When Ron Paul ran for president in 2008, polls showed that Americans-at-large were worried about an increasingly bad economy, angry at Washington for bailing out Wall Street and weary of the Iraq War. GOP primary voters found themselves defending a Republican president who was on the unpopular side of all three issues, supporting a Republican nominee who agreed with him, and having to choose from a Republican field of candidates virtually indistinguishable from their president, their nominee and each other. Except one.
With Ron Paul all but declaring his candidacy for president this week, polls show that Americans at large are most worried about a bad economy, Obama’s high negatives indicate a persistent distrust and disgust with Washington, and this president’s three Middle Eastern wars are arguably more unpopular than Iraq and Afghanistan were three years ago.
Yet, even though they will have adjusted their various positions accordingly, 2012 GOP primary voters will generally find a field of candidates willing to bash the White House for basically doing the same things these same candidates once defended a Republican president doing. In fact, most potential 2012 candidates will be as guilty of contributing to big government as the president they’ll criticize. Mitt Romney gave us the blueprint for government-run healthcare. Tim Pawlenty and Newt Gingrich gave Republican support for cap and trade. Rick Santorum ran cover for Bush’s entire statist agenda by touting the president’s alleged social conservatism. Adding ideological insult to injury, most of these candidates still promote an astronomically expensive foreign policy while they simultaneously and contradictorily claim we must cut spending. By and large, these candidates are conservative in rhetoric only, not their records, as has been the case with most Republican presidential candidates for decades.
That is, again, except one. Read More…
During the 2008 election, Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul said that our constant military intervention in the Arab world was the primary motivation behind terrorist acts like 9/11. Why did Paul say this? Because Osama Bin Laden said it. Because the 9/11 Commission report said it. Because CIA intelligence said it, even inventing the term “blowback” precisely to describe it. Yet, when Paul explained this, fellow candidate and eventual Republican nominee John McCain excoriated the Texas congressman and suggested that he was indirectly giving aid and comfort to the enemy, Al-Qaeda.
Yet last week, McCain gave aid and comfort to the enemy. Directly.
Yes, it seems that the man who once ran for president portraying himself as being “tough” on terrorists now supports Al-Qaeda. This is not a joke. Read More…
Billionaire, reality TV star and possible 2012 presidential contender Donald Trump has been saying many things as of late, as his mix of Obama-bashing and Birtherism continue to excite a portion of the Republican base. But despite much silliness, Trump actually has said something vitally important: “George Bush gave us Barack Obama… If it weren’t for George Bush, we wouldn’t have Barack Obama. So I’m not thrilled with George Bush.”
For conservatives, this is unquestionably the most important message to remember heading into 2012.
While most conservatives will now admit to not being “thrilled” with Bush, not all of them are necessarily prepared to reject him and his legacy primarily because for eight long years the Right was completely immersed in defending his administration. Conservatives blindly defended arguably the biggest big government Republican president in history because they were so wrapped up in also blindly defending arguably the worst foreign policy blunder in American history—the Iraq War. Bush told us he was a “compassionate conservative.” We now know he was not conservative in any tangible sense, compassionate or otherwise. Bush also told us Saddam Hussein posed a threat to the United States, that Iraq was complicit in 9/11 and sold his war accordingly. Thousands of lives, trillions of dollars and an almost decade-long war later, we now know none of this was true. Indeed, to still say that Iraq was “worth it,” is to say that virtually any war our government concocts would be “worth it” too. Read More…
If you ask the average film critic about the new movie adaptation of Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” they will tell you it is a horrible movie. If you ask the average conservative or libertarian they will tell you it is a great movie. Objectively, it is a mediocre movie at best. Subjectively, it is one of the best mediocre movies you’ll ever see.
And of course this is based entirely on the subject. If it has become a Hollywood cliché to make movies about greedy capitalists vs. benevolent government, Rand’s famous novel radically restructures this pedestrian narrative. “Atlas” is about greedy government that conspires with greedy capitalists to stop other greedy capitalists from making products which, incidentally, make them benevolent.
Confused? You should be. Read More…
On the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and the battle of Fort Sumter, MSNBC television host Rachel Maddow said on her evening program: “The fact that the first shots were fired in South Carolina specifically came as no surprise… the great pride of the South Carolina secessionists was Senator John C. Calhoun, a beloved pro-slavery politician who… championed the cause of nullification.”
The obviously anti-secession liberal host then defined the term: “Nullification—the idea that states could and should refuse to follow federal laws they didn’t like, that they thought went beyond the powers of the federal government.”
In addition to Calhoun, some of the earliest examples of nullification in the United States were in defiance of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. This act declared that slaves who escaped to free states must be forcibly returned to their masters. Many abolitionists became rabid advocates of nullification. When South Carolina seceded from the Union on December 20, 1860 it specifically listed nullification of fugitive slave laws as one of its grievances. When US Senator Jefferson Davis left Congress to become the President of the Confederate States of America he specifically denounced nullification in his farewell address.
Southern leaders denouncing nullification where it undermined the institution of slavery reinforces liberals’ argument that the Civil War was exclusively about slavery. It also seriously contradicts liberals’ argument that nullification is exclusively about slavery. Read More…
When Florida pastor Terry Jones decided to “send a message” to Muslims by burning a Koran last week, it incited outrage and violence throughout the Arab world. American leaders rightly responded by condemning the senseless and dangerous act. Yet in the end, and despite the pastor’s obvious and irresponsible recklessness, Jones used his free speech and political leaders used theirs. Such is the nature of free expression in a free society.
But one politician’s condemnation of Jones contained a suggested remedy far more dangerous to American freedom than burning the Koran. Said Sen. Lindsey Graham on CBS’ Face the Nation:
Yeah, I wish we could find some way to hold people accountable. Free speech is a great idea, but we’re in a war. During World War II you had limits on what you could say if it would inspire the enemy.
Certainly the Founding Fathers considered free speech more than just a mere “great idea” but one of the bedrock principles of our republic, even enshrining it in the first amendment to our Constitution. That Graham would be willing to capitulate to radical Islamists by curtailing this precious freedom is particularly astounding when you consider that the Senator consistently and adamantly opposes curtailing the one policy that unquestionably “inspires the enemy” more than any other. In fact, when it comes to looking out for America’s proper defense and actual security—Lindsey Graham is arguably the most ass-backward politician alive today. Read More…
Last Thursday, Jack Hunter made an appearance on Judge Napolitano’s FreedomWatch to talk about Tea Party attitudes on Libya and whether President Obama is a born-again neocon.
Jack also visited the Judge yesterday to discuss the hypocrisy of liberals’ support for Obama’s war of choice.
After reading my recent column “Obama’s Libyan War,” a liberal friend took me to task: “Jack, you just don’t understand…” he began as he continued to explain the supposedly important humanitarian reasons for the President’s recent intervention. I just stared at him. I then asked, “If Bush had gone to war in Libya, would you have supported it?” He winced and replied, “Well, I would like to think I would.” “You’re lying,” I said, which he eventually admitted. I then added that any liberal who now says they would have supported Bush doing in Libya what they now support Obama doing is lying. And they know it.
If there’s one thing worse than hypocrites, its partisan hypocrites—and with this new Libyan war Obama Democrats have again proved themselves virtually identical to the Bush Republicans they once despised. I distinctly remember syndicated talk radio host Sean Hannity arguing with antiwar Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul that it was a moral imperative for America to invade Iraq to liberate its citizens from Saddam Hussein’s “genocide” and “rape rooms.” At the time, virtually no one on the Left accepted these purportedly humanitarian reasons as justifications for the invasion of Iraq.
Today, as most conservatives (including Hannity) either oppose or are highly skeptical of Obama’s “humanitarian” Libyan intervention, those most in favor of it are either the same neoconservatives who were the most enthusiastic about Iraq—and liberals most loyal to Obama. Said neoconservative godfather and Weekly Standard editor William Kristol on FOX News of Obama: “his sound policies are more like the policies people like me have been advocating for quite a while, I’m happy to support them. He’s a born-again neo-con.”
Kristol is essentially right. Virtually every argument Obama Democrats now make in support of Obama’s intervention—it’s a humanitarian mission, it will only take a few days or weeks, it’s in America’s interest—is identical to parts of the Bush administration’s case for the Iraq war. Read More…
The older I get the more I despise racism. Not the Left’s cartoon version, in which it is assumed that every conceivable human thought or action must contain some sort of prejudicial racial motive, but the genuine article in which knuckle dragging morons try to dehumanize their fellow man based on nothing more than the color of their skin. Life is too short for such needless hatred. Life is too special to diminish it to mere biology.
This is not to say that acknowledging race, discussing racial issues, or even holding certain attitudes about race is necessarily wrong. In fact, it’s unavoidable.
But there’s a world of difference between being merely politically incorrect and being racist. The greatest mistake made by hardcore racists and anti-racists alike is that both tend to believe that race must mean absolutely everything or it must mean absolutely nothing. Both positions are as extreme as they are absurd. Race unquestionably matters; it’s just not all that matters and rarely what matters most.
This is particularly worth noting when discussing the Civil War. My entire adult life I have defended the Old South and the Southern cause in America’s bloodiest war. Not because I support slavery or racism, but despite it. The positive parallels between what the Confederacy was fighting for in 1861 and what the American colonists fought for in 1776 are many and obvious—republican democracy, political and economic freedom, national independence, defense of one’s homeland. But these causes are never obvious to critics who can only see the other parallel—that both the Old South and the thirteen colonies were dependent upon, and protective of, the institution of slavery.
In the United States today, the very concepts of states’ rights, nullification, secession and other examples of Jeffersonian democracy are routinely dismissed as racist double speak, even in their modern forms. When a number of states declared in recent months that they might attempt to nullify Obamacare, critics immediately put more emphasis on the fact that there seemed to be a high degree of hostility toward America’s first black president. Of course, this was coupled with the establishment’s permanent narrative that allowing states to make their own decisions is what the Old South was all about, thus eternally making America two steps away from segregation if not slavery. Read More…