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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Response to fd



fd, thanks for your thoughtful responses. I obviously need to clarify a few things. But first let me ask you this political question. I would agree that the Obama and Bush administration along with their parties in congress and most of the policy made there has been violent. Would you agree also that a coalition of progressives like Bernie Sanders or Dennis Kucinich with with Ron Paul or Gary Johnson regardless of who is at the top of the ticket would be less violent in policy and practice than an Obama 2 or a Romney 1 administration?

I think you would answer yes to that question but let me know if I am wrong. I will add a comment and you can tell me if you disagree with this as well: a libertarian/progressive coalition ticket stands a better chance of winning the White House than does either an exclusively libertarian or an exclusively progressive ticket does.

Not to be overly presumptuous but I am guessing you would agree on that political calculus as well. It is obvious to me that the biggest obstacle to this sort of coalition is economic policy. It has been one of my main purposes to try in this blog to bridge that gap as far as is realistically possible. If some sort of (temporary) bridge is not built across the economic policy divide, we will continue in our current state of political estrangement from one another and the offices of congress and presidency.

So far I think you are with me on these assumptions and assessments. Now let me attempt to answer your questions and show you how I believe the compromise policies I have outlined in this post and explained in greater detail in earlier posts would build this bridge.

I am not opposed to eliminating corporations partly or completely and perhaps incorporation as a legal means is unnecessary for businesses to function. I would be interested in hearing more about what you mean by corporation and corporatism and how we might eliminate them.

As for the non aggression principle, I would need to know more about what you mean. As a Christian I am influenced by both the peace tradition and the just war tradition. I am not sure that I can say definitively I am fully convinced by either but at the very least I believe that God desires us to act in peaceful ways and to not impose our wills upon others especially when those others have not attempted to impose their wills upon us.

I can see circumstances where unrequested intervention would be morally righteous. For example, if I see a person about to be hit by a car and I am able, I could tackle that person and maybe even injure them in the process causing that person to be angry at me but doing justice to that person by protecting him from imminent death or greater bodily harm.

I am not sure why you consider tariffs to be acts of violence as a opposed to legal acts of sovereign nations. I know many libertarians hate taxes and consider taxes in general an act of violence. Do you hold this view in regard to all taxes? If not what type of taxes are acceptable? I'm not sure you if you read this post: http://progressivesforronpaul.blogspot.com/2011/11/libertarianprogressive-coalition-tax.html

My main question on this subject is: Wouldn't you think that a proposal that lowers taxes below their current Bush/Obama levels for at least 90% of the population while raising taxes slightly on not more than 2% of the population would be better than keeping taxes as they are now? For example let's say we doubled the exemption and had 3 income brackets of 10, 20 and 30 percent with a 10% tax on annual consumption above 1 million dollars. This would lower the income tax rates on all people without imposing more taxes on savings and investment income.

I am sure that would not be ideal in your mind but I hope you would be honest and acknowledge that it would actually lower the tax burden for 99% of the population and not penalize millionaires for making investments and saving money, thus supplying the capital necessary to create jobs.

You wouldn't be so stubborn as to refuse a deal like that when such a refusal keeps us in the current tax situation? Or would you prefer to wait another 12 years for there to be 60 libertarian Republicans in the Senate to create your ideal tax policy? (I of course think 12 years is a pipe dream fro progressives or libertarians to gain such exclusive political power.)

As for what to do with new revenue and savings from reduced spending. When I say half of it would go to debt reduction, I am saying those funds are no longer available for spending unless it is used to pay down federal debt more quickly (which our creditors do not want us to do).

When I propose sending the other half to the states, I am talking about a temporary measure which can be ended after 4 years or renewed for another 4 years or phased out over a mutually agreed time frame. It does not reduce debt of course but it does move money out of Washington and allows the states to do with it as they please. Some states may pass it along in the form of tax breaks. Some states may use it for infrastructure and education projects. Some states may use it for a variety of purposes.

What we do here is essentially set up a grand experiment to find out what works best for creating long term good paying jobs. Perhaps Texas will prove all of us progressives wrong and you will have your complete victory as we are totally discredited and humiliated by our failed policy. Surely, you are not afraid that your team will be on the losing end. The bottom line on this is it is a decentralizing move which we progressives will accept and if you libertarians cooperate with us more at the local level you might get the federal government whittled down to the constitutional level you desire.

I hope you can see that there is specific content in what I am proposing which advances both libertarian and progressive economic agendas simultaneously. If you look back at other posts you'll find other proposals which aim to do the same.

The big question we progressives and you libertarians need to answer is: Can we do better together in the political world we live in than we can sitting separately on the sidelines while corporatists rule the roost? And let's face it, if what we have in common now (sans economic policy) failed to bring us together, we will never get together at all. Come on fd...don't you want to win with a partner who agrees to let your agenda move forward so it can stand a fighting chance of showing its virtue? Please say you agree! We can have our non aggressive ideological fight after we kick the corporate crones out.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Farewell Message to Americans Elect


Farewell Message to Americans Elect
I am not certain why AE did not work. I had hoped that this was a real grassroots effort to do something different. I read all sorts of skeptical reports and comments about the motives of those who created AE.

Did they create it only to find that those who were interested did not share their agendas and thus did not promote the candidates they wanted? Were there saboteurs from without or within who wanted to kill this idea who succeeded?

I had these worries as I continued the process. I supported candidates who were declared and undeclared, known politicians and unknown or little known ordinary Americans, insiders and outsiders, Democrats, Republicans, independents and third party candidates, all with the hope that someone would emerge who would garner enough supporters for this to work.

I wanted it to work because I, like so many Americans, am fed up with the petty bickering of tribal operatives, talking heads and hired hacks of the right, left and center, stirring us into a froth of anger and confusion so that their smoke and mirrors, bait and switch, divide and conquer, prefabricated, lowest common denominator policies designed to keep the already opulent permanently powerful at the expense of the well meaning, hopelessly hopeful, numbered nobodies like me and millions of other Americans.

I just wanted to be heard for real, for the ideas and aspirations of creative and visionary people of goodwill to get concrete, substantive, breakthrough, trans-partisan proposals into a real, unscripted office of the US presidency. And maybe, with a president who truly is the elected leader of the people rather than the corporate gofer of grandiose greed, we could change this nation into a land of peaceful and prosperous people with realistic opportunities to live wholesome lives free from debt and job insecurity.

I tell myself I should not be surprised, that I should have seen this coming from miles and months away. I should have known not to waste one hour, let alone the 40 or 60 that I did sending and answering questions in an echo chamber only at the end to have some cyber security (whether necessary or not, hostile or benign, I was unequipped and unqualified to tell) somebody or something say to me,"Let me see your ID?" I wanted to open up my laptop and say, "You show me yours first."

That should have done it. I was relieved to see the first caucus delayed while, I, who am no Prince Hamlet, contemplated which form of ID I would choose, or whether maybe there was some kind of glitch in the system that would be fixed and allow these cyber spirits to find out I was really who I claimed to be. I even thought about giving away another 5 bucks I owed to the bank to see if that might jump-start the engine of electoral accountability.

I must admit I felt a confused  twinge of relief when, in some message I read some prosaic words that sounded like the spirits of AE had passed away. It was not overly ambiguous when it meekly admitted the vision's failure. In gratitude they have departed. Surely what information they have gleaned about me and thousands of  others will be used for good purposes. Surely, in some less than perfect way one of my ideas will float to the top and pop out in a policy proposal one day. Maybe someday a yet unborn grandchild will say, "That idea that simplified the tax code, eliminated the waste, decreased the debt and fully funded the building of the peaceful green economy... that was my granddaddy's.

Oh no...it's 4:30am...; been at this for an hour and a half. Better copy and paste to my secure file thingy just in case I have been typing into a closed archive. I blow a kiss goodbye to ... oh wait I can't login to my account anymore...maybe I can remember most of you....Bernie Sanders, Ron Paul, Dennis Kucinich, Gary Johnson, Rocky Anderson, Buddy Roemer, Jill Stein, Michealene Risley, Laurence Kotlikoff and a few others I fail to remember.

Farewell to all those pseudonymed saints and sinners, faceless fellow country folk and city spirits I don't know how to contact personally if I had the time. Maybe someday your and my words will be unearth by a cyber archeologist and published in a virtual footnote of some subset file of an arcane journal of cultural anthropology.

May the piece that passes as understanding guard your identity, value your participation, and use your resources for the building up of whatever beast slouches toward Bethlehem to be born.

Yours Always,
@#$%^!:(

PS If after I hit enter, this does go through, I can still maintain intellectual property rights...or is that still copyright? ...     Yoohoo....I have a question...anybody there...? anybody?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

August 30, 2012... RIP Libertarian Cause


This question is for the realist who are on board with Paul's real goal: to influence and eventually change the GOP. With everybody out of the race but Paul and Romney, and with crossover vote slowed to a halt, we can safely say that Ron Paul has 15% ceiling among Republicans. Obviously the hard work to secure delegates will pay off, but by how much? We know he will not win 1144 delegates.

At the GOP convention he might in combination with Gingrich and Santorum delegates prevent Romney from winning on the first ballot and thus get his real totals on the second vote even though Romney is almost certain to secure the nomination on the second vote.

I predict he will win 30% of the delegates. I think that is a respectable number, but will all the unrealistic supporters who still think he can win feel they were betrayed because there never was a strategy in place to win the presidency?

Of course there is also an additional problem with the exclusive delegate strategy. Next time around it will be mimicked and supplemented by neo-cons and cultural conservatives. That means the popular vote becomes a bigger cause next time around, especially without the aid of crossover voters and the likelihood that the 2016 primary (assuming Romney loses) will see two libertarian candidates dilute that constituency.

August 30 will be a sad day when all of Paul's supporters realize that a huge opportunity to advance the libertarian agenda by putting Ron Paul in the White House is lost. It's even more depressing to realize that the actuarial tables will not allow a take over of the GOP before 2024.

Can you imagine 12 more years of corporate crony rule? Oh let's not have any fantasies about a collapse being what America needs to convert everybody to libertarian. Such a collapse will find as many libertarians as progressives on the wrong end of the firing squad. If you believe otherwise, ....

Friday, May 18, 2012

2014 2016 Way to Win



I continue to look ahead to 2014 and 2016. While I have been critical of Ron Paul's delegate strategy, I do because it is the only trick in his bag. It's not a bad trick. It would be better trick in the context of coalition candidacy. The delegate strategy is attractive because it is based on the realistic assessment that we are stuck with a two party system. I don't like it but gaining influence within one of the two established parties is the only real way to political power in America.

The delegate strategy is also attractive because it puts grassroots activists in position of power where they can influence future campaigns and gain the needed experience to become viable candidates themselves. (Yes I could have made a good defense of the delegate strategy earlier but there never was a request from the campaign or any serious consideration of the coalition idea I was advocating.) How can we continue the delegate strategy, even expand it the next time around while finally building the coalition we need to win any politically significant office?

First we can, as I advocated earlier, comb the congressional districts to determine whether a libertarian or a progressive stands the best chance of being elected. Progressives and libertarians from both parties as well as the LP and  the GP need to stop diluting the vote and endorse candidates in the two major parties primaries and in the general elections.

Professionals with more knowledge than I can make the determination as to which district is more likely to lean one direction or another. My guess is target open seats occupied by neocons and blue dogs. If the district is majority Republican focus on electing the libertarian. A progressive in the Democratic primary could make waves for a few weeks and then drop out and endorse the libertarian to promote crossover voting. Of course, reverse the roles in heavily Democratic districts.

I think that both progressives and libertarians need to do more outreach to cultural conservatives. My main suggestion to both of them is: GET YOUR ASSES BACK IN CHURCH! Cultural conservatives are being raped and pillaged by corporatists. A little more sympathy and a little less derision could go a long way. More specifically, I suggest a Bible study on the topic of jubilee to spark connections among these three ideologies. More generally, both libertarians and progressives need to get back to their roots if they are going to regain the liturgical  language and messianic motivation they need to combat the corporate anti-Christ.

Building these connections is essential to gain the numbers necessary to implement the dual delegate and coalition strategy. Here's how that works:

Scenario 1 assumes Obama's re-election: In the presidential primaries we need to find two progressives and two libertarians to run for president, the former as Democrats and the latter as Republicans. They need to be teammates in the debates while pretending to be rivals. This is the key to getting more time in the debates: ignore your true opponents while disagreeing by name on minor points with your ally. Both pairs of allies should stay in the primary through Super Tuesday. At that point one progressive and one libertarian should drop out. For now, I believe that the candidates who are getting the most votes among each pair should be the drop outs.

The two drop out candidates should then immediately file to run as an independent candidacy in all states unless the Green and Libertarian parties agree to nominate the two as a coalition ticket endorsed by both parties. This coalition pair should hit the campaign trail vowing to drop out if one of the major parties would nominate one of their other coup partners.

Scenario 1A: Corporate Republicans and Democrats manage to do what they do so well by convincing the rank and file to reject the progressive and libertarian candidates. The two inside candidates lead a delegate strategy all the way to the conventions, aiming to put their corporate oppressors to a multi vote open or brokered conventions. After the chaos ends with wounded corporatist candidates, the two delegate insider candidates endorse the independent outsiders.

Scenario 1B Democrats and/or Republicans see the light and nominate one or both of our insiders. In this case our independent (or third party) candidates end their campaign. If both parties see the light, we have a real campaign between progressive Democrats and libertarian Republicans but look for the corporatists to mount a write-in  or independent campaign.

If only one of the two major parties see the light, that inside candidate should reach out to other party by choosing one of our co-conspirators as the Vice Presidential running mate.

This all sounds a bit complicated but it is rather simple: share power until you bring down your opponent. Isolate them before they isolate you. And win.




Extraordinary Progressive Seeking a Suitor

I am still trying to make up my mind, now that this election is certain to not involve Ron Paul, who I should vote for. The Libertarians have decided to go sectarian instead of coalition and the Greens are likely to do the same. I would like to caste protest vote this year and since we do not have a coalition candidacy, I am leaning toward Jill Stein or Rocky Anderson. If Americans Elect ends up nominating a coalition (and by that I do not mean a moderately conservative Democrat and a conservative Republican), I may cast my vote in that direction. So far there has yet to be even one candidate qualified and my guess is Americans Elect will not nominate anyone this year.

Since I have been supportive of Ron Paul, why not Gary Johnson? Mainly because Johnson is not indicating he might cut a deal with progressives on economic issues. Governor, I have a plan that can get you 3 times the votes you are anticipating, if you are interested. (I wonder if Ron Paul or any of his staff or anyone of significance, a media personality or a Washington politician has ever read one single post I have written? If you have, please let me know. If I get what I expect, crickets, it is more evidence that ordinary citizens have zero influence on our elections and government. It would be nice to be proven wrong about this.)

With sectarian libertarianism as the alternative, I would prefer to turn to Anderson and Stein. (If they or Johnson wish to contact me, I am here.) However, if Ron Paul condemns Obama and makes nice with Romney, I'll take that to mean he is endorsing him and will force me, since I live in a swing state, to vote for Obama again. He would not raise military sending as much as Romney would. And he would do a better job at protecting what remains of domestic discretionary spending and entitlements. I do not want to vote for Obama but Ron Paul, failing to endorse Johnson,  will force me to make this lesser evil choice.

I guess I could vote for Romney to punish the Democrats for betraying their base but I fear Romney will stimulate the economy with a war against Iran along with a war in Latin America. Obama might choose the same course but my guess is he'll try to do an Ike by promoting green energy through the pentagon budget and air and ground transportation and port modernization through the homeland security budget.

The choices are depressing. Maybe there is someone to cheer me up. Gary? Jill? Rocky? Any of you want to come a courting? I am cheap. Just a little attention could get you this headline: "Ron Paul's Leading Progressive Supporter Endorses...." I think I have at least earned the adjective for this rare constituency.

Monday, May 14, 2012

"This the way the world ends..."

As the cause to elect Ron Paul comes to an end, I must determine who to endorse in the general election. Americans Elect may hold Ron Paul's last opportunity to change his mind but my thought is Ron Paul does not want AE and AE does not want Ron Paul. It's too bad because if Paul were to accept AE's endorsement he would have to choose a Democratic running mate. Why his highly determined followers have not forced this opportunity by massively flooding AE the way they have done every internet poll of this campaign is beyond me.

I am considering advocating for Buddy Roemer and Rocky Anderson or if AE gives the nod to another corporate campaign or decides that there is not enough interest to run a candidate, I will probably choose between Rocky Anderson and Jill Stein.If Ron Paul's passive non-endorsement of anybody gets spun as an endorsement of Romney, I will be forced to vote for Obama.

I will probably have a few more posts on this blog. If there are any publishers out there truly interested in something outside the box, contact me here. Regardless, I will be announcing a new blog which will seek to develop this strategy and the all important policy consensus which is needed to beat the corporate beast. Look for that announcement to come soon.

I do not look forward to another 4 years of Republican obstructionism and Democratic acquiescence, but because tribalism trumps truth that is what we all must now face.

Peace.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Is Romney Trying to Censor Uncomfortable Questions

Hard to tell what the motivations are. Perhaps this is an Obama superpac idea for embarrassing Mitt Romney.or perhaps it is Romney's legal team trying to pre-empt reporters from asking tough questions:

http://toughquestionsformittromney.blogspot.com/2012/05/campaign-killing-questions-for-mitt.html

Monday, April 30, 2012

An Open Tactical Appeal to the Libertarian Party

As you begin your national convention you are faced with a great dilemma as well as more than one grand opportunities to grow your party's influence.You should be a major political party but one of your former candidates has been scaling the wall to political acceptability in a way that may eventually threaten the need for your existence. Ron Paul's effort to change the GOP into the de facto libertarian party has thus far failed. He apparently is unwilling to abandon this effort and is hopeful that with each coming election, actuarial numbers and electoral defeats eventuate this reality.

He may be right but perhaps there is a way to speed up this process or redirect it in your favor. I, for one, do not see any near term triumphalism of any third party, but I can foresee a splitting of the two major parties into five, global corporatist (I'm sure they will call themselves something deceptively different like Democratic Republicans), cultural conservative, libertarian, labor and green peace. But that's a long term project as well. A short term strategy beginning with your convention goes something like this:

1.) Nominate Gary Johnson without a running mate, giving him the option to be either the presidential or vice presidential candidate in the general election.

2.)Schedule a second convention to coincide with the Democratic party's convention in Charlotte for the purpose of nominating a running mate for Johnson.

3.) Since it is probable that Paul will lose the nomination at the GOP convention, offer him either the presidential or vice presidential spot after he gives his prime time speech at the GOP convention.

4.) At your current convention, prepare an alternative coalition platform to serve as a basis for offering a progressive candidate the vice presidential slot on your ticket if Paul refuses the first offer.

5.) In this alternative coalition platform you should put the common ground planks in , of course. However, you should also offer the following pledges:

       A.) Move 3 trillion dollars out of the federal government through reductions in current spending levels and elimination or consolidation of non-essential programs and departments, with most of the cuts coming MIC, corporate welfare, drug wars and other areas progressives agree need deep cuts.

       B.)Raise 1 trillion dollars through the following measures: Reforming and/ or replacing the current income and payroll tax system in a manner that significantly reduces the overall tax burden on at least 90% of the population while raising taxes on not more than 2% of the populations. Reforming our tariff system to base rates on human, civil, labor, consumer and investor rights and on environmental stewardship and justice. Legalizing socially dubious behaviors, products and services while strictly regulating,  tightly zoning and substantially taxing the like in non-prohibitive ways. All reforms should move us toward a simple, clear and transparent tax system with greater real progressivity oriented  toward collections based more on consumption and less on savings and investment

       C.) Take the 4 trillion gained from A and B and apply half of it to debt reduction and the other half to block grants to the states based solely on populations of the states to be used as each state chooses with each state publishing online in open, clear and transparent detail how every penny is allocated.

       D.) Appoint an inclusive and balanced coalition cabinet.

These 4 planks are the basis for progressives and libertarians advancing their economic agendas simultaneously: lower taxes, less federal government  and more states' rights for libertarians, more money  made available to the states to do what progressives have wanted the federal government to do while not destroying the social social security, medicare, medicaid and other economic safety nets, and substantial job growth and debt reduction for both.

6.) If Ron Paul decides not accept your offer or to run as an independent, write-in, or other third party ticket, offer the vice presidential slot along with the above coalition platform to Jill Stein and Rocky Anderson. If both are on come on board, offer a prominent cabinet spot or chief of staff to Rocky Anderson.

This plan is not an ideal one for you or for progressive parties and candidates. It is, however, the basis for a winning strategy which advances your cause and ours. The coalition platform necessary to win the presidential election and to secure the requisite support of congress is not a permanent commitment and may or may not be abandoned or renegotiated after 4 years.

Most of all this a plan which provides a politically realistic path to a peaceful overthrow of the corporate duopoly which holds our nation hostage to a privileged elite who seek to make their sovereignty permanent through increasing the powers of big government, big business, big labor and big military.

Such a plan calls for political guts and heroism. Nothing less will save our nation from permanent tyranny. Please do this difficult task before its too late! You have nothing to loose but your chains.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Beyond the Bad News of 2012: Getting it Right Next Time


The likelihood that Ron Paul will not be a contender in the general election is not an encouraging prospect. The debates between President Obama and Governor Romney are likely to focus on rhetorical rather than substantive disagreements.  Where there are significant policy differences, neither party will be able to claim a mandate given the nature and rules of the US Senate.

The most likely outcome of this campaign is an Obama victory given the fact that many of Ron Paul’s followers will vote for Gary Johnson or write in Ron Paul.  I would like for that to be encouraging since I voted for Obama and support much of the agenda his rhetoric espouses (at least as we get closer to election time). However, I do not believe that much will change during Obama 2.

If Obama is reelected, 2016 will have a about two dozen candidates to choose from. Surely there will be at least one or two libertarian candidates in the Republican field and a similar number among progressive Democrats. This makes it even less likely that a either a libertarian or a progressive will be nominated since the coalition needed to get close will not be available during the primaries and caucuses.

I would therefore propose that the top progressive Democrat and the top libertarian Republican should get together for an independent run not long after Super Tuesday. 
In anticipation of this trans-partisan ticket several conferences in a variety of locales ought to be convened for the purpose of building a coalition among cultural conservatives, libertarians and progressives. 

I add the first of these three because they are as much victims of corporatism as the other two. Even though they are more theologically disposed to supporting such political sadomasochism, we should not give up hope that cultural conservatives will see the light, that libertarians and progressives threaten their values much less than do corporatists.

Participants in such conferences ought to be encouraged to create and consider legislative proposals which bridge their ideological divides in the most mutually empowering ways. The goal need not be creating a new party or political synthesis (although such an outcome might be very much welcomed).  These conferences ought to aim at composing a coalition platform and recruiting congressional candidates to support it. Before the midterm primaries we ought to agree to a list of candidates to endorse at least at the federal level.

When we compile this list we are likely to find candidates from both major parties, alternate parties and among the growing non-aligned. While such candidates may have good reasons to stay with their current affiliation, they should be encouraged to register to run in the most opportune primary. Additionally voters among the coalition should be encouraged to register to vote for the candidates in their respective districts who endorse the coalition platform. 

What we most want to avoid is running two coalition candidates in the same race. Diluting the vote is a sure way to undermine our cause. Caution should be taken to ferret out posers working in conscious or unconscious concert with establishment parties and campaigns.

It is unlikely that we would get a large number of candidates who would endorse a coalition platform, but where they are found they should receive ample support locally and nationally, taking care to match candidate with districts more likely to go coalition. This may or may not be a swing district. It is more likely that we stand our best chances in districts without an incumbent in the race. A shorter list of candidates also means that resources can be more focused.

Avoiding the typical wedge issues as litmus tests is essential. Whether a candidate is pro life or pro choice should be tertiary in importance, considered mostly for demographic fit. Emphasis should be placed on issues of debt, jobs, war, peace, and civil liberties. 


Here's the basic theme for this coalition to contrast with the duopoly's corporate platform: The corporate establishment believes that war means more jobs and they would be right except that the jobs of war create more costly destruction. Peace frees up money to pay down debt and invest in the infrastructure of a green economy. A green economy is a life giving economy which reduces costs and frees up more money for more debt reduction, savings and spending. 

This message and platform could evolve over time into a new synthesis but that should not be the aim, at least not before we are successful in overthrowing the corporate beast. My guess is we will eventually move forward not to a post-partisan era but toward a multi-partisan mix of competition, cooperation and transitory coalitions.

Making this plan before grieving the current loss may be unrealistic but we must head off the easy and much expected tribal reactions. Corporatism has won this battle; they can only win the war if they keep this coalition from happening. Their ultimate goal is just enough stability to keep those on the edge hopeful, afraid and powerless.

I'd like to try again to bust their agenda if anyone is interested in doing what it takes rather than retreating to our tribal sects.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Libertarian Party, If You Are Interested in Victory....

Dear Libertarian Party,

Your national convention will begin in two weeks. I am one of a number of voices which may come your way to ask you to delay nominating a presidential ticket until after the Republican convention.

I can imagine this would be difficult logistically and tactically. Getting the convention together for a second time is costly and you, no doubt, want your candidates out the door, on the campaign trail getting name recognition and convincing voters to move them up in the polls so they can get into the debates.

While there are real risks in doing this, if you wait until after the GOP convention, Ron Paul may be willing to accept your nomination, provided you choose to do so. I know candidates like Gary Johnson have been working faithfully to obtain the Libertarian nomination. It is understandable why you would want to reward those who sojourn with you in the wilderness.

However, it might be advantageous in moving into the promised land of party electability if you do endorse former candidate Ron Paul. Pulling in at least 17% nationally would help the LP get on the ballot in all states and boost other LP candidacies down ticket running in local, state and national elections.

I am also almost certain that Paul supporters would increase financial contributions to the LP and happily agree to Gary Johnson as Paul's running mate. His name on the ticket would probably get a Paul/Johnson ticket close to 25% of the national vote. If you nominate in May, it is likely that the  LP will poll less than 5%. A Paul endorsement, made more likely if you hold the nomination until September, might get you above 20%.

I imagine that the LP is leaning toward nominating Johnson and leaving the VP slot open. Johnson has already said he wants Paul as his VP and this may be a more acceptable tactic. Ron Paul agreeing to be Johnson's VP is not a certainty. He has a great number of supporters who are cultishly determined to write him in even if he does not run in the general election.  Granted, allowing Johnson to delay picking his VP vastly increases the LP's electablity; however, a Paul/Johnson ticket is probably going to fare better than a Johnson/Paul ticket.

I, of course, would like to persuade you toward a more radical course. Delay the convention and invite the Green Party  to join you in a trans-partisan convention to nominate a coalition ticket. I have been encouraging a Paul/Kucinich or a Paul/Sanders ticket. At such a convention you might choose one of my suggestions, or if they are not available or you so desire, a Johnson/Stein ticket.

A coalition ticket may not be appealing to the pure at heart, but there are ways to form a binding trans-partisan platform that, while not ideal, can simultaneously advance both libertarian and green agendas without violating anybody's conscience.

I am not sure how a Johnson/Stein ticket would do, certainly better than either separate partisan tickets, but it is almost certain that a Paul/Kucinch or Sanders ticket will garner over 30% of the vote after they mop the floor in the debates.

America is weary of unaffordable, unending wars and the stale, vacillating rhetoric of shallow bipartisanship and tribal partisanship. We are in a mood for real, creative and deep trans-partisanship to vanquish the empire building and maintenance of the military industrial catastrophe and their corporate cousins in the complex of prisons, insurance, pharmaceutics, energy and communications.

We need a team of progressives and libertarians to deeply diminish federal debt and counter-productive government intrusions We need leaders from outside of the prefabricated duopoly to free up funds from wasteful sink holes and use it to pay down debt and empower the American people to build a peaceful, prosperous and green economy.

You are meeting in Las Vegas. There are a lot more risky ventures that will get you a lot less than the long desired and much deserved recognition and respect of the American people. Here's hoping your wager is a big winner.


Saturday, April 21, 2012

I've Changed My Mind (Sorta)

Following my last post, I have done some more thinking and talking with other Ron Paul supporters and I have change my mind (slightly).

I now believe that a third party candidacy may be viable.  I do not rule out the independent course but only if and where it gets Ron Paul on the general election ballot.

Different states have different laws and deadlines concerning third party and independent candidates.  Where getting Ron Paul on the ballot is easy, it should be done.

The problem is it is easier to run independent only after the candidate makes up her or his mind. And then there is the additional problem of putting a vice presidential running mate on an independent ballot before such the presidential candidate chooses one.

I therefore am endorsing an effort by Ron Paul supporters to secure his name on on third party tickets across the US. The dilemma remains the timing. If a party holds a national convention and announces a national candidate, reversing course is going to be very difficult if not impossible.

For example, the Libertarian party meets next month and if they choose Gary Johnson, Ron Paul loses that opportunity. If the Libertarian party could be persuaded to wait until after the GOP convention to choose their nominee then Ron Paul could throw his name in the ring.

To state my newest position (do I sound like Romney?), get Paul on the ballot ASAP, but if there is a party or a state which will allow him to go through the GOP convention and still have the option of getting on the ballot afterwards, then go that route.

I still think it would be preferable for Paul to drop out of the GOP race now and hand his delegates over to Rand Paul at the GOP convention while Ron Paul pursues an independent coalition candidacy. However, it does not appear that Ron Paul will give up on the GOP before the convention, so we work with conditions as they are.

If Paul chooses to go independent now or third party later (after Libertarians, Greens or some other party agree to delay their decisions until after the GOP convention), I do hope he will see the wisdom in going coalition with a progressive running mate.

Regardless, we progressives need him on the debate stage with Obama and Romney to force them to talk about issues they both wish to avoid.

PS: Here is a link to sign a petition calling for Ron Paul to run third party: http://www.rp2012.org/

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Ron Paul: Bait for Long Term Strategy

It is becoming clearer that Ron Paul's campaign goal is not to win the presidency but to change the Republican Party. This is a 16 year strategy to elect William Paul president.

This Goldwaterian strategy may have merit but it begs the question: Do we have 16 years to fix America?

Let us suppose we do, maybe even make it a 20 years strategy so Rand's son will be in his 40s rather than his 30s  when he is elected president. Does this mean Ron Paul needs to give up on being in the general election now? Let's be clear: continuing to pursue the current strategy is a declaration of electoral defeat. Ron Paul will not be nominated and if he really wants to have an IOU from the GOP, he will have to endorse Romney this year. In the least, he needs to refrain from running in the general election and from endorsing Gary Johnson this year.

In other words, his campaign has set a trap and Ron Paul is the bait. Allow Ron Paul to die a permanent political death by endorsing Romney or at least not running himself or endorsing anyone else so that Romney might become president. It then becomes crystal clear that the youth libertarian vote is the future of the Republican party because they will be the ones who bite into Obama's base and defeat him. More libertarians in the GOP apparatus and eventually you get a growing number of libertarians nominated by the GOP at all levels.

Admittedly, this may in the end turn out to be a great strategy. The cost, of course, is 20 years of corporate control of our government and economy.

I and a number of other Ron Paul supporters are saying, "To heck with procrastination disguised as patience!"  Corporatocracy will only grow more deeply entrenched through sponsorship, patronage, marketing and surveillance. Who will dare oppose an omniscient corporate government? If not a coup now, then probably never.

Some within the immediate coup community believe that Ron Paul should run a concurrent campaign as both a Republican and a Libertarian. I am not sure that is even possible. Others think he ought just drop out of the race now and seek the LP's nomination and make Gary Johnson his running mate.

You might guess why I oppose this tactic. It narrows Ron Paul's appeal. Early on this blog I advocated Paul running a coalition candidacy all the way to the convention where, after becoming a martyr, he could announce a third party candidacy with a progressive running mate. I was right about the coalition strategy. I was wrong about going all the way to the convention. 

Why was I wrong? I failed to check the calendar. Nearly all states have pre-convention deadlines for filing as a third party or independent presidential candidate. I now advocate him running independent immediately and if he can do this concurrently as a Republican candidate, then by all means do so.

In the likely circumstance that the GOP will not allow Paul to continue as a candidate for their nomination should he declare his independent  candidacy, what needs to happen is that the campaign continue to encourage his supporters to run for delegate and party positions so as to continue the long term coup attempt. Since the official campaign's coup strategy is long term, it should not matter as much that Ron Paul does not get prime time speech in Tampa. Yes...it matters a little but the main key to taking over the GOP is not a personality but an ongoing recruitment of ideological soldiers to gradually capture the reigns of power.

However, this actuarial coup strategy need not prevent an immediate full scale electoral war in the general election. Can the idea of a Libertarian or Constitution party endorsement now! It not only narrows his appeal, it imposes a shorter window of opportunity to garner the supporters he needs at their conventions and takes these supporters out of the actuarial struggle.

It is far better for him to gather requisite signatures to get him on the ballot as an independent where he can develop the coalition strategy that he needs to win the election while continuing the long term project of reforming the GOP.

I know the same old sectarian heads will come against this idea. To which I say, you belong in the camp of the current strategy. If Ron Paul is going to run outside of the GOP, he should run to win, not to make a statement. He wins only in coalition with progressives.  No one has or can challenged this observation: No coalition, no victory in November. And with all due deference to Robin Koerner, by coalition I do not mean libertarian hospitality, as nice and as helpful as that may be.

Here it is in a nutshell: Keep the quest for delegates and an actuarial coup up with or without Ron Paul and in the mean time....DR. PAUL, DO THE ONLY THING YOU CAN TO WIN THIS ELECTION: FORM AN INDEPENDENT COALITION CANDIDACY WITH PROGRESSIVES NOW!!!

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Elephant in the Campaign: An Unnecessary Major Conflict


A major divide is beginning to open among Ron Paul supporters. On one side are those who advocate with his campaign that he continue to stay in the GOP race and win delegates. On the other side are those like myself who advocate Ron Paul going independent or third party now. ( I advocate the former as a better means of reaching a broader audience.)

While some who advocate the delegate strategy believe that he can still win the GOP nomination, most probably Ron Paul will finish second in the delegate count and Romney will fall short of a majority. That's a doable and I would say likely outcome. His campaign should be commended for this outcome and if they mange to pull off a plurality of delegates, they will make history. What they hope for is probably not that Ron Paul will win a brokered convention but that with enough libertarian delegates in place, the party can be changed over the next two or three elections, especially as demographics catch up with the greatly old party.

As wrong as I believe this strategy to be, it is not without merit. It calls for patient endurance rather than apocalyptic urgency, and that may be the best course. However, advocates of the delegate strategy go astray in assuming that if Ron Paul drops out of the race and runs independent or third party,  his supporters will quit trying to get elected as delegates and local and state party officials. Is there a rule that says once a candidate suspends or ends his campaign, he can no longer have any of his supporters run to become a delegate?

The two strategies need not be mutually exclusive. Ron Paul can decide to run as an independent now and get his name on ballots nationwide. While he does this, there is nothing to prevent his supporters from continuing their quest to vote for him in the primaries and pursue opportunities to become Republican delegates and leaders at local, state and national levels.

Ron Paul needs to say to his supporters, "Run for office, run to be a delegate, run to become state and precinct chairs. Do this while I do what is necessary to get my name on the general election ballot in all states. I have not given up hope on reforming the Republican party. Your participation in the process is vital to returning this party to its roots in liberty. However, our nation cannot wait through a another 4 years of warfare and corporate welfare and passing on debt to future generations. This purpose of liberating our nation from the shackles of corporate cronyism is bigger than any party or ideology. Many Americans who do not share my economic views know that something must be done now which neither party is willing to do. I therefore today announce my intention to run for the presidency of the United States of America as an independent candidate. I will seek out a coalition partner to run with me and form a trans-partisan alliance to regain our country for its people."

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Apology

I just want to apologize to all of you that I have failed to respond to or been tardy in the same. I am disorganized and I also have only recently learned that I can reply directly to a comment. I guess this is proof that I am an idiot as so many have told me in one way or another. LOL!
Peace to all and thanks for your participation on my blog.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Difference between Principles and Ideals: Vive la France


I wrote this in response to a Paul supporter who is very proud (and rightly so) to stand on principles. The problem with her and other principled Ron Paul supporters who think that any compromise is a compromise of principles is that that they confuse principles with ideals. Such persons might think that we could have won the American Revolution without allying with France. But let's not get into an argument over counterfactuals:

I can respect Ron Paul supporters for not voting for Romney. What I question is many of them being unwilling to form a temporary coalition with progressives to oust the two-headed corporate beast.

The American Revolutionaries made an alliance with France (not a bastion of liberty at the time). If you want this revolution to happen you can't just think you can do it alone. Think of us progressives as the French.

If Ron Paul were to get his name with that of a progressive like Kucinich, Sanders or Warren on the general election ballot in every state and every territory, he could win this election and be our next POTUS. If he does less (write-in, Libertarian party run with Johnson), he will not win; although, he might do as well as Perot and give Obama a second term.

I think a great number of Paul's supporters would rather be martyrs than deal with the reality of winning and governing. This all or nothing mentality is what will keep libertarians (and progressives as well because I know that many of us are just as tribal and sectarian)on the sidelines forever.

Now I know that several of you will mention Blue Republicans and as much as I respect Brother Koerner, the Blue Republican movement has neither advocated nor condemned a real coalition candidacy. What it has done very well is create a positive atmosphere of hospitality in which a coalition might develop.

If you really want progressives to be the French in your revolution, you have to be willing to make concessions on economic policy. Now I am sure there are  hundereds of high minded folks crying, "We will not compromise our principles." No one is asking you to.

Ron Paul has not compromised his principles by promising to fully fund entitlements in exchange for an opt-out for young  people. If he were a bit more obstinate about his ideals as well as his principles, he would insist that all entitlement funds be returned immediately to the people who have paid into them. Thankfully, he sees this libertarian ideal policy as political unrealistic and counter-productive to actually advancing his libertarian agenda.

Once we make this distinction, as Ron Paul does, between ideals and the realistic enactment of principles, we can move toward coalition policy that will really draw progressives in.

Here is the deal that I have been advocating for a the past 14 months: Progressives agree to give Ron Paul's opt out proposal a fair hearing. Maybe a deal can be struck such as an opt out combined with a public option, but after the deal is made or not, take that money which was intended for subsidizing the transition and the opt out and apply half of it to debt reduction and half to population based block grants to the states with no instructions on how they allocate it and only one condition: report the details of how each state chooses to allocate it.

This would be a 4 year deal that could be renegotiated or not. If it is renegotiated, there could be a gradual transition for moving the funding responsibility back to the states themselves.

I think this is a very reasonable deal that violates no one's principles but advances both libertarian and progressive principles and goals simultaneously.

Now I know there are voices here who hate me as much as neocons hate the French, but just forget that this idea comes from a progressive. We'll invent some conspiracy theory that I stole it from a libertarian if it makes the pill go down.

Sorry about the parenthetical jabs. Felt the need to preempt  all the knee jerk responses I could so we might have a real conversation.

The bottom line is not: shall we lose with our principles intact but rather are we willing to win with less than our ideal?

Peace.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Give Ron Paul a Chance with Americans Elect



If Ron Paul remains in the GOP race through the convention in Tampa this August, he will not be allowed to have his name on the general election ballot in the vast majority of states. One way to possibly remedy this situation is to get him on the Americans Elect ballot.

Right now Ron Paul has the most supporters on Americans Elect's web page.

Ron Paul is not a declared candidate but over 7000 people are trying to draft him. In order to qualify for nomination he has to have 1000 supporters in each of at least 10 states vote for him. One has to join the site before one may vote for a candidate.  As of today here are the top 10 states supporting Ron Paul and the current number of supporters who have voted to draft him as a candidate for Americans Elect:

California           706
Texas                 552
Florida               441
New York         353
Pennsylvania      307
Ohio                  293
Michigan            245
Washington        245
Virginia              231   
North Carolina   225

If Ron Paul qualifies he may choose whether to have his name in the Americans Elect nomination through an online convention. If he decides to declare his candidacy for Americans Elect, he may or may not win. Given the enthusiasm of Ron Paul's online supporters, it should be easy to get those 1000 votes in each of 10 states and he would definitely be competitive in the online convention.

I have been very critical of delegate strategy currently pursued by Ron Paul's campaign.  I hope and pray that I am proven wrong in my prediction that he will finish no better than second in the delegate count and that the GOP will not allow his name to be on the ticket for either president or vice president no matter how many votes he gets on the convention floor. 

My criticism of the current strategy aside, participating in the Americans Elect campaign will not interfere with anything the Ron Paul campaign is doing now. It provides a backup option should Paul fail to be nominated by the GOP.

If he were to win Americans Elect's nomination he would have to choose a running mate from among Democrats. Some of Ron Paul's supporters will not be willing to support a transpartisan ticket; however, it may be Ron Paul's best option should he not win the GOP nomination. He could run a write-in campaign and no doubt do well but I think it is fair to say that he would do a whole lot better if his name were actually on the ballot in all states and territories.

No need for me to rehash the list of my preferred Democratic candidates but my 3 favorites would be: Dennis Kucinich, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Should Ron Paul run on a nationwide ticket with a progressive, I believe he could be elected. The election of a libertarian/progressive P and VP would be truly revolutionary and give the American people a fighting chance to be reclaimed our government. 

There is one caveat to all of this. No one can say for sure how honest Americans Elect is. Some critics are arguing that the Americans elect board of directors may not agree to follow the will of the people and will instead put  their preferred candidates on the ballot. If they do, they will fail miserably and be totally discredited by the American people.

If Ron Paul fails to win the GOP nomination and Americans Elect rejects him, he can still run a write-in campaign or endorse the Libertarian Party candidate. There is really nothing to lose by signing up to Americans Elect and attempting to get him that nomination. I would love to hear from anybody a good reason for not pursuing this alternative.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Dear Progressives

Dear Progressives,

We may think that President Obama's reelection is inevitable and that would probably be true. Thanks in part to Rick Santorum undermining Mitt Romney and Romney's inevitable nomination, Obama may have the fortune of facing the weakest GOP challenger since Goldwater.

Furthermore, if as I suspect most Ron Paul supporters shift their support to Gary Johnson in the general election, Obama will  likely landslide Romney and maybe even regain the House while keeping the Senate.

Given all this good news, it is tempting to get excited about the prospects of Obama 2. Given the mandate of a landslide and unfettered by the need to be re-elected, the word will at last become flesh, populist rhetoric will become political reality.

For a moment let's imagine the best: progressive tax reform with a 40% marginal rate for millionaires. Permanent payroll tax reduction funded by raising the cap to a million dollars. A universally available public option added to Obamacare. And if the Supreme Court rejects the individual mandate, single payer, what we wanted all along, will be passed before the midterm elections. Spending will shift from wars, occupations, corporate welfare and all other forms empire building and maintenance to green technology and infrastructure. Good paying jobs will come back by the millions. Obama will leave office as the greatest president since FDR and pass the baton on to Hilary.

As lovely a picture as that may be, let's be real. Regardless of how well this election turns out for Obama, he will not have 60 progressives Senators next year and so very little of this agenda (assuming it is his) will make it to his desk for signature.

What we can more realistically expect is the preservation of Obamacare to evolve over a generation into something like the German system of universal coverage. We may see a few minor military skirmishes and war with Iran may be averted. Gas prices will fall to just below $3 a gallon before they creep back up to around $3.50 remain there for there last 2 years of Obama's presidency. He'll leave office with unemployment near 6% with a net job increase of 12 million over 8 years, with 20 million created in the last six years of his two terms in office.

Not a bad record but any future president wanting to start a war will be able to do so without congressional approval through the war powers act. American citizens can and will be taken into custody and held without charges. A few will be assassinated with only the president's declaration of their status as an enemy. That power in Hilary's hands will not look much different from Obama's but eventually a Liz Cheney presidency will up the ante.

Military contracts and a national fossil fuel boom will account for nearly half of the new jobs with most of the other jobs coming through service sector employment at near minimum wage. Foregoing any significant increase in the minimum wage will be the political price for closing tax loopholes and making the top rate 28% rather than 25%.

The military and security budget will be well above a trillion a year. Medicare and Medicaid will be cut back with more private insurers taking over. A deal will be struck that raises the retirement age to 70 by the end of the century and moves the social security cap up to $250K in the same time frame. The total payroll tax burden will reach 20% well ahead of those changes.

Who knows what will happen? Gas prices could continue to rise and stay high through November, helping Romney. The best that progressives can do is put the pressure on Obama. Voting for Ron Paul in the primary sends the president a message: cut the military budget first and foremost before you do anything with the domestic budget. End the drug war now. Restore civil liberties by ending the patriot act now.

Get Paul the needed boost and see what he decides to do. There is still an outside chance he will form a real coalition candidacy. If not, with enough support he will be compelled to run third party or independent. Doing so puts him on the debate stage and keeps Obama from tilting further right on war and military spending.

Do you really have anything to gain from voting for Obama in the primary? You still have much to lose by not voting for Paul in the primary.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Now that Hope is Dashed


The prospects for Ron Paul winning the Republican nomination were slim from the beginning.  Nearing the midpoint of the primary season, we must now all admit that Ron Paul will not be the nominee. I anticipate that he will surprise people by finishing second in the delegate count despite the media’s assumption that he is in fourth place. 

Pulling off second place would be an extraordinary feat. Finishing first in the delegate count would be pure organizational genius, striking fear into the heart of establishment Republicans and Democrats everywhere.
Unfortunately, even in the unlikely event of Paul winning a plurality of delegates, the GOP convention will not allow his name to be placed on the ballot. We are more likely to see a Romney/Santorum ticket or something close to it with one corporate favorite and one cultural conservative crush. The libertarian is too big of a threat to the military industrial catastrophe.

It also seems highly unlikely that the purpose of this blog will be realized either. Ron Paul will probably not run independent or third party and more importantly will not choose a progressive running mate. Furthermore, my recent call for Anderson, Johnson and Stein to do in the minor leagues what Paul has been unwilling to do in the big leagues has fallen on deaf ears, if there were any ears to fall on. 

Sadly, if this blog were ever read by someone in the big leagues, it has generated all the enthusiasm children usually reserve for asparagus. I am almost finished tilting at this windmill. Before I join the massive ranks of those who ignore my blog, I wish to ask someone to feed this post up the food chain to some Young Turks' intern. (Is that a low enough expectation for this would be weed withering beneath the astroturf?)

Specifically, I have this one humble question: Does anyone believe that a halfway progressive agenda can get 60 votes in the US Senate and the president's signature without a real coalition with libertarians? Or to ask this question of the other side of this could-have-been alliance: Does anyone believe that a halfway libertarian agenda can get 60 votes in the US Senate and the president's signature without a real coalition with progressives?

I'm not sure where to go from here. My instinct tells me that if progressives and libertarians do not eventually make a temporary alliance, neither of us will realize any of our most important political and economic goals.Corporatism will continue to rule, and eventually unemployment will settle beneath 6 percent and everyone will be convinced that we can do no better than that without bubbles. The culture will gradually liberalize. Gay multi-ethinic CEOs will reduce abortion through corporate sponsored adoptions. Christian fascists, taunted by liberal propagandists, will voice their moral outrage while a growing population of working poor are warned against government sponsored cancer insurance. 

Someone humor me. Give me a bite.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Dear Libertarians

Do you want to punish the GOP? You'll get your wish when Ron Paul  runs a write in campaign or endorses Gary Johnson. The caveat you must accept with this desirable outcome is a Democratic party reinvigorated by a Obama/Biden landslide over Romney/Santorum.

If Ron Paul decides to stick with an exclusively libertarian agenda , endorsing the Libertarian Party nominee or choosing a fellow libertarian as his running mate, the Democratic Party will be the primary beneficiary. If, on the other hand, Ron Paul embraces a coalition platform and chooses a progressive running mate, he will severely damage both major parties.

And so my libertarian friends, do you want to be the best friend of Obama and the Democratic party, or do you want to harm both parties and possibly win a victory that permanently disables them and gives Ron Paul the bully pulpit for at least 4 years?

Monday, March 12, 2012

An Appeal to Anderson, Johnson, and Stein for a Coalition Candidacy (cc Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich)

Your campaigns are signs of defiant hope that the American government can and should be of, for and by the people. We certainly need multiple political parties to represent the ideological diversity of the American people.

The Democratic and Republican parties have largely betrayed the will and expectations of ordinary Americans and cannot be trusted to cooperate on policy making except to affirm the status quo, lowest common denominator. Their differences are largely rhetorical. Their policy actions are largely indistinguishable.

On foreign policy both parties are aggressive interventionists committed to empire building and maintenance. On economic policies, their actions are largely the same, having been bought and paid for by the same multi-nation corporations and banks. On cultural issues, they express real differences but seek no real resolutions, needful as they both are to keep these wedge issues in the game to divert our attention from more urgent problems.

The bait and switch, divide and conquer strategy of the corporate duopoly is so blatantly obvious, we need not rehearse it here. Your campaigns and parties have made valiant efforts to move us beyond status quo politics. We are hopeful that one day your voices will be heard more broadly and taken more seriously.

The goal of greater political visibility is necessary but we are sure that your ultimate goal is to change our government so that the American people can be empowered to live full lives of liberty and justice for all.
We therefore ask all three of you to give consideration to forming a coalition ticket for president and vice president in the general election.

We understand there are real and significant policy differences among the three of you, perhaps less so between Rocky and Jill.  We also recognize the need not to undermine party formation. At this point we are not recommending coalition candidacies for congressional and state offices.

The biggest obstacles to a coalition candidacy are the differences on economic policy. While a coalition candidacy would limit the scope and direction of economic reform, we believe that both progressive and libertarian economic policy can be better advanced under a coalition government than under either a Democratic or Republican administration.

To move forward we recommend these core policy commitments be at the center of a coalition campaign and government. A Green, Justice, and Libertarian platform should be committed to following 3 goals:

1.) Reducing the overall size, budget and debt of the federal government first and foremost by greatly reducing the military and homeland security budgets to what is constitutionally and reasonably needed to defend our nation from those who desire and intend to do violence against us. Other significant reductions could come from ending the drug war and corporate welfare. Some less sizable reductions can also be  achieved by consolidation of domestic departments and agencies, simplification of tax policy, increased use of smart technology and less paper work, and devolving authority either temporarily or permanently to state and local governments.

2.) Reforming our tax and tariff systems to increase revenues in ways that are more progressive, less burdensome for the vast majority of Americans, and more consumption oriented. We would urge that the present income tax system be transformed into a progressive consumption tax which exempts at least $25K of annual consumption per person and provides a progressive earned income tax credit voucher card option to replace tax deductions, exemptions, credits, loopholes and their accompanying paperwork. We also urge a gradual increase in carbon taxes, alcohol, tobacco and other newly legalized drugs and health damaging products and services. Finally we believe that tariffs on imports should be based on environmental stewardship and justice and on human, civil, labor, and consumer rights. Products and services imported from countries that show hostility or less concern for these standards should be accessed higher tariff rates, while countries with standards comparable in intent and effect to ours should have their tariffs on products and services lowered.

3.) Direct all savings from spending reductions and all revenue gains from tax and tariff reforms equally toward debt reduction and funding of state and local governments.  We believe that over 4 years not less than 5 trillion dollars of savings and revenue can and should be directed away from Washington toward debt reduction and minimally conditional funding of state and local governments. Reducing national debt by a minimum of $2.5 trillion and sending $2.5 trillion to state and local governments to spend and invest as they see fit will stimulate the economy and produce greater revenue gains which should accelerate progress towards a balanced budget and the creation of stable and well compensated jobs. We recommend that all state and local governments receiving these funds be required to report clearly, publicly and online where every dime is allocated.

We realize that Gary is likely to want greater reductions in government spending and tax reform advocate flatter, fewer, lower and consumption-oriented taxes. Jill and Rocky, on the other hand, are likely to call for greater federal investment in domestic infrastructure, education and renewable energy while increasing labor, consumer and environmental protection. No doubt, neither libertarians nor progressives will consider these 3 core agreements as the ideal means for building economic stability, increasing jobs creation and reducing national debt.

We ask for this coalition not because we think that these 3 core planks in a platform will solve all of our problems. Instead we believe that this policy platform (with perhaps a few minor adjustments) would be acceptable to all  of you and advance both libertarian and progressive agendas simultaneously to a significantly greater degree than either Obama 2 or Romney 1. In other words, a real coalition government will advance the libertarian agenda further than a Republican administration and move forward the progressive agenda better than a Democratic administration.

Finally and most importantly, a coalition candidacy has a much better chance of winning than any of you do running exclusively and separately as your parties' nominees. A temporary alliance is a necessary transitional means for liberating our nation and the world from the chains of violent corporatocracy. 5 or 10 years from now, our common adversary vanquished from illegitimate power, we can contest one another in future campaigns. However, in a present crisis, continued sectarian ideology and tribal politics will only feed the corporate beast at the expense of the 99 Percent.

We therefore encourage you to immediately form a Green, Justice and Libertarian Coalition candidacy to run in the general election race for president and vice president. If, as seems almost inevitable, Ron Paul does not form such a coalition candidacy with a progressive such as Dennis Kucinich or Elizabeth Warren, we suggest that Gary be on the ticket with either Jill or Rocky. It matters not who is at the top of the ticket as long as all three of you pledge to do everything legally possible to enact all 3 planks of this coalition platform.

We submit this appeal with the sincere hope that you will give serious and thoughtful consideration to our proposal to form a real coalition candidacy and government. We ask that you respond in a timely and prompt manner in order that the names of a coalition candidacy can be placed on the ballots of all states and territories before fast approaching deadlines.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Searching for a Way Ahead (You might Need to Read the 2nd Paragraph 1st)

In my previous post I tried to imagine where Ron Paul's campaign is going, given its unwavering quest for delegates with seemingly little regard for the popular vote. The best conclusion I could reach is that Paul is angling for Treasury Secretary.

For the record, I don't really believe Ron Paul is angling for anything from Romney. He may actually believe that this delegate strategy is his only chance. So also for the record, if the present strategy gives Ron Paul a plurality of delegates, I will admit my error and apologize for doubting his campaign. I do hope that the campaign will be courageous enough to admit they were wrong should Paul finish second or worse in delegate totals (rather than spin all things Paul successful).

In this post I want to begin to imagine where we might go from here. But first where is here?

We are headed for an impassable dilemma. Assuming Ron Paul stays in the race until the convention, he will not be able to get his name on the ballots of more than 7 states. If he decides to get his name on the ballots of all 50 states, he will lose any opportunity of getting anything from the GOP because most states require all the paper work for an independent on the ballot be done before the convention in late August.

To me it seems evident that he should be making preparations right now to get on the ballot in every state. By May if he has not turned the campaign around, he should drop out and announce his coalition candidacy with Dennis Kucinich. Sadly, I don't see this happening. However, I would support a write-in campaign even though a write-in campaign almost guarantees a lopsided loss.

A long shot for switching to a coalition strategy while Paul remains in the GOP contest is to look to the Libertarian, Green and Justice parties to see if they would be willing to form a coalition candidacy for the general election. Gary Johnson/Jill Stein might not have the most name recognition but with possible endorsements from Rocky Anderson, Ron Paul,  Ralph Nader, Dennis Kucinich, etc. this combo might actually get in the debates and set the ground work for a bigger run in 2016.

Another possibility is to get Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich or some such combination on the Americans Elect ballot. It may or may not be worth pursuing this path. AE may be an astroturf organization and if it puts some sort of "moderate" ticket together we'll know its true feathers.

I see no way around looking forward to 2016. There is much work to be done and this work begins with identifying progressives and libertarians who are willing to support a coalition candidacy. Ron Paul's long term strategy has been to take over the Republican party and make it the libertarian party. That may happen but it will probably take another generation or more. There are young neo-cons who want just as much to keep the imperial party for themselves.

What would be most helpful is to look for and identify both libertarian and progressive candidates to run for House and Senate seats. Libertarians should target blue dog districts and states while progressives target neo-con districts and states. Progressive and libertarian voters should switch parties  where needed and we should avoid trying to nominate a libertarian and a progressive in the same district.

Obviously this needs to be coordinated and probably means that Green Party and Libertarian Party members need to face reality and see that they are not going to win outside of the two party structure but if they cooperate with libertarian Republicans and progressive Democrats, they stand a better chance of getting their agendas on the floor of congress. Open and tactical infiltration of both major parties is the only way to overthrow the establishment.

This congressional strategy should begin right now and be as geared up as possible for the 2014 election. Midterm elections offer the best chance at getting coalition candidates elected. We must support only candidates who pledge to work with a coalition of libertarians and progressives. We must also be willing to support the right kind of hybrid candidate.

A transitional coalition platform needs to be developed. This platform should have  three basic elements:
1.) big reductions in the empire building and maintenance budget,
2.) increased revenue through tax reform that is simple, progressive and consumption oriented, and
3.) distribution of savings and new revenues, half for debt reduction and half for block grants to states.

Anyone on board?


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Ron Paul's End Game


NOTE: Go here first... http://progressivesforronpaul.blogspot.com/2012/04/ron-paul-bait-for-long-term-strategy.html
The following post has become very controversial because many are misunderstanding. The purpose of this post was to demonstrate that the most optimistic view of the delegate strategy yields unacceptable results.




The day is closing across the USA. A few primaries and caucuses are yet to be determined or too close to call. We will not know until very early in the morning here on the east coast whether Paul manages finally to win a state as the Alaskan caucuses are just getting started. 

So far Ron Paul has finished third or fourth in every state except Virginia, North Dakota, and maybe Vermont. In Virginia he has finished a disappointing and distant second. Regardless of what consolation Alaska offers, Virginia was the last opportunity for Ron Paul to turn the tide. He was the only candidate on the ballot and write-ins for Santorum, Gingrich and others were not allowed. 

The other two anti-Romney candidates had their supporters voting for Paul which accounts for his highest finish to date with 41% of the vote. Probably 15 to 20 percentage points came from Santorum and Gingrich supporters. Another 10 to 15 percentage points came from crossover Democrats and independents. Had Democrats turned out for Paul in Virginia as they apparently did for Santorum in Ohio, Paul would have defeated Romney.

Of course Democrats turned out for Santorum in Ohio because of Operation Hilarity. As I mentioned in my two previous posts, I suspect this crossover voting to be design to preempt Democrats from turning toward Ron Paul. As with most conspiracy theories I have much subjectively invested in it. It may be that Moulitsas, Moore, et al are innocent of malicious intent except to cause mischief. The timing of their mischief is opportune and effective. 

Perhaps there is an intuitive means of testing my theory. Imagine if Ron Paul were in the position occupied by Santorum prior to the Michigan primary. Would the megaphonic  propagandists of the left have been as happy to use Paul for their destructive intentions? Answer that question honestly as you evaluate my conspiracy theory.

Regardless of the left's motivations, Ron Paul and his campaign bear as much, if not more, responsibility for this missed opportunity. No significant investment in Virginia? No attempts to reach out with robo calls to Democrats? Clearly, something is amiss in the Ron Paul campaign.

His diehard stalwarts are of course going to remind me that the delegate strategy is working. What exactly does that mean? What is the best case scenario this strategy produces? A majority of delegates and the nomination even though Paul finishes 3rd in the vote total? I do not think Paul has morons on his staff. There must be some other goal.

Perhaps the goal is to gain a plurality of delegates and in a brokered convention make the case that Paul played by the rules to win delegates and delegates are what counts, not votes. To deny him the nomination on the grounds that he did not gain a plurality of votes is to betray the rules established by the party and to send a message to America that Republicans cannot be trusted to play by the rules.

I doubt that strategy holds up when Santorum and Gingrich are asked whether their delegates should go to first place Paul or second place Romney, especially since Romney does want to be president, so much so that he'll give Gingrich a cabinet post and Santorum the VP spot in exchange for the nomination. Paul could be offered a consolation prize as well, say, Secretary of Labor and if he refused, be left to see what he could do as an independent in the general election.

Perhaps Paul views this campaign as an educational tour culminating in a prime time speech at the convention. I doubt that Ron Paul has set his aim so low. 

Perhaps, as is speculated much in the MSM, Paul has made a deal to get his son a  cabinet post or VP. While offering such a deal to Paul would definitely be in Romney's interests, accepting a deal like this would be out of character for Paul, not to mention a disillusioning experience for the millions of enthusiastic young enthusiasts he has inspired. Ron Paul would not let them down for the sake of nepotism.

What I suspect is Ron Paul knows that Mitt Romney will not win this election without his endorsement. He also knows that the GOP establishment would never stand for him or Rand being a heart beat away from the presidency. However, the GOP establishment would be reluctantly willing to allow him to take the seat of Alexander Hamilton so that Ron Paul can begin to have his conversation with Ben Bernanke and a larger American audience about legal tender laws and competitive and parallel currencies.

This progressive would not be happy with that outcome not because I disagree with Paul on this issue. I do not disagree with him. I think competitive currency in the consumer market place is possible and indeed may be exactly what the dollar needs to stabilize over the long haul and maybe a first step for moving currency creation authority back to the congress where it belongs. 

I would not be satisfied with this because the MIC would be left in place The massive domestic stimulus that we need in green infrastructure and technology would be replaced by another military stimulus. Ron Paul may have to resign if this stimulus results in a war with Iran or the like, making Romney's plan complete. It is a risk Ron Paul is probably willing to take, and it is the only hope for the GOP to gain the White House in November.

I would rather Ron Paul take the risk that I have advocated for the last 13 months. I think most libertarians would prefer he take the Treasury track rather than the high speed rail we progressives want. It does not appear that Ron Paul will disappoint them unless... NEWS FLASH: Dennis Kucinich is available.
  
One may only hope....

Everybody note the date. ... 3-6-2012, Super Tuesday. Google and find someone else who made this prediction ahead of me. If I am right, I need a part time job making 100K writing for HP and the Daily Kos while making weekly appearances on MSNBC. Heck...I'll take Fox if anybody's offering.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Operation Hilarity's Real Target

Here's my conspiracy theory; somebody tell me why I am wrong:

Markos Moulitsas and other prominent progressives are promoting Operation Hilarity. Ostensibly the goal is to weaken Romney by extending the primary as long as possible. If Santorum gets the nomination, that's great because he is unelectable.

If this were the goal, Virginia should be a big target. Neither Santorum nor Gingrich are on the ballot and write-ins are not allowed. Their supporters have big reasons to vote for Ron Paul in this primary in the absence of their preferred candidates. If Democrats came out to vote tactically for Paul, Romney could be dealt a huge loss, his biggest thus far.

Why is Moulitsas et al not cheering on Paul big time in Virginia? Could it be that Operation Hilarity's real target is Ron Paul?

Robin Koener, I and other Blue and Green Republicans have been encouraging Democrats and independents to vote for Ron Paul in the Republican primaries. Has Moulitsas been paying attention? If he hadn't a clue as to the potential flood building for Ron Paul, he would be happy about helping Paul pull off a major upset in Virginia.

My guess is Moulitsas is very aware that Ron Paul's peace candidacy is a real threat to draw big numbers of progressives away from President Obama. How do you preempt such a flood? Give progressives something useful to do. Pretend that Romney is the real threat. But keep your mouth shut when it comes to Virginia.

Unfortunately, Ron Paul's campaign is making this bait and switch strategy all too easy for establishment Democrats. Where are the robo-calls to Democrats in Virginia?  Unfortunately, that silence is even more discouraging.


Friday, March 2, 2012

Replace Operation Hilarity with Operation Green Blue Coup


I had promised myself  not to write before Super Tuesday but I am so angered by the stupidity of progressives I otherwise agree with when they take up the cause of promoting Rick Santorum. I can't help but think they are deliberately trying to pre-empt what I, Robin Keorner and other Blue and Green Republicans  are advocating. Below is my response to a Huffington Post article on the subject. I suggest you favorite it even if you disagree with its decidedly progressive and Obama sympathetic content because we need to light this fire under Democrats immediately if we are going to get Ron Paul back up in the headlines and moving ahead of Santorum and Romney in the upcoming caucuses and primaries:

Nothing wrong with tactical voting. Operation Hilarity, however, distracts progressives from a much more promising application.

There is a risk that this tactic might backfire and Republicans find in Santorum a true believer they can enthusiastically support. Regardless, the outcome of giving aid and comfort to any neo-con will serve as a minor irritant or even welcome relief to the GOP establishment.

A much more serious blow can be struck against the GOP by progressives tactically voting for Ron Paul. If Ron Paul can go to the GOP convention with a plurality of votes and/or delegates, the GOP establishment will be forced to reject him and cause his followers to walk out. A rupture of this magnitude would cripple the Republicans in the general election. Paul's supporters would convince him to run a third party or write-in campaign and draw enough votes away from Romney/Santorum to give Obama a landslide victory.

Additionally, with Ron Paul in the debates, Obama can be restrained from the instinctual reaction of so many Democratic candidates to prove they are not "weak on defense" by going along with calls for steroidal increases in funds for the MIC beast. Instead, Obama would appear to be the moderate while Romney's true warmongering intentions are exposed.

Finally and perhaps most promising, Ron Paul's presence in the general election would lend support to Libertarian candidates for Senate and House which would also draw votes away from Republican candidates for congress. This could very well result in giving President Obama the 60 Senators and the re-established Democratic majority in the House he needs to get anything significantly progressive done in his second term.

Making sport of Santorum at Romney's expense may give us a thrill but greater fecundity is to be found in tactically supporting Paul in the primary.

Why this tactic is not being widely endorsed by the likes of Huffington, Moore, and Moulitsas is mind-boggling. Wasting this exceedingly rare strategic opportunity would be an epic political failure.