Category Archives: Election ’08

Why Libertarians Should Vote: Threats to Liberty from the Left and the Right on the Colorado Ballot (Part 2 of 3)

Cont’d from Part 1

What motivates these very nice people to be such tyrants? Some will vote in ignorance of the issue* and others out of a sense of ‘social justice.’ Very few will intentionally vote to take liberty or property from a fellow citizen; most will vote to do so out of a well intentioned but misguided sense of right and wrong.

The Colorado ballot contains 18 ballot measures, most of which are proposed amendments to the state’s constitution. About half of these measures would restrict liberty, increase taxes, or otherwise punish individuals for activities which ought not to be a crime in a free state or country.

Threats to Liberty from the Left

Union backed amendments 53, 55, 56, and 57 are all very hostile to business. Amendment 53 targets business executives for criminal liability (as if business executives are not already criminally liable for committing crimes), 55 would change Colorado from a “right to work state” to a “just cause state,” 56 requires employers with 20 employees or more to provide health coverage for employees and their dependants, and 57 would put employers at greater liability than the existing workman’s comp laws.

All of these amendments would make Colorado a less attractive place to do business and would likely mean fewer decent paying jobs. Like most populist proposals, the people who the advocates of these measures are trying to help would be hurt the most.

Amendments 51, 58, and 59 concern taxation. Amendment 51 would increase the sales tax to fund programs for the developmentally disabled, 58 directly taxes the oil and gas industry (Coloradans who wish to pay more for gas should support this measure), and 59 redirects funds which under current law are rebated to taxpayers under the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) to an education savings fund.

Given governments’ track record of mismanaging taxpayer money (especially given what’s going on in Washington), I am in no mood to pay additional taxes or allow the government at any level to keep more no matter what the reason.

Threats to Liberty from the Right

While many of the ballot measures are economically on the Left, at least one is socially conservative. Amendment 48, the so-called “personhood” amendment would amend the Colorado Constitution to define all fertilized eggs, embryos, and fetuses as people complete with all legal rights associated with being a person. Clearly, this amendment is an attempt to ban abortion in the state of Colorado. Inevitably, if 48 is passed, there will be legal challenges which 48’s proponents hope would ultimately lead to overturning Roe v. Wade.

Amendment 48 makes no exceptions for rape** or incest. While there is an exception for abortion in the event that the life of the mother is threatened, opponents of 48 believe that doctors would put women at unnecessary mortal risk out of fear of being prosecuted for murdering the unborn. Because a fertilized egg would have the same legal rights as a person, a woman and her doctor could face life imprisonment and even the death penalty (someone explain to me how this is “pro-life”!).

Opponents of 48 also fear that doctors would be compelled to violate doctor/patient confidentiality as they may be required to report miscarriages to the authorities if s/he has the slightest suspicion that the miscarriage was caused intentionally***.

Giving fertilized eggs a definition of personhood would also:

– Ban commonly used birth control such as the birth control pill and the morning after pill
– Ban embryonic stem cell research (both public and private)
– Raise additional legal reproductive rights questions on issues with regard to artificial insemination

Despite what both pro-lifers and pro-choicers say, the abortion issue is very complex and there is plenty of room for debate on the merits of this issue among libertarians. What I would hope abortion foes would realize is that this measure has implications far beyond a legal prohibition of abortion.

NEXT: Why Libertarians Should Vote: Restoring Liberty via the Ballot Box (Part 3 of 3)

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Why Libertarians Should Vote: Meet the Tyrants Next Door (Part 1 of 3)

Let’s face it: no matter who you vote for president in this election, it is highly unlikely that your vote will be decisive. It does not matter how much time you invest studying each candidate, the votes cast by those who do not make an effort to inform themselves will count the same. The good news is that the movie Swing Vote is fiction and the ’08 presidential election will not be decided by Bud Johnson.

When put in this perspective, some argue that not dedicating the time and energy to make an informed voting decision for president is rational ignorance (my vote isn’t going to be decisive so why bother?).

If this is the case, why even bother voting at all?

The reason for going through the hassle of filling out a ballot is very, very, simple: there is so much more to this election than choosing the next president. While your vote for president will be negligible, your votes for your next U.S. Representative, U.S. Senator, State Representative, State Senator, Governor, etc. by comparison will not. Perhaps the best argument for voting: ballot measures.

Perhaps the greatest threat to our freedom is neither John McCain nor Barack Obama but the tyrants next door. Don’t get me wrong, your friends, neighbors, coworkers, and family members in your daily life are probably very nice people. But grant these same very nice people the power to use the police power of government to impose their collective will to plunder the pockets of others or to prohibit activities they happen to disagree with, these same very nice people can be every bit the threat to life, liberty, or property as the most Machiavellian politician.

NEXT: Why Libertarians Should Vote: Threats to Liberty from the Left and the Right on the Colorado Ballot (Part 2 of 3)

Weekend Open Thread: Presidential Debate Drinking Game

We’ve already seen one debate between McCain and Obama. And frankly, although I was drinking beer at the time, I was far too even-keeled to be able to take this nonsense. We’ve got two more of these, and we need something to make it a bit more interesting.

So I propose a Presidential Debate Drinking Game!

Terms of the open thread are as such: post any rule that you think is necessary for the game. I’ll start:

Take a drink for any time McCain refers to Ronald Reagan.

Who’s next?

Ron Paul & Bob Barr: It’s Time to Unite!

Whether you consider yourself a libertarian (big “L” or small “l”), classical liberal, a Barry Goldwater/Ronald Reagan/Ron Paul Republican, Objectivist, or just simply want less government and more freedom we should always remember that there is far more which unites us than divides us. This is not to suggest that these finer points of these philosophies are not important—they are. The foes of liberty in the Democrat and Republican Parties want us to be divided. As long as we fight amongst ourselves, we are marginalized and they win. I think George Phillies said it best at the ’08 Libertarian National Convention: “The enemy is not in here, the enemy is out there!”

The liberty movement is much bigger than the Libertarian Party, Ron Paul, Bob Barr, Lew Rockwell, Cato, or Reason. All have made an invaluable contribution to the cause of liberty and should be applauded for their efforts. Let’s not lose sight of the big picture.

Welcome to the U.S.S.A.

For those of us who value the concept of life, liberty, and property, there doesn’t seem to be much reason to be optimistic for America’s future. Last week we saw one government (taxpayer) bail out after another. The price tag seems to grow a couple of hundred billion dollars each day (depending on which figures one chooses to believe); by some estimates the taxpayers will be on the hook for over $1 trillion. According to the Libertarian Party, $1 trillion could buy the following:

• To buy everybody living in Los Angeles at least one Lamborghini Gallardo.
• To buy 88,052, 394′ custom mega yachts; enough to stretch around ¼ of the world.
• To buy everyone living in Belize and Malta a Manhattan apartment.
• To get half of the Democratic Party into a fundraiser for Barack Obama at the $28,500 admission price.
• To give one out of every two men in the United States a Men’s Presidential Rolex watch.
• To buy every woman in the United States a Tiffany Diamond Starfish Pendant.
• To get two Mitsubishi 73″ HDTVs for every household in America.
• To buy four copies of The Office: Season Four on DVD, to every person on earth.
• To send everybody in America on an all-inclusive vacation to Tahiti (and some people can stay a few extra days).

Anyway you want to look at it, $1 trillion is a lot of money ($3, 278 for every man, woman, and child in America).

And how do our so-called leaders wish to ultimately “solve” this problem which they have created? More government, of course! Joe Biden is calling on “the rich” to do their “patriotic duty” to pay more taxes, not only to pay for the already bloated federal government (which grew by leaps and bounds under the so-called compassionate conservative George W. Bush) but also to pay for the government programs that he and Barack Obama wish to impose on us (programs such as fighting global poverty among others).

But it gets even worse than that. The current Secretary of Treasury Henry Paulson has proposed that he should have the absolute authority to purchase any mortgage-related assets as he sees fit (obviously with our money). Section 8* of the proposal reads as follows:

Sec. 8. Review.

Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.

Section 9 puts a time limit on this absolute power provision but even placing this much power in the hands of one person for a two-year term is a very frightening thought. Perhaps the one good thing about having power hungry politicians in congress in both parties is that they would likely not support this measure as it would take power away from them.

Welcome to the U.S.S.A. What’s left of our free market system is all but dead. While one can make a libertarian case for both John McCain and Barack Obama in certain aspects of their policy proposals, neither are what I would call champions of capitalism (to put it mildly). Personally, I don’t find the arguments for McBama to be persuasive. I will proudly support Bob Barr knowing full well that he will not win this election and knowing full well that whomever wins, we will be in for difficult times.

Is America’s best days behind her? Is there any way that we can restore our Republic to what it once was?

As always, the answer will depend on how “We, the people” will respond.

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UPDATE: Campaign Denies that Obama Used Stall Tactics with Iraq on Troop Withdrawal

Some readers have questioned the veracity of the article I cited in yesterday’s post (which is a good thing and should be encouraged). I am not familiar with the work of the article’s author, Amir Taheri and cannot speak to his credibility one way or the other. I realize that there is a great deal of misinformation from both the Right and the Left in the Blogs as well as the MSM concerning the top candidates running for president and vice president. Like many people, I’m just trying to find the truth.

Having said that, the charge by Taheri is very serious and deserves to be investigated further by the MSM. There’s an article in today’s New York Post written by Geoff Earle which reports that the Obama campaign has responded to Taheri’s article:

WASHINGTON – Barack Obama said yesterday he didn’t urge Iraq to hold up an agreement with the Bush administration over the status of US troops serving in Iraq.

“Obama has never urged a delay in negotiations, nor has he urged a delay in immediately beginning a responsible drawdown of our combat brigades,” said Wendy Morigi, an Obama spokeswoman in response to a column in yesterday’s Post.

Morigi cited “outright distortions” in an column by Amir Taheri, but the Obama camp did not specifically dispute any of the quotes in the piece.

I’ll see if I can find the actual statement from the Obama campaign to find out which parts of the Taheri article they claim to be “outright distortions.”

More to come…

Iraqi Foreign Minister: Obama Asked Iraqi Leaders to Delay U.S. Troop Withdrawal Agreement Until After the Election

If this turns out to be true, this could be the most damning scandal exposed of any of the candidates seeking to be the next president or vice president. According to an article in The New York Post, Sen. Barack Obama told Iraqi leaders to delay a U.S. troop withdrawal agreement until after the presidential election:

WHILE campaigning in public for a speedy withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, Sen. Barack Obama has tried in private to persuade Iraqi leaders to delay an agreement on a draw-down of the American military presence.

According to Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, Obama made his demand for delay a key theme of his discussions with Iraqi leaders in Baghdad in July.

“He asked why we were not prepared to delay an agreement until after the US elections and the formation of a new administration in Washington,” Zebari said in an interview.

[…]

Obama has made many contradictory statements with regard to Iraq. His latest position is that US combat troops should be out by 2010. Yet his effort to delay an agreement would make that withdrawal deadline impossible to meet.

Obama has made ending the war in Iraq a hallmark of his campaign. Is he more concerned about bringing the troops home sooner than later or does he really want the troops to remain in Iraq just long enough so he can take credit for fulfilling a campaign promise? The idea that a presidential candidate would try to keep the troops in harm’s way any longer than he believes necessary is truly disturbing.

Regardless of my political differences with Sen. Barack Obama, I sincerely hope this turns out to be untrue. Perhaps those in the MSM can get over their “tingly feelings” for a moment and actually do their jobs and follow up to find out if this is true.

Do Strict Constructionists Wish to Bring Back Slavery?

The View seems to be an endless source of idiotic commentary, especially in the realm of politics. It appears that Whoopi picked up where Rosie left off when Sen. John McCain appeared on the show.

To have “a strict constructionist” philosophy means to return to slavery and other injustices of the era of the founding fathers? What Whoopi fails to understand (and what Sen. McCain failed to explain) is that the founders themselves knew that the Constitution as written was not perfect and would have to change over time via the amendment process:

Article V. – Amendment

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

On December 6, 1865, the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery:

1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

A strict constructionist judge would, by definition, take Article V and the Thirteenth Amendment into account because a strict constructionist judge would rule on the current state of the Constitution; not as it was approved in convention on September 17, 1787.

Having said that, I do not believe that a President McCain would appoint strict constructionists any more than any other president has in recent memory. Anyone who could have authored the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill, a law which undermines the very foundation of freedom of speech and expression, cannot be taken seriously as someone who respects and/or supports the Constitution. In the modern political parlance, the term “strict constructionist” has become a codeword* for someone who supports whatever the current so-called conservative agenda happens to be. If McCain were serious about appointing strict constructionists, he would appoint individuals who would find many of the Bush Administration’s policies, executive orders, signing statements and laws unconstitutional. Many of McCain’s own proposals would also necessarily be D.O.A.

But Whoopi need not worry: if McCain does become the next POTUS, she will not find herself picking cotton. Even by McCain’s definition of “strict constructionist.”

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Voting — Americans Do It Like They Eat

Over here, a YouTube clip of Craig Ferguson discusses the election. Most of his rant is spot-on (and hilarious), but he talks about American’s “duty” to vote. He goes a bit off line when he says that our American Democracy is about:

free people making free choices…

…in this case, to choose which candidate will make us less free, and how.

Americans vote like we eat. I don’t think freedom’s on that menu. It’s like going into Cracker Barrel trying to find health food, and having a choice between the country breakfast with ham, eggs, hash browns, or the flapjacks and bacon, smothered in syrup. One may be marginally better for you than the other, but neither are good*. They may both make you feel good for a short time, but the long-term effects are pretty well negative.
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Sarah Palin & The Libertarian Republicans

Reason’s Radley Balko takes a look at Sarah Palin and concludes that she’s about the best libertarian Republicans can expect right now:

[W]hat I like about Palin should bother McCain. Palin actually has staked out unorthodox positions on a number of interesting issues, and they’re issues that McCain and the Republican base that has embraced her would probably find troubling. Palin’s taken a lot of heat, for example, for her (relatively loose) ties with the Alaska Independence Party, an organization that favors a vote on whether the state should secede from the union. Palin has also been friendly with the state’s Libertarian Party. Palin’s willingness to engage pro-liberty, deeply anti-federal political organizations—even fringe ones—is refreshing. But it’s wholly at odds with John McCain’s “country first” nationalist fervor.

Palin was also one of just three governors in the country to issue a proclamation in support of “Jurors’ Rights” day, an event sponsored by the Fully Informed Jury Association, which encourages the doctrine of jury nullification. Nullification is an idea abhorred by tough-on-crime conservatives.

Palin also comes from a state whose constitution has one of the strongest privacy provisions in the country. Alaska’s traditional reverence for privacy and personal autonomy is reflected in a number of issues that would likely be at odds with the national Republican Party—or at least the Bush administration—including a rejection of the Real ID Act, and the de facto decriminalization of marijuana.

Palin supported both the Iraq War and the surge, but in the past she has said she also supports a defined “exit strategy,” an approach explicitly rejected by McCain, who has said we may well be in Iraq for decades.

Palin’s persona thus far seems to be more in the tradition of Alaska’s frontier, individualistic conservatism than John McCain’s Weekly Standard-style national greatness conservatism. It’s a philosophy that’s skeptical of government, instead of what Repubilcans stand for now, which is to embrace government, so long as Republicans are running it.

Of course, as Balko points out, we are voting for President in November, not Vice-President, and there’s no reason to believe that a Vice-President Palin would have significant influence over policy in a McCain Administration. Moreover, there’s the distinct possibility that becoming part of Washington’s power centers will change Palin enough that her previous, somewhat positive, record will be meaningless if she ever does become President. However, there may be something significant in the fact that McCain has essentially crowned as his successor someone who could help move the GOP in a more libertarian direction.

Sarah Palin isn’t enough to convince me to vote for John McCain, but he could’ve done a heck of a lot worse.

Some Damn Good Advice From an American by Choice

No further commentary necessary.

I am a cynically romantic optimistic pessimist. I am neither liberal, nor conservative. I am a (somewhat disgruntled) muscular minarchist… something like a constructive anarchist.

Basically what that means, is that I believe, all things being equal, responsible adults should be able to do whatever the hell they want to do, so long as nobody’s getting hurt, who isn’t paying extra

The Palin Bump — Bigger Than I Expected

I’ve been saying for a long time that I’ve long figured this election was in the bag for Obama. Given the degree to which the nation is fed up with Bush and desiring change, coupled with the fact that he’s a dynamic speaker and near-celebrity, finally added to the historic demographic story of potentially ‘the first Black President’, and I thought it was a foregone conclusion.

As evidence, before the conventions, my favorite “poll”, the prediction market Intrade, had Obama trading at about a 60 share for the presidency with McCain trading about 39-40. A 60-40 split would have probably signified a landslide.

So I was shocked when I checked it today. Obama is trading at 53, McCain at 47. That kind of a move in this short of a time, given no major scandals, is a big deal. We’re talking “major chink in the armor” big deal. To see this happen in a week or so is a trend in the making.

Which, of course, just goes to show you that the American electorate is a fickle bunch. A woman whom the American public barely knows has just moved the real balance of electoral odds by a 14-point swing.

When it comes to Palin, I’ve said previously that she’s probably the best a Republican can expect, and is a mixed bag to libertarians. But when you see a VP candidate swing the odds this much, how can you not believe that our electoral process has become anything but American Idol writ large?

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UPDATE 9/10/2008 – 7:39 PM : Even more shocking news. One night later, and Intrade has it 50-50…

Inconvenient Convention Facts and Fictions Exposed

Now that the conventions are over, it’s time to separate the facts from the fiction. With so much misinformation being peddled by the political campaigns (not to mention rumors spread through e-mail, the internet and the MSM), this is very often a difficult task. My approach is to be skeptical until I am satisfied that I have looked at a variety of sources which I believe to be objective. Snopes and Factcheck.org are among the sources I use as a starting point.

The video below comes from factcheck.org. I generally trust this site because, in my judgment at least, they seem to be very even handed in their analysis,* they cite their sources, and go into detail as to how they arrive at their conclusions. This video provides an overview of the misleading statements made in Denver and in St. Paul; the website goes into more detail about these statements complete with sources.

(If the video fails to play, click here to watch)

A few observations:

This b.s. about “giving tax breaks to Big Oil companies” is maddening. Businesses, whether large or small, should neither pay taxes nor be subsidized. Businesses only pay taxes on paper; taxes are passed down to employees in the form of lower wages and higher prices for consumers. Why do we assume that the money that companies or individuals make belong to the government in the first place? If McBama was truly interested in creating jobs, reducing the price of groceries and gas, and improving the overall economy,** he would eliminate taxes and subsidies for all businesses. This would encourage businesses to bring jobs back to America rather than leaving America to escape the tax code. If the practice of subsidizing failing businesses ended, companies would have to survive by producing goods and services people actually want. Now that’s the “change” that I believe in!

Mike Huckabee. What can I say? As bad of a choice as John McCain is for the Republican ticket, the Republicans would have done much worse with Huckabee. Either Gov. Huckabee is insanely bad at math or he deliberately lied to the G.O.P. delegates and the country about Sarah Palin receiving more votes as Mayor than Joe Biden did in the Democrat primaries. Did he really think that no one would check? Did he really think that he was helping the McCain campaign?

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Freedom Not Invited To The Party

Reason Magazine’s Steve Chapman reviews the recently concluded Democratic and Republican Conventions and notes that there was one thing missing from both; liberty:

So what was missing? Only what used to be held up as the central ideal of the party. The heirs of Goldwater couldn’t spare a day for freedom.

Neither could the Democrats. Their daily topics this year were “One Nation,” “Renewing America’s Promise,” and “Securing America’s Future.” The party proclaimed “an agenda that emphasizes the security of our nation, strong economic growth, affordable health care for all Americans, retirement security, honest government, and civil rights.” Expanding and upholding individual liberty? Not so much.

Forty-four years after Goldwater’s declaration, it’s clear that collectivism, not individualism, is the reigning creed of Republicans as well as Democrats. Individuals are not valuable and precious in their own right but as a means for those in power to achieve their grand ambitions.

You will scour the presidential nominees’ acceptance speeches in vain for any hint that your life is rightfully your own, to be lived in accordance with your beliefs and desires and no one else’s. The Founding Fathers set out to protect “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” but Barack Obama has a different idea.

The “essence of America’s promise,” he declared in Denver, is “individual responsibility and mutual responsibility”—rather than, say, individual freedom and mutual respect for rights. The “promise of America,” he said, is “the fundamental belief that I am my brother’s keeper; I am my sister’s keeper.”

(…)

What do Republicans believe in? McCain told us Thursday: “We believe in a strong defense, work, faith, service, a culture of life, personal responsibility, the rule of law…. We believe in the values of families, neighborhoods and communities.”

Would it be too much to mention that what sustains the American vision of those things is freedom? That without it, personal responsibility becomes hollow and service is servitude?

Apparently, for both parties it would. John McCain’s campaign slogan during the convention was “Country First,” not “Freedom First”, heck not even “Family First.” The unstated assumption one draws from such a slogan is that loyalty to country, and the willingness to sacrifice oneself to the same must come before everything else, including, when necessary, your own freedom.

The Democrats aren’t any better, of course; it was Barack Obama who said in his acceptance speech:

In Washington, they call this the Ownership Society, but what it really means is — you’re on your own. Out of work? Tough luck. No health care? The market will fix it. Born into poverty? Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps — even if you don’t have boots. You’re on your own.

Because, in Barack Obama’s world and the world in which most of his supporters seem to live, the idea that people can do better on their own than they can with the help of a supposedly benevolent state is completely foreign. They reject it not because they don’t think it works, they reject it because they can’t conceive of the idea that individuals are better suited to make decisions for themselves than the educated and elite bureaucrats who supposedly know what is good for the masses.

It wouldn’t have mattered which convention he watched over the past two weeks because, in either case, Barry Goldwater was most assuredly spinning in his grave.

Cross-Posted at Below The Beltway

What About McCain’s Legislative “Accomplishments” ?

We’ve heard a lot this week about Barack Obama’s lack of experience, Sarah Palin’s supposed experience, and John McCain’s military experience.

As Reason Magazine’s Matt Welch notes, however, we haven’t heard much about the legislative accomplishments of the GOP’s nominee, mostly because they encompass things that Republicans would be embarressed to mention:

1,2,3 Set’em Up, and Knock’em Down

So, last night I watched, in succession (through the wonder of teh intartubes) the RNC speeches from Fred Thompson, Rudy Giuliani, and Sarah Palin.

Folks, there has not been a better slate of political speeches in my lifetime. Oh sure, Romney, Huckabee, and Lieberman were in the mix; but their contributions were meaningless and everyone (including them) knew it.

The setup was the 1,2,3.

Fred built the stage:

Rudy warmed up the crowd:

And Sarah knocked’em dead in the aisles:

Whatever you think of the current Republican ticket (or the Republican party in general), you have to acknowledge that this is the single greatest act of political speechmaking since Kennedy; possibly since Churchill at Westminster.

… of course the fact that this is so is sad; given that it was primarily an anti-obama stump set, and the greatest of political speeches should be building things up, not tearing people down… but sometimes a man NEEDS to be torn down… or rather the inflated funhouse mirror image of a man.

Still, I believe it remains the single greatest act of politicial speechmaking in decades.

I say single act, because the three speeches really must (and clearly were intended to be) be taken together to get the full and coordinated impact. Yes, each speech stands as a solid construction on it’s own; but it’s the combination that really achieves the goal.

You can see it in the desperation, and the froth and spittle, and the feces flinging on the left. Shortly, you’ll be seeing it in the poll results… if the left will ever let an honest poll seep into the public perception.

Obamas support has clearly peaked. He’s got all the voters he’s ever going to get… and in fact if the sociology of polling proves true in this case as it has so many times before, even the support he supposedly DOES have may be between 10% and 25% less than reported.

McCain on the other hand keeps gaining support; and the actions and choices of his campaign are just solidifying that.

McCains biggest problem isn’t Obama; it’s the fact that the people who elected George W. Bush twice, mostly don’t much care for McCain. Of course they also mostly don’t care much for Bush anymore, but that’s another issue entirely. Bush has shown that he is not acting in their interests and according to their principles; or that when he is, he is doing so incompetent… but those principles haven’t changed, and those people want someone to represent them.

McCain has the support of the center right, and even much of the center left; that has never been his problem. His problem has been on the right. Up until now, the voters on the right have not believed that a McCain administration would represent them properly.

As of now, problem solved.

Sarah Palin, going on the offensive, these speeches, the choices the Obama campaign is making… McCain has finally got the right behind him.

The only issue I see, is that after this, there is no way McCains speech won’t be a let down.

If McCain manages to pull his off right (short, humble, quiet, dignified but maybe a little angry…), barring major disaster, he’s won the election.

The Republicans have taken the initiative from the democrats. They’ve forced them to react, and are continuing to keep them reacting. They’ve forced them to go to depths of filth that repulse the American people.

Frankly, the Republicans have pushed the left over the edge, and are laughing as the deranged and deluded, fall screaming to their defeat.

I am a cynically romantic optimistic pessimist. I am neither liberal, nor conservative. I am a (somewhat disgruntled) muscular minarchist… something like a constructive anarchist.

Basically what that means, is that I believe, all things being equal, responsible adults should be able to do whatever the hell they want to do, so long as nobody’s getting hurt, who isn’t paying extra

Sarah Palin Is A Bona-Fide Conservative

First, let’s get it right out there. She’s definitely got the same sort of “star” quality that you get from a guy like Obama. It has nothing to do with policy, or politics, but there’s something about the story that is compelling. By Friday evening my wife– who is not a politico in any sense of the word; more a follower of the cult of celebrity– wanted to vote for her!

She’s what you expect must be most Republican mens’ wet dream. She’s attractive, dignified, but with a bit of that Alaskan rough edge about her. She’s got the family woman credentials down pat, but her history of being hardnose in office suggests that she’s got gravitas to go along with it. And all that while retaining the femininity and charm that a certain Democrat lacks. And she’s a heck of a lot hotter than Elizabeth Dole.

She could conceivably do everything that McCain expects, wooing all the right voters and actually giving him a chance in this election. So let’s get down to the brass tacks here…

Policy-wise, she’s got most of the major conservative credentials to attract the conservatives that McCain doesn’t jive with, but without having the “Beltway Insider” image of Biden.

She has a reputation for fiscal conservatism and standing up to corruption, which has already been attacked by my fellow contributors, but which I think is far better than those attacks would suggest. She seems to be a pretty adept politician, so when the Bridge to Nowhere appeared, she got out ahead of it. When Stevens was starting to stink, she realized that she wouldn’t want to stand close enough to pick up the stench. Does that mean she’s a ruthless opponent of pork and corruption? No, it means that she understands politics well enough to realize that rank and file Republicans are sick and tired of the game as the Party has been playing it, and she’s willing to change to meet the changing conditions. That’s a plus.

Just as important for a running mate of McCain, she’s solidly a social conservative. Pro-life, pro-gun, pro-God, pro-drug-war, anti-gay-marriage. Pro-military, with a son about to head to Iraq. Pro-family, raising a Down’s Syndrome child and supporting her daughter who is going through her own troubles as a pregnant teenager (oddly a positive for a Republican?). Her foreign policy positions are a bit of an unknown, but nobody is expecting the VP to set foreign policy. She hits all the policy positions that need to be hit from the evangelicals who are not enamored with McCain.

But there’s a problem. Everything I’ve said so far is from the standpoint of a conservative. I’m not a conservative, I’m a libertarian.

From the standpoint of a libertarian, the story is a bit different. My first paragraph above on her policy, with regards to spending and corruption, is acceptable. From her record it appears that it’s more of a pragmatic approach than a principled approach, but I could conceive holding my nose and voting for a pragmatist if they were on the right side of the issues. But from a social standpoint, I disagree with her on most of her conservative viewpoints. She is the type that I could easily supporting things like Bush’s faith-based charity initiatives, although perhaps a bit less kooky than a guy like Huckabee. As a VP (or potentially a President, if McCain’s health falters), I doubt many of her social positions would actually make their way through congress, but I’d hate to see her follow the “compassionate conservative”– read big welfare spender– approach of Bush.

Sarah Palin appears to be a bona-fide conservative Republican, and is conservative in many of the ways that John McCain is not. Those who are looking for a conservative Republican must be pleased. But to a libertarian, she’s at best a mixed bag. There were a lot of choices that would be far worse from a libertarian standpoint (he could have nominated Huckabee!), so I think it’s mildly a positive result. But it’s not quite enough to make me giddy, or to jump out and pull the lever for McCain/Palin in ’08.

Ron Paul’s Speech at the “Rally for the Republic”

Ron Paul spoke in front of a crowd of approximately 10,000 at the “Rally for the Republic” (AKA the “Ron Paul Convention”) across the river from the Republican National Convention.

Below are the first 3 parts of his speech, the full text of the speech can be read here.

Other speakers on the last day of the rally included Tucker Carlson, Lew Rockwell, Gov. Jesse Ventura (who hinted that he might make a presidential run in 2012), and Barry Goldwater Jr.

Libertarian presidential nominee Bob Barr was also in attendance at Ron Paul’s big show but Barr said he was not disappointed that Paul did not make an official endorsement of his campaign:

Barr, a former GOP congressman, told ABC News he respects Paul’s intent not to make an endorsement in the general election, and is “here today because there are thousands of people who believe we need to shrink the power, the size, the scope of the federal government.

“These are liberty-loving Americans, and those are my kind of people,” Barr exclaimed.

[…]

“We’re all in this together — we believe in the same things,” Barr said.

“Ron has chosen to work within the Republican Party, I’ve chosen to work through the Libertarian Party through the electoral route, but we all want the same thing,” he added.

http://www.campaignforliberty.com/

http://www.bobbarr2008.com/

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