Thursday, December 29, 2011

2012: the year ‘conservatives’ embraced LBJ

As this year winds-down, I know my pro-Ron Paul commentary will need to wind-down as well. The Libertarian Party has multiple outstanding presidential candidates – highlighted by former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson’s recent switch in party affiliation (and God Bless him for it!).

As chair of the Allen County Libertarian Party it is my responsibility and duty to begin focusing my energy and lead the energies of my local colleagues toward our own candidates and leave the Republicans to their own.

Perhaps, more appropriately, we need to leave the Republicans to eat their own – namely Paul and his supporters.

Still, it is my intent to churn-out one more essay espousing virtues of Representative Paul before the Iowa caucus on January 3 and then observe how the chips fall. My hope is that message will go viral if nothing else I write ever does.

Take a long look at the accompanying screen shot. Then, I want you to watch the embedded video below.

Once the connection struck me between the rhetoric contained in the pictured tweet and in the embedded video, I found myself compelled to put-aside everything else I’m working-on at the moment and author this note.

I’ve read the commentary and snark about how Paul’s entry into front-runner status in the GOP field has revealed how his supporters – be they his dedicated boots on the ground or armchair advocates such as myself – are thin-skinned, etc...

But the message on display here, originating from Twitter, is fully emblematic of what has been in play all the while – and being dished in extra generous servings over the last several weeks since he began ascending in mainstream polling.

Paul and his supporters have stuck to examining the track records, platforms, and rhetoric of his opponents and doing the requisite analysis – and when applicable even making comparisons to presidents past and present. His detractors, conversely, have offered the kind of discourse displayed here.

I have commented in social media ad nauseum about the irony that drips from commentary by so-called conservatives about him. President Barack Obama’s stimulus package was decried as unconstitutional. His Affordable Health Care Act is unconstitutional. His party’s finance reform law is unconstitutional. Damn near his entire agenda has been unconstitutional since he entered the White House. However...

Now, when discussing candidates’ qualifications, faithfulness to the Constitution has steadily and amazingly descended in pertinence.

Republicans and Conservatives who vote with that party have a chance to nominate and push into the presidency a candidate who has been the most consistent and reliable constitutionalist to hold any high-profile elected office in decades, in a lifetime.

What we are witnessing instead is the Grand Ole Party channeling the spirit of Lyndon Baines Johnson as it existed in his 1964 reelection bid.

When you throw-in the fact of all his predecessors within the Republican Party, Ron Paul has been most commonly compared to the late-Senator Barry Goldwater, the parallels approach new depths of comedy.

Given that the reemergence of nuclear holocaust rhetoric is coming from within his own party, the irony is as disgusting as it is mind-boggling.

So, take a bow, Republicans! Somewhere in his special little pit in Hell, good ol’ LBJ is enjoying a break from eternal torment and relaxing with a tall, cool one on your tab.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Conservatives and their selective hearing...

Someone please explain something for me...

Why is it that Conservative talking heads and radio heads continually hammer home the arguing point that we must listen to what the Israelis are trying to tell us as well as their concerns...

...but the same Conservatives unanimously ignore this comment by Benjamin Netanyahu?

This wasn't some casual interview with Israeli media or some third-party quote in an obscure online publication. These were Netanyahu's remarks made on the floor of the U.S. Capitol Building before a joint session of Congress on May 24, 2011.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Due to budgetary concerns, the light at the end of the tunnel...

Thank God for small miracles!

Earlier today, Congressional Republicans managed to finally attach an amendment to the latest Continuing Resolution spending bill that will operate (for the time being) as a sort-of de facto repeal of the 2007 incandescent light bulb ban.

While it's about damned time this happened (the legislation's components were set to take effect the first of the coming year) there is no shortage of comedic misdirection being perpetrated by the right-wing.

Here is a sample of such posturing from the article linked above:

"'When the American people gave Republicans control of the House in January, one of the major issues involved was the Democratic ban on the 100 watt bulb,' said Rep. Michael Burgess, who fought to preserve the incandescent bulb. 'Republicans have fulfilled our promise to the American people by allowing them to continue to be able to choose what type of bulb they use at home. Consumers should drive the marketplace, not the government.'"

Burgess will make such a comment with complete disregard for the fact Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) -- who presently chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee -- was one of the ban's legislative architects and the bill was signed into law by then-President George W. Bush.

But, we're all supposed to believe this was a "Democratic ban."

My next-favorite snippet appears two paragraphs before the one quoted above:

"Stopping the bulb ban was a chief GOP priority coming into this year, with all of the candidates seeking to become chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee saying they would push through a repeal."

Be aware that I refer to the GOP's "policy rider" as a "sort-of de facto repeal" due to the fact it doesn't actually overturn the original legislation it merely places prohibitions on expenditures related to its enforcement.

And some people still wonder why I'm a Libertarian.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Potential spoiler or possible ace in the hole?

There is no denying the Republican Party has gone to great lengths in order to keep former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson out of the public eye and from presenting his vision of libertarianism to the public.

As time winds-down before the Iowa Caucus next month, Johnson could very well get a last laugh of his own at the GOP.

Discussions of him leaving the Republican field and pursuing the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination have been America’s worst-kept secret which very, very few in the mainstream news media have mentioned.

Thank goodness for the Judge…

When Johnson made his appearance on Freedom Watch with Judge Andrew Napolitano, December 7 on Fox Business Network, he tackled that topic with a response that was noticeably noncommittal when it comes to offering a definitive “yes” or “no.”

What I noticed when watching the interview was he made a point of emphasizing that “the message” was always his goal with his campaign. As he pointed-out, his constant exclusion from GOP debates denied him any chance to spread it.

And then he hinted at something noteworthy during his interview with Napolitano: if former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney or former House Speaker Newt Gingrich land the nomination, he is likely to pursue the Libertarian Party’s ticket.

The unspoken hint is that he won’t do it if Representative Ron Paul gets the nod.

Johnson is a smart man. He wants to succeed personally yet at the same time has a genuine love of his country and his principles – principles of liberty which Paul shares. At this point it seems clear to me what Johnson’s strategy is moving forward: one way or another, libertarianism is moving to the forefront of America’s political discussion.

He also knows the GOP’s trepidations regarding how a strong third-party candidate could affect voting dynamics come November 2012. By inching ever closer to seeking the LP’s presidential nomination, Johnson may be the best thing to ever happen to Ron Paul’s candidacy.

How so? Johnson – in my view rather patriotically – is willing to serve as a bargaining chip for liberty.

If the message hasn’t already been explicitly sent (albeit behind closed doors) to the GOP establishment it will be coming soon: you need to support Ron Paul from here-on-out or face a three-way election in November.

The Republican Party’s regularly stated goal has been to unseat President Barack Obama in next year’s election. Its members have been saying this since 2009. Although Johnson has a strong track record of drawing Democratic voters in his two successful gubernatorial campaigns in New Mexico which easily debunks the worn-out notion of “stealing conservative votes,” common sense dictates the GOP is not the least bit interested in taking any chances.

If he chooses to run as a Libertarian, Johnson will be the most viable third-party presidential candidate to run in 100 years. Unlike H. Ross Perot in 1992 and 1996, Johnson has a solid track record as a government executive – which also lends him greater name recognition than Paul enjoyed in 1988 or Bob Barr in 2008.

Most importantly, unlike Theodore Roosevelt in 1912 he is not a Progressive, statist troll.

To summarize, as the Libertarian candidate Johnson would be poised to take a significant slice of the electorate pie. If he goes this route, the Republican National Committee may have to swallow its pride and accept his terms.

Still, his candidacy on the Libertarian ticket would be a dream-come-true for many party members – myself included.

Bloggers have noted in recent days that the Johnson campaign has been bombarded with correspondence by Libertarians to switch tickets. Members of our party have been reaching-out to him to make the right and honorable move – myself included.

While I will understand if he pursues the strategy laid-out above and secures the GOP nomination for Paul it will to the chagrin of many Libertarian Party members, we must remember one of our party’s most popular slogans: the party of principle. And if we believe in our core principle of maximum freedom – both economic and individual – through minimum government, we must then be willing to set aside our own partisanship and embrace this potential path toward restoration of liberty.

One key red flag being raised is time is slowly beginning to run short for Johnson to make a decision. Delegates for the Libertarian National Convention will be meeting in May to select the party’s presidential nominee.

My bet, however, is the picture for the Republican primaries ought to be fairly clear by the time Ohio holds its vote on March 6 – two months before the Libertarian convention.

In other words: fear not, my fellow Libertarians – there will be a resolution to this, one way or the other.