Monthly Archives: October 2012

Looking for a Halloween fright – Try Wolfen

I used to be a horror fan during my geek days just to gross out the girls in middle school and see their reactions. Nowadays I try to avoid horror films simply because don’t like sick or scary images stuck in my head for several days. But now and again I’ll partake in film or two, especially around Halloween, which is supposed to be the time to indulge in the macabre. There are a few movies I’ll watch. One I’d like to see again and one I would recommend is Wolfen, a story about a pack of shape-shifting wolves, living in the ruins of New York’s South Bronx in the early. The reasons I like it is that its a good story, scary without being gratuitous and because the best horror films have modicum of reality to them which only makes them scarier to think such things could happen as we are watching.

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.

Virgil Goode Also Endorsing Independent (NM) John Barrie for Senate

As reported below, Gary Johnson has also endorsed Barrie. This letter from Virgil Goode is from an e-mail sent to us by the Barrie campaign:

Dear Jon:

I was encouraged by the news that you beat the odds and got on the ballot in New Mexico. I know full well how the establishment parties have set-up strong barriers for alternative candidates who offer voters real choices on the issues that matter.

On those issues I’m glad we are in agreement: Second Amendment rights must be protected; auditing the Federal Reserve is long overdue; and the abolition of such un-Constitutional federal agencies as the Departments of Energy and Education will help get the government out of debt.

Unlike the Democrat and Republican candidates, I admire your tough stance on the problems associated with illegal immigration. You are with the majority of voters in opposing amnesty of any kind, supporting the complete closing of the border, and establishing English as the official language of the United States. I particularly appreciate your endorsement of my proposal for a moratorium on issuing green cards until our unemployment rate is under five percent. 

In sum, you are taking the message of liberty to New Mexico’s voters as a champion of Constitutional government. You have my full support and best wishes for your courageous and dynamic campaign.

Sincerely,

Virgil Goode

Cross posted at IPR.

Gary Johnson Endorses Independent (NM) Jon Barrie for Senate: See Correction Below

From an e-mail form the Barrie Campaign:
 
Governor Johnson says, “Jon is committed to lowering and eliminating taxes, minimizing the size of our federal government, restoring our Liberty and Freedoms, and the limits placed on Government as explicated in our Constitution.  His commitment to Liberty and demonstrated conservative economic principles make him the best qualified candidate for the US Senate in New Mexico. Be Libertarian with me!  Vote for Jon Ross Barrie for the United States Senate.”
 Jon Barrie says, “Our nation needs leaders that will guide us back to the freedoms and liberties set forth by our founding fathers.  Governor Johnson and Judge Jim Gray will return us to freedom and prosperity.”
 
Addendum: Well maybe not. Read this thread. This is a mess.

Virgil Goode Signs Personhood Pledge

Below is an e-mail from Ricardo Davis:

Atlanta, GA – Former U.S. Congressman Virgil Goode, the Constitution Party’s presidential candidate, signed Georgia Right to Life’s “Personhood Pledge” – the gold standard of a candidate’s commitment to defend the sanctity of life. In doing so he is the only certified presidential candidate in Georgia to do so, giving Georgians who value the unalienable right to life an opportunity to vote for a candidate that supports their convictions.

Unlike any other presidential candidate, Virgil Goode has a history of standing on principle to defend the sanctity of life at the federal level. In signing the GRTL Personhood Pledge, Goode affirms his support of legislation that would ensure that the civil rights of the elderly, the mentally and physically handicapped, and all children before birth at any stage are protected by law.

In 2007 Congressman Goode was a co-sponsor of the Right to Life Act (HR 618) that “would implement equal protection under the 14th Amendment to the Constitution for the right to life of each born and preborn human person.” The Act declared that the right to life guaranteed by the Constitution is vested in each and every human being, and defines “human being” to encompass all stages of life.

In the previous year National Right to Life gave Congressman Goode a 100% pro-life rating. During his tenure in the U.S. House of Representatives Goode was a pro-life champion voting to outlaw human cloning, transport of minors across state lines to obtain elective abortions, embryonic stem cell research, partial birth abortion, and federal funding to organizations that provide abortion services, counseling or advocacy.

State Party Chairman Ricardo Davis noted, “As a long-time pro-life activist who is now working to build a 100% pro-life political party in Georgia, I realize that to be successful the party has to build from the ground up. Because of Georgia’s election laws Virgil is a certified write-in candidate, so all votes for him will be counted and reported. This is the ground-floor opportunity – and the goal is to get two percent of the vote statewide. This realistic goal lays the foundation for statewide ballot access and fosters support for like-minded state and local candidates in the next two years. Politically savvy Democrat and Republican voters here in Georgia understand that two percent of the vote will not impact the presidential vote in our state, so Virgil’s candidacy is the prime opportunity for voters who highly value the sanctity of life and the defense of marriage to vote for a candidate whose election results can lay the foundation for greater gains for these issues in Georgia.”

Cross posted at IPR.

A New Declaration of Independence

RamZPaul’s Americanized version of the viral French video “Declaration of War” by Génération Identitaire:

One small problem with the Americanized version of this video: America and France are not the same. France still has a real core of ethnic French — a nation in the true sense of people linked by blood.  America has become a large empire comprised of numerous nations.  Nonetheless, I appreciate RamZPaul’s courageous stand against political correctness.

Jeff Blatnick, R.I.P.

Just saw a tweet that Jeff Blatnick has passed away. May he Rest in Peace.

Those of us who were fans of the UFC before the UFC was cool know Jeff Blatnick. For those who don’t know who he was, Blatnick won a Gold Metal at the 1984 Olympics as a Greco-Roman wrestler. He became a favorite of MMA fans because he worked as a commentator for the early UFCs before they made the big time. He was a vocal advocate of the sport back when some (like John McCain) were trying to ban it. Also, since he was a wrestler, he actually knew what he was talking about at a time when many didn’t. (For example, running back Jim Brown was an early commentator also.) Recently Blatnick had worked as a judge for UFC events so MMA fans still heard his name announced from time to time. Whenever I did, I always felt confident he would call it straight.

May God be with his family and friends. The sport of MMA has lost one of it finest.

The non-debate debates

I have taken the liberty not watching any of the major party Presidential debates  to protest their exclusion of non-major parties. I also did not watch the “third” party debate because no one is really debating policy differences so much as they debating how it sucks to be left at the kids table every four years.

Which is not their fault of course, having been excluded by a oligarchy which determines for  itself the rules of participation. And it’s too bad because who loses out but voters who cannot decide among a wide variety of views. Monday’s so-called debate on foreign policy such a “me too” fest one wonders what could be any worse in terms of excitement level (Chess on TV? Congressional committee hearings? Watching the advertisements on the local cable access channel?)Viewers missed on a chance to hear a real debate on foreign policy if say Jill Stein of the Greens or Obama mixed it up on Guantanamo or having Gary Johnson question Mitt Romney on preventative war.

You may ask how many candidates should we let in the debates since there are many more than just three parties in U.S. politics? I would say an appropriate standard is any party which has enough ballot access to get to 270 electoral votes should have that chance. A five or six person debate involving the Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Greens, Constitutionalists and what’s left of the old Reform Party (Rocky Anderson’s Justice Party) is more than suitable to have a proper debate which is a give and take of ideas and views, thrust and parry of words and notions. Not: “I agree, but I can do it better than you.”  Obama and Romney could have soared us the lack of drama.

Classic Form, Mr. Auster

Larry Auster is a serious thinker on the Right (on-line anyway), with one little fetish, which I suppose anyone is entitled too.

Writing on Benghazigate, Mr. Auster suggests the important article from Ron Paul, Pat Buchanan, Barry Rubin for understanding the situation, and concludes his post with this paragraph from Rubin’s article which outlines 101 Blowback, which note, Mr. Auster does not characterize as anti-American:

…As the Libyan government’s patron, Americans will become the target of revolutionary Islamists who blame the United States for their rulers and understandably believe that attacking America is a necessary part of overthrowing them. That, of course, is why the U.S. ambassador was murdered.

 

 

 

 

Scott Galupo on the Third Party Debate (With Reference to Virgil Goode)

Here is Scott Galupo from The American Conservative on last night’s debate. Below is his comment on Virgil Goode:

I was at pains to figure out exactly why Goode isn’t a Republican. Jim Antle’s profile of the former Virginia congressman found Goode doggedly on the side of the mainstream GOP on big issues like the Iraq war, the Patriot Act, and the drug war. Republicans don’t talk much these days about Goode’s hobbyhorse — term limits — but the issue figured prominently in the 1994 Contract with America. His position on immigration — no green cards for foreign workers until employment is under five percent — is more restrictionist than the average GOPer’s, but his irrational fear of Muslims would fit right into Sarah Palin’s “real America” party.

I could have done without the PC Muslim comment. Fear and hatred of Muslims that leads you to want to bomb them in far off countries is certainly a problem, but not wanting masses of them to immigrate here and change the culture is what some of us would call conservative. You know, that whole wanting to conserve things vibe.

That said, Galupo has identified the same issue with Goode that I identified below. See here and here. This is a problem for Goode. Some people may not want to hear criticism, but it is.

One man can make a difference

My uncle, God rest his soul, said to me once the only time he ever voted for anyone in any election was for George McGovern in 1972. I suspect there are lot of people around like my uncle, not single issue voters but single person voters.  McGovern’s recent death reminded me of this, and I’m sure there are others who remember their first and only votes for Goldwater or Stevenson too.  Maybe even a Perot. Losers can make a difference in politics if they inspire others but who they are and what they stand for. I guess for myself Ron Paul these past years will have to foot that bill. But like the aforementioned, he too is making the same kind of impact politics which goes beyond the spoils of office. Indeed, in two weeks you’ll find many a write-in vote for Paul which will exceed those of several non-major parties fooling themselves by running for President.

Trump’s Big Announcement Today

This should be fun.

Trump has a history of over hyping things. I hope he has learned his lesson. If this turns out to be a big nothing burger, then people are going to be ticked. Since he knows he has set expectations so high, I’m mildly hopeful that there will be some there there.

If it is divorce papers, some have jumped to the conclusion that divorce is imminent and find this not likely. I would agree. But my first thought was that these were old divorce papers. That the First Couple was near divorce in the past has been widely rumored.

 

Vote to Move Virgil Goode on to Round 2

From a Constitution Party e-mail:

A SECOND Free & Equal “Third” Party presidential debate is being scheduled for next Tuesday, October 30 in Washington, DC. However, the organizers are using online instant runoff voting to narrow the field from four candidates to two.URGENT!! PLEASE GO to their website, http://freeandequal.org/vote/ and rank the candidates in any order you choose, as long as Virgil Goode is first.

YOU MUST VOTE before 10:30pm tomorrow night, October 24.Let’s get Virgil Goode in the 2nd debate. He did a great job this evening, along with Larry King as moderator and Christina Tobin as the event organizer.Thank you,
Staff

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.

What to Watch for When Virgil Goode Debates Tonight

Here is what I will be watching for when Virgil Goode debates tonight. Does he style himself as a mainstreamish candidate who was disgruntled with his ex-party and happened to capture the nomination of a third party, or does he style himself as the spokesman of his new party carrying the Constitutionalist banner even when doing so will force him to take unpopular positions? To some degree (but not entirely) this is a question of whether to Virgil Goode this campaign is about Virgil Goode or the Constitution Party. Was the Constitution Party a convenient and available vehicle for Goode, or is he really a convert to a Constitution Party way of thinking?

My hunch is the former. This is based on several things. His initial website blared his intention to save Social Security. He mentions the Fair Tax on his issues page. He has so far failed to fully embrace non-interventionism. Etc. A lot of Tea Party style Republicans would be comfortable with his issues page and candidate comparison page. There is no “radical” Constitutionalism in it. His opposition to NAFTA, his mention of the North American Union, his opposition to US soldiers under UN command, his opposition to birthright citizenship, etc. clearly signal to a lot of Constitution Party types, but these issues tend to distinguish him in kind as much as they do by degree. He is running as a more populist/paleo/Buchananite candidate, but is he running a hard to the right of Romney campaign?

In the back of my mind in asking this question is whether Goode is attempting to maintain his viability for a future GOP or independent run, or is he all in with the CP. (Goode is, as my Mom would say, no spring chicken so that factors in. He may not be planning a future run due to his age so this may be more of a last hurrah.)

In a related question, who is the audience of a third party debate on C-SPAN? Will there be a large contingent of undecideds who are genuinely considering a third party vote, and if so what percentage of these will be conservatives who are trying to decide between Romney and Goode and/or Johnson and liberals who are trying to decide between Obama and Stein or Anderson? Or will the audience mostly be partisans who tune in to root for their candidate? There may be some data on such things, but my hunch is the latter.

So who will Goode be pitching to? Will he be pitching to undecideds that he doesn’t want to scare off with budget slashing Constitutionalism, or will he be pitching to hard right true believers who are still skeptical of him?

This dynamic also applies to Gary Johnson, who is considered by many hard core l/Libertarians to be insufficiently plumb line, but I have the sense that l/Libertarians have come to terms with Gary Johnson more so than right-wing Constitutionalists have come to terms with Virgil Goode.

My advice to Goode, were he to solicit it, would be to run against Romney as insufficiently conservative every chance he gets. Turn every question into a reason why Romney is unacceptable on the issue. He could play to both potential audiences by doing this. He doesn’t necessarily have to embrace purist Constitutionalism, although some nod that this or that program is unconstitutional on enumerated powers grounds would be appreciated. Goode’s opponent in this debate is not the other three candidates except Johnson to some degree. His opponent is Romney. And his audience, which I suspect is more likely to be exposed to his performance in discussions about the debate than by actually watching it, is conservative but wavering Romney supporters. People he can convince that Romney is so unsound on the issues from a conservative standpoint, that they are willing to say “Aww screw it” and cast a protest vote against Romney, especially in states that are safe one way or the other.

Discuss.

And the Winner of Tonight’s Foreign Policy Debate is … Ron Paul

Because both the candidates are interventionist clowns. Although it is telling that Romney toned down the usual chest thumping rhetoric that he normally feeds to his “conservative” audiences. I think Romney and his advisers know that that crap doesn’t sell to undecided voters. This is every so slightly hopeful.

Post your thoughts on the debate below.