Posted by Brad @ 6:13 pm on August 29th 2008

Whither the Ron Paul Republicans?

The chance that they’re going to vote McCain at any point is pretty damn slim, but worth noting, Palin was often bandied about as a good choice of VP for Ron Paul.

Palin also had some praise for Ron Paul way back in February:

In this interview, Palin calls controversial Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul “cool.” “He’s a good guy,” she added. “He’s so independent. He’s independent of the party machine. I’m like, ‘Right on, so am I.’ ”

Lew Rockwell and company call the race for McCain on the strength of her.

I haven’t thought Obama had a chance for a long time, given Republican ability at swiftboating, but his abandonment of the pro-peace, pro-civil liberties portion of the Democratic base, indeed his open warmongering against Pakistan and Russia and refusal to criticize the Bush police state, clinched it. Biden?! Then there was the People’s Temple last night, followed by McCain’s brilliant pick for VP.

Sarah Palin is smart, articulate, attractive, pro-life, and pro-gun, and was even a Buchananite in 1996. Her political career has been based on fighting Republican corruption. Her ratings as Alaska governor are very high. She has a compelling life story, as they say. Her husband is one-quarter Yupik Eskimo. They have five children, including one with Down’s syndrome, whom they refused to abort. Palin will bring the whole Republican base home, and some Independent and Democratic women. Palin even blunts Hillary for 2012.

Eric Dondero at Libertarian Republican is ecstatic:

She is known to have spoken to two Libertarian Party meetings in 2004/05. She was endorsed by the Libertarian Party of Alaska in the final days of her race for Governor in 2006, even though the LP had it’s own candidate. On election night, Ms. Palin at the Egan Center, went out of her way to acknowledge the Libertarian Party’s support in her victory speech. Immediately afterwards, she embraced then LPA Chairman Jason Dowell in the crowd. Dowell, and other Libertarians had stood on street corners waving signs for Palin the final two days.

And the Club for Growth is as well:

“At a time when many Republicans are still clinging to pork-barrel politics, Governor Palin has quickly become a leader on this issue,” said Club for Growth President Pat Toomey. “She is a principled reformer who understands how badly wasteful spending has marred the Republican brand.”

And as Dondero mentioned, she was a Buchananite in 99 (as well as 96, as Lew mentions). It’s worth noting that Adam Brickley of the Palin for VP blog is a contributing editor to said Libertarian Republican site.

McCain could have made a pick to ingratiate himself to Sam’s Club Republicans (Pawlenty), could have gone the evangelical route (Huckabee), but instead, went with one of the very, very few candidates that mostly passes muster for the Ron Paul Republican wing of the party. That may well be a coincidence (in fact, it most likely is), but it is interesting.


  1. Does this choice at all affect your personal voting outlook Brad?

    Comment by Cameron — 8/29/2008 @ 6:37 pm

  2. I greatly respect Ron Paul’s principled stand on things. Hell I gave him a ton of dough to keep him in the race as long as possible. I guess I find it unfortunate that he would not feel any obligation to support the lesser of two evils like we all have to these days.

    He would not have to formally “endorse” McCain (he has said he would endorse neither) to use his bully pulpit among his following to point out the differences between Obama and McCain on the issues as it relates to his view of the race. All I have heard him say is that there is no difference between the two, which is only partly true. There are differences if you move away from the all or none perspective.

    I am not sure where Paul’s head is at on this. Barr is NOT going to get elected. Hopefully he makes it into a debate or two, but that is highly unlikely. So where is Paul coming from? Where are Libertarians coming from? Do they intend to remain as unhappy maroons hollering after the ship from their desert island as hope and wait for their ship to come in? Do they, or Paul, or Barr, ever consider that, while Republicans have strayed dreadfully from the principles Libertarians hold dear, Democrats have their course set that way and may have have a good wind in their sails soon.

    Does this not trouble them at all? Or are they like the Obama cult without the numbers?

    Comment by James — 8/29/2008 @ 7:06 pm

  3. Does this choice at all affect your personal voting outlook Brad?

    Honestly, probably not. But I could be convinced.

    As far as personal voting outlook goes, McCain could have chosen from a whole host of people that would have slammed the door for me. Lieberman, Romney, Cantor, Jindal, Huckabee, etc. Those would have all been deal-breakers. Palin makes me piqued again.

    But it depends on how they play her. If they play her the way I more or less outlined, then I could still be swayed. If they retool with a message if individualism, anti-corruption, and kitchen table family values, possibly. That said, in any event, I am not “after them” as I would be with McCain/Lieberman, say. McCain/Palin is a ticket I can respect.

    Of the two, Biden sways me more than Palin. But I’m well pleased with both.

    Comment by Brad — 8/29/2008 @ 9:41 pm

  4. I’m taking a long look.

    I have yet to be convinced about Palin, but the outright derision she’s provoking from the likes of Dee Dee Myers is a strong positive for me. There has been a lot of hysterical screaming on the left today, and most of it has been rediscovery of the vital importance of political experience. I find that hilarious.

    Biden and Palin are very different, and each impressive in their own way. But they have one thing in common: they both think Barack Obama is poorly suited to the Presidency.

    Comment by Rojas — 8/29/2008 @ 9:49 pm

  5. I am remarkably pleased with this entire political season. True disasters like Giuliani or Edwards have been avoided. Worrisome people like Romney and Huckabee have been tossed aside. Clinton crashed and burned.

    It’s pretty neat to take a pool of 25 people last and end up with the cream of the crop this November. On both sides of the aisle my top choices have come to fruition. Some damn challenging odds have been bested. I’d have loved to seen Paul alive and kicking at this stage, but if I couldn’t have him I am thankful that the best of the rest are left.

    Comment by Cameron — 8/29/2008 @ 9:50 pm

  6. Eh, I consider myself fairly libertarian, and right now I’m edging in Obama’s direction simply because there’s a chance for some kind of change from the failed policies of the past 8 years.

    When it comes to liberty, the democrats have got it at least half right, and where they have it wrong, at least they’re more likely to do so responsibly. If the government is going to spend the money, which both parties will, I feel it’s better if they raise it somehow instead of just running a deficit.

    Comment by Mike — 8/29/2008 @ 9:53 pm

  7. A big part of my worry with Obama is him working in conjunction with a Democratic Congress. If it was likely that there would be a GOP majority in at least one house I’d feel a lot more comfortable voting for him. Unchecked power is never a good solution.

    Comment by Cameron — 8/29/2008 @ 9:56 pm

  8. I am remarkably pleased with this entire political season. True disasters like Giuliani or Edwards have been avoided. Worrisome people like Romney and Huckabee have been tossed aside. Clinton crashed and burned.

    It’s pretty neat to take a pool of 25 people last and end up with the cream of the crop this November. On both sides of the aisle my top choices have come to fruition. Some damn challenging odds have been bested. I’d have loved to seen Paul alive and kicking at this stage, but if I couldn’t have him I am thankful that the best of the rest are left.

    Amen. Well said. And worth bringing up from time to time. A future quote of the day (remind me).

    I will add that Rojas and I are getting the same contrarian impulse on the reaction to Palin. In that sense, Palin COULD end up swaying me more than Biden, if suddenly the claws come out and the left tries to Harriet Meirs her.

    Comment by Brad — 8/29/2008 @ 10:02 pm

  9. At what level is “Harriet Miers” in play?

    How about, on the FIRST DAY of the nomination, knowing nothing of the qualities of the candidate, an article entitled “The Double X Dan Quayle,” accompanied by this bit of hyper-negative campaigning in the cloak of patronizing sympathy?

    Not again, because too often women are promoted for the wrong reasons, and then blamed when things don’t go right.

    Worse, when Sarah Palin falls short—and I hope I’m wrong but I think in important ways, such as her debate with Joe Biden, she will—some people will conclude that women can’t cut it. That’s unfair to Sarah Palin—and it’s certainly unfair to the rest of us.

    I have a pretty thick skin where political attacks are concerned. I don’t think that stuff’s out of bounds rhetorically. But on the other hand, if Harriet Miers is your standard…well, that’s pretty much the exact line of Republican attack on Miers, isn’t it? With a scoop of “she’ll wreck it for REAL women” on top?

    And again: on the first day. She’s a failure already. By virtue of what, I’m not sure. By virtue of being a woman who dared to succeed where Hillary Clinton failed, I suppose.

    Comment by Rojas — 8/29/2008 @ 10:30 pm

  10. I can’t remember where I first heard it, but it was being invoked pretty quickly (I think at The Corner, of all places).

    Joe Scarborough apparently went there.

    Want to get even more cheesed off?

    Here’s a Dailykos Diary on the Recommended list (Top Ten diary at the moment) titled “Todd Palin, Shadow Governor of Alaska”.

    How’s that for some fuckin’ stones?

    Comment by Brad — 8/29/2008 @ 10:37 pm

  11. Heh. I hadn’t even had a chance to edit the evidence into my post, and you’ve already topped it.

    I’m all for head-on politics. But let’s please hear no more from the authors of these pieces about “uniting America”. Obama’s surrogates–not to mention his campaign spokesmen–pay lip service to his efforts to clean up politics, but there’s cold sharp iron in that velvet glove.

    Comment by Rojas — 8/29/2008 @ 10:39 pm

  12. Man, Sullivan is vicious at the moment. Even his readers are invoking Miers.

    This is a real danger for McCain. Fair or not (and Christ people, you only heard of her 12 hours ago). I have been meaning this evening to put up a post called “Reservations, I Have a Few” about the potential pitfalls of Palin, and now it looks like I may be LATE to that party. She is a high-risk pick, made even moreso by the tactics of the McCain campaign (and the lack of initiative by picking second and with no real time to set the tone and the pace), which is why I’ve cooled on her in the last month. I’ll spell those out in more detail tomorrow, but we’re already seeing cw calcify in a not-very-nice way for McCain.

    But geez, tough crowd out there. The McCain campaign had better stay on top of this. They could have afforded the Thurs-Monday news cycle being dominated by Obama more than they can afford screwing the pooch on their Vice Presidential pick. I hope they come out strong tomorrow. And I hope they know what they’re doing.

    Comment by Brad — 8/29/2008 @ 10:54 pm

  13. Sullivan already crossed the swift boat line with the “cross in the dirt” garbage. I don’t think it’s possible to take him seriously as an election analyst anymore, and CERTAINLY not as an accurate barometer of CW.

    Notice the other prominent line of attack in the Sullivan readers’ commentary? Sarah Palin should not seek the Vice Presidency because her obligation as a mother is to spend time at home with her handicapped baby.

    How’s that strike ya? If any Republican said that about a Democratic candidate at ANY level, tactical nuclear weapons would be dropped on his campaign HQ.

    If I were the McCain campaign, I might let the Dems have the rest of the weekend to talk. Palin herself will have the stage next week, and seeing her take down this stuff personally might put all questions of her toughness and political timber to rest in a hurry.

    Comment by Rojas — 8/29/2008 @ 10:58 pm

  14. It’s not just Sullivan. Ramesh Ponnuru, Jonah Goldberg, Ross Douthat, etc.

    I’m also thinking of my mother, Midwestern Republican Catholic who was pretty impressed with Biden. She came home today and said “Well, that’s it, I can’t vote for McCain”. Her argument being that he’s a 72-year-old cancer survivor and who the hell is Sarah Palin to be ready on Day One?

    It’s a real danger, that kind of stuff getting a chance to stick and calcify. I tend to agree that there is a dangerous chance of overreach here, but at the same time, Palin’s got to be pretty goddamn impressive from this point forward. She won’t have the chance of “coming into her own” late, once the mold is set, and she’s never faced a national campaign before. She better be damn good at on the job training.

    Comment by Brad — 8/29/2008 @ 11:04 pm

  15. Well, yes indeed.

    I think that we all knew from the start that Palin would have to prove her bona fides very quickly and very thoroughly. Which is, frankly, as it should be. If she acts like Dan Quayle on the national stage, then the McCain campaign will get what it deserves for choosing her.

    But what is phenomenal to behold is how many on the left have decided pre-emptively that Sarah Palin is unfit to lead, and for what reasons. I will outright admit that I’m finding it offensive, and that I find myself rooting for her to throw it back in their faces in Minneapolis.

    It’s just not nice to pick on the ugly chick.

    Comment by Rojas — 8/29/2008 @ 11:10 pm

  16. You’re right.

    And you know what, Cameron, flipping through the cable news talking heads right now: yes, this pick makes me more likely to vote for McCain.

    Sarah Palin is a goddamn impressive figure. We want outsiders, we want executive experience, we want change agents but with some proven governing ability, we want to reach out to new voters, we want to get outside the safety zone of regular politics. John McCain has done all that with this pick. He deserves some props. Please note: his most obvious pick was Mitt fucking Romney.

    The experience charge bothered me coming from the McCain campaign, because I think it’s overstated. I think Obama passes the sniff test of “serious candidate for President”, and I think most of us know that in our gut, even his detractors (who have more invested in being anti-Obama than just questions of experience). Is there some damn reason that Palin is less ready to be President than John Edwards? Fred Thompson? Mike Huckabee? Barack Obama? Hillary Clinton (whose wealth of experience I’m still totally unclear on)?

    McCain has a credible case on being the Washingtonian agent of change. Sarah Palin balances that out perfectly as someone far outside of Washington ALSO operating as an agent of change. Alaska is every bit as “real” a state as Hawaii or Delaware. She balances out almost every charge against McCain—that he’s too old, that he’s too out of touch and doesn’t “get it”, that he’s too insider, that he’s too wrapped up in war-making and playing solider. She has the kind of experience that McCain lacks, as he does for her. That’s a good pairing, and a good nose on McCain’s part. One way to take a VP pick is “if the President dies, are they the best replacement?” But that’s not the only way. The fact is, most Presidents (even the old ones) do NOT die. Just as valuable a question to ask: are they a potentially good team. Virtually no one is asking that question as present. But for this voter, who has been really, really leaning against McCain, picking someone well outside his comfort zone, and making a real effort to break the mold and pick a fresh faced agent of change, a true outsider, is something I find reassuring. Again, he could have picked Joe fucking Lieberman.

    The difficulty with McCain is proving that he’s not your Machine Republican, that you’re not going to get your Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Rove style administration out of him. Sarah Palin is the best bit of evidence we’ve gotten so far for that.

    Rojas is right. This preemptively deciding that Sarah Palin is CLEARLY unfit to lead, not even 12 hours after she’s been announced, is indeed phenomenal to behold. I’m rooting for her too.

    Comment by Brad — 8/29/2008 @ 11:23 pm

  17. Right on.

    Whatever else may be said about her, she does seem to have made all the right enemies.

    Doesn’t mean I won’t award her a D if she muffs the speech, though. This must be said: politics is the art of holding your opponents to impossible standards, and the Democrats are succeeding immensely in doing that to Palin. She’s going to have to come across as strong, decisive, charismatic, AND compassionate. She’s got to go head-on against the experience complaints AND she’s going to have to demonstrate policy mastery AND she’s going to have to be loveable in the process. And she’s got to do it all in less than half the time McCain will be alotted, WITHOUT OVERSHADOWING HIM.

    It’s going to be a whale of a hurdle to contend with.

    Comment by Rojas — 8/29/2008 @ 11:29 pm

  18. Yeah, that’s my big fear. Not even 12 hours in, and her task is nigh-on impossible.

    I probably won’t get to my reservations post, but note that in my endorsement of Palin, it was paired with McCain picking her first. For this precise reason. Who cares if McCain stepped on Obama’s convention speech, if he blows the VP pick? He spent the last three weeks retooling his campaign on experience and ready on day one, which is pretty boneheaded with Palin in the pipeline. Palin was much, much better as a slow burn candidate, not a throwing-to-the-wolves one, which is how it’s currently playing out. I think McCain may have made the right pick, in the wrong way.

    Comment by Brad — 8/29/2008 @ 11:58 pm

  19. Lew Rockwell just proved in a single paragraph that he is a fucking idiot.

    Comment by weltschmerz — 8/30/2008 @ 1:30 am

  20. I envy him his brevity. It usually takes us much longer than that.

    Comment by Rojas — 8/30/2008 @ 11:11 am

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