Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A Wicked Idiot Indeed

Rick Brookhiser over at The Corner has used the label "wicked idiots" to describe Ron Paul and his core supporters. To the extent that I had thought about Paul, I had doubted that that label applied to him personally (some of his backers, on the other hand...) .

After I viewed this clip, all such doubts were dispelled.


alex said...

Paul is the worst prophet of doom in this entire campaign. If you really take seriously what he says you have to believe that radical principles of governmental (and by effect societal) reorganization are needed to save America. He has an ultra-principled almost messianic appeal to those who latch on to his strong sounding, dire words wanting to believe in something.

Someone needs to sit Ron Paul down and say "Hey, Congressman, America is not that bad."

(Although, smaller government and lower taxes are two points with which I whole-heartedly agree.)

Hancock.Tom said...

I like the idea of a libertarian or libertarian leaning president, or at least, candidate.

I'd love to see such a candidate swing the dems a little towards the middle on economic issues or swing a couple republicans towards the middle on social issues (though some of the republicans need no such swinging)

The problem is that Ron Paul is a few marbles short of a basketball game. He is the republican debate primary of that guy who walks around college campuses holding the sign above his head. Baby steps, Ron!

Brian said...

I strongly agree with the sentiment that both parties could use a hardy dose of Burkeian (by which I mean, in this context, incrementalist) classical liberalism. I was, at one point in this election cycle, hopeful that the GOP candidates would move a bit in that direction on social issues, but that hasn't panned out. As for the Dems, I'm not holding my breath.

I'll say one thing further about Paul while I'm on the subject (this is my first post about him and probably my last). The thing that most viscerally irritates me about Paul and his supporters is that they (basically) claim to want to govern the U.S. as the founders would but at the same time seem to generally posses an almost willful ignorance of what the founders actually did. Think undeclared foreign wars violate the Constitution? Fine, but what do you say about the Barbary Wars (Thomas Jefferson) and the naval quasi-war with France (John Adams)? Think the Federal Reserve is unconstitutional? Alright, but what about the First Bank of the United States (proposed by Alexander Hamilton, signed by George Washington). And what must Paul think of the Louisiana Purchase (Jefferson and congressional cohorts)? As for the early judiciary, I'm sure Paul lights his way to bed every night by burning a copy of McCullough v. Maryland (John Marshall, of course).

The point of these examples is not that every move made by the founders was entirely within the bounds of the true meaning of the Constitution; a mention of the Alien and Sedition Acts is sufficient to disprove that. My point is that the extreme model of governance that Paul says we should return to never, in fact, existed in the founders' U.S. (or anywhere else, for that matter).

(And by the way, what the hell kind of libertarian wants to clamp down on immigration and free trade? And I won't even begin to discuss Paul's comments on Lincoln and the Civil War....)

Thus ends my Ron Paul rant.

Brian said...

Damn it, I misspelled "Burkean." They might revoke my membership in the vast right-wing conspiracy for that.