Paul: Social issues are a loser in the election

posted at 10:25 am on February 20, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Yesterday on CNN’s State of the Union, Candy Crowley asked Ron Paul about the new focus in national politics on social issues and whether a national debate focusing on them would help Republicans in November.  Paul called it a “losing position,” but neglects to mention  that he has campaigned on his opposition to abortion at least since the Ames straw poll, an omission caught by CNS News:

“Do you–are you uncomfortable–certainly Rick Santorum is the one who has been in the forefront of some of this talk on social issues, but there have been others in the race,” Crowley asked Paul. “Are you uncomfortable with this talk about social issues? Do you consider it a winning area for Republicans in November?”

“No,” said Paul. “I think it’s a losing position.

“I mean, I talk about it because I have a precise understanding of how difficult problems are to be solved,” Paul continued. “And they’re not to be at the national level. We’re not supposed to nationalize these problems. The founders were very clear that problems like this, if there needs to be legislation of sorts, the state has the right to write the legislation that they so choose. And that solves a lot of our problems.”

Back on Dec. 19, Paul signed the “Personhood Pledge” published by PersonhoodUSA. This pledge says in part: “I stand with President Ronald Reagan in supporting ‘the unalienable personhood of every American, from the moment of conception until natural death,’ and with the Republican Party platform in affirming that I ‘support a human life amendment to the Constitution, and endorse legislation to make clear that the 14th Amendment protections apply to unborn children.”

The current context of the debate on social issues hinges on federal mandates, a point which Paul acknowledges in this interview.  Why would that be a loser?  It’s practically the entire context of his campaign — reducing the power of federal government to issue the kind of mandates like the HHS mandate for employers to essentially provide free contraception to their employees.  Tying that in with social issues should make the argument stronger, at least if it’s handled correctly.

Matt Lewis argues that not only is Paul wrong, but history shows that Republicans do well when social issues are in play:

As Jeffrey Bell’s forthcoming book (per the Wall Street Journal’s review) notes,

“Social issues were nonexistent in the period 1932 to 1964. … The Republican Party won two presidential elections out of nine, and they had the Congress for all of four years in that entire period.

“. . . When social issues came into the mix—I would date it from the 1968 election . . . the Republican Party won seven out of 11 presidential elections.”

(Emphasis mine.)

As much as moderate Republicans and cosmopolitan conservatives might lament the resurrection of the culture wars (which were foisted upon us, and appear to have been rekindled once again by liberal overreach), they were electorally fruitful for the GOP.

What is more, the notion that running on the economy (what Mr. Romney presumably seems comfortable doing) is a panacea, is dubious. The economy appears to be recovering (at least, the unemployment rate is dropping), a point which will obviously make it harder, should the trend continue, to oust Obama.

Even more to the point, history does not seem indicate that a struggling economy — regardless of who is to blame — or who currently occupies the White House — will benefit the Republican candidate in a general election. (This, of course, is controversial. Jimmy Carter’s handling of the economy was surely one cause of his 1980 defeat, but would he have been defeated had it not been for the Iranian hostages?)

If the economy starts heating up — which the CBO, among many others, predicts won’t happen — the election will have to hinge on larger, basic issues of limited power and Obama’s overreach.  If we shy away from challenging Obama on those positions now, we probably won’t have a candidate willing to do it in November.


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Yet another reason to never vote for Ron Paul.

Stoic Patriot on February 20, 2012 at 10:27 AM

Herr Doktor is probably correct.

Given that we are about 5 minutes from becoming a greece style cultural and economic basket case, social issues are going to have to take a back seat.

CorporatePiggy on February 20, 2012 at 10:27 AM

Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Irritable Pundit on February 20, 2012 at 10:28 AM

I’m not really interested in a birth control election. Aspirin or not.

hanzblinx on February 20, 2012 at 10:29 AM

Social issues are a losing ticket and so is Rick Santorum.

ObamatheMessiah on February 20, 2012 at 10:30 AM

From a man well acquainted with losing in national races.

swinia sutki on February 20, 2012 at 10:31 AM

But are they?

Yes, they are. America is in no mood to fight a culture war.

rubberneck on February 20, 2012 at 10:31 AM

I’m not really interested in a birth control election. Aspirin or not.

hanzblinx on February 20, 2012 at 10:29 AM

What about an overreaching federal government election? It’s how you frame the debate. Santorum talks about these issues within the context of the federal government taking away rights from individuals and religious institutions. That’s a winning argument with most of the electorate. Especially if it’s tied into Obamacare which remains unpopular with most voters.

Doughboy on February 20, 2012 at 10:31 AM

“Do you–are you uncomfortable–certainly Rick Santorum is the one who has been in the forefront of some of this talk on social issues, but there have been others in the race,” Crowley asked Paul. “Are you uncomfortable with this talk about social issues? Do you consider it a winning area for Republicans in November?”

Correct answer: The media is trying to make this election about social issues to take the attention away from Obama and his failed economic policies.

Duh.

Fallon on February 20, 2012 at 10:32 AM

He’s right.

jake-the-goose on February 20, 2012 at 10:32 AM

Get off the social issues now, until after the election. We highlighted JugEars over-reach…Now! It’s the economy stupid!

KOOLAID2 on February 20, 2012 at 10:32 AM

We face a tough call. We can keep stop financing our army, as Ron Paul suggests, or we can keep financing the Chinese army, as other candidates want.

Archivarix on February 20, 2012 at 10:34 AM

There needs to be two conservative parties. One for people who believe they can telepathically communicate with deities, and a party for the rest who are trying simply to communicate with Americans to save the country from becoming even more socialist and less free.

keep the change on February 20, 2012 at 10:34 AM

He’s right as far as, “Social issues are a loser in the election”. I don’t give a rat’s a$$.

It’s the economy and national security, STUPIDS.

tree hugging sister on February 20, 2012 at 10:36 AM

If the economy starts heating up — which the CBO, among many others, predicts won’t happen — the election will have to hinge on larger, basic issues of limited power and Obama’s overreach. If we shy away from challenging Obama on those positions now, we probably won’t have a candidate willing to do it in November.

That’s all fine and dandy… Arguing the basic merits of Contraception has nothing to do with Obama’s overreach… Rick will fall for this trap every time.

Besides. Rick’s problem is more than just being a social conservative. It’s that he’s just as willing as Obama to trample on freedom and liberty.

He believes in liberty right up until he doesn’t…

Critic2029 on February 20, 2012 at 10:37 AM

Which is exactly why The Won issued this stupid mandate, to change the conversation from his failure to subjects not high on the average person’s problems

Cindy Munford on February 20, 2012 at 10:37 AM

Yes, they are. America is in no mood to fight a culture war.

rubberneck on February 20, 2012 at 10:31 AM

The democrats have created a culture dependcy which for all intents and purposes has bankrupted the nation. You can’t talk about fiscal sanity without addressing it.

darwin on February 20, 2012 at 10:38 AM

Yeah, Ed, we should concentrate on social issues.

Forget the economy.

mockmook on February 20, 2012 at 10:38 AM

The dreaded auto load player.

The National election will be about the economy. It will not be sidetracked by social issues. The left will try to make it the narrative. Santorum so far it seems is all to willing to let them spring the trap. As the General arrives if he is the nom, he needs to table social issues until after his win. Who ever the nom is, this would be prudent advice to follow. Focus in on 0′s biggest economic weakness and we will win. Get distracted and our game will suffer.

Bmore on February 20, 2012 at 10:39 AM

The democrats have created a culture dependcy which for all intents and purposes has bankrupted the nation. You can’t talk about fiscal sanity without addressing it.

darwin on February 20, 2012 at 10:38 AM

culture of dependency

darwin on February 20, 2012 at 10:39 AM

The current context of the debate on social issues hinges on federal mandates, a point which Paul acknowledges in this interview. Why would that be a loser? It’s practically the entire context of his campaign — reducing the power of federal government to issue the kind of mandates like the HHS mandate for employers to essentially provide free contraception to their employees. Tying that in with social issues should make the argument stronger, at least if it’s handled correctly.

I agree. Every time Obama or the media bring up contraception all the Republican candidate has to do is hammer them with the unpopular Obama mandate (as well as Obamacare and big government overreach), they will stop asking about it after a while.

neuquenguy on February 20, 2012 at 10:39 AM

The media will highlight social issues all day long to avoid bringing up our race to economic suicide that is being forwarded by this administration.

The debt is coming one way or the other for the massive expansion of government set in place by the New Deal and pushed by democrats ever since. They know this and count on us not caring about it.

DanMan on February 20, 2012 at 10:39 AM

Gyuuhh. Oh gawd, I can’t believe I agree with him, BUT… he is right.

traye on February 20, 2012 at 10:40 AM

Correct answer: The media is trying to make this election about social issues to take the attention away from Obama and his failed economic policies.

Duh.

Fallon on February 20, 2012 at 10:32 AM

Yes… and choosing a candidate than cannot resist the bait is the smart choice. This stupid debate on the merits of contraception was completely avoidable, but Rick couldn’t resist it.

Critic2029 on February 20, 2012 at 10:40 AM

coming due

DanMan on February 20, 2012 at 10:40 AM

Social issues, generally, are not necessarily losers in a campaign…it depends on the messenger and how they talk about them. That’s Santorum’s problem…he’s seen as a theocrat interested in shoving his own morality down other people’s throats.

changer1701 on February 20, 2012 at 10:41 AM

I agree. Every time Obama or the media bring up contraception all the Republican candidate has to do is hammer them with the unpopular Obama mandate (as well as Obamacare and big government overreach), they will stop asking about it after a while.

neuquenguy on February 20, 2012 at 10:39 AM

But that is not what Santorum is doing, or will. He can’t wait to debate the merits of contraception themselves. The morality of the Pill will not win elections…

Critic2029 on February 20, 2012 at 10:41 AM

Which is exactly why The Won issued this stupid mandate, to change the conversation from his failure to subjects not high on the average person’s problems

Cindy Munford on February 20, 2012 at 10:37 AM

I think it can backfire Cindy. This keeps Obamacare at the forefront just when people were starting to get resigned to it or forget about it.

neuquenguy on February 20, 2012 at 10:41 AM

Yet another reason to never vote for Ron Paul.

Stoic Patriot on February 20, 2012 at 10:27 AM

I could see how you wouldn’t want to vote for someone who was kicking your dumb ass all over the landscape.

Correct answer: The media is trying to make this election about social issues to take the attention away from Obama and his failed economic policies.

Duh.

Fallon on February 20, 2012 at 10:32 AM

Dingdingding! That is the CORRECT answer!

It’s already going to be an uphill battle with the pack of clowns we have to pick from for a candidate…let the libtards make this election about social issues and we’re toast.

MelonCollie on February 20, 2012 at 10:42 AM

The current context of the debate on social issues hinges on federal mandates, a point which Paul acknowledges in this interview. Why would that be a loser?

Because it is a constant reminder to gays, to suburban housewives, to single women, of the social issues (not just abortion) of why they hate the GOP, despite of their pro-capitalism, pro-defense, pro-local-governance stances.

It’s a loser narrative Ed. We talk about the economy, we win. Nobody is going to go to the mat (outside of the manatee now heading the DNC) defending this POTUS on the economy. But the Frothenator, by all indications, now wants to take the GOP’s eye off of the economic ball (largely because his insipid economic plan is rightly despised by both movement and academic conservatives), and instead talk about things like birth control, because it plays well in the furthest right wings of the GOP.

And nowhere… and I mean NOWHERE… else.

People will actually go to the mat defending Obama over birth control, if their only other option is some Right-wing washout telling them that birth control destroys society. It’s an argument that was over… well, frankly, it’s been over my entire lifetime.

Where exactly is the political upside in letting this become the narrative?

JohnGalt23 on February 20, 2012 at 10:42 AM

Social positions aren’t “loser” issues.

Stupid positions and statements on social issues are losers.

Candidates need to be candid about their personal views, and they need to draw clear and rational distinctions between personal views and political policies that voters can understand and will accept when personal views diverge from them. For example, being opposed to abortion and risky sexual practices doesn’t necessarily translate into opposition to contraception.

Voters in this cycle will be turned off by candidates posing as something they aren’t. They will be reassured by candidates who stand by their beliefs.

novaculus on February 20, 2012 at 10:42 AM

It shows how weak your argument is when you have to re-define social issues as “mandates”.

Elections are decided by the economy – especially when most of the voters aren’t doing well. If the election is about the economy, Obama loses. If the election is about culture wars, Obama will win – and even worse, the GOP will be destroyed down-ticket in some parts of the country.

And anyone who believes that the election of 1980, 1984, 1988 and 2000 were about social issues is either lying or dealing with acute memory problems.

joana on February 20, 2012 at 10:42 AM

Wow. Nice jinjitsu there Ed to back up your boy. But a 3rd grader could see right through. Paul is not commenting solely on mandates for insurance coverage in Religious groups. He is making a general statement. They need to talk about the economy and government over reach. If they focus on social issues ala Santorum, they’re done.

Zaggs on February 20, 2012 at 10:43 AM

Can we stop it with the auto-player of doom Ed?

CorporatePiggy on February 20, 2012 at 10:43 AM

That’s all fine and dandy… Arguing the basic merits of Contraception has nothing to do with Obama’s overreach… Rick will fall for this trap every time.

Besides. Rick’s problem is more than just being a social conservative. It’s that he’s just as willing as Obama to trample on freedom and liberty.

He believes in liberty right up until he doesn’t…

Critic2029 on February 20, 2012 at 10:37 AM

Yep, it’s a measure of just how shameful Romney is that he makes Anthony Comstock, Jr. look good.

ebrown2 on February 20, 2012 at 10:43 AM

But that is not what Santorum is doing, or will. He can’t wait to debate the merits of contraception themselves. The morality of the Pill will not win elections…

Critic2029 on February 20, 2012 at 10:41 AM

I am not sure that is a fair assessment. In fact so far during this election I have heard him discuss Obamacare and the mandate rather than the merits of contraception.

neuquenguy on February 20, 2012 at 10:44 AM

Crowley asked Paul, “Are you uncomfortable with this talk about social issues?”

Ron Paul is uncomfortable with the talk about foreign policy issues. And if you really want to see Paul squirm, just talk about his old newsletters.

Emperor Norton on February 20, 2012 at 10:45 AM

The biggest Republican victories in the last 40 years were in 1980, 1994 and 2010. All of those elections were about: economy, economy, economy and Washington being on the way of wealth-creation.

This is why nominating a culture warrior who’s been in Washington for 25 years with a pro-unions voting record isn’t such a good idea.

joana on February 20, 2012 at 10:45 AM

Social issues: Paul(is) a loser in the election

J-Paul00 on February 20, 2012 at 10:46 AM

Yeah, Ed, we should concentrate on social issues.

Forget the economy.

mockmook on February 20, 2012 at 10:38 AM

One other thing. Why is it not possible to talk about more than one issue? Can a candidate not discuss the economy AND pay lip service to social issues? Or are they only allowed to focus on one topic for the entire election?

Doughboy on February 20, 2012 at 10:46 AM

This explains why the Libertarian Party is so successful.

/

mankai on February 20, 2012 at 10:46 AM

Social issues have their place, but not front and center where soc-cons tend to put them.

jeanie on February 20, 2012 at 10:47 AM

They will be reassured by candidates who stand by their beliefs.

novaculus on February 20, 2012 at 10:42 AM

Yeah, they will be reassured that the morals sherriff shouldn’t be within 500 miles of the White House.

BettyRuth on February 20, 2012 at 10:47 AM

What all you “my wallet” narcissists will come to understand is a) the campaign is about both fiscal and social, and b) those issues feed on each other.

Think about America first and you will realize that the winning strategy is to win both fights once and for all.

platypus on February 20, 2012 at 10:48 AM

Voter from WA State on February 20, 2012 at 10:43 AM

I’m growing a bit pessimistic with the American people. Far too many of them believe that Obama’s stash is going to take care of them. I don’t think they get the correlation that his stash use to be their’s. But ain’t he cool!

Cindy Munford on February 20, 2012 at 10:49 AM

Yes Ed, Santorum arguing the value of contraception is in no way a loser for us in this election.

If he would keep it to the merits of the mandate, then maybe this social issue could play to our advantage. But Santorum just doesn’t have it in him: it isn’t the mandate, it’s the contraception that’s the core evil in this debate. I’m sure that if Obama mandated that contraception was illegal and no one could use it, that Santorum would be jumping in agreement with him.

That’s Santorum’s Achilles Everything in this campaign. His bread and butter issues are relics of an older era in politics. Our problems right now are debt, deficits and the economy. We can’t depend on Santorum to not fall into every social issue landmine that’s thrown in front of him willingly.

WealthofNations on February 20, 2012 at 10:49 AM

Social issues: Paul(is) a loser in the election

J-Paul00 on February 20, 2012 at 10:46 AM

Yes, you are.

mankai on February 20, 2012 at 10:46 AM

The Libertarian Party and the GOP have one thing in common: they both need to do some major housecleaning. The former needs to drop-kick the stoner contingent and the closet anarchists to the curb, while the GOP is long past due to tell those hung up on social issues to take a hike.

MelonCollie on February 20, 2012 at 10:50 AM

Oh yeah… RP is a has-been inside-the-beltway hack. So there’s that.

platypus on February 20, 2012 at 10:50 AM

Americans don’t want the government to be in charge of pregnancy.

Only fools believe otherwise.

Moesart on February 20, 2012 at 10:50 AM

There was a time when social issues was a winning issue for the GOP but now the Dems are better at lying that social issues are just women rights. They message better by lying that to the GOP social issues want you back in the 13th century dying on the floor.

tjexcite on February 20, 2012 at 10:50 AM

Paul:

We’re not supposed to nationalize these problems. The founders were very clear that problems like this, if there needs to be legislation of sorts, the state has the right to write the legislation that they so choose. And that solves a lot of our problems.”

There’s the answer. It’s a loser. The feds have no business butting into people’s personal lives.

EconomicNeocon on February 20, 2012 at 10:50 AM

On Social issues, it’s the Libertines who are the tyrants. They don’t want NC or AL or MT to decide on their own social policy, they want to impose their views on the states.

At least the Marriage Amendment people want to use the Amendment process (which is constitutional and which has a very high bar). The Libertines want things decriminalized by fiat. When they do talk of states’ rights, they fully support a state’s ability to decriminalize everything, but they aren’t so big on a state’s right to criminalize what its citizens want criminalized via its state legislature.

mankai on February 20, 2012 at 10:50 AM

We face a tough call. We can keep stop financing our army, as Ron Paul suggests, or we can keep financing the Chinese army, as other candidates want.

Archivarix on February 20, 2012 at 10:34 AM

When this government is borrowing 40% of everything it spends (Defense included), financing our army is financing the PLA.

JohnGalt23 on February 20, 2012 at 10:51 AM

How old is Ron Paul? 90?

Eph on February 20, 2012 at 10:51 AM

This explains why the Libertarian Party is so successful.

mankai on February 20, 2012 at 10:46 AM

Perhaps because they don’t get any of the banking and lobbying money?

Archivarix on February 20, 2012 at 10:51 AM

Actually, the very first thing Paul says is that he himself has spoken on these issues, but that they are state matters, not to generate more national control over citizen lives. So I’m not sure why you suggest he is being hypocritical. Clearly he was speaking of the birth control pill stuff. Abortions are different, that is killing someone.

windwardtack on February 20, 2012 at 10:52 AM

Oh yeah… RP is a has-been inside-the-beltway hack. So there’s that.

platypus on February 20, 2012 at 10:50 AM

Senator Frothy = Lobbyist.

You don’t get much more inside-the-beltway hackery than that.

JohnGalt23 on February 20, 2012 at 10:52 AM

Perhaps because they don’t get any of the banking and lobbying money?

Archivarix on February 20, 2012 at 10:51 AM

What is it with you and the bankster money?

JohnGalt23 on February 20, 2012 at 10:53 AM

He’s right.

jake-the-goose on February 20, 2012 at 10:32 AM

Well you sold me./

CW on February 20, 2012 at 10:54 AM

At least the Marriage Amendment people want to use the Amendment process (which is constitutional and which has a very high bar). The Libertines want things decriminalized by fiat. When they do talk of states’ rights, they fully support a state’s ability to decriminalize everything, but they aren’t so big on a state’s right to criminalize what its citizens want criminalized via its state legislature.

mankai on February 20, 2012 at 10:50 AM

We need a basic IQ test when signing up for an account. You have it the other way around, dude! When fed decriminalizes stuff, states are free to criminalize it right back.

Archivarix on February 20, 2012 at 10:54 AM

The Libertarian Party and the GOP have one thing in common: they both need to do some major housecleaning. The former needs to drop-kick the stoner contingent and the closet anarchists to the curb, while the GOP is long past due to tell those hung up on social issues to take a hike.

MelonCollie on February 20, 2012 at 10:50 AM

If the Libertarians drop kick the stoners and the anarchists, there won’t be much left of their party.

And the GOP needs to kick the intolerant “my-sins-are-okay” bunch to the curb. If they don’t like moral clarity and conservative moral standards, then they need to get out of the GOP.

When the tea party is done with the GOP, it will look like real America again and will behave that way.

platypus on February 20, 2012 at 10:54 AM

There is a reason the Libertarian mindset is growing so fast.

People are SICK of other people telling them how to run their lives.

jake-the-goose on February 20, 2012 at 10:55 AM

What is it with you and the bankster money?

JohnGalt23 on February 20, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Because that’s how the elections down the ticket line are won and lost. I wish it were the other way, like having to pass a simple IQ test before getting to vote, but as long as it doesn’t, money will trump liberty on popular vote.

Archivarix on February 20, 2012 at 10:56 AM

A focus on social issues (abortion, contraception, gay marriage, ad infinitum) in November will guarantee defeat. The primary focus should be on JOBS – how to get them back, how to create them, and how to keep them. Without a job to provide for your family, everything else is secondary. I’m not saying be silent on social issues but don’t push social issues ahead of JOBS. And don’t fall into the media’s trap of talking about abortion and contraception when it’s Obamacare’s mandate that attacks religious freedoms!

Bob in VA on February 20, 2012 at 10:56 AM

Well you sold me./

CW on February 20, 2012 at 10:54 AM

That is a great reply to my short input – (the phone rang). I laughed.

See my 10:55am post – thanks for the laugh.

jake-the-goose on February 20, 2012 at 10:56 AM

The Libertarian Party and the GOP have one thing in common: they both need to do some major housecleaning. The former needs to drop-kick the stoner contingent and the closet anarchists to the curb, while the GOP is long past due to tell those hung up on social issues to take a hike.

MelonCollie on February 20, 2012 at 10:50 AM

AND I will repeat “that is why the libertarian party is so successful.”

Really- are you that thick?

CW on February 20, 2012 at 10:57 AM

Since when is First Amendment religious liberty a social issue?

Conservatives need to hit back–HARD–on the meme that the contraceptive issue is an access issue. Bullshite.

Here’s my contribution:
In the case of an insurance plan provided by a Catholic institution, would a woman be denied an appointment with a gynecologist? No.

Would the Catholic institution somehow be permitted to prohibit an employee’s gynecologist from prescribing any form of contraception? No.

Would the Catholic institution somehow be permitted to prohibit an employee from purchasing a prescribed form of contraception from a pharmacist or, in the alternative, whould the Catholic institution somehow be permitted to prohibit a pharmacy from selling a prescribed form of contraception to one of the institution’s employees? In both situations, No.

So, where is there a denial of access? And if the response is that the loss of access results from an inability to pay, why is this benefit being provided to women without any reference to their wherewithal to pay? Has there been an unreported national crisis of women forgoing contraception because they couldn’t pay for it out of pocket? More specifically, has there been an unreported national crisis of women employed at Catholic institutions forgoing contraception because they couldn’t pay for it out of pocket? Besides, because the policy of Catholic institutions has been to decline coverage for this expense, haven’t these women factored that piece of information into their decision to work for a Catholic institution?

This isn’t about access. It’s about religious liberty and whether the government can force Catholic institutions and other employers to pay for an entitlement to a group of women–remember, not subject to co-pays or deductibles.

This isn’t a social issue. For Catholic institutions and the rest of us, it’s a religious liberty issue. For the other employers, it should be an economic liberty issue.

I say, bring it on.

BuckeyeSam on February 20, 2012 at 10:57 AM

There’s the answer. It’s a loser. The feds have no business butting into people’s personal lives.

EconomicNeocon on February 20, 2012 at 10:50 AM

But they are. You don’t call forcing Catholics to fund contraception butting in? How about taxpayers funding abortion?

You want either get them on your own dime.

The left intrudes into people’s personal lives all the time.

darwin on February 20, 2012 at 10:57 AM

There’s the answer. It’s a loser. The feds have no business butting into people’s personal lives.

EconomicNeocon on February 20, 2012 at 10:50 AM

\

There is disconnect between what Ron Paul says and what his minions propose.

NC is looking to keep gay marriage out of our state, but the Libertines and Paulnuts couldn’t give rat’s ass about what the people of NC want or about the legislative process. They want NC to conform to the great three Ps of America’s founding (as they see it). Pot, Prostitution and Pornography are the great foundation upon which America is built according to the Libertines. America will never fulfill its promise until they can shoot up heroin, with a hooker while reading Hustler.

Ron Paul does not believe in evolution, yet if Rick Santorum came out and made a statement like that, the Paulians would declare World Wars 3, 4, 5 & 6 on him and on the GOP. Paul is also the only candidate to openly state that he bases major policy decisions on a verse in the Bible… again the Libertines don’t care. They’ll accept a theocracy as long as it preaches a libertine theology.

mankai on February 20, 2012 at 10:57 AM

Could someone explain to me how it is that economic collapse, or even something as simple as ‘living with your means’, is not a social issue?

Our country’s fiscal issue, with it’s attendant crony capitalism, corruption, envy inspired coercive taxation, incitement of “rent-seekers, beak-dippers, vig-skimmers”*, not to mention class, race, and ethnic tensions, to acquire political majorities, and, yes, an almost ubiquitous existence under federal mandates and debt by a kleptocracy whose belief can best be summed as a desire to rule, not govern, is the social issue of today.

Dusty on February 20, 2012 at 10:58 AM

One other thing. Why is it not possible to talk about more than one issue? Can a candidate not discuss the economy AND pay lip service to social issues? Or are they only allowed to focus on one topic for the entire election?

Doughboy on February 20, 2012 at 10:46 AM

What exactly is Frothy supposed to talk about on the economy? That he has placed industrial policy as the centerpiece of his campaign? Since when did massive loopholes for favored sectors of the economy become “conservative” economic policy? I thought we believed in free markets.

Apparently, to the Frothy One, some markets are freer than others.

JohnGalt23 on February 20, 2012 at 10:59 AM

There is a reason the Libertarian mindset is growing so fast.

People are SICK of other people telling them how to run their lives.

jake-the-goose on February 20, 2012 at 10:55 AM

yup

hanzblinx on February 20, 2012 at 10:59 AM

His foreign policy is a losing issue. No thinking person would vote for someone who wants to put us on a weaker position globally. It really doesn’t take a genius to figure that one out.

Voter from WA State on February 20, 2012 at 10:38 AM (emphasis added)

Unfortunately, the “thinking person” qualification apparently covers most Democrats and virtually all Lefties. A weaker position globally is exactly what they want, and Obama is giving it to them. Arguably the only policy he has utilized that strengthens us is the drone program, and that appears to be motivated as much by a desire to avoid the problem of what to do with prisoners as effectively fighting terror.

novaculus on February 20, 2012 at 11:00 AM

There is a reason the Libertarian mindset is growing so fast.

jake-the-goose on February 20, 2012 at 10:55 AM

Got a link for that? No? I didn’t think so.

platypus on February 20, 2012 at 11:00 AM

Because that’s how the elections down the ticket line are won and lost. I wish it were the other way, like having to pass a simple IQ test before getting to vote, but as long as it doesn’t, money will trump liberty on popular vote.

Archivarix on February 20, 2012 at 10:56 AM

That’s all well and good.

But there is other money out there besides the bankster pelf.

JohnGalt23 on February 20, 2012 at 11:00 AM

Since when does anyone think that you can separate “issues” into purely “social” or “economic” issues???….Changes in social mores influence economic activity, such as when considerable number of women entered the workforce during WWII.

Changes in economic positions certainly influence social outcomes. This is evidenced when liberals, such as Obama, state that they wouldn’t want their child “punished with a baby” IE, wouldn’t want to lose the ability to earn income/education etc and are subsequently pushed into making a “social” decision–ie, an abortion. Thus, it is a completely false narrative to compartmentalize these concepts. THAT is the losing position and the wise ones amongst us should acknowledge that there is interplay between social, economic, religious concepts that as one changes, it affects the others. It takes a few more lines of esplainin’, but it can be done.

ted c on February 20, 2012 at 11:01 AM

Ron Paul is a loser in the election. Or rather, in every single state that’s voted so far.

Mr. Prodigy on February 20, 2012 at 11:01 AM

There is a reason the Libertarian mindset is growing so fast.

People are SICK of other people telling them how to run their lives.

jake-the-goose on February 20, 2012 at 10:55 AM

Bet you don’t have a link for that.

platypus on February 20, 2012 at 11:02 AM

This explains why the Libertarian Party is so successful.

mankai on February 20, 2012 at 10:46 AM

Perhaps because they don’t get any of the banking and lobbying money?

Archivarix on February 20, 2012 at 10:51 AM

Yeah… that’s the problem.

It couldn’t be that pot-smoking, porno-defending johns who believe that the greatest threat to the Constitution is illustrated in laws which require the cover of Jugs Magazine to be covered at the local gas station just aren’t very attractive candidates.

/

mankai on February 20, 2012 at 11:02 AM

There is a reason the Libertarian mindset is growing so fast.

jake-the-goose on February 20, 2012 at 10:55 AM

Got a link for that? No? I didn’t think so.

platypus on February 20, 2012 at 11:00 AM

This one?

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2012/president/us/republican_presidential_nomination-1452.html#polls

Oh wait that shows Paul flat lining.

CW on February 20, 2012 at 11:03 AM

This isn’t a social issue. For Catholic institutions and the rest of us, it’s a religious liberty issue. For the other employers, it should be an economic liberty issue.

I say, bring it on.

BuckeyeSam on February 20, 2012 at 10:57 AM

Nicely done.

CW on February 20, 2012 at 11:03 AM

Ron Paul should know. He was way more successful when he ran on the LP ticket.

mankai on February 20, 2012 at 11:03 AM

When the tea party is done with the GOP, it will look like real America again and will behave that way.

platypus on February 20, 2012 at 10:54 AM

If Santorum’s the GOP nominee, he’s going to lose in a landslide, so maybe it’s the right time to start a third party- there can be the Democrats, the Republican’s, and the Tea Party True Conservatives. Good luck to you.

BettyRuth on February 20, 2012 at 11:04 AM

Social issues alienated most Southern white Protestants and many Northern white Catholics from the Democrats. White Southerners were content witha progressivism so long as presidents like Wilson and FDR did not threaten segregation, as were white Catholics before the school busing controversies of the 1970s. Santorum is certainly better situated to take advantage of any rightwing vote-your-values-not-your-pocket-book inclinations than Romney. Of course there are libertarian values at play too – eg a pro-drug legalization or pro-gay marriage agenda – which RP hasn’t exactly repudiated, so he hasn’t been a pure economic determinist either. What probably makes some people genuinely uneasy about Santorum the perception that he’s chosen the wrong hill to fight and maybe die on – would he spend his campaign quarreling with gays, for example, or will he position himself as a more general “family values” candidate (as Reagan did with comparative subtlety ) and avoid going for the jugular like Pat Buchanan? His “phony theology” comment suggests he may be too direct for his own political good.

Seth Halpern on February 20, 2012 at 11:04 AM

This isn’t the same country as it was in 1968, 1980, or even 2004. So, generally speaking, social issues (at least in their traditional formulations)won’t be winning issues for conservatives going forward.

More importantly, in the current election the social issues are a distraction. Anything that lets Obama change the subject from the economy and health care helps him. If the Republicans try to make this election about social issues, then they will be doing Obama a huge favor: Reconstituting Obama’s electoral coalition that won him the WH.

ghostwriter on February 20, 2012 at 11:04 AM

Focusing on social issues IS a “losing position”. So is allowing the LSM to cajole one into that fray. That tangent is way down the list of priorities for most Americans. It’s toxic too … for the time being.

~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on February 20, 2012 at 11:05 AM

One comment to the “ignore the social issues” crowd. You only get to sell America’s soul ONCE in this Faustian bargain. Be careful what you wish for.

Also, the economy is a reflection of our moral state. If you don’t believe me look at the black community. They have succeeded in destroying the father figure, so the fathers (or breadwinners) leave. This leaves the mothers to raise the children alone (most will choose abortion). And with that you get a vast dependency culture, leading to the debt you see today. Do not ignore the social issues. They are more vital than you think.

nobar on February 20, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Ron Paul’s worldview is one in which economic activity and personal liberty are the things that will suck the oxygen out of any room. While I can certainly agree with much of what he says about the size/scope and Constitutional limitations of the federal government, one must acknowledge that this is his starting position—and it influences his position on everything. Of course social issues are losers, because Ron Paul sees through the prism of economic issues on everything. His stances on all other things are merely sauce for the goose.

ted c on February 20, 2012 at 11:05 AM

But are they?

Yes, social issues absolutely are a loser. And that’s why Democrats put them front and center.

Despite being an atheist, Rick Santorum is the ONLY Republican who “may” get my support, largely because of his beliefs. I don’t like them all, but respect his actual dedication to core values and recognize its effect on economic policies. And after how he handled the “playing with his dead baby” charge, I think he’s the only candidate that may stand up for the Constitution and up to the rioters when the economy collapse. The chance that he may appoint judges that make contraception for minors or abortion a little more difficult is a ridiculously small concern.

Nevertheless, he and everyone who support liberty need to ignore social issues and focus on financial insanity’s threat to liberty and freedom.

elfman on February 20, 2012 at 11:05 AM

This isn’t the same country as it was in 1968, 1980, or even 2004. So, generally speaking, social issues (at least in their traditional formulations)won’t be winning issues for conservatives going forward.

ghostwriter on February 20, 2012 at 11:04 AM

Then why do democrats run on social issues?

darwin on February 20, 2012 at 11:06 AM

Correct answer: The media is trying to make this election about social issues to take the attention away from Obama and his failed economic policies.

Duh.

Fallon on February 20, 2012 at 10:32 AM

Yes… and choosing a candidate than cannot resist the bait is the smart choice. This stupid debate on the merits of contraception was completely avoidable, but Rick couldn’t resist it.

Critic2029 on February 20, 2012 at 10:40 AM

Yep. For being such a clearly intelligent man, Santorum sure can be incredibly dumb. He should have seen that trap a mile away. But he thinks that he can win those arguments…

ghostwriter on February 20, 2012 at 11:07 AM

The main social issues in the race are: the Economy, unemployment, the housing debacle, the massive foreclosure rate, and political corruption – as with Fast and Furious and the utopian crony capitalism scam of “green jobs” Solyndra, plus the unconstitutional over-reaching arrogance of Obama- in mandating that companies provide free services and that citizens buy coverage from private companies for health insurance- that threatens the nation.

The rest is just a Dem distraction to lure gullible Repubs into fighting nonsense “social issues” battles about “contraception”, etc. that will lose the election.

Barry’s illegal, unconstitutional mandate, not the Barry’s fixation on prophylactics, is the point.

Wake up, R’s!

It’s a sucker ploy.

profitsbeard on February 20, 2012 at 11:07 AM

Social issues are a loser, yes. Especially in this election!

Avoid them in politics, and work on improving our culture in other ways.

MTF on February 20, 2012 at 11:08 AM

If Santorum’s the GOP nominee, he’s going to lose in a landslide, so maybe it’s the right time to start a third party- there can be the Democrats, the Republican’s, and the Tea Party True Conservatives. Good luck to you.

BettyRuth on February 20, 2012 at 11:04 AM

I will tell you this right now… Ron Paul can probably, more or less, keep his people in line if Romney, or even if Gingrich gets the nomination.

If Santorum gets the nod, they will bolt, even if the GOP goes as far as to put either the old man or Rand on the ticket.

So… we’ve seen polls put in the filed contemplating a Romney-Obama-Paul three way race. Perhaps we should see the same for a Frothy-Obama-Paul race.

JohnGalt23 on February 20, 2012 at 11:09 AM

Trying to falsely expand the argument into “social” category or “economic” category denies the truth. While it helps the simpletons conceptualize the things at stake, it ignores that the circumstances in which we live are interrelated on several levels. Ron Paul sees things predominantly in an economic framework, and for the rest, its “who cares, let them decide.”— a position with which many of us cannot disagree, but its hardly a position that can really substantiate leadership at the presidential level.

ted c on February 20, 2012 at 11:10 AM

Obama is the King of misdirection. He throws up a windmill over there, and the GOP candidates charge it. If they refocus on his record, he throws another up and they chase it. The candidates can do a 30 minute interview with the MSM without even a mention of Obama’s ruination of this economy. The one who chooses the field of battle usually wins.

scgas on February 20, 2012 at 11:11 AM

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