Pick Romney….Please

 

With the Olympics started it looks like all of the VP chatter will have to wait until after the Summer Olympics. The question had been whether or not McCain, or Obama, or both would announce there veep choice before the summer games. Alas, that was mostly wishful thinking on the part of us political junkies.

 We Obama supporters (I have no idea as to whether this applies to anyone else at FPR, so I mean Obama supporters in general), are a bit concerned about the inability of the Democratic candidate to break away from McCain in the polls. There are of course a variety of reasons for this. The primary reason, in my political scientist opinion, is that we are not likely to see a huge popular victory not matter who wins. We are a deeply divided country and rather evenly divided between those of us who are red and those of us who are blue. So lingering with a two to five percent lead might be the norm through November. Either way Obama appears to have a strong electoral college advantage.

I have found a solution to the VP selection game that will make both conservative Mormons and me happy: Have McCain pick Mitt Romney. This act would help Mormons again feel safe within the GOP. They need to have an institutional home (we Mormons are big on institutional belonging), and feel spurned after having their golden boy rejected. I felt the same way about the Dems rejected Bill Bradley (though I do not quite categorize him as a golden boy).

I would be happy if they picked Romney, because it would ensure McCain’s defeat in November. What is better in a time of economic turmoil than for the Republicans to put a filthy rich guy in the VP slot. It would help to highlight the disconnect between the GOP and everyday economic troubles. The GOP takes pride in defending the economic interests of people like Romney. However, when they do it, they pretend that they are protecting the economic interests of the middle class common man. That is real faith base politics. Romney on the ticket would remind everyone of who the GOP really looks out for.

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71 Comments

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71 responses to “Pick Romney….Please

  1. A lot of rumors are saying Leiberman, who I think would actually be very interesting and perhaps better than Romney. Even though I know it would upset conservatives the fact is that while McCain’s heart is in the right place foreign policy-wise he comes across as pretty confused and ignorant. Lieberman, whether you agree or disagree with him, is at least informed and knowledgeable. Plus he seems able to avoid gaffes.

    The interesting question is whether Leiberman would benefit McCain by drawing some of the Democrat vote. I’m not sure it would. Plus it would alienate the grass roots. However I’m convinced that Romney isn’t an ideal speaker and would still alienate some of the Evangelical wing. Plus would blacks and the priesthood issues come up?

    On the other hand, as you note, in bad economic times you are playing to Romney’s strength.

    I’m more curious about Obama’s pick.

  2. JJ Rousseau

    I cannot imagine it being Lieberman, just because he is pro-choice. He has alienated the vast majority of Democrats, particularly those like me who rooted for him in 2006. My money is on Pawlenty.

  3. David Clark

    It really doesn’t matter what McCain does, it’s Obama’s to lose.

  4. ed42

    “We Obama supporters” are you serious? How could a ‘good’ Mormon support either (evil) candidate? Yikes!

  5. JJ Rousseau

    David Clark,

    Of course it matters what McCain does. It is that close. I also, to a degree, get what you are saying.

    ed42,

    “We” are mostly non-Mormons (since I speaking of the American electorate that supports Obama). I will hope that I am accurate in reading sarcasm into the second sentence. Clarify if needed.

  6. Bishop Nietzsche

    Yo Rousseau,

    Obama is a millionaire, and the chances are very good that his running mate will be a millionaire. How exactly do you translate that into concern for the common man? McCain/Romney vs. Obama/Whoever will be a contest between four super-rich guys. Yawn.

    And I laugh my cynical butt off whenever politicians of either party pretend to be concerned about “the common man”. Remember when that multi-millionaire Sen. Kennedy said that his party represented the common man, then realized that he needed to build up his cred with women and added “and the common woman, too!”

    Now that’s funny, I don’t care who you are.

  7. Ted

    Forget Lieberman, forget Romney, now, especially now, it’s gonna be Palin, as Joe says over at Palinforvp.blogspot.com:

    Now that Palin has successfully maneuvered two tremendously difficult bills through the Alaskan legislature, each having to do with energy, she truly has stature on the entire energy issue, and has stature as a governor who can get things done in a political world where stalemate usually rules the day.

    I now agree that McCain should make his move.

    Imagine the ads…

    1. “She is a young woman who ran against the Republican establishment, and has effectively moved Alaksa in the direction of reform, against all odds.

    Don’t just hope for change, VOTE FOR IT. McCain/Palin 2008.”

    2. “She is a governor who in 2 years of office passed a law that had been lanquishing for years; a law that will allow for the flow of natural gas resources from the great state of Alaska to the midwest, into energy hungry areas. Against all odds.

    Don’t just hope for change, VOTE FOR IT. McCain/Palin, 2008.”

    3. “She is a governor who insisted her state legistlature stay in session until a true energy plan could be put into place offering real and immediate relief to Alaska’s citizens during this difficult energy crunch.

    Don’t just hope for change, VOTE FOR IT. McCain/Palin, 2008.”

    4. “She is a mother of 5. She is an avid hunter, fisher, one who loves and believes in the importance of the environment for us and for future generations. She also understands that energy resources can and should be tapped in ways that do not threaten our land. She believes it and is doing it.

    Don’t just hope for change, VOTE FOR IT. McCain/Palin, 2008.”

    5. John McCain. The Original Maverick. Sarah Palin. The New Maverick. Together they fought ‘A Bridge to Nowhere’ and knocked the establishment on its heals. Together, they will reform America.

    Don’t just hope for change, VOTE FOR IT. McCain/Palin, 2008.”

    Congratulations, Governor Palin. Senator McCain, please make your move.

  8. JJ Rousseau

    Obama is a millionaire because he sold lots of books. Romney was likely born a millionaire and made his money by buying and reselling companies. A bit different. Granted both parties seem to be the parties of the rich. It is larger a matter of degree.

    For me, the concern for the common man, is manifest when the government acts in the interest of common people.

    Of course, Nietzche thought that talk of the common people was part of slave morality.

  9. matt w.

    Of course, most people picture Romney as having excellent business skills and good economic sense.

    And Nietzche had a point, most people who use the term “common people” use it as a generic term for “people I think are worse than I am” or “a group of people who also don’t have what I want, and thus must want it too.”

  10. JJ Rousseau

    matt w.

    I am pretty sure most people do not think that much about Romney at all.

    I have never used the term “common man” or “common people” in that sense. I tend to praise the masses and rant against the elite, eventhough I am a college teacher and most likely and elite.

  11. Clark

    I agree it is Obamas to lose. The electorial distribution is pretty overwhelming for Obama. Having said that he hasn’t been doing that well with the current problems in the world. Iraq no longer is as relevant for many reasons, he’s flubbed energy policy discussion, and his charismatic air has worn off. His positives are general hate of Bush administration incompetence the past years, a general desire for change, little by way of baggage – especially given his short time in office. Plus Republicans are very underwhelmed by McCain and McCain has a tendency to put his foot in his mouth. Also let’s be honest – the press loves Obama. McCain’s successes have been self-inflected wounds by Obama or sophistry by McCain on the Internet.

  12. JJ Rousseau

    McCain’s energy approach of trying to find more ways to increase Exxon’s profits is likely to go over great only because Americans are suckers even for the most incoherent argument that talks about “supply and demand.”

    I have long been an Obama guy, though I am far to his left. However, I must say that my desire to see him win is partially driven by the 4 years (hopefully even 8)of teeth gnashing that will take place in my community if a black liberal in President. Please do not pinch me…this is such a great dream.

  13. I disagree. While I think McCain is being opportunistic here (and Obama a bit clueless) the point is that during a transition away from fossil fuels we need fuel. To simply say (as many Democrats want Obama to do) that we’re going to put the screws on everyone and damn the consequences is, well stupid. Especially to the poor for whom fuel prices (and thereby food prices) hurt much more.

    I’d love to go buy a hydrogen car or an electric car that gets 250 miles so I can actually use it all day. Guess what. They aren’t there. Pretending the alternatives to oil are present so the price of oil doesn’t matter is just insane. (And coming so late to the drilling game was one of Obama’s more self-destructive moves)

  14. BTW – the best way to increase Exxon’s profits is to let oil prices climb higher. That’s why they’ve been making record profits the past couple of years. After all their fixed costs aren’t increasing much.

  15. I sat down at my computer this morning hoping that I could read a political post by Chris H. on FPR. I tend to really enjoy the threads these posts produce.

    Lucky me!

  16. JJ Rousseau

    Destroying our natural environment to save a quick buck might (a quick buck that likely will never be saved) might be a low point. Not the lowest point, It is bit hard to top slavery and the entire period between 1870 and 1910. More of a recent low point for lack of originality.

    As for Exxon, we ne to go Teddy Roosevelt on them. I am pretty sure that neither party has the balls to do that.

    That you disagree is not surprising. We should talk Rorty or Derrida sometime and see the sparks fly.

    Holdinator,
    Sorry, It is the best this simple mind can do.

  17. JJ Rousseau

    Chris H….Who is that?:)

  18. Well, that was my thought process word for word. My comment above was absolutely sincere. You see, I’m in Utah Valley and meet very few who are as informed and opinionated, not to mention liberal, as JJ Rousseau. It’s refreshing for me to get this viewpoint inasmuch as my email box if filled with anti-Obama mail from well-meaning in-laws every day, and I need to hear/read these alternate views just to keep sane. So thanks for the post, JJ.

  19. Rousseau, if you destroy the economy the political backlash will lead to worse environmental crisis. Plus the alternatives to oil aren’t necessarily better environmentally. (Look at how Europe is reacting: building coal plants like there is no tomorrow)

    If you make the transition gradual and offer real alternatives then you’ll have something. The all or nothing attitude almost always leads to…nothing.

    Say Obama took the attitude you espouse. Do you really think he’d win? From your perspective would staying on principle but loosing the war really be good? Compromise is usually wise.

  20. JJ Rousseau

    Clark,

    The economy is faltering. It is Exxon and the oil industry who is destroying the economy. Are you dissing T R?

    It is Obama’s job to compromise. I am the philosopher, I call it like it is. What type of compromise will we have if everyone is defending the corporate good like you are?

  21. JJ Rousseau

    Holdinator,

    I live in Rexburg and feel your pain. I will try to keep it coming. Thanks.

  22. What is T R?

    The economy is weak but hardly faltering. Indeed given events it’s actually doing quite a bit better than anyone expected.

    To claim it is Exxon that is destroying the economy instead of real estate speculators and excess demand is rather…problematic of a statement.

  23. I’d add that discussing ideas and actions independent of the real world consequences seems rather…pointless. Sort of like espousing utopias that would never work with actual human beings.

  24. JJ Rousseau

    Clark (#23)

    Well, no crap. So we should abandon all ideals? I am very concerned about human suffering. In America that makes me a radical. You remind me of my students who think that Brigham Young was stupid for not being more economically realistic.

    (# 22) Oh yeah, I forgot. The American economy is always doing dandy. Of course, if we take into account the drastic inequalities, the American economy has been unjust for a long time. Oh sorry, using moral language again. I will be more realistic later, maybe after I sell my soul.

  25. We should aim for achievable ideals.

  26. JJ Rousseau

    You aim for achievable ideals.

    I will aim for just ideals.

    We can both be happy.

    In his work on international political justice, John Rawls (my philospher of choice) identifies his argument as realistically utopian. In political philosophy, the goal is the seek after realistic utopias. That is what I do. Unfortunately, in the United States, a place void of almost any sense of social justice, almost any argument from a social justice perspective is viewed as unrealistic or overly utopian. This, I think, is more of a commentary on the United States than it is an argument about the merits of a just society.

    Sorry for being a bit testy earlier. It has been a rough few days.

  27. Bishop Nietzsche

    Stake President Rawls asked me to respond to your latest comment.

    Given that the U.S. appropriates close to $14,000 per year in various forms of aid for every man, woman, and child who lives below the poverty line, he wonders if you aren’t being a little uncharitable towards your fellow citizens by describing them as having no sense of social justice. He calculates that an amount $42,000 (3 X 14,000) for a family of three might be pretty close to what a professor of political philosophy might earn. There are no doubt all kinds of failures of planning and implementation in the way America cares for its poor, but surely you can acknowledge that a tremendous amount of good will is also present. Can’t you?

    Sorry to hear about the rough few days.

  28. JJ Rousseau

    President Rawls must be Lou Rawls because it is an understatement to say that America falls short of the basis requirements of Rawlsian justice.

    I am not sure where your numbers come from, and I am sure that most poor people are curious about it as well. In America we do throw some money at the poor in the form of programs, put we are uninterested in addressing the questions of inequality that keep them poor. Much of that assistance would be in the form of medicaid or food assistance (food stamps and WIC are actually more agricultural subsidies) and therefore does little to address income inequality. We no longer let the poor starve to death. A big pat of the back to America for doing the least amount required.

  29. Rousseau, isn’t there a contradiction between worry about inequity and then wanting to increase transportation costs which probably is the #1 source of huge inequity. (i.e. costs for food, disposable income going to travel, limits on vacation and leisure, etc.) It just strikes me as odd.

  30. JJ Rousseau

    Clark,

    I am pretty sure I called for regulating the oil and energy industry above. That is at least what I meant by going Teddy Roosevelt on them. I did not say that I wanted to increase the cost of energy, I just think the cost should be controlled in the right way, not just by any means.

    That is the burden of being a Kantian: the ends does not justify the means. Argue what you want, I am bound by principle. :)

  31. This is why worrying about practicalities is so important. Merely regulating the industry won’t accomplish much. Look at Canada with huge energy regulation including price controls. Go up to Canada and check the price of gas.

  32. JJ Rousseau

    Clark,

    Apparently gas prices are all that matter and only you understand the problem (or only you believe everything that you hear on Fox News on the issue).

    Why is it that Canada and Europe with higher gas prices and still take better care of their poor and have a less drastic inequality of wealth? Answer? Because they are able to come up with social solutions to social problems. Here we are slaves to an outdated theory/ideology of economics.

    Your ability to defend our status quo is impressive. Any change to American ideology is impractical. Whatever. The evidence elsewhere is to the contrary.

    All you can say is that I am not being practical because I disagree with you. You refuse to address anything on a theoretical or philosophical level. What type of philosopher are you? Is “Mormon Metaphysics” just a nifty title?

  33. LOL. I’m most certainly not defending the status quo. I want more funding for alternative energy like nuclear power and the allowal of drilling offshore and in the oil shale. That’s anything but status quo.

    (BTW – I am Canadian, so I’m pretty familiar with the system up there and did social work with the poor there)

    The problem is that there is always a tradeoff between freedom and equality. Deciding where to make the tradeoff is a democratic issue based upon the values of the community. While one can talk ideals to talk ideals independent of the community in question is always a form of totalitarianism in my opinion.

  34. JJ Rousseau

    Clark,

    You and I are obviously talking past each other. Good bye.

  35. JJ Rousseau

    BTW, saying that there is always a tradeoff between freedom and equality shows that you have no idea about the theoretical concepts I was addressing above. I was assuming too much.

  36. Umm. That’s why I emphasized practicality. In theory any regulation is non-restrictive if everyone only desires to act in accordance to it. As soon as someone doesn’t so desire yet the state requires it then you have an infringement on freedom. It may be a justifiable infringement on freedom. But to talk as if we can have regulation without a question of freedom highlights the very problem at hand.

    How on earth could one regulation Exxon without infringing on the freedom of the managers and investors of Exxon.

  37. Dan Knudsen

    A taxpayer voting for Senator Obama seems like a chicken voting for Col. Sanders. Senator Obama also seems like the Pied Piper of Hamelin: Indeed, he may get rid of our rats, but at what cost? Isn’t there a better way of doing it, than just soaking the rich–who turn out to be all of those working for a living and investing for their future?

    Compare the immoral profits of the greedy oil companies, with the amount of taxes collected from them by the government (federal and state), which are about three times as much–who’s greedy? Compare big oil’s effectiveness in using their profits with how efficiently the government spends the taxes they receive from big oil.

    I’m not excited about government running anything. Has anyone noticed how ineffective government is in running a war, which is one of the best things it does with tax money? Why does anyone think government is better at doing anything else, except maybe in enriching the individuals running it? Has anyone in Congress ever retired poorer than when they started there?

    Why not have three people do a job one dedicated worker could do? With tax money anything can be done, regardless of the waste involved.

  38. JJ Rousseau

    Clark,

    “How on earth could one regulation Exxon “without” infringing on the freedom of the managers and investors of Exxon.”

    I surprised that somebody who claims to be a admirer and follower of the pragmatists could be so committed to the tenants of liberty of contract — the political extension of social darwinism.

  39. Clark

    I think you are assuming things about my view that aren’t accurate.

  40. JJ Rousseau

    This is impossible.

  41. That you guys think one tiny sliver of a sector has destroyed the American economy (comment #20) compared to this country’s GDP put me on the floor LMFAO. WOW!!! Thanks for the laugh.

    Hey, you know what I did to combat gas prices? This might sound a little quirky, but so far it is working. Here’s what I did: I know that I buy approx. 6 gallons of gas per week, typically from a gasoline retailer that does not drill in the Middle East (which you can find out online), but sometimes I do. I took that cost in gas (from 2007 prices – ca. $2.99/gallon) and I matched it with my e-trade account in both commodity-backed securities and a petroleum mutual fund 50%, dollar-for-dollar. So I invest about $72/month (on average) in petroleum and closely-related commodities. If you work it out mathematically, based on what I’ve earned, I’ve been saving about 15-25% on gas this way, and I expect that to climb as this section of my portfolio compounds. Here’s the thing: during a recession (and technically, we’re in a commodity depression), somebody always wins, the trick is to find out who it is and jump on board. And it doesn’t take much to find an internet connection, open an e-trade account, and put what few dollars in to this sort of thing as is needed to help ease the pain. Call me crazy.

    And as much as I hate neo-conservatives, I’m almost vying for McCain for the simple fact that an Obama presidency will mean that this country’s government will start rubber-stamping the other direction, much as it has for the past 7 years. But that’s just it – I said almost. I’m still not voting for either one. Either way, McCain is screwed. Not a good year to be running as a Republican…

  42. Chris H.

    “you guys” happens to be just me. I pretty sure that everyone else on the post thinks that liberals are destroying the economy. They are good disciples of Bill O’Reilly.

    “Call me crazy.” I have been calling you crazy for a long time. I am not sure if you recognize me.

    The point of the post was to annoy Romney-ites. Now, that isn’t even fun for me.

  43. Ah Chris, you and I have a long history of being some of the only liberals around who love to annoy “these people” (say that in your best Satan impersonation from the Mormon temple movie). We diverge on economics, though, me coming from the Mises Institute (Mises, Rothbard, etc.), and you from… not sure. If anyone thinks liberals are destroying the economy, they’re retarded. Like I said above, the last 7 years of neo-con rubber-stamping have a lot to do with it. To assume it is just the petroleum sector is naive, even you can do the math on that one. True, it is slipping into corruption, but it’s not solely responsible for the current situation. Other factors include, but are not limited to: Greenspan’s monkey-business (and now Bernanke’s), Paulson’s monkey-business, trickle-down economics (which has had 30 years to prove itself and hasn’t shown any headway – even Bush 41 criticized it), empire-building, central banking & fiat currency, tariffs on the wrong products (ever notice why everything is sweetened with corn syrup and not cane sugar?), subsidies to rich farmers, etc. etc. etc. If anyone is interested in the details, just subscribe to the WSJ or find a good economic website like garynorth.com or something for more.

    Rage on, brother. Annoy the Romney-ites!

  44. Just to clarify since I seem to be being painted by an incorrect Brush. I’m actually halfway thinking of voting for Obama simply because I really don’t like McCain, because I think the Republican party is in dire need of reform and perhaps a second straight loss would get their heads out of their you know what, and because I think the Democrats really need to come on board and have to work on solving both the energy mess and the war on terrorism rather than being able to snipe on the sidelines without suffering much consequences. Plus I think it important for Black Americans to feel a part of America – something I think Obama can do. I also don’t think Obama is as liberal as the hype makes out (just as clearly McCain is a moderate). But we need to come together as a nation as I think Obama is better suited for that than McCain is.

    I seriously worry about Obama of course on abortion, gun rights, high taxes, too much government regulation and so forth. But I think the realities of the political system will ensure he doesn’t get too far out of hand. And if he is chances are the Republicans will have a comeback in the House and Senate. (They do often seem to make a better opposition than leadership – although much of that is Bush’s fault)

    As for liberty of contract. I just don’t buy into it. I’m anything but a Libertarian. Which is why I found Rousseau’s characterizations of me problematic. I think regulation is necessary. I just don’t pretend it doesn’t involve the abbrogation of freedoms. It’s just that some limits on freedom obviously are necessary in any society. (The fact we put criminals in prison is a limit on freedom as are necessary FDA regulations – but let’s not pretend we’re not doing what we’re doing)

    I think regulations should be judged by how effective they are in pragmatic and not ideological terms. Sadly there are far too many idealogues on both the right and left who don’t worry enough about practical issues and empirical judgments.

  45. One of the beauties (among many) of the Clinton years was the fact that he didn’t have his way with Congress – he was forced to the middle to get things done, and again, an Obama presidency probably equates to the Dems getting their way on everything, much like Bush has up until November ’07. I fear both extremes, for in my eyes, they really only differ on social/cultural interpretations/issues, not necessarily political ones. Both like a big, intrusive, savior-esque government and other things of that nature.

    Clark, not to worry about Obama on abortion, he’s pro-choice and wants to leave it up to the states to independently decide for themselves. BTW, being pro-choice doesn’t necessarily mean being pro-death, just so we’re clear. It means pro-use-your-own-judgment-on-the-matter. So if Obama gets his way and you live in Utah, you’ll probably enjoy state-mandated morality. If you’re in California, you’ll probably enjoy the freedom to decide for yourself. As far as guns, he pretty much said last month that he’s fine with current interpretations of the 2nd amendment, which I took as a cop-out on the armed militia angle. On higher taxes, Obama has the balls to admit that trickle-down economics had its chance and failed, and that we need to start closing loopholes for the wealthy and start spreading the cost of this behemoth/leviathan we call the US government evenly across all classes. This country overspends horribly ($10 trillion in debt = utterly bankrupt), but part of that problem is that it’s also under-taxed – you can’t have both spending and tax avoidance, which we have had since WWII (economically, we’re Keynesian, which is a huge problem). We either start slashing government and shutting down unnecessary appendages to it (ala DHS, TSA, etc.), or we maintain its bloated structure and tax ourselves more heavily to pay for it, or both. If not, it will implode on us. I think a simple revision of the tax structure would do the trick (for example, it makes NO economic sense to get a tax deduction for having a child and putting it into “the system,” so to speak – as well as other things like double-taxation on capital gains, etc.).

    If McCain picks Romney that would seal the deal for Obama. Actually, no matter who he picks, I think McCain is screwed. Even neo-con annointed overlord Rush Limbaugh was reluctant to jump on the McCain Train. And that says something.

  46. David, for people who oppose abortion on ethical grounds pro-choice is a big problem. It’s debatable, given the gridlock on the issue, whether anything significant would change. However the one major thing that might keep me from voting Obama would be Supreme Court appointments. (Of course living in Utah my vote is largely irrelevant – unless McCain appoints some anti-Mormon Evangelical as running mate Utah will go McCain)

    Regarding economics sadly neither McCain nor Obama seem willing to honestly grapple with the issues. At least you admit that there will be huge tax increases. I’m all for closing loopholes but of course that won’t be remotely close to enough to do what Obama wants. Not that McCain is much better here. If anything he’s worse. And Bush has been a nightmare for fiscal conservatives like myself.

    Both are far too vague and evasive about what economic “hurt” they’ll impose. Which isn’t surprising I guess. Why talk about things that would get people to vote against you?

  47. Chris H.

    “How on earth could one regulation Exxon without infringing on the freedom of the managers and investors of Exxon.”

    Clark this is what you said in #36. That is the core of liberty of contract, a very practical though evil concept. I did not mean to say that you are a libertarian. I would never say that about anyone without sufficient evidence of insanity (wink at David J).

    The problem with our discussion has been that you are looking for practical solutions, but unwilling to first discuss principle. This is a multi-level discussion. We are on different levels and likely unable to have much of a meaningful conversation.

    Thanks for clarifying your position.

    BTW, we have been supporting anti-Mormon evangelical people and causes since the ERA. Conservatives were just unaware of it.

    When it comes down to it, the judges questions is a big issue. It is also a main reason that I support Obama. The same issues that will lead you to McCain in the end, are what lead me to Obama. In many ways that is why the right will continue to support the GOP no matter how dissatisfied they are with them.

    Ain’t diversity grand.

  48. Chris, I think you’re still missing my point. As I said I don’t oppose regulation. However any regulation imposes on freedom. Even minor regulations such as needing a grease trap on water in businesses is a limit on my freedom. Now as I said in the original comment it may well be that the limits on freedom are worth it. But that must be justified. But I’m not opposing regulation and thus attributing to me the position of liberty of contract is simply incorrect.

    I am very skeptical of regulation and I think many too quickly leap to regulation for ideological reasons without worrying about the practical implications. But I’m certainly not opposed to it if the regulation can be justified in terms of effects and counterbalanced by society’s desire for reasonable freedoms.

  49. To add, my biggest complaint is that people put in regulations that do little regarding the problems at hand but either simply are justified by some ideological like or dislike independent of any problem or results. Both parties do this of course. I am rather disgruntled with many regulations Homeland Security has put forth which seem rather useless and are of dubious use. Likewise on the opposite political spectrum it seems like liberals like to ban guns independent of their actually being used in crimes. (Say the so-called assault rifle ban that was part of Clinton’s crime bill) Politicians often do these less for ideological reasons than simply because they become nice symbols for their constituents that they are actually doing something about a problem independent of having to take difficult stands that would do something but which may irritate people who disagree with them. (Witness the last 20 years of the so called war on drugs for numerous examples of this)

    So don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of blame to go around here. And Bush has (IMO) been a perfect example of a politician who for expediency imposes regulations and limits on freedom that arguably don’t accomplish much. On the other hand I think some limits aren’t exactly a huge problem. (I don’t mind traveling wiretaps if one of the persons is an overseas terrorist, for instance, although I do wish Congress had made it so any evidence gathered can’t be used in non-security cases)

    Hope that clear that up.

    My concern about regulations on Exxon is that most of the regulations I’ve seen bandied about seem of dubious real utility and have negative consequences. I’m more than willing to be shown otherwise but having read many liberal blog posts on it I’ve certainly not seen much of worth. It seems to me it’s far more fruitful to expand nuclear, wind, wave, and solar power plant construction along with getting electric cars that can be plugged into the grid off the ground.

  50. Clark, I see what you’re saying, and there is some sense to it. I think you would agree with me when I say that regulation, once it is imposed, is almost never rescinded. It’s like taxation – once Big Brother taxes you on such and such, you can bet the farm that they’ll never revoke it or pull it back. Same thing with civil liberties. Even this terrible, lame-duck Democratic Congress we have now didn’t have the balls to stand up to Bush’s request to extend his illegal FISA violations. Now it’s in motion, and both sides applauded it, which means he’ll never be brought to justice for it. So I hear you – whenever I get the chance to vote, I’m the jerk that goes in there and votes “no” on practically everything because I have seen what over-regulation does, and like I said, it never goes away after that. Example: as of July 1, California mandated that all drivers who wish to talk on the phone must do so hands-free (bluetooth). Typical California. They took a couple of incidents, blew them out of proportion, and now force everyone to obey through some stupid rule. You think the number of traffic accidents will be reduced? Maybe, but the difference will probably be marginal. So I hear you on regulation. I hate it too. My problem is that the only real champions of liberty and freedom who were running for president were never annointed by the media, labeled as cooks, etc. (I’m talking Kucinich & Paul). It sucks. I hate the two-party system because the two parties are nearly identical.

    And I don’t understand pro-lifers at all. Again, imputing one’s narrow morality on someone else who doesn’t share that person’s moniacal moralistic worldview isn’t freedom, it isn’t liberty, and it isn’t (gasp!) agency. If a woman wants one, she can have one. If another woman strongly opposes one, she doesn’t have to have one. Duh. Curiously, the Mormon church is officially pro-choice, but almost none of its members are. How ironic is that. LOLOLOL

  51. I’ll avoid the inevitable abortion debate. Simply because I suspect I’m more liberal than some (I don’t think there’s something massively immoral about 1st term) but also because I think it pretty rare that people change their views on this. Which is why I think it largely irrelevant in the debate. The status quo isn’t likely to change.

    I should also add that I don’t care for Kucinich and Paul in the least primarily because they fit my very negative category of idealogues.

  52. David J!!

    Good to see you around, dude…

    Mogs

  53. To add, while I’m more liberal than some (say some of the discussions at T&S) I’d lay really, really good odds I’m massively more conservative than all the others here. I’m probably Romney-like. (grin)

  54. I’d lay really, really good odds I’m massively more conservative than all the others here.

    I think you’d lose that bet!

    Mogs

  55. Clark, I’m not so sure. At least you’re not totally delusional and can’t recognize shortcomings in your own stances. It makes a debate like this refreshing and (for lack of a better word) fun.

    How in the telestrial kingdom did I dragged into this in the first place?

  56. I will say that abortion will be significantly relevant only if

    (1) the balance in the supreme court significantly shifts (rather than being at near parity)

    (2) new technology to allow the baby to survive outside of the womb prior to the 3rd trimester is developed

    or

    (3) the political balance in terms of population in the US significantly shifts.

    I don’t see any of these three happening any time soon. An extended run of either a Democratic or Republican power would affect (1) of course, as it did in the past. However even when there is an extended Presidency of one part the Senate often doesn’t match tempering judicial appointments. (Just look at how liberal some Bush I or Nixon appointments were and even the Clinton appointments weren’t as liberal as they could have been)

  57. BTW – it’s interesting your example since talking on the phone while driving is a regulation I’m more than willing to implement. Although as with requiring seat belts enforcement will of practical necessity be limited. Given that talking on a cell phone is demonstrably as bad as driving drunk it seems to me a very reasonable regulation and limit on freedom to impose. I’d actually go farther than California since the evidence is that hands free cell phone conversations are only limitedly better than normal ones.

  58. Given that talking on a cell phone is demostrably as bad as driving drunk

    Uh, I’ve done both (at the same time even) and the two are worlds apart. It’s much more dangerous on the phone. LOLOLOL

  59. Chris H.

    Clark, do not worry there are plenty of political convervatives here FPR (not me obviously) and even David J is a Ron Pauler, not a particularly liberal wing of libertarianism. Mogget avoid my points for that reason (that and she knows that she is smarter than me).

    They do happen to be religious liberals. I actually have no idea what that means. Though I think it means that they are going to hell. :)

  60. Brad Kramer

    “unless McCain appoints some anti-Mormon Evangelical as running mate Utah will go McCain”

    Dude, McCain could choose Ed Freaking Decker as a running mate and win in Utah by 15 points.

  61. Nice Brad. Sad, but true.

    Clark, Chris is right. FPR has its neo-cons too. They tend to stay out of the fight though because they know that Chris and I will clothesline them WWF style if they rear their ugly heads (politically). And I’m not really all that religious anymore. At the very most, I’m agnostic, but even that doesn’t really label me accurately.

  62. I guarantee if McCain chose Huckabee and some Democrat picked up one or two billboards along I-15 with selected quotes on Mormons that the voting pattern would change quickly. Remember that Utah county had a Democratic congressman for several terms not that long ago. (And, depending on how the news goes, may again)

  63. I don’t know man. For Mormons, the supposed “family values” that the Republican party purportedly asserts trumps most everything else. You and I are different from the mainstream in many respects – we’ve studied Mormonism beyond church-released materials, and politically our minds are very active. But for the standard TBM, there’s no place like the good ol’ boys club of neo-cons.

  64. Chris H.

    Bill Orton was a long time ago Clark. As a former active member of the party in Utah, I think that Matheson is as far as things will go. Plus, even Orton was a conservative/moderate BYU grad. Presidential politics are very different. There has been nothing but Republican landsides in the presidential race in Utah since 1964.

  65. Orton won though because a lot of people were rather irritated by his opponent. I think Mormons will vote for that sort of thing more than some suspect. I think that things might get interesting this fall in the district. Unfortunately since I rather liked Chris Cannon. We’ll see how the Democratic guy goes. I went to his web site but haven’t heard much about him.

  66. Chris H.

    Orton won because Snow, his GOP opponent went negative and it backfired.

    Chris Cannon lost because he was not conservative enough (I think that having the personality of a cactus did not help much either) which is scary since he is quite conservative.

    The dems are not horribly well organized in Utah outside of Salt Lake and seem to have failed to line up the types of candidates that could win.

    Much has changed since 1990. The major change being that Clinton sold out people like Orton and left the local parties in shambles.

  67. Chris, that’s simply not why Chris lost. He lost because he really didn’t campaign much. (He hates campaigning) He nearly lost last time because of that and didn’t learn from it. Further there was next to no turn out so the anti-Cannon vote had a disproportionate effect.

    My sense, perhaps incorrect, is that Chris was somewhat tired of being a Congressman as well. He actually seems pretty happy to be away from it all.

    I do worry about this fall’s election although perhaps you’re right and the Democrats are so disorganized and incompetence that they won’t be able to make use of this huge opportunity provided them. (I won’t say more than that since I know the “put up or shut up” rule – I’ll just say Democrats have a golden opportunity if they do some legwork and research.)

  68. To add, the one splitter in the part of how to deal with immigration can’t really be called a “conservative issue.” There are plenty of very conservative people who favor better work visas and plenty of liberal people who want to take more strong arm tactics to limiting illegal immigrants. (Look at many union people for instance) It is the case that many of those opposed to Chris were energized by the immigration issue.

  69. Chris H.

    Cannon never seemed to enjoy the job. I surprised that he sticked around as long as he did.

  70. Chris H.

    #68 I think that more reactionary element has been motivated by the immigration issue in the third district. So it is not so much a conservative issue as it is a right-wing issue in Utah (particularly since unions would not have been a factor in this case). I did not mention immigration. Did I?

    Given the lack of effort on Cannon’s part, I wonder who the party would have selected if he had chosen not to run for re-election.

  71. I think having a person in office who does it out of a sense of duty is better than what a lot of politicians do. (i.e. out of a desire for power or a sense of narcissism) I was pretty skeptical of what Chris would be like but I’ve been very impressed with him in my personal dealings with him and have become more and more favorably impressed with him as a Congressman.

    Whereas I’m pretty scared about this fall.

    Regarding immigration I was speaking of the issue in general across the country. There’s no doubt that in Utah those motivated by anti-immigration tend to be more conservative. However the fact someone is pro-work visas doesn’t mean they aren’t conservative, as I think Chris Canon himself demonstrates. For that matter I consider myself conservative but find the anti-immigration hysteria silly and counterproductive even though I do think the US needs to improve border security significantly. However the immigration system is a mess as a whole and trying to stop illegal immigration without reforming immigration as a whole is a lost cause.