Skip to comments.Candidate Ron Paul: Quixotic, or the real deal?
Posted on 05/19/2007 5:22:40 PM PDT by jdm
It's a fine line between quixotic and committed, and just where Ron Paul falls is an open question as the Texas congressman pursues the 2008 Republican presidential nomination.
The case for quixotic: It's a unique conceit to run as an anti-Iraq-war candidate in a generally pro-war party; to vow to eliminate myriad federal agencies, including the CIA, the IRS and the Federal Reserve; and to oppose every act of the federal government not specifically approved in the Constitution (including niceties such as congressional gold medals for such people as Mother Teresa, Rosa Parks and Pope John Paul II).
"I've advocated over the years the elimination of most big-government things I can't find in the Constitution," Paul said in an interview.
Trying to explain that during a recent presidential debate, Paul said, "I'm a strong believer in original intent" of the Constitution's framers. To which moderator Chris Matthews, the MSNBC television personality, responded with a disdainful, "Oh, God."
The case for committed: If somebody needs to drag the Republican Party back to its roots, Paul said, "I'm offering that alternative."
Paul was one of six House of Representatives Republicans who voted against the 2002 authorization to use force in Iraq, based on the same wariness of excessive international involvement that long guided Republican foreign-policy thinking. Traceable to George Washington's warning against entangling foreign alliances, its post-World War II followers -- including "Mr. Republican" Sen. Robert Taft of Ohio -- likely would share Paul's view of President Bush's adventures in democratic nation-building as muddleheaded folly.
"He touches a nerve out there," said Bruce Buchanan, a political scientist at the University of Texas. "There are Republicans who believe it was a mistake to get in there to begin with, and that's the Paul constituency."
(Excerpt) Read more at startribune.com ...
Quixotic or the real deal?
How about just “isolationist nutter.”
He tore Rudy G a new one at the FOX debate. The goody-ole boys of the RNC sure can’t handle the truth.
Garde la Foi, mes amis! Nous nous sommes les sauveurs de la République! Maintenant et Toujours!
(Keep the Faith, my friends! We are the saviors of the Republic! Now and Forever!)
LonePalm, le Républicain du verre cassé (The Broken Glass Republican)
He sounds reasonable to me.
Paul On Immigration Reform...
He is in the race to make sure the other Republicans make a committment to our Constitution, and to talk about the real issues that are completely being ignored.
If only Republicans followed Ron Paul's path, they'd be in the majority and our nation wouldn't be having the problems we're have now.
So bring on the obligatory knee-jerk Ron Paul posts, Paul bashers, because when you trash Paul, you're trashing the Constitution, ironically on the very website that remains committed to restoring that document as well.
Ron Paul, a Michael Moore clone.
An evil person who blames the United States
Who’s his fat sidekick then?
Paul said, “I’m a strong believer in original intent” of the Constitution’s framers. To which moderator Chris Matthews, the MSNBC television personality, responded with a disdainful, “Oh, God.”
lol, well here is my favorite paul article:
‘Scandals are a Symptom, Not a Cause’
ping a ling :)
That’s an easy one: Quixotic. And confused.
Do you ever bother thinking for yourself, or do you just jump on the Ron Paul threads with the express intent of regurgitating trite, brainless platitudes?
Nice that you've been duped by what the MSM and GOP establishment reported about Paul rather than hearing it from Paul himself.
I guess you'd prefer to throw you hands up in despair and burn the house down because it needs a major repairs. Talk about defeatist!
Item one, obviously.
Which part of Petronski’s post do you object to? “Isolationist” or “nutter”? I think both are true, so I’m just curious.
I have checked out the sites and people who support him.
I can understand why his supporters are in denial, it is dificult to believe this guy can suck in so many.
Both. It’s just one out of list of nonsense all you GOP lemmings cough up verbatim on the subject of Ron Paul. It is not any more accurate or informative for the repetition. It doesn’t make any of you look intelligent or politically savvy, it just makes you look sophomoric.
Offer up reasoned discourse supported by evidence or step off. Simple as that.
Gotta love the Ron Paulies for posting more on the Internet than any other group since the Howard Deaniacs.
Sadly, a libertarian isolationism doesn’t work now, and I don’t trust an isolationist to manage the current Romanesque empire that we currently have. It would be like asking a pacifist to manage a boxing match.
In addition, the dogma of the libertarian isolationist — that if we have foreigners who hurt us, then it’s because we’re outside of our own borders — sounds a lot like the pronouncements of the far left. Personally, I grant that people might have legitimate complaints against the US (heck, we have them here!) but that does not justify the acts of war we’ve suffered.
You’re very wrong. My failure to join the Cult of Ron is testament to my independent thinking.
Thanks for playing.
I’m not a lemming, but I watched the debate, and he came off looking and sounding like a raving lunatic. I’d no more want him running the country than I would Cindy Sheehan.
You're so . . . fretful.
“...oppose every act of the federal government not specifically approved in the Constitution (including niceties such as congressional gold medals for such people as Mother Teresa, Rosa Parks and Pope John Paul II).”
Unfortunately, this means that Ron Paul must oppose any attempts to control illegal immigration since there is no explicit language authorizing Congress to do so.
If you dispute the above, please provide an explicit statement in the Constitution giving these powers to any branch of the government.
If you can’t provide that statement, then, it follows, that Ron Paul is a fraud.
I agree with most of your assessment. The exceptions are the isolationism, of course, and your assumption that Paul wants a return to a pastoral America. Paul’s Congressional website is a good source for information on his system of belief. He writes a regular column there on the subject.
The charge of isolationism is simply a hyperbolic reaction to his positions opposing adventurism and nation-building. Paul has stated on numerous occasions that we should act to protect our allies. The fact that he offered a declaration of war and letters of marque and reprisal against the Taliban and Afghanistan following 9/11 is sufficient evidence by itself that he is no isolationist. Paul’s foreign policy positions are classically conservative and Republican. The rise of the neocons within the GOP has simply eradicated them. Paul seeks to reinstate them. No more, no less.
By insisting on limiting Congressional and executive power to those explicit in the Constitution, Paul in no way seeks to return us to a bucolic and pastoral society. Once again, that is a hyperbolic characterization of his positions. There is nothing that says the return of Federalism and devolving power to the states must be accompanied by an agricultural renaissance. Obviously, with corporations operating nationally and globally, the regulation of interstate commerce by the federal government would be far greater than in Hamilton’s or Lincoln’s day. However, simply limiting that regulation to original intent does not necessitate the dissolution of corporate America.
I’ll say this for him: whether I agree with him on everything or not, I think he’s consistent, principled, and has courage in convictions. Not quite so sure about Rudy McRomney.
Good analysis and this is the $64 million question:
“Power, like nature, abhors a vacuum. If America comes home and minds its own business, who steps into our shoes to run the planet? Someone is certainly going to try. The European Union? Russia? China? Iran? The United Nations (relocated to Geneva)? It’s a question that has to be answered.”
I worked on Ron Paul's first campaign when I was a kid. He has never changed the way he approaches things. His rabid committment to the US Constitution should be the rule in Washington and not the exception.
As far as him being "evil" that is absurd. He's a good man.
I'm pleased he did this. I covered much of the same territory in Fighting Under World War II Rules. Even before the neocons, we were constitutionally sloppy in the instruments we used to fight a war.
Obviously, with corporations operating nationally and globally, the regulation of interstate commerce by the federal government would be far greater than in Hamiltons or Lincolns day. However, simply limiting that regulation to original intent does not necessitate the dissolution of corporate America.
We get to the meat of the matter. Corporations were strictly regulated by the states before the Civil War. Following the Civil War, we were pretty much governed by Big Business in general and the railroads in particular.
With the states' rights position discredited by the Civil War, Jeffersonians turned to using that powerful federal government for popular ends, i.e. using Hamiltonian means to achieve Jeffersonian ends. The Progressives, who branched off from northeastern and midwestern Republicanism in the 1870's, finally achieved power under Theodore Roosevelt in 1901, and then Franklin Roosevelt built on that to define a whole new paradigm of democratic socialism. FDR's paradigm was to use government as the tool of the people's will to control the forces of the market.
This raises the question of a power vacuum. Should the federal government retreat to the powers granted by the Constitution -- and only those powers -- then who gains control? In a global marketplace, the states are going to find themselves fairly powerless in regulating corporations. One would probably end up with some form of corporate fascism, sometimes referred to humorously as "Proctor and Gamble with the death penalty".
This would indicate that even under a Paul administration, it would be necessary to utilize a loose construction of the Interstate Commerce Clause to prevent the undermining of democratic rule.
But that still begs certain questions:
These questions have bedeviled me for a long time. Returning to original intent sounds like a great idea, and it's certainly the purest definition of conservatism. But how do you get there from here, and how do you lead the American people to change their collective -- and "collective" is the right word! -- mindset?
We need 534 more Ron Pauls.
Ron Paul said that U.S. bombing of Iraq probably contributed to the terrorist attacks of 2001.
So why do the radical Islam terrorists terrorize other countries?
Could it be just plain Jihad?
Ron Paul is a nice man, and an intelligent man, but doesn’t seem to understand GLOBAL terrorism. A very naive man, I’m afraid.
What a stretch! Not even Bill Clinton could get that far off track.
How about just enforcing the laws? Isn't that part of the job description?
BTW: perhaps you ought to take a moment to compare what our current president is doing with what it says in the Constitution.
That could be an eye-opener.
I noticed that on Fox News. If you don’t agree with their line of thought you are tagged as a “lunatic.” It’s so lame. I love Ron Paul because obviously he is not on some corporate payroll.
Trying to fill an asylum?
Casually throwing in the word Libertarian to make Paul seem like a kook doesn't bolster your argument. It simply means you don't have one to begin with.
Paul's foreign policy views are based on traditional non-interventionalism, you know, the foreign policy we had up until the 1960s.
I am reasonably certain that Dr. Paul has no desire to toss us into chaos. Such an act would almost certainly result in anarchy or, as you say, corporate fascism. As well, the problem of getting Joe Average to give up his bread and circuses is daunting.
I am a firm believer in the counterweight theory of social and political action. You may have heard it from such notables as Rush Limbaugh, back in the days when he was actually conservative. Because the momentum in this country is strongly leftward, it will take an extreme rightward pull to even slow it down. I don’t believe Dr. Paul has any illusions that he could make even a sizable percentage of the progress toward the state of things he (and we) desire in the four or eight years he would occupy the Oval Office. However, I think he believes the attempt would at least change the color of the dialog.
We saw that even the marginal libertarianism of Ronald Reagan had an astounding effect on almost every aspect of life here. Unfortunately, the realities of politics forced him to introduce the factor that would almost completely negate everything he did: the Bush clan. Dr. Paul is more strongly libertarian and classically Republican than was Reagan. Reagan did not accomplish everything he wanted. I feel certain Dr. Paul knows that neither would he.
Every great change begins with a first step. A few specifics on your (very real and reasonable) issues:
I think Reagan made the case for privatizing and federalizing a number of functions co-opted by the national government. I think a number of reasonable plans have been laid out for weaning the public off the socialist security system. They range from declining pay-ins to tax moratoriums for selected members of the public, based on age. Bush’s silly “privatization” scheme was mere tinkering, much like his tax cuts. Convincing the public of this requires resistance to demagoguery and an ability to communicate the benefits.
Simply dropping into the gold standard would obviously cause pandemonium in the world’s markets. I believe Dr. Paul has called for the phasing out of the Federal Reserve, to be replaced by private banking entities that would allow a return to a commodity-based currency. Just getting the government out of the business of “controlling” the economy (a pipe dream and fairy tale) would make real progress toward a currency based on reality instead of theory.
Finally, I don’t think Dr. Paul is suggesting that we suddenly vanish from the rest of the world. Once again, a first step is to cease and desist in adventurism and nation-building. We need to get out of the UN and boot them out of the country. The organization will collapse under its own weight without us. We certainly need to stop providing financial aid to hostile countries. And we need to coerce our allies into becoming equal partners in their own defense, allowing us to pull back from our deep presence in a number of places. And we need to stop pretending we are the policemen of the world. We are not successfully performing the function anyway. We need to stop kidding ourselves that we can try to export our culture without any consequence or resentment.
Dr. Paul is the only candidate who is saying out loud that the car is going in the wrong direction. All the others simply want to flash the lights and honk the horn. Even if he has no chance to prevail in the primary, he has at least forced the babbling masses in the media to take him into account. I believe the public is paying attention and some of the “mainstream” candidates are in for a rude awakening. I am sure the Democrats are watching closely. Reagan taught them the folly of underestimating the power of ideas.
It's funny how FReepers have to resort to name-calling when it comes to Paul, ripping a page out of the liberal playbook.
Because they can't debate Paul on the issues, that's for damn sure.
I agree!! He named specifics when asked what he would cut (the only candidate to do so), he used the Constitution as a basis for his arguments instead of just a catchphrase to get a cheap pop, and he gave verifiable arguments (backed up by more than one government agency not to mention history) for his stance on the terroristic attacks. Oh wait, that's actually an intelligent form of debate and presenting facts
But of course the guy running for President of 9/11 (apparently the only stance he has on anything) gives a one liner blatantly showing his ignorance on the subject and Paul is the 'nutter'. Yep, status quo for the 'conservative' party. It's become a pack of sheep spouting bumper sticker sayings. Go watch Fox and get some more baseless attacks from Hannity's talking points.
No one want to waste time like that trying to talk sense to you folks. Fact is Ron Paul has a snowballs’s chance of nomination or election in 2008. Valuable time, energy, and money are being wasted on Ron Paul. Get behind someone who really can win or be prepared to talk to yourself in a padded room for 8 years.
Then don't. Why are you guys so worried about Paul anyway? He's not going to win, right?
Fact is Ron Paul has a snowballss chance of nomination or election in 2008.
I already conceded that he doesn't have a chance per post #7, and I believe that Paul himself knows that as well.
Valuable time, energy, and money are being wasted on Ron Paul.
Try to understand why Paul is in the race instead of worrying about "winning" all the time. The Federal Government is out of control. Our foreign policy stinks. The UN is on our shores and wants to control us. Entitlement programs are out of control. Which of the current Republicans are talking about this? Paul is in the race to talk about THE REAL ISSUES and to reaffirm American's committment to the Constitution. Yeah, I know that dried-up old piece of paper doesn't mean anything to you, but it does to me.
Get behind someone who really can win or be prepared to talk to yourself in a padded room for 8 years.
I'm not backing Paul because I know what his role is in this race, and the fact that he's 71 years old. He is there to remind the other Republicans what traditional Republicanism means.
I think the NUTTER part has it covered. He sure is a nut.
Ron Paul is a laughing stock.
The newest version of David Duke.