Saturday, October 27, 2007

Ron Paul and the Fred Barnes Miracle

Although I am an atheist, I've never denied the presence of the miraculous. How could I? Look at this beautiful world. What were the odds of such a planet being formed out of the big bang? Miraculously high!

And now I have the pleasure to announce that I've been witness to yet another miracle--a miracle that is not nearly as significant as the formation of a life-sustaining planet but something that is awesome to behold nonetheless.

Drum roll please! In what has to count as a journalistic miracle, Fred Barnes has had an idea.

Yes, that Fred Barnes--the guy who's all over the media even though nobody can quite remember what he ever says or writes because it blends in so perfectly with what everybody else is saying and writing. A predictable cipher of the conventional wisdom, Barnes has landed gigs as the executive editor of the Weekly Standard, one of Fox's "Beltway Boys," and as a weekly participant on The McLaughlin Group on PBS. Just as no one thought that Tiny Tim could speak in A Christmas Carol, nobody believed that Fred Barnes was capable of articulating an idea of his own.

But then it happened!

At the end of an article in The Weekly Standard, Barnes notes briefly that Ron Paul might be leveraging his surprising run in the Republican primaries into a Libertarian campaign in the general election.
Come to think of it, there is a credible scenario for Ron Paul. That would mean running as the Libertarian candidate for president in the general election. His scenario would see him winning more votes than any Libertarian presidential nominee ever has. Just not enough to win the presidency.
Authenticators are investigating even as we speak, but I believe this constitutes an original thought. Barnes himself must have been so shocked by the novelty of this idea, or having any idea at all, that he developed a case of the vapors. That's because he didn't notice that Ron Paul winning 3% of the popular vote would doom any Republican presidential candidacy in 2008.

In other words, Barnes not only had an original idea, he had a significant idea.

It's a miracle.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm a Ron Paul zealot and disagree with Barnes's presumption that Paul won't win the Republican nod, but that's not why I'm commenting.

I'm commenting b/c your assessment of Barnes was both correct and high-larious.

Well-played.

--FZappa

Todd Mayo said...

I'm with "anonymous". I'm no fan of Ron Paul (though I do find him more palatable than the rest of the freakshow vying fo the Republican nomination. "...your assessment of Barnes was both correct and high-larious."

I couldn't agree more. Laughed out loud when I read that.

It would be useful to have Ron Paul syphoning votes away from the GOP nominee.

Interesting side-note, not long ago on RSI we discussed the possibility of a religious right third-party candidate. Could it be that there will be two breakaways from the GOP? This would be no surprise considering the fractures within the Republican party. TWO candidates drawing conservative votes away from the "mainstream" Republican candidate? (I use the word "mainstream" very loosesly.)

Conventional wisdom says that no Republican could win the Presidency next year whether our nominee is Senator Clinton or someone else. But, I like the odds a lot better with two candidates drawing conservative voters in three directions.

There is one flaw in my hypothesis. In a volatile political climate, one should expect the unexpected. It is possible that Ron Paul could co-opt voters who otherwise would have voted for Hillary. He may get both disgruntled Republicans AND some disgruntled Democrats.

This reminds me of the 1992 Presidential race. Most concluded then and still do that Ross Perot took votes from George Bush Sr and caused him to lose. I never agreed with that analysis. I always felt that the majority of those Perot voters would have been Clinton voters and that Bill Clinton would have broken the 50% barrier that year had Perot not been in the race.

So I think George H W Bush would likely have lost in 1992 anyway just as the "official" Republican nominee will lose next year. But I have no illusions about Ron Paul harming only the GOP candidate. That would be a double-edged sword. All the more reason I am hoping the rapture-right Republican bolt as well. Any candidate they might choose would, without question take votes from, and only from say, Guiliani, Romney, or...well I guess those are the only remotley serious GOP contenders.

In summary, I think Hillary Rodham Clinton will be my party's nominee. And even if Ron paul takes votes that would have been hers, even if a "Ralph Nader style" candidate from the left syphons votes from Hillary, it would not be enough to keep her from winning the general election. I don't believe any Republican nominee can pull together a tight enough coalition of voters to beat Hillary, or any other Democrat.

A Ron Paul candidacy ALA Ross Perot would harm both major party nominees but it would/will be lethal to the Republican nominee.

These considerations are provocative. It could be a more explosive campaign season than anyone is expecting. Frankly, I hope not but we'll see.

Anonymous said...

ok, since the great professor needs some help on spotting the plagiarism a few posts down from a Todd Mayo, I'll help.

Todd's comment says:

"The extreme religious right is trying to rewrite the history of the United States as part of their campaign to force their religion on others. They try to depict the founding fathers as pious Christians who wanted the United States to be a Christian nation, with laws that favored Christians and Christianity. This is patently untrue. The early presidents and patriots were generally Deists or Unitarians."

http://dim.com/~randl/founders.htm says:
"The Christian right is trying to rewrite the history of the United States as part of its campaign to force its religion on others. They try to depict the founding fathers as pious Christians who wanted the United States to be a Christian nation, with laws that favored Christians and Christianity.

This is patently untrue. The early presidents and patriots were generally Deists or Unitarians, believing in some form of impersonal Providence but rejecting the divinity of Jesus and the absurdities of the Old and New testaments."

Todd says:

"George Washington: Never declared himself a Christian according to contemporary reports or in any of his voluminous correspondence. On his deathbed, Washington uttered no words of a religious nature and did not call for a clergyman to be in attendance. (George Washington and Religion by Paul F. Boller Jr., pp. 16, 87, 88, 108, 113, 121, 127)."

Site says:

"George Washington, the first president of the United States, never declared himself a Christian according to contemporary reports or in any of his voluminous correspondence...

On his deathbed, Washinton uttered no words of a religious nature and did not call for a clergyman to be in attendance.
From: George Washington and Religion by Paul F. Boller Jr., pp. 16, 87, 88, 108, 113, 121, 127 (1963, Southern Methodist University Press, Dallas, TX) "

Todd says:
John Adams in his later years wrote, "Twenty times in the course of my late reading, have I been upon the point of breaking out, "This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it!" It was during Adam's administration that the Senate ratified the Treaty of Peace and Friendship, which states in Article XI that "the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion." (The Character of John Adams by Peter Shaw)"

Site says:
John Adams, the country's second president, was drawn to the study of law but faced pressure from his father to become a clergyman. He wrote that he found among the lawyers 'noble and gallant achievments" but among the clergy, the "pretended sanctity of some absolute dunces". Late in life he wrote: "Twenty times in the course of my late reading, have I been upon the point of breaking out, "This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it!"

It was during Adam's administration that the Senate ratified the Treaty of Peace and Friendship, which states in Article XI that "the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion."
From: The Character of John Adams by Peter Shaw, pp. 17 (1976, North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, NC) Quoting a letter by JA to Charles Cushing Oct 19, 1756, and John Adams, A Biography in his Own Words, edited by James Peabody, p. 403 (1973, Newsweek, New York NY) Quoting letter by JA to Jefferson April 19, 1817, and in reference to the treaty, Thomas Jefferson, Passionate Pilgrim by Alf Mapp Jr., pp. 311 (1991, Madison Books, Lanham, MD) quoting letter by TJ to Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse, June, 1814.

Todd says:

Also, consider in reference to this the 1797 American treaty with (Muslim) Tripoli, declaring that "the government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion." The treaty was written under Washington's presidency, and approved by the Senate under John Adams.

Site says:
The Treaty of Tripoli, passed by the U.S. Senate in 1797, read in part: "The government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion." The treaty was written during the Washington administration, and sent to the Senate during the Adams administration.

Some amazing coincidences there to ignore. Funny how todd has been able to channel this other writer so throughly. Granted there are some word changes, but I would think that a professor wouldn't think that that made it his own work. And then the gloating that he has to be all pious and talk about how stupid it is for someone to do that, WHEN IT'S OBVIOUS HE'S THE ONE WHO DID IT!

If you let this slide, then all that stuff you posted about your university and JMU, you can forget it.

Ric Caric said...

To Anonymous--that's enough evidence that I'll have to look at it.

Anonymous said...

Thank you...

Mastering the copy-paste function does NOT a scholar make..

Anonymous said...

"Ric Caric said...
To Anonymous--that's enough evidence that I'll have to look at it."

And do what, exactly? Isn't todd in your amen corner?

Ric Caric said...

My response is at the bottom of Todd's post.