Archive for the ‘Ron Paul’ Category

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Goodbye Rudy, Tuesday

January 29, 2008

Well, the Florida results are in, and Rudy’s out

The question that is undoubtedly on many people’s minds:  What the heck happened to Giuliani?  I think we’ve just witnessed a campaign roll off a hill, and I’m not quite sure what caused it.  According to most polls, Rudy was the frontrunner for most of 2007, and as late as early December still had double-digit leads over most of the other candidates, including John McCain. 

1/15-17/08 12/3-5/07 11/5-7/07
% % %  
John McCain

22

13

13

 
Mike Huckabee

16

18

10

 
Mitt Romney

16

12

12

 
Rudy Giuliani

14

26

29

 
Fred Thompson

9

11

19

 
Ron Paul

4

3

n/a

 
Other (vol.)

1

1

2

 
None (vol.)

8

7

7

 
Unsure

10

9

8

 
Newt Gingrich

n/a

n/a

n/a

 
Sam Brownback

n/a

n/a

n/a

Was it “World Wavered, History Hesitated“, or did people simply forget about 9/11?  ‘Cause he was there on 9/11.

9/11.

He was there, and he didn’t waver, remember?

Oh  what the heck, one more time… for Rudy…

9/11.

WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance

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In ’08 Race, Boo Birds Are Not An Endangered Species

January 15, 2008

Seriously, what’s with all the booing?

McCain booed in Michigan…twice; Update: Video added

Clinton booed at MLK rally in New York 

Mitt Romney Gets Booed For Attacking Ron Paul

Obama Booed At NAACP Speech

Giuliani booed on gun control

Ron Paul gets booed at the Univision GOP debate

Edwards gets booed

Brownback Booed For Support Of Federal Amendment On Gay Marriage

It reminds me of the old Chexx bubble hockey game. It had a “boo” button, which was usually pressed after your opponent scored a goal. It got me thinking.  Maybe I should just keep a “boo” track on my site for watching the debates. It might be fun!

WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance

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Did Congress “Vote For The War”?

November 29, 2007

Or was their intention simply to show Saddam that “we mean business”? (or something to that effect) 

This element of the popular talking points in today’s political discourse has always bothered and confused me.   I bring it up now because -as we turn the corner and head into the home stretch toward the ’08 presidential election- it is likely to be brought up more and more, especially with regard to Hillary Clinton.   This is also a bit of a followup post to the one I penned yesterday, as this topic is suddenly thrust to the forefront.    For the record, I’m not writing this post as an attempt to defend Clinton’s (or anyone in Congress, for that matter) vote, or her or the former president’s comments on the decision afterward.   Instead, this entry is designed to help clarify my thoughts on the matter and open up a discussion that doesn’t attempt to rewrite history, rather, to explore and reflect on what actually took place.

First, I think that the most important thing to point out that a vote for the October 2002 AUMF against Iraq was not an explicit declaration of war, at least not as it was written.   I did some searching, and Ron Paul summarized it fairly well when he voiced his concerns on the House floor on October 8th of that year (two days before the House passed it):

But I am very interested also in the process that we are pursuing. This is not a resolution to declare war. We know that. This is a resolution that does something much different. This resolution transfers the responsibility, the authority, and the power of the Congress to the President so he can declare war when and if he wants to. He has not even indicated that he wants to go to war or has to go to war; but he will make the full decision, not the Congress, not the people through the Congress of this country in that manner.

However, wording aside, this has always been the $60,000 question:  Can those who voted “yea” say that they didn’t consider the invasion to be a forgone conclusion (at least with a straight face)?  I mean, has Congress passed AUMF’s in that didn’t result in some military action?  Did the majority really have any other expectation?

The popular defense of the vote that came from the Democrats (especially) has always been that the resolution was intended to provide the leverage needed to put Saddam in a situation where he had no other choice but to comply with UN resolutions and allow the inspectors back in.  In fact, at the time that the resolution passed, there is evidence that there were those in Congress who believed that the AUMF was the best hope in avoiding war:

Minority Leader Richard Gephardt, D-Missouri, said giving Bush the authority to attack Iraq could avert war by demonstrating the United States is willing to confront Saddam over his obligations to the United Nations.

“I believe we have an obligation to protect the United States by preventing him from getting these weapons and either using them himself or passing them or their components on to terrorists who share his destructive intent,” said Gephardt, who helped draft the measure.

In other words, the best way to disarm Iraq without military action was to use the inspectors, and it appears that the consensus at the time was that Saddam wouldn’t allow the inspectors back in without knowing that the threat of force was real.  Also, I think its fair to say that Congress wouldn’t have passed an AUMF unless the it contained language specifying that all diplomatic options towards enforcing UN resolutions (which called for inspectors) had been “exhausted”.  

One problem that Paul and others had with the resolution was the fact that the AUMF gave the president sole power to decide when those options were deemed “exhausted”.   So, again,  what it comes down to was whether or not the members of Congress believed that Bush was predisposed to invade, and if they were comfortable with that predisposition.  

But did the administration give any indication that he was?   On October 16th, the day he signed the resolution, Bush said things like this:

…”I hope the use of force will not become necessary”….

and

…”Hopefully this can be done peacefully. Hopefully we can do this without any military action”…

Of course, that’s what was said publicly. 

However, later on, the evidence that Bush was being disingenuous about this began to surface, culminating with the infamous Downing Street Memo:

The Foreign Secretary said he would discuss this with Colin Powell this week. It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran. We should work up a plan for an ultimatum to Saddam to allow back in the UN weapons inspectors. This would also help with the legal justification for the use of force.

So, did Congress (or at least, a percentage of the yeas) unwittingly give Bush the green light to commence a war that he had already decided to undertake?  The puzzle pieces seem to fit.  Bush wasn’t going to war without an AUMF, and Congress wasn’t going to approve an AUMF unless it called for diplomacy first.  So, if Bush wanted war, all he had to do is make sure that the resolution was worded in such a way that gave him the power to declare when the diplomacy had failed.  As it turned out, that appears to be precisely the wording that Congress approved in October 2002.   So, inspectors went in long enough to perhaps give the appearance that there was a legitimate effort to pursue a diplomatic solution and impose the UN resolutions, but it looks like Bush had decided at some point that March ’03 was the right time to “give up” and pull the proverbial trigger. 

Needless to say, it’s a little disturbing to think that Bush didn’t really care if the inspectors actually found anything, but perhaps it really was just part of the dog and pony show to sell the war.

What’s also pretty unsettling is the fact that members of Congress didn’t seem to have a coherent view on what they were voting on.  Some obviously saw it as essentially a war declaration, while others saw it as simply a means of granting leverage.  Still others, like Paul, objected to it as a violation of the Constitution in principle.

It could very well be that this resolution passed because too many members made the mistake of trusting the president.   It would be interesting to know how many of those who voted for the AUMF honestly felt the way Gephardt did, and assumed that their vote was actually a necessary step toward a peaceful solution.  We’ll probably never have a full account of what all these people were thinking privately, unfortunately.   Part of the problem is that the public isn’t really seeing this for what it was because the facts and rhetoric are blurred by politicians who are trying to balance a reasonable explanation for their position with the desire to avoid having their name and words like “unwittingly” mentioned in the same sentence (not to mention the pundits who have an interest in saving face as well).  This dynamic would certainly explain why there are statements that lead to accusations of “flip-flopping” on the issue permeating the political discourse and the media for so long, as well as the fact that the whole thing is debated… even five years later

So, did members of Congress “vote for the war”?  I guess it would depend on which one of them you ask (or, perhaps which pundit you’re listening to).   Technically, however, I think that Paul was right, in that they ultimately voted to let Bush decide.

WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance

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A Great Debate In New Hampshire

September 6, 2007

I’ll have to give kudos to Fox and the GOP candidates tonight.  This debate was the best I’ve seen yet.  The previous engagements on both sides were more like talking point exchanges that an actual debate.  For a moment this evening, I’ll admit that I got goosebumps while watching Paul and Huckabee going back and forth.  We definately need more of this in the future.  Even if I disagree with the positions being taken here, it was refreshing to see the passion and poise coming from these candidates.  The Dems should take note.


(h/t Hot Air)

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Are We Clear, Kristol?

July 21, 2007

According to Federal Election Commission figures tabulated by a diarist on Daily Kos, the Q2 donations made my active-duty troops to presidential campaigns breaks down like this:

Anti-war:
Ron Paul 26.23%
Barack Obama 24.02%
Hillary Clinton 11.08%
Bill Richardson 5.59%
John Edwards 2.63%
Joe Biden 0.84%
Mike Gravel 0.16%
Dennis Kucinich 0.05%
Chris Dodd 0%

Pro-war:
John McCain 18.31%
Mitt Romney 4.05%
Rudy Giuliani 2.44%
Mike Huckabee 1.84%
Tom Tancredo 1.63%
Duncan Hunter 1.05%
Sam Brownback 0.07%
Tommy Thompson 0%
Jim Gilmore 0%
John Cox 0%

In other words, 70.6% to anti-war candidates vs. 29.4% for pro-war candidates (although I’m not sure if it’s fair to lump candidates like Brownback or Biden into opposite camps, seeing as they seem to be advocating a similar way forward in Iraq, but you get the idea).

Then, today, we get another wonderful bit of wisdom from William Kristol:  They Don’t Really Support the Troops

Having turned against a war that some of them supported, the left is now turning against the troops they claim still to support. They sense that history is progressing away from them–that these soldiers, fighting courageously in a just cause, could still win the war, that they are proud of their service, and that they will be future leaders of this country. They are not “Shock Troops.” They are our best and bravest, fighting for all of us against a brutal enemy in a difficult and frustrating war. They are the 9/11 generation. The left slanders them. We support them. More than that, we admire them.

–William Kristol

Does anyone else smell that?

groisman_fewgood.jpg
Clear?

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Ron Paul And YouTube Duke It Out…

July 17, 2007

…for the top spot on technorati’s search:

  • youtube youtube
  • ron paul ron paul
  • noelia noelia
  • skyblog skyblog
  • myspace myspace
  • harry potter harry potter
  • iphone iphone
  • frank rich frank rich
  • bebo bebo
  • music music
  • I could have sworn that yesterday Paul was ahead.  Anyway, it’s been like this for weeks.  I don’t think I’ve seen Ron Paul lower than #4 on this list.  With all the buzz he’s been getting on the internet, however, it doesn’t seem to effect actual poll numbers.  From a recent USAT/Gallup poll:

    Giuliani has the support of 30% of “Republicans and Republican leaners,” vs. 28% a month ago; Thompson comes in with 20%, vs. 19% in June; McCain has 16%, vs. 18% a month earlier.

    Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney remains in fourth, at 9% vs. 7% in June.

    The current numbers for the rest of the Republicans included in the survey: Former House speaker Newt Gingrich, 6%; former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, 2%; Rep. Duncan Hunter, 2%; Rep. Tom Tancredo, 2%; Sen. Sam Brownback, 1%; Sen. Chuck Hagel, 1%; former Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson, 1%. Neither former Virginia governor Jim Gilmore nor Rep. Ron Paul registered any support.

    No support?  Yesterday, I saw that Paul was ahead of all the the other GOP candidates in campaign contributions from members of the armed services.  

    What the heck is going on?

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    WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance

    May 25, 2007

    I had an idea (strange, huh?). Originally I thought it would be neat to add political WordPress.com blogs in a special section of my blogroll, and create my own little community of amateur pundits that use the service. In a way, ALL WP.com bloggers are part of a community already, but I thought I’d start a club just for those who like to talk politics.

    Most political bloggers will have blogs from other services in their blogroll.  Not everyone uses WP, after all.  There are advantages to staying within the community, however. One advantage would be ease of commenting. Once you’re logged in, you can hop from blog to blog without having to enter in tedious email info and quickly drop a comment (nice to have avatars too), and all discussions can easily be kept track of through the “my comments” section of our dashboards.  Another advantage: you don’t have to do a lot of work to ping these blogs.  All you have to do is link to a post, and it pings them immediately (leaving a pingback in the comments section).  With other blogs (or blog services), you may have to copy/paste trackback urls, and that can be a bit of a crap shoot.  It can work real slick for some blogs and not work at all for others (or at least I’ve discovered). Yet another advantage is how easy it is to search for tags within the community, but that is less special because services like technorati seem to be dialed into it as well. Anyway, you get the idea….

    So, every so often, I’ll click on the WP ‘politics’ tag and check out what people are posting.  If I stumble upon a blog that I haven’t seen before, I’d just add it to the blogroll.  I’ve been adding a couple a week since I started it.  I’m sure there are more, so as time goes on this list will grow in my sidebar (under “wordpress political blogs”)

    Then I started thinking. What if we formed some semi-formal alliance? A ‘club’ made up exclusively of WP.com political bloggers (right, left, and center) who could regularly exchange ideas and comment on others’ posts. So far I haven’t seen anything like that. Maybe it’s worth a shot?

    I whipped up a ‘club’ button that we can put in the sidebar. You’ll have to forgive my photoshopping skills, but here goes:

    wppoliblog1.jpg

    If you want to add the button to your blog (it links back to this post), here is the code (with border):

    <a href="https://chenzhen.wordpress.com/2007/05/25/wordpress-political-blogger-alliance"><img src="https://chenzhen.files.wordpress.com/2007/05/wppoliblog1.jpg&quot; alt="WordPress Political Blogger" /></a>

    WordPress Political Blogger

    …and without a border:

    <a href="https://chenzhen.wordpress.com/2007/05/25/wordpress-political-blogger-alliance"><img border="0" src="https://chenzhen.files.wordpress.com/2007/05/wppoliblog1.jpg&quot; alt="WordPress Political Blogger" /></a>

    WordPress Political Blogger

    Update 11/2:  The alliance has become interactive!  The lowdown:

    What I’m attemping to create here is a tool that we can use to make our blogs more lively and entertaining.  I’m not really forcing any obligations on anyone, so I don’t want you to get the impression that going along with this means that there’s going to be a whole list of expectations (beyond etiquette).  You don’t have to respond to every ping.   Just so you know.  

    If you want to participate, there are just a few details…

    1. In order for this to work smoothly, everyone needs to create a page that can be pinged.  It took me about 2 min. to make mine: https://chenzhen.wordpress.com/wp-political-blogger-alliance/ .  And I need to know the link so that I can consolidate them, so just post it in that thread or respond in email once you’ve whipped it up.  That’s really the only requirement.  A handful of you already have done this, and the pings work beautifully.  The idea here is to compose a code that is easy to paste in your post that allows you to ping everyone in the alliance at the same time.*
    2. I don’t really like the idea of any one blogger “abusing” the tool by using it to try to dominate the discussion.  In other words, if you’re calling out and pinging the alliance 3 times a day it might get a little annoying.  Sure, it’s easy enough to just ignore such a thing, but nevertheless I think it would be akin to blog whoring just for the sake of blog whoring.  It’s kind of a fine line, and we’ll probably tweak the guidelines as we go forward, but for now I’ll stick with a rule of 1 per day max.  No minimums, since some of you might prefer to comment only.  And, it probably goes without saying, but we don’t want to double up on a topic either, so try to make sure that a story or headline hasn’t already had pings sent by someone else first.  If it has, and you’ve got your own unique analysis that you just spent like 2 hrs on, just link to that thread in your post instead.  We’ll see it.  Make sense?
    3. Be somewhat civilized.  This might be the hard part, ’cause a) there’s a very diverse crowd being pinged and b) it’s the internet.  In debate, you win by attacking the argument or idea, and you lose once you resort to attacking the person (there is a difference).  Keep that mindset, and we’ll be fine.  That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy a good blog war.  This will be a bit of a free-for-all, so I hope people are relatively thick-skinned when it comes to having  logic, facts, position, etc. challenged.  We’ll just have to see how this goes, cause I’m not sure if anyone has really tried anyting like this before. 
    4. This is about “politics”, so use the “politics” tag/category when you post, and only send the pings when you post about “politics”.  You might have a cool car, for example, but please don’t ping the whole group to show off the latest pics you just posted.  Also, consistent use of the “politics” tag in general means more views from the wider wordpress.com audience.

    Luckily, it’s pretty easy as individuals to block urls and IP’s if #2 or 3 becomes a problem for someone.

    * The up-to-date code can always be found in my sidebar (——>): 

    Founder of the

    WordPress Political Blog Alliance

    WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance

    Simply copy the “WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance” and paste it at the bottom of your post. Once your post is published, it will send a ping back to everyone in the alliance.  Easy!

    Update 11/4: A tag (category) specifically for the alliance:

    WordPress Political Blogs

    Create the “WordPress Political Blogs” category and add it to your alliance-oriented posts.  In2thefray and I have already added the RSS feed for this tag in our sidebars, so we can see the latest offerings right on our blogs:

    RSS WP.com political blog alliance

    Even better, if everyone uses the tag consistently, the above link will provide a great chronological record of the posts within the alliance. In addition, you will have a record of your own contributions to the alliance in your sidebar (assuming you have added the “categories” widget).  Remember to use “WordPress Political Blogs” exactly (alternate spellings and abbreviations will be a different tag, technically)