Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Ron Paul and the GOP

OK, so it's official.  Ron Paul refuses to endorse John McCain.  He doesn't say he'll run on his own or endorse any one other candidate.  Instead he endorses all the third party candidates as a group.  But he does criticize the media and both major parties for distracting voters from the major issues of the day.  

I pointed out that there was a simmering dissatisfaction among the Paulistas in an earlier post and an anonymous commenter implied I was making it all up out of wishful thinking (probably one of those Republican web stalkers we hear about).  

McCain can't get these votes back (assuming Paul can actually influence voters' actions).  They started as Republicans and Paul and others from the self-described Libertarian wing of the GOP are clearly restless and frustrated with the current party leadership.  That is, McCain and Palin are the problem in their eyes.  If they go, they're gone for the duration of this election cycle.  

However, Obama should make a major play for this voting block by emphasizing fiscal responsibility and personal liberty.  Neither of which is out of step with his current positions.  Indeed some libertarians are already making the case for him.  Obama's complaints about the Republican politics of distraction is already largely in agreement with what Ron Paul complains about.  Ron Paul supporters also tend to be younger and more educated - and so less likely to be worried about Obama's race or "funny name" and less attracted to the faux folksy populism of the McCain-Palin ticket.  Obama should make a serious play for these votes.


Anonymous said...

What about folks like me from the Libertarian wing of the Democratic party?

USWest said...

Have you noticed that no one is talking about Nader. Looks like the Democrats have succeeded in shutting him out!

Raised By Republicans said...

If you are Democrat with libertarian priorities, then I think you should vote for Obama.

The biggest threats to our liberties (either in our cultural/personal lives or our economic activities) right now is the war and it's related budget deficit and abuses of executive power problems.

Thankfully, the Constitution largely protects us from gross abuses of our rights by the legislative branch - it takes large super majorities to pass new laws. But abuses by the executive branch are much more frequent. Bush has ignored the Constitution for nearly a decade and McCain promises to continue those policies. Indeed, he and his surrogates mocked our concerns about the right to trial and the presumption of innocence in their convention.

I can understand if you are less than enthusiastic about some of the economic policies proposed by the Democrats. But ask yourself this seriously. Which threat is more proximate right now...that the United States will suddenly become like France? Or that the FBI and NSA will be allowed to monitor all internal communication in this country without a warrant?

The Law Talking Guy said...

Libertarians are unlikely to want to vote for Obama *except* on the issue of constitutional government. Obama will rein in the unchecked executive power claimed by Bush and that will be retained and even expanded, probably, by McCain. Is this enough to win Libertarian votes? I don't know.

I do wonder if Brian Schweitzer wouldn't have been a better choice VP choice.

Raised By Republicans said...

LTG, I think you might be underestimating the importance of social liberty and civil rights to Libertarians - especially those that lean Democratic anyway.

The Law Talking Guy said...

Maybe, but Paulistas were happy to be Republicans, and he's pro-life, so that makes you wonder about the importance of liberty to them.

Raised By Republicans said...

Ron Paul was certainly an odd icon for Libertarians - anti-choice, social conservative etc. But his supporters, those that I talked to during the run up to the caucus anyway, were better examples of libertarians than he was.

The Law Talking Guy said...

The Paulistas also include a lot of hardcore off-the-grid redneck weirdos. It's an odd assemblage. The sort of people I've seen in rural Utah with "UN out of US" on banners in their front yards. Those people aren't voting for a n****

Raised By Republicans said...

Good point LTG. And the real question would be how many of them would have voted for McCain even if Paul had endorsed him.