Ron Paul appeared on Hardball yesterday afternoon and tried with all his might to explain freedom to Chris Matthews. Unfortunately, Matthews seems immune to rational argument:
A new survey on prospective match-ups against Barack Obama in 2012 by Public Policy Polling shows that Ron Paul could be competitive (emphasis mine):
Polling close to Obama are Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney. The President leads Huckabee 46-44 and Romney 45-42. They both do a good job of consolidating the GOP vote and holding a solid advantage with independents.
Doing less well are Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, and Ron Paul. Obama has a 47-39 advantage over Gingrich, a 50-41 against Palin, and 46-36 edge matched against Paul.
One thing that’s very interesting about these numbers is that Ron Paul is the most popular out of the whole group with independents. They see him favorably by a 35/25 margin. The only other White House hopeful on positive ground with them is Romney at a +2 spread and they’re very negative on the rest: -5 for Huckabee, -16 for Gingrich and Palin, and -17 for Obama. All five of the possible GOP contenders lead Obama with independents, but Paul does so by the widest margin at 46-28.
That is encouraging. It means that independents are becoming more familiar with what Ron Paul has been saying over the last several years. Unfortunately, the GOP presidential primaries will come down between Tax Hike Mike, Multiple Choice Mitt and a couple others, maybe Tim Pawlenty and Mitch Daniels.
Congressman Ron Paul is usually on the right side of issues that involve government intervention in the marketplace, but when it comes to the Homebuyer Tax Credit he gets it completely wrong:
Rep. Ron Paul, R-Tex., who is usually opposed to government intervention in the economy, has introduced legislation to permanently extend the first-time homebuyer tax credit and to make the credit available to people whose homes have been destroyed by a natural disaster, such as a hurricane.
“It is hard to think of a more beneficial or compassionate expansion of the first-time homebuyer tax credit than to make the credit available to those whose homes have been destroyed or damaged by natural disasters,” Paul says.
“In addition, the changes to the casualty loss provision will help more taxpayers affected by natural disasters,” he says. “Providing tax relief to first-time homebuyers and to those affected by natural disasters should be one of Congress’ top priorities.”
The legislation also makes a number of changes to existing tax credits in order to enhance their usefulness to victims of natural disasters, according to a news release from Paul’s office.
Specifically, this bill makes casualty loss deductions available to taxpayers who don’t itemize, and makes it available to them for five years after the disaster.
If passed, the proposed legislation would also help people who have lost their jobs because of a natural disaster by making unemployment payments provided under the Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act tax-free.
Remember Ron Paul’s hubbub over overtly racist rhetoric in some of his newsletters? Well, it looks like his son is now in similarly hot water:
It seems that after failing to answer a yes or no question about whether the Woolworth lunch counter should have stayed segregated in the 1960s, Rand Paul has found his words. The Republican Senate nominee in Kentucky issued a long statement Thursday stressing that he would not back any repeal of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. “I have clearly stated in prior interviews that I abhor racial discrimination and would have worked to end segregation,” Paul said. Still, he tiptoed around his main source of disagreement with the bill, which he says he believes does more than the federal government should be allowed. “This much is clear: The federal government has far overreached in its power grabs,” he said in the statement.
This all reminds me substantially of the firestorm that hit Mel Gibson. Gibson got caught in a firestorm of anti-Semitism bizarrely hurled at a police office just doing his job, soon amending himself with trips on daytime news shows with defenses that he was upset about what Israel was doing in the Middle East. His father, meanwhile, had been even more crude:
A great speech from last night’s opening of the Campaign For Liberty’s Iowa Conference:
As noted on Monday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) sold out on his amendment to Audit the Fed, opting for version that doesn’t audit monetary policy. It was passed without opposition by the Senate yesterday.
As Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) pointed out in his weekly Texas Straight Talk column, there is some good to the Sanders amendment, but it wasn’t enough:
[A]greements with foreign central banks are not touched by the new Sanders Amendment language. At a time when Greece, Portugal, Spain and other countries are experiencing dire financial crises and have their hands out to the international community, we need to know if our Federal Reserve is at all involved in bailing them out. As weary as we are of bailing out companies, the American people would not stand for bailing out entire countries. Our government is wasteful enough in its own affairs without contributing to the waste of other countries. Yet the Fed currently has the tools it needs to do just this, and to do it in secret.
Senate Democratic leaders cleared two major obstacles Thursday to winning passage of a Wall Street reform bill, beating back a Republican effort to curb the reach of a new consumer agency and striking a compromise on a watered-down bill to shine a light on Federal Reserve activities.
it took an aggressive last-minute lobbying effort by White House, Treasury and Federal Reserve officials to win a compromise on the Fed amendment. The original language called for a “comprehensive” audit of the Fed’s activities, most of which historically have been kept from public view.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the chief sponsor, struck a deal on the Senate floor to limit the scope of the one-time audit to only the Fed’s emergency lending to banks, allaying concerns that a review would have interfered with interest rate decisions.
“At a time when our entire financial system almost collapsed, we cannot let the Fed operate in secrecy any longer. The American people have a right to know,” Sanders said. “This amendment is not a radical idea.”
Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) says that Sanders sold out since the compromise, which can be read here, leaves out an audit of monetary policy. Sanders admits the version passed by the House was stronger, but still feels his compromise is meaningful.
The Republican primary for United States Senate in Kentucky is starting to get interesting with just two weeks to go. Both Trey Grayson and Rand Paul are announcing endorsements. Grayson’s campaign is also touting internal polling that show s an even race.
Rand Paul v. Trey Grayson
- Paul: 46%
- Grayson: 28%
- Other: 4%
- Not sure: 21%
As we all know, the only poll that matters is the one taken on election day, which is May 18th in Kentucky.
The results, however, suggest a distinct fault line that runs through the tea party activist base, characterized by two wings led by the politicians who ranked highest when respondents were asked who “best exemplifies the goals of the tea party movement” — former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), a former GOP presidential candidate.
Palin, who topped the list with 15 percent, speaks for the 43 percent of those polled expressing the distinctly conservative view that government does too much, while also saying that it needs to promote traditional values.
Paul’s thinking is reflected by an almost identical 42 percent who said government does too much but should not try to promote any particular set of values — the hallmarks of libertarians. He came in second to Palin with 12 percent.
At first glance this poll made me think that I’d been wrong about the make-up of the tea party movement. I’ve contended for a year or so now that it had been hijacked by parties solely interested in putting Republicans back into power, such as Newt Gingrich, Sean Hannity and others. Maybe I was wrong.
That’s what I thought until I took a look at the numbers that Dave Weigel posted over at his blog. The make-up of the April 15th tea party in Washington was 43% Republican and 36% Independent. Only 9% considered themselves to be Democrats and 11% were some other affiliation. However, 70% of respondents voted for John McCain.
A new Rasmussen Poll shows Ron Paul in a statistical tie with President Obama in a hypothetical 2012 match up:
Pit maverick Republican Congressman Ron Paul against President Obama in a hypothetical 2012 election match-up, and the race is – virtually dead even.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of likely voters finds Obama with 42% support and Paul with 41% of the vote. Eleven percent (11%) prefer some other candidate, and six percent (6%) are undecided.
Ask the Political Class, though, and it’s a blowout. While 58% of Mainstream voters favor Paul, 95% of the Political Class vote for Obama.
But Republican voters also have decidedly mixed feelings about Paul, who has been an outspoken critic of the party establishment.
Obama earns 79% support from Democrats, but Paul gets just 66% of GOP votes. Voters not affiliated with either major party give Paul a 47% to 28% edge over the president.
Paul, a anti-big government libertarian who engenders unusually strong feelings among his supporters, was an unsuccessful candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008. But he continues to have a solid following, especially in the growing Tea Party movement.
Of course, it’s the sad truth that Ron Paul has precisely zero chance of getting the 2012 nomination, and part of his performance in the poll can be attributed to opposition to Obama more than support of Paul.