May 27, 2008
Catching Up on Your Reading

Notable stories, if you missed them over the holiday weekend:

1) The Seattle Times profiled both state party spokespersons, including former blogger and current WSRP wearer of many hats, Patrick Bell (P.S. does Steele look like a non-obese Michael Moore?).

2) The Ronulans are going to make trouble in Spokane this weekend. Jim Camden's piece, as run in the P-I, does a better job of explaining the situation than the headline writer. In most cases, Paul supporters are not regular GOP activists. Just like an Internet comment thread, however, they have come out of the woodwork at caucuses and county conventions just as the now decided GOP nominating contest left others with little motivation to compete in the same process.

Mercifully, the Ronulans have usually been better behaved in person than online...though who knows what will happen now that their motives are a little more out in the open.

Posted by Eric Earling at May 27, 2008 07:42 AM | Email This
1. Well, Sir Dino's idea of relieving traffic 'congestion' may be taking care of itself. With the increase in the price of gas and diesel the traffic (at least to some extent) seems to be thinning already. On a national basis I believe I read it's gone down by 4+% from last March to this...the most dramatic decline ever.
So, if the price of gasoline raises to $12/Gallon (as Charles T Maxwell, 'Dean of Oil Analysts') predicts by 2010, 'congestion' may well be a thing of the past around here. Alas, but what a price to pay.
Mr Rossi is playing 'lip service' to our eco-situation, nothing more nothing less and ideas and efforts are 'token' at best. Yet another reason for his upcoming sound defeat. :)

Posted by: Duffman on May 27, 2008 07:41 AM
2. Sorry, meant that to be on other (previous) topic 'Rossi v. Gregoire: The Environment'

Posted by: Duffman on May 27, 2008 07:44 AM
3. It was a Holiday weekend?? someone forgot to tell the bastards at Google, who once again chose to dishonor everyone who has ever served by having their standard logo on Monday and not one memorializing those that gave their lives protecting the freedoms that Google enjoys living under. I think it's time to boycott those communist sympathizers. I'm using Yahoo from now on.

Posted by: Rick D. on May 27, 2008 07:55 AM
4. Agree w/you on that one Ricky-dee! :)

Posted by: Duffman on May 27, 2008 07:57 AM
5. Sound Politics editor Eric Earling calles Ron Paul supporters Ronulans ... I suppose after the race of beings on Star Trek who are the ultimate geeks, says they come out of the wood work and need to behave themselves! Matt Rosenburg, Sound Politics editor calls Conservative Christian Republicans "Cheap Dates".

I think the Libertarian wing, the Conservative Christian wing of the Republican Party are both necessary if the Republican Party is going to have a chance. With all the love shown on the part of the Republican Party to these two groups who delivered election after election from 1980 to 2004 - no wonder they are leaving the party in droves, myself included. I wonder how many elections the Republican party is going to win with the Democrats in the South taking over the issues of low taxes, smaller government, respect for Christians, pro-life, etc.

As their the Republicans try to move their base to the non-breeding liberal country clubbers seeking the praise the non-breeding liberal news media, let's see how successful they are. :-) I'll be watching from the sidelines.

Posted by: John McDonald on May 27, 2008 08:23 AM
6. I prefer "Paulistinians" to "Ronulans" because it shows a better picture of their mental state.

Posted by: cliff on May 27, 2008 08:31 AM
7. This note is coming to you because you were elected a delegate or alternate at your Republican Precinct Caucus in February.

Our party now has a nominee in Senator John McCain, but our work is not done. To understand the unique challenge we are facing as Republicans this year, please see the text below, following the *** line, from the Ron Paul campaign, describing how a small group of antiwar radicals who are not actual Republicans hijacked the 46th District caucus by lying about their beliefs and agenda. They hate our party, and everything you believe in.

Your district leadership will make sure you know who people really support at your caucus, but you need to stand up for what you believe.

To make sure Washington State helps elect Senator McCain, the Republican Party, Senator McCain, and your fellow Republicans need you to turn out at your legislative district caucus on Saturday, April 5th.

We have 12 openings for delegates and 12 openings for alternates to this year's State Convention in Spokane. Please let us know if you would like our help in being elected a delegate or an alternate.

In a Presidential year, these conventions are VERY EXCITING, and for many people who attend it is a once-in-a-lifetime thrill. There will be speeches by Dino Rossi, Rob McKenna, and a host of luminaries.

I can not over-emphasize how important your attendance is. If all the real Republicans in your District do not turn out, it is possible that a small group of non-Republican extremists who support an isolationist, antiwar position may hijack your District. If this happens it would make it harder to approve a Washington State Republican Party Platform at our State Convention that will help make John McCain our next President, and elect Dino Rossi Governor!

Please help us deliver Washington for Senator McCain, and for the REAL Republican Party.

He needs the support of all REAL Republicans, and we are asking you to step up and be counted.

Meeting Information
April 5th, 2008 credentials open 8:30am and close at 9:30am
TOPS/Seward School 2500 Franklin Ave E, Seattle, 98102

Best Regards,

Michael Young
Western Washington Coordinator
McCain for President 2008

Paid for by John McCain 2008 ยท

John McCain 2008
P.O. Box 16118, Arlington, VA 22215
Phone: (703) 418-2008

Posted by: Michael Young on May 27, 2008 08:36 AM
8. Michael @ 7,

I'm disappointed - you didn't cut and paste the text below the *** line so that I can understand the unique challenge people like me present to you - supporting the constitution and all that.

Posted by: Andrew Brown on May 27, 2008 08:40 AM
9. Oh we must discern the 'real Repubs' from the apparent 'imposters'...this is getting complicated; I love it! :)

Posted by: Duffman on May 27, 2008 08:41 AM
10. The "Real Republicans" = "RR" = "Rest and Relaxation" for short are easy to discern ...

They are the ones that take 5 days to bring water to a major american city and pat each other on the back for a job well done.
They are the ones that spend money on liberal programs at a rate that would make a liberal blush.
They are the ones that love government handouts to their friend's companies, but speak self-righteously about the need for the poor to work harder.
They are the ones that pass regulations to benefit certain corporate friends, but decry regulations in general.
They are the ones that make sure no conservative laws are actually passed and all fail with 48 or 49 votes in the Senate to keep the conservative base fired up and thinking that we are "almost there".
They are the ones that really don't give a rip who lands on the supreme court so long as that person is a friend of banks, law firms, and insurance corporations. The Democrat Party is actually the same in this regard.
They are the ones that think what is best for America is what is best for them.
They are the ones who will bend to media pressure rather than make a case for their position on a good government freedom-loving principle.
They are the ones who understand that the Government is 40% of the economy and just as much money can be made there as compared to the private sector and you don't nearly have to work as hard. Yes, Real Republicans LOVE Democratic liberal programs, they make a ton of money on Enviromental Law through higher prices on property, law suits, less competition through regulation.

Posted by: John McDonald on May 27, 2008 09:19 AM
11. I think the comparison between Steele and Bell is real telling of the nature of Democrats vs. Republcans/Liberals vs. Conservatives. Steele and the D party seem to revel in playing hockey style, get in your face, "dirty" politics, where the object seems to be destroying your opponent, whereas Bell and the R party take a much more civilized strategy. They still get the message out about their opponents but without resorting to cheap tricks and half-truths. Dino Rossi is the same way. He never goes after Gregoire like an attack dog. He simply points out her shortcoming in a very open manner. I think in the end this will always be the winning strategy.

Posted by: WFP on May 27, 2008 09:44 AM
12. Reading the article, here's a piece of advice for you Dino folks. I think you've got the potential to beat Gregoire fair and square, but you're going to need to do it based on your principles.

You need to show people that there is an alternative to what exists now. I hate to use the words of the guy I would never vote for, but in this he's got things figured out. People want to know that there will be change - for the better - and have hope that they can help to make it.

What Dino can do that Obama cannot, however, is actually back up that message of hope and change with actual, workable, plans to do so. That means you don't spend all your time attacking Gregoire. That just means she's a worthy enemy, and it stirs up her base against you. Instead, you deign to stoop to that level and talk about how you're going to actually change things. In Rossi's case, he should be telling us about all the departments he plans to cut. All the big government that is going to go away. It shouldn't be an 'I'm not Gregoire' message, it should be an 'I'm Dino Rossi, and this is how I'm going to make our state better' message.

It's be nice if some of you folks in charge would realize this.

Posted by: Andrew Brown on May 27, 2008 10:12 AM
13. Andrew @ #8 and other supporters of Ron Paul:

For what it is worth, I'm not a fan of the name calling and derogatory references to Ron Paul supporters. I think Eric and others would be better off avoiding terms like "Paulians" and other such names intended to be derisive. There are loons in every movement - and while it is particularly easy to paint the Paul supporters with a broad brush, I'm willing to give most the benefit of the doubt.

I also believe having more people involved in the debate about what the GOP stands for, who represents the party, etc., is a good thing. However, there are several elements to the approach being taken by Ron Paul supporters that trouble me (and presumably others) in the party.

First, most of the Ron Paul supporters who have turned out for caucuses and other larger-scale events in my district (the 36th) are not and have not been involved with the party beyond these recent events. They don't attend monthly party meetings, they don't volunteer for party activities, and aren't active in other party events. While I know it takes things like presidential campaigns to bring out new people, there is no indication the Paul supporters I've encountered are interested in belonging to the party once this campaign is over. They are simply pushing a one-candidate agenda, with seemingly no interest in participating beyond this cycle. It seems their criteria for being part of the party is exclusive to Rep. Paul being on the ticket. Fortunately, we have recent supporters of Gov. Huckabee, Gov. Romney, Rep. Hunter, Sen. Thompson, etc., willing to work on shaping the party in the years between presidential elections.

Second, there has clearly been a disingenuous quality to the recent participation of many Ron Paul supporters. As has been noted on this blog and elsewhere, the local pro-Paul leadership has encourgaged supporters to be less than forthcoming about their support for Rep. Paul while at party events. Communications from the Paul campaign seem to advocate a "stealth" approach by which supporters obfuscate their position and aren't open about their agenda. While this may appear to be a practical tactic, it has made many active party members wary and suspicious. Honest dialogue is a key component if there is to be strength within the party - the approach taken by the Paul supporters has seemed less than honest.

At our district caucus, I was confronted by a Paul supporter who was outraged that a party-sanctioned slate of candidates for delegate was distributed and adopted. He refered to "this type of good-old-boy thing" as being the reason he has never participated in party activities, and why he never will. He was unimpressed with my pointing out that these people have been regularly involved in the party, and have earned the trust of the the PCOs in the district. I suggested that if he were to participate regularly, and actually spent time getting to know the PCOs, party leaders and others in the district, perhaps they may be more willing to trust him as a delegate. He uttered an angry word and left.

I, and others I know, welcome open dialogue and honest discussion. Many of the 36th District delegates to the state convention began this campaign supporting Gov. Romney, Sen. Thompson and others. Yet, they are willing to work for a unified Republican Party - knowing that the only way to change the process is to continuously be part of it.

Posted by: airfoil on May 27, 2008 10:23 AM
14. airfoil,

First, I wanted to let you know I appreciate the civil tone of your post. It makes it SO much easier for me to respond in a civil fashion; and I much prefer to do so.

I'd love to work with the Republican party to push their message of small government, freedom, American flags, football, and BBQ for all, but unfortunately most of the candidates in the Republican party don't really have a strong history of actually following the platform. On the one hand they say we need freedom and small government, but on the other hand I don't see them cutting programs (for the most part) and I do see them still adding them.

Now I'm kind of generalizing and I realize that there will be examples that, in a limited context, could prove my above statement is not universally true. In those cases I stand with you guys 100%.

It's just that I can't support the party just because it's the party. My dad used to ask me if everyone jumped off a bridge, would I do so as well? The answer is no. I stand for the platform, not the candidates, and certainly not the current party leadership that makes me out to be some kind of liar, racist, conspiracity theorist or loon because I support the things Ron Paul supports.

So I understand where you're coming from, but the Republican party needs to stop shunning those people who would work with them - in a big way for some of us - if they welcomed us and actually stuck by their principle.

Posted by: Andrew Brown on May 27, 2008 10:49 AM
15. Andrew:

I don't "support the party just because it's the party." I believe that many of the core values upon which the party stands - particularly fiscal conservatism, smaller government, strong defense, etc. - are principles that resonate with me. It's clear there has been quite a bit of veer from some these things as administrations and congresses come and go. But, at the heart of it all, these are the things I understand the party to be striving toward. And I feel it is up to those of us who believe in these principles to actively work to keep the party on course.

What I don't understand about the current crop of Ron Paul supporters, is why they are so strident about changing the party, while at the same time eschewing being part of it.

If the party does not reflect your political beliefs, it seems you have a few practical choices - find a party that better fits your world view, don't get involved in party politics, or make an active effort to change things within the party. The problem I've seen with many of the Paul supporters is that they want the latter, but only if the party expresses willingness to capitulate completely to their agenda. Compromise and working with others does not seem to be on the table.

Like all large organizations and movements, compromise is a messy, but necessary component. There are plenty of people in the current party leadership who could be better at this, but at least they are making an effort to belong, and are working from the inside. No amount of shouting from outside the gates is going to bring about the change you are seeking, Andrew.

I can't speak for Republicans everywhere, but I know that the majority of those in the 36th District GOP - currently chaired by Andy MacDonald who is a Sound Politics blogger - would welcome an honest, reasoned discussion about what the party should be, where it is going, and who should lead it. I don't believe you would ever be "shunned" as long as you are willing to consider that others may have a different vision for the party, and you are willing to listen to other views. You seem to be a reasonable guy, and I would imagine a civil discussion of principles would be something you welcome. If you make an effort in your district, you may be surprised to find out that few are eager to "shun" you.

If making the GOP better, stronger and more reflective of the principles you feel are important is important to you, perhaps you'll reconsider excluding yourself and decide to be an active and ongoing champion for your cause within the party.

Posted by: airfoil on May 27, 2008 11:45 AM
16. Airfoil,

I think we agree completely in principle, but where we diverge somewhat is where you say that the party is striving toward the core values that you listed (and that I want to see!). I think that they are paid lip service and then promptly ignored as soon as it comes time to actually legislate or elect people.

You mention that the folks who support Paul have a problem with compromise and working with others when it comes to changing the party; The problem is - at least from my viewpoint - that for the most part, Paul's views are completely in line with the platform - yet his supporters are called loons, and not willing to compromise with others.

We're not trying to change the Republican party. We're trying to hold the Republican party accountable to their own platform. At least, that's how I see it.

As for getting involved, that's definitely something I have tried to do whenever I'm able, for what it's worth.

Definitely appreciate your viewpoint, though. I always enjoy civil discussion of principles and opinion and such :)

Posted by: Andrew Brown on May 27, 2008 12:16 PM
17. *YAWN*

Meanwhile, in the real world, Obama is caught lying again.

Posted by: pbj on May 27, 2008 01:24 PM
18. How come I am agreeing with almost everything John McDonald wrote @ 5 and @ 10?

This stuff is all exactly what Ron Paul is saying.

The GOP will be stronger if it listens to him.

Look, even if all of Washington's national convention delegates go to Ron Paul (which ain't gonna happen) McCain will still win the nomination by a large margin. But it would be GOOD if his margin were SMALLER. This would have the effect of telling the GOP leadership all of the things that JM mentions @ 5 and 10.

This is indeed a battle over the soul of the GOP. It is the neocons vs the religious right and the fiscal conservatives. I think it would be great if the neocon liberals were kicked out and the Reagan alliance of principled social, fiscal and foreign policy conservatives got back in power. I'm no social conservative, but at least I could be happy about the fiscal conservatives and the foreign policy non-interventionists re-gaining power.

But don't worry about Spokane. The RINO neocon liberals in the GOP will close ranks and shut out the Ron Paul fans.

And I'll be voting Libertarian. Care to join me?

Posted by: Bruce Guthrie on May 27, 2008 01:44 PM
19. BG, it was going to be Paul or no one. You are trying to spin it that the Rs were even an option. I may be dumb, but I am not stoopid.

Your going back to the L party convention sealed the deal for me.

Posted by: swatter on May 27, 2008 01:57 PM
20. PBJ@17
Not exactly. He did mispeak, like all the politicians have done lately (McCain included), but the basic "gist" of his message was accurate (see here). His great Uncle Charles Payne, was a member of the US Forces that liberated Buchenwald camp.

Posted by: tc on May 27, 2008 03:17 PM
21. Swatter, as long as a candidate like Ron Paul was a possibility, the GOP was indeed a possibility for me. But now that he is not, neither is the GOP. If another GOP candidate comes along who is fiscally conservative, a foreign policy non-interventionist, and who understands that liberty requires tolerance of all peaceful behavior, then I may consider voting for him or her.

But I doubt I will ever call myself a Republican again. It was just too nasty an experience for me.

I tend to agree with Republicans more than with Democrats, but I tend to agree with Libertarians most of all.

So, now my "deal is sealed," eh? Am I to be shunned, never to be heard or considered or forgiven again? Not very Christian of you.

I think I was "sealed" in your book way before I left the GOP. You were just looking for an excuse. I committed the ultimate sin of disagreeing with noecon/liberal foreign and economic policies.

Well, it sounds like the GOP and me were just not a good "fit." I suspect that neither of us want the other. Better that we part ways.

But I will admit to my own stupidity: I never should have left the LP. Mea culpa.

Posted by: Bruce Guthrie on May 27, 2008 03:36 PM
22. I washed cars for Barry Goldwater's campaign. The NATIONAL Republican Party has become THE LIBERAL PARTY! I defy anyone to refute this based on the spending record. THEY NATIONALIZED AIRPORT SECURITY for God's sake. What true conservative would ever sanction such a heinous expansion of government? Stalin perhaps?

Ron Paul supporters are infinitely more "Republican" than the clowns now in power in DC. The nerve to denigrate these hard working, thinking people! I just finished Ron Paul's latest book. I challenge anyone interested in reviving this dead party to read it and read it again.

I only pray that our few small government candidates like Dino Rossi aren't shut out by this despicable turn of events within the party.

Posted by: Small Government Steve on May 27, 2008 03:52 PM
23. TC@20,
"but the basic "gist" of his message was accurate"

How did I know you'd be here to provide spin? No there is a world of diference between a concentration camp the Red Army liberated and one the US Army liberated.

He was factually incorrect. None of the MSM caught it. He corrected the record which is good. But are we 100% certain the rest is correct? If people research his great uncle will they find out something diferent tomorrow?

It seems like Obama just throws things out without even thinking about them, 57 states, never heard Wright say those things and later said he had, no clue about Hanford even though he voted on it and now this.

And people wonder about McCain making mistakes because of his age.

Posted by: pbj on May 27, 2008 04:05 PM
24. I like the converation between airfoil and Andrew Brown in this thread.

My comments in general...

I like Andrew have tried and would like to be more supportive of the GOP. My district chair however has been much nicier in email than in person. He has in person told me how I am a disgrace to the party. it is confusing because as andrew points out... I am merely asking that the GOP hold to its principles, not change them. THe GOP chair in addition to calling me a disgrace has taken back his word on making me a PCO when he found out I supported a candidate different from him. That is where the insider club feeling really starts.

I will continue to support and call myself a republican but my time and money will continue to go only torwards specific candidates and initiatives until I see the GOP take a turn back torwards its principles.

Posted by: Lysander on May 27, 2008 05:10 PM
25. John @ 5 -

If you could stop for a minute to take the giant chip of your shoulder you might note that we've discussed Rosenberg's comment in the past. I disagreed with it then, I've told you as much in the interim, and I disagree with it now. But, since you seem determined to be upset about something said by someone who hasn't posted here in well over a year then be my guest. It's a group blog, and frankly, he's not a part of it right now so you're arguing with a straw man.

As for the Ronulans, I have said on multiple occasions that there are number of fine, upstanding supporters of Ron Paul. I have also emphasized that libertarian-leaning Republicans are an essential element in the Republican party and should be welcomed accordingly. The behavior of many rabid Paul supporters, however, especially online, is not defensible. If you would like to nonetheless engage in such a defense of their obnoxious, profane, insulting, and strident behavior then by my guest.

In the meantime, enjoy yourself on the sidelines.

Posted by: Eric Earling on May 27, 2008 09:20 PM
26. Eric,

Wow, what a leap of logic. You are obnoxious, insulting, profane ... because they are? Very big of you. Maybe they are obnoxious, insulting, profane because certain Republicans can't stand the fact that they are in a signficant branch of the party.

The reason I remind people of Matt's comments is because it perfectly summed up the disdain that many liberal Republicans have of Conservative Christians. He is the not the first to have made comments like this, but he did put it in writing and stood by it on this forum.

Your insult to the Ron Paul people is very similar to Matt's insult directed at Conservative Christians. It reveals a lot about what you in what you actually believe - it is patronizing, elitist, and comes across as if you think of yourself as just a little too superior. And it is so easy to say that in any group there are nice people, I'm sure there was a least one nice communist for example. So a throw away comment that you think a few Rommulians are nice is not worth much.

Let's put it this way: The WSRP should have said: The Republican Party needs workers and new voters who are passionate, committed, and ready to go - in the same manner that Obama is energizing the youth vote. We want to welcome Ron Paul supporters in, McCain's nomination is settled so who really cares what happens at the convention, let's make every effort to engage them, debate respectively when necessary, try to win on our principles, but if our fellow Party members win so be it, remember the press will be there and comments of a unified party in healthy debate is the real message we want.

Anyways, demonizing groups of people (the ultimate bad behaving geeks or cheap dates) that have given their votes to the Republican Party for years and years is not the way forward. You'll learn the hard way. Remember there are millions of John McDonald's out there.

Posted by: John McDonald on May 28, 2008 06:33 AM
27. John -

It's unclear to me based on your comment at #26 how much experience you've had dealing with Ron Paul supporters.

If you believe that I am "obnoxious, insulting, and profane," let alone that my conduct online is anything comparable to the Ronulans then I seriously question how much you've been paying attention to their online antics across the Internet during the course of this campaign.

Moreover, your pitch for what the WSRP should have said doesn't work precisely because of how most of them behave. They don't "debate respectively." They become angry and belligerent when one doesn't agree with them.

Since their worldview and beliefs are much more Libertarian (and times, Oliver Stone-like) than Republican, that makes "healthy debate" impossible with significant swaths of them. I should note, I believe for the most part his supporters who have taken the time to attend the conventions are much better behaved and respectable than their online cohort. We can agree they should be welcomed into the party fold if they are so willing.

The difference here in the bigger picture, however, is that Christian Conservatives are a core and essential component to the Republican coalition. Ron Paul's supporters as an aggregate group are a fringe element, consisting heavily of folks who have not been a part of the GOP in the past and will not be in the future, short of a Ron Paul nomination.

But again, if you want to defend their behavior then I leave you to stand alone in doing so.

Posted by: Eric Earling on May 28, 2008 06:50 AM
28. Considering the level of discourse you've offered 'Ronulans' thus far on Sound Politics, Eric, I find an extreme amount of irony in your post at #27.

I'm afraid that you have fallen victim to the hasty generalization fallacy. Because a few people argued with you on the Internet, you have decided that most 'Ronulans' get angry and belligerent when one doesn't agree with them. Perhaps they even called you a Neocon - I have to guess this must be the case, else you surely wouldn't stoop to name calling.

Anyway, John won't be standing alone in what he's said - I'm right there with him along with a significant majority in some areas where this new fiscal liberalism and social fascism hasn't captured the hearts and minds of Republicans yet.

I'm afraid you may have lived in Seattle just a little too long, Eric.

Posted by: Andrew Brown on May 28, 2008 07:44 AM
29. Eric,

I am having a hard time understanding where your hostility torwards pauls supporters is coming from. Yeah some on the internet have resorted to name calling and not wanted to debate. I have seen that in every candidates supporters. As a group however the Ron Paul supporters have shown more willingness to become involve and support conservative principles than most any other group. It has been met with hostility from both conservative bloggers and GOP leadership.

Posted by: Lysander on May 28, 2008 12:35 PM
30. Eric, I'm confused by the first line in your article.
You refer to "both" parties.
Do you mean the Libertarians and the Greens?
No, from the article it looks like you meant "both big, powerful, old parties."

There are literally dozens of political parties in this state, including the Constitution Party, which I recommend to all the small-government, pro-life folks out there.

It makes no sense to perpetuate the myth that the mainstream media wants to maintain that there are only two political parties, and hence only two choices in America today.

Posted by: Bruce Guthrie on May 28, 2008 05:30 PM
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