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GOP, The Party Of Whiny Pussies?
That "big tent" the Republicans brag about becomes the not-so-big tent as a GOP official circulates a petition to get libertarian presidential candidate Ron Paul thrown out of the big top. On Slate, John Dickerson gives the reasons that's silly:

1) Paul's argument is actually a GOP talking point: Whenever the president, Dick Cheney, or John McCain wants to argue that terrorists will come to America if we leave Iraq too early, they point us to Bin Laden's words as proof of their point. That's what Paul was doing when he made his comment about 9/11. "Have you ever read about the reasons they attacked us?" he said. "They attack us because we've been over there. We've been bombing Iraq for 10 years." Here's just one instance, from 1996, in which Bin Laden in one of his declarations of war said exactly what Paul claims: "More than 600,000 Iraqi children have died due to lack of food and medicine and as a result of the unjustifiable aggression (sanctions) imposed on Iraq and its people. The children of Iraq are our children. You, the USA, together with the Saudi regime, are responsible for the shedding of the blood of these innocent children. Due to all of that, whatever treaty you have with our country is now null and void."

2) The GOP is not supposed to be the party for sniveling ninnies: The recent Fox debate demonstrated that candidates look better when they face tough questions from either the moderators or other candidates. Whatever the merits of Giuliani's response to Paul, it was good political theater. Rudy looked strong and commanding. This helps him, and it helps the party. Even Nixon understood that it's the tough questions, not the softballs, that improve a candidate's standing with voters. So why would Republicans want to yank off stage the guy who is such a great foil? (A corollary: This is one of the reasons Democrats are silly to turn down debates hosted by Fox. They're missing a chance to look confident and full of conviction in front of tough questioning.)

3) It's a retreat into the bubble: President Bush has been rightly criticized for not listening to opposing viewpoints or for not himself posing uncomfortable questions that challenge the reigning orthodoxy. So why would the GOP want to make a show of putting its fingers in its ears by trying to erase Paul?

4) It's giving away the high ground: For the last 15 years, Republicans have criticized Democrats for not inviting pro-life Pennsylvania Gov. Bob Casey to speak at the party's 1992 convention for fear he would muddy the party's pro-choice message. Their own tent, Republicans boasted, was big and open: That's why famous pro-choicers like Colin Powell and Giuliani appeared at Republican conventions in prime time even though the party platform is thoroughly pro-life. If they punish Paul for saying a few inconvenient things in public, Republicans can no longer make that claim. They look like the party of the tiny tent.

I'm reminded of Bill O'Reilly's whinging about discrmination against Christians when stores don't make their employees celebrate the biggest shopping day of the year by saying "Merry Christmas." Oh, that poor, downtrodden majority, those Christians. Can we work up a big, collective boohoo?

Posted by aalkon at May 21, 2007 11:27 AM


He's dangerous. He seems unscripted. He seems to tell the truth as he believes it. He won't defend the Iraq War.

The election is 18 months away and he's out there every day talking down the Iraq War.

He's dangerous and something must be done.

Posted by: jerry at May 21, 2007 12:23 AM

While I too think this is a silly idea, I'll point out that this petition isn't coming from the head of the RNC, or the White House, or a "mainstream" GOP campaign, or anything like that. It's coming from the chairman of the Michigan Republican Party. Have you ever heard of the chairman of the Michigan Republican Party? I haven't, and I'll bet most of the people in his state haven't, either. This strikes me as a rather naked attempt for this guy to get some press exposure.

If we hear other, more highly ranked, figures in the GOP talking about the need to kick out Ron Paul, then I'll take this more seriously. For now, though, this is just one step above an Internet petition. It's just been given extra credence by Slate's desire for a hook around which to write an article on why "Ron Paul helps the GOP." The Michigan Republic Party chairman must be cackling in glee right now.

Posted by: marion at May 21, 2007 7:56 AM

> he's out there every day
> talking down the Iraq War.

All sane men do that. Seven American deaths over the weekend. I don't know how many total American casualties, and God knows how many Iraqis died.

Rather than pester people about being insufficiently enthusiastic about fighting, it would be neat if you --or anyone in the world-- could offer some thoughtful inspiration about winning. Even George Bush can't seem to do that. If deadly force from Americans can improve the future over there, we need you say how, adn say it soon. And not in a "We'll kill the bad guys!" kind of way.

Posted by: Crid at May 21, 2007 8:46 AM

Maybe an argument for removing Rep. Paul from the next debate could be based on the fact that the latest Gallup Poll (5/17/07) shows him with less than 1/2% of support. Probably closer to 0% as Gallup admitted that of those polled no one indicated they were supporting him. I imagine there is a death rattle but would it be noticed.

Posted by: Pat Patterson at May 22, 2007 3:40 AM

American Dead - 3,4?? heard that figure on my local NPR station, only classical music station I cqn find in Peonix

Iraqi dead - 10,000 - 600,000+ depending on what sorce you decide to belive in.

Posted by: lujlp at May 22, 2007 11:14 AM

I followed your link. What's an "excess" death?

Answer as specifically as possible. Thanks.

Posted by: Crid at May 23, 2007 12:08 AM

I have no idea, you asked what the death toll was and I gave you the ranges being reported by all the veiw points.

I figured you would want to look at the highest projetions so I gave you the link to the search of the John Hopkins study which many peole are saying is too high.

I would assume that the term "excess" means extra and refers to the people who would still be alive if not for the violence created by and in response to our invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Example 65yr old woman dies in bomb blast instead of 5 months later from natural causes, catologed as excess

Posted by: lujlp at May 23, 2007 1:32 AM

You're getting the irony, right? If you say some deaths are "excess", then some must be purposeful.

We've covered this earlier-

Everybody says Bush was stupid for invading because what's killing Iraqs are ancient religous and almost tribal enmities. So presumably, all that energy was going to be released one day anyway, right? If people are that certain that Bush was a fool for thinking Iraq would snap into a democratic capitalist splendor, then they're also arguing that there was no path for Iraqi development where this civil war couldn't happen.

What could the best outcome have possibly been? Would it have been better for the United States if our civil war had never happened? The oil is probably not going to be any less valuable for the next five decades or so: Maybe now is the time.

These are going to be painful years as things fragment, and the resultant states might end up with mutual nukes a la India and Pakistan. But there have been good consequences from this war: Saddam's out of power; his sons are dead and dead; the marshlands are, if not fully repaired, at least no longer being drained; Kurds are doing well; we have the Saudi's attention now.

I just wish someone, somewhere would say how it was supposed to go for Iraq in this century.

Posted by: Crid at May 23, 2007 7:12 AM

Here is my position, many conservitive belive wefare is bad because it fosters a sub section of society and encorages them NOT to work and take responsibility for their lives.

And while I am opposed to open ended welfare I do see a point in giving people the occasional helping hand - not convinced that it is the governments resoponsibility though.

Here is my point - how can a polical ideology which belives in personal responsibility, an ideology which belives people need to earn what they deserve, sory I'm not quite expressing this as clearly as I meant to.

If conservitives belive giving money to the poor provides no real help in lifting the poor out of poverty how can they belive providing military assistance to a people who would not stand up for themselves - and still wont stand up for themselves lift them out of violence??

Posted by: lujlp at May 23, 2007 8:32 AM

Did we "lift" Germany and Japan out of violence? Things have sure been quieter for them since we made the point.

I know this is a different circumstance, but I think people are often being racist and worse when they say "Oh, these are intractable problems in the Middle Eastern/Arab/Muslim soul." (Commenter Joe is about the only person I've heard from who's got enough experience to an express an opinion like that, and of course it's not what he says at all.) Maybe it's not racism, but it's a very similar kind of insanity or mass hysteria.

I can't understand where it comes from, but here are some parts of it: A desire to pretend to know more about the world than we actually do; a desire to pretend that all the other evil we've been a part of in the region need not be reviewed or compensated; a need to imagine that in some corner of the globe, men are savages; and a belief that we don't have to get our hands dirty when problems resist a quick fix.

Those are all obnoxious, but consider that last one. The same --often liberal-- people who argue that America isn't doing enough for the less fortunate people of the world will in their next breath pretend that these pivotal people and resources are none of our beeswax. But events in history can be influenced for the better; time and again we have been able to make improvements in our own lives and those of others.

Lee Iacocca put it like this: "Liberals want things to go great by accident!"

Posted by: Crid at May 23, 2007 10:02 AM

"The same --often liberal-- people who argue that America isn't doing enough for the less fortunate people of the world.."

That complaint is one of my few pet peeves. I hate hearing it, especially when I had to sit through that Anderson Cooper interview of Angelina Jolie.

Posted by: PurplePen at May 23, 2007 12:33 PM

The thing about Japan and Germany was we were defending against an invasion. We did it in retaliation of acts commited against us, and we did not do it to 'liberate' the native population from oppresive murderous leaders.

Posted by: lujlp at May 23, 2007 4:19 PM

> to 'liberate' the native
> population from oppresive
> murderous leaders

If that's the principle you're going to instinctively distrust, the next few centuries are going to be difficult for you.

WHo knows what we'd have done, or when we'd have done it, if those nations had globally precious natural resources

Posted by: Crid at May 23, 2007 6:30 PM

And there is the rub, why is it our job to manage the resorces of some other country?

What gives us the right to decide how to 'deal with' countries and leaders who are managing resorces we find precious when they arent doing so in a way we find benefical to us?

Posted by: lujlp at May 23, 2007 11:18 PM

> What gives us the right to...

No matter how old a person gets, when they start off sentences like that, they sound like fourth graders. Especially in matters like this which have been of fundamental importance to people for generations. The fourth grader needs to be told that a brand new sense of snotty contrarianism is not necessarily the same thing as fresh thinking or unspoilt perspective.

We (the developed world) are getting the oil anyway. And we're ready to pay for it, an pay dearly. The question is, do we want to give the money to a crime family or to a capitalist democracy.

Posted by: Crid at May 24, 2007 1:19 PM

Given how well we deal with the Saudis I really dont see the need in setting up a democracy in Iraq.

And while I my sound like a 4th grader by asking the question, I cant help but notice your only answer was 'because'

If that is really how you feel why dont you sign everything you own over to me and my LLC and we'll manage it for you and give you an allowance.

Posted by: lujlp at May 24, 2007 10:57 PM

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