The Ron Paul alternative

The Ron Paul alternative August 17, 2011

Ron Paul, the pro-life anti-war libertarian, took second place in the Iowa straw poll.   Michelle Bachmann beat him by only 200 votes, and yet her showing is being hailed as making her a contender.   Paul is attracting much more support than he received the last time he ran for president, which was considerable.

So why does the media continue to ignore him?   Why does the punditocracy refuse to treat him as a legitimate contender?   Isn’t that a case of the media actively shaping and controlling an election, rather than covering the voters’ genuine political options objectively?

Jon Stewart: Why Is the Media Ignoring Ron Paul?.

HT:  tODD

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  • Pete

    Great piece by Stewart. One wonders whether the time is right for a new news channel. The ideological trappings of both the major news networks are pretty annoying. I watch CNN and have to sit through endless segments on some poor gay couple soon to be torn asunder because California just allowed them to be married* (the asterisk has no referent – I just have a hard time not putting it there) but one is from New Zealand and is about to be deported. Then I surf over to Fox where the Sarah Palin fan club is convening. Anybody ever noticed how, when these channels have the “point-counter point” talking heads thing, on CNN the liberal commentator is generally articulate, often attractive, often a recognized name whereas the conservative is some no name, less-than-glib schmuck with tie askew. And the reverse for Fox – I mean c’mon now, they couldn’t do better than Alan Colmes? Maybe the motto of the new news channel could be something like “Fair and balanced – and we mean it this time.”

    *(well, I suppose the referent could be Roger Maris’ home run record)

  • Pete

    Great piece by Stewart. One wonders whether the time is right for a new news channel. The ideological trappings of both the major news networks are pretty annoying. I watch CNN and have to sit through endless segments on some poor gay couple soon to be torn asunder because California just allowed them to be married* (the asterisk has no referent – I just have a hard time not putting it there) but one is from New Zealand and is about to be deported. Then I surf over to Fox where the Sarah Palin fan club is convening. Anybody ever noticed how, when these channels have the “point-counter point” talking heads thing, on CNN the liberal commentator is generally articulate, often attractive, often a recognized name whereas the conservative is some no name, less-than-glib schmuck with tie askew. And the reverse for Fox – I mean c’mon now, they couldn’t do better than Alan Colmes? Maybe the motto of the new news channel could be something like “Fair and balanced – and we mean it this time.”

    *(well, I suppose the referent could be Roger Maris’ home run record)

  • Joe

    I am a bit frustrated by this. I like much (but not all) of what Paul has to say and while I doubt he will actually win the nomination, I believe that the person who does win the nomination will do so largely because he or she is able to attract Paul supporters. I think we will see some direct messaging to Paul supporters along the lines of “I am electable and I believe the same thing as Ron on X”

    Ron Paul is part of a movement that is in many ways reshaping the GOP, the media would do well to acknowledge and cover that.

  • Joe

    I am a bit frustrated by this. I like much (but not all) of what Paul has to say and while I doubt he will actually win the nomination, I believe that the person who does win the nomination will do so largely because he or she is able to attract Paul supporters. I think we will see some direct messaging to Paul supporters along the lines of “I am electable and I believe the same thing as Ron on X”

    Ron Paul is part of a movement that is in many ways reshaping the GOP, the media would do well to acknowledge and cover that.

  • J

    I would say that the media continues to ignore Ron Paul because he is “boring”…he actually has substance to his political ideology and it makes sense. The media like people who are surface level and easy to label. Ron Paul has deep beliefs and facts to back up his views and the media doesn’t like that.

    Has the media ever been objective? I was actually talking with a coworker about how I would just like a news source to report facts and stories on things without a bias. As Pete said about CNN and FOX News, they are primarily the same. The thing that I find frustrating is that the media make things all hyped up instead of having discussions on the facts.

    I find similarities in the Christian world…specifically when it comes to differing theological/doctrinal beliefs. People can’t have discussions about doctrine/theology without miss-characterizations of views. This really comes out when having a discussion of the doctrine of election in the South (I live in eastern NC). I’m running away from the main point though, I think that the bias of media comes from our culture not knowing how to debate and discuss things. Could it be a lack of teaching in logic and reason in colleges and universities?

  • J

    I would say that the media continues to ignore Ron Paul because he is “boring”…he actually has substance to his political ideology and it makes sense. The media like people who are surface level and easy to label. Ron Paul has deep beliefs and facts to back up his views and the media doesn’t like that.

    Has the media ever been objective? I was actually talking with a coworker about how I would just like a news source to report facts and stories on things without a bias. As Pete said about CNN and FOX News, they are primarily the same. The thing that I find frustrating is that the media make things all hyped up instead of having discussions on the facts.

    I find similarities in the Christian world…specifically when it comes to differing theological/doctrinal beliefs. People can’t have discussions about doctrine/theology without miss-characterizations of views. This really comes out when having a discussion of the doctrine of election in the South (I live in eastern NC). I’m running away from the main point though, I think that the bias of media comes from our culture not knowing how to debate and discuss things. Could it be a lack of teaching in logic and reason in colleges and universities?

  • Cincinnatus

    The comments preceding mine are excellent.

    I would also add that Paul doesn’t fit the narrative most sectors of the major media wish to build about the Republican party. Fox still wants Republicans to mirror Reagan: big on defense, big on social conservatism, and maybe nominally willing to cut spending. CNN et al. want Republicans to be slavering, quasi-lunatics unfit to hold office like Bachmann and Palin. The Republican establishment is still enamored of boring “moderates” like Romney.

    Where does Paul fit? He’s personally a social conservative, but doesn’t wish to use the federal government to enact such principles. He hates the defense establishment. He’s not a slavering lunatic because most of his “crazy” statements and prophecies are 100% accurate (there have been amateur studies done on this question).

    The only reason he’s not electable is because the media claim that he isn’t. When major elections come around, they build the narrative and we’re supposed to eat it. This is why Bachmann, a fringe Republican, is apparently the avatar of the Tea Party, even though Tea Partiers themselves claim that Ron Paul is the “grandfather of the Tea Party.”

    Are there folks more “presidential” than Paul? Absolutely. And a bit of youthful glow couldn’t hurt. But his general treatment by all major media outlets is shameful. He’s no Cynthia McKinney.

  • Cincinnatus

    The comments preceding mine are excellent.

    I would also add that Paul doesn’t fit the narrative most sectors of the major media wish to build about the Republican party. Fox still wants Republicans to mirror Reagan: big on defense, big on social conservatism, and maybe nominally willing to cut spending. CNN et al. want Republicans to be slavering, quasi-lunatics unfit to hold office like Bachmann and Palin. The Republican establishment is still enamored of boring “moderates” like Romney.

    Where does Paul fit? He’s personally a social conservative, but doesn’t wish to use the federal government to enact such principles. He hates the defense establishment. He’s not a slavering lunatic because most of his “crazy” statements and prophecies are 100% accurate (there have been amateur studies done on this question).

    The only reason he’s not electable is because the media claim that he isn’t. When major elections come around, they build the narrative and we’re supposed to eat it. This is why Bachmann, a fringe Republican, is apparently the avatar of the Tea Party, even though Tea Partiers themselves claim that Ron Paul is the “grandfather of the Tea Party.”

    Are there folks more “presidential” than Paul? Absolutely. And a bit of youthful glow couldn’t hurt. But his general treatment by all major media outlets is shameful. He’s no Cynthia McKinney.

  • Kirk

    I feel like he doesn’t get coverage because he doesn’t have much appeal beyond the “Ron Paul” segment of the conservative movement. He does well in CPAC and Iowa straw polls because his demographic shows up in force to vote for him. It’s a self select

  • Kirk

    I feel like he doesn’t get coverage because he doesn’t have much appeal beyond the “Ron Paul” segment of the conservative movement. He does well in CPAC and Iowa straw polls because his demographic shows up in force to vote for him. It’s a self select

  • Kirk

    ing survey so I don’t think it necessarily shows that Ron Paul has a broad base of support.

  • Kirk

    ing survey so I don’t think it necessarily shows that Ron Paul has a broad base of support.

  • Cincinnatus

    Kirk@5 + 6: I think you are right about Paul lacking broad support. But can’t the same be said about Bachmann, for example? And would it not be fair to claim that at least some of Paul’s relegation to the fringe is actually the result of his portrayal in the media and not vice versa? With the exception of some of his statements regarding prostitution,* I’ve actually never heard Paul say something genuinely stupid, incorrect, pandering, or “extremist.” As Stewart himself noted, Paul is an “ideologically consistent, twelve-term representative from Texas.” Perhaps he’s too ideologically consistent for the presidential nomination (is that a thing?), but I think the fundamental problem is that he simply doesn’t fit the narrative. Pundits and anchors want him to be the Republican equivalent to Ralph Nader or Dennis Kucinich, but he just isn’t.

    *I don’t think his opinions on prostitution are “crazy,” but they do lack broad appeal.

  • Cincinnatus

    Kirk@5 + 6: I think you are right about Paul lacking broad support. But can’t the same be said about Bachmann, for example? And would it not be fair to claim that at least some of Paul’s relegation to the fringe is actually the result of his portrayal in the media and not vice versa? With the exception of some of his statements regarding prostitution,* I’ve actually never heard Paul say something genuinely stupid, incorrect, pandering, or “extremist.” As Stewart himself noted, Paul is an “ideologically consistent, twelve-term representative from Texas.” Perhaps he’s too ideologically consistent for the presidential nomination (is that a thing?), but I think the fundamental problem is that he simply doesn’t fit the narrative. Pundits and anchors want him to be the Republican equivalent to Ralph Nader or Dennis Kucinich, but he just isn’t.

    *I don’t think his opinions on prostitution are “crazy,” but they do lack broad appeal.

  • Joe

    J asked, “Has the media ever been objective?”

    Historically, no it hasn’t. The press has always been filled with ideology. How many newspapers used to have (and some still do) the word Democrat or Republican in their name?

    The concept of objectivity in the press only came about in the 1920s with the rise of radio as a news broadcast medium. Prior to the 20’s newspapers were the king of media and they were private operations competing in the market place of ideas with their biases well known. With the rise of radio things changed. The gov’t controlled radio and regulated it as a utility. Thus “objective” reporting was born out the necessity of convincing the gov’t to grant you a broadcast license.

    With the rise of cable TV and the proliferation of satellite radio, it is probably time to expressly jettison the concept of objectivity. No one believes its true and its probably not possible to actually be objective – everyone brings their biases with them. More fundamentally, it is not necessary to our historic concept of a free press.

  • Joe

    J asked, “Has the media ever been objective?”

    Historically, no it hasn’t. The press has always been filled with ideology. How many newspapers used to have (and some still do) the word Democrat or Republican in their name?

    The concept of objectivity in the press only came about in the 1920s with the rise of radio as a news broadcast medium. Prior to the 20’s newspapers were the king of media and they were private operations competing in the market place of ideas with their biases well known. With the rise of radio things changed. The gov’t controlled radio and regulated it as a utility. Thus “objective” reporting was born out the necessity of convincing the gov’t to grant you a broadcast license.

    With the rise of cable TV and the proliferation of satellite radio, it is probably time to expressly jettison the concept of objectivity. No one believes its true and its probably not possible to actually be objective – everyone brings their biases with them. More fundamentally, it is not necessary to our historic concept of a free press.

  • Cincinnatus

    Joe, you’re right when you claim that media objectivity, such as it is/was, is an historical anomaly that is fast dying. But the twentieth century rise of objectivity in American media is not the result of government regulation. It is, believe it or not, the result of consumerist capitalism. In the twentieth century, media outlets–including newspapers, but especially new media like television and radio–came to be funded not by (probably partisan) subscribers but by advertisers. If one wishes an advertisement to appeal to as many people as possible, one can’t alienate a significant portion of the consumer base by advertising during an ideologically biased program (or article). Thus, objectivity was a deal of sorts struck between advertisers who didn’t want to offended possible customers needlessly and media outlets who needed money.

    Obviously, this sort of funding structure is rapidly decaying with the growth of the internet, so I expect a rather marked return to bias, yellow journalism, and open partisanship–i.e., the sort of media environment common in the pamphleteering 18th century.

  • Cincinnatus

    Joe, you’re right when you claim that media objectivity, such as it is/was, is an historical anomaly that is fast dying. But the twentieth century rise of objectivity in American media is not the result of government regulation. It is, believe it or not, the result of consumerist capitalism. In the twentieth century, media outlets–including newspapers, but especially new media like television and radio–came to be funded not by (probably partisan) subscribers but by advertisers. If one wishes an advertisement to appeal to as many people as possible, one can’t alienate a significant portion of the consumer base by advertising during an ideologically biased program (or article). Thus, objectivity was a deal of sorts struck between advertisers who didn’t want to offended possible customers needlessly and media outlets who needed money.

    Obviously, this sort of funding structure is rapidly decaying with the growth of the internet, so I expect a rather marked return to bias, yellow journalism, and open partisanship–i.e., the sort of media environment common in the pamphleteering 18th century.

  • Steve Billingsley

    Latest Rasmussen poll for Republican presidential contenders
    Rick Perry – 29%
    Mitt Romney – 18%
    Michelle Bachmann – 13%
    Ron Paul – 9%
    Herman Cain – 6%
    Newt Gingrich – 5%
    Rick Santorum -1%
    Jon Huntsman- 1%

    Why doesn’t the media take Ron Paul seriously? Because he has zero chance of winning. Paul is not an unknown, he competed in 2008, has raised a lot of funds, has enthusiastic supporters and can’t get to double digits in support. I think many of his economic ideas are appealing, but he is not a serious contender for the nomination. If we wins the Iowa caucuses, the New Hampshire primary or the South Carolina primary (or finishes higher than third in any one of the three), I will eat my words.

    And also, why do we care what Jon Stewart says?

  • Steve Billingsley

    Latest Rasmussen poll for Republican presidential contenders
    Rick Perry – 29%
    Mitt Romney – 18%
    Michelle Bachmann – 13%
    Ron Paul – 9%
    Herman Cain – 6%
    Newt Gingrich – 5%
    Rick Santorum -1%
    Jon Huntsman- 1%

    Why doesn’t the media take Ron Paul seriously? Because he has zero chance of winning. Paul is not an unknown, he competed in 2008, has raised a lot of funds, has enthusiastic supporters and can’t get to double digits in support. I think many of his economic ideas are appealing, but he is not a serious contender for the nomination. If we wins the Iowa caucuses, the New Hampshire primary or the South Carolina primary (or finishes higher than third in any one of the three), I will eat my words.

    And also, why do we care what Jon Stewart says?

  • Cincinnatus

    Steve,

    I agree that Paul has no chance of winning, but probably for different reasons than you do. Why, pray tell, do you definitively assert that he is a non-contender? Would you say the same about Bachmann?

  • Cincinnatus

    Steve,

    I agree that Paul has no chance of winning, but probably for different reasons than you do. Why, pray tell, do you definitively assert that he is a non-contender? Would you say the same about Bachmann?

  • Steve Billingsley

    I hope that Bachmann isn’t a contender, but her views on foreign policy are more in the Republican mainstream so she could stick around. Also, she actually has a shot to win in Iowa which would allow her to stick around longer. She is also a bit of a novelty act, which Paul was in 2008 (but really isn’t now).

    I am no more of a fan of military adventurism than Paul is, but no candidate who espouses the same foreign policy views as Paul has any shot of getting the nomination in the Republican party. I don’t like the way the media covers Ron Paul and I do think the media tries to shape the narrative and influence the outcome (and that includes media outlets that are friendly to the left and to the right). But I still think that reality is what it is.

    Barring another high-profile entry (Paul Ryan, Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal or the like) or a big league gaffe or scandal affecting Romney or Perry, I think the nomination comes down to one of them (Romney or Perry, that is).

    Jay Cost of the Weekly Standard has a good blog post about the nature of Presidential nominations. Party establishments still have a huge role in who gets the nod. Link below….

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/morning-jay-welcome-invisible-primary_590310.html

  • Steve Billingsley

    I hope that Bachmann isn’t a contender, but her views on foreign policy are more in the Republican mainstream so she could stick around. Also, she actually has a shot to win in Iowa which would allow her to stick around longer. She is also a bit of a novelty act, which Paul was in 2008 (but really isn’t now).

    I am no more of a fan of military adventurism than Paul is, but no candidate who espouses the same foreign policy views as Paul has any shot of getting the nomination in the Republican party. I don’t like the way the media covers Ron Paul and I do think the media tries to shape the narrative and influence the outcome (and that includes media outlets that are friendly to the left and to the right). But I still think that reality is what it is.

    Barring another high-profile entry (Paul Ryan, Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal or the like) or a big league gaffe or scandal affecting Romney or Perry, I think the nomination comes down to one of them (Romney or Perry, that is).

    Jay Cost of the Weekly Standard has a good blog post about the nature of Presidential nominations. Party establishments still have a huge role in who gets the nod. Link below….

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/morning-jay-welcome-invisible-primary_590310.html

  • Kirk

    @ Cinn

    You’re right, this could be a vicious cycle sort of thing. Paul isn’t a serious contender because the media won’t cover him because he’s not a serious contender. But honestly, I think libertarianism isn’t quite mainstream conservatism. Modern Americans get antsy when you talk about reducing the military and slashing benefits and retracting our influence abroad. This has nothing to do with whether those are good ideas or not, they’re just not views that I perceive as being held by most people. So, I think Ron Paul is fairly fringe (which you can see by his record of legislative accomplishment) and I don’t think that most Republicans would support him.

    Bachmann is also fairly fringe, but she does have the evangelical thing going for her along with the momentum of the Tea Party wave. Plus, she’s a pretty woman (where as Paul is an old white guy) with a penchant for saying stupid/crazy things. That, in the Palin model, is media gold. Most people know Bachmann can’t win, but she’s frankly a more compelling personality that Ron Paul is.

  • Kirk

    @ Cinn

    You’re right, this could be a vicious cycle sort of thing. Paul isn’t a serious contender because the media won’t cover him because he’s not a serious contender. But honestly, I think libertarianism isn’t quite mainstream conservatism. Modern Americans get antsy when you talk about reducing the military and slashing benefits and retracting our influence abroad. This has nothing to do with whether those are good ideas or not, they’re just not views that I perceive as being held by most people. So, I think Ron Paul is fairly fringe (which you can see by his record of legislative accomplishment) and I don’t think that most Republicans would support him.

    Bachmann is also fairly fringe, but she does have the evangelical thing going for her along with the momentum of the Tea Party wave. Plus, she’s a pretty woman (where as Paul is an old white guy) with a penchant for saying stupid/crazy things. That, in the Palin model, is media gold. Most people know Bachmann can’t win, but she’s frankly a more compelling personality that Ron Paul is.

  • Steve Billingsley

    Also, to me Bachmann is comparable to Huckabee in 2008. He stuck around a long time and built up a lot of delegates (he actually got the second most) but he never really had a serious shot of getting the nomination. He couldn’t raise enough funds and there were segments of the primary voter that he was never going to be able to compete for. That could end up being Bachmann’s experience, in fact, it is the best-case scenario for her.

  • Steve Billingsley

    Also, to me Bachmann is comparable to Huckabee in 2008. He stuck around a long time and built up a lot of delegates (he actually got the second most) but he never really had a serious shot of getting the nomination. He couldn’t raise enough funds and there were segments of the primary voter that he was never going to be able to compete for. That could end up being Bachmann’s experience, in fact, it is the best-case scenario for her.

  • Cincinnatus

    Kirk and Steve: I agree with you. The foreign policy of the Republican party is still infected by neoconservative progressivism. Democracy promotion, big sticks, adventurism, etc.

  • Cincinnatus

    Kirk and Steve: I agree with you. The foreign policy of the Republican party is still infected by neoconservative progressivism. Democracy promotion, big sticks, adventurism, etc.

  • Joe

    Steve, if it is the polling numbers then explain to me why the media is covering Santorum and Huntsmen.

    Cincy – perhaps it has to do a bit with both. Everything I have read on it marks its begging of objectivity with radio’s rise as a news medium. But of course the initial cause does not preclude other later causes from keeping the thing alive or even growing it.

  • Joe

    Steve, if it is the polling numbers then explain to me why the media is covering Santorum and Huntsmen.

    Cincy – perhaps it has to do a bit with both. Everything I have read on it marks its begging of objectivity with radio’s rise as a news medium. But of course the initial cause does not preclude other later causes from keeping the thing alive or even growing it.

  • Cincinnatus

    Joe@16: That is my question for Steve as well. Not to mention Cain. The media even covered Donald Trump, who was never a serious candidate to begin with, exhaustively and for days on end! (Though he was a successful troll…)

  • Cincinnatus

    Joe@16: That is my question for Steve as well. Not to mention Cain. The media even covered Donald Trump, who was never a serious candidate to begin with, exhaustively and for days on end! (Though he was a successful troll…)

  • Dennis Peskey

    Why do we care what Jon Stewart says?” (Steve; #10)
    Perhaps the answer is found in the audience laughter when Mr. Stewart states the obvious truth. This speaks loudly to the current situation of our political environment. The sound-bite mentality of media coverage is as old as elections. The fundamental problem of a democracy is either the unwillingness or inability of the electorate to comprehend the issues and the solutions proposed by the candidates.

    It takes a lot of effort to dig beyond the rhetoric of a politician to uncover the reality of their positions. The environment of media does not permit a detailed analysis of complex issues; it is much easier (and beneficial in terms of viewership) to present stories which appeal to their respective audience – the “itching ear” syndrome of the Bible.

    This lack of substance in reporting should not be attributed to our current visual media (i.e. television) but has always existed in the preferred media outlet of each era. We should not lay the blame for this situation solely at the feet of reporters; follow the chain of command through the editors, the publisher and finally, the pot of gold which fuels journalism – the advertisers. They follow the mantra of now – they want it now for in five minutes the historians will claim the issue.

    Ron Paul doesn’t have a chance in this environment but he is by no means a trailblazer in this wilderness. This is the frustration experienced by alternate or third-party candidates who attempt to introduce a differing viewpoint in the political arena (yes tODD, my worldview is my personal bias through which I view politics). The silver lining in this soundbite thunderstorm can be found here, in the internet. Hope does exist for an informed electorate which will only enhance our democracy; even Jon Stewart can present us with a truth – we only need set aside our personal opinion of him and listen to what he says. We have the ability to do the same with Ron Paul or any other candidate which should release you from the bondage of NPR, CNN, MSNBC, FOX or those other three if they still exist.
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • Dennis Peskey

    Why do we care what Jon Stewart says?” (Steve; #10)
    Perhaps the answer is found in the audience laughter when Mr. Stewart states the obvious truth. This speaks loudly to the current situation of our political environment. The sound-bite mentality of media coverage is as old as elections. The fundamental problem of a democracy is either the unwillingness or inability of the electorate to comprehend the issues and the solutions proposed by the candidates.

    It takes a lot of effort to dig beyond the rhetoric of a politician to uncover the reality of their positions. The environment of media does not permit a detailed analysis of complex issues; it is much easier (and beneficial in terms of viewership) to present stories which appeal to their respective audience – the “itching ear” syndrome of the Bible.

    This lack of substance in reporting should not be attributed to our current visual media (i.e. television) but has always existed in the preferred media outlet of each era. We should not lay the blame for this situation solely at the feet of reporters; follow the chain of command through the editors, the publisher and finally, the pot of gold which fuels journalism – the advertisers. They follow the mantra of now – they want it now for in five minutes the historians will claim the issue.

    Ron Paul doesn’t have a chance in this environment but he is by no means a trailblazer in this wilderness. This is the frustration experienced by alternate or third-party candidates who attempt to introduce a differing viewpoint in the political arena (yes tODD, my worldview is my personal bias through which I view politics). The silver lining in this soundbite thunderstorm can be found here, in the internet. Hope does exist for an informed electorate which will only enhance our democracy; even Jon Stewart can present us with a truth – we only need set aside our personal opinion of him and listen to what he says. We have the ability to do the same with Ron Paul or any other candidate which should release you from the bondage of NPR, CNN, MSNBC, FOX or those other three if they still exist.
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • Steve Billingsley

    Did I miss the flood of Cain, Santorum and Huntsman coverage? Is there anyone out there really touting them as having a genuine chance of getting the nomination?

    It isn’t if Paul doesn’t get some coverage (He was on Fox this morning with Meghan Kelly).

    Again, why are we paying attention to Jon Stewart as if he has serious, substantive points to make?

  • Steve Billingsley

    Did I miss the flood of Cain, Santorum and Huntsman coverage? Is there anyone out there really touting them as having a genuine chance of getting the nomination?

    It isn’t if Paul doesn’t get some coverage (He was on Fox this morning with Meghan Kelly).

    Again, why are we paying attention to Jon Stewart as if he has serious, substantive points to make?

  • kerner

    Cincinnatus @15:

    I’m probably making your case about the “infection”, but if there were an effective way to promote democracy abroad, it would be the best way to obviate the need for an adventurist military. Fewer enemies means fewer wars.

  • kerner

    Cincinnatus @15:

    I’m probably making your case about the “infection”, but if there were an effective way to promote democracy abroad, it would be the best way to obviate the need for an adventurist military. Fewer enemies means fewer wars.

  • kerner

    You know (Cinn @ 17), the most successful troll out there today is Sarah Palin. She has absolutely no intention of running for President. She loves the role she now has: media personality and sometime kingmaker. There’s a lot more money and less stress in it. Yet she has a knack for leading the media around with their tomgues hanging out.

  • kerner

    You know (Cinn @ 17), the most successful troll out there today is Sarah Palin. She has absolutely no intention of running for President. She loves the role she now has: media personality and sometime kingmaker. There’s a lot more money and less stress in it. Yet she has a knack for leading the media around with their tomgues hanging out.

  • Cincinnatus

    kerner@21: I’ll have to agree with you on that one.

    Let’s not get into the democracy promotion debate, however. Suffice to say that I disagree vehemently with every statement you made @ 20.

  • Cincinnatus

    kerner@21: I’ll have to agree with you on that one.

    Let’s not get into the democracy promotion debate, however. Suffice to say that I disagree vehemently with every statement you made @ 20.

  • kerner

    Dennis @18:

    John Stewart reminds me of Rush Limbaugh in the late 80s early 90s, back when he had a sense of humor. He takes himself way too seriously now.

  • kerner

    Dennis @18:

    John Stewart reminds me of Rush Limbaugh in the late 80s early 90s, back when he had a sense of humor. He takes himself way too seriously now.

  • kerner

    Cinn: I know I know. We can debate whether we should be the United States of Switzerland later.

  • kerner

    Cinn: I know I know. We can debate whether we should be the United States of Switzerland later.

  • Tom Hering

    “Again, why are we paying attention to Jon Stewart as if he has serious, substantive points to make?” – Steve @ 19.

    I’m not sure anyone watches Stewart to hear him make “serious, substantive points.” I watch him because he makes me laugh about things I’d otherwise just shake my head over. If you don’t care for him, then say so and move on.

  • Tom Hering

    “Again, why are we paying attention to Jon Stewart as if he has serious, substantive points to make?” – Steve @ 19.

    I’m not sure anyone watches Stewart to hear him make “serious, substantive points.” I watch him because he makes me laugh about things I’d otherwise just shake my head over. If you don’t care for him, then say so and move on.

  • Joe

    Steve – yes you apparently have missed the coverage of these also rans.

  • Joe

    Steve – yes you apparently have missed the coverage of these also rans.

  • Steve Billingsley

    Tom @ 25
    I think he’s funny, too. But his comment started this whole thread, so someone’s taking him seriously at least to some extent. And the under 30 demographic is much more likely to absorb political content from him than to watch network or cable news of any stripe, read newspaper or read political blogs, etc.

    I like Stewart as a comedian, but what I don’t like is that he wants to be in the mix in the political process and be a pundit, but whenever someone takes offense to what he says he’s very quick to run up the “I’m just a comedian” flag.

  • Steve Billingsley

    Tom @ 25
    I think he’s funny, too. But his comment started this whole thread, so someone’s taking him seriously at least to some extent. And the under 30 demographic is much more likely to absorb political content from him than to watch network or cable news of any stripe, read newspaper or read political blogs, etc.

    I like Stewart as a comedian, but what I don’t like is that he wants to be in the mix in the political process and be a pundit, but whenever someone takes offense to what he says he’s very quick to run up the “I’m just a comedian” flag.

  • Major media outlets are scared of Ron Paul. That’s why they fudged the results of several debates during the last election cycle to hide Paul’s wins or ‘top tier’ finishes. They will do the same now, because they are interested in making sure that the election boils down to their anointed king and a foil to run against.
    RP represents real change, and change that does not favor the cushy, gravy laden status quo enjoyed by certain powerful interest groups. The other major candidates are just various shades of the ‘same old same old.’
    Maybe RP won’t get elected, but the ideas he stands for are appealing to more and more people, and the media and political establishment should be careful about marginalizing and denigrating the views held by a growing segment of the populace.

  • Major media outlets are scared of Ron Paul. That’s why they fudged the results of several debates during the last election cycle to hide Paul’s wins or ‘top tier’ finishes. They will do the same now, because they are interested in making sure that the election boils down to their anointed king and a foil to run against.
    RP represents real change, and change that does not favor the cushy, gravy laden status quo enjoyed by certain powerful interest groups. The other major candidates are just various shades of the ‘same old same old.’
    Maybe RP won’t get elected, but the ideas he stands for are appealing to more and more people, and the media and political establishment should be careful about marginalizing and denigrating the views held by a growing segment of the populace.

  • kerner

    Steve @25:

    John Stewart’s vocation is political satire. As such, he tries to be funny as he makes serious points. Like I said, Rush Limbaugh used to do that a lot. Conservatives could use that kind of sense of humor again. It was very effective fr us once

    “To drive away the devil, if he will not yield to Scripture, jeer and flaught him, for he cannot bear scorn.”
    Martin Luther

    (That quote was from memory, but I think t’s pretty close.)

  • kerner

    Steve @25:

    John Stewart’s vocation is political satire. As such, he tries to be funny as he makes serious points. Like I said, Rush Limbaugh used to do that a lot. Conservatives could use that kind of sense of humor again. It was very effective fr us once

    “To drive away the devil, if he will not yield to Scripture, jeer and flaught him, for he cannot bear scorn.”
    Martin Luther

    (That quote was from memory, but I think t’s pretty close.)

  • Jon

    The media likes to cover and predict winners, and Paul’s not taken seriously because he doesn’t win elections (primaries, caucuses); he’s simply not going to be GOP nominee, much less president.

    The loudest voices in the GOP belong to evangelicals, and Paul’s views about gay marriage and Muslims do not appeal to them like Bachmann’s and Perry’s do. Paul’s economics (get rid of the Fed; gold standard) and do not appeal to the GOP’s Wall Street base. Paul’s views about govt-enforced civil rights (get rid of them) are antiquated. Face it, most Republicans are not ideologically libertarian.

    Paul’s not executive materal; he’s a salesman for his ideas, some of which are great, some of which are terrible. But, packaged together in one man, they don’t make a winning candidate. Hence, the media move on.

  • Jon

    The media likes to cover and predict winners, and Paul’s not taken seriously because he doesn’t win elections (primaries, caucuses); he’s simply not going to be GOP nominee, much less president.

    The loudest voices in the GOP belong to evangelicals, and Paul’s views about gay marriage and Muslims do not appeal to them like Bachmann’s and Perry’s do. Paul’s economics (get rid of the Fed; gold standard) and do not appeal to the GOP’s Wall Street base. Paul’s views about govt-enforced civil rights (get rid of them) are antiquated. Face it, most Republicans are not ideologically libertarian.

    Paul’s not executive materal; he’s a salesman for his ideas, some of which are great, some of which are terrible. But, packaged together in one man, they don’t make a winning candidate. Hence, the media move on.

  • Steve Billingsley

    Jon @ 30
    Good summary…I basically agree on all points. I also think at the end of the day Paul is probably content to sell ideas. From that point of view, he’s already been pretty successful in driving discussion in his direction.

  • Steve Billingsley

    Jon @ 30
    Good summary…I basically agree on all points. I also think at the end of the day Paul is probably content to sell ideas. From that point of view, he’s already been pretty successful in driving discussion in his direction.

  • sg

    Ron Paul isn’t sexy. Women won’t vote for him. The uninformed won’t vote for him. The identity groups won’t vote for him. He is way old school in the sense that his ideas appeal to intellect in an age where emotion rules.

    Now if only male property owners over the age of 21 could vote, then yeah, he would be a contender.

  • sg

    Ron Paul isn’t sexy. Women won’t vote for him. The uninformed won’t vote for him. The identity groups won’t vote for him. He is way old school in the sense that his ideas appeal to intellect in an age where emotion rules.

    Now if only male property owners over the age of 21 could vote, then yeah, he would be a contender.

  • Cincinnatus

    I condone restriction of the franchise.

  • Cincinnatus

    I condone restriction of the franchise.

  • Jon

    sg, please let a man proofread you posts.

  • Jon

    sg, please let a man proofread you posts.

  • sg

    “its probably not possible to actually be objective – everyone brings their biases with them. More fundamentally, it is not necessary to our historic concept of a free press.”

    But it may matter to unity. Many have noted the decay in unity of the American public. We are polarizing dramatically as each just listens to what he wants to hear and in so doing misses many relevant facts which are presented by no one because they do not further the interests of any of the power brokers.

  • sg

    “its probably not possible to actually be objective – everyone brings their biases with them. More fundamentally, it is not necessary to our historic concept of a free press.”

    But it may matter to unity. Many have noted the decay in unity of the American public. We are polarizing dramatically as each just listens to what he wants to hear and in so doing misses many relevant facts which are presented by no one because they do not further the interests of any of the power brokers.

  • sg

    @34

    ah, the shaming tactic by the name with no point. yawn.

  • sg

    @34

    ah, the shaming tactic by the name with no point. yawn.

  • Jon

    No point? You tell us how [stupid, irrational, inferior, take your pick] women are, then post as a woman, expecting to be taken seriously.

  • Jon

    No point? You tell us how [stupid, irrational, inferior, take your pick] women are, then post as a woman, expecting to be taken seriously.

  • sg

    Jon, in case you are not familiar with or have forgotten the ecological fallacy:

    An ecological fallacy (or ecological inference fallacy, also referred to as the fallacy of division[1][2][3][4][5]) is a logical fallacy in the interpretation of statistical data in an ecological study, whereby inferences about the nature of specific individuals are based solely upon aggregate statistics collected for the group to which those individuals belong. This fallacy assumes that individual members of a group have the average characteristics of the group at large. However, statistics that accurately describe group characteristics do not necessarily apply to individuals within that group. For a mathematical explanation of this see how variability of individuals is much greater than the variability of their mean.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecological_fallacy

  • sg

    Jon, in case you are not familiar with or have forgotten the ecological fallacy:

    An ecological fallacy (or ecological inference fallacy, also referred to as the fallacy of division[1][2][3][4][5]) is a logical fallacy in the interpretation of statistical data in an ecological study, whereby inferences about the nature of specific individuals are based solely upon aggregate statistics collected for the group to which those individuals belong. This fallacy assumes that individual members of a group have the average characteristics of the group at large. However, statistics that accurately describe group characteristics do not necessarily apply to individuals within that group. For a mathematical explanation of this see how variability of individuals is much greater than the variability of their mean.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecological_fallacy

  • Cincinnatus

    Jon@37: SG is a woman, unless I’ve been fooled for a couple of years now.

    Yes, her views are surprising for a modern woman, but they shouldn’t call into question her biological gender. Play fair. Implying that there is a consistent set of political views to which all women should subscribe is at least as sexist as suggesting that the franchise should not be extended to women.

  • Cincinnatus

    Jon@37: SG is a woman, unless I’ve been fooled for a couple of years now.

    Yes, her views are surprising for a modern woman, but they shouldn’t call into question her biological gender. Play fair. Implying that there is a consistent set of political views to which all women should subscribe is at least as sexist as suggesting that the franchise should not be extended to women.

  • Jon

    @39 I assume she is as she represents, a woman. What I knock is her logic, which appears to be, “women can’t be trusted to think for themselves, take my word for it.” When called on it, she says, “I’m the exception.” She’s harmless.

  • Jon

    @39 I assume she is as she represents, a woman. What I knock is her logic, which appears to be, “women can’t be trusted to think for themselves, take my word for it.” When called on it, she says, “I’m the exception.” She’s harmless.

  • sg

    “suggesting that the franchise should not be extended to women.”

    Let’s not confuse is/ought.

    I only pointed out that the composition of the electorate makes Ron Paul marginal. I figured the rest of the thoughtful commenters here could figure out that those who need the government to enforce preferential treatment on their behalf are not going to be interested in a fair minded guy like Ron Paul who is not charismatic and is not a vote buyer nor can he be bought. Those who need the government to enforce preferential treatment on their behalf in order to maintain their lifestyles (at the expense of others who are institutionally discriminated against) include but are not limited to large corporations, investment firms with connections, women, identity groups, government employees, union employees, etc.

  • sg

    “suggesting that the franchise should not be extended to women.”

    Let’s not confuse is/ought.

    I only pointed out that the composition of the electorate makes Ron Paul marginal. I figured the rest of the thoughtful commenters here could figure out that those who need the government to enforce preferential treatment on their behalf are not going to be interested in a fair minded guy like Ron Paul who is not charismatic and is not a vote buyer nor can he be bought. Those who need the government to enforce preferential treatment on their behalf in order to maintain their lifestyles (at the expense of others who are institutionally discriminated against) include but are not limited to large corporations, investment firms with connections, women, identity groups, government employees, union employees, etc.

  • sg

    which appears to be, “women can’t be trusted to think for themselves, take my word for it.”

    It doesn’t appear so unless that is what you wish to see. On hair trigger sexism alert? There is plenty of data on the voting patterns of women. So it isn’t sexism to just report what has been observed. I figured it was well known, so I only alluded to it rather than search and post a link to some data. Were you not aware of female voting patterns? Of identity voting patterns? Of vote buying? Of pandering? Of influence peddling?

  • sg

    which appears to be, “women can’t be trusted to think for themselves, take my word for it.”

    It doesn’t appear so unless that is what you wish to see. On hair trigger sexism alert? There is plenty of data on the voting patterns of women. So it isn’t sexism to just report what has been observed. I figured it was well known, so I only alluded to it rather than search and post a link to some data. Were you not aware of female voting patterns? Of identity voting patterns? Of vote buying? Of pandering? Of influence peddling?

  • Tom Hering

    Steve @ 27, good points.

  • Tom Hering

    Steve @ 27, good points.

  • sg

    “I like Stewart as a comedian, but what I don’t like is that he wants to be in the mix in the political process and be a pundit, but whenever someone takes offense to what he says he’s very quick to run up the “I’m just a comedian” flag.”

    Isn’t the real problem that the under 30 crowd listens to the comedian?

  • sg

    “I like Stewart as a comedian, but what I don’t like is that he wants to be in the mix in the political process and be a pundit, but whenever someone takes offense to what he says he’s very quick to run up the “I’m just a comedian” flag.”

    Isn’t the real problem that the under 30 crowd listens to the comedian?

  • Steve Billingsley

    sg @ 44
    Exactly.

  • Steve Billingsley

    sg @ 44
    Exactly.

  • Yes, and what of this Thomas Nast fellow, too, while we’re at it! I hear tell that his cartoons — cartoons, mind you! — are actually influencing politics. Why, I never heard of such a thing! I’d sooner vote for someone from the middle class than have our precious national discourse influenced by a … cartoonist!

  • Yes, and what of this Thomas Nast fellow, too, while we’re at it! I hear tell that his cartoons — cartoons, mind you! — are actually influencing politics. Why, I never heard of such a thing! I’d sooner vote for someone from the middle class than have our precious national discourse influenced by a … cartoonist!

  • Tom Hering

    Todd @ 46, good point.

    (I like everybody today.)

  • Tom Hering

    Todd @ 46, good point.

    (I like everybody today.)

  • Steve Billingsley

    Yeah, I forgot about the times that Thomas Nast responded to criticism with the “I’m just a cartoonist” line.

    Comedy does obviously influence the national discourse (from SNL’s various political sketches to Leno/Letterman etc. monologues to political cartoonists). I think that’s a good thing.

    I just think Stewart has an overly inflated reputation when compared with what he actually contributes (which could also be said of many, many others)…and I don’t think Ron Paul is being ignored, I just think he has been sized up for what he is. A marginal candidate with some good ideas and some bad ideas and limited electoral appeal. No media conspiracy here.

  • Steve Billingsley

    Yeah, I forgot about the times that Thomas Nast responded to criticism with the “I’m just a cartoonist” line.

    Comedy does obviously influence the national discourse (from SNL’s various political sketches to Leno/Letterman etc. monologues to political cartoonists). I think that’s a good thing.

    I just think Stewart has an overly inflated reputation when compared with what he actually contributes (which could also be said of many, many others)…and I don’t think Ron Paul is being ignored, I just think he has been sized up for what he is. A marginal candidate with some good ideas and some bad ideas and limited electoral appeal. No media conspiracy here.

  • Grace

    So why does the media continue to ignore him?

    WHY? – check out his voting record!

    Below is just ONE reason I would not vote for Ron Paul. Thankfully the Amber Alert was passed, and signed by President Bush.

    Official Title of Legislation: Enhance AMBER Alert bill

    S 151: An Act to prevent child abduction and the sexual exploitation of children, and for other purposes.

    Project Vote Smart’s Synopsis:

    Vote to adopt the conference report that would combat child crimes, including, but not limited to, enhance the AMBER alert program, provide additional protection for children against sex crimes, and promote stricter sentencing for child pornography and other child sex crime offenders.

    Highlights:

    – Establishes a coordinator for the AMBER alert network to distribute bulletins on missing children through various mediums.

    – Allows the police more technology communication to prevent child sexual predators, and enforcers stricter punishments regarding sex crimes involving children.

    – Imposes mandatory sentences for adult sex crime offenders; including a national website with a roster of registered sex offenders.

    BELOW is Ron Paul’s vote – N = NO
    TX 14 Representative
    Ronald E. ‘Ron’ Paul Republican N

    Bill Number: S 151 – 108th Congress (2003-2004)

    House Passage Vote: 03/27/2003: Passed.

    Senate Passage Vote: 02/24/2003: Passed: 84 – 0. Record Vote Number: 35.

    House Conference Report Vote: 04/10/2003: Agreed: 400 – 25, 2 Present (Roll no. 127)

    Senate Conference Report Vote: 04/10/2003: Agreed: 98 – 0. Record Vote Number: 132.

    Presidential Action: 04/30/2003: Signed by President. Became Public Law No: 108-21.

  • Grace

    So why does the media continue to ignore him?

    WHY? – check out his voting record!

    Below is just ONE reason I would not vote for Ron Paul. Thankfully the Amber Alert was passed, and signed by President Bush.

    Official Title of Legislation: Enhance AMBER Alert bill

    S 151: An Act to prevent child abduction and the sexual exploitation of children, and for other purposes.

    Project Vote Smart’s Synopsis:

    Vote to adopt the conference report that would combat child crimes, including, but not limited to, enhance the AMBER alert program, provide additional protection for children against sex crimes, and promote stricter sentencing for child pornography and other child sex crime offenders.

    Highlights:

    – Establishes a coordinator for the AMBER alert network to distribute bulletins on missing children through various mediums.

    – Allows the police more technology communication to prevent child sexual predators, and enforcers stricter punishments regarding sex crimes involving children.

    – Imposes mandatory sentences for adult sex crime offenders; including a national website with a roster of registered sex offenders.

    BELOW is Ron Paul’s vote – N = NO
    TX 14 Representative
    Ronald E. ‘Ron’ Paul Republican N

    Bill Number: S 151 – 108th Congress (2003-2004)

    House Passage Vote: 03/27/2003: Passed.

    Senate Passage Vote: 02/24/2003: Passed: 84 – 0. Record Vote Number: 35.

    House Conference Report Vote: 04/10/2003: Agreed: 400 – 25, 2 Present (Roll no. 127)

    Senate Conference Report Vote: 04/10/2003: Agreed: 98 – 0. Record Vote Number: 132.

    Presidential Action: 04/30/2003: Signed by President. Became Public Law No: 108-21.

  • J

    Grace,
    You can’t take a simple vote yes or no as a reason to prove your point. That’s like proof texting Scripture…trying to read your perspective into it without taking the whole context of what is there. One of the biggest reasons why people do not understand Ron Paul’s views is because he is not characterized simply by votes. The legislation that you reference could be part of a larger piece that included un-Constitutional parts. This is my point about people having miss-characterizations of another person’s views without entering into a discussion over what they believe and why they believe (or voted for) something.

  • J

    Grace,
    You can’t take a simple vote yes or no as a reason to prove your point. That’s like proof texting Scripture…trying to read your perspective into it without taking the whole context of what is there. One of the biggest reasons why people do not understand Ron Paul’s views is because he is not characterized simply by votes. The legislation that you reference could be part of a larger piece that included un-Constitutional parts. This is my point about people having miss-characterizations of another person’s views without entering into a discussion over what they believe and why they believe (or voted for) something.

  • Grace

    J @ 50

    The AMBER Alert was and still is most important, it has saved many children’s lives. For this reason, Ron Paul who voted against it, will not be forgotten – there is no viable excuse.

    I remember Ron Paul from the last election, I have read all his lame excuses, and so have millions of other voters. We don’t buy into it.

    Here is another one:

    Bill Number: HR 1218
    Issue: Abortion Issues
    Date: 06/30/1999
    Sponsor:Rep. Ros-Lehtinen, Ileana [FL-18]

    Bill Passed (House)

    Official Title of Legislation:

    HR 1218: To amend title 18, United States Code, to prohibit taking minors across State lines in circumvention of laws requiring the involvement of parents in abortion decisions.

    Project Vote Smart’s Synopsis:

    Vote to pass a bill that criminalizes the act of transporting a minor across state lines to avoid parental notification laws and obtain access to abortion services.

    TX 14 Ronald E. ‘Ron’ Paul Republican N = Ron Paul voted NO

  • Grace

    J @ 50

    The AMBER Alert was and still is most important, it has saved many children’s lives. For this reason, Ron Paul who voted against it, will not be forgotten – there is no viable excuse.

    I remember Ron Paul from the last election, I have read all his lame excuses, and so have millions of other voters. We don’t buy into it.

    Here is another one:

    Bill Number: HR 1218
    Issue: Abortion Issues
    Date: 06/30/1999
    Sponsor:Rep. Ros-Lehtinen, Ileana [FL-18]

    Bill Passed (House)

    Official Title of Legislation:

    HR 1218: To amend title 18, United States Code, to prohibit taking minors across State lines in circumvention of laws requiring the involvement of parents in abortion decisions.

    Project Vote Smart’s Synopsis:

    Vote to pass a bill that criminalizes the act of transporting a minor across state lines to avoid parental notification laws and obtain access to abortion services.

    TX 14 Ronald E. ‘Ron’ Paul Republican N = Ron Paul voted NO

  • Cincinnatus

    Oh no. Grace has started spamming again.

    While it’s probably a hopeless cause, let me help:

    -Ron Paul voted against the Amber Alert because the bill came attached with a rider (surprise!) that would have allowed federal prosecutors to target and even close clubs and other businesses where unaffiliated third parties are caught selling Ecstasy–even if such commerce is occurring without the business owner’s knowledge. Not only is Ron Paul opposed to our general strategy against consumption of dangerous drugs (the “war on drugs”), he is also opposed to violations of free speech and the extension of federal law enforcement powers where they don’t belong.

    -As for HR 1218, I don’t know if it came attached with any riders. But why would the federal government be interested in the enforcement of state laws? Seriously, Grace. Think about it. If I lived in a dry county/state, should the federal government be able to prohibit me from driving to the next state over to purchase a bottle of Scotch? I could come up with endless examples along this line, but let’s just conclude that HR 1218 would represent a rather gross example of federal overreach. What kind of precedent would a bill like this set? I am seriously inclined to believe that it wouldn’t even withstand constitutional scrutiny. The federal government does not have the authority to limit your freedom of movement so that you are forced to obey a particular state law that is not on the books in another state. Anyway, Ron Paul is actually pro-life.

    Ron Paul is ideologically consistent in that he refuses to affirm otherwise good bills if they have been corrupted by riders or other policies that compromise Paul’s commitment to federalism. Perhaps it’s a luxury he can afford knowing that his vote on these bills seldom matters except for the statement he is making. And perhaps you disagree with his ideological commitments. More likely, you simply disagree that his commitment to federalism should outweigh his commitment to abducted children or whatever the cause du jour may be. But it’s little better than slander to infer that Paul doesn’t want to limit child abductions (or even that he wishes to give aid and comfort to pedophiles) or that he is secretly pro-choice.

    As Steve and others have noted, Paul largely views his actions in Congress and his presidential candidacies as platforms from which to communicate a particular political theory. I think he does quite a good job of it, and his constituents seem to agree.

  • Cincinnatus

    Oh no. Grace has started spamming again.

    While it’s probably a hopeless cause, let me help:

    -Ron Paul voted against the Amber Alert because the bill came attached with a rider (surprise!) that would have allowed federal prosecutors to target and even close clubs and other businesses where unaffiliated third parties are caught selling Ecstasy–even if such commerce is occurring without the business owner’s knowledge. Not only is Ron Paul opposed to our general strategy against consumption of dangerous drugs (the “war on drugs”), he is also opposed to violations of free speech and the extension of federal law enforcement powers where they don’t belong.

    -As for HR 1218, I don’t know if it came attached with any riders. But why would the federal government be interested in the enforcement of state laws? Seriously, Grace. Think about it. If I lived in a dry county/state, should the federal government be able to prohibit me from driving to the next state over to purchase a bottle of Scotch? I could come up with endless examples along this line, but let’s just conclude that HR 1218 would represent a rather gross example of federal overreach. What kind of precedent would a bill like this set? I am seriously inclined to believe that it wouldn’t even withstand constitutional scrutiny. The federal government does not have the authority to limit your freedom of movement so that you are forced to obey a particular state law that is not on the books in another state. Anyway, Ron Paul is actually pro-life.

    Ron Paul is ideologically consistent in that he refuses to affirm otherwise good bills if they have been corrupted by riders or other policies that compromise Paul’s commitment to federalism. Perhaps it’s a luxury he can afford knowing that his vote on these bills seldom matters except for the statement he is making. And perhaps you disagree with his ideological commitments. More likely, you simply disagree that his commitment to federalism should outweigh his commitment to abducted children or whatever the cause du jour may be. But it’s little better than slander to infer that Paul doesn’t want to limit child abductions (or even that he wishes to give aid and comfort to pedophiles) or that he is secretly pro-choice.

    As Steve and others have noted, Paul largely views his actions in Congress and his presidential candidacies as platforms from which to communicate a particular political theory. I think he does quite a good job of it, and his constituents seem to agree.

  • But Cincinnatus (@52), why do you hate the children? Will nobody think of the children!

  • But Cincinnatus (@52), why do you hate the children? Will nobody think of the children!

  • J said (@50), “You can’t take a simple vote yes or no as a reason to prove your point.”

    Well, clearly, you’ve been proven wrong, J! Grace can. And will!

  • J said (@50), “You can’t take a simple vote yes or no as a reason to prove your point.”

    Well, clearly, you’ve been proven wrong, J! Grace can. And will!

  • kerner

    Jon @40, et seq.:

    While I don’t necessarily agree with her, I understand sg’s point, which is that giving the vote to certain groups does not always work to the benefit of that group or society in general.

    sg no doubt has many sources of statistics close at hand that will demonstrate that the voting patterns of women in general have in practice worked to the substantial detriment of women (possibly things like higher rates of crime against women, or higher poverty rates among women, but I’m just guessing).

    Her argument as I understand it is that women would be better off if their access to political power were limited to manipulating those who can vote, as opposed to voting themselves.

    If confronted with the agument that this is a paternalistic approach that contradicts the principles of personal liberty on which our country was founded, sg will calmly respond with statistics to establish that women were, in fact, better off during those eras when their access to political power was actually limited to manipulating those (male property owners over 21) who could vote.

    It is an interesting and well thought out argument even if one disagrees with it. sg is pefectly willing to give up her own access to the franchise for the greater good, but she would never say that her willingness to do so is an admission that her own ideas are worthless. She simply thinks she can get better results by using her very respectable intellectual skills to manipulate us adult male property owners, which I assume she does at home as well as here in public.

  • kerner

    Jon @40, et seq.:

    While I don’t necessarily agree with her, I understand sg’s point, which is that giving the vote to certain groups does not always work to the benefit of that group or society in general.

    sg no doubt has many sources of statistics close at hand that will demonstrate that the voting patterns of women in general have in practice worked to the substantial detriment of women (possibly things like higher rates of crime against women, or higher poverty rates among women, but I’m just guessing).

    Her argument as I understand it is that women would be better off if their access to political power were limited to manipulating those who can vote, as opposed to voting themselves.

    If confronted with the agument that this is a paternalistic approach that contradicts the principles of personal liberty on which our country was founded, sg will calmly respond with statistics to establish that women were, in fact, better off during those eras when their access to political power was actually limited to manipulating those (male property owners over 21) who could vote.

    It is an interesting and well thought out argument even if one disagrees with it. sg is pefectly willing to give up her own access to the franchise for the greater good, but she would never say that her willingness to do so is an admission that her own ideas are worthless. She simply thinks she can get better results by using her very respectable intellectual skills to manipulate us adult male property owners, which I assume she does at home as well as here in public.

  • kerner

    I also think that Ron Paul has no intention of being president. He runs for president for the same reason that he votes against bills that will accomplish generally good things, and that he knows will pass without his vote: Ron Paul’s purpose in politics is to give a public voice to certain principles that he believes would otherwise be forgotten. He will, therefore, promote those principles no matter what, and he will certainly not compromise those principles, even a little, to gain votes.

    Since the media has figured out that Ron Paul does not really care whether he can get enough people to vote for him in a national election, they don’t consider him a serious candidate. I guess I don’t either.

  • kerner

    I also think that Ron Paul has no intention of being president. He runs for president for the same reason that he votes against bills that will accomplish generally good things, and that he knows will pass without his vote: Ron Paul’s purpose in politics is to give a public voice to certain principles that he believes would otherwise be forgotten. He will, therefore, promote those principles no matter what, and he will certainly not compromise those principles, even a little, to gain votes.

    Since the media has figured out that Ron Paul does not really care whether he can get enough people to vote for him in a national election, they don’t consider him a serious candidate. I guess I don’t either.

  • Cincinnatus

    kerner@56: You (and Steve) are correct. But I think you’re definition of “serious” needs reconsideration. Ironically, it appears, in order to be a “serious” Presidential candidate, one must be utterly unserious about everything else, especially personal political convictions.

  • Cincinnatus

    kerner@56: You (and Steve) are correct. But I think you’re definition of “serious” needs reconsideration. Ironically, it appears, in order to be a “serious” Presidential candidate, one must be utterly unserious about everything else, especially personal political convictions.

  • kerner

    Hmm. Reading back, it looks like I just agreed with Cincinnatus @52.

  • kerner

    Hmm. Reading back, it looks like I just agreed with Cincinnatus @52.

  • kerner

    Oh, you’re here. No, but I do think, to be considered serious, you have to actually want the job. Paul Ryan is also a man of principle (at least I think so), but I think that he, eventually if not right now, does want to be president and is developng some kind of strategy for getting, and doing, that job. Ron Paul, not so much.

  • kerner

    Oh, you’re here. No, but I do think, to be considered serious, you have to actually want the job. Paul Ryan is also a man of principle (at least I think so), but I think that he, eventually if not right now, does want to be president and is developng some kind of strategy for getting, and doing, that job. Ron Paul, not so much.

  • See, here’s the thing. I don’t think people are using the same metrics for all candidates.

    Are there plenty of definitions of “serious” (to pick a word) by which Ron Paul fails? Sure, fine — let’s assume he uses his candidacy only to give voice to his ideas, not because he thinks he could win, or even wants to. But I’m pretty certain those same definitions would rule out candidates who, nonetheless, have gotten an appreciable amount of media attention. Like, oh, I don’t know, Trump. Did his utter lack of seriousness in any way preclude the media from yammering on about him for several weeks? No. No, it did not. As such, I don’t buy the “the media can tell he’s not serious, so they’re ignoring him” argument.

    Similarly — and as the aforementioned Daily Show clip makes clear — there are plenty of current candidates who have no real chance of winning the nomination (looking your way, Santorum), yet still, again, get more attention from the media than does Ron Paul.

    Which is to say, if your suggestion for why the media is excused for ignoring Ron Paul doesn’t simultaneously explain why they pay more attention to other people to whom your suggestion also applies … then your suggestion isn’t a very good one.

  • See, here’s the thing. I don’t think people are using the same metrics for all candidates.

    Are there plenty of definitions of “serious” (to pick a word) by which Ron Paul fails? Sure, fine — let’s assume he uses his candidacy only to give voice to his ideas, not because he thinks he could win, or even wants to. But I’m pretty certain those same definitions would rule out candidates who, nonetheless, have gotten an appreciable amount of media attention. Like, oh, I don’t know, Trump. Did his utter lack of seriousness in any way preclude the media from yammering on about him for several weeks? No. No, it did not. As such, I don’t buy the “the media can tell he’s not serious, so they’re ignoring him” argument.

    Similarly — and as the aforementioned Daily Show clip makes clear — there are plenty of current candidates who have no real chance of winning the nomination (looking your way, Santorum), yet still, again, get more attention from the media than does Ron Paul.

    Which is to say, if your suggestion for why the media is excused for ignoring Ron Paul doesn’t simultaneously explain why they pay more attention to other people to whom your suggestion also applies … then your suggestion isn’t a very good one.

  • kerner

    tODD:

    ok, so I’ll concede that, in addition to my previous comments, Ron Paul isn’t as much fun to watch on tv as Donald Trump. The media are igoring him for multiple reasons.

  • kerner

    tODD:

    ok, so I’ll concede that, in addition to my previous comments, Ron Paul isn’t as much fun to watch on tv as Donald Trump. The media are igoring him for multiple reasons.

  • sg

    “Ron Paul isn’t as much fun to watch on tv as Donald Trump.”

    good point

    Trump is sexier than Ron Paul.

  • sg

    “Ron Paul isn’t as much fun to watch on tv as Donald Trump.”

    good point

    Trump is sexier than Ron Paul.

  • sg

    “She simply thinks she can get better results by using her very respectable intellectual skills to manipulate us adult male property owners, which I assume she does at home as well as here in public.”

    No, I don’t. I think there is an analogy here and that is, my own husband in particular is wiser and more thoughtful than I am and makes better decisions, is more civic minded etc. I also believe that the average man analogously is more civic minded etc. I don’t think women should just use different means to influence. Rather, women should actually have less influence. So should all the other predominantly selfishly motivated groups. If women (and others) on average vote 53% to 47% to benefit themselves ahead of the community, that slight difference can be enough to destroy the whole enterprise. In the history of the human experience women have never banded together to build and protect a civilization. Only men have. Those men who couldn’t do that were subjugated or eliminated by those who did. Women were neither created nor selected for leadership. This is a human manifestation of sexual dimorphism. On average women don’t vote responsibly. Just because 47% of women are wiser more civic minded than the other 53% doesn’t help at all in a majority rule situation. Cue the hue and cry.

  • sg

    “She simply thinks she can get better results by using her very respectable intellectual skills to manipulate us adult male property owners, which I assume she does at home as well as here in public.”

    No, I don’t. I think there is an analogy here and that is, my own husband in particular is wiser and more thoughtful than I am and makes better decisions, is more civic minded etc. I also believe that the average man analogously is more civic minded etc. I don’t think women should just use different means to influence. Rather, women should actually have less influence. So should all the other predominantly selfishly motivated groups. If women (and others) on average vote 53% to 47% to benefit themselves ahead of the community, that slight difference can be enough to destroy the whole enterprise. In the history of the human experience women have never banded together to build and protect a civilization. Only men have. Those men who couldn’t do that were subjugated or eliminated by those who did. Women were neither created nor selected for leadership. This is a human manifestation of sexual dimorphism. On average women don’t vote responsibly. Just because 47% of women are wiser more civic minded than the other 53% doesn’t help at all in a majority rule situation. Cue the hue and cry.

  • In that case, SG (@63), the problem isn’t so much with your view of women as it is with your view of men. Frankly, I think you hold a very naive viewpoint about them and their sinful nature, if you believe that they, as a gender, are more “civic-minded” or selfless. Now, it’s my hope that your husband gives you reason to believe this, but that doesn’t make it any less naive.

    I’m pretty darn certain that the overwhelming majority of male voters — whether rich or poor — vote in their own self interest.

  • In that case, SG (@63), the problem isn’t so much with your view of women as it is with your view of men. Frankly, I think you hold a very naive viewpoint about them and their sinful nature, if you believe that they, as a gender, are more “civic-minded” or selfless. Now, it’s my hope that your husband gives you reason to believe this, but that doesn’t make it any less naive.

    I’m pretty darn certain that the overwhelming majority of male voters — whether rich or poor — vote in their own self interest.

  • sg

    @64

    Just going by my impression of the track record, tODD. I am not clairvoyant.

  • sg

    @64

    Just going by my impression of the track record, tODD. I am not clairvoyant.

  • SG (@65), correlation is not causation. And I’m not even convinced you have terribly convincing correlation. Not a few other variables have changed since women’s suffrage came into being. You appear to be overlooking all of them.

  • SG (@65), correlation is not causation. And I’m not even convinced you have terribly convincing correlation. Not a few other variables have changed since women’s suffrage came into being. You appear to be overlooking all of them.

  • sg

    “I’m pretty darn certain that the overwhelming majority of male voters — whether rich or poor — vote in their own self interest.”

    Assuming that is the case, as my grandfather used to say, “A good deal is a good deal for everyone[all parties].” My take on history is that within society many societies ruled entirely by men have leaned toward the common good. Women on the other hand have never built any society from the ground up based on the cooperation of women and the establishment of institutions. Perhaps the distribution of civic minded men to utterly selfish louts is a very fragile 51% to 49%. Whatever it is, it is not improved by female participation of whom the majority (53%) are rather disinterested in or unfamiliar with prioritizing the “good for everyone” above the “good for me” position. I am not arguing the position that all guys are awesome and all chicks stink. Rather that the track record of guys running society is more constructive, aka better. Yes, the responsibility is understandably intimidating, but so is the responsibility of motherhood.

  • sg

    “I’m pretty darn certain that the overwhelming majority of male voters — whether rich or poor — vote in their own self interest.”

    Assuming that is the case, as my grandfather used to say, “A good deal is a good deal for everyone[all parties].” My take on history is that within society many societies ruled entirely by men have leaned toward the common good. Women on the other hand have never built any society from the ground up based on the cooperation of women and the establishment of institutions. Perhaps the distribution of civic minded men to utterly selfish louts is a very fragile 51% to 49%. Whatever it is, it is not improved by female participation of whom the majority (53%) are rather disinterested in or unfamiliar with prioritizing the “good for everyone” above the “good for me” position. I am not arguing the position that all guys are awesome and all chicks stink. Rather that the track record of guys running society is more constructive, aka better. Yes, the responsibility is understandably intimidating, but so is the responsibility of motherhood.

  • sg

    “Not a few other variables have changed since women’s suffrage came into being. You appear to be overlooking all of them.”

    A fair point.

    However, human nature doesn’t change and selection takes longer than the time elapsed since female suffrage.

    As for correlation, it is very strong. It is 100%. With correlation that high, most folks go with the notion that there is a cause even if it has yet to be perfectly articulated.

    100% of societies have been founded and defended based on the cooperation of the men.

  • sg

    “Not a few other variables have changed since women’s suffrage came into being. You appear to be overlooking all of them.”

    A fair point.

    However, human nature doesn’t change and selection takes longer than the time elapsed since female suffrage.

    As for correlation, it is very strong. It is 100%. With correlation that high, most folks go with the notion that there is a cause even if it has yet to be perfectly articulated.

    100% of societies have been founded and defended based on the cooperation of the men.

  • Cincinnatus

    Society doesn’t have a particularly sterling record, sg.

    Anyway, I know what you’re getting at. I agree, in general. Men, perhaps, are in general more suited for public leadership. Women are more suited for domestic leadership. Even Aristotle noticed this. But I’m not sure I agree with the way you’re going about the argument. And of course, your proposition is unfalsifiable.

  • Cincinnatus

    Society doesn’t have a particularly sterling record, sg.

    Anyway, I know what you’re getting at. I agree, in general. Men, perhaps, are in general more suited for public leadership. Women are more suited for domestic leadership. Even Aristotle noticed this. But I’m not sure I agree with the way you’re going about the argument. And of course, your proposition is unfalsifiable.

  • sg

    “Society doesn’t have a particularly sterling record, sg.”

    It’s a fallen world.

    “But I’m not sure I agree with the way you’re going about the argument.”

    I’m not sure I do either, but he who hesitates is last.

    “And of course, your proposition is unfalsifiable.”

    Yeah, that’s the beauty of it! 🙂

  • sg

    “Society doesn’t have a particularly sterling record, sg.”

    It’s a fallen world.

    “But I’m not sure I agree with the way you’re going about the argument.”

    I’m not sure I do either, but he who hesitates is last.

    “And of course, your proposition is unfalsifiable.”

    Yeah, that’s the beauty of it! 🙂

  • sg

    “Society doesn’t have a particularly sterling record, sg.”

    Okay, but I am sitting here in the air conditioning invented, built, and installed by men, while typing on this cool computer invented, built and delivered by men, while I am alive after a run in with meningitis that was cured by antibiotics that were invented by men. So, I am biased.

  • sg

    “Society doesn’t have a particularly sterling record, sg.”

    Okay, but I am sitting here in the air conditioning invented, built, and installed by men, while typing on this cool computer invented, built and delivered by men, while I am alive after a run in with meningitis that was cured by antibiotics that were invented by men. So, I am biased.

  • Cincinnatus

    Comfort is a poor standard for social progress.

  • Cincinnatus

    Comfort is a poor standard for social progress.

  • sg

    “Comfort is a poor standard for social progress.”

    Really?

    Anyway, the inventions cited impact not just comfort, but safety; protection from the elements, from ignorance and from disease.

    Chicks love safety and are extremely poor and securing it.

  • sg

    “Comfort is a poor standard for social progress.”

    Really?

    Anyway, the inventions cited impact not just comfort, but safety; protection from the elements, from ignorance and from disease.

    Chicks love safety and are extremely poor and securing it.

  • sg

    “Comfort is a poor standard for social progress.”

    Man, I am really struggling with this statement. I mean, improving people’s lives via technology, to me, is certainly one of the most laudable expressions of the human ability to achieve that most coveted win-win situation. Guy invents something that helps millions of people. He is rewarded for making people’s lives better; win-win.

  • sg

    “Comfort is a poor standard for social progress.”

    Man, I am really struggling with this statement. I mean, improving people’s lives via technology, to me, is certainly one of the most laudable expressions of the human ability to achieve that most coveted win-win situation. Guy invents something that helps millions of people. He is rewarded for making people’s lives better; win-win.

  • Cincinnatus

    I find it hard to believe that a Christian could find my statement hard to believe, sg. Is a society that is morally dessicated while living in unprecedented comfort and safety a better society than, say, an agrarian community in early America?

  • Cincinnatus

    I find it hard to believe that a Christian could find my statement hard to believe, sg. Is a society that is morally dessicated while living in unprecedented comfort and safety a better society than, say, an agrarian community in early America?

  • sg

    I see that angle now that you frame it that way, however, the agents of change, that made life better through technology aren’t the villains in a morally degenerate society. Those inventors were hard working guys who did help people. As a group they did far more good than harm. I wouldn’t count among them the misguided social engineers nor those who mistake freedom for license.

  • sg

    I see that angle now that you frame it that way, however, the agents of change, that made life better through technology aren’t the villains in a morally degenerate society. Those inventors were hard working guys who did help people. As a group they did far more good than harm. I wouldn’t count among them the misguided social engineers nor those who mistake freedom for license.