More responses to Ron Paul’s surge

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Ron Paul
Ron Paul

A Ron Paul morning wrapup. As Paul surges, the media are trying to get their heads around the phenomenon, figure out who he is. On NBC Nightly News last night, Chuck Todd likened Ron Paul’s youth army (chronicled in the NYT yesterday) to Gene McCarthy’s Clean-for-Gene antiwar army of 1968.

Meantime, Robert Siegel on NPR did a piece highlighting Ron Paul’s antiwar positions and asked reporter Don Gonyea about the belief (expressed by neoconservative David Brooks on NPR) that these views would hurt Paul in Iowa:

SIEGEL: Don, a lot of people thought that Ron Paul’s ideas about defense would hurt him in the Republican nominating contest, but he’s been front and center with them and it seems to be working.

Gonyea said these views have helped Paul stand out. Siegel then asked about Paul’s racist newsletters and “his opposition to the U.S. relationship with Israel.” Gonyea said this hasn’t come up at town hall meetings.

Alternet went after Paul’s relationship with a minister who favors the death penalty for gays here:

The campaign issued a press release lauding [endorsement by Nebraska evangelical pastor Phillip] Kayser and trumpeting his endorsement, citing “the enlightening statements he makes on how Ron Paul’s approach to government is consistent with Christian beliefs.” Then came word of Kayser’s “Christian belief” in applying the death penalty for gay male sex, and the Paulites got busy scrubbing their press release from the campaign Web site…

Hard-core Christian Reconstructionists like Kayser and Phillips (who is also a founder of the modern religious right and a close ally of Ron Paul) aren’t easy to come by, despite the profound but often undetected influence of Reconstructionist thought on right-wing evangelical churches. One area of difference between Reconstructionists and more garden-variety evangelicals is toward Israel and the vision of the end-times. The more common position among evangelicals is premillennialist, meaning that Israel must be constituted as a nation before Jesus will return to rule the righteous. As we reported last August, Reconstructionists adhere to the view expressed by Ron Paul at a “Pastor’s Forum” at Chuck Baldwin’s Pensacola, Fla., church — that Christians are the new “chosen people,” and the righteous must rule for 1,000 years before Jesus will return.

Andrew Sullivan has my view of the matter, that Paul represents a strong grassroots antiwar feeling, and that people like David Brooks are seeking to delude us on this score. And he explains the youth attraction to Paul as not being xenophobic.

So most Americans seem to disagree with the Beltway that Ron Paul is somehow an impermissible candidate for president. Why am I not surprised?

Meanwhile, Ron Paul has grasped the Iran question more aggressively as the voting nears. He is the only candidate who has taken military force off the table with respect to Iran’s nuclear program. Obama is still threatening, with poor Leon Panetta being dragged back and forth in public by the Greater Israel lobby. Paul, in other words, is the only candidate we can be sure will not take us into a third war with a Muslim country in a decade. And he seems to believe this is a strength. No wonder Washington is still scratching its collective head.

The mindset that the world is our plaything remains entrenched. Only Paul has moved beyond that. If you ask me, that’s the core of his appeal to the young.

I do wonder if any of those young people are ethnic minorities…

Leon Hadar of The American Conservative worked for Ron Paul last time round and wrote a month back that libertarians and antiwar left have to join forces.

libertarians can only do foreign policy by working with other groups on the left and the right, including the members of the somewhat dormant realist wing of the Republican Party, traditional conservatives, and progressive Naderites. This is their only hope to counter the influence of neoconservatives and liberal interventionists.

In Haaretz today Hadar swears that Ron Paul likes Jews– Haaretz, which yesterday extracted pro-Israel statements from Paul, including the idea that Israel should be free to attack Iran. While at American Conservative today Hadar writes:

Paul’s strong opposition to the U.S. war in Iraq and to President George Bush’s “Freedom Agenda” in the Middle East, as well as his refusal to support an American military campaign against Iran, reflects his commitment to these libertarian non-interventionist principles. He believes that Iran — with or without nukes — does not pose a direct threat to U.S. interests, and that nuclear Israel has the capabilities to contain a nuclear Iran.

There is nothing “anti-Israeli” in Paul’s resistance to providing aid to Israel. He has been a long-time opponent of providing American economic aid to all foreign countries, which, he believes, amounts to wasting U.S. tax-payer money on sustaining policies that do not necessarily align with American interests and values.Instead, he would encourage the promotion of trade and investment ties with Israel and other countries.

Hence, that Paul regards Israel as “our close friend” is not inconsistent with his opposition to providing aid to Israel or resisting a war with Iran. Paul has stressed that when it comes to pursuing its own national interests vis-a-vis Iran or the Palestinians, Washington should not “dictate how Israel runs her affairs,” Paul stressed.

Like me, antiwar leftwinger Robert Scheer at truthdig has embraced a lot of the Paul agenda in a post titled, Marginalizing Ron Paul:

[Opposing the Civil Rights Act of 1964], along with the decade-old racist comments in the newsletters Paul published, is certainly worthy of criticism. But not as an alternative to seriously engaging the substance of Paul’s current campaign—his devastating critique of crony capitalism and his equally trenchant challenge to imperial wars and the assault on our civil liberties that they engender.

Paul is being denigrated as a presidential contender even though on the vital issues of the economy, war and peace, and civil liberties, he has made the most sense of the Republican candidates. And by what standard of logic is it “claptrap” for Paul to attempt to hold the Fed accountable for its destructive policies? That’s the giveaway reference to the raw nerve that his favorable prospects in the Iowa caucuses have exposed. Too much anti-Wall Street populism in the heartland can be a truly scary thing to the intellectual parasites residing in the belly of the beast that controls American capitalism.

It is hypocritical that Paul is now depicted as the archenemy of non-white minorities when it was his nemesis, the Federal Reserve, that enabled the banking swindle that wiped out 53 percent of the median wealth of African-Americans and 66 percent for Latinos, according to the Pew Research Center.

Back to the critics. In 2003, Ron Paul expressed concern about the alleged war on Christmas. Digby offers this criticism of Paul’s “antebellum” states’ rights views here.

And Bruce Wolman offers the following analysis:
What is the hierarchy of values/principles that drive Paul’s politics? 
On the top of the heap for Ron Paul is “states rights” and “private property rights”. We all know the history of those two marching songs. While Paul’s anti-war stances and liberalism can attract adherents, if he were to become President those positions wouldn’t necessarily have the consequences many supporters might think. Let’s say Paul becomes President and does reduce US militarism, foreign interventionism, eliminate Federal drug laws, etc. His States Rights position would allow states to pick up the slack in all of these areas. From my reading of Paul, the Federal Government would stop supporting Israel, but he would have not hinder New York and California cutting their own deals with the Israelis if the states so chose. Nor would he have any problem with Israel handling the Palestinians, Iranians and its Arab neighbor problems anyway it saw fit. The US government would simply not intervene. While US military aid would end, US defense corporations could sell their wares abroad without government control or intervention. While the Federal Government would restrict its own violations of civil liberties, the states would be able to run their own affairs and corporations would be without regulation or interference of their fundamental right to use their property and capital as they saw fit, including spending on political involvement.
One of the reasons Christian extremists are attracted to Paul despite his libertarian positions is that they believe his states rights priority would allow them to regulate private behavior on the state level. Paul in fact does argue that there is no federal right to privacy. As a result, many of Paul’s libertarian positions are simply not relevant to the Presidency or the Federal Government as he conceives those institutions. In fact I would argue that if Paul was running for Governor of Iowa as opposed to President of the USA, he would attract a smaller following. His message of resonance is getting the Feds out of one’s life.

Update: Earlier version of this post ascribed last quote to Digby. Nope. From Bruce Wolman, who tipped me to Digby. Apologies.

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97 Responses

  1. Gellian
    December 30, 2011, 1:20 pm

    One of the critics (Digby) says this:

    “Let’s say Paul becomes President and does reduce US militarism, foreign interventionism, eliminate Federal drug laws, etc. His States Rights position would allow states to pick up the slack in all of these areas. From my reading of Paul, the Federal Government would stop supporting Israel, but he would have not hinder New York and California cutting their own deals with the Israelis if the states so chose.”

    That last bit is pretty interesting and admittedly something I haven’t considered. Is Paul really that much a believer in federalism that he’d allow individual states to “cut deals” with foreign powers?

    Anyone with knowledge or experience, please weigh in. What could such deals mean in practice?

    • Charon
      December 30, 2011, 3:12 pm

      What kind of deals? Like Defense contracts and corporate alliances? Selling weapons and providing aid? Kind of already goes on with and without being under the federal government’s banner, both related and unrelated to foreign policy. Maybe I’m misunderstanding though.

      I’m pretty sure that Paul’s wanting to give more rights to the states is a domestic policy. The nation is still the USA. Foreign policy isn’t a domestic issue (well it is, but you know what I mean) it’s a national issue. Paul’s hypothetical policy wouldn’t allow the government of Ohio to make an alliance with an enemy and risk our national security. Too many trixsters are trying to spin this

    • gazacalling
      December 30, 2011, 5:06 pm

      Yeah, that part intrigued me too. Very interesting.

      The first thing to say is that what we would be talking about here is trade. States can’t really run their own foreign policies, that’s for the Federal Government.

      From Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution:

      No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal…

      No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it’s inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress.

      No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.

      But trade is something different. In recent years states have had trade deals with other nations themselves. From Stateline five years ago:

      States increasingly are becoming more assertive on the international stage.

      More than 30 states now export goods to Cuba despite tight U.S. trade restrictions. Organizations in eight states brokered deals to import heating oil for the poor this winter from Venezuela, despite strained relations between the White House and Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. Three states — Illinois, New Jersey and Oregon — passed laws to divest state funds from companies with interests in war-scarred Sudan. In the Southwest, states are engaging in bilateral talks with Mexico to stop crime along the border.

      Foreign-policy experts warn that some state policies — such as friendly ties between state capitols and Venezuela and Cuba — could undermine federal power abroad. Likewise, states risk swings in U.S. foreign policy, and some state policies are in danger of running afoul of international trade agreements and U.S. court rulings.

      Despite the risks, international trade is a powerful magnet for states, and governors are emerging as the chief ambassadors for states seeking trade deals.

      Massachusetts tried in the ’90s to divest from Burma, but the US Supreme Court overruled it in 2000, based on the Supremacy Clause.

      This means that a principled foreign policy (e.g. BDS) on the state level is not really something that SCOTUS is going to allow. But that’s as it should be — the US Constitution was created to centralize only what concerned the common interest of the states, like foreign policy. As Madison says in Federalist #45:

      The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the Fœderal Government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State Governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects, which, in the ordinary course of affairs concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the People, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.

      Ron Paul wants to return to a Federal Government which does what the States cannot do, and is limited to that, but that clearly includes foreign policy, and he knows it.

      • Gellian
        December 30, 2011, 7:02 pm

        Nice work, Gazacalling. Very nice work indeed! You’re smart to quote the Constitution because if there’s anything we’ve learned about Paul, it’s that that’s his master text.

      • ToivoS
        December 30, 2011, 11:05 pm

        Ditto Gellian, there are some really informative posts here at MW.

    • Jeffrey Blankfort
      December 30, 2011, 11:32 pm

      A number of states already do business with Israel and close to half of them at last count (and it is not easy to count) have invested in Israel Bonds. But individual states to not give aid to Israel (apart from investing in its bonds) and it should be remembered that the notion of Israel actually buying weapons from the US is a joke. The Saudis buy our weapons. Israel gets theirs as a gift from the US taxpayers who give them their aid in cash in a lump sum each October.

      Cutting that off and forcing Israel to pay for its weapons would put a crimp in Israel’s war making plans as would the elimination of tax-exemptions for Jewish organizations in the US that funnel money to Israel to help expand the settlements and provide R & R to Israeli soldiers who are tired after a hard day of occupying.. That amount alone, for the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces has already topped $60 million.

      There would, of course, be the limits on Paul as president as on any other so his desire to cut Social Security, for example, or any other benefit would require Congress to enact new laws. And if Paul was elected on an anti-war, anti-interventionist, cutting back the military mandate, he would have little support to implement his more problematic anti-social reactionary positions.

      There is no chance, however, that Paul will be allowed to become the candidate. If it seems he is winning primary after primary they will change the rules and hold a brokered convention. In the end they would prefer to see Obama re-elected than let Paul anywhere near the oval office.

      Back to states rights. Paul’s position on them would be largely irrelevant since he hasn’t run with that demand in the foreground and the president by himself has no power to grant rights to states that violate the constitution and this limitation applies to other unsavory aspects of Paul’s agenda which should be apparent to anyone familiar with how the government works.

  2. Scott
    December 30, 2011, 1:51 pm

    Like me, antiwar leftwinger Robert Scheer at truthdig has embraced a lot of the Paul agenda in a post titled, Marginalizing Ron Paul:

    Bravo Bob Scheer! I thought he was a great writer forty years ago when I was a teenage new lefty, and still going really strong.

    • ToivoS
      December 30, 2011, 11:52 pm

      Scott I agree. I worked on Scheer’s campaign for the US house when he ran in the primary against a prowar Democrat in 1968. His showing was so strong that it basically knocked the incumbent out for the next cycle. That was then won by Ron Dellums who turned out to one very good member of the House for many years. He was replaced by Barbara Lee who was one of the very few house members to vote against the Iraq war. Her anti-war speeches made her an object of hate among the neocon crowd for quite a few years.

  3. Krauss
    December 30, 2011, 1:54 pm

    I read some quotes from Abe Foxman, a thug and a hoodlum, on Ron Paul via a Forward article. He basically called Ron Paul’s supporters ‘extremists and anti-Semities’.

    Notwithstanding that this is an insane way to talk about the issues, it’s also strategically idiotic.

    Ron Paul has huge groundswell support from the modern conservative movement’s youth, who are way ahead of it’s ossified Neocon Establishment. One ironic part: David Frum’s been sanctimonious lately and dismissing the Neocon Establishment as a bunch of zombies with no new ideas and with little tolerance for discussion. This is true, but he avoids mentioning that he himself was part and parcel in building this atmosphere after going after the realists in the National Review purges to make it 100 % neocon and thus braindead in the process. The realists fled to American Conservative magazine, National Interest and the like.

    The neocons may have the cash and the current top positions of influence, controlling the National Review, the Weekly Standard and so on, but they do not have any grassroots traction. If the Ron Paul supporters who are young see this backlash, and they are smart Phil, they are truly smart, coming from Neocons/Israeli lobbyists/firsters then that will cool off their attitude towards Israel by a lot.

    The young democratic base is also moving away from Israel. The Jewish community sometimes worries that support for Israel may become a one-party issue but if this continue it may become a no-party issue. Foxman’s insane comments will only make the situation worse.

    In the end, I think Romney will get the nomination. He has made sure to please all the wealthy neoconservative donors, often combining a neoliberal agenda at home to make them richer and an ultra-right agenda abroad to protect Israel’s every aggression and attack Iran. But Romney, even if he is corrupt to the bone, is anxious. And he sees where his base is slowly, slowly moving among the young.

    He has calmed down the rhetoric on Israel in recent weeks, refusing, as the only GOP nominee, to promise to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He called Gingrich’s ‘invented’ remark foolish.

    He’s even said to CNN he would vote for Paul if Paul won the nomination.
    Is the support for Israel crumbling? It’s too fast for that, but the signs are there. The young generation today will be different, on both sides of the aisle.

    Israel and it’s American lobbyists are worried, and they should be.

  4. dumvitaestspesest
    December 30, 2011, 1:56 pm

    a good comment found on the internet;
    “I AM AN AFRICAN AMERICAN….if Ron Paul called me a n****r to my face,
    he would STILL get my vote for no other reason that he is the ONLY candidate vowing to protect my constitutional rights!!!!
    How freakin sad a commentary is this of the polical landscape we find ourselves in?”.

    • Woody Tanaka
      December 30, 2011, 2:17 pm

      “he is the ONLY candidate vowing to protect my constitutional rights!!!!”

      LMAO. No he’s not. He’s on record saying that he would do nothing if some business owner wanted to discriminate against that African American. Some protection…

      • dumvitaestspesest
        December 30, 2011, 2:24 pm

        So, give me a name of YOUR candidate, the non-existing Superman that is sooo perfect. I’m waiting………………..

      • Woody Tanaka
        December 30, 2011, 2:30 pm

        “So, give me a name of YOUR candidate, the non-existing Superman that is sooo perfect. I’m waiting………………..”

        Phil Weiss.

      • Bumblebye
        December 30, 2011, 3:56 pm

        Asked for a ‘wild’ prediction for 2012, a bbc correspondent said the Reps will be so disillusioned with the current field that Jeb Bush would step in, be selected and win the presidency.

      • kalithea
        December 30, 2011, 10:25 pm

        Major deflection. Fact: You have none!

      • Charon
        December 30, 2011, 4:00 pm

        Why is that a federal government issue? Do you want big brother to be watching? Let the local community and states take care of such things. And if the local community and state is a bunch of racist bigoted pricks who side with the business owner, don’t live in that state.

        The federal government has too much control over isolated domestic issues that you may have been conditioned to believe is a good thing. How so? Like the folks saying Ron Paul is against gay marriage. He’s against government involvement in marriage period. Why should the government care who you’re married to? Even if you’re a polygamist or you marry a squirrel. If you exploit marriage laws in ways that are unlawful and get caught, you suffer the consequences of committing a crime. If you make sweet, sweet love with that squirrel and get caught, you also suffer the consequences of committing a crime depending on what the law says about making love with squirrels.

        People spin that as “Ron Paul hates gays” and “Ron Paul opposes gay marriage” and that’s a spin. There is no other official candidate to vote for. Certainly not Obama for a second term. So if you aren’t going to vote or plan to vote for a third party, then I get it. If you plan to vote for any of the other guys, I don’t get it unless you like the status quo (which includes Israel’s status quo). Ron Paul isn’t perfect, but there isn’t anybody else ‘radical’ enough that could change things. And Ron Paul himself might be unable to change things, that doesn’t mean one shouldn’t give him the chance. I sure see a lot of people spinning his policy from a superficial level in negative ways when under the surface there is nothing negative about it.

      • Woody Tanaka
        December 30, 2011, 4:56 pm

        “Why is that a federal government issue?”

        Because, historically, state and local governments were some of the biggest supporters of the vilest discrimination in the United States. And, given the way those governments regularly operate, there is no doubt in my mind that the same types of discrimination would occur today, absent federal protections, both against traditional targets of such discrimination, such as racial minorities and women, but also of other minorities, such as non-Christians, gays and lesbians, etc.

        “Do you want big brother to be watching?”

        Yeah, because that’s what the Civil Rights activists in the South were in favor of – big brother.

        ” And if the local community and state is a bunch of racist bigoted pricks who side with the business owner, don’t live in that state.”

        That’s no answer. Some people can’t afford to no live where they live, but they have the right to not live in a racist hell hole.

        “He’s against government involvement in marriage period. Why should the government care who you’re married to? ”

        Because people want other people and non-govenmental institutions to be bound by the decision to be married.

        Libertarians, Randians and their ilk always make the mistake of believing that the only possible legal contexts are 1) between an individual and government, or 2) between two individuals, and so purely contractual relationships should suffice over generally applicable law. Since their premise is flawed, so is their conclusion.

        “And Ron Paul himself might be unable to change things, that doesn’t mean one shouldn’t give him the chance.”

        I, for one, do not wish to give him the chance to do the things he said he wants to do or to favor. In fact, I don’t want him or people like him anywhere near the reigns of government.

      • Charon
        December 30, 2011, 8:11 pm

        “That’s no answer. Some people can’t afford to no live where they live, but they have the right to not live in a racist hell hole.”

        No, that’s no answer. Anybody can afford to live elsewhere even if they don’t have any money. ‘broke’ is a state of mind. Government freebies, tax cheating, foreclosure, bankruptcy, default, so many ways to cheat the system enough to afford not being broke, especially coupled with work. Negative consequences, sure. Some worse than others. Dirty, cheap, immoral? That’s an opinion. If you don’t feel safe in the neighborhood, the only one stopping you from moving is yourself and your perceptions. There are plenty of racist states already down south. It’s no stereotype. We’re not talking about bringing back slavery. If ‘big brother’ federal protection was required for the civil rights movement, that probably means the civil rights laws were just another lie to sell Orwelian laws. They use the same tricks in every era.

        I don’t expect you to change your perception, but as I said in another thread, is it your perception out of free will? Or the will of the MSM? The MSM is like a broken clock being right twice a day. It’s broke, they lie. If they tell you the truth, you wouldn’t know if it was true or a lie. Why trust them? The racist thing is redic, you must have bought the MSM story. So yeah, whose will? Yours or theirs?

      • Woody Tanaka
        December 31, 2011, 2:26 am


        No, not everyone can afford to move from where they are living. Some people cannot move from where they live because of family or other obligations. Some people just love their homes. In all these cases, they have a right to live free of racism. What the fuck is wrong with you that you find some kooky libertarian fear of the federal government sufficient to, even in theory, consign someone to living amid racism??

        “If ‘big brother’ federal protection was required for the civil rights movement, that probably means the civil rights laws were just another lie to sell Orwelian laws.”

        That’s simply stupid. Federal laws were necessary because local racist politicians, cops and citizens were murdering, harassing and oppressing people in a regular and systematic fashion based solely on their race. What the hell kind of deficient education did you get?

      • Frankie P
        December 31, 2011, 12:23 am


        Please provide a quote regarding which part of the constitution dictates to business owners about who they may or may not hire.


      • Woody Tanaka
        December 31, 2011, 2:20 am

        Frankie P,

        If you would like legal research done, please see your local bar association who, I am sure, can refer you to a lawyer who you can retain to do that research for you. In the alternative, there are hundreds of accredited and non-accredited law schools across the country who would, assuming you’ve got the educational prerequisites, be happy to take your money in exchange for teaching you how to do that research your self.

        Have a great day!

      • Jeffrey Blankfort
        December 31, 2011, 12:29 am

        This just in, Woody: “Ron Paul slams Barack Obama on drone strikes.”

        Said Paul:

        “As bad as they were, you know even Adolf Eichmann finally when he was captured he was taken to Israel. Israel gave him a trial. What did we do with the Nazis — war criminals — after World War II? They got trials. Yeah, and they got what was deserving: they got hung,” Paul told more than 700 voters during a campaign speech at a convention center in western Iowa.

        “This year has not been good for the cause of personal liberty because about a year ago the president announced there are so many bad people around that he has to really go after them to protect us.

        “There are some dangerous people out there. There’s a lot of ‘em. Most of them get a trial, but he changed the rules. He says now it is proper for the president to decide to assassinate an American citizen without a trial, without charges, because he thinks they’re that dangerous,” he said.

        What do you think, Woody?

        Here’s more:

        “Many in the crowd booed Obama as Paul raised the issue with no prompting. It’s a signal that he’s unapologetic about his views and unwilling to blur his pacifist foreign policy vision with political expediency. Tellingly, the crowd of loyalists roared with approval.

        “That more than 700 people showed up on a rainy night offered a powerful reminder five days before the caucuses that no Republican candidate has as devoted a following as the 76-year-old Texas congressman.

        “Promising to “bring our troops home” got the rowdiest applause from an audience with a lot of college-aged faces — the standard at Paul events — but also many middle-aged voters. His 52-minute stemwinder touched almost every sensitive issue of the libertarian-minded coalition of Republicans, independents and disaffected Democrats that the campaign is counting on.”

      • Woody Tanaka
        December 31, 2011, 7:28 pm

        “What do you think, Woody?”

        I think that he is right about this issue and the rest of his ideas about governing are dopey and/or dangerous.

      • libra
        January 1, 2012, 11:31 am

        WT: “I think that he is right about this issue and the rest of his ideas about governing are dopey and/or dangerous.”

        Woody, can I assume this means you think Ron Paul’s ideas on whistleblowers such as Bradley Manning are dopey and/or dangerous?

      • Woody Tanaka
        January 1, 2012, 8:04 pm


        “Woody, can I assume this means you think Ron Paul’s ideas on whistleblowers such as Bradley Manning are dopey and/or dangerous?”

        You could — it’s a free country — but it would be foolish of you to do so. I’ve been fairly open as to the myriad ways in which I believe Ron Paul’s views are insane, but have expressed nothing specific to the Bradley Manning situation, nor anything which should suggest to the reasonable person that I would find any views which are favorable to Bradley Manning to be dopey or dangerous.

    • dahoit
      January 1, 2012, 1:02 pm

      How freakin sad is it that one brings up ghostwritten words that have been expressed in every white household in America since the beginnings of welfare,by both alleged liberals and conservatives,in varying levels of vitriol,despite those alleged liberals nobility and purity,belied by their actual actions of white schools,white neighborhoods and mostly white friends,as they back corrupt pols who promote the actual racist policies of reality that have laid low the minority community and are expressed by those economic numbers.
      Give it a rest hypocrites.Look up Michael Richards,or some racist Israeli pol for some real actual racism,and the stinking Kabuki theater crap about Acts of inclusion which have totally failed to include,and have in fact excluded people of color,(other than gladiators and rappers and -and who promotes that?) witness the jails are full of em.
      The criminals who are in charge are the worst racists in history,witness their poison fruits,despite their badges of honor issued by their monster masters,one who might be Papa Doc Duvaliers long lost other son.

  5. Woody Tanaka
    December 30, 2011, 2:16 pm
  6. Richard Witty
    December 30, 2011, 2:18 pm

    On the subject that you describe as important to you, the Israel Lobby:

    Ron Paul has declared himself an opponent of ANY limitations on money as speech in electoral and lobbying efforts.

    That does NOT limit the Israel Lobby in the slightest. If anything, it gives it free reign.

    It is not insignificant, if the scope of the Israel Lobby is of any importance to you.

    I don’t regard the Israel Lobby as monolithic, largely because of the presence of J Street, but there are other lobbies that are, that have a significant corrupting impact on American society.

    • Philip Weiss
      December 30, 2011, 2:21 pm

      yeah ron paul is bad on many issues, including global warming, a dealbreaker for me

      • dumvitaestspesest
        December 30, 2011, 2:24 pm

        global warming is a phony agenda.

      • Charon
        December 30, 2011, 3:32 pm

        Global warming from the political stand point is a phony agenda. Humans are far too insignificant to influence climate the way the politicians are saying. We can influence a little, but not to the extremes of say melting the North Pole. The polar bears aren’t losing their icy homes. You can try flying a plane up there to see the ice cap yourself, but for some reason you won’t be able to get near it without being chased by military aircraft. Other planets are having strange weather coinciding with ours here on Earth. If the polar ice cap is really shrinking at an unusual rate, perhaps it’s deliberate. There might be something cool under that ice. Oil, gas, unknown life forms, tasty giant lobsters and crabs, the ruins of Atlantis, who knows?

        What we are doing though is wasting resources and poisoning ourselves and other forms of life including the food we eat. We could benefit from being greener from health, financial, and resource conservation stand points. I’m not concerned that Paul isn’t addressing this directly. Other candidates aren’t sincere because they are backed by corporations contributing to the problem. They just want to find away to regulate and tax things, suck even more out of the economy and the middle class

        The thing with Ron Paul is that a lot of his ideas do not directly address major issues but they indirectly help those issues more than any other candidate who lies about addressing them ever will. This includes global warming.

        “We should start by ending subsidies for oil companies. And we should never, ever go to war to protect our perceived oil interests. If oil were allowed to rise to its natural price, there would be tremendous market incentives to find alternate sources of energy. At the same time, I can’t support government “investment” in alternative sources either, for this is not investment at all.

        Government cannot invest, it can only redistribute resources. Just look at the mess government created with ethanol. Congress decided that we needed more biofuels, and the best choice was ethanol from corn. So we subsidized corn farmers at the expense of others, and investment in other types of renewables was crowded out.”

        Basically he’s saying the government shouldn’t be the one to invest in an alternative because they’re terrible at it. But they can make life hard on the oil companies. As a result, alternatives will spring up. No other candidate is going to dare take on big oil, but they will pretend to be concerned about global warming and say that Ron Paul isn’t.

      • Woody Tanaka
        December 30, 2011, 4:01 pm

        “Global warming from the political stand point is a phony agenda. Humans are far too insignificant to influence climate the way the politicians are saying.”

        Better tell all those scientists who are studying the issue and who disagree.

        “If the polar ice cap is really shrinking at an unusual rate, perhaps it’s deliberate. There might be something cool under that ice. Oil, gas, unknown life forms, tasty giant lobsters and crabs, the ruins of Atlantis, who knows?”

        Yeah, that sounds about right. It isn’t that burning fossil fuel releases insane amounts of greenhouses gases into the atmosphere and is having a disproportionate affect on the polar regions.

        It’s the ruins of Atlantis.

        That’s sounds about par for the course on this Ron Paul issue.

      • libra
        December 30, 2011, 5:16 pm

        Charon: “Oil, gas, unknown life forms, tasty giant lobsters and crabs, the ruins of Atlantis, who knows?”

        Charon, I’m a pretty credulous person but even I’m skeptical about the tasty giant lobsters.

        Let’s hope no one else falls hook, line, and sinker for this bait rather than addressing the more serious points you make in the following paragraphs of your post.

      • Charon
        December 30, 2011, 6:00 pm

        Woody, the Atlantis thing was a joke. Please don’t drop to a hasbarist’s level and use one odd statement to dismiss the rest. Global warming aside, Russia, Canada, and I think Norway (among others) have tried to claim sovereignty over parts of the North Pole. Except the North Pole is just the frozen Arctic Ocean. They’re essentially fighting over territorial waters, most likely for potential resources under the ice cap. Melting portions of the ice would make searching and retrieving these resources a heck of a lot easier.

        There are scientists studying global warming on both sides. There is no majority consensus. The ones who say it exists have the support of corporations, media, and politicians. You know, people who are liars and untrustworthy. You don’t think money can’t buy a scientific consensus or biased research? It could go both ways, but I’m not drinking the kool aid because I don’t like the well it comes from. It was poisoned a long time ago. Liars can only be trusted to lie, you don’t know when they are telling the truth so why believe them?

        Global warming didn’t exist until this:

        Was published by Art Bell of Coast to Coast AM and Whitley Strieber. Streiber was told about it from a strange visitor, and he has a history of strange (alien) visitors. Before that it was global cooling and ice age. Again, I think we should react as if global warming were real, but not from a political standpoint with carbon taxes. It would benefit our environment and health. No alternative to fossil fuel is going to materialize as long as big oil goes about business as usual. Talking about ‘perpetual motion’ is as taboo as talking about Zionist manipulation of foreign policy, thanks to the established energy provider interests.

      • thetumta
        December 30, 2011, 7:09 pm

        I was going to mention the Russian scientists who recently reported massive methane columns sprouting liking mushrooms in the Arctic seabed. But after re-reading the comments here from the true believers who know the truth, but not the first 3 laws of thermodynamics, it’s probably a waste of time.
        The evils of ethno-facism have been plain to see(without thermodynamics) for some time, perhaps we should solve what’s known and solvable? I’ll put my money on the next big world war doing us in way before the greenhouse unknowns.
        Hej! Tumta
        P.S. If you’re interested in the greenhouse, try Maurice Strong, Al Gore and the squid(Goldman-Sachs). Carbon credits might yet be a money maker?

      • Charon
        December 30, 2011, 7:55 pm

        The Atlantis thing was a joke btw. Beaides, it’s on the South Pole you know! :P Norway’s Google-Earth censored “Valkyrie” outpost is a nice little doorway under the ice. “Valkyrie” was the code name for Germany’s continuity of government in WWII. It was modified into an assassination plot (and a stupid Tom Cruise film). U-boats were sent to Antarctica even when the war was over. They went to the same location as Norway’s Valkyrie outpost today. 500-year-old maps show a Valkyrie wing on a then-hypothetical continent on the South Pole called Terra Austrailis. Swap it for Antarctica and it’s coincidentally in the same spot. If that’s a joke, I don’t think it’s funny. And mentioning this here while supporting Ron Paul just gives people more ammo to call me a kook too, eh? And all Paul supporters by proxy too I guess. Doesn’t hurt my feelings

      • Woody Tanaka
        December 31, 2011, 2:05 am

        1) Yes, the retreat of Arctic Ice is leading to assertions of resource claims among states. But you really have to be dense to ignore the reason, which is directly staring you in the face, in order to come up with some other explanation, like a giant international conspiracy.

        2) Yes, there is a strong consensus among climate scientists on the issue and it is overwhelming.

        3) Art Bell and Whitley Strieber are kooks. Serious kooks. No serious person listens to them and anyone who cites to them is not a serious thinker.

        4) perpetual motion is impossible. It violates the laws of thermodynamics.

      • NorthOfFortyNine
        December 30, 2011, 2:44 pm

        Something tells me Ron Paul would find a way to like this idea.

      • anonymouscomments
        December 30, 2011, 5:16 pm

        PW, how is global warming a “dealbreaker” for you? i’m really lost, are you just grasping for a dealbreaker? he has many positions i can see you taking as a valid dealbreaker, but global warming (though very real) is not a viable one IMHO.

        NONE of the other candidates offer ANY sincere amelioration on the global warming front at ALL; obama included. further, we are talking about a candidate in the republican field. please remind me which one even gives lip service to the issue (and that is all we really get from obama). i think huntsman might admit humans are the cause…

        this is tantamount to saying ron paul is a male, and that is a dealbreaker for me. or in fact, as there are females still in the running, something like, the fact that ron paul is running for the presidency is a dealbreaker for me.

        none of his positions exist in a vacuum, and for global warming, i see ZERO difference between him and the entire lot. and even if al gore himself was running, i would consider his actual potential effect on global warming to range from nothing, to next to nothing.

        please expand on how this issue stands out for RP. even if you can rationalize how he would be tangibly worse for global warming (in comparison to the relevant options), please then indicate how this *assumed* negative impact on global warming rises to the status of dealbreaker? (sorry i am all over the HTML these days)

        the POTUS will not alter the trajectory of global carbon consumption. well, the one way he could, is to start a regional war in the ME, which would increase oil prices, decrease oil consumption, and possibly create a global depression. but this is not a fun option, and it would only be temporary…

      • Pixel
        December 30, 2011, 5:26 pm


        With all due respect, you’re wrong on GW.

        “Global Warming,” now being spun as “Climate Change,” is more than a phony agenda.

        Follow the facts and follow the money.

      • iamuglow
        December 30, 2011, 6:01 pm

        What would a candidate who believed in solving global warming look like? Is it even feasible with world as it is? Isn’t GW an effect of industrialization? Of “progress”?

        To solve it, wouldnt you’d have to start talking about population control? Resource managment….planned (forced?) urbanization…the whole nature of capitalism encourages waste…consumerism would be out…we’d need to move away from measuring countries by GDP….there would need to be some kind of efficent top down state planning…but to work it would need to be on global scale…and on and on.

        I just don’t see it happening. Its nice to say, I believe in global warming, I care about it…but barring 180 degree shift in the world as it is, I don’t see any candidate being able to fix it.

        NB I haven’t studied GW at all…this is just my bar room take on it…

    • Charon
      December 30, 2011, 3:47 pm

      What limitations exist today? Limitations are unconstitutional and when limitations exist, there are exceptions and loopholes allowing say the Israel lobby to have free reign as it already is.

      AIPAC does not control Ron Paul and Ron Paul has spoken out against AIPAC’s control on more than one occasion. AFAIK, Paul has not said anything about AIPAC registering with the justice department as a foreign agent once and for all. Given is position toward AIPAC and toward the status quo of the US, it would be likely to happen. They can have all the money in the world, but they’ll get taxed up the wazoo if that were the case. Only thing is because he hasn’t said anything about it, we don’t know if that would happen. I guarantee it wouldn’t happen at all under any other candidate.

    • libra
      December 30, 2011, 4:06 pm

      RW: “I don’t regard the Israel Lobby as monolithic, largely because of the presence of J Street, but there are other lobbies that are, that have a significant corrupting impact on American society.”

      Richard, I think we all know there is no brass plate on a wall somewhere engraved with “Israel Lobby”. It’s a convenient short-hand for a whole network of organisations (and individuals) which pulls in the same direction, however loosely co-ordinated. Why, even you manage to stay on the right page most of the time. And no matter how I like to imagine it, I doubt that Bibi calls you every day with fresh instructions or, indeed, to listen to your sage advice.

      But having given the Israel Lobby a clean bill of health, I wonder which lobbies you consider to be actually corrupting American society? And, if it’s not the Israel Lobby, can you tell us which lobby is actually pushing for sanctions, if not an actual military strike, against Iran?

      • Richard Witty
        December 30, 2011, 6:14 pm

        They don’t all pull in the same direction though.

        Corrupting influences include lobbies for guns, for military, for oil, for coal, for nuclear, for investment banking, against progressive taxation, against civil liberties, many many things.

      • libra
        December 30, 2011, 7:45 pm

        RW: “Corrupting influences include lobbies for guns, for military, for oil, for coal, for nuclear, for investment banking, against progressive taxation, against civil liberties, many many things.”

        My goodness Richard, you could hide a lobby for Iran sanctions amongst that lot. Indeed, that’s exactly what you seem to have done.

      • teta mother me
        December 30, 2011, 7:37 pm

        Jack Abramoff spoke at Harvard Law school a few weeks ago.
        This contretemps took place:

        (from the audience):

        “Jay Livingston here. Probably the most pernicious interest lobby in Washington ironically is probably the one which is probably closest to your own heart, which is the Israel lobby.
        Your own Capitol Athletic Fund funneled $140,000 to illegal settlers militia for equipment and sniper training, even though it wasn’t a charity that performed what it had stated that it was going to do.
        You recently also expressed great undying gratitude to your friend Tom Delay for his defense of Israel throughout his many years. . . .”

        Livingston continued with rather nasty statements about the character of people who support “the outlaw state of Israel.”
        Abramoff responded:

        “I dunno, I like Ireland, too. . . .A lot of countries I like. I don’t know how to answer you but obviously we don’t agree on Israel, we don’t agree on Israel, what can I tell you?
        Look, I went to jail for misusing nonprofit money, and I’m sorry I did do it. But I’m an unabashed supporter of Israel.”

        Now what I’d like to know is why does Abramoff gets a four-year sentence after having sent $140,000 to supply illegal settlers with weapons, in addition to several decades of fraudulent activities, but leaders of an Islamic charity get 15 to 65 year sentences?

    • Jeffrey Blankfort
      December 30, 2011, 11:41 pm

      One might disagree with Paul regarding political contributions–although I have yet to see his comments on it–but if true, it would make him the only one in the pack telling the truth. Certainly, Obama who rails against big money in politics continues to be the all time champ in collecting it. If he has an honest bone in his body he has yet to expose it.

    • Shingo
      December 31, 2011, 2:53 am

      That does NOT limit the Israel Lobby in the slightest. If anything, it gives it free reign.

      Free reign to do what?

      If aid is cut completely and the US pulls put of the UN, or abstains from vetos, then the lobby is dead and burried.

      The lobby already has free reign and they have never been able to corrupt Paul.

      • Richard Witty
        December 31, 2011, 11:49 am

        Free reign to affect legislation, say on AID, or war resolutions, on any funding for Palestinian assistance (actually, that is one area where Paul then says by his actions ‘we don’t give a damn about you. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps’.

        The best outcome is for the US to sincerely work for peace, so that both communities end up on their feet.

      • CloakAndDagger
        December 31, 2011, 12:18 pm

        Were I not already inclined to vote for Ron Paul, the fact that RW is against him would be all the endorsement I would need to jump wholeheartedly into becoming Ron’s ardent fan.

        The best outcome is for the US to sincerely work for peace

        No, the best outcome is for the US to get out of its fake attempts to make peace while acting as Israel’s lawyer.

        The best outcome is for the US to bow out and for other players to replace its role – without a threat of an UN veto by the US.

      • Chaos4700
        December 31, 2011, 2:25 pm

        If the best outcome is to sincerely work for peace, that means economic sanctions on Israel. Just like we do to North Korea — another rogue nuclear state that routinely attacks its neighbors.

      • dahoit
        January 1, 2012, 1:28 pm

        And that is where his aid cut comes in,because then we won’t underwrite their stupidity,and its bad actions will be unprotected by US.
        So they will finally make peace,as they obviously aren’t suicidal,uh,well ,maybe not.

  7. dumvitaestspesest
    December 30, 2011, 2:20 pm

    Few months ago, there were similar discussions in Poland regarding for whom to vote to the Polish Sejm ( Congress).
    Oh, all those discussions in the MSM, all over the internet.
    Words were flying like bullets, people insulted each other left and right.
    “We should vote for this or that party, we should not vote at all, just boycott.” Yada, yada, ya.
    The result?? The corrupted, good-for-nothing party (PO),that was in power won , again, and now majority of people are crying, and pulling hair out of their heads because everything is going further down the drain.
    Why anybody expects the change for the better, if he is voting on the same, corrupted personas??
    Yes, there maybe a change…. For the worse.
    Things ALWAYS can get worse than they are.
    And they will, if nothing stops them.

    • W.Jones
      December 30, 2011, 3:00 pm

      Stop Imperialist Wars vs. [No] Change that You can Believe In Because I Make Good Speeches.

      Or how about- I don’t care about Environment Regulations vs. I care about environment regulations but not enough to alienate my CA$H base and the corporate controlled MSM who would attack me like they are attacking R.P.


      OK, it is an exagerration because I think Obama tries to do things in healthcare and avoiding war with Iran, but he doesn’t look like he is going to take a strong enough stand if it risks hurting his campaign image in the controlled media, which would do stuff like it did with Clinton- eg. focus on Clinton’s marital improprieties rather than Gingrich’s.

      With the Ron Paul choice, people get to hear different positions on issues, rather than just platititudes and garbage…..

  8. Dan Crowther
    December 30, 2011, 2:29 pm

    Over 100 million people in this country belong to cooperatives, whether they be producer co-ops, consumer co-ops or local credit unions.

    Loser Liberals like Digby just assume that “giving power to the states” means automatic state tyranny. I do agree that traditional ‘state rights’ and “property rights” arguments are fallacious, but no one else see’s a once in a lifetime opportunity under the ron ron model to ACTIVELY TAKE CONTROL of local and state institutions?

    It’s time to build parallel institutions, among the people, from the bottom up – paul’s plan does allow for this, you just have to get off your fat ass and organize – which means that fat liberals might have to interact with working class people and maybe even betray their class distinctions – EGADS!

    • libra
      December 30, 2011, 3:44 pm

      Very good point Dan.

    • Bruce
      December 30, 2011, 3:58 pm

      I agree it is way past time to build parallel institutions, but I don’t see how Paul’s plan helps one way or the other. What are the current obstacles that Paul eliminates?

      If the federal government is neutered tomorrow and the states fill the void, who would seize control and what would the states look like? Vermont might be a nice place to live, but I am not sure so many of us could fit there.

      I agree liberals and the working class need to find a way to build a stable coalition, but again I don’t see how Paul’s plan helps, except as something to rally against. The biggest obstacle to building counter-institutions is the One Dollar, One Vote nature of the American economy and political system. Paul’s unwavering defense of “property rights” reinforces and amplifies One Dollar, One Vote not the opposite. Just listen to Paul in this from 1998. He toned it down a little for a speech to the JBS last year.

      • Dan Crowther
        December 30, 2011, 4:38 pm


        It’s exactly a “rally against” scenario. All of us, no matter how “conservative” we think we are, have lived in a society that takes measures to mask the inherent antagonisms between labor and capital. Paul wants to remove these – in doing so, he will also help remove some of the illusions that we have created to justify class privilege. In short, he will help lift the veil. utopian? perhaps. :)

        I would also say that although I think Paul obfuscates the “real” agenda – alot of his supporters genuinely think THEY (private citizens) are being empowered; Im down with this sentiment. It’s all about what it gets organized behind.

      • Charon
        December 30, 2011, 5:33 pm

        It’s not about states filling a void. A ‘neutered’ federal government is essentially removing federal veto power over decisions states already make. For example, almost half of the states (23) have cannabis decriminalized, legal for medical use, or both. It’s still illegal according to the DEA, federal jurisdiction overrides the states and clinics get raided by the DEA all the time.

        You could say ‘cannabis is bad, medical/decriminalization is abused, it should be illegal and I support the federal raids’ but that’s a biased opinion in opposition. It doesn’t work both ways because if you were to say ‘it should be up to the states’ it may very well be bias for cannabis but it could also just be non-biased and logical aka you can oppose cannabis personally but support leaving it up to the state to decide. States aren’t usually split down the middle in terms of bias and opinion the way the nation is. People often settle in communities among others of similar beliefs. Communities, towns, cities, and states often have majority opinions on controversial subjects. Not 50-50 like the nation as a whole.

        I also don’t know why people are thinking about it in terms of foreign policy and national security, it’s a domestic policy that constitutionally should already exist.

        Saying that Ron Paul amplifies one dollar, one vote is just putting a spin on his policy. Placing barriers and restrictions can and will backfire. Like the do-not-call list for example. Some people, like my mother-in-law, liked certain telemarketers for whatever reason. They stopped calling after she signed up for list and now loopholes have allowed shady scammers to open a backdoor and call anyway. Saying ‘thou shalt not kill’ is worse than using positive language to say the same thing. Ex. ‘thou shall respect all life’ or something like that.

        Citizens do not benefit in any way from the Orwellian laws that trump our constitution. If Paul was president and accomplished even half of his policy, perceptions would change with along with transparency and accountability that could lead to things that manifest as a cancerous tumor inside of the establishment and eventually the establishment and status quo would be dead… a good thing unless you support the status quo. Not saying Paul doesn’t have negative aspects, but no other candidate is going to do this. They will just support the status quo and continue to oppress us

      • Bruce
        December 31, 2011, 1:42 am

        @Charon: I have to disagree. Ron Paul’s core belief in Austrian economics, his extreme defense of “private property rights,” his strong opposition to any progressive taxation and his insistence on unrestricted campaign finance from corporations as well as citizens leads directly to amplifying one dollar, one vote. No spinning at all.

    • NorthOfFortyNine
      December 30, 2011, 9:09 pm

      @ Dan: but no one else see’s a once in a lifetime opportunity under the ron ron model to ACTIVELY TAKE CONTROL of local and state institutions

      Now you are thinking!!! Great idea. –N49.

      • Dan Crowther
        December 31, 2011, 12:04 pm

        oh, so N49 is austrian cat turned revolutionary! haha, yea, “now WE are thinking”

  9. Ambiv
    December 30, 2011, 6:21 pm

    I made a point several times in the last thread on this topic, which is now so large one would have to be Phil Weiss’ biographer to bother to wade through it. No one responded but I can’t imagine no one cares:

    American foreign policy consists of more than reckless military interventionism, the arrangement of the world in a manner that fosters corporate profit, and kneejerk support for Israel. The U.S. also provides humanitarian aid that is meant to fight disease, dire poverty, starvation, the impact of natiural disasters, discimination against women and all kinds of other evils. Paul would ban all such aid. One might argue that such aid is often misused, and sometimes or often does more harm than good. But I believe America has a moral obligation to at least try to help achieve the Millenium Development Goals and address the growing inequities between the global north and the global south. Paul doesn’t want the feds to help anyone beyond our borders. Does that trouble anyone?

    • Donald
      December 30, 2011, 7:34 pm

      ” Paul doesn’t want the feds to help anyone beyond our borders. Does that trouble anyone?”

      Sigh. Lots of us have said that we strongly disagree with many or most of Paul’s positions. I agree with you and I suspect others do as well, but we don’t all have to chime in on every single issue where we think Paul is wrong. Does anyone seriously think he has a chance of winning?

      The interesting question about Paul from my perspective is whether his antiwar position will, as we lefty types sometimes say, raise awareness of the issues and break through the bipartisan pro-war, pro-American imperialist, pro-Israel monopoly that usually dominates the discussion. His campaign might do the country a service if it does.

      But yes, for many of us a Paul Presidency would be a disaster. I suspect that given how power functions in this country, he would have much more success helping the plutocracy obtain its goals at home then he would have changing the general direction of US foreign policy. But currently I’m at least as concerned about the Nazgul threat (did they really all burn up at Mt. Doom or was that just wishful thinking on Gandalf’s part?) as I am about the dangers of a Paul presidency.

    • Redruin
      December 30, 2011, 8:29 pm

      No, not really. Humanitarian aid can and should be provided by private organizations/individuals

    • Jeffrey Blankfort
      December 30, 2011, 11:58 pm

      Ambiv, the amount of our federal budget that is spent on humanitarian assistance is minimal and the last time I looked, the US was near the bottom on spending in this department being 19th in the world based on the percentage of gross national spending, topping only Italy, Japan and South Korea, and while its total of $28 billion is more than double that of runner-up France, it amounts to chump change compared with what we spend on weapons and maintaining overseas bases.

      If I and I suspect much of the world choose between a US withdrawing its forces from around the globe and minding its own business and a US spreading $28 billion around the world I suspect the former would win overwhelmingly. I have lived a good part of my life abroad and I pretty much known how popular the US is. NOT

    • homingpigeon
      January 1, 2012, 7:08 am

      “The U.S. also provides humanitarian aid that is meant to fight disease, dire poverty, starvation, the impact of natiural disasters, discimination against women and all kinds of other evils. Paul would ban all such aid.”

      Paul and other libertarians would not ban such aid at all. They would welcome you contributing voluntarily. They would not force to contribute if you do not feel called to do so.

    • dahoit
      January 1, 2012, 1:37 pm

      Not as troubling as wondering why one keeps spewing horsehockey as they spin their alleged humanitarian leanings while supporting inhumane policies.
      The world will love the fact that we will no longer interfere with their domestic affairs,and the international bribe association ends their thievery of our tax dollars,and we use it for US, as we need it,desperately.

  10. dumvitaestspesest
    December 30, 2011, 7:07 pm

    Here is this simple book: “All i need to know I learned in kindergarten”.
    It contains a set of basic ,logical rules that don’t require the mind of a rocket scientist. If something doesn’t work, and you can not fix it, change it, try a different way.
    If you intention is to go up a hill , but the road takes you down the hill, find a different road. Ron Paul is THE ANSWER, he is the road that may take us up the hill, all the others will lead the whole nation down to the muddy/bloody dungeon.

    BTW, considering the fact that many on this site claim to be atheists or non-believers, it amazes me how many of them BELIEVE IN miracles.
    The believe in a MIRACLE that the very next person , heavily supported and paid by AIPAC Lobby, the person ,who bows to the Lobby in every other statement, WILL make a significant, positive difference in a way things are run in the country??
    Oh, how I wish I had so much faith in MIRACLES!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. NorthOfFortyNine
    December 30, 2011, 7:19 pm

    RP’s latest ad (by related SuperPAC) pushes back against racist charge. Powerful stuff.

  12. joer
    December 30, 2011, 8:18 pm

    You guys are reading waaaaaaaaaaaay too much into Ron Paul’s surge in the polls. Hard core conservatives are looking for an alternative to Romney, who seems like a phony. They went from Bachman to Cain to Gingrich(I’m sure I left a few out)and as each one’s flaws became apparent under scrutiny, the throng moved on. Now they are looking at Paul. And stuff is coming out-whoever the front runner is, the press and political rivals will dig out dirt on. It’s not a conspiracy, they do it to everyone who is ahead. I still remember from 2008 when Mike Huckabee was temporally in the lead that there was a story that when his family drove across country once, they put their dog in a kennel and tied it to the roof of the car and traumatized the poor animal. Most Americans don’t like or trust Iran. It has more to do with the 1979 hostage crisis and them burning American flags than Aipac. I doubt any of the pick up truck driving, shot gun toting, ultra-conservatives suddenly feel a deep sympathy to Iran. In fact, this is the issue that will probably sink Paul. The real debate in this country is if we should bomb Iran into submission or use sanctions to starve the Iranian people into somehow overthrowing their government(that’s what liberals propose).

    • Donald
      December 30, 2011, 11:40 pm

      “ike Huckabee was temporally in the lead that there was a story that when his family drove across country once, they put their dog in a kennel and tied it to the roof of the car and traumatized the poor animal. ”

      That was Mitt Romney. Obviously you don’t read Gail Collins (and you are wise not to), since she has probably mentioned that little episode in virtually every single column where she mentions Romney at all.

    • Duscany
      December 31, 2011, 2:45 am

      Joer, you’re perfectly right that voters feel no sympathy for Iran, but they also don’t want to wreck our economy any more than our last two wars have already done by precipitating a major regional war by attacking a country that is no threat to us.

      We managed to survive a nuclear North Korea and a nuclear Pakistan. We can survive a nuclear Iran as well.

    • Shingo
      December 31, 2011, 3:12 am

       It’s not a conspiracy, they do it to everyone who is ahead.

      They’ve dug up all they can on Paul.  He began his  political career when most of his rivals were dodging the draft, so all they’re going to do is recycle the old stuff and try to repackage it.

      . Most Americans don’t like or trust Iran. It has more to do with the 1979 hostage crisis and them burning American flags than AIPAC.

      Most Anericans thought Iraq had WMD, because most Americans believe what they are told – which is why AIPAC and the Washington establishment are so scared of Paul, because he presents the other side of the Irsn debate.

      I doubt any of the pick up truck driving, shot gun toting, ultra-conservatives suddenly feel a deep sympathy to Iran

      I doubt they have any sympathy for Israel either, and if they had any idea how much money and protection Israel is given, as well as tge fact tgat Israel is tryibg yo push tge US into a war with tgem, they’d have a lot less.

       In fact, this is the issue that will probably sink Paul.

      Actually, it won’t because outside the Beltway, no one gives a damn about Iran or Israel.

      The real debate in this country is if we should bomb Iran into submission or use sanctions to starve the Iranian people into somehow overthrowing their government(that’s what liberals propose).

      Actually, it’s only the debate a minority are having. Go to Frum’s blog to get an idea of the bashing the neocons are having and pushing for war.

    • Chaos4700
      December 31, 2011, 2:32 pm

      or use sanctions to starve the Iranian people into somehow overthrowing their government(that’s what liberals propose).

      It does rather upset me that there are people on the left who haven’t bothered to read up on the full story of what we’ve done to the Iraqi people, because it didn’t just start in 2003. That’s probably a big factor into why I’m even considering Ron Paul at all, when last election cycle I’d have never dreamed of it.

  13. atime forpeace
    December 30, 2011, 9:15 pm

    Phil, your boy Chris Mathews does Ron Paul.

  14. piotr
    December 30, 2011, 9:30 pm

    This is Republican primary we are talking about. Somewhat stale accusations of homophobia and racism — would it help him if voters gave credit to those accusations of help?

    As far as libertarian economic program is concerned, it also fits pretty well with what other candidates spout with impunity.

    Ironically, what brands Ron Paul is “extremist” is only the part of his program that is sane. In the same time his amphibian opponent spouted about Palestinians being both “invented” and inherently terroristic. His reptilian opponent (terminology from movie “Zelig”, “he is such a reptilian!”) came out with the most beautiful formula for American foreign policy: call Israeli government and ask what to do. In other words, Newt cast lot with the most reactionary part of Israeli political scene, while Mitt meekly promises to follow whoever is in charge over there.

    It is pure Sallust, prelude to Yughurtine war. (Long time ago and far away, there was prince named Yoghurt in the Dairy Kingdom. Look up details, they are quite fascinating.)

    Ponder that, joer: nobody can truthfully and solemnly promised to keep Hormuz open after an attack on Iran. Gun-totting pickup riding hicks may understand that. They actually follow war events on occasion. And they do not wish to double what they pay for gasoline for their pickup trucks or whatever un-Prius-y vehicles they drive. The empire cannot credibly promise goodies to yeomen farmers, that is the truth.

  15. ToivoS
    December 30, 2011, 11:37 pm

    Phil thanks for putting up another RP thread that puts his importance into the perspective it deserves; namely Paul is bringing non-interventionism and support for Israel’s wars into the national public discourse. This, I believe, is why you set up MW in the first place.

    Newsletters, state’s rights, global warming, evolution, gay rights, etc are all very important but that is not why Ron Paul is the big story today. Given that he is not going to be the next president we should applaud and cherish this moment.

    • joer
      December 31, 2011, 1:59 am


      I’d be surprised if many Americans could point to Hormuz on a map or understand why it is so important. And probably most of those who can think that its importance is all the more reason to crush Iran. And for all their purported sophistication, liberals are being just as ignorant if they feel that starvation as a weapon will do any more than galvanize the Iranian people. And it doesn’t matter to either side that we are coming off as the worst kind of hypocrites, with our huge nuclear arsenal…Personally, I think most of what we are seeing is theatre and there won’t be a war for the following reasons, unless we blunder into one-and that does happen:
      1. The oil companies’ profits won’t suffer if Hormuz is closed. They’ll just raise their prices.
      2. the country is war weary-the whole thing would have to be over by next election or politicians would risk losing re-election.
      3. It’s just bad policy…we can’t afford it financially or diplomatically, plus it could unleash a lot of anti-American sentiment. This is the least important of the reasons. Just because a policy is bad has never stopped politicians from implementing it if it would help with re-election.

    • dahoit
      January 1, 2012, 1:47 pm

      Never say never,and do not believe the chattering nabobs of MSM negativity,as they may be the most clueless creatures in world history.

  16. ToivoS
    December 30, 2011, 11:49 pm
  17. split
    December 31, 2011, 12:21 am

    “No wonder Washington is still scratching its collective head” ,…

    They’re so preoccupied with Israel, themselves and reelection they have no clue what America feel and think. All this demonisation means that he is on the right track and
    should stay on it ,…

  18. American
    December 31, 2011, 12:40 am

    I haven’t heard anyone yet discussing who and what kind of appointments Paul might make at places like Justice, State, etc..
    During Obama’s campaign I suported him because I thought McCain was an idiot…but the night befor voting I saw Obama’s list of people for possible appointments and changed my mind and wrote in a name out of desperation.
    If Paul gets far enough to start talking about who he would bring into his adm I will start paying attention……cause that tells 3/4’s of the tale. Just as it has with Obama.

    • CloakAndDagger
      December 31, 2011, 12:34 pm

      I think you should pay attention now when it is critical to have his voice on the national stage. You can always change your mind later and vote for someone else in the General Election – but if you don’t help him get nominated, there will be no debate for us to participate in.

    • dahoit
      January 1, 2012, 1:48 pm

      I have a feeling that any appointments by Dr.Paul,POTUS,will be names unfamiliar to MSM junkies.

  19. Bruce
    December 31, 2011, 1:22 am

    Forgive me for not applauding and cherishing this moment, despite Paul’s contributions to the national discourse. For me the big question is why couldn’t we coax a single candidate to run that believed in the issues we support, which Paul alone has taking advantage of. Having those issues associated only with Paul and all his excessive baggage is a major failure and a terrible augur for the future. God, yesterday I listened to Chris Mathews pontificate that Hillary was unbeatable for the 2016 nomination. May I not live that long.

  20. Duscany
    December 31, 2011, 2:48 am

    Ron Paul is surging because he’s the only candidate who is saying what most Americans already believe—there’s no reason in the middle of a deep recession to go to war against a country that is no threat to us.

  21. Stogumber
    December 31, 2011, 8:51 am

    There’s a lot of stuff I don’t know about Ron Paul’s personal likes or dislikes. But the core problem isn’t personal.
    If ever you want any kind of limited government, you have to accept (or put up with) the fact that anywhere in the world there will be some people that are out of your control and do things you don’t want to have done (like Iran hanging gays, or states abolishing affirmative action or states making deals with Israel etc. etc. ). (The realm of limits and out-of-control area may be narrower or wider, but the principle is the same.) And that’s a real argument with which neocons and leftists can make a point against Paul.

    Every political animal, when it dreams – even I myself -, dreams of an unlimited government, where we can enforce all people to do only what’s good and appropriate. It’s only when we wake up and get sober that we learn to accept our limited power as the price we pay for having every other one limited as well.

    • Chaos4700
      December 31, 2011, 2:29 pm

      If ever you want any kind of limited government, you have to accept (or put up with) the fact that anywhere in the world there will be some people that are out of your control and do things you don’t want to have done

      The Patriot Act, SOPA and the various war(s) on “terrorism” (i.e. on Muslim populations) do absolutely nothing to stop any of that either, and in many cases, the US is the source of the problem (supporting Israel, the Mubarak regime and its remnants in Egypt, supporting Qaddafi until it became politically nonviable, blood diamonds and rare earth metals from regimes in Africa, etc.) and often, it is entirely self defeating! (toppling the democracy that originally ran Iran, massive funding for the Pakistani military and secret police).

      Limited government isn’t about stopping other people’s governments from hurting them. It’s about stopping OUR government from hurting other peoples!

  22. ish
    December 31, 2011, 1:08 pm

    I’m finding the endless rationalizations here for this horrifying bottom-of-the-barrel extreme right-wing crackpot candidate deeply disturbing.

  23. dbroncos
    December 31, 2011, 3:07 pm

    I suspect that Paul’s surge is related to his perceived authenticity. Compared to his opponents, who have shown that they will say anything to get elected, Paul’s message is an authentic reflection of what he believes and it’s consistent. The appeal he has with many voters, more so than any of his policy proposals, is his willingness to be consistent with his message, regardless of the consequences.

  24. VR
    December 31, 2011, 4:09 pm

    I should probably post here what I said on another site in regard to Ron Paul – you can read the rest of the conversations:

    “I wonder how many who champion the Constitution really understand the nature of the document, or the peoples initial first gut reaction to it? The Constitution is an elite document meant to preserve the “rights and function” of a moneyed elite. That is the reason why it was rejected by the people, and that is why the addendum of the Bill Of Rights was rejected out of hand by the authors of the Constitution when it was submitted by the States. For that matter representation is a farce which was a compromise which masquerades as a panacea for the ignorant people who accept its terms. So, essentially, all Ron Paul is doing is opening the floodgates to private tyrannies with his Constitutional blather.”


  25. homingpigeon
    January 1, 2012, 7:21 am

    This Ron Paul surge is defying expectations and analysis. I’m reminded of when we all (I mean those of us of a certain age) thought that the Romanian dictator Ceaucescu had no significant opposition, when one day at the back of the crowd some people started spontaneously heckling his speech and the next thing we knew the whole crowd was howling. Not long after that he was led off to the firing squad.

    Not that I want these artisans of death who rule us shot. They need to work as orderlies in VA hospitals for the rest of their lives. Or clear landmines, clean up toxic military waste, and so on.

  26. Oscar
    January 1, 2012, 5:51 pm

    If you continue to have hesitations about Ron Paul because you’ve been manipulated by the neocons and Fox News into thinking he’s a racist, let’s put it this way: they have every incentive in the world to stop him from dismantling the military-industrial complex, and will stop at nothing, including smearing his good name in pursuit of this evil objective.

    Judge Ron Paul by his deeds, not the lies from the MSM. He is the only candidate that will achieve the goals of the Mondoweiss faithful. The only one. . .

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