March 23, 2019

Romney and Republicans live in a dream world

TAMPA, September 20, 2012 – Just when you thought that nothing interesting could come out of this presidential election, Mitt Romney shocked the world. He did the last thing that any rational person could expect.

He told the truth. Of course, his poll numbers immediately plummeted.

“47 percent of Americans pay no income tax. So, our message of low taxes doesn’t connect,” said Romney.

What isn’t true is what most Republican voters believe. They believe that electing Romney as president or more Republicans in Congress will result in spending cuts that will justify lower income taxes.

Republicans live in a dream world where the $85 billion Food Stamp program or the $9.6 billion Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program causes $1.3 trillion deficits (that’s one thousand three hundred billion). If only those lazy people would get off welfare and get a job, we’d have that $9.6 billion back and…

While portraying Obama as a socialist for supposedly driving more people into government dependence, Republicans openly campaign for “preserving and protecting” Social Security and Medicare, as if those trillion dollar programs ($1.23 trillion combined in 2011) are somehow different from TANF (a.k.a. “welfare”).

Continue at Communities@ Washington Times…

What Ron Paul didn’t say

TAMPA, September 6, 2012 — There was no big announcement during Ron Paul’s appearance on Jay Leno Tuesday night. On the contrary, Paul’s appearance was somewhat anticlimactic given Mitt Romney’s nomination at the Republican National Convention last week. Of course, he still said what he has been saying for over thirty years in public life: America must stop spending money it doesn’t have, must liquidate its debts and rethink the role of government as cradle-to-grave caregiver and policeman of the world.

Ron Paul has said many memorable things during his two most recent campaigns for president. A debate moderator tried to put him on the spot regarding his position on leaving Iraq, asking contemptuously, “What is your plan to get U.S. troops out of Iraq?” Paul replied without hesitation, “We marched right in there without a plan, we can march right out.”

When asked about Newt Gingrich’s suggestion that the U.S. government explore colonizing the moon, Paul replied, “No, I don’t want to go to the moon, although I’d like to send some politicians up there.”

A few days ago, I posed a question at the end of my story on the Maine delegation fiasco. What were they really so afraid of?

It wasn’t what Ron Paul said that had them so scared. It was what he didn’t say.

Continue at Communities@ Washington Times…

Obama Romney debate could be a staring contest

TAMPA, July 16, 2012 – Since this is a presidential election year, everyone is focused on the White House. As usual, this election is being hyped as some sort of crossroads in American history: The American electorate will either choose to make an irreversible turn down the road to socialism or conservatives will save the country by electing a Republican president who will restore the American principles of free enterprise and individual responsibility.

It all makes a pretty good story until one attempts to back it up with tangible evidence: Why is Barack Obama a “socialist?” Why is Mitt Romney different?

The first answer you’d get on Obama from most conservatives is Obamacare. That was virtually the single issue for most Tea Party rallies in 2010. Yet Republicans are going to nominate the former governor who pioneered the same program in Massachusetts. If Obamacare makes the president a socialist, then why doesn’t Romneycare make his opponent one also?

Romney answered that question throughout the Republican nomination debates by taking a states rights position. He had signed a healthcare program into law in Massachusetts that was good for that state, but president Obama had been wrong to impose it upon the whole country.

Why the program is socialist when the federal government imposes it nationally but not when the state government imposes it on its millions of citizens is unclear.

However, that point is moot given other facts that came to light following the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Obamacare. It turns out that despite repeatedly stating that Obama was wrong to impose the healthcare program on the  whole nation, Romney actually told Obama to do exactly that just three years ago.

Oops.

Continue at Washington Times Communities…

Exclusive Interview: Rand Paul weathers endorsement storm

TAMPA, June 18 2012 – 218 years ago, George Washington signed the Jay Treaty, reestablishing economic relations with the British. Claiming that John Jay and the Federalist Party had sold America out to the British and betrayed France, Jefferson’s Republicans denounced Jay as a monarchist and a traitor.

His effigy was burned and one newspaper went so far as to print, “John Jay, ah! the arch traitor – seize him, drown him, burn him, flay him alive.”

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky might know how Jay felt. Since endorsing Mitt Romney for president on June 7, Paul has endured a barrage of criticism from his father’s supporters and those who consider themselves part of the larger “liberty movement.”

There have even been a few death threats.

I spoke to Senator Paul last Thursday. He was understandably concerned by the more outlandish reactions, but put them in perspective.

“The people that are over the top and even making death threats on the internet, I hope they are not serious, but they are a small number of people making a disproportionate number of the comments. A lot of those people may not even vote or may not have voted for my father. They don’t represent the majority of the people that support what we’re fighting for.”

Overlooked during the controversy is Paul’s promise to his constituents to endorse the Republican nominee. Paul won a decisive victory in Kentucky with far more than Ron Paul supporters behind him. Without promising to endorse the nominee, Paul may have never even won the Republican nomination, much less become a U.S. Senator.

“I’ve said all along that I would endorse the Republican nominee. I made that promise during my own campaign, because it was a concern for many Republicans that my dad hadn’t endorsed the Republican nominee in the past. People should understand that it doesn’t mean that I’ve changed my philosophy or adopted anyone else’s.”

Continute at The Washington Times Communities…

Will Ron Paul delegates make Romney flip flop again?

TAMPA, June 10, 2012 – With all but one of the Republican primaries concluded, there are two things that are clear. The first is that unless something very improbable occurs, Mitt Romney will be the Republican nominee for president in 2012. The second is that Ron Paul will have an army of delegates at the Republican National Convention (RNC) in August.

The media continue to wonder what Paul hopes to accomplish with those delegates, although he has been clear from the beginning. His primary goal was to win the nomination. His secondary goal was to influence the direction of the Republican Party.

Paul has remained consistent in his strategy. In a June 6 e-mail to supporters, Paul said

“We stand to send nearly 200 bound delegates to the Republican National Convention in Tampa…What’s more, we will send several hundred additional supporters to Tampa who, while bound to Romney, believe in our ideas of liberty, constitutional government, and a common-sense foreign policy. When it is all said and done, we will likely have as many as 500 supporters as delegates on the Convention floor.

And while this total is not enough to win the nomination, it puts us in a tremendous position to grow our movement and shape the future of the GOP!”

Some of Paul’s supporters dispute that any of the RNC delegates are bound to vote for any candidate, citing Republican Party Rule No. 38. Obviously, Ron Paul doesn’t see it that way.

However, one thing everyone acknowledges is that no delegate to the RNC is bound to any candidate’s position on the issues. That means Paul’s 500 delegates can vote any way they want regarding the Republican Party platform.

Continue at Washington Times Communities…

Why can’t Romney win delegates like Ron Paul?

TAMPA, May 10, 2012 – With his wins in Maine and Nevada last weekend and imminent wins at state conventions in six more states, it appears that some of us were correct when we said over a month ago that rumors of Ron Paul’s campaign demise were greatly exaggerated.

The media continues to insinuate that there is not only something underhanded about Paul’s strategy, but something fundamentally wrong with what Politico describes as “the country’s cumbersome and arcane system for nominating presidential candidates.” According to this narrative, Paul’s supporters are “undermining democracy” by using said “arcane rules” to nullify the wishes of the electorate.

One could argue that Paul’s strategy is perfectly legitimate and that the process is deliberately set up the way it is to ensure that only informed and committed voters become delegates and choose the nominee. It is a republican rather than a democratic electoral process.

This process doesn’t disenfranchise anyone because everyone has an equal opportunity to become a delegate. The rules are not “arcane.” Arcane means that the information is only available to some people. The rules for how one can become a delegate and how the nominee is chosen are published on the Republican Party website in each state and are equally available to everyone.

That brings us to the real question, representing the other side of all of the passive-aggressive attacks on Paul’s strategy and the nominating process itself.

Why can’t Romney simply employ the same strategy as Ron Paul? Why can’t he win delegate majorities in states where he won the popular vote?

Continue at Communities @ Washington Times…

Washington Times Communities link no longer active. Here is a recovered segment from quotation in Reason:

As far as I know, no one has conducted a poll of primary or caucus voters asking them why they did not participate in the delegate selection process. That means that one can only speculate as to why people who support Romney in the popular vote don’t tend to go on to become delegates…

for the most part, one need only be registered to vote in the primary or caucus. In some states, one must be a registered Republican to participate in the popular vote. In others, Democrats and independents can participate.

If one meets those minimal qualifications, one may cast a vote in the primary or caucus. One does not have to be informed on the issues or even know who is running. That doesn’t necessarily mean that all or even most participants in popular votes are uninformed. However, there is no requirement that they are informed and there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that this may be a problem.

For example, a CNN poll following the 2008 Republican primary found that John McCain had strong support from voters who said that they disapproved of the Iraq War, even though McCain had recently said that it would be fine with him if the U.S. stayed in Iraq for a hundred years. Were these voters unaware of McCain’s position?…

This could never happen in the delegate selection process. By the time that a candidate for the RNC delegation has participated in the local caucus, the district or county conventions, and finally the state convention, he not only knows who all of the candidates are but can likely recite their policy positions. He’s heard them over and over during that process…

Delegates are also required to be more committed to their candidates than primary voters. Those local, district, county and state conventions aren’t exactly exciting. In fact, they’re downright boring…

So, Romney does overwhelmingly better in contests that don’t require the participants to be informed on the issues or even know all of the candidates….All they have to do is register and make a 15-minute commitment to pull a lever behind a curtain.

Ron Paul does overwhelmingly better in contests that require delegates to commit months of their time to the process, to hear the arguments of the other candidates ad nauseum and make arguments for their own candidate in return, and sometimes even form coalitions with the delegates supporting other candidates in order to achieve common goals.

 

Tom Mullen is the author of Where Do Conservatives and Liberals Come From? And What Ever Happened to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness? Part One and A Return to Common Sense: Reawakening Liberty in the Inhabitants of America.

What’s so important about replacing Obama with Romney?

TAMPA, April 25, 2012 – Now that the Republican Party and the media have decided, in quite Orwellian fashion, that Mitt Romney has won the nomination (even though he hasn’t); the party has ramped up its campaign to unite behind the Republican candidate. Regardless of those “minor differences” supporters of other candidates may have had, nothing is more important than defeating Barack Obama in November. There is only one question that no one is asking.

Why?

The first answer provided by many Republicans is “Obama is a socialist.”

I don’t read minds, so I can’t speculate as to what President Obama thinks. He may silently recite Saul Alinsky while he signs executive orders. He may be wearing Karl Marx Underoos when he reads from his teleprompter. I don’t know (and don’t want to know). We can only judge him on what he’s done. So far, he hasn’t done anything substantively more socialist than George W. Bush.

Continue at Communities@Washington Times…

Colorado further evidence Ron Paul will challenge Romney in Tampa

TAMPA, April 15, 2012 — The Ron Paul campaign has consistently maintained that it has won far more delegates than is generally reported by the media. The Associated Press projects Romney’s delegate count to be well over 600, more than ten times their projections for Ron Paul. However, Colorado has provided some evidence that the Paul campaign’s demise has been greatly exaggerated.

Colorado completed its state convention yesterday. Under the headline, “Romney lost Colo. caucuses, gets most delegates,” Real Clear Politics reported the results this way.

“GOP has chosen 13 Romney delegates and six Santorum delegates. The remaining 17 delegates are unpledged, meaning they are free to choose any Republican candidate for president.”

That’s technically accurate, but it begs a question from anyone even minimally curious: Who do those 17 unpledged delegates support? Are they undecided, or do they intend to vote for a specific candidate at the Republican National Convention (RNC)?

According to the Real Clear article, “Many would-be delegates criticized Romney, and some dejected Santorum fans teamed with Ron Paul supporters to push what they called a ‘Conservative Unity Slate’ to look for a non-Romney presidential candidate.”

That is also technically accurate, but misleading. Not only did Paul and Santorum supporters “push” the Conservative Unity Slate, they got its delegates elected to go to the RNC.

Todd King of Lewis, Colorado is one of the elected delegates from that slate. King is a Ron Paul supporter and will vote for Paul for president on the first ballot in Tampa. I asked him how the 17 unpledged delegates break down. This is his statement.

“13 unpledged delegates, including me, will vote for Ron Paul on the first ballot. One unpledged delegate will vote for Santorum. The remaining three unpledged delegates, also known as the ‘delegates at large,’ are the state GOP Chairman, the state GOP National Committeman and the National Committeewoman. Those three will likely vote for Romney. They usually vote for the frontrunner so as not to make waves.”

King said that the Paul delegates ran unpledged in order to win the votes of Santorum supporters who understand that the delegates will vote for Paul at the RNC, but would not be legally bound to do so. If anything changes with the Paul or Santorum campaigns between now and August, both camps would have an opportunity to persuade unpledged delegates to change their minds.

This paints a much different picture of the real delegate count for Colorado. The final breakdown looks like this:

Romney – 13

Paul – 13

Santorum – 7

At large – 3 (count these for Romney if he is still the frontrunner in August)

Remember, this is a state where Santorum won with 40% of the caucus popular vote. Romney came in 2nd with 35% and Ron Paul finished last with 12%. Yet Paul is in a virtual tie for the lead in terms of the actual votes he will get on the first ballot at the RNC.

There were also 36 alternate delegates elected at Colorado’s convention. These delegates are seated in place of any delegates that cannot make it to the RNC or decide not to go. I spoke with two of them, Bobby Eskenberry and Lloyd Garcia, both from Congressional District 7. They are both pledged to Paul and hope to eventually be seated in Tampa.

Neither could provide hard numbers, but Garcia believes that almost all of the alternate delegates are Paul supporters. He also believes that if nothing changes regarding Santorum’s campaign, many of his delegates may forego the time and expense of attending the convention, leaving the door open for Paul to win the state when alternates pledged to Paul are seated.

How many more states are going to turn out like Colorado?

Santorum won the caucus vote in Missouri by a much wider margin with 55% of the vote. Romney finished second with 25% and Paul was a distant third with 12%. However, early indications are that Paul will win far more delegates at Missouri’s state convention June 1-2. According to Fox News, Missouri’s GOP leadership admits that Paul may get all of the delegates from Missouri.

The Iowa GOP leadership has previously acknowledged that Paul may win Iowa as well. Iowa holds its state convention on June 16.

These are all states where Ron Paul lost the popular vote by a wide margin. In states like Maine, Alaska, Minnesota and others, where Paul finished a close 2nd or at least did much better, he could win the final delegate counts by wide margins.

All of this is important information for voters in states that have not held their primaries or caucuses yet. Voters often make their decisions based at least in part upon their confidence in a candidate’s “electability.” They may choose not to vote for the candidate they like best if they think he can’t win.

The media wrote a narrative at the beginning of the primary season that Ron Paul could never win the nomination. That likely affected his performance in subsequent primaries. The new media narrative says that the nomination race is over and Romney has it locked up. That conflicts with the facts. Voters in upcoming primaries should know that this race is far closer than they’re being led to believe.

Tom Mullen is the author of Where Do Conservatives and Liberals Come From? And What Ever Happened to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness? Part One and A Return to Common Sense: Reawakening Liberty in the Inhabitants of America.

Why Ron Paul also matters more than Romney, Santorum and Obama

TAMPA, April 10, 2012 – Ron Paul matters much more than Newt Gingrich in this year’s Republican nomination race, according to The Washington Post. Both men trail frontrunners Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum by a wide margin in terms of primary victories.

As usual, The Washington Post was silent on the possibility that Paul may have far more delegates than most media outlets are reporting.

The thrust of The Washignton Post story is that Paul has much more leverage due to his growing following and potential for a third party run. Thus, he has already influenced Republican Party, including scrutiny of the Federal Reserve, more attention to the debt crisis and even some grudging concessions on foreign policy.

Just a few years back, none of this was part of the Republican platform.

However, the Post article misses the most important point. Ron Paul doesn’t just matter more than Newt Gingrich. He also matters more than Romney, Santorum or even President Obama. Ron Paul has already had a greater impact on America than any U.S. President in generations.

The Republicans have made unseating Obama a sacred quest in this year’s election. To listen to their rhetoric, you would think that Fidel Castro had been inaugurated in January 2009. Obama’s supporters operate under a similar delusion, although they feel differently about it.

It is apparent that both conservatives and progressives have completely lost touch with reality. Nothing has changed since Obama replaced George W. Bush. Nothing would change if Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum replaced Obama, either.

Americans elected Obama in 2008 to not be George W. Bush. Bush was reviled by voters for what they believed was an unnecessary war in Iraq, for spying on American citizens, for being too cozy with Wall Street, and for assuming executive powers not delegated to him by the Congress. Obama promised to change all of that.

Four years later, Obama has started at least three new wars while expanding the boondoggle in Afghanistan. He has continued spying on Americans and sought to expand this authority in the courts. He has filled his cabinet with Wall Street insiders and has bested George W. Bush on expanding executive powers.

Obama actually claims the right to arrest, to indefinitely detain and even to assassinate American citizens that he deems dangerous – all without due process.

Romney and Santorum both support all of this. Gingrich thinks it’s not enough. Progressives in the media who howled with righteous indignation at Bush’s depredations seem to have fallen asleep now that Obama is in.

Doesn’t anyone remember Keith Olbermann’s tirades about Bush’s dictatorial power grabs? Is there some reason that it is ok when a progressive does the same thing?

However, Obama did lead America down the path to socialism by expanding the government’s role in healthcare and imposing draconian regulations on the financial sector, right? Surely he departs from the “laissez faire” Bush here. Can you say “Medicare Part D” or “Sarbanes-Oxley?”

Nothing changes. Obama is no different than Bush. Neither Romney, Santorum, nor Gingrich would be any different than Obama. They don’t even propose to cut Obama’s spending. The spending “cuts” they propose are actually just reductions in spending increases in future years. In other words, they have no objection to Obama’s spending now. They all admit this, yet their supporters continue in their missionary zeal as if their candidates represent some sort of radical change.

Continue at Communities@Washington Times…

Then there is Ron Paul. He doesn’t just talk about cutting spending. He published his first year budget, cutting $1 trillion dollars. He doesn’t just talk about individual liberty. He wants to end the failed drug war and repeal the Patriot Act. He promises to bring troops home from all over the world and allow young people to opt out of unsustainable entitlement programs. Ron Paul proposes real solutions to real problems, regardless of the political consequences.

Ron Paul is the first presidential candidate in my lifetime to actually use the words “role of government” as if the subject should be debated. He challenges the status quo – the whole, multi-trillion dollar monster in Washington, D.C. that purports to care for 300 million people from cradle to grave and police the entire world. Ron Paul has dared to speak the unspeakable and millions of people all over the world are listening.

That’s why Ron Paul is more important than whoever wins the Republican nomination or the presidency this year. Presidents have come and gone for decades while the federal government has continued to trample our liberties, loot our wealth, and propagate new enemies around the world, regardless of which party has been in power.

Then along came Ron Paul, an overnight sensation thirty-six years in the making. To those who understand what is happening, the presidential election seems almost irrelevant as Paul’s audiences explode into the thousands. Long after history has deemed Bush, Obama and this year’s winner indistinguishable postage stamps on the road to disaster, it will remember the man who planted new seeds during the election of 2012.

As George Washington once said, “Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth.

What would it take for Ron Paul to endorse Romney?

TAMPA, April 7, 2012 – GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney continues to win primaries and Ron Paul still won’t go away.

Part of the reason is that the Paul campaign understands the primary process and knows a little history. Romney’s support is lukewarm, while Paul’s actual delegate total is dramatically understated.

As Robert Wenzel points out, Paul is a lot like Warren Harding. Harding went into the brokered 1920 convention with only 6% of the delegates, but emerged as the party’s nominee. Harding won the general election in a landslide and took a very non-interventionist approach to the Depression of 1921.

Free market economists cite Harding’s refusal to intervene in that crisis for the quick recovery that followed.

So, there is no reason not to take Ron Paul at his word when he says that he is still in the contest to win the nomination. Still, speculation persists that he has made a deal with Romney for an eventual endorsement.

In return, Paul would get a speaking slot at the convention, consideration for his son Rand, or concessions in the party platform.

Both Paul and Romney have repeatedly denied this. Paul acknowledges that he is open to talk to the other candidates and that Romney, a personal friend, is easier to talk to. However, anyone who believes Ron Paul will simply endorse the nominee in exchange for political favors doesn’t understand Ron Paul or his Revolution.

Continue at Communities@Washington Times…