Peggy Noonan Warns The GOP

It’s time, she stays, to stop laughing at Ron Paul and start debating him:

The debate was full of fireworks about Iraq, about its essentials–the rightness of the endeavor, and what should rightly be done now. From the libertarian Ron Paul a blunt argument against the war: We never should have gone in and we should get out. “The people who say there’ll be a blood bath are the same ones who said it would be a cakewalk. . . . Why believe them?” His foreign policy: “Mind our own business, bring our troops home, defend our country, defend our borders.” After Mr. Paul spoke, it seemed half the room booed, but the other applauded. When a thousand Republicans are in a room and one man of the eight on the stage takes a sharply minority viewpoint on a dramatic issue and half the room seems to cheer him, something’s going on.

Ron Paul’s support isn’t based on his persona, history or perceived power. What support he has comes because of his views. As he spoke, you could hear other candidates laughing in the background. They should stop giggling, and engage in a serious way

Something tells me that’s not likely to happen.

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  • http://dangerouslyidealistic.blogspot.com/ UCrawford

    Keep in mind, Doug, that people said the same things about the Republican establishment and Goldwater. Nelson Rockefeller was supposedly the poster boy for Republican values, but Goldwater realized there was a bigger market for his views in the party than the mainstream realized and pulled the nomination. Paul needs more appearances like that one…he handled it very well, despite the fact that he’s not in Goldwater’s class as a public speaker (although he seems to be improving greatly).

    Frankly, I thought the debate illustrated just how petty and stupid Guiliani actually is. If his opponents are smart, his snorts and laughs during the debate will come up in future campaign ads.

    And Peggy Noonan broke ranks with the GOP awhile ago because she couldn’t stomach the Bush administration’s “lack of wisdom” (her words, not mine, although I agree). She’s a sharp lady.

  • TheOneLaw

    The sheer quantity of citizens who seemingly defy the Constitution is depressing, and there is no solace in the candidates the media favor. This whole effort will likely end in a soppy win by someone like McCain swiftly followed by Armegeddon.I wish there was hope but all appears bleak given the depths of American ignorance.
    TheOneLaw

  • http://www.thesparsematrix.com rho

    This whole effort will likely end in a soppy win by someone like McCain swiftly followed by Armegeddon.

    The most likely President come 2008 will be Hillary Clinton. I don’t think any of the current most-likely Republican candidates can beat her.

  • http://www.orderhotlunch.com Jeff Molby

    The most likely President come 2008 will be Hillary Clinton. I don’t think any of the current most-likely Republican candidates can beat her.

    Without a doubt. The sad thing is that the Republicans I know are confident that the base will be so mobilized in opposition to Hillary that they’ll still win. They just don’t realize the extent to which they’ve alienated every single swing voter.

  • http://dangerouslyidealistic.blogspot.com/ UCrawford

    Jeff,

    That’s because fanatics don’t analyze politics objectively. The Republicans don’t care about creating a policy platform that anyone can accept, they think that just bashing on Hillary will be enough.

    On the plus side, however, I think that getting their asses handed to them in 2008 would do wonders for the GOP in the long run (introducing neo-conservatives to a much-needed dose of reality) and would hurt the Democrats in the long run too (since I think Hillary would run through all the good will by 2010 and would cost her party that election). Life would suck for us for awhile under a Hillary regime, but then again it took Jimmy Carter to bring Ronald Reagan to the White House :)

    Man, I like that Ron Paul putdown of Huckabee more and more all the time, about how Iraq is going to kill the GOP in 2008. I think he really nailed the point and pointed out just how flawed the platform was, and it sounded like the crowd (both the pros and cons) paid attention to it. Not to sound like a hopeless optimist, but I actually do think that Paul’s going to make increasingly bigger waves as this primary goes on.

  • Bob

    Swing voters are anti Bush I’m not sure if they’re anti all Republicans. Hillary’s negatives are very high. So the base will rally around Thompson and McCain, maybe Romney but Rudy is pro-choice, anti-Gun and pro illegal immigrant if he is the nominee I think the base will take this election off.

  • http://dangerouslyidealistic.blogspot.com/ UCrawford

    Bob,

    I think that the current Republican leadership is making the swing voters anti-Republican. They’re not aiming for inclusiveness and there’s little to attract swing voters in the platform. The front-runners are essentially espousing Bush’s policies (whenever they’re not ducking the questions) and the sentiment towards voters appears to be “Accept us or fuck off, traitors.” That’s not a winning strategy.

    Agreed that Guiliani is probably going to prove unacceptable (although I think the reasons for this will be different than you think). McCain’s campaign still has to come up with money and a strategy for winning (he’s the closest to Bush’s platform and I don’t think that’s going to sell), Romney comes off too much like John Kerry (no idea what his issues are because he keeps changing positions, which will allow his opponents to define him), Thompson generally keeps his policies vague but the ones he’s expanded on are the same as Bush’s. Basically, the choices from the front of the pack are either clones of the current wildly unpopular president (McCain, Thompson), a flip-flopper who might be(Romney), and a shallow unlikeable hack who’s only real credentials derive from being in a politically opportunistic place at the right time six years ago (Guiliani). Except for Paul, the GOP field reeks.

  • http://www.ronpaulforums.com Kevin Houston

    You’re right, Hillary will pwn Frudy McRompson without even breaking a sweat. She will spin anti-war (despite the fact she voted for it) and the liberal press will follow her slavishly.

    Only Ron Paul can counter that move. If Ron gets the nod, he will pwn Hillary. He is the only one who can be more anti-war than her. He is also pro-legalization, anti-globalization, anti-NAFTA, pro-voluntary associations, pro-free speech. This will strip away entire groups from the Dem core.

    But most importantly, he’s just a nicer person than she is. The #1 word used to describe Hillary is “bitchy” – Ron Paul looks like my kindly silver-haired Grandpa.

    The Dems will be left with: strident femi-nazis, professional victim advocates, globalists, central bankers, military industrialists, and all those who would enlarge government power.

    Later.

  • Stephen B.

    The GOP is an ol’ boys club, a WASP ol’ boys club, and one that has forsaken principal for an unholy coalition between holy rollers and corporatists.

    The GOP will not nominate a Mormon. They will not nominate a Catholic. And they will not nominate Ron Paul. They will instead chose to lose the election on their own terms, with a WASP candidate whom they will intentionally underfund. They will save their pennies hoping to regroup and re-attack after Hillary has ruined the economy with her socialist programs.

    Of course, the economy is already ruined, it just hasn’t collapsed yet. The undermining in done, accomplished by the GOP’s out-of-control spending, massively government expansion, and most tragically, their having destroyed America’s welcome throughout the world with their imperialist behavior and tragically misguided war. American businessmen are already finding doors closed to them; doors that were open for 200 years are now shut, the business instead going to the Chinese(!).

    Ron Paul is indeed a shining light, but I fear he is at least six years late, and an untold amount of dollars short to make a difference. If he wants to run, he will have to do it as a third-party candidate. If he choses a left-wing equivalent of himself as a running mate, he might just make a long-term difference for America. That’s a mighty big “might” however.

    In meantime, I think we can all safely start preparing for a Clinton 2.0 presidency. It certainly can’t be any worse than the Bush 2.0 presidency, can it?

  • http://www.lunchworks.net Jeff Molby

    On the plus side, however, I think that getting their asses handed to them in 2008 would do wonders for the GOP in the long run (introducing neo-conservatives to a much-needed dose of reality)

    :) You forgot your opening statement…

    fanatics don’t analyze politics objectively.

    If Paul wins, that will definitely smack them upside the head, but they’re very capable of rationalizing away a Clinton victory, unless it’s a landslide of historic proportions.

    Ron Paul is indeed a shining light, but I fear he is at least six years late

    I don’t think he’s late. The country may be too far gone for him to be successful (I still have hope), but he could never win without a foil so blatantly fascist as Bush.

  • http://www.lunchworks.net Jeff Molby

    In meantime, I think we can all safely start preparing for a Clinton 2.0 presidency. It certainly can’t be any worse than the Bush 2.0 presidency, can it?

    Probably not, but it could be and it damn well won’t be any better.

    No matter how you slice, we all need to be active participants in meetup groups (I’m amazed on a daily basis at how well they are organizing) and leave all of our energy on the field.

    If we don’t win now, we’re not going to get another chance to fix this with the ballot box.

  • http://dangerouslyidealistic.blogspot.com/ UCrawford

    Jeff,

    Now, now, don’t go all pessimistic. The country has survived Wilson, FDR, LBJ, JFK and every other communist bastard the Dems love to trot out there without needing to resort to armed revolt, it will survive the Bushies and Hillary too. People catch on a little quicker than they used to thanks to the Information Age and as long as there’s a vote, there’s still the power to change things.

  • Bob

    Yes, we’ve survived a lot of awful Presidents but we seem to be getting further away from freedom as time goes on. Everyone of them has done a lot of damage some of which we never undo. I don’t think an armed rebellion by the people is possible. We’ve gotten to the point where most people don’t want to be free. Give them security from terrorists and protect them from big bad corporations and they’re happy. Oh, while you’re at it take something from the rich and give it to them, it makes them feel good. Yes, its all a cover as their freedom is stolen from them but its been going on so long they don’t seem to mind.

  • http://www.lunchworks.net Jeff Molby

    The country has survived…without needing to resort to armed revolt…

    I didn’t mean to imply that it would come to that any time soon. I just meant that if we take a guy like Paul, whose track record at this stage of his life is about as solid as you’re going to get from a non-saint, and make a dent in the statist momentum, we’re unlikely to ever do it.

    To use an analogy, we’re in the early part of the 4th quarter and we’re down by a few touchdowns. If we can’t muster our energy and whittle away at the score now, why would we assume we can do it during the 2 minute drill??

  • http://dangerouslyidealistic.blogspot.com/ UCrawford

    Jeff,

    Because, as one who watched John Elway repeated score multiple touchdown in the last two minutes of games (at the expense of my beloved Chiefs), I recognize that we’re a long way from the end of things and that realm of possibility is often much greater than we think. If we get a statist government, it will eventually swing back because power ultimately derives from the people, more people want to be free than don’t, and our Founding Fathers set up our government fully recognizing this.

    If Paul doesn’t make it, someone else will eventually come along because it’s the ideals that are important here, not the man. We just don’t know right now who the next person will be.

  • http://dangerouslyidealistic.blogspot.com/ UCrawford

    Boy, my posts are just filled with grammatical errors today. Fricking broken coffee machine.

  • rob

    It’s way to early to crown Hillary. Remember at this stage of the 2004 contest, the Democrat front-runner was Joe Lieberman. Lieberman failed to win a single primary.

    Having said that, I think Hillary will win the nomination and Romney will be the GOP nominee. I wouldn’t conclude that Romney is a sure loser. He’s shown himself to be every bit as shrewd as Hillary. There will be hardly any difference between him and Hillary on Iraq by that time, and he’ll have the immigration issue on his side.

  • http://www.lunchworks.net Jeff Molby

    Because, as one who watched John Elway repeated score multiple touchdown in the last two minutes of games (at the expense of my beloved Chiefs), I recognize that we’re a long way from the end of things and that realm of possibility is often much greater than we think.

    Sure, it’ll be literally possible to turn the tide for a long time. It’s also literally possible for me to win the super-duper-mega ball lottery tomorrow if I buy a ticket.

    But let’s continue the analogy for a minute. Elway is known as the single greatest comeback quarterback of all time. I don’t think anyone holds a candle to him. How did he earn that distinction? 47 times he lead a team that was trailing at the end of the 3rd quarter and rallied to win or tie. He lost a total of 86 games, so that means he rallied to win or tie 35% of his end-of-the-third deficits. Assuming it’s the start of the 4th quarter and Ron Paul is John Elway, we’re already 2-to-1 underdogs.

    I don’t have enough detail on Elway’s comebacks to go any further, but i’m sure we can assume that the odds get geometrically worse as the 4th ticks away.

    All I’m saying is that we’re sitting here with the ball inside the redzone. If we’re serious about winning, it’s time to put some points on the board.

    Why do I think it’s that serious?

    1) Regardless of the polls, Paul’s going to hang around long enough to get some name recognition. If he does so and still loses, Joe Sixpack will forever write him off. Joe will probably write off libertarians in general too.

    2) If a Republican other than Paul wins the general election, it gets even worse because now it’s 2015 before we have a shot at something other than the status quo. And of course, that assumes that there isn’t a strong former vice-president waiting in the wings. It could easily be 2019 or even 2023 before we get another wide open Republican primary. Seriously, how often do you end up with a term-limited president and a veep that isn’t even running?

    3) Paul may not be the the “best” libertarian politician, but he is most definitely the libertarian with the best chance of working inside the Republican party. You’re not likely to find another guy who has walked the line so steadily for so long.

    C’mon UC… it’s time to go win one for the Gipper! :-p

  • David

    I think that any of the top tier candidates from both sides of the isle represent a different face on the same sick head. I have never paid much attention to politics because of the always feeling like I’m either voting for diet pepsi or diet coke, Ron Paul is entirely different and he has me actively engaged. He is a blessing.

  • UCrawford

    Jeff,

    You’re assuming that a Republican candidate other than Paul who won the general election would get re-elected (I don’t think they will). Or that a big-government conservative’s policies won’t eventually drag the GOP down (they will). Or that the field of potential candidates wouldn’t dramatically change in the interim (it will). Or that another, possibly better, libertarian candidate within the party won’t arise (I suspect there will be some).

    None of this stuff is a foregone conclusion, and as much as I like football analogies you’re assuming that there’s a deadline and an endpoint where none exists. Politics just doesn’t work that way…it’s cyclical, like everything else in life. If Hillary or any of the commies masquerading as conservatives gets elected they’ll fuck up, they’ll get voted out and somebody with a different ideology will rise to take their place.

  • http://www.lunchworks.net Jeff Molby

    You’re assuming that a Republican candidate other than Paul who won the general election would get re-elected (I don’t think they will).

    No, no one ever challenges an incumbent president when he runs for reelection. I would have gladly voted for any Republican over Bush in ’04, but our oh-so-democratic election system didn’t give me that option.

    As for the rest of your response, I love your optimism, but I think it’s misplaced. The statist movement has marched steadily (a little to the left, a little to the right, but always bigger) for almost a century now (longer by some measures) and the best we’ve been able to do is stall them at a few junctures. I wish that misguided parties would crumble to be replaced by fresh ideas, but the history of our system shows how unlikely that is. Instead, the pressure builds with each successive defeat and eventually the whole system is going to blow.

    I know it sounds like it, but I’m not trying to be a downer. Just the opposite. I want to highlight what a wonderfully important time we are in.

    If Paul wins the primary, he wins the general. If Paul wins the general, it becomes several orders of magnitude easier to elect libertarians in the future. Then the 4th quarter comeback begins to look easy.

    It’s all about momentum and we’re coming down to the moment of truth, the tipping point. If give it everything we have for the next 5-6 months, and somehow get Paul into the general election, we’ll set the wheels in motion for our children to grow up in the country we yearn for.

    What do you say, UC? Is that worth fighting for? Will you switch gears from theoretical politics to applied politics for 6 months?

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douche_and_Turd js290

    …I’m either voting for diet pepsi or diet coke…

    Vote or Die… Giant Douche or Turd Sandwich…

  • oilnwater

    I wholeheartedly agree with the point raised about Americans no longer wanting to be free. This is clear as day. As a “national culture” if you can call it that, our self-esteem has fallen dramatically since 911. And now fear and anxiety reign.

    In national climates with elevated amounts of fear and anxiety with loss of self-esteem, a population can consistently be told to give up freedom because they themselves wont be able to handle the freedom.

    That’s why Paul’s philosphy won’t work for us today, because in the aggregate our population has already internally eschewed freedom. Possibly forever.