The Blogora: The Rhetoric Society of America



Submitted by syntaxfactory on January 3, 2012 - 10:50pm

Open thread: Comments about Iowa caucus?

Submitted by Brian Grgs (not verified) on January 5, 2012 - 8:17am.

"Ron Paul appeals to the disaffected young who want their pot legalized and the white supremacists who fear UN black helicopters." Ouch. Maybe he also appeals to people as the only available peace and civil liberties candidate (including, unfortunately, Obama). I think the Ron Paul crowd is a bit more diverse and complex than you've suggested here, although you're obviously somewhat right. I find the whole RP phenomenon fascinating.

And I think any of these useful idiots will do for Kristol and the Likudites. But if we do, after all, deserve a Santorum presidency, let's hope that justice isn't served.

Submitted by Jim Aune on January 5, 2012 - 9:42am.

He wants to devolve power to the states, which would be free to criminalize sodomy, establish a church, etc. For example, per Wikipedia, "In 2005, Paul introduced the We the People Act, which would have removed "any claim involving the laws, regulations, or policies of any State or unit of local government relating to the free exercise or establishment of religion" from the jurisdiction of federal courts."

Submitted by Brian Grgs (not verified) on January 5, 2012 - 11:10am.

Well, not to turn this into a Defend-Ron-Paul thread, but let's remember that he is one of the few in Washington still opposing the Patriot Act, which makes him a civil liberties candidate in my book. I try to give credit where credit is due. In that same vein, I will certainly admit that Paul's states' rights politics could, as you point out, disfranchise many of us.

But the fact still remains that a lot of his supporters are voting for peace, not against black helicopters. The peace movement doesn't have a lot of other places to go these days.

Submitted by Jim Aune on January 4, 2012 - 7:53pm.

Speaking as someone who's studied the American (and British) right for a long time: there is no single "conservative" political ideology or even political language. It's always been an unstable mix of libertarianism, militarism, christo-fascism, and what used to be known as country-club Republicanism (which long ago lost control of its surrogates, much as German industrialists lost control of National Socialism in the 1920's). Reagan's cult of personality (and, to a lesser extent, W's) kept the constellation of elements in control for a long time, but there is no equivalent politician with Weberian charisma around to keep them together. Ron Paul appeals to the disaffected young who want their pot legalized and the white supremacists who fear UN black helicopters. Santorum appeals to the christo-fascists (with an anti-birth-control twist), although Bill Kristol appears to be grooming him as the best possible useful idiot for the Likudist neocons who want us to bomb Iran yesterday. That leaves Mittens, who appears to have no principles whatsoever, but is trying and failing to serve the role of charismatic unifier of all these contradictions. Personally, I think the US (and especially the "progressives" who follow Glenn Greenwald) deserves a Santorum presidency.

Submitted by Ashley P (not verified) on January 7, 2012 - 9:30am.

From a feminist standpoint, I sincerely hope we do not get a Santorum presidency, whether or not we deserve it. That anti-birth-control twist you mention is particularly worrying alongside the varied personhood amendments that are popping up around the country. In fact, all of them (except Huntsman) supported the (thankfully unsuccessful) personhood amendment in Mississippi. (That, despite evidence that several of those leading candidates took different stances for women in their own lives.) I would love for these candidates to instead focus on jobs and infrastructure, but I am not a member of their intended audience - and the more divisive topic is unfortunately what appeals to much of their audience.

Thoughts on Huntsman? Like Paul, he's more appealing to moderates and progressives, though I suspect much of that appeal is due to Huntsman's willingness to discuss and exchange ideas in a civil fashion than his actual stances on issues. However, he hasn't been taken seriously by his own party, perhaps because of that willingness.

Looking forward to the New Hampshire debates tonight, though I suspect they will also enrage me a bit.

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