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Blog of Mass Destruction

Iowa & Ron Paul's Libertarianism

By The Reverend Published: January 2, 2012

Ask Mike Huckabee whether winning the Iowa GOP caucuses means much. The Huckster, now working for the GOP's communication network, Fox News, took the Iowa caucuses in 2008. But Huckabee did not become the GOP's presidential nominee. In fact, Mike Huckabee took 34% of caucus voters in Iowa in 2008 to second place finisher, Mitt Romney's 25%. The eventual Republican nominee, John McCain, could only muster 13% of Iowa Caucus voters in 2008......finishing up in Iowa by tying Fred "Red Truck" Thompson for third place. Red Truck, of course, went on to hawk reverse mortgages on teevee for some skimmer outfit.

Four short years ago, Ron Paul, now in a virtual tie with Mitt Romney in Iowa, only received 10% of the caucus vote in Iowa in 2008.

What does any of this mean? Not much.

It is interesting to note, however, that in 2008 60% of Iowa GOP caucus participants were evangelical Christians. 60%. In the 2008 general election matching McCain against Obama, 26% of all voters were evangelical Christians....with 74% of those voting for McCain.

It seems clear that Iowa GOP caucuses are not representative of much of anything....except perhaps that Iowa's evangelical voters play a disproportionate role in their state's caucuses as compared to the role evangelicals play in a general election.

Furthermore, GOP insiders in Iowa are expecting a larger turnout for the caucuses tomorrow than in 2008. The number of GOP caucus voters in Iowa in 2008? 119,000. Seriously, 119,000. 60% of those 119,000 were evangelical Christians.

Iowa may be first in the primaries.....but should never be understood as some kind of political weathervane indicative of anything. Last time, 70,000 Iowa evangelical Christians choose a big loser in Mike Huckabee. Evangelical Iowans may have preferred the faith-based Huckabee.....but the rest of Republicans in America did not. Iowa Republican primary voters are simply not representative of Republican Party voters in general.....let alone, all American voters.

The latest Iowa polling shows Romney with 24% and Ron Paul with 22%, a virtual dead heat. Also with double digit percentages are Rick Santorum..17%, Newt Gingrich..15%, and Rick Perry...11%.

If Mitt Romney were an evangelical Christian instead of what evangelicals consider him to be.....a member of the dangerous cult of Mormonism, I'm thinking that those polling numbers would favor Romney by 50% or so. But alas, Mitt is a Mormon. And because 60% of Iowa GOP caucus voters are evangelical....that alone, I think, explains why Iowa GOP polling is all over the wall. Evangelical Iowa caucus goers would really rather vote for a fellow evangelical, as they did in 2008....but they also realize that the evangelical Rick Perry isn't ready for prime time, and that Gingrich and Santorum are both Catholics. Not exactly Mormon, but according to the influential evangelical preacher, Rev. Hagee, close enough.

As I have been predicting for a couple of years now, Mitt Romney will be the Republican Party's presidential nominee this November. I have long thought that that was obvious. But what about Ron Paul? Why is it that Paul is polling in Iowa at twice the percentages he received in 2008?

Here is something potential Ron Paul primary voters should be aware of.....

...when Ron Paul exited the GOP presidential race in 2008, he chose to endorse neither Sen. John McCain, Ariz., the Republican nominee, nor former Rep. Bob Barr, Ga., the Libertarian Party nominee. No, Ron Paul threw his support to Pastor Chuck Baldwin, who ran on the ballot of the Constitution Party, sort of the political arm of the Christian Reconstructionists. (Baldwin parts company with Reconstructionists on his idea of how the end-times will go down, but is otherwise well-aligned with the Reconstructionist agenda.)

Founded in 1992 by Howard Phillips, a follower of Christian Reconstructionism founder Rousas John Rushdoony, the Constitution Party offers this in the preamble to the party platform:

The goal of the Constitution Party is to restore American jurisprudence to its Biblical foundations and to limit the federal government to its Constitutional boundaries.

Even though Christian Reconstructionists do not represent an imminent threat to America's democracy...at least not yet....I think it's easy to see why Ron Paul supported the Reconstructionist candidate in 2008.

Ron Paul seeks to shrink the federal government to minimal size not because it intrudes in the lives of individuals, but because it stands in the way of allowing the states and localities to enact laws as they see fit -- even laws that govern people's behavior in their bedrooms.

What have we been hearing from the conservative right for 3 straight years? Hasn't it been one long litany of how the federal government is too big and intrusive? Haven't conservatives been shouting "states rights" louder than ever in the last few years?

However, just as son Rand Paul explained during his campaign to become Kentucky's senator two years ago, the Pauls form of libertarianism.....

....seeks to shrink the federal government to minimal size not because it intrudes in the lives of individuals, but because it stands in the way of allowing the states and localities to enact laws as they see fit.

No wonder the blogger, Digby, refers to Ron Paul's libertarianism as "antebellum libertarianism."

Paul's libertarianism is not really libertarianism at all....instead, Paul's libertarianism is but the nullification philosophy of southern slave states before the Civil War.

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