Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Strange Case of Ron Paul

By: T-Rav

Ron Paul has suddenly become the darling of a large section of the Republican Party, even after clearly and repeatedly disqualifying himself from serious consideration by anyone not a member of the John Birch Society. In the past couple weeks, popular and long-time conservative pundits such as Ann Coulter have gone on record as saying they will vote for Paul rather than an establishment figure such as Newt Gingrich. Well, I won’t.

I have made my disgust and fury at Mitt Romney, for example, and his RINO-ism very clear on this site, to the point of being obsessive; but I will vote for Romney in a heartbeat rather than cast a ballot for the good doctor.

Paul’s current popularity is the result of some deep dissatisfaction with the field of candidates, which I can understand. And he does have some legit credentials as a small-government fiscal conservative. He wants to keep the government from exceeding a strict interpretation of its Constitutional authority; he wants an end to pork-barrel spending (although this hasn’t kept him from requesting and receiving his fair share of earmark money), etc. The chances of any of these proposals becoming law are about those of a snowball in the nether regions, but they’re nice to think about, and Paul deserves some credit for advancing the debate on fiscal and economic issues.

That being said, when you consider the whole man, Paul is such a disaster I am at something of a loss to comprehend how he became popular at all.

Let’s look at his record. For all the adulation showered on him as the leading voice of fiscal responsibility in Congress and “the godfather of the Tea Party movement” (seriously?), Paul hasn’t really done that much as a legislator. He’s authored/sponsored a number of bills, certainly; but most of them have been of a very simplistic nature, making demands such as “End the Fed!” or “Repeal the income tax!” without outlining a responsible alternative plan for monetary or tax policy. This suggests to me a man who either can’t or won’t think about these issues beyond superficial clichés—or who perhaps has no intention of waging a sustained campaign on their behalf and is therefore just throwing out slogans to get attention. Either way, he has not displayed the comprehensive, long-term thinking that Paul Ryan, Pat Toomey, or even Eric Cantor and others have. In fact, in his two decades, on and off, as a member of Congress, Paul saw only one of his bills be passed and signed into law—a bill authorizing the sale of a Galveston customhouse. Eh, I guess it’s because the establishment was out to get him or something.

But hey, he has done plenty outside of Congress, informing Americans through his newsletters about the dangers of big government and leftist policies, hasn’t he? Well. How about those newsletters?

During the 1980s and ‘90s, Paul published several newsletters, among others The Ron Paul Investment Letter and The Ron Paul Political Report. These would presumably focus on economic stuff, but they repeatedly included some very obscene racism. In June 1991, for example, a story on black violence in the nation’s capital was headlined “Animals Take Over the D.C. Zoo.” The following year, one issue described how “blacks poured into the streets of Chicago in celebration {of a basketball game}. How to celebrate? How else? They broke the windows of stores to loot. . . Jury verdicts, basketball games, and even music are enough to set off black rage, it seems.” Another newsletter also discussed a “destruction of civilization” that was “the most tragic {to} ever occur on that continent, at least below the Sahara.” This would be the ending of apartheid in South Africa. Other issues claimed that Martin Luther King Jr. was a pedophile, a “world-class philanderer who beat up his paramours” and “seduced underage girls and boys,” and expressed support for former Louisiana senatorial candidate and former KKK Imperial Wizard David Duke, who had “scared the blazes out of the Establishment.”

Paul claims he didn’t write these articles, which is plausible as they were unsigned; what is not plausible is the idea that they were written and published without his full knowledge and consent, in a newsletter he profited from and in which he employed members of his own family. His supporters, for their part, are attempting to call this a case of fallacious guilt-by-association, or saying that this was all nearly 20 years ago, so it doesn’t really matter. Fine. But how is this any different from Obama’s longtime association with Jeremiah Wright (I refuse to honor him with the title “Reverend”) and other radical nutjobs? It seemed there was enough of an association then to call Obama a radical; why then, with similar associations here, is it not okay to call Paul a fringe radical with a serious race problem? More to the point, does anyone think for a moment that the same media which swept Obama’s skeletons under the rug would ignore Paul’s if he were to become the nominee?

I suppose it’s possible to argue, as his supporters have done, that this is either a big misunderstanding or an ugly smear campaign. That doesn’t help my evaluation of him, though, because I find those policies of his which are being championed equally dangerous. Simply put, the Congressman is proof of something I keep noticing among self-styled “libertarians”: a tendency to go to extremes with one’s ideology. His foreign policy positions are perhaps the most vivid example of this.

It’s one thing to say that the war in Iraq was a mistake, that the U.S. is too involved in the affairs of other nations, and that we need to get out of Afghanistan. These are positions I don’t entirely agree with, but one can rationally arrive at these positions and make a compelling case for them, and Paul was on more or less safe ground when he brought all this up in the debates. But then he kept going off the deep end. Even early on, he showed a total lack of understanding of the threat Iran poses when he insisted that, to paraphrase, “if we leave Iran alone, they’ll leave us alone.” For much of Bush’s term, this was a position no one to the right of Dennis Kucinich would consider taking. And let’s not forget, he essentially said that the U.S. brought 9/11 on itself. Even if one can agree that radical Islamists were reacting against certain policies of ours, let’s be clear about this—a man who wants to be our Commander-in-Chief is implicitly absolving our enemies of all responsibility for their deeds. Does that remind you of anyone? And that last debate….oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. First there was his claim that Israel’s neighbors posed no threat, and that our military was just looking for an excuse to go to war with Iran. Then Bachmann started pressing him, and he started crying that the U.S. would “declare war on 1.2 billion Muslims.” Um, no.

Worse, it’s getting harder and harder to claim that Paul just got flustered and misspoke, or that his words got twisted around, or whatever his excuse is this week. Not only do we have to consider his recent remarks that Israel is responsible for the formation of Hamas, we must take into account his past positions on foreign policy. According to one former staffer, who worked for Paul on and off for over a decade, the Congressman was personally opposed to any military response to 9/11.

He did not want to vote for the resolution. He immediately stated to us staffers, me in particular, that Bush/Cheney were going to use the attacks as a precursor for “invading” Iraq. He engaged in conspiracy theories including perhaps the attacks were coordinated with the CIA, and that the Bush administration might have known about the attacks ahead of time. He expressed no sympathies whatsoever for those who died on 9/11, and pretty much forbade us staffers from engaging in any sort of memorial expressions, or openly asserting pro-military statements in support of the Bush administration.

On the eve of the vote, Ron Paul was still telling us staffers that he was planning to vote “No,” on the resolution, and to be prepared for a seriously negative reaction in the District. Jackie Gloor and I, along with quiet nods of agreement from the other staffers in the District, declared our intentions to Tom Lizardo, our Chief of Staff, and to each other, that if Ron voted No, we would immediately resign.
The staffer adds that in private conversations, Paul would dispute American involvement in World War II, arguing that it was a humanitarian exercise for “saving the Jews,” in which, short of actual German attacks on our soil, the U.S. should not have become involved. One wonders what would have become of the people of Middle Earth had this guy been the king of Rohan or some other Tolkien character.

Is Paul a racist or an anti-Semite, or neither? Ultimately, that’s between him and God, and anyway, it’s beside the point. The point is he has no problem affiliating with those who are. He is demonstrably anti-Israel. He seems to believe that the CIA may very well have been behind 9/11 and that there really are international secret societies trying to control us through our currency. This is Ron Paul’s reality, and this lies at the heart of my problem with him. It’s not that he’s not as socially conservative as I’d prefer (and he’s not), or that he’s not as pro-Israel or as hawkish on foreign policy as I’d prefer (and he’s not). It’s that the world he lives in is so different from ours—even more so, in some ways, than the world Obama lives in—that it renders him incapable of looking after the interests of the United States, especially as he refuses to acknowledge the real threats facing America. Defending the country against threats is apparently less important to him than avoiding a “neocon” policy. Paul’s mind seems closed to the concepts of trade-offs or practicality; he must follow his ideology to its logical outcomes, regardless of the consequences.

Whatever his merits on a few issues, this is a committed conspiracy theorist and a hard-core ideologue determined not to let facts shape his beliefs, but to make his beliefs shape the facts—in other words, the very opposite of a true conservative. He should not be allowed anywhere near the White House, and any further flirtation with him is extremely dangerous.

117 comments:

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks for an interesting article T-Rav. I'll have more comments soon, am in the middle of "the work thing."

tryanmax said...

Andrew, it happens. I'm experiencing a post-holiday lull, so this is actually keeping me sane (and from burning up my PTO).

T-Rav, I initially read the opening line as "Ron Paul has suddenly become the darling of a large secretion of the Republican Party," Oops. LOL!

Patti said...

facebook is FULL of younger folks supporting RP, and extolling his virtue of being an outsider, so i'm linking your article there. take that, whippersnappers!

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: In his idiotic view of both 9-11 and the Palestinian intifida, Paul is unknowingly (I think) spouting sophomoric Hegelian dialectic cum Marxist dialectical materialism. Both assume the inevitability of a societal reaction to the unfolding of “history.” Like too much of movement libertarianism, human nature is not taken into the formula. "The thing inevitably produces its own opposite." Such a belief becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy by emboldening those who believe they are on the “right” side of the inevitability while those who are on the “wrong” side become lethargic or paralyzed. Thus, America is too arrogant and we should have expected the 9-11 attack. Israel is too zealous in its desire to survive in a sea of jihadism, and thus “created” Hamas, Hezbollah and the Salafists.

As for the racism, it seems to me that some was intentional, while some may have been simple stupidity. Had the newsletter said “inmates take over the asylum” instead of “animals take over the zoo,” the rest of the piece might have been unpopular or even plain wrong, but not necessarily racist. As for “black rage,” there have been numerous academic discussions which covered the topic, but avoided the implication that it was somehow genetic. The academic pieces addressed the very real issue of black rage with good intellectual arguments on both sides.

It has even entered the legal arena. The defense in the case of Colin Ferguson (the Long Island Railroad killer) was based on black rage being an “inevitable” reaction to white racism and oppression. The defense was ultimately rejected, largely because it never addressed whether Ferguson’s black rage had a logical nexus (proximate cause) directly related to the killings. Nobody of any consequence charged the judge or jury with racism for rejecting the defense.

On the other hand, the attacks on Martin Luther King, Jr. and the support for apartheid were clear racism with no room to claim the remarks were “misunderstood,” “taken out of context,” or the ever-popular “that was then, this is now.” Whether Paul is himself a racist, I can’t say. But his lame explanations ring hollow and are entirely unconvincing. A clear rejection of those views which were palpably racist would have helped, but I’m still not sure he could be entirely exonerated.

As for Paul’s views on national defense, the concept of “Fortress America” was finally and completely discredited at Pearl Harbor, and its invalidity was punctuated on 9-11.

AndrewPrice said...

Patti, "Take that whipersnappers!" LOL!

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I was going to say, aren't you at work? Does your employer know you live here now? ;)

tryanmax said...

Andrew, I do have some design projects going on, but they are in the "waiting for feedback" or the "press enter then wait an hour" phases.

DUQ said...

I agree to the extent that his foreign policy is horrible. I think bringing home the troops is a good idea, but ignoring the danger of Islam is short-sighted.

But when it comes to economics, that's where people need to start listening to Paul. Paul is speaking for a lot of people who see the current system as rigged toward the Fortune 500 and who see the incestuous relationship between the government and big business and the candidates who pander and do the bidding of Big Business. This is upsetting and Paul is the only candidate who addresses that.

tryanmax said...

LawHawk, RE: racist remarks, Paul could also distance himself by claiming he was merely giving a forum to unpopular opinions. But since it hasn't occurred to him to use that excuse, such must not be the case.

CrispyRice said...

I took one of those "who is your candidate" quizzes, and I came out pretty much 50/50 for Ron Paul and Rick Santorum. Go make sense of that, LOL!

Actually, that's just the problem for me with Paul. He makes perfect sense until he takes a flying leap off the deep end screaming about winged monkeys. Ugh.

Good article!

ScyFyterry said...

I'll be honest, I support Paul. I don't like what he's said about 9/11 and I don't like the racism stuff, though I do think that if he really was racist, there would be a lot more evidence, but I want genuine change. I want to see the establishment shaken up, and I don't see anyone else willing to do that.

LawHawkRFD said...

tryanmax: That's logical and might even be a good cover if he really is a racist. Therefore, he won't use it. LOL

LawHawkRFD said...

ScyFyterry: I'm with you on wanting to shake up the old guard establishment. But I'm also cautious about throwing the baby out with the bathwater. There's at least a chance that the public and a conservative Congress could move a moderate like Romney to the right. I don't think Paul can be convinced of anything by anyone other than himself.

T-Rav said...

Sorry folks, I was busy taking down the Christmas tree and stuff. I'll get to replies in a few minutes :-)

T-Rav said...

Sometimes I wonder, tryanmax. Sometimes. I. Wonder. ;-)

Actually, I do find it fascinating that Paul occasionally draws more support from Democrats and independents than from registered Republicans.

Individualist said...

I have not really done any research on ron Paul beyond his economic policies.

I thought his objections to the Fed to be a little simplistic andn ultimately unworkable but he seemed to be the only guy stating that we should be eliminating programs.

What he said regarding foreign policy scared the bejeepers out of me enough to dismiss him.

I remember Andrew's article about how New Hampshire and Iowa allow dems to vote in the GOP primary and I wonder how many of these people are just spoilers.

I think the problem is that Paul has always looked to fringe groups for support. It is what kept him as a larger player than he otherwise would have been.

So he has the issue with his newsletter because he catered to people that were like that at the time. His anti-war speeches in 2008 garnered him the support of younger people and now he is too mired in the "truther" community to ever make a reasonable statement on foreign policy.

Question is what would he do if he got into power. A very real concern is if Romney finds himslef lagging in the polls to Obama around the time to pick a VP candidate if he would select Paul just to get his money and support. There is usually some disconnect between what a politician says and does. What has Pual done in Congress. I am sure he voted on every vote. I don't think he would be one to shirk that duty. So.... what is his actual voting record in congress.

I just don't know.

T-Rav said...

Patti, don't I know it. A bunch of college friends of mine are all hopped up on Paul, for reasons I don't fully understand. Actually, I think I have a bigger problem with his supporters than I do with the man himself.

Paul Supporters said...

What did we ever do to you?

T-Rav said...

LawHawk, that sums up a lot of the issues I have with libertarianism. In many ways, it is a right-wing ideology (although your point about the similarities to Marxist dialectic is well taken). But it is still an ideology, something imposing its vision of how reality should be upon what reality actually is. And conservatism is supposed to be non-ideological. It usually isn't, but in the abstract definitions it's supposed to be. Paul keeps falling upon the fact that not everyone in the world is pursuing their own rational self-interest, which is what he'd like to believe they're doing. It's not rational for Iran to seek to the destruction of Israel via nuclear missiles, and yet they're doing it anyway. So he has to either give up his ideology upon that point, deny Iran is seeking to destroy Israel, or imply that Israel must have done something to deserve it; and he's consistently pursued a mix of options two and three.

On the racial stuff, I don't think all of it is necessarily racist. The description of "animals," for example, could have non-racist meanings. But as a matter of practical politics today, no Republican who writes such things (or allows them to be published under his name, whatever) is going to withstand the media blitzkrieg that will follow. And there's enough genuinely eyebrow-raising stuff in there that, for once, the blitzkrieg might not be entirely undeserved. No matter how you look at it, this is a dangerous concoction.

Estabishment RINOS said...

Ron Paul Supporters know what Ron Paul Supports did.... 'nuff saqid

T-Rav said...

Wow Andrew and Patti, I haven't heard whippersnappers in...three or four years. Thanks for going all retro on us young fellers. ;-)

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: Yep. It's bad enough being called racist for stating provable facts, so why invite it by using phrases that the MSM will immediately pick up as racist? The message might even be correct, but it will get lost in the controversy over the "racist" implications, which is exactly what the race-baiters want.

T-Rav said...

DUQ, I agree, Paul does have some solid economic points, and while some of his ideas about government and spending are rather iffy, I give him all due credit for at least advancing the argument to the point where mainstream conservatives can be seriously discussing drastic fiscal measures that would have been on the fringe of the party even five years ago.

Unfortunately, Paul hasn't really done a lot beyond that. Too much of the time, he expresses himself in catchphrases such as "End the Fed!" as though the moment that institution is abolished, all our problems will be solved. This smacks of a liberal mindset, and he doesn't explain how to go about doing that or how that would fix things.

And when you set that next to his foreign-policy problems, I think he would ultimately do the party far more harm than good.

CrisD said...

T-Rav-
Great article and I agree 100%

When I first started commenting on-line I went to human events and read posts by Pat Buchanan. The commenters were all Paul-bots. They were isolationist-anti semetics, racists and Bilderberger conspiracy theorists. It took me a while to catch on b/c they first sound like conservatives. Buchanon made mention of may things he liked about Paul in his posts. So I think there is a hot bed of this type thinking. Like an intellectual ghetto--all crowded in together with a subculture and little outside influence.

T-Rav said...

tryanmax, the reason Paul hasn't used that defense is because a quick Google search would quickly torpedo it. Back in the '90s, he said on more than one occasion that "if you want to know more about where I stand, read my Ron Paul Political Report (and assorted other publications)." I'll post a link to some videos when I find it, but point is, he can't really backtrack now.

Bilderberger Group (TM) said...

There is no Bilderberger Group.

T-Rav said...

Crispy, I think that's evidence of a split personality, isn't it? :-)

Honestly, I put no stock in those tests. When I was much younger, I tried one of them, and the answer placed me as a moderate on their scale, at roughly the same position as Bill Clinton. I don't think I fully trusted another test after that.

Ghostbusters said...

There is no Bilderberger group there is only Zul.......

tryanmax said...

T-Rav, Now that you say it, I remember Paul saying that repeatedly. So that wouldn't work after all.

Joel Farnham said...

The only reason Ron Paul is popular is because he talks about fiscal sanity with an authority that is hard to beat. Candidates like Bachmann talked like that before they were candidates. Once they became candidates, fear sets in and clueless beltway advisers "help". At that point, people like Ron Paul seem clearer because their message is simpler and not "advised" by insiders. Advisers shun Ron Paul because they don't want to be painted by the same nutcase brush.

Most of Cain's problems can be traced to the amateurish actions of his public relations group. Bachmann was trying too much to accommodate her advisers and not express her beliefs. Her last speech as well as McCain's last speech were electrifying.

The only reason Ron Paul is taken seriously is help from the media like it helped McCain. Media loves assigning the Republicans the nutcase meme. If Ron Paul were to win the nomination, Obama's pals would emphasize Ron's inability to recognize the inherent dangers of Islam and that Obama killed 9-11's mastermind dontcha know? Something Ron Paul would never do.

Since we are in a recession, the most clear politician with a conservative message of fiscal sanity gets noticed. Ron's. What isn't noticed by some is his foreign policies. The media hasn't forgotten.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I'm of two minds on Paul. I agree with DUQ that Paul is the only one to talk about the real problem of the rigged game that has become our economy. These huge businesses buy protection and insurance from the government in exchange for sharing the wealth and the power, and the rest of us end up picking up the tab. That needs to stop and few others are really talking about this. Instead, they seem to want to double down on influence peddling.

BUT, I also agree that Paul hasn't thought through his platform to any real degree. When I ask myself "how do we implement what he believes," I end up drawing a blank because I'm not sure he's ever thought about it. His view seems to be "if we just stop doing things we shouldn't, then it will all be ok." But that doesn't tell us what we shouldn't be doing? It's also so radical it can't be implemented and that means it's useless. It would be better to do what we can to shrink the government incrementally.

So while I think the sentiment is right, I don't see a policy that I can latch onto. But unfortunately, no one else is even in the right ballpark. So I find myself without a solution.

I am also troubled by the drug legalization argument. That's being downplayed right now, but that has become the focal point of so much libertarianism and it's simply wrong.... as I've discussed before.

His foreign policy is another area that troubles me. I do think we need to stop these stupid wars and fight smarter. The problem is he just wants to stop the wars and surrender (and people on the other side just want to keep fighting with no clue how to win). So again, there is no solution.

That's what I think frustrates me here. There is a lot of good philosophy within Paul, but the package stinks. And it's only the lack of a better alternative that keeps him as a possibility in my mind.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav and Crispy, I've tried those tests and I keep coming up with either Pancho Villa or Dr. No. So I don't put much faith in those either.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, That's the thing about having principles versus having advisors. Reagan was the same way -- he knew what he believed and he needed no one to tell him.

I'm not saying Paul is Reagan, but we do know what he believes. I honestly can't say the same for the other candidates because they've been working so hard to reshape their message to sell themselves.

Also, I suspect that some of them only say things because they think it will sound good, without every really knowing what they are advocating.

tryanmax said...

Also, That is a good point about Ron Paul presenting bills without any real substance. It reads as a rather cynical gesture, one that allows him to say "I put forward such-and-such a bill, but the elites in Washington shot it down!"

It also undermines my estimation of his philosophy, even on the points I agree with. It relates to what you said about him not letting facts shape his beliefs, but letting his beliefs shape the facts. (A brilliant turn a phrase, BTW.) While I can appreciate some of those beliefs, because they operate backwards, it is almost like he came to them by accident. In other words, he is pushing beliefs he doesn't understand. That is an inevitable disaster waiting to happen.

I like the metaphor of doing math wrong but still coming up with the right answer. I forget who I stole it from, but somebody once gave me the example of reducing 19/95 by canceling the 9s. It yields the right answer, but the method is wrong and so can't be relied upon to produce the right answer in the future. I apologize if I stole that from someone here.

T-Rav said...

ScyFy, that's fine. Let me reiterate: I don't know that Paul is actually a racist. If you follow the link I included before that excerpt about the congressman and 9/11, it'll take you to the full remarks of his former staffer, who specifically and strongly defends Paul against charges of racism. He says that Paul has many friendly relationships with blacks, Hispanics, Jews, gays, etc. in his district. As I say, it's between him and God.

That said, he's much too close to conspiracy theorists (including 9/11 truthers) and genuine racists for comfort. And on your point about wanting "genuine change," let me just say this: I sympathize, but I want to know just what kind of change it's going to be. Millions of people in '08 voted for the guy they thought was going to bring them change, and look what we got. As I've kind of alluded already, I wouldn't have such a problem with Paul if I had a better idea about what he actually believes and how he intends to put those beliefs in action. I would still have a problem, but it might not be an insurmountable one. I just don't have a great opinion of how far he's in touch with reality. But I agree that a lot of Paul's popularity is a function of the overall weakness of our field. Look at our other alternatives. Bleh.

tryanmax said...

Andrew, I'm not so certain that we do know what Ron Paul believes because I am not so sure that he knows what he believes.

Like you said, he asserts that everything will be fine if we just stop doing things we shouldn't be doing, but he offers no means by which to determine we shouldn't be doing. Other than to maybe ask him, that is. But that is an unacceptable proposition because that just makes him God or God's arbiter.

Even God doesn't operate that way. The Bible teaches to look at the fruits to determine what is good or bad. Paul seems like he will just assert that something is good and then shoehorn or cherry pick the results to maintain that assertion. No different than a liberal would do.

tryanmax said...

T-Rav, I don't feel that comparisons between Paul and 0bama can be made to strongly. They both are running on the blank-slate platform claiming their past deeds don't matter. Before I even knew who Ron Paul was, I was put off by the RЭΛΘΓUTION posters because they reminded me too much of HOPE and CHANGE. I think those gut instincts have borne out.

T-Rav said...

Indi, that's a spot-on analysis and a strong case for making these primaries closed. The GOP has to know this was just asking for trouble.

This is something that makes me feel I don't know what really makes Ron Paul tick. You're right that once he found his niche among the youth/fringe vote, they became his bread and butter and it would make bad political sense to totally repudiate them. On the other hand, does he understand how fast he would gain traction in the party if he would express even some lukewarm support for Israel, moderated a few of his most radical statements, and in general showed some understanding of the word "practicality"?

This is what leads me to think he's a true believer where some of the ideas floating among his core supporters are concerned; especially if that excerpt from the ex-staffer is accurate.

I can't say for certain about his voting record in full. He's certainly been present for a lot of votes, he's consistently voted "no" on all appropriations bills (after inserting earmarks into them for his district), and he's sponsored his fair share of bills, but like I pointed out, only one of them (and a less-than-minor one at that) ever became law. If you go to the ACU website at conservative.org, they ought to have a rundown of politicians' votes on key issues.

Fort Knox said...

These aren't the gold bars you're looking for.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I think we know in a general sense what Paul believes. He wants most Federal power eliminated. But we don't really know what power he is talking about, nor do we know what he plans to substitute.

In fact, he often seems to imply that the level of power is fine, it should just be exercised at the state level. I don't think that's wise at all, nor do I think that's a correct constitutional interpretation.

Moreover, I'm not sure which parts of the government he wants to repeal. He'll mention "eliminate agencies" but is he really talking about eliminating things like the regulation of pollution interstate? Or does he still plan to keep much of what the agencies do but only repackage it to be in another agency? I'm just not sure.

And then you get the problem that I'm not sure he has a plan for how to implement this. Is his plan to keep vetoing budgets to shutdown the government? That doesn't work and Congress will end up running the government by overriding his vetoes -- which means the Democrats will suddenly have a lot of power.

These are the things that concern me.

(Of course, similar concerns can be stated for other self-described "conservatives" like Santorum who has no plan at all except a single line change in the tax code.)

T-Rav said...

Thanks CrisD!

Yeah, I've run across my fair share of Paul supporters on the blogs too. I feel I should point out that not all his supporters have dropped a few marbles; many of them are simply libertarian-leaning Republicans who admit that Paul has flaws, but feel he's the closest to their views. I can respect that, and I wish them well.

Unfortunately, too many of them are the wild-eyed conspiracy theorists and cranks you reference, who are only too happy to go off into full-on racist, anti-Semitic drivel. I read the comments of one the other day, who called Justice Kagan a "Jewess" and claimed 90% of Jews are pushing worldwide Bolshevism, because it's in their nature or something. If Paul were to somehow get the nomination, can't you wait until this stuff sees the light of day?

T-Rav said...

You know what you did, Paul Supporters. It took me three weeks to trap all those kittens, and I spent a small fortune on sedatives. And then in one night, all my work gets undone. You made a powerful enemy in that warehouse.

T-Rav said...

LawHawk, the thing of it is, I don't know if the most hard-core Paulbots actually care about that. I think many of them only care about sticking it to the "statists" and "religious zealots" by getting a nomination for Paul, and after that, it doesn't matter so much if they beat Obama or not, they got what they wanted. Thanks, guys.

T-Rav said...

Joel, that's an interesting argument. While I dispute the idea that Ron Paul is somehow the "intellectual godfather of the Tea Party," much of the Tea Party support for Paul is understandable. It's as much a rebellion against the GOP establishment as against the Democrats; and in that environment, candidates who can credibly claim to be outsiders (and Paul can certainly do that) look highly attractive. But "electability" is not an invalid argument, and yeah, if given the opportunity, the media would do the exact same thing to Paul that they did to McCain in '08, probably with even more success.

(On Bachmann, I think one of her biggest mistakes was to hire Ed Rollins as her campaign chief. They were continually at odds over tactics, for one thing, but more importantly, I don't think a lot of Palinistas ever forgave her for not dumping him after his nasty remarks about the governor. And then after he left Team Bachmann, he proceeded to stab her in the back by denigrating her on camera. Figures.)

CrisD said...

Hey, T-Rav
Back at you! 100% again. Not all his supporters are like that at all!
I think it all depends on how you are "introduced" to him. If you are looking at him lately in this primary AND just at the stuff on regular TV, he sounds like maybe a wacky professor. But look, I was on that board and watching these nuts latch on to Paul and say they's never vote R or D again and going on about how the Jews controlled Washington. This was not the legalize pot wing of the Paulites.
All Paulites are not created equal! ;)

T-Rav said...

Andrew, I really think Paul buys into what has become known as the "South Park underwear gnomes" plan for enacting his policies. Take foreign policy and terrorism:

1. Bring all the troops home
2. ????
3. World Peace!

Or the economy:

1. End the Fed
2. ????
3. Economic Recovery!

He tries to make something of an argument about why these first steps would lead to those goals, so that's not entirely fair. But not only is it incomplete, he seems completely tone-deaf to any arguments to the contrary. And it doesn't matter, because, as you say, none of it could possibly get through Congress. The House Republicans would never unite to pass it, and the Senate Democrats would block it all day long. And it would probably lead to the total discrediting of conservatism in our lifetimes.

Which is why my remark about voting for Romney rather than Paul was not a throwaway. As much as I dislike Romney, I would feel infinitely safer with him than with Paul.

T-Rav said...

Andrew, what did you put on those tests to get that answer? A choice between a Bond villain and a Mexican villai--I mean, Mexican freedom fighter isn't much of a choice, in my opinion.

AndrewPrice said...

Cris and T-Rav, That's true. Many people have latched onto Paul because they're basically nuts and they think he's speaking to them. They have these incredible views of the world being run by vast conspiracies and they think Paul is tapped into exposing that.

But to be fair, many of the candidates have insane fans. It's just the nature of our modern world that these people have been able to find outlets -- and Paul is one of those outlets.

But let's not forget that many more Paulites really are concerned with his better ideas. In fact, you see that a lot where people say "I support Paul despite some misgivings about ...." I think that's an acknowledgment that not all of his followers are crazy -- many have rationally concluded that his bad parts are outweighed by his good parts. I think his college support is like that. They see the idealism and they hear a message of freedom which resonates.

Unfortunately, this is a message the party should be adopting, but its anathema to the establishment, which wants more power, and when it is adopted it's usually adopted by losers who mix it with a lot of toxicity.

T-Rav said...

tryanmax, thanks. I can't claim it, though; it's a modified version of Sherlock Holmes' "It is a capital mistake to theorize without data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, rather than theories to suit facts." Paul has definitely been twisting a few facts.

The weakness of his bills is a big problem, especially since he refuses to modify them to make them politically viable or to take an incremental approach. It smacks of political grandstanding; as does his universal "no" vote on appropriations bills he knows will pass regardless and has made sure will include plenty of earmark money for his district. That riles me.

I've seen stuff about "rEVOLution" but never understood it. Any ideas?

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I am familiar with the underwear Gnomes. LOL! In fact, that's definitely become an easy way to explain what is wrong with many people's plans.

That said, I don't think the underwear Gnomes really apply to Paul. Paul gets Step 1. He just doesn't care about Step 2 or 3. In fact, if you asked him what his goals are, he will simply repeat his policies. In other words, he's arguing tautologies. He wants less government for the sake of less government. And his goal is to achieve less government. His methods are to make the government smaller. See the problem? There's no substance. There is an idea, but it's only an intro and he's treating it like a completed theory. It's like telling an employee, I want you to work better.... it's meaningless without further elaboration.

I think this is consistent with his voting record too. Yes, he's voted according to his principles, but he's achieved nothing. He's basically cast protest votes rather than finding a way to move the ball. It's the same problem I have with Bachmann. She can whine all day about how she did this or did that, but in the end all she did was cast pointless votes. She never made any single change that brought her goals closer to becoming a reality.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Those tests always get me with the "can your favorite candidate topple satellites" question and when they ask you if you believe your favorite candidate "needs a steenking badge." ;)

A TRUE PATRIOT said...

Obviously you all have been drinking the flouridated water.

Doctor Paul is our last best hope.
You neocons are in the thrall of the Elders of Zion Illuminatti Central Bank Jews!!!

DOCTOR PAUL IS THE ONLY ONE WHO WILL FIGHT TO RESTORE OUR CONSTITUTION YOU NAPPY NEOCON BIG BUSINESS LACKEYS!!!!

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Excellent post, T-Rav!

I concur with all your points.
How any (so-called) conservative/libertarian can support the OWSers and defend Iran's efforts to get a nuke (just a few more things you didn't have space to include) as well as all the stuff you mentioned is beyond me.

Paul and many of his supporters are doing the same thing leftists do: they are ignoring reality and history.

Otherwise they would know that radical Islam is an existential threat to anyone who doean't believe that crock.

The jihadists are anti-liberty, misogynist, anti-semitic, American hating, West hating, Jew hating, raging psychopaths who will stop at nothing to slaughter innocent civilians and blow stuff up.

Our very existence enrages the Jihadists and anyone who ignores or doesn't get that Radical Islam is a clear and present danger is living in la la land and definitely should never have any position of influence and power.

And about that gold standard thing: we simply don't have enough gold to have a gold standard for our economy.
We produce waaay more than all the gold we got is worth.

It sounds kind of neat to say it but the truth is the gold ship has sailed and no one can bring it back and make it work.

Bravo zulu T-Rav! (Be prepared for a Paulborg attack, lol).

T-Rav said...

CrisD, that's probably true. What I can't understand is why he has this hold on so many people. Yeah, he says lots of things which would appeal to voters of that mindset, but so what? He hasn't shown that he can advance those ideas. He hasn't really been in the forefront of any issues most Americans care about. What gives?

Flouride said...

Why are so many people down on me all the time?

T-Rav said...

Andrew, I don't recall getting any of those questions. What kind of tests have you been taking? :-)

Yeah, I think Paul just believes that if these things are done, everything else will automatically take care of itself. That's utopian thinking and it's dangerous. Whatever economic cred he has, it isn't worth the trade-off.

Ed said...

T-Rav, Excellent article, though I doubt Paul is a racist. I think the problem is he attracts nuts and the nuts are often racists. But I've never seen anything from him personally that I consider racist. To the contrary, I don't think he's capable of any sort of hate or even being judgmental.

Ed said...

You asked why so many people like him and I think the answer is that he's the only person talking about many of these issues. Look at the size of government. Many conservative talk generically about making it smaller, but they only talk about a couple percentage points cuts here or there. They never talk about taking away government "functions." He's the only one who does. And he may be the wrong messenger, but the message is a powerful one that all the others are afraid to adopt.

T-Rav said...

Thanks Ben! Hoo-rah!

I'm always prepared for a Paulbot attack. I wear paper money around my neck to scare them away.

I've said it before, but it bears repeating--whether you lay it at the feet of libertarianism or the man himself, Paul's problem is that he believes everyone in the world is a rational actor and therefore can be counted on to behave a certain way once certain evil influences (i.e., the U.S. military) are removed. But not everyone in the world is a rational actor. Take the Iranian leaders. Nothing about launching a nuclear attack against Israel is a rational decision, from anyone's point of view. And yet, no one can seriously deny that they would do that if given the opportunity, because they think it will signal the arrival of the 12th Imam or some dumb crap like that. All the talk about "rational self-interest" in the world is of no use against something like that. Unfortunately, Paul is either unable or unwilling to grasp that.

ScyFyterry said...

T-Rav, I want to know what kind of change I'll be getting too, but the only one who really is giving us that kind of detail is Romney and I don't like what he's offering. The rest are talking in very vauge terms too. But I also don't think Paul is being all that vague. Yes, he doesn't say "I'm going to eliminate these programs," but he does mention five departments he wants to eliminate and he talks about the kinds of programs he thinks the federal government should not be doing. I don't agree with all of them. For example, I don't think we should end Social Security, but I believe he's spoken very clearly about subsidies and pork.

Even Ronald Reagan didn't get very specific about regulations he wanted to cut. It's the principle that matters.

BevfromNYC said...

Great article Mr. T! I have never been clear when Paul (or Bachmann for that matter) became the "godfather" of the Tea Party movement. I don't remember taking a vote. But, much like Perot, Paul has makes some accurate points, but then drives right off into paranoid conspiracy land when asked to explain. To me he's very much a single issue candidate - get the government out of our daily lives by decreasing the size of the government bureaucracy. Okay, but what then?

I am not sure I could hold my noise long enough to vote for him if it ever came to that.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, You don't get a vote in this... only the MSM gets a vote in who they will declare your leader.


Truthful snark aside, I have never understood why anyone thinks these folks actually represent the Tea Party -- Paul, Palin, Bachmann, Dick Armey. I have never seen the Tea Party appoint a leader or even pick a single person in a poll to be their leader. I think it's all media driven so they can distill the movement down into a person who can go on television and be attacked.

T-Rav said...

Ed, I wouldn't give Paul quite that much credit. I'm sure he has his hates just like the rest of us; "saintly" is not a word that occurs to me when I look at him.

But you're right, he wouldn't have nearly as much support if the others hadn't failed on small-government issues. This really upsets me. Why is no one else talking passionately about scaling back government? So far, it's mainly been promises to repeal ObamaCare. Well, yeah. That's step ONE. What do they have in mind to get spending back down to even pre-2008 levels? Anyone?

T-Rav said...

ScyFy, I don't like what Romney has to offer either, but at least I know what it is, and it's something I can at least tolerate (if not very well). What little we know of what Paul is offering is something domestically impossible and internationally suicidal. I get the sympathy for some of his ideas, but that's not a road I can go down.

(I suppose I should be a little upset that you've forced me to kinda-sorta defend Romney here. But I'll let it slide.)

T-Rav said...

Thanks Bev! "Mr. T"...now I feel kinda official and all!

My greatest fear is that Paul and his supporters will split off and mount a third-party run a la Perot in the '90s. I don't take him seriously as a person, but I do take the mountain of votes he could get very seriously. That's why I agree with Palin's recent statement that the GOP should take care not to antagonize Paul's camp to the extent it breaks away and draws support from the eventual Republican nominee.

Also, remember that Paul is a "godfather," Bachmann is a "queen." Let's be gender-specific, please. ;-)

tryanmax said...

T-Rav, my take on the RЭΛΘΓUTION is that it is a non-slogan. One and two word taglines are fine when you are selling shoes or fizzy beverages and the idea is to relate to the largest possible audience. These micro-slogans allow the consumer to impose their own meaning on them because they are essentially meaningless. "Enjoy Coke" might mean "the tastiest drink ever" to you but might mean "it's fine if that's what you've got" to me.

Terms like "hope" and "love" or "revolution" and "change" are even more vague, having an even broader range of possible meanings to people. Plus, they have these positive connotations that no one can be against. You're against Obama? Then you're against Hope! You're against Paul? Then you're against Love! The politicians using these slogans are basically claiming a mantle they have no ability to claim.

These vague slogans can be effective because they make the object out to be everything to everyone. Of course, that isn't possible. It's the worst kind of campaign that simply says, "I'm whatever you want me to be." I guess there's a reason why politics is called the second-oldest profession that bears a striking resemblance to the first.

tryanmax said...

T-Rav, "South Park underwear gnomes" LOL!

There is a similar joke among marketers (and others, too, I'm sure) that goes like this:

1. Invest
2. ???
3. Profit!

tryanmax said...

Andrew,

"He wants less government for the sake of less government. And his goal is to achieve less government. His methods are to make the government smaller."

That's perfect!

BevfromNYC said...

Oops, you're right. Let's use the gender neutral term "god-person". Dick Armey is the only one that can come close to being a "god-person". At least he started FreedomWorks and he is not currently in office.

I don't think that Paul would risk a third-party run. And many, many Tea Party folk would skewer him if he tried.

tryanmax said...

I honestly can't tell if TRUE PATRIOT is a sockpuppet or a real Ron Paul supporter. Sad.

tryanmax said...

Ed, the issue with Paul talking massive cuts while the other Republicans only talk small cuts is that Paul is actually the one with less creativity. While I would prefer a GOP candidate who talks big cuts along with a plan to achieve them, at least the ones who are talking small cuts have devised plans to do so. Paul, on the other hand, talks massive cuts with no plan at all.

Individualist said...

"CrisD, that's probably true. What I can't understand is why he has this hold on so many people. Yeah, he says lots of things which would appeal to voters of that mindset, but so what? He hasn't shown that he can advance those ideas. He hasn't really been in the forefront of any issues most Americans care about. What gives? "

T-Rav

The problem as I see it is that for Conservatives, since Bush abandoned the SSN privitization without a fight no one else in the GOP has either.

If West, Rubio, Ryan or Jindal were in the race. I think Paul's support would be marginal.

Paul is just to nuts to say no to the establishment.

Tennessee Jed said...

Rav - nice article on Paul. I was out watching the Lady Vols take down the Lady Bulldogs tonight at Thompson Boling Arena and just got back. He says some things that maker sense, but the overall package is moonbat; hard to take seriously. In fact, when I check out Rush's website from time to time, I recently saw some pic's photo-shopped with a tin foil hat. If the hat fits . . . . .

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I honestly wasn't sure either. My first thought was that True Patriot was a sockpuppet, but then I wasn't sure. Scary, huh?

On the summation, that's pretty much what I hear from him.

I will, however, give him more credit than you about substance in that I do think we understand his desires much more than we do some of the others who claim to want some conservative principle (e.g. Santorum -- "I like marriage," or Bachmann -- "the tax code sucks" or Perry -- "I believe in God"). None of that means anything.

I think part of Cain's appeal was that he found a way to express his beliefs in policy -- 9-9-9. No one else is anywhere near that.

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, I think that's true too. I think Paul is benefiting entirely from there being no actual conservative thinker in the race. All we have right now are politicians who have latched onto conservative bumperstickers.

darski said...

I have listened to a lot of libertarians, (I even gave birth to one)and the one constant I see in all of them is that they do not give sufficient weight to evil in their considerations. They wouldn't murder 6 million Jews so it is just silly to discuss such things. To deny the existence of evil is to deny reality. They dream such pretty little dreams but then you have to wake up.

tryanmax said...

Andrew, I guess if we are strictly talking beliefs, then we do have a pretty good picture of Paul. But as you've pointed out, his beliefs = his methods = his goals, so there is no deep underlying philosophy. That's why I say that Paul doesn't know what he himself believes.

The Constitution sets out its own goals in the Preamble, but I never hear Paul talk about any of those things. He just talks about following the Constitution as though it is for its own sake. No, the other candidates don't talk much about Preamble topics, but Paul is supposed to be the "Constitutional Candidate" so I hold him to an appropriate standard.

T-Rav said...

tryanmax, I always thought it was, "If you're against Paul, then you're against freedom," or something like that. That's what I keep hearing from the people who tell me Paul's opposition is totally made up of RINOs, or he is the ONLY TRUE CONSERVATIVE in the race, or the only real conservatives are libertarians.

So maybe it should be:

1. Join the rEVOLution
2. ????
3. Profit!

T-Rav said...

I'm going to assume A TRUE PATRIOT was someone's sockpuppet. I didn't do it, though, and Andrew says he didn't do it, so I wonder? It seems a little too obvious, but then again...

T-Rav said...

Bev, I have no doubt he would be savagely attacked by many Tea Party leaders; unfortunately, that doesn't matter to his core supporters. They'll vote for him regardless, which could hurt the GOP candidate. Then again, keep in mind this is a guy who endorsed Cynthia McKinney (liberal Democrat/Green Party candidate) for President in '08, so I frequently doubt whether too many vote Republican to begin with. It's probably a wash, now that I think about it.

T-Rav said...

Indi, unfortunately that's true. I'm still trying to figure out how, after the past three years of laying the groundwork (formation of the Tea Party, etc.) for this election, we ended up with such a weak field. Any one of those candidates you mentioned could have blazed a path to the nomination. Instead....(sigh)

T-Rav said...

Thanks Jed! Congratulations on your win (although I'm not a huge fan of the Volunteers, due to a near-altercation I had with some of their fans once, but I digress...)

I must have missed that about Rush. "If the hat fits," indeed.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, It wasn't me.

T-Rav said...

darski, that's just the problem. I don't understand why so many libertarians have such a hard time with this.

In some ways, I think the radical positions Paul holds are worse than if he were a racist or an anti-Semite. Even a racist or an anti-Semite, for example, could have been persuaded to go to war against the Nazis, because it was obviously in America's interests, and even most of those people still have a humanitarian streak, a sense of honor, etc. But to have such a narrow conception as Paul's of the circumstances under which America can go to war is something entirely different. Some people's principles can be more destructive than the shallow bigotry of others.

tryanmax said...

T-Rav, I've never heard anyone actually say that if you're against Paul, you're against love. But that is what is implied. But I have heard "If you're against Paul, then you're against freedom," which is equally simplistic, and rather astonishing that anyone could blurt it out before self-censoring.

T-Rav said...

Andrew, maybe we have a Ronulan in our midst? Hmmm....

I guess that's true. We do know more about what Paul believes or wants than we do about Perry, or Santorum, etc etc. Unfortunately, we don't know very much beyond those desires.

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: It wasn't me either. Even jokingly I wouldn't be quite that vicious.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, That's one of the many problems I have with self-described Constitutionalists.

I totally believe in the Constitution and I think our government must be made to follow it religiously. But I understand why I believe that -- it's a contract which gives the government its legitimacy, it's not something handed down by God -- and I understand that there is wiggle room in the Constitution, i.e. it's not so perfectly written that it can be read literally without interpretation.

But too many times when I've argued with people who claim to be Constitutionalists, they have no clue what they are talking about. First, they treat it like it's some supernatural document without any sense of what it's true purpose is. Then they read a couple phrases and apply them in an absolute manner to get to a result they want to reach without ever considering how the rest of the document reads, or how the whole thing works.

I'm not saying it's a document capable of an infinite number of interpretations... as it's not, but I am saying that you can't just take a sentence out of it and pretend that sentence somehow is the only thing you need to know to understand it.

In many ways, many of the Paul people are similar. Their grasp of economic, politics and human relationship is simply wrong. They have oversimplified and misinterpreted everything to the point that nothing they say makes any sense anymore except that in their minds it leads to the result they want... which frankly is a result they haven't even thought through.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, That's what frustrates me about so many of the people we keep getting in the primaries year after year -- we have no idea what they really believe and the reason is they have no idea what they really believe. They're just repeating slogans they heard. Grrr.

tryanmax said...

Totally off-topic, but I know you'll find it interesting. I was just flipping channels to find something to fall asleep to and I caught the tail end of a PBS hatchumentary about the (racist) Minutemen. Of course, most folks wouldn't notice this, but it caught my attention that several of the Minutemen interviewed had Hispanic last names. Meanwhile, the hatchumentarian who repeatedly cited her Latina cred has the last name of Brown. Just one of life's little ironies.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

I confess, TRUE Patriot is my sock.

Most of the unhinged Paultards (also the one's that comment incessently on nearly every blog that points out Paul's idiocy, to defend Paul from neocon "smears" (note to Paultards: if it's true it ain't a smear).

Most of those comments may start off politely enough but it doesn' take long before it gets loonier than Arkham Asylum.

Punctuated by a lot of white supremicist, anti-Semite, anarchist comments with lots of capitalization, exclamations and cussin' or ad hominin attacks.

It's like reading the comments at the Daily Kos or Huffington Pissed, because the unhinged ones have much in common with leftists in that reality and history as well as a little thing called truth is never considered, and the means always justify the ends.

Also they see Paul as a messiah type leader that will save them and America (just like the left's infatuation with Obama).

Movements like that become cults (not that all supporters are unhinged but they are ignoring that much of what Paul says and much of what ghis followers say is unhinged.
A recipe for disaster everytime.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

What conservatives/libertarians/classical liberals need to focus on, regardless of who our next President will be (looks like Mittens) is to elect as many conservative representatives and senators as we can.

Afterall, reducede spending amd smaller govt. legislation starts there, and I think even Romney would sign small (but steady) incremental cuts.

Paul (and Obama) would simply veto everything, try to go around Congress to get their way, or get nothing done.
And our foreign policy would be a disaster too.

Let's face it, Doctor Paul is far to the left of Doctor Evil and much more dangerous.

PS I'm also concerned that Paul may try a third party run, because he is crazy enough to do it.
I hope he doesn't but Paul may see this as his last chance to "save" America and only he can do it.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Tryanmax:

Dangit! Now I'm gonna crap more magnets because all that irony has to go somewhere!

Leftists are impervious to irony.
Bastards.

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, Without a doubt, you fooled us all! LOL! I definitely thought it was real.

Yeah, political cults are bad. The problem is that some people have learned the art of saying nothing while sounding like they are saying everything. This lets people fill in their own blanks and makes their supporters fanatical. Unfortunately, it also ends up in utter disappointment because you can't please a million people, each of whom have assumed you said something different than you said.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Thanks Andrew.

I was actually going for subtle comedy.
Actually, much of that conspiracy stuff is funny when you see how some folks reach those wacky conclusions, but sadly it's what they really believe.

AndrewPrice said...

Oh, I know Ben. I've dealt with many of them. And sometimes they'll say things like "I research it thoroughly" and when you ask them what they looked at they'll say "the Constitution" or "the Bible" (seriously) and those will be their only sources of "research."

Ronulans said...

PaulBots Attack! Attack!

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

No kidding, Andrew.

I was surprised to learn that allowing a terrorist supporting state like Iran to have nukes is in the Constitution.

The REAL version the secret Bilderburgers don't allow citizens see.

Also, my sock comment was way too short to be of Paulbot quantity.
Usually they go into long screeds of one or maybe two block paragraphs of a thousand or more words, lol.

T-Rav said...

Andrew, the people who talk so passionately about making sure the government follows the Constitution remind me a bit of my grandpa (who I dearly love), who talks about how things would be much better "if people just lived the Bible." Sometimes we ask him what he means by that, "I'm just telling you, live the Bible!"

Now, I believe in that too, of course, but that statement in itself doesn't really say anything. Similarly, the people who say that Candidate X is the only one who wants to govern in accordance with the Constitution--well, that's kind of meaningless when you put it that way. Be specific.

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, Yeah, there seems to be a direct connection between crazy and wordy. Not sure why... maybe too many voices talking at once?

T-Rav said...

Ben, I find it rather disturbing and/or telling that none of us were sure if that was a sockpuppet or not.

The Paulbots are Exhibit A for those who say that the political spectrum is really a circle, and if you go way too far to the right, you'll find the left coming back around to meet you (or vice versa). Their online screeds are in many respects indistinguishable from those of far-left nutjobs. Both, for example, feel the need to brand all dissenters from their worldview "neocons"--a term I doubt many of them even understand, and which I may start to re-adopt just to tick them off.

T-Rav said...

Go to bed, Ronulans. Even you have to sleep sometime (and dream about the gold standard).

T-Rav said...

Andrew, yep, it really has me depressed when I think about it (or drifting into an alternate reality where someone good is running).

I did run across an article a little while ago, floating the idea of Jindal replacing Perry in the race and snapping up all his ballots and support. I don't think it came from inside his camp, though. (That sound you heard was the pitter-patter of LawHawk's heart.)

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I've run into that too. And good luck explaining to anyone who has simplified everything to such a degree that their interpretation might not be the only interpretation or indeed the most common one or all that useful.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I would jump on Jindal's bandwagon in a heartbeat right now.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

T-Rav said...
Ben, I find it rather disturbing and/or telling that none of us were sure if that was a sockpuppet or not.

Well, back in the day I was quite adept at sock puppetry.

I like how you describe the circle and that left/right does have a convergence zone, so to speak.

After reading the comments of those geniuses for awhile it gets predictable since there is an underlying pattern of illusion and wishful thinking involved (or what they like to call reality).

They think their wishes and desires can trump reality but reality always gets the last laugh. :^)

Then there's a significant portion of Paulbots that will vote for him based on a single issue like drug legalization or getting rid of the fed and don't care about the rest of what Paul wants to do.

Just as long as he gives the establihment a whatfor all will be well.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

It occured to me that one good example of the far left/right conversion mental ward is anarchy.

Anarchy is lawlessness (and chaos) and is it's own ideology since being left or right hardly matters when there's no government at all.

It's not liberty it's barbaric and might makes right.

It's impossible for me to comprehend why anyone would want that but these people don't think about the consequences and the implications of anarchy so I reckon that explains it but it's no less insane.

tryanmax said...

USS Ben, "Also, my sock comment was way too short to be of Paulbot quantity."

Not true. Lots of times I just see these quick, bomb-drop Paulbot comments like "RON PAUL IS THE ONLY CONSERVATIVE AND THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN SAVE AMERICA. PERIOD!" Like somehow saying "period" makes anything that precedes it true. I also often wonder what Paul is going to save America from if he won't lift a finger to defend it without Congressional approval.

tryanmax said...

T-Rav, "Go to bed, Ronulans. Even you have to sleep sometime"

I picture them hanging upside-down wrapped in black capes.

tryanmax said...

I often ponder the geometry of the political "spectrum." Andrew and I debated a sphere not to long ago, but now I'm pondering a double-cone joined at the base or possibly an octahedron.

tryanmax said...

Hey, we could invent a new field of study called "political geometry"!

T-Rav said...

Ben, very true. There's a difference between limited government and anarchy. Anarchy means chaos and loss of liberty, something a true conservative like Edmund Burke would have detested just as much as our modern tyrannical state.

T-Rav said...

tryanmax, I say it's more like a figure-eight. :-)

rlaWTX said...

awesome article & analysis... fantastic conversation following...

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I think Clinton invented political geometry officially when his team came up with "triangulation" -- which has long been employed in government, but which they were the first I can recall to give a geometric-related name.

Ronulans said...

You can order us to sleep as much as you want but a Paulbot never sleeps, it nev3er stops and its only purpose is to get you....


Ha HA Ha HA HA!!!

T-Rav said...

Thanks rla!

Ronulans, you screwed with the site as retribution, didn't you? C'mon, admit it....

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