Author Archives: kmoen

Ron Paul Reincarnate?

By Kelse Moen

Former Georgia Representative Bob Barr gave this interview Wednesday on Antiwar Radio with Scott Horton. Barr, a prominent conservative who led the Clinton impeachment, has in retirement changed his party affiliation to Libertarian, come out in support of marijuana legalization, and become an increasingly vocal opponent of our post-9/11 Leviathan. He created the American Freedom Agenda, a 10-point plan opposing the growth of executive privilege, NSA wiretapping, and the secret renditions, torture, and loss of habeas corpus that have all emerged under the banner of counter-terrorism. Continue reading

The New Isolationists

By Kelse Moen

Nothing quite kills a word’s meaning like tossing it into the fray of popular political dialogue. The word “liberal” was co-opted by FDR and his collectivist acolytes, who had virtually nothing in common with the nineteenth century laissez-faire liberals. “Fascist,” which once corresponded to a particularly virulent breed of statism, is now an all-purpose smear for anyone disagreeable, even a libertarian like Justin Raimondo. Another, which was quite prevalent this primary season, is the epithet “isolationist.” It was hurled particularly at Ron Paul, due to his opposition to military intervention overseas. But, as Fareed Zakaria revealed in a recent article in Newsweek, the real isolationists are Democrats like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, who continually preach the false gospel of economic protectionism, even while they bloviate about the need for better international relations. Says Zakaria:

For the rest of the world—particularly poorer countries—nice speeches about multilateralism are well and good. But what they really want is for the United States to continue its historic role in opening up the world economy. For a struggling farmer in Kenya, access to world markets is far more important than foreign aid or U.N. programs. If the candidates think they will charm the world while adopting protectionist policies, they are in for a surprise.

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The Iraq Recession

By Kelse Moen

Yesterday, the Iraq War turned five years old. The past five years have left nearly four thousand Americans dead, as well as hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, and have so far cost the American taxpayers over 5oo billion dollars. They also show a remarkable ebb and flow concerning the war in popular opinion. First there was the widespread flag-waving and French-bashing–a time when John Kerry needed to downplay his anti-war opinions for the sake of electability. This was followed by a steady erosion of support, culminating in 2006’s rout of the Beltway Republicans, when popular belief held a pro-war Republican would be unelectable in 2008. But now, with the economy headed into a recession, people are turning their focus primarily to economic concerns. This is great news for John McCain, the fiercest hawk in the race. But is it possible to separate war from economics? Can we, as it were, have our cake and eat it too? Continue reading

Mitt Redux

By Kelse Moen

In my last post (below) I scoffed at the notion that John McCain would choose Mitt Romney as a running mate, noting that “a liberal northeasterner” who was “repeatedly repudiated” by the voters would add little value to the ticket. But in the days since, fueled by Fred Barnes’ article in the Weekly Standard and Romney’s statement of the obvious on Hannity & Colmes, a flurry of speculation has emerged over whether he will be McCain’s VP. I still stand by my original conclusion, but nevertheless, the week’s events warrant a deeper analysis of Romney’s VP potential. Continue reading

McCain Needs a Wingman

McCain and Giuliani

By Kelse Moen

Forget NASCAR; endless speculation about John McCain’s running mate has become Republicans’ new sport of choice. The blogs and news media, who spent so many hours analyzing every slight permutation to the presidential election, had to realize that their fun would not last forever. Still, when John McCain clinched the Republican nomination, where were they to turn? Why, the second spot on the ticket, of course! Continue reading

Paul Dominates (His Primary)

By Kelse Moen

2008 is not a happy time to be a libertarian. In the age of huge government expenditures, warrantless wiretapping, an activist Supreme Court, and overseas adventurism, advocates of small government have little reason to be optimistic. So when it seemed that Ron Paul, the new hero of the libertarian movement, could be unseated from Congress by a pro-war Republican who called Paul’s record of voting against unconstitutional bills “felonious at best,” the obvious reply could only be: “of course.” Continue reading

Conservatives for Obama?

By Kelse Moen

With the hot, passionate nights of the Republican primaries over, conservatives all across America are waking up the next morning and asking, “Oh God, what did I do?” First it was Ann Coulter who proclaimed on Hannity & Colmes that she would rather campaign for Hillary than vote for McCain. Libertarian-leaning Republican Andrew Sullivan has leant his unequivocal support to Obama and the anti-war conservative Justin Raimondo stopped just short of endorsing him in his own blog. Just the other day, a conservative Ohio radio host declared that he has “had it up to here” with John McCain and will never support him. And of course, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity have been less than favorable. Continue reading