Monthly Archives: May 2010

Hinkle Wins Libertarian Party Chairman’s Race: Defeats Root on Third Ballot

Independent Political Report has the details.

I think I would have preferred Myers, from what little I know, but this is a good result. If Hinkle truly represents what is left of the Harry Browne contingent then the Party is at least in thoughtful hands. Root is a buffoon, and can’t decide whether or not he supports our wars in the Middle East.

Weekend Reading

Richard Hoste, “A Darwinian Left: Is It Possible?

Thomas Fleming, “Save the Children

Paul Gottfried, “Varieties of Smear

Richard Spencer, “Is the GOP Becoming More Badass?

Richard Spencer on McCain’s Dubious War Record

Nicholas Stix, “Free the Mizzou Two!

Edwin S. Rubenstein, “Immigrants Raise Native Wages (AKA, How to Lie With Statistics)

Chuck Baldwin, “Breakup of the U.S. is Inevitable

Brenda Walker, “Mexico’s Immigration Thuggery Remains Intact

Peter Brimelow, “What Has Media Matters Got Against American Whites?

Soeren Kern, “Will Spain be the Next Greece?

Paul Belien, “The Euro Crisis: The Insolvent Are Expected to Bail Out the Bankrupt

Ridicule as a Liberal Weapon

Here is a great article from World Net Daily on liberal’s use of ridicule as a weapon. What he doesn’t mention, but should, is that neocons and others on the “mainstream” right use ridicule to silence those to their right as well.

Remember rule No. 5 from Alinsky’s magnum opus “Rules for Radicals”: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counterattack ridicule. Also it infuriates the opposition, who then react to your advantage.”…

This is not debate, folks, it’s intimidation. Its message is not, “Let’s reason together and find a solution,” but rather, “Shut up, or be attacked and defamed.”

This is why I take up for birthers and other conspiracy theorists, even though I’m not a conspiracy theorist. Everyone should be reasoned with and not ridiculed into silence.

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.

Ron Paul Wrong on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell

Ron Paul was one of five Republicans who voted to repeal “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.” I was a Ron Paul supporter before Ron Paul was cool, but that was a bad vote. There is no imperative to apply libertarian ideology to the military, an inherently very unlibertarian institution. The military discriminates in all kind of ways for the purpose of creating the most effective fighting force. It discriminates based on IQ (entrance tests), height, health, gender (certain fields), drug use, etc. There is no reason why it shouldn’t discriminate against homosexuals if they are felt to compromise the effectiveness of the force. I’m afraid this will hurt Paul if he runs for President again.

We should in fact repeal the Clinton era “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” which was as much PC as they could get away with at the time, and we should return to the prior arrangement where potential recruits were explicitly asked. The question was in there with all the other questions like “Have you ever used drugs?” and “Have you ever had asthma?” Homosexuality is either a threat to good order and discipline or it is not. If it is, which is obvious, then it should not be handled any differently due to PC sensibilities.

Breaking Down the Libertarian Party National Chairman’s Race

The current LPNC, Bill Redpath, is stepping down. He is generally regarded as a pragmatist. I thought our readers might be interested in hearing about the hotly contested race to replace him, so I ask someone with his finger on the pulse of the LP to give me a breakdown on the various candidates. Many thanks to Paulie Cannoli for what follows and to Trent Hill for hooking me up with him. ~ Red Phillips

Wayne  – moderate/conservative libertarian, calls himself a “Reagan Libertarian” – VP candidate in 2008 with Barr. 3rd runner up behind Barr, Ruwart for presidential nomination. Frequent fox news and right wing talk radio guest. Has called himself the male Sarah Palin.

George -perennial gadfly, ideologically moderate but allied with radical libertarians in party governance issues against the moderate establishment. Not a fan of Ron Paul. Has run for chair and/or president every two years since at least 2000, always losing badly.

Mark – long time Libertarian (since early 70s), pragmatic radical, has support of many past chairs and what remains of Harry Browne’s faction that led the party in the 90s through 2002. The only chair candidate with past national committee service.

John Jay Myers- Ron Paul style Libertarian from Texas, not an anarchist or Reaganite, emphasizes local electoral politics, new to national level LP; currently county chair in Dallas and  candidate for Congress in TX 32.

Ernie Hancock – Radical anarchist. Claims credit for Ron Paul r3volution logo (Western Libertarian Alliance disputes this). Hands out tons of Alex Jones videos. Praises militias. Publicly opposes voting. Has denounced LP in the past. Has run for chair before and lost more than once. Critics say he would disband the LPHQ.

Neocon Raul Labrador: Let the Third World invasion begin!

As the tea party movement becomes more untethered from reality, tea-party activists’ choice in candidates becomes more wanting. Case in point, Raul Labrador, a “tea party candidate” who defeated Vaughn Ward yesterday in the Republican primary for Idaho’s first congressional district.

Who is Raul Labrador? He’s a Puerto Rican immigration attorney who, allegedly, has spent a good many years trying to keep illegal aliens in the U.S. He allegedly has:

- fought to keep many illegals from deportation
- been suspected of smuggling illegal aliens and document fraud
- voted against (in the Idaho House) numerous provisions restricting benefits to illegal aliens.
- criticized Arizona’s immigration law
- called for more “guest workers” from the Third World

Congratulations, Tea Party!

Thomas Fleming on the Pauls and the Civil Rights Act

Dr. Fleming is not a man to pull punches. His main point (I think), that any criticism of the Civil Rights Act should include a critique of the egalitarian assumptions that underlie it and the questionable motives that drove it, is sound.

However, I am not sure I agree with his critique of the Pauls, Ron more so than Rand. He seems to argue that politics and politicians are only useful to the degree they actually accomplish something, which requires compromise and pragmatism, but at the same time criticizes Rand for not falling on his sword and questioning egalitarianism. What I think he wants is a righteous truth teller and a political system full of truth tellers, but I am not sure how he expects to get there without tolerating some trimming (compromise and pragmatism) along the way?

The Father Says it Better Than the Son: Ron Paul on the 1964 Civil Rights Act

Here is Ron Paul’s take on the Civil Rights Act from 2004. He hits all the rights notes – the constitutionality question, the freedom of association question, the law of unintended consequences (quotas) issue, and the commerce clause issue. I wish Rand would have handled the issue as well.

“Libertarians” Attack Rand Paul

Well what do ya know. After finding the article below outlining all the “conservatives” who have attacked Rand Paul, I stumbled upon this article about some “libertarians” who are refusing to back him up.

There are a few issues involved here. First, there is the constitutional issue. That the feds lacked the enumerated power to regulate private businesses in this manner is a slam dunk. If you think otherwise then please produce for me the Article and Section or Amendment that authorizes it. Conservatives, who should generally be originalist, should therefore hold that the CRA was unconstitutional as most at the time, such as William F. Buckley, National Review and Barry Goldwater, did. If someone is generally an originalist and/or an enumerated powers person, but believes the issues involved with the CRA were so important that they required extra-constitutional federal action, then he should so state. Much as a staunch constitutionalist conservative might support some federal action on abortion against his general originalist principles because the issue is so grave. This would be what you might call a principled exception. But none of the three libertarians cited here do this. They don’t raise Constitutional concerns at all. They seem to take Federal authority here for granted.  

The other issue is freedom of association. From what I can tell from the Rand Paul interview, he was primarily making a libertarian absolute freedom of association argument more than he was a constitutionalist argument. Here conservatives of good faith could disagree, because conservatives are not under the same philosophical obligation that libertarians are to value the primacy of individual rights above all else. Although a general Burkean argument could be made that imposed change from above brought about too much societal upheaval too quickly and slow change would have been more natural and brought about better results in the long run. 

But it doesn’t seem to me that for the philosophically consistent libertarian, the freedom of association argument is negotiable. So by supporting the CRA the three libertarians cited in the article are being less libertarian. Now this isn’t necessarily bad. As a conservative I wish libertarians were less libertarian on a lot of things – immigration, abortion, gay marriage, etc. – but I can’t help but think that these libertarians are being conveniently less libertarian on this hot button issue because they have either embraced or fear the recriminations of the PC thought police.

“Conservatives” Attack Rand Paul

The Atlantic Wire has a good round-up of “conservatives” who are rushing to criticize Rand Paul. With friends like these?

Here RINO RNC Chairman Steele criticizes him. Obviously, I can understand why Steele is glad the Civil Rights Act happened, but it is not his place as Chairman of the RNC to criticize a GOP Senate nominee who took a position that can easily be defended on conservative/constitutionalist/libertarian grounds. I thought Steele was in support of a Big Tent.

Coffee Times : Your Sunday reading

Justin Raimondo’s latest:     “Attack of the Cyborg Inscects”

Some gems from the jewlery shop known as Front Porch Republic:  “Contain This”,   “Jersey Shore”,  “ Right, Left and Lasch” and “Idaho May” by Bill Kauffman.

Walter Williams writes on Lew “Immigration and Liberty”

Building a left-right alliance British style by Glenn Greenwald.

And Arthur Clark writes in the Washington Post about the new Culture War that’s brewing.

Daniel Larison vs. David Frum

Larison is critical of Frum here.

Frum responds here. He calls paleos crybabies.

Of all the many things I dislike about the paleo-libertarian faction championed by Larison, high on the list is this: they are howling Georgie-Porgy crybabies.

Frum actually misses Daniel’s point as Daniel points out in an update to his post. I agree with Daniel and Frum that paleo and libertarian rhetoric has sometimes been so overheated as to be counterproductive. But I hardily encourage a good intellectual tussle.

But the problem with Frum, and he is typical of neocons and mainstream movement cons, is that he doesn’t really seriously engage an argument on an intellectual level. He trots out conventional wisdom and calls names and questions motives and mounts his PC high horse.

The Rand Paul Civil Rights Act controversy is an excellent example. Paleos and libertarians have questioned the constitutionality of the Civil Rights Act. Frum addresses the argument here. However, he doesn’t mount a spirited defense of the constitutionality of the CRA. He basically just asserts it, and then mounts his PC high horse about injustice towards blacks. But the question of the constitutionality of the CRA is left basically unaddressed. Does Frum support original intent? Why or why not? Does Frum support the enumerated powers doctrine? Why or why not? Does he believe in an expansive reading of the Interstate Commerce Clause? What evidence does he marshall for this reading?

Again, I am all for a gentlemanly intellectual debate where everyone takes their licks and when it is over no one leaves whining. But debates have to go two ways. Calling people unpatriotic or dismissing their arguments without actually addressing them does not a debate make.

Daniel Larison on Centrists

This post is awesome. Daniel really gets his dander up over David Brooks’ pitiful whining.

As I say in the comments, there is nothing more annoying than the smug, self-righteous ideological centrist whining about the grip of the extremes. Please. Politics in this country are paralyzed by the center and today’s center is yesterday’s far left. So what we have had is a slow but unremitting drift left.

What I mean by ideological centrist is someone who supports centrism for centrism’s sake. They believe the center is inherently thoughtful and virtuous and the extremes are inherently mindless and suspect. They are very disproportionately represented in the pundit class, and David Brooks is a museum quality specimen.

Retro-active voting in the U.S. Senate

Since it is now considered fair game to ask candidates for the U.S. Senate like Rand Paul what their stances were on Senate legislation taken back when they were all of two years old, how many other such votes previous legislation can we ask  of candidates running today where they stand?

Do they support the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1932?

Or the Volstead Act of 1918?

Or how about the Mann Act of 1909? Or Davis-Bacon 1931?

What’s your stand on declaring war on Germany in 1917 or the the League of Nations back in 1919?

Are you for Webster or for Haynes?

Do you support the impeachment of Andrew Johnson?

Feel free to add your own to the list of absurdities that the nation’s wretched political press feel necessary to bring up in interviews either as gotcha questions or to stoke controversy and ratings. But remember too the debased quality of political discussion. For when the nation faces the crises of war, debt, unemployment and environmental catastrophe, its inability to deal with such questions arises from its inability to discuss the issues at hand in favor of trivial inanities.

Squeamish conservatives

Here’s the biggest difference I see between leftists and conservatives: Leftists pursue their goal with a “damn the torpedoes” determination. Conservatives, on the other hand, break formation and scatter if the purity of their actions is questioned.

If a conservative points out that lefists march with violent radicals, the leftists’ reply is, “So what?” Then they’ll shoot back, “We don’t care what THEIR goal is; OUR goal is a lofty, noble ideal.”

However, when leftists accuse conservatives of having questionable members, the conservatives surrender without a struggle.

Here are a couple of examples of how leftists march onward, no matter what conservatives say. (Examples of conservative squeamishness are too numerous to list.) Back in January, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote approvingly of a boycott against Dr. Kevin McDonald at Cal State Long Beach. The SPLC article specifically mentioned the Party for Socialism and Liberation as one of the organizers of the boycott. That group’s web site spells out its dedication to the bloodthirsty aims and methods of international communism, and even features iconic images of Vladimir Lenin and Che Guevara, both mass murderers.

That wasn’t a fluke. A few years back, SPLC spokesghoul Mark Potok was interviewed by Socialist Worker magazine, which has no problem proclaiming its totalitarian goals:

The ISO stands in the tradition of revolutionary socialists Karl Marx, V.I. Lenin and Leon Trotsky in the belief that workers themselves–the vast majority of the population–are the only force that can lead the fight to win a socialist society.

The Russian Revolution of October 1917 remains to this day the most decisive event of the international workers’ movement.

The standard story we hear about the Russian Revolution of 1917 is that it was a coup. The real history of the Russian Revolution can teach us a lot about both the potential for ordinary people to take action and the hope for a better world.

The “better world” Lenin and Trotsky forged required the peacetime murder of 126 million souls.

And we allow ourselves to be silenced by a shrug of the shoulders and an impatient, “So what?”

Frank Creel

Earlier this morning I got a phone call from an old contact of mine in the Constitution Party. As soon as I heard his voice, I knew exactly why he called. Our dear friend and colleague, Dr. Frank W. Creel, passed away from cancer (May 18th). I was on his campaign staff in 2002 when he ran for a seat in the House of Representatives against liberal Republican Tom Davis. I remember vividly traveling around the congressional district in Northern Virginia with the other activists in the Constitution Party, using whatever time off I had to help out with the campaign. I was a freshman in my first semester in college and this was my very first campaign. I’ll never forget it.

Frank was a quiet man, but he had a quick wit and a unique sense of humor. He was a Vietnam veteran, having served in the Army as an infantry officer. His experience in war was the catalyst in the development of his solid pro-life stance. What I admired most about Frank were his unwavering convictions, especially when it came to defending the unborn. Before he went to Vietnam, he was in the Peace Corps for several years, volunteering in Turkey. Frank attended the University of Chicago where he earned a PhD in comparative politics of the Middle East. He spent most of his career as a civil servant, working for the U.S. Department of Commerce in the International Trade Administration.

An avid writer, Frank’s involvement in politics was really sparked when he began writing opinion pieces for our local newspaper, the Potomac News. Other works of his were published in The Washington Times and the New York City Tribune. In the last years of his life, he was a contributor to the Washington Examiner (there’s an online archive of his most recent writings courtesy of Fran Griffin). In the lead up to the Iraq War, Frank had the courage to run for Congress as a conservative, anti-war candidate. While we did not prevail that year, we took satisfaction that our campaign exposed Tom Davis as a liberal establishmentarian. Continue reading

David Frum is Troubled by Rand Paul …

… or more precisely that the “conservative” establishment didn’t police him out of the ranks.

Rand Paul’s victory in the Kentucky Republican primary is obviously a depressing event for those who support strong national defense and rational conservative politics…

How is it that the GOP has lost its antibodies against a candidate like Rand Paul? In the past few months, we have seen GOP conservatives rally against Utah Sen. Bob Bennett. There has been no similar rallying against Rand Paul: no ads by well-funded out-of-state groups. Some senior Republicans, like former VP Dick Cheney, indicated a preference for opponent Trey Grayson. But despite Paul’s self-presentation as “anti-establishment,” the D.C. conservative establishment by and large made its peace with him. It is this acquiescence – even more than Paul’s own nomination – that is the most ominous news from tonight’s vote.

I’m soooo… glad we have David Frum around to tell us yahoos in flyover country what conservative politics are “rational.” That whole following the Constitution as originally intended thingy is just so irrational.

Here is something TAC has to say on the matter.

Visit Pepin County, Wisconsin! But don’t stay too long

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel had an interesting article in its Sunday edition on my home county of Pepin in Wisconsin.  Apparently tourists spend less money and time in here than in Wisconsin 71 other counties. This is largely because we’re small, remote, lack hotel rooms and because we’re so close to population centers like the Twin Cities Metro (downtown St. Paul is only an 1 hour and 15 minutes away) and Eau Claire that we’re a destination more for day trippers than long-term tourists.

But that has its benefits too, just ask persons in one of Wisconsin’s top tourist destinations, Door County, what they think of the Chicagoans who make their home a summer playground. At best it’s love/hate.

We do enjoy our peace and quiet in my little corner of the world.

Primary Colors

I had written about the Club for Growth in my book Beating the Powers that Be as a wave of the future, an independent political group raising money and using the party primary process to influence a major party (mostly the Republicans). Well according to the Washington Post the party has taken notice and doesn’t like it.

But there’s not much they can do about it short of a frontal assault most GOP pols are too chicken to make. And if Club provides the kind of money that takes down a Sen. Bob Bennett, the Tea Partiers provide the muscle on the ground, as they showed in Utah and Kentucky.

But the GOP has no one to blame but themselves. For years they’ve operated like an exclusive club for insiders, politicians and consultants. And yet under GOP rule from 2001-2008 , the country went to hell and a lot of Republicans didn’t like it, not to mention independent voters and GOP leaners. But when they wanted to change things, they were thwarted, cheated and spied upon by the party establishment. So of course this pent up energy had to go somewhere. The money went to the Club for Growth and the activism went to the Tea Parties. If their works helps to make the Republicans a more inclusive party instead of a top-down corporation, then they will have accomplished a lot.

Continue reading