David Price has another challenger . . .

A Cary neurosurgeon-turned-software-entrepreneur-turned-closet-Libertarian-turned-Republican named William "BJ" Lawson is jumping into the 4th district race with a flurry of contradictions that would be baffling to any careful observer. In case you're not up to speed on the 4th district, Lawson will have to take out Orange County GOP Chairman Augustus Cho for the honor of getting his butt kicked by Congressman David Price.

From his own website:

My name is B.J. Lawson, and I am running for Congress as a Republican to restore a Constitutional federal government. Washington must balance its budget, stop serving corporate interests, and allow us to prosper as free, entrepreneurial Americans instead of dividing us into special interest groups that fight each other for government handouts.

As a freakin' Republican? Now I know why the guy still goes by the nickname "BJ" even though his name is William T. Lawson? What the heck has BJ been smoking? Stop serving corporate interests . . . as a Republican? Restore a constitutional federal government . . . as a Republican? But have no fear, BJ is a uniter, not a divider. That's why he's at odds with two-thirds of Americans who don't want to see abortion made illegal. You see, BJ is a "life begins at conception" kind of guy who wants to pull us all into his precious little tent.

There's more, but it's all just a bunch of free-market double-talk. Which raises the real question: Why isn't Lawson running as the Libertarian he really is/ Could it be because he knows a Libertarian can't win anything in North Carolina? You can find out more about the guy at his old blog, which, if nothing else, reveals Lawson's alignment with the lunatic fringe's hero-du-jour, Ron Paul.

The way I see it, BJ's chances of beating Cho are excellent. Republican primary voters will spring for anybody with a boatload of money. But the chances of a pro-life isolationist who wants to disband public education winning the hearts and minds of the 4th district seem pretty close to non-existent. He probably won't even carry Cary.

(And wait till you see his reading list.)




Hat tip to the Dome

Comments

Sandbox fight in the 4th among republican children?

neurosurgeon-turned-software-entrepreneur-turned-closet-Libertarian-turned-Republican named William "BJ" Lawson is jumping into the 4th district race with a flurry of contradictions that would be baffling to any careful observer. In case you're not up to speed on the 4th district, Lawson will have to take out Orange County GOP Chairman Augustus Cho for the honor of getting his butt kicked by Congressman David Price.* A

All this shows is how weak the Republican party is in the 4 th......A waste of time and energy with 2 little boys who have no figgering idea how politics work...

The last time the Republicans had a shot at Congressman Price was in the Republican primary of 04 and Art Pope along with his thugs manage to make sure that didn't happen....

Thanks for your efforts...

...to advance the national dialog.

But seriously, is that the best you can do? Must we as Americans always be defined by these mindless partisan labels that prejudice our discussions? Or can we begin to honestly explore the critical issues facing our nation?

It sounds as if you'd prefer this discussion be over before it's begun, which is a shame. Folks are beginning to wake up to the reality that a country cannot prosper when it is increasingly dependent on foreign lenders to maintain the value of its currency. The inflation that's eating away our middle class is a direct result of a $9.1+ trillion national debt that we continue to grow at over $500 billion per year. The economic and social uncertainty we're all facing is what happens when we allow ourselves, through our own government, to be made subservient to corporate and special interests.

I have nothing against Rep. Price personally. However, he is perpetuating a system that is bankrupting our country, and my children's future. I'd invite you to spend some time engaging the issues instead of narrating a soap opera. One could argue that when a Republican president and Democratic congress share a ~30% approval rating, 70% of the American people are ready to change the equation.

B.J. Lawson

William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

Why are you running as a Republican?

Let's start with that question.

Thanks for stopping by. I look forward to more.

J

No one has said you have anything against David Price. I have simply said many of your own views are wildly out of line with your own party . . . and with the American people.

Debt

That national debt was run up by a Bush Administration enabled by a Republican Congress. It didn't just appear since January.

You're exactly right

http://zfacts.com/p/318.html

We have to look in the mirror as individuals and take responsibility for our government, and it's actions. Two political parties wasting time blaming the other creates heat, not light.

William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

Stick around

You'll find plenty of discussion of issues here . . . and your point of view is more than welcome.

Cheers!

I disagree.

I think that truth IS light.

I think this nation's only hope is to get the general public to see that the Neocon Republicans (your chosen party, seeing as how the party is still puppeteered by Neocons) have wrought under the leadership of corrupt men (DeLay, Rove, Cheney, Bush, etc.). If they don't wake up -- and wake up soon -- and stop voting for Neocon Republicans, they're going to take us all down the tubes with them.

I would further submit that not telling them the truth about how we got here will make it impossible to get them to understand what we must do, and how hard we'll have to work TOGETHER to get out of this mess ... whether the mess is a foreign incursion that's turned into a never ending, treasury draining occupation, or a health care system that puts obscene profit over (WAY over) their customer's wellbeing.

If an "outsider" candidate is not going to be honest and forthright about the fact that the Republicans went to Washington in the 90's to "clean it up" but only succeeded in mucking it up even worse because they were weak men and women who collectively lost their ^*$^ing minds, their honesty, their decency, their integrity and their very souls to the siren song of K-street and absolute power, I don't think that outsider candidate has what it takes to go in to the snake pit of the Republican party and clean it up (or shake it up) the way you seem to think you can.

Convince me I'm wrong.

I choose to be inspired.

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

Yep.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Once again, Leslie,

You articulate what I want to say. Thanks.


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Better uses of your time

B.J.,

First off, thanks for stopping in. I'm a big fan of airing out these differences in heated discussion, so I'm glad you're here.

But I do think you're wasting your time.

I know several active Libertarians in Durham, and while they're all very nice people, I find the whole thing rather silly. It's not just that I disagree so strongly with them on the role of government in economic policy, but that their general political philosophy makes them *inherently* irrelevant. While you've chosen to make your stand in the Republican party rather than the Libertarian, it looks very much like you're making the same kinds of mistakes. As such, your (in my opinion, largely incorrect but at least well considered) views of governance will be rendered utterly mute.

So what's making you inherently irrelevant? Libertarians, as part of their philosophy, seem to have this notion that one changes ones life solely by changing ones own actions. Similarly, their electoral philosophy is that all they need to do is walk out the door, declare their candidacy, explain the rationality of their positions, and voila, people will see the light! Any electoral failure is ascribed either to the failure to adequately get the message out, or to some structural deficiency of the system.

This is, quite simply, a bunch of hooey.

For the first part, libertarians all fail to realize that nobody in this world does anything all by themselves. For the second, electoral part, libertarians fail to realize that elections aren't simply aggregated, individualized acts, but are won by building coalitions and bringing people with differing views together to actively agree to compromise on a party or candidate, then motivating all members of that coalition.

So why do I lump you in with all of this? Well, you're raising the banner of the Republican party, but running on a platform of positions that are anathema to the modern party. From your positions, you have made no attempt to challenge orthodoxy of the national GOP outside this campaign, no attempt to pull the NC GOP out of its slow lurch towards extremist irrelevancy. Living in Cary, you could, for instance, have a relatively decent shot at winning not only a primary but also a seat in the NC Legislature, where you could directly challenge the leadership of the statewide party. But apparently that doesn't appeal to your sense of righteous indignation enough, so you want to go slay the Washington beast, all at once.

Here's the problem -- I've made my alliances with an awful lot of good people in Durham, and while we have differences, we have a lot of common goals. We've put together our efforts under the aegis of the Durham Democratic Party, and one of the things we've accomplished is putting someone who agrees with us most of the time in Congress named David Price. We've also managed to, thanks to some power grubbing insiders, much to my dismay, put a corrupt state Senator in office for a special appointment, but he shouldn't last the next regular election.

Now, you could say that I'm just playing part of the system and Floyd McKissick Jr. is as much a part of the party as David Price. Well, true. But here's the thing -- as a party, come next November, we're going to beat the electoral snot out of you, and you won't have changed a thing. At the same time, by trying to reform the local party, I have confidence we'll overcome Lavonia Allison's insider manuverings and put Mary Ann Black in place of Floyd. I'll have made the system better, while you've been out tilting at windmills.

Not that I expect you to take it, but my advice to you would be to start working with your local party and really try to take it back from the Leo Daughtries, Art Popes, Fred Smiths, and Dick Cheneys that are currently dragging themselves, the GOP, and whatever parts of the country they can get their hands on to the bottom of the muck. That would be how you actually change the system.

Since you won't take that advice, I'm going to spend the next 12 months occasionally laughing at you.

That's good advice.

Oh, and please don't call me a Libertarian.

BJ

ps - do you know any good mountain bike trails in Durham?

William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

Well, not *in* Durham...

Falls Lake, Little River Preserve, and Umstead are generally the best.

But MTB are actually my initials, not an interest signifier....

How about tilting at the truth every once in a while?

I have rarely seen such generalized proclamations, with such negative spin.

"For the first part, libertarians all fail to realize that nobody in this world does anything all by themselves."

Oh, really? I've never done anything by myself? You've never done anything by yourself? I'm sorry I made that mistake. No one can do anything by themselves. Everyone who reads this blog must be forced to, because they'd never do it by themselves!

"For the second, electoral part, libertarians fail to realize that elections aren't simply aggregated, individualized acts, but are won by building coalitions and bringing people with differing views together to actively agree to compromise on a party or candidate, then motivating all members of that coalition."

Sounds exactly like what Ron Paul has done. Republicans, Democrats, independents, Libertarians, all together for one cause.

"running on a platform of positions that are anathema to the modern party." Untrue. The only ones that may give a neocon Republican a second glance is Lawson's stance on the Iraq War, and many Republicans will agree with that.

I get the feeling that you would be just as hostile to this particular candidate even if he'd tried to start out by running for precinct chair or something. Did David Price start out by running for state legislature or did he begin by running for Congress? He didn't start off with local politics. This is a free country, and the last I checked, anyone could do what they pleased if it didn't hurt someone else. Anyone can run for any office, with certain limitations of age and residency. That's what makes this country great.

Why have a democracy if you can't have a choice of candidates? If you're so sure that David Price will win in the fall, why are you so upset that someone wants to challenge him? That's the person's own decision whether they're tilting at windmills or not.

Oookaaaay....

#1 -- I'm not "hostile" to his candidacy, except that I strongly disagree with his positions and his politics. He's welcome to run till he's blue in the face. I'm not "upset" that he's running -- I won't give him much thought between now and November, when we'll just flatten whomever happens to be on the ballot. The only reason I'm addressing him is because he's here, in a forum dedicated to Democratic politics in NC.

#2 -- (Working backwards) I'm not laying down a general rule that people should run for House seats only after local service. I'm saying B.J. has no chance whatsoever at winning, and might actually do some good by running for state office.

#3 -- "Sounds exactly like what Ron Paul has done. Republicans, Democrats, independents, Libertarians, all together for one cause. " Oh, boy. Someone completely missed the point about coalition voting. Coalition voting is when you align yourself with a number of people with like interests, then negotiate your candidate based on that coalition, NOT when you simply rally around a charismatic figure such as Ron Paul or Ross Perot. There's a REASON why these person-centric candidacies never win. (This is an old technique, perhaps perfected best by Charles Parnell.)

#4 -- And, now we get to the central tenant of utter libertarian idiocy:

"Oh, really? I've never done anything by myself? You've never done anything by yourself? I'm sorry I made that mistake. No one can do anything by themselves. Everyone who reads this blog must be forced to, because they'd never do it by themselves!"

Okay, the phrase "speaking figuratively" comes to mind. Yes, I've gone to the bathroom by myself a few times. But come on. Don't be dense.

In the grand sweep of things, no, my ability to read this blog isn't something I've done alone. My capacities for informal logic and rational debate have been honed over the years by decades of schooling, much of which was paid for by someone else, 18 years of experience on electronic forums, almost all of which were hosted, maintained, and moderated by someone else, and my understandings of positions, which I've arrived at through years of thoughtful conversation with those in my family, friendship groups, church, neighborhood associations, and other groups. Whereas libertarians see these as simply auxiliary noise, I say they are fundamental to everything I do. This does not make my own actions any less critical, as they, by definition, are the one aspect I have any agency in. However, in the daily course of our lives the overwhelming majority of our actions are predetermined by external forces, with us having a say in all of them. The libertarian fantasy of a life consisting of nothing but a great cacophony of atomized, rational decisions simply does not exist.

I am not hostile to B.J.'s candidacy -- I'm amused by this biennial sacrificial rite of the GOP. I am not terribly bothered by libertarians themselves, as their policy prescriptions are right about half the time, possibly due to random chance, and as mentioned elsewhere, libertarianism is inherently electorally impotent. I am, however, highly philosophically hostile to the toxic reductionism of Randroid libertarianism. It rots the mind.

Thanks for toning it down.

It seemed like you were very hostile to BJ's candidacy from your previous words. The Republican candidate running against Price has traditionally gotten about 35% just for showing up and saying the party line. A better candidate (like BJ) might be able to make this a real race.

"I'm amused by this biennial sacrificial rite of the GOP."
Amused by democracy at work? Would you rather that every sitting member of Congress never have any competition?

"I've arrived at through years of thoughtful conversation with those in my family, friendship groups, church, neighborhood associations, and other groups. Whereas libertarians see these as simply auxiliary noise, I say they are fundamental to everything I do."

I've never heard of a libertarian saying such a thing at all. The libertarian view, in fact, is that these groups are more likely, better able, and overall just plain better at helping out anyone who needs help than the government (who will waste most of the money allotted for helping you on administration, then maybe have it embezzled and not notice, etc., then tax you for it in the end!)

I have never read Ayn Rand, and I don't like her from what I've heard of her (too eager to go to war). So I'm glad to hear that my version of libertarianism doesn't rot your mind!

If you've never read her

you really can't have an informed opinion. She's not around to give lectures herself. As painful as it is - if you're going to claim the label Libertarian, you really should read Ms. Rand's books - painful though they are.

I have never read Ayn Rand, and I don't like her from what I've heard of her (too eager to go to war).


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Coincidentally

I started reading Atlas Shrugged when I arrived in Iowa to campaign for the presidency last Thursday. It's good so far, and she's an excellent writer.

However, you don't have to read Ayn Rand to be a libertarian any more than you have to read Karl Marx to be a Democrat. :) Or Paul Krugman.

Windmills that run on hot air usually grind to a halt

If you're so sure that David Price will win in the fall, why are you so upset that someone wants to challenge him? That's the person's own decision whether they're tilting at windmills or not.* libgir

Nobody is upset! Let the other fool neo-con idiot be the usual Republican suspect for failure.....Once your candiate starts taking OPM [ Other Peoples Money] and promises winning when the political math does not add up after 12 years in the district, than your candiate is either a fraud or just plain navie and maybe just stupid.......

Difference between donations and taxes

The last I checked, political donations were completely voluntary. If we're talking about Other People's Money, let's talk about what David Price has seen fit to do with our tax dollars over the last 20 years, not what private individuals choose to do to advance the democratic process.

David Price has been voting for the funding bills for Iraq, am I correct?

Depends on the bill

Lumping them all together gets confusing. Don't know how he voted on the last one, but he's consistently supported mandatory timelines, supported the withdrawl bills, and has voted against several funding bills. He also voted against AUMF and has been the leader on the Blackwater investigations.

So in other words, basically, no you are not correct.

He's supported funding

I believe he's voted "yes" on the last few funding bills.

Confuse and lost in the 4 th

One could argue that when a Republican president and Democratic congress share a ~30% approval rating, 70% of the American people are ready to change the equation.*B.J. Lawson

Once again! You are wasting your time and confuse...You need a real political education on what is left of the Republican party.....You have no friends in it's leadership nor it's lunatic base.....You are no Ron Paul at this point nor do you have his message nor the political connections to make it happen...It is not a debating society anymore.....Real change is coming......

How ¨progressive¨ of you...

To attack BJ by essentially telling him he ¨has no chance.¨ Kind of contradicts the oft-stated progressive goal of encouraging non-establishment candidates to run for office and take control of the government.

Just curious: do you support laws that currently protect the Republican and Democratic parties by effectively excluding 3rd-parties from access to ballots and public financing?

How unliberty of you?

How ¨progressive¨ of you... Paige_Michael-S...

To attack BJ by essentially telling him he ¨has no chance.¨ Kind of contradicts the oft-stated progressive goal of encouraging non-establishment candidates to run for office and take control of the government.

Just curious: do you support laws that currently protect the Republican and Democratic parties by effectively excluding 3rd-parties from access to ballots and public financing?*Paige_Michael-S...

Dear Michael! Your candiate can only win, if Congressman Price District disappears into a massive flood when Baby Sweet Jesus returns and what real constitutionalist would accept public financing as a principle of liberty?

The quicker somebody drives a stake into the Republican party and sends it on the way as the former Wig party, the better your future will be as a young person......Your focus should be on destroying the present Republican fascist party. It does not love you nor what you think or stand for.....

Ron Paul to be Excluded from Next Fox News

According to the Associated Press, Fox News will be featuring a forum on January 6 which will include Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, John McCain, Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson. In an effort to be fair and balanced, the candidate who raised more money in a single day than any politician in American history will not be included.

The 90-minute forum will air live beginning at 8 p.m. ET on the Fox News Channel and on Fox News Radio.

UPDATE: The forum is being sponsored by the New Hampshire Republican Party. I'm told that many outraged Paul supports are emailing Fergus Cullen, who is the state party chairman.

Re: Accepting public funds.

Did I say that I accepted the existence and use of public funds? No. I said that third parties are excluded from public funds. Regardless of whether or not I support the existence of public funds is irrelevant to whether or not I can acknowledge that the exclusion of third parties to access to public funds is something that hurts them. Clearly, third parties will be hurt when they don´t have access to public financing when the Republicans and Democrats do. I would never endorse any party (especially not the Republican Party or LP) taking public funds, and the vast majority (including RP) never would, even if some have in the past.

As for beating David Price, will it be hard? Of course! Beating incumbents, especially those as entrenched with and respected by national and state party organizations as Congressman Price, is always tough. But alas, House Represenatives are elected by vote of the people, so we are going to give it a go.

BTW, I go by Paige, for future reference.

Dreaming for something that does not exsist anymore?

I would never endorse any party (especially not the Republican Party or LP) taking public funds, and the vast majority (including RP) never would, even if some have in the past.* P

Good for you! That makes you a Thomas Jefferson Republican-Democrat, So why are you still promoting the so-called Libertarian party in this state which marches to Art Pope orders?

As for beating David Price, will it be hard? Of course! Beating incumbents, especially those as entrenched with and respected by national and state party organizations as Congressman Price, is always tough.*

Dream on! The best shot as I said before was in 04 when Congressman Price had real competition in the Republican primary with the best Liberty seeking machine put together in this State. You know nothing or the history of this district.... The only chance of removing Congressman Price is that Global warming washes him away at Falls Lake north of Durham.......

You and Mr Lawson focus should be like thousands of others who are already forming and laying the foundation for a well respected 3 rd party in the future, if the Republic lasts that long..

The question you should be asking yourself is this ...Where do you think all of those new Paul revolutionary supporters will go after Feb 5?

That's a really good question Max.

The question you should be asking yourself is this ...Where do you think all of those new Paul revolutionary supporters will go after Feb 5?

I've been musing over that myself. Libertarians are at the far right edge of things but coming around the edge to the far left on some things. It will be very interesting to see how things shake out.

Salt and Pepper shakes out in the political system

I've been musing over that myself. Libertarians are at the far right edge of things but coming around the edge to the far left on some things. It will be very interesting to see how things shake out.* loft T

I agree! There are many types of libertarians and factions of them.......The support for Paul is not Libertarians nor Republicans, but new and young neds and all types of people who have never engaged in the political system and frankly, just piss off and not going to take it anymore from the establishment......I have every reason to believe that this is the foundation for a new political party that can bridge the Gulf between progressives and independents and finally do something against the system........

To the White House, of course!

"The question you should be asking yourself is this ...Where do you think all of those new Paul revolutionary supporters will go after Feb 5?"

Following Dr. Ron Paul as he is neck-and-neck in qualifying as the Republican Party's candidate, and then heading off to the Minnesota convention to vote for their man!

See you in the White House!

See you at the funeral?

Following Dr. Ron Paul as he is neck-and-neck in qualifying as the Republican Party's candidate, and then heading off to the Minnesota convention to vote for their man!

See you in the White House! *libgirl

Even if Jesus returns and appoints Ron Paul president. President Paul will be murder on the first day and your tour of the White House will be cancel that day.....You have no idea how evil the Empire is when anybody comes close to upsetting the establishment!

Unfortunately true

I suspect you're right. The last president who wanted to get rid of the Federal Reserve was JFK.

Dang right! I am right!

I suspect you're right. The last president who wanted to get rid of the Federal Reserve was JFK.*libgirl

And don't forget MLK, RFK, and George Wallace to really make sure that everybody got the establishment message....The establishment is a equal opportunity killing machine.....

Every great social revolution

Is accompanied by a revolution in communication. Hello, Internet.

Shall we just sit back and take it? Life is not a dress rehearsal.

BJ

William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

Political Connections are what really matter, huh?

The ideas are similar, MaxTheDog. Ron Paul never won an election based on political connections, and in fact the Republican leadership (including GW Bush) campaigned against him in the 1996 congressional election.

You know nothing about Ron Paul political connections!

Political Connections are what really matter, huh?

The ideas are similar, MaxTheDog. Ron Paul never won an election based on political connections, and in fact the Republican leadership (including GW Bush) campaigned against him in the 1996 congressional election. *libgirl

Don't lecture me about Ron Paul and his past....His connections is base on over 30 years with Lew Rockwell and a host of Texas independent supporters and groups for the past 30 political campaigns he has conducted............Respect your Elders......I am not your enemy nor do I need to be inform.........

Who says I'm not your elder? :)

I never said how old I was, and my moniker could be because I'm young at heart.

I had no idea that Lew Rockwell had Texas political connections (besides Ron Paul). How is that?

but they said my SS number would neverbegiventoHomeland Security

I never said how old I was, and my moniker could be because I'm young at heart.* libgirl

Couldn't care less about age...it is the mind and the knowledge that is important...And of course how fast you can do a 40, if you happen to be a brother or a Muslin stop by the cops during a usual police state profile roadblock traffic check....It appears that your age and papers are not in order citizen?

I had no idea that Lew Rockwell had Texas political connections (besides Ron Paul). How is that?* libgirl

Lew was Dr Paul chief of staff in the early days......and still his closest political adviser.....You have much to learn.......

So do you :)

I actually knew that Lew was Dr. Paul's chief of staff back in the day-- I'm actually the one who found that in a research database and added it to his Wikipedia article about 6 months ago.

However, you're going round in circles. If Dr. Paul has Texas political connections because of Lew Rockwell, and LR has political connections because of Dr. Paul.... I'm wondering which came first.

From your comments on your

From your comments on your own blog . . .

With respect to Democrats versus Republicans, I am frankly fed up with “party politics”. At the highest level, the past eight years have shown me that there is no difference between Democrats and Republicans, and the two-party party system is one of the biggest frauds perpetrated on the American people. The system of partisan politics serves only to divide us amongst ourselves, and prevents substantial discussion of the real issues, as we’re currently doing here. It just so happens that I’m a lifelong registered Republican, and I believe that the ideals in the Republican party platform are closest to our founding Republicans’ vision of a limited federal government (NOT a police state!), albeit not perfect.

You're right about the deep divisions, but you'd be hard pressed to make a credible case that the Republican Party offers anything even remotely resembling workable solutions. More to the point, you argue that the two-party system is one of the biggest frauds, etc., and yet you still align yourself squarely inside one of those parties.

The best interpretation I can make of your choice is that it is pure opportunism.

Opportunism for Freedom! Sounds good to me

Why not? You can dislike the two-party system and still realize that you have to work within it in order to further your goals of creating a better society.

A few thoughts...

Firstly, Anglico, that was extremely disingenuous of you to say that you were just simply saying that ¨many of (BJ´s) own views are wildly out of line with your own party . . . and with the American people.¨ You implied a couple of pretty nasty things with the statement: ¨But have no fear, BJ is a uniter, not a divider. That's why he's at odds with two-thirds of Americans who don't want to see abortion made illegal. You see, BJ is a "life begins at conception" kind of guy who wants to pull us all into his precious little tent...¨ The first is that BJ is like other pro-lifers: antagonists who want to wage a culture war and who seek to label those who are pro-choice as baby killers, heathens, and the like. BJ has said or implied nothing of the sort: he is just stating his own view on the issue. The second implication of this statement of yours is that BJ wants to somehow force all of us into adopting pro-life views (not sure how you think this would happen, considering that you yourself view BJ as a libertarian, which would mean you acknowledge his natural opposition to government coercion and police state tactics) or to force a pro-life standard on the entire country at the national level, which is not his intention. In fact, if you had read the entirety of his views on abortion, you would have found this little nugget in the second paragraph: ¨Since the issue itself is so contentious, it doesn't make any sense for the Supreme Court to issue a blanket ruling legalizing all abortions.¨ Disagree with this view, if you´d like, even though I´m working for his campaign, I am not fully pro-life. (From a libertarian perspective, I just can´t accept the idea that government would force women to put their lives at risk to give birth in situations where this could be the case) But that just goes to show who BJ Is: someone who can disagree with you without being disagreeable.

Not to mention this following gem of peace, love, and civility: ¨As a freakin' Republican? Now I know why the guy still goes by the nickname "BJ" even though his name is William T. Lawson?¨ In the spirit of Wayne Campbell... Yeah, that´s the tone of someone who is simply an innocent inquisitor: NOT!

To answer your question on why BJ Lawson is running as a Republican, well, perhaps he would like to see the Republican Party move in the direction of a party that espouses the perspectives you listed: a party with more libertarian-leaning principles that doesn´t serve corporate interests and that supports Constitutional federal government.

Furthermore, not to turn this into a Ron Paul conversation, but with regard to him being the ¨hero of the lunatic fringe...¨

I could emphasize the fact that there are plenty of ¨lunatics¨ who have supported Democratic candidates in the past and who are supporting him now (i.e. the Communist Party USA endorsing Kerry in 2004, homophobe Donnie McClurkin supporting Obama and performing on the campaign trail for him, etc.), but that would be counterproductive. I will just simply state that Ron Paul is also the hero of a lot of renowned intellectuals, ex-military officers, policy analysts, and academics.

http://www.academicsforpaul.com/

It is true: there are people supporting Congressman Paul who are, quite frankly, lunatics. I don´t like it, mainly because they perpetuate a misrepresentation of Dr. Paul and his views, but I can´t ignore it. But Congressman Paul and his campaign, adhering to the principles of a free and democratic society, does not screen his supporters for political correctness and can´t prevent them from supporting him. However, there are also plenty of people out there supporting Ron Paul who are highly intelligent and well-respected whose support is motivated out of agreement with Dr. Paul´s views and a sharing of his concern with the issues affecting our country now and in the future. And I´m one of them. And besides, given the slant of this website, I find it hard to believe that you find Dr. Paul´s views on the Iraq War, terorrism, corporatism, civil liberties, the fiscal irresponsibility of the Bush (and Reagan) Administrations and its consequences, drug laws, and a number of other issues to be ¨lunatic fringe¨ views.

But let me ask you this question: why do we need to be attacking a certain segment of a candidate´s support? Why do we need to attack candidates personally? Why can´t we just have an honest, non-antagonistic discussion of these issues that are so important to our country now and, especially, in the future? As BJ said, this is the open invitation we extend to you and the rest of BlueNC. Our primary opponent will likely attack this website and other left-leaning organizations in his campaign in a divisive political maneuver, and he will probably attack us for even having accounts on this website and for wanting to have a dialogue with progressives. But BJ is not interested in this: he is interested in having a thorough, enlightened conversation about the issues facing District 4 and the rest of the country, and all are welcomed in this conversation.

Paige Michael-Shetley
Youth Coordinator, Lawson for Congress
Chairman, UNC Students for Ron Paul

Paul will not protect Liberties - will Lawson?

Libertarianism means quite a bit more than protection from coercion by the Federal Government. It would be protection from coercion by any government.

It is not legitimate to call oneself a defender of liberty while seeking to limit, for example, a woman's right to choose what goes on in her womb, whether or not that limit comes from Washington, Raleigh, or even City Hall.

Likewise, it is not legitimate to call oneself a defender of liberty while sponsoring bills that would gut the First and Fourteenth Amendments and allow Christian prayer in public schools, allow discrimination against homosexuals for their sexuality, and allow a Texas ban on atheists holding office to come (back?) into effect. Yes, I'm talking about Ron Paul and the We the People Act. (I'm not going to try and fail to put in a link, just google the name of the act)

If Mr. Lawson wants to impose his ideas on me from the state level, while pretending to protect liberty in the House, as Rep. Paul would, Mr. Lawson certainly belongs in the Republican Party. Hardly a surprise, but David Price still gets my very first vote.

The Democratic Party and progressives want to protect peoples' rights, even at the National level. (And to do so in a deliberately Constitutional way, of course.)

That dang lying Dr No?

Likewise, it is not legitimate to call oneself a defender of liberty while sponsoring bills that would gut the First and Fourteenth Amendments and allow Christian prayer in public schools, allow discrimination against homosexuals for their sexuality, and allow a Texas ban on atheists holding office to come (back?) into effect. Yes, I'm talking about Ron Paul and the We the People Act. (I'm not going to try and fail to put in a link, just google the name of the act)* Jermey

J! I am sure this is wrong about Dr No! I cannot find anywhere that he has supported or voted for the above racist or bigot views or opinions. Dr Paul has co-author many bills with Congressman Price several times in the past......
The NY Times Retracts Its Anti-Ron Paul Smearblog

Sorta. Needless to say, though the Times should be crawling on its belly like a reptile, it tries to diminish its guilt by admitting to errors of journalistic convention only. Nevertheless, the Ron Paul movement--and the Internet--won. We bombarded the Times with protests, criticisms, and corrections. We forced the newspaper to repudiate its lying blog, and to say: "The original post should not have been published with these unverified assertions and without any response from Paul." Read the whole somewhat-smarmy retraction.

http://themedium.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/12/24/the-ron-paul-vid-lash/?ex=1199163600&en=7b25470d94ea3b...

Wolf in Sheep's Clothing?

Read the We the People Act

Wish me luck on that link working out...

"The Supreme Court of the United States and each Federal court shall not adjudicate any claim involving the laws, regulations, or policies of any State or unit of local government relating to the free exercise or establishment of religion"

Since public schools are agents of the State or a unit of local government, Federal rules would not be able to be enforced. The bill also eliminates everything that emanates from a "right to privacy" - that is, legalizing abortion, gay sex, etc. While the Federal gov't couldn't come into your bedroom and forbid you from doing what you want, the state or city could. And that's not American. This is the same "states' rights" business that's been around for the past 150 years, if not longer.

Regarding the NYT semi-retraction: The original blogpost regarding a claim made by someone purporting to be a prominent white supremecist claiming that Ron Paul was "one of us." The NYT mentioned this claim, as an allegation, and published it online. There was probably a duty to publish that story, because it is something that merits public knowledge, especially considering Paul's record of accepting contributions from prominent white supremecists. True, they probably should have waiting for a response from Paul, but that response was prepended to the blogpost.

I will reply to this when I have time to write up a detailed...

Response. But the point that I´ll make is that Bill White´s claims are full of bs if you just look through the Paul campaign´s FEC filings regarding the restaurant in question. I will point you to the link to this investigation, which was conducted by a blogger, tomorrow. Besides, everyone from the ADL to White Supremecists themselves acknowledge that Bill White has a long history of being a pathological liar.

But the question you need to ask yourself is: what, exactly, would White Nationalists be doing eating dinner at a Thai restaurant, as Mr. White claims they did?

Re: Jeremy

Firstly, you should give the first amendment a re-read. It states in the introduction ¨Congress shall make now law...¨ This specifically states that Congress shall not pass laws establishing official religion, infringe upon free exercise of religion, free speech, free assembly, etc.. So, if you go by strict interpretation of the First Amendment, the federal government has no purview over what states can do with regard to the issues addressed in the amendment.

Regarding the 14th Amendment, it states that ¨No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.¨ The privileges of citizens as outlined by the Constitution include the right to vote, 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms, 4-8 amendment protection from government violation of civil liberties in proceedings of criminal investigations and trials, etc.. The First Amendment doesn´t specifically give US citizens absolute rights, so the 14th Amendment doesn´t necessarily apply.

Now, I am not saying that Americans SHOULDN´T have rights to these things, or even that they don´t have rights to these things. Neither Dr. Paul nor myself would ever endorse state laws that inhibit individual liberty, but as far as strict interpretation of the Constitution is concerned, there are legitimate arguments to be made for the federal government not having jurisdiction to intervene in state law in some cases. And there are other issues involving areas like speech and religion that have relevance to local concerns. For instance, states have anti-fraud and anti-slander laws. These are clearly infringements on freedom of speech. But do you think we should get rid of anti-fraud laws or anti-slander laws? Most libertarians I know have no problem with them. Using another example, let´s suppose there is a satanic cult that, as part of their religion, indulges in human sacrifices, and a state charges cult members for murder. Technically, this would be an infringement on free exercise of religion: would you support not charging these people for murder? This is a good reason for adhering strictly to the 1st Amendment.

Regarding the abortion issue, here´s another exerpt from section 1 of the 14th Amendment:

¨Nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.¨

If you sanction abortion as legal, the argument could be made that you are effectively depriving some babies who die solely to unwanted pregnancy of life and liberty.

Regarding the treatment of homosexuals, Dr. Paul has called anti-sodomy laws ¨rediculous¨ and categorically opposes discrimination of homosexuals, and he makes this clear whenever he speaks. However, when you get into arguments regarding ¨equal protection of the law,¨well, if the law specifically sanctions rights for heterosexuals (i.e., defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman), then the law doesn´t even pertain of to cases involving homosexuals, so the federal government can´t step in and enforce state governments´ offering protection of laws to homosexuals when laws don´t pertain to homosexuals or discriminate against homosexuals.

Again, I am not condoning states doing this, and neither does Dr. Paul; regarding marriage, he has stated that the state shouldn´t even license it, and he has specifically stated that gays should be allowed to enter into domestic contracts that should be allowed and enforced by the states. But the Constitutional case that is unmistakable and compels the federal government to step in and coerce states on issues like this isn´t, well, unmistakable. We should definitely clear it up with Constitutional Amendments (I doubt Dr. Paul would have a problem with this if you asked him pointedly.) It´s not a perfect libertarian situation, but it´s a situation that, if you strictly interpret the Constitution and the applicability of state laws, exists. It has its pluses (unmistakingly establishing 2nd, 4th-9th Amendment rights that no level of government could infringe upon), and it has minuses that you referred to. But that´s why we need to get active at the state level, the decline in which is a consequence of the decline of federalism.

The First Amendment doesn´t

The First Amendment doesn´t specifically give US citizens absolute rights, so the 14th Amendment doesn´t necessarily apply.

SCOTUS seems to disagree. Which doesn't necessarily mean they are right, but they are the final arbiter of Constitutional issues. (Unless you want to entire throw out Marbury v. Madison and 200 years of American history and law.)

Technically, this would be an infringement on free exercise of religion: would you support not charging these people for murder? This is a good reason for adhering strictly to the 1st Amendment.

Freedom of religion pretty clearly stops when it infringes on someone else's rights. So if your religion requires human sacrifice, tough luck. (Unless you can find willing victims, in which case it would be debatable) Likewise, if your freedom of speech involves hurting someone else (slander/libel), tough luck, it's against the law.

If you sanction abortion as legal, the argument could be made that you are effectively depriving some babies who die solely to unwanted pregnancy of life and liberty.

Let's not turn this into an abortion debate, ok?

But the Constitutional case that is unmistakable and compels the federal government to step in and coerce states on issues like this isn´t, well, unmistakable. We should definitely clear it up with Constitutional Amendments

That's what we have the Supreme Court for. While it isn't perfect, it seems to be a decent system of figuring this stuff out. Clarifying the issues with Constitutional Amendments would be fine, as long as they were coupled with state laws making sure there was no gap in the rights of Americans to free speech, privacy, etc. If even one state were to lack laws protecting those rights due to the lack of federal coercion, that would be unjust.

But that´s why we need to get active at the state level, the decline in which is a consequence of the decline of federalism.

Well, maybe. I think that is where Libertarians and civil-libertarian Democrats would disagree, regarding tolerance for creative destruction. If it means tolerating some (serious) wrinkles at the state level, but more freedom on paper in the end, Libertarians would be happy. However, civil-libertarian progressive (like myself) would be more willing to give up certain determination that perhaps should technically reside at the state level if it has the same end benefit, but coming from the Federal government. I'm just less tolerant of the "it'll work out eventually" stance of Libertarians and total;y free-market economics.

SCOTUS has checks and balances.

"they are the final arbiter of Constitutional issues"

The Supreme Court is not the final arbiter; Congress can pass Constitutional amendments to change the current meaning of the Constitution.

Fine

Correct, but Congress (and the States) haven't passed any Constitutional amendments contrary to the idea that the First and Fourteenth amendments, taken together, forbid the states from establishing religion. You may believe that the Constitution, in its current state, does not forbid the states from establishing religion, but the Supreme Court disagrees, and they are the only ones who matter. (Again, unless a Constitutional amendment is passed, as you say.)

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