Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Mr. Fusion: Ron Paul

As if the live bar debate I’m hosting tonight in Manhattan about gentrification weren’t exciting enough, today also sees the long-awaited posting of my article plugging the presidential candidacy of Ron Paul.

There’s never time enough to squeeze in all the qualifiers and footnotes one might like to in a political piece (except in academia, which is basically irrelevant) — but there is this blog, which I should really update far more frequently with such thoughts, and will. For starters:

1. I realize that to many rank and file conservatives, the simple fact that Ron Paul is in some sense a radical rules him out of bounds — even if he’s a radical who agrees with us about virtually everything. I actually have a great deal of sympathy for what might be called the mainstream-populist view, that America works well in large part because most people’s blood just doesn’t boil about political topics here the way it does in more revolution-prone parts of the globe. I think this attitude, picked up from my parents in childhood while I was enjoying shopping malls, Star Wars, the American flag, cheeseburgers, not being in Russia, and NASA — and avoiding weird hippies who take drugs, while hoping cops would catch burglars — without making too many finer distinctions about which of these things arose from good policy, was what set me on the path toward being some sort of pro-bourgeois political guy in the first place, and I still think that’s a pretty healthy frame of mind.

But at some point, as one learns about things like a federal government debt that’s now roughly the size of a year’s worth of the entire national income, one reluctantly, cautiously comes to the conclusion that politics-as-usual is doing radical things to society — and we should not fault the Ron Pauls of the world for offering a jarring wake-up call and corrective but rather the hundreds of idiots he serves with in Congress for making a radical downsizing of government necessary — and long overdue.

2. Speaking of radicals, I fully realize that most of the anarchists I mentioned in my Ron Paul article are not interested in downsizing government for the same reason I am — basically, to let the free market function unfettered — but rather than explain my similarities to and differences with anarchists-in-general, I’ll just refer you to this earlier blog entry that explains the frame of mind in which I came to attend that anarchist rally.

3. I can understand the readiness of conservatives and libertarians to point out Paul’s flaws — ideologues, myself included, can always spot flaws — but stop and think for a moment how many flaws you’ve already trained yourself to tolerate in all the other candidates. Are you considering voting for Giuliani (as I might well find myself doing in November 2008 if my Ron Paul vote doesn’t carry him to victory in the primaries — or if, for that matter, the amateurs who are likely in charge of putting Paul on the primary ballot in New York fail to do so, which wouldn’t surprise me)? If so, you’re apparently willing to tolerate a man who has favored not only gun control but the gubernatorial candidacy of Democrat Mario Cuomo (and who recently told an audience that he’s not sure if he favors a flat tax). And I’m not saying you shouldn’t like Rudy — I do too, compared to most of the alternatives. But why put up with his eccentricities — or McCain’s, or Romney’s, etc. — and not Ron Paul’s relatively tiny ones? All politics is compromise, but Paul requires very few.

And don’t give me that principled non-voter stuff, either. While you have every right to stay home if you choose, that’s compromise, too — the acceptance indeed of whatever candidate triumphs in the absence of pro-market votes. Can’t get much more squishy than that, you pliant, submissive jellyfish.

I think the wariness many conservatives and libertarians feel about Paul actually betrays a good deal of self-hatred, or what the left might call “the internalization of oppression.” A Paul victory seems too good to be true, so some can’t bring themselves to support it. Well, movement intellectuals and leaders can make it happen if they really want to, and unless they don’t really believe all that smaller-government stuff they say, they ought to want to. I hope my article on Paul — not to mention those by National Review’s John Derbyshire, Reason’s Brian Doherty, and The Weekly Standard’s Christopher Caldwell (who’s also the guy who replaced me as the default right-wing columnist at New York Press in the late 90s, by the way) — can be the pebble that starts an avalanche on the right that changes the course of the whole republic, ridiculous as that may sound.

4. I realize I am glossing over immense differences between conservative and libertarian thinking in a way that will inevitably offend some in both camps (and some who aren’t in either camp, who will have to forgive me for not addressing them more directly in this post), but for the moment, that’s the whole point: despite those important and interesting differences, I think Paul can be a unifying figure — and, far, far more importantly, that a Paul presidency would help the entire country regardless of its ideological composition, restoring the vigor of the early republic by getting government off the backs of free-marketeers, traditionalists, and liberal community activists alike. You say wariness about the market shows you’re a savvy skeptic? Well, it’s a start, I suppose, but none of us needs what government’s selling, either, and unlike EMI Records, government can put you in jail if you try to walk away from the deal.

And I hope today will mark the start, at long last, of a one-year period by the end of which I’ll have written (finally, after years of delay) a book, with the working title Conservatism for Punks, explaining all this and more in greater detail — and I’ll start updating you on my progress, just to give me an added incentive to avoid procrastinating.

But maybe we can discuss all that tonight at the bar after the aforementioned debate — which, after all, features punk singer Tibbie X defending the “right-leaning” position, to the chagrin of some of her subcultural compatriots.

P.S. Our debate after that is shaping up to be a Sept. 5 clash, also at Lolita Bar, on the question “Is Muslim Immigration a Threat to Democracy?” — but more on that later.


Chris Davidson said...

Well written piece, as was your article for National Review. Whenever people point out what they consider eccentric or fringe in Paul I have to stop and ask them who they support. All of the other mainstream GOP candidates have only become the people they are since the campaign cycle has began. Before that, they were all over the map on what they stood for, mainly because even they weren’t sure.

Then you have a man like Ron Paul, who unwaveringly supports the constitution and the ideals that the forefathers had when they fought to create this great nation, and that’s considered by many to be as radical an idea as it was to the British over 200 years ago.

I hope people start to wake up and take a serious look at Ron Paul and his record. They will not find anyone better suited to lead the U.S.A. That in and of itself, is a reason to make a Paul Presidency a reality.

C Bowen said...

Mr. Seavey,

I certainly enjoyed your piece and congrats on getting onto NR, but I think you are being to kind about what is in play here. The Beltway Right would rather lose with one of their own and I suppose, hope for a return to the glory days of the 90s when every piece of direct mail referenced something about the Clintons. In that sense, Paul is threatening to many a career within the Beltway Right which is why it is easier for the Free Agents (Buchanan, Novak, and to some extent Derbs) to speak freely and state the obvious (Paul is the most Republican, the most conservative guy in the race.)

Jacob T. Levy said...

There’s something that’s not quite the same as self-hatred.

Many geeks have a line just a bit to the side that’s geekier than they are– and they can be proud of their own geeky habits and yet deeply embarrassed about those on the other side of that line, who they think make all geeks look stupid in front of the norms, and who just generally engage in activities that the index geek finds ridiculous. (For me, adults who do Society for Creative Anachronism stuff are on the wrong side of that line, even though I recognize that they’re objectively onlythismuch geekier than I.)

But it’s not self-hatred; it’s more like, “look, I’m open to the geekstuff. I like the geekstuff. I organize parts of my life around the geekstuff. And if even *I* find the activity weird, when I could be its natural constituency, then it’s got to be *really fricking weird.*”

I’ve dabbled on the libertarian extreme fringes. I volunteered for Ron Paul in 88 and used to do a lot of LP stuff. I’ve stayed up late college nights debating the distinction between anarchocapitalism being permissible and it being required. I don’t intrinsically mind the single-issue devotees; I can get along with an evangelizing home-schooler, say. But I find the gold bugs weird and ignorant and cultish, and tend to trust that reaction on my part *all the more* because I’m not necessarily inclined to find single-issue radical causes cultish.

Look at it this way. Lots of things in the world occupy log or exponential scales, not linear ones. It’s a lot harder to go from 90% efficiency to 95% efficiency than it is to go from 40% efficiency to 60% efficiency. Movement to an ideological extreme seems to be like this. If I’m at 90% LIB, the person at 92% LIB looks a lot farther away from me than the person at 88%– or maybe the person at 85% or 80%. By contrast, someone at 50% of an ideological position can probably move to 60% pretty easily.

I don’t think that’s crazy or self-hatred. I know how intellectually challenging it was to get to 90%; I know all the objections I had to respond to or deal with or temporarily sweep under the carpet; and I look at the person two points outward and think, “you just can’t be serious. You must not be considering objections at all. You must be a fanatic or a loon.” And I know that I expect behavior like that from social democrats monitoring their communist flank, or from conservatives monitoring their bircher or paleocon flank. “No enemies to the right” or “no enemies to the left” are declarations of moral bankruptcy, so why shouldn’t “no enemies to the libertarianward” be the same?

(That said, while I think RP is a bit of a loon, I don’t think he’s an enemy. The confederatista soi-disant ‘libertarians,’ though…)

Eric Dondero said...


First, we met last August at the Americans for Limited Gov. Conference in Chicago. And I am Ron Paul’s former longtime Senior Aide.

Your analysis falls flat on its face, when you look at the whole picture. Sure, Ron Paul could gain some far-left Democrat votes for the GOP from the Anti-War crowd. But he would lose just as many from those of us who support the War.

Sure, Ron Paul could gain a great deal of votes from hardcore Pro-Lifers. Again, he would lose just as many from Pro-Choice Republicans.

Giuliani is the one candidate on the GOP side with the strongest and widest appeal. Shocking the pollsters and pundits is Rudy’s strong appeal to Southerners and even Religious Conservatives, (55% of RR Cons now support him in one poll.) The RR is being practical. They hate Hillary and see Giuliani as the one guy that can beat here.

Ron Paul would just divide the Republican Party.

And you mistakenly conclude that the libertarian movement is all behind him. We are not. The libertarian movement is behind an array of candidates at the moment like Wayne Root, Steve Kubby, a few for Romney, a few more for Fred Thompson and most especially those of us who are Libertarians for Giuliani.

Ron Paul is a bad choice from all perspectives. He has already embarrassed the libertarian movement by making us all look like a bunch of War Weenies wanting to wave the Flag of Surrender and Cut and Run. But as a Republican standard-bearer he would be an utter dissaster. Republicans would find a 3rd party candidate to support. Ironically, it might even be a Libertarian.

If you doubt Ron Paul splitting Republicans, please note here in his Congressional District many GOPers despise Ron Paul for his foreign policy views. At least two have already declared against him for his seat. I suspect he will have a very difficult time winning reelection.

Eric Dondero, Fmr. Senior Aide

US Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX)


x,y said...

Dondero, quit trolling every around every pro Ron Paul piece you see. Aren’t you working for Guiliani now? Haven’t you said you’ll run against Paul in his Congressional district? Where are those disclosures in your hit-piece of a “comment”?

Tom Davis said...


I was very impressed with your NRO article. I think you nailed the case down precisely. Ron Paul will make a tremendous President exactly because he has NO DESIRE to control the lives of others, whether in the US or in Iraq. Thanks for your work, and keep it up!!

However, as impressed as I was with Todd’s article, I was just as UNIMPRESSED with the comment of Eric Dondero, FORMER aide to Ron Paul. Eric, bless your heart, I don’t know you but you seem the very essence of a lout still sour for getting canned from your former job. At best you are a sour-grapes guy, at worst a resentful backstabber.

And you say you will challenge Ron Paul for his congressional seat if he isn’t President? Save your money and save yourself and family the embarrassment. Your only issue is the wonderfully planned and executed Iraqi pre-emptive war and subsequent occupation: talk about a platform!! Give yourself a break, eat a cheeseburger, and just relax. You’ll never get anywhere with bitterness and hatred.

Freedom takes its’ lumps, but it is still the future.

Chad said...


I can’t get enough of this guy Dondero. I like how he says all over the internet that he speaks “10 to 15 languages” fluently!! What is that supposed to mean? Is it 10? 11? 12? 13? 14? or 15? Make up your mind, it’s not that hard to know how many languages you speak.

If only that were my biggest problem with this awesome hero! Donderoooooo!!!!!!!!

Incidentally, GREAT ARTICLE!!

bret said...

Hahaha, Dondero, laf. Nobody cares that you support a criminal, unconstitutional, and FOOLISH war. Shut up already. Your nonendorsement matters zero.

Todd, really enjoyed your piece. I have been saying this for months on the blogosphere, and I hope they will start to listen. Ron Paul offers the GOP an honorable way to reinvent themselves and get back to winning and advancing the true goals of “conservatives.” They either take it or they commit seppeku, which leaves us to wonder whether that wasn’t already the plan anyway (fine, I’ll take off my tinfoil hat). At any rate, if they do not wake up to Paul, I’m still writing him in – but it’ll be another Douche v. Turd Sandwich year, and more slow downward spiral for the US of A.

PS If by some outrageous stroke of cheating Giuliani gets elected, I am moving the fuck out of this country pronto. That guy scares the bejeezus out of me.

Todd Seavey said...

Call me Mr. Diplomacy — though I admit you wouldn’t know it from the mock-hostile tone I sometimes employ on this blog (and in conversation, and in my own brain, etc.) — but I think Paul, Giuliani, and Dondero are _all_ pretty decent, and what I’d really like (as I hinted in a letter to _Reason_ three years ago — which can be read at the bottom here, the second letter under the “Coercion vs. Consent” subhead: ) is a return to the days when libertarians politely “bracketed” the divisive issues like abortion and war — both topics on which I happen to be a moderate of sorts, which admittedly makes it easier for me to suggest a truce — and focused on what they know best, shrinking government.

If Paul were also a moderate on such issues, I admit that would make supporting him much, much easier — but it still comes down to the question of how much you think you have to compromise (and in which directions) in order to win, and unless Giuliani or McCain or Thompson or whoever give crystal-clear signals that their administrations wouldn’t be as half-assed and disappointing as the (more or less) twelve years of Gingrich/Bush dominance were, I say the slightly-longer-shot has a far, far, far greater potential pay-off if it becomes a winner.

Giuliani _might_ leave government a tiny bit smaller than he found it (much as the Gingrich Congress made it 1% — literally 1% — smaller for all of one fiscal year, helped in part by defense cuts, oddly enough), but we know Paul would do far more, which seems, for once, like a shot worth taking, though I swear I am a pragmatist and a coalition-supporter on these electoral issues, generally speaking.

Lincoln Turner said...

Thank you for you Mr. Fusion piece. I forwarded it to all my doubting thomas friends who are supporting Fred Thompson only be default.

Doug said...

I am concerned that Ron Paul’s extreme isolationism would lead to disaster if he were President. George Washington’s advice against entangling alliances, that Paul is so fond of quoting, is not U.S. law, but all of the treaties our country has signed are. Would President Paul enforce these laws? His rhetoric suggests he would not. The predictable first results of Paul’s election would be Japan building nuclear weapons and Russia re-occupying the Baltic states.

rho said...

but we know Paul would do far more, which seems, for once, like a shot worth taking, though I swear I am a pragmatist and a coalition-supporter on these electoral issues, generally speaking

There’s the rub right there. When big-government and small-government ideologies collide, any compromise means “bigger government”. We’d have to work like the dickens for all 4 years of a Ron Paul presidency just to get back to a point where the government is living within its means, and that’s after 16 of the last 24 years under Republican presidents, and about a decade of Republican control of Congress.

Things are such an unholy mess I’m not sure it can be fixed, but I know without a doubt that moderation on this issue will accomplish nothing.

C Bowen said...

“The predictable first results of Paul’s election would be Japan building nuclear weapons and Russia re-occupying the Baltic states.”

Is your source Curveball by chance?

Todd Seavey said...

I must attend to other duties for a while, but I will just say that I think both Western/Central Europe and Japan can and should take care of themselves. I would be much more troubled by a concerted Chinese effort to retake Taiwan, but it’s not clear how much we could do about that regardless of who’s President.

Doug said...

“Is your source Curveball by chance?”

I have no idea who “Curveball”: might be. My source is my own brain. Does one need a source to think of the obvious?

I am very sympathetic to Congressman Paul’s old-time civic religion. But in the area of foreign relations he strikes me so far as an impractical extreme isolationist. I wish it were not so, but that’s the way it is.

Jeff S. said...

Great article on Ron Paul. Ron Paul stands for liberty, the Constitution, and the rule of law, and the near universal human desire for individual liberty, and the Constitution, is what can unite the people in this country for the first time in memory.

If Ron Paul wins the Republican nomination, he will MOP THE FLOOR against Hillary in the debates and go on to win the presidency.

PK said...

Amen! Preach it! The biggest obstacle to Ron Paul getting elected is not winning the Republican primaries. And why shouldn’t he? He’s actually serious about getting the Republicans the things they’ve been wanting all these years. It is the attitude of Derbyshire, “yep that would be nice but he can’t win” that kills us. It is why even with a Republican president, house, and senate we still couldn’t get anything done. Because the Republicans are unprincipled political opportunists. Why do we keep encouraging such people? Isn’t it obvious that this describes the current Republican frontrunners? Why do we want to promote these little weasels who have long ago sold their sould to the corrupt political process? Why do we treat them with respect when we’ve got an honest pure conservative ready to go?

Ron Paul can win if people working in the media in prominent places like the National Review would have the cajones to stand up and fight for him and stop dismissing him. How can he ever get popular if he can’t even get support from the people in the media who like him? Bravo Todd Seavey! I am now a huge fan.

Colin said...

Kudos, Todd!

And Kudos to NR for publishing such a fine piece. In addition to you, conservative columnists such as Buchanan and Novak seem to testing their feet in the revolutionary waters.

Perhaps the quixotic can become the possible.

Eric Dondero said...

Thanks for the balanced reply Todd.

But like I said, Ron Paul is not a team player. His supporters are bragging all over the internet that if he doesn’t win the nomination they will refuse to support the GOP Nominee.

Ron Paul himself has hinted the same.

Now I ask you, why doesn’t that justify the Republican Party excluding him from future debates? If he can’t even say that he’ll support Fred Thompson, Mitt Romney or Rudy Giuliani, if he doesn’t get the nomination, than why should any Republican give him any credibility?

Politics is a team sport. Ron Paul is not a team player.

Chris Davidson said...

When the whole team is corrupt, not being a team player is looked at as an asset.

Ron Paul may not do what’s best for politicians, but he will do what’s best for the American people.

JP for RP said...

What all these pro-war internationalist people who claim to be fiscal conservatives don’t seem to get is that by empowering an organization (the feds, but any organization for that matter) with gobs of money to enforce that stance, they will get a whole lot more than their little pet project.

Ron Paul would get a lot of support from a wide political spectrum, and if the conservatives can’t stomach a coalition aiming to radically restructure government, they don’t deserve a radically restructured government.

Quit thowing out the red herring of “kooks”. It’s not an issue you need to get over. There are kooks all over the place. “Moderate” doesn’t mean you are sane. It just means you are a kook whose found other kooks to complain with about the status-quo and how nothing can be done to change it.

If you ask me Giuliani and the rest of the “top tier” are kooks. So are Hillary and Obama. All they want is their chance at the helm of the ship of state. They’re all just drunks fighting over whose sober enough to drive in a straight line.

EEKman said...

Right, show me where Paul said that he would not support the nominee.

Besides, it doesnt matter if he supports the nominee or not. Paul is the only one who can beat the Dems. If Paul doesnt win, say hello to president Hillary.

Andrea said...

To the author: Thanks for the article in the National Review. It’s a wonderful thing to see a leader, and not a mere player, in the race.

I do wish you hadn’t thrown in that bit about wanting to dismantle the entitlement system though. He has said that is a goal that would take generations to accomplish, and it’s really not the platform he is running on.

He said that part of his immediate plan is to use the money we’re spending in Iraq to fund our social obligation expenditures.

Any change to our bloated entitlement system would come slowly, and would be coupled with economic successes.

Our local Ron Paul group consists of Republicans, Democrats, Progressives, Christians, Anarchists, Atheists, a Hindu, Libertarians and heavens knows what else.

Under Dr. Paul, it’s a simple thing to respect the differences we have to support the true message of peace and tolerance he promotes.

Philly Dave said...

RP is the only “electable” Republican. The swing voters are plum disgusted as are the many 6 pack Republicans. Aside from his positions Paul has the distinction of being rather honest and principled (Dondero calls this not being a team player – ie. favoring the oath to uphold the constitution over the current backwards GOP agenda.)

Look at the grassroots support that has emerged from nothing. Imagine a few million of GOP advertising dollars to turn a Ron Paul candidacy into “amends” on behalf of the GOP. The principled Baby doctor from Texas and early Reagan supporter with a wife his own age (an only one at that) who appeals to the under 30 crowd (the future of the Republican Party lest we forget).

It’s a nice dream. Unfortunately, I agree with the sentiment by C. Bowen that the GOP would rather lose with the next Bob Dole than win with Paul.

Oh, by the way Fred Thompson is Bob Dole not Ronald Reagan.

Ken Silber said...

Any chance of getting Ron Paul to come to Lolita’s?

Dary said...

After the last election, and listening to Sean and Rush, I deduced that the message sent in the last election had fallen of deaf ears.

But I don’t believe that the war was the only reason why that the message was sent. It was also sent because of the republican shift away from true conservativism.

Reading this piece has given me hope that the message is still out there resonating all on its own and maybe, hopefully it is beginning to penetrate the silence.

I so much want to come back and vote for a true conservative. If only the republicans will nominate one, and there is only one.

By the way, I know count myself among the republicans once again since changing my registration back in order to vote for Paul in Florida’s primary.

Rather than send another message though, I would prefer to send a conservative to the White House.

But just in case Paul doesn’t get the nomination, I’ve got my telegraph here setup and ready to go.


Best Regards,


Jacksonville, FL

rbk said...

Ken H said...

Mr. Dondero stated: “His supporters are bragging all over the internet that if he doesn’t win the nomination they will refuse to support the GOP Nominee.”

Since very few Republican officeholders support the concept of limited government why should those of us who support the concept of limited government give the GOP carte blanche support?

I don’t and I won’t. I place principle over party.

bret said...

Dondero is hilarious. Politics is a team sport? People are dying man … I’m glad you obviously don’t support the troops by making light of the fact that people actually do get their arms and legs and heads blown off pursuing the (doomed/failed/”Quixotic”) policies you rave about being so “libertarian.”

Todd, re: your “moderate” on abortion/war … in my mind, you cannot be a “moderate” on offensive war. You are either for it or you’re against it. Didn’t Eisenhower warn against offensive war? Look where it got Hitler. And look where it’s gotten the US. That’s why Giuliani and all of the other candidates scare me – Drudge ran a headline today that Obama wants to invade Pakistan, if they won’t cough up Bin Laden. To me, that pretty much illustrates the absurdity of this whole scenario.

War is the health of the state. If you are in favor of war you are not a libertarian, period, end of story, that’s it. War does nothing but grow the state’s apparatus. Look at what war has done for the drug trade, “education”, and poverty, as well as the poor Iraqis (who had nothing to do with 9/11, remember).

You fight back when you are attacked. You defeat the enemy and then you go back to business as usual. The Republican party got drunk on the power of whacking tiny, backward Afghanistan and wanted to keep the gravy train rolling, so we whacked Iraq too, for good measure. This policy is insane, because now they are looking at continuing it in Iran, or Pakistan, or Syria – or who knows where else.

There is no credible logical argument that somehow Muslims are going to show up here and force us all to adopt Sharia law. Not going to happen (that’s what the 2nd amendment is for, among other things). Dondero and all those like him are just lobbying for the War Party – which is, by definition, Big State Liberals – that’s all.

This has gotten far afield, but I hope you see my point. This is why Paul alone is attractive in the race from a libertarian / true conservative point of view. This is also why many “liberals” are starting to realize their utopian dreams are being forever promised and never delivered by their War Party leaders, and starting to cross over to the Ron Paul Revolution. If you truly want to shrink the state and let people live in peace, then Ron Paul is the only choice (well, aside from LP folks maybe – but I guess I am pragmatic enough to realize they won’t get elected nationally).

Ken H said...

Doug stated: “But in the area of foreign relations he strikes me so far as an impractical extreme isolationist.”

Ron Paul is a non-interventionist, not an isolationist and certainly not an “impractical extreme” one.

The foreign policy of President George W. Bush has been an isolationist one in practice. These United States have never been as isolated diplomatically as they are today.

Chris Page said...

Loved the article on NR. I believe RP will be one of the last candidates standing. When the media starts saying things like what’s so strange about these positions. Why isn’t he being embraced by the leadership of the party things will change in a dramatic way. The idea that nobody will vote for him because he can’t win is like Yogi Berra saying “Nobody eats there anymore, It’s too crowded.

Ken H said...

Thanks for the article, Mr. Seavey. It is very well written and I am sure it will generate quite a discussion in conservative and libertarian circles. 8-)

Jon said...

It should be noted that Dr Paul fired Dondero.

Great article!!!

Mike said...

Eric D,

Your “team player” rant is utter garbage. This is easily proven by turning it around. How many of the other candidates would support Dr. Paul if he got the nomination. I somehow doubt your beloved Rudy would. Since this is a team sport does that mean Rudy should be excluded as well? Get over your bitterness already.


Matt C said...

I look forward to Ron Paul’s nomination, Rudy’s subsequent endorsement of Hillary, and the subsequent realization by “mainstream” conservatives that they need to get their #$%^ing house in order

Eric Dondero said...

For the record, I resigned from Ron Paul’s employ not once but twice. The first time, Chief of Staff Tom Lizardo tracked me down in Mexico, and implored me to come back to work, after the young girl who had replaced me got into an inner-Congressional office scandal – out of wedlock birth in a very Christian family and all. I agreed but for only a short while.

Still Tom and Ron flowered me with frequent bonuses to get me to stay. One year became two. But then Ron took his idiotic stance against the War in Iraq, and I had enough. I resigned a second time.

But only after yet another bonus ($10,000 worth), from Ron and Tom.

So, if that’s what you call being fired, “give me more of dat Baby!”

Eric Dondero said...

To the poster above, who sounds like a Newbie to the libertarian movement, the proper libertarian position is Pro-Defense.

The Founder of the libertarian movement is Dana Rohrabacher, who is Pro-Defense. Goldwater, who was also Pro-Defense is the iconical philosphical founder of the libertarian movement.

Dr. John Hospers, the Libertarian Party’s first Presidential candidate was/is a proud member of the Libertarian Defense Caucus and enthusiastically supported Bush over Michael Badnarik in 2004.

Opposition to Al Qaeda and Islamo-Fascism = libertarian

Defacto support for Al Qaeda and Islamo-Fascism = authoritarian

Those who oppose the War in Iraq are not libertarians, though they may think they are.

Dreepa said...

Thanks for the article, Mr. Seavey.

Many of us in the Free State (NH) are working hard to get the Ron Paul message out there– Smaller government.

Ron Paul is the ONLY candidate running as a DEM or a GOPer who truly believes in smaller (dare I say Constitutional)government.

Dondero– Didn’tDr Paul ask the gutless Congress to declare war (see the Constitution) but they voted that down?

How is invading other countries defensive? Oh wait we didn’t find WMD so we then changed the tune to: get rid of Saddam to save the Iraqis and down with Al Qaeda.

bret said...

Dondero, you’re right, I’m a newbie. You can cite all the party hacks you want, what matters is reality and truth, not name dropping, sir.

Please tell me how Pro-defense is supposed to equate with “staying on the offense in the ‘War on Terra’”? Defense means having our own troops on our own borders, keeping thugs from hijacking planes and crashing them into buildings, etc. The best defense is a good defense. You cannot fight the world and win.

Sorry to hijack your blog man, but this Dondero guy is a real idiot.

granny miller said...

Congressman Paul’s Freedom message is irresistible, and I think he has an excellent chance at the White House. Never underestimate the will of the People.

Surely Mr. Derbyshire would recognize that if only he weren’t so jaded and uptight from hanging out at NRO.

You know, I didn’t think NRO had it in them to carry anything about Ron Paul….much less 2 days in a row!

I wonder if they are going conservative on us after all these years?

We can only hope.

Hovannes Abramyan said...

Mr. Seavey: I enjoyed your National Review op-ed and your post on this website. You’re doing a great service to the free-market movement.

On another note, Mr. Dondero comes off as a frothing lunatic. I certainly hope he’s a little more sensible and calm outside the realm of internet comment boxes. Though, the only chance he has at becoming a Congressman is if Ron Paul becomes president and vacates the seat.

nv said...

Great article, keep up the good work Todd! Go Ron Paul! He truly does embody Hope for America.

naturalethic said...

Dondero please explain how attacking Iraq was defensive.

Sunshinysmile said...

Dondero…a gentleman you are not. Spreading gossip about staff members personal lives, and the supposed begging and pleading of your superiors in Paul’s office. No honor or dignity. Not an ounce. I can see it now…history books in the future, laden with photos of President Giuliani in sequins, fishnets, and pin curls. The Oval Office goes Jerry Springer…maybe Halliburton will install a pole, disco lights, and mirrors. That’ll be something to be proud of.

Sunshinysmile said...

Oh Todd…thanks for the article!

Ken H said...

Mr. Dondero stated: “Those who oppose the War in Iraq are not libertarians, though they may think they are.”

Eric, I don’t think that you are a libertarian, mainstream or otherwise. Your support of Giuliani during the GOP nomination process proves that you are not, in my view.

Paul said...

Somebody give Todd Seavey a raise! This is the first really good article on Ron Paul anywhere in a major publication. I hope it will inspire many more. Mr. Seavey you are a leader! You don’t wait for the herd to tell you what to do, you make your own decisions. Bravo!

Colin said...


Can I ask if Dr. Paul requested your resignation? For, if he did, you know very well that this is the equivalent of being fired.

If I were you, I’d contact the good doctor and respectfully ask his forgiveness. As a Christian, he is bound to forgive your transgressions and prodigalities.

It’s not too late to rejoin to Light side.

formergreen/rainbowofmassachusetts said...

As a member of the Green/Rainbow party of Massachusetts ( I was first with the Green Party which of its own volition, I do not recall being asked, joined with Rainbow and so we Greens were all grandfathered in ) am , tomorrow , joining the Republican Party , notwithstanding the diatribes of Dondero , exclusively in order to vote for Ron Paul in the primaries , for a great thing it is to find such a one who is simultaneously pro-life, pro-individualism thus anti-racism, pro-peace, anti-oil addiction , etc. It is Christ who commanded ” Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, “Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also.” Luke 6:27-29 – Ron Paul’s position of opening up economic cooperation with our political adversaries – that is, in essence blessing them that curse us – as opposed to lobbing verbal vitriolic and , finally , material bombs is so sane that one can nearly weep at the sight in a mad, mad world – not to mention his recognition that our devilish intervention in Iran in the 50s and Afghanistan in the 80s fostered current terrorist regimes and armies that are now a threat to us and the world – if Ron Paul comes to Boston it would be well to line the roads with olive tree branches

Kemp said...

Excellent article Mr. Seavey. I truly hope that organizations such as National Review come around to avidly supporting Ron Paul. The other Republicans will get trounced and we will be stuck with Hillary if it goes any other way. Dr. Paul stands tall due to his allegiance to the bedrock of reason. Hillary can beat out other philosophical pragmatists, but her powers will fall hard against a stone-cold man of reason a la Ron Paul.

For those who say libertarians should have been for this aggressive war in Iraq, that is quite possibly the most absurd thing I have ever heard. The essence of philosophies of liberty, of which libertarianism is obviously one, is that of a resounding denunciation of the use of aggressive force. Assertive self-defense is the only policy of force that is justifiable and, while Saddam Hussein was obviously a nut-job megalomaniac, he was in fact a conservative force in Iraq. He wanted power over his people, not a suicidal attack of the United States. Our “pre-emptive” war was little more than a childish power grab on the part of the Bush administration, and was 100% in opposition to libertarian principles.

Please abstain from such foolishness in the future. Thanks.

Karla said...

Todd, LOVED the article and I am an advocate of the RON PAUL message. As for Judas Dondero…”GO TOWARDS THE LIGHT.” Do what the good man said, ask for complete forgiveness for yourself , Congressman Ron Paul has a huge heart as all of his supporters know.

OmegaPaladin said...

Ron Paul is remarkable in how he combines the aspects of the right which I dislike (fervent isolationism, conspiracism, libertarianism) into one candidate. He’s like the Right-wing Kucinich. If I wanted to surrender to the irhabi terrorists I’d vote Democrat. The fact that he is a friend of the Truthers makes him below contempt.

Generally, Ron Paul people tend to be small-l libertarians, a group over represented on the Internet. Just because he is leading in the Internet polls doesn’t mean he has a chance in the general elections. Hell, his foreign policy is less realistic than Hillary’s – he might have precisely the opposite effect.

anonymous said...

Holy crap, I took one look at OmegaPaladin’s blog and had to laugh. Ministry of Truth anyone? Give it a look, it’s amusing in a cry-yourself-to-sleep-for-sadness-at-poor-wayward-humanity sort of way.

Allan Bartlett said...

Excellent article Todd. Kudos to the NR for publishing it. Ron Paul for President is growing like wildfire out here in Southern California.

Alex said...

Mr. Dondero,

Your comment reads like a desparate diatribe. It echos the herd mentality that Mr. Seavey is talking about.

tony said...

Mr Seavey,

I want to extend a heartfelt thank-you for publishing this peice on Dr Paul. Ron Paul has rekindled in me that which I thought was long dead; hope. Messages such as yours from trusted Conservative sources give me hope that all is not lost to the NeoCons and Big Government crowds looking for more power.

I’ve always voted by principals, and never for the lesser evil. Ron Paul’s message can heal this nation and restore America to Greatness.

Nancy said...

Mr. Seavey,

It is a delight to read your message of analysis of Ron Paul. If only other conservatives were as smart as you, so that a groundswell of support of his presidential candidacy would arise.

Michael said...

Hey Dondero, quit calling yourself a libertarian. You’re embarrassing us. You’re supporting a guy who actually thinks that the president can continue the Iraq war even if Congress cuts off funding. He might be the least libertarian candidate in the Republican field.

By the way, I’d love to see you run against Ron Paul so we can all laugh as you fall flat on your face.

Andrew W. said...

We need more of you in the press. Awesome article – you beautifully articulated what I have been trying to explain to my pro-war conservative friends.

Ron Paul 2008 – Vote for him, and he will win.

Seer said...

Mr. Seavey,

That was a very nicely written piece on NR. I’ve read NR for about a year in my high school library, and I was wondering how the NR folks would react to Dr. Paul. Unfortunately, I was disappointed to see that they were very hostile, completely unable to overlook the war issue and look at the problems that federalism faces today.


Bob said...

“You know, I didn’t think NRO had it in them to carry anything about Ron Paul..much less 2 days in a row!”


I only hope that NRO isn’t whispering in the closet to David Frum, “Don’t worry, we’re just tossing a bone for the time being to the loony Paulers.” Oh to be a fly on the wall in the NRO office.

But on a more serious note: can someone supply some links containing Ron Paul’s views on US energy needs and how they should be handled?

Also, just what does he think of Islamism? American occupation of certain Middle Eastern areas, though it may be “a major contributing factor” as to why they hate us, but it surely is not THE reason they hate us. Does RP address this anywhere? I mean, there are many otherwise bright libertarians who actually think the threat of Islam would disappear overnight were we to get our own house in order. This idea is not only not true, but actually suicidal.

Finally, Ron Paul is the first candidate in 27 years to get me positive once more about presidential politics. Alas, as Albert Jay Nock advised, Gresham’s Law is always at work in politics, and we probably shouldn’t get our hopes up.

Rick Fisk said...

“For the record, I resigned from Ron Paul’s employ not once but twice.”

LOL. Eric Faux Libertarian was actually fired. He trolls blog comments to see if he can get attention for himself.

That said, if you want to know who’s on the right side of the war issue, just check who’s predictions have actually come true.

Not the “liebertarians” who claim that naked aggression is “defense”.

Steve LaBianca said...

How anyone who is supporting Ron Paul as Mr. Seavey says he does, could even remotely consider “pulling the lever” in the voting booth on election day for Rudy ” freedom is authority” Giuliani, is way, way beyond my comprehension.

Yes, on a few issues, Giuliani is better than the Socialist (Democrat) candidates, but he is also far worse than many of the Democrats on the surveillance state. Giuliani possesses the typical prosecutor mentality . . . that is that “law and order” is to be achieved at ALL costs. Liberty be damned. And I would question that the surveillance state so beloved by Giuliani would even come close to achieving “law and order” as he perceives it.

I pose this question to Mr. Seavey: if Giuliiani rates a “2″ on a scale of 1 to 10, but the Democrat rates a “1″, why not vote for a third party candidate (like the Libertarian Party) who would rate at least a “7″? If you ask me, voting for a “2″ (Giuliani) is wasting your vote, and not a vote for a “7″.

John Campbell said...

Eric Dondero said:

“And you mistakenly conclude that the libertarian movement is all behind him. We are not. The libertarian movement is behind an array of candidates at the moment like Wayne Root, Steve Kubby, a few for Romney, a few more for Fred Thompson and most especially those of us who are Libertarians for Giuliani.”

I guess Eric is right, the libertarian movement is not all behind Ron Paul. Only 73.5% of it.

When was the last time 73.5% of libertarians agreed on ANYTHING?

Also, I find his use of the word “We” to be very curious.

Steve LaBianca said...

Eric (Rittberg) Dondero is not a libertarian. Hiding behind the “pro-defense” stand (which is integral to the libertarian position) to support the War of Agression on Iraq is a sheer “bait and switch” tactic. There is ABSOLUTELY nothing of credibile information which even remotely suggests that the War of Agression on Iraq is defensive.

Dondero is one of THE most disingenuous people I have ever had the displeasure of hearing. On one the final radio shows by the late, great Harry Browne, Dondero (as a guest on the show) was SHOCKED that Browne and he were in the same “libertarian movement”, due to Harry’s non-interventionist foreign policy position. Now, anybody who knows ANYTHING about the libertarian movement, KNOWS that Harry Browne had been a staunch defender of the non-interventionist foreign policy position for at least 30 years. And when Dondero states that Ron Paul changed his positions by being against the War of Agression on Iraq, this is more indication of Dondero’s lies. Dr. Paul ran on the same position of non-ntervention 20 years ago as the nomineeof the Libertarian Party. Dondero, like Giuliani and virtually every other Republican out there are not remotely libertarian nor believers in the freedom and responsibility of the individual, which is one of the core beliefs of libertarianism. NEVER, ever, trust ANYTHING Dondero ever says.

Seer said...

“Also, just what does he think of Islamism? American occupation of certain Middle Eastern areas, though it may be “a major contributing factor” as to why they hate us, but it surely is not THE reason they hate us. Does RP address this anywhere? I mean, there are many otherwise bright libertarians who actually think the threat of Islam would disappear overnight were we to get our own house in order. This idea is not only not true, but actually suicidal.”

It’s not THE reason they hate us, but it’s the MAIN reason they hate us.

Can you imagine the discussion in UBL’s cave?

“Damn those Americans! I don’t mind them killing Iraqi children with embargoes, or desecrating our holy places and culture with their occupation, but DAMN THEIR BIKINI CLAD WOMEN! I mean, the occupation wasn’t so bad, but women drivers are the last straw!”

Doug D said...

“Generally, Ron Paul people tend to be small-l libertarians, a group over represented on the Internet. Just because he is leading in the Internet polls doesn’t mean he has a chance in the general elections.”

Actually, Ron Paul’s biggest group of supporters is independents (anti-war voters who don’t want a big-government Democrat), followed by Republicans (some of whom really do want smaller government), followed by libertarians (who like him despite his conservative tendencies), followed by Democrats (who see the war and civil liberties as the biggest issues by far, and hope that Congress stops him from cutting government too much.) Check out the stats at the online Ron Paul Rally if you doubt me.

The main reason Ron Paul is leading on the Internet is because people on the Internet have the advantage of having heard about him, and are following the election more closely. A recent poll showed that only 20% of the population is following the election closely yet. Another poll showed that 75% of Iowans hadn’t formed an opinion of Ron Paul yet. That’s a lot of upside that better-known candidates just don’t have.

Another important factor is the low turnout typical of the primaries. If his lackluster opponents get the typical 20% of their supporters to turn out on election day, and Ron Paul’s enthusiastic base turns out at 80%, his election returns could get a 4x multiplier over his poll numbers, which we already suspect are missing a good deal of his support (young people with cell phones and people the pollsters aren’t predicting as likely Republican primary voters.)

badmedia said...

I thought it was only the democrats who needed to pick candidates who could win. Why is dondero telling us now that we have to play like the democrats and pick someone who can “win”? Didn’t work out so well for the democrats now did it?

I will NOT vote for any of the other republicans. If I gotta have a brand of socialism, I’d rather have the democrat brand. I supported the GOP because it wasn’t in favor of socialism, and now all but Ron Paul are leading towards that. I left the GOP out of disgust many years ago and now consider myself a libertarian. The other goldwater party.

Ron Paul isn’t splitting the GOP, the Iraq war split the GOP. Did you forget the 2006 elections where nearly half the GOP party members left? He is bringing members, like me, back. But go ahead and blame Ron Paul for it. I’m glad you do, because it points out how much of a liar you are to any educated citizen.

Nobody wants your wooden nickels Dondero.

Bob said...

“It’s not THE reason they hate us, but it’s the MAIN reason they hate us.”


I’m not sure this is true, and that was why I asked the question. When you read the writings of Sayaad Qutb and others of the modern Islamist movement, you see that they fundamentally expect that it is Islam’s destiny to rule the globe. Granted, I don’t think this is reason to freak out, but there is a sense in conservative/libertarian circles that as soon as America gets its house into order (which it most certainly must do) Islam will be mostly pacified. There is also the tendency to scapegoat America as being the cause of fanatical Islam.

lester said...

mr dondero- would you like to tell the people here about how saddam Hussein perpetrated the oklahoma City bombing on 1996? and the first WTC bombing? You know the ones we thought were done by timothy Mcveigh and Ramzi Yusef / Al queda respectively. Because you were talking up quite a storm about that a few months ago apropos of virtually nothing on the von mises blog.

Matthew Cole said...

Dear Mr. Seavey,

I highly enjoyed your article. Your point on compromise is especially important. This idea that we must support Giuliani in order to stop Hillary is asinine. How about this thought experiment – knowing what we know now, would the GOP have gotten behind GWB in the primaries in 2000?

More and more stories of Giuliani’s bumbling in NYC are coming to light. His support of men like Bernard Kerik, one of the authors of the post-”hostilities” mess in Iraq, gives us a good picture of who he would appoint to important administration positions. We know he has zero respect for civil liberties (think “Giuliani time”), and Rep. Paul has exposed Giuliani’s lack of historical perspective and understanding. Not to mention, thanks to his pro-choice, anti-gun, pro-tax stand – he is a RINO.

How is this for a novel concept… let’s let this primary season be less about trying to find someone who can out sleaze Hillary, and put up someone who has good ideas and actually inspires hope that this country can be governed without unnecessary wars and a coinage that is literally worth LESS than the materials from which it is made.

Dondero wants Giuliani because he THINKS he can possibly beat the juggernaut of Hillary Clinton. I want Ron Paul because he would make a fine president.

Matt said...


I invite you all to read my post about Eric Dondero’s history and the lessons he has and hasn’t learned.

Seer said...

Dear Bob,

“I’m not sure this is true, and that was why I asked the question. When you read the writings of Sayaad Qutb and others of the modern Islamist movement, you see that they fundamentally expect that it is Islam’s destiny to rule the globe.”

Perhaps, but even if that’s what Mr. Qutb wants, it’s not the reason that droves of 20 something muslims are volunteering to fight against the West. Iran tried unsuccessfully for years to get people to attack the West by pointing out our moral decay, with little to show. Usama pointed out our foreign occupation and support of tyrannical regimes in the region and he got people to blow themselves up over it.

Mark Brady said...

Eric Dondero writes:

“The Founder of the libertarian movement is Dana Rohrabacher, who is Pro-Defense.”

Not just a founder, but “the founder”! Your history of the American libertarian movement is sadly deficient.

Brain said...

It seems that the constant attacks on Mr. Dondero, who has strong credentials, even if disagreeable allegiances, only strenghten his credibility and visibility.

Karol said...

I didn’t know you wrote for NY Press!

Mark Davis said...

“Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do.”

Benito Giuliani

Yea, now there’s a guy that libertarians can get behind.

Bill said...

Nice article, if NR keeps publishing stuff like this (even if only the web), I may have to subscribe.

Myself, I am someone with a graduate degree in Political Economy, and am deeply ambivalent about the recent Iraq invasion. Frankly, almost all of the debate from both sides seem to miss the important aspects.

I’ve been following Ron Paul for years, since I was dazzled by his demonstration of deep understanding of economics while questioning Greenspan during one of the latter’s testimonies to the Banking Committee.

I agree with Mr. Seavey, that Paul is the most electable guy out there at the moment – there is no way any of the other Republican candidates would do as well as he in the general election. The only reason Giuliani won NY was due to the debts owed to him by the Wall St. fat-cats whose wallets he helped to fatten at the expense of shareholders around the country back in the late 80’s when he was their U.S. Attorney. Giuliani’s success in NY will not scale up across the country.

I will be voting for Mr. Paul in the primary, and I will not be voting for any other Republican in the general election, should someone else get the nomination. People who feel a need to vote for one of the top-polling candidates seriously don’t understand politics.

Nor do those who criticize Ron Paul’s “isolationist” foreign policy do not know what they are talking about, nor do they appreciate the importance of long-term policy effects. Non-interventionism is distinct from isolationism. Besides, the office of the President does not (yet) convey dictatorial powers, it is not like he can run everything himself. If anyone has respect for the limitations on the power of his office, it is Ron Paul.

Big picture – it is the status-quo economic, fiscal, and monetary policies that will undermine our military strength and ability to defend our nation. Any significant degree to which we adopt Ron Paul’s agenda in these arenas will do far more to bolster our long-run national defense abilities than anything the other candidates stand for, hawkish or not.

We need more intelligent writing such as Mr. Seavey presents, and perhaps more vocal disdain from loons like Mr. Dondero (Libertarians for Giuliani? Put down the crack pipe, seriously), just to make Ron Paul look better.

Bill said...

Make that:

“Nor do those who criticize Ron Paul’s “isolationist” foreign policy know what they are talking about.”

dang keyboard…

Steve LaBianca said...


Dondero has “strong credentials”? He puts his foot in his mouth every time he talks. Dana Rohrabacker, though part of the “laissez faire” wing of Y.A.F. where he and Don Ernsberger and Dave Walter formed the Society for Individual Liberty, was not “the” founder nor even “a” founder of the libertarian movement. Anybody ever heard of Ayn Rand (though I hate her “heirs” warmongering), Murray Rothbard, Ludwig von Mises, Rebert Lefevre, Leonard Read, and many others. These were the folks who were “the founders” of the libertarian movement. Again, as I said in an earlier post, Dondero is not to be believed for ANYTHING he says.

Note to Mark Davis-thanks for putting up the verbiage of Giuliani’s “freedom is about authority” speech while he was mayor of NYC. Giuliani is the antithesis of liberty (not that Hillary is any better).

Jason said...

“To the poster above, who sounds like a Newbie to the libertarian movement, the proper libertarian position is Pro-Defense. ”

Yes it is Eric, which is why you are not a libertarian. Those who favor self defense do not go out and intervene all over the world.

chris s said...

You want to see a real loon, just read the stuff by Dondero and his gaggle of morally bankrupt “neo”libertarians, i.e. our only position is war, war, and more war, go War on Terror!

Hey Dondero, shouldn’t you drink another 5th to make sure you are good and liquored up before you start posting? Dondero is a troll who is butthurt because Paul isn’t a hawk like he is. He has already been banned from other blog sites for his behavior. Eliciting rude, colorful language and off the handle ranting from Dondero is like shooting fish in the barrel.

chris s said...

Hey Donero, how are things going for you over at ? Still posting your insightful comments?

oh wait…. roflcopter down…

formergreen/rainbowofmassachusetts said...

Hi Matt ,

Consider this typo in your noted, and very helpful, post :

“It seems from there lack of the basic facts of many…”

there = their

Articulate Dondero said...

Some choice words from the always cool and collected Dondero. He must be a presidential speech writer:

“Mr. Stephens, you are a f*cking *sshole

Stop lying you pr*ck!

You repeat only tired old Communist/Fas*ist leftwing talking points in regards to brave libertarian petitioners who stood out in the blizzard cold, and then 95 degree heat, to collect 80,000 signagtures for property rights all over Montana. And instread of praising those of us who petititioned you accuse us of engaging in “fraud.”

How f*cking dare you, asshole!!! I want a mother-f*cking retraction.

I’m a Veteran you f*cker. I served 4 years in the Navy. I have three medals and an honorable discharge to show for it.

How many years did you serve? If your a non-Vet than shut the f*ck up.”

So articulate. Sounds just like something my representative would feel comfortable posting on a public forum or saying on the stump.

Meredith said...


I have not yet read your NRO piece nor do I even think I’ll get around to it very soon (not for a lack of interest, simply short on time…). However, I am convinced, based solely upon the comments and Dondero flame-war that it is pure genius. (Incidentally, am I the only one to notice Dondero = Odor Den ???? Not that I’ve ever met the guy – entirely possible he smells quite lovely….) Anyhow, you should really think about pursuing this writing thing.

Daniel LaGattuta said...


War is not an issue to be put aside because it is too controversial. It is the most important issue of our time and any serious candidate for high office needs to take a stand on it. Ron Paul should not ignore the issue but should put it front and center in his campaign. It is also not necessarily bad politics given the unpopularity of the war.

It is a little hard to understand why some so-called libertarians don’t like Paul’s foreign policy ideas. Non-interventionist foreign policy has always been an important part of the libertarian movement. It is hard to have a small government if the government is continuing to intervene abroad.

Libertarians are supposedly to be skeptical of government programs. The War in Iraq is a government program that is way overbudget and has left the country a mess. A great deal of life and property has been destroyed due to American intervention there. Yet, strangely some self-described libertarians seem to think the war is consistent with libertarian principles and give government a free pass when the government is a waging an offensive war.

I am glad that Ron Paul is running on his antiwar message. I don’t think he will get the nomination, but I think he will help lead a long overdue shift in the debate on what is an appropiate foreign policy.


Todd Seavey said...

Lame though it may be to make an argument about the argument rather than wading into the core dispute, I have done the former at my next chronological post, if anyone’s interested:

Jaime said...

I used to be a subscriber (10+yrs) to NR. I quit NR because I noticed a shift in their Constitutional interpretation. I later became aware of the “purges” that occurred earlier than when I first subscribed to NR, around 1988. If NR is shifting back to the time before Rich Lowry became editor I may reconsider my subscription. The last time (a long time ago) NR called me and asked me to resubscribe and whether I was still a Conservative. My answer was no and that the real question was whether NR was still Conservative?


Re: Dondero

Please, let all be advised that Mr. Dondero is an announced “candidate” to oppose Dr. Paul, for the GOP nomination, in the next Congressional election, 14th Congressional District, Texas.

Mr. Dondero has a blog and it follows the type of posts he has made here.

Dondero says Mr. Giuliani is a libertarian (bwaha ha ha ha ha, I cannot not laugh whenever I think about it):

I am not a libertarian and the libertarians I know are nowhere confused as Mr. Dondero.

Mr. Dondero stated: “His supporters are bragging all over the internet that if he doesn’t win the nomination they will refuse to support the GOP Nominee.”

I am well acquainted with Dr. Paul and I would like for you to present evidence of your statement. Dr. Paul has said, in response to a question, that he [Dr. Paul] would find it very difficult to support Mr. Giuliani if Mr. Giuliani were the nominee. An answer to a question does not equate “bragging all over the internet.”

Jaime said...

Can we all agree that when people accuse Dr. Paul of being an isolationist that the term be defined.

I am so tired of having to explain the differences between isolationism and non-interventionism.

Eric Dondero said...

Latest poll numbers released just yeterday have Rudy Giuliani running away with the GOP nomination, even with Fred Thompson in the race. Rudy is at 30% in the Newsweek Poll. (Ron Paul down at 2% with Tommy Thompson, Tancredo and other also-rans.)

Also, running average have Giuliani and Hillary virtually tied at 45% each.

It’s time to get real. This is a Hillary Clinton vs. Rudy Giuliani race.

You either on the side of freedom – with Giuliani, or fascism with ole’ Cowhips Hillary herself.

Eric Dondero said...

One clarification:

One poster above questioned my christening of Dana Rohrabacher as the “Founder of the Modern Libertarian Movement.” He is indeed correct in one sense. I should have stated that Rohrabacher was the Founder of the Modern Libertarian POLITICAL Movement.

The others he mentioned like Leonard Reed, and Ayn Rand were indeed Founders of the Libertarian PHILOSOPHICAL Movement, quite distinct from YAF and the early Libertarian Party.

Jaime said...

“You either on the side of freedom – with Giuliani, or fascism with ole’ Cowhips Hillary herself.”

Definitions Mr. Dondero.

According to Mr. Giuliani what is the definition of liberty?

With not a hint of sarcasm in his “I wills.”

My, my. What a strong man he is!

Seer said...

If it came down to Hillary v. Giuliani, I’d be tempted to vote for Hillary if it wasn’t for the fact that she’s a Clinton. I’d probably vote Libertarian.

Jaime said...

I will write in Ron Paul if he does not get the nomination.

Eric Dondero said...

Jaime, since when does being a libertarian mean that one needs to also be a Girlie-man?

One can be masculine and strong and be a libertarian at the same time. Contrary to popular belief, not all libertarians are no-biceps, out-of-shape computer nerds who “loathe the military.”

Jaime said...

Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit! Meester Dondero. And how would you know? Have you signed your enlistment papers yet?

Eric Dondero said...

US Navy Vet – 1981-85. 3 medals including War Service.

Mark Brady said...

Now Eric Dondero writes:

“One clarification:

“One poster above questioned my christening of Dana Rohrabacher as the “Founder of the Modern Libertarian Movement.” He is indeed correct in one sense. I should have stated that Rohrabacher was the Founder of the Modern Libertarian POLITICAL Movement.”

Huh? David Nolan was by far the most important figure in getting the Libertarian Party off the ground.

Jaime said...


I ask again. Have you signed your enlistment papers? That implies current service.

You have already some training, Just think how you could relieve a soldier in Iraq (or Afghanistan) from having to serve a 4th tour.

Eric Dondero said...


I’m too old at 44. Even with the exemption of allowing Veterans more time to join, I still do not qualify. I even tried to get into the Reserves. But no go.

I do, however, serve on the Selective Service Board for the Houston Region.

Todd Seavey said...

As noted in the blog entry after next chronologically, you should hear me via this online radio station talking about Paul circa 6:20 Eastern (5:20 Central, etc.) on Wed., Aug. 8:

Jaime said...

I have been to your site. You look young for a 44.

“I even tried to get into the Reserves. ” score goes to you.

“I do, however, serve on the Selective Service Board for the Houston Region.”

(shaking my head) You opened another can of worms. We will knock heads on that issue, no doubt, another time.

Jaime said...

And to be clear, I do not consider that being a libertarian means “that one needs to also be a Girlie-man.” I know for a fact they are not.

Jaime said...

Hey! Good news ED. You are cutting it close, though.

For Prior-Service (PS) men and women, Guard enlistment requirements are as follows: (1) must be a U.S. citizen, or a permanent resident alien; (2) must be between the ages of 17 and 59 years of age; (3) pass the Standard Armed Forces Physical examination and attain certain ASVAB test standards; (4) have served in an Armed Force of the United States or any Reserve Component thereof, if under age 45.

Applicants over 45 must have prior Reserve service or service in a regular component (Service in the Coast Guard is not considered a regular component unless performing duty under the Secretary of the Navy). They must have enough prior military service to attain a total of 20 creditable years by age 60; and (5) have a favorable reenlistment eligibility code.