Understanding Ron Paul
August 29, 2011
Matthew Yglesias points out that Ron Paul is much more of a Buchananite than a libertarian: a lot of progressives seem to be slightly confused as to who Ron Paul is. They think he’s like that one rich uncle you have, shares a lot of your basic values but hatespaying taxes and seems to take a dim view of poor people. The reality is that Paul is much closer to Pat Buchanan, a socially conservative nationalist whose idea of nationalist foreign policy is to withdraw troops from South Korea and deploy them to the Mexican border.
I Have Seen The Future And It Is Ron Paul
August 24, 2011
Gallup's new national poll also finds Rick Perry surging into the lead. This may not matter as much as state level polling in early primaries, but it is an indicator that a lot of national Republicans have absorbed Perry's entry and see him as both acceptable and a front-runner. Meanwhile, look at the age breakdown here. Those crazy Republican kids just love Ron Paul: In 40 years, the Millenial generation will have taken over the GOP, and they'll be nominating 116-year-old Ron Paul, who already looks like he's 116 years old and by that point will look like Yoda.
How the Deck Was Always Rigged Against Tim Pawlenty
August 15, 2011
[Guest post by Walter Shapiro] Tim Pawlenty’s formal presidential campaign lasted less than 100 days—a stunning, scandal-free collapse for a man who, until recently, was considered a top-tier GOP contender. But even though Pawlenty flamed out with a weak third-place showing amid the vote-buying, corn-dog hokum of Saturday’s Iowa Straw Poll, there was a sense of inevitability to his political demise. From the beginning, Pawlenty probably was doomed to see his presidential dreams die in the corn fields of Iowa.
Why Pawlenty and Bachmann Both Need a Win in Ames
August 12, 2011
Thursday night’s Fox News/Washington Examiner GOP candidate debate featured more combative exchanges between conservative journalists and candidates than we’d seen thus far, and some fireworks between the contenders themselves. The debate-point winner was probably Newt Gingrich, who bashed his media tormenters effectively and was generally smooth and fluid, and the strategic winner was probably Mitt Romney, who had some good moments and again escaped any serious damage from his rivals.
How Mitt Romney Outlived His Greatest Weakness
August 12, 2011
With enough political reporters in Iowa to cover both the Lindbergh kidnapping and the O.J. Simpson trial, Thursday night’s GOP debate had to be a defining moment, a game-changer so epic that it will shimmer in memory like Ronald Reagan. Yeah, sure. Even though Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann provided the expected fireworks, while Jon Huntsman made his muted entrance from stage center, the two-hour Fox News face-off mostly served as a reminder that we have only just begun. This was not a debate that triggered mass conversions to a single candidate.
A Fix for the Debt Ceiling That No One Is Talking About
August 01, 2011
Economists believe that people respond to incentives. The fact that economists never suffer career consequences for failing to consider new ideas explains why they so rarely consider any policy that has not long been in the standard bag of tricks. I mention this background since it is relevant to the reaction given a proposal on the debt ceiling that Ron Paul originally put forward and that I subsequently endorsed. Paul suggested that the Fed could destroy the $1.6 trillion in government bonds that it now holds as a way of getting room under the debt ceiling.
All Over the Map
July 28, 2011
On June 21, 2007, Mitt Romney delivered a speech at the annual summer retreat of the American Enterprise Institute in Beaver Creek, Colorado. To coincide with the address, his campaign released a statement explaining the candidate’s vision for fighting the war on terrorism.
Can Michele Bachmann Win New Hampshire?
July 06, 2011
Of course she can: When PPP polled New Hampshire in April Michele Bachmann was stuck at 4%. She's gained 14 points over the last three months and now finds herself within single digits of Mitt Romney. Romney continues to lead the way in the state with 25% to 18% for Bachmann, 11% for Sarah Palin, 9% for Ron Paul, 7% for Rick Perry and Herman Cain, 6% for Jon Huntsman and Tim Pawlenty, and 4% for Newt Gingrich. Now, another recent poll had Romney leading her by a healthier 35%-12% margin.
Representative Ron Paul has hit upon a remarkably creative way to deal with the impasse over the debt ceiling: have the Federal Reserve Board destroy the $1.6 trillion in government bonds it now holds. While at first blush this idea may seem crazy, on more careful thought it is actually a very reasonable way to deal with the crisis. Furthermore, it provides a way to have lasting savings to the budget. The basic story is that the Fed has bought roughly $1.6 trillion in government bonds through its various quantitative easing programs over the last two and a half years.
Telling War Stories
June 30, 2011
I. On a hot Saturday in September 1962, I crowded with my brothers and cousins into my aunt and uncle’s station wagon and drove off to war. Passing through our county in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, we headed toward Charles Town, West Virginia, then crossed over the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers at Harpers Ferry into Maryland. We had traveled through the familiar historic landscape of Stonewall Jackson’s skirmishes, Mosby’s raids, Sheridan’s ride, and John Brown’s capture and hanging to witness the centennial re-enactment of the Battle of Antietam.