, purely a Keyes vehicle (a Hugo), just held their electronic convention. Next thing you know Keyes is going to be on a reality show with a bunch of past their glory days celebrities.

He really needs to withdraw from the public eye for about ten years and rehabilitate himself.

More on the California AIP Baldwin vs. Keyes Struggle. (BTW, Keyes is Broke.)

It’s going to court. Below is a post from Bill Lussenheide explaining Keyes’ financial situation.

Don’t expect much from our friend Alan Keyes, now or in the future. His campaign is totally broke, and had only $2,461 on hand as of June 30th. He OWES more than $15,900, so actually, his campaign has a NEGATIVE NET WORTH! There is still debt leftover from his 2004 campaign.

His grassroots organization was unable to get him on the ballot of any state and was dismal in its efforts to petition etc. The only state that he got on was Colorado, which lets anyone run for a very small fee, $750, without any nomination signatures.

With fewer than 90 days until election, they do not even have a rudimentary mediocre campaign website that is much beyond “under construction”. Other than snaring 3 exiting disgruntled California officers in the AIP, Keyes has shown himself and his movement to be a complete and utter, impotent and bankrupt failure. The overwhelming majority of the AIP’s officers and membership support Chuck Baldwin.

Do not imagine that Keyes will develop a groundswell of a new party that has any potential. Keyes and his so called party movement are at the door of oblivion even as you read this. No matter what the current situation holds, the future for our party in California in any meaningful sense is with the growing and dynamic Constitution Party.

Below are the official campaign financial records of Alan Keyes as of June 30th, 2008 as found on the Federal Election Commission Website. Read for yourself the sad shape of affairs for Mr. Keyes.

Presented by the Federal Election Commission – 2007-2008 Cycle

KEYES, ALAN L
Total Receipts: $244,155
Transfers From Authorized Committees: $0
Individual Contributions: $244,155
Non-Party (e.g. PACs) or Other Committees: $0
Contributions from Party Committees $0
Candidate Contribution: $0
Candidate Loans: $0
Other Loans: $0

Total Disbursements: $261,574
Transfers to Authorized Committees: $0
Individual Refunds: $0
Non-Party (e.g. PACs) or Other Refunds: $0
Candidate Loan Repayments: $0
Other Loan Repayments: $0

Beginning Cash: $19,881
Latest Cash On Hand: $2,461
Debts Owed By: $15,909

Through: 06/30/2008
http://herndon1.sdrdc.com/cgi-bin/cancomsrs/?_08+S4IL00404

Chuck Baldwin to Speak at Conservative Leadership Conference

This is great news. Note my comments below the article. Alan Keyes is also going to be speaking. Fisticuffs anyone?

Barr is also speaking. The rabidly anti-Ron Paul Erik Erickson and anti-Ron Paul Saul Anuzi of Michigan GOP infamy will also be there. This could get really good. Eric and Saul just might find themselves greated by some boo birds. 

Here is the CLC site.

American Independent Party of California in Chaos

The AIP of California is the Constitution Party affiliate. Briefly, the ex(?)- State Chairman, Ed Noonan, has announced that the party is disaffiliating from the CP and affiliating with Alan Keyes’ fledgling party, America’s Independent Party. (Note the possessive, but conveniently still with the AIP initials.) Other forces in the California AIP dispute this and claim Noonan is just disgruntled and acting alone. This is too tedious to detail at length here so I will provide some links. Third Party Watch is covering the story.

See here, and please read the response from Gary Odom for the other side of the story. Also see here, here, and here.

My question is how much of this is the crazed doings of Ed Noonan and how much is actively being encouraged by Keyes and his supporters, particularly Tom Hoefling? It is being trumpeted on the Keyes’ website. If they are encouraging this, which I highly suspect, then what a bunch of sore losers. Keyes was beaten fair and square because the vast majority of the CP convention delegates didn’t support Keyes’ interventionist foreign policy. Why can’t they just accept that?

This is bound to go to court. California seems to have some rather arcane election laws regarding parties.