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John Adams Blog

The blog of The Antient and Honourable John Adams Society, Minnesota's Conservative Debating Society www.johnadamssociety.org

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Is it possible to recall a draft campaign?

In February of this year, in response to a discussion about the "no-confidence" war policy vote, a few of us on the John Adams Blog floated a "draft Festivus for Congress" movement. This admittedly under-the-radar movement was begun in the hopes that a tough-talking colleague would release his full arsenal of rhetorical weapons from the constraints self-imposed by party hackdom and devote his considerable talent to making political life miserable for his incumbent RINO Congressman.

It is with deep regret, in the wake of his ill-advised, "Ron Paul--Nutcase? . . ." posting that I must now renounce all ties to the "draft Festivus for Congress" movement, and acknowledge that Festivus is too impaired by the disease of hackdom to function effectively as a voice of righteous conservative indignation. Perhaps Festivus' RINO Congressman can mine his connections in the mental-health recovery community and secure a spot for him at a rehab clinic.

Ron Paul may not have the "take-charge" attitude and commanding physical presence deemed necessary for national campaigns in the soundbite era, and one can disagree with some of his tactical decisions when it comes to advancing conservative and libertarian objectives. Heck, I would go so far as to acknowledge that one could disagree with some of his objectives and still claim to be a conservative. However, to call this accomplished physician, veteran, family man, and elected public official a "nutcase" is to dismiss and marginalize him in a way that could only please the left-leaning establishment media and unscrupulous political operatives.

Ron Paul is guilty of letting more fringe characters support him, and of allowing a base of support that is so decentralized he can't possibly maintain total control of his message. Nevertheless, as long he does not lend support to the fringe characters' least-defensible claims, I find a departure from the dumb-it-down, race-toward-the-middle strategy refreshing. The cavalier disregard for civil liberties displayed by Guiliani, the capitulation by McCain to the open-borders and global-warming zealots, and the streak of opportunism that attracts power-hungry operatives like Vin Weber to Romney should be far more disconcerting to principled conservatives than anything Ron Paul has ever done.

Go to the writings and speeches of Ron Paul compiled throughout his years in Congress and you will find recurring evidence of an articulate, idiosyncratic conservatism quite detached from momentary passions, yet equipped to respond to the worst of them. I thought that's what the JAS asks of its adherents.

Blogger festivus said...

In my defense, not that I think I need much, "Nutcase" was followed by a question mark. When I posted that item, I had just read the posting by Captain Ed, and found it interesting. Do I personally think Ron Paul is a nut? No, but I think he is kidding himself if he actually thinks he can become President. I have serious doubts if he can even move the discussion, but if he can, it would be a good thing.

I am willing to take Steb at face value that Ron Paul neither wrote these words, nor does he believe them. If (IF!), however, these phrases appeared in a Ron Paul newsletter, and not some other publication that Ron Paul also happened to have an article in, I do think it goes to his (or his advisors') judgement. Indeed, it is difficult to talk about race in today's society without being labeled a bigot, but it can be done. This is clearly an example of how not to do it.

I do not doubt that Ron Paul holds strong conservative principles. I do not doubt that those who support him do so with the best of intentions and with the good of the country at heart. I do seriously doubt anyone who holds the view that Ron Paul has any realistic shot at securing the Republican nomination, much less the Presidency. Mr. Paul likely belongs with a 3rd party, as I think many of his supporters will not be happy with the actual Republican nominee (who I personally hope at this point will be Fred Thompson) and will want to vote for Ron Paul for President.

As a secondary item, I am pleased to note that those who were running the Draft Festivus campaign have now stopped their campaign.

9:58 AM, May 30, 2007  
Blogger Harsh Pencil said...

Festivus makes a good point: Ron Paul is not a Republican and neither, for the most part, are his supporters. I would argue that neither is he, nor are they, conservatives.

Here is my litmus test: Among the ten candidates running for the Republican nomination, how many would you be reasonably happy to vote for? By "reasonably happy", I mean that you see that candidate as clearly better than any likely Democratic candidate. By that criterion, almost any conservative would be reasonably happy with at least five. My impression of most Ron Paul supporters is that the only one of the ten that they would be reasonably happy with is Paul. That's because they don't like conservatives or Republicans, they like libertarians.

Paul is a libertarian. He is not a conservative. He is not a Republican.

And as a side note, when, in his response to the follow up question in his scuffle with Guliani "are you saying we are at fault for 9/11?" he never, to my knowledge, used the word "no" not even as in "no, but". Sounds pretty nutty to me.

10:08 AM, May 30, 2007  
Blogger ReTorte said...

The "Draft Festivus For Congress" campaign ought not be extinguished before it has a chance to see the light of day in the Caucus. One can only wish for a campaign to give a ray of hope in such a dimly conservative Congressional district: Festivus, a fine JAS candidate. Therefore, I hereby assume leadership in the "Draft Festivus" Campaign.

2:26 AM, June 01, 2007  

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