Despite being all but ignored or even outright maligned by much of the “establishment” media as recently as this past weekend’s CBS Republican debate, a new Bloomberg poll found GOP presidential hopeful Ron Paul close to the top in the key state of Iowa.
According to the survey, the liberty-minded Dr. Paul is essentially tied with Herman Cain, Mitt Romney, and Newt Gingrich in a four-way race. With about a four-percent plus or minus margin of error, 20 percent of likely caucus goers said they supported Cain, followed by Paul at 19 percent. Support for Romney was at 18 percent, while Gingrich came in at 17 percent.
The survey results provided even more encouraging data for Paul backers: His supporters are the most committed of any candidate’s. Paul actually leads in the poll among respondents who said their minds were made up — one-third of pro-Paul supporters say they won't change their minds. Less than 17 percent of Cain supporters, meanwhile, said their decision was final.
With two-thirds of poll respondents saying they had been reached by his campaign, Paul is also leading in the number of Iowa voters contacted. And among voters who supported the Texas Congressman in 2008, about 70 percent are still backing him. Romney, by comparison, barely held on to 40 percent of his supporters from the last election.
The U.S. Supreme Court approved a petition on Monday to hear arguments in cases challenging the constitutionality of ObamaCare. The court granted certiorari (a petition submitted requesting that the court hear an appeal from a lower appeals court) in three of the several cases currently filed against the U.S. government. The announcement by the court indicates that the justices have set aside five and one-half hours to hear oral arguments from the parties.
The mainstream media is maintaining its reputation for deliberately providing minimal coverage to Texas Congressman Ron Paul during the GOP presidential debates. On Saturday, November 12, Paul — though he remains in the top tier of the Republican contenders — received a total of 89 seconds of coverage in the entire hour-long televised portion of the debate.
Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee overwhelming approved a bill that would overturn the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the federal law that defines marriage for federal purposes as only between a man and a woman. The 10-8 vote in favor of the Respect for Marriage Act, sponsored by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), marks the first time a committee in either the Senate or the House has voted to repeal the 17-year-old law, and represents a major step toward federal approval of homosexual marriage.
“Because of DOMA, thousands of American families are now being treated unfairly by the federal government,” declared Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). “This unfairness must end.” But Republicans on the committee, reported Politico.com, “noting that the bill faces bleak prospects for passing the full Congress, said the measure was a waste of time and the matter should be left up to the states.” Thus far, Iowa, New York, Connecticut, Vermont, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire, along with the District of Columbia, have passed state laws recognizing homosexual “marriage.”
Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, pointed out that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) would never allow the controversial bill to come to the Senate floor for a vote, given that the Democrats’ control of the Senate will be on the line in the 2012 elections. “Were he to schedule a vote on this bill before the next election, he would face a revolution in his own caucus,” Cornyn said.
When a group of students at a California high school elected to wear patriotic American-flag T-shirts to school on Cinco de Mayo (May 5), a Mexican holiday, they were told by their principal to turn their shirts inside out so as not to offend the school’s Hispanic students. The students took their case to court; however, last week a U.S. District Judge James Ware of San Francisco ruled that the school was well within its rights to make the students hide the U.S. flags on their T-shirts.
Three students appeared at Live Oak High School at the Morgan Hill Unified School District on May 5, 2010 wearing T-shirts adorned with the American flag. Assistant principal Miguel Rodriguez asked the students to either remove their shirts or turn them inside out. When the students refused to comply, Rodriguez ordered them to principal Nick Boden’s office. After discussing the subject with the students for well over an hour, the principal sent them home for the day.
The Blaze reports, “The Rutherford Institute and the Thomas More Law Center teamed up to represent the students and their families.”
“This is nothing more than political correctness,” declared John Whitehead, president of Rutherford. “If these kinds of decisions are upheld, they will destroy our First Amendment rights.”
"For Ron Paul to run as an independent," Fox News Channel's Juan Williams wrote back on November 4, "could be the biggest, most consequential third party candidacy in American history. Yes, one that is even bigger than Ross Perot’s candidacy was in the 90s."
Persistent talk about a Ron Paul third party candidacy by some may be an attempt to sabotage Dr. Paul's GOP candidacy and enable establishment candidates who support banking bailouts and irresponsible foreign military intervention to win the nomination. Paul has stated he won't run an independent race for the presidency. But serious analysis of the 2012 presidential race indicates that a major independent challenge is all but certain this year without an anti-bailout candidate such as Paul winning the GOP nomination.
Indeed, a significant third party candidacy need not be headlined by Ron Paul. Plenty of third party candidate possibilities dot the political horizon, each of whom could draw 5-15 percent of the popular vote (or more) and a significant percentage of conservative and independent voters. More on those possible candidates later. But first, let's outline a few basic facts about the 2012 presidential election.
Except for dissent from Representative Ron Paul of Texas and (to a lesser extent) former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, the Republican presidential candidates blazed their way in a November 12 debate toward foreign policies where the United States would engage in two new Middle Eastern wars against Syria and Iran, re-institute the Bush Administration torture policy, abolish trials for terror suspects, and allow unlimited presidential assassinations.
New Wars Against Iran and Syria
Mitt Romney came out for war against Iran at the beginning of the debate. "If all else fails," Romney told debate moderator and CBS News Anchor Scott Pelley in the South Carolina debate at Wofford College, "then of course you take military action. It is unacceptable for Iran to have a nuclear weapon." Likewise, Romney sought war against Syria, suggesting "Of course it's time for the Assad dictatorship to end. And we should use covert activity."
Herman Cain told CBS moderator Scott Pelley that he wouldn't invade Syria, but would wage war against the country by funding a bloody insurgency instead: "I would not entertain military opposition. I'm talking about to help the opposition movement within the country."
In the Republican debate on Wednesday, moderator Maria Bartiromo raised the issue of the sexual-harassment allegations that have plagued Herman Cain. “Why should the American people hire a president if they feel there are character issues?” she asked the GOP hopeful. It’s a question we should pose more often.
That’s not to say I lend credence to the charges leveled against Cain. It’s not uncommon today for well-heeled entities to pay five-figure settlements to put nuisance lawsuits to bed — as Cain’s former employer, the National Restaurant Association, has — and a couple of the candidate’s accusers have questionable backgrounds. It’s also odd that, as Ann Coulter pointed out, the allegations leveled against Cain have a David Axelrod connection. Axelrod has been called Barack Obama’s “hired muscle” by the New York Times, and he has a history of smearing Obama opponents with accusations of sexual misconduct. And what is this Axelrod connection? Among other things, Cain’s latest accuser, Sharon Bialek, once lived in Axelrod’s building, and she admits having met the political hit man. But you can read Coulter’s piece for the rest of that story, because my focus here will be different. After all, character does matter and all prospective leaders deserve scrutiny.
And this brings me to my point. If I’d been a candidate at the debate, I would have loved to have chimed in when my turn came and made this statement:
Niall Ferguson, professor at Harvard and the London School of Economics, summarized his latest book, Civilization: The West and the Rest for Newsweek magazine’s The Daily Beast by stating that he is not a “declinist” but is instead expecting an imminent collapse of the United States. He wrote: "I really don’t believe the United States ... is in some kind of gradual, inexorable decline.... in my view, civilizations don’t rise…and then gently decline, as inevitably and predictably as the four seasons.... History isn’t one smooth, parabolic curve after another. Its shape is more like an exponentially steepening slope that quite suddenly drops off like a cliff."
As evidence Ferguson points to the lost city of the Incas, Machu Picchu, which was built over a hundred years and collapsed in less than ten. He notes that the Roman Empire collapsed in just a few decades in the early fifth century, while the Ming dynasty ended with frightening speed in the mid-17th century.
He tries to explain why the West, and especially and specifically the United States, is set up for a similar collapse through the use of the analogy of what made America great in the first place, computer-based “killer applications” such as competition, the scientific revolution, the rule of law and representative government, modern medicine, the consumer society, and the work ethic.
CNBC reportedly pulled an online poll half an hour after the GOP debate ended on Wednesday night, indicating that “one candidate” was leading by a large margin. That candidate was Ron Paul. Video reveals that the longtime Texas Congressman was significantly ahead of the others just prior to the poll being removed from CNBC’s website and replaced with an article entitled, “Who won the debate — Attendees weigh in.”