By Rand Paul
Obama acts as though we no longer have a Constitution
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Things were going bumpily according to plan for the men in charge of the President Ford Committee at the Republican National Convention in Kansas City, Mo., in August 1976. With so many moving parts, however, most campaigns are at best "garbage moving in the right direction," as GOP operative Eddie Mahe once quipped.
In late 1975, Los Angeles Times political reporter Bob Shogan found himself sitting next to then-Sen. Howard H. Baker Jr. of Tennessee. He was on a flight to Florida to cover the primary pitting President Ford against former California Gov. Ronald Reagan.
The bleating about broken government and partisanship continues. "Why can't those boobs in Washington agree on anything?" We're constantly told that the way to fix the country is to dethrone the left and right and empower the middle. Americans Elect, No Labels, the Gangs of Six and Fourteen, conservative Democrats and liberal Republicans: Handing things over to these middling mincers and half-a-loafers is supposed to be the answer to all of our problems.
The specter of a brokered Republican convention to choose a presidential nominee to challenge President Obama in November exists because the ultra-conservative wing of the Republican party is concerned that a Massachusetts moderate, Mitt Romney, may win the party's presidential nomination. These people would prefer anyone but Mr. Romney and favor the hard-right social conservative Rick Santorum above Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul in their affections.
As the Republican Party hurtles toward a possible Animal House-like climax at their confab in Tampa Bay in late August, the national discussion has turned to controversial GOP conventions of the past, most missing the meaning of each and how these ideological food fights sometimes changed the face and future of the party.
It's seven months before their convention in Tampa, a lifetime in today's five-minute-news-cycle politics. But the split decisions in the first three primaries and the personal attacks in the televised debates beg the question: Are Republicans divided into so many parts they are about to engage in 1964-style "politicide"?
Politicians can't any longer talk about "moral character" without sounding like a stuffy Baptist deacon or a stiff Presbyterian elder. "Moral character" is no longer important in a presidential campaign, even to many conservatives and evangelicals. If it is important anymore, it is only as a talking point.
Thomas Jefferson collected old books and French wines, Warren Harding collected poker buddies, and FDR collected stamps. Harry S Truman collected sheet music and played the piano. But not so long ago, wife-collecting was regarded as over the line. Cats do it, dogs do it and even educated fleas are said to conduct serial impermanent romances. But presidents were held to a tougher moral standard.
The Pundit Primary is getting silly, as it usually does at this point in the chase, but fortunately it won't last much longer. Relief will be arriving just in time.
I had the honor of speaking last weekend at the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference, at which most of the candidates for the Republican presidential nomination were the star attractions. The conference, led by Ralph Reed, brought together the nation's leading "social conservatives."
A sure sign that an administration is in trouble is Beltway buzz about making dramatic changes at or near the top. Lately, there has been increasing chatter about moving Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to a new job. The goal of the musical chairs would be to keep her from challenging the politically flailing President Obama in a Democratic primary in 2012.
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During World War II, the Allies largely cut off Germany's oil supply. To maintain their war effort, the Germans figured out how to make synthetic oil from coal. Later, the South Africans perfected the German technology to cope with international sanctions.