Why I Support Ron Paul

Far be it from me to pass up an opportunity to add to the cacophony of Ron Paul posts. When is the last time someone with such a small probability of becoming the next president drove so much pundit traffic? (Goldwater seems like the likely answer, although even he had a better shot when all was said and done.)

Let’s stipulate up front that the racist newsletters are bad business. They are ugly, completely and totally wrong and immoral, and their existence (not to mention Paul’s unwillingness to repudiate them) is mark of a severe character flaw in the man in question. I won’t apologize for them, I won’t defend them, and if I met Ron Paul in person, I would tell him up front that I think a real American and a man who would be president owes it to his supporters, his country, and himself to state in no uncertain terms that they are wrong and evil.

Some endorsement this is turning out to be. How can I say I support him after all that? Two reasons, somewhat related:

1) What have (or, more accurately, haven’t) you done for me lately? Where in Paul’s platform or policy record do we find these sentiments instantiated? Certainly not in his opposition to the War on Drugs, which (as he constantly and condescendingly reminds us) is one of the single most crippling burdens borne overwhelmingly by people of color. Sure, he thinks we should slash government benefits to the poor (also disproportionately landing on people of color), but he doesn’t need to be racist to think that. He is, after all, a Republican. Ultimately, I just think the racist newsletters don’t really amount to much. Which brings me to…

2) I’m not a political essentialist. By all accounts, Barack Obama is a nice guy. He’s a good father, a good husband, a family man. To hear his supporters tell the story, he really is a liberal in his very heart who has just been constrained by the circumstances. Maybe that’s all true. Let’s, again, stipulate it. It still remains the case that he governs like a mass-murdering sociopath. He kills brown people on the other side of planet because he feels like it. He thinks there is nothing particularly problematic about ordering the execution of American citizens without a trial. And, lest we forget, he is responsible for more deportations than any other president. Ever. If salvation requires faith and good works, this is a man who will burn in hell.

Ron Paul is a guy who believes we should curtail or dismantle the US empire and the War on Drugs. I see no reason to doubt that he believes those two things sincerely – and, unlike the racist sentiments in his newsletters – he will tell you so. Repeatedly. On national television. If you think he’s lying, that’s on you to prove. I don’t believe it. And, what’s more, the president has significant authority to do both almost entirely by fiat.

And ultimately that’s what matters. Would he be a good president? On a whole host of issues, he would not. Would he be a better president than the other options on the table, warts and all? That’s a determination for each person to make on their own. I’ve presented my argument. I think breaking the back of the military- and drug-war-consensus is worth a great many costs, and I’m willing to admit that I, personally, would have to pay very few of them. Let that be part of your calculus, too, if you like.

Good men can be bad presidents, and bad men can be good presidents. We have the former already, so convince me that I don’t want the latter.

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108 thoughts on “Why I Support Ron Paul

  1. Paul doesn’t have to endorse oppressive policies. All he has to do is endorse allowing states more freedom to make their own policies, which he knows will be oppressive. Look at what states have been up to since the rise of the Tea Party: crackdowns on women, on minority voting rights, and continued assaults on homosexuals. By supporting the rights of states to govern their own people, he can get some of what his newsletters repeatedly endorsed (oppression via state governments) without having his hands all over it directly. What he wants to do is provide the mechanism; the states do the rest.

     

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    • That, of course, is a two-way street. States have been using their freedom to usher in massive gains in rights for gays and lesbians for a while now.

      I don’t pretend everything would be hunky dory. Texas and Mississippi would almost certainly become worse places to live. You aren’t wrong about that.

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      • For the record though, it isn’t just Texas and Mississippi. It is huge swathes of the nation and anywhere Tea Partiers can get themselves elected. Their election would give those Tea Partiers the ability at least for a time to enact the sort of laws that would keep those not inclined to support conservative goals out of the voting booth, perpetuating their own power.

        To put that in simpler terms: why trust states with liberty? What evidence do we have that states are going to create more liberty than the federal government does?

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    • Look at what states have been up to since the rise of the Tea Party: crackdowns on women, on minority voting rights, and continued assaults on homosexuals.

      Does Obama have the power to prevent this?

      If so, why hasn’t he?

      If not, why worry about Paul not doing what Obama hasn’t done?

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        • He has been doing precisely what, under the power of the Presidency, he is allowed to do: to wit, he has the Justice Department opposing every attempt (such as the racist laws in Arizona and Alabama and the ridiculous racial-ghettoization gerrymandering nonsense going on in Texas) by the trash states to impose their “will” upon minorities.

          He also, despite the howls and screams of the right wing, directed the Justice Department to accept their losses in court and stop trying to defend the clearly unconstitutional DOMA.

          Ron Paul? I can’t say what he’d actually do. But then there’s Newt “if I don’t like a court decision I’ll just ignore it and impeach the judge” Gingrich…

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      • Obama’s Administration has ended DADT and the defense of DOMA, has worked to made various forms of birth control more widely and easily available to women, and has repeatedly engaged states plainly involved in restricting the voting rights of minorities. Would Paul do any of that?

        In short: no. Paul might have opposed DADT, but it is questionable whether he would expend political capital on the issue. He has opposed DOMA because he believes marriage is an issue for the states (essentially saying that majority populations within states but not nations should get to pick and choose the freedoms enjoyed by minority populations). He is against government health care and meddling in insurance markets (two mechanisms used to make birth control more widely available). He would no doubt defend the rights of states to redistrict and determine how voting works.

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      • No, he doesn’t. State’s rights and all that. Obama’s not a dictator with far-reaching powers, no matter how much libertarians may believe it to be so.

        And when he does do things, like have the DOJ block South Carolina’s new voting laws because South Carolina’s own statistics it will unfairly impact minorities, the Republican Governor goes on Facebook and starts ranting about the 10th amendment.

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  2. I suppose it depends on what we’re talking about… if I were choosing a GOP nominee well then sure, Ron Paul is great! Certainly better than the rest of em. If he were running against Obama? Well personally I can’t really afford a compliant Paul presidency with a GOP majority so of course I’d pick Obama. Maybe if the Dems were going to pick up the house I’d entertain the possability for the sake of novelty.

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  3. I think this is my main problem with this argument.

    Let’s admit that Obama is a mass murdering sociopath who has killed lots and lots of people indirectly, as every President has since FDR, if not McKinley. Let’s even admit that’s a fine reason to support and vote for Ron Paul instead of Obama in both the primaries and general election if he gets that far.

    My problem is, those who support Paul and people like me have far different ideas of what will happen in January of 2013. In short, all the bad policies of Paul (gold standard, Federal Reserve, entitlements, abortion, gay rights, etc.) will actually get passed or at least a fair hearing as they’ll be largely supported by a Republican Congress that would come with a Paul victory.

    On the other hand, those massive cuts to the defense budget? Sorry, overridden by a 2/3 majority of Congress who have pork projects. Limiting of the drug war? Sorry, overridden by a 2/3 majority of Congress who still believes we need to throw minorities in jail. Attempts at a fair bargaining in Israel? Overridden by a 2/3 majority who are owned by AIPAC.

    If I truly thought there was even a 10% chance that Paul could get through 5% of his ‘good policies’ into action, I could accept non-libertarian’s support of Paul (even though I’d still think people are underestimating are how insanely disruptive putting a  guy who doesn’t believe in a central bank in charge of the United States could be to the world economy).

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    • What are Ron Paul’s bad policies re: gay rights? He voted for repeal of DADT. He voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment. I’m not sure I follow.

      As for defense and the War on Drugs: Congress can provide all the funding they want, but he doesn’t have to spend it. That’s the dirty little secret here. Obama spends that money because he WANTS TO.

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      • Of course he wants to spend the money of the War on Drugs, I’ve never argued that. The difference is that I’m sure Congress could find a way to force a President Paul to actually spend the money they’ve allotted to the DEA and various other organizations. Look up presidential impoundment and what happened when Nixon tried to do it on a large scale.

        On gay rights, I’m talking about leaving things to the states. For instance, with a President Paul, I have no doubt the Congress would pass a variety of laws removing or lowering federal regulation on discrimination in the workplace, housing, and other places in the name of state’s right’s and deregulation. Also, Paul was initially opposed to repealing DADT.

        Of course, that’s not even getting into the fact that on a personal level, I see allowing state’s to pass anti-gay ordinances on any level because of “state’s rights” is sort of like giving a pass to South Carolina in 1954 for it’s various wrongful actions due to “state’s rights.” Sure, you may not be a bigot yourself, but you’re devolving power to bigots.

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        • Sure, Paul could spend it on various things. But he wouldn’t have to direct the DOJ to prosecute people (as we’ve seen plenty of times, presidents use the DOJ for all sorts of ideological purposes – some good, some bad). My guess is he’d leverage them to help seal the border, which is a bad thing on all its own (but a different thing).

          I don’t disagree about the states’ rights stuff. As I admitted, I think he’d be bad on a number of things, and a lot of them wouldn’t affect me. But we survived GWB, who was also bad, and I think we’d survive President Ron Paul (with the added bonus that he might actually make some headway against the most horrific moral crimes of the US in the process).

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          • All at the small cost of reproductive rights for women, the well-being of million’s of poor American’s, and the possible financial health of the world in general. I understand drone strikes are the most evilest evil in the history of evil, but I consider the three things above just as bad. I realize I’m in the far minority on this site when it comes to that point, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to keep on reminding people that yes, as a white male, my life won’t be much different under President Paul or Obama. But, for a whole lot of people, it will be a far worse place.

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            • Have things gotten so much better for women and poor Americans under the Obama administration? Again, we survived GWB. Unless you think Obama has been a lot better president than I think is wholly justified, something doesn’t work here.

              Also, yes, literally killing women and children is worse than denying women full access to abortion. I’m sorry, but duh.

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              • Lily Ledbetter Act, birth control has to be covered by insurance companies, massive expansion of Medicaid under the ACA, two Supreme Court justices who will uphold Roe, stimulus, unemployment continued to be extended. All things that wouldn’t have happened under McCain, Paul, or any other Republican President. Not exactly the New Deal, but still more than any other President since probably LBJ. Now, the stats don’t look great now, because ya’ know, massive financial collapse.

                Yeah, death is horrible. But, is making millions of lives less-off than a few dozen dying as a result of drone strikes? For instance, I consider most of the people on Wall Street to be have done far more damage to the planet than your average murderer. Hell, even more damage than your average serial murderer.

                So, yes, I believe a world where millions of women have less reproductive rights, hundreds of millions of people fall farther into poverty, and we have a massive financial collapse because the rest of the world realizes the Leader of the Free World doesn’t believe in central banking to be a worse result than a second term of Obama where another few hundred people get killed via executive fiat. Again, I realize that’s a minority opinion on this site.

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                • As opposed to how we never have massive financial collapses under presidents who do believe in central banking, right?

                  Also, I love the cognitive dissonance of “you can’t see how good Obama’s policy is because of economic circumstances out of his control, but definitely Ron Paul’s policy would be terrible”. And Kim says there’s no such thing as a Cult of Obama.

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                  • The point regarding financial collapses is that even if they happen now, the presence of a central bank and active monetary policy interventions keep them from getting worse than they would be otherwise.

                    There’s plenty of historical and empirical evidence that backs this assertion.

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                  • Yes, I pray five times a day toward Honolulu. And I have a pilgrimage planned to Hyde Park.

                    If you don’t understand the havoc that could be caused by putting a guy in charge of appointments to the Fed that doesn’t believe in the Fed, look at the little trouble over in Europe and times that by a lot.

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                  • And no such thing as a cult of Paul?  Geesh — young man, you are a perfect example. You can’t even come up with an argument for your Paul support without creating a nasty straw man of Obama as an evil mass murderer.   Reminds me of the Larouche nuts with their pictures of Obama with a Hitler mustache.  There are several people on this thread arguing  honestly with you, pointing out the obvious problems and limitations of a Paul presidency, but you can’t hear it because you’ve fetishized the geezer.  Wake up.

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                • I actually don’t think it matters all that much. People who have capital to invest will find a way to invest it. Speculators will panic of course, and financial markets would be unstable for a while, but shifting banking to a more decentralized structure is not going to put us back into the dark ages.

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          • Just adding to this that there’s no reason why a President couldn’t order the DEA to take the money allocated to it and use it for vastly different types of “enforcement.”   Surely the President, and at least the AG, and most definitely the politically appointed head of the DEA have the ability to set enforcement priorities.

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    • The joke here is that Ron Paul doesn’t not want to have wars. He just doesn’t want to have the President’s hands directly on the wars.

      The best description I’ve heard for Ron Paul’s foreign policy stance is “outsource the military.”

      As co-sponsor of the “Marque and Reprisal Act of 2001” and its reintroduction in 2007, his position is clear: he would rather wage a proxy war where the US was just paying outfits like Blackwater to act on “US Priorities” and kill whoever they want, rather than actually authorizing the US Military to be engaged in war.

      To claim Ron Paul is “anti-war” is just ridiculous, and he continually hopes nobody notices that the sort of policy he favors WAS used by Dubya in Iraq – the US military got most of the cushy jobs, the “Blackwater Contractors” were the ones assigned to the really dirty stuff. Worldwide, it didn’t matter – as far as the rest of the world was concerned, Blackwater were US “contractors”, e.g. US personnel, and their behavior was still part and parcel of US policy. The difference between a “US military officer” and “Blackwater mercenary”, to them, was ZERO.

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  4. It still remains the case that he governs like a mass-murdering sociopath.

    About this point you showed that your previously tenuous grasp on reality has now completely snapped. We’d throw you a rescue rope but you’d refuse to take hold so we can pull you back to sanity land.

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    • You might have a different vision of reality if you were at the other end of one of Obama’s drone strikes and say your little kid and half your village was slaughtered. Just sayin’, reality itself is sort of tenuous at best.

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      • …and you might have a different vision of what we should do in the Middle East if it was one of your loved ones who had to jump out of the towers on 9/11. You can argue against drone strikes with better reasons than simple appeals to emotion.

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        • Jesse, don’t claim the mantle of the 9/11 survivors, plenty of whom absolutely disagree with our foreign policy since that tragedy. I’m not just appealing to emotion here. We actually do kill children with our drones. That is a fact. The fact that I feel emotional over it hardly changes the reality of the situation in Af-Pak.

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          • And the Taliban committed all sorts of terrible human rights abuses in Afghanistan when they were in power, the Haqquanis do some terrible shit in Waziristan, and we’re seeing that the lack of US Presence in Iraq doesn’t automatically make the violence go away.

            Or does the violence only matter if it can be traced back to US guilt? Is it no longer your problem when the US isn’t involved?

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                • I don’t think it follows that I don’t care. It would be equally uncharitable for me to say your position is “basically” “who gives a shit about the consequences of US policy? blow the fishers up!”

                  I think it is manifest that the United States has less responsibility for the moral crimes of other governments than it has for its own. Similarly, I am less at fault if I let someone mug you than if I mug you myself. Of course, already I’m giving you an analogy that works against my own position, because it remains that I *should* stop the mugger.

                  My point is merely that it is very easy to rush to judgment – we have to help group X! – without any consideration of the consequences. Often/Usually, that’s because it’s difficult or impossible to predict the consequences. But it’s been less than a decade since Iraq, and somehow I am being forced to justify my position that sometimes US foreign policy causes a lot more harm than help. I’m not sure how that just happened.

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                  • I’m not trying to say that the position of US foreign policy causes a lot more harm than help is unjustifiable. In so far as I think the war in Afghanistan is a lost cause and should be ended asap, I’m not very far off your general position, either.

                    What I am against is the conflation of the interventions in Af-Pak with the whole of US foreign policy. Essentially noting that US involvement in the UN, WHO, etc. is all comparatively worthless versus aerial drone strikes seems, to me, rather narrow sighted.

                    Am I getting my point across better, or should I try another tack of reasoning?

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                    • I agree with this, for the most part, but – as I’ve said a few dozen times – I am prepared to vote for someone who is not ideal on many dimensions in order to get what I think is a very important policy change on a couple that I think are extremely important right now.

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                  • Would a land invasion of Pakistan be a better solution? Or perhaps sending letters of marque into the Af-Pak border? (I don’t actually mind “not do it at all” as a policy, but I’m assuming for a moment that the US public doesn’t really want to hear “we’ve beaten Al Qaeda, time to go” stuff.)

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                    • Well, “not do it at all” is, of course, my preferred policy. I’m not wholly prepared to discuss gradations of alternatives, although the land invasion does at least have the virtue of forcing the public to pay attention to what we’re doing in their name. (Not that, as you say, that is likely to help turn them against it.)

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                    • (I don’t actually mind “not do it at all” as a policy, but I’m assuming for a moment that the US public doesn’t really want to hear “we’ve beaten Al Qaeda, time to go” stuff.)

                      That doesn’t seem to be a good assumption.  Somebody with otherwise more conventional views would be able beat Obama on this one (as Obama was able to beat his opponents on Iraq)

                      (that elite opinion is different is both understandable and vexing)

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                  • And, in my view, we shouldn’t allow state governments to take away the reproductive rights of women, discriminate against minorities, and so on. But, I’m supposed to vote for somebody who will do the above because he’ll stop using drones to blow up people.

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                    • Quoting myself:

                      Would he be a better president than the other options on the table, warts and all? That’s a determination for each person to make on their own.

                      I don’t think anyone ever told you what you’re supposed to do, but reading comprehension does not appear to be your strong suit.

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            • I’m pretty sure the violence done by my country is more my concern than the violence done by some other country. And really, the Taliban is in many ways a creature of US foreign policy. So we bear guilt for their violence, too. But that doesn’t mean we answer that violence with more violence. Remember how we helped create the Taliban? Think we risk doing that again maybe?

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              • If by “helped create the Taliban” you mean: “supported militants, then left things alone after the Soviets left, creating an enormous power vacuum that eventually created the Taliban” then yes.

                If by “helped create the Taliban” “the CIA actually created the roots of the current organization” no.

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  5. Ok, so Ron Paul’s typical response to questions about the newsletters is this:

    “I didn’t write or read them, I don’t agree with them, I disavow them.  Here is all the ways my policy helps African-Americans.”

    I understand that most find this insufficient, but I don’t understand what Paul is actually supposed to do. 

    Does he turn this into a “teachable moment” and give an Obama-esque speech teaching us all about race and race relations?

    Does he say, “Some libertarian colleagues of mine wrote those and used my name to spread racist hatred in order to drum up political support.  It was evil and wrong.”

    And what good would it do him, libertarians in general, or anybody else for him to roll up his sleeves and dive into this “Is Ron Paul/are libertarians racist” discussion.  I agree that he should step up and take a stand against racism, but his policies should do that.  What’s more is that he’s not gonna convince anyone, and the media will make even more of a circus out of it.

    Like it or not, the “libertarians are racist” meme is not dependent upon Ron Paul or those newsletters, its dependent upon the popular belief that if you don’t support the state solving racial issues, you prefer that racial problems exist.  Nothing Ron Paul ever says about these newsletters will be taken seriously because they aren’t the main reason the people who are most concerned about them think he and the rest of us libertarians are racist to some degree.

    And finally, from personal experience I can tell you that, if you manage to kick that “social conservative” stigma, you get immediately relegated into that “naive dumbass” group.

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      • Agreed, but he also denies making significant money off of the newsletters, nor did the newsletters deal predominantly with racial issues.  I personally have not seen a link describing how “Ron Paul made X amount of money off of racist newsletters”, could you provide one.

        Also, do you mean he should donate it, because I for one am very glad he didn’t return that donation to Stormfront.  I would rather they didn’t have it.

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        • If Obama wrote a book where only one page was about his hatred of white people, I’d expect people to focus on that one page. So, guess what, you make money in any way off of racism, it’s all fruit of the poisoned tree.

          From Reason, he made approximately $940,000 in one year from the newsletters. That’s significant money to me. So, yeah, I think a donation to some sort of scholarship (is the UNCF considered statist?) in at least that amount would be a good start.

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          • Well, no.  Reason reported that Ron Paul and Associates reported a taxable income of $940,000.  I’m just wondering how much of that went to Ron Paul.

            And writing a book that has racist ideas is a bit different than serving as president of a corporation that releases multiple newsletters, a couple of which were racist trash.

            Not saying that Ron Paul isn’t responsible for this, nor that he has somehow made it better, I just question whether “Give the money back” is a reasonable response.

            Robert Byrd’s public career started and was sustained based in large part by nasty and impactful racism.  He never gave any of his ill-gotten gains back, did he?

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      • “I think returning the money he made off those newsletters would be a good beginning.”

        Really? So your preferred solution is to take millions and millions of dollars and put it in the hands of people who subscribe to racist newsletters? Do you suspect they will do something awesome with it the second time around?

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        • As I said, I meant donating, not returning. Even though I would make the argument that 50 or 60 bucks (note – I have no idea what the price of the newsletters were) back in the hands of a few thousand racists is probably better than funding a racist newsletter.

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  6. I don’t know if I could vote for Paul but if he got the nomination I think his debates with Obama would get some of the highest ratings in TV history. For sheer entertainment value I would be tempted to give him my vote.

     

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  7. First question.

    How does a Ron Paul presidency break the drug-war? Will his presidency come with a magical legislative brush that will allow him to repeal all the prohibitions and mandatory sentences written into federal law? Will he also be able to reform state and local law enforcement agencies that for the most part will continue to enforce laws on the books with regard to non-Marijuana offenses in states with medical marijuana laws, and all laws in states without them?

    What’s the breakdown on racial disparities between state and federal prisoners for drug offenses? Are so many the result of federal offenses that it would make a noticeable difference, and would be able to PREVENT state agencies from picking up the slack? Is racial disparities between incarceration merely a federal problem? Or do state and local governments also bear substantial burdens in creating racial disparity?

    Would withdrawal of the US from all multilateral institutions result in more or less conflict in the world? Would the lack of US funding for UN peacekeeping operations result in more or less moral suffering for people in affected areas? Are interventions the only active measuring stick for moral culpability? Does a tragedy that’s not addressed with force that’s within the capabilities of the United States to deter (a Rwanda, a Somalia, a Sudan, a Congo) have less costs for the afflicted than one in which the United States is an active participant in conflict?

    I’ve yet to see these questions addressed to any satisfactory end. Simply saying “Ron Paul is for peace and free trade and ending the drug war” doesn’t really do it for me.

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    • Points about the entrenched bureaucracy and power structures are correct and well made.  In the sense that Paul supporters are making the same mistakes that Obama supporters made in 2008, this criticism is entirely correct (though it wasn’t made in 2008 against the Obama campaign, except perhaps by Clinton and her team)

      On the margin, though, Paul could unilatterally reduce the priority of drug law enforcement.  As for states picking up the slack, they are (and have been) under some significantly budgetary pressure (and lately increasing the dire consequences predictions if funding to cops get cut).  The feds have subdsidized a lot of recent state level enforcement activities; a Paul administration would have some leeway over this, and moreso in the realm of direct support and cooperation. 

      UN peacekeeping is a mixed bag, but from the internet, only has a yearly budget of about 7 billion dollars.  The rest of the world can afford that.  Our current policy of preventing ‘tragedies’ is so ad hoc and random that I can’t see that zeroing it out would make that much difference on the deterence front.

      (a US ‘withdrawal’ from the world would make *medium* level conflict a lot more possible and perhaps prevelant, which is why I am against it)  

      In all cases, there is a higher hurdle to pass for congressional authorization of any activity with a Paul veto threat.  (and a son fillibuster?)

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  8. found this thread from The Moore Awards on Daily Beast. All said, great commenters, unhinged overreaching from the host. Liberals for Ron Paul? Since when does a liberal have as a basic premise ‘how does this apply to me?’ (re DADT etc). A holiday guest this year opined the same to me when I argued that Cheney’s legacy of torture is unreedemable.

    The ONLY answer the such a position is ‘I’m an American, I vote and it matters to me’. If Ryan thinks the dead guys overseas are a great concern to him but the denial of equal protection to AMERICAN gay and lesbian families doesn’t effect him that much, I’d say it’s a matter of picking and choosing was vexing about a leader, perhaps there’s another, less upfront reason for wanting to throw the bum out.

    Case in point, I hated GWB’s phony homespun Crawford BS. Texas seems like a scourge to the American polity much of the time. It took years to get to where I could look at his entire record objectively. Wonder what Ryan’s deal is? That’s some deep-end rhetoric there, doesn’t usually come out that overblown unless homeboy’s got issues.

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    • I was talking to my wife about this the other day; had it not been for September 11th, GWB might not have actually been too awful. Bumbling and stupid, maybe, but not terrible. His support for African initiatives doesn’t get enough notice from anyone, left or right, which is actually a shame.

      And, for all of his ridiculous and laughable rhetoric, he was the last Republican (excluding Paul) who tried to make it clear the United States wasn’t actually at war with Islam. Poorly, and actions speak louder, but it’s still an important and missed point.

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  9. “It still remains the case that he governs like a mass-murdering sociopath. He kills brown people on the other side of planet because he feels like it.”

    Yup, you’re not a person to be taken seriously. Wow, the League is really doubling down with this right-wing nuts thing, huh? I look forward to Bob – slavery was fine – Cheeks as a frontpager soon.

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  10. I guess that this argument falls apart for me for a couple different reasons. To address just your two points:

    The War On Drugs

    For one, I don’t really understand the focus on the War On Drugs if you’re disinclined to care as much about poverty that feeds the offenses that feed the War On Drugs. It’s pretty indisputable that Paul would cut social support to the poor; so, what’s the logical conclusion? The poor can sell drugs to other poor people to get by and not get imprisoned over it? How is that a better solution? I swear I’m not trolling you here – I legitimately don’t understand what happens if, magically, Paul is able to stop enforcement of federal drug laws and sentencing (let alone overturning them or contending with the states, whom he clearly wouldn’t attempt to overrule, even if he could).

    Drone Warfare

    You didn’t mention this in your original post, but I’m assuming it’s part of what you were implying, based on your follow-up comments. As Nob Akimoto (and others) asked, would a ground warfare operation in Afghanistan be a better option? What would be the fallout if we did, suddenly, withdraw all of our forces and drones from AfPak? How would Ron Paul manage that fallout?

    Everything Else

    Everything else is the area where your argument absolutely falls apart for me, and here’s why: Let’s say that, by some miracle of circumstance, Ron Paul is elected President, and somehow manages to persuade (through a more-friendly Congress) to start to push through, say, cuts to both Medicare and Medicaid. Stick with me, since this is no more unrealistic than your assumption that he can suddenly end the drug war single-handedly. Then what? What fallback treatment do Americans reliant on those programs have? And if they die? This isn’t a hyperbolic point; people in this country actually do die because of inadequate or non-existent medical care. So, those people are worth less than people killed by drone strikes? That’s a bit of an aggressive question, but I absolutely mean it. Which lives are worth more to you – those of Americans who don’t have health care, or those who are located in Afghanistan or Pakistan?

    I don’t think there’s any acceptable answer to that question, but I think Obama being pressured to end the drone war within his term is more likely than Ron Paul supporting any kind of government-supported health care, so that is actually the choice you’re making with your vote.

    How about women’s health? I mean, obviously (from your comments), it’s not an issue you feel impacts you or that you care about, but it’s an actual real issue in this country. The ongoing assault against Planned Parenthood based on the lie that it’s only an abortion provider is also a war against women’s health, in that women’s health care for the poor essentially dies without Planned Parenthood and similar providers.

    So, to round it up, you have two major issues, one of which Paul won’t be able to do anything about, and one of which could potentially end with or without Paul. You also have everything else, which you don’t seem to care about, on which Paul would almost certainly be worse.

    Some argument.

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    • “How about women’s health? I mean, obviously (from your comments), it’s not an issue you feel impacts you or that you care about, but it’s an actual real issue in this country. The ongoing assault against Planned Parenthood based on the lie that it’s only an abortion provider is also a war against women’s health, in that women’s health care for the poor essentially dies without Planned Parenthood and similar providers.”

      Well, it’s selfish to talk about access to abortion when Obama is going around the world killing  brown people for sport!

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        • It DEFINITELY won’t affect the esteemed Ryan Bonneville, that’s why he can talk about is so casually AND try to lay a guilt trip on people who ARE affected by talking about Obama killing people in other countries for sport. Like I said before, brilliant silencing method, you tell the opressed they’re selfish for caring about their issues because there are people who are oppressed in worse ways around the world.

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    • “The poor can sell drugs to other poor people to get by and not get imprisoned over it?”

      Or you know, the poor can sell drugs to rich people like they do now and don’t get imprisoned over it.  And a lot of them can stay out of prison during their prime learning and earning years, which will also help on the margin from keeping them poor.  And it possibly may restore some faith in institutions (both gov and non-gov) which will also help on the margin from keeping people poor.

      (If they ended both the drug war and federal housing assistance, would the protagonists in the Wire be better off?  I think so, on net)

      If we get out of AfPak, the Kabul govt may fall (maybe).  The Pak govt will continue to be a hornet’s nest of intrigue and double dealing, but they’ve had that for all their history, I don’t see how our ending military action in FATA would change that.  Either way, like Iraq, it would be Not Our Problem Any More.  If they pose a problem in the future, do indeed send a punitive expedition (whether drones, cruise missiles or whatever) but then leave.

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      • Kolohe,

        While I recognize the inherent goodness of allowing the poor to sell drugs to the rich, don’t you think it more likely that legalizing the sale of drugs would create a vacuum in which the richest set up dispensaries as a means of making even more money? The entire marketplace for the product would change and almost certainly choke out the current model that is unfairly punished when done peacefully.

        Meanwhile, why is your scope about poor people limited to characters on a television show? There are millions of poor people who live on the various forms of government assistance that Paul despises; those people would suffer if that assistance was to disappear. Or, if we must couch things in terms of television shows, when you next watch The Wire, focus not on the main (and compelling) characters, but rather, all of the blurry ones just trying to live their lives in the background.

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        • No, all poor people also have the ability to sell drugs. Didn’t you know that? I mean, the literally dozens of people I knew in public housing who neither used nor sold drugs would be tons better off without the existence of the HUD. They could just start slinging some hash and be good.

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  11. Which part? This one?

    It still remains the case that he governs like a mass-murdering sociopath. He kills brown people on the other side of planet because he feels like it.

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  12. About the biggest pile of tripe I’ve every read on the Internet.  Paul’s domestic policies would kill more Americans than any war we’ve waged.  Paul’s not anti-war, he’s just for a racial civil war in the US.

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  13. Remember when Ron Paul audited the Federal Reserve when he got his subcommittee chairmanship? Remember how effectively he spoke out against the loss of our civil liberties when the Patriot Act was first considered, and the coalition he led to defeat it when it was up for renewal? Remember how he and a coalition of fiscal conservatives and anti-militarist liberals managed to persuade Congress to cut unnecessary hardware from the Pentagon budget, trim its Byzantine bureaucracy, tighten up efficiency, and begin the long process of withdrawal from long pacified areas like Germany? Remember how he persuaded members of his own party that we have nothing to fear from trying Guantanamo detainees in our courts the way we did Nazis we brought to the U.S. for interrogation?

    Neither do I.

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  14. I find Ron Paul to be an interesting character. I can understand why his supporters are attracted to the man. For the unpolitical Ron Paul seems  refreshingly candid and different from the rest. I suspect they don’t know what to make of the newsletter and various Ron Paul wacko positions that have been in the news the past few days.

    For conservative libertarians Ron Paul’s positions on race and homophobia are part of why they support him in the first place. I have flirted with the Libertarians over the past 15 years. I like the ideas of the Libertarian movement but I always end up running into the reality of the people in the movement. There are certainly libertarians who have an expansive notion of live and let live. In my experience they are far out-numbered by Rightist misanthropes who are libertarians because they feel confined by the political correctness of today’s GOP. To them, liberty is being able to call a spade, a spade, quite literally.

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  15. It’s not the racism, it’s the batshit insane paranoia that’s incredibly dangerous. The guy who shot Gabrielle Giffords wasn’t ranting about the tea party or income inequality- he was fond of spouting a bunch insane paranoid nonsense that would have been right at home on the pages of Paul’s newsletter.

    But , given the ridiculous hyperbole you expressed, maybe that stuff is right up your alley.

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  16. Ron Paul rascist?  It’s out there.  How many are there who discreetly conceal it, whose actions and words hint at it, that have grown and discounted the validity of it, openly admit it?  I hope that Dr. Paul has grown. I admire his steadfastness, but sometimes one must be willing to “flip-flop”  If not, I think there is a rats chance in hell that he can undo the Civil Rights legislation, or that he would attempt to do so.  As for remedies for poverty and the health care issues, I think he longs for the days of non-profit hospitals and insurance, and clinics and charity.  There is plenty to criticize, but too much to admire to be dismissed as irrelevant.  Some say his ideas are 200 years old. Is the Constitution irrelevant or outdated?  If so, then it is time to rewrite it.  He wants to repeal legislation that has absconded our rights, is bankrupting us, and killing our military volunteers, in order to fill the coffers of the Fascists that have their tentacles in our purses and in our bedrooms.  I was a staunch supporter of Obama, but I defect, if Dr. Paul is his opponent.

    Now as for President Obama:  The last straw was NDAA.  I am disappointed in his failure to effectively stand up to Congress and his failure to implement many of his campaign promises.  However, I disagree with your depiction of his failures:  Deportation – There has been “a much greater emphasis on criminals than non-criminals.” And “with stronger border enforcement, we’ve been apprehending folks at the borders and sending them back. That is counted as a deportation even though they may have only been held for a day or 48 hours.”;  Your gross, gross exaggerations – “mass-murdering sociopath. He kills brown people on the other side of planet because he feels like it. He thinks there is nothing particularly problematic about ordering the execution of American citizens without a trial.”  Really?!  There is editorializing and then there is grossly stretching the truth and outright prevarication.

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