December 10, 2019

A skeptic’s case for Gary Johnson

TAMPA, September 26, 2012 – You may be an independent that finds the major party candidates for president particularly weak this year. You may be an “Old Right” conservative that can’t bring yourself to vote for Mitt Romney. You may be a died-in-the-wool liberal who thinks Barack Obama’s presidency has been just a little too similar to Dubya’s.

Or, you may be a libertarian.

If you belong to any of those groups, you might be considering voting for Gary Johnson. Ironically, if you are a libertarian, you may need the most convincing.

Gary Johnson isn’t well-grounded in libertarian theory and it results in him taking some positions that libertarians don’t like. I made the argument myself that Johnson is not really a libertarian at all. In two subsequent interviews (here and here), Johnson didn’t allay those concerns.

Regardless, Gary Johnson is the best choice for president this year for voters from all over the political spectrum.

Continue at Communities@ Washington Times…

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…

The real story behind those Ron Paul delegates from Maine

TAMPA, September 2, 2012 – By the time of Marco Rubio’s speech at the Republican National Convention (RNC), rhetoric overload and sore feet had overcome any desire I had to listen. I sat down at a table in the corridor of the Tampa Bay Times Forum. A few minutes later, several young people sat in the other chairs.

One of them was wearing a tee shirt that read, “Texas Remembers the Alamo, and the Maine, and the Oklahoma, and the Louisiana, and the Oregon, and the Massachusetts.”

Those are the other five states in which Ron Paul had majorities one week before the RNC. Together with the three states he actually won (Iowa, Minnesota and Nevada) Ron Paul would have carried eight states had many of those delegates not been unseated at the last minute.

The man wearing the tee shirt was Chris Howe, Ron Paul supporter and alternate delegate from Texas. Rob Hinojosa was a guest and the graphic designer of the tee shirts.

One day before, both had marched out of the RNC along with the Maine delegation and an army Ron Paul’s other delegates chanting “As Maine goes, so goes the nation!”

Howe and Hinojosa went to work on their smart phones and in short order produced Ashley Ryan, 21, the youngest national committeewoman in the history of the Republican Party.

Continue at Communities@ Washington Times…

Ryan confirmed that Ron Paul did indeed still have 20 of the 24 delegates from Maine as of the day before the RNC. They had been ready for a fight since learning of a challenge to the delegation a month earlier.

All that has been reported so far is that the delegation was contested on the grounds that the state convention did not follow “parliamentary procedure.” However, the details tell a very different story.

“The contest was filed by current national committeewoman Jan Staples and Peter Cianchette, who was the Romney state director for Maine. Those are well-known Romney supporters. They filed the contest based on the claims that our state convention lacked credentialing and lacked security. The ironic thing about that is that Jan Staples is on the executive committee for the party, so it was her job to plan the state convention. So if there was lax credentialing or if there was lax security, that would have been her fault,” explained Ryan.

Credentialing and security means that the officers of the convention ensure that all inside are who they say they are and that only duly elected delegates are present to vote.

“When they first presented their case to the contest committee, the contest committee found that there wasn’t enough evidence to invalidate the state convention or to rule against the delegates. So, instead of throwing it out like you would in a regular court of law – in a court of law if you sue someone and you don’t have enough evidence your case gets thrown out – in this situation the RNC kicked it down the line for a few more weeks and said we’ll figure it out in Tampa,” continued Ryan.

So, the convention is chaired by a Romney supporter and the national committeewoman in charge of credentialing and security is a Romney supporter. After Ron Paul supporters win a landslide victory, that same committeewoman joins Romney’s state campaign director in filing a contest based upon her own failure to ensure proper credentialing and security. The matter is put before the RNC, who are working hand in hand with Romney’s campaign.

As Ron Paul himself once wrote of the Federal Reserve System, “If that sounds fishy, then you understand it just fine.”

A call on Friday to Ms. Staples’ home phone was not returned.

Facing similar pressure, four of the five states agreed to have some of their delegates replaced with Romney supporters, but Maine held out.

“We didn’t agree to anything. We decided that we’d fight until the very end. The Committee on Contests made a recommendation to the Committee on Credentials to take 10 of our delegation off, 10 of our alternates off, so that’s 20 people total, and then the RNC hand-picked 10 delegates and 10 alternates to take their place, obviously who are all Mitt Romney supporters, all hand-picked and for the most part, party insiders” said Ryan.

So who were these unelected delegates? Are they even from Maine?

“These people are from Maine, but the people who chose these people are not from Maine. From what I’ve been told, but I haven’t been able to confirm this yet, our state party paid for them to come down, paid for their travel expenses and their hotel expenses, which a lot of people are incredibly angry about because they worked for months and in some cases years to make sure that they could afford to be here. They saved up over the four years to be able to fly down and now the state party is paying to fly down people who were never elected,” said Ryan

These details lend insight into former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele’s comment to Jon Stewart that the RNC’s treatment of Ron Paul and his supporters was “the height of rudeness and stupidity.”

“Why would you alienate them,” continued Steele, “get on the floor and not let them speak? Let his name go up on the board and let them see the numbers of electoral votes that he received.”

Had all of his delegates been seated, Ron Paul would also have been entitled to a 15-minute, unedited speech.

Apologists for the RNC claim that all of this was done to ensure that the convention came off as a show of unity within the party behind its nominee for president.

One has to wonder, though. What were they really so afraid of?

Tom Mullen is the author of A Return to Common Sense: Reawakening Liberty in the Inhabitants of America.

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…

Ron Paul festival set for fairgrounds in Tampa UPDATED: June 13, 2012 12:25 PM EST

TAMPA, June 12 2012 – The rollercoaster ride for Ron Paul’s supporters continues amidst more delegate wins and Senator Rand Paul’s controversial endorsement of Romney.

Liberty Unleashed, the nonprofit group incorporated in Florida by Paul supporters specifically to organize Paul Festival, announced today that it had signed a contract with the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa to hold the event there August 24-26. The RNC starts August 27.

Paul Festival will be three days of music, entertainment and activism featuring nationally-known musicians, comedians and other entertainers.

It will also feature plenty of the ideas shared by those who make up what Paul’s supporters call “the liberty movement.”

Liberty Unleashed and the Fairgrounds needed approval from the RNC Committee on Arrangements (COA) in order to proceed with the event. Both major parties typically lock up hundreds of venues in the host city during the week surrounding their national conventions. Liberty Unleashed had claimed that the COA was blocking the event to alienate Paul’s supporters.

Coming on the heels of Rand Paul’s endorsement, this latest development may lead to speculation about a deal that included release of the fairgrounds.

The COA had maintained that they were not blocking the event and that the request was simply in line with many others. The Paul Festival announcement was made after the COA was closed for the day. An e-mail was sent asking for clarification and an update will be provided should they respond.

Continue at 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…

Republican Party blocking massive Ron Paul event in Tampa?

TAMPA, June 2, 2012 – Ron Paul may have stopped actively campaigning in primary states that have not yet voted, but his Revolution shows no sign of slowing down.

Just a few days after the media erroneously reported that Ron Paul had dropped out of the presidential race, he won 80% of the delegates going to the Republican National Convention (RNC) from Minnesota.

His supporters are now organizing a massive event on the eve of the RNC to celebrate their ideas and Paul’s 77th birthday. Not just a political rally, Paul Festival will be three days of music, entertainment and activism featuring nationally-known musicians, comedians and other entertainers.

It will also feature plenty of the ideas of what Paul’s supporters call “the liberty movement.”

Reminiscent of Paul’s Rally for the Republic during the RNC in 2008, the event may have the Republican Party concerned about being upstaged again. The 2008 event sold out the Target Center in Minneapolis.

This time, Paul’s supporters are attempting to secure the Florida State Fairgrounds, where they expect an estimated 40,000 people per day to attend. The Republican Party is trying to block them.

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.