Mitt Romney

Rand Paul: Endorsing a Candidate, not a Philosophy

A lot of people have asked me about Rand Paul’s endorsement of Mitt Romney. Does it mean I now support Mitt Romney? Does it mean that Rand has abandoned the libertarians? Are the Pauls fighting? Is it part of some two-pronged Paul-Paul strategy to get some respect from the mainstream GOP for Rand’s presidential run in 2016 or 2020?

While I wasn’t exactly thrilled to see Rand endorse Mitt Romney, there are some reasons that this endorsement makes sense. Plus, in four (or eight) years when Rand runs for president, those who criticize him for the endorsement now won’t care about it then. On the other side of that coin, those delighted by the Romney endorsement won’t have the “not a team player” card to play at that time.

It’s also important to remember that endorsements these days mean almost nothing. Like a free toothbrush at the dentist’s office, anybody who really wants an endorsement can get one. If Rand Paul wants to endorse Romney as a candidate, that’s fine with me. Plus, Paul is an elected Republican with real presidential possibility. In what universe would endorsing someone other than the GOP nominee make any sense for him?

Rand’s endorsement of Romney the candidate means nothing to me. But if Rand endorses Romney’s philosophy, we’ve got issues. Playing nice within the Party is one thing; jumping on the big government bandwagon is something else entirely.

You can imagine my delight when I saw this article from Rand Paul. He is very direct in his criticism of the Obama administration, especially since Obama campaigned on a platform of ending wars and since his election, he has done the exact opposite. Obama deserves this criticism.

An Open Letter To Ron Paul Supporters

Brian Doherty, whose written a history of the libertarian movement and, most recently, a history of Ron Paul’s two most recent campaigns for the Presidency, writes today about what might come next for the movement that has sprung up around the retiring Texas Congressman now that his campaign, and his political career, have come to an end:

While Ron Paul has no future in politics, the Ron Paul machine and his son, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, will. That’s why the political pros in the Paul movement don’t appreciate acting-out like Richard Gilbert’s lawsuit. That’s also why Rand Paul risked the wrath of his father’s hardcore fans by endorsing Mitt Romney, just as soon as Ron Paul admitted he would not win.

Senator Paul knows he needs to reach beyond his father’s 10-15 percent base in the primaries to more mainstream, red-state, talk-radio Republicans. He can’t do that by marking himself as a traitor to the party. So he stands behind nominee Romney and plans to actively campaign for him.

But he also can’t mark himself a traitor to the Ron Paul cause. So Rand Paul followed up his endorsement by calling out Romney in the pages of National Review for Romney’s declaration that he would have the authority as president to start a war with Iran. That sort of foreign policy adventurism — especially when done without respect for Congress’s traditional constitutional power over declaring war — is anathema to the core Ron Paul crowd, and Rand Paul condemned it.


It’s Time to Grasp Some Reality

I saw this post over the weekend, and I’ve wrestled over whether or not to do this, but I can’t be silent. There are a lot of readers here who also read Daily Paul, and a lot of you aren’t going to like this, but something needs to be said. Here goes:

Ron Paul won’t be the GOP nominee this year.

I know the convention isn’t until later this summer. I know there are unbound delegates. I know there’s a law suit trying to unbind delegates. I know you believe he’s going to win, but he’s not.

Don’t misunderstand me, either. I don’t enjoy admitting this. I really wanted him to win. I’ve shared before how he’s singlehandedly responsible for making me care about politics. I’m a big fan, but it’s time that all of us grasp the reality that he’s not going to be our nominee.

Now we’re in this critical point in the campaign season. We can admit defeat and press forward for liberty, or we can be the crazy people in the corner with ridiculous law suits and fuzzy math. Let’s not be the crazy people. Pressing forward for liberty is the right choice to make.

Working for freedom for some might mean biting a lip and following Rand Paul in his endorsement of Mitt Romney. For others, it’ll mean supporting Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate on the ballot. But no matter which path you need to take, take it. Don’t be the crazy guy in the corner counting “what if” delegates and trying to convince people that your math is right.

Ron Paul has reached us with his message. This liberty movement sparked by the message of freedom will go on. Paul’s presidential campaign, unfortunately, will not. It’s time we all grasp that reality.

Three Reasons Why I Think Romney Will Win in November

I’m not going to pretend for a minute that I think that Romney is the best thing to happen to America. He has not committed to seriously cut spending, he’s been pandering to his social conservative base so much we can’t expect improvements on that front, and I don’t expect him to end the wars. But, when I look at the data out there, I think that he will win the election in November. Not handily, not by a landslide, but it will be a win.

My reasoning comes down to three points:

  1. It’s the Economy, Stupid
  2. Majority of Americans Opposed to Big Government
  3. Obama’s Support Fading

It’s the Economy, Stupid: This one is fairly simple. The economy is in tatters. Roughly 13 million Americans are out of work. The unemployment numbers are just horrific for recent college graduates, one of the biggest support groups for Obama ‘08, half of whom can’t find work. Obama’s stimulus programs have been abject failures. But there’s one datapoint in particular that has only started getting attention recently.

That’s the “civilian labor force participation rate.” Essentially, the civilian LFPR is the percentage of Americans who are either working or are unemployed but are looking for work. That means that if you’re not sending out job applications and have given up, well, congratulations—you’re no longer unemployed! (At least in the minds of the analytical mentats of the Bureau for Labor Statistics.)

Obama: “Private sector is doing fine”

On Friday, President Barack Obama hosted a press conference at the White House to discuss the economy. It wasn’t his finest moment. In his remarks, Obama told the media that all is well in the private-sector, rather it is the public-sector that is holding the economy back. Here’s the relevant quote:

The truth of the matter is that, as I said, we created 4.3 million jobs over the last 27 months, over 800,000 just this year alone. The private sector is doing fine. Where we’re seeing weaknesses in our economy have to do with state and local government. Often times cuts initiated by, you know, Governors or mayors who are not getting the kind of help that they have in the past from the federal government and who don’t have the same kind of flexibility as the federal government in dealing with fewer revenues coming in.

It’s hard to convince many people, particularly those that will be voting in the fall, that the private-sector economy is “doing fine.” People see the news reports about tepid job creation, still high unemployment numbers, and incredibly large budget deficit. They’re no doubt wondering what planet Obama has been living on over the last three-plus years.

The press conference really could be taken as an in-kind contribution to Mitt Romney and the Republican Party. They’ve pounced on the opportunity to slam the gaffe-tastic remarks. Playing right into their hands, Obama later issued a statement emphasizing that the economy is, in fact, not doing all that well:

Why Rand Paul had to endorse Romney

Last night on Hannity came a sign that the Ron Paul campaign may finally be at its end.  The Congressman’s son and campaign surrogate, Senator Rand Paul, officially endorsed the presumptive Republican nominee, Mitt Romney.  And predictably, countless tweets and blog posts were written declaring Rand a traitor to liberty.

But anyone who expected otherwise was severely deluded.  Rand has never been the devout libertarian that his father is.  He is certainly a libertarian-leaning Republican, and while he can often be a good ally to libertarians in the Senate, he is still first and foremost a Republican.  And as a Senator he has much less latitude to diverge from the party line and needs other Senators to cooperate with him.

Because of this, the chances of him endorsing Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson were somewhere around one in one billion.  While such an endorsement would make many libertarians happy, it would end his life as a Republican.  It would mean that he would have no party support whatsoever come re-election time.  It would alienate him from the party and mean he would get nothing accomplished in the Senate.

Similarly, all but the most quixotic supporters know that the Ron Paul campaign is over.  Ron Paul himself has acknowledged he can’t win and Mitt Romney has secured the necessary delegates.  The various party elements have begun coalescing around Romney and if Rand Paul wants a future in the party he needed to as well.

Scott Walker wins Wisconsin recall

With nearly 100% of the precincts reporting this morning, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has survived the recall challenge, which engineered by Big Labor and state Democrats, against Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett by a healthy margin.

Here are the results:

  • Walker (R): 53.2
  • Barrett (D): 46.3%
  • Trivedi (I): 0.6%

Some are saying that the race, given that Walker won by nearly 7 points, could put the state on the board this fall in the presidential election. There is certainly a measure of optimism for Republicans since this recall had such heavy implications. However, Republicans should be too hopeful since exit polling showed President Barack Obama leading Mitt Romney by 9 points.

The New York Times notes that, while outside spending was heavy in Wisconsin during the course of the race, nine out of every 10 voters had their minds made up by May 1st. Money is great if its on your side, but at some point voters probably started turning off their televisions because they were tired of seeing the flood of ads.

Conservatives Need To Focus On The Two Scandals That Matter

There have been a lot of silly “scandals” during this election season, which is a usual and normal waste byproduct of the American election process, though this year has been notably intense. Unfortunately, between the “scandals” of Obama having eaten dog while a child in Indonesia, criticism over a flubbed line in Poland, guffaws about him using the word “thingamajig” in a speech, and the resurgent “Birther” nonesense, conservatives and libertarians are losing sight of the real problems with the Obama administration. As I see it, there are two that need to be focused on relentlessly:

  1. The absolutely dismal economic situation, exacerbated by this president’s misguided and foolhardy policies
  2. The utterly atrocious record on civil liberties that President Obama has engendered, a holdover from the Bush administration (so much for “Change”)

Everything else can pretty much be secondary to this or just treated as nonsense. These are the real core problems with the Obama administration, and they are all that conservatives need to hammer him with. Forget the memes, forget the social conservatism, just focus on two things: jobs and civil liberties (which does, in case you’re wondering, tie into foreign policy. A bit.)

The economic problem is fairly straightforward: this is the worst recession since World War II, bar none. From the Calculated Risk blog, this chart shows you how badly:


Five issues that will not win the 2012 election

Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve seen Republicans begin to criticize President Barack Obama on various ancillary issues. Some of them are valid. Others not so much. Poll after poll shows that Americans are more concerned about the economy and jobs than other issues that may pop up in the news or the various memes that may arise from either the right or the left.

Here are some of the oft-repeated issues that have come up in recent days that conservatives and Republicans should stay away from if they hope to beat Obama and Democrats in the fall.

Social Issues: We’ve been over this one before thanks to the contraceptive kerfuffle earlier this year. It ended up being a bad issue for Republicans and they took a hit with women in the polls. They were largely right, in that taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to fund contraceptives and that the mandate was an infringement of the First Amendment on religious organizations that now have to pay for something to which they may have a moral objection.

More recently, however, it looks like they learned their lesson. When President Obama announced his support for gay marriage at the state-level, Republicans in Congress were mostly silent, though they did reinterate their support for the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which is facing a legal challenge. That doesn’t mean that it won’t come up again during the course of the next several months, as we get close to November.

Polls show that social issues, such as gay marriage and abortion, are not on minds of voters, particularly independents. And perhaps even more of important are polls that show a majority of Americans are supportive of gay marriage.

Vote Your Conscience

On Twitter, many conservatives and Republicans have been badgering people who are threatening to not vote for Mitt Romney. They have been saying that if you don’t vote for Mitt Romney, you’re voting for Barack Obama. This is silly reasoning at its best. The only way you vote for Barack Obama is by actually voting for Barack Obama. Libertarians and others who love liberty should vote their conscience in November and vote for the candidate who best represents their views.

The Republican Party has not offered very much for libertarians to vote for. The GOP controlled House has failed to lead on reducing the size and scope of government. Mitt Romney has not offered up any serious or substantial cuts. Plus, Mitt Romney supports anti-liberty legislation such as the Federal Marriage Amendment and the indefinite detention provisions of the NDAA. Plus, Romney during the primaries supported a hard-line on immigration reform and on foreign policy, generally offers more of the same as Barack Obama. Finally, there is the simple fact that all throughout Mitt Romney’s political career; he has been on just about every side of every issue possible, sometimes simultaneously. Romney, politically, is not a man to be trusted even in a millennium of Sundays.

On the other hand, I don’t need to tell anybody who reads this site how horrendous of a president Barack Obama is. He has been an absolute failure from a libertarian perspective, so I can understand the inclination to replace him, even with someone like Mitt Romney. However consider this, what kind of message would it send to the Republican Party to nominate someone like Romney and have him win?

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