Newt Gingrich is quickly becoming the GOP frontrunner as Herman Cain implodes and Mitt Romney continues to be . . . Mitt Romney.
I’ll have more on Newt later, but Ron Paul is going after Newt with a scathing video. Basically, Newt is just as much a flake as Mitt Romney as he’s flipped and flopped all over the place. But Newt is also a right wing icon so maybe he’ll get more of a pass. Frankly, when you look at the field, who else can conservatives turn to?
That said, the video titled “Serial Hypocrisy” is very tough and it shows areas where Newt is vulnerable. In terms of effectiveness, however, I’m not sure why the Ron Paul team added clips in there from MSNBC. That isn’t going to sway conservative voters and there’s so much material to work with. Maybe Fox News has been ignoring some of the payoffs Newt has been getting from Freddie and Fannie along with the health care industry.
Ron Paul has announced a major news conference at the National Press Club on Wednesday to ask his supporters and other voters to reject the major party candidates and to choose instead among the third party candidates.
Ron Paul, the libertarian-leaning, Houston-area congressman who waged a feisty Republican primary campaign for president, is expected on Wednesday to urge supporters to reject the two major-party candidates and vote for any of the four minor-party contenders on the November ballot.
“The two parties and their candidates have no real disagreements on foreign policy, monetary policy, privacy issues, or the welfare state,” Paul is expected to say at a news conference in Washington, according to an advance copy of his remarks obtained by the Houston Chronicle.
“They both are willing to abuse the Rule of Law and ignore constitutional restraint on executive powers. Neither major party champions free markets and private property ownership.”
Although he serves in Congress as a Republican, Paul has had strong disagreements with his party’s presidential nominee, John McCain, over the wisdom of the war in Iraq and the use of American military force around the world. Although Democratic contender Barack Obama, like Paul, has opposed the war, he also espouses expanding government programs that Paul has criticized.
In his speech, Paul is planning to say that voters can send a message to the major parties by voting for the non-establishment candidates: Libertarian Party nominee Bob Barr, Green Party contender Cynthia McKinney, independent Ralph Nader or Constitution Party standard-bearer Chuck Baldwin.
Barr is attending the news conference and his candidacy could be the biggest beneficiary here, as the Libertarian Party is a logical choice for Paul’s supporters.
Few of us would want libertarians running things in this country, but Ron Paul has demonstrated that they offer very important principles to our political discourse. Even a liberal like Michael Kinsley can appreciate that:
The libertarian perspective is useful, and undervalued. Why does the government pay farmers not to grow food? Why are medications for fatal diseases sometimes held off the market in case they aren’t safe? (Compared to death?) Legislators and regulators should ask themselves far more often than they do whether some government activity or other expands freedom or contracts it.
Republicans used to be for smaller government, but over the past 25 years, with the emergence of the religious right, they have become more and more willing to use federal power to advance their agenda and therefore restrict our freedoms. We now have a Republican administration telling the states that they can’t enact medical marijuana laws and limiting federal research on stem cells. We had a Republican congress telling state and federal judges that their rulings on a woman’s right to die should not be enforced. They even passed a law making it more difficult to play poker online. When will they leave us alone?
The Terry Schiavo case was a wake-up call. Americans will draw lines on the limits of government power over their lives. Republicans seem to have forgotten these principles.