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McCain Wins Florida; Giuliani to Exit Race; Dan Undecided

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 2:03 am - January 30, 2008.
Filed under: 2008 Presidential Politics

Given that the Florida Republican primary was closed to registered Republicans, I had assumed that if John McCain won the contest, he would so so by the narrowest of margins. Instead, he won by a comfortable margin, besting Mitt Romney by five points. My man Rudy trailed significantly.

The maverick Arizona Senator showed that he could win in a GOP-only primary. No small feat.

With his poor showing in the Sunshine State, a number of news outlets are reporting that the former New York City Mayor will be quitting the race and endorsing “his friendliest rival, John McCain.” I guess that answers the question Bruce posed earlier this month about the wisdom of Giuliani’s strategy.

Now that Giuliani is no longer a candidate, I am officially undecided in the race.

While I admire Senator McCain’s strong commitment to winning the War on Terror and his distinguished service in the United States Navy and his courage, indeed, heroism as a Prisoner of War, I am concerned about the number of times he bucked the GOP, merely at times (it seemed) to prove that he was a maverick. And I think some of his attacks on Mitt Romney, his chief rival for the GOP nomination, have been unfair, particularly his claim that the former Bay State Governor favored a “secret timetable for U.S. soldiers to withdraw” from Iraq.

But, he has shown an ability to appeal to independents and would be a strong challenger to Mrs. Clinton in the fall.

While I appreciate Romney’s conservative record and thought he looked presidential in the one debate I watched for any length of time, he has so far been unable to gain the support among the GOP rank-and-file that he has enjoyable among conservative leaders and pundits. If, despite their backing and his bank account, he can’t make a strong showing in the GOP contests, I fear he will not fare well in the fall.

So, I’m undecided. On the one hand, I see a Republican who can reach out to Independents, but who has upset the party’s base. On the other, I see one who has appealed to that base, but hasn’t shown a great ability to generate a large turnout.

If John McCain win my enthusiastic support, he needs to reach out to conservatives, stop antagonizing the party’s base and show more grace in taking on his chief rival. And Mitt Romney needs show a little more passion on the campaign trail.

John McCain is now the frontrunner for the GOP nomination. But, if he wishes to united the party behind him, he’s going to have to reach out to conservatives, to try to appear on Rush Limbaugh’s and Hugh Hewitt’s talk shows and meet with the editors of the National Review.

UPDATE: Oh, and the good news it that even with Fred Thompson out of the race, Mike Huckabee came in fourth, behind even the former NYC Mayor — in a Southern state. Looks like his campaign is over, but there is a Senate seat in Arkansas that could use a Republican candidate. . . .

UP-UPDATE: Just reading the symposium on National Review about what McCain could “do to rally conservatives.” As usual, Victor Davis Hanson offers the soundest advice. Check it out! (Via Hugh Hewitt).

UP-UP-UPDATE: It’s official. Giuliani is backing McCain. Delighted both men recognize the importance of Ronald Reagan by making the announcement at his library.

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58 Comments

  1. merely at times (it seemed) to prove that he was a maverick.

    Or was it to pander to the MSM?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 30, 2008 @ 3:47 am - January 30, 2008

  2. Everyone says how McCain “upset the base.” But if he “upset the base” so much, why is winning primaries (or making them close even if he doesn’t win)? Fred didn’t “upset the base” but it didn’t seem to help.

    And if he isn’t perfect, he isn’t the son of Satan either.

    And the idea that he can actually win the election in November is no small issue.

    Do I like everything he stands for? No. Do I like everything that any candidate stands for? No. Was he my first choice? No.

    But then I don’t find him and his positions as objectionable as I find GW Bush on most things.

    Comment by Zendo Deb — January 30, 2008 @ 5:35 am - January 30, 2008

  3. Your assumption that the Florida primary was closed may be false.

    Michelle Malkin noticed a story in Broward County’s Sun-Sentinel that suggests some non-Republicans voted:

    In northern Coral Springs, near the Sawgrass Expressway and Coral Ridge Drive, David Nirenberg arrived to vote as an independent. Nevertheless, he said poll workers insisted he choose a party ballot.

    “He said to me, ‘Are you Democrat or Republican?’ I said, ‘Neither, I am independent.’ He said, ‘Well, you have to pick one,”’ Nirenberg said.

    In Florida, only those who declare a party are allowed to cast a vote in that party’s presidential primary.

    Nirenberg said he tried to explain to the poll worker that he should not vote on a party ballot because of his “no party affiliation” status.

    Nirenberg said a second poll worker was called over who agreed that independents should not use party ballots, but said they had received instructions to the contrary.

    “He said, ‘Ya know, that is kind of funny, but it was what we were told.’ … I was shocked when they told me that.” Nirenberg said he went ahead and voted for John McCain.

    She linked to Flip Pidot’s post on exit poll data. Pidot noticed that Romney “beat McCain soundly among conservatives (37-29), among “issues” voters (35-27), and even edged him out among voters for whom terrorism was the most important issue (29-26).” If this is so it is strange that McCain should have won the primary by 5 points.

    Pidot noticed something that may explain this, and it ties into the problem Malkin noticed in the Sun-Sentinel story:

    One breakout that puzzles me though is the vote share by party identification. Romney and McCain were tied among Republicans at 33-33, while McCain won independents 44-23.

    [The emphasis is mine.]

    Pidot thinks — and I agree — that “17% of 1,500 respondents self-identifying as independents who voted Republican means something irregular took place, unless hundreds of voters chose to tell pollsters a similar lie.”

    Comment by David — January 30, 2008 @ 5:41 am - January 30, 2008

  4. If one studies the races for “Super Tuesday” McCain should come out with about 900 total delegates out of the 1191 needed. McCain WILL be the party nominee in my opinion. Although I voted for Guilliani in FL, it is over for him. He is a pragmatist. He knows his strategy did not work and he will do what he can to elect a Republican president in 2008. I suggest we all do the same. Now, all he needs to do is balance the ticket with a younger, energetic person and go on to victory. Like it or not, image will be a factor. The country needs some time to cool down the rhetoric and rancor and I see McCain as a ONE-term president who can ‘get ‘er done.’

    Comment by benj — January 30, 2008 @ 6:47 am - January 30, 2008

  5. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: McCain is an authoritarian at heart.

    There is a very funny clip of him singing Barbra Streisand songs, horribly, on the theory that she (with her involvement in politics) has been trying to do his job… so why can’t he do hers? I admire a man who can make fun of himself, but think about the underlying message there. He deeply resents citizen criticism.

    Does it matter for policy? Yes. The underlying premise of McCain-Feingold is that criticism of government officials should only happen within the control of the 2 parties. People don’t call it “The Incumbent Protection Act” for nothing. Its effect has been to *increase* incumbent re-election rates.

    And I think the idea that a touchy, grouchy, white-haired RINO can beat Hillary is… absurd.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 30, 2008 @ 8:32 am - January 30, 2008

  6. David, to explain the Rules change that you noted is quite simple. Crist was offered the VP slot if he endorsed McCain. Who else could get away with this.

    Comment by Don — January 30, 2008 @ 8:37 am - January 30, 2008

  7. “Looks like his [Huckabee's] campaign is over, but there is a Senate seat in Arkansas that could use a Republican candidate. . . .”

    Do we really need another Chafee, Snowe or Collins in the legislature? And since when did RINO Romney become Reagan Romney anyways?

    Comment by Crow — January 30, 2008 @ 9:39 am - January 30, 2008

  8. Just as a warning: When John McCain looks into the lens and starts a sentence with the words “my friends”……cover your sensitive parts, because you are about to be shafted.

    Comment by heliotrope — January 30, 2008 @ 9:57 am - January 30, 2008

  9. McCain isn’t the perfect GOP candidate but then none of them were. He, however, is a Republican I could (and will if Obama wins the Democratic nomination) support.

    Comment by Bob — January 30, 2008 @ 12:19 pm - January 30, 2008

  10. But then I don’t find him and his positions as objectionable as I find GW Bush on most things.

    But Bush isn’t running. Remember that if McCain had his way, we’d have higher tax rates and instant amnesty for illegals.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 30, 2008 @ 12:41 pm - January 30, 2008

  11. If the Roosevelt/Nixon/Ford/Bush/Bush Republicans are to be dislodged from the reigns of our Party, a nominee McCain or Romney *must* lose in November. Otherwise, the Rockefeller Coup that was brought into power by the current President Bush will be cemented, and will require decades to fix.

    Comment by Crow — January 30, 2008 @ 12:46 pm - January 30, 2008

  12. Crow, I think you’re right. Unfortunately, that means Shrillary-Obama (they will form a united “historic” ticket in the end) will have 4-8 years to drive America off a cliff, first.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 30, 2008 @ 1:26 pm - January 30, 2008

  13. Otherwise, the Rockefeller Coup that was brought into power by the current President Bush will be cemented, and will require decades to fix.

    Could you elaborate on this a bit? If Bush represents the Rockefeller wing of the GOP, who represents the conservative wing? Has anyone ever?

    Comment by Chase — January 30, 2008 @ 2:22 pm - January 30, 2008

  14. Bush is the epitome of moderate Republican.

    It’s a figment of the Left’s immigination that he’s some strident far-Right Winger Religious extremist.

    He may have a personal strong faith, but it sure as heck isn’t represented in policy. And he’s been more than willing to compromise with Democrats.

    Democrats have been incredibly ugly and contemptious of Bush from the beginning… and he has been anythi8ng but that toward them.

    Comment by Vince P — January 30, 2008 @ 2:36 pm - January 30, 2008

  15. The conservative wing of the Republican Party is and has been represented by Coolidge, Goldwater, Reagan, Thompson, and Paul. Bush is a liberal Republican, and his father wasn’t any better. Bush’s love affair with Big Government should make it obvious he’s no conservative.

    Comment by Crow — January 30, 2008 @ 2:40 pm - January 30, 2008

  16. Crow offers: “If the Roosevelt/Nixon/Ford/Bush/Bush Republicans are to be dislodged from the reigns of our Party,”

    WTF? What are YOU smoking dude?

    The conservative wing of the GOP has been in control of Congress and the WH for a very, very long time. You may not like that conservatives gave us Tom Delay, Duke Cunningham, Denny Hastert and the rest… but no thinking human would consider W as liberal. And Nixon ran as a conservative pragmatist against the liberal establishment… the liberal media elite charges almost BEGAN with RMN and his conservative & corrupt sidekick Spiro Agnew… it didn’t start with Rush-bo.

    Conservatives can try to rewrite history all they want, but the truth is that they had their 15 minutes of fame under Reagan, their 15 minutes of lunacy with Goldwater and their 15 minutes of winding down with W. You may not think W was a good president, but he was/is a conservative GOPer. His Dad wasn’t, I’ll gladly accept that point.

    Hey Crow… given your tone and the speed with which ILC/Calarato agreed with you, could you be an angry armchair conservative poster who sometimes goes by another handle? Just curious.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — January 30, 2008 @ 2:45 pm - January 30, 2008

  17. If you think Nixon is a conservative, the remainder of your premises are so flawed as to be not worth responding to.

    People agree with me quickly because I’m always right, of course. Seriously, your paranoia and lack of knowledge about politics makes me suspect you’re something of a liberal. This is the only handle I go by, and a quick IP check (if that’s possible) would make it clear that I’m not a sock. ILC was here way before I was, you know.

    Comment by Crow — January 30, 2008 @ 2:53 pm - January 30, 2008

  18. Don,

    I wasn’t suggesting any unfair rules change had taken place.

    I was simply pointing out that McCain’s victory came from non-Republicans voting in the Republican primary. This can happen because of the errors (or shenanigans) reported by the Sun-Sentinel, or because non-Republicans changed their party registration just to vote in this primary.

    Either way Dan’s assertion that this was a primary strictly for Republicans only is false. That must be kept in mind when interpreting the results.

    Comment by David — January 30, 2008 @ 3:00 pm - January 30, 2008

  19. Crow, don’t worry about MM’s shameful efforts to impugn you personally. He does it with anybody who challenges him effectively.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 30, 2008 @ 3:26 pm - January 30, 2008

  20. People agree with me quickly because I’m always right, of course.

    Isn’t Paul a loony libertarian disguised as a conservative?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 30, 2008 @ 3:30 pm - January 30, 2008

  21. The conservative wing of the GOP has been in control of Congress and the WH for a very, very long time.

    Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzt! Wrong answer.

    As many have pointed out on this blog – many, many, many, many times before: Bush 41 and 43, while both patriots, were/are both in love with Big Government and thus non-conservative. The conservative wing of the GP hasn’t had the reins in the White House since the 1980s (Reagan).

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 30, 2008 @ 3:31 pm - January 30, 2008

  22. Speaking of which,
    I went out to 7/11 for smokes this morning. There was a van with Paul slogans painted on the windows. Stuff like “End fascism”, “Protect our rights” etc. Turned out to be the paper carrier.

    Pretty kooky.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 30, 2008 @ 3:31 pm - January 30, 2008

  23. Isn’t Paul a loony libertarian disguised as a conservative?

    I’d call Ron Paul a traditional Isolationist-libertarian who accepts more “fringe” support than he ought to. On certain issues, chiefly Iraq / 9-11 / GWOT, I disagree with Paul very strongly (and with Crow too, I believe – Not to speak for him, though). I share a lot of Paul’s ideas / principles as regards domestic policy and the importance of returning to small government.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 30, 2008 @ 3:47 pm - January 30, 2008

  24. Well this leaves me with quite the dilemma. I have a primary coming up on February 12th and the only one I can really tolerate (Rudy) has just dropped out. I don’t like the idea of voting for McCain once, let alone twice, but I will if the Hildabeast is his opponent. I can’t stand Romney, who is only a smidgeon better in my eyes than the Huckster. It looks like the GOP wants to throw this one and sit out for a few years given what my choices are. I’m thinking seriously about either voting for Obama in the primary (ONLY) just to spite Hillary or for Paul for laughs since he has no chance of winning. Get ready for the Dems guys, they’re coming back strong in November.

    Comment by John — January 30, 2008 @ 4:03 pm - January 30, 2008

  25. Oh and Felzenberg of NRO is flat out wrong: I don’t need McCain. That kind of talk coming from the Republican elite is only going to drive me to vote Independent. I probably will vote for him against Hillary in November, even though I believe he’ll lose, but rubbing my nose in it when I do NOT want him as president is liable to make do otherwise.

    Comment by John — January 30, 2008 @ 4:21 pm - January 30, 2008

  26. Crow, I’ll take you at your word that you aren’t the latest sock-puppet version on here to attract (wantonly in this instance) ILC/Calarato/whatever’s attention, adulation and speedy if somewhat suspect agreement.

    If you think Nixon wasn’t a conservative pragmatist president, then you’re the one who needs to do some reading beyond the rightwing armchair drivel you’ve been coloring-in and focus a bit on learned, intelligent presidential scholars like Stephen Ambrose, Vincent Burke’s excellent examination of Nixon’s welfare reform efforts, Roger Morris, Herbert Parmet, Steven Hayward and Ray Price… or simply review the findings of the Hofstra U conference in ’88 or ’87 on Nixon’s legacy. And for edification, Crow, Nixon’s Administration was filled with many of the same conservatives who went on to staff RR’s Administration… like Cap Weinberger, Geo Shultz, Marty Anderson, Pat Buchanan, etc. Nixon not a conservative pragmatist… you ain’t got a clue.

    Honestly, if you think the GOP leadersip is under the control of the 1960′s liberal wing of the Party, you’re the one seriously out of touch with reality… and prove you don’t know jack about politics or the conservative movement in America or the GOP.

    The battle to take back the GOP and return it to its roots of progressive, moderate policies was dealt a serious blow with the failure of Giuliani to take his gambit seriously… W was and IS a conservative GOPer and was never a moderate in Austin, in DC or even likely in retirement or history’s take of his Administration. I can appreciate you’d like to run from the conservative Congressional legacy of Duke Cunningham, Tom Delay, run away govt and outrageous earmarks… but I think it’d serve you more wisely to get in touch with reality.

    (BTW, nice try there ILC/Calarato/whatever… I’m not gonna’ be baited by you this time but for the record, your comment of “both in love with Big Government and thus non-conservative” while invoking RR as the last conservative president… RR ran partly on a promise to devolve the depts of Education and Energy and he failed. So does his failure provoke your usual animus and required tag of him as Mr Big Govt? Thought not. Hollow test, spurious nonsense again.)

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — January 30, 2008 @ 4:50 pm - January 30, 2008

  27. I’m not gonna’ be baited by you this time

    I don’t bait you, MM. I only set the record straight when you revise American history, trash people on this blog, etc.

    If that’s “baiting” you – Look in the mirror. (Perhaps you’re baiting yourself?)

    RR ran partly on a promise to devolve the depts of Education and Energy and he failed.

    Yup. He wasn’t Superman. He wasn’t a dictator. And even his ideas/principles weren’t perfect, or aren’t close to having my full agreement.

    But, over time I have been reluctantly forced to admit that he was the *closest thing* to a conservative / Small Government President we’ve had in generations, or are likely to get.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 30, 2008 @ 5:00 pm - January 30, 2008

  28. “If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism.” – Ronald Reagan, 1975

    What was that, ThatGayConservative?

    ILC: Paul doesn’t pull for the 9/11 Truther nuts, and if you look at the Constitution, Congress *has* to declare war for it to be legitimate. This wasn’t done, so despite one’s own feelings on the matter, the Constitution must be upheld.

    Comment by Crow — January 30, 2008 @ 5:40 pm - January 30, 2008

  29. Crow: Paul does say the United States brought 9/11 on itself. I’ll dig up a quote if you want. I think that view is factually incorrect, as well as misleading and verging on the anti-American.

    Paul also claims Iraq was sovereign, i.e., “we invaded a sovereign nation” – Again incorrect on the facts, and incorrect in a direction unhelpful to the success of the United States.

    As for your point about declaration of war: courts have found that a Congressional authorization to use force is Constitutionally sufficient for the U.S. to, well, to use force. The Iraq had/has such an authorization.

    I’m not even sure that a declaration of war on the government of Iraq under Saddam Hussein would have been legally possible. Again, Iraq was not sovereign, it was essentially under U.N. jurisdiction (I don’t know the exact terms or status) because of the U.N. resolutions that surrounded Gulf War 1, which had never been resolved by any peace treaty and which Saddam had violated in many different ways.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 30, 2008 @ 6:01 pm - January 30, 2008

  30. (sorry, typo, “The Iraq *war* had/has…”

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 30, 2008 @ 6:02 pm - January 30, 2008

  31. The argument that Iraq was not a sovereign nation under international law because it was under UN sanctions is without merit. Sanctions, while interfering with the sovereignty of the nation being sanctions, are not legally understood to be capable of actually stripping a nation of its sovereignty.

    “As for your point about declaration of war: courts have found that a Congressional authorization to use force is Constitutionally sufficient for the U.S. to, well, to use force. The Iraq had/has such an authorization.”

    The Courts do not have the ultimate say on what is Constitutional, and what is not, and never have had the ability to do so. This concept itself is a recent innovation, and a self-evident violation of the sovereignty character of the people, and the concept of separation of powers. It is not even universally accepted among the Supreme Court Justices. Which Courts have reasoned what you have stated?

    “I’m not even sure that a declaration of war on the government of Iraq under Saddam Hussein would have been legally possible. Again, Iraq was not sovereign, it was essentially under U.N. jurisdiction (I don’t know the exact terms or status) because of the U.N. resolutions that surrounded Gulf War 1, which had never been resolved by any peace treaty and which Saddam had violated in many different ways.”

    Being in violation of a cease-fire hardly makes a nation non-sovereign in character. It simply makes the nation in violation of the cease-fire.

    Iraq was not, and never has been, under UN jurisdiction, de jure or de facto. Sanctions do not equal jurisdiction. If Iraq had been an UN protectorate, I think you would have seen a different scenario play out.

    Comment by Crow — January 30, 2008 @ 6:15 pm - January 30, 2008

  32. If you’re going to narrow conservatism down to its relation to federal spending, by that definition, Bill Clinton was our most conservative President over the past 50 years. Clinton was the only President under which the average federal spending per household decreased. Every other Administration, included Reagan, saw the size of the federal government grow during their tenure.

    http://www.heritage.org/research/features/BudgetChartBook/charts_S/s4.cfm

    I think it’s a bit narrow to say Bush was a moderate, simply because he increased federal spending.

    GP Ed. Note: Chase… it isn’t that simple. Under the Constitution, only Congress has the power to spend money. Yes, the President has the veto pen.. but you can’t simply say there were “Reagan-Bush deficits” or “Clinton surpluses.”

    There was an all-Democratic House (and mostly Senate) during all of President Reagan’s term. From 1995-2000, Clinton had to deal with a GOP Congress hell-bent on balancing the budget (which they did).

    As for GWB…. blech.

    Comment by Chase — January 30, 2008 @ 6:23 pm - January 30, 2008

  33. The argument that Iraq was not a sovereign nation under international law because it was under UN sanctions is without merit.

    It isn’t the topic of this thread, nor do you sound open to a counter-argument, so I’m not going to make a lengthy thing of it here. Suffice to say that your simple declaration of a point being “without merit” – while slightly wording / spinning that point away from what I had said and meant – does not make it so.

    The Courts do not have the ultimate say on what is Constitutional

    Actually, I agree. But they do have the ultimate say on what is legal, at any given time. Take McCain-Feingold, for example. I argue it is profoundly un-Constitutional, while (unfortunately) legal as the Constitution is currently interpreted by the courts.

    Being in violation of a cease-fire hardly makes a nation non-sovereign in character. It simply makes the nation in violation of the cease-fire.

    That depends. When a nation has to be placed under U.N. administration because of its known misdeeds, it is not sovereign. And, whether the nation is sovereign or not, when it violates its ceasefire, then the earlier war (that the ceasefire is “for”) legally resumes.

    I notice this point of mine is unanswered:

    Paul does say the United States brought 9/11 on itself.

    Sidebar for MM: The above is how 2 people disagree by addressing each other’s points. Rather than one of them impugning the other’s character, calling names like “angry armchair conservative”, etc. Cheers!

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 30, 2008 @ 8:05 pm - January 30, 2008

  34. UP-UP-UPDATE: It’s official. Giuliani is backing McCain. Delighted both men recognize the importance of Ronald Reagan by making the announcement at his library.

    In the NRO symposium you link to, Pitney answers McCain’s newfound “Reagan” mantra (and by implication, Romney’s as well) with this:

    being a Reaganite is like being a lady: if you have to say you are, you ain’t

    And Hugh Hewitt even refers to McCain’s ascendancy as “the surrender of the party of Reagan to the resurrected Nixon [i.e., liberal] wing of the GOP”.

    Of course, Hugh’s comments must be taken with a grain of salt, since he has been wildly (almost irrationally) in the tank for Romney for months.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 30, 2008 @ 8:25 pm - January 30, 2008

  35. “Actually, I agree [that the Courts do not have the ultimate say on what is Constitutional]. But they do have the ultimate say on what is legal, at any given time.”

    Well, wait a minute, the Constitution is the *supreme law* of the land, and if you are of the opinion that they have the ultimate say on what is *legal,* you can’t concurrently agree with me that the Courts do not have the ultimate say on what is Constitutional.

    I didn’t respond to Paul on 9/11, because he was only repeating the 9/11 Commission Report on that issue. That being said, whether our foreign policy was or was not a contributing factor to the 9/11 attacks, my position is that we should destroy the terrorists, and at the same time restrain our foreign policy so that we are protecting American interests, and not policing the world or trying to solve all of its problems.

    Comment by Crow — January 31, 2008 @ 8:50 am - January 31, 2008

  36. Well, wait a minute, the Constitution is the *supreme law* of the land, and if you are of the opinion that they have the ultimate say on what is *legal,* you can’t concurrently agree with me that the Courts do not have the ultimate say on what is Constitutional.

    Yes I can. Watch.

    Courts are capable of being wrong, i.e., mistaken. Yet, The Law (including Law Enforcement, and all of us as we choose to follow or disregard The Law) has to go by the word of *some* agreed-on institution, for what is legal – whether that word be right or wrong; whether that word be corrected in the future, or not. The Law can’t just be what is concluded in my head, or yours, or anyone else’s. It has to go by the word of some external, socially and Constitutionally agreed-upon institution.

    Thus: Courts, being capable of error, are not the final arbiter on what is Constitutional. Reason and truth (same thing), as applied to the Constitution’s text, are the final arbiters. But at any given moment, and sometimes wrongly, the Courts are the ones with the say as to what is legal and Constitutional, for society at large. That is their role.

    I didn’t respond to Paul on 9/11, because he was only repeating the 9/11 Commission Report on that issue

    Oh, really? So the 9/11 Report said – as Ron Paul goes around saying – things like the following?

    “The Muslim world is not fooled by our talk about spreading democracy and values.”

    “9/11 was a consequence of our military presence on Muslim holy lands”

    Both of which are just *wrong on the facts*. (160,000 of America’s finest have, *in fact*, been spreading democracy to the Iraqi people, if you haven’t noticed. And 9/11 was actually caused by human evil: the result of some Islamists’ decision to continue their 1400-year old war against anything non-Muslim, by flying planes into the World Trade Center and other places.)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 31, 2008 @ 12:14 pm - January 31, 2008

  37. Perhaps I should have worded one of my above sentences thusly: “the Courts are the ones with the say as to what is -to be treated as- legal and Constitutional by society at large, including law enforcement. That is their role.”

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 31, 2008 @ 12:29 pm - January 31, 2008

  38. I know that the 9/11 Report stated that the US foreign policy was partially culpable for the events of 9/11. I’m not sure what he meant by “fooling” the Muslim world, or if he meant only the Middle East, or also Asia, where the majority of Muslims reside.

    Comment by Crow — January 31, 2008 @ 12:48 pm - January 31, 2008

  39. GP Ed. Note: Chase… it isn’t that simple.

    I understand that. But if you look at those numbers, the slowest growth rate behind Clinton’s reduction was the Carter Administration, which nearly held federal spending stationary. He had a Democratic Congress.

    A Democrat in the White House has to hold spending in check, because everyone assumes they won’t.

    Comment by Chase — January 31, 2008 @ 1:52 pm - January 31, 2008

  40. Iraq was not, and never has been, under UN jurisdiction, de jure or de facto. Sanctions do not equal jurisdiction.

    Overlooked this earlier. And what do you call the no-fly zones, Crow?

    A country that was killing its own citizens at a rate of 100,000 per year is not sovereign in any moral sense. And, more to the point for this discussion, a country ruled by U.N. resolutions – with the native dictator left in only as a proxy – and subject to continual monitoring and overflights / occupation of foreign military in vast swaths of its territory, is not legally sovereign. Iraq was not a sovereign country. Iraq was neither morally nor legally sovereign.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 31, 2008 @ 2:10 pm - January 31, 2008

  41. I know that the 9/11 Report stated that the US foreign policy was partially culpable for the events of 9/11.

    You’d have to get the quote out. And why would you lean on the authority of the 9/11 Report anyway, when you’re not willing to concede the authority of another committee of mere human beings – the Supreme Court – in interpreting the U.S. Constitution?

    In other words: Once we see the actual quote, we may find its point is wrong. I agree U.S. foreign policy was “partially culpable” for 9-11: in the sense that it had led the Islamists to think we were paper tigers who could be pushed around. Remember: No effective response to Beirut, 1984. No effective response to the Cole bombing. No effective response to Khobar Towers. No effective response to the embassy bombings in East Africa. Ineffective behavior in Somalia / Mogadishu. No assassination of OBL, when we had the chance. That’s what contributed to 9-11.

    But, that’s not what Paul meant at all. Paul said, “9/11 was a consequence of our military presence on Muslim holy lands”. Which is just wrong on the facts.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 31, 2008 @ 2:17 pm - January 31, 2008

  42. “A country that was killing its own citizens at a rate of 100,000 per year is not sovereign in any moral sense.”

    I don’t even know what that’s supposed to mean. Sovereignty is not a moral matter, but a legal term.

    “And why would you lean on the authority of the 9/11 Report anyway, when you’re not willing to concede the authority of another committee of mere human beings – the Supreme Court – in interpreting the U.S. Constitution?”

    Well, because I have copies of the Constitution laying around, it’s a text, I can read it, I can understand what it says. Logically speaking, if a Constitution can mean whatever someone wants it to say, there’s no point in having one. 9/11 wasn’t a document.

    After doing a search on the report, only instance of the word “blowback” I could find was this: ‘After the United States launched air attacks against Iraq at the end of 1998 and against Serbia in 1999, in each case provoking worldwide criticism, Deputy National Security Advisor James Steinberg added the argument that attacks in Afghanistan offered “little benefit, lots of blowback against [a] bomb-happy U.S.”59′ (US government doesn’t let you copy from the PDF itself, jerks, had to find it in the HTML section)

    Comment by Crow — January 31, 2008 @ 2:42 pm - January 31, 2008

  43. Sovereignty is not a moral matter, but a legal term.

    It’s both. A government that kills its own (relatively innocent) citizens loses its moral right to exist. One of the ideas from The American Revolution. As for the legal aspect, I have more than addressed it: A country living under such U.N. mandates that it is subject to invasion if it doesn’t obey them, is (1) not sovereign, and (2) legally subject to invasion if and as it doesn’t obey said mandates.

    ‘After the United States launched air attacks against Iraq at the end of 1998 and against Serbia in 1999, in each case provoking worldwide criticism, Deputy National Security Advisor James Steinberg added the argument that attacks in Afghanistan offered “little benefit, lots of blowback against [a] bomb-happy U.S.”59′

    Okay, thank you for trying the search.

    I must note that that quote bears little relationship to Ron Paul’s quote:

    “9/11 was a consequence of our military presence on Muslim holy lands”

    Which, again, isn’t even close to the actual causative factors of 9-11. (First the decision of some evil people to do evil; and secondarily, a series of decisions by the United States over a period of 22 years that gave them the impression we’d be patsies.)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 31, 2008 @ 5:08 pm - January 31, 2008

  44. “A government that kills its own (relatively innocent) citizens loses its moral right to exist.”

    I don’t think any government has the moral right to exist, but morality isn’t generally taken into account where government(s) are involved.

    Comment by Crow — January 31, 2008 @ 6:53 pm - January 31, 2008

  45. I don’t think any government has the moral right to exist, but morality isn’t generally taken into account where government(s) are involved.

    Wow! I don’t think I can get anywhere close to understanding this one.

    Comment by heliotrope — January 31, 2008 @ 7:11 pm - January 31, 2008

  46. Crow, it sounds like you’re a Rothbardian anarcho-capitalist.

    Yes, I’m one of those dirty archo-capitalists. Sort of a Randian sympathizer or fellow-traveler (though not a full-blown one). It is possible for individuals to form a government by a moral process; and it is necessary in order for for individuals’ rights to life, liberty and property to be adequately protected. The purpose of government is to bring reliatory force under objective control – preventing anarchy, so to speak, or crimes of excessive retaliation – as nearly as can be done without the government itself becoming an agent that trashes the life, liberty and property of innocent citizens. A continuing entity with a rightful monopoly on the use of force within its territory is implied in that and is essential, because the alternative would be gang rule / civil war, no matter how Rothbard tries to dress it up with nice-sounding names like “competing, private defense agencies”. At this time in history, the U.S. government is not very moral, because it routinely violates property rights – but it is still fundamentally better than a genocidal dictator’s government, like Saddam’s was, which would possess no moral right to exist or defend itself whatsoever. All the same, there was no reason for the U.S. to intervene in Iraq – no matter how much it had the moral right to – unless a U.S. defense interest was at stake. I believe there was and still is. Even if Saddam didn’t have rows of nuclear or bio-bombs all neatly labelled London, Tokyo, New York, etc., he was a proven menace to the world with longstanding ties to many terrorists, and he had attacked the U.S. and/or its allies in several different ways which I could list for you; the U.S. is much better off – despite the lost lives and the difficulties – because he is gone, and because al Qaeda in Iraq is currently (2007/8) getting its ass kicked.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 31, 2008 @ 8:53 pm - January 31, 2008

  47. P.S. for clarity: By “the U.S. is much better off…”, I mean *the people* of the U.S. are much better off.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 31, 2008 @ 8:58 pm - January 31, 2008

  48. ILC, if a nation is party to a UN treaty, is it no longer sovereign in character? If a nation is party to a treaty with one or more nations, does it retain its sovereign character?

    Comment by Crow — February 1, 2008 @ 10:44 am - February 1, 2008

  49. If a nation is party to a treaty with one or more nations, does it retain its sovereign character?

    Depends on the content of the treaty, i.e., what aspects of sovereignty the nation has chosen to give up, if any.

    if a nation is party to a UN treaty, is it no longer sovereign in character?

    Let’s see. Article 1 of the UN charter says:

    The Purposes of the United Nations are: (1) To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal [my emphasis] of threats to the peace…

    Article 2(4) of the UN charter says,

    All Members shall refrain… from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity [my emphasis] or political independence of any state…

    In other words, UN membership is a privilege and the member state gives something up: the right to use war as an instrument for changing territorial borders and/or establishing satellites. It does not give up sovereignty, until and unless the UN finds the state to have violated the preceeding, at which point the UN may authorize individual member states to take military action against the offender; and, if the UN does so, its members are required(!!!) by other UN charter provisions to take such action.

    Iraq under Saddam was a UN member, and tried to change borders in its 1980 invasion of Iran and as well, its 1990 invasion of Kuwait. The UN Security Council repeatedly and unanimously (yes, unanimously) found Iraq under Saddam a “threat to the peace” and authorized war against him. See resolutions 600, 661, 678. Resolution 678 in particular, authorized member states to use “all necessary means… to restore international peace and security in the area”. In other words, Gulf War 1 was not limited (from the UN’s standpoint) to expelling Saddam from Kuwait, but would be permitted to remove Saddam from power. This authorization was never suspended by any UN resolution or peace treaty. Indeed, it was supported or even reaffirmed in various other resolutions such as 686, 687 which set up the invasive (IF Iraq was “sovereign”) WMD inspections regime, 707, 778, 1060 which promised Saddam the “severest consequences” for his continued violations of his cease-fire conditions, 1194, 1205, 1284, and 1441 which affirmed all of the preceding and Saddam’s status as a threat to the peace and gave him a “final opportunity” to comply with his 1991 ceasefire conditions. No honest person who is familiar with these many resolutions and with Saddam’s actions can conclude that Saddam had a legal right to defend his government or that the Coalition invasion was anything but a proper enforcement of UN resolutions against a nation that had given up all moral title to the word “sovereign”. This is why I say that Paul’s claim, “We invaded a sovereign nation”, is just wrong on the facts. Just plain… ignorant.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — February 1, 2008 @ 11:41 am - February 1, 2008

  50. P.S. And now I apologize to GPW. I just did exactly what I said I wouldn’t do at #33. (i.e., make a lengthy thing of a point about the Iraq war, in a thread about McCain) Apologies.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — February 1, 2008 @ 11:44 am - February 1, 2008

  51. I can’t recall Article 1 or Article 2(4) being followed more than once in the UN’s lifetime, and only then because the Soviets walked out. I think the body of the empirical evidence argues against the UN Charter being taken seriously.

    “No honest person who is familiar with these many resolutions and with Saddam’s actions can conclude that Saddam had a legal right to defend his government or that the Coalition invasion was anything but a proper enforcement of UN resolutions against a nation that had given up all moral title to the word “sovereign”.”

    For the Coalition invasion to have been a de jure enforcement of UN resolutions against Iraq, I would argue that the UN itself would have had to sanction the invasion, which is manifestly did not, due to unenlightened self-interest of several nations with permanent seats on the UN Security Council.

    Comment by Crow — February 1, 2008 @ 1:10 pm - February 1, 2008

  52. I would argue that the UN itself would have had to sanction the invasion, which is manifestly did not

    Wrong answer. As I already said, see UN resolutions 600, 661, 678, 686, 687, 707, 778, 1060, 1194, 1205, 1284, and 1441. Particularly look at 678 and then 1441. The UN manifestly **did** authorize it. It just became politically convenient for certain Council members – and certain U.S. politicians – to pretend otherwise.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — February 1, 2008 @ 1:22 pm - February 1, 2008

  53. Most particularly, note that 1441 found Iraq to be in material breach of the ceasefire terms presented under 687, and afforded Iraq a “final opportunity” to clean up its act. No one had any doubt what “final opportunity” meant. In early 2003, Blix reported to the Security Council that Iraq had continued to stall the weapons inspectors, and hence, had flunked. Which implied an immediate “cease-cease-fire” or resumption of Gulf War 1 under resolution 678. At which point, the Coalition resumed fire. Also see 1483, 1511, 1546, 1637, 1723, and still others, which have recognized and authorized Coalition actions.

    You can’t win on this one, Crow – sorry.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — February 1, 2008 @ 1:43 pm - February 1, 2008

  54. A cease-fire does not end wars, and the end of stage 1 of the Gulf/Iraq War in the 90s was a cease-fire. A state of war continued to exist between at least the US and Iraq throughout the 90s and early 2000s.

    Comment by Crow — February 1, 2008 @ 4:12 pm - February 1, 2008

  55. A cease-fire does not end wars, and the end of stage 1 of the Gulf/Iraq War in the 90s was a cease-fire. A state of war continued to exist between at least the US and Iraq throughout the 90s and early 2000s.

    Now you’re talking my language. Thanks. As I’ve been saying again and again: “Gulf War 2″ was a legal and moral continuation of “Gulf War 1″. It was what happened when Saddam did not honor his GW1 ceasefire conditions. Not a case of “We attacked a sovereign nation”.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — February 1, 2008 @ 8:02 pm - February 1, 2008

  56. Test, to see if my post that the comment service just “ate” will show up now.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — February 1, 2008 @ 8:03 pm - February 1, 2008

  57. It doesn’t seem to be. Well, real briefly Crow: what you say at #54 is exactly my point. Gulf War 1 didn’t end. Saddam only had a cease-fire… and broke it. GW2 was a legal continuation of GW1, not “we attacked a sovereign nation” (Paul).

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — February 1, 2008 @ 8:05 pm - February 1, 2008

  58. [...] Rudy exited the race for the Republican nomination, I found myself in the unusual position of being undecided in a political [...]

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