Category Archives: Election 2012

More than just a game

Jack Hunter’s latest Southern Avenger article was critical of those who weren’t exactly enamored of Rand Paul’s recent statement concerning Israel and U.S. protection thereof if said nation was ever attacked.

Jack was critical of libertarians who tend to focus in one area of disagreement of the 20 areas of agreement. Well, if was just one thing I would agree. It is not I can assure you. It is multiple “things” that go all the way back to the campaign and beyond.

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Grover Norquist Caves on Taxes

This is pathetic! I actually didn’t think Norquist would cave. Sadly, I guess I was wrong.

I hope this makes Sean and the rest of the moderation caucus happy. And make no mistake about it, moderation is what this is. You can toss around the names Burke and Kirk all you want, this is not responsible conservatism or realistic conservatism or any other kind of conservatism. It is moderation. It is moving to the center. It is conceding an important element of the fight to the left.

I want to know how Sean and Gallupo and the rest of the gang think it strengthens the Republicans’ hand to cave rather than to go down fighting! Obama stood tall and Boehner and Norquist et al flinched. That’s what people are going to see, and that’s what happened. This makes Obama look large and in charge and Boehner and Norquist look like a bunch of (I’m just going to say it) groveling bitches.

I’ve got news for Boehner, Norquist, and company. All revenue bills MUST originate in the House. The House is controlled by Republicans. The way to tackle this fiscal cliff issue is to repeatedly pass bills making the current tax rates permanent, and let the Dem controlled Senate and the President whine about it. But don’t send then any bills that raise taxes. No tax increase gets to the Senate and the President unless the Republican controlled House sends it to them. Then when we go plunging over the fiscal cliff (which does what the moderation caucus wants anyway – raises taxes and cuts spending ) scream from the rooftops that the Dems forced a tax increase despite the best efforts of the Republicans to hold the line.

Ask yourself this, how do you think Ron Paul is going to vote on “Plan B.”

If the Constitution Party is smart, they should start writing up the press releases now: “Republicans Raise Taxes!”

And for those who decry outside influences holding the GOP hostage, one huge reason why the GOP sees the fiscal cliff as intolerable is because it would cut defense and make the defense contractors unhappy. So again, I hope you’re happy. The anti-tax lobby takes it on the chin and the defense lobby wins.

Good-bye grassroots

A famous story in Chicago political lore goes something like this:  An eager, young man was looking to work on his first political campaign in Chicago. He went to his local ward Democratic Party headquarters and asked the ward committeeman there if he could help out. “Who sent you?” The committeeman asked him. “Nobody.” The young man replied. “I don’t want nobody nobody sent,” was the blunt answer of the committeeman to the volunteer’s request.

Professionals have plied their trade in American politics for a long, long time. Once upon a time they were known as bosses and they ran political organizations called machines which controlled city blocks, wards, townships, counties and even whole states from one end of the country to the other. The boss may well have been a saloon keeper or a public employee in the parks and rec. department and the organization may have doubled as a volunteer fire-fighting company. But no mistake should  be made in the describing the purpose of these organizations: Getting out the vote for the party they belonged to and the ticket they supported for by any means necessary, legal or illegal.  The boss was the one in charge of the effort and he benefited from the spoils from winning.

However, this quest for votes to obtain the spoils of office angered businessmen and other professionals and ordinary citizens alike who didn’t like the idea of their tax money going to further fatten the already portly boss and his friends, otherwise known as cronies. As an educated middle class began to grow in the late 19th century these persons (who were nearly all Protestant and native stock American in contrast to the machine’s vote which nearly all Catholic and immigrant) decided to beat the politicians on their own field of play – the ballot box.  They may well have been amateurs when it came to politics but they used their college educations to master election law, learned how to organize and mobilize their own fellow citizens into various political groupings either for certain causes (like Prohibition or the Suffrage movement) or for certain candidates like Roosevelt, Bryan, Wilson or LaFollette and raised money from businessmen tired of being shaken down by party organizations.  In time they would ride waves of reform and voter disgust at machine corruption to rip power away from the bosses and the vested interests. And thus the Progressive Movement was born.

The Progressives came and went but the struggle between professionals and amateurs in politics continued onward and continues even to this day. However, the campaign of 2012 is showing signs that the professionals may get the upper hand for a long time to come.

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Those silly secessionists

If you scroll down to the comments section of the numerous articles on the secession petitions, you’ll encounter much snark and attitude toward those of us who want to reclaim self-government. We’re ignorant, we’re racist, we’re treasonous – why, our motivations are CLEARLY anything OTHER THAN the motivations we state for supporting secession, which is to stop an out-of-control central government.

After all, who in his right mind would want to secede from an authoritarian regime that’s busily constructing a vast, secret infrastructure for the purpose of conducting citizen surveillance?

This regime, by the way, now has the power to arrest and detain American citizens as long as it wants. Who says the central government has that power? For one, there’s the Obama administration itself:

“The president strongly believes that to detain American citizens in military custody infinitely without trial, would be a break with our traditions and values as a nation, and wants to make sure that any type of authorization coming from congress, complies with our Constitution, our rules of war and any applicable laws.”

Yes, let’s make sure some government employee with a law degree assures us the i’s are dotted and the t’s crossed before we trash the law of the land. All in the name of “national security,” of course. What will Obama’s supporters say when Team Obama unleashes that power to crush dissent?

And I wonder what those supporters will do when he starts to reward his supporters in the name of promoting racial equality? It’s coming:

If your organization has a policy or practice that doesn’t benefit minorities equally, watch out: The Obama administration could sue you for racial discrimination under a dubious legal theory that many argue is unconstitutional.

President Obama intends to close “persistent gaps” between whites and minorities in everything from credit scores and homeownership to test scores and graduation rates.

His remedy — short of new affirmative-action legislation — is to sue financial companies, schools and employers based on “disparate impact” complaints — a stealthy way to achieve racial preferences, opposed 2 to 1 by Americans.

Under this broad interpretation of civil-rights law, virtually any organization can be held liable for race bias if it maintains a policy that negatively impacts one racial group more than another — even if it has no racist motive and applies the policy evenly across all groups.

What will Obama’s young white supporters think when they’re unfairly denied jobs? It’s going to happen – there’s no other way to make racial quotas work. Any racial imbalances in the workplace that reflect those of the school system – you have heard of the black-white performance gap, haven’t you? – will result in swift, harsh action.

Who remembers Obama’s gaffe last March, when, during a meeting with Russian Prime Minister Medvedev, he unknowingly whispered into a live microphone, “This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.”?

You don’t remember that? Well, you’re about to find out just how flexible Obama can be now that he’s armed with a mandate as well as new, unconstitutional powers to impose his radical agenda.

Let’s see how silly secession appears then.

Doesn’t it feel like Iraq all over again?

A week’s worth of recrimination after Romney’s defeat gave this writer a feeling of deja vu. Where did we here all the happy talk or wildly optimistic talk about the future Romney Administration.

And sure enough came this realization: It was Iraq all over again and it came largely from the same people.

Remember how the neocons and their fellow travelers in the media and other in the Bush II Administration talked of “cakewalks”  and turning Iraq into a full-blown western-style democracy and it was all going to be paid for by oil? In fact talk was so optimistic that there was little postwar planning as a result. The U.S. Military would rid Iraq of Saddam Hussein, they would step aside as Iraqis allied with us took over and rebuilt the country on oil revenues.

Well, we know the rest of the story.  Saddam Hussein was taken out and the country he held together by terror and tyranny fell apart. Insurgencies from both Shiites and Sunnis appeared when none were anticipated, all the grandiose postwar plans were wrecked because of the violence and U.S. soldiers needlessly died and taxpayer money was needlessly wasted due to the incompetence of their leaders who knew nothing or next to nothing about the country they were invading. And when things go badly wrong the biggest supporters of the war lash out at those who incompetence cost them their “cakewalk.” Never do they look at themselves for blame, it’s always someone else’s fault: Rice, Rumsfeld, Bush II, Bremer, then generals, everyone else.

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Ignore Mainstream Media AND Mainstream GOP Spin On Romney Loss—It Was His Failure With The White Working Class That Did Him In

Ignore Mainstream Media AND Mainstream GOP Spin On Romney Loss—It Was His Failure With The White Working Class That Did Him In

By Washington Watcher, VDare, Nov. 9, 2012

Before I knew the election results, the demographic breakdowns, or read any of the spin from the Mainstream Media, I had a pretty good idea of how I would write up the election if Romney lost.

I would just Google “Hispanic vote” and find a bunch of MSM articles quoting Republican strategists and politicians about how poorly Romney had done among Hispanics. I knew they would bring up the phony 44% Bush supposedly won in 2004 and how Romney alienated Hispanics with his talk (back in the primaries) about “self-deportation.”

I would then note that Romney had in fact done very little to promote patriotic immigration reform in the general election, much bring up racially-tinged issues such as Affirmative Action which could have won him blue collar voters in Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania—much more important than the alleged Hispanic swing vote.

And of course, the MSM did not disappoint. Article after article made trite talk about the Hispanic vote, filled with quotes from GOP hacks urging that the party find some magical way to appeal to this demographic. A few examples:

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Why Hispanics Don’t Vote for Republicans

Why Hispanics Don’t Vote for Republicans

By Heather Mac Donald, National Review, Nov. 7, 2012

The call for Republicans to discard their opposition to immigration amnesty will grow deafening in the wake of President Obama’s victory. Hispanics supported Obama by a margin of nearly 75 percent to 25 percent, and may have provided important margins in some swing states. If only Republicans relented on their Neanderthal views regarding the immigration rule of law, the message will run, they would release the inner Republican waiting to emerge in the Hispanic population.

If Republicans want to change their stance on immigration, they should do so on the merits, not out of a belief that only immigration policy stands between them and a Republican Hispanic majority. It is not immigration policy that creates the strong bond between Hispanics and the Democratic party, but the core Democratic principles of a more generous safety net, strong government intervention in the economy, and progressive taxation. Hispanics will prove to be even more decisive in the victory of Governor Jerry Brown’s Proposition 30, which raised upper-income taxes and the sales tax, than in the Obama election.

And California is the wave of the future. A March 2011 poll by Moore Information found that Republican economic policies were a stronger turn-off for Hispanic voters in California than Republican positions on illegal immigration. Twenty-nine percent of Hispanic voters were suspicious of the Republican party on class-warfare grounds — “it favors only the rich”; “Republicans are selfish and out for themselves”; “Republicans don’t represent the average person”– compared with 7 percent who objected to Republican immigration stances.

I spoke last year with John Echeveste, founder of the oldest Latino marketing firm in southern California, about Hispanic politics. “What Republicans mean by ‘family values’ and what Hispanics mean are two completely different things,” he said. “We are a very compassionate people, we care about other people and understand that government has a role to play in helping people.”

And a strong reason for that support for big government is that so many Hispanics use government programs. U.S.-born Hispanic households in California use welfare programs at twice the rate of native-born non-Hispanic households. And that is because nearly one-quarter of all Hispanics are poor in California, compared to a little over one-tenth of non-Hispanics. Nearly seven in ten poor children in the state are Hispanic, and one in three Hispanic children is poor, compared to less than one in six non-Hispanic children. One can see that disparity in classrooms across the state, which are chock full of social workers and teachers’ aides trying to boost Hispanic educational performance.

The idea of the “social issues” Hispanic voter is also a mirage. A majority of Hispanics now support gay marriage, a Pew Research Center poll from last month found. The Hispanic out-of-wedlock birth rate is 53 percent, about twice that of whites.

The demographic changes set into motion by official and de facto immigration policy favoring low-skilled over high-skilled immigrants mean that a Republican party that purports to stand for small government and free markets faces an uncertain future.

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Election 2012: Trende Notes Key Fact: White Turnout Was Low

Trende Notes Key Fact: White Turnout Was Low

By Patrick Cleburne, VDare, November 8, 2012

As Peter Brimelow has said, we at greatly value the work of election analyst Sean Trende – not least of course because his thinking moves in patterns very similar to our own.

Amidst the mounting blizzard of Minority triumphalism and Hispandering demands following the election, Trende’s The Case of the Missing White Voters Real Clear Politics November 8th, 2012 stands out as a beacon of rationality and deserves wide reading.

He makes two crucial points

…the 2012 elections actually weren’t about a demographic explosion with non-white voters. Instead, they were about a large group of white voters not showing up.

…almost 7 million fewer whites voted in 2012 than in 2008. This isn’t readily explainable by demographic shifts either; although whites are declining as a share of the voting-age population, their raw numbers are not.

…, the reason this electorate looked so different from the 2008 electorate is almost entirely attributable to white voters staying home.

Put another way: The increased share of the minority vote as a percent of the total vote is not the result of a large increase in minorities in the numerator, it is a function of many fewer whites in the denominator.

In other words, Romney repeated McCain, only worse.

Contemplating the map of his home state of Ohio, Trende suggests the absentees were from unprosperous Blue Collar areas – no surprise to readers.

The second piece of Trende wisdom is likely to be even less repeated in the MSM: he thinks increased GOP Hispandering futile:

…there are real questions about the degree to which immigration policies — rather than deeper issues such as income and ideology — drive the rift between the GOP and Latinos. Remember, passage of Simpson-Mazzoli in 1986 was actually followed two years later by one of the worst GOP showings among Latinos in recent history.

Moreover, the simple fact is that the Democrats aren’t going to readily let Republicans get to their left on the issue in an attempt to poach an increasing portion of the Democratic base. If the GOP embraces things such as the DREAM Act, the Democrats can always up the ante.

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The Real Reason Romney Lost

The Real Reason Romney Lost

Middle America News, Nov. 7, 2012

The real reason Mitt Romney lost the election is the multiculturalist political environment that prevents conservative forces from mobilizing their natural constituency.

Here’s what happened: Team Obama ran a campaign based on “us vs. them,” while Romney ran a campaign based on ideas. In that kind of contest, ideas always lose. Obama demonized opponent Romney as a threat, as an enemy, and cultivated and encouraged the racial, ethnic, and gender solidarity of his supporters. That’s what he meant when he said, “voting is the best revenge.” Revenge against whom? Rich white guys. And those are the people he means when he says he intends to make the wealthy pay their “fair share” by increasing taxes. His black and Hispanic constituencies know their own taxes won’t go up. Obama’s entire campaign was based on the unspoken question, “whose side are you on?”

This solidarity, or “we feeling” is the most powerful of human motivations. It is so powerful that in times of war, an individual is willing to surrender his life for his group. That group may be a family, a tribe, or a political unit such as a country. The only possible way to defeat a group with a “we feeling” is with a stronger, opposing “we feeling.”

But Romney’s campaign was based on intellectual arguments. He and his supporters actually ran television advertisements featuring charts and graphs. While Obama talked people, Romney talked numbers. Team Romney did not explain why Obama’s ideas were bad, only that they were inexplicably wrong. Obama was depicted not as a threat or an enemy, but as merely mistaken. In fact, Team Romney made no effort whatsoever to characterize Obama in any way at all. Romney asserted no group solidarity to oppose Obama, and created no image of the opponent for voters to dislike. Romney did not ask, “whose side are you on?” but, “whose ideas do like better?”

Obama won more than 70 percent of the Hispanic vote, and more than 90 percent of the black vote. That’s because individual blacks and Hispanics identified their self interests with their group interests. What is good for the group was seen as good for themselves individually. Relying on gender chauvinism, Obama was also able to garner significant support from single white women. They were not won over by ideas or rational argument, but by an irrational fear of a “war on women.”

Romney won only 57 to 59 percent of the white vote, compared to the higher percentages of non-whites for Obama. Because whites are roughly 72 to 73 percent of the entire electorate, only a slight increase in the white vote for Romney would give him enough to win a majority of votes.

But multiculturalist America doesn’t allow white unity or appeals to it. In America today, blacks and Hispanics (and other non-whites) are encouraged by the multiculturalist mileu to cultivate, celebrate, and enhance their racial solidarity culturally and politically. There is an NAACP and Black Entertainment Television for blacks, a National Council of La Raza, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and Univision for Hispanics, but no corresponding apparatus for whites, and none are permitted. As newspaper columnist William Raspberry bluntly put it, “It’s always illegitimate for white men to organize as white men.”

Because whites are not allowed to organize on their own behalf, conservative pundits and politicians now openly suggest that Republicans can win future presidential contests only through increased appeals to blacks and Hispanics. Unfortunately, blacks and Hispanics respond en bloc only to appeals for expropriation of white wealth or defeat of white power. Completing the multiculturalist triumph against whites, some commentators have even suggested that non-whites must appear on future Republican presidential tickets.

Racial politics may be lamentable, but in a multiracial society they are inevitable.

As non-white voting strength increases in the next four years through naturalization of millions more Hispanic immigrants, whites face the historically important choice of political oblivion or racial solidarity.


Going forward

When I argued that an Obama win would be better for conservatives than a Romney win, I got a lot of angry emails and comments from readers. “Worse IS NOT better!” they yelled.

Of course not. But that’s not what I was saying. I was making two points: Romney’s embarrassing kowtowing before Netanyahu and the predominance of Neocons from the George W. Bush regime in his campaign all but guaranteed a “pre-emptive” war on Iran. And what have the Neocon Wars given us so far? The Department of Homeland Security, citizen surveillance, torture enhanced interrogation, indefinite detention, as well as increased Muslim immigration.

Bottom line: Another war would do even more permanent damage. Continue reading

Post Your Election Predictions Here

This post is for our readers to get their election predictions on (virtual) paper, before the fact. Here is mine.

There is a very real possibility that Romney could win the popular vote, but lose the Electoral College. This is because Romney is likely to win a lot of Red States by huge margins, but lose Electoral College vote rich swing states by narrow margins. That said, and so Kirt doesn’t accuse me of equivocating, I predict Romney will win both the popular and the Electoral College vote. This is admittedly an easier prediction to make now than it was a couple of months ago, but I have been predicting a Romney victory all along. I know I have stated that in the comments somewhere, but I couldn’t find any on a quick look. If anyone can find a comment thread where I stated that then please post a link. The reason I have always believed Romney is going to win is because it seems to me that all the people who think Obama is going to win and even win easily are forgetting about 2010. Did the 2010 mid-term repudiation not happen? (I know, Clinton won in ’96 after the ’94 mid-term.)

As in 2010, all the late momentum has been going Romney’s way. He has been drawing huge crowds. I think he’ll win Ohio (he almost has to) and I could see him winning Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and Iowa. Plus he will win Florida, Virginia, and Colorado fairly handily. (CO by the least.) North Carolina has never been in play this election.

Patrick Buchanan: Vote Romney

If there’s one man who unites all CHT regulars, it’s Pat Buchanan.

Falling in line behind Buchanan’s lead is the best argument I’ve seen for voting Romney. And Buchanan unequivocally commands, Vote Romney. Buchanan’s points:

* “[S]hould Barack Obama win, the centralization of power and control will continue beyond the point of no return.”
* Supreme Court nominees.
* Tax hikes without spending cuts.
* Romney said in the first debate: “Is the program so critical that it’s worth borrowing money from China to pay for it?” He might uphold this, asking before each new program and reconsidering old.


I would add to this, NumbersUSA now grades Romney with B- vs. Obama’s F-. This isn’t mentioned by Buchanan perhaps because Romney hasn’t been ideal on immigration.

And on trade Obama originally ran on Protectionist Trade, that is until he won election. Then Obama quickly converted to Free Trade. Romney hints that he’s concerned America isn’t attracting enough business investment. Buchanan doesn’t mention this perhaps because of how strong the Free Trade ideology is among some of his otherwise supporters. Lowering taxes is one part of attracting investment, but raising protections is another. Both parts are needed for a sound recovery. The US can’t currently compete with foreign border-adjusted VAT which serve as an indirect trade tariff.

This post isn’t about my views. I’ve long admired Buchanan, so I post this out of respect for him.

A Symposium on the Paleo Vote

We at Conservative Heritage Times have been inspired by the TAC symposium to do one of our own, although one with more of a paleo edge. I’m actually not sure symposium is the best characterization of this. It is a virtual symposium I suppose. But I’m going with it because we are blatantly riffing (not ripping :-)) off TAC’s effort.

Not all the people here would be best described as paleoconservatives, and some would not claim that label, but the attempt was to try to get people who might be considered part of the paleo/traditionalist sphere. I asked CHT’s own contributors, plus people I know (both actually and virtually) whom I thought would represent a broad cross section of the paleo/traditionalist sphere, plus some of our regular commenters. Other of our regular commenters volunteered their services.

In order to avoid the appearance of favoritism, I have arranged the contributions in alphabetical order by first name. I am still expecting some more to roll in. They will be added in their appropriate alphabetical order as they do. Please check back frequently and please promote this on Facebook, Twitter, with you email contacts, etc. Thanks, enjoy and discuss. The endorsements commence below the fold. ~ Red

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A Conservative Heritage Times Paleo Election Symposium: Coming Tomorrow

Inspired by TAC’s conservative vote symposium, CHT has decided to do a symposium of our own with a bit more of a paleo edge. Tune in tomorrow for the first installment  We hope to add others as they come in. You might be surprised by some of the talent we have managed to attract.

The American Conservative’s Symposium on “The Conservative Vote”

I don’t mean to steal Sean’s thunder below, but I made this post for IPR and wanted to cross post it here. There are some additional links you should be aware of.

TAC has a “symposium” of multiple writers discussing whom they plan to vote for. Some endorse voting for one of the major party candidates and some endorse not voting, but several endorse third party votes or write-ins. Some of the writers include Andrew Bacevich, Justin Raimondo, Paul Gottfried and friend of this website Sean Scallon.

Daniel Larison has a separate endorsement here that wasn’t included in the symposium for some reason.

Samuel Goldman has a separate endorsement here because Hurricane Sandy precluded his participation in the symposium.

Here is a summary of the endorsements.

Johnson — 6 (Bandow, Brimelow, Galupo, Giraldi, Goldman, Kauffman, Larison if he could, Bovard if he doesn’t write in Ron Paul)

Romney — 4 (Coombs, Pinkerton, Tippins, Zmirak, Antle and Birzer leaning)

Obama — 4 (Bacevich, Hadar, McConnell, Millman, Giraldi in a pinch)

Goode — 1 (Scallon, Brimelow and Gottfried would if they could)

Rand Paul — 1 (McCarthy)

Hapsburg Monarch — 1 (Lind)

Not voting/ambivalent/unclear — 7 (Dreher, Dougherty, Gordon, Murphy, Raimondo [rooting for Obama], Richman, Russello, Beer, Sailer)

An endorsement for Virgil Goode by yours truly

TAC was gracious enough to extend to me the courtesy of giving my endorsement of Virgil Goode during this election cycle. Hopefully it may do some good. Here’s the link and you can read other endorsements as well from other TAC writers and contributors.

If I can also add, I hope after this elections regardless what happens there a few Tea Party activists who will give a Buchananite-like Constitution Party a chance at least in areas where the Republicans are the dominant political party, rather than just absorbed into the maw and going back to doing whatever it was they were doing before they woke up four years ago and found Barak Obama their new President.

Third Party Debate Commentary

First of all, I can’t win regarding Goode no matter what I do. When I criticize Goode I get criticized for being too critical and not being fully on board. When I say positive things about him or promotes his candidacy, others blast me for supporting someone who supported the Iraq War, etc., etc., etc. For the record, I intend to write in Goode. He is not on the ballot in my state, but he is a certified write-in candidate. I recognize that he is less than perfect, but in casting my vote for the Constitution Party candidate, I am endorsing the idea of the Constitution Party, a Constitutionalist party that is to the right of the GOP, as much as I am the candidate.

Also, Goode almost deserves a vote just based on his awesome Southern accent alone. You know that Goode’s accent in the White House would horrify all the right people. Imagining it makes me giddy.

Now for the debate, regarding who the candidates should pitch to, I thought all four candidates basically pitched to a general audience and against both Romney and Obama. They weren’t pitching against each other although Virgil Goode emphasized a couple of distinctions, and none seemed to be pitching specifically against the major party candidate most closely aligned to them.

This was a mistake, IMO. Goode should have pitched to conservatives and against Romney as I suggested below. Jill Stein should have pitched to liberals and against Obama. Etc. Do the candidates really think there is some general mass of undecideds who are open to third parties who could be persuaded to vote for Stein or Goode? I don’t think that’s the playing field. I think Stein’s audience is liberals who think Obama has betrayed them. I think Goode’s audience is conservatives who think Romney is insufficiently so. That is who they should pitch to. (I recognize that this dynamic is somewhat different for the Libertarian.)

That said, I was very impressed with Rocky Anderson. I have no idea what separates the Justice Party from the Green Party and Stein and Anderson didn’t seem to differ on anything, but Anderson was much more smooth and polished. Perhaps in 2016 Anderson could attempt a fusion campaign and run for both nominations. Johnson did fine, although on one of his drug answers he ran long and didn’t make his point. He needs to work a bit on sound bites. Also, it is absurd to suggest, as Johnson did, that gay rights are Constitutionally guaranteed. So the Founders were intending to protect gay marriage? The notion is laughable on its face. This marks Johnson as an unserious Constitutionalist. He is imposing his beliefs onto the Constitution. He is not taking the Constitution as a serious historical document. And moving on, Stein seemed flustered and amateurish.

Goode was a very mixed bag. He was right to pound home the immigration issue. And he is definitely playing the populist (getting rid of PACs, term limits, etc.) rather than the strict Constitutionalist. I’m OK with him playing the populist because that is an issue cluster that isn’t represented well by either major party and there are votes to be had there, but to do so while maintaining a Constitutionalist pretense takes nuance. I think he bungled the Constitutional Amendment question. Term limits? Really? If you could guaranteed pass one amendment it would be term limits? How about overturning the 16th? Or how about a pro-life amendment? And I think his drug answer was very problematic. I know it’s trendy to be for drug legalization, and it is popular among the third party crowd, but there are a lot of conservatives out there for whom it is still a radical idea and a non-starter. Therefore, Goode is wise to not just casually endorse drug legalization, but he should frame it as a state issue, which it is. He needs to acknowledge, however, that federal drug laws are unconstitutional on enumerated powers grounds. This way you don’t frighten little old ladies who imagine meth addicts buying their meth at the local Seven Eleven, but also keep your Constitutionalist core happy. This is essentially how Ron Paul played the issue, even though philosophically he opposes all drug laws on libertarian grounds, and it was only a marginal problem for him in the GOP primary. Goode’s answer was all over the map. He treated it mostly as an spending issue (ending the “war on drugs” wouldn’t really save that much), gave a nod to it being a state issue, then reaffirmed his support of drug laws (presumably federal).

After watching the debate, I think I may have been over thinking Goode in my post below. I’m not sure he is making some calculated effort to split the difference. I think Goode just really doesn’t understands his new audience, which makes sense since this hasn’t been his milieu until recently. His audience has been mainstream conservatives and Republicans, and I think he thinks he is still speaking to that same audience. Did Goode prep for the debate or did he shoot from the hip? Is he open to instruction? Some Constitution Party long termer needs to coach Goode up on CP and “far” right dynamics to help him avoid land mines like the drug issue.