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Thompson's Glitch-Folk Debut
October 12, 2007 8:47 PM   Subscribe

"I want those two minutes of my life back." Musique concrète Fred Thompson-style -- a merciless videohack of the candidate's performance at the GOP debate on MSNBC, October 9, 2007. While almost anyone can be made to look foolish edited this way, not everyone was impressed by Thompson's unedited presence at the debate, his TV debut as a presidential contender. Some believe, however, that the former Law and Order D.A. is just the man to "restore the Republican Party to Reagan's default settings."
posted by digaman (69 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Uh...
posted by BeerFilter at 8:51 PM on October 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Can Fred have a round of applause?
posted by Poolio at 8:52 PM on October 12, 2007


All I can say is that I'm really glad that nobody's making edited videos of how lame I talk on a regular basis.
posted by miss lynnster at 8:55 PM on October 12, 2007


errr... how lame I "speak."
See? I can't even use decent grammar when I type.
posted by miss lynnster at 8:56 PM on October 12, 2007


Well, if he gets nominated, he'll lose. And he doesn't seem crazy. I can't believe how dull the guy is though.
posted by delmoi at 8:57 PM on October 12, 2007


Man, the editing of this video is awful, in a lot of the clips, the audio doesn't cut off soon enough, so you hear this annoying clipping as he starts to talk.
posted by delmoi at 8:58 PM on October 12, 2007


You seem to assume the editor wanted a euphonious effect. My spouse just pointed out the aural resemblance to the vocal track on David Byrne and Brian Eno's "Mea Culpa" on their excellent My Life in the Bush of Ghosts.
posted by digaman at 9:15 PM on October 12, 2007


lame*ly*.

And I'd like to point out that for me, Fred Thompson will always be Roseanne's asshole boss that inspired her to quit.
posted by infinitewindow at 9:29 PM on October 12, 2007 [4 favorites]


so how, exactly, does subjecting more people to the 2 minutes of stammering get his back? this editing (hack-job or no) must've taken quite a while as well. surely it's possible to ridicule the man for the words he did utter (interspersed here and there).
posted by Busithoth at 9:41 PM on October 12, 2007


Not that I'm any fan of Fred Thomspon, but there are few politicians you could name (unless it's the robotic Mitt Romney) who would escape unscathed from this type of selective video editing job.

This video doesn't really tell me anything about Thompson that isn't already part of the current media conventional wisdom (i.e., the post-"Thompson Is the GOP Messiah" conventional wisdom).
posted by blucevalo at 9:44 PM on October 12, 2007


I guess that is marginally better then:

Fred Thompson will always be Roseanne's asshole
posted by edgeways at 9:44 PM on October 12, 2007


Busithoth - the guy who did the editing (which he said took 10+ hours) appears to strongly support Mike Huckabee. Take that FWIW.
posted by Poolio at 9:46 PM on October 12, 2007


Make-Believe Reagan
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 10:00 PM on October 12, 2007


Riiiiiight... lame*ly*.

Sigh.
posted by miss lynnster at 10:08 PM on October 12, 2007


And my mom was an english teacher. I would be SO grounded right now if she read this...
posted by miss lynnster at 10:10 PM on October 12, 2007


So he spent over 10 hours to edit a video to complain about two minutes of his life that he wants back.

ROI.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 10:34 PM on October 12, 2007 [3 favorites]


Reading that "default settings" link made me want to throw up.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:43 PM on October 12, 2007


Hmm, another analysis of the Republican field without a single mention of Ron Paul.

I'm an unabashed Paul supporter, but I realize that it's important to bring up issues in context and engage people in discussion. That's why even though I find the Paul campaign fascinating — for its decentralized nature if nothing else, or the dichotomy between online support and straw polls, and the official Gallup and Zogby polls — I haven't attempted an FPP, and I bring him up in comments sparingly. I can't find a way to do it that I don't feel I'm spamming. This seems like a nice context though.

Few if any of Mr. Mulhern's objections to the other candidates apply to Ron Paul: Now to focus exclusively on Ron Paul: if you want to annoint the next Reagan, Ron Paul should be on the top of the list. Dr. Paul was one of Reagan's first supporters and Reagan, far from calling him weak on defense, praised him as an "outstanding leader fighting for a stronger national defense".

Mr. Mulhern begs the question and simply assumes Iran must be next on the target list. But Ron Paul repeatedly makes a simple point: that the same people who said it would be rosy and there was undisputedly a credible threat from Iraq are the same ones now saying the same thing about Iran. And for the fiscal conservatives he simply points out the monetary as well as the human cost of the war. People are starting to notice inflation; it's hard not to when we had to print a trillion dollars just for Blackwater!

Finally Ron Paul takes a hard line on the free market, state's rights, national sovereignty, and other issues that used to be de rigeur for Republicans. While Thompson talks about overhauling Social Security and the tax code, Ron Paul talks about phasing them out. And Dr. Paul points out he runs on the same foreign policy George W. Bush claimed to run on.

These are some of the points that make him a credible candidate with the Republican base, not to mention those that have crossed party lines. While I'm doing my best to present an overview from a strategic standpoint, I hope I've made a political point as well.

To everyone coming from the progressive platform, I hope you can avoid dismissing Ron Paul simply because of the (R) — (R-Texas) even! — after his name or the libertarian label. I posit that he is a genuine statesman and shows a willingness to participate in useful compromise and reach hands across the aisle. In an interview with C-SPAN's Washington Journal (Real format, also on YouTube and elsewhere), he made several important concessions to political and social reality. He fully understands the unfairness of cutting off any program instantly and rejects it outright, and goes on to discuss the necessity of working with Congress and the people to gain consensus for change. He expresses his admiration for Dennis Kucinich and doesn't rule out the possibility of even being running mates.

And finally Ron Paul proposes what I've seen on liberal bumper stickers forever: take money from the military-industrial complex while leaving a strong national defense, and put that into social programs that the poor and elderly depend on. Make no mistake, there are a lot of programs he wants to end, but he's discussed the importance of priorities (useful social programs are last on the list to cut) and has legislation to back up his point that even programs he opposes must still be run honestly, fairly, and efficiently for the benefit of those who depend on them.
posted by vsync at 11:01 PM on October 12, 2007 [2 favorites]


*abashes the shit outta vsync*
posted by fleacircus at 11:17 PM on October 12, 2007


"I can't find a way to do it that I don't feel I'm spamming."

Well you've convinced us of one thing at least.
posted by o0o0o at 11:22 PM on October 12, 2007 [3 favorites]


If Thompson is the Republican Party's greatest hope then they are well and truly fucked.
posted by chlorus at 12:55 AM on October 13, 2007


So vsync, you're not worried about Ron Paul's cuddling up to right-wing extremists, his plan to crash the economy by putting us back on the gold standard, his publishin racist remarks in a newsletter and telling conflicting (and non-exonerating) stories about it, his desire to remove the ability of the Supreme Court to hear cases involving the Establishment Clause, and his voting against divesting US government funds in the genocidal government of Darfur? Does any of that abash you?

What about the fact that he's an MD and yet he still endorses homeopathy? Are you abashed about that?
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:52 AM on October 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


Pope Guilty:
I appreciate your concerns and the concrete criticism. I'll give the best answer I can as one man endorsing him. Obviously I speak only for myself, and like any campaign you will find people with a variety of views, involved for a variety of reasons.
Ron Paul's cuddling up to right-wing extremists
I haven't heard of this. I've heard of right-wing (depending on how you categorize) extremists, even racists, cuddling up to him, but not the reverse. If you've heard otherwise I'd like to hear about it, and I'd suggest you write the Congressman and ask him about it as well. I recently had a relevant discussion about guilt by association.

his plan to crash the economy by putting us back on the gold standard
Here I must disagree with your implication as to his intent, the facts of his policy position, and the projected result. He doesn't want a gold standard, strictly speaking, but a bimetallic one. This is what was recommended by Alexander Hamilton, creator of our first national bank, and what he reads the the Constitution to strictly require. The Federal Reserve would probably get less argument from him if it was enacted via a constitutional amendment, and he's actually stated he'd like to see an amendment providing for commodity baskets and the like. As to practical implementation, he fully acknowledges he wouldn't be able to do much without the consensus of Congress and the people; his approach would be to leave the Federal Reserve in place at least temporarily but allow competing currencies. All I can say otherwise is that I believe the results would be more positive than you do.

his publishin racist remarks in a newsletter and telling conflicting (and non-exonerating) stories about it
The remarks were written by a staffer that Ron Paul fired for it. He apologized for them and took full responsibility. He's written against racism and held forth at events about inalienable human rights and the imperative to protect against the tyranny of the majority. Finally, actions speak louder than words. Dr. Paul's first pick for Secretary of the Treasury is a black man, and he was one of the few Republican candidates to accept the invitation to Morgan State University.

his desire to remove the ability of the Supreme Court to hear cases involving the Establishment Clause
I disagree with Ron Paul on this issue.

his voting against divesting US government funds in the genocidal government of Darfur
DarfurScores.org says he voted to freeze the assets of anyone involved in atrocities, assist the African Union, block Sudanese oil from US ports, and increase humanitarian aid to Darfur by $50 million. I don't yet have a firm personal position on mandatory private divestment, but Ron Paul and Warren Buffet have made some interesting counterpoints.

he's an MD and yet he still endorses homeopathy
Can you please provide a citation?

Thanks for your time and the opportunity to make my own feeble effort to address your questions. Please let me know if there's an area where I haven't fully succeeded.

I look forward to the day robust debate of issues becomes widespread in the United States, and there are a wide range of honest law-abiding Presidential candidates offering different policy choices. Discussion on sites like this is a great start toward the former, and Ron Paul and his campaign are a great start toward the latter.
posted by vsync at 3:06 AM on October 13, 2007


I just skimmed all of that, vsync, and I really hope you realize so is everyone else; here is not where you should be posting 12-paragraph campaign press releases.

Anyway, I'm glad we can all agree that Fred Thompson is unbelievably dull. He is also gigantic and freaky, not that, you know, that matters.
posted by blacklite at 3:33 AM on October 13, 2007


If Thompson is the Republican Party's greatest hope then they WE are well and truly fucked.
posted by psmealey at 4:17 AM on October 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


I like the idea of more candidates throwing their hats in the ring, but I strongly dislike the whitewashing being done by populists and apologists working for Ron Paul's election.

He is a misogynist who has consistently voted against women with respect to their reproductive health and choices (ontheissues.org | NARAL).

He is a religious anti-science nut who has voted down important health research, particularly in the areas of stem cell research, a field in which the country is badly lagging. He would likely disband the NIH and NSF and other public health and science departments which do the basic research that makes private investment possible.

Though he voted against the FMA, he would have supported a bill that would allow states to disregard marriage licenses from other states, and has stated that he supports the strict legal definition of marriage as "a union between one man and one woman". He has also voted against LGBT parents and their adopted children.

He often uses code words to define people and actions he dislikes, for example, referring to judges as "rogue" if they do their jobs in such a way that the outcomes are not what he likes. Sound familiar?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:25 AM on October 13, 2007


Ron Paul is a strict constitutionalist, and of all the candidates he is the one true traditional "American" and "Conservative" in the pack of candidates. He's very much for limited government (yeah!) and for "traditional" liberty.

Unfortunately, I do think that he is slightly batshit-insane. Calling for a bi-metallic economic system in the 21st century is just plain foolish as it would result in an unraveling of the current system that would be far too painful to endure. He's also still too much of a government nanny when it comes to ones' personal affairs.

I agree with a lot of his general principles and policy recommendations, I just think he's looking for a return to the America of 1900 through rose tinted glasses.
posted by tgrundke at 5:45 AM on October 13, 2007


we had to print a trillion dollars just for Blackwater!

From vsync's link:

"Since 2004, State has paid Blackwater $833,673,316, compared with Defense Department contracts of $101,219,261."

$833,673,316 plus $101,219,261 =$934,892,577.
Nine hundred million is a lot of money, but it's no trillion dollars.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 5:48 AM on October 13, 2007


But back on subject - I find the edited clip to be pretty much useless because who here hasn't stammered their way through a conversation before? I'm not going to throw stones for that.

What I will throw stones for is that Thompson really does seem pretty damned DULL. I watched a few minutes of C-Span a few days ago where he was meeting and greeting people and for the love of God the man seemed to be half asleep.

My other concern will be his intellectual curiosity (or lack thereof) and knowledge of what's going on around him. I'm looking for someone who is conservative without being a knee-jerk reactionary or social-Christian and is knowledable. Anyone out there?
posted by tgrundke at 5:48 AM on October 13, 2007


I just think he's looking for a return to the America of 1900 through rose tinted glasses.

Exactly. Why do the dirty work of rolling back the New Deal, when you can pretend it never happened?

This is what really scares me about government-has-no-role-but-defense libertarians. They seem to have no recollection that the runaway no holds barred capitalism of the late 19th and early 20th century resulted in widespread misery for all but the elites. What the Bushites have done to hasten the widening gulf between rich and poor is plenty bad enough, but this would make it even worse.
posted by psmealey at 5:51 AM on October 13, 2007


The fact that the Republican Party is seriously considering nominating this guy to be President of the United States, apparently based solely on his faux-tough guy persona, reinforces one of the many negative stereotypes that I hold about conservatives in general, viz.:

They really should try staying home on election day and letting the adults do the voting.
posted by Flunkie at 6:02 AM on October 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


Blazecock Pileon, also good points to discuss.

I want to respond to several of your points, but briefly, because while I did go on a slight tangent I don't want to go too far afield of the topic of Thompson versus other GOP candidates (including Paul, of course) and neoconservatives versus more traditional conservative positions.

Dr. Paul doesn't advocate restricting any reproductive choices but abortion. He views the outcome of that choice as a crime, but not a crime to be handled by federal law. Reproductive health, though, is his career... he's an OB/GYN and I've never heard any complaints about either his practice or his voting record on that count.

He has not voted down research, and in fact has suggested that research companies should be free to pursue that course and others. If he achieved consensus with Congress and the people, I assume he would seek to disband those departments. But there is no validity to the claim that private investment is impossible without federal funding, particularly when not backed up.

Full faith and credit doesn't mean states have to accept a document differing from another in kind, not in degree. Applying the term "rogue" to judges, or anyone else, that ignores the law is 100% accurate.

Finally, while I welcome robust debate, I have to take issue with your approach. Name-calling debases everyone, particularly inaccurate name-calling. I sincerely doubt Ron Paul is a misogynist, given his robust defense of the inalienable rights of every individual and the numerous respectful public conversations he's had with women. You have no right to call him anti-science. And I take personal exception to the "whitewashing" comment. Ron Paul's Web site and his campaign literature have every speech, every vote, every policy position transparently listed for his constituency; and I was the one that brought up his position on abortion in this thread.

If you disagree with him or me or anyone on policy, good for you and you should make your point to anyone that will listen. All I want is for every candidate to be evaluated on policy, not on other randomness.
posted by vsync at 6:03 AM on October 13, 2007


Hmm, another MetaFilter thread without a single mention of flying squirrels.

I'm an unabashed flying squirrel supporter, but I realize that it's important to bring up these fascinating and adorable creatures in context and engage people in discussion. That's why even though I find the flying squirrel fascinating — for its unique adaptive nature if nothing else, or the dichotomy between the standard woodland creature aspects and that of prehistorical sliding animals — I haven't attempted an FPP, and I bring them up in comments sparingly. I can't find a way to do it that I don't feel I'm spamming. This seems like a nice context though.

The flying squirrels, scientifically known as Pteromyini or Petauristini, are a tribe of squirrel (family Sciuridae). There are 43 species in this tribe, the largest of which is the woolly flying squirrel (Eupetaurus cinereus). The 2 species of the genus Glaucomys (Glaucomys sabrinus and Glaucomys volans) are native to North America, and the Siberian flying squirrel is native to parts of northern Europe (Pteromys volans).

The term "flying" is somewhat misleading, since flying squirrels are actually gliders incapable of true flight. Gliding is achieved by this animal by launching off the tops of trees and extending flaps of skin stretched from arms to legs: once they have launched themselves into the air they are highly maneuverable while in flight. Steering is accomplished by adjusting tautness of the patagium, largely controlled by a small cartilaginous wrist bone. The tail acts as a stabilizer in flight, much like the tail of a kite, and as an adjunct airfoil when "braking" prior to landing on a tree trunk.

Though their lifespan is only about five years in the wild, flying squirrels often live between 10 and 15 years in captivity. This difference in lifespan is due to these creatures being important prey animals. Predation mortality rates in sub-adults are very high. Predators include arboreal snakes, raccoons, nocturnal owls, martens, fishers, coyotes, and the domestic house cat. In the Pacific Northwest of North America, the the Northern Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis) is a well-known predator. They are also nocturnal. Thanks for your time and the opportunity to make my own feeble effort to address your concerns about flying squirrels.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:10 AM on October 13, 2007 [13 favorites]


once they have launched themselves into the air they are highly maneuverable while in flight.

Highly maneuverable? Sold! I'm voting for the flying squirrel.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 6:18 AM on October 13, 2007


Excuse me on the trillion dollars thing please. I confused the cost of the war with the cost of Blackwater.

Much of that misery in the late 19th and early 20th century was caused by the Federal Reserve, government-protected robber barons, and the government itself ignoring its responsibilities to entire segments of society or outright mistreating them.

The bimetallic thing isn't an issue because it's such a great idea, it's an issue because it's the law. Ron Paul has made several suggestions for alternate backings and models, but there's a process that has to be followed to legally accomplish that. As to economic hardship, both he and Jon Stewart — strange bedfellows! — have called out the Fed on the direct negative impact inflation causes to the poor and middle class, for the benefit of Wall Street and the rest of the well-diversified wealthy few.

I'd have to see more research and a working model before I'd be willing to endorse a "just for defense" government. I think it's complex, redundant, and unreliable to have things like water rights or pollution handled purely by torts, and those really are issues that need to be at the very least discussed on an intra- or inter-national level. But otherwise, we're speaking only of the federal government here, so it's silly to assume that every state will suddenly decide to turn into some libertarian utopia. I doubt you'd see California, for example, decide to stop regulating securities, pollution, energy, or telecom.

That's why I do support the 14th Amendment: it allows citizens in any of the states to ensure their basic rights are protected, while diverse governmental, economic, and social models can flourish.
posted by vsync at 6:26 AM on October 13, 2007


XQUZYPHYR, ooh, my very own parody!

Gotta point out, though, the linked article is specifically about comparing Thompson to other candidates, and determining a successor for the mantle of Reagan and the historical Republican party. I didn't see squirrels, but maybe I skimmed that part.... it was a long article.

I always enjoy a nice bit of serendipity in the morning though.

We might as well discuss flying squirrels, though, because no one's discussing a policy position of Thompson's. Probably because he doesn't have any, and if he did, we wouldn't remember them because he's dull and makes viewers sleepy.
posted by vsync at 6:34 AM on October 13, 2007


Reaganomics Finally Trickles Down To Area Man.
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:45 AM on October 13, 2007


These comments are doing nothing to change my opinions that:
A.) Fred Thompson is an under-informed candidate who is a boring public speaker
B.) Ron Paul supporters will jump in at any opportunity with a one-sided barrage of facts, figures, and quotes that conveniently ignore the fact that while politics is about a nuanced stance on the issues, being a successful politician is also about, I don't know, having your bills do well in congress, making connections with other politicians and organizations, and having a base that actually converses with people instead of ranting at every opportunity about your candidate's notional superiority.
posted by mikeh at 6:47 AM on October 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


All I want is for every candidate to be evaluated on policy

I think that's a somewhat disingenuous remark. It's pretty clear that you want Ron Paul to be evaluated on policy, but I don't see anything resembling support or evaluation of other candidates here. Not that there's anything necessarily wrong with full throated, point-by-point support for a single candidate in a MeFi thread, this is just the first time I've ever seen it, so it's a bit jarring. It does raise suspicion (fairly or unfairly) that you are yourself a member of the Paul campaign.
posted by psmealey at 7:03 AM on October 13, 2007


"In newly released Nixon tapes, the President calls then-Watergate prosecutor Fred Thompson "dumb as hell" but "friendly." "
posted by jaronson at 7:08 AM on October 13, 2007


vsync, make a post to the front page about Paul, let it get deleted, and then let's all get on with our lives.
posted by item at 7:12 AM on October 13, 2007


What I'm wondering is how conservatives can underline the continuing hagiography of Ronald Reagan with the word "revolution" and talk about how Reagan changed the party, and then talk about Thompson taking the GOP back to its "Reagan default settings".

It's the meta-stupid that bothers me.

And yes, Ron Paul's policy prescriptions clearly make him the leader of The Un-serious Wing of the libertarian republicans. He's right up there with the Constitution Party nutbars as far as electability goes.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 7:25 AM on October 13, 2007


Every time Fred Thompson says something, there should be a doink doink sound. That would make what he says seem less mind-numbingly dull and more like if you don't listen someone will die or something.
posted by miss lynnster at 7:38 AM on October 13, 2007


You know, fuck Fred Thompson. I want that "I'd piss on a sparkplug if I thought it'd do any good" guy from War Games to run.
posted by psmealey at 7:41 AM on October 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


Hmm, another MetaFilter thread without a single mention of flying squirrels.

All hail the squirrel. This week is National Squirrel Awareness Week. Really!
posted by ericb at 7:44 AM on October 13, 2007


Half a century ago, sociologist David Riesman noted that in a mass media age, journalists tend to be cheerleaders for political candidates who have the charisma of entertainers. Reporters do this not because they believe the better entertainer will be the better president, but simply because entertaining candidates draw a bigger crowd for the media's own product -- the news. "The mass media act as a kind of barker for the political show," ...

The Thompson critique isn't just about Thompson. It's emblematic of how central entertainment is to the campaign, and how closely journalists monitor the candidates as pure performers, punishing those who don't make the grade. In Thompson's case, the retribution was especially severe because he waited so long to declare, thereby building expectations that he would be a smash on the trail. There is nothing the media hate more than a widely hyped performer -- in this case a genuine actor -- who turns out to be a dud. How dare he bore us!...


(you can see it with Obama refusing to have a catfight with Hillary too--it's hurting his coverage)
posted by amberglow at 7:50 AM on October 13, 2007


Finally, Thompson's alleged unawareness on every issue does paint him as lazy. His job as a legislator and a potential executive is to make himself aware of current issues and events.

It's the meta-stupid that bothers me.

The fact that the Republican Party is seriously considering nominating this guy to be President of the United States, apparently based solely on his faux-tough guy persona...

Well, look...we ended-up these past two election cycles with the tough-talking, smirking idiot cowboy George W.

Who can forget this gem of an interview when in 1999 Boston television reporter Andy Hiller quizzed Presidential candidate George W. Bush on the names of several foreign leaders.
"[Bush]...was asked to name the leaders of four current world hot spots: Chechnya, Taiwan, India and Pakistan.

He was able to give a partial response to just one: Taiwan."
posted by ericb at 7:51 AM on October 13, 2007


restore the Republican Party to Reagan's default settings.

Ed Meese. Iran-Contra. Nearly 6 ½ million new people fell into the poverty class. Almost 2 trillion dollars total in Federal budget deficit over his two terms. Over 5 million workers forced to accept part-time employment because full-time wasn't available, and nearly 1.2 million that gave up and dropped out of the labor force. The creation of over 6.5 million new jobs which paid less than $7000 a year. The air-traffic controller strike. Ed Meese. Wedtech-gate. Grenada. Federal housing assistance - cut by 1.8 billion dollars. Aid to Families with Dependent Children - cut by 4.8 billion dollars. Child nutrition programs - cut by 5.2 billion dollars. Food stamps - cut by 6.8 billion dollars. Catsup classified as a vegetable in school lunches. 1 in 5 children living below the poverty line. 3 million homeless. Ed Meese. Crack cocaine? - "Just say no." How many thousands killed by AIDS while the President and administration turned their heads away and did nothing?

Ummm, yeah, how was Reagan a great President again? Oh that's right, he was good on TV and reminded everyone of a lovable half-senile grampa.

mutters something about 'those who fail to remeber the past are doomed to repeat it'...
posted by Fiberoptic Zebroid and The Hypnagogic Jerks at 8:48 AM on October 13, 2007 [8 favorites]


Name-calling debases everyone, particularly inaccurate name-calling.

I hate this kind of garbage thinking. If made President, Ron Paul will likely behave in accordance with his voting record. It is important to call him on his past behavior. Based on his voting record, calling Ron Paul anti-science is correct. Based on his voting record, calling Ron Paul a misogynist is correct.

I sincerely doubt Ron Paul is a misogynist, given his robust defense of the inalienable rights of every individual

Except for the inalienable, Constitutional rights of a woman who carries a fetus.

But there is no validity to the claim that private investment is impossible without federal funding, particularly when not backed up.

On this issue, Ron Paul and his supporters seem to show that they don't really have a good grasp on how science research is done within the United States.

Private research aims to create value-added goods from their own work, but they rely upon a bedrock of basic research conducted by government through organizations like the NIH and NSF, which either conduct the research themselves or fund research universities.

With very few exceptions, basic research is not done by private corporations because it is not directly profitable. If we did not have a model where the government funds this work, there would be many fewer jobs and slower product development.

Our tax dollars fuel the fires of big business, and we owe a measure of our global competitiveness to our willingness to devote public funds to technology.

Applying the term "rogue" to judges, or anyone else, that ignores the law is 100% accurate.

Wrong. Ron Paul uses these and other code words, because while judges have a de facto and de jure correct interpretation of the body of law, the outcome is not always desirable, e.g., when freedom of choice is protected.

So we see the same dirty rhetorical trick used by Bush and other fundamentalist candidates since 2000. When they want to enforce their morality down everyone's throats and can't get their way through the legal system, they call foul and play their games with public opinion.

And I take personal exception to the "whitewashing" comment. Ron Paul's Web site and his campaign literature have every speech, every vote, every policy position transparently listed for his constituency

I'd argue skepticism about a candidate claiming transparency on his or her campaign site, and suggest voters take the time to read independent, impartial sources on these issues (vote-smart.org and ontheissues.org are two excellent sites).
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:50 AM on October 13, 2007


Actually, I think Thompson is a perfect Reaganesque Republican. Look at the points of similarity:

1) Both were mediocre actors

2) Both are apparently beginning to suffer from some form of mental deterioration at about the time they chose to run for President.

3) Neither had the slightest understanding of any of the issues.

4) Both were relatively well known for being dumb as a bag of hammers.

5) Reagan was a puppet president wholly controlled by whatever "adviser" got his ear that morning, and Thompson will be exactly the same.

6) Neither can talk intelligently, or even understandably, about *ANYTHING* without their every comment and utterance being preplanned and put onto cue cards.

Hell, if you thought Reagan was a good president Thompson is your ideal candidate.
posted by sotonohito at 9:07 AM on October 13, 2007 [2 favorites]


Fuck squirrels. Have you seen their voting record? Pro-nuts? Pro-branches? Jesus, why don't we just give the country to the pigeons? (And don't think I haven't noticed the "flying" part of flying squirrels. How much more like the birds to they have to get before you people see who's side they are really on?)

Now otters, on the other hand, they have values that you can count on.
posted by quin at 9:34 AM on October 13, 2007 [2 favorites]


I like Fred.
posted by konolia at 10:32 AM on October 13, 2007


Hmm, another analysis of the Republican field without a single mention of Ron Paul.

Digg.com called... your presence is urgently requested at another online poll stacking.
posted by Krrrlson at 10:33 AM on October 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


psmealey, thanks both for your (albeit limited) patience and the benefit of the doubt. I'll try not to abuse either.

I'm just another MeFite. I've been a member for years and a reader for longer. I only came into the thread because I saw it on the blue, not from any "Ron Paul" search feed. My only association with Ron Paul is that I think he's the best candidate for President at this time, and I intend to vote for him.

My initial post came from the viewing the linked article, seeing an angle the author missed, and putting it out there for discussion. Yes, with a plea for my guy at the end, but the point-by-point is intended to be notes on the content of the article, and I tried to keep the editorializing out and limit that portion to candidate potential and correspondence to traditional party platforms. It's also why I didn't go into my contempt for certain actions of Reagan's presidency.

Any excessive length is simply due to my work distractions and lack of sleep. I apologize for any errors of form. I'm still young, this is the first time I've had more than grudging support for any candidate, and I think like most people I'm still trying to figure out how to respectfully but assertively allow my perspective to be heard.
posted by vsync at 10:49 AM on October 13, 2007


54º40' or flight!
posted by Challahtronix at 10:57 AM on October 13, 2007


Hi konolia, I was wondering if you'd show up. I'd like to hear some of your reasons? Care to share?
posted by vsync at 10:58 AM on October 13, 2007


Ron Paul is like anything else that is popularly supported on internet forums, but which in reality no one has heard of or cares about.
posted by boubelium at 11:17 AM on October 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


vsync, I totally understand your situation with getting behind Ron Paul. My first election was 2000 and for the first time I got behind a candidate wholeheartedly, good ole Ralph Nader. We all know how that turned out... and now I am a hopeless cynic for the rest of my life. Here's to hoping your election year works out better!
posted by boubelium at 11:17 AM on October 13, 2007


Are you lying or ignorant, vsync? Hell, I guess it doesn't matter- even if you're being dishonest, better to have the fact published publicly instead of simply allowing your claims to stand.

I haven't heard of this. I've heard of right-wing (depending on how you categorize) extremists, even racists, cuddling up to him, but not the reverse. If you've heard otherwise I'd like to hear about it, and I'd suggest you write the Congressman and ask him about it as well. I recently had a relevant discussion about guilt by association.

Here's a post on Orcinus detailing it. Heck, there's even a picture of Ron Paul shaking hands with Dr Robert Clarkson of the Patriot Network. Impressive for someone who hates racism. Oh, and look, here's an interview with right-wing conspiracy-nut website Illuminati News and one with those well-known centrists The John Birch Society.

Here I must disagree with your implication as to his intent,

Oh, I think his intent is to go back to mercantilism and then everything will be fine and dandy, but saying it's not his intent to crash the economy is a little like saying "I shot him in the face but I didn't intend to hurt him!"

the facts of his policy position, and the projected result. He doesn't want a gold standard, strictly speaking, but a bimetallic one. This is what was recommended by Alexander Hamilton, creator of our first national bank, and what he reads the the Constitution to strictly require.

Nevermind that metal standards have been demonstrated repeatedly to be a horrible, horrible idea (having the most gold in the world sure kept the Spanish monarchy from collapsing!), the Founding Fathers liked it! Just because it was the height of economic fashion 250 years ago doesn't mean it's a good idea now, especially since we've had all that time to discover how foolish it is.

The Federal Reserve would probably get less argument from him if it was enacted via a constitutional amendment,

Yes, I'm a right-wing extremist would totally be fine with the Fed if it were enacted as an amendment, because it's not the Fed that the freaky right is against, it's the way the Fed came to be!

As to practical implementation, he fully acknowledges he wouldn't be able to do much without the consensus of Congress and the people; his approach would be to leave the Federal Reserve in place at least temporarily but allow competing currencies.

Wait, wait, wait, the fact that he would be no more capable of getting bills passed as President than in his utterly ineffective and useless term as a Congressman doesn't bother you? You're happy with someone who can't get things done?

All I can say otherwise is that I believe the results would be more positive than you do.

And all I can say is that your ignorance of the economic history of the last 250 years is pretty much in line with Ron Pauls' Libertarian base.

The remarks were written by a staffer that Ron Paul fired for it. He apologized for them and took full responsibility.

Actually, no. Paul claims that it was a ghostwriter who wrote them, though when he was campaigning back in the day and was asked about it he took responsibility for it. (When you're running as a right-winger in the boonies of Texas, being seen as a racist is hardly a dealbreaker.) Later it turned out to have been a ghostwriter- but that doesn't get him off the hook like he thinks it does! Even if it was a ghostwriter- and given the similarity to Paul's writing style as evidenced in the countless editorials he's written at sites like LewRockwell.com, I'm not inclined to believe that it was- we're now left with the scenario in which a ghostwriter was writing things that went out under Ron Paul's name and yet he couldn't be arsed to notice. So which is it? Is he a racist or is he so fundamentally incompetant that he can't even keep his newsletter (which was aimed at the Patriot/militia crowd) from publishing racist screeds with which he disagrees?

He's written against racism and held forth at events about inalienable human rights and the imperative to protect against the tyranny of the majority. Finally, actions speak louder than words. Dr. Paul's first pick for Secretary of the Treasury is a black man, and he was one of the few Republican candidates to accept the invitation to Morgan State University.

George Bush has spoken against racism and brought Condoleeza Rice into his cabinet, but that doesn't mean he's not a racist. "I have black friends therefore I cannot be a racist" is among the most parodied and laughed-at racist statements.

DarfurScores.org says he voted to freeze the assets of anyone involved in atrocities, assist the African Union, block Sudanese oil from US ports, and increase humanitarian aid to Darfur by $50 million. I don't yet have a firm personal position on mandatory private divestment, but Ron Paul and Warren Buffet have made some interesting counterpoints.

The bill I refer to is HR 180, which is mandatory divestment of US government investments in companies that do business with the genocidal government of the Sudan. Paul is the one Congressman who voted against it, claiming at the time that it forces businesses to divest, which it quite plainly does not. This indicates to me that he didn't read the bill any more than he reads every other bill he votes upon.

Can you please provide a citation? [RE: homeopathy]

Oh look, he wants greater access to homeopathy!
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:21 AM on October 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


Pope Guilty, I'm going out of town for the weekend; I'm driving the rest of the day and might not have Internet access when I get there.

Thank you for the citations and further commentary. I promise I'll take a look at them and let you know what I think.

Best wishes for your weekend.
posted by vsync at 12:44 PM on October 13, 2007


Hi konolia, I was wondering if you'd show up. I'd like to hear some of your reasons? Care to share?

The short answer is, first, he isn't Giuliani.


I watched him when he was first on Leno, back when he was first testing the waters. I'd never heard of him, really, till then. I liked what I heard.

Looked him up on the 'net, liked what I saw.

He shares a lot of my values, plus I think he's more electable than some candidates who I would like just as much otherwise.
posted by konolia at 12:50 PM on October 13, 2007


The short answer is, first, he isn't Giuliani.

I don't care for Thompson, but damn if that isn't a compelling answer.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:06 PM on October 13, 2007


Also: HOLY CRAP SOMETHING KONOLIA AND I CAN BOTH AGREE ON

for different reasons I suspect BUT STILL
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:07 PM on October 13, 2007


Referring to Ron Paul as "Dr. Paul" does little to alleviate my concerns that a sizable chunk of his supporters are looking for some sort of political Godhead. And it's creepy.
posted by dhammond at 1:14 PM on October 13, 2007


Well, Thompsons not got an endorsement from Stormfront yet, so in that regard he's ahead of Ron Paul.
posted by Artw at 1:16 PM on October 13, 2007


Where's Paul's condemnation of the Stormfront Endorsement? He's ok with it? That's pushing it, even for a Republican.
posted by amberglow at 4:16 PM on October 13, 2007


Um, with a name like "I want two minutes of my life back..."

The irony being of course that the dude then spent 7 hours hacking the film: "I assure you, I was plugging away at this from 7:30pm to almost 2:30am."

Wisely, I decided *not* to watch the clip.
posted by Deathalicious at 4:10 AM on October 14, 2007


And posted here to tell us about it. :)
posted by digaman at 10:18 AM on October 14, 2007


I don't think Ron Paul can afford to push Stormfront away. They seem to be a sizable part of his voting base.
posted by streetdreams at 10:24 AM on October 14, 2007


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