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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Ron Paul is not the Second Coming

Ron PaulEvery time I write about Republican candidate Ron Paul, someone comes along and pastes some article into the comments on my blog. Generally, these are breathless spams gushing about how Ron Paul is going to save America. But the truth is that Paul has some pretty wacky ideas, to say the least. He's a very special, very unique kind of libertarian who seems to believe that the only thing that government should do is make abortion illegal.

And he's not even very consistent on that point. NARAL Pro-Choice America shows that his voting record on reproductive rights varies wildly from "good, but could improve" (75% in 2005) to "Jerry Falwell would be jealous" (0% in 2003). Currently, he scores 65%. NARAL calls his record "anti-choice." According to Paul, "Pro-life libertarians have a vital task to perform: to persuade the many abortion-supporting libertarians of the contradiction between abortion and individual liberty... A libertarian's support for abortion is not merely a minor misapplication of principle, as if one held an incorrect belief about the Austrian theory of the business cycle. The issue of abortion is fundamental, and therefore an incorrect view of the issue strikes at the very foundations of all beliefs..."

The individual liberty of the woman isn't an issue, I guess. In fact, when it comes to issues of individual liberty, Ron Paul isn't really a fan. He argues that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided because nothing in the Constitution, as he sees it, applies to abortion. But he votes against same sex marriage -- when nothing in the Constitution would go against it.

His stand on health care is similar to Bush's -- if you're not insured, don't get sick. He's supported health savings accounts, but with most people having trouble putting money aside as it is, these accounts are pretty much nothing. He voted to sustain Bush's veto of stem cell legislation.

As I said, Paul -- like most libertarians -- believes that the federal government should do pretty much nothing. His answer to almost every problem is to hand it off to the states. As a result, he scores poorly on environmental issues. The League of Conservation Voters gives him only a 25% voting record. The problem with this "let the states do everything" attitude is that every state doesn't have its own evironment. Pollution generated in one state winds up in the air and water of another. A federal response to environmental issues is the only effective way to handle these problems. Paul lets his ideology take precedence over reality -- a problem our current president has.

I'm not the only concerned with his environmental record. Environmentally, Ron Paul is a nightmare.

Daily Kos:

Ron Paul may be a Republican, but he's certainly not a Republican for Environmental Protection. That fine organization gave Paul a shameful 17 percent rating on its most recent Congressional Scorecard (warning: PDF). He doesn't fare much better in the eyes of the American Wilderness Coalition or the League of Conservation Voters. Paul's abysmal record on the environment is driven in large measure by his love of sweet, sweet oil: in the 109th Congress alone, he voted to allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, to shield oil companies from MTBE contamination lawsuits, against increasing gas mileage standards, to allow new offshore drilling, and to stop making oil companies pay royalties to the government for drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. Par for the course for a man who called the Kyoto accords "bad science, bad economics and bad domestic policy" and "anti-Americanism masquerading as environmentalism."

Yes, he is against the war and the BS "War on Terror," but to be honest with you, that's pretty much the only thing he's got going for him in my book. We're facing what might be the greatest environmental challenge we've ever faced and Ron Paul is not the guy for the job.

I suppose if you were absolutely, positively determined to vote GOP, you could do worse than Ron Paul. But it's an indictment of the current Republican party that you probably couldn't do any better. They all suck and Ron Paul only sucks slightly less than the rest of the field.

What bothers me is that a lot of people on both sides of the aisle are treating him as if he were the second coming. He's not. He's just your average paleoconservative of the Pat Buchanan type. In a field of neocons, this makes him stand out. Other than his stand on the war, his views are virtually identical to any other conservative's. The hero worship for this new saviour of the Republican party is completely unwarranted.

As I said, every time I write about Ron Paul, someone comes along and spams my blog. Knock yourself out. Tell me that I've blasphemed St. Ron. But nothing I've written here is untrue and my opinions on this candidate are unlikely to change. He's lousy on the environment, he's lousy on women's rights, he's lousy on health care, he's lousy on gay rights.

The only issue he isn't lousy on is the war and terrorism. That's not good enough.


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Anonymous said...

You are the one spamming your own blog, and the Ron Paul supporters have to take time to clean up the mess you have created. Seems to me that this person is just regurgitating the same nonsense put out by the dailykos, which can be easily debunked by a newborn baby.

Rakeela said...

Please excuse the anonymous above. If it can be debunked by a newborn baby, let's get some in here and see what they say.
(Waah! Waaah!)
Well, some people think the DailyKOS sounds like that, but I'm not satisfied. I can give you at least one environmental organization that Ron Paul is strongly connected to. Have you heard of the Green Scissors project?

Their site is badly outdated, and they're not highly popular. Their modus operandi is to highlight damage the government is causing, subsidizing, or otherwise encouraging. Then they try to get the government to change course. Unfortunately they have relatively few sponsors and few supporters amongst our elected officials. It is easier to convince governments to expand (like most environmental groups do) than it is to convince them to contract.

One thing you'll generally find is that libertarian-leaning environmentalists seek out ways in which the government encourages problems first, and consider these the highest priority to fix. The accusation that Ron Paul is completely uncaring about the environment is inaccurate.

Bret Moore said...

Hey did you hear? Turns out all that global warming data from NASA was actually flawed. Hee hee hee. Yeah, I know, the Y2K bug wasn't a huge thing, but it did shift around the hottest years quite dramatically.

The real arguments re: climate change are not, and should not be, "how are we going to empower government to solve our problems for us?" We all know its track record by now, don't we? That's why I just cannot understand the Kossacks.

Re: the other stuff, abortion and whatnot, I will reiterate the same argument I've used elsewhere. It is dangerous in the extreme, and this administration has proved this fact several times over, to centralize rights and powers in the Federal government. Period. When you do that, you provide a great avenue for someone, or a group of someones, to gain control of it and abuse it. And you. So if you truly are pro-choice, then you must be cognizant of the fact that a political animal like the Fed. gubmint is most certainly not on your side; it is merely on the side of the most (money? votes?) at any given time. That is Ron Paul's point, platform, and mission statement right there.

Anonymous said...

So, am I to understand that you want to post stuff on a blog, but don't want to get any attention? Or are you upset that you audience doesn't agree with you? Lonely?

You wouldn't even HAVE an audience if it weren't for Ron Paul's supporters.

But, thanks for playing.

Wisco said...

Let me address a couple of the more ridiculous comments:

Seems to me that this person is just regurgitating the same nonsense put out by the dailykos, which can be easily debunked by a newborn baby.

That'd be a good trick, seeing how all the links in the post link to Paul's votes in Congress. I suppose that the Clerk is lying to make Paul look bad?

In general, it's a real good idea to actually debunk something, rather than just declare it debunked. It's what you call 'logical.'

You wouldn't even HAVE an audience if it weren't for Ron Paul's supporters.

Yeah, I never get any traffic unless I write about Ron Freakin' Paul. People only use the internet to look for porn and info about Ron Paul. In a perfect world, there would be Ron Paul porn -- that way everyone could save themselves a lot of time.

Anonymous said...

Ron Paul is not the savior, Freedom is the savior. While all the other politicians a running around promising this and that which there is no money for and NOBODY believes anymore after decades of things getting worse, not better, Ron Paul just says I want to return the power and freedom to you. Have you watched the google interview?

With all due respect I think you just need to understand some of the positions and principles better. Enforcing private property rights will protect the environment better than the government has or will. Is this different? Yes, but after much reading and research I now believe it is true, and I am an environmentalist.

Yes Ron Paul is different, but that is exactly what this country needs now. Actually its kind of sad that in America wanting to follow the constitution and give people the maximum freedom is considered strand and different. Those principles are the only reason we became a great country to begin with

Anonymous said...

"He's supported health savings accounts, but with most people having trouble putting money aside as it is, these accounts are pretty much nothing."

Ron Paul is actually against the Federal Reserve system (read the rest before you snarl there was no mention of FR), this is the system which dilutes your money and causes things to be more expensive in the first place (ie. the reason you must return to their system to borrow money to afford things because same said people have inflated the money supply and made things more expensive...). I think where he stands on some of his other policies can help correct (or make moot) a lot of the problems of today (at least financially)

Anonymous said...

Although Ron Paul does not know what he's talking about in regard to global warming, the problem would be solved if he were in office. He would simultaneously end personal income taxes, deregulate most industries, end all subsidies (including subsidies for oil and gas R&D), and bring all troops home (including those who are guarding oilfields in the Middle East). Oil and gas prices would skyrocket because the companies would have to pay for their own R&D and for their own security forces in the Middle East to replace the US military that is guarding the oil fields at taxpayer expense. However, most people would be able to afford the escalating fossil fuel prices because we would no longer be paying income taxes. Within this business climate, there would be an explosion of green entrepreneurialism, which would solve the problem of global warming. Free-market capitalism at its best.

Anonymous said...

"He's supported health savings accounts, but with most people having trouble putting money aside as it is, these accounts are pretty much nothing."

If it weren't for Federal Reserve fiat money and the inflation it causes, we probably wouldn't even need medical insurance because medical care would be affordable to everyone like it used to be. A lot of the problems facing us today would be solved by abolishing the FED & the IRS. Even if we did need medical insurance, most people could afford the premiums with the money saved by not paying the IRS.

Anonymous said...

Ron Paul is too the second coming! The first was in '88 when he ran as a libertarian. He had my vote then and he has it now.

John The Baptist (southern)

Bill Stegmeier said...

You are wrong Wisco. Ron Paul is the second coming…of constitutional government that is!

You say [Ron Paul] "seems to believe that the only thing that government should do is make abortion illegal."

You made that up, plain and simple. You appear to be honesty challenged.

First off, it's apparent you are referring to the Federal Government. Why not spell that out?

Is it because you love the Fed's unconstitutional usurpation of the state's sovereign rights? You, as the pinko liberal that you appear to be, just can't stand localized rule?

So OK Wisco. Just what is it that you believe our Federal government is constitutionally allowed to do? Anything and everything it wants to do? Kinda like it's presently doing?

Last time I read the Constitution, it said that the Federal government had limited powers, such as coining money, guaranteeing the sanctity of contracts, and protecting our borders. That's pretty much it Wisco!

You know Wisco, the Constitution is still the law of the land. It has not yet been legally repealed. In light of that reality, you might want to take the time and read it and better yet study it. You are definitely coming off as constitutionally confused.

Bone up young Wisco. The truth shall set you free.

Bill Stegmeier

Wisco said...

Blow me young Bill Stegmeier.

If the federal government doesn't exist to protect your constitutional rights, then it serves no purpose at all. The president swears an oath to protect and uphold the Constitution.

Oddly, there's nothing in the Constitution that reads, "Ron Freakin' Paul gets to decide what's constitutional and the Supreme Court is just a bunch of America haters jacking around."

The Constitution, which you suggest I bone up on, gives interpretive power to SCOTUS -- not some random presidential candidate of the moment.

How about you read the damned Constitution before lecturing me on it? That'd be a real fun change of pace for your basic Ron Paul supporter. You show me where it say that Supreme Court decisions don't mean jack.

Bill Stegmeier said...

It's getting a bit late, young Wisco.

I will comment with great passion and intellect, soundly refuting your gibberish, maƱana. Get some rest, young Wisco.

Bill Stegmeier

Wisco said...

Yeah, I can hardly wait to see how forcing a woman to remain pregnant against her will is a triumph of individual liberty.

Carlos said...

Wisco, You're failing to understand the reasoning behind the abolishment of Roe v Wade. Though the case was argued under the right to privacy, Paul would rather see it fit under the 10th Amendment. There would be plenty of places that a woman could chose to go.

BTW... very humorous in an Adult Swim kind of way (maybe an appearance on Robot Chicken?)

Yeah, I never get any traffic unless I write about Ron Freakin' Paul. People only use the internet to look for porn and info about Ron Paul. In a perfect world, there would be Ron Paul porn -- that way everyone could save themselves a lot of time.

Anonymous said...

If you agree with Ron Paul please sign the petition to Abolish the Federal Reserve.

Now in August 2007, the world financial systems and investment markets, real estate and the availability of credit are all under direct assault due to past actions of the Federal Reserve in the United States.

Read and sign the Ron Paul Is Right – Abolish the Federal Reserve Petition at

Please link to the petition and forward this message to your friends and help the general public wake up during the current financial panic conditions to the problems we face from the Federal Reserve and Ron Paul’s solution.

Also read comments from hundreds of signers who aren't shy in saying what they think of the FED.

Travis said...

With all due respect to the statements in this blog, I found them to be misconstrued and points that are pulled out of the correct context.

As someone else mentioned, Ron does have concern about the environment. He feels that enforcing private property rights is a huge step. I'd like to ask you what you are doing for the environment? Do you think a federal law banning carbon based fuels is on it's way by voting Democratic? What magic wand do you expect the federal governemtn to wave?

He is pro-life but in no way has he gone overboard. He has always voted to save the mothers life, he voted no on banning transport to abortions, and he has only voted to prevent partial birth abortions(wouldn't you?) except to save the mother's life.

Above all Paul is aiming to reduce the scope of the federal government in our daily lives and have it focus on protecting us and preserving our freedom. I simply can't understand how you, as an American, can be against that.

Anyone who shares the opinion of this blogger should make sure they are hearing what Paul actually is trying to say. Once America is ready to listen then hopefully we have a chance of getting back to where we need to be.

He is not the second coming. However, ignoring the simple truth he is saying, or ignoring anybody in agreement with him, whether you vote for him or not, or whether you vote Rebublican or Democrat, will be devastating for the American (and maybe world's) future.

Just listen without predjudice and pulling things out of context.

Bantam said...

First, I'll respond to part of your post:

"The Constitution, which you suggest I bone up on, gives interpretive power to SCOTUS"

You need to add "in individual cases" to that. SCOTUS does not have the power to legislate from the bench, and its prior interpretations are in no way binding, either to the legislature or itself. Hell, there's a sitting justice right now that doesn't believe in stare decisis at all and only judges each case on the individual merits. Even the idea of judicial review is a power that SCOTUS gave itself.

Now to the whole statement:

"The Constitution, which you suggest I bone up on, gives interpretive power to SCOTUS -- not some random presidential candidate of the moment"

That, my friend, is 100% unadulterated bullcrap.

The point of the Constitution is so that law may be written down for everyone to be able to read and interpret. This isn't Animal Farm where only the pigs get to read and decide what the constitution actually means. Anyone can call shenanigans on the federal government if it steps outside the chains of the Constitution, not just SCOTUS.

So, you see, not only do random presidential candidates get to act upon the plain language of the Constitution, so does everybody else that reads it. Paul has read - and I concur - the Constitution to mean that the Federal Government cannot get involved with abortion, so he is in favor of curtailing the illegitimate power of the federal government in that area. He has read that, according to Article 1, section 8, only Congress can declare war. He is correct there - the Constitution clearly says that, so the action taken by the president in invading Iraq, with no declaration of war, is illegal.

Paul also recognizes that the federal government does not legally have the power to inflate the money supply, nor to wage a war on drugs, nor to tax income previous to the 16th amendment. All of these are clearly correct.

This isn't an opinion here - the Constitution is very clear on these issues. It's not a taste preference - I'm not voting for Paul because he's particularly attractive or makes a good speech. I'm voting for Paul simply because he is right and every other candidate is wrong on the major issues of federalism, inflation, drugs, war, and civil liberties.

PS - I think it's cute how you try to use the global climate change crises to justify illegitimate government usurpations of power. Sorry, bro, the ends still don't justify the means.