Hike the Campaign Trail via Email!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Falling Behind

I'm discovering that there are simply more Ron Paul videos on Youtube than it makes sense to copy and paste. Following this blog would simply be like typing in Ron Paul on youtube and seeing what you find. I had hoped to conglomerate articles and videos from many different sites, but I'm beginning to realize I lack the time to do all that and when I do have time to blog I prefer to do it on my other blog, Underage Thinking. It probably helps that I only have 1 follower on here, so I'm pretty much talking to myself. Long story short, I'm considering just deleting this blog and sticking with one. So I apologize for the lulls in the posts as I try to sort out my blogging future haha.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

13th Floor in a Hotel Again

Saturday, January 7, 2012

WHY IS THIS NEWS!!!???!!!???


It is infuriating that this story has been on the front page of the papers for THREE DAYS now. It's OBVIOUS that Ron Paul has nothing to do with the ad. It was obvious even before Paul issued the statement saying he thought it was a disgusting video (statement found here: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57353940-503544/paul-campaign-anti-huntsman-manchurian-candidate-video-disgusting/ ). The video, which you can see here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZeVqj-t1U0, is so obviously low budget, and so shoddily put together, and so clearly lacking the "I'm Ron Paul and I support this message" tag, that only a moron could think Paul had anything to do with it. In fact, considering it is the only video that the person who created it has ever posted, and that he posted it the same day he created his profile on January 4th, it seems very possible that the video was posted by a fake Paul supporter with the express intention of garnering negative publicity for his campaign.

What's truly ridiculous is that Huntsman is publicly complaining about a video somebody posted on YOUTUBE,. Does he have any idea how much stupid, racist shit is plastered all over youtube about every politician ever? It's not exactly high brow political commentary. I typed in "barack obama sucks" and this was the first video that came up: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hb2hhKS-mBQ&skipcontrinter=1. If Barack Obama publicly complained about the contents of this video, and the media felt that was worthy of a story, would that be reasonable? No. That this is now an issue being reported on every major news site is ridiculous. Yet another unwarranted smear that wasn't even brought up by any of the candidates, but which the media drums up as relevant just so they can put "Ron Paul" and "racist" together in the same headline.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

And then there were six

With Michelle Bachmann "suspending" her campaign (which of course means ending), we are now left with six white males as the Republican nominee. Unlike other candidates who've dropped out over the past few months, Bachmann hasn't been above 10% in the polls in a long time, so her decision has less impact on the remaining candidates. But nevertheless, Bachmann got over 6,000 votes in Iowa, which is larger than the gap between first and third place. At about 5% in the polls, if all of her supporters were to line up behind one candidate that candidate would obviously benefit significantly. So which candidate are her backers now likely to endorse? The following is from Noah Rothman of politicology:

"So where do Bachmann’s voters go? While they are a small group, they are deeply conservative and are more social than fiscally conservative – many self-identified as Tea Party voters. Perhaps their most natural ally in the presidential field would have been Perry, but it appears that he too will suspend his campaign shortly. Given the surprising performance of former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, they may gravitate towards his campaign.
More likely, there will be a schism among Bachmann’s supporters with votes being divided evenly among the remaining candidates. She still commands 6.7 percent support in the RCP average ofSouth Carolina voters and 3.5 percent in Florida. Given that the Iowa race turned on 8 votes, those are not insignificant margins"

Celebrities Endorse Ron Paul...including Chuck Norris

Among other celebrities. Those not shown who endorse him include Kelly Clarkson, Michelle Branch, and the rapper Prodigy.

Meanwhile, in Obamaworld...

Obama's campaign emailed this message to his supporters last night:

"The extremist Tea Party agenda won a clear victory. No matter who the Republicans nominate, we'll be running against someone who has embraced that agenda in order to win -- vowing to let Wall Street write its own rules, end Medicare as we know it, roll back gay rights, leave the troops in Iraq indefinetly, restrict a woman's right to choose, and gut Social Security to pay for more tax cuts for millionaires and corporations."

Let's dissect this quote for a minute, shall we? Firstly, he referred to "the extremest Tea Party". 34% of Americans support the Tea Party, and another 30% have no opinion of it or are undecided. Calling the Tea Party extreme is to call over a third of the American people, at minimum, extreme. 1/3 of the electorate is not the "radical fringe", even if you don't plan to target your message to those voters. The Democrats continued insistence that anyone who doesn't agree with them must be nutty or have something wrong with them, instead of just having a reasonable ideological difference, is apalling. The ideology that drives the Tea Party is a return to constitutional government. If believing in limited government has become an extreme position, American is in deep shit. Same goes for Republicans who call Ron Paul "dangerous" for opposing Newt's proposal to fire Supreme Court Justices he doesn't like, or for saying we need congressional approval before declaring war. If following the constitution has become "dangerous", I shudder to think how much danger we're already in.

But back to Obama. Now lets address what he claims the Tea Party is vowing to do:

"let Wall Street write it's own rules" - no Barack, that's what you want to do. Not technically, of course; a bureaucrat who's in bed with those corporations will actually write them. But he will write them under the influence of those who have the money, power, lobbying might and connections to sway government proceedings. Namely, mega-rich corporations. Or, in your analogy, Wall Street. No matter how many regulations Obama tries to impose, the writing, formulating, and enforcing of those regulations will be heavily influenced by those who have a stake in the game. Consequently, they will always result in protecting both sides from competition: corporations from business competition, and incumbents from political competition. Only when the government stops trying to regulate what risks people can take or decisions people can make with their own money will these interests cease to have a stake in politics, and only then will those ties be severed.

"end Medicare as we know it" - technically this isn't true, but I really wish it was. Most Tea Party members are still too enamored with entitlements to end them outright, and are still hesitant to make any drastic changes to "Medicare as they know it". Which is unfortunate, because Medicare as we know it is going to bankrupt the country. Medicare as we know it is unconstitutional, which means Medicare as we know it restricts peoples' rights to liberty and property.

"roll back gay rights" - not true at all. This is not a tenet of Tea Party ideology, and the Tea Party does not have a cohesive position on social issues. At worst, they simply disagree about what those rights entail. But groups don't have rights anyway, individuals do. And for sure, almost all Tea Party members support the rights to life, liberty, and property of gay individuals, just as they support them for everybody else. Those are the only rights anybody is guaranteed.

"leave the troops in Iraq indefinetly" - um, Barack? They're already out of Iraq. How can we leave them there when they're not there? In fact, if Ron Paul wins the nomination, he wants to pull the troops out of the rest of the world too, including Afghanistan. If he were to win, you can bet he'd attack you for wanting to "leave the troops in Afghanistan idefinetly", and you'd have jack-shit to say because that's exactly what you've done and plan to continue doing. Who's the hawkish, senseless warmonger now?

"gut social security to pay for more tax cuts to millionaire's and billionaire's" - If by "gut" social security you mean "privatize" social security, then yes. Privatizing it doesn't end it or even much change it, it just clarifies what it actually is. People are contributing savings to their own nest egg, not to the government, and they are awarded benefits upon retirement from their own life savings, not from the government. The idea that everything good must come from the hands of the government is the oldest trick in the book of tyrants to foster dependency on the leaders, which increases the people's allegiance to those leaders and enhances the leader's power. But I digress. The more important silliness here is that Republicans are doing this to "pay for more tax cuts". It is infuriating to me when people use this term. Tax cuts are not an expenditure. You do not need to pay for them, you just need to stop paying for other things. Lowering revenue is not an expense, it just means you have to decrease your actual expenses. The only way this can be construed as an expense which must be paid for is if one views the present level of government revenue as something which the government is entitled to, and all federal spending programs as immovable. Now, for sure, when we lower taxes, we should lower them across the board so as to be consistent with the principle of equality under the law. Republicans are often guilty of breaching this principle when they advocate targeted tax cuts to families or small businesses. But taxes themselves are only justified when that money is being spent on the defense of our constitutional rights. Sometimes that requires more money, other times less. When it requires less, the government should spend less money, and since it needs less money, it should lower taxes. The trouble is, politicians realize that money is power and money can help them get reelected, so they'd much rather invent new ways for the government to spend it. Then they blame any who want to return that money to it's rightful owners - the people - for imposing expenses on the government!

My Big Question

Obviously, we seem to have a new top three. Romney, the favorite. Santorum, the feel-good come from behind  guy. And Paul, the guy you either roll your eyes at or love. I've made my views on Paul apparent. But here's my big question about Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney:

How are they different?

Seriously, I've been searching for a policy difference, and I can't find one. Both are good-looking, tall, dark haired family men. Both have strong faith, and both are socially conservative. Both have flip-flops in their history (Santorum's include whether or not we should attack Iran, evolution and the teaching of intelligent design in schools). Both are trying to win the trust of the Tea Party by convincing voters that they are truly anti-spending and anti-big government, when there is little in either's record to suggest either. On foreign policy, neither will not tolerate a nuclear Iran, and both support continuing foreign aid to Israel. In their quests to cut spending, neither wants to cut defense spending, and neither wants to phase out medicare, medicaid or social security (although Santorum once voted to privatize it).

In style, of course, they have many differences. Romney has a national base with a well funded and very organized campaign, which runs many ads through various PAC's. Santorum is a more down-to-earth, face-to-face campaigner with a much lower budget who hasn't been able to afford ads yet. One is a senator with experience duking it out in the federal legislature on a national scale (but no executive experience), the other is a businessman-turned governor with executive experience in both (but who's never held a federal office). But as far as what positions they take, what stances they support and what policies they propose, what they actually plan to DO once in office, I see little difference.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

What the candidates are thinking about right now

In the order of my projected finish:

Mitt Romney - "I hope I win, but even if I don't win I'm in pretty good shape. And if Paul wins, second place is just as good as first, because he can't beat me in a national campaign. Santorum is just peaking at the right time; as soon as people learn he's a big spender who likes to raise the debt ceiling, the Tea-Party people who are turning to him in desperation will desert him. It would be disappointing to fall all the way to third, but even if I do I'm still the favorite on a national scale. Winning Iowa would just make the inevitable happen sooner."

Rick Santorum - "I really hope I win. Everyone knows I'll finish top three, but if I don't beat Romney people will think I'm just the latest in a long line of failed Romney challengers. I'll have positive momentum either way, but if I win it will be an amazing come-from-behind victory that nobody expected a week ago. As someone who's spent 90% of the past year outside the top 5 contenders, winning Iowa would establish me as a top tier candidate, and would help me more than winning Iowa would help any of the other contenders. And I could probably keep that momentum as we head into the moral majority southern states of South Carolina and Florida. Crossing my fingers that this late surge is big enough!"

Ron Paul - "Regardless of whether I finish in first, second, or third, I've already outperformed my expectations. And my campaign's momentum is unlikely to be as affected by my finish as the others' will be. Winning would be great, and may serve to legitimize my stances as more mainstream than political talking heads let on. It would also be historic because so many people have said it could never happen for so long. But unlike the other candidates, I know my supporters won't desert me if I don't win. A second or third place finish would still keep me trudging along; I'm in this for the long run anyway. The passion of my supporters can't be matched, and won't be doused by losing out to Santorum or Romney or other free-spending establishment Republicans. I haven't put all my chips in one basket like Santorum has, and it's not like the media can ignore me any more than they already have! I can only gain momentum today, not lose it."

Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry and Michelle Bachmann - "Just don't come in last. Please, God, don't let me come in last. A few months ago, I was squarely in first place. Now, I've come crashing down as people realized what a muslim-hating religious zealot/forgetful, bumbling homophobe/flip-flopping Washington insider blowhard I am. I would be very happy to finish 4th so that I can lick my wounds and continue the fight elsewhere. If I finish in dead last, though, I might just say the hell with it and drop out."

Jon Huntsman - "Wait, there's a caucus in Iowa???"