Passing on Paul

Tod Kelly

Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular inactive for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter.

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79 Responses

  1. Katherine says:

    Good post.  Well-argued, well defended.

    I’m still working out my opinion, so let me ask – who do you want to be your president, of the options available?Report

  2. “So has Chuck Norris, which somehow feels even right-er.” – I’m not sure why, but hearing that makes me like Ron Paul even more.Report

  3. Rufus F. says:

    Paul also has this generation’s voter-subset that Jesse Jackson, Pat Buchanan, and Jerry Brown had before him: legions of young, idealistic foot soldiers who truly believe their hero’s rise is one thing keeping us from the abyss.

    I do seem to remember another guy having the young and idealistic foot soldiers behind him the last go-round and doing okay in the general election.Report

  4. Koz says:

    Again, I’m glad I’m not supporting RP so ultimately I don’t care that much. But don’t you ever get the sense this is much ado about nothing?

    For good or ill, Ron Paul is a flake. That doesn’t make him wrong or bad, but it does provide for me at least a pretty clear lens for interpretation.

    RP campaigns like a flake. His foreign policy is flaky. So are his thoughts about monetary policy and law enforcement. Is it any wonder his flaky newsletters contain flaky racial paranoia?

    But the thing is, RP’s proposed ideas on law enforcement, monetary policy, and foreign policy all have immediate, clear, relevant consequences. I can’t see what we’re supposed to take away from RP’s newsletters. It would be useful if those who were so agitated by it could actually make a case for something.Report

  5. “A United States President is President of all the people; giving gays and people of color enough good reason to believe he is not their president will lead our country farther away from where it needs to be, not closer.”

    I think we’re all confusing being pro-minority with constantly giving lip service to the idea of being pro-minority. As I wrote in the comments to Erik’s last post, Paul wants to end The Drug War and stop bombing foreigners. In my book, there is no domestic policy more pro-minority than ending the ability of racist police officers to arrest for drug-related offenses at their own discretion. There is no more pro-minority policy than opposing the indiscriminate random bombings that pass for U.S. foreign policy and have convinced a majority of the world’s citizens that the United States is the greatest force of evil in existence. Paul is the only one in the race that has this understanding; he is the only one in the race that opposes the National Security State and domestic wars on substances or abstract concepts. He could be a neo-Nazi on weekends, and his positions on all our wars would still be enough to get my ringing endorsement.

    Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Michelle Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, and every other viable candidate besides Romney are wingnut crackpots, because let’s face it, in the year 2011, killing and incarcerating millions of people for theoretical reasons is a crackpot idea. (Romney, as the favorite, is rightly trying to avoid making waves by doing anything that isn’t completely vanilla, which is why his 10,000-dollar bet line was especially dumb.)

    Paul has already run as a third party candidate, and has already changed the dialogue. This is why he’s now viable as a major party candidate. Obama also ran as an anti-wars candidate, yet he has failed to stand on principle. The only one in the race who has a proven record of standing on principle and who opposes wars is Ron Paul. There’s no need to overthink it.Report

    • North in reply to Christopher Carr says:

      Well Paul’d earn a lot of affection from me if he ran as a third party candidate again because sadly he isn’t going to get his current party’s nod.Report

      • ThatPirateGuy in reply to North says:

        Have you read his article on Lawrence v Texas?

        I don’t understand how one can claim to be for individual rights and freedom and say that the 9th amendment doesn’t cover ones right to sodomy. The state just doesn’t have the right to tell me how to have sex while in my own house. (please note that sex != rape)Report

        • b-psycho in reply to ThatPirateGuy says:

          Here’s that article, btw.

          The “states rights” thing I always found a ridiculous dodge when it comes to civil liberties. Saying the feds interfering in personal life is tyranny but if the states do it its OK is absurd when if enough states embrace the same tyranny they can make it go national anyway.  If this is still his view of the judiciary and the states, then I don’t get how he managed to criticize Gingrich’s majority-absolutism# based arrest-the-judges crap, because that’s the logical conclusion: keep saying that recognition of individual rights by federal courts is a violation and eventually there’ll be call for punishment.

          (# – is it high irony to anyone else here that modern conservatism embraces majority absolutist arguments so easily?)Report

          • Tom Van Dyke in reply to b-psycho says:

            Not ironic atall, Mr. Psycho: modern conservatism values “society” over government as the primary glue, the former seen as more organic, the latter patently artificial.  This extends to “subsidiarity” and federalism, that the more local the level, the less artificial.  But it does not elevate [radical] individualism over society and community any more than leftism/communitarianism does.

            You clearly scoff @ “modern conservatism,” but it is better to understand first and scoff later.Report

            • b-psycho in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

              modern conservatism values “society” over government as the primary glue

              Then why do they keep reaching for government as a tool to shape society in their image?

              Reason I scoff at modern conservatism is that it’s incoherent.  It speaks in faux-libertarian tones about the limits of government while laughing off concern about abuse in the most obvious features of the state — armed folks in uniform — as librulhippiecrap; It flips between criticism of executive power and worship of it based on the party of the person wielding it; It points out the pitfalls of majority-absolutism only to throw it all out the window when an opportunity arises to smack some cultural minority group; It claims an embrace of market order only to completely ignore or justify any interventions that go to their political sponsors.

              Either skepticism of authority is healthy or it isn’t; whether the skeptics are evangelicals or long-haired protesters should not matter.  Either the president should have a relatively free hand or not; D or R next to their name on the news is meaningless.  Either majority should generally rule or restraint by reason is needed; if mob rule is bad, you can’t join the mob just because they agree with you.  Either spontaneous market order is a good thing or it isn’t; if the same skepticism rightfully given to subsidizing alternative energy does not also apply to subsidizing conventional forms, then conservatives need to admit they are pro-subsidy and do not trust the market.  Conservatism should pick a stand (beyond “we’re good, they’re bad”) and stick to it.  That is what a philosophy is, anything less is just slogans.Report

            • ThatPirateGuy in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

              Getting arrested because by neighbors don’t approve of my sex life ain’t freedom.

              Conservatives don’t want freedom they can not stand it. They want dominion.Report

        • North in reply to ThatPirateGuy says:

          Erm my point was a far more cynical one. All indications are if Paul ran a third party outfit he’d split the right and play the Ross Perot role in any election he was in.Report

    • If this were the year 2000, there’s little chance I’d support Ron Paul. But this is the year 2011. Ron Paul is the only one who can be trusted to take the One Ring forged  by the Dark Lord Bush and now wielded by Isildur Obama and throw it into the fires of Mt. Doom.Report

    • Chris in reply to Christopher Carr says:

      Obama didn’t run as an anti-war candidate. He ran as an anti-Iraq War candidate. There’s a big difference. He said early and often that his focus would be Afghanistan, where the real dangerous brown people are. Anyone who thinks that Obama ran as an anti-war candidate has deluded him or herself either to think better of Obama the candidate, or to think worse of Obama the president. The only truly anti-war Democrat in the last election was Kucinich. That the Paulites didn’t get behind Kucinich in the way that they get behind Paul tells me where their priorities lie. It wasn’t then, nor is it now, about war. It may be for you, and it may be for E.D., but it isn’t in general. It’s about social and economic issues, and on those issues, Paul is a disaster.Report

      • Stillwater in reply to Chris says:

        Chris, you deserve some gratitude from all truth-seekers for this comment. I read the comment you’re responding to, and some other arguments based on that comment, and thought about jumping in to correct the record. But I didn’t.

        I’m glad you did.Report

      • Scott Fields (formerly 62across) in reply to Chris says:

        I agree, so I’ll put it this way, Obama was the least war-mongering of the viable choices available.  At no point did Kucinich get any support worth noting.

        That the only anti-war candidate in the midst of two ugly wars got less than 1% of the 2008 primary vote from anyone only reinforces my point that a President Paul would have no success ending US militarism. Congress would fight him and there would be nowhere near enough public pressure for them to do otherwise.Report

      • Christopher Carr in reply to Chris says:

        First, by “anti-wars” I meant anti-Iraq War, anti-drug war, anti-war on terror. I thought that was generally implied by my use of the plural. I’m also well aware of the fact that Obama wanted to focus on Afghanistan and ran on this and certainly didn’t mean to imply otherwise. I’ve looked back at my original post, and realize that I probably did imply that Obama was totally anti-war, but I meant this in a relative sense.

        For the record, I have supported Dennis Kucinich for a long time and believe there is a lot of overlap among Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich fans.Report

        • Chris in reply to Christopher Carr says:

          I don’t recall him being anti-war on drugs or anti-war on terror in general, either. He was anti-Iraq, wanted to focus more on al Qaeda/bin Laden, and never said much, that I recall, about the war on drugs during the campaign, despite Kucinich’s raising the issue over and over again at every debate. I wish Obama had been an anti-war candidate. I wish any candidate who got within a mile of their party’s nomination after 2001 could be anti-war and get away with it, but except for the wildly unpopular Iraq war (by ’08), that hasn’t happened and won’t happen anytime soon.Report

          • Christopher Carr in reply to Chris says:

            Obama the candidate and Obama the Senator admitted to smoking marijuana and had a 79% rating from the ACLU. He was seen as being the strongest on civil liberties. He voted to reinstate the USAPATRIOT Act in 2006 but made a big stink about the violations of civil liberties in the original legislation and specifically about torture and Gitmo. Salon has put together a good piece on Obama’s history vis-a-vis Gitmo: In his first year in office, Obama decided to stop using Federal funds to investigate or shut down facilities which grew medical marijuana:

            I’m not saying he was as good as Kucinich on these issues, but marginally at the time, Obama represented a giant step in the right direction on Iraq, The Drug War, and The War on Terror.Report

            • Chris in reply to Christopher Carr says:

              I suppose you’ve walked it back far enough for me at this point: from anti-war, to anti-drug, Iraq, and war on terror, to not really anti any of those things but Iraq, but at least he’s better on drugs and the war on terror than… who? McCain? Bush? Either Clinton? That seems about right. That’s damning with faint praise, though.

              Like I said, I would love to have a truly anti-war major party candidate get the nomination after September 1, 2001. I don’t see it happening. I don’t think Paul is going to get it, and I think he’d be a disaster as president, but I’d love to see him get the nomination just to prove me wrong on my belief about anti-war candidates.Report

              • Christopher Carr in reply to Chris says:

                I haven’t taken back anything I wrote. I’ve clarified my original point.

                “Like I said, I would love to have a truly anti-war major party candidate get the nomination after September 1, 2001. I don’t see it happening. I don’t think Paul is going to get it, and I think he’d be a disaster as president, but I’d love to see him get the nomination just to prove me wrong on my belief about anti-war candidates.”

                I agree with this all, except I don’t think Paul would be as big of a nutcase as President as you think.Report

              • Chris in reply to Christopher Carr says:

                I don’t think Paul would be a nutcase. I don’t think he’s crazy. I think he’s quite rational, in fact, as evidenced by his ability to cease the moment, politically. I do, however, think he would be a rational disaster. I don’t think he’s capable of being president. I don’t think he’s capable of being much more than he is: an ineffective representative of Galveston and the southern suburbs of Houston and a clever Republican charade. I think his ideas are disasterous, and I think he is.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Christopher Carr says:

                I agree with this all, except I don’t think Paul would be as big of a nutcase as President as you think.

                Well, his ideas are in the nutcase category for starters. I mean, even his Audit the Fed agenda (which I agree with on a transparency level) isn’t about accountability, it’s about abolishing the Fed.

                For seconders, being an effective President is about coalition building. That’s hard enough to do within a party. Outside a party, the amount of compromises and UnPrincipled! decisions he’d have to make would make the likelihood of implementing his nutty ideas about nil.

                But there’s always the veto and signing statements and the Unitary Executive. He could do substantial damage in the short time before Congress completely turned against him.Report

              • I agree that Paul’s endgame is way out in left field, but Obama’s endgame is at the pitcher’s mound, he has had a majority of both houses to work with, and all he’s managed to do is bunt. Our political structure is meant to resist radical change, and Paul wants radical change.

                Still, as the executive, he can control discretionary spending, interventions, and vetoes. If he wants to abolish the Fed or withdraw from the UN, he needs to do it with Congressional support. Anything extreme that he tries to introduce will be scaled down to something like Audit the Fed. Assuming he’s somewhat rational, he’s likely to push for legislation that he thinks will pass, like scaling down the assault on medical marijuana, cutting taxes, and scaling down interventionism. And, he doesn’t care whether this support comes from his own party or the Democrats.Report

    • Nob Akimoto in reply to Christopher Carr says:

      People keep using the word “indiscriminate” to describe US foreign and military policy.

      You keep using that word.

      I don’t think it means what you think it means.Report

      • “Indiscriminate” means without careful judgment. I’d say that just about describes U.S. foreign policy: sloppy, glib, and short-sighted.Report

        • I prefer to think of it as sloppy, glib, and short-sighted… with a free toy surprise!Report

        • Nob Akimoto in reply to Christopher Carr says:

          There’s a certain  between people who claim that present US foreign policy is “indiscriminate and random” and the endorsement of a candidate’s foreign policy angle which while not fitting the definition of “random” certainly qualifies as indiscriminate. Blanket disengagement and non-intervention, with an emphasis toward trade liberalization and withdrawal of the US from IGOs qualifies as without discrimination.

          Look, there are many areas in which US foreign policy is far from ideal. The current policy in Afghanistan and Pakistan show a decision making apparatus that is often overly concerned with a myopic definition of security interests (ie the elimination of Al Qaeda). That doesn’t mean that US foreign policy as a WHOLE is as myopic or disastrous as you (or really in general commentators on this site) claim. Indeed US foreign policy TRIES (whether it succeeds or not is a different claim) to discriminate in its use of force, with a substantial amount of manpower going into the identification of targets, the acceptable amount of collateral damage and intelligence gathering. Whether the standards are acceptable ones is a different debate, but there’s a framework here to try to be discriminate and ordered.

          Certainly when removed from the context of Af-Pak, the trajectory of US foreign policy decision making has been markedly more nuanced and careful than non-interventionists give it credit for. Whether it’s the emphasis on engaging Turkey for regional policy in the near east, the pivot towards engaging and establishing a closer working relationship with countries in the Pacific Rim through FTAs and TPP (conversely, both things that Paul has suggested he is against), or an attempt to place greater respect and emphasis on European foreign policy’s reach, there’s been an acceptance that US power isn’t infinite, but that there are vital interests to be served by staying engaged.

          Further we can see through the wikileaks cables that a lot of the US foreign policy making apparatus (state department) is staffed by extremely competent experts who make substantive critiques of US policy and try to implement what they see as good policy on the ground. In addition it’s worth noting that some of the departments that Paul wants to abolish, such as DOE have substantial foreign policy engagement angles as well. US participation in the physics research conducted at CERN for example is largely funded out of DOE or run by DOE funded lab efforts.

          We can disagree about whether or not these things are desirable from your own political philosophy’s point of view. And I’m welcome to hear what you think of some of the above. But on the whole I think there’s a substantial glibness to your assertion of an indiscriminate, random bombing US foreign policy.Report

  6. BradP says:

    But I don’t want you to be my President.

    I agree with everything you said, but the fact remains someone will be your president, and at this point, I’m wondering if you could come up with an endorsement as glowing as the rejection you just afforded Paul.

    And I’m sorry, but we are three years removed from Bush, and the pro-war foreign policy folks are still batshit crazy.  Even if they weren’t, how is tolerating war because you are afraid of war a sensible plan.Report

    • Sam M in reply to BradP says:

      But I don’t want you to be my President.”

      OK. But it sounds like you don’t want Obama to be your president, either. So you are really picking Obama as the lesser of two potential evils.

      Of all the politicians in all the land, who would you WANT to be president. Not who could win. Or who you might vote for over this guy or that. Who’s the guy you look at and say, “There’s the guy.”Report

      • Kim in reply to Sam M says:

        Feingold. If not him, Sanders. If not him, Tester.

        Or maybe I should go on representatives next…Report

        • Kim in reply to Kim says:

          The lad nobody picked: Wes Clark. I’d love to see a strategic genius as president.

          (Knew a guy who worked for him once… How did he get hired? Showed up, and said, “Pick your game. If you can beat me, I’ll work for you.”)Report

          • BlaiseP in reply to Kim says:

            Wes Clark is a strange dude who attracts much love in the veterans’ community.  I’ve got his book, Waging Modern War.  It’s an interesting book, not really a book about warfare so much as a textbook for politicians at war, coalition building and the like.   Would that a few burly CIA types had cornered Bush43 and Cheney and especially Rumsfeld and force-fed copies of that excellent book to them all.

            Wes Clark was the thinking man’s soldier but had his weak points.   His initial forays into politics were disastrous:  his big brain sometimes provokes him to say what he means, an admirable trait in a general whose orders ought to be clearly understood.   Not so good for today’s politician who can be savaged into late night talk show jokes by some joker with a copy of Final Cut Pro and a few seconds of video.

            I’ve never seen a flag officer do well in politics.   For all this hooey about how the military gives someone “command experience” (twirls index finger, rolls eyes to heaven) it’s exactly the wrong kind of command experience.   A general’s orders are obeyed:  a politician’s are not.   To read Waging Modern War, you’d think Wes Clark would be the ideal politician, a sort of anti-Machiavellian who understood how politicians can fish up a military operation without even knowing they’ve done it.   Would that someone could have cornered Wes Clark and force fed him his own boots every time he felt like saying Something Smart.Report

            • Kim in reply to BlaiseP says:

              Someone on Fox once asked him what should have been done about Katrina… Oh, boy. the man may not know how to watch his words, but he does know his logistics! (It was his plan in Afghanistan that swept the place clean — Clinton hadn’t had him draw up a plan for peace, more’s the pity).

              He’s on record as saying that the biggest national security threat of the upcoming century is Global Warming. It’s a sound assessment too.

              Flag officers that fight Real Wars are not to be put in command of anything — MacArthur made enough of a hash of things himself, and Patton was nearly as bad. But in peacetime, diplomats tend to rise up in the military — because the combat experience tables get kept nice and quiet (so that the real geniuses at combat, who are terrible at peace, can be promoted in case of a REAL emergency).Report

            • Liberty60 in reply to BlaiseP says:

              Hmm, Blaise, its almost as if the skills needed in governance were unique, different than the skills needed in say, military or business.

              So maybe government should not be run like  a business, but rather, run like a government.

              Radical idea.Report

              • BlaiseP in reply to Liberty60 says:

                Government should be run like a government, not a business.    It’s not as tautological as it sounds:   consider the differences in accounting.   A business is all about the Profit and Loss statement, good government is more like a 501(c)(3) in its accounting:  it’s not about the P&L, it’s about the Income Statement and the receipts.

                A well-run nonprofit can be thought of as pots of money.   The accountant can shift the money around from one pot to another.   Some of the income is “earmarked” to specific ends and ends up in specific pots, some isn’t.   The measure of a nonprofit’s effectiveness can be measured in several ways:  first, how much does it spend on itself and how much actually goes out the door to the target beneficiaries.

                But there’s a more important measure in philanthropy which can be applied to government:   it’s called (somewhat rudely by those of us within the philanthropic community) Feeding the Squirrels.   He who feeds the squirrels is only making the problem worse:  in his well-meant gesture to help those Poar Starvin’ Squirrels, he is only creating more of ’em.    If government gets involved in a problem by creating a program,  it ought to demonstrate the effectiveness of that program by first setting forth the desired outcome and reporting on progress to that end.


      • BradP in reply to Sam M says:

        Gary Johnson.

        I wouldn’t mind Feingold either.  He’s the rare democrat that is as strong an opponent on government excess as he is on entitlements.Report

      • Michelle in reply to Sam M says:

        Another vote for Feingold. But I don’t think I’ll live to see the day this country elects a Jewish president, not even Eric Cantor.


      • Tod Kelly in reply to Sam M says:

        ” But it sounds like you don’t want Obama to be your president, either. ”

        Why do you say this?Report

  7. Scott Fields (formerly 62across) says:

    Tod, you say…

    In as much as it appears we have decided as a country that the comings and goings of our military forces is an “at the pleasure of the President” privilege, I expect he would be allowed to immediately pull all of our troops out of whatever…

    … and I’ve to to ask how you could come to believe this. As Christopher Carr notes further down the thread, Obama ran as the anti-war candidate in 2008 and he’s been altogether unable to thwart the militaristic bent the country’s been on since 9/11 (and honestly since before that). Christopher chalks this up to a lack of Obama spine, but I don’t see that as being the most important dynamic.

    Our country’s massive, out of control military/security apparatus has arisen for a reason and it ain’t because of a succession of imperialistic Presidents. It’s bigger than one man, even if that one man is the most powerful man in the world. Our government is captured by defense/security interests every bit as much as it is for business interests. It’s just another side of the same coin – call it crony militarism.

    Congress has ceded their authority to start wars to the President, so they can keep their hands as clean as possible. I don’t believe for a second they would let a President so freely end wars.  They’d fight it tooth and nail.  They’d be compelled to by their backers in the military/industrial complex that thrives on wars.  And frankly, a large number of their constituents would demand it as well.


    • Jesse Ewiak in reply to Scott Fields (formerly 62across) says:

      This. Any defense appropriation with the large cutting in one swath that Paul would put forward would easily be amended to hell and back and if President Paul vetoed it, easily overridden by Congress. Same thing with the Drug War. They’d throw a rider into the next transportation bill, “continue to prosecute drug offenses or lose your sweet sweet money to build roads”, Paul vetos, Congress overrides.

      A President can’t put forth radical change by himself. He needs a Congress that at least is on the same wavelength with him. The truth is, a Paul presidency would consist of a Republican congress passing all the bad parts of Paul’s policy (privatization of Social Security/Medicare, weakening of the VRA, massive tax cuts etc.) and none of the good parts (drug war, defense industry, etc.) If one wants to continue the fairy tale where Paul come in and strikes down the DEA and DOD in one blow, fine. But it ain’t happening, even if he wins 49 states.Report

      • Part of me actually wonders whether Paul would give much of a crap about losing funding for roads, or really anything.  That would make him more or less immune from this sort of thing.  On the other hand, it could have pretty nasty consequences for the rest of us.Report

      • Scott Fields (formerly 62across) in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

        I actually think a President Paul could get somewhere on the War on Drugs.

        The WOD, IMO, is driven by an unholy alliance between social conservatives on the right and nanny-staters on the left.  Now, the only way you’d get a President Paul would be as a Republican.  (If Paul getting the Republican nomination and then winning the general is a long shot the full length of the court, then an Independent winning the WH is a shot from the cross-town gym.)  With less appropriations money at stake, a coalition of other conservatives, other liberals and libertarians could form that group on the “same wavelength.”  In the current climate, a Democratic President wouldn’t be able to get the “other” conservative part of that coalition to play along.Report

        • Jesse Ewiak in reply to Scott Fields (formerly 62across) says:

          Why would Majority Leader McConnell or Speaker Boehner/Cantor care about that coalition? But seriously, I think the best Paul could do on the drug war front in 2013 is maybe stop raising medical marijuana dispensaries. Which again, cost/benefit. Sorry, I’m not going to allow massive cuts to the welfare state so people can buy pot. That might make me a bad person, but so be it.Report

  8. Anderson says:

    Well said sir. Agree that he is brilliant in a sense, but not in a presidential sense. Admittedly, though, you already have a third party platform which endorses all of the positions you just named–without the racist newsletter baggage (re: Gary Johnson Libertarian Party) While Johnson has a modicum of the name rec Ron does, he also is now running from all the only party which would make sense for Ron. So, if Ron ran as a third party, would he start his own (ain’t no party like a Bull Moose party?)Report

    • Tod Kelly in reply to Anderson says:

      I might suggest that the best thing that could happen to Paul, Johnson and the Libertarian party would be for the two of them to actually duke it out while the GOP is.  It would get a ton of press, if for no other reason then the press gets so bored so easily and would love a “new angle.

      I think Paul would win easily, though, and that would just bolster excitement for the general.Report

  9. Morzer says:

    Before anyone rushes to embrace Ron Paul too enthusiastically, perhaps it would be worth glancing at some pages from that notoriously Bolshevik rag Reason:

    One delicious highlight:

    Sept. 26, 1996, Austin American-Statesman:

    “Fortunately, several types of accounts are tough for the IRS to investigate,” Paul wrote. “For instance, it’s still legal to open a bank account without revealing your Social Security number.”
    He also offered to help readers get a foreign passport.
    “Peru recently announced that it will sell its citizenship to foreigners for $25,000,” Paul wrote. “… People concerned about survival are naturally interested in a second citizenship and passport. If you’re interested, drop me a note and include your telephone number, and I’ll get you some interesting information.” […]
    Paul, a Surfside obstetrician, former member of Congress and 1988 Libertarian Party nominee for president, said Morris quotes material out of context. Paul also said his advice was appropriate at the time it was published.


    Why yes, Comrade Ron Paul was so fervently patriotic that he even advocated Americans taking out Peruvian citizenship!

    Note the lack of denial when it comes to his various racist and offensive statements, beyond the usual and obvious “out of context” lie that the Paulites routinely trot out. Note also that Paul is in solidly extreme right-wing territory as usual with these paranoid ramblings about “survival”.



  10. Morzer says:

    December 21, 2011
    Ron Paul walked out of an interview with CNN’s Gloria Borger, following a heated exchange over the controversy regarding racist newsletters sent in his name during the 1990s. Borger asked the Congressman if he had ever read the newsletters. “Did you ever object when you read them?”

    “Why don’t you go back and look at what i said yesterday on CNN and what I’ve said for 20 something years. 22 years ago? I didn’t write them, I disavow them, That’s it.”

    “But you made money off them,”

    “I was still practicing medicine,” Paul responded. “That’s probably why I wasn’t a very good publisher, I had to make a living.”Report

  11. E.D. Kain says:

    This is excellent stuff, as usual, Tod. Lots to chew on.Report

  12. Michelle says:

    I could never vote for Paul for the reasons you list, Tod. While I appreciate his stance on American imperialism, the ridiculous War on Drugs, and civil liberties, his Randian economic theories and states’ rights stances doom him as a candidate for me. I also don’t find it impossible to believe that he could harbor the beliefs expressed in those newsletters.

    He is, however, consistent, something that sets him apart from Gingrich and Romney. And he’s certainly made the debates a lot more interesting and lively than they would have been otherwise.Report

  13. Nob Akimoto says:

    Delegation is an important presidential task. Particularly when if at inauguration you’re looking at a president who’ll be 78.

    I find it odd that Sullivan for example pushes Paul, when he so thoroughly lambasted McCain for choosing Palin as VP and was “irresponsible in his choices”.

    Management of a newsletter that is a substantial source of your personal income and not knowing what it’s doing? Can you imagine how well that sort of person would manage the world’s largest bureaucracy?

    I mean, CIA, FBI, DOJ not to mention DOD have substantial assets that can be run without direct presidential or congressional approval. The sort of people he might put in charge of these organizations if they’re anything like the people he trusted to run his newsletter does not inspire a lot of confidence.Report