A Mormon in the White House?

By: hawkgrrrl
May 17, 2011

My own beginnings in the bloggernacle date to the 2008 election when I was interested in hearing more about Romney’s candidacy from the POV of other Mormons.  I started out reading and discussing posts at Mormon Mentality before I found Mormon Matters and got sucked in to that site’s discussion and then invited to blog there.  The rest, as they say, is history.  And here we are again four years later, as the GOP candidates are lining up for the 2012 election.  The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Many recent articles talk about the GOP candidates vying for the nomination, including 2 Mormon candidates, the one to beat (Romney), and the dark horse (Hunstman).  With Huckabee and Trump out of the picture, this only furthers the possibility of a Mormon in the White House in 2012, although it is certainly an uphill climb.  Would-be Trump voters may gravitate toward Palin and Romney (the next two with high face recognition - the wealthy but shallow toward handsome elitist Romney, the poor but shallow toward pretty populist Palin).  Huckabee’s exit benefits both Mormon candidates as he would have otherwise whipped up anti-Mormon sentiment among the Evangelical base; however, his would-be voters are more likely to attach to populist social conservative Pawlenty and tea partier Bachmann, or conversely Newt Gingrich (voters so conservative they are both sexist and cool with hypocrisy; all they require is a doughy white guy to vote for).

There have been several polls comparing the odds for the GOP hopefuls.  Here are some of my own picks, odds I’m giving them, and why:

  1. Romney.  3 to 1 odds.  “Front Runner.”
    • What would derail him?  Being Mormon still hurts him, and in a race with two Mormons, he is the most Mormon of the two (and of the “okley-dokely variety”). 
    • Who finds him appealing?  The wealthy, moderates, people who expect inauthenticity from politicians, people who want the president to “look presidential.” 
    • Who finds him UNappealing?  Populists, evangelicals, GOP hard liners, Republicans who credit him with being the father of Obamacare. 
    • Why he will get the nomination:  If no one more credible pulls ahead; he has a clean record (sorry, Newt), is smart (sorry, Palin), handsome (sorry, Santorum), and not crazy (sorry, Ron Paul). 
    • How he could win the general election:  If the economy is the key issue, he can beat Obama.  Incumbents lose when the economy is bad.
  2. Palin.  7 to 1 odds Caribou Barbie  
    • What would derail her?  Another Katie Couric interview.  Or maybe Oprah.  
    • Who finds her appealing?  Gun afficionados, NASCAR voters, men and people with IQs lower than 120. 
    • Who finds her UNappealing?  People with IQs over 120, moderates, scientists. 
    • Why she could get the nomination:  Very strong name and face recognition, and a female president is long overdue. 
    • How she could win the general election:  Probably can’t.  Maybe as a running mate if she didn’t get blinkered so easily, but she would probably be a liability in today’s 24×7 unedited news world.
  3. Mitch Daniels8 to 1 odds.  “The Serious Guy
    • What would derail him?  Not garnering enough support by waiting too long to jump in. 
    • Who finds him appealing?  Washington insiders who want a strong conservative candidate. 
    • Who finds him UNappealing?  Moderates, people who hate career politicians. 
    • Why he could get the nomination:  A good track record, and could pull ahead if no one stronger emerges
    • How he could win the general election:  On conservative chops if Obama loses support due to a poor economy.
  4. Bachmann.  10 to 1 odds.  “The Tea Partier”  
    • What would derail her?  Not being strong enough on economy or foreign policy in the debate rounds.
    • Who finds her appealing?  Tea partiers fed up with the current administration, people who don’t want a flip-flopper, voters who want a strong female candidate. 
    • Who finds her UNappealing?  Moderates. 
    • Why she could get the nomination:  Has a strong base, and is competing against more moderate candidates; to beat a diverse candidate, be a diverse candidate (a woman). 
    • How she could win the general election:  On a wave of tea party support if the economy is bad.  However, she could also be a strong vice-presidential candidate to round out a more moderate, less female candidate.
  5. Gingrich10 to 1 oddsAdulterous Speaker of the House”  
    • What would derail him?  His past.  Obviously. 
    • Who finds him appealing?  No, really.  I’m asking. 
    • Who finds him UNappealing?  Anti-adultery social conservatives, shallow people who want a good looking president. 
    • Why he could get the nomination:  He has name recognition, and he entered the race early. 
    • How he could win the general election:  He could beat Biden if that scenario ever happened in some alternate universe.  Otherwise, he’s a liability despite his name recognition.
  6. Pawlenty.  15 to 1 odds.  “The Populist”  
    • What would derail him?  Continuing to fail to garner enough support. 
    • Who finds him appealing?  Staunch social conservatives, former Huckabee supporters. 
    • Who finds him UNappealing?  Moderates, elitists. 
    • Why he could get the nomination:  He has credibility and support among the 1/3 of GOP voters who are Evangelical social conservatives. 
    • How he could win the general election:  By pandering to the poor if the economy is bad.
  7. Huntsman15 to 1 odds.  The Other Handsome, Rich Mormon Guy 
    • What would derail him?  Having served in the Obama administration.  Being too unknown. 
    • Who finds him appealing?  Foreign policy wonks, business people who understand the current importance of Asia. 
    • Who finds him UNappealing?  Staunch conservatives, Evangelicals (although he will fare better than Romney on this front). 
    • Why he could get the nomination:  He’s entering late with no personal baggage and strong principles – he could easily pull ahead as a replacement for Romney if Romney fails to connect. 
    • How he could win the general election:  On the economy if that issue becomes a front-running issue, if he had a strong enough running mate.
  8. Herman Cain30 to 1 odds“The Black Republican” 
    • What would derail him?  Insufficient support. 
    • Who finds him appealing?  People who want  a black president who debates well that isn’t a Democrat. 
    • Who finds him UNappealing?  Most just don’t know him. 
    • Why he could get the nomination:  He’s wealthy, so he can compete, and a race between two black candidates would be a way to neutralize one of Obama’s advantages; however, this would have been a better card to play in 2008 when Obama wasn’t the incumbent. 
    • How he could win the general election:  He’s too unknown; he probably only wins as a veep at this point, but he would be an asset as a Vice Presidential candidate.

So those are my picks.  I omitted some you might like better, and of course, any of these candidates could choose to walk away, or Huckabee could have a chat with God and change his mind.  It’s still early days.  In any case, it is certainly more likely than it was in 2008 that either the Republican Presidential nominee or the VP nominee will be a Mormon.  Five reasons that’s good press for Mormons:

  1. Mormons are becoming more mainstream.
  2. Two different “brands” of Mormonism are being presented here.  Huntsman downplays his Mormon faith (not rising to the challenge when told he sounds as if he’s not Mormon any more), and his daughter is marrying outside the faith.  He also refers to his ancestors being saloon keepers (which seems like an obscure pander to the Utah-centric issue of liquor licenses that no one outside the state has ever heard of).  Romney comes across as a more “golly gee willakers” brand of Mormonism as often portrayed in sit-coms.
  3. 100% of Mormon candidates are good looking and well-dressed, with good hair and tan skin.  They also have hot wives (only one each, though).
  4. Mormons may be religious, but are also financially successful business people.
  5. Even filthy-rich Mormons are down-to-earth (Romney enjoys ice-blocking on a golf course while Huntsman likes to eat in divey restaurants and back alleys in China).
  6. Mormons are faithful to their spouses, even when they become rich and powerful.  They avoid the most common hypocrisy among politicians.
  7. Mormons like to be well-travelled and cultured.  Both candidates have talked a lot about living in multiple places, although neither can really compete with Obama on this front.

On the downside, one could conclude:

  1. Mormons are all related, in part thanks to polygamy (as are both these candidates, distantly).
  2. Mormons all seem to have strong ties to an obscure state that most Americans have never been to and many couldn’t accurately place on the map.

So, readers, here are some questions for you:

  • What do you think the odds are that the Republican nominee (or VP) will be a Mormon in 2012?
  • What will that scrutiny and publicity mean for Mormons as a group?
  • Do you think the candidates will successfully bypass religion with Huckabee out of the race?

Discuss!

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79 Responses to A Mormon in the White House?

  1. Dan on May 17, 2011 at 7:37 AM

    hawkgrrrl,

    What would derail him? Being Mormon still hurts him, and in a race with two Mormons, he is the most Mormon of the two (and of the “okley-dokely variety”).

    You forgot one other big (maybe bigger) issue Romney has to face. Obamacare is based on Romneycare, which was a conservative idea. But today’s radical conservatives utterly reject their own ideas (something Romney did not envision happening whilst governor of Massachusetts). His Romneycare is the millstone around his neck.

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  2. Jon on May 17, 2011 at 7:44 AM

    Well Dan, he’ll still get Utah’s vote, because he is mormon (how could he get less than 90% again?).

    Short synopsis on how Romney[no]care is working out.
    http://www.coyoteblog.com/coyote_blog/2011/05/inevitable-result-of-price-controls-health-care-edition.html

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  3. Morgan D on May 17, 2011 at 8:07 AM

    I’m neither wealthy, nor moderate, nor do I expect “inauthenticity” from politicans but I support Romney. I find your post as offensive as is it inaccurate.

    I support Romney because of his impeccable economic credentials, his anti Bush ability to actually sound intelligent, and the compentence that he emits. Of course, Obama sold the last quality and it turned out to be wrong, but Romney actually has a great track record exhibiting the qualities for which I support him.

    I was excited to read your post but I’m extremely dissapointed that you couldn’t even describe Romney’s supporters in accurate and favorable terms.

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  4. Will on May 17, 2011 at 8:08 AM

    HG,

    Huntsman is a moderate by Utah standards. His successor, Herbert, is doing a much better job and is far more conservative. This is why Utah is doing better than the nation as a whole. It is run by conservatives.

    Unfortunately, I see Romney being the GOP candidate. The church will get dragged through the mud and he won’t win. If the economy recovers even slightly, Obama will win re-election. The democrats have done a good job of getting people dependant on the Government. People don’t want to lose their benefits so they will keep voting for someone who will give it to them. For this reason, they will remain in charge until they take the US down economically. Actually, they already have and very few have the integrity or insight to admit the truth.

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  5. Dan on May 17, 2011 at 8:15 AM

    Morgan,

    I support Romney because of his impeccable economic credentials

    ah, yes, uh, how many jobs did he create at Bain Capital?

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0108/7967.html

    http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2008/01/27/as_bain_slashed_jobs_romney_stayed_to_side/

    impeccable indeed.

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  6. Last Lemming on May 17, 2011 at 8:29 AM

    With Huckabee out, the nomination is Romney’s to lose. Of the first four states, he shold win New Hampshire and Nevada. He won several large counties in Iowa last time, so there are delegates to be won there. Only in South Carolina does he have little prospect of getting delegates. As the primary schedule stands, Florida comes next. Florida is suffering under its Tea Party governor and should be open to a less fanatical brand of Republicanism. If Romney can resist the urge to pander to the Tea Party, he has a real shot at Florida. Then comes Super Tuesday,when he should have a shot at winning California, Connecticut, Delaware, New York, and New Jersey. That’s a lot of delegates, so he could have an almost insurmountable lead at that point.

    Of course, he is doomed in the general election unless the economy totally tanks and Obama can’t blame it on Tea Party know-nothings who allowed the US to default on its obligations.

    As for Huntsman, I have a hard time seeing a constituency for him. I see Bachmann and Pawlenty as the main competition.

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  7. hawkgrrrl on May 17, 2011 at 8:50 AM

    Lemming – interestingly, Huntsman is being touted as the inheritor of SC from Huckabee – hard to imagine if you ask me.

    Morgan D – I’m sorry you find my characterizations offensive, but that’s politics for ya. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. I am wealthy, elitist, moderate, and I don’t mind some plasticity in my candidates. I too would vote for Romney as his economic chops are superior to Obama’s. However, I so far like the look of Huntsman better from a church perspective. He seems to be following the instinct to keep faith out of the race. IMO, it’s the achilles heel of any Mormon candidate. Best way to skirt it is to dodge it and pick a social conservative veep.

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  8. Jon on May 17, 2011 at 8:58 AM

    Anyone that supports the federal reserve system (a private/public banking monopoly) I would call elitist. Romney, check.

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  9. Dan on May 17, 2011 at 9:02 AM

    one trick pony

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  10. hawkgrrrl on May 17, 2011 at 9:26 AM

    Oh, and Dan #1 comment, I did mention this in the OP: “Who finds him UNappealing? Populists, evangelicals, GOP hard liners, Republicans who credit him with being the father of Obamacare.”

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  11. Dan on May 17, 2011 at 9:48 AM

    yeah, I saw you added that in the unappealing section. Just based on the talk out there, I think his Romneycare is a greater millstone than his Mormonism among conservatives.

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  12. Paul on May 17, 2011 at 10:28 AM

    I like your odds (though I’d prefer Gingrich’s to be much lower), though it’s hard to imagine Romney’s winning this round without an economic meltdown.

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  13. shenpa warrior on May 17, 2011 at 10:46 AM

    I would LOVE to see Bachmann become a bigger player in this field, solely because I LOVE Kristin Wiig on SNL. We’re done with Tina Fey/Palin now.

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  14. Ben on May 17, 2011 at 10:55 AM

    Two words on an impending economic meltdown. Two words…..DOUBLE DIP.

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  15. Jeff Spector on May 17, 2011 at 11:03 AM

    It’s not going to matter who the Republican nominee is. they probably all lose. it is a question of who wants to practice for next time…..

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  16. Jon on May 17, 2011 at 11:10 AM

    It’s not going to matter who the Republican nominee is. they probably all lose. it is a question of who wants to practice for next time…

    True, it’s terribly difficult to beat an incumbent. As attested by McCain’s constant winning here in AZ. It’s in oddity when they are thrown out, like Hatch in Utah, it probably has more to do with how the elections are run (just primaries here in AZ and UT has the “pre primaries” that make it so the “radicals” are more likely to rise to the top).

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  17. Douglas on May 17, 2011 at 11:13 AM

    Re: Palin – as an engineer and scientist with an IQ well above 120, I object to the characterization of Palin supporters as unintelligent. And she’s attractive. However, though I agree with much of her politics, I don’t see her as Presidential material

    Re: Mitt – remember the Klingon saying about never trusting men that smile too much. But if it’s him or Obama, then, yes.

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  18. Will on May 17, 2011 at 11:22 AM

    Ben,

    Double dip would imply we have actually come out of the hole we are in. We haven’t. You can only pay off your Visa with you MasterCard for so long until they both get maxed out.

    As one who has counseled many people with financial problems, I would strongly suggest
    preparing for the worst. With the massive debt we have, it will get a lot worse, before it gets better.

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  19. iamse7en on May 17, 2011 at 12:11 PM

    Of course you don’t list Ron Paul, who is the only one who satisfies what the 1st Presidency instructed us do: Support political candidates ‘who are truly dedicated to the Constitution in the tradition of our Founding Fathers.’

    Mormons who study the constitution and know the “proper role of government” as they have been taught by their leaders could not possibly support anyone in this field other than Ron Paul.

    Ron Paul is crazy? I think it’s crazy to have war going on in 5 countries, have troops in 130 countries, while at home we are printing fiat money to finance our corporatist ponzi schemes. THAT is certifiably crazy.

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  20. Dan on May 17, 2011 at 12:20 PM

    Ron Paul is indeed crazy. He would that a business employ the power of the state to kick out someone from its premises who doesn’t fit a certain criteria. Freedom my ass.

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  21. Dan on May 17, 2011 at 12:21 PM

    http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2011/05/ron-paul-get-the-government-out-of-my-government.html

    “When you own a hotel and bar Black people what happens is that if Black people comes in and sleep in the beds you call the police–functionaries of the state–and they then take the Black people away and charge them with trespass. When you own a bus and require Black people to sit in the back and Black people sits in the front you call the police–functionaries of the state–and they then take the Black people away and charge them with trespass. When you own a lunch counter and make it whites-only if Black people sit down at the lunch counter you call the police–functionaries of the state–and they then take the Black people away and charge them with trespass.

    Ron Paul’s belief is that the state should assist in amplifying social and political crises and injustices whenever the propertied wish to provoke them.

    Private fee-simple property is, after all, an institution established and enforced by the government. You can hardly get the government out of what is, fundamentally, the government’s core business.

    Or if you do–if you no longer rely on government to enforce your property rights, you had better be willing to hold seisin in the manner of Richard “Strongbow” de Clare–and had best start practicing with horse and lance…”

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  22. jmb275 on May 17, 2011 at 12:28 PM

    Re Dan-
    Just curious, but how come you’re always only about the economics part of it? During the Bush years surely you called for an end to the war in Iraq? Didn’t you? Why wouldn’t you be more supportive of a presidential candidate you know would end the wars and put the kabosh on large military expenditures (which might leave money left over for welfare programs)? Obama doesn’t seem to have done those things which I thought were huge items on the Democrat agenda. Even if Ron Paul doesn’t support your idea of an economic utopia, he certainly favors other things you support? Doesn’t he? Perhaps more so than Obama even?

    Sincerely curious. Not trying to start a battle or anything.

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  23. Dan on May 17, 2011 at 12:35 PM

    jmb,

    of the Democratic candidates, Barack Obama was the only one who promised to end the war in Iraq. That’s why I voted for him. None of the other ones really made that a central focus. He’s followed through on his plan. I wish it could have ended sooner, but alas, that’s not how reality works.

    I know Ron Paul was against the war in Iraq back in the Bush years. I cannot support Ron Paul for his crazy domestic ideas.

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  24. Jon on May 17, 2011 at 12:41 PM

    Paul is crazy alright. He believes you own your own body and that you can smoke a joint if you wish. By extension he believes that what you mix your labor with is yours (or the exchange for that labor). That when you own something you get to decide what happens to it and no one else.

    Civil liberties, fuey on them, who needs civil liberties?

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  25. jmb275 on May 17, 2011 at 12:43 PM

    Re Dan-
    By “domestic ideas” do you really mean economic ideas? Aren’t you socially liberal? They don’t get much more socially liberal than Ron Paul (who voted against the Patriot Act, etc.).

    If you are socially liberal, then it seems like you really primarily just value the economic side of things over foreign and social issues. Is that accurate?

    Again, just curious.

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  26. Jon on May 17, 2011 at 12:44 PM

    jmb275,

    Dan’s a kingman, I discovered. It took a lot to get him to the point of admitting it but he believes that people should be controlled by the government and that we shouldn’t be free.

    It was an interesting conversation that lead to that point.

    Whether or not Congress abdicates its own constitutional responsibilities is NOT an indication of Executive overreach. It’s an example of Congress failing. It’s NOT an example of an imperial presidency, but of an impotent Legislative. Get your narrative right. Because put simply, if Congress is not going to do its job, someone has to. If Congress doesn’t, it is left up to the President to do so. You have no idea what you are talking about you idiot.

    http://www.wheatandtares.org/2011/05/04/should-k-12-teachers-make-six-figure-salaries/

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  27. Jon on May 17, 2011 at 12:46 PM

    Sorry, guys, I shouldn’t have stoked the fire.

    Dan, I love you man. Hope you love me back some day. Next time I go to NY we can barbeque up some burgers or something and talk politics.

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  28. jmb275 on May 17, 2011 at 12:58 PM

    I also would like to meet up with Dan and have a BBQ. Mostly because I’d like to put a person with the monicker. Dan and I have had our differences, and I have no ill will against him. Meeting up would remind me that behind every blogger comment is a thinking, reasonable, human being.

    I appreciate that someone doesn’t agree with me and isn’t afraid to speak up about it. Reminds me why I love our country.

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  29. Will on May 17, 2011 at 1:01 PM

    Hawkgrrl:

    Re Palin:

    The allure and attraction of Palin is that she is a rugged individual. She is un-electable as noted; however, I wouldn’t demonize her message or her followers. She is appealing because she offers no BS. This is what we need. People are tired of lies and corruption. We don’t need more programs, or fixes or economic plans; and, we sure as hell don’t need any more Ivy League education thrown in the mix. It is the so called ‘intellectuals’ that have destroyed this nation. Both Democrats and Republicans have destroyed our economy and the common theme for both sides is their Ivy League background. Their Ivy League educated advisors. Like anyone that is in need of repentance, our nation needs a broken heart and a contrite spirit. We need to recognize what we are doing wrong. We need confession. We need to make restitution. We need to forsake our old ways and live within our means. We need to complete the cycle of pride before we can truly fix anything.

    My preference on a candidate, if he would run, would be Dave Ramsey.

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  30. Dan on May 17, 2011 at 1:05 PM

    jmb,

    I mean everything. There’s little that Ron Paul and I agree on. He’s an extremist in all senses of the word. He either believes extreme things on the left, or extreme things on the right. I’m a fairly moderate liberal. I don’t care for some of the extreme things on the left (such as freedom to smoke heroin, as Paul thinks is okay), I also strongly disagree with his extreme beliefs on the right (ending the Fed for instance). He’s not a moderate. He’s nowhere near the center. Obama, for instance, is a left of center guy (about where I am—thus why I’m most likely going to vote for him again in 2012) who uses conservative and liberal ideas to come to some resolution. The individual mandate for instance is a conservative idea. He pushed for that because he figured he could get Republicans to support it (thus actually getting something done). He ended the war in Iraq (a liberal idea). And so on and so forth. Credit card reform, etc.

    I would never support Ron Paul for several reasons. He wishes to be defined by his ultra-libertarianism (even though one of the fathers of libertarianism, some dude named Friedrich Hayek, thought the government ought to get involved in providing health care to its people:

    “There is no reason why, in a society which has reached the general level of wealth ours has, the first kind of security should not be guaranteed to all without endangering general freedom; that is: some minimum of food, shelter and clothing, sufficient to preserve health. Nor is there any reason why the state should not help to organize a comprehensive system of social insurance in providing for those common hazards of life against which few can make adequate provision. It is planning for security of the second kind which has such an insidious effect on liberty. It is planning designed to protect individuals or groups against diminutions of their incomes.”

    –page 148 of The Road to Serfdom

    The other reason is that his acolytes are so fervent in their adoration of him that they might soon deify him. You ought to be very worried about those kinds of people in a democratic society. They tend to eventually employ the power of the state to quash opposing views.

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  31. Dan on May 17, 2011 at 1:08 PM

    jmb,

    if you’re on facebook, it’s not hard to find me. I’m friends with many of the bloggernacle folk.

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  32. Ben on May 17, 2011 at 1:12 PM

    Will,

    I was talking about the double-dip in home prices which is looming as more foreclosures are brought on the market.

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  33. jmb275 on May 17, 2011 at 1:18 PM

    Re Dan-
    Yeah, I think you have some good points. I’m not nearly as extreme as many libertarians. I agree with many points idealistically, but I agree that many libertarian ideas wouldn’t work in our current system.

    I also agree that libertarians sometimes have that tendency to glorify their candidate. Not surprising since they are a minority group and that’s what minority groups do.

    I’m actually not opposed to another term with Obama. I actually like Obama precisely because I think he’s the first reasonable president we’ve had in a long long time. He tries to cooperate on most things, and, at least in my opinion, BECAUSE he has not kept many promises to me is a signal that he is willing to change his views or at least his agenda. I think that’s admirable.

    I gotta say, it strikes me odd that you declare yourself a moderate when you so venomously attack those who don’t agree with you. I think of moderates as those who try to learn and listen from all the sides of an issue.

    If I were on FB, I would friend you. But alas…I’m not.

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  34. Dan on May 17, 2011 at 1:29 PM

    jmb,

    It’s not that I don’t try to listen to all ideas presented. It’s that I’ve already heard most of the ideas out there and already made a judgment for myself on them. Secondly, in the case of conservative ideas, today’s conservative ideas are so inherently contradictory that it amazes me more people don’t see this. For instance, the quote above from Friedrich Hayek. He wrote that, but you’ll never hear Jon advocate for something like that. Or any of the other Hayek acolytes. The henhouse has been taken over by insane people, jmb. Take for instance the idea of taxing the wealthy at a higher rate, and exempting the poor from paying taxes. You’d think that was some liberal socialist ideas by how today’s conservatives rant about it. But none other than Thomas Jefferson advocated it:

    http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/v1ch15s32.html

    Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they rise. Whenever there is in any country, uncultivated lands and unemployed poor, it is clear that the laws of property have been so far extended as to violate natural right. The earth is given as a common stock for man to labour and live on. If, for the encouragement of industry we allow it to be appropriated, we must take care that other employment be furnished to those excluded from the appropriation. If we do not the fundamental right to labour the earth returns to the unemployed. It is too soon yet in our country to say that every man who cannot find employment but who can find uncultivated land, shall be at liberty to cultivate it, paying a moderate rent. But it is not too soon to provide by every possible means that as few as possible shall be without a little portion of land. The small landholders are the most precious part of a state.

    It is worth reading the entire letter, as Jefferson recounts a visit to a French village the French king goes to for hunting. He’s astounded by the inequality of wealth and the plight of a poor woman who earns far less than what she needs solely for her rent.

    I’m also venomous toward those who say utterly stupid things, like the president of the United States is a king. That’s just utterly stupid. You may believe that the executive branch today holds more power than it used to do. That’s very understandable (because it’s true of course), but to claim it is a kingship is just stupid. And for reasonable discourse, such kind of ridiculous claim MUST be ridiculed. If you allow those kinds of claims to gain traction, you degrade the debate.

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  35. Ben on May 17, 2011 at 1:33 PM

    I was briefly converted to libertarianism while an undergrad. While in grad school (for economics) I mentioned being a libertarian, and my professor said “Being a libertarian only makes sense if there are no market failures.” I have since explained my world view. Libertarianism doesn’t make sense if there are market failures and the correction does better than the market failure (there are plenty of cases where the opposite is true). I think there are many externalities in health care, so public provision could be good. But if prices don’t ration provision, then something else has to. Also I think the current market place is not a perfect one. I mean that the competition is not perfect, there is very little information about prices, and that makes it nearly impossible for efficient outcomes. In my view, make public information about prices and charges. I can’t possibly make efficient decisions about groceries if I show up at grocery stores and they don’t send me a bill for 6 months and then keep changing the bill once they send it.

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  36. Jon on May 17, 2011 at 1:46 PM

    Coming from the point of an anarcho-capitalist I would call libertarianism centrist and anything else extreme (even anarho-capitalism). So, Paul is a centrist. Also, he doesn’t believe people should do heroine but that they own their bodies and can as long as it doesn’t directly harm someone else. Also, if you believe the constitution then it is a state issue and not a federal issue, of course, that is if you truly back the constitution, and that is what Paul calls for. He doesn’t advocate forcing states to follow the federal government’s will.

    I don’t deify Paul, I think he is a good messenger of freedom, if not 100% pure.

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  37. Jon on May 17, 2011 at 1:49 PM

    jmb, Dan,

    From what Dan has said in the past is that he is a socialist. I wouldn’t call that centrist. Granted you saw my definition of centrist above.

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  38. Jon on May 17, 2011 at 1:52 PM

    I’m also venomous toward those who say utterly stupid things, like the president of the United States is a king. That’s just utterly stupid.

    I call it as I see it. What you would call Caesar Chavez? He’s definitely not winning by fair elections.

    What would you call a person that can call for the assassination of someone from his own country (without due process) and can declare war at his own whim? He’s definitely not a president of a free nation. So what would you call Obama?

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  39. Jon on May 17, 2011 at 1:54 PM

    Ben,

    I don’t recall libertarians calling libertarianism a utopia. Neither would I call anarcho-capitalism a utopia. I think they just say it would be better than the alternative.

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  40. jmb275 on May 17, 2011 at 1:57 PM

    Re Dan-
    I don’t argue with your assessment. However, I would argue that you, and your party likely suffer from the same problem, but I don’t hear you ranting about that, or admitting to that. We all confirm our biases, and we’re all wrong more often than we’d like to think.

    How can we learn from others if we’re convinced we’ve got it all figure out?

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  41. Jeff Spector on May 17, 2011 at 2:29 PM

    “Support political candidates ‘who are truly dedicated to the Constitution in the tradition of our Founding Fathers.’”

    Which tradition of the founding Fathers do you like the best:

    - You can own people, who are not considered real people, but slaves.
    - Your wife is a non-entity, pretty much owned by you.
    - Only landowners can vote and he only people who can own land are wealthly.

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  42. FireTag on May 17, 2011 at 2:31 PM

    Dan:

    I am troubled because so many of your statements show a binary view of the problems that remind me of the old joke about the person who never fixed a leaking roof because:

    1) when it wasn’t raining, the roof wasn’t leaking; or,

    2) once it was raining you couldn’t fix the roof anyway.

    If you agree that it is a fact that the executive branch is growing in power, why is it stupid to think that that power growth needs to be cut back now? Once Caesar crosses the Rubicon, it is much too late to restore the checks and balances built to keep the Roman Republic from turning into the Roman Empire.

    As for stupidity, I got remarkably stupider sometime between being a Herbert Humphrey volunteer in college and realizing that idealistic liberalism a la Carter actually ended up getting more people killed than saved (even with detesting Nixon along the way). You’re young yet. Perhaps you, too, can become stupider in time. I hold out hope. :D

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  43. JB on May 17, 2011 at 2:34 PM

    I wrote a similar comment here last year about Romney. As a northeast elitist andhaving grown up in the same stake as Romney, I would never vote for him. He is a very successful business person and although heis spotty on creating jobs for the companies he bought fixed and sold, there isn’t any stats on how many net jobs were created from these buyouts after Bain cap sold them off so I will not argue that point.
    In terms of the argument that if the economy is still down he will get the vote I ask if the economy is better or worse now than 2008? I think better. I’d the economy is better why would mitt get the nod now than when the economy was worse.
    I believe as a Mormon candidate, huntsman should have better odds of being a president sometime. I don’t understand why his being the Chinese ambassador would somehow penalize him. There aren’t really any democratic policies he was carrying out that would not be agreeable to republicans. Human rights? Intellectual property protection? Monetary devaluation? Republicans have a problem with this?
    Huckabee in or out Romney is still a panderer and he will be crushed over and over for his healthcare plans more than his religion. Huntsman has a better chance at someday sitting in the oval office.

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  44. Jon on May 17, 2011 at 2:46 PM

    Economy,

    Remember the stimulus was supposed to come out near the next presidential election. So things should look good for the economy, short term, here pretty soon.

    At least that is what I understood from the stimulus.

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  45. Ben on May 17, 2011 at 3:12 PM

    Jon,

    I just think are a lot of externalities and public goods the government can deliver effectively and in some cases more efficiently than private markets.

    Most people who are libertarians aren’t so because of the economics of it, but the politics. They hate the idea of having money taken from them, not its effects on social or personal welfare.

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  46. The Other Clark on May 17, 2011 at 3:23 PM

    I’m a Mormon who won’t vote for a mormon president. Huntsman is too moderate. Romney is even more of a flip-flopper than John Kerry.
    *Abortion.
    *Gay Marriage.
    *Government Healthcare.
    *Gun Control.
    Romney has changed positions on all these issues (becoming more conservative) but his actions speak louder than words, and the Tea Party will not back him.

    I’m a Paul supporter. However, the best chance to retake the White House is a Daniels-Bachmann ticket.

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  47. Jon on May 17, 2011 at 3:30 PM

    Ben,

    I see where your coming from I just whole heartedly disagree. I don’t think there is anything government can provide more efficiently. The only things that government can provide that is better are things that aren’t desired or needed by the people (like bullet trains). It’s hard to compare most of the time because government either outlaws the competition or highly subsidizes the competition.

    Don’t know why most people are libertarians, but the libertarian side of me is because of love, I think it can help most people get out of bondage and achieve self actualization. I think the free market can help people receive high quality medical care for less cost, etc. But it’s the endless the debate is it not? Both sides have written in depth on the issues. I just like the more principled approach and the approach that recognizes the individual sovereignty of all people.

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  48. Douglas on May 17, 2011 at 3:38 PM

    I wholeheartedly support Ron Paul but hold little hope that he’ll get the Republican nomination or do much as an Independent or Libertarian. His views gore too many sacred cows.
    Dan, if you feel that Paul’s view of freedom of association for a business (e.g., does a diner have to serve a black person?) is wrong, you misunderstand both the Constitution and common law. Freedom is not limited to views we agree with, it only exists when views we don’t like can be freely promulgated If I’d had been the CEO of Woolworths in 1960, faced with the lunch counter sit-ins, I’d have called Pinkerton, and the whole mess would’ve been solved PDQ. Who needs the “Gubmint”?

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  49. Jon on May 17, 2011 at 3:45 PM

    Remember too, that Rosa Parks was acting with civil disobedience when she sat at the front of the bus, it was the government that forced the buses to segregate riders. So in essence she was going against the government so people could be true owners of their businesses. All the government interactions cut both ways, let’s just limit it to what it is supposed to be, the upholder of individual rights (as the AZ constitution says, written by liberals).

    Remember also, that everywhere else in the western world stopped slavery peacefully, but the US had to slaughter how many people?

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  50. Dan on May 17, 2011 at 4:35 PM

    jmb,

    I don’t argue with your assessment. However, I would argue that you, and your party likely suffer from the same problem, but I don’t hear you ranting about that, or admitting to that.

    Don’t give me the false equivalency crap. I’ve been critical of the Democratic party for being weak and cowardly in the face of Republican attacks, but they’re certainly not suffering from mass delusion like our counterparts on the right. Name for instance any Democratic leader who questioned the veracity of the 9/11 attacks (the Truthers) in the same way Republican leaders questioned the veracity of the citizenship of Obama (the Birthers). Then you might have a case. Sorry jmb, but when it comes to the stupidity and delusion found in America today, nothing comes close to what you see on America’s right. While you may be able to compare a basement leftist blogger to, say, Donald Trump, you won’t find among the thinking Democratic/liberal leaders any kind of the lunacy you find on the right. Yes, Michael Moore recently chirped on about the death of Osama Bin Laden on twitter that got everyone in a tizzy. He was shouted down

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/05/06/973780/-Stop-Michael-Moore,-You’re-Making-Us-Look-Bad?via=search

    and yes, Glenn Greenwald also went off, as he normally does, on the whole legality of the killing of Bin Laden, but again, it doesn’t hold. Take for instance the whole “birther” beginning. It started, supposedly, with Clinton supporters in the 2008 primary. Did it hold among Democrats/liberals? Nope. It, however, found a nice welcoming home among conservatives. Because they love bullcrap like that.

    How can we learn from others if we’re convinced we’ve got it all figure out?

    I guess we can’t.

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  51. Dan on May 17, 2011 at 4:49 PM

    Firetag,

    If you agree that it is a fact that the executive branch is growing in power, why is it stupid to think that that power growth needs to be cut back now?

    But that’s not the argument. The argument isn’t framed that the executive branch is growing in power, it is that it is already all powerful, that it is already a king. How can you cut back the power of a king but by eliminating the king? You think if you say nicely “please cut your power back, oh High and Mighty One” that the king will reply, “you know what? You’re right. I’ve had too much power. Let me cut my power back.”

    Once Caesar crosses the Rubicon, it is much too late to restore the checks and balances built to keep the Roman Republic from turning into the Roman Empire.

    BTW, did you watch HBO’s Rome? That was an awesome show! In regards to Rome, its checks and balances were never well balanced. Caesar was the inevitable result of that imbalance. Perhaps our founding fathers also could not quite properly balance control of power. Perhaps they could not envision how 300 million people could be managed/governed in one society. Certainly reading back on their own comments, you can’t get a sense they knew what to do with so many people. Or how to handle the advances in technology. Or the rise of international corporations. When a corporation has more wealth, power, and influence, than one relatively large nation, kinda hard to keep democratic principles in check (I’m meaning for instance Citibank, which before the collapse of 2008 was valued at $1.2 trillion dollars, far more than most nations in the world).

    But once again, as I’ve said before, don’t blame the executive for its rise in power when the legislative abrogates its constitutional responsibilities.

    idealistic liberalism a la Carter actually ended up getting more people killed than saved

    oh you mean like the Egypt-Israel peace treaty?

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  52. Jon on May 17, 2011 at 5:00 PM

    How can you cut back the power of a king but by eliminating the king? You think if you say nicely “please cut your power back, oh High and Mighty One” that the king will reply, “you know what? You’re right. I’ve had too much power. Let me cut my power back.”

    I thought there were kings that cut back on their power, the scriptures talk about them. But typically they only cut back on power when they are a hereditary king when you get lucky and one decides that he’s not so fond of being a king. We would have to ask that question to a historian.

    So you proved my point once more. Obama said he was going to restore rights to the people close down Guantanamo, etc. Instead of doing those things he has only increased the police state, created more war, and he still has us in Iraq. Yep, sounds like a king, and the rubber stamping congress isn’t or can’t do anything about it, they like the power just as much as the president. We can quibble over the terminology of king, I suppose we can call it a despotic government instead.

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  53. Dan on May 17, 2011 at 5:02 PM

    see jmb? See the lunacy and craziness? Just look at Jon’s comment in #52.

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  54. Jon on May 17, 2011 at 5:45 PM

    Dan,

    You said it too, just in different words, so I guess we can both be looney together. Is there a song we can sing together that talks about lunatics? Give me a call, we can see it together.

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  55. FireTag on May 17, 2011 at 6:10 PM

    Dan:

    Now you’re making the “isn’t raining yet so there’s no need to fix it” part of the argument.

    As for the abrogation of legislative power, you’ll have to speak to your own party leaders about that. You can look up what fraction of the time Republicans have held both houses of Congress from the Post WW1 portion of the 20th Century (when the US first emerged as a world power) and what fraction for the Democrats.

    Rome was set up with double office holders for all significant offices and both had to agree for any decision to be made. True bipartisanship.

    It didn’t matter. The instability of being able to use political power for personal gain by “buying votes” eventually eroded the system and brought down democracy in favor of a King. Unless people are especially intent on preventing the rise of a political class that professes to be for the people but lies, that outcome seems to be a really likely way for democracies to evolve into empires or dictatorships.

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  56. el oso on May 17, 2011 at 6:10 PM

    As noted above, Hawk left off Paul and Santorum from the odds list. I think that Santorum may take votes from Romney. He is more conservative and is an establishment type having served in the Senate for 12 years. He and Cain are also the most conservative candidates that have not disillusioned major portions of the Republican electorate.
    Cain may take away voters from Romney and Huntsman based upon people looking for someone who can tear up Obama in a debate. I would put both Santorum and Cain up at 15 or 20 to 1 odds.
    Unfortunately for Paul, the killing of Bin Ladin puts his odds back to 100 to 1 or more. Republicans do not want to be the dove party compared to Obama.

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  57. Dan on May 17, 2011 at 6:31 PM

    Firetag,

    Now you’re making the “isn’t raining yet so there’s no need to fix it” part of the argument.

    as if we knew where the leaks were. Even when raining, we still don’t know where the leaks are coming from. That’s the problem in such a complicated system as that of our government. We also don’t know if, when we find a leak, by plugging it, we don’t cause a bigger leak elsewhere. You guys think there’s some magical blueprint for solving this problem. There isn’t. The founding fathers themselves disagreed vehemently on the best course for the future, because they too couldn’t foresee everything. They were making things up as they went along based upon all the knowledge they had. But in the end, they still allowed slavery, for instance, even though they knew that was not sustainable. Don’t pretend that you or anyone else really has a sense of how to “plug the leaks”.

    As for the abrogation of legislative power, you’ll have to speak to your own party leaders about that. You can look up what fraction of the time Republicans have held both houses of Congress from the Post WW1 portion of the 20th Century (when the US first emerged as a world power) and what fraction for the Democrats.

    indeed. You don’t have an argument from me on this.

    Unless people are especially intent on preventing the rise of a political class that professes to be for the people but lies, that outcome seems to be a really likely way for democracies to evolve into empires or dictatorships.

    Probably. We only have the Roman Republic as a fully complete example (from end to end), and they happened to have lasted longer as a Republic than we did (if we go by Jon’s idiocy that we’re now an Imperial Empire). No matter how much Jon protests, I don’t see the current executive as a despot/dictator/king, whatever other word that implies kingship. Jon has a terrible track record at understanding my words, so perhaps if I write to a four year old, maybe he will understand. The President Is Not A King. I hope that was simple and clear.

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  58. Ben on May 17, 2011 at 6:36 PM

    Lets go the list of things private markets my underprovide (and we under demand because we can mooch off of neighbors consumption)

    National defense
    Firemen
    Police
    Infrastructure (roads, etc.)

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  59. FireTag on May 17, 2011 at 10:04 PM

    Dan:

    “…as if we knew where the leaks were. Even when raining, we still don’t know where the leaks are coming from. That’s the problem in such a complicated system as that of our government. We also don’t know if, when we find a leak, by plugging it, we don’t cause a bigger leak elsewhere. You guys think there’s some magical blueprint for solving this problem.”

    Oh dear! You aren’t suggesting the roof is so messed up we need to replace the entire thing, are you? Why, that sounds almost… REVOLUTIONARY. :D

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  60. Jon on May 17, 2011 at 11:16 PM

    Jon has a terrible track record at understanding my words, so perhaps if I write to a four year old, maybe he will understand. The President Is Not A King. I hope that was simple and clear.

    Then tell us Dan. What is it? If a president can create law, order the execution of his citizens without due process, and start wars without the approval of the people and its congress, then what do you call that person? A president? I always thought a president has a different connotation than that. A king is as close as I can think of, albeit a 4 year king. Unless your Chavez and hoodwinked the people into getting you enough power to be a forever king with mock elections.

    So Dan, once again, what is it?

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  61. Jon on May 17, 2011 at 11:59 PM

    Lets go the list of things private markets my underprovide (and we under demand because we can mooch off of neighbors consumption)

    National defense
    Firemen
    Police
    Infrastructure (roads, etc.)

    Oh man, there’s whole book written on these subjects. They can’t really be addressed in the comments of this blog.

    First off, you make some serious assumptions but back them with nothing. We can only look at history and logic to determine the truth. I’m reading “Economics in One Lesson” by Hazlitt right now and he does a pretty good job in a very concise manner, granted I have differing views on some of his ideas, he’s not pure ideologically.

    National defense. How much was private vs run by the government during the US Revolutionary War? I don’t know, but it was done by a very weak government with virtually no backing, so I question how large the government would need to be to provide this service. Ours is very strong yet we still couldn’t stop an attack on our own soil, so maybe it is overly strong and there are some things that you can’t stop, I would go further but don’t want to go into all the details and get people mad at me.

    Firemen. I would say the free market could do a good job with them. What free market company would tell a customer to shove off because his neighbors are unwilling to sign up? What private company would stand idly by if the people offered them money to put out the fire when the fire happened?

    Anyways I distracted myself. We should be looking at principles, not specific examples. The principle is, you create a monopoly of violence that monopoly may start out good but will eventually degrade as the monopoly learns that it can extract more wealth and provide less services. This doesn’t necessarily happen out of malice but is just a natural consequence of forced monopolies. Take the proverbial US Postal Service (even Obama says it sucks). It is a monopoly backed by force. At one point there was a company that started to compete with them, it forced the US Postal Service to lower its pricing significantly, the USPS didn’t like this competition so petitioned to have the other company outlawed, which the congress complied. Well, then prices marched up again, but instead of being born directly by consumers it was subsidized through taxes so even if the gunvernment were to allow its denizens to compete again the USPS would be unfairly subsidized and make it difficult to compete for the private company. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xoSiA_eAZJg&feature=feedu

    There are other stories like this, like NYC when it outlawed competition for the fairy (sp) and even though it was outlawed and the government monopolied company received funds from the state or city a private company was still able to undersell them.

    Competition works, monopolies don’t.

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  62. Chino Blanco on May 18, 2011 at 12:29 AM

    I expected this was coming, but I’m surprised it’s come so soon: Romney one-ups Huntsman with public pledge to “dial back his Mormon side.” ;-)

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  63. hawkgrrrl on May 18, 2011 at 12:36 AM

    About Ron Paul being crazy, I mean that he holds eccentric opinions about things like legalizing marijuana and prostitution – things that I’ve personally blogged about here in the last months! But I, unlike Ron Paul, am not seeking the office of POTUS nor specifically courting the GOP for the nomination. I’d be crazy to think I could get the GOP nomination while goring its sacred cows. So, he’s 100 to 1 or less IMO.

    Palin, I agree with those who say her straight talk is refreshing. She’s just got a composure problem, and is not capable of winning a general election. But I do find her folksy style appealing and disconcerting in a good way. I just don’t think she’s smart enough or composed enough to do the job.

    I could have mentioned Santorum, but I just think not. I think we have more compelling people out there than he is. But I might be wrong. These odds are constantly shifting at this stage, but it’s going to be a fun race to watch.

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  64. Dan on May 18, 2011 at 5:25 AM

    Firetag,

    Oh dear! You aren’t suggesting the roof is so messed up we need to replace the entire thing, are you? Why, that sounds almost… REVOLUTIONARY.

    hehe, as if we knew what kind of roof would actually stop the rain from coming into the house. You’re still thinking we have solutions to the problems. I think Eva Peron said it best:

    Allow me to help you slink off to the sidelines
    And mark your adieu with three cheers
    But first tell me who’d be delighted
    If I said I’d take on the world’s greatest problems
    From war to pollution, no hope of solution
    Even if I lived for one hundred years

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gC-l9aluDKw

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  65. Dan on May 18, 2011 at 5:29 AM

    Hawkgrrrl,

    Palin, I agree with those who say her straight talk is refreshing.

    Straight talk? You could call her refreshing for not being a typical politician, but one thing she is not is straight. Sarah Palin is a liar, Hawkgrrrl. Unless she actually can see Russia from her house. Or any of her multitude of other actual, verifiable lies.

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  66. hawkgrrrl on May 18, 2011 at 6:38 AM

    Liar or politician – tomato, tomahto, or as Dan Quayle would say tomatoe. I just meant Palin’s style was more “from the hip” and “folksy” and if she weren’t as unfocused as the average dementia patient, she would bring a fresh, entertaining style to the debates. But POTUS? No way.

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  67. Dan on May 18, 2011 at 7:16 AM

    from the hip is a good description. But if you know much about what kind of politician she was before the national spotlight back in Alaska, you’ll know how much she’s playin’ everyone who currently believes in the brand name “Sarah Palin.” She was actually a moderate who worked with Democrats against Big Oil. But that doesn’t fit the conservative national narrative, so she had to start making crap up.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/06/the-tragedy-of-sarah-palin/8492/1/

    As governor, Palin demonstrated many of the qualities we expect in our best leaders. She set aside private concerns for the greater good, forgoing a focus on social issues to confront the great problem plaguing Alaska, its corrupt oil-and-gas politics. She did this in a way that seems wildly out of character today—by cooperating with Democrats and moderate Republicans to raise taxes on Big Business. And she succeeded to a remarkable extent in settling, at least for a time, what had seemed insoluble problems, in the process putting Alaska on a trajectory to financial well-being. Since 2008, Sarah Palin has influenced her party, and the tenor of its politics, perhaps more than any other Republican, but in a way that is almost the antithesis of what she did in Alaska. Had she stayed true to her record, she might have pointed her party in a very different direction.

    As long as conservatives continue to have to lie about who they are, they’re never going to be good for America. Ronald Reagan claimed he was for small government but led the largest increase in the size of government, that is, until George W. Bush, who massively increased the size of government. At least George W. Bush was the only one who didn’t raise taxes. Reagan did (largest tax increase since WWII). George H W Bush did. Sarah Palin did in Alaska. But she won’t dare claim that for the national conservatives, even though that’s what made sense and what worked in Alaska. It’s all bullcrap, hawkgrrrl. They’re driven more by stopping liberals than by actually fixing problems. What is fiscally responsible in charging a credit card for our wars? No current Republican candidate (not even Ron Paul, as far as I know) will advocate we increase taxes to pay for our wars as long as we’re fighting them. None of them! It’s all bullcrap.

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  68. Ben on May 18, 2011 at 7:24 AM

    Jon,

    You cite a book written by someone with no understanding of economics. I love competition as much as the next guy. Sometimes the market creates monopolies, oligopolies, or monopsonies, or many other forms of imperfect competition. Sometimes it doesn’t provide goods at all because we can free ride on the consumption of others. If you want to understand libertarianism, get a phd in econ and quit reading trash that is reinforcing rhetoric with no science.

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  69. Jon on May 18, 2011 at 7:36 AM

    Ben,

    I would be more messed up getting a PHD in econ than I would reading sound economic ideas. You want me to read people like Krugman (whom Dan would call a liar and bull crap)? No, I would rather read people that use sound logic and principles.

    Read this if you want to understand monopolies:

    http://mises.org/daily/5266/The-Myth-of-Natural-Monopoly

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  70. Dan on May 18, 2011 at 7:42 AM

    hawkgrrrl,

    Here’s an excellent article that highlights the problem with the Republican candidates:

    http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2011/05/17/why-the-republicans-are-committing-fratricide/

    The demand for retroactive fealty to the current right-wing stance on every issue has several explanations: one is the ever-rightward drift of the Republican Party, another is the tendency to prioritize partisanship over principles. Many Democrats supported Bush’s No Child Left Behind Law, because they agreed with the law’s purpose, despite their distaste for Bush. No such Republican support was forthcoming for Obama when he proposed health care and environmental legislation that many Republicans would have accepted from a Republican president.

    The end result is that running for president as a Republican becomes nearly impossible. You can’t have a clean record if you don’t know what policy will become a scarlet letter in the future.

    That’s exactly correct.

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  71. Ben on May 18, 2011 at 11:39 AM

    Jon,

    Who says phd economists like Krugman? There are range of thoughts about free markets vs. public policy. The Chicago view is more free market, while other schools.

    I understand monopolies fully well based on real economic theory. Austrian school has no rigor, ergo no testable implications. No testable implications implies for me it is not very useful.

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  72. Jon on May 18, 2011 at 11:55 AM

    Ben,

    To each his own. I like the Austrian thought since it does have rigor through logic, like mathematics. You haven’t exactly done a good job of refuting any of my claims to make me believe that I should look at other economic theories. I’ll check out the Chicago school more closely than I have before but you haven’t exactly given me any resources to look at. I guess I’ll go ask Dr. Wiki.

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  73. Dan on May 19, 2011 at 9:08 AM

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/19/us/19prisons.html

    who woulda thunk it…privatization doesn’t actually increase efficiency or lower costs. I am shocked, SHOCKED, I tell you!

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  74. Jon on May 19, 2011 at 9:13 AM

    Romney the warmonger, not exactly into the nonentangling alliances thing.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-5bbH1x2fE&feature=feedlik

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  75. All_Black on May 19, 2011 at 9:37 AM

    “A Mormon in the White House?”

    When Obama gets baptized by Harry Reid..

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  76. hawkgrrrl on May 20, 2011 at 4:49 AM

    “When Obama gets baptized by Harry Reid.” Posthumously?

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  77. Dan on May 20, 2011 at 5:03 AM

    I think Harry Reid, being older, will pass away probably long before Obama does…

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  78. All_Black on May 20, 2011 at 8:53 PM

    #75 Posthumously?

    Is that an assassination thing?

    #77 Nah, Obama still smokes, according to SNL

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  79. All_Black on May 20, 2011 at 8:57 PM

    Obviously I have nothing intelligent to say.

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