Last weekend I had the opportunity to meet with Virgil Goode, the presumptive nominee of the Constitution Party. This week is the CP National Convention in Nashville. Unfortunately I’m not able to make the convention this time around, but I sincerely hope that my fellow Constitutionalists will scrutinize Goode to the hilt. In 2008 we rightly rejected Alan Keyes because he’s a neocon. Goode’s neocon leanings, especially with respect to foreign policy, ought to be top on the list of concerns for the delegates at the 2012 convention.
I’m not going to bore readers with a list of mistakes from Goode’s congressional voting record. Suffice to say he’s voted for some ridiculous things as a member of Congress, but the top two concerns for us Constitutionalists ought to be his votes on the Iraq War and the Patriot Act. I asked Goode about both of these issues and I really wasn’t impressed with his answers. He’s a nice fellow and all, but I don’t think he’s a fit for our Party and certainly shouldn’t be our presidential nominee.
When asked about the Iraq War, Goode never walked that back at all. If anything, he gave me a muddled answer which didn’t really address my original question. He talked about how he wants to end foreign aid, bring our troops home from overseas, and that Congress ought to make a declaration of war before going to war–all good things, to be sure–but this wasn’t a real answer. Not once did he come close to saying that the war itself was a mistake. But I’m honestly not surprised given Goode’s previous promotion of our intervention into Iraq.
Regarding the Patriot Act, Goode did say that it was a mistake to subject American citizens to the Patriot Act. But he voted for it–twice. Once for the original legislation and again to make it permanent. He said that he was fine with applying the Patriot Act to non-citizens. Okay. I’m not sure if this can be considered a walking back on this particular issue, but at least his answer on this was more straightforward than when I asked him about the war. Even so, for someone who claims to uphold the Constitution, voting “no” on the Patriot Act should have been a no-brainer.
At any rate, I sincerely hope and pray that the Constitution Party does not wholeheartedly embrace Virgil Goode–unless he publicly repudiates the aforementioned votes. Delegates, now is the opportunity to make yourselves heard. Now is not the time to shrink back and sacrifice our Party’s principles in the name of having a “big name” on the ballot. Whatever happened to “principle above party”? We already have one Republican Party and we certainly don’t need another.