It’s a Trap!

There is a reason I usually concentrate my political efforts on initiative measures: by being selective I can avoid making things worse.

Electoral politics, on the other hand, is always fraught with dangers: compromise and betrayal are the norm.

And the voter, when observant, often gets the feeling he’s being “played.” And he (and she) is.

This week I argued that Romney not being elected might be a good thing. I piled on to this notion by supporting Gary Johnson’s Libertarian Party run. Most of my readers who commented disagreed. Vociferously. Their main point? Obama must be stopped.

I note that my readers addressed almost none of the actual reasons I floated for equanimity in the face of a Romney defeat. Instead, they reiterate: Obama must be stopped. I agree, his policies must be stopped; but, in turn, reiterate my point: Romney will do little to reverse course.

Let’s not forget that George W. Bush and the united GOP Congress significantly increased the size and scope of government, and its debt . . . in effect, paving the way for Obama. Too few of us dubbed it “socialism” back then.

Romney seems all too likely to repeat this performance.

We certainly don’t need another president praising free markets and limited government while moving us step-by-step closer to a quasi-socialist serfdom.

I suggest we concentrate on Congress — especially new blood in the old institution — and on Court action, for the most effective resistance to the Democrats’ (and Republicans’) insane lust for spending and debt.

And we need creative initiative action in the states.

By resting hope on a Romney “victory,” I fear conservatives are walking straight into a trap, a familiar trap.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

27 Comments so far ↓

  1. May
    4
    8:17
    AM
    Dave

    I agree we need to concentrate on conservatives in congress both the house and senate. But the presidency is important. As Romney may continue big government — Obama WILL and without the limitations of a looming election he will be even worse

  2. May
    4
    8:20
    AM
    Bob Bagian

    4 more years of Obama, and you won’t have the courts to turn to; they’ll be packed with racist socialists who allow, or even demand Obama’s socialist agenda. Even if Romney is a rerun of W, another W accompanied by another Alito or Roberts is better than an Obama along with another Kagen.

  3. May
    4
    8:22
    AM
    Robert Polivka

    In 2008, for the first time since becoming eligible to vote in 1970,I did not vote. McCain seemed to be on the same path, although slower, as Obama. Here we go again.

  4. May
    4
    8:22
    AM
    Travis Anderson

    I agree that Romney is another go-along, get-along type, but Obama actually scares me. I have low expectations for Romney, but I don’t trust Obama to stay within the bounds of the Constitution, as he has repeatedly demonstrated he considers it an inconvenience to his agenda. And finally, the conservative Supremes are not spring chickens.

  5. May
    4
    8:27
    AM
    SDN

    Paul, you couldn’t be obtuse enough not to understand what your readers were telling you: Yes, under Romney, any number of things will continue. But Barack Obama, unbound from the need to stand for election, will NOT HESITATE to act unilaterally on all fronts to make things worse.

  6. May
    4
    8:39
    AM
    Roger Warren

    Reality:If Obama is re elected, we are destroyed as a country. The claim is made that Obama is not a Communist or a Muslim. He IS sympathertic to both.
    The ONLY candidate picked by the majority of the American people is Romney. Not Johnson, not Santorum.
    Romney may not be perfect but he beats the living tar out of Obama. P S: I was a Santorun Activist

  7. May
    4
    9:13
    AM
    Ken

    Paul – you’re SO right on your reasoning regarding the Romney vs Obama choice. Romney isn’t likely to change even one of Obama’s policies and he’s certainly not going to abolish the federal Romneycare.

    I was dismayed to see the results of an informal poll the other day. Nearly 80% of respondents saw a big difference between Romney and Obama. How blind are these people? As a point of interest, the polling sample was overwhelmingly over 50 and white.

    P.S. I’m a hardcore libertarian and I only believe in voting for someone I’d actually like to see in office, so I’ll vote for the Libertarian candidate if he’s on the ballot in CT. If not then I won’t cast a vote for President.

    Honestly, both Obama and Romney should be executed for Treason based on actions they’ve already taken as elected officials.

  8. May
    4
    9:19
    AM
    2WarAbnVet

    The only thing that can force me to vote for Obomney is Obama. The liberal/socialist media and the New York-Washington corridor Republican establishment worked assiduously to purchase the Republican nomination for Romney – probably because he fits into the Northeastern liberal power structure. I’d have much preferred Cain or Bachmann, and even would have expected good leadership from Newt. I expect nothing from Romney except the hope that he won’t destroy the country as his opponent certainly would

  9. May
    4
    10:23
    AM
    Paulina West

    Thank you for making a clear and principled stand. I happen to agree with you.

    It is a trap. Romney’s positions and past regarding mandated healthcare and mandated green energy are abysmal. These are truly economically disastrous policies and a vote for him would still be a consent to his mandates and to any number of positions Romney has taken in the past, even if you pretend they are not there.
    In short, when faced with the threat of a second Obama term, it does not help matters to become irrational and support a politician who has used gov’t to force people to make gov’t approved purchases.

  10. May
    4
    10:28
    AM
    Laurence

    Paul, I think your Libertarian Party would be better served to work with the growing number of Conservatives taking over at the grassroots of the Republican Party and reinvent that party as a major opponent to Dems rather than just being the right wing of the Democrat Party.

  11. May
    4
    10:30
    AM
    Mike Mullins

    What many people fail to recognize is the “sea change” of the electorate that may accompany four more years of a quasi-socialist agenda. Another Obama presidency and the arguments against our slouching towards Europe will all but disappear! We will see first hand that Keynesian economics, once again, have failed. We will have an electorate that is more convinced than ever before that the two primary parties are not working FOR any of us!

    In short, vote for Romney and you will have Obama-lite. If Obama gets another four years, you may have a libertarian revolution…

  12. May
    4
    10:34
    AM
    Paulina West

    Europe, Australia, and NZ have already trodden the path that republicans are now contemplating. The two parties are both agreed on reducing ghg emissions. In Australia, this means that the carbon tax, which is taking effect in July, will force energy and business costs up – and billions of dollars worth of carbon offsets will be purchased from overseas as permissions slips for Australian’s to keep their lights on.

    Julia Gillard had promised that there would be no carbon tax, and then passed one by hook or crook. And, similar to the Romney position, she has temporarily offset it with pathetic cuts in other taxes to mask its destructive effects. Americans must look at other western countries and see the example they have set in losing party distinctions in the energy sector, and in the energy crisis that these countries are now experiencing.

  13. May
    4
    10:40
    AM
    Paulina West

    That is, carbon offsets will be purchased from overseas from taxes on Australians as permission slips for Australians to keep their own lights on.

    The banks want to revive the carbon trading market, and the final purchase they need to make is to acquire the republican party in the US. Al Gore, Jimmy Carter, Ted Turner, and George Soros have all openly approved of a Romney win.

  14. May
    4
    10:40
    AM
    A. Mark Hunt

    You fools that actually believe that there is any substantive difference between Romney and Obama need to notice that voting (or supporting) the lesser of two evils is still evil. When will you ever learn that to compromise your principles is extremely self destructive. Our economy is so bad it will take heroic efforts to clean up the horrific mess created by the likes of Romney and Obama.

  15. May
    4
    12:17
    PM
    Jay

    Johnson has as much chance of ebing elected as I do-and I am not interetsed.

    See my comments the other day-from a friend who lives (and ahs lived) in Mass. for 60+ years-that Romneycare-AS ORIGINALLY put forward was good–save dmoney–yes, forced people to have insurance- and to avoid overrunning the e.r. rooms for colds, etc. And he reduced unemployment in Mass.

    Johnson-what was he-a 1 term governor in a small state?

    (Someone said Cain-or Buchannan-I think that they are clowns. cain ahd to knwo about the sexual harassment issues.)

    The Tea party- liek Rand Paul? 5 months in office and files for re-election 5+ yerars away? Clowns who blew the chance to get rid of Reid in Nevada?

    Challenging Dick Lugar-probably (see todays’ WSJ editorials)- a grown up in Washington. (And an expert on foreign affairs, something the TP’s aren’t).

    By the way-in your eagerness to unseat incumbents- why not RON PAUL–30+ YEARS IN THE HOUSE.

  16. May
    4
    1:26
    PM
    Paulina West

    Not only did Romneycare force people to buy insurance through legislation, it is now running billions over projected costs. The emergency room visits have increased. Costs and waiting times have increased. And yet, Romney has said it was a good plan for his state. So, he is running on the success of Romneycare as his platform. Obamacare is hated and unpopular, and what should be a strength for republicans and all those who are opposed to gov’t expansion into healthcare, has become a disaster in the Romney nomination.

  17. May
    4
    2:03
    PM
    Rob

    I am in agreement with the article. While the power of the Presidency is significant, it is Congress that has penned the laws that have stripped us of our freedom, passed on deficits to our great-grand children and not stood up to administrations that send our sons and daughters in to undeclared wars.

    We seem to focus on an individual when the gang of 535 go their merry way.

  18. May
    4
    2:32
    PM
    Rollin Lofdahl

    So Mr. Jacobs, you are now whining about no one taking your six points, one by one, in an attempt to refute them. Why would anyone waste time trying to change your mind? You think we are all happy about having Romney rather than one of the alternatives? But the difference, for some of us, is that arguing about Romney’s weaknesses versus candidates who are all out of the running is pointless. It is now about his weaknesses and strengths versus President Obama’s. No, Ron Paul is still never going to win the nomination in any world not influenced by some narcotic-induced euphoria.

    The Congress and the Senate MAY become more conservative- enough to actually start reversing 100 years of liberal, incremental policies little by little- over the course of several election cycles. But no major legistlation, even if they could muster the votes for it, will become law so long as Obama remains in the White House for 4 more years. However, in that same 4 more years we could see a liberal domination of the Supreme Court, Appellate and District benches, and more bloated bureaucracy and regulation that will plague us for decades. No legislature or President will overturn that dynamic overnight. No mechanism exists for that.

    But you all go ahead and refuse to vote for the “lesser of two evils” and, de facto, vote for the GREATER of two evils. It’s a strange reality that Obama may be re elected, not by liberals, but by people who call themselves “conservatives.” In truth these are really just immature children who don’t want to play if they can’t have their way 100% of the time. Adults will understand that we have to retake the country a little bit at a time, and that a true conservative in the Presidency is a prize we may wait another generation for. Meanwhile, we have to play BOTH offense and defense. By that I mean that we have to not just try to gain where we can, but insist on slowing the movement further towards socialism that cannot be undone again until our children’s time. That means a Mitt Romney rather than Barack Obama.

    I know some of you think that Ron Paul is God’s gift to America. Well let me enlighten you. A man like Ron Paul will never be popular enough to score more than a Congressional seat until a new generation of American voters has a change in attitudes about what kind of public servant this country needs. It doesn’t matter what parts of Paul’s policy you and I agree or disagree on. He remains far out of the mainstream. I know you all think we should worship the ground he walks on, but it is time you are disillusioned and accept the fact that most of America doesn’t think like you, and that is why Ron Paul is ultimately just a side show in the Presidential circus.

    So quit blaming the Republican “Establishment” when it is the American voter that chose Mitt Romney over Paul, Santorum, Gingrich and all. The American voter is NOT with you on this. But you Ron Paul types are just big enough to make a difference, don’t doubt that. You are big enough to give us Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. So if we get Obama, it will be thanks to you. Your children and grandchildren will reap the rewards of your vote.

  19. May
    4
    2:49
    PM
    Jay

    RE: Romneycare– as I have said, (as epr my friend who is a conservative and lives in mass., and has all his life–IT WAS CHANGED AFTER MR. ROMNEY LEFT THE GOVERNORSHIP.

    As for overruns- what program doesn’t? (not defending overruns); and the economy has tanked.

    As for Paul–I think that, as Rollin Lofdahl ( comment above this) says, he will not win in any world —-drug euphoria. His world views make no sense in the 21st century- WHEN MESSAGES CAN GO AROUND THE WORLD IN SECONDS; PEOPLE/PLANES IN HOURS. s opposed to 1776, when it took months, via ships 9 which sometimes did not make it) to cross the ocean.

    And (in my view) paul would be another Obama- the reverse but the same- a wannabe dictator- regardless of what the people and/or Congress want. He has indicated (if not said) would dismantle this agency; that bureau, etc. BUT THEYW ERE CREATED (usually) BY CONGRESS and signed into law. (By the President, ro over a presidential veto). i doubt if an executive edict could cancel the program- and withstand Constitutional Challenges.

    As for the TEA PARTY– as a lifelong true conservative (I worked for barry Godlwater in his campaign as a teen), I think that their ideas are good, their choices of who to run are horrendous. See Nevada; Delware candidates as examples.

  20. May
    4
    3:08
    PM
    Paulina West

    The destructive power on national economies of ghg regulations, subsidies, mandates and the efforts to shut down coal are vital issues. Obamacare is destructive to a huge segment of our economy and our individual freedoms. No one has to be so threatened by one bad leader that they in turn foolishly support another who is identical on issues that are so vital to our everyday lives. The right thing to do is to continue to campaign against ghg regulations, and against gov’t mandates in energy and health, and any candidate who supports them.

    No one has to be terrorized into thinking they have only two choices. Rigorously campaign against going the way of Europe and Australia. They have identical parties in many respects, and they carry out edicts given to them by unelected foreign bodies. Do not trust any global warming advocates, and for goodness sake, do not lie about their positions – past and present.

  21. May
    4
    3:33
    PM
    Paul Veazey

    As I told you last week, hunger for reelection will force Romney to toe the conservative line for his first term. That term is when we will get Obamacare repealled and other necessary reforms passed, if we have the conservative Congress you seek. Then, in his second term, if we continue with the conservative Congress, he will not have the legislative support to pursue the harmful measures his liberal urges might lead him to push when reelection is not an issue. It certainly is not the best option, but it is way better than giving Obama four more years to complete the destruction of this country, and it is the only alternative to Obama’s reelection.

  22. May
    4
    6:41
    PM
    Pat

    Sorry, the trap was set in 2008 and too many Americans walked into THAT one. They fell for the candidate who said there was no such thing as blue state America and red state America but that we lived in a UNITED STATES of America. So Romney isn’t perfect. I did what you suggested back in 2008. I went out and voted for someone else. What good did it do? To coin a phrase: NEVER AGAIN!

  23. May
    4
    11:00
    PM
    Jake Witmer

    Offering idiots a false choice is a winning strategy for those in control. Sadly, Johnson is also not a choice. I’m about to decide whether or not to break my neck trying to get to the LP convention, to try to straighten out the cesspool of corruption that is the LP. I don’t think I’m going to bother. It’s corrupt, the people who made it corrupt would like to keep it that way, and noone really opposes their continued “leadership.”

    Gary Johnson wants to keep the federal reserve. Gary Johnson said he pardoned hundreds of victimless crime offenders as governor, then the real number came out: 123. Gary Johnson said on the Redeye that he supported the NYC mandatory calorie labeling law (and one of the guests on the show, Tom Shillue, embarrassed him by providing the actual libertarian position on that onerous law). Johnson supports humanitarian war. Johnson supports “the fair tax” –which would amount to the government tracking every purchase everyone makes, and possibly becoming more onerous than the IRS. Johnson can’t seem to decide how seriously to take his presidential races, or why he’s running. (Is it the $200K in debt from his GOP run, and the promise of Ron Paul fundraising levels?)

    You, the little people, don’t get a choice. Now, if you cared for freedom, this wouldn’t stop you from obtaining it. You’d mob the courthouses, hand out jury rights information to incoming venires, and refuse to allow the judges to send innocent people to prisons. …But, you don’t want freedom. Freedom is too much work for you, and you wouldn’t know what to do with it if you had it. If you did, you’d have found a workable strategy, and pursued it.

    There are many workable strategies out there. Paul Jacob is pursuing one such strategy, with his I & R work.

    But Paul Jacob is a rare individual. He is honest, and seems to care about individual freedom. Aside from what Paul is doing, and what a few scarce others are doing, the going is lonely. The “libertarian” movement in the USA is the “Ron Paul r3VOLution.” Those philosophical newbies are looking for an outlet, and being offered Bob Barr and Gary Johnson. …Nothing of substance.

    It’s possible that a perfect storm will work out in our favor, via the group “Americans Elect.” They will soon have ballot access in all 50 states. However, should they fail to nominate someone better than Johnson, I’ll simply stay home on Nov 6, and not bother to lend this election the appearance of legitimacy.

    Normally, I’d go out and vote LP, just so the LP would possibly retain ballot access, but since I have a detailed personal knowledge about how corrupt the LP is, I think I’ll just sit this one out.
    …And a pox on the houses of the people who have made the LP a joke, in the time of America’s greatest need for libertarian ideas.

    Right now, I think it’s sensible to assume that the people trusted with preserving liberty in this country have all abnegated their duty, and we are spiraling toward a total dictatorship. The law under the NDAA, and other false laws (piled on top of the Bill of Rights) allows for totalitarianism. We only need the bankers to decide that it’s time for “phase II” of our mulcting, and we are all destined for something our Russian comrades might call “hard times.”

    It gets a lot worse, and no politician is going to save you. The people controlling access to the ballot don’t want you to have a real choice, and you don’t care to have one, so here’s Gary Johnson.

    America is circling the drain. Maybe after the flush, there will be someone like John Lilburne, who reinstates enlightenment values in the USA, and creates a more libertarian government. Right now, there is no such person, and no such effort.

    If there was, you’d have seen it on the news, every day.

    Instead, we have a new Weimar Republic, taken straight from the pages of “The Ominous Parallels.” Our Hitler (Newt Gingrich) this time around was a little too pompous and delusional even for America’s philosophically bankrupt tastes. …But give us time, and we’ll find a more mean-spirited version of Obama or Bush to enact the banksters’ uglier plans.

    If we remain on this course, bickering about whether D-centralbank or R-centralbank is better for Ameria, we are DOOMED.

    There is no choice. You don’t get a choice, …especially if your choice is to trust power based on force and fraud.

  24. May
    5
    12:02
    AM
    Jake Witmer

    The term “conservative” at this stage of the game, is a joke. There’s nothing left to conserve. Are you going to conserve the practice of common law? Sorry. In 1850, the practice of voir dire was instated to allow Northern prosecutors to enforce the Fugitive Slave Law. That practice, of allowing the prosecutor to rig the jury, was never repealed. Essentially, our constitutional republic ended right then and there, because the government could then enforce any law, even ones that more than 1/12 people disagreed with. Then came “Sparf and Hansen v. USA,” with the Supreme Court split on whether juries needed to be informed that they had a right to vote their consciences (even after the made it past the voir dire gauntlet). The Supremes decided they did not need to be so informed, and that “jury members are already supposed to know their rights as citizens when called.” Well, guess what? They don’t. …Because the government educated them to be obedient, servile taxpayers, not strong independent citizens.

    So, now you have lapdogs of the police state like the moron above posting as “Jay,” who claim that it would be a tyranny for Ron Paul to remove unconstitutional tyrannies that the people support, because congress created them under the color of law. Let’s go through some of the ways that this distorted logic is wrong:
    1) In a constitutional republic, if a law is unconstitutional, it is considered “null and void” from its inception. “Marbury v. Madison” established this logical principle. Sadly, “Marbury v. Madison” also established the contra-republican principle that the Supreme Court will decide issues of constitutionality, and that the people generally will not (except in cases like “John Bad Elk v. USA (1900),” where a citizen takes action to defend his rights and is later acquitted by the courts.). So, even if a majority of the people want to build gas chambers and put all the Jews in them, the constitution doesn’t allow them to lawfully do this, even if congress makes a law allowing genocide. All systemic checks and limitations on “building gas chambers and putting the jews into them” are therefore lawful means of minimizing state tyranny. …Including the prerogatives of the president, whose “balance” in the system can act as a check. So, if Ron Paul wants to repeal or defund an unconstitutional government agency, he need only show that it violates the Bill of Rights, and is therefore unconstitutional. …A simple task. Remember: the Constitution was a document set up to LIMIT the power of the government, not allow tyrants to do whatever they want.
    2) Congress was never given authority to create the DEA, FDA, EPA, etc. Moreover, those agencies cannot rightfully deny those they oppress a trial by jury. Yet, they do so, all the time. This makes those agencies criminal agencies, agencies not of the constitutional republic. …And it doesn’t matter whether congress, or my drunken neighbor bob claims to have “given them lawful authority.” You cannot give what is not yours to give.
    3) Regulatory “authority” is false authority. Unelected bureaucrats in regulatory agencies now deny the necessity of habeas corpus, and deny that there needs to be a “corpus delecti” or “body of crime.” They thereby throw out over 400 years of jurisprudence and enlightenment values. A “corpus delecti” always has two elements: “injury” and “intent to injure.” When the EPA accuses me of destroying wetlands that are not actually wetlands but merely standing flood waters (as in the John Stossel episode, “Illegal Everything” on youtube), they act unilaterally and deny that they need to show injury or intent to injure. Moreover, I am never given a day in court, or any redress at all in their dealings with me. So, if Paul acts to restore the absent rule of law, he is not acting as a tyrant, because he takes power away from tyrants. He is restoring the concept that the initiation of force is wrong, and that those who instigate violence cannot claim to be victimized by their intended victims’ self defense.

    The fact that jay, and rollins lapdog, and others on this board can’t comprehend the basic difference between right and wrong is indicative of America’s slide toward socialism. Really, I think they simply like the nice-looking ken doll with a square jaw, and don’t like the skinny brown negro. If they had to evaluate Romney’s policies against Obama’s, I doubt they’d be able to tell the difference, especially since the true political control of the USSA is external to either of those two assclowns.

  25. May
    5
    10:39
    AM
    ricardus

    As usual Paul Jacobs is correct. I don’t have to vote for Romney to get things done…that need to be done. A big GOP majority in the House and the Senate could neutralize Hussein Obama in a significant way. If the Congress was energized it could impeach and remove Kagan from the Court and keep a close eye on Sotomyor.
    I try to imagine Romney as President but I don’t see him defending and restoring the Constitution as the Law of The Land!

  26. May
    7
    1:12
    AM
    Drifter

    No one is resting on a Romney victory. We need voting control of both House and Senate.

  27. May
    13
    8:11
    AM
    BetteRose

    I have a totally different point of view than most of your readers. A vote for Johnson is the ONLY vote that will be heard. A vote for Obama or Romney will send the message that I don’t care – I don’t care about the health care mandate, I don’t care about the Patriot Act, I don’t care about detention without end, I don’t care about all the stuff they support that move us closer and closer to a dictatorship and socialism. My vote will only count when I send a message of how I really feel and that is a vote for Johnson. If enough of us vote that way, we will not change the election, but we could change the way the winner governs.

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