Archive for ‘Ron Paul’

July 20, 2009

No, but you might be a Progressive

by Smitty

Jesse Hathaway has published an attack on Ron Paul’s policies, RePaulicanism is not the answer. Hathaway offers some history on the John Birch Society and then says:

Ron Paul is a relic, a holdover from a time when the Birchers held sway, and when “conservatism” meant economic and political isolationism, xenophobia, homophobia… all those things that so-called “little ‘r’ republicans” and “non-partisans” believe in. They like to bloviate about “empire-building” and how “socialist” and “totalitarian” the government is. They are often either disinterested in foreign policy, as in Ron Paul’s case, or have liberal-esque foreign policies as Pat Buchanan does.

Further on:

Libertarianism is not the same as Buckleyist Conservatism, and it annoys me when liberals use Libertarians like Paul as a bludgeon against Republicans. He is a Republican In Name Only, and I wish he’d at least be honest with people and identify as Libertarian.

As is so often the case, a clarification post follows. I Must Be A Communist:

When I say “fetishizing the Constitution,” I was refering to the Repaulican maneuver of holding it up and opposing anything that isn’t expressly spelled out in the Constitution. For example, there is no literal right to privacy in the Constituion. There is nothing in the Constitution about a federal highway system, or publicly funded schools. Birchers would point to these things as examples of creeping fascism, examples of how we live in a totalitarian state.

I submit that a bit more historical detail may help.

  • “We the People” have been running a 233 year experiment.
  • The Declaration of Independence was revolutionary on a variety of levels.
  • The Articles of Confederation (AoC), by comparison, make the European Union look relatively strong. The federal government was notional.
  • The 1787 Constitution, while awesome, was not flawless, talking its way around the topic of slavery as it did. It was relatively stronger than the AoC, and there was a federal government with some teeth.
  • 74 years later, that flaw shattered the nation. In restoring the country and abolishing slavery, the federal government took on increased strength.
  • The Progressive movement came in the late 1800s. Ideas such as the Federal Reserve Act and the Sixteenth Amendment marked 1913 as a turning point in American History.
  • The Federal Government, especially since FDR, has increased its power, at the expense of the 50 States. Vastly expensive bureaucracies employ armies of point-headed little bureaucrats, and pile up debt on a scale that literally escapes comprehension.

You might have thought that the Information Age would have allowed for decentralization of power. Quite the opposite. The country is being emptied of value by our “political class”, the very existence of which is antithetical to what “We the People” areshould be about.

Seen from the standpoint where the US is a tub, power is water, and Washington, DC is the drain, Ron Paul is quite valuable as a rubber ducky for tracking the drainage. Sure, I think his neo-isolationist approach to foreign policy amounts to wishful thinking. No, I’m unconvinced that his gold standard solution actually buys much. However, the fact that we have any breath of intellectual fresh air in Pelosi’s House of Horrors is crucial.

Is Ron Paul a RINO? Arguably, from a libertarian standpoint. RINOs like Stacy’s cousin, in my mind, are Progressive squishes who’ve failed systematically to uphold the three-branch/three-level Consitution that I hold rather close. Am I a Constitution fetisher? Guilty as charged. Watching the presidential debate, and hearing Senator McCain talk about having the Treasury work directly with lenders to “solve” the mortgage crisis, I was thoroughly pissed to hear such a non-grasp of the chain of command coming from a retired Navy Captain. WTF, Senator? Where is the analysis that says the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 was a giant, steaming, and expensive load of fertilizer? Oh, that’s right: we’re talking about a Progressive RINO here.

Is Jesse Hathaway a Progressive? Here is a litmus test. Do you think that the Federalism Amendment makes sense? Nothing is perfect, but I submit that this is an idea that any actual, no-kidding, ant-RINO conservative should consider supporting substantially.

April 18, 2009

Extreme youth

You think you’re a right-wing extremist? Meet two young attendees at the Georgia Libertarian Party state convention:

Josiah Neff of Atlanta displays his Gadsden Flag-themed “Don’t Tread On Me” tattoo as he poses with Ileana Zayas of Marietta. But wait . . .

Josiah’s arm tattoo next to Ileana’s back tattoo.

Is that freaking cool, or what? Now a student at Kennesaw State University, Ileana told me she began getting into libertarianism while she was still a student at Marietta’s Lassiter High School, but got totally turned on by Ron Paul. If the coolest tattoo for college kids is the Gadsden Flag, I’m thinking the future of freedom is in good hands.

And now the bonus picture with exit question:

Q.: Which right-wing extremist is sexier?

April 8, 2009

Paul Ryan: Looking Good!

“If you believe in freedom, liberty, self-determination, free enterprise, I don’t care if you’re a Muslim, Jewish, Agnostic, Christian, gay, straight, Latino, black, white, Irish, whatever. Join us.”
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Good Looking)

Yeah, it’s easy to see why Ryan’s a rising star for the GOP. C’mon, ladies: Those blue eyes? That thick hair? That aw-shucks grin?

A dude like that could tempt Cynthia Yockey. Oh, what the heck — he could tempt me.

This was one of my basic insights into the massive fail of Crazy Cousin John. Even without his RINO deviations, Maverick had the problem of being old, short, grumpy and, worst of all, bald.

When was the last time America elected a bald president? Ike. Welcome to the TV age. Therefore, when in doubt in a GOP primary, always vote for the guy with the best hair.

Unlike Mitt Romney, however, Ryan’s not only got great hair, he also seems to have conservative principles. He’s also very shrewd. I remember being in the press lounge at CPAC this year while Ryan was giving the keynote address. I was checking my e-mail and moderating comments, and the TV was on behind me, so I heard, rather than saw, Ryan’s speech, when I made this update:

In his keynote address, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) just called for “sound money” — evincing cheers from the Paulistas.

Ding! That impressed me, even before I turned around and saw this good-looking Irish kid who’s got “telegenic” like I’ve got “crazy.”

The Paulistas were a well-organized presence at CPAC this year, with young volunteers handing out fliers in the hotel corridors and various events scheduled throughout the conference. The phrase “sound money” is like magic with Paulistas and, whether it was pre-planned or ad-libbed, those two words were the smartest thing Ryan said.

If there is one lesson to take away from the 2008 campaign — besides the hopeless folly of running an old bald guy for president — it’s that Republicans can’t win unless they unite their base as the foundation of a broad coalition strategy.

Ron Paul got 1.2 million GOP primary votes and raised $35 million. Compare that to Rudy Giuliani, who spent $59 million to get fewer than 600,000 votes. Giuliani represented no constiuency that John McCain did not equally represent. Watching those two during the GOP debates was like watching Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy.

Given the current political realities, the Republican Party simply can’t afford to ignore the votes, the money and the grassroots energy that the Paulistas offer. And with two words — “sound money” — Ryan acknowledged that fact. Very smart.

Ryan’s a married Catholic father of three, so he can count on the family values vote. If he can sound like Peter Schiff on economics and sound like Mark Krikorian on immigration, he would have no problem getting the rest of the Reagan coalition on board for 2012.

Yes, I said 2012. This doesn’t mean I’m abandoning Sarah Palin. But tempus fugits, and if she doesn’t have time to attend CPAC or the GOP congressional fundraiser in 2009, then if she’s going to run for re-election as governor in 2010, it’s going to be hard for Palin to catch up with all the Republicans who are organizing 2012 presidential campaigns now.

If conservatives don’t want to be faced with a choice between Romney and Jeb Bush — No More Bushes! — we’re going to have to get behind somebody PDQ, and Ryan is definitely somebody. He’s extremely young (only 39), and he’s only a congressman, not a senator or a governor, but he’s from a Midwestern swing state (and attended college in Ohio), so he’s got that Electoral College factor going for him. Plus, the Heritage Foundation loves the guy.

Lots of Republican strategists harbor little hope for beating Obama in 2012, so if Palin wants to wait for 2016 or later . . . hey, why not let the Irish kid take a shot? You gotta admit: Ryan’s looking good.

February 25, 2009

Digging deeper

At AmSpecBlog, I attempt to put into words my vast exasperation with the transparent bogusness of Obamanomics:

This goes back to September, when John McCain declared, “The fundamentals of our economy are strong.” Michelle Malkin finally got fed up with what she called the “Pollyanna conservatives” and burst out: “The fundamentals of the market suck.” And the sucking has only grown louder since then. . . .
We are headed for ’70s-style “stagflation.” Never mind what the Dow Jones does today; it will be below 6,000 by Christmas. Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing, and what he’s doing is standing at the bottom of a hole demanding we dig faster.

Our financial problem is caused by excessive debt, and you cannot borrow your way out of debt. Somebody owes Ron Paul an apology, because he’s been right about this problem all along.

February 11, 2009

Re-inflating the bubble?

The news that Senate Republicans have added “tax relief for homebuyers” to the stimulus bill is not good news, says Doug Bandow at The American Spectator:

The housing market bubble burst. It cannot be reinflated. The bust will be painful, but dumping more money into the market in an attempt to inflate prices will only slow the adjustment process. The pain is unfortunate, even tragic for some people, but inevitable.

Exactly — a point made by Ron Paul just yesterday. While driving to Washington, I was listening to C-SPAN radio coverage of the House Financial Services Committee hearing with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and caught this:

Ron Paul . . . says that, as a free marketer, he is also upset that Congress wants to prop up housing prices when there is a glut of housing on the market. “What’s wrong with allowing the market to allow these prices to adjust,” and drop quickly, so that “we can all go back to work again?”

That is to say, from a free-market perspective, those houses are worth whatever they’ll sell for. The losses caused by the collapse of the bubble are real, and until those losses are realized — that is, until the houses are sold and the market readjusted — we are living in a state of economic denial, which Senate Republicans are attempting to prolong.

This is what Michelle Malkin has been trying to say in her many months of outspoken opposition to Washington’s bailout/stimulus frenzy. The market is the market, and you can’t fool the market. It might be the only thing that Ron Paul and Michelle Malkin agree about.

UPDATE: While trying to find video of Dr. No’s statements yesterday, I found this video from February 2007 — two years ago, before the bubble burst — where he’s talking “fiat money.”:

This sounds kooky at times, but his essential points are correct:

  • By manipulating the money supply and interest rates, the Fed conceals economic reality behind a wall of artificial price-signals.
  • During the “bubble,” the consumer price index (CPI) did not accurately reflect the inflation that Americans were experiencing in higher costs of housing, health care and college tuition.

We had government “experts” telling us that inflation was running only 2% annually, even while housing prices soared, effectively pricing many young people out of the market.

In retrospect, we see that kooky “Dr. No” was prescient, and all the “experts” were full of crap.

January 18, 2009

America’s No. 1 growth industry

(BUMPED; UPDATES BELOW) Somewhere around here in one of my bookshelves, I’ve got a copy of Stephen Moore’s 1995 classic, Government: America’s No. 1 Growth Industry: How the Relentless Growth of Government Is Impoverishing America, the title of which speaks a truth that is now truer than ever.

That title recurs to memory because of a few items Instapundit linked this weekend. Item No. 1:

While the private sector was shedding millions of jobs in 2008 and government budgets were collapsing under the weight of waste, fraud and carved-in-stone personnel costs, the public sector had another banner year. Governments at all levels hired 164,100 new employees and were largely responsible for the addition of a further 96,600 jobs in education and 371,600 in health care. Now President-elect Obama wants to add 600,000 to the bloated federal payroll. . . .
Lip service by public officials about fiscal austerity notwithstanding, governments and their public-employee unions seem to be approaching 2009 as if the recession is none of their concern.

Item No. 2:

After the 2000 Census, the richest county in America was Douglas County, Colorado. By 2007, Douglas County had fallen to sixth. The new top three are now Loudon County, Virginia; Fairfax County, Virginia; and Howard County, Maryland. All three are suburbs or exurbs of Washington, D.C. In 2000, 14 of the 100 richest counties were in the Washington, D.C., area. In 2007, it was nine of the richest 20.

Government growth is parasitical, like a tick growing fat with the blood sucked from its host. The private sector is the only place that real wealth-creation occurs. Government’s collection and expenditure of revenue can only redistribute wealth, not create it.

The necessary result, then, of the unequal fiscal action of the government is, to divide the community into two great classes; one consisting of those who, in reality, pay the taxes, and, of course, bear exclusively the burthen of supporting the government; and the other, of those who are the recipients of their proceeds, through disbursements, and who are, in fact, supported by the government; or, in fewer words, to divide it into tax-payers and tax-consumers.

The great failure of the Bush administration and of the Republican congressional leadership was their failure to understand and act on this principle. Bush cut taxes, but he failed to restrain the growth of government and, indeed, through No Child Left Behind and Medicare Part D, actively expanded the size, power and expense of the federal government. The tax-consuming ticks grew fatter.

In 1994, the Republicans who gained control of Congress did so by pledging themselves as representatives of the taxpayers, and passage of the Welfare Reform Act of 1996 was their greatest achievement. But some Republicans grew weary of being called “mean-spirited” and, after Bob Dole’s defeat, these GOP fainthearts heeded the siren song of “national greatness” — that oxymoronic chimera “big government conservatism” or, as the Bushies called it, “compassionate conservatism.”

We now see the bitter fruit of that poison tree: Once they ceased to be the party of taxpayers, Republicans were left without a raison d’etre. If the GOP cannot be trusted as thrifty stewards of our taxes, what is the point of voting Republican? There are many explanations for why the Republican share of the popular vote plummeted from 62 million in 2004 to 58 million in 2008, but the fatigue of the taxpaying host and the concommitant fattening of the tax-consuming ticks is the clearest explanation. Political cowardice has reaped its inevitable reward.

This was the grand idiocy of “compassionate conservatism” as an outreach strategy: “Look how blithely we betray our core principles! See how eager we are to backstab our staunchest supporters! Vote Republican!”

Why should any Republican feel malice toward Barack Obama? His election is the necessary consequence of Republican failure. If you don’t like Obama, blame Bush, blame Karl Rove, blame Tom DeLay, blame Denny Hastert, blame Mitch McConnell, blame Trent Lott — blame every Republican who adopted that go-along-to-get-along stance toward the ceaseless growth of the federal Leviathan. You can’t feed the ticks and expect the host to remain healthy.

Next time you hear some Republican whining about the liberal media’s fawning over Obama, ask them this: How on earth did John McCain — a/k/a “Obama’s secret weapon” — get the Republican nomination with only 47% of the primary vote? Who were those 47% and why couldn’t Republicans prevent the nomination of an unpopular candidate who had spent the previous decade stabbing his own party in the back?

If Republicans cannot unite on the principle of limited government, they will be divided and conquered by the united advocates of unlimited government. If you are unwilling to lose an election by standing firmly on principle, you might win a few elections in the short run, but eventually you will be defeated by your unprincipled betrayals.

The only glimmer of hope for the GOP at this point is that the incoming Obama administration and its Democratic allies in Congress are singing unison from the Keynesian hymnal, advocating a plan that will inject the tax-consuming ticks with hundreds of billions of taxpayers’ blood. Conservatives know one thing for sure: It won’t work. More deficit “stimulus” spending won’t produce economic recovery and will, in fact, make the recession much worse.

“Central economic planning doesn’t work. That’s why we’re in this mess.”
Ron Paul

Now that the election is over, now that “Republican foreign policy” is a moot debate, now that the Surrender Lobby is fully in control of the White House, can Republicans stop hating on Ron Paul long enough to admit that he is absolutely right about the fundamental principles of political economy? You don’t have to be a gold-bug conspiracy theorist to recognize that the open-the-floodgates policy at the Fed ultimately served only to enrich the Tim Geithners of the world. And among Geithner’s Republican defenders, we see who sides with the tax-consumers against the taxpayers.

Since conservatives know that the neo-Keynesian methods of Obama and the Democrats are doomed to a disastrous end, this low ebb ought to be the beach head on which we plant our flag. Any Republican who votes for more “stimulus” is giving aid and comfort to the enemy, and deserves to be treated as the traitor he is. Perhaps the candidates for the RNC chairmanship should be asked to take a pledge: Not a cent of party contributions will be spent to support the re-election of any Republican member of Congress who votes for the Democratic stimulus package. If party discipline can’t be enforced, at least ensure that the sellouts betray conservative principles on their own dime.

Obamanomics can lead to only one result: Weimar America. And that reminds me of a third item Instapundit linked:

“Why wait until the government gets around to issuing them in 2011, when they’ll buy a single measly gallon of gas?”

Heh. And mega-heh. Taxpayers or tax-consumers? Take your pick, and make your stand.

UPDATE: Linked at Libertarian Republican. Thanks!

UPDATE II: Michelle Malkin refuses to join the Kumbayah Conservative Chorus.

UPDATE III: So predictable: “Shrill racist hatemonger Michelle Malkin indulges in a little codespeak . . .” Translating the code: “Shrill racist hatemonger” = Republican. Thou shalt not criticize Obama.

January 15, 2009

Ron Paul explains it all

“Central economic planning doesn’t work. That’s why we’re in this mess.”

Via News Alert.

September 23, 2008

Ron Paul endorses . . . who?

This is odd news. Ron Paul decides to catch the last train to kookville. Why? Apparently in revenge because Bob Barr snubbed Paul’s recent “anybody-but-McCain-or-Obama” press conference.

What’s more discouraging than Paul’s fit of pique is the idiotic anti-political behavior of Paul’s supporters. Back when the Barr campaign for the Libertarian nomination was taking flight, it seemed logical to expect that the Paulistas would climb aboard the Barr bandwagon. There were lots of rumors to that effect in May, and indeed many former Paul supporters did join the Barr campaign.

Paul basically pulled the plug on his GOP campaign in February, but kept Barr at arm’s length, apparently because Paul wanted to satisfy his more rabid supporters, who seemed chiefly interested in making a protest at the Republican convention. (I suspect it may be relevant to all this that Barr refused to associate himself with the anti-Semitic kook fringe types who had embarrassed Paul.)

If Paul had endorsed Barr in May, when the media was all over the Libertarian threat, it would have made all the difference in the world. Paul’s endorsement of Chuck Baldwin in late September — when the media is fully absorbed in the Obama-McCain battle — is barely a pebble in a pond.

This is a sad way for Paul to end a campaign that once inspired a lot of young libertarians and anti-war conservatives. Last fall, I went with an intern to cover a Ron Paul event at the Boulevard Wood Grill in Arlington, and that room was on fire with enthusiasm from 20-something and 30-something activists. Seeing it all come down to a fizzle like this — well, it’s just sad.