Posts Tagged ‘ron paul’

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Up is down…. (part two)

October 1, 2008

(Moore) wisdom from the mouths of fools

“EVERYBODY NEEDS TO TAKE A DEEP BREATH, CALM DOWN, AND NOT LET FEAR RULE THE DAY. Turn off the TV! We are not in the Second Great Depression. The sky is not falling. Pundits and politicians are lying to us so fast and furious it’s hard not to be affected by all the fear mongering. Even I, yesterday, wrote to you and repeated what I heard on the news, that the Dow had the biggest one day drop in its history. Well, that’s true in terms of points, but its 7% drop came nowhere close to Black Monday in 1987 when the stock market in one day lost 23% of its value. In the ’80s, 3,000 banks closed, but America didn’t go out of business. These institutions have always had their ups and downs and eventually it works out.” – Michael Moore

Now, as readers may have gathered, I am against the bailout. This is on mostly right of centre grounds (it’s an unecessary intervention, will waste American taxpayers money and British taxpaers will end up paying for it if Obama has his way) combined with some left of centre grounds (it will tie up money that could be used for universal healthcare). However, the annoying thing about being against the bailout is having to admit that for once, and once only, Michelle Malkin, Ron Paul and now Michael Moore are speaking more sense that the editorial boards of the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, though some of their solutions (including Michael Moore’s) are almost as bad (or worse) than the Paulson plan.

The annoying thing is that this was unecessary. The PPI (the economic wing of the DLC) had some good advice and Charles Schumer had a good plan. But because Nancy Pelosi has neither the spine nor the political common sense to do anything than capitulate to Bush, America (and the rest of the world if Obama has his way) is going to have to pay. Even more annoying is the fact that Malkin, Paul and Moore will use the fact that they correct on this one issue to try to legitimise all the racist, pacifist and plain nutty garbage they spew out (Sullivan and NRO do not fall into this category).

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Is is worth betting on a third party to take the White House?

May 27, 2008

Could the ‘Ron Paul bubble’ strike again?

With Barr’s victory in the Libertarian Party nomination it is interesting to consider whether the bubble that saw Ron Paul’s price hit a peak of 25 in the New Hampshire primary, could ever be repeated. Certainly, Barr doesn’t have the appeal to the antiwar fringe that Ron Paul did, and indeed his running mate Wayne Root actually donated money to Joe Lieberman, but could even a diminished coalition of paleoconservatives, libertarians and crazies move the third party betting price from 1.4 on Intrade.com to something higher? Although I am not suggesting that Barr has any chances, and a objective point of view would suggest there is more chance of Elvis being found alive than a President Barr, but given the stupidity of those who bet on Ron Paul, maybe there will be a new set of ‘greater fools’ emerging. Of course there is always the microscopic possibility that a more plausible third party bid might emerge.

What do you think? Leave your comments below.

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Returning to National Greatness: How the GOP can reinvent itself

May 16, 2008

TPT offers some advice to the elephant

The Republican party seems to be in turmoil with a combination of poor congressional ratings and a shocking results in Mississippi producing a crisis of confidence that has seen the ravings of Ron Paul climb to the top of the bookseller charts. Given that every person with access to a computer has written about the direction the Republican party should be taking, I am going to outline my suggestions on what the Republican party should do. It might seem strange that a left-of-centre Brit, who is definitely not any sort of conservative, is giving advice to the GOP, but I would contend that the amount of money that I have staked on Obama not being president, and the small amount that I have on the Republicans retaking Congress makes my motivations more straightforward that those of other commentators. In any case distance from the subject has never stopped me before so it is not going to stop me now.

The first thing that the Republican party needs to do is to move to the centre on economic issues. The Democrats, even though they have been dominated by the left, have managed to gain a huge advantage on the economy, healthcare and taxation. Indeed, had September 11th not increased the importance of national security, and unleashed the forces that would move the Democrats sharply to the left, the Republican party would have lost badly in 2002 and a Democrat would now be occupying the White House. Even the Republican magazines were disgusted with the ‘no-government anarchism’ of Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson and Ron Paul when it dominated the Republican debates in the fall of 2004. Economic conservatism might have got some traction in the 70s and 80s when taxes were sky high, but they now seem like an anachronism in an age of increasing inequality. By all means the Republican party should remain an opponent of wasteful spending and a supporter of free trade, since these are good for society whatever philosophy you support, but it should recognise that the government needs to play a more active role in healthcare and education.

The Republican party also needs to stop treating people like Newt Gingrich with reverence. Although he occasionally has a few good ideas, such as his support for a McCain/Lieberman ticket, he is extremely unpopular in the country at large. Indeed, the latest poll gave Newt Gingrich a net approval rating of -27%. Similarly, although it may break the heart of Andrew Sullivan, Barry Goldwater should not be a model for the modern Republican party, unless they want to experience a repeat of 1964. Although many people believe that Bush was unpopular because he departed from ‘conservative’ (or more accurately paleo-libertarian) principles, the inconvenient truth is that it was precisely those departures (Iraq, No Child Left Behind) that have made him a middle-ranking president, as opposed to one of the worst. Even if one ignores the fact that the policies of the libertarian and conservative philosopher kings of the Republican Party are both unpopular and unworkable, their ‘leave us alone’ philosophy on guns directly runs against their distaste for immigrants and their love for limited government and the market runs against their support for attempts to find loopholes to the antitrust laws.

In essence the Republicans need to re-read David Brook’s 1997 essay, ‘A Return to National Greatness: A Manifesto for a Lost Creed’. In this David Brooks argues for a several key principles, ‘limited but energetic government, full-bore Americanism, active foreign policy, big national projects (such as the Panama Canal and the national parks), and efforts to smash cozy arrangements (like the trusts) that retarded dynamic meritocracy’. In essence this means a more socially conservative version of the Blairite/DLC agenda. Of course, you could argue that it has been Bush’s pursuit of this agenda that has got the GOP in these straits. However, it is not Bush’s foreign policy that is the reason that he is at twenty eight percent in the pollster.com polling averages, it has been his departure from it. This was illustrated in the 2004 exit polls where Bush beat Kerry by nearly twenty points (59.5 vs 40.2) among voters who were concerned about foreign policy (National Security and Iraq) but lost by a whopping 33% with those who focused more on domestic issues (Healthcare, Education and Taxes).

Indeed, the triumph of the anti-war and anti-everything wing of the Democratic party has opened an opportunity for the Republicans to capture the centre ground, as has the emergence, in Barack Obama, of a Democratic candidate who not only seems determined to drive a wedge between the generations but is more likely to nod his head to Jeremiah Wright’s rantings than view his country as a force for good. When even someone like Hillary Clinton is held to be too right-wing and too wedded to middle America for the Democratic party, you know that something is wrong. Of course, it is important to remember that there are potential flaws. This strategy should not be an imitation of David Cameron or Boris Johnson’s peculiar amalgam or elitism, isolationist (and in Boris Johnson’s case) racism. It also should be noted that ‘full-bore Americanism’ in this context means a celebration of a ‘shinning city on a hill’ and positive action to welcome immigrants out of the shadows of the underground economy into the American family, rather than a xenophobic immigration policy or the unwholesome dog whistling that Hillary Clinton and the North Carolina GOP have been engaged in. In essence this means combining the populism and honour of John McCain, combined with Giuliani’s optimism and Lieberman’s principled stance on foriegn policy and family values.

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Is this McCain’s chance for a ‘Sister Soulja’ moment?

May 13, 2008

Why McCain turn this to his advantage

This attempt by Ron Paul supporters to use the threat of chaos at the Republican convention to gain a speaking spot for their candidate presents an opportunity for his campaign. Although it would be easy to buy Paul’s supporters off with a graveyard speaking spot he needs to make it clear that their paleo-anarchist philosophy has no place within his tent. He can do this by refusing Paul a spot at the convention, devoting a speech to attacking Paul’s philosophy of foreign policy and government and by selecting one of the two vice-presidential choices who most directly go against the isolationism and racist associations of the Texas congressman. This will not be the first time McCain has directly confronted Paul, but it needs to be done again, both for McCain’s campaign and for the future direction of American politics.

Of course this could lead to Ron Paul running as an independent or endorsing Barack Obama (I doubt Paul would follow Ann Coulter and endorse Hillary Clinton if she was the Democratic nominee), but for every vote that McCain could lose to Paul, I would guess that he would gain five from independent Democrats and Independents, who would be pleased to see him standing up for what he believes in.

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Betting Journal: Lots of actvity

March 15, 2008

I bought ten contracts on Ron Paul and Rudolph Giuliani winning the GOP nomination, closing out my short. I also sold short seventeen contracts on Barack Obama becoming the next President.

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Will these two Congressmen win their primaries?

March 4, 2008

The two other important contests in Ohio and Texas.

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While the primary contests between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are taking up all the headlines there are two primaries that could affect how the election turns out taking place in Ohio and Texas. I’m referring of course to the primary challenges that Denis Kucinich and Ron Paul are facing from local parties that are tired with their attention seeking antics on foriegn policy. While I viruntely disagree with both of them I believe that it would be interesting to see whether they would consider third party presidential bids if they lost their primaries. Both Paul and Kucinich have vowed not to run as indepndants but they would probably forget such pledges if they lost tonight. Their national prominance and dedicated supporters mean that Paul could siphon away a few votes from McCain on a Libertarian ticket while Kucinich could do the same to the eventual Democratic nominee. I’m of course talking about 1-2% rather than a large amount but if you remember Florida 2000 then even that could have an effect.

What do you think? Leave your comments below?

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Final Projections for Texas and Ohio (R)

March 4, 2008

Will this man be tucking into the sweet taste of victory tonight?

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My final Samplemiser projections for Texas are:

John McCain 56.23
Mike Huckabee 31.69
Ron Paul 6.39

My projections for Ohio:

John McCain 57.97
Mike Huckabee 28.6
Ron Paul 6.89

The projections are pretty much unchanged, with McCain miles ahead of Huckabee and Paul.