Yes, Ron Paul has won his second consecutive CPAC straw poll and as expected all the anti-libertarian, defense=offense, neo-conservatives (and Donald Trump, whatever he is) are dismissing the victory. They say it doesn’t mean anything. They don’t know what they are talking about, as usual. Of course it means something.
It doesn’t necessarily mean that Ron Paul will be the GOP nominee in 2012. Paul hasn’t even announced if he’s running yet. The victory’s meaning really has little to do with 2012 and much to do with the future direction of the Republican Party.
The organizers of CPAC sheepishly denounced their own straw poll prior to announcing Ron Paul as the winner. Appropriately enough, while they denounced the presidential preference question they gushed when talking about the results to the other questions in the poll. Yet the same people that voted for Ron Paul answered those other questions as well. Why did they not suggest that those results were skewed?
Yes, Ron Paul’s Campaign For Liberty and Young Americans for Liberty made it easier for supporters to attend CPAC by offering discounted tickets and lodging packages. They did not “bus them in” as some suggested. The reason so many showed up at CPAC for Ron Paul is because they are true political activists. They are active, vocal, and dedicated to spreading the liberty message to those who are and aren’t willing to listen. This is something the GOP has been missing for a long time.
It is mainly foreign policy differences that keep the old guard GOP from embracing these young Ron Paul activists. Perhaps if the rest of the Republican Party could ever understand the fundamental differences between…
preemptive war and national defense
isolationist and non-interventionist
anti-semitism and ending all foreign aid
blaming America and blaming American policy
…they could welcome Ron Paul and his supporters. The CPAC straw poll result suggests an effort should be made to understand and perhaps embrace these differences. After all, isn’t the ultimate Republican goal to defeat Obama in 2012? Seeing eye to eye with Ron Paul and his numerous activist supporters could go a long way toward that goal.
I have little hope this will happen, but in the long run it may not matter. Many of those young Ron Paul supporters are growing up, feeding on liberty, and will become office-seekers in the future.
The result of the CPAC straw poll does have meaning. It suggests the future is burning bright with the fire of liberty.
The great Robert Higgs makes the best argument yet against the idiotic neo-conservative “blame America” accusation in his latest commentary.
In discourse about public affairs, words matter much more than most people appreciate. We live immersed in language so twisted and abused, in part by the design of interested parties and in part by the sloth of inattentive speakers and listeners, that we often fail to notice or object to linguistic miscarriages that pass for intelligent expression. The examples are legion, but here I have in mind a particular turn of phrase that American conservatives, especially neocons, have employed in recent years as a counterstrike against critics of U.S. foreign and defense policy: They describe such critics as “blaming America” or sometimes as “blaming America first” for attacks against this country or its citizens abroad.
Thus, for example, those who fault U.S. Middle East policies for creating the conditions that caused Muslim fanatics to attack Americans, both at home and overseas, are said to be blaming America for what the policy’s defenders’ take to be the unprovoked acts of terrorists bent on imposing Sharia on the United States, destroying this country’s freedoms, or attaining another such farfetched objective.
Applications to earlier events and policies include use of the expression to fend off the arguments and evidence of those who maintain that the Roosevelt administration waged economic warfare in 1940-41 to provoke a Japanese attack that would justify and lead directly to full-fledged U.S. engagement in World War II; and use of the expression against those who argue that the Truman administration bore at least partial responsibility for the onset of the Cold War. People accused of blaming America are commonly called “America haters.”
Although this riposte to criticism is the rhetorical tactic of first resort for the more simple-minded, flag-waving species of self-anointed patriots, it is by no means their exclusive property. Neocons writing in such elevated outlets as the New York Times and the Washington Post have not been bashful about smearing their critics as people who “blame America.” I noticed this linguistic resort most recently in a commentary by an intelligent, reasonable economist and was shocked that he would embrace this trope while suggesting that “pacifists” and others who criticize U.S. foreign and defense policies are unrealistically imagining that international disputes and warfare can somehow be eliminated from human affairs.
In my view, replying to policy critics by accusing them of “blaming America” is worse than linguistically crude and ideologically twisted; it is stupid.
Editor’s Note: After a long hiatus, we’ve just received another article submission from Richard Deekbag. His previous submission was posted here in an effort to represent a perspective opposite of Liberty Maven’s typical material. You can read that previous article, Why Ron Paul is wrong on every damn thing!, here. This new submission is being posted for the same reason. Remember, he’s an anti-Ron Paul neocon who runs the following website (we apologize for the length of the URL):
What a joke! All these idiots complaining about their junk being touched by the TSA. I say we should just stand there and take it like real men. I say, “If it’s for national security then TOUCH MY JUNK, PLEASE!!” It’s the patriotic thing to do. If you opt-out of the junk-touching then the terrorists win, pure and simple. If you opt-out of the junk-touching then you hate America!!
I do think there is room for the TSA to improve this process though. It appears that all females get to be felt up by female TSA agents and all males get to be fondled by male TSA agents. This is a discriminatory practice. The TSA should ask the traveler if he or she is a homosexual. If the answer is affirmative then the traveler should be appropriately touched by a member of the opposite sex.
Yes, all touching in the name of national security is appropriate. Other than that small change I applaud the great work of the TSA over the past few weeks. The skies are infinitely safer and there can be no one who says they aren’t friendlier with this policy in place. In fact, they just published a children’s book to help children adapt to the new policy. Here’s is the cover:
With all of the “sky is falling” melodrama over Wikileaks all over the media, I find Robert Gates refreshingly honest in this answer to Michael Yon. Yon asked Gates an intriguing question regarding Wikileaks and the potential damage it may do to sharing information between intelligence agencies. Among other things, Gates said the following:
Now, I’ve heard the impact of these releases on our foreign policy described as a meltdown, as a game-changer, and so on. I think — I think those descriptions are fairly significantly overwrought. The fact is, governments deal with the United States because it’s in their interest, not because they like us, not because they trust us, and not because they believe we can keep secrets. Many governments — some governments deal with us because they fear us, some because they respect us, most because they need us. We are still essentially, as has been said before, the indispensable nation.
So other nations will continue to deal with us. They will continue to work with us. We will continue to share sensitive information with one another.
Is this embarrassing? Yes. Is it awkward? Yes. Consequences for U.S. foreign policy? I think fairly modest.
Of course, now some people are making the claim that the information leaked may end up benefiting the Obama administration and the source of the leak may be the administration itself. Is this some kind of weird reverse trutherism? I doubt this claim is true, but it’s an interesting thought when coupled with Gates response above. Read more about this claim at reason.com.
Today, Ron Paul, released the following regarding Obama’s speech last night.
And of course, he’s spot on as usual. Note that the picture associated with this post was not released by Ron Paul as part of the press release.
“The President’s announcement that all U.S. combat troops have left Iraq is no more believable than the ‘Mission Accomplished’ declaration was in 2003.
“Once again, we are being told the mission has been accomplished and our brave men and women are coming back home. Though the people are hopeful they remain skeptical, and rightfully so.
“The biggest problem is that success in Iraq is undefinable since the mission was never defined. The reasons given for the invasion were based on misinformation. Now, the war has cost us hundreds of billions of dollars and this has contributed significantly to our economic woes.
“Forty-four hundred Americans are dead, thirty thousand severely wounded, and more than a hundred thousand are suffering from serious health problems related to Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. This alone should tell us that it was not worth the investment and the needless sacrifice of our young people and the taxpayers.
“It is deceitful to imply we will avoid hostilities with this new policy. We still have to contend with:
the 50,000 troops carrying weapons remain in Iraq
the 100,000 contractors that remain with more expected to go to Iraq
the 9,000 special ops personnel trained in assassinations that remain in Iraq
a huge embassy, bigger than the Vatican, that will remain
Dozens of military bases that will stay
Al Qaeda organizations that did not exist before the war
Muqtada al Sadr, a strong nationalist who has gained much political power
The fact that Iran benefits tremendously with the Shiites now in power in Iraq and is a close ally of al Sadr
“Osama bin Laden wins by ‘proving’ that America has an agenda of occupation in the Middle East. And, we continue to walk into his trap and hand him up his best recruitment tool in his efforts to incite hatred and terrorism against the United States.
“What’s worse, President Obama made it clear last night that the troops and resources leaving Iraq will not come home to defend our country or ease our economic woes. They will instead be diverted to Afghanistan, perhaps also Pakistan and, I fear, even Iran.
“From my viewpoint we are the losers in this fool’s errand of endless war. Tragically, this new policy is not one of peace but merely a charade that will severely undermine our national security and continue us down the path to bankruptcy—a threat that we best not long ignore.”
To paraphrase what I heard in Barack Obama’s speech earlier tonight…
- We’re bringing our combat troops home from Iraq… and sending them to risk death in other no-win wars.
- But we’re gonna keep about 50,000 troops in Iraq to… do what they’ve already been doing since around 2005… nation-building.
- Sometime in 2011 we will remove all U.S. military troops from Iraq (yeah right) but we will leave behind a private “force” to continue our nation-building there.
- Though George W. Bush was a patriot and we may have disagreed on a bit of foreign policy minutia we are in large agreement that we must continue breeding hatred for all things America by shifting our focus toward different faux-monsters to destroy in far away lands.
- Yes, like George W. Bush, I have trouble going to sleep at night because there are terrorist monsters under America’s bed. I don’t care if you can’t see them when you turn on the light and look. They are there! I swear!
- We spent far too much money on the Iraq War so we must bring it home and spend it on entitlement programs then borrow perhaps another trillion or so to copy our Iraq effort in Afghanistan and who knows maybe we’ll do the same in Iran or Pakistan a bit later. This will be sure to help our economy here at home.
- God Bless America because we need all the help we can get with me as your president.
- You should have all voted for Ron Paul. Let’s hope you get another chance in 2012.
That about sums up what I heard from President Barack Obama tonight. The non-paraphrased version is available too. I assure you there is not much different than my condensed version except for maybe that last Ron Paul bit.
As fiscal conservatives continue to seek avenues through which to derail the federal gravy train, it helps from time to time to take a look at the mind-numbingly long list of federal departments and agencies that are on board. Of course, this list is hardly exhaustive – just one that is publicly available – but it can certainly give us some concrete ideas on how and where to cut the spending.
About: “On October 1, 1999, the Broadcasting Board Governors (BBG) became the independent federal agency responsible for all U.S. government and government sponsored, non military, international broadcasting. This was the result of the 1998 Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act (Public Law 105-277), the single most important legislation affecting U.S. international broadcasting since the early 1950s.” FY 2010 Budget: $745.5 million (Source)
The Broadcasting Board of Governors might be more aptly named the American Bureau of Propaganda. The stated mission of the BBG is to “promote and sustain freedom and democracy by broadcasting accurate and objective news and information about the United States and the world to audiences overseas.” Wait – how can you be objective and also aim to “promote and sustain freedom and democracy?” In addition, the BBG contains various subsidiaries designed to “reach key audiences in strategically important countries.” Remember, though – just because they have “key audiences” that they would like to reach and influence, does not mean that they are not objective. Read More »
RNC Chairman, Michael Steele, made some comments that riled his fellow neo-conservatives regarding the war in Afghanistan. It riled them so much that many of them are playing the part of the Red Queen in Tim Burton’s, “Alice in Wonderland”. They are yelling, “Off with his head!”
William Kristol and Redstate.com’s, Erick Erickson are among those calling for Steele’s resignation. Here is what Steele said that drew their ire:
“Keep in mind again, for our federal candidates, this was a war of Obama’s choosing,” Steele said. “This is not something the United States had actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in.”
“It was the president who was trying to be cute by half by flipping a script demonizing Iraq, while saying the battle really should be in Afghanistan,” Steele said, referring to Obama’s insistence during the presidential campaign that the U.S. should be focused on Afghanistan instead of Iraq.
“Well, if he’s such a student of history, has he not understood that, you know, that’s the one thing you don’t do, is engage in a land war in Afghanistan? All right, because everyone who has tried, over a thousand years of history, has failed. And there are reasons for that. There are other ways to engage in Afghanistan.”
First of all, these remarks seem quite benign to me, especially since Steele clearly does not want to bring the troops home. He just disagrees with the method by which the war is being fought. However, it also seems to me that he’s going a bit Ron Paul here. He did pick up a copy of Paul’s “End the Fed” at CPAC earlier this year. Perhaps that is what his fellow neo-conservatives hear in his words. We all know how much they despise the truth, er… I mean, Ron Paul.