Random reflection

Four candidates left on the Republican side, and not one actual Protestant. I suppose that represents progress, of a sort.

Footnote Yes, Ron Paul is nominally a Baptist, but he named his son for Ayn Rand. Update This seems to be a mistake; per Warren Terra in comments, apparently the birth certificate says “Randal.” And Paul, whatever his theology, is certainly a WASP. But the fact that the one Protestant in the race is the one candidate certain not to get the nomination still shows that this is not your father’s GOP. Perhaps the Republicans, true to the Know-Nothing part of their heritage, will always be the party of exclusion, but precisely who gets excluded changes over time.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

17 thoughts on “Random reflection”

  1. Here’s thing about the Republican field this cycle: None of the candidates will be enough to rally the troops. (Any candidate that could rally them is sitting it out this time because they know we’ve still got the 2nd half of that foot-long sh*t sandwich yet to gobble down. Who wants to deal with that? Leave it for the crazies and the vain.) Don’t worry about who will get the nomination. It doesn’t matter. They’re not going to rely on the candidate to win. They’re more likely to use a combination of wedge issues and voter suppression. Expect to see a lot of referendums and ballot issues in many states this fall (e.g. same-sex marriage, decriminalizing pot etc.). Could still backfire on them if it fires up the civil libertarians as much as the cultural conservatives. But I don’t see what else they’ve got to work with.

    1. “None of the candidates will be enough to rally the troops.”

      So far, Romney did not have to rally the troops–he could just buy them. The problem is, once you’re down to just one opponent, he can buy them too. Or he can make you look ridiculous for trying to buy the elections. So, sure, they can’t rally the troops, but that does not make it “race over”.

      @Mark–and you just figured this out now? I’ve been pointing this out for weeks (although not necessarily here). Actually, make that “months”–as soon as Gingrich started surging the first time, that left only the Protestants and one of the Catholics scrubbing the bottom (Huntsman was always superfluous). And when Bachmann and Perry dropped out, that left the current foursome.

  2. What! He didn’t name him after the gold backed South Afrikkkan currency? I am soooooo disappointed.

  3. You do realize that his son is named “Randal”, not “Rand”, right? Wikipedia asserts (with a cite I can’t be bothered to look at) that Ayn Rand was not the inspiration for his son’s name, and that his son’s nickname as a youth was “Randy”, not “Rand”.
    There’s lots of terrible, truthful things to be said about Ron Paul and his ideas, enough that picking out the tall tales is not always easy. But this seems to be one of them, albeit a trivial one.

    1. It’s quite possible that Rand decided to shorten his name on his own, once he found Aqua-Buddha. But it’s also possible that the Wiki assertion was made by Paul people with the explicit desire to cover up this particular point. Given that there are no records cited of any kind, the second theory is not so far-fetched. At the same time, it’s very obvious that both Ron Paul and his son are Convenience Baptists. Remember what Rand’s reaction was during the campaign when the religion issue was raised.

      1. We demand to see Rand Paul’s birth certificate! He needs anyway to prove he wasn’t born on Vulcan.

  4. Mark, it is odd. I think that the problem is that any Protestant GOP candidate must be on the order of a Bachmann, totally crazy.

  5. I thought that all the Republican candidates worshipped Cthulhu. Oh, well. Die and learn, I always say.

  6. I guess this is just another of those stories that are too good to risk checking before passing on.

    1. Huh? What fact-checking are you talking about, Brett? That Mitt Romney is a Mormon and Newt and Santorum are Catholics? Or that Ron Paul appeals to religion when convenient? Or is it the Rand claim that’s bothering you? Whether “Rand” is or is not the given name is a snark, but the point is that both father and son have Ayn Rand worship issues.

      1. “[B}ut the point is that both father and son have Ayn Rand worship issues.”

        There you go again, just makin’ shit up. Find me one writing or youtube clip where Ron Paul cites Ayn Rand (and not as the answer to a question about AR).

        Learn to get your lies straight:

        Ron Paul is a Constitution-Worshipper. Maybe his intepretation of the Constitution is cranky, maybe not. But the dude is a professed Christian and conservative, not the fan-boy of a second-rate novelist and authoress of an invented philosophy.

        1. Also, Rand Paul had to strenuously emphasize his Christianity last year when some Democrat accused him of being a kidnapper and occultist (seriously). Again, no crusading atheist “manworshipper” here.

        2. A quick search shows lots of reports of both Pauls talking about Rand without being asked. I suppose it could all be a vast left-wing conspiracy, but it would be a pretty bizarre one.

  7. Interesting reflection.

    John Boehner, BTW, is Catholic and Eric Cantor of course Jewish (a shanda). RNC head Reince Priebus is Greek Orthodox. The conservatives on the Supreme Court are all Catholics. A Romney-Rubio ticket would be Mormon-Catholic.


    1. Indeed. Sometimes I wonder if all these GOP “not Romney” boomlets are the evangelicals’ way of saying they would prefer their white male candidate to be Protestant? And what does it say about Ron Paul that he can’t win their support?

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