Friday, January 04, 2008

That Iowa election

Your humble Devil does not pay as much attention to US politics as perhaps he ought to; he would, in any case, support the libertarian, Ron Paul (despite disagreeing with him over his anti-abortion stance and his desired return to the gold standard—as Timmy would argue, the former does have at least sound libertarian principles behind it).

But, to be fair, I think that the Daily Mash sums up the only other strong feelings that I have about the candidates.
AMERICANS may still not be ready to vote for an annoying, screechy harridan after Hillary Clinton's poor showing in the Iowa caucus.

Mrs Clinton nagged her way to third place in the primary vote, well behind two reasonable, even-tempered men.

She immediately complained loudly in a voice that sounded like a fork being dragged across a plate, before storming off to New Hampshire in a huff.

Wayne Hayes, professor of American Studies at Dundee University, said: "I think America is ready to vote for a woman, they're just not ready to vote for an absolutely ghastly woman."

Yup, that sums it up: she really is the fucking pits...

UPDATE: Vindico has some interesting analysis on Ron Paul's position. [Emphasis mine.]
The Republican race is the one which interests me. Giullani is faring terribly in this first test with just 3.5%, while Ron Paul is showing an excellent and solid performance for an underdog with 10%.

Some interesting analysis over here suggests that the core republicans may be out of touch with the country as a whole! Amongst "Independent Republicans" Paul polled 29% vs McCain on 23%, Romney on 19% and Huckabee on just 17%, seemingly the reverse of the total polling figures. This would suggest that the Republican base has indeed dwindled, leaving a hardcore Christian-conservatives, while the libertarian Ron Paul resonates more with the wider electorate!

Indeed. Let us not forget that the US, like Britain, has been categorised as an Endemic Surveillance Society; people, even on a subconscious level, dislike being spied upon and bossed about. Here's hoping that the next few years brings a Libertarian backlash, both in the US and the UK.


Tomrat said...

One thing I particularly like about Ron Paul's campaign, and the man himself is the attention to every detail it has on world politics - after reading his campaign website I sent a message of encouragement wishing him well and expressing a desire to have a similar individual like himself over this side of the pond. His party team replied to me within 24 hours expressing deep dismay at the extremely worrying turn britain had taken over the years and thanking me for my words of support. The fact that they sent me a candid, honestly opinioned and open message regarding my own country and took notice of concerns of non-americans so quickly is a good sign.

As for his anti-abortion leanings I feel like most of his policy areas it is based on informed opinion, not alligned blind idealogy - the cornerstone of libertarianism if there truly is one.

Anonymous said...

Giullani was never going to poll well in Iowa. Which is why he spent no money or time there.

He has always aimed his campaign (and money) at the less polarised republicans in areas such as New York and California.

and also one more thing to mention against ron paul aprt from his anti-abortion idiocy is that he also does not believe in evolution. at all!

QT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
QT said...

Above deleted comment is this, with malformed URL

Yes, matt, agreed on both counts regarding Ron Paul. See here wrt evolution: Science Blogs


Roger Thornhill said...

Does it actually matter what Ron Paul thinks about evolution if he is advocating getting the Federal system out of Education and as such his role has absolutely no say what gets taught?

Dundonald said...

I don't understand why there is an assumption that Libertarians should be pro-abortion. I'm about as Libertarian as they come, but my interpretation of Libertarianism endorses responsibilities as well as choices. We are "free to choose" up until the moment of conception, after which, the choice becomes a responsibility. Surely abortion is an affront to the greatest individual liberty of all: the right to an existence?

I feel that the "what I do with my own body" argument in this context is a complete cop-out.

Devil's Kitchen said...


I totally understand the arguments: it is one of the few areas in which Worstall and I disagree.

I'm afraid that I do not place the same value on potential life as either you or he do.

Roger, quite so.


Anonymous said...

I'm with DK all the way on this. As far as I'm concerned, the foetus is part of the mother's body until birth, and "what I do with my own body" is anything but a cop-out - it is fundamental. Once you start moving backwards from that with that, you end up taking all kinds of crazy positions.

But abortion is one of those issues that tends to stand outside the usual political delineations, and I don't blame Paul for running with the Republican herd on this one.

Evolution denial, on the other hand, I find that unforgivable.

Anonymous said...

Incidentally, I stand by the phrase "evolution denial" even though 'global warming denial' is like fingers on a blackboard.

You can "deny" something that happened in the past , e.g. "I deny that humans evolved from apes". You cannot "deny" something that hasn't happened yet!

Devil's Kitchen said...


"Evolution denial, on the other hand, I find that unforgivable."

Yes, I saw that video some time ago. Three points: first, you will notice that there is a very obvious cut at quite a crucial juncture. What has been missed out?

Second, he does not reject evolution utterly: he merely points out that he believes it to be a theory and thus not conclusively proved. Now, for a man who believes in a sky-fairy to say that is a bit rich, but he is not the only one.

My father has a problem with evolution too, and it is not because he is a particularly strong believer in god -- he's not.

It's that he has always been abysmal at science and simply cannot get his head around either the process or the timescale. Having said that, Paul is supposedly a physician and so should know his science.

Third, as Roger points out, if he wants to remove the state from education, it doesn't really matter.


anthonynorth said...

The problem with libertarianism is that it doesn't extend beyond the individual. Thus, you remain 'controlled' by a big business ethos which is behind the surveillance society.
Maybe it is time to take the libertarian ideal into business itself, with support for smaller businesses using new tech, which requires smaller support systems, to liberate us from the big systems that keep the big businesses in power.
Liberate the 'system' rather than just the individual.

Big Biz is watching you.

Devil's Kitchen said...

"Maybe it is time to take the libertarian ideal into business itself, with support for smaller businesses using new tech, which requires smaller support systems, to liberate us from the big systems that keep the big businesses in power."

No subsidy or support for business of any kind. At all.

If people don't like the way that big businesses work, then they can stop buying their products.


Machiavelli's Understudy said...

I can't be bothered to string together a coherent set of prose on this, so I'll just bullet point...

1. Ron Paul came out with 10%, but where was the coverage on Sky? They omitted Paul's result when they listed the GOP primary candidates' results.

2. Ron Paul is only anti-abortion in so far as his personal preferences decree. His personal stance does not dictate his political stance, which is that abortion should be an issue for the states to decide on.

3. There is a conflicting statement from Paul's campaign team on his stance on evolution, which would appear to be at odds with one of his own public statements. If he does disagree with evolution (whether it's as a 'theory' or something more), then I disagree with him, but because of his political philosophical position as a libertarian, I do not believe that it endangers his role as a public servant or potentially as POTUS, in the same way it would Romney, for example.

anthonynorth said...

I don't recall saying anything about subsidy. Go back to the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution. A new non-Conformist spirit emerged on the personal level, spread to the communal, and then into enterprise and engineering.
There was no subsidy, no support - they simply took an ethic and ended up producing the better products.
If libertarianism is a movement, it should be doing the same. And in offering 'alternatives', the consumer can, at last, not have to buy from Big Biz.

scott redding said...

While I thank DK for highlighting the info about independent voters, it's unclear if independents in Iowa behave the same way as independents in New Hampshire. Has McCain cornered that market already in NH?

Anonymous said...

A foetus is alive - otherwise there would be no "need" for an abortion. A foetus is human - what else could it be? This is not "potential" life.

A foetus is separate from its mother - often a different blood group, always different DNA. The foetus controls its environment by flooding the mother with hormones and sucking up all the nutrients it needs. Hence mothers' cravings for certain foods from time to time.

All living human beings go thru the foetal stage without exception. It is the only route. Except for spontaneous abortion, all foetuses result in a born baby. There is no magic in this, no line drawn in the sand - a womb is just an appropriate environment, like the earth is for a newborn.

NHS Fail Wail

I think that we can all agree that the UK's response to coronavirus has been somewhat lacking. In fact, many people asserted that our de...