Don't Accept The Premise

Government is not supposed to do everything.

There's an old joke that goes something like this:

Man:  Would you sleep with me for a million dollars?
Woman:  For that much money?!....Yes, I would.

Man:  Would you sleep with me for a hundred thousand dollars?
Woman:  I think I would.

Man:  Would you sleep with me for a thousand dollars?
Woman:  Well.... I don't know, but it's not out of the question.

Man:  Would you sleep with me for twenty bucks?
Woman:  Hey!  What do you think I am, a whore?

Man:  We've already established that.  We're now just discussing your price.

And so goes our political discussion.  We've politically prostituted ourselves and are now discussing the price for which we're willing to sell our liberty.

We can start with some of the most fundamental rights that we're willing to give away.  The First Amendment guarantees our political speech.  Yet, we've already ceded the discussion with McCain-Feingold and other campaign finance laws.  McCain-Feingold limits who can say what when, with regard to political speech.

It was argued, as are all other campaign finance laws, that money corrupts and we need to get the money out of the campaigns.  It's clear that the legislation hasn't even put a dent in the amount of money to be spent this election cycle.

To even entertain ideas that curtail what people can say, how they can say and how much they can spend saying it, is a violation of the First Amendment and an acceptance of the premise that the First Amendment doesn't really say what it says.

If we're worried about the issue, then the problem is a simple one to solve: who's giving how much to which candidate?  The solution: complete transparency.  No limits, but full disclosure of amounts and contributors.

It would be easy to see who has bought which politicians have been bought for how much - and in fact, Dr. Ron Paul has demonstrated that this works quite nicely.  This method places no limitations, of any sort, on what is considered free political speech.  This is a solution that doesn't accept the premises of most campaign finance laws.

We've even gone so far as to award damages because somebody says something offensive.  Libel and slander are one thing, but the expression of political ideas, no matter how bigoted, hateful or just plain wrong accepts the premise that there are some limits on speech.  We've lost the thought that we need to self-control our speech, as the government ought not.

What about the Second Amendment?  Even the NRA has seemed to accept the premise that the amendment is about hunting and self-protection.  From the NRA's "About" page:

These efforts include enacting laws that recognize the right of honest citizens to carry firearms for self-protection; preemption bills to prevent attacks on gun owner rights by local anti-gun politicians, and fighting for legislation to prevent the bankrupting of America's firearms industry through reckless lawsuits.

Most gun laws are designed to prevent crime.  But they are ineffective, making it worse for those without guns.  One only needs to look to Switzerland, where everybody has a gun, to see that the opposite is true - wide gun ownership by law-abiding citizens tremendously reduces crime.

The NRA even seems to miss the point that the Second Amendment is about protection of the people against government, or better said, it's the final check and balance against a federal government.  They've accepted the premise that guns are about hunting, self-protection and state power.

Hamilton, writing in the Federalist No. 28 said:

That there may happen cases in which the national government may be necessitated to resort to force cannot be denied. Our own experience has corroborated the lessons taught by the examples of other nations; that emergencies of this sort will sometimes exist in all societies, however constituted; that seditions and insurrections are, unhappily, maladies as inseparable from the body politic as tumors and eruptions from the natural body; that the idea of governing at all times by the simple force of law (which we have been told is the only admissible principle of republican government) has no place but in the reveries of these political doctors whose sagacity disdains the admonitions of experimental instruction...

[T]he people, without exaggeration, may be said to be entirely the masters of their own fate. Power being almost always the rival of power, the general government will at all times stand ready to check the usurpations of the state governments, and these will have the same disposition towards the general government. The people by throwing themselves into either scale, will infallibly make it preponderate. If their rights are invaded by either, they can make use of the other as the instrument of redress. How wise will it be in them by cherishing the union to preserve to themselves an advantage which can never be too highly prized!

Clearly, the intent of the amendment was to provide the citizenry with the ability to overthrow a tyrannical government.  Any other arguments are changing the premise of the original discussion.

For the last example of many, let's turn to Social Security.  Scragged has already written much about this program, and proposed several solutions.

Of these, only Option #4 - recognition that it's not supposed to be the government's responsibility to provide a retirement for everybody - goes back to the original premise that government is to be limited and not provide welfare.  Madison's veto of a public works bill makes it clear that the "general welfare" clause doesn't mean the welfare of individuals.

In the case of Social Security the horse has left the barn, as it were. In fact, most of the barn is empty as the horses of Medicaid, Medicare, food stamps, Pell grants, etc. have all been freed to eat at the public prairie.  Horses might be a bad analogy here, as these programs are more like sheep ready to eat the grass to the ground leaving nothing behind.

It almost doesn't matter what the topic is, the argument may already be lost.  We've already established there is little national virtue left.  We're now just talking about the price.

But when I look at my tax bill, I get the feeling we're paying for a high-priced callgirl, and instead getting somebody from the back alley.

The only way this can change, is by refusing to accept the choices offered, and returning to the first principles described so eloquently by our Founders.

Fennoman is a guest writer for  Read other articles by Fennoman or other articles on Politics.
Reader Comments
This was a very interesting article, and very well written. The only thing I don't agree with is the paragraph referencing the Westboro Baptist Church- in that lawsuit, damages were not awarded because someone said something offensive, they were awarded because it was ruled that the people at Westboro Baptist Church invaded the family's privacy, and intentionally inflicted emotional distress... there's a big difference there. Otherwise, great article!
February 6, 2008 12:34 PM
This is good and right on. Conservatives must learn to set the **terms** of the debate if every they are to win. How you debate the global warming if you don't accept its premise?
February 6, 2008 5:06 PM
Global warming is easy to win in an intellectual debate. It's impossible to win in an emotional debate (this is true of virtually all issues).

First, you need to establish it's happening. Then, you need to establish the cause. Once those two things are settled, we can talk about what to do. Neither of the above have been settled. The temperature record is suspect and the causes are not known ( - warning very dense site ahead). The idea that the "science is settled" is simply logical fallacy designed to get you to accept the premise.

Education, my friend, education is the key.
February 6, 2008 6:08 PM
Removing political contributions would completely solve the problem. In order to accomplishe that goal at least in a substantive sense would require the government to finance a series of nationally televised TV and radio debates and extended, one on one interviews for all qualified candidates. These debates and interviews should occur during the course of the entire campaign both primary elections and general elections. All licensed TV and radio Stations and networks should be required, as part of their licensing agreement allowing them to access the public airways, to carry these interviews and debates. The government should prohibit any other campaign ads on TV or Radio. This significantly reduces the amount of money required to carry on a successful campaign, and at the same time diminishes the impact of special interest contributions. It also gives the American people a venue from which to more accurately judge the merits of individual candidates. This would eliminate the current system in which the American public is forced to make a decision based almost entirely upon 30 second sound bytes. The public's decision should be made based on serious, in depth interviews and debates. The current 30 second sound byte mentality of the campaign means that the person who can raise the most money usually has the advantage. Raising money becomes a function of a candidates indebtedness to special interest groups, not their allegiance to the people. Governance by donation has led us in the wrong direction. Its time to remove the special interest money from the equation and place the election back in the hands of thinking people.
February 8, 2008 7:44 AM
Gerald, then everyone would run for office. The only thing restricting people from running now is money. Like it or not, that is the ONLY thing that can restrict people. If the system you mentioned was in place, I would run for President. Why not?
February 8, 2008 8:38 AM
twibi, Apparently you missed the operative word in my post. It was the word "Qualified" it read "....a series of nationally televised TV and radio debates and extended, one on one interviews for all qualified candidates." Believe it or not, anyone can run for president now. However not everyone can qualify for Federal matching funds currently available from the Federal Election Commission. Currently in order to qualify, a party must have received a certain benchmark percentage of the popular vote in a previous election. I think that benchmark is 5%.

February 8, 2008 9:13 AM
Yes, I saw the word qualified, but let's think it through all the way...

Your 5% figure is wrong; it has nothing to do with that. The only thing you have to do now is pay a fee to the FEC (~$3k) to become an official candidate. To get on the ballot of any particular state, you have to have enough signatures of people nominating you in that state. Most states it's around 3,500 signatures.

Now, from the macro view, what is required to both pay the fine and get the signatures? MONEY. You can't alert 3,500 people in every state without spending money. Doesn't happen.

Sorry, Gerald, but money is the only thing that drives elections and the only thing that CAN drive them.

The logistics of setting up a candidacy isn't free. And if all you had to do is get that far and then the FEC would do everything else, we'd have thousands of candidates in the race.
February 8, 2008 9:18 AM
Kindly research your statements before espousing that someone is wrong. If you will look at the fine print, for example the website "Campaign Financing: Highlights and Chronology of Current Federal Law" ( In case you have trouble finding the link

Under the heading "Public Funding" and I quote
"General election nominees: major party- eligible for funds equal to spending
limit; minor party - eligible for amount proportionate to votes in prior
elections vis-a-vis major party candidates; new party - eligible for retroactive
funding if they get at least 5% of the popular vote."
The whole idea is to make the raising of funds for a presidential or Congressional campaign not dependent upon one's wealth NOR upon one's ability to raise funds from special interests. Amending the current requirements to include something similar to those requirements which are now in effect in several states requiring voter signature drives rather than donation drives greatly reduces the dependency upon special interest monies. Such a requirement would become a more meaningful benchmark for a candidate's becoming qualified; that being actual voter participation. The effort required to assemble those voter signatures would also serve to discourage everyone from entering a race. But while the effort required to meet the benchmark to qualify would still be as difficult as it currently is, the replacement of voter signatures for special interest money would help bring the election, and thus the decision, back to one OF THE PEOPLE rather than as is currently the practice of one OF THE SPECIAL INTEREST.
February 8, 2008 10:15 AM
Dude... what the hell are you talking about?

Read the statement you are using. You are talking about retroactive funding which applies to a candidates received funds AFTER the election has ended. Look up the word retroaction in dictionary. That might be a better place to start from, in your case. I've worked with a number of local campaigns at the county level. I am well aware of FEC rules on national races as well. Most campaigns take out loans and repay those loans, if at all, AFTER the election or the primary period has ended. The FEC has a series of rules for how people can claim money. The idea is to limit everyone from piling on the cheap and getting money from the gov. The FEC wants to know that SOMEONE voted for you. That has nothing to do with a FUTURE campaign or the qualification for becoming a future candidate.

Figures... another liberal piecing together various loose ends to build an empty case.
February 8, 2008 10:55 AM
Your second mistake is in assuming that I'm a liberal. Far from it!

Your third mistake is in assuming that we have to apply old regulations to a potentially new set of regulations governing elections. You said I was wrong about my 5% figure. In response I simply pointed out that I was NOT wrong and gave you the reference to prove it. I was not implying anything regarding the old regulations. I was simply pointing out that you were mistaken about me being wrong concerning the 5% figure.
What many people are espousing is something which is not a liberal idea nor a conservative idea, but rather a level headed approach of how to return this nation's election debate to the issues surrounding the good of the nation and not the good of some narrow focused special interest. If you will listen, you will find that this is something that has been embraced by some forward thinking conservatives, who understand that the current special interest money is hurting the nation as a whole. The special interest money is the main reason fewer "Across the Isle" relationships are being forged. Everything now centers on the Party allegiance and the party's ability to raise money. In reality our politicians go to Washington to carry the Party's agenda regardless of the wishes or interests of the people. When our politicians tell us that they are going to Washington to Let Washington know what we want, what they are really saying is that they are taking the power we gave them to Washington to endorse and help elevate the party's interest which is now in the interest of the special interest and not necessarily in the best interest of the Nation.

Again the strings imposed by the special interests and their willingness to donate large sums to the party surface and seek to limit one's ability to speak their mind. Joe Lieberman is a good case in point. Once he spoke his mind truthfully, the party bosses turned on him and sought to silence him. Thankfully the voters rejected the politics of slash and burn and re elected a good man.

The special interests' strangle hold over our political parties simply has to change. A real overhaul of our current election quagmire is long overdue. Your calling names in the dark will do little to illuminate the landscape nor rectify what has become a mistake for this country. We have allowed the special interest money to rob us of our voice as a nation. Special interests and especially party interests over rule logic and level headed thinking. Of course the special interests don't want a change in the current system. That would mitigate their influence and diminish their ability to transpose their narrow interest onto the party and thus onto the nation as a whole.
February 8, 2008 11:45 AM
"Forward thinking conservatives" like who? John McCain? Ha! He sort of defined for all of us what happens when you take away the Constitutional right to give money to the candidate of your choice. This situation just gets worse.

Why exactly are "across the isle" relationships a good thing? What have they produced for the conservative coalition that you are proud of as a fellow conservative? Education, campaign finance, illegal immigration - PLEASE let me know which has succeeded. No, the truth is that conservatives gave in and started acting like liberals (with old man McCain leading the way) and we GOT NOTHING DONE in over a decade in power.

(The reason I said you were wrong was not because there wasn't "some 5%" somewhere in the FEC's rulebook. It was because you were using it for the wrong thing. It has nothing to do with the point you were *originally* making)
February 8, 2008 11:50 AM
I will address you recanting of the conversation.
Here is a quotation from my earlier post:
"....Currently in order to qualify, a party must have received a certain benchmark percentage of the popular vote in a previous election. I think that benchmark is 5%"
And your reply:
"Your 5% figure is wrong;..."

My original statement clearly delineated the recipient as a PARTY not an individual, AND it was conditional upon a prior event( receiving 5% of the popular vote in a previous election).

Your attempt to re write the history of your own words reminds me of... well I won't even go there.

When I speak of forward thinking conservatives my friend Newt comes to mind. Seems as if he said our current system of elections is in need of an overhaul and seems as if he recommended some type of extended debate. Of course I suspect that he isn't conservative enough for you either. Lets face facts here. Across the isle relationships are all about eliminating gridlock. I oppose abortion with every fiber of my being; I hold the 2nd Amendment in very high regards; I want to make certain that my government secures the border first; I want to cut taxes; extend the tax cuts; I want to control immigration and eliminate illegal migration; I prefer a flat tax and eliminate the IRS; I want to eliminate the AMT; yet because I consider the gridlock that paralyzes our country to be a result of special interest money funneled into the Democratic party to be one of the things that is literally killing our country you take me to task? You obviously can't see the forest for the trees. Blind allegiance to conservatism ( Which I consider myself to be a true conservative as well) has the same detrimental effect as blind allegiance to liberalism. Not talking to the other side results in inaction at a time when precisely that approach is needed. The latest example of an "across the isle" relationship working for the greater good came just today in the form of the stimulus package. Of course since Democrats were in agreement that we need to take steps necessary to at least help in some small way to mitigate the effects of economic slowdown in somethings other than loose monetary policy ( Which in no small part helped precipitate the sub prime mess in the first place )I suppose their participation automatically made the end result "tainted" somehow in the mind of some conservatives. Exactly the mirror image of the Liberal colored variant of the closed minded problem we both seek to solve.
I stand my ground in my assertion that special interest money is one of the root causes of this nation's problems. I stand my ground in my assertion that the overhaul of the election system in in our best interest. The mechanics of that overhaul are obviously open to debate, but in my humble estimation money is the root of this evil
February 8, 2008 1:43 PM
Gerald, you still don't get it. Your recent reply is still wrong. It's not in a PREVIOUS election, it's the current election once it has PASSED.

And I didn't JUST say it was wrong. Finish the sentence. I said: "Your 5% figure is wrong; it has nothing to do with that". Notice that last clause -it makes all the difference. In fact, that's the ENTIRE POINT. What you are using is wrong for the point you are trying to make.

The whole issue with "special interest" money is that every donation from everywhere is for some special interest. If I write a check to Romney because I like him, I am basically saying I hope Romney wins so that he will govern as I WOULD LIKE him to. That's called a special interest. I am aware of the general meaning of the phrase, but it's tautological to say that money in politicals equals special interest. That's the point of contributing to YOUR guy. Trying to tie the hands of particularly-large entities (oil companies, law firms) doesn't work because it FIRST ties the hands of individuals like you and me.
February 8, 2008 1:49 PM
Remember the Golden Rule of politics: Whoever has the gold, makes the rules.

If the money comes from unions, they will call the shots. If from corporations, likewise. Same goes for any sort of special interests.

But of all the possible places from whence the money could come, and which therefore will be setting the rules, the VERY WORST POSSIBLE PLACE is the government. Why? Because the rules would be set by the two groups which MOST STRONGLY OPPOSE essential changes, namely, incumbents and bureaucrats.

The most conservative position on this issue is the one that Ron Paul is doing - Scragged even wrote about it earlier.

Namely: get your money, in any amount, from wherever you want to, but publish it clearly, plainly, and immediately on your website. That way we know which politicians have been bought by whom.
February 8, 2008 2:01 PM
Two comments come to mind, not mine but rather those of others:


If the conservative movement is to survive, then change is inevitable. We must change the mindset of big government in Washington. We must summon the courage to face problems head on and seek real solutions wherever they may be. Not simply parrot the by lines and talking points of special interests who fund our party.
February 8, 2008 4:52 PM

I think you still miss the point of the article. The 1st Amendment bars the limitations of free speech. In particular, it means free POLITICAL speech. The rules and regulations you stipulate are an abridgment of that liberty.

As for federal funding of candidates: we always must go back to the "rules of the game." I cannot find in the Constitution any provision for the federal funding of elections. It doesn't exist. The premise is faulty to begin with. If you wish to discuss the need for federal funding of elections, we can do so, but it must be done in context of a constitutional amendment. Otherwise, we're going beyond the bounds set--we're breaking the rules.

I'll give another example. Everybody has "house rules" for Monopoly. For instance, there's the "free parking rule." This isn't a real game rule, but many play by it. But because you play by that rule, doesn't mean you're playing by THE rules. Most of what the federal government does today, from Social Security, to campaign finance laws are "house rules", not official rules.

Checking the premise means going back and reading the official rules. If it's not there, it's not there.
February 9, 2008 9:43 AM
So what you are saying is that the current practice of the Federal Government funding Federal elections through the Federal Election Commission and providing funds to candidates is Unconstitutional? I hardly think so!
February 9, 2008 11:05 PM

Please quote chapter and verse of the Constitution authorizing public monies to be used by candidates running for federal office. If you're going to debate the point, let's start with a reference to the rules...
February 9, 2008 11:11 PM
I'd like to add to my last comment...

Just because the federal government HAS been doing something, and the courts have "allowed" it, doesn't mean it's a constitutional thing to do.

The other point I'd like to make is that even if it was constitutional it may be the wrong thing to do. Prohibition is a great example. As is Dredd Scott. And a more current example is Roe vs. Wade (speaking from a legal/constitutional argument, not a morality of abortion argument. It's important to make the distinction).

And all of this leads back to the point of the article. We must go back and make sure the premise is sound before we accept the discussion about the finer points.
February 9, 2008 11:15 PM
Just because the United States Constitution doesn't specifically authorize something doesn't mean that it is unconstitutional. The Courts have held that the current funding arrangements designed to fund certain qualified party nominees in Federal Presidential elections are legal and Constitutional. Your claims that since they weren't specifically authorized by the Constitution makes them illegal, by the same token and same (flawed ) logic would make airline safety regulations unconstitutional, since there was no such thing as air travel when the Constitution was written and no such regulations were specifically authorized.

What I am saying is that the infiltration of special interest money into our election process has made a mockery of that very process. Something needs to be done to clean it up. The extraordinary need to raise money to fund a presidential campaign is based upon the need to fund media campaigns, especially television and radio ads. In addition, the proliferation of the 30 second sound byte, which is so typical of todays television and radio campaigns, is not giving the American voter the information necessary to make an informed decision. A much better approach would be to prohibit political ads on the public airwaves paid for by presidential campaigns just like we prohibit ads on the public airways for cigarettes. Then let the Federal government fund an extensive series of in depth debates in which the "qualified" candidates (Including the 2 major party nominees) would have the opportunity to share with the voters a much more detailed view of their positions. This would solve both problems at the same time; eliminate voting decisions based on 30 second sound bytes, and reduce the influence of special interest groups in presidential elections. Of course there are lots of people who have some sort of a vested interest in maintaining the status quo, and wouldn't want any type of reform enacted.
February 9, 2008 11:36 PM
Gerald said "Just because the United States Constitution doesn't specifically authorize something doesn't mean that it is unconstitutional"

This is why I gave up debating him on this thread. You can only convince someone of the truth if they understand the correct premise to begin with. I believe Scragged had a recent article called "Don't Accept The Premise" that sort of touches on this.
February 10, 2008 12:35 PM
No Twibi, You gave up because a lot of the statements you would have us take as unquestionable, upon closer inspection, seem to have lots of imperfections and cavities incapable of holding water.

Your position that full disclosure of where each candidates' contributions originate; in other words the common knowledge of which special interest is backing which candidate is somehow going to cleanse the election process of the ills that many now see as epidemic in that process is simply fantasy. If that were the case, as you imply, then Ron Paul would be garnering much higher than single digit support in the primaries. Full disclosure of the origins of his campaign contributions hasn't seemed to work for Ron Paul. Can you explain that in light of your previous assertions that full disclosure would somehow cure the process? Certainly full disclosure of the origins of special interest money will in no way steer the debate away from the problems associated with elections decisions made on the basis of 30 second sound bytes. Full disclosure will do nothing to wrestle power from the hands of the special interest groups who have sufficient resources to continue their unhealthy level of influence. We need to let the voter make their decisions based on a true understanding of the facts, not merely a sense of who has the best ad agencies capable of crafting the very catchiest slogans. A good case in point is the "slogan" that McCain didn't support the Bush Tax Cuts. Well the real reason he didn't is because he had sponsored his own version of similar tax cuts, but the critical difference was that his bill stipulated certain spending custs be implemented as well. Now, the rest of the story, as Paul Harvey would say, comes several years later when our National Debt has risen to over 9 trillion dollars from just over 5 trillion when Clinton left office. When the massive infusions of foreign capital necessary to support this huge financial obligation and attracting sufficient funds needed to keep it financed are having tremendous impacts upon such things as our underlying credit worthiness in the eyes of these foreign capital markets. The relative strength of the dollar against the Yen, Yuan, Euro and others is indicative of this underlying economic illness.

And this is just one example of why you suddenly realize the importance of allowing the voters to see more than the 30 second version of the issue. Both Bush and McCain were right; the tax cuts were needed. But in hindsight we can recognize that McCain's insistence upon spending cuts being implemented in order to avoid the problems we would face down the road when our National Debt almost doubled, were correct. Now, would you rather have the voters hearing the whole story, or just the 30 second version of "John McCain voted against the Bush Tax cuts"? Obviously the 30 second version leaves much to be desired. It leaves out much of the information necessary to make an informed decision.

And this is but one of many examples of where the voter is being led in the wrong direction by the 30 second sound byte in our election process. I feel that if people were able to hear the rest of the story, many more would understand the underlying wisdom of the conservative movement. Many more would come to understand the necessity of understanding more then the 30 second, ad agency, crafty, often deceptive slogan.

The 30 second slogan sound byte in our election process has been bad for the country. A move toward a longer debate process or a series of one-on-one discussions with each candidate would serve our purpose much better. The 30 second sound byte mentality, and its necessary evil of selling the candidates very soul to special interests in order to raise the massive amounts of money necessary to successfully wage such a campaign is so intertwined as to make it almost impossible to separate the two. But if the conservative movement is to survive and grow, separate them we must. We must have some way of allowing more of the independents and some democrats to hear the whole story. We simply are allowing the ad agencies, and special interests to pain the conservative movement as evil. More people must be able to hear the rest of the story, the entire story. Only then will those people be able to understand the necessity of leading this country in the conservative direction.

Twibi, I am sorry you can't see the bigger picture here and are so hung up on semantics as to miss the larger point entirely. You were mistaken in calling me a liberal early on in this debate. As I politely pointed out, calling names is not a solution nor is it an effective debating tool. Arguing over whether the 5% figure existed, or whether the constitution allows the FEC to fund presidential campaigns misses the point entirely. Its time to look at the big picture in terms of our election process. Newt said it well in his call for change. His proposals are well founded. Unless more people recognize the dangers in allowing highly focused special interest groups to govern, and unless more people call for a change, then I'm afraid our country will suffer.
February 10, 2008 2:03 PM

I see you are right. Gerald, however well intentioned, doesn't see the tree for the forest, or the forest for the trees. He's looking at the many branches and twigs...

Gerald - I don't disagree with your analysis of the problem. But in relation to the post, you miss the point entirely. The point is that we have got into the position we're in precisely because we didn't stick to the original premise...which was government censorship of people through the restriction of the use of funds. Who benefited from the funds restriction? Those who wrote the rules. A first principles argument is that we don't restrict individual liberty. A constitutional viewpoint states that we allow individuals to give as much as they want, just be transparent about it. I'd argue we also allow unions, corporations, etc., to also give as much as they like. That we know exactly who's bought and paid for who. Simple, cheap and very effective.

There are no debates about who are Ron Paul's contributors, but there are about Clinton, Obama, McCain, and even Romney (who's blasted for using his OWN money--is he bribing himself into office).

But the point still remains - don't accept the premise of government intervention in political speech. It's simply not allowed.
February 10, 2008 5:03 PM
Yes, exactly. He just drinks the Kool Aid and is mad that the rest of us don't want a taste.

I love comments like this "The relative strength of the dollar against the indicative of this underlying illness". The Japanese deficit is roughly TWICE that of the United States and growing. Add to that - concerns over real labor shortage as opposed to fake labor shortages that liberals (and John McCain) tell us exist here in the US.

Where to begin, where to begin...
February 10, 2008 8:02 PM
You know it really amazes me that all these people that call themself "conservative" (like John McCain, or Olympia Snowe, or our friend Gerald here) time and time again prefer to have the government decide what is politically fair.

They say they're conservative, and yet at the very same time they throw away conservative principles because they "won't work" for this or that. Remember the Gang of 14?

You had an outstanding article on Romney recently where you talked about the GOP needing to look at what it truly is and what it truly stands for.

Here is the internet address:

The bottom half is well said. Are we (the "Repbulicans") really that anymore? Do we stand for conservative principles or do we wonder out to sea with McCain and company and let centrist and libertarians completely redefine who we are?

So far, we are losing the battle. On one side, the libertarians have stripped away issue of morality and what the founders truly meant about the church and state. On the other hand, we have centrists telling us that "we're just like them".... only we need to sprinkle a little government regulation here or there to "correct" something.

Gerald has opened our eyes here, because he has shown us where the GOP is going, whether we like it or not.

Your article on Reagan's Mantle also sort of fits what I'm trying to point out.
February 10, 2008 8:24 PM
Lots of people in the conservative movement wouldn't turn a hand to encourage a true conservative to enter the race. They sat all fat and happy in their complacency thinking that the Republican rank & file would lock step behind then in the end. And now when the majority of republican voters are coming to the harsh realization that a Hillary win or an Obama win are real possibilities, some conservatives cry foul. The majority of the republican rank & file find either of the 2 Democrats terribly unpalatable. So much so that they choose to vote for the most electable candidate in order to try and salvage the presidency. To put it another way, while Rome Burned the conservatives fiddled. And now I hear some of those very conservatives threaten that if McCain is nominated that they will support Hillary or they will support Obama. What cry babies you are! I am far more conservative than any of you! I could never support a liberal. I have the foresight to realize that given the decline of the conservative viewpoint in the political arena, that the next best thing is a president that is at least 95% conservative. And short of that as a viable option, I would rather choose someone who is only 90% conservative, rather than have someone who is 100% Liberal. The cry babies who threaten to take their vote and go home have no one to blame except themselves. The were asleep at the wheel, and allowed this situation to develop. The Republicans are going to win this election, make no mistake about that! But they are going to win it, not because of what we as conservatives do, or what our fellow Republicans who are more centrist do, but rather because of what the Democratic leadership is poised to do. Sit back and watch children and you will learn an important lesson in politics.

But be fore warned you cry babies out there; unless we move to educate our populace on the need for conservative values, the 2008 election could easily bring us the last republican president we will see for some time to come. Unless we move away from the election by 30 second sound byte, and the election being defined by a candidates success in fund raising, we are going to see some cloudy days in our future as conservatives. Hopefully the leaders in the Republican party won't be asleep at the wheel on this issue. The conservative wing was asleep at the wheel regarding a viable candidate and you see what a mess that has turned out to be. Hopefully they won't allow the Democratic party to once again prosper. I'm am probably more conservative than any of the people who have stooped to calling me names on this forum. I am sorry that you are so focused on McCain and his pedigree that you can't see the bigger picture. I'm sorry that your short sightedness and lack of understanding forces you to begin name calling.
February 10, 2008 10:40 PM
"And now when the majority of republican voters are coming to the harsh realization that a Hillary win or an Obama win are real possibilities, some conservatives cry foul"

I don't understand what this means. Conservatives are saying *what* is foul? That Hillary or Obama cheated?
February 11, 2008 8:12 AM
Lfon, it doesn't mean anything.

Up a few comments, you'll notice I said "piecing together various loose ends to build an empty case".
February 11, 2008 9:04 AM
Oh, and as for "name calling", sorry if you don't like it, but I'm just calling it like it is.

When I call someone "liberal" it's because they are saying things that are not conservative. "Being conservative" isn't defined as holding a GOP voting card or that you may have voted for one Republican in your life. It's viewpoint on how you see government. There are obviously variations in conservativism like there are variations in Christianity or Islam or any other ideology. But you cannot reject the core doctrine of conservatism and still claim you are one. Sorry, doesn't work.

Like Garison said, is is especially offensive that centrists have commandeered the GOP and now presume to tell the rest of us what we really are.

Someone once said, if you can't stand the heat...
February 11, 2008 9:09 AM
It's not my idea, but it's a good one: it's time to stop using the word "liberal" to describe socialists/leftists. They've co-opted a good word. Call them what they are - socialists, or leftists, or communists.

(I don't think Gerald is a socialist, or leftist or communist - I think he's mis-informed and doesn't quite understand the principles of federal government as written into the Constitution. I'd recommend he begin reading and studying the Federalist Papers, which are available online with a little looking).
February 12, 2008 5:00 PM
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