Jack Hunter

Floundering Old Guard Republicans re-launch attacks on Rand Paul

Back in March, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) propelled himself to the forefront of Republican politics when he led an inspiring 13-hour filibuster against the confirmation of CIA nominee John Brennan.

For the entirety of his procedural protest, Paul and several of his colleagues, most notably Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT), highlighted the constitutional problems with President Barack Obama’s drones policy, which is largely consistent with the views of his hawkish predecessor and many of today’s conservatives. Paul would go onto win the CPAC straw poll the following week and has been a frequent voice of opposition to the Washington political establishment on foreign policy.

The reaction from the Old Guard Republicans was expected. Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and John McCain (R-AZ) both sided with President Obama on drones and foreign policy and admonished Paul from the Senate floor with the latter referring to his colleague from Kentucky a “wacko bird.” Bill Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard, called Paul’s foreign policy views “dangerous” and tried to label him as an “neo-isolationist.” Jennifer Rubin, the Washington Post’s token Republican, has also taken shots at Paul on foreign policy, though with little effect.

Cautious Optimism for Republicans in SC-01

A little more than a week ago, many reporters seemed more than ready to write Mark Sanford’s political obituary. Public Policy Polling had him down by 9 points to Elizabeth Colbert Busch, perhaps properly known as “Stephen Colbert’s sister,” and the spin of a Democratic Party win in South Carolina’s First Congressional District, which strongly leans Republican, was already beginning.

But there has been a notable shift in the race over the last few days. Sanford’s campaign has nationalized their message, making the race about former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the Democratic Party, and big labor. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and grassroots groups like FreedomWorks and the Tea Party Express have also went to bat for Sanford when the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) wouldn’t.

SC-01 Update: Mark Sanford Heads to a Runoff

Mark Sanford

Mark Sanford has taken the first step toward a return to elected office as voters in South Carolina’s First Congressional District went to the polls yesterday. The former Congressman and Governor ran into some trouble in 2009, but is now celebrating a first place finish in the special election for his old House seat.

While most observers knew he would find himself in a runoff at the end of the night, Sanford took 36.9% of the vote in the 16-person race, finishing far ahead of his closest rival, Curtis Bostic, a former Charleston City Council member who took 13.3%. The runoff will be held on April 2nd, the winner of which will go on to face Elizabeth Colbert Busch, sister of comedian Stephen Colbert, who overwhelmingly won the Democratic Party primary last night.

While there are some signs that some local groups may back Bostic in the runoff, they’re not going to find someone more friendly to their cause than Sanford, who challenged Presidents Bush and Obama on bailouts and stimulus spending.

Glenn Beck Hosts Discussion on Libertarianism

Beck and libertarians

The liberty movement is in the midst of a much needed conversation over its future. While not a new conversation, it is one that has been recently reignited thanks to Alexander McCobin of Students for Liberty and Glenn Beck.

Over the past few years, the liberty movement has seen tremendous growth, thanks largely to Ron Paul, who has been able to lure a number of conservatives into the liberty movement. As a result, libertarianism has grown in popularity as more people begin to understand the basic tenets of the philosophy — including free markets and individual liberty. However, there are some in our movement who don’t seem to want the message to spread to those who may not fully share all of our ideas.

Yesterday, Glenn Beck helped further along this conversation, inviting Jacob Hornberger of the Future of Freedom Foundation, Zachary Slayback of Students for Liberty, and Jack Hunter to discuss libertarianism and the future of the movement.

Beck asked the trio how to get people interested in libertarianism when the perception is that those who follow the philosophy want so much change so quickly.

“Politically, you can’t get from ‘Point A’ to ‘Point B’ without there being an in-between,” said Hunter in response. “‘B’ being the ideal political world we would like and ‘A’ where we are now. There’s going to be some messiness in between. That’s just human nature — that’s the way it’s got to be.

“You have to start where people are and work towards liberty in a practical sense,” he added.

Karl Rove’s actions speak louder than his words

Karl Rove

Coming under fire for his new PAC — the Conservative Victory Project — Karl Rove, a former White House advisor under George W. Bush and founder of American Crossroads, said this weekend during a visit on Fox News Sunday that the Republican Party needs “fewer Christine O’Donnells and more Rand Pauls.”

Here’s the segment, in case you missed it:

That’s interesting. While you’re not going to get an argument from me that O’Donnell was a terrible candidate, Rove wasn’t exactly fond of Rand Paul during his bid for the Republican Senate primary in Kentucky back in 2009. On December 10, 2009, Rove penned an editorial on the GOP’s chances of taking back the Senate. Complimenting candidate recruitment for that cycle in Missouri, New Hampshire, and Ohio, Rove wrote, “Only Kentucky’s open seat vacated by Jim Bunning causes the GOP squeamishness.”

Romney defense spending plan takes away credibility on deficit

Mitt Romney

During tonight’s debate, Mitt Romney is expected to tout a budget plan that would reduce non-defense discretionary spending by 5%. That may sound appealing to conservatives, who have slammed President Barack Obama failure to restrain spending. In reality, non-defense represents 20% of the federal budget, at the most, around $42 billion in spending. That’s really not much to write home about.

Romney’s aides have recently said that he will pursue a different foreign policy course than former President George W. Bush. That’s sounds great on the surface, until you recall that Romney said that he could unilaterally invade Iran. If that isn’t neo-conservative, I don’t know what is. Perhaps equally troubling for those of us concerned about the budget deficit, as Jack Hunter recently explained at the American Conservative, are Romney’s plans increase defense spending:

Something Romney promised with his winning personality Wednesday night—deficit reduction—is also something hard numbers indicate he cannot deliver. If Obama said anything true it was this: “When you add up all the loopholes and deductions that upper income individuals are currently taking advantage of, you don’t come close to paying for $5 trillion in tax cuts and $2 trillion in additional military spending.”

He added: “It’s math, arithmetic.”

Jack Hunter shoots down conspiracy theorists

Aim, ready, fire!

Dudes — I’m not really ready to call them “reporters” or “journalists” — from “WeAreChange.org” recently tried to get Jack Hunter’s opinion on an op-ed he wrote criticizing those in the liberty movement who just would not shut up about the Bilderberg group. As you can see in this video, they ask him again about his article, he very plainly states his position, and then walks off because he finds the whole thing to be silly.

Now, you can say that maybe that was rude, but really, you shouldn’t tolerate idiocy. As I wrote on my personal blog in a post that’s probably not fit to link to here (except for this bit):

[I]f an adult man came to you and starting talking about unicorns, would you entertain a long argument to explain to him that unicorns don’t exist? No, you would just say “Unicorns are fairy tales” and move on.

That’s the same thing here. We really should not be giving any credence to this nonsense, and Hunter was right to move on.

That’s when things get really weird, though. First, this “interviewer,” Bob, then makes the claim that Hunter asked security to get tough on him and his film crew. I don’t know Jack, as it were, but he doesn’t seem to me to be the kind of guy who would do that. He also says they were told to “stay away from Dr. Paul, because of concerns about the way we conducted ourselves.” Newsflash: It’s pretty standard for PR flacks, security, and the people of interest themselves to look down upon ambush interviews like the one you pulled with Hunter. As for who was acting unprofessional…yeah, you weren’t exactly acting professional when you decided to just jump him like that, and then try to bring up more Bilderberger stuff.

The Nasty, Dirty Politics of Ron Paul

Politics is a nasty business. A Really dirty business in which a select few are qualified to engage. Even fewer can do this and retain their own integrity and principles.

Those who watch from the outside tend to romanticise the process. This is probably because those who write about history and current events rarely give the general public a peek into the sordid affairs of politicians that does not involve naked women or bribes. Parliamentary procedures and party rules aren’t that exciting.

A prime example of how the media has, from time immemorial, missed the entire point, can be found in the Republican nomination process. You know, the one where Willard “Mitt” Romney has been named the presumed nominee months before the nominating convention has even been assembled.

But before examining this recent example, let us examine the process of a rag-tag band of colonists who were attempting to shrug off what they considered bonds too tight to bear; bonds which by today’s standards would be laughably inadequate to justify a bloody revolution.

In 1776, Thomas Jefferson, as a result of parliamentary procedure and reputation, was commissioned to write a draft list of grievances to be presented King George III; a literary gauntlet to be thrown down in response to a growing, oppressive government which considered its subjects chattel for its own hegemonic designs and even mere protestations, acts of open rebellion.

The draft was to be reviewed and revised by a small body of men who had tenuous grasp on power and credibility as representatives of the 13 colonies’ citizens. A Continental Congress sent to Philadelphia to try reason with the Crown after many trips across the ocean to petition the people’s representatives in London had netted nothing but scoffs, more taxes and bullets for the effort.

Politics is a nasty business.

Jack Hunter on Rand Paul’s endorsement of Mitt Romney

If you’ve been following the reaction to Sen. Rand Paul’s endorsement of Mitt Romney, you know there are a lot of people disappointed. Our own Brian Lehman noted on Friday that Sen. Paul didn’t have much of a choice other than to endorse Romney if he wanted to have any future or influence inside the Republican Party.

In a new video, Jack Hunter (also known as the “Southern Avenger”) explained that Sen. Paul had always said that he would endorse the Republican nominee, regardless of whom it may be, against President Barack Obama. He also explains that Sen. Paul only made the endorsement after his father, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), conceded that he didn’t have the delegates to secure the GOP nomination:

Jack Hunter on “ObamaCare and the Imaginary Constitution”

In his latest video, Jack Hunter takes up President Barack Obama’s comments last week on the Supreme Court and ObamaCare, which looks likely to be struck down. Hunter notes that former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Obama believe that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is constitutional simply because they believe it’s a good law. However, as Hunter points out, if ObamaCare is constitutional “because it is necessary,” than a law like the PATRIOT Act, which liberals tend not to support, is constitutional “simply as a matter of perspective”:

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