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September 24, 2007

Monday Open Thread: Early Primary Edition

by Brad Warbiany

We’re appearing to see a definitive change in American presidential elections, with a rush for states to move their primaries forward as early as possible. This throws out the “traditional order” where states like Iowa and New Hampshire play key roles. At stake is the potential chance for dark-horse candidates like Ron Paul to win the nomination. For someone like Ron Paul to have a chance, he needs a strong showing within those states, and then enough time to turn that buzz into actual support. In many ways, it is assumed that the mass change of primary dates will do nothing more than help the front-runners win and relegate the second-tier candidates to the scrap-heap of history. On the opposite side, many states feel that there is no legitimate reason why Iowa and New Hampshire should hold such a revered position in picking our president.

These changes could dramatically impact the 2008 race. So what do you guys think? Is it a good thing, or a bad thing?

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17 Comments

  1. I think it’s pretty much accepted that it’s a bad thing, unless your candidate is Rudy McRompson.

    Comment by Paul — September 24, 2007 @ 8:21 am
  2. I think that everyone should vote on the same day. This campaign is entirely too long (It’s almost a year old already!).

    Comment by Stephen Littau — September 24, 2007 @ 8:57 am
  3. Bad. The establishment is pushing for Clinton to succeed her husband and for Thompson to be the designated loser. The CFR backups are also in line.

    But we CAN still have a revolution. Stay on message. For instance, elect Ron Paul and the IRS will be GONE on January 20, in 16 months, and you will not owe any taxes for 2008! There is no faster way to real tax relief.

    What we need is: 1) work hard through SuperTuesday on traditional campaigning, including donations (Q3 ends soon!), 2) mobilize all the people to protect the correct counting of ballot boxes in the early primaries, 3) mobilize our people as delegates everywhere, and 4) push the wave of revolution ever onward. If we keep this message moving, we WILL have revolution no matter who gets nominated and no matter how long it takes. The goal is changing hearts more than it is changing politics, because the first drives the second.

    Comment by ElectRon! — September 24, 2007 @ 9:04 am
  4. I’ll post it in this thread as well… tips for pushing the ron paul campaign into the mainstream.

    Comment by js290 — September 24, 2007 @ 9:13 am
  5. I definitely think it is a bad thing – it all sounds like a bunch of “selfish” state political committees saying “me first ! me first! i want the spotlight !”.
    Having said that, it really just pushes me further away from ALL political interest and closer to seeing that the A.L.L. and other anarchistic left organizations make the most sense; i.e. get all the politics out of living and just plain LIVE FREE.

    Comment by Tom Gellhaus — September 24, 2007 @ 9:49 am
  6. I agree with Stephen, the primaries should all be held on the same day so no state gets an advantage. However, the primaries are run by the states and the political parties, so it’s unlikely that they’ll agree and I don’t think that it’s right for the feds to intervene.

    Comment by UCrawford — September 24, 2007 @ 9:59 am
  7. I heard a plan to fix the situation somewhere, it went something like this. Split all states into 4-5 groups based on size. Small states vote first and so on up through the large states. This spreads out the primaries, and allows the small states to still have a say in the issue, rather than the current situation where just 2 small states really have all the power. Within the groupings, the states could get first up status each year on a rotating basis, so no bias is set up as exists with the current iowa first status. I’d definitly support such a simple solution to the problem.

    Comment by josh — September 24, 2007 @ 10:17 am
  8. ElectRon: “But we CAN still have a revolution. Stay on message. For instance, elect Ron Paul and the IRS will be GONE on January 20, in 16 months, and you will not owe any taxes for 2008! There is no faster way to real tax relief.”

    How is that going to happen? Is he just going to sign an executive order and disband the IRS?

    Remember, for most things a President does, he needs to get Congress on his side first. I don’t think our Congress is going to jump out and completely end taxation on income on Inauguration Day…

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — September 24, 2007 @ 10:25 am
  9. ron paul could single handedly end the irs as president by pardoning any individual who does not want to file an income tax return. nuff said

    Comment by ryan rabalais — September 24, 2007 @ 11:50 am
  10. I guess I don’t see why we need the primaries at all. All it does is give all kinds of power to the “party” as they eliminate almost all of the competition prior to the general election. I especially don’t see the point of having primaries when there are so many independents who don’t get to vote in the primaries and only a very small share of each party actually voting in these primaries. This leads to candidates that most people do not want to vote for in the general election but have no choice. This year for example you will likely get a Republican that disagrees with 70% of the public or so on the #1 issue (foreign policy). From the Democrats you will likely get the most polarizing or hated politician that we may have ever had. The republicans will vote for the Rep. candidate even if they don’t like him because they hate Hillary. The Dem’s will vote for Hillary even though many don’t like her because they want out of the war (not to say she will get us out) and will not vote republican no matter what. That leaves every one else with no one to vote for, so you either vote for the lesser of two evils, stay home, or for a few vote for a third party candidate.

    If we do have the primaries I do like having them bunched in like five groups or so like Josh said. It could either be by lottery or they would rotate as to who is first and so on. If you put each group every couple of weeks you could be done in a few months. This would allow at least a little time to campaign in the upcoming states.

    Comment by TerryP — September 24, 2007 @ 11:51 am
  11. As much as I hate to say it, I think the US would be better off with a parlimentary system where we have representatives based on percentage of a vote rather than the winnre take all system we currently have. The system we have stifles alot of needed perspectives and tends to create a tyranny of the majority, where there only APPEARS to be a concensous where in reality there is more nuance. The only reason that the system works the way it does is because we have a relatively free society where even those furthest out of power aren’t especially hurt by their lack of representation. We’ll discover as freedom is eroded away how out of whack our system really is.

    Comment by Greg — September 24, 2007 @ 2:35 pm
  12. “#

    ElectRon: “But we CAN still have a revolution. Stay on message. For instance, elect Ron Paul and the IRS will be GONE on January 20, in 16 months, and you will not owe any taxes for 2008! There is no faster way to real tax relief.”

    How is that going to happen? Is he just going to sign an executive order and disband the IRS?

    Remember, for most things a President does, he needs to get Congress on his side first. I don’t think our Congress is going to jump out and completely end taxation on income on Inauguration Day…
    Comment by Brad Warbiany — September 24, 2007 @ 10:25 am ”

    I read recently where a tax resister won his case against the IRS on the grounds that wages and salaries aren’t specifically identified as taxable under income tax law. That is merely the interpretation that the bureaucrats have given it. This certainly suggests that Ron Paul could end taxation of wages and salaries simply by issuing an executive order to our tax collection agencies not to interpret the law that way anymore.

    That wouldn’t end the income tax completely. Profits, rents, and some other forms of taxation would remain; but it sure would eliminate a really big part of it.

    Comment by Rob — September 24, 2007 @ 5:00 pm
  13. “#

    I’ll post it in this thread as well… tips for pushing the ron paul campaign into the mainstream.
    Comment by js290 — September 24, 2007 @ 9:13 am ”

    I’m glad to see that someone is speaking up about this, and I don’t disagree with what is said here. However, I don’t think it goes far enough. It does not address the issue of the Ron Paul campaign itself. I am not a professional campaign operative, but I am also not young, and I have worked on many campaigns and held some responsible positions as a volunteer.

    I simply don’t see where the RP campaign is really doing the things it needs to win. In fact, RP is NOT, as far as I can see, even trying to bootstrap his campaigns on the Iowa and New Hampshire contests. He rarely goes to either state, and I don’t think he is spending any money in either of these states. He spent less time and money prior to the Iowa Straw Poll than just about any other candidate.

    I find it very frustrating, and I can see no advantage to this approach unless Paul’s other trips around the country are focused on fund-raising. I agree that it would give RP a huge boost if he showed 1st tier-type fund-raising for the Third Quarter. But I doubt very much that that is going to happen.

    I posted a couple of threads at the RP forum, but they drew little attention. I believe that the Paul campaign is being way too cautious in both its strategy and its message. That is what the two posts were about. Here are the link:

    http://www.ronpaulforum.com/showthread.php?t=37237

    http://www.ronpaulforum.com/showthread.php?t=37235

    I don’t if js290 has any contacts with the RP campaign, but if he does, I hope he will use them to get the message out that the campaign is missing some big opportunities in Iowa and New Hampshire.

    Of course, if RP raises 1st tier money in the Third Quarter then I might agree that it might have been worth it. But other than that, I an see no advantage to ignoring these early states. And even then, there’s the question of the message. You can’t run on a 15-point platform. You need a simple message that can be repeated over and over again.

    Comment by Rob — September 24, 2007 @ 5:25 pm
  14. Ron Paul can save us all!

    All other “frontrunners” will bring never ending War…..

    Comment by Paul Revere II — September 24, 2007 @ 7:01 pm
  15. I agree with Stephen, the primaries should all be held on the same day

    Vote-splitting would become a huge problem. The current system isn’t very elegant, but it solves this problem by dragging out the primaries and essentially creating a run-off. I fully support making wholesale changes to the voting system (see below), but until we do, the primaries, as currently laid out, are the best option.

    I guess I don’t see why we need the primaries at all.

    Vote-splitting.

    Under a plurality voting system (“Pick ONE candidate from the list”), two strong candidates that have similar platforms will almost always lose to a single strong candidate who happens to be running on a significantly different platform, even if most of the electorate favors the first platform.

    In other words, the primaries are a gigantic hack to improve a system that would otherwise be completely unworkable. Tweak the system a bit (something as simple as saying “Mark ANY candidate for whom you approve.”) and you’ll no longer need the hack.

    As much as I hate to say it, I think the US would be better off with a parlimentary system

    That may ultimately be true, but I think there are simpler reforms that should be tried first. See above.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — September 24, 2007 @ 9:33 pm
  16. “For someone like Ron Paul to have a chance, he needs a strong showing within those states, and then enough time to turn that buzz into actual support.”

    This statement, in my opinion, implies a false assumption that a strong showing isn’t already an indication of ‘actual support’.

    Additionally, I could easily see that different states jumping ahead is to Ron Paul’s advantage. Much of his support is non-compensated and distributed compared to the other Republican candidates. Changing your strategy when most of your support is paid staff (and your campaign is centralized) means that a change in the primary day is a costly challenge to the non-RP campaigns.

    This is one example of centralized control vs. guerilla methods. RP still has to overcome certain dismissive journalists but from what I see it looks like dismissive journalists may need to be added to the endangered species list sooner or later.

    Not that js290′s Open Letter is all bad but it would be far better if they reversed the order of the points (maybe I just don’t get it as they are listed in order from 5 to 1).

    1: Talk (literally talk) to the SuperVoters
    Great suggestion.

    2: Time to go offline.
    Great suggestion #2, I saw this at the last state legislative district meeting. Some Ron Paul volunteer was there and had 200 four page printouts there, one for every seat.

    3: Money (for better or for worse) is the key to mainstream acceptance
    I’ve donated $60 so far (directly) to Ron Paul but assuming money is everything in a day where much of the publics attention is on non-MSM news and opinion sites is a point subject to discussion.

    4: Stop fudging about or discounting the polls
    Whoa buddy, hold on now. I don’t begrudge pollsters their jobs or claim they are *evil*. That doesn’t mean they or their customers are neutral parties or that I shouldn’t dismiss or ignore polls like I do TV commercials. Political polls in my opinion are harmful.

    5: Calm the hell down
    This is the point I have the most problem with. If you don’t like it, make your irritation known to the participants. The protest parade is a group of people who are irritated and let others know it (or alternately are excited and let others know it). Let them be with their “Revolutionary costumes”. I am not a 9/11 or anti-CFR booster but they have their concerns and if they want to push Ron Paul and 9/11 Truth, I say let them.

    On the same topic, have you tried to “go offline” and “talk (literally talk) to the” people you decry – you just might find one or more of those SuperVoters you talk about.

    If I were to evaluate whose article I would pay more attention to, Ernest Hancock’s “What threatens the Ron Paul campaign the most” http://www.freedomsphoenix.com/Feature-Article.htm?InfoNo=020043
    or js290′s suggestion the five point “Open Letter to the Ron Paul Community” I choose Hancock’s.

    Comment by Thane Eichenauer — September 25, 2007 @ 5:03 am
  17. Additionally, I could easily see that different states jumping ahead is to Ron Paul’s advantage.

    I agree.

    (maybe I just don’t get it as they are listed in order from 5 to 1).

    I think they were in sequential order. He didn’t want us “going offline and talking to SuperVoters” until we’ve “calmed the hell down” etc.

    I basically agree with him. Our greatest asset is our energy, but it won’t be enough if we don’t focus it. Like he said, we needed the chanting and screaming to get on the map, but we’re on the map now. Every news outlet in the country has written at least one article about Paul’s small, but energetic following. People will get weary of it if we don’t switch gears and start focusing on spreading Paul’s message.

    On the same topic, have you tried to “go offline” and “talk (literally talk) to the” people you decry – you just might find one or more of those SuperVoters you talk about.

    I don’t think he meant it as an attack. I read it as constructive criticism and since we don’t get much in the way of professional advice, I’m very grateful for it.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — September 25, 2007 @ 6:34 am

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