The current issue of The American Conservative (Jan. 28, 2008) includes “Dead Wrong,” my look at the curious career of David Frum, a man who has built a career on trashing anyone to his Right. Frum’s claim to fame is as the neocons’ hit-man. But is he any kind of a conservative himself? He’s never made much pretense of being a social conservative (he’s pro-abortion, for example). His economic conservatism isn’t what it’s cracked up to be, either. But that hasn’t stopped Frum from trying to excommunicate Pat Buchanan, Robert Novak, and the rest of the antiwar Right from the conservative movement.
I should apologize for the light posting lately — where “lately” could, I suppose, mean anything from the past two months to the past year or so. Sometimes I’ve been lazy, sometimes I’ve been working hard: either one can be bad for keeping a personal blog regularly updated.
Still, there have been some specific developments with me over the past few weeks that account for less posting than unusual. As many of you may already know, I’ve joined the Ron Paul 2008 campaign, where I’m now blogging on regular basis at the Daily Dose. A strict constructionist in the real sense of the world, Dr. Paul is the kind of citizen-statesman that otherwise hardly exists any more. After the horrors of the past seven years, or seven decades, this is the day and this is the hour: Paul’s cause is the last best hope that I can see for getting back to the kind of government this Republic is supposed to have. No more torture, no more unnecessary wars or archipelagos of bases dotting the world, dramatically lower taxes, a president who takes all of the protections in the Bill of Rights seriously — that’s worth everything. So now it’s back to Washington, D.C. (or Arlington, Virginia) from Wilmington, Delaware. The hours are long — I’m dependent on the local IHOP, open 24 hours — but it’s great fun, and the cause could hardly be greater.
Most of my energies will be poured into the Daily Dose and other Ron Paul work between now and the Republican convention — which I think will be a conventional unlike any in living memory — but I’ll update this blog whenever I have a spare moment. And maybe a little more frequently than I’ve done in a while, but don’t hold me to that.
Ron Paul on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (PT.1of2) 1-7-08
Bravo, Jay, for correcting the injustice that Fox News did to Ron Paul!
From AOL News:
In a northern New Hampshire hamlet tradition, voters of Dixville Notch and Hart’s Location cast the first 46 ballots of the primary season – half for Democrats and half for Republicans – at midnight, hours before polls opened statewide at 6 a.m. EST. Polls close at 8 p.m.
Combined results from the two spots showed Obama with 16 votes, Clinton 3, John Edwards 3 and Bill Richardson 1. On the Republican side, McCain received 10 votes, Mike Huckabee 5, Ron Paul 4, Romney 3 and Rudy Giuliani 1.
Note that there’s an on-line poll embedded in the AOL story, and so far it under-represents Paul’s support. So cast a vote while you read the story.
P.S. My old American Conservative colleague Jim Antle predicts that Paul will beat Giuliani overall, too. I concur.
“The last chance for voters to see the candidates, all together.” — That’s how John Gibson is advertising the Fox News GOP debate tonight, and it’s a red-faced lie. These are not “the candidates, all together,” these are the pro-war candidates that Fox News has decided New Hampshirites should vote for: McCain, Thompson, Romney, Huckabee, and Giuliani. But no Ron Paul, even though Paul massively out-polls Fred Thompson — in fact, in the latest RealClearPolitics poll average, Paul gets almost four times more support than Thompson, 8 percent for Paul to a pitiful 2.4 percent for Thompson. So why does Thompson make the cut if Paul doesn’t?
“It’s the one event voters need to make up their minds,” Gibson says. “We Report, You Decide”? Rupert Murdoch and John Gibson have already decided for you. Kudos to the New Hampshire Republican Party for withdrawing its sponsorship from this phony event.
Mark Styen asks on NRO’s Corner:
Byron, so a bad night for Ron Paul then?
That’s wishful thinking for the neocons. This is a great night for Ron Paul. Conservatives nationwide are not going to accept Mike Huckabee, a tax-hiking, big-spending, regulation-lovin’ liberal. But with Romney exposed for the hollow man he is, to whom can they turn? The pundits are boosting McCain, who might win New Hampshire. But McCain, who votes again tax cuts and of course gave us McCain-Feingold, is also unpopular among conservatives. I expect a great many Republicans, conservatives especially, will start asking themselves how they wound up with a choice between McCain and Huckabee. They’ve come to that end by throwing their faux-conservatives whose only appeal was their illusory electability: Romney and Thompson.
Huckabee’s win and Romney’s decline throws the race wide open. Giuliani, another non-conservative, is well-positioned for a comeback, too: he isn’t going to lose his base among East Coast Rockefeller Republicans to Huckabee, and I suspect they’ll stick with him over McCain as well. If Huckabee can beat McCain in South Carolina, Giuliani might suddenly become the “stop Huckabee” candidate and win in Florida, then be in a strong position going into Feb. 5’s super-duper Tuesday.
Thompson’s relatively strong performance in Iowa is bad news for Romney as well, since the two of them are competing for the same “electability”constituency. They’ll produce a drag on one another in South Carolina, Florida, and on Feb. 5. (I don’t know what will happen in Michigan, where Romney might stage a comeback, but that would probably not cancel out a poor performance in Iowa and New Hampshire.)
With the unelectable “electability” candidates eliminated, the clash will come down to a fight over Republican principles. Admittedly, the Republican Party and its principles are in poor shape: after eight years of Bush, all too many Republicans are either Huckabee-style “compassionate” liberals, or Giuliani-style authoritarians. And the McCain cult of personality and “Bull Moose” tendency has its adherents too. Against all these big-government perversions of conservatism, however, there will stand a clear alternative: the candidate who is for much smaller government; a realistic, peaceful foreign policy; who is pro-life but who never abuses religion for his own advancement: Ron Paul. I’d say a battle on principles is exactly the battleground on which Paul has the most natural advantages. It’ll be a hard fight, and the anti-Paul forces are massive, but with the “inevitable” candidate and conservative movement consensus choice, Romney, already down and very nearly out, anything can happen.