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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BuckeyeSam on February 20, 2012 at 10:57 AM

I don’t think the mandate is “social” either, since his majesty has decided that private industry is being told to give away a service and product for free but that’s how the media is couching it. The Right cannot do anything without calculating how the media is going to present any particular event. And for some reason they always guess incorrectly.

Cindy Munford on February 20, 2012 at 11:11 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

+1,000,000

Just Sayin on February 20, 2012 at 11:11 AM

Oh wait that shows Paul flat lining.

CW on February 20, 2012 at 11:03 AM

I never associate (or tie) the Libertarian view with Ron Paul – GOOD LORD !!! — I hope you won’t either.

jake-the-goose on February 20, 2012 at 11:12 AM

Not according to this article and commented on by Hot Gas contributors here

ExpressoBold on February 20, 2012 at 11:13 AM

If Santorum’s the GOP nominee, he’s going to lose in a landslide,

BettyRuth on February 20, 2012 at 11:04 AM

I would seriously like to know how you can say that. Do you not realize that it is a donkey party talking point/meme?

As long as you are willing to project your personal dislike for a candidate into a political conclusion, you are not helping the takeback of America. Even if you wish him to fail, can we at least get you to shut up for awhile?

platypus on February 20, 2012 at 11:13 AM

What Progressives should stay up nights thinking about is once they make the test for certain medical procedures and drugs up to the federal government, all it will take is an anti-abortion President to shut it all down. Roe v Wade will mean nothing once the government is already involved in the choice.

J_Crater on February 20, 2012 at 11:14 AM

Then why do democrats run on social issues?

darwin on February 20, 2012 at 11:06 AM

It’s a negative scare tactic to mobilize their suckers: Ooo! Lookout! The pesky Republican ayatollahs want to ban birth control and refuse to allow women to have a voice in their meetings on the subject! They’re Neanderthals who will force you to bear a rapist’s baby! And make granny eat out-dated catfood, too!

They don’t care about ‘social issues’ except as a tool to make Republicans look like knuckle-dragging yahoos intent on banning contraception, installing a Jesus Czar in the White House, and reducing women to second class citizenship.

It’s a calculated, cynical trick.

And it apparently works.

profitsbeard on February 20, 2012 at 11:14 AM

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

Scream it from the rooftops, rinse, repeat.

Fallon on February 20, 2012 at 11:14 AM

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

yep. yep and hell yep.

ted c on February 20, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Paul: Social issues are a loser in the election

Big so-con Republicans who won national elections twice:

Reagan, “W”

Not very so-con Republicans who lost national re-election bids:

Bush 1, Ford

itsnotaboutme on February 20, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Then why do democrats run on social issues?

darwin on February 20, 2012 at 11:06 AM

They don’t. They do exactly the same thing the Right does… use it to whip the base into a froth so they donate time and money to the cause.

Bill Clinton did his damndest to finesse social issues. He didn’t go out there on the stump extolling the virtues of abortion for all, or free rubbers for 5th graders, and avoided to whatever extent he could those who did.

When Democrats do run on social issues, we crucify them as being the candidate of “acid, amnesty and abortion”.

Thank you Pat Buchanan, who showed considerably more judgement writing a speech than in what to say when giving one.

JohnGalt23 on February 20, 2012 at 11:16 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

Nicely said.

jake-the-goose on February 20, 2012 at 11:16 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

Sorry. I missed the news conference where Santorum said he would attempt to enforce all of his personal religious and moral views on the rest of the country. You know, like forcing people who oppose certain forms of contraception to pay for other people’s use of those forms of contraception.

novaculus on February 20, 2012 at 11:17 AM

If you buy the line that compartmentalization of issues is really a valid categorization of issues within our country, then you’ve bought a losing position. It takes a statesman to understand the economic impacts of abortion, or the social impacts of economic legislation. It takes a simpleton to talk about these things in color-by-numbers fashion. Once we isolate these issues, they metamorphosize into something unrelated to reality.

ted c on February 20, 2012 at 11:17 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

Nicely said.

jake-the-goose on February 20, 2012 at 11:16 AM

Thank you very much.
/the left

ted c on February 20, 2012 at 11:19 AM

It’s a trap. The Democrats want this election to be about social issues because they think they can win that way. They fear they can’t win if the election is about fiscal issues. We will lose if we fight this on their terms. We need to keep the focus on the economy and jobs.

The Buzz on February 20, 2012 at 11:19 AM

Social issues are only a loser when we allow the Left and their mouth pieces in the media to frame the debate. It is up to all of us to educate on friends, family, co-workers, etc. on what’s truly at stake this November.

We should embrace this challenge, no hide from it.

Common Sense Floridian on February 20, 2012 at 11:21 AM

On Social issues, it’s the Libertines who are the tyrants.

mankai on February 20, 2012 at 10:50 AM

Exactly. Truer words never spoken. This problem is created by big government, and is a big contributor to the growth of government. It is simply not true that social issues are separable from the problem of big government.

That doesn’t mean Republicans need to go out of our way to bring up social issues, but it does mean that we shouldn’t shy away from them when the big government steamroller is heading for us.

The Catholics absolutely should not give in on the contraception mandate, nor should Republicans shut up about it. It’s a very important issue, because it encapsulates all the problems with big government, both monetary and in terms of our liberties. Sooner or later — actually, invariably sooner — big government intrudes on our religious liberties and our moral beliefs.

It is that which will kill us if we roll over for it. Conservative Republicans are under no obligation to allow others to frame the debate to their disadvantage. Social leftists are the ones who make these things public issues in the first place, by demanding a uniform policy on them and demanding that the public pay for whatever programs they think up.

That’s not being “liberal” or permissive, that’s being tyrannical. I refuse to let the left set the terms of debate on this. Those on the right who don’t want to discuss it are lending themselves to big government. I do want the government out of our bedrooms, parent-child relationships, religious consciences, and wallets. That’s the difference between me and social liberals.

J.E. Dyer on February 20, 2012 at 11:21 AM

As long as you are willing to project your personal dislike for a candidate into a political conclusion, you are not helping the takeback of America. Even if you wish him to fail, can we at least get you to shut up for awhile?

platypus on February 20, 2012 at 11:13 AM

Nope, sorry. Not going to “shut up”. Even if I thought Santorum was the second coming of Christ, I’m smart enough to know he won’t win a general election. We might be a center-right country, but Santorum is a far right candidate and extremely unlikeable to a majority of people. The rap on his social values is only going to get stronger and laced with more ridicule.

BettyRuth on February 20, 2012 at 11:22 AM

Libertines are like Leftists. They scream when anyone to the right if Mao mentions the Bible… but it’s super-cool when their own do it.

I note again… Ron Paul doesn’t believe in evolution and bases his foreign policy on a Bible verse… that’s cool with atheistic Libertines who would go into cardiac arrest if Newt said the same.

They don’t mind theocracy as long as it’s based on a libertine theology. They don’t mind tyranny as long as it’s their tyranny. They only support states’ rights when a state wants to legalize pot… but if a state wants to ban gay marriage or restrict pornography, suddenly they don’t care much for self-rule or states’ rights.

Ron Paul is a decent enough man. Unfortunately, many of his followers are using him to promote their tyrannical agenda. I ask them, if the GOP is so corrupt and useless, why doesn’t RP join the LP?

nobar on February 20, 2012 at 11:05 AM

+1

I encourage all Libertines to move to VT, decriminalize everything, create your own Lord of the Flies up there and see how it works out.

mankai on February 20, 2012 at 11:22 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

You say that like it is a bad thing.

It is not, especially in this election cycle.

JohnGalt23 on February 20, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Ron Paul was finally outed in the Washington Post and NY Times as a stalking horse for big government, rino Willard Romney.

This fraud liberaltarian is coordinating with Mittens in order to have his ego projected nationwide at the GOP convention, under the watchful eye of his master -WILLARD!

This underhanded weasel will not advance his misfit son’s political career by working with Mitt.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/17/us/politics/mitt-romney-and-ron-paul-friendly-amid-the-rivalry.html?_r=1

kingsmill on February 20, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Social issues….economic issues….well basically, you can’t separate them

It seems to me that our economic woes have been fueled by our changing social standards. The big ticket items we borrow so heavily to support today are entitlements, right? The new Deal, The Great Society etc…etc all have HUGE economic impact and all came to be because the U.S. social structure changed.

Dependency has replaced citizenship as the central reason to vote in an election now hasn’t it? You seriously cannot fix the one without impacting the other.

But, numbers don’t lie. The electorate (well, at least those who pay taxes) are waking up to the fact that we as a nation will collapse under the weight of socialism so, IMHO, stick to the economy, the federal budget and the National Debt. The ‘social issues’ will solve themselves if the well starts to run dry.

Anti_anti on February 20, 2012 at 11:24 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

Because as ghostwriter says, the “traditional formulations” of social issues don’t included progressive’s freedom from responsibility. Democrats easily characterize conservative’s alternatives as “bitter, miserable prudes sticking their noses into others’ bedrooms and taking our their frustrations the women/doctor relationship”. Allow them to focus on that for 10 months, and the corruption leading to the impending economic collapse is all but forgotten.

elfman on February 20, 2012 at 11:24 AM

the election will have to hinge on larger, basic issues of limited power and Obama’s overreach.

If it is larger, how is it more basic?

The concept of power in the executive is one that spans the social, economic and other aspects of our society. Certainly Obama has demonstrated that he cannot stay within his Article II bounds in that realm. Economic overreach has had lasting social impacts–Porkulous, an economic decision, has prolonged unemployment, stifled hiring and will subsequently deny a generation of youth and others of working age the ability to a)provide for or b) start a family–a concept that spans both social and economic false boundaries. Moreover, it influences the disaffected youth amongst us to be vulnerable to the OWS douchebaggery and demagogery of the Democratic party and engage in vile social behavior predicated upon false economic strawmen.

ted c on February 20, 2012 at 11:24 AM

Ron Paul was finally outed in the Washington Post and NY Times as a stalking horse for big government, rino Willard Romney.

This fraud liberaltarian is coordinating with Mittens in order to have his ego projected nationwide at the GOP convention, under the watchful eye of his master -WILLARD!

kingsmill on February 20, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Tin foil much?

JohnGalt23 on February 20, 2012 at 11:27 AM

You say that like it is a bad thing.

It is not, especially in this election cycle.

JohnGalt23 on February 20, 2012 at 11:23 AM

I’m not saying it as if it is a bad thing, but it’ll be used, by the Left, as a bludgeon against Not Romney and Romney insofar as “Your fellow opponent in this nomination battle, Ron Paul, has said that ‘social issues are losers’…how do you respond to that?”…A question that furthers the false narrative that we can validly, appropriately and adequately categorize ‘issues’ within our society into neatly packaged boxes.

ted c on February 20, 2012 at 11:27 AM

Once again the Republican party gets captured by the wing nut social conservatives who are not in step with the clueless independent voters who have been conditioned by the social media to avoid these issues like the plague.

Here we have a president who has tanked the economy, rising gas prices that even the clueless notice and the Rs are positioning themselves to piss away the election via unforced errors.

philw1776 on February 20, 2012 at 11:29 AM

“Your fellow opponent in this nomination battle, Ron Paul, has said that ‘social issues are losers’…how do you respond to that?”…A question that furthers the false narrative that we can validly, appropriately and adequately categorize ‘issues’ within our society into neatly packaged boxes.

ted c on February 20, 2012 at 11:27 AM

I would hope our nominee, be he Ron Paul or someone else, would have the wisdom and the record to say… “Ron Paul is right. We need to focus on bringing this nation back from the brink of economic collapse, and 50 year old arguments over contraception be damned!”

JohnGalt23 on February 20, 2012 at 11:32 AM

I do believe that our Foundering Fathers expected us to use our brains.

Voter from WA State on February 20, 2012 at 11:27 AM

roger that! They did, and they expect us to unhitch from the sound bite “for/against” and “social issues election/economic issues election” narratives that demean the actual things we face as a society. There is such a thing as right and wrong, good and evil, but when it boils down to how we conduct business as a country, we need to have honest debates about the things we face. The practice of pigeonholing as a means of understanding problems is sucking fick if you ask me. The intellectual firepower of these dichotomous arguments is akin to a BB gun and it is insulting to the intelligence as well as to our founding.

ted c on February 20, 2012 at 11:33 AM

…and 50 year old arguments over contraception marijuana laws and gay marriage “rights” be damned!”

JohnGalt23 on February 20, 2012 at 11:32 AM

fify

Social issues for me, but not for thee.

mankai on February 20, 2012 at 11:34 AM

The one “social issue” pushed by Paul and his minions is making drugs legal. That makes our society more dangerous . . . but they don’t care as long as the Constitution doesn’t say drugs are illegal.

I do believe that our Foundering Fathers expected us to use our brains.

Voter from WA State on February 20, 2012 at 11:27 AM

Funny how the Founding Fathers you promote never saw fit to use the US Government to make cannabis or opium illegal.

Smart guys, those Founders.

Legalizing drugs would make society safer, even with more people using drugs, just like ending Prohibition made society safer, even with more people drinking.

JohnGalt23 on February 20, 2012 at 11:35 AM

/rantoff/

ted c on February 20, 2012 at 11:35 AM

Paul: Social issues are a loser in the election

So is Herr Doktor.

catmman on February 20, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Once again the Republican party gets captured by the wing nut social conservatives who are not in step with the clueless independent voters who have been conditioned by the social media to avoid these issues like the plague.

Here we have a president who has tanked the economy, rising gas prices that even the clueless notice and the Rs are positioning themselves to piss away the election via unforced errors.

philw1776 on February 20, 2012 at 11:29 AM

Well said. When the focus should be on the economy, many conservatives want to make it about gay rights and abortion. Where 2008 was the fault of indendents, if Santorum is the nominee, the fault will be on many of my fellow conseratives and their stupidity.

You should fight the battles that are in front of you, not create new ones because you can’t see the grand scheme of things.

milcus on February 20, 2012 at 11:40 AM

You don’t get it do you? Most of the social issues are already decided. Don’t pretend that they’re not.

Gay Marriage. Already law in several states. Civil Unions are up and coming in others, and will (I promise you will) be marriages in others. Then all one person, or couple has to do is change to another state. Already happened in fact. Once the genie is out of the bottle you can’t put it back in. Civil Unions will be made marriages when the Supreme Court finally gets a case and rules that Seperate but Equal is unconstiutional. Oh wait, they’ve already ruled on that.

Abortion? Would you really make it illegal if you could? As of the last year of statistics being taken, a Million Abortions a year were being performed. There is no chance that any politician is going to vote to put them back under the illegal catagory. Not one of them will take the blame when a back alley abortion goes wrong. Not one of them wants to be pilloried in the press for pushing to let poor Lisa Doe die at the hands of a butcher. A million a year, it’s too late to stop.

Sex Education in school? PFUI. Again a settled issue. No way are we going to take that out and again demand abstenence only education. Then we leave our childrens education to their friends and what they find on the internet. No thanks.

Social issues are already decided. They have been, and in the next twenty years Gay Marriage will be the law of the land. We had a chance, under a Republican President to prevent it. We didn’t act. It’s too late. You can’t get a Constitutional amendment. Eventually the cases will work up to the Supreme Court, and they’ll decide that marriage certificats like drivers licenses are portable from state to state.

So what are the issues of the day? The economy. Santorum sucks, Mittens sucks a little less. Newt really sucks, and Ron Paul is a nutter. That leaves Obama, who sucks as bad as Newt does on the issue.

Defense. Against what? All the nutters that the FBI finds and provides with disabled weapons and inert explosives? The health risks of TSA patdowns?

Liberty is the big issue everyone is running from. Liberty is what we’ll all wish we had in twenty years. No matter which of the dolts we elect this cycle. The Government will grow. It will take more of our liberty, our privacy, and our freedom. TSA will stop and search us at their leasure. Claiming that they have jurisdiction if we’re going from the living room to the bathroom.

Seriously, does anyone expect those social issues to be acted on? Seriously? You expect to go from a million abortions a year to zero? Or are you stupid enough to say you’ll authorize it for incest, rape, or danger to the mother? Do you have any idea how many false rape charges will be filed in the first month of your plan going into effect?

The genie is out of the bottle. Admit it already.

Snake307 on February 20, 2012 at 11:47 AM

Speaking for myself, I’ll vote for a GOP candidate who focuses on limited government, cutting spending, and tax/entitlement reform.

If the issues are stopping Bob and Steve from getting married and forcing Susie to have her rapist’s baby, I’ll vote third party.

The Tea Party showed we can build criticial mass and win elections based on limited government. But these Bible-thumping socio-cons were voting Democrat before Reagan started pandering to them in 1980. They are the enemies of small government because they pay it lp service, but really only care about using BIG government to impose their moral standards on everyone else. No, thanks.

And Rick Santorum falls into the big government socio-con camp. He has never been anyone I would ever vote for. As much as I dislike Romney, even he’d be preferable to a reject from the short bus like Santorum.

DRayRaven on February 20, 2012 at 11:49 AM

I notice when it’s a social liberal candidate, his supporters tell us to shut up because “social issues aren’t the issue”. But when it’s a social conservative, those same people make a lot of noise about social issues and can’t stop bringing them up.

Hypocrisy much?

dukecitygirl on February 20, 2012 at 11:53 AM

What position is this Ron Paul guy running for? He can’t possibly be running for president – Right?

Pork-Chop on February 20, 2012 at 11:55 AM

Big so-con Republicans who won national elections twice:

Reagan, “W”

Not very so-con Republicans who lost national re-election bids:

Bush 1, Ford

itsnotaboutme on February 20, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Reagan was also competent in laying out how the role he thought government should play in our lives. Santorum, not so much. That’s the problem, social issues are a strong issue at the state level.

Santorum has struggled to separate his personal views on things like birth control with his view on the role of government.

cpaulus on February 20, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Snake307 on February 20, 2012 at 11:47 AM

You only get to sell America’s soul ONCE in this Faustian bargain. Be careful what you wish for.

nobar on February 20, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Heh, lefties aren’t going to like Jeffrey Bell’s new book. It’ll be fun to hear them squeal.

petefrt on February 20, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Tin foil much?JohnGalt

I leave the foil to the liberaltarians and the Randians, as they mine RP newsletters and turgid AR volumes for tidbits to stupefy themselves with.

kingsmill on February 20, 2012 at 11:56 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?

Doughboy on February 20, 2012 at 10:31 AM

Then Ron Paul will win.

FloatingRock on February 20, 2012 at 11:57 AM

If the social issues will lose the election, then the country itself is lost. The issue of right and wrong is what is behind the economic problems we face.

The only difference between the loony left, and a criminal is that the criminal commits the crime himself, while the loony left does it under color of law. Whether you commit your theft with a pistol in your hand, or by getting congress to send the Police, it is the same crime. Things like abortion (murder as it is killing for personal convenience or advantage), amnesty of illegal aliens, or any other of a number of acts perpetrated by government agents, are still crimes no matter who commits them.

The people that think the social issues are losers need to acquaint themselves a bit with electoral history. They have been winners, unless the GOP has so damaged its brand they can’t win no matter what. That’s what happened in 2008, with a bit of help from the McCainiac.

Frankly, I think the electorate is so degraded they will re-elect Obama no matter who the GOP candidate is, or what he does. Santorum is the best of a sorry bunch, but I hope he is the nominee and I hope I’m wrong about the election itself.

Quartermaster on February 20, 2012 at 11:59 AM

He’s absolutely right.

Man I wish I could vote Ron Paul’s sane half.

ElectricPhase on February 20, 2012 at 12:01 PM

What? The mill is now eating comments about the dreaded auto play thread?

Bmore on February 20, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Voter from WA State on February 20, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Weak argument. Ask anyone who has lost a family member to drunk driving. Ask anyone who has a loved one who lost their lives to drugs or alcohol. Giving in to people who don’t want to control their own lives is not a reason to make ourselves less protected.

Oh, so I must give up my liberties and freedoms, and live with the existence of supranational mafias, all because some people can’t demonstrate a level of self-control the vast majority of the population is able to demonstrate?

No thanks.

People died in DUI accidents during Prohibition also. We let the states set appropriate criminal penalties for such activity. That still doesn’t justify a nationwide prohibition of either alcohol or drugs, and all the attendant negative externalities that go along with such policy.

Ask my friend whose son has his life so messed up by drugs that he cannot keep down a job. And it isn’t because it isn’t legal.

And it sounds like it being illegal sure hasn’t helped him.

Some people will blow their freedom on games of chance. Some people will blow their freedom with gluttony and sloth. Some people will blow their freedom with chasing down hoes.

Should we now outlaw games of chance, gluttony, and hoe chasing? Or should we simply let those who indulge in the practices mentioned suffer the obvious consequences of such practice?

Go over to Amsterdam and have to step over the people knocked out in the parks and walkways during weekend evenings. I’ve done it. It was disgusting.

Sorry… I forgot for a moment that I don’t have to step over junkies in Oakland and San Francisco and Chicago and New York and Cleveland and Las Vegas and… well, every big city in the US, really.

And funny how the Netherlands has a cannabis and heroin use/addiction rate half that of the United States (See Section 12, supported by US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, National Household Survey on Drug Abuse: Volume I. Summary of National Findings (Washington, DC: HHS, August 2002), p. 109, Table H.1.

Funny that.

JohnGalt23 on February 20, 2012 at 12:03 PM

“. . . 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.”

However, I think it’s far more relevant that the score since 1992 is just two victories out of five (and one of those GOP victories involved losing the popular vote before being rescued by Republican Supreme Court judges).

MARCU$

mlindroo on February 20, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Snake307 on February 20, 2012 at 11:47 AM

No, you don’t get it. The question isn’t what you or Vermont believe about gay marriage, the question is what government at various levels will require everyone else to do.

Many Americans use contraception and have no moral objection to it. Cool.

But should government be big enough to mandate that health insurance cover contraception? Should it be big enough to force Catholic employers to pay for health insurance? Should it be big enough to force them to pay for health insurance that will be mandated to offer contraceptive services to their employees?

You talk about liberty, and yet you think this is irrelevant and “already decided”? This is the very heart of the liberty question.

We are not free if the government can require us to pay for programs on this basis. That is what is already decided. The question is what we will do about it.

J.E. Dyer on February 20, 2012 at 12:06 PM

I leave the foil to the liberaltarians and the Randians, as they mine RP newsletters and turgid AR volumes for tidbits to stupefy themselves with.

kingsmill on February 20, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Only one talking about conspiracies on this thread… is you.

But I’m sure the Illuminati have already taken note of that.

/tinfoil

JohnGalt23 on February 20, 2012 at 12:07 PM

OT: I saw the new Knights of Columbus ad on Fox News this morning. I’m not Catholic, but I applaud them for this ad, which reminds everyone that we are one nation under God. Check it out.

KyMouse on February 20, 2012 at 12:13 PM

But should government be big enough to mandate that health insurance cover contraception? Should it be big enough to force Catholic employers to pay for health insurance? Should it be big enough to force them to pay for health insurance that will be mandated to offer contraceptive services to their employees?

J.E. Dyer on February 20, 2012 at 12:06 PM

And you are taking your eye off the ball.

The issue isn’t what the mandate is. The issue is that there is a mandate at all. Obamacare and the relationship it institutes between the US Government and its citizens is the issue.

If the Left can get the population to accept that ObamaCare is necessary and proper, than anything they can get past Congress is going to fly as part of it. It doesn’t matter worth a damn whether we can get them to dial back that part of the mandate or even eliminate it, because the precedent will have been set.

Then it is just a matter of time. That contraception is coming up now, coincident with Frothy’s rise, is no mere coincidence.

JohnGalt23 on February 20, 2012 at 12:14 PM

“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?”

Uh, those are ECONOMIC issues. Maybe a social component, but they are ECONOMIC ones.

NewLiberty on February 20, 2012 at 12:15 PM

JohnGalt23 on February 20, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Ron Paul has made his choice to shill for Mitt. He’s a fraud, not a conspiracy.

wraithby on February 20, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Hey, Ed, that video you embedded auto-loads, loudly, every time you re-load the page, even to switch from one page of comments to another. Kinda obnoxious.

Shump on February 20, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Social issues ARE a loser if the ones being emphasized are Rick Sanotrum’s. How many people do you know think (voluntary, private) contraception is a legitimate issue for a President to be campaigning on? Do you really think there’s a groundswell of voters that are eager for politicians to take this issue up.

Not only do most Christians not share this belief against contraception, I would say most are hostile to the idea of a President condemning them for using contraceptives.

Here is Rick Sanotrum in his own words:

“One of the things I will talk about that no President has talked about before is I think the dangers of contraception in this country, the whole sexual libertine idea. Many in the Christian faith have said, “Well, that’s okay. Contraception’s okay.”

It’s not okay because it’s a license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be. They’re supposed to be within marriage, they are supposed to be for purposes that are, yes, conjugal, but also [inaudible], but also procreative. That’s the perfect way that a sexual union should happen. We take any part of that out, we diminish the act. And if you can take one part out that’s not for purposes of procreation, that’s not one of the reasons, then you diminish this very special bond between men and women, so why can’t you take other parts of that out? And all of a sudden, it becomes deconstructed to the point where it’s simply pleasure. And that’s certainly a part of it—and it’s an important part of it, don’t get me wrong—but there’s a lot of things we do for pleasure, and this is special, and it needs to be seen as special.

Again, I know most Presidents don’t talk about those things, and maybe people don’t want us to talk about those things, but I think it’s important that you are who you are. I’m not running for preacher. I’m not running for pastor, but these are important public policy issues. These how profound impact on the health of our society.”

http://swampland.time.com/2012/02/14/rick-santorum-wants-to-fight-the-dangers-of-contraception/

BradTank on February 20, 2012 at 12:21 PM

“. . . 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.”

And we ended up with some super-duper Presidents!

Notorious GOP on February 20, 2012 at 12:23 PM

No, you don’t get it. The question isn’t what you or Vermont believe about gay marriage, the question is what government at various levels will require everyone else to do.

Many Americans use contraception and have no moral objection to it. Cool.

But should government be big enough to mandate that health insurance cover contraception? Should it be big enough to force Catholic employers to pay for health insurance? Should it be big enough to force them to pay for health insurance that will be mandated to offer contraceptive services to their employees?

You talk about liberty, and yet you think this is irrelevant and “already decided”? This is the very heart of the liberty question.

We are not free if the government can require us to pay for programs on this basis. That is what is already decided. The question is what we will do about it.

J.E. Dyer on February 20, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Way to miss the point. Where exactly did he make the point that the government should be big enough to mandate that health insurance should cover contraception?

On the social issues, I (sadly) think snake is right that the ship has sailed on most of them. We lost the argument on gay marriage the minute that people didn’t scoff at the idea when it was raised. Once the culture has shifted, the law will follow.

Where snake goes wrong is on his cavalier attitude towards national security.

ghostwriter on February 20, 2012 at 12:24 PM

Libertines scare me as much as communists/socialists do. There has to be some level of responsibility.

Voter from WA State on February 20, 2012 at 12:22 PM

SO you’d rather trust the government than the individual?

Interesting.

Notorious GOP on February 20, 2012 at 12:25 PM

I sense a Paul & Romney tag team against Santorum.

Paul wants something from Romney at the Convention and he’ll help Romney get the nomination.

bluefox on February 20, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Nope, sorry. Not going to “shut up”. Even if I thought Santorum was the second coming of Christ, I’m smart arrogant enough to THINK I know he won’t win a general election. We might be a center-right country, but Santorum is a far right candidate and extremely unlikeable to a majority of people. The rap on his social values is only going to get stronger and laced with more ridicule.

BettyRuth on February 20, 2012 at 11:22 AM

Fixed that for you, dear.

JannyMae on February 20, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Again with the filter eating CNN links?

Ron Paul has made his choice to shill for Mitt. He’s a fraud, not a conspiracy.

wraithby on February 20, 2012 at 12:15 PM

CROWLEY: And quickly if I could ask you, there’s been a lot of talk that you and Mitt Romney seem to have a sort of a mutual truce going on. Can we take that as you believing that Mitt Romney would be, if it’s not yourself, is a good Republican nominee for the party?

PAUL: Well, there’s not much, you know, on issues that we agree on, whether it’s foreign policy or, you know, the personal liberties issue, or the — probably on taxes we might have agreement.

But, no, I think they are all the same, in the same group.

Shilling should be made of sterner stuff.

JohnGalt23 on February 20, 2012 at 12:26 PM

Paul is a fruitcake and nothing he says matters.

But broken clocks &c, he’s right.

SarahW on February 20, 2012 at 12:27 PM

Ahhhh yeah, the manufactured panic and outrageous outrage of those who fret that the only alternative to an ever-expanding big goverment is a Mad Max/Lord of the Flies NO GOVERNMENT AT ALL society. Because that’s what libertarian types really want – TOTAL CHAOS RAWWWWWWWR.

“I KNOW A GUY WHOSE TWENTY-SOMETHING CROTCHFRUIT ROUTINELY MAKES EXCEEDINGLY POOR CHOICES RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE

So do I – hey, maybe we even know the same guy. Somebody else’s irresponsible use of their own freedom is insufficient grounds to tread all over mine.

Jeddite on February 20, 2012 at 12:27 PM

I have a question for all of the social conservatives. For all the years you have voted for and contributed to the GOP, what have they actually accomplished regarding the social issues you hold dear? For all the years you all have been loyal to the GOP, has the culture gotten better or worse? It appears to me that you continue to be loyal to a party that has not accomplished anything toward your socially conservative goals.

I think it would be best if you all would seriously consider what are the practical limits of what government can achieve. A social culture is something that is developed at the grassroots level (family, local churches, local community) and not imposed from the top down. The decision to live a virtuous life is a choice that all individual must freely make. The only way to get people to live a virtuous life is through persuasion and not through legislative fiat. No president, congressperson, regulator, governor can force people to live a virtuous life. Any behavior that is outlawed will be performed in the underground. If you want to effect your social culture, social conservatives should focus their efforts on their families, religious institutions, local schools, and local community organizations and not on Washington DC.

antifederalist on February 20, 2012 at 12:27 PM

Then it is just a matter of time. That contraception is coming up now, coincident with Frothy’s rise, is no mere coincidence.

JohnGalt23 on February 20, 2012 at 12:14 PM

Oh it’s a coincidence alright, but it sure as hell isn’t a random coincidence. This Obama trying to set the terms of the debate. In October, he’ll run around the place arguing how he tried to make an accomodation to those pesky, duplicitous bishops, who moved the goalposts on him.

ghostwriter on February 20, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Every issue is a social issue. Spending us to death isn’t a social issue? Paul worships freedom at the alter of relativism. Freedom is ambiguous and we need a moral authority (in God) to witness true freedom. What is the issue of legalizing rape was a reality in one of the states and it actually had great traction to pass, would Paul say anything against it? Personally I think Paul puts on a show, he does have some great views, but I think he is mostly spineless and fake.

Gatekeeper on February 20, 2012 at 12:30 PM

No, you don’t get it. The question isn’t what you or Vermont believe about gay marriage, the question is what government at various levels will require everyone else to do.

Many Americans use contraception and have no moral objection to it. Cool.

But should government be big enough to mandate that health insurance cover contraception? Should it be big enough to force Catholic employers to pay for health insurance? Should it be big enough to force them to pay for health insurance that will be mandated to offer contraceptive services to their employees?

You talk about liberty, and yet you think this is irrelevant and “already decided”? This is the very heart of the liberty question.

We are not free if the government can require us to pay for programs on this basis. That is what is already decided. The question is what we will do about it.

J.E. Dyer on February 20, 2012 at 12:06 PM

This is exactly why I can’t vote for Santorum.

He believes the government should be big enough to “encourage behaviors that are best for society”.

The only difference between him and Obama is that they disagree on what those behaviors are.

This is why I think parties should be re-aligned and “big government conservatives” like Santorum should join their siblings in the Democrat party while budget-cutting democrats like, say, Mario Cuomo should join the GOP.

Then we could decide elections on how much money you want to give politicians to spend on “encouragements” and not on what should politicians “encourage”.

joana on February 20, 2012 at 12:33 PM

Shilling should be made of sterner stuff.

JohnGalt23 on February 20, 2012 at 12:26 PM

My chihuahua put up a better front of opposition to a pit pull last week then that pathetic Ron Paul “criticism” of Willard. Ron Paul has never confronted Mittens in a debate like he has unloaded on Santorum, Gingrich, Bachmann.

wraithby on February 20, 2012 at 12:34 PM

Voter from WA State on February 20, 2012 at 12:19 PM

You just don’t want anyone to tell you that there is a line that cannot be crossed.

Where do you stop? Cocaine sold at the local drug store? No, DUI or DWI laws? Driving at any age with or without a license? No auto insurance allowed? No speed limits (because I have a car who will hit 120 easily so I should be able to drive at 120)?

I stop at the line set by state and local authorities. I trust Sacramento and the people of the State of California to make decisions on drug use, production, marketing and transportation. Just like the Founders did. And if I disagreed with them seriously enough, I could always move.

The fact is that prohibition of anything that a lot of people really want is going to create black markets, which will in turn encourage the growth of mafias. And in the case of the War on Drugs, not only has it created gigantic mafias, it really hasn’t stopped all that many people from using drugs. A greater percentage of people use drugs now than did when our current prohibition started, and we’re no better off than in parts of Europe where they’ve loosened the drug laws (although certainly have not ended prohibition).

In any accounting you do on the matter, the costs of prohibition to society outweigh the benefits. And it ain’t even close.

Also if legal drugs still gives you people to step over in Amsterdam why should we legalize it here?

Gee, I would think $200 billion of black market trade would be cause enough. Unless, of course for some reason you were in favor of black markets and the mafias that oversee them.

JohnGalt23 on February 20, 2012 at 12:36 PM

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

And Sanctorum, the religious zealot that he is, happily obliges.

csdeven on February 20, 2012 at 12:38 PM

However, I think it’s far more relevant that the score since 1992 is just two victories out of five (and one of those GOP victories involved losing the popular vote before being rescued by Republican Supreme Court judges).

MARCU$

mlindroo on February 20, 2012 at 12:06 PM

It’s even more relevant that social issues are a winner, by a score of 2 to 1 in 2000, 2004, and 2008.

When you go cherry-picking your data carefully, you can prove anything.

And to prove that, I’ll do one for your side: “Social issues are a loser, when you consider elections over the last 5 years.”

That ‘s true enough, if you ignore every other election but presidential elections in the last 5 years.

tom on February 20, 2012 at 12:38 PM

My chihuahua put up a better front of opposition to a pit pull last week then that pathetic Ron Paul “criticism” of Willard. Ron Paul has never confronted Mittens in a debate like he has unloaded on Santorum, Gingrich, Bachmann.

wraithby on February 20, 2012 at 12:34 PM

Open up the Constitution and read it!!

JohnGalt23 on February 20, 2012 at 12:40 PM

The bigger issue, in my opinion, is the overreach by this administration. Whether it’s a socon or other issue. From day one; TARP, auto bailouts, cash for clunkers, Obamacare, mortgage relief and now “women’s health care”, green energy funding, gulf oil ban (overturned by a federal judge and ignored by the administration) and NLRB overreach to name just a few.

It is despicable. Are you aware that a provision in Obamacare, to take effect in 2013, is a 3.8% tax on all home/condo sales to help pay for Medicare? Not only is forcing you to buy a product unconstitutional (like forcing an insurer to pay for your rubbers & day after pills), they have the audacity to tax every single sale of real estate to pay for this unconstitutional mandate.

These asswipes have got to go. I’ll walk the streets door to door for whoever is the Republican nominee.

jb34461 on February 20, 2012 at 12:41 PM

Sanctorum is trying to make this a constitutional issue to distract from his history of progressive fiscal behavior and his despicable religious zealotry.

It isn’t working as the latest polls are revealing.

csdeven on February 20, 2012 at 12:42 PM

Anyone who thinks 2000 was about social issues wasn’t paying much attention. I suspect people who say that didn’t even vote back then.

Here’s an interesting paper – “The role of the issues in the 2000 U.S. presidential election”:

http://www.jstor.org/pss/27552463

Social issues – as in gays, role of religion, abortion, contraception, gambling, etc – were basically absent. Most of the analysis back then was on how America was tired of the culture wars of the 90s hence nobody was talking about social issues. The election was about many issues, but certainly not those.

joana on February 20, 2012 at 12:42 PM

So, I guess you don’t see the HHS mandate as a battle that should be fought. So, is the First Amendment something that should be ignored?

Voter from WA State on February 20, 2012 at 11:42 AM

No, I did not say that. But it should be a minor issue compared to the economy.

The economy is an issue that plays to everyone. I doubt you are winning independent voters by focusing on the HHS mandate, along with abortion and gay marriage.

In other words, straighten out the economy first, reinforce a belief in capitalism in the people, and then fight the battle on social issues. But it is easier to win the battle regarding social issues if you discredit the other side in terms of fiscal policy, than vice versa.

milcus on February 20, 2012 at 12:42 PM

I have a question for all of the social conservatives. For all the years you have voted for and contributed to the GOP, what have they actually accomplished regarding the social issues you hold dear? For all the years you all have been loyal to the GOP, has the culture gotten better or worse? It appears to me that you continue to be loyal to a party that has not accomplished anything toward your socially conservative goals.

Abortion is the one social issue that I won’t compromise on. I believe very strongly in protecting unborn human life. We have made some serious inroads in establishing laws which regulate and help limit abortions, at state levels. We are making progress. I am not about to throw that progress away by voting for some Mitch Daniels-style “shut up you social cons” FISCAL conservative. I also am tired of seeing the ever-present conservative ADD crowd, who apparently believes that we can’t focus on more than one issue at a time.

I agree with those on the thread that stated that fiscal conservatism can’t be divorced from social conservatism. The “issues” overlap, and have great influence on one another. The focus should be on fiscal issues, but they go hand in hand with social issues. Welfare dependency is a prime example –and cause — of the way society has degraded and it is most certainly also an economic issue.

This “contraceptive” issue is about the government usurping religious freedom, not “moralizing.” Santorum has not said he would “outlaw” contraception, nor has he said he would legislate what people do in their bedrooms. If he frames the argument properly, then the Obeyme contraceptive mandate can be framed as a threat to religious liberty, and ALL constitutionally protected liberties, something with which Ron Paul and his devotees ought to approve of.

JannyMae on February 20, 2012 at 12:42 PM

The biggest “mafia” it creates are all of the government entities who owe their existence to the war on drugs.

halfastro on February 20, 2012 at 12:42 PM

Oh it’s a coincidence alright, but it sure as hell isn’t a random coincidence. This Obama trying to set the terms of the debate.

ghostwriter on February 20, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Damn right it is!! And if we put RS up as our nominee, we play right into his hand.

JohnGalt23 on February 20, 2012 at 12:43 PM

The one “social issue” pushed by Paul and his minions is making drugs legal.
Voter from WA State on February 20, 2012 at 11:27 AM

are you calling http://www.LEAP.cc Pauls minion’s? they also call for an end to the drug war,because the war has done more harm than the drugs.

svs22422 on February 20, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Open up the Constitution and read it!!

JohnGalt23 on February 20, 2012 at 12:40 PM

When will Paul confront Mittens directly at a debate?

I can read my Constitution, and I have several lovely copies from the Cato Institute, till I am blue in the face. Still Ron Paul carries water for Willard.

wraithby on February 20, 2012 at 12:49 PM

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

You don’t fight it by being a religious zealot who talks about mixing his religious beliefs with legislation. And Sanctorum can’t fight it when he expanded the federal government and has never run a single organization. Never created a job. Been a commander in chief. Never started a business. Never ran a business. And never saved a business.

Sanctorum is completely unelectable.

csdeven on February 20, 2012 at 12:51 PM

When will Paul confront Mittens directly at a debate?

I can read my Constitution, and I have several lovely copies from the Cato Institute, till I am blue in the face. Still Ron Paul carries water for Willard.

wraithby on February 20, 2012 at 12:49 PM

Did you click the link?

JohnGalt23 on February 20, 2012 at 12:51 PM

RON PAUL……………GREAT on the FED.

Sucks on everything else.

Plus, as a BONUS……

……He’s going to run third party to HAND THE WHITE HOUSE TO OBAMA to finish destroying America.

THANKS RON.

PappyD61 on February 20, 2012 at 12:52 PM

Abortion is the one social issue that I won’t compromise on. I believe very strongly in protecting unborn human life. We have made some serious inroads in establishing laws which regulate and help limit abortions, at state levels. We are making progress. I am not about to throw that progress away by voting for some Mitch Daniels-style “shut up you social cons” FISCAL conservative. I also am tired of seeing the ever-present conservative ADD crowd, who apparently believes that we can’t focus on more than one issue at a time.

JannyMae on February 20, 2012 at 12:42 PM

I have not problem with the states and local government regulating abortion what has been accomplished with regards to abortion at the Federal level? And honestly, what has been accomplished by the states? It is my understanding that Roe v/s Wade effectively rendered all state restrictions on abortion null and void.

Even if you were able to get a nation wide law or Constitution amendment passed to outlaw abortion, would that completely eliminate abortions? Whenever a government prohibition is imposed, a black market will emerge. Do you believe that women will not participate in the abortion black market or that they will not seek home remedies?

Question, how many abortions are performed in the US today? How many abortions do you anticipate will be performed if there is a nation wide abortion prohibition?

antifederalist on February 20, 2012 at 12:52 PM

……….and is it just me or has Paul not won ONE SINGLE PRIMARY or CAUCUS in the GOP?

……….if he’s so grand, and on target why CAN’T HE FREAKING WIN ONE SINGLE STATE?

jus sayin.

PappyD61 on February 20, 2012 at 12:53 PM

I keep reading the conservative pundit echo chamber about this notion of Rick Santorum’s blue collar appeal. It’s the first I’ve heard of it and I lived in Pittsburgh during the entire period in which Santorum held elective office. A new meme for Mr. Sweater Vest?

thuja on February 20, 2012 at 12:54 PM

Senator Frothy…

JohnGalt23 on February 20, 2012 at 10:52 AM

I just found out what “frothy” means. I don’t think I’ll look up nicknames any longer. “Fluffer” was another one I wished I had not Googled.

csdeven on February 20, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Where snake goes wrong is on his cavalier attitude towards national security.

ghostwriter on February 20, 2012 at 12:24 PM

National Security. Do you know what it will take to win in Afghanistan? A complete change in the moral and idealogical base. In other words, dragging the society of the Afghans out of the 7th Century kicking and screaming into our own. How long will that take? Eighty years, if we are very lucky.

The first generation would have to be educated. Not to our current standard. We’ve already seen what happens when we try and educate girls in Afghanistan. They’re attacked on the street. Each generation will result in the children becomming more tolerant, more understanding. With a little luck, in eighty years, say four generations or so, we’ll have a nation that understands more than they do now.

Can we do it? I doubt it. Not because it’s impossible. Because we lack the resources to accomplish it. We simply can’t afford to maintain divisions of military in Afghanistan for generations to keep the peace while we educate and set up electrical power to all the rural areas.

The war on terror. OK, to win this we need to eliminate Terror. How? Killing Al Queda hasn’t done it. There will always be more terrorist wannabe dolts. Again education to teach the radical Islamic followers that there is nothing honorable about killing innocents. Good luck. We’ve been trying that for a while now. Perhaps the next great crusade will limit the numbers of radical Islamic followers enough to keep them ineffective for a few generations. I’m not ready to order that, are you? Would you want someone in the White House who could order that?

We can’t win, and we can’t lose. So we’ll go on fighting it for eternity. But how much of our liberty are we supposed to surrender for the war? We wiped out the 4th, 5th, and 6th Amendments to the Constitution with the Patriot Act. We have no right to be secure in our homes if the FBI has reason to believe we might know something, anything about some threat real or imagined. No right to privacy absent a warrant. No right to an attorney if presented with a National Security Letter demanding we answer questions and inform no one of our talks.

Thousands of those letters have been issued. No Judicial oversight. No reviews, just the agent and his/her superior. That doesn’t give you pause? That doesn’t make you question the wisdom of the policy? Federal Agents being authorized to take you and hold you incommunicado without access to an attorney doesn’t bother you?

We got the Jury system to remove the power of conviction from the King in England. We kept the same system here, because we wanted to make sure that we never had another Potentate who could issue such judgements.

We have not one. But thousands. Thousands of Federal Agents, all of whom can arrest you and hold you indefinately. By declaring you are an enemy combatant, you can be sent to Guantanamo and held indefinately. Where is the trial by a jury of your peers? Where is the judicial review? Where are our liberties, our rights?

National Defense is a blanket being used to smother our individual rights and liberties. Fight the war, we have little choice but to do so. We do have the choice of how we citizens are treated. That is the battle brewing around us. The battle for our liberties. Our constitutionally guaranteed freedoms. If our leaders tell us we can’t fight the war with the constitution in place. Then I don’t say get rid of the constitution. I say it’s time for new leaders.

Snake307 on February 20, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Here we have a president who has tanked the economy, rising gas prices that even the clueless notice and the Rs are positioning themselves to piss away the election via unforced errors.

philw1776 on February 20, 2012 at 11:29 AM

The good news is that when Mitt wins he won’t owe a darned thing to the loony religious fanatics. Unlike so many past GOP Presidents, when some holy roller yell, “F-CK” he won’t jump to and ask, “which position?”

MJBrutus on February 20, 2012 at 12:55 PM

I just found out what “frothy” means. I don’t think I’ll look up nicknames any longer. “Fluffer” was another one I wished I had not Googled.

csdeven on February 20, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Apologies if I offended any delicate sensibilities. But the man equated homosexuality with child rape.

JohnGalt23 on February 20, 2012 at 12:57 PM

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