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February 08, 2010

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Tiny little detail. Paul dominates in the "polls". You don't think it was some little coincidence Palin fell out of the sky to endorse him?

Marcus -

A couple of points:
Given attention, heritage and financial support - rand paul is the mainstream candidate, not greyson. greyson is now the challenger banging on the gate.

No matter what republicans do, now that 'Vets Vote' has started it's campaign against obstructionism orchestrated by mcconnell, the Democrats will retake the seat held by the great Wendell Ford!

Rand has spoken openly more then any candidate in the race. He is open to questions. I did not support his dad and did not know his name before I listened to him speaking here in Kentucky. His ideas and arguments are solid, consistent, and constitutional.

Trey has been limited in his speeches, and it is difficult to know what he believes beyond his stump speech. I really wish I knew what he believed and why. It looks like he is reaching out and finally starting to campaign, but his views are not open.

Bill sounded good when I first heard him. However, the more he spoke, the more apparent his inconsistent view of the Constitution became. I have seen supporters admit he was wrong on the Constitution, then say, "but look, he was in the Navy." That's how some folks have openly expressed the reason behind their support.

I objectively evaluated each candidate yet you say that is blind. Yet you site the majority of the sources are from a specific campaign and filled with smears and dishonesty. I wonder if that is part of the training.

On your other point, Bill Kristol is an advocate of an aggressive, not defensive foreign policy. If Rand were preaching that we should go around making the world safe for democracy, Mr Kristol would likely be singing his praises. The fact that he is not, tells us something very different. Rand is much closer to Washington's view then Kristol's view. I think Kentucky is closer to Washington as well.

@States Rights: If California was unfettered by even the ruling in Roe v. Wade, might it allow abortion up to and including the third trimester if each state had the right to its own laws?

You see, the solution is for the right minded justices of the United States Supreme Court to take up the matter again and determine judicially what we all know is an absolute truth: life begins at conception.

And your suggestion that I am somehow responsible for the deaths of innocent babies is unforgivable.

We do not need a law, federal or state, to make abortion illegal. We just need brave Judges to declare life sacred.

No blogger/author can address all candidates' issues in one individual post - there's more to this campaign than the tea parties, abortion and dope. So, in a nutshell, currently Trey Grayson isn't saying much about anything, Rand Paul is touting his endorsements, and Bill Johnson is addressing every question asked of him. Go to their campaign websites and get their contact information, and see how many have enough respect for their fellow Kentuckians to answer personally.

Mr. Carey. I see that you continue to ignore the fact that the same people that are attacking Rand and Ron with the false "pro choice" argument also attack Sarah Palin, George W. Bush, Antonin Scalia and others. So unless you are willing to claim Sarah Palin is "pro choice" you owe Rand an apology. You also owe all of the unborn who will die because your narrow minded position will not allow Roe v. Wade to be overturned. Yes, people like you are partly responsible for the continuance of abortion. There has never been a federal law banning abortion since the founding of the republic. Crime in general is handled at the state level. And there is no national consensus that on where life begins. A national consensus COULD be built if the states were put back in control of the issue. How do you plan to end abortion? Through a constitutional amendment? Guess what Sherlock. You need a national consensus for a constitutional amendment to be ratified! Putting abortion back to the states by overturning Roe v. Wade brings you closer to such consensus.

Wow Marcus you certainly have touched a nerve with the Paul-bots. They've descended upon this blog like never before. Check the IPs, is it just one person posting under multiple pseudonymns?

Rand has conveniently driven home a message against the bailouts/cap and trade/health care, while being willfully ignorant or unconcerned about other issues. This Republican thinks government needed changes BEFORE those 3 issues came up, so I need more than just a promise to fight! fight! against these big 3.

Where is RAND OR GRAYSON on free trade, cafta, nafta, cfta? How is Rand going to have Congress limit the cases that the Supreme Court can hear, is he going to roll back Marbury or does he think the legislature is supreme over the other brances of govt? Where are they on epa, fda, cdc, nih, nsf, nasa, fcc, etc? What does he want to do to bring the iraq/afghanistan wars to a close and what does he consider victory over there? If Rand wants to audit the Fed in order to control Fed policy, isn't that the very reason it was made secret to begin with, to avoid political meddling? Ive got a whole list of other questions, but my jaw will hit the floor if we hear from either of the top fundraising candidates on any of these issues.

Marcus, you call for Rand Paul to "answer these criticisms" but there is nothing to answer. The smears are lies. Rand is pro-life. Rand only wants to close GITMO when military trials have been held and expel the ones who aren't guilty while punishing those who are. Rand wants states to determine their drug policy,as 13 of them already have and legalized pot (KY doesn't want to do this, so it's not an issue). What would answering these critics do? would it make them stop lying because they're 19 points behind in the polls? no, it won't. You know that.

Absolutely, I agree with you Marc Carey! Absolutely! I am going to write a letter to Rand to start firing back at these criticisms, instead of being 100% the nice guy.

Look, I am religious and 100% pro life, ONE HUNDRED PERCENT! However, the constitution DOES NOT LIMIT ANY FREEDOM as thats not what the intention of its design. Thats why the Constitution cannot ban Gay marriage, even though I am personally very much against it. Thats why these are ALL states issues!

Look, its disengenuis for Bill Johnson to be SOOO harsh on Paul, because Paul is STRICTLY Constitutional. Murder is a STATE LAW! Im sorry, but thats the truth! So if abortion is murder, then why should it be treated ANY DIFFERENT?!

Besides, I am starting to think this whole pro life, pro choice argument is just a diversion. Everybody can say what they want, but nobody ever does anything about it when they get elected. Its quite the political circus act, in my opinion.

MC: Yours is the perspective I like to read because lots of blogs out there are too emotional.

Don't you think one of Dr. RP's biggest weaknesses right now is that some of his supporters believe that their words and views are the way and the truth? Well, some of them are very articulate like Rand Paul, and some of them just come across as glorifying marijuana use and sympathetic to terrorists. I think I've heard enough to understand the candidate is neither of those things, but the loudest people go on spouting off about their own pet priorities.

Another point I think you probably understand is that a huge wedge of people wait to decide for a couple of reasons. One is popularity. Another is if you think your fiance has slept with your sister, everyone has a right to walk away, even if it's the day of the wedding. ;)

Rand Paul fans, believe me, there are plenty of people who do not know who Rand "really" is and what he stands for, so it's his responsibility to speak up and reinforce his goals. No need to be offended.

Mr. Carey --- Thanks for the insightful comments. I wish to point out one thing. Don't be surprised to see folks like Debbie Schlussel and Daniel Greenfield (SultanKnish) begin to come out guns blazing on Rand Paul. They automatically assume his foreign policy is that of Ron Paul's, which in their Israel-First view, is equivalent to anti-semitism.

A common theme is for the pro-Israel lobby and its bloggers to do absolutely ripping hit-jobs on their opponents. If you refuse to endorse their views or legislation, you are automatically labeled a hater. It is one of the most pervasive movements in conservative politics, and one must consider the source when viewing the increasingly nasty attacks on Paul. From an objective standpoint, their coordination and ferocity is admirable, but their distortions and hysterics border on absurd.

When I first became concerned about Ron Paul's foreign policy views when he was brand new to me, a jewish professor's letter to one of his former students cured me of my worries that Ron could actually be a closet-hater (which also dispels proxying his son Rand with the accusation).
http://www.lewrockwell.com/block/block89.html

@ states rights: There is another edge to the "states rights" sword when it comes to protecting unalienable rights, and that is the argument that the federal government MUST protect the unalienable rights acknowledged in our Declaration of Independence on a national level. The Right To Life is a gift from God and it is for that reason we are devoted AS A NATION to protecting it. The RTL argument is that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided, not because it usurped individual states rights, but because it failed to give Constitutional protection to human life at its inception. Arguing for an approach which allows for a variety of different state rules on the subject opens a candidate up to criticism that he does not place a high enough value on human life. I'm not saying that is Rand's position, only that by allowing this interpretation of his position to be repeated by his opponent without effective rebuttal could hurt him with certain GOP constituencies he will need to win. Thanks for the comment.

Let's see. For decades the pro-life movement has been decrying the fact that the supreme court took abortion away from the states and legalized it. Now that there is actually the possibility of reversing that travesty, more extremists elements in the pro-life movement have decided, on their own, that this is somehow not good enough. But the same out of touch extremists not only attack Rand Paul (and Ron Paul), they also attack Sarah Palin, George W. Bush, Mitt Romney and Antonin Scalia. (See: prolifeprofiles.com) In fact this group is so extreme that it even hinted at the idea that America should invade other countries that allow abortion. Ron Paul voted for the federal ban on late abortion. But he has the good sense to know that the quickest way to end abortion is to give it back to the states where it can more easily be fought through state legislation and public referendum. To that end Ron Paul introduced legislation that would prevent federal courts from hearing challenges to state abortion laws. That would in effect gut Roe v. Wade. Overturning Roe v. Wade is the best the pro life movement can hope for in the federal courts. And any federal law barring abortion would be struck down as long as Roe v. Wade remains the law of the land. And "pro life constitutional amendment" is a pipe dream. The same grassroots effort that would be needed to ratify an amendment could also be used to pass abortion laws at the state level once Roe v. Wade was no longer a factor. Bill Johnson is out of touch with the prolife movement by his rejection of overturning Roe v. Wade.

Hey Marc Carey: I think it was an eye opening article. I appreciate this. As a matter of fact, I am one of your blogs favorite readers. I also have admired him for a while since he started.

The only beef I have with this whole thing is the tea party "controversy". The person who striked Rand for claiming to be "tea party candidate" was none other than a Bill Johnson supporter and a KY tea party organizor and blog writer. However, who gives her that power? The only thing Bill Johnson has on Rand is social issues, but since when has the tea parties been about social issues?! Rand Paul was at the VERY FIRST TEA PARTY EVER organized his father in 2007! Then in 2008 he spoke and in 09 and in 2010! Bill Johnson was working and never even heard of a Tea Party until he ran for office and DEFINATELY DIDNT SPEAK BEFORE RUNNING!d

a_reader: You like all of the other Rand Paul enthusiasts continue to be blinded by your zeal. The point of my post was to note the recent uptick in criticism following a very good week with his father in Louisville and the Sarah Palin endorsement. Look, for all the press Paul gets, Palin gets 10 times as much. When Fox questions her endorsement it amplifies Grayson's attacks. When a blogger with a national following takes on Paul and links to speeches, ads and his own website in support of some of the same criticisms voiced by Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard, merely wishing that record didn't exist won't cut it. Like it or not, agree or not, it is my opinion that the Paul campaign is on the verge of being in trouble. Thanks for the comment.

Alan Keyes, who actively campaigns for another candidate, calling Rand Paul and Sarah Palin Pro-choice is idiocy and undermines anything else he may say. What a shame. Sarah Palin lives pro-life every single day as she cares for her child.

You link to comments from people who admit to being "trained bloggers" aka propagandists for a specific campaign. How can you quote someone who admits to being "trained" by a campaign as a news source? Did you quote Beverly LaHae from Concerned Women for America, or Gun Owners of America, or any of a myriad of supporters and endorsements? You have undermined your credibility in this article.

In this diatribe predicting that the "sky is falling" for Rand Paul's campaign you mention four bloggers, Alan Keyes and Bill Johnson. You've lost your mind. Who the heck cares about Bill Johnson, whom you and Page One ridicule for fake polling. And Alan Keyes??? John Dyche is in McConnell's hip pocket. McConnell would look like the biggest fool on earth if his boy loses. We're talking about the Repbulican PRIMARY, which will come down to only thousands of votes. Grayson is in a hole now that may be too deep to get out of.

To "Don't be a victim": You might have perhaps come up with the best description of the Paul campaign used in a comment yet "stumbling forward, landing on his feet". My observations are not about the quality of the candidates, only the strategies and tactics of their campaigns. Paul is indeed stumbling. He has been very lucky, and yes I am aware of the phrase "the harder I work, the luckier I get", but in reality Paul is a novice. He has little idea what he is in for. If he is stumbling before the linebackers on Grayson's team have even started to close the gap on him, then he needs to be much more sure footed if he expects to avoid being flattened by them. And as for Debbie Schlussel, I happen to enjoy her perspective and you might want to take a look at her resume`. She is no light weight. http://www.debbieschlussel.com/bio/

To Proud Conservative: You raise an excellent point. I too want to hear how the other candidates would deal with those detainees once they are determined to pose no threat to our security and they are exonerated of any terrorist connections. But in politics, perception is reality. It's regrettable, but rarely is it the case that issues become this clear. Right now Rand's answers leave open the ability for his opponents to successfully confuse voters as to where he stands. No one can clear this up but Rand Paul, and so far, given a soft lob over the plate by John David Dyche, he has taken the pitch without any hint of taking a swing. The longer he waits, the more confused the issue is likely to become. He can't keep letting the national guys use him to fill time on their shows and ignore the fire burning back at home. Thanks for participating in this debate.

Weaving Spiders: Don't for a minute think that Kentucky GOP primary voters will give the nomination to a candidate who favors the legalization of marijuana, and don't think for a minute that those voters would support a pro-hemp candidate. I'm not saying that either of these two positions are held by Rand Paul, in fact I think his "states rights" positions should be couched in terms which persuade Kentucky republicans that this is the ONLY way we can preserve our sovereignty against any national effort to legalize drugs, a position many have said Obama favors. If California wants to legalize drugs but Kentucky doesn't, a "states rights" candidate could tap into that concern to win in Kentucky as holding the line against any encroachment on our way of life. But if you support Rand, and really want him to win, don't count on many others doing the same thing if they are convinced that he favors legalization of marijuana. It just won't happen. Thanks for commenting.

BG: No, I'm not saying that Rand needs to back off of issues. However, not all voters are as interested in these matters as you are interested. Fully 30% of voters will not make up their minds who to vote for until 72 hours before the polls open. Some percentage will make up their minds inside the voting booth. Many will vote on popularity with little concern for issues. My point is that Rand is making a mistake made by many passionate first time candidates. They are so motivated by issues that they fail to court their voters first. First a candidate needs name ID, second the candidate needs to become likeable, only then can the candidate begin the process of persuasion. Did Mitch ever give anybody a reason to like him? I remember Mitch's first race. That was a problem for him, he didn't connect well with people. What did they do? They drove up his opponent's unfavorables which made Mitch the more likeable of the two. Many voters feel as if they are already familiar with Grayson. He has cultivated an image of being a big UK fan, a devoted father and above partisan politics dedicated to doing the people's business. He gets it when it comes to the politics of popularity. I think Rand needs to place a higher value on this component of his campaign or he could get buried. Thanks for the comment.

Joshua:

I sense the passion in your comment. Let me assure you I have no intention of spreading lies. But it would be a tragic mistake for any candidate to ignore negative stories about him being told over and over by his opponent or surrogates if they are in fact not true. People will believe lies if they hear them often enough, and the longer the time between the telling of a lie and the forceful and direct refutation of it, the harder it is to convince people that it is in fact a lie. That is my point. Thank you for your comment.

DEBBIE SCHLUSSEL is protecting globalist interests...she is overreaching.She is belittling the American freedom movement.

Who is she shilling for the globalist banksters no doubt. I cannot take her serious if she insists on denigrating Sara Palin. And, then there is Rand Paul who continues to stumble forward while somehow landing on his feet.

On the GITMO issue:

I still want to hear what Trey Grayson and Bill Johnson want to do with the detainees that are being released from GITMO due to their innocence, lack of evidence or release to another country for various reasons. Or completion of their imprisonment.

They seem to be having a field day with Rand Paul's answer to that question. Smearing it into his position on GITMO.

Do they suggest we hold these detainees forever without habeas corpus even if evidence suggests they are innocent or there is no evidence against them?

For example:
There are 17 Uighurs at Guantanamo; all were captured in Afghanistan after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. A U.S. federal judge ruled in October that none poses a security threat and that they should be freed. But American officials have struggled to find a place for them.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/28/AR2009052803920.html

Paul said he wasn't for releasing these guys in America, he said we could drop them off in the Afghanistan for all he cared. Do Bill and Trey suggests we release them in America? Or do they suggest we ignore the law and not release them?

If our Founding Fathers, most of whom grew hemp on their plantations and actually believed in freedom, saw what the Republican party has become today...they would roll in their graves...

Rand Paul is against the Federal War on Drugs because he is actually educated about our foreign policy thanks to his father. It is a fact that our CIA protects the majority of drug runners, they have run drugs themselves and use all of the subsequent funding for clandestine wars, paramilitaries and various groups around the globe who they can convince or payoff to protect globalist interests. These activities are not advertised to the American public. They are NOT friends of our local business and they are NOT doing it to benefit our local economy. Our foreign empire has driven us into monstrous, perpetual debt and our country is about to implode.

The only person running for office in Kentucky who has even the slightest clue about what is really happening to the economic and financial infrastructure is Rand Paul.

The owner of this blog seems to care quite a bit about politics, and I hope these thoughts lead him and others to investigate Rand Paul's stances on issues related to liberty and economics. He is the closest candidate in Kentucky to any of our Founding Fathers and our country desperately needs to get back on track. We need to have a fundamental belief in freedom. Anybody who dismisses a candidate for wanting to give people the right to grow and consume a particular plant is an enemy to freedom and the Republic. Especially a plant that was grown by our Founders. Rand Paul wants to give the states the right to decide this issue, which is how it should be. However I recommend that ultimately the state of Kentucky choose freedom, because tyranny is not healthy. You know what is healthy? Hemp seeds. In fact it is the most nutritionally complete food on the entire planet.

So are you saying Rand needs to back off "issues" and become the guy they want to "have a beer with?" He's becoming the smart candidate who is well schooled on the issues and knows the constitutionality of his stance and thus comes off as a know it all? Or you just don't see him as likable? Also, did you think Mitch ever give a reason to "like" him? As someone who always voted for Mitch, I always looked at him like my accountant. Seems bland and boring but, he's my accountant.... not my drinking buddy.

You are facilitating and supporting lies about Rand Paul. I can't take your "journalism" seriously. All the blogs you linked to spread the same lies.

This following paragraph is entirely lies.

"While the Grayson camp has been quiet, they've gotten their message out through surrogates telling voters that Paul favors legalizing marijuana, favors closing Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility and favors releasing detainees back to the battlefields in Afghanistan."

First of all, "surrogates" must mean Trey Grayson's official website, and his campaign manager, because every chance they get, all the subsequent lies you put in that paragraph are what they parrot.

The other lies you will not find supported by Rand Paul.

So, when you cite your sources on your claims you might want to check his actual positions.

to ProudConservative:

You raise a good point, but political campaigns are like sporting events in that the score changes, competing teams adopt different game plans and the winner isn't determined until the clock runs out.

Why Rand Paul needs to address the questions depends upon his game plan. Does he think it better to allow unfounded smears to transform into beliefs in the absence of denials for the sake of a principled objection over responding to false attacks?

Or might he adopt a different, more pro-active approach and turn the smears against Grayson, thus defining him as a desperate liar who cannot be trusted?

Underestimating the power of negatives in a campaign is often the kind of rookie mistake from which it is hard to recover.

In this race neither Rand Paul nor Trey Grayson have done a very good job of defining themselves yet. This means that each is vulnerable to having his opponent define him.

In my humble opinion, Paul has spent too much time talking about issues before he has given people a reason to like him. Grayson on the other hand hasn't spoken about anything at all which makes him vulnerable on all fronts.

My comments are not about the candidates. I am merely scoring the political campaigns. My opinion regarding who is the better candidate to serve in office is not really what I'm here to offer.

I try to limit myself to analysis of the politics of it all.

Thanks for the input.

Rand Paul was ask point blank if he wanted to legalize pot in the Pat Crowley TV interview, he said no.

They smear his abortion stances, smear the pot thing and smear GITMO. I don't think this negativity campaigning will work in the end for Paul's opponents.

I agree he probably should have addressed that attack in the CJ from John David. But, what kind of precedent would that set? Why doesn't Trey Grayson put more of his views out there? Why must Rand Paul defend every little nuance of federal policy and Grayson says nothing but keep GITMO open.

To Bad Press:

First of all, Bill Johnson has not sent me anything. I read about these things myself and followed them up with the research as you can see from my links.

Now, it might be true that the MSM is following Rand around, but the number of sites today which took a negative approach to him seemed to jump. He has gotten pretty much of a free ride thus far and when all of a sudden people start to turn on him, I think it's worthy of comment.

My point is simply this: Paul has enjoyed a ton of favorable media. These people can turn on him in an instant. So far he has not addressed the criticisms, which is a mistake in my book. The sooner he does this, the sooner he will be back on track to getting rid of bad coverage.

Thanks for commenting.

Bring on the attacks on Palin. We'll see how far that gets Johnson and Grayson with the voters they wish to woo.

By the way, it's fine for you to publish a few negative blog posts that Bill Johnson sends you. But to equate that to bad press when Paul has had three national television news crews traveling with his campaign in the last week is laughable.

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