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RSDavis
12-28-2007, 04:58 PM
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Ron Paul Roundup (12-28-07)
by RS Davis (http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=194780914&blogID=342059787&Mytoken=D974FDDC-BFE2-40AD-9A0AB625C0C63CEC49773106)



Hello Freedomphiles! Let's start off today's Roundup with a mea culpa (http://themedium.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/12/24/the-ron-paul-vid-lash/)from The New York Times:

The post below, which appeared on The Medium on Monday, contained several errors. Stormfront, which describes itself as a "white nationalist" Internet community, did not give money to Ron Paul's presidential campaign; according to Jesse Benton, a spokesman for Paul's campaign, it was Don Black, the founder of Stormfront, who donated $500 to Paul. The post also repeated a string of assertions by Bill White, the commander of the American National Socialist Workers Party, including the allegation that Paul meets regularly "with members of the Stormfront set, American Renaissance, the Institute for Historic Review and others" at a restaurant in Arlington, Va. Paul never attended these dinners, according to Benton, who also says that Paul has never knowingly met Bill White. Norman Singleton, a congressional aide in Paul's office, says that he met Bill White at a dinner gathering of conservatives several years ago, after which Singleton expressed his indignation at the views espoused by White to the organizer of the dinner. The post should not have been published with these unverified assertions and without any response from Paul.

Fair enough, guys, and thank you. Megan McArdle over at The Atlantic got a little cheeky (http://meganmcardle.theatlantic.com/archives/2007/12/ooops.php)about it:

I'm slightly bemused by the fact that the Nazis are so eager to claim Ron Paul as one of their own. I mean, not that Ron Paul isn't a perfectly nice guy, and so forth, but isn't claiming that you're friends with famous people who've never met you something you're supposed to grow out of in high school?

And David Weigel over at Reason used South Park to show (http://www.reason.com/blog/show/124109.html) the logic flaw in racist guilt-by-association games:

Jimbo: I thnk we should switch sides!
Ned: Me too. Nnn-that's a good idea.
Jimbo: Look, we have to accept the fact that most people in the world hate us, right?
KKK Members: Yeah, m-hm.
Jimbo: So, whatever side we're on is the side that's gonna lose, right?
KKK Members: Right, yeah.
Jimbo: So why don't we all say that we want the flag changed. That way, most folks'll vote to keep it the way it is.
KKK Leader: That's a great idea, brother!
KKK Members: Yeah!
KKK Leader: Alright, it is decided! We will officially tell everyone that we want the flag changed, so that they will all vote against us!
KKK Members: Hooray, yeah!

The Seattle Times is reporting (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/politics/2004094403_aponthe2008trail27.html) that Ron Paul expects to pick up Tancredo supporters:

Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul on Thursday said he expects to gain support from people who previously backed Tom Tancredo because of his tough stand against illegal immigration.

Tancredo, a Colorado congressman, quit the race for the Republican nomination on Dec. 20. Although Tancredo endorsed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Paul said many of those people are turning his way.

"His views and my views were very similar, and therefore we will be picking up support from those individuals not only here in this state but throughout the country," Paul said at an event in a downtown Des Moines hotel.

That's probably true, but Paul and Tancredo were not interchangable on immigration. While Paul is against illegal immigration, it often seemed Tancredo was against immigration at all. Other than that issue, I think Tancredo was a decent candidate.

Steve Shives is not just an asshole, but a phrenetic, scatterbrained asshole. He writes in American Chronicle a piece entitled Ron Paul: Not Just a Nutjob a Poorly Informed Nutjob (http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/viewArticle.asp?articleID=47274), about Ron Paul's position on The Civil War:

Rick Rottman has been doing a great job the last few months at his Bent Corner blog writing about what a crazy old coot Ron Paul is. Congressman Paul's most recent display of televised psychosis was this past weekend on Meet the Press, when, among other things, he claimed that Abraham Lincoln started the American Civil War. Lincoln apparently did this through a diabolical scheme of getting elected President of the United States, then cleverly waiting for Confederate troops in the seceded state of South Carolina to open fire on Fort Sumter. Starting a war by waiting for the other side to start the war . . . he was an evil genius, that Abe Lincoln. (Helluva wrestler, too.)

Not only did Paul blame Lincoln for starting the war, he blamed him for starting it for the noblest reason he could possibly have started it to free the millions of African Americans enslaved throughout the southern U.S. The bloody Civil War, with its calamitous loss of life and resources, was unnecessary to end slavery, Congressman Paul said. Instead, Lincoln could have freed the slaves by having the government buy them from their owners and releasing them. Except that by the time Lincoln made it to office, the war had already started. Southern state legislatures began declaring their secession shortly after Lincoln was elected, months before he was inaugurated. I doubt they would have been receptive to offers from their most hated enemy to relieve them of their vast force of wage-free labor in exchange for fair market value. Plus, as Rick points out in his article, wouldn't buying the slaves, even if only to free them, legitimize the practice of treating human beings like livestock?

First of all, the Union didn't fire the first shot in the misnamed Civil War, but they certainly baited the South into doing it, by fortifying the tax collection house named Fort Sumter, a fact I am sure slipped past Shives.

I will agree that the war was not fought over slavery, but that is the common perception and the question that Russert asked. In fact, Ron Paul said as much: "No, he should not have gone to war. He did this just to enhance and get rid of the original tenet of the Republic."

That is true. Abraham Lincoln was funding the Industrial Revolution off the backs of the South. The Civil War was really a trade war, with the south mad because there were, on average, 47% tariffs (the highest in our nation's history) on them, and most of those revenues were used to prop up Clay's mercantilist "American System," as it was called, in the North. In 1840, the South paid 84% of the tariffs, rising to 87% in 1860:

"The effect of a provision to pass commercial laws by a simple majority would be to deliver the south bound hand and foot to the eastern states."
- George Mason

"Union means so many millions a year lost to the South; secession means the loss of the same millions to the North. The love of money is the root of this as of many other evils....The quarrel between the North and South is, as it stands, solely a fiscal quarrel."
- Charles Dickens, December 1861

"You are not content with the vast millions of tribute we pay you annually under the operation of our revenue law, our navigation laws, your fishing bounties, and by making your people our manufacturers, our merchants, our shippers. You are not satisfied with the vast tribute we pay you to build up your great cities, your railroads, your canals. You are not satisfied with the millions of tribute we have been paying you on account of the balance of exchange which you hold against us. You are not satisfied that we of the South are almost reduced to the condition of overseers of northern capitalists. You are not satisfied with all this; but you must wage a relentless crusade against our rights and institutions."
- Texas Congressman Reagan, January 1861

"The contest is really for empire on the side of the North and for independence on that of the South...."
- London Times, November 1861

"The real causes of dissatisfaction in the South with the North, are in the unjust taxation and expenditure of the taxes by the Government of the United States, and in the revolution the North has effected in this government from a confederated republic, to a national sectional despotism."
- Charleston Mercury (newspaper), November 1860

"They [the South] know that it is their import trade that draws from the people's pockets sixty or seventy millions of dollars per annum, in the shape of duties, to be expended mainly in the North, and in the protection and encouragement of Northern interests....These are the reasons why these people [the North] do not wish the South to secede from the Union."
- New Orleans Daily Crescent, January 1861

"The mask has been thrown off and it is apparent that the people of the principal seceding states are now for commercial independence. They dream that the centres of traffic can be changed from Northern to Southern ports....by a revenue system verging on free trade...."
- the Boston Transcript, March 1861

"The war between the North and the South is a tariff war. The war is, further, not for any principle, does not touch the question of slavery, and in fact turns on the Northern lust for sovereignty."
- Karl Marx, 1861

Further, he stated "Instead, Lincoln could have freed the slaves by having the government buy them from their owners and releasing them. Except that by the time Lincoln made it to office, the war had already started. Southern state legislatures began declaring their secession shortly after Lincoln was elected, months before he was inaugurated."

Seceeding didn't cause the war. That wasn't the beginning of the Civil War. He actually already said that the start of the war was at Ft Sumter, like a paragraph before he wrote this. But he also said the war wasn't about slavery, so I guess that really didn't matter, anyway.

The whole thing is full of smears, half-truths, mischaracterizations, and shoddy logic. At one point he insinuates Ron Paul is a NAZI. I could spend all day on this, so let's move on.

Libertarian Jordan Gustin takes on Ron Paul's "crazy" positions one at a time and shows (http://www.nolanchart.com/article750.html) why maybe he's the sanest candidate in the race:

The top six reasons why people say Ron Paul and his supporters are "crazy":

"Abolish the IRS!? Impossible!!"
"Even if he did get out of Iraq or abolish the IRS, our economy would collapse! ... Right?"
"Get our troops out of Iraq... get real!"
"What the Heck is he droning on about this 'gold standard'?"
"This NAFTA Superhighway is just a conspiracy!"
"He can't win! Why should I waste my vote?"
I will admit that to the average citizen, the 30 second sound bytes of Ron Paul saying he will abolish the IRS or that we need to return to the gold standard would sound crazy if that's all you ever heard. BUT: when you look closer, Ron Paul is not only the most sane candidate running for president, he is the only chance of saving a country in turmoil and he also has a chance (a good one!) of winning.

GIVE ME JUST 10 MINUTES TO EXPLAIN WHY RON PAUL ISN'T CRAZY AND WHY YOU SHOULD VOTE FOR HIM!

Anthony Wade over at Op-Ed News thinks (http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_anthony__071228_put_up_or_shut_up_2c_t.htm) Paul detractors should put up or shut up:

That said, I will present why I find Dr. Paul to be intriguing as a candidate. First, he is clearly against the war and using war as a foreign policy. A Paul presidency would guarantee and end to the Iraq War and prevent the GOP dream of an Iran War. No more of our kids would die unnecessarily. The money being wasted abroad would be diverted to concerns about America. I like that. That makes sense to me. Secondly, he is virulently opposed to the consolidation of executive power and the resulting erosion of civil liberties. A Paul presidency would see the return of habeas corpus, a restoration of civil liberties, an end to the Patriot Act, and a return to proper checks and balances. War powers would return to the Congress where they belong. Torture as policy would end. Illegal wiretapping and data mining would end. That all makes sense to me. I like that. Thirdly, Dr. Paul seems to be one of the only people in government who understands the looming currency disaster we are facing. The nine trillion dollar debt would be paid down, primarily through the money no longer spent blowing other countries up. Sure, Halliburton would take a hit but overall Dr. Paul understands that empires collapse financially and that is where we are heading if we do not do something about it. I know that the other democratic candidates are busy promising all the nice "progressive" bonanzas we have been hoping for but you cannot have universal healthcare if you are broke. You especially cannot fund everything you want if you cannot even promise to pull troops out of Iraq. I am sorry but stabilizing our currency makes sense to me and yes, I like that.

Now there are some areas of a Paul presidency that I still would have questions about. Those questions would be answered during the general election campaigns and debates. More importantly though is we must understand how our government works. Just because Ron Paul believes in limited government, he would be forced to come to the center with Congress to get anything done and I am confident he would. The doom and gloom crowd pretends that as soon as he is sworn in he will eliminate all functions of the federal government. He can't folks! He would have to work with Congress. But at least he would be moving to the center coming from the position that war as policy must end, civil liberties must be restored and we must pay down our debt to stabilize our currency. That is a lot to begin with that he will find plenty of agreement on with Congress.

So there you have it. I think that Dr. Paul is sincere and not owned by any corporations. He believes in his philosophy and does not read from a script. I have heard a lot of naysayers tell me why Dr. Paul is not the right candidate. Some reasons have been thoughtful and others slanderous. I really do not want to rehash that here. Given the state of the country, the three points I outlined about Dr. Paul seem to me to be the most important things we can focus on as Progressives and Americans. So I ask the naysayers to intelligently tell me who they think would make a better candidate.

Libertarian Melinda Pillsbury-Foster writes on The Nolan Chart what she thinks (http://www.nolanchart.com/article744.html) we will be asking about the Ron Paul phenomenon in the future:

They may hold conferences to consider the points, assay the individuals involved; there will be no disagreement that it was through the candidacy of Ron Paul that the world of political campaigns changed forever, moving into networking, as opposed to hierarchy; The real question will be the motives of those in charge of the official campaign. That is natural; the Ron Paul Campaign overturned that political hierarchy first.

Could the Campaign HQ in Arlington, Virginia have held politics on its previous course if it had been run competently, as the other presidential campaigns were run? What if they had possessed some modicum of experience? What if they had known that the media uses a Day Book, into which all campaigns enter their events? What if they had had a steering committee, standard for presidential campaigns? Lots of what ifs to be discussed by historians. We can be sure they will be.

The Baltimore Sun reports (http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/politics/blog/2007/12/ron_paul_on_iowa_and_beyond.html) that Ron Paul might consider a 3rd Party bid:

"We're doing well and we're improving. Maybe if we had another month who knows where we would be?"

Paul said he has marveled at the funds he's raised this quarter about $19 million and his campaign is doing everything they can to turn that money into momentum on caucus night, Jan. 3.

"We're having a lot of young people out here right now rounding up the troops and teaching about where to go and what to do."
"We have to do our best by the day of the caucus."

If he doesn't do well in the early primaries, Paul said he would re-evaluate his Republican bid and the possibility of a third-party run depending on how he does in the contests on Super Tuesday, Feb. 5.

They later recanted:

Jesse Benton, Paul's national spokesman, told the Tribune on Friday that Paul had misheard that final question.

"He got confused the fault is with him," Benton said.

"Ron has no plans or intentions to run as a third-party candidate."

I call BS. The answer that he gave was not of someone who confused the question, but of someone who accidentally showed his cards. What other question could "I'll re-evaluate my Republican bid and the possibility of a third-party run depending on how I do in the contests on Super Tuesday" be answering?

The Concord Monitor is writing (http://www.concordmonitor.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071223/NEWS01/712230415)about Operation: Live Free or Die:

Eleven thousand copies of the U.S. Constitution stood piled yesterday in a garage, at the end of a cul-de-sac on White Pine Lane, outside of Manchester. A pickup truck from Long Island with a dozen bullet-hole stickers down its side was parked next to them. In the back was bathroom tissue, reams of paper and two dozen air mattresses.

"We need to buy coffee, frozen dinners, eggs, and bread," said Vijay Boyapati, who paid $5,000 to rent the house through Jan. 10. "We're going to need to feed a small army."

Boyapati, 29, is the man behind Operation Live Free or Die, an effort to bring 1,000 people to New Hampshire before the primary, to campaign for Ron Paul, an anti-war conservative running for president who mourns the end of the gold standard, interprets the Constitution literally and wants to put the federal government on a diet. Boyapati discovered the Republican congressman while watching the party's first primary debate last May. Seven months later, he has quit a lucrative job at Google to focus his efforts on the race, renting homes to house volunteers from across the country.

James Leroy Wilson of The Partial Observer gets a little satirical (http://partialobserver.com/article.cfm?id=2780) on us:

Ron Paul is a nut, and his supporters are crackpots. If you are a conservative, it is better to support Obama or Clinton than Paul, and if you are a progressive, it is better to support Giuliani, McCain, Romney, or Huckabee than Paul. Because if you are a reasonable Democrat or Republican, you acknowledge and embrace several core ideas that have evolved over the past century, which Paul has the audacity to question. Paul's views on the Constitution, national security, and money are just too far out of the mainstream. Moreover, they are crazy.

While there may be some room for quibbling around the edges, most educated, rational people would agree with all, or almost all, of these seventeen principles...

And finally, LewRockwell.com has another open letter (http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig6/sunwall5.html), this time to Internationalists:

Against this new doctrine of false, unilateralist "internationalism" stood the policies advocated by the Republican leader, Senator Robert Taft. It was a philosophy which Iowa Republicans could understand and support, and it had nothing to do with isolationism or pacifism. How could it have been? After all, Midwesterners had just welcomed soldiers from a global conflict back to what was from that time called "the breadbasket of the world." Taft's voluntarist internationalism insisted only that American policy abroad should be constitutional and conducted with the consent of, and in the general interests of, the American people. It was a policy formulated in the same spirit that animates what people are calling "the Ron Paul Revolution" today. In truth, this "revolution" consists in nothing more than calling the Republican Party back to its roots.

Unfortunately, after Taft the party gradually adopted the Democrats' doctrine of unilateral interventionism. A policy of "bipartisanship" evolved which said that trivial issues such as budgetary details were proper items of debate, but major issues such as war and peace were too delicate to be trusted to democratic process. This would have greatly surprised the founders of the Anglo-American tradition of free government. 19th-century Iowans, with the words of the Lincoln-Douglass debates still ringing in their ears could never have imagined such a tame and, as it were, "unpolitical" future. Moreover, in the course of events Congress has even surrendered its authority over the minutiae of policy and expenditure, viewing with contempt the "green eye-shade" preoccupation with details. Again, Congressman Ron Paul (affectionately known as "Dr. No" for his persistent governmental skepticism) is the exception who proves the rule.

Surely there is a time for peace and a time for war, a time to say "no" to tyrants like Hitler when they actually threaten the security of the United States, but also a time to say "no" to those who create bogeymen, attempting to suborn the generous internationalist instincts of Americans by pressing the buttons of past traumas. Yes, the world is full of criminals, troglodytes, and wild-eyed fanatics, but surely these are better dealt with by the attention of a few well-placed Sherlock Holmes than by the maintenance of a ruinously expensive military-industrial establishment.

Internationalism, peace, and prosperity: these three goals stand in no logical contradiction, although they have suffered a great deal of political obfuscation. America needs all three, but before it gets them there must be a return to genuine debate over fundamental principles. The Republican Party must, to borrow a famous slogan, offer "a choice not an echo." Between the social collectivism of the Democratic Party and the traditional civil society of the Republican Party there may some day be the possibility of rational choice. Today there is no choice whatsoever.

All the other Republican candidates are running for office; Ron Paul is running with an idea. It's the idea without which there can be no internationalism, no peace, and no prosperity. It's called freedom. Please consider that when you caucus this January and give Ron Paul your hearty support.

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