Libertarian Blog: Bin Laden Is Dead, But His Ghost Still Haunts America

Libertarianism and the Ron Paul Revolution
(excerpt from) Bin Laden is Dead but his Ghost still Haunts America
Osama bin Laden is dead, but his strategy to bankrupt America lives on. Don’t expect Obama to exit Afghanistan anytime soon
by Evan Mazur / Monday, May 2, 2011

Osama bin Laden, founder and financier of the terrorist group responsible for the 9/11 attacks, has finally been killed and Americans are rejoicing. Perhaps now the Obama administration will declare victory and bring the troops home? Don’t count on it. Long ago, America’s mission of hunting down Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda terrorists transformed into a mission of nation building…

Bin Laden is now dead and there are less than 100 Al Qaeda members in Afghanistan, so Obama’s stated goal has been met. But do not expect American troops to be pulling out of Afghanistan anytime soon.

…Yes, America finally killed bin Laden and that’s something everyone can be grateful for, but his death was not due to the presence of tens of thousands of troops in Afghanistan, but from intelligence gathering and a surgical strike in Pakistan that reportedly involved no civilian casualties. Such a focused strike was exactly the plan former Congressman and 2008 Libertarian presidential nominee Bob Barr had in mind. Congressman Ron Paul, who originally voted in favor of the use of force in Afghanistan on the condition that troops would be used to focus on the terrorists, came to regret that decision because the nature of the mission changed from that of terrorist hunting to nation building. Like Barr, he wanted to focus not on conducting a war in Afghanistan but on Osama bin Laden and his terrorist cohorts…

The full article is worth reading, and has historical quotations from many key, Libertarian thinkers.

62 thoughts on “Libertarian Blog: Bin Laden Is Dead, But His Ghost Still Haunts America

  1. Robert Capozzi

    I dunno, I’m not conspiracy-minded, yet this burial at sea thing sounds suspicious. Do others buy the rationale?

  2. Michael H. Wilson

    Yea I buy it, but I think there will be those who believe he was never shot and is still out there somewhere.

    After all who killed JFK? And did Booth live?

  3. Robert Capozzi

    OK. They had him, then his dead body, and I’ve yet to see any record of this.

    This seems incredible.

  4. Robert Capozzi

    Never mind. I see they government’s now releasing DNA evidence.

  5. Jill Pyeatt

    Many people believe Osama bin Laden was killed in December 2001. We all need to greet this new information with healthy skepticism.

    How thoughtful of us to follow Islam tradition and bury him at sea.

  6. NewFederalist

    The Islamic tradition is burial within 24 hours. The burial at sea is to prevent a place for followers to congregate to make him even more or a martyr.

  7. Robert Capozzi

    JP, skepticism is always wise. OTOH, conspiracy theories like Birtherism often backfires and very often distracts from the substance of the matter at hand.

    With the release of BHO’s long form and now this, I suspect his support will experience a surge.

  8. Jill Pyeatt

    Robert, it actually makes me wonder if neocons will finally claim Obama as their own.

  9. Robert Capozzi

    JP, I’d say they already have. They love the kinetic military action in Libya.

  10. Thomas L. Knapp

    I’ll believe it when I see the long-form death certificate, and not a minute before …

    But seriously, folks. Even if we wisely assume politicians to be both foolish and dishonest, there’s just no up side to faking something like this.

    A credible video of Osama bin Laden doing a little jig while holding a copy of the “Osama bin Laden killed” newspaper headline would immediately cost Obama twice the political capital he’d won with it. It would probably cost him the 2012 election which he just put to bed and tucked in with a kiss with it.

    Mr. Bin Laden, he dead.

  11. JT

    Knapp: “I’ll believe it when I see the long-form death certificate, and not a minute before …”

    LOL, that’s funny.

  12. Red Phillips

    Tom, I don’t think the main skepticism is that bin Laden is still alive, and his death is being faked. I think the main skepticism is that he has been dead for years.

    And the government could reasonably expect that they could pull off something like this because any questioning of it will automatically be chalked up as a conspiracy theory with the predictable references to tin foil hats.

    This is why the default denunciation of conspiracy theories (except those that are implausible on their face) of a lot of people here is dangerous. You are serving as the foot soldiers of the powers that be shouting down dissenters. I would think libertarians should be the first to understand this.

    People are right to be suspicious of the burial at sea story. If true, it means the Administration is completely clueless. If they didn’t realize that little detail will guarantee that this will join the ranks of JFK, Roswell, etc. in the annals of conspiracy theories that will never go away then they are clueless fools.

  13. Red Phillips

    I understand that is the official story NF, but it was still stupid. When I first heard he was buried at sea my immediate thought was “how convenient,” and I’m sure that was the thought of many. Why pour fuel on that fire? Are they that that stupid.

  14. Gene Berkman

    It is certainly possible that Bin Laden has died in the past from natural causes. BUT, if either the Bush administration or the Obama administration had known of Bin Laden’s death, and were convinced it was true, they would have loudly taken credit for it already.

    This really seems like the real deal, and it will make it hard for the Republicans to defeat President Obama, who did what President Bush failed to do.

  15. Some people like Knapp just don't get it

    “But seriously, folks. Even if we wisely assume politicians to be both foolish and dishonest, there’s just no up side to faking something like this.”

    Wanna bet?

    1. It creates the opening to reroute US troops in Afghanistan to next door in Iran.
    2. It creates one huge distraction politically for Obama from the fake recovery, the failure of the food supplies, the Libyan mess, Japanese radiation, and a much of other issues dragging his poll numbers into the sewer.
    3. It gives both Panetta and Patraeus political cover for their appointment switches, gives Gates a parting gift, and creates a justification for all the deaths and spending.

    Besides, all we have the government’s word on it, and if the body was buried at sea, then the evidence is nicely destroyed as well. Could’ve been a body double for all we know.

    Come to think of it, we have had no independent corroboration of OBL’s existence since late 2001, and what we have had was all produced by the government, who has the most to gain by keeping him and his specter alive, except for closer scrutiny at trial after being captured alive, which of course did not happen.

    Sorry, but absent that independent proof, this simply reeks of a false flag op.

    As for celebrating his alleged death, there is no reason to celebrate the execution of a criminal mass murderer without a trial and conviction under due process of law in our so-called justice system.

    By executing him by military incursion in violation of another nation’s sovereignty, without due process of law, and by not adhering to our own national principles, we are now terrorists ourselves. Celebrate that? Not at all.

  16. Some people like Berkman just don't get it

    “if either the Bush administration or the Obama administration had known of Bin Laden’s death, and were convinced it was true, they would have loudly taken credit for it already.”

    Nope. They had much more to gain by keeping him alive publicly than by him dead. The result was more power-grabbing and more fear-mongering, and only now was this whole thing unfolded for a bigger political agenda that most people don’t see …yet.

  17. John Jay Myers

    Regardless of whether he was dead already or if he died last night, we will start the war drums towards Pakistan soon.

    The fact that bin Laden was found there will be used for justification, among other things.

    Those pipelines aren’t going to build themselves.

    Sadly, nothing more clearly points out why we should have a “Ron Paul” style foreign policy than this incident, a quick raid in a helicopter took care of the person we wanted to kill.

    No occupation, no trillion dollar spending, few if any civilians killed, no military killed, no nation building.

  18. Red Phillips

    “if either the Bush administration or the Obama administration had known of Bin Laden’s death, and were convinced it was true, they would have loudly taken credit for it already.”

    I don’t necessarily think they knew he was dead. I think they suspected he was dead. In fact, from the stuff I have read, this suspicion was becoming more and more likely as time went on with no appearances. But arguably it was in the best interests of war supporters for people to think he was still alive to continue to justify the WoT.

  19. NewFederalist

    Red and Jill… while I tend to believe that UBL died as our corrupt government said he did I don’t really care if they lied. The fact of the matter is nothing much matters anymore given the huge unrepayable debt we have now incurred. Crunch the numbers… it is over. Within a decade nothing will matter anymore. It is already far too late. Have some fun while you still can.

  20. Jill Pyeatt

    NewFederalist: “Within a decade nothing will matter anymore. It is already far too late.”

    I say this about our continuous immoral and interventionist wars. If countries start using their nuclear weapons, all other problems will become moot.

  21. NewFederalist

    Either way there isn’t much to celebrate. Have fun while you still can.

  22. Gene Berkman

    AP @ 22 – I read the entire wikipedia article on Anna Mae Pictou, and failed to find evidence of the government lying. It looks much worse for AIM in this matter.

  23. Robert Capozzi

    21 jjm: Sadly, nothing more clearly points out why we should have a “Ron Paul” style foreign policy than this incident, a quick raid in a helicopter took care of the person we wanted to kill.

    me: While I’m for a heavy lean toward a humble f.p. and non-intervention, this is nearly 10 years later. Not sure this makes the case very well.

  24. Robert Capozzi

    Pakistan seems the more likely up-next-target.

    “Harboring OBL” is now fixed in our consciousness.

  25. Thomas L. Knapp

    @19,

    When I say there’s no up side to faking it, I mean there’s no upside to faking it if it is reasonably possible to get caught.

    Yes, there are certainly political up sides to being able to advertise bin Laden as dead. But not if he credibly turns up alive.

    I agree that things are about to change. My guess is that the next boogeyman will be Pakistan, not Iran, but that’s just a guess.

  26. Robert Capozzi

    30 tk, yes, which is a great reason to not be a Truther, too. It seems preposterous when weighed against the possibility of being caught.

  27. Robert Capozzi

    Then, again, maybe not Pakistan:

    “Ironically, Obama had to admit that Pakistani intelligence helped the US develop the lead that allowed the US to close in on Bin Laden. So the operation was not unilateral, and young candidate Obama was too over-confident. The US story that the Pakistanis were not given prior notice of the operation is contradicted by the Pakistani news channel Geo, which says that Pakistani troops and plainsclothesmen helped cordon off the compound in Abbotabad. CNN is pointing out that US helicopters could not have flown so far into Pakistan from Afghanistan without tripping Pakistani radar. My guess is that the US agreed to shield the government of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and President Asaf Ali Zardari from al-Qaeda reprisals by putting out the story that the operation against Bin Laden was solely a US one. And it may be that suspect elements of the Pakistani elite, such as the Inter-Services Intelligence, were kept out the the loop because it was feared they might have ties to Bin Laden and might tip him off.”

    All here: http://www.juancole.com/2011/05/obama-and-the-end-of-al-qaeda.html

  28. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob@32,

    I suspect any claim that Pakistani intelligence had a piece of this is just diplomatic “smoothing over” for the moment, before tensions get really ratcheted up.

    If the ISI knew that the US was about to swoop on bin Laden, there’s a very good chance he wouldn’t be there when they arrived. I’d almost bet money that the Pakistanis were kept completely out of the loop and were as surprised as anyone when those helicopters came in and the shit hit the fan.

  29. To Match-The Real Bin Laden died in 2003 !

    The Military Industrial Complex and the CIA have kept OBL “alive” for eight LONG bloody expensive years for the American taxpayer. Don’t be gullible, Bin Laden and his bad kidneys died years ago. This is political, B.O. needs his points to rise some. How convenient it happens to catch the Monday morning news lead, and not on the dead weekend. Wake up and wise up, the federal gov’t IS NOT YOUR FRIEND. You and yours are but moneybags and dumb soldiers for them and their plans.

    “In Haig’s presence, (Henry) Kissinger referred pointedly to military men as ‘dumb, stupid animals to be used’ as pawns for foreign policy.” – Bob Woodward & Carl Bernstein in their book The Final Days

    “Why should we hear about body bags, and deaths…I mean, it’s not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?” – Barbara Bush

  30. RedPhillips

    For everyone who starts tossing around the tin foil hat charge at the first mention of anything conspiratorial, read this.

    http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2011/05/02/vanity-fair-from-government-subscribers-to-public-prescribers/

    Are these really the people you want to empower by validating their rhetoric? Think about it. The tendency to resort to the tin foil hat charge at any skepticism of the official story actually increases the likelihood someone would think they could get away with a conspiracy.

    If John Edwards had won the election and there were people carrying on about a secret love child, they would be written off as tin foil hat wearers and everyone knows it.

  31. Sludge Puppy

    Sludge Puppy, casual observer of human decadence, has been informed that Osama bin Laden was never real in the first place, but in fact was created by the magic folks behind much of what passes for entertainment on the Fox network. He was a hologram.

  32. Jill Pyeatt

    Red, I’m totally convinced this ObL thing is a farce. I’ll publicly confess here that I’m a Deather. We need to let the White House know their credibility has been shot because Dubya and Obama are making this country the laughing stock of the world. Somehow, we need to take this country back. I wish I knew how.

  33. langa

    I’m surprised that so many people think that this somehow ensures an Obama victory in 2012. The public’s attention span is way too short for that. I predict that about a month from now, people will have largely forgotten about this. They certainly won’t care much about it a year and a half from now. Does anybody remember which stories were dominating the headlines in late 2009?

  34. Thomas L. Knapp

    langa @ 41,

    Nothing “ensures” an Obama victory in 2012. Things can change quickly and in a big way over the short term any time.

    BUT:

    Obama was already cruising toward easy re-election in 2012.

    “Soft on terror” was the only hole card his most likely GOP opponent, Mitt Romney had left to play.

    He can’t really get at Obama on the bailouts, because he was for them before he was against them.

    He can’t lay a glove on Obama over healthcare, because ObamaCare is RomneyCare, Jr.

    The Republicans pissed away any advantage they might have had on budget, debt or tax matters in this recent “near-shutdown” debacle. They never made a serious proposal for cutting spending … and Romney missed his chance to get out in front of the issue in a convincing way by giving his own party a come-to-Jesus talk on it.

    Now “soft on terror” is in the discard pile, too. “Your last guy fucked around for 7 1/2 years and left me two irretrievably lost wars to clean up, all without ever getting bin Laden, and you supported him the whole time. I got bin Laden, I re-committed the US government to redeeming his two massive military cock-ups, and you want to call me soft on terror?”

    And right now, Romney is really the only card the Republicans have to play. Most of the others have either already tracked birther dogshit into their embryonic campaigns and thereby destroyed any chance they had, or just never had the necessary base of support inside the GOP to start a plausible campaign in the first place.

  35. langa

    Nothing “ensures” an Obama victory in 2012. Things can change quickly and in a big way over the short term any time.

    BUT:

    Obama was already cruising toward easy re-election in 2012.

    I disagree. I think Obama’s chances are pretty slim, almost regardless of who the GOP nominates. I think you give the average voter too much credit. Most people don’t really weigh the issues and analyze the records of the candidates.

    People who are interested in politics (like the ones who frequent this site) certainly do those things, but the average voter doesn’t. Instead, they just treat the election as a referendum on the incumbent. If “things are going good”, they vote for the incumbent. If “things are going bad”, they vote against the incumbent.

    I fully expect the economy to be in the toilet at the time of the election, so I expect most people to vote against Obama, unless the GOP selects someone so polarizing (like Palin, for example) that a large portion of the electorate simply can’t bring themselves to vote for the GOP candidate. The only other hope for Obama is that he can inflate another bubble at just the right time, but that would really require extraordinary luck, since the Fed’s printing press is too blunt an instrument to allow for such precise timing.

  36. Robert Capozzi

    hey, I agree with both TK and Langa! If the economy’s in the toilet in the summer/fall of 12, BHO’s beatable. If not, if it’s better or about the same, slaying OBL only helps to ensure 4 more years of BHO.

    The R field’s looking pretty dwarfish, so the slide would need to be past 10% UE for a dwarf to take BHO.

    Many wildcards out there. BHO is showing he can do bloodthirsty, which (sadly) still plays. He increases his chances with full-on war in places like Iran or Pak.

  37. Thomas L. Knapp

    langa @ 43,

    I didn’t think Obama was cruising to re-election because I give the voter “too much credit.”

    I think Obama was cruising to re-election because I don’t give the voter much credit at all.

    Yes, the voters generally vote their pocketbooks in knee-jerk fashion, either crediting or blaming the president for the economic situation whether he deserves it or not.

    But that only goes so far.

    Obama’s done a better job than most presidents of immunizing himself from blame for the economy — I’d compare him to Nixon in that regard. And, yes, FDR, who finished the job of tanking the economy in 1932-36 and still went on to romp in his first re-election.

    And while you might be able to beat something with something not as attractive if the situation is right, you can’t beat something with nothing. The GOP has yet to vomit up a potential nominee who:

    a) Has a genuine shot at all in the internal party nomination battle; AND

    b) Is even remotely credible in the general election.

    … Except for Romney … who is severely handicapped on both.

    In the internal GOP nomination battle, he has “I was for the bailouts before I was against them” and RomneyCare to get past, plus probably some remaining distrust of his Mormonism and general flip-floppism.

    He might get to the general election simply because most of his GOP opponents are either a) paralyzed from the neck up or b) vaguely libertarian and therefore unacceptable to the Republican base.

    But if he does get past the “paralyzed from the neck up and/or vaguely libertarian” crowd and into the general election, he’ll still be limping along on crutches, carrying a colostomy bag, and randomly projectile vomiting into the crowd.

    It’s gonna take something big to unseat Obama. Right now, he’s off third base and looking to steal home while the ball is lost somewhere in the opponents’ dugout with a bunch of third-stringers dogpiling and grabbing for it.

  38. langa

    TLK: I largely agree with your assessment of the GOP field, but I think there’s a pretty simple solution for it. They just need to steal a page from the Democratic playbook and pick a relatively anonymous, bland candidate (e.g. Daniels, Pawlenty, etc.) and then keep repeating “At least he’s not Obama, at least he’s not Obama, at least he’s not Obama…”

  39. Kevin Knedler

    1991- Persian Gulf Conflict # 1 ends.
    Bush # 41 rides popularity wave
    He looks unbeatable

    18 months between end of that conflict and the November 1992 elections

    1992 “No new taxes” right
    Economy starts to slip
    Ross Perot factor is big
    Bush # 41 loses election

    There are 18 months until the November 2012 elections. A lot can happen.

  40. NewFederalist

    #49… all true. A LOT can happen in 18 months. It would be nice to think there will be a decent choice in 2012 but I am not optimistic.

  41. Thomas L. Knapp

    langa @ 48,

    That might work. Maybe. But the GOP as a party tends to be internally disinclined toward bland candidates, at least this time around.

    Kevin @ 49,

    I’m not saying that Obama can’t lose — but the comparisons to 1992 are valid going both ways.

    Bush had to work hard to lose the 1992 election. Obama seems to be working hard to win the 2012 election.

    Bush broke his biggest promise (no new taxes). Obama delivered on his biggest promise (ObamaCare).

    Bush wasn’t exactly Sir Lawrence Olivier on the stump. Obama’s pretty good on the stump.

    Bush got himself painted as “out of touch” because he didn’t know about grocery store scanners. Obama gets criticized for being too tritely common, i.e. giving DVD sets to foreign leaders as gifts.

    Donald Trump is more of a buffoon and less of a billionaire than Perot was, and he’s also apparently locked into the two-party system.

    A big third party presence might make a difference, and that would be interesting … but I wouldn’t advise holding your breath waiting for one to come about.

    So far, the only remotely plausible candidates on the LP side look to be Wrights or Gary. I just Skyped Wrights to ask whether his fundraising was in seven digits yet or just six. He replied that that depended on whether or not you count it in pennies. LPers who want a presidential campaign aren’t going to get one by sitting on their wallets.

    So a lot CAN happen in 18 months, but based on what IS HAPPENING, if I had to bet money right now, I’d bet that the guy standing on the podium for inauguration on January 20th, 2013, will be the same guy as last time.

  42. Jill Pyeatt

    I would suggest everyone pick up a copy of Jon Krakauer’s latest book: “Where Men Win Glory: The Pat Tillman Story”. It describes the extent to which high officials in the military and our government went to to create and maintain a total myth. You might understand better, then, why so many of us are not accepting this whole May 1 nonsense.

  43. Robert Capozzi

    52 tk, I’m not sure the GOP is inclined or disinclined to nominating bland or electric. It strikes me they collectively want to beat Obama, and certain elements have litmus tests, e.g., pro-life.

    As I recall the 92 race, Perot’s presence is what mostly deflated Bush, coupled with a faltering economy. Bush certainly didn’t help himself with his style, which was tonally not right. Clinton largely ran as a New DLC Democrat, making him less easily painted as a flaming liberal. Speaking with a mild twang probably helped him.

    Obama has ticked a box by invading Libya and by killing OBL…makes him look “strong” to the masses. Since the Rs won’t challenge these moves in a serious way, the war(s) issue are unlikely to unseat BHO, barring some really major blunder. Civil liberties issues? Again the Rs are in the amen corner. Since the fatal flaws in ObamaCare are to be phased in, we won’t really see how bad the idea is until maybe 2016 or so.

    For Obama to lose, he’ll need a Perot-type figure to emerge undermining him on the center-left. Or he’ll need to have a Carter type performance in the economy, a downward slide. At the moment, things appear to be recovering slowly.

    A Nixon-type scandal could do it, too. Don’t hold your breathe that the media will put much energy in such an effort.

    Wrights and Gary are not brands of a Perot magnitude. National brands have to be built nationally over at least 5 years. We’ll pick our best standardbearer, but my assessment is that none of our prospects have a brand of national proportions.

    Root’s done the most work in this regard, but he’s not there. I would love it if Root could get elected to Congress as an L. That starts to look like a brand.

    So, unless something major happens, the LP will continue to be an underground, guerilla movement.

    BTW, I would prefer the GOP pick an electric, hard-right type like Santorum or Palin or Bachmann. Romney or Daniels or Pawlenty would like lose, but they won’t cause the GOP to crash. They’d get 45-49% and whimper off like McCain did. Nominating an extremist sets them up for the saner elements in the GOP to rethink their party, which is good for the LP and liberty, in theory. Of course, at the moment, the LP’s center is even more extreme than Santorum, Bachmann, or Palin, in admittedly delightfully eccentric ways.

  44. JT

    IMO, any speculation about who’s going to win the presidential election in Nov. 2012 is worth nothing right now. It’s too early. That’s like speculating on who’ll win the next Super Bowl based on the NFL draft. Anyone has a right do that though, obviously.

  45. Robert Capozzi

    57 jt, yes, speculation is generally not worth doing if one takes it seriously. I find this particular exercise interesting as a means to thinkb through political dynamics at any point in time. When issues are ripe, and when should they be downplayed.

  46. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob @ 55,

    “52 tk, I’m not sure the GOP is inclined or disinclined to nominating bland or electric. It strikes me they collectively want to beat Obama, and certain elements have litmus tests, e.g., pro-life.”

    Just to be clear on that — I’m not saying that the GOP’s base is opposed to a “bland” versus an “electric” candidate.

    I’m saying that the aggregate of the litmus tests you mention tend to make it difficult for a candidate to get the nomination without being “electric” on enough of them that it then becomes hard to walk that “electricity” back in a general election decided by voters who are likely to find that particular brand of “electricity” off-putting.

    In the GOP’s internal dynamic, a candidate can’t just tick off the “pro-life,” “strong on national greatness,” “yes, I am a Christian,” etc. boxes and then ride.

    He has to promote a plan for putting surveillance cameras in every uterus.

    He has to rip open his shirt to display the tattoo of an F18 bombing Iran on his chest.

    He has to show up at an evangelical chuch service and be shown crying while waving his hands in the air before testifying to the dramatic impact knowing Jebus has had on his life, and how he’ll keep a Bible instead of a technical manual in the nuclear “football” briefcase so that God can directly instruct him on when to nuke them Russians.

    That stuff is all still on the best-seller list at the GOP’s internal gift shop. Out in the general political market, it’s more and more languishing in the clearance bin and not moving very fast.

    “For Obama to lose, he’ll need a Perot-type figure to emerge undermining him on the center-left.”

    That’s one possibility, but it seems remote. “Progressives” seem to remain disinclined to abandon the Democratic bird in hand for one in the bush, even if the one in hand is a turkey.

    The best bet for beating Obama by outflanking him from the left is outflanking him from the anti-war left … from the GOP ballot.

    Much as I’m not a Ron Paul fan, I can just barely imagine that if the GOP nominated him, we might see a 1980-style realignment based on “Ron Paul Democrats.” But his chances of getting the GOP nomination are about as good as my chances of sprouting wings and flying to Memphis for barbecue.

    “Or he’ll need to have a Carter type performance in the economy, a downward slide. At the moment, things appear to be recovering slowly.”

    Actually the housing market seems to have slipped into “double dip” territory from what I’m reading today. I don’t think the recovery is very real or sustainable.

    But I also think it will take a helluva crash to really hurt Obama in that way.

    “A Nixon-type scandal could do it, too. Don’t hold your breathe that the media will put much energy in such an effort.”

    Watergate was sort of like a scandal vaccination. Virtually every president since has had at least one major scandal (Iran Contra, October Surprise, Whitewater, Downing Street Memo), but none of them seem to have affected re-election prospects much.

    “Wrights and Gary are not brands of a Perot magnitude.”

    I wasn’t suggesting they are. I was suggesting that they’re the only plausible LP nominees so far in the race.

    “So, unless something major happens, the LP will continue to be an underground, guerilla movement.”

    That seems likely.

    I agree with you that it would be fun to watch the GOP shoot itself in the nuts with a .45 instead of just continuing to whack its penis with a rubber mallet. Maybe they will!

  47. Robert Capozzi

    58 tk, I dunno, Bush was about as electric as the Rs have gotten in recent cycles, and he is a Bush, from bland CT Yankee stock. Huckabee had a shot, and cooler heads prevailed. I don’t think the stereotyped R is how that party actually is. Yes, it’s an element, and an influential one, esp in the primaries.

    The Know Nothings DO get the veto, though.

    Yes, no center-left Perot is on the horizon. Trump as an independent might have filled that bill.

    As for the economy’s prospects, it’s all about trajectories. If UE goes back to 10% next May and is deteriorating, re-election gets much less likely. 15-20…Remote. 8-10, however, and re-election’s likely.

    I cannot imagine RP Ds, much as I’d like to, at least not in great numbers. Reagan Ds voted for a winning prez, and they generally liked his performance. Ds like RP because he’s a maverick who hurts the Rs and they agree

  48. Robert Capozzi

    …with him somewhat on some things. Being against the welfare state isn’t something they REALLY support. To them, he’s a useful idiot.

  49. whatever

    @2, just up your fluoride dosage and it will make sense to you eventually.

  50. Melty

    In late April, the Pakistani government told the U. S. millitary that they would no longer allow them to send out drones from within Pakistan.

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