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Ron Paul and the Lack of Choices On The Left

Ron Paul's crazy (and racist!  and paranoid! and misogynist!) 80s and 90s newsletter has drawn a lot of attention here on the left, and for good reason.  Ron Paul holds a certain attraction for some of us, as he's the kind of guy who, given the power, woul reliably keep the U.S. out of foreign wars and who would dismantle America's surveillance state while also bringing an end to the ridiculous drug war.

Under Ron Paul's leadership, the police, the military and the intelligence communities would all lose a lot of power and since some of us think that's necessary, it makes Paul an attractive figure.  He also has a bit of a winning personality.  He was even gracious about being punked by Sascha Baron Cohen in the movie Bruno.

Of course, he would probably leave the issue of same sex marriage to the states, thus depriving some 10% of the population of their federal right to equal protection.  We would audit the Fed (yay!) but also render it useless by putting the U.S. back on the gold standard, effectively straight jacketing U.S. monetary policy, insuring that the next recession would be  depression.  He would, of course, dismantle all manner of federal civil rights legislation not because he's racist, but because he'll defend the right of anyone else to be racist.

A Ron Paul presidency, which will never happen anyway, would be a disaster.  The good parts like no wars and legally obtainable recreational drugs would be quickly overwhelmed by all the crazy blather about NAFTA highways.

I've also noticed some consternation on the part of feminists and other lefties who are big into civil rights wondering why some of the people who are supposed to be on their side seem willing to abandon them for Ron Paul.  As if there's part of our loosely formed affiliation that would, say, sell out women just to smoke a legal joint.  And, yes, voting for Paul would be selling out women.  You think he cares about glass ceilings and wage equality?  He doesn't!

But the real problem here isn't Ron Paul and his old man nuttiness.  It's that there's not a candidate on the left who does care about civil rights and also wants to keep us out of wars, dismantle the surveillance state and legalize victimless crimes while also pursuing broader social justice initiatives (oh, and who won't plunge us into a Depression of our own making because, guess what, there isn't enough gold in the world to support the US economy!)

While I understand that it's frustrating for some lefties to watch the more socially libertine among us flirt with libertarian politicians, the answer is probably to bring more social liberalism into the mainstream.

"[A president] who, given the power, woul reliably keep the U.S. out of foreign wars and who would dismantle America's surveillance state while also bringing an end to the ridiculous drug war."

What I don't get about all of the Paul love from the libertarian left is what leads them to believe he could accomplish things like dismantling the Military-Industrial Complex just because he says he wants to.  If the current disappointment on the left with Obama should tell us anything, it's that a president just isn't very powerful when the Washington establishment doesn't share his or her priorities.  

I'm pretty sure Paul would rescind a couple of the more egregious executive orders promulgated during the War on Terror, and would be very unlikely to attack, say, Iran.  But beyond that, I'm guessing he'd find the status quo on issues like civil liberties and defense spending are just too much trouble to try and change, and spend all of his political capital getting rid of regulations that large corporations don't like.

Bottom line, I think his positive impact in the areas progressives laud him for would be negligible, and, as you point out, his economic program would likely signal the end of the American middle class.  Why some on the left (Glenn Greenwald, I'm looking at you) want to give this guy so much love when his overall platform is anathema to progressive values continues to baffle me.

 

 

I have to disagree with Ron Paul being a bad choice for those on the social left.  

 

As you stated, he would be a great choice for those who care a lot about civil liberties.  He champions individual rights, and also states' rights (which I think you underestimate the value of).

 

I have to strongly disagree with him hurting the middle class.  If anything, his policies would do the exact opposite.  Reducing the federal debt and returning the power to the people would be good for EVERYONE, especially the middle class.  The Federal Reserve is what has eroded the middle class and increased the wealth gap.  Ron Paul would do much more to remedy that situation than anyone on the left right now.

The federal debt would almost certainly increase under a Ron Paul presidency. He would most likely be successful in cutting taxes (because it's politically expedient), but would have very limited success in cutting spending (because although it's politically popular in the abstract, it's not popular when it gets down to what gets cut).

Reducing the debt by reducing the deficit is precisely the opposite of what we need right now.   If we reduce the public sector deficit we will increase the private sector deficit.

http://neweconomicperspectives.blogspot.com/2011/12/public-money-for-public-purpose-toward_28.html

Well done, Dan. Great concepts and very impressive writing. Congratulations.

Wendy showed me this article the other day ... agree with Oxy, really well done piece.

I just read all four pieces, though I didn't really have time for it. It's a fantastic series and has helped me to think about monetary policy in a different way. I hope that you'll consider reposting at dag.

I disagree that going to the gold standard would cause what we have now to be a depression. if we did not have a federal reserve manipulating the market to run artificial highs, the lows would not be so low. Our "recession" would have been over in a year and we'd already be back on our feet. of course, the boom would have been smaller, so the big companies and banks wouldn't have been able to make so much easy money and that's a loss for everyone too, right?

 

Market manipulation is what the federal reserve does. While in theory it could be a positive, it's controlled by corrupt men who are trying to make the biggest boom possible and scam everyone into buying into it so their friends in the banks can take all the profits and run. but most importantly, when the crash comes, the banks get bailed out of the losses. it's not doing anyone any good. japan has been in recession for 20+ years now. how can anyone argue against ron paul's point that solid money that people trust is the wrong way to go?

I dunno, it seems as if we are going to set something as the "standard" for our money ... first we should figure out what substance we have a bunch of and nobody else in the world has much of at all.

I like the idea of figuring out how to establish a more concrete link between money and real production - with growth in the money supply limited by the actual stuff of value. But it seems as if simply going to a gold standard causes as many potential points of manipulation as it eliminates. Maybe something more along the lines of using a basket of various commodities as the baseline instead of gold.

first we should figure out what substance we have a bunch of and nobody else in the world has much of at all.

Exceptionality? Divine providence?

Just to provide a counterpoint to what seems to be a rather reductionist assessment of Paul's potential impact on America as President for the sake of argument ...

How do you imagine that Ron Paul would "put us back on the gold standard" ... exactly?

I haven't really heard him address it in this run, but last time he was pretty clear that the presidency is constrained by the laws and that his intent was to utilize the powers as they exist to their maximum; that currently the power didn't exist within the presidency to just dictate such a change.

Has he said something recently to negate that?

My understanding (based on his specifically saying so) is that he totally supports us having ended Jim Crow laws; i.e. ending the government­-sponsored suppression of an individual­'s freedom and equality. His assertion that he retroactively wouldn't vote for the Civil Rights Act had to so with some in-the-weeds states rights shit. Of course, had he actually been able to debate and vote on it, perhaps his concerns would have been accommodated in the final text and he would have voted for the bill and it would be better as a result. I mean if we're forcing Paul to inhabit history and judge him based on it, we can't pretend as if his presence there would be without impact of infinite possibility.

His position on anti-discrimination laws seems to pretty much be the same as with his position on pro-discrimination laws ... the government isn't supposed to be putting the finger on the scales in anyone's favor or acting against them. But I don't see how the same basic constraints the exist vis a vis monetary law would apply to complying with laws on the books. That is one of the benefits to having someone in office who really believes in a constrained executive.

The thing is, while indeed the advances from various anti-discrimination policies are great in purpose and impact - the product of societal decision to address and move away from racial animus. OTOH, we can't just ignore perception­s within the poor/disenfranchised white communities (rightly or wrongly) that *among those without affluence* theses policies mean cards are stacked against them in favor of anyone darker hued - and just call everyone racist. IMO, there is a division being created along exceedingly unhelpful lines; empowerment of the wider citizenry really needs to see the disenfranchised begin to unite.

He gets a hard time for talking about "resentment" caused by the prevailing approach. I heard him talk about it in relation to the Civil War. He felt something along the lines of European approaches could ended slavery without 600,000-od­d Americans killing each other over it (which *does* tend to breed resentment on all sides). His example on DL Hughley was that we could have just paid slaveholde­rs. That seems to pose some problems for his absolutist prohibition on Federal action, but still, it just goes to demonstrate the HUGE leap it takes to say because of nominal positive impacts with the adopted approach that if someone with similar objectives and good intent advocates for an approach they see having equal or better outcomes without some of the negative impacts that the person doesn't value the positive outcomes.

My big issue with those who criticize the current approach (Ron Paul included) is that while they are able to articulate the shortcomings in some of the current metods, the response of just tearing them down and doing nothing in their place is absurd. But here's the thing, with Ron Paul ... we can have that conversation. He puts the issues right there into the debate instead of pussyfooting around and just letting stuff that sucks fester. If he's somewhere in the ballpark about the problem - that's the perfect place to start working on solutions rather than cowering in fear of being not PC and just bumping along with a putrid status-quo that was gamed into near-pointlessness years ago.

And one last thought on racism and touching on your mocking the idea that his position on drugs is significant enough to warrant a vote in his favor. He is the only person who is unapologetically pointing out the racist origins and implementation of the drug war. He is also the only candidate who has promised to free all non-violent drug offenders held in federal jails ... the majority of whom happen to be minorities based on the aforementioned tendencies of our drug policies. That alone would be a huge step forward ... and, incidentally, happens to be fully within the power of the executive.

One thing that has been bugging me a bit was his "Big Dog" ad where he promises to nuke the Department of Ed and the EPA on his way to trillions (with a T) in spending cuts his first year. Adding it together with what he's said in the past, the only thing I can figure is that he plans to submit an absurd starting budget to congress. The real question is if he'll  veto when they keep the stuff going or negotiate. His congressional history kind of makes me thing he'd work with it ... otherwise it's going to take an override come budget time. Which, if (as long as we're imagining Paul in the WH) we had a decent Dem majority in congress should be totally doable.

Don't get me wrong. I think there are tons of valid reasons to not want to vote for Ron Paul. Including his approach to race. But come on. Let's at least be honest about what they are.

I think at this point, speaking as one brought in to the Democratic coalition by my vote for Obama and imagining that the agreed approach was pretty OK ... and generally having held my end in supporting it (better than many who call themselves Democrats), to have anyone talk about a vote for any politician being a betrayal to *anyone else* on the same side when Obama is the default "not betraying people on our side" vote is kind of laughable. Making that choice also betrays a lot of very valid and important core beliefs for a lot of people. Ron Paul would deliver on a list of progressive objectives and likely step backwards on several,  Obama will deliver on none of them and is certainly stepping backwards on a few. Period. And he's pretty much constrained by law from almost all of the crazy shit you propose he'll be doing with a sweep of his hand. Net result: Paul accomplishes something while hurting a part of the family ... Obama accomplishes nothing while hurting part of the family. Seems difficult to find much of a high horse from which to judge another's decisions.

As you point out ... there isn't much of a chance he'll make it to the general election; so it's kind of a moot point. But it should be noted. And it should also be noted that considering there is no one challenging Obama this term, and that there is zero chance of Paul prevailing, that voting for Ron Paul in the GOP primary instead of wasting the vote in the Democratic one will help keep his positions on war, drug policy, etc. front-and-center as the MSM scrambles to figure out "what's resonating" with the crossover voters.

 

Do we know what the Dept of Education does?

Aside from the unhelpful "No Child Left Behind", what do they do?

Would Alabama education, Texas textbooks or Kansas creationist teaching be any worse without the Dept of Education?

The true antidote to racism is liberty. Liberty means having a limited, constitutional government devoted to the protection of individual rights rather than group claims.

Liberty means free-market capitalism, which rewards individual achievement and competence, not skin color, gender, or ethnicity. In a free market, businesses that discriminate lose customers, goodwill, and valuable employees- while rational businesses flourish by choosing the most qualified employees and selling to all willing buyers. More importantly, in a free society every citizen gains a sense of himself as an individual, rather than developing a group or victim mentality.

This leads to a sense of individual responsibility and personal pride, making skin color irrelevant. Rather than looking to government to correct what is essentially a sin of the heart, we should understand that reducing racism requires a shift from group thinking to an emphasis on individualism.”

- Ron Paul , 2002

Where can we find one of these free markets? You know what would be even better? A perpetual motion machine!

That snark is meant to allude to the fact that there's no such thing as a free market. Without (government) regulation, you end up with monopolies, oligopolies, and price-fixing. Additionally, that naïve idea that something approaching a free market would be color blind ignores the fact that money passes from parent to child, with only a modest estate tax blunting that. Even if the estate tax were 100%, you would still witness this phenomenon through the miracle of cronyism.

Are you saying parents don't have the right to pass their funds down to their children? They spent a lifetime working & acquiring funds...and when their life ends they shouldn't be able to transfer that wealth to whoever they'd like?

You do believe in freedom correct???

Why should that money be taxed anyways? When the parent earned that money initially they paid a tax on it...so why should the same money be taxed again?

Speaking of course as a hard working parent---or am I wrong on that?

No taxation might be better in the sense that the recipient, having not worked fort the money, will most likely blow it, thus contributing it back to our economy---unless he gambled it away on a Russian gaming site.

Or in the sense that the Walmart family could buy out the Royals and move into Windsor Castle.

But when, as in the Walmart case, money is hegemony, society has a right and a duty to tax inherited wealth. 

Are you saying parents don't have the right to pass their funds down to their children?

​No, that's not what I was saying. I was saying that in a system where parents pass their funds down to their children, it's naïve to assume that a free market would be color blind, considering our history. I can see why you thought that's what I was saying, because it is a logical question to raise. Having had the question raised, I'll argue that when you're dead, your rights are far less important than when you're alive. Unless your children worked hard to become your children (did they?), then I don't see that they have a right to their parents' funds. I love the Republican pejorative "death tax", because it's apt, and it highlights my point above that I'd rather tax the dead than the living. I'd rather have a "death tax" on the dead than a "birth tax" (interest on the debt) on the living. Wouldn't you?

In short, I have nothing against parents passing their funds down to their children. I have nothing against us keeping every cent we earn, without ever paying a dime to the government. However, I do want the government to provide certain services, as I imagine do you, although we might disagree on what those services are. Thus, sacrifices have to be made. I'd rather the dead make them.

​I'll leave you with a quote from Warren Buffet that highlights Oxy Mora's comment above:

[The perfect amount of money to leave children is] enough money so that they would feel they could do anything, but not so much that they could do nothing.

I have no problem with reasonable inheritance tax - even a progressive one. That said, I don't see how it's the government's role to decide just the right amount of inheritance to properly empower an heir yet not drive them to opulently complacent sloth.

Up to the moment of death, a family with business and financial holdings will often benefit from the strength of a patriarch's wisdom in controlling the bulk of it's assets; this is not inherently unfair or suppressive of others. You seem to propose that the assets of any family that has achieved success can/should be torn asunder and largely distributed to the state essentially because you'd prefer not to pay the taxes yourself, thanks.

There is no way in hell that the federal government acquires some sort of moral and practical ownership rights to individual assets when a person expires. If that's really the intellectual premise under which we are promulgating the policy, I'm going to have rethink this and maybe change my position to be against this particular tax regimen after all.

It was not my intention to suggest that it was the government's role to decide just the right amount of inheritance to determine empowering versus sloth. That was just an aside of use when considering how much to bequeath to one's own children, given the current system.

You seem to propose that the assets of any family that has achieved success can/should be torn asunder and largely distributed to the state essentially because you'd prefer not to pay the taxes yourself, thanks.

I'm not suggesting any such thing. As you say, up to the moment of death, the living members of the family have benefited from the patriarch's "wisdom" (or "luck", depending on the situation). By virtue of being born to that patriarch, they've already benefited far more than the typical person, of course. I'm merely suggesting that I don't see what those children have done to earn any additional wealth (let alone the wealth they've already received) after the patriarch (or matriarch) dies. However, it is reasonable to argue that it the p/matriarch's right to determine how to dispense with the money they've acquired. I'll even accept that. All I'm arguing is that the right of living people to hold on to their wealth trumps the right of dead people to hold on to theirs.

And, of course, this is all theoretical and abstract. If I ever have children, I'd obviously want them taken care of. Of course, the primary concern is if the primary bread winner (I'd hardly call myself a "patriarch") dies before his/her children are grown.

There is no way in hell that the federal government acquires some sort of moral and practical ownership rights to individual assets when a person expires.

I agree. Dead people have rights. I'm not disputing that. All I'm arguing is that the right of living people to hold on to their wealth trumps the right of dead people to hold on to theirs.

That snark is meant to allude to the fact that there's no such thing as a free market.

Hell, there's no such thing as an individual either.  Who are all these individuals I've heard so much about all my life?  You'd think I'd have seen one by now.

You say there are no free market systems in the world because they don't work. However, the actual reason for this is governments won't relinquish their monopoly on the power to manipulate our markets.  On top of that, you completely ignore that the free market nightmare you envision--monopolies, oligopolies, and price-fixing--already exists with the sober mediator of government "protecting" us.  

So what should we do?  Should we keep a government in charge that uses its authority to allow this mess?  Or should we be "progressive" and try something that is out of the hands of these legal power brokers?  To me, trying new ideas, when the existing one is broken, is the true definition of progressive.

 

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

Albert Einstein

Damn, VA. He does kind of have a point. It's not like the current approach has actually solved any of the theoretical shortcomings in his preferred approach.

I'm on the side of a well regulated market myself, but I think in order to make the case we need to start coming up with a plan for how to make that an effective approach (which it currently is not) rather than tearing down the approaches advocated by others. As it is, you are basically arguing "don't play with matches, you might start a fire" while sitting in the middle of a conflagration we just ignited with our very own flamethrower.

The thing is one can look at all the agencies, nonprofit and governmental, that are set up to deal with bringing people out of poverty, helping at-risk kids achieve academic success, reduce addiction and substance abuse, and so on and see they hardly have made a dent in the problems.  In fact, in many communities, the problems are getting worse.  So does this lead one to believe we should just dismantle them?  Or is it that the forces in the systems that facilitate growth of the problem so great that our current approach is just stemming the tide?  What would our communities look like if we didn't have these agencies?  Would poverty be eradicated? Would all kids graduate with honors?  Would there be no junkies?  Or is that we need to rethink how these agencies can work together and implement new interventions and initiatives that will have a better outcomes?

Your proposed answer to the obvious shortcomings in the current approach to markets consists of an observation that no policy has ever been 100% successful ... as a set up to a series of metaphysical rhetorical questions. That's a poll winner for sure.

When you have a specific answer for what this great rethinking would result in that people might both understand and support, THEN we'd have something. But you can't just expect everyone to hang around forever because you (and, apparently, Obama) need more time to think. If you can't give 'em something concrete to work with, don't blame people if they support the only concrete seeming alternative being offered.

And for the record. "forces in the systems that facilitate growth that are so great" would be corrupt-ass Democrats and Republicans that have been helping rob our assess blind instead of investing the funds collected from the American people to invest in our national needs and priorities in to our national needs and priorities. Growth is bullshit ... what the hell does that even mean to real people? Not a damn thing because "growth" and "opportunity" have zero to do with each other based on the current approach to money and markets ... which brings us back around to the total lack of any glimmer of a spark of an idea as to how to fix the fucking mess on the part of Obama or any of the Democrats who argue he couldn't possibly achieve more than he has. Which, again, brings us back around to the question of how anyone can possibly blame a rational human for going with the proposals that actually sound like a plan to do something instead of a bunch of "well, let's have a great re-think for another couple decades, and we'll get back to you."

It's not even that they are particularly right ... they aren't ... it's just that what the Democrats are bringing to the table right now sucks *so* bad that many of their ideas are actually better.

You say there are no free market systems in the world because they don't work.

No, I'm saying they are a theoretical impossibility. Rather than the snarky "perpetual motion machine", I'll make the analogy to the "ideal gas". The "ideal gas" is a useful concept in physics, but there are no gases that are truly ideal.

On top of that, you completely ignore that the free market nightmare you envision--monopolies, oligopolies, and price-fixing--already exists with the sober mediator of government "protecting" us.

I'm ignoring no such thing. I just think it's insane to believe that eliminating that protection will make the bad guys go away.

I think it's great to try new ideas. "Returning" to an unachievable free market isn't new.

Neat to see new names here. Um, definitely, Paul fans, being on the gold standard would cause an economic crisis. It would turn us from a country borrowing in it's own currency to Greece.

I am a far left leaning minority male in his mid thirties, and I agree with Ron Paul's positions.  I think Anyone who is a true Lefty or Righty would actually find that both the far Left & far Right meet where Ron Paul stands.  It's the moderates (the most misguided) who may have issue with Ron Paul.  

As for the idea that Dr. Paul is a racist, all you have to do is read anything written by Dr. Paul over the last 30+ years to know that he is a champion of civil rights and minority interests.  The fact that the media expects us to ignore three decades of factual history and buy into their attempts to tenuously connect Dr. Paul to a few random passages that a ghost writer snuck into his newsletters is absurd.  I encourage anyone interested in the truth to pick up a copy of "Liberty Defined" by Ron Paul.  Not only will this book provide actual proof directly from the source that Dr. Paul is a champion of minority interests, but it will also bring to light just how sad the state of "journalism" has gotten in this country (journalists are the only professionals who are not required to live up to any ethical or moral standards or show any integrity in their work.  Lawyers, doctors, architects, accountants, and all other professionals are bound by their professions to be ethical in their practice, but not journalists.).

You seem to be ignoring the bit where Ron Paul defended (on camera) those "few random passages that a ghost writer snuck into his newsletters". If you want to argue that Ron Paul has changed his positions since then, fine, but you'd better first ask Ron Paul to make that argument since he seems to be pretending that he never defended them in the first place.

I'm sorry ... I missed that video also. Pretty sure you are dead-wrong on this. Got a link? I think you are mischaracterizing Paul's statements regarding articles he specifically wrote as a defense of articles he has always said he didn't write and totally disagrees with.

There is so much video of Paul saying he disagrees with the views in those unattributed articles that *if* you are indeed correctly able to discern what was in the mind of young Ron Paul better than Ron Paul himself, it is certainly clear he changed positions decades ago. If that's all it takes to make you happy, you should be perfectly satisfied.

Ron Paul has written tons of article - nobody has said any different. Indeed some of what he wrote was controversial. Paul has been called things he has written many times in the past and defended his writing. Having written *something* controversial is not the same as having written everything that people would like to smear him with.

The articles Paul actually wrote simply weren't explosive in the same way the unattributed articles lib-handlers are flat-out lying about were. I assume that's why y'all have moved in to flat-out lies on this one. Y'all are doing a "McCain's black illegitimate child" operation.

http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2011/12/27/395391/fact-check-ron-paul-...

According to Think Progress:

Paul’s denials, however, are not supported by the public record. When the newsletters first arose as an issue in 1996, Paul didn’t deny authorship. Instead, Paul personally repeated and defended some of the most incendiary racial claims in the newsletters.

In May 1996, Paul was confronted in an interview by the Dallas Morning News about a line that appeared in a 1992 newsletter, under the headline “Terrorist Update”: “If you have ever been robbed by a black teenaged male, you know how unbelievably fleet of foot they can be.” His response:

Dr. Paul denied suggestions that he was a racist and said he was not evoking stereotypes when he wrote the columns. He said they should be read and quoted in their entirety to avoid misrepresentation…

In the interview, he did not deny he made the statement about the swiftness of black men.

“If you try to catch someone that has stolen a purse from you, there is no chance to catch them,” Dr. Paul said.

Follow the link, and take it up with Dr, Paul for being such racist piece of shit.

What's that got to do with anything? It's Paul's administrative skills as an M.D. and a Congressman from a district weighted by DOW Chemical---i.e., understands corporations---that matters. He could staff the entire government, what will be left of it, with retired Dow Chemical execs and oil refinery workers. wink

Nice one Oxy that too! yes

Two points. First, and most important, these are the exact controversial statements that I was referring to which Ron Paul has apparently acknowledged that he wrote and has spoken about for over a decade. There is another one too that touches on different issues with some *great* partial phrases to be stripped of surrounding context ... which I suppose your talking-point providers are waiting a bit longer before they recycle.

But my point was ... and remains ... that it is totally dishonest to say because Ron Paul has acknowledged these articles (written under his name, I believe) that this proves he clearly stood up and defended a raft of articles that he has always denied knowing about and always said he disagreed with.

So, in actuality, here you demonstrate in the concrete how fact is being being blended with salacious allegation to create a lie. Thank you.

Second, Ron Paul has always claimed that these quotes were taken out of context. I haven't actually seen anyone highlight and discuss anything but two isolated sentences and a quote where Ron Paul asserts that he was riffing off of some sort of statistics that were also referenced in the article. Since nobody actually gives us more than the isolated sentence from which to judge, it's kind of hard to know if Paul's point about context would change anything.

One would figure if there was really a case for a deep racial animus at the heart of his writing, that in this instance those making such claims would ... well ... get the whole article and address both the incendiary language *and* show how the context made it even worse. So far, I haven't seen that done ... which really makes me wonder if such a case can actually be made.

As I said, there is definitely a basis for not liking his approach to race-based policy. At the same time, it doesn't seem as if anyone can legitimately make the case for him being a racist without .... well ... pretty much dipping into tactics that are so dishonest as to seemingly cross the line into lying.

OK, so tmccarthy0 gave several specific examples and you're saying that some of them hes "apparently acknowledged that he wrote and has spoken about for over a decade", while others are taken out of context and "being blended with salacious allegation to create a lie", but you're not being very specific, which makes it really hard to confirm or deny your statement. I'm always happy to be proven wrong, as it increases my knowledge, but it doesn't help if it's only alleged in a general sense that I'm wrong.

So, which statements are you acknowledging as truly ones he's owned up to, and which ones do you believe are unfair? If you don't specify that, it's really hard to continue the discussion.

In case you don't like ThinkProgress (linked to above), here's something directly from Dallas Morning News:

In a 1996 interview with The News, Paul did not deny that he wrote the articles, which went to between 7,000 and 8,000 subscribers. He called complaints about them “typical political demagoguery.”

In 2001, he told Texas Monthly that he wished he had said he didn’t write them.

Compare that to what he's saying now: that he didn't write them. That's not apologetic. That's denial. I'm willing to accept that he's changed his mind on the matter if he'd say that he's changed his mind. My fear is that he hasn't, but that he's learned to pretend that he doesn't hold those views. His actions are still the same, regardless of his words, and his actions disproportionately harm minorities. It's not disingenuous to mark that up to coincidence/flawed worldview, except that he has repeatedly expressed racist views that he is not willing to explicitly reject.

Y'all are doing a "McCain's black illegitimate child" operation.

Please tell me how you connect those dots! I suppose if you believe Paul's denial, then any accusations otherwise must be lies, but why would you believe Paul's denial in the face of evidence to the contrary?

See my response to T-Mac.

It's good to see new faces here.

Your comments remind me of some statements made by Jack Bogel, the oldest and wisest mutual fund innovator in the financial industry. He claimed in fact that there should be new fiduciary laws governing the actions of people in the top corporate of the corporate ladder, and especially those at the top of financial institutions.

Would it be yours, or Paul's, that the current "ethical and moral standards" governing the folks mentioned above are in line with the fine standards for say, lawyers, or do we need more laws and regulations for folks with mammoth responsibilities like running a mega bank.

I might mention that I think it would be hard to find a more libertine financial executive than Bogel. 

Civil rights unless of course we are talking about women's rights over their own bodies, or voting rights, something Ron Paul isn't all that fond of.

Ron Paul cares about what all teen boys care about, being allowed to smoke a spliff anywhere whenever they feel like it,  instead of just the basement of their parents houses, and the right to do anything you damn well please.

Ron Paul's is:

  • anti-labor rights,
  • he opposes a minimum wage,
  • he opposes access to a education for all, he opposes student loans, (which means you wouldn't' be a lawyer if Ron Paul were President when you were in law school in fact you wouldn't even have a bachelors degree let alone an advanced degree)
  • he opposes environmental protection legislation,
  • he opposes our National Park system,
  • he opposes Medicare,
  • he opposes Medicaid,
  • he opposes Social Security,
  • he opposes FEMA,
  • in 2006, Paul joined 32 other members of Congress in opposing the renewal of the 1965 Voting Rights Act,
  • Opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964:

    "not only violated the Constitution and reduced individual liberty; it also failed to achieve its stated goals of promoting racial harmony and a color-blind society. Federal bureaucrats and judges cannot read minds to see if actions are motivated by racism. Therefore, the only way the federal government could ensure an employer was not violating the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was to ensure that the racial composition of a business's workforce matched the racial composition of a bureaucrat or judge's defined body of potential employees. Thus, bureaucrats began forcing employers to hire by racial quota. Racial quotas have not contributed to racial harmony or advanced the goal of a color-blind society. Instead, these quotas encouraged racial balkanization, and fostered racial strife" (you realize what he has written here makes no sense what-so-ever, is he saying the Jim Crow was A-OK, oppression was just fine, that businesses should be able to discriminate, that states could allow discrimination until the end of time, water fountains, bathrooms, busses, schools, hospitals etc and so on would always be segregated?)
  • Wants to Repeal the 17th Amendment (which seems utterly strange why shouldn't Senators be directly elected by the people they purport to represent, how can it be more democratic to allow state legislatures to select Senators) and yet he opposed the electoral college, how very bizarre to believe the electoral college should be eliminated but to also believe the 17th amendment should be eliminated... ironies
  • he would dismantle the system of VA hospitals
  • He voted against 2004 and 2005 provisions that would shield makers from liability for MTBE, a possibly cancer-causing gasoline additive that seeped into New England groundwater. The proposal included $1.8 billion to fund cleanup and another $2 billion to fund companies' phaseout programs

There is a very large list and I won't write it all down, but Ron Paul is a 19th century dude, in that he basically opposes America in it's current form. Face it Ron Paul wants to return the county the what it was under the Articles of Confederation.  And that is patently ridiculous. Ron Paul is nothing more than a felony free Lyndon LaRouche, he is a crank, a nut, and he isn't a lefty and can never be considered one, not ever.

You ain't heard nothin' yet. His whole schtick is nothing more than a beachhead for Rand. 

Or is that a "Fountainhead" for Rand? surprise

Good one, but I don't know if we should go any further with this. 

heheheheh...you are probably right about that, hah!

Yeah. And Obama's rise was totally the result of a long-term plan by his mom to manipulate newspaper and hospital records and get her muslin Kenyan-born baby into the White House!

Obviously Ron Paul is not a lefty .... of course what you and Oxy call being a "lefty" is actually a deeply rationalized Ronald Regan Republicanism ... but even using a less-absurd definition of the term, he isn't a lefty.

However, the simple fact is that even though he isn't a lefty ... he supports more progressive ideas and policy approaches than Obama does and would actually deliver on some of them as president.

A what? A deeply rationalized Ronald Reagan republicanism? Huh? What in the hell does that even mean? Oh right, it is just a troll to have some argument about some stupid internet meme about how no one is a Democrat until some Libertarians say they are a democrat... lolz on that one, I might never recover from the insult... hahaha. Sorry buddy, that has lost it's sting, seems like you all might need a new insult to get a good old flame war started.

Yes KGB is it totally progressive to believe women are second class citizens and should have no rights over their own bodies, only men get that, this is true progressivism! Yep.

Of course it is progressive to believe segregation was awesome and the states could do that no problem, that is true progressivism.

This list can go on forever, I hope to hell he wins the GOP nomination.. he won't but it would be great for Dems!

Good lord. If there were a flock of twittering idiots roaming the nation spouting foolishness ... they would sound just like you. Quite an army of strawmen you've built. I would say an impressive number ... but, frankly I've seen you do better.

ToS warning for "twittering idiot" ad hominem, notwithstanding the semantic workaround.

Do you have a link that proves I am a twittering idiot roaming the nation spouting foolishness?

No you don't, but I have ample links proving Ron Paul is a sexist, racist, impure famewhore! Hahahahahahaha

I agree that in a lot of important instances, social liberals and hardcore libertarians can find some serious common ground.  But I don't think that Ron Paul is the human embodiment of that intersection.

Oh, and I have to disagree with you about journalists not being required to live up to ethical and moral standards.  I'm guessing that you've never worked in a newsroom.  The culture of accountability within is severe.  It's true that we don't have a Bar Association but that's because, by its very nature, nobody can be barred from association with journalism.  Under the First Amendment, anyone can take up a pen.  But if you want to make a living at it, you'll find that the field is fiercely competitive and that ethics are strictly enforced.

As for Paul and his newsletters -- I'm sorry, but they're his newsletters, with his name on them.  They were produced to support his political career.  When Mitt Romney wins the Republican nomination he will, for sure, be questioned about many actions taken by Bain Capital and its portfolio companies and he will be expected to own those actions, even if he didn't make all of the decisions and even if some of them happened without his sign-off.  He was CEO, after all.  Running a newsletter is a far simpler operation than running a private equity fund.  If we're going to hold Romney responsible for what his business did, can we at least expect that Ron Paul, who wants to lead the most powerful organization in the world, can keep racist diatribes off his mimeograph machine?

I'm guessing that you've never worked in a newsroom.  The culture of accountability within is severe.  It's true that we don't have a Bar Association but that's because, by its very nature, nobody can be barred from association with journalism.  Under the First Amendment, anyone can take up a pen.  But if you want to make a living at it, you'll find that the field is fiercely competitive and that ethics are strictly enforced.

I can't fucking believe you wrote that paragraph. And how, praytell, what does this industry of the fiercest ethics respond to a journalist who ... say .... writes a series of articles that in retrospect were complete unresearched bullshit fed to them by a politician who advanced policy based in no small part on said journalistic bullshit? Come on .... you and I both know that they get raises and an opportunity to participate in pundit round-tables.

And how do you explain the tendency for all of the major publications to promoted Breitbart's ... ummm .... journalism? I mean if the industry can't even bring itself to ignore someone who unapologetically fabricates time and time again, how can you possibly argue that it is an industry driven by ethics?

We won't even get in to phone/computer hacking and the seedier side of digging salacious dirt.

I spent 10 years reporting, writing and editing for a magazine with a rigorous fact checking process.  I did a lot of investigative work and always treated the subjects of my stories with the utmost care, which is tough to do when you think that some one is up to something at best nefarious and at worst criminal.

None of this means that the media doesn't make mistakes and that the wrong people (Breitbart) aren't elevated.  But, you know, Judith Miller isn't at the Times anymore.  There are serious ethical standards within the profession and I hate it when lawyers, of all people, claim that having bar associations and the like make them more ethical than journalism.  They aren't, by a long shot.

here are serious ethical standards within the profession and I hate it when lawyers, of all people, claim that having bar associations and the like make them more ethical than journalism.  They aren't, by a long shot.

Ok. You are totally right when you put it like that. OTOH, hope you can see how your assessment of the "standards" of journalism would be spit-take shocking to those subjected to the overall aggregate product produced and disastrous outcomes the industry has been instrumental in helping bring about.

I think Judith Miller is a horrible example to use to demonstrate the industry exercising standards. Her sin was that she got caught up in a high profile court case and was far too close to the fall guy.

You really did work for a pretty good outfit, I'll acknowledge that. Although I think there is probably a bit of picking-and-choosing there, as everywhere else, based on considerations of ... market forces. But I also don't think these standards are ubiquitous - or even necessarily standard.

I see people such as you as the exception at this point. And generally it seems these aren't the ones who find themselves elevated to serious "opinion-maker" status. That is reserved for those who demonstrate the "killer instinct" (i.e. willingness to do what it takes *wink* *wink* to get ahead). It's why we're subjected to air-headed polysci child-douches like Ezra Klein on the teevees to give us "analysis" of complex financial regulations instead of ... well ... you.

If you writers would argue Ron Paul's policies logically instead of constantly referring to them as "nutty" or "crazy" you might be able to convince people why YOUR ideas are better. By denigrating them without explanation you only hurt your own position. 

YOU are crazy because YOU have formulated your opinion of Ron Paul and his policies without even trying to understand what they are and the logic behind them.

Calling him "Crazy" won't work anymore. He is in first place and more people will do their own investigation into the facts since you all can't present a valid argument. 

Thanks for helping us win.

- A Ron Paul supporter.

Sorry.  Ron Paul's belief that the Federal government is conpsiring to build a NAFTA super highway that will result in a common currency shared between Mexico, the U.S. and Canada is crazy.  Better?

Bear in mind this isn't about convincing people ... this is about scaring Democrats into staying with Obama. Doesn't have to be rational or honest, it's an emotional dig.

Yes, because destor is such a reliable shill for Obama (eyeroll).

No one's scared of Ron Paul, although a bunch of libertarian douchebags want to beat their chests and claim Democrats are simply "scared" of the freedom Paul represents (I guess you could call it an emotional "dig" on their part).

Sorry, dude, if you think the problem with America is that corporations don't have enough power, and you welcome giving them even more control over your life, then Paul's "freedom" is for you.  Maybe, just maybe, those corporations, will decide there's more profit in selling you your dope instead of incarcerating you for possessing it.  At least you'll be stoned while they take everything that they can make a quick buck off of.

Another question for Paul supporters: if the freedom Paul represents is so attractive and desirable, why do I have yet to meet a woman who gushes over this guy the way so many John Birchers and emotionally stunted techie types do?  His support comes exclusively from males that fall into one of those two narrow demographics. 

Cosine!

Tangent! wink

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=UK7tobXU1M0

Seriously. How much time do you spend in places where you would be expected to encounter them?

 

Epic fail here.  And now I suppose you'll argue that female porn stars do it for love, too.

When you can find some women for Paul outside of a "Women For Paul" video paid for by the Paul campaign, let me know.

Shorter: NONOnononononononooooooooooo not *those* women, they don't count.

ROTFLMAO. Bonus points for calling them whores. Nicely played.

Do you have anything beyond a campaign video that would suggest Paul has more than the smallest token support among women?

Answer:  No, you don't.  You are grasping at straws, here.  Quit while you're behind. 

Wrong, you know what a gift it would be for Democrats if Ron Paul won the nomination, the gift of a 48 state win over the Republicans, that gift!

So vote for him in the primary.

Actually, what I want, is an alternative to Obama who isn't Ron Paul.  I want an actual liberal who also wants to keep us out of foreign wars, end the drug war and shut down the surveillance state.  Without all the messy gold standard stuff that Paul brings to the table.

I'm not bullying anyone into voting for Obama.  Give me a social libertine who is an economic and foreign policy liberal and I will vote for them.

And I want three gold bars and a pony.

We are faced with the options we're faced with. If your dedication to the current economic approach means you are willing to vote for a guy who knowingly sends people off to be tortured and keeps getting caught with new black-site military prisons, fine. But when you imply [state directly] that someone who's choices are weighted the other direction are betraying their fellows, it doesn't seem too big a jump to construe that as joining in the establishment push to firm up the wavering troops through hyperbolic misrepresentation.

And I really am curious how you imagine that Ron Paul could actually put us on the gold standard - from a legal and implementation perspective. And I'm also curious how you view the fact that he specifically said that unilaterally trying to do so would not be his policy approach as President. Doesn't that make a big portion of your economic argument against him total bullshit?

We are faced with the options we're faced with.

​Exactly. Obama or someone who's going to be more pro-corporation than even Obama has shown himself to be. It's sometimes hard to swallow the pragmatic truths, but "we are faced with the options we're faced with".

Romney's a hedge fund guy. My understanding is that as a general class, they are *pissed* at the big banks right now and not particularly impressed with executive bank-account padding either. At the same time, Obama's in hock to those bankers and CEOs up to his eyeballs. If you only view your options as R and D and want to see some focus on banking regulation enforcement, stopping the mega-leverage and uncovered risk plus a credible approach to improving boardroom governance  ... Romney is a far better pick than Obama. On all other things, it's pretty much a wash IMO.

Myself, I see the world as bigger than all that, value my vote and use it to put weight in the direction that I feel is honestly best for the nation among all the options given. If I participate, I will probably caucus for Paul [Brain fart. I'll totally caucus for Roemer with Paul as my second ... I've really kind of liked Roemer's positions on a lot of stuff] ... he's definitely the best of the crew and an Obama/Paul general election would be TOTALLY AWESOME - the debates would be exquisite. Not sure if it's worth giving up my non-partisan identity to play there though ... the GOP has closed our primaries. Gary Johnson will probably get my vote in the general if things progress as it appears they will.

I really feel like you're viewing both Romney and Paul through the same rose-colored glasses that many people used when looking at Obama in '08. It seems you're so mad at Obama that you're willing to believe the best about his opponents, just as so many were mad at the Republicans in '08 and want to believe the best about Obama. (I always knew he would disappoint me, although admittedly, he's disappointed me even more than I thought he would.)

Don't know if that's really seeing "the best" in someone; it's just what I see as an honest distinction between the two candidates. The distinction is certainly not a large enough positive to make me want to vote for Romney. At this point I think we might end up slightly less fucked with Romney than Obama - and I certainly think it would be better for the nation because the Dems would have 4 years to get their shit together and actually run someone who doesn't suck in 2016 with a snowball's chance in hell of winning. But frankly we're so far past the point of acceptable it is like arguing about the intensity of the gravity field about to crush your spaceship as you get sucked in to a black hole. If you guys insist on forcing the rudder in the direction of known disasters time and time again ... that's on you. I don't see how you keep doing it.

I'm sure as hell not voting for Romney or Obama. Ultimately I'm a different person so there are distinctions on specifics, but the thoughts in this post resonate with a many of my feelings. I could consider voting for Ron Paul if he got the nomination, but it's not a guarantee.

There are no rose colored glasses here. In fact, I'm not particularly mad at Obama. He is what he is. You guys are kind of bugging the shit out of me though ... maybe that's what you are picking up on ... it's like you are totally committed to honest analysis and full context when it suits you and then go right to the same bullshit as the republicans when that advances your goals better. Pretty much sucks.

[and for the record ... I pretty much figured the same as you; that he would not prevail on everything. The part that stunned me was how totally apparent it was that he didn't even try on *so many* things and literally laughed in the faces of those who cared. He let the policy of our generation be written without even a whimper on any of it. It's one thing fight and fail. Obama sold out.]

Actually, I'm very committed to honest analysis and full context right now, which is why I'm asking you for specifics about what context I'm not getting. It doesn't help to hear in general that I'm missing context unless I know specifically what context I'm missing.

Generally speaking I think the entire argument in favor of Obama is being approached from the hyperbolic reductionist position where it is an undebatable given that somehow the oceans swallow up the land and the sun goes dark if any Republican takes the White House .... there is no good that any of them could possibly do, ever, and any assertions otherwise means the asserter is either a racist, sexist, or some other sort of 'ist' .... or, if you are feeling charitable, they are simply viewing things through rose colored glasses. It's exactly the same crap the republicans did (and are still doing) with Obama ... they are still flogging the "he's a deep radical left winger socialist" thing.

For a specific example, take the case of Ron Paul: unquestionable racist.

Sure, Ron Paul has like 2 sentences specifically attributed to him that are pretty damn crappy when viewed floating in isolation. But ... hell ... some of the stuff Bill Cosby said would be a total scandal if put in Ron Paul's mouth and stripped down to a single sentence. Shit ... Cosby was pilloried somewhat by taking the best quotes out of context as it was. Paul has said many times he feels the comments need the full context of the article to be properly judged ... that doesn't seem particularly unreasonable. Yet it's never once been included in any reporting I can find.

If it was Obama getting questioned similarly, you would be *demanding* that the press publish the entire context of the piece in question. And you would be excoriating anyone who tried to argue while refusing to acknowledge a quote to fullness that met your specifications. As well you should. In contrast ... you don't even give a shit about any of that for Ron Paul; not worth debating, jury out, no context needed, we all know what those guys all *really think* anyhow ... on to trivial dismissal as deep racist.

My question is why don't you think people who aren't on "your side" deserve the same level of honesty in debating their history and positions with full context and the potential outcomes if they were elected with a similar level of rationality to what you most certainly demand when questions are pointed at a Democratic candidate?

I'm as much speaking in the "royal you" sense here as to you personally ... where it fits, apply personally ... where it doesn't, don't.

You wrote:

or, if you are feeling charitable, they are simply viewing things through rose colored glasses

In the case of Ron Paul we would say you were viewing him through beer goggles or possibly very squinty eyes from a smoke filled room, but we would never say Paululons are viewing him through rose colored glasses.

That seems about right. Obamabots, especially those whose heads would explode at the suggestion that they were Obamabots, would never allow that “Paululons” had a view of him that was distorted by an inclination to see everything about the guy in a rosy light. That is far too gentle an attack. Not nearly condescending enough.

I wouldn’t suggest the undisputed fact that because Obamabot’s eyes always seem to be too close together, and out of focus, as reason to doubt their mental faculties, but their chosen metaphor about “Paululons”, if you are correct, would suggest that only an addled mind such as one steeped in cheap beer [never a fine imported wine] could see anything positive about Paul.

OK, maybe I am using too broad a brush, maybe not every single Obamabot is that way, maybe only the cross-eyed ones. 

But Paululons is a play on Romulans, I can't believe you couldn't see that, which just means they are not to be trusted.  I didn't type out Paultards I could have, I didn't type or PaulLoonbats, I could have, instead I just used a play on Romulans... and all Trekkies approve of me bring good Trek Lore into any internet discussion.

Treck lore or most any other TV reference will very likely go right past me. I have seen little TV ever and haven’t followed any program since I was a kid watching Steve McQueen in “Wanted Dead or Alive”. Before that it was “Perry Mason” and “I led Three Lives” because my parents wouldn’t miss them. Herbert Philbrick references I might understand.

Not watching enough TV means an American needs a babblefish just to understand English. I aint got one but I am confident that there plenty of available space between  my ears if I ever find one. 

I am sorry, everyone should know Treklore! Just kidding.. My dad made us watch the Rat Patrol before we left the county, I remember that, cause we had to watch it every week, it was his favorite, I can still see that jeep in my head!

Your specific example isn't very specific. Which sentences do you think are taken out of context, and what is the context that they are missing?

If it was Obama getting questioned similarly, you would be *demanding* that the press publish the entire context of the piece in question.

I am asking for the context that you think makes those sentences OK. That's exactly what I'm asking for, but I'm not getting it (from anybody supporting Paul here). If Paul is asking for the full context of the article, he needs to make sure that context is available. Where is it?

I'm as much speaking in the "royal you" sense here as to you personally ... where it fits, apply personally ... where it doesn't, don't.

Fair enough. I do think this is more emotionally important to you than it is to me, but I truly am interested in giving the other side full attention. So far, however, only one side seems to be providing specifics, while the other side refers to context that isn't provided. Note the interaction I had with tmccarthy0 elsewhere on this page where I defended Paul not giving Rosa Parks a congressional medal because he didn't think anyone should get one. She responded by giving me specific examples where he had voted to give other people congressional medals. That's the kind of response I prefer.

I am asking for the context that you think makes those sentences OK. That's exactly what I'm asking for, but I'm not getting it (from anybody supporting Paul here). If Paul is asking for the full context of the article, he needs to make sure that context is available. Where is it?

It's kind of silly for me to speculate about the nature what would make it "OK". All I know is that Ron Paul has asserted that the highlighted statements have different meaning out of context. I mean ... seeing what Breitbart did with Shirley Sherrod; how the hell could anyone have speculated what the lady was actually saying before seeing the whole thing?

I'm not trying to get into a game of speculative justification for the potentially unjustifiable ... there might be no context that makes it OK in my mind, in which case the question becomes to what degree is that weighted in my equation along with all the other negatives if ever presented with an opportunity to vote or not vote for Ron Paul. But I can't do that weighting honestly without knowing, because there is potentially context that changes everything, I have to take what I know about how Ron Paul has generally comported himself (i.e. not afraid to own opinions that everyone SLAMS him for and are political poison) and how generally honest I have seen him to be (generally pretty honest) compared against the information I have and the relative honesty with which the case against him has been presented (somewhat shoddy) and decided if he deserves the benefit of the doubt. In light of how I know things have been manipulated in the media in the past, and what I know of Ron Paul; I say yes until more information is available. I propose that you would say yes (or certainly would have said yes in 2008) if this were something along the lines of a "Reverand Wright" type quote pulled out of Obama's early writing (some of which he wouldn't release if I recall).

Obviously ... if the journalists writing about this have the ability to pull those quotes out of the writing, they *must* have access to the rest of it too .... right? If not, that has some pretty grave implications for Destor's assertions of an ethically astute industry applying rigorous accuracy standards.

As for Paul's operation and his response - that's politics. It really isn't hurting him much except maybe with the crossover (which they aren't polling, so we have no way to tell). It seems like the only people who are really bunched up over this are a bunch of centrist Democrats trying to scare their liberals ... and ultimately they appear to be violating their own stated standards to flog this thing. In the primary, it really feeds the persecution complex ... might even be useful in the general. Kind of along the lines of why Obama didn't release his long form birth certificate for years despite having it and knowing it's release would shut down most of the document validity questions in the legitimate media (he actually flat-out lied about it's existence). He might just be turning T-Mac into a birther.

[and dammit .... I really like speculating about shit; so ... let me pull a possible context out of my rear just for the hell of it .... let's take a whack at one ...

Ron Paul is pretty well known for attacking the inherently racist approach and motivations behind the implementation of the Drug War. Suppose he wrote a segment highlighting a bunch of the fear-mongering racially tinged statistics/quotes to demonstrate how this was done .... and concludes "we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in [Washington, DC] are semi-criminal or entirely criminal". He then goes on to note that this is obviously bullshit and how it's just being used to sow division, cram through crappy laws on behalf of Pharma and put a bunch of black guys in jail.

Again, this is just for the hell of it ... not saying that's what happened ... just saying, that is a possible context that would change everything and also be completely in line with stuff he has been saying and writing for years.]

I have to take what I know about how Ron Paul has generally comported himself (i.e. not afraid to own opinions that everyone SLAMS him for and are political poison) and how generally honest I have seen him to be (generally pretty honest) compared against the information I have and the relative honesty with which the case against him has been presented (somewhat shoddy) and decided if he deserves the benefit of the doubt.

Be careful, that's the path to confirmation bias (which all of us can be guilty of). You believe what he's saying because you think he's been generally honest in the past. You think he's been generally honest in the past because you believe what he's saying.

Let's use the Shirley Sherrod example: shortly after it became public, the full context was provided by those supporting Shirley Sherrod. Same thing for the Jeremiah Wright example.

Ron Paul has had over 15 years to provide the "proper" context for his quotes. Your best analogy is the birth certificate one, although it should be pointed out that a copy of his birth certificate was released shortly after the fuss began. As to why he took so long to release the long form, the best guess is politics (as you allude to), in the sense that he wanted to make Trump et al. look like fools. If Ron Paul is playing the same game, you'd think he would've revealed the proper context years ago during previous runs.

If it makes you feel any better, it seems that the only two choices I'll have in the Virginia primaries are Ron Paul and Mitt Romney, so I'm seriously considering voting for Ron Paul, but I haven't made up my mind yet.

No, I choose to give him the benefit of the doubt based on my past experience. It's the difference between demanding proof of guilt or demanding proof of innocence. Based on knowledge of how he has comported himself in the past, I think it is incumbent on the accuser to demonstrate an unequivocal case. I don't think this has been done.

I didn't use a Jeremiah Wright example. I imagined a phrase written by Obama along the lines of the Jeremiah Wright's quotes taken out of context in the press. For an analogy,  I'm going to stick with my example of the long-form birth certificate that Obama clearly had *sole* possession of  and that very much WAS NOT released until earlier this year.

Unlike Obama's long form birth certificate, it is very clear that the media organizations who were able to choose selective quotes obviously also had the full text of the articles and an ability to provide context if they wanted. Bearing that in mind ... what makes you so sure that Ron Paul *hasn't* provided proper context for his quotes in the past?

I don't know what to tell you about the VA primary ... except maybe fuck voting for Mitt Romney ... that would be like having to vote for Obama twice (I'm assuming you plan to vote Obama in the general). I personally would really like to see Ron Paul get a lot of delegates - mostly for reasons of local meta politics. That said, I genuinely think Buddy Roemer deserves a look if he's still in and you are honestly shooting for the best candidate. He obviously won't take it ... but on first impressions, I'd love to see him stay on the scene. My sense is that we could use a few more republicans like him around.

I've considered voting for the "best candidate" versus voting for the "least electable candidate" in the Republican primary, and I've decided to opt for the former. If the economy tanks, whoever the Republican candidate is would suddenly have a much better chance of winning.

As far as I know, Buddy Roemer isn't going to be an option. My understanding is that the only two candidates to get onto the Virginia ballot are Romney and Paul. If anyone knows otherwise, let me know.

Great. So. If Obama loses ... you are going to specifically choose to give us the worst possible option in your mind. Gotta love fucking Democrats ... you guys think like Rush Limbaugh.

Go for Paul ... that's the conventional wisdom choice for "least electable". Fair warning: I think if he makes the general, he'll stomp Obama's ass.

You read me completely backwards. I said I was going to go with the former option, that of choosing the best possible option because it is possible that Obama could lose.

Sorry if that doesn't fit into your diatribe about Democrats thinking like Rush Limbaugh.

The next President will replace the head of the Federal Reserve along with a good number of regional reserve board members.  A hard money, Austrian theorist could eventually put us on something very much like a gold regimen that would seriously restrict the money supply and and send us into a deflationary spiral.

Beyond that, though, is the issue that he thinks the gold standard is a good idea at all.

He would have to get his nominees through congress. That seems to make the outcome you envision a long-shot in all practical senses. Certainly you don't think if Obama can't get diddly/shit through with a majority supposedly backing his plans that Paul would breeze on through like Cesar and appoint whoever he wants without pushback. (And we are assuming Paul was either lying or has changed his mind that he wouldn't try and unilaterally act to replace the underlying monetary approach with a gold standard).

So basically, your premise is that because he thinks doing something which would be extremely unlikely for him to accomplish (to the point of near impossible, it seems) is a good idea ... even though it really isn't ... that means it's accurate to assert his election would result in an outcome of the most horrid imaginings of the most brutal implementation of this bad idea despite how seemingly highly unlikely such an outcome actually appears to be - even in the event of Ron Paul's election?

I expect it from folks like DD ... but as you point out upthread; you know the craft and you also know economics and policy. What gives? Why the over-the-top hyperbole?

Wouldn't politics in America be working better if we discussed the specific shortcomings in the gold standard, devise a better approach to accomplishing the stability he sees that would result from it .... and then bringing that to him in a debate or Town Hall or with a YouTube Video and challenging him to change his mind? He really does listen, acknowledge and integrate new ideas in a way that most other politicians won't consider. Seems we're wasting a golden opportunity to bat shit back and forth with a totally game politician who has the national spotlight.

Sorry if I've been touting my experience like an A-hole.  Either my arguments make sense or they don't, doesn't matter where I've worked.  I need to work on not trying to make "arguments by authority," particularly when I decide to claim the authority for myself.

I do think that the Austrian school of economics, and hard money theory, is beyond reasonable.  You know, we disqualify candidates quite often based on ideas that they have that could not possibly get through Congress.  Dennis Kucinich was belittled for believing in New Agey things and UFOs.  A belief that we should return to the gold standard, reversing decades of monetary policy and basically ceding the advantages of the dollar being a global reserve currency to a base metal over which we have little control, seems like a disqualifier to me.

Look, there are people who believe 2 of every species on earth were shoved on a boat for 5 months without devouring or shitting each other to death, and that the whole earth was covered with water past Mt. Everest and then receded without some great rotting moldy cesspool of animal and organic garbage behind, and these people are considered eligible for office.

Howard Dean let out an "Aaaarrggghhhh" and his wife preferred to doctor than cavil about on the campaign circuit, and that disqualified him from office.

Al Gore was a model for Love Story and did grow up on a farm in Tennessee (among other locations), and that was somehow enough to make him a liar and unfit for office.

So whether Kucinich thinks that there could be creatures in the universe intelligent enough to build spaceships a bit more advanced than ours is rather irrelevant to his candidacy and proof of nothing except that talking heads will sink any ship they please for arbitrary reasons.

Considering Drudge and Mo Dowd lead the ranks of the ship sinkers, the bigger question is why are these fanatical and loosely-coupled people considered sane enough to judge or comment on the supposedly most important job on earth?

Regarding Paul & the gold standard, it wasn't that long ago that we thought all this fast trading was an advancement of civilization. I agree with the idea that we can discuss the merits of the gold standard with an eye on learning from it and adapting anything remaining good out of it, rather than returning to the long-rendered useless land of Nod and Eden.

 

 

I like having professionals from fields that are not my own being able to speak to their industry and address misconceptions folks such as I might have as an outsider. I don't see you as falling back on it to carry an idea. So FWIW, from my perspective I appreciate it more than not.

Now, that's getting a whole hell of a lot more rational. I don't disagree that Ron Paul should be challenged on the gold standard (by any means). But the simple fact is, hard money theory makes a lot of sense to anyone without an advanced economics degree. Sooner or later, we are going to have to devise an approach that can both be understood by the citizens this economic system is ostensibly built to service and that also actually provides them service.

The problem you have defending the idea of a fiat currency is that this really is one of  the mechanisms being used to siphon all of the hard assets out of the American economy - exactly like Ron Paul predicted would happen years ago. You can't just pretend that isn't happening and hop along happity dappity like there isn't a HUGE problem with the way we approach money and currency. People aren't going to let it keep happening. To many, if the "advantages" of the dollar being a global reserve currency boil down to a shit ton of electronic zeros credited to 120 individuals and a generally shitty life for every other American - based on the stated purpose of an economy, it isn't really an advantage at all.

I remember a time when silver certificates were exchangeable for silver and we had gold in ft. Knox. I'm not that old. We were a fucking powerhouse at that point and shit seemed to be working a-ok. So, if other folks have the same memories as I, one has to assume in a lot of people's minds what you say about having a relationship between hard assets (visualized as gold in the minds of some) and currency being guaranteed economic Armageddon seems like demonstrative poppycock. I don't see how that makes anyone crazy.

If what we're doing clearly doesn't work and is daily being used to literally take money out of people's pocket on an individual level to further some shining goal of a larger national aggregate ... and the only alternative people are given is a "gold standard" that they perceive to have seen working with their own two eyes during a time of much better prospect and prosperity ... you are ultimately going to be living in a land with a gold standard unless you stop ridiculing and start listening to what your fellow countrymen are saying and start making the now-default acceptable national alternative - which is the gold standard - a whole hell of a lot better.

In light of that, the simple question I have is - how do we answer an internal national need for there to be some relationship between hard assets and currency in a situation where you would like the currency to be used as the global reserve?

In my opinion one major shortcoming in the current approach ultimately comes down to how we've allowed labor to be construed as a sort of fungible asset (probably the wrong words for the concept in my head). I see why economists want to handle it that way, but frankly it goes directly against the stated intent of the system in the context of it's proper role as an infrastructure tool in the wider enterprise of society; it's a case where a perceived efficiency increase in an infrastructure component ultimately degrades user performance across the entire enterprise creating a systemic net negative.

Oh and I forgot this: Who was the one representative to vote against the legislation to Authorize the President to Award a Gold Medal on Behalf of the Congress to Rosa Parks in Recognition of Her Contribution to the Nation, which is the Congressional Gold Medal, oh snap, that's right, it was and is Ron Paul!

But he isn't a racist at all... Nope.

Ron Paul may very well be a racist, but the vote you reference isn't any proof of that.  Here's what he says about it.

I guess one could call this "principled," but it's just silly.

That's what Congress does: It decides how to spend my money.  And I agree to, empower them to, do just that.

And it does that in all kinds of ways, including when it creates federal holidays that businesses then feel obliged to recognize.

I stand by what I've written, whether you agree or disagree.

Of course you do. That makes you no less demonstratively wrong.

You calling me wrong is different than being wrong.  In fact you calling me wrong is a compliment and probably indicates I am completely correct.

Too bad all the evidence points to Ron Paul as a racist and that vote is just another piece of evidence he is one. The fact is Ron Paul is obsessed with race and has used it to scare voters.

via Think Progress:

"In May 1996, Paul was confronted in an interview by the Dallas Morning News about a line that appeared in a 1992 newsletter, under the headline “Terrorist Update”: “If you have ever been robbed by a black teenaged male, you know how unbelievably fleet of foot they can be.” His response:

Dr. Paul denied suggestions that he was a racist and said he was not evoking stereotypes when he wrote the columns. He said they should be read and quoted in their entirety to avoid misrepresentation…

In the interview, he did not deny he made the statement about the swiftness of black men.

“If you try to catch someone that has stolen a purse from you, there is no chance to catch them,” Dr. Paul said.

also from Think Progress:

Paul also defended his claim, made in the same 1992 newsletter that “we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in [Washington, DC] are semi-criminal or entirely criminal” Paul told the Dallas Morning News the statistic was an “assumption” you can gather from published studies.

More from the Think Progress article:

In 1996, Ron Paul’s campaign defended his statements about the rationality of fearing black men. (“[W]e are constantly told that it is evil to be afraid of black men, it is hardly irrational.”) The Houston Chronicle reports, “A campaign spokesman for Paul said statements about the fear of black males mirror pronouncements by black leaders such as the Rev. Jesse Jackson.” [Houston Chronicle, 5/23/96]

– Paul said that his comments on blacks contained in the newsletters should be viewed in the context of “current events and statistical reports of the time.” [Houston Chronicle, 5/23/96]

– Paul defended statements from an August 12, 1992 newsletter calling the late Rep. Barbara Jordan (D-TX) a “moron” and a “fraud.” Paul also said Jordon was “her race and sex protect her from criticism.” In response, Paul said “such opinions represented our clear philosophical difference.” [Roll Call, 7/29/96]

– “Also in 1992, Paul wrote, ‘Opinion polls consistently show that only about 5 percent of blacks have sensible political opinions.’ Sullivan said Paul does not consider people who disagree with him to be sensible. And most blacks, [Paul spokesman Michael] Sullivan said, do not share Paul’s views.” [Austin American Statesman, 5/23/96]

That all ends with his vote against a medal for Rosa Parks, wow, yeah that doesn't indicate he is racist, just a responsible legislator?? Bullshit.

I agree with you on all of that except the medal. He has consistently voted against giving medals to everyone, to the best of my knowledge. As I point out below, he also voted against giving one to Arnold Palmer, Ronald Reagan, Nancy Reagan, and Tony Blair. If he has ever voted to give a congressional medal to anyone, let me know.

That's not to say he hasn't written and said some racist junk (he has), just that the medal incident itself is not part of that.

Hmm are you sure VA?

Ron Paul has voted for these gold medals for other people:

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/vote.xpd?vote=h2009-595

To authorize the President, in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the historic and first lunar landing by humans in 1969, to award gold medals on behalf of the United States Congress to Neil A. Armstrong, the first human to walk on the moon; Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin, Jr., the pilot of the lunar module and second person to walk on the moon; Michael Collins, the pilot of their Apollo 11 mission's command module; and, the first American to orbit the Earth, John Herschel Glenn, Jr.

That's the voting record for the awarding of a Congressional Gold Medal, less than two years later...to four people.  OMG at $30K *each* somehow was suddenly a good thing I guess.  One medal in 1999 to a very famous African American civil rights pioneer which would naturally be publicized heavily, would also be very controversial if one were to vote against it, and the press would jump on it.  You know he used his tried and true excuse,  "authorizing $30,000 of taxpayer money is [not] constitutional."  Yet a few years later, Paul voted in the affirmative to spend not just 30,000 but $120,000 on unConstitiutional Medals. Hmm, I am not getting this at all.

Oh, and here’s another one, still less than two years after Paul cited his “continuing and uncompromising opposition.”  This one’s specific to the 110th IB, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, To grant the congressional gold medal, collectively, to the 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, United States Army, in recognition of their dedicated service during World War II.

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/vote.xpd?vote=h2009-266

Huh? Where is the purity on "cost of medals" to taxpayers?

Well then it is surprising to see that in April 2006, Congressman Paul voted…in favor of a Congressional Gold Medal – the same medal that he refused to award Rosa Parks on the basis of taxpayer cost and Constitutionality three years later, citing his “continuing and uncompromising opposition to appropriations not authorized within the enumerated powers of the Constitution,” to…The Tuskegee Airmen

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h109-1259

That isn't controversial though, so it was an easy vote, it it indicates a very murky record on his purity on the issue of "cost to taxpayers" & "constitutional" especially since George Washington himself received one! What??? The Horror!

And now I get it too, when he plays the "be scared of the black man" card he isn't so much being a racist he is using racism to scare certain kind of people into voting for him and his issues, because interestingly those votes against these kinds of medals took place between 1998-99, and they were very controversial at the time. 

The question has to be asked, was he just doing it for publicity? I think the Libertarian philosopher queen Ayn would be so proud!  In light of this, it indicates to me Dr. Paul is little more than a cheap "all publicity is good publicity" famewhore! 

I'm sure about precious little.

Obviously my search skills are not as good as you. Thanks for tracking this down. I was taking him at face value on his assertion until I saw evidence otherwise. You have now provided evidence otherwise. I'm still not willing to say that this one piece of evidence by itself proves anything, but taken along with the other evidence, it is supportive.

Throughout this thread I have provided ample evidence that does more than suggest Ron Paul is indeed a racist, anti-woman, a loon and a famewhore. Also he is impure.. hahahahahahahaha

But I have to admit it is fun to write mean stuff about Ron Paul because it is fun to watch the Paulons defend him, but I know and you  know, he can't win a general election, period.

Look for Rick Santorum to be the next GOP Ssssuperstar of the minute, when it is his turn I will attack him too.

Personally, I think that Ron Paul might be the strongest option the Republicans have, if not Jon Huntsman. Those two are the two most likely to peel off independents, whereas most of the others are more likely to push them over to Obama. Romney might be somewhere in between.

The problem for Republicans VA is they don't have a "strongest option". Huntsman is only strong in a general election, but he isn't going to make it far enough for that, and of course neither is Ron Paul. Ron Paul is finished.  Republican voters (those are the folks that actually vote in Republcian primaries) by and large support Israel and the policies of main stream republicans, not the fringe. Paul's view on Israel can only be considered fringe in his party. But now that people are remembering all the other crazy stuff about him, he will be a flash in the pan, and the next sssssuperstar will be Rick Santorum, but he will go away quickly too.  And they will be left with Mitt, looking for the not-Mitt. But if it is Mitt will evangelicals sit out the election?

Right, I meant theoretically, if they got past the primaries, I think they'd be the strongest option. I agree with you that it's very unlikely that either will get past the primaries (especially Huntsman).

Every example you cite is of people in the military - part of our government - for whom giving medals tends to be part of long-standing tradition, from Purple Hearts to Silver Stars, etc.

Those are examples of Ron Paul's impurity on the issues his supporters claim he is pure. Ron Paul stated in the past that those gold medals cost too much money and are not allowed because it is not in the Constitution.

But suddenly they were okay! Hahahahaha, he is a hypocrite and a famewhore. I am pretty sure he did that in the 1990's because it helped get him in the spotlight, anyone who would vote against a gold medal for Rosa Parks would be in the spotlight. But after that, it ceased to be politically expedient to talk about or vote against. Because Ron Paul doesn't vote for those things until he does, and when he does, its awesome even though the reason so many people cite for supporting him is that he sticks to his principles... hahaha except when he doesn't.

His supporters don't care, cause they are worried about the Blacks, the Mexicans, black helicopters, uterine killing fields, returning to  1912, or better yet 1776, the evil Federal Reserve etc and so on. 

I have to agree with Kyle on this one. Ron Paul was also the only representative to vote against give a congressional gold medal to Arnold Palmer. He also voted against giving one to Tony Blair, Ronald Reagan, and Nancy Reagan. As far as I know, he's never voted for giving anyone a congressional gold medal. So, that's not proof of his racism, but there is other proof…

Well of course he wouldn't give a medal to Arnold Palmer.  Ron Paul HATES IT when people mix iced tea with lemonade.

Are you accusing him of being anti-miscegenation? wink

If he were true to the stereotype; 'prolly just likes to see 'em in their own glasses on the table ... but oooh, in the warm darkness of that stomach; there's some serious mixin' going on! ;-)

(now see what you guys went and made me do?!)

To say that that vote proves racism seems about as logically coherent as saying that every Representative that voted for it proved, by doing so, that they are not racist.

What about the fact that the most vile racist statements were routinely published for years in a newsletter bearing Paul's name?  Does that prove anything to you? 

It proves that Ron Paul is a crappy editor .... oh, wait, he wasn't the editor.

OK. How about .... it proves that Ron Paul is probably the last person in the world one would expect to give the job of editing a newsletter to someone else and then monitor the output to censor anything he found objectionable?

Someone who cared enough could probably do a real timeline and see when the questions first came up in the media and see if any more of these unattributed articles occurred after their existence had been brought to Ron Paul's attention. If so, I'd say the implications are more troubling than if not. 

Can you be more precise? Since you've already acknowledge that you think he's owned up to some unfortunate statements, exactly which ones do you think he didn't approve of at the time?

I disagree with your opinion on Paul very strongly. First, although it's popular and the Fox News thing to do, the whole issue of the newsletters has been blown out of proportion. Decades of newsletters and yet the "horrible" material is actually a very small sample. Dr. Paul's reputation for honesty - even McCain called him the most honest man in Washington - makes it very easy to give him the benefit of the doubt.

There is no perfect candidate and Obama has betrayed us and will not fool me again into giving him my vote - much less my money and time campaigning for him. So what are we left with?

One guy who is anti war, anti drug war, anti patriot act, wants to reign in the fed which is desperately needed, will help restore our civil liberties and property rights, will bring our kids home, will close the bases that shouldn't exist, will concentrate on fixing our economy and stop the insane addiction we have for debt, will get our non violent drug offenders out of prison (thank God), and will try and restore the out of balance condition that currently exists with the executive branch.

OK so I don't agree with him on other issues but who is a better choice? Obama who is just Bush 2.0 and lied through his teeth to us? The other GOPers? Elect anyone else and we're at war with Iran by 2013 and still spending.

So bash Paul if you must but it's easy to say no one is worthy. We need action. We need peace. We need the country to return to a government that answered to us - not the other way around. You give us nothing other than an easy, exaggerated and partially true attack on a man who has been honest and consistent for decades. I will even change parties this time to vote for him in my state's primary. 

And don't forget that anyone who is so hated by the main stream media has to be worth a look. Don't let Fox News pick our next president.

Nothing like a post about Ron Paul to wake Dag up from a bit of a nap.  Now quick, while all these eyeballs are on the site, someone post something about the Civil War.

Ron Paul started the Civil War.  And also, you know, Ralph Nader.

Maybe I should repost my civil war blog What Are We Saying When We Say What We Say (with over 5100 reads - my personal record) updated with an eye toward the heat discussions involved around Ron Paul seem to generate.  This blurb from that blog seems appropriate as the 2012 campaign debate begins to get into high gear:

I have seen here at Dagblog and elsewhere like TPM Café back in the ole days where this debate over the cause of the Civil War has gotten pretty heated.  The reason for that heat interests me.  What exactly is at stake when people discuss their understanding of the Civil War’s origins?  I mean, there is, of course, the legitimate quest for accuracy regarding any historical event.  But the Civil War tends to generate a passion about historical accuracy that one does not see on other topics.

The answer lies in art of this is nicely summed up by Von Drehle:  “History is not just about the past. It also reveals the present.”

Another way to put it:  People’s understanding of the past reveals their socio-political agenda.  And all too often in the blogosphere threads we will assume we understand the agendas being revealed, agendas that make our blood boil.  Maybe we are correct, maybe not.  But we rarely discuss that assumption.  Instead we just launch back responses generated out of anger or frustration.

 

Then of course we have this, according to TPM, the Ron Paul org in Iowa has been courting the hard right preacher who advocates for the death penalty for Gays, WHAT? And as everyone on earth has been asking, why the death penalty for Gay people Ron but you don't believe bin Laden deserved the death penalty? WTF is it with Ron Paul and  the fringe right wing, from Birchers to Rev. Phillip G. Kayser, to Ayn Rand cultists, Ron Paul associates with them, and they all have one thing in common, they hate.

Oh Noes.. Ron Paul has been endorsed by the founder of Stormfront the white nationalist group. Oh Wow. When the shit hits the fan, it really hits the fan. The Stormfront founder said this: “But we agree with his stand on the issues, which we believe are heartfelt, coincide with ours."

Step up Santorum, it's your turn in the spotlight, because Ron Paul's turn is officially up.

WOW! This page is slanderous! Maybe Ron Paul should file a lawsuit!
End the FED news by the Denver Conspiracy Examiner, to share all over the social networks! http://www.examiner.com/tag/end-the-fed

There are plenty of good reasons for liberals to oppose Paul aside from the issue of racism. On that, I'll say that Paul's problem is that he hasn't copped to having believed or written or approved these things once upon a time...and then explained how, over time, he came to reject those views. I know this sort of mea culpa is ritualistic by now and easily faked, but it's disturbing to me that Paul (dishonestly) doesn't admit that he once supported views that he clearly supported.

It would be one thing if he once thought we should use wampum instead of gold as the basis for our currency and is now kind of embarrassed by his naivete. But the racial and social views he appears to have held are viciously immoral and go to the character of the man. He needs to do a much better job of explaining himself. He can't just slough it off by saying, as Miles Davis once did, "That was then; this is now." Doesn't cut it--and it's dishonest. So, so much for his honesty.

The other reasons for rejecting Paul are:

  • anti-labor rights,
  • he opposes a minimum wage,
  • he opposes access to a education for all, he opposes student loans,
  • he opposes environmental protection legislation,
  • he opposes our National Park system,
  • he opposes Medicare,
  • he opposes Medicaid,
  • he opposes Social Security,
  • he opposes FEMA,

...as was noted above. He does this on "constitutional" grounds, rather than "moral" grounds, as far as I can see. But if you think the middle class and poor are suffering now, wait until he enacts his programs.

Frequently, Paul (and perhaps his supporters) will say that this is just scare-mongering. For one thing, they say and seem to be saying above, Paul couldn't get all this done, even if he tried--there's Congress and the Supreme Court after all. He can't act in a vacuum.

But that, to me, is cold comfort. It amounts to saying, "Vote for the guy whose programs you disagree with because he won't be able to pass them anyway." Sort of inverse Obamabotism: Vote for Paul because you don't believe he can do all the things he says he wants to do. That is, vote for him because he's lying to you.

This is beyond strange.

Moreover, if he can't pass the programs liberals don't like, what makes anyone think he can pass the foreign policy initiatives that liberals do like? And do we really like withdrawing from the U.N.? Is Congress really going to let him close all those bases and lose all those jobs?

I guess the last point is that Paul, from what I hear anyway, Paul has a stellar record in NOT getting things done in Congress. I believe it's only been in recent weeks that his first sponsored bill has passed Congress. That's nice. I guess principled stands that fail have a place, but is that really who you want for president? Isn't one of the raps against Obama that he's feckless? Paul takes fecklessness to a whole 'nuther level. Perhaps folks think it will be a breath of fresh air to see our guy go down in flames fighting, even if he crashes and burns 99% of the time.

If you think the country needs a change of direction NOW, then, any way you cut it, Paul is not your man. None of his platform will get done now. And he's admitted it.

The country needs the right policies...not just proposed...but implemented. Paul offers neither.

 

Furthermore, Bush showed just how much damage can be done to the EPA if one doesn't support it, and Paul would probably make Bush look like a tree-hugger.

I guess one shouldn't mention Ralph Nader. 

A stand-up, straight-shootin', rootin', tootin' kinda guy...

http://2012.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/12/ron-paul-only-eight-to-ten-sen...

His unwillingness to accept responsibility for things done in his name...for opinions he almost certainly held...disqualifies him.

The fact that he won't deal with this issue in a straight ahead fashion suggests strongly (to me) that he actually hasn't given up these views.

Someone who's reflected on his past genuinely and has moved to a new place has no trouble speaking clearly about his former views and why he changed.

We accept SOME amount of wavering and waffling, but this is a big, "Who? Me?"

These are very interesting:

http://2012.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/12/10-shocking-quotes-from-ron-pa...

Here's the thing: I can imagine this happening in one newsletter, maybe two. However, that top ten list has items with the following dates: June '90, December '90, June '92, October '92, November '92, direct mail ad in '93, January '93, April '93, and January '95. (One of them is undated.)

How long does it take to rectify such an oversight?

Deafeningly loud on all the OTHER things Paul is against.

Every candidate gets increased scrutiny as he goes up in the polls.

Why shouldn't Paul?

And if anyone thinks that Paul isn't feeding the "beast of American capitalism," they don't know what laissez-faire means.

It means the corporations take over and good luck to everyone else. In Paul's case, it means that social programs to help those who are left behind is made impossible because it is ruled "unconstitutional."

Every candidate gets increased scrutiny as he goes up in the polls.

Why shouldn't Paul?

 Can you point to anyone in the known universe, or anywhere else, who has suggested that Ron Paul should not get increased scrutiny? What I see is suggestions and/or questions about the nature of that scrutiny.

 I believe, though, that there are plenty on the left who object directly, or in affect, to any increased scrutiny of their favorite candidate.

So, can we assume that Ron Paul is now your "favorite candidate?"

Why does the newspaper of the Establishment feel the need to knock down the Paul campaign?

Up until recently, the mainstream media treated Paul as the invisible candidate — a man supposedly so marginal that “serious” pundits could ignore him. But his growing popularity means he can no longer be dismissed and thus the Times editorial writers feel driven to try and swat this persistent irritant.

Even so, given that the Times will undoubtedly endorse Obama and given that the odds are at this point stacked quite heavily in the incumbent’s favor, why the need to attack Paul?

Because the New York Times thinks it is entitled not only to endorse its favored presidential candidate but also choose his opponent and that most likely would be Mitt Romney.

      Why does the newspaper of the Establishment feel the need to knock down the Paul campaign?

Is this a suggestion that Paul's candidacy should not be scrutinized? Answer: No.

 Up until recently, the mainstream media treated Paul as the invisible candidate — a man supposedly so marginal that “serious” pundits could ignore him. But his growing popularity means he can no longer be dismissed and thus the Times editorial writers feel driven to try and swat this persistent irritant.

Is this a suggestion that Paul's candidacy should not be scrutinized? Answer: No.

Even so, given that the Times will undoubtedly endorse Obama and given that the odds are at this point stacked quite heavily in the incumbent’s favor, why the need to attack Paul?

Are you beginning to notice a pattern? This is not a suggestion that Paul's candidacy should not be scrutinized either.

 Because the New York Times thinks it is entitled not only to endorse its favored presidential candidate but also choose his opponent and that most likely would be Mitt Romney.

Nope.

 Why does the newspaper of the Establishment feel the need to knock down the Paul campaign?

Like I said, the quoted paragraph questions the nature of the coverage but does not suggest that Paul's campaign should not be scrutinized.

 

Well, if you read the NYT editorial, 95% of it is about the racist letters. The paragraph they lead with is a recap of previous conclusions--the racist letters are now in addition to earlier arguments.

The piece you quote decides, reflexively, that the "decades old" material isn't worthy of discussion (the 95% of the Times editorial). It says the Times piece should have been about issues the writer deems more important.

Therefore, he concludes, the Times is simply beating up on Paul. Knocking him.

You are correct, your piece doesn't say that Paul shouldn't be critiqued per se--but it also doesn't address the actual critique given. It approves of criticism in general, but not the particular criticism leveled.

Instead of answering what the Times is saying, it ignores what the Times is saying and concludes, thereby, that the Times is simply knocking Paul.

Pretty close in form to that old seesaw around Israel, where Zionists argue that Israel should be criticized, while objecting to any actual criticisms.

 

You are correct, your piece doesn't say that Paul shouldn't be critiqued per se--but it also doesn't address the actual critique given. It approves of criticism in general, but not the particular criticism leveled.

 Give me a fucking break and pay attention for a minute. Sheer says explicitly, exactly, that;

That last item, along with the decade-old racist comments in the newsletters Paul published, is certainly worthy of criticism.[Emphasis added so that you will notice it this time]

The purpose of the NYT piece was to slam Paul for what the writer considers "claptrap" ideas and for not "repudiating" racist remarks made under his name. It is the stated objective of the NYT's piece to convince people that because of those things Paul is not a fit candidate. 

 Sheer has a different thesis. He says of the arguments put forth in the NYTs opinion piece that criticism of Paul is deserved;

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.

This is a statement I agree with. After this introductory point in Sheer's piece he lists many things Paul has done as a Representative that are, in his opinion, commendable and that establish him as having earned fair scrutiny.

If you are concluding that I am a hard core Paul fan who defends everything about him and his positions you are completely wrong. I do agree strongly with some of his stated principles and I think that it is a reasonable assumption to believe that pundits on both sides are coming out to attack him because they are starting to see him as threat to the status quo. I think sticking to the status quo is the greatest threat. I want his good ideas advanced. If his campaign brings racists out of the woodwork they will be ones that already existed so we might as well be happy when they identify themselves.

 And finally, once again, back to the starting point, which was your ridiculous question. Does Sheer anywhere suggest that Paul shouldn't be scrutinized? Do I? Has any other Dagblog contributor or anyone else in the wider group I mentioned earlier?

 

 

LULU,

Talk nasty all you want. State YOUR views all you want. Be for or against Paul and his ideas--I don't care. But the point of the editorial was NOT to spank him for his claptrap views, though NYT does believe they are claptrap and worth a spanking and, presumably, has argued for that elsewhere.

So your statement here is simply wrong:

The purpose of the NYT piece was to slam Paul for what the writer considers "claptrap" ideas and for not "repudiating" racist remarks made under his name.

Sorry, it is not. If it were, we'd read it slamming all those views, wouldn't we? Instead, we get an intro paragraph that references previous arguments.

When we say "slam," we mean, I think, that we're taking an ax to an idea without any substantive arguments against it. Claptrap is a slam in that sense, but the claptrap views were NOT the subject of the article. Nor was the point of the article to take them on. Presumably, it has done so elsewhere.

We can assume this because they start off with "Ron Paul long ago disqualified himself..."

Here is the editorial in total. One paragraph referencing claptrap views...all the rest on his racist views. Sheer focuses on one paragraph which isn't the subject of the editorial and doesn't actually address the point of the editorial, which was, again, the racist views. Nor is Sheer particularly interested in the racist views critiqued in the article because he tosses off that subject with a clause.

If Sheer had wanted to take the Times to task for its critique of Paul's claptrap, he should have found a Times article where they were the subject. Instead, he finds an article where the racist views are the subject and then imputes all kinds of nefarious motives to the Times' writer without any real proof, I might add.

Besides which, the claptrap views enumerated...abolishing the Fed...returning to the gold standard...cutting the federal budget by a third...ending all foreign aid...and opposing the Civil Rights Act of 1964...are not views liberal should be for. They are all claptrap with the possible exception of reforming the Fed.

But Paul doesn't oppose these things, because he thinks they're "bad," or don't work. You can't pick and choose with Paul and support Paul. Paul opposes these things and many others that you may well like because they are "unconstitutional." IOW, once you accept his reasoning, a LOT of things go out the window, not just empire.

But if you like certain of his ideas...you can take the ideas and throw out Paul. Paul is all and only about the Constitution. If the Fed appeared in the Constitution, he'd be for it. The Civil Rights Act is not in the Constitution; he's against it.

 

Ron Paul long ago disqualified himself for the presidency by peddling claptrap proposals like abolishing the Federal Reserve, returning to the gold standard, cutting a third of the federal budget and all foreign aid and opposing the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

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Now, making things worse, he has failed to convincingly repudiate racist remarks that were published under his name for years — or the enthusiastic support he is getting from racist groups.

Mr. Paul, a Republican congressman from Texas who is doing particularly well in Iowa’s precaucus polls, published several newsletters in the ’80s and ’90s with names like the Ron Paul Survival Report and the Ron Paul Political Report. The newsletters interspersed libertarian political and investment commentary with racial bigotry, anti-Semitism and far-right paranoia.

Among other offensive statements, the newsletters said that 95 percent of Washington’s black males were criminals, and they described the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday as “Hate Whitey Day.” One 1993 article appeared under a headline lamenting the country’s “disappearing white majority.” Other articles suggested that the Mossad, the Israeli intelligence service, was responsible for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, praised the Louisiana racist David Duke and accused some gay men with AIDS of deliberately spreading the disease, “perhaps out of a pathological hatred.”

A direct-mail ad for the newsletters from around 1993 warned of a “coming race war in our big cities” and said there was a “federal-homosexual cover-up” to suppress the impact of AIDS.

Mr. Paul, who, beginning in 2008, has disavowed the articles and their ideas, now says that most of them were written by others and that he was unaware of their content. Even if that were the case, it suggests a stupendous level of negligence that should force a reconsideration by anyone considering entrusting him with the White House.

When the newsletters first became an issue during his Congressional campaigns in the 1990s, however, he did not deny writing some of them or knowing about them.

Mr. Paul has never given a full and detailed accounting of who wrote the newsletters and what his role was in overseeing their publication. It’s especially important that he do so immediately. Those writings have certainly not been forgotten by white supremacist and militia groups that are promoting his candidacy in Iowa and in New Hampshire.

The Times reported on Sunday that dozens of members of the white nationalist Web site Stormfront are volunteering for the Paul campaign, along with far-right militias, survivalists and anti-Zionist groups. Don Black, the Stormfront director, said his members were drawn to Mr. Paul by the newsletters and his positions against immigration and the Fed (run by Jews, Mr. Black said), even if Mr. Paul were not himself a white nationalist.

Mr. Paul, saying he still hopes to “convert” these supporters to his views, has refused to disavow them or to chase them out of his campaign. If he does not do so, he will leave a lasting stain on his candidacy, on the libertarian movement and, very possibly, on the Iowa caucuses.

Gee, Pete, I was almost sure you would see the light if I could only get your attention.

 You start by saying that calling an idea 'claptrap' is not slamming that idea.  OK. One thing is perfectly clear. We both think that the other doesn't know what he is talking about. Additionally, I don't think you know what Sheer was talking about and that that is at the root of our disagreement.
 One last effort here. As you have said several times, The NYT editorial was mainly making the charge that Paul is/was/ might be, a racist. For that and a few more charges the editorial says he is not a fit candidate. That is their stated opinion. That is their anti-endorsement.
 Sheer acknowledges the evidence of racism and, as I pointed out, says explicitly that Paul deserves criticism on this front. He also says explicitly [like I have too, as if that matters] that he is not endorsing Paul's candidacy.
 You might have noticed that virtually everybody thinks their political side gets bad press. You might have heard the negative description by Republicans of the "mainstream liberal media". On the other side you might have heard o the "corporate controlled" media. When that was the subject you might have heard theories, usually with evidence, that reporting in the media is actually affected by outside forces or ideology or other reasons and you might have agreed at some point that there was bad reporting due to error or laziness or maybe even nefarious motive.  
 Sheer seems to think that the NYT is an influential voice in the national political conversation. Maybe because he has heard it called the "paper of record' or maybe for some other reason, who knows? He also thinks;


"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? "
 
I happen to think that Paul does make more sense on those three issues than any other Republican candidate. Do you disagree? If so, which Republican's position on those issues would you prefer. I also think that Paul makes more sense than Obama on the issues of war and peace and civil liberties. Do you disagree.

So, Sheer does not destroy the NYT charge of racism, he doesn't even try because that isn't even his point, although he does offer some counter evidence to the charge. His point is that the NYT is using that charge as a large part of its attempt to marginalize the one candidate who is addressing some of the most serious problems our country faces. Sheer [and I] want those problems to be part of the political dialog. Do you?
 Sheer is attacking the NYT editorial because he thinks they are motivated by nefarious motives. Do you think that never happens?
 Do you think there is any reasonable chance that Paul will become President? I do not, but I think he has some excellent ideas which I wish the eventual winner, whoever that ends up being, shared. So do millions of other people.
  If Paul's past makes it impossible for you to consider him as someone you would vote for I completely understand. There are millions of people who's conscience will not let them vote for a person who supports a woman's right to choose an abortion. I make a different choice but I certainly understand that position.  As for myself, I tend to put war crimes and torture and casual killing of innocents and the repeal of habeas corpus in the category of being over a line that I cannot, in good conscience, support in any way.
 Sheer's column has ten paragraphs. Is there a single point he makes in the final nine that you think are demonstrably wrong or that you simply disagree with? Just curious, you sure are not obligated to answer, or even to understand the question. If there are not at least several I wonder why you would not agree that Paul's voice should not be shut out with the help of the liberal mainstream media or the corporate controlled media or some ideolog with a different point of view.  
 If there is evidence that a media giant is trying to marginalize a candidate because they do not want his important and popular positions to be part of serious debate, would you agree that that media entity deserves criticism?

Too many points and too little time.

I give you this one.

I'll only say this: Making more sense than any other Republican candidate is a pretty low bar, in my opinion.

I don't know if he should be judged against "other Republicans" or by the validity of his ideas. "He makes good sense...for a Republican."

We can, and I guess do, disagree on this.

Thanks for the chat.

It's a very interesting opinion piece.  I think it's incredibly wrong in many aspects, but I agree w/Stoller up to a point that liberals haven't resolved many of the contradictions inherent in our politics.*  But, of course, Stoller fails to address the 500-pound golden nugget in the room: how would a true laissez-faire presidency affect the middle and working classes, who are the people that democrats have historically championed?  And he also completely ignores the fact that much of the blame for our current economic woes can be directly attributed to the political success of Reagan Republicanism.  Stoller, is, in my opinion, arguing in a vacuum where all of the evils of the modern American state can be attributed to policies he has ascribed to "liberals" and conservatives must be taken at their word.

For an alternate take, I enjoyed reading this last night:

http://www.osborneink.com/2011/12/the-greenwald-elidings.html

*(Of course, the contradictions inherent in conservatism are on the verge of tearing the movement apart.  I find it a little weird that so many progressives can't wait for the right to self-destruct before attempting to push their own party in their preferred direction.)  

  

Good points and Stoller makes good points. I think we can guess what the impact would be by looking back at the Guilded Age when we didn't have all this horrid interference in the market by the government.

Paul has a worldview, where all the pieces fit. So you can't really pick out one or two policies that you like. He's not offering a Chinese menu; he's offering a prix fixe menu where appetizer, soup, main course, cheese, desert and all the wines are picked out for you. That is, if you support him.

I admit I only skimmed Stoller, but he and Paul seem to be saying that the only way to prevent the government from embarking on empire is to ensure it doesn't have the money to do it. If government has the power, it will use it. So the only solution is to take away the choice. This is an argument worth considering, IMO.

(Since the U.S. built its empire, here and in the Philippines, BEFORE the government got big and while it was on the gold standard, I'm not sure this holds. But this seems to be the theory.)

But this probably means that government also won't have the money to do all the things liberals think government should do. Especially now. For Paul, this is NOT a problem because he doesn't think government should be doing any of it. He thinks it's unconstitutional and should be forbidden. For him, there's no inconsistency; for a liberal (like Stoller) there should be.

Paul does remind liberals of things they need to be reminded of. However, his is not a nudge; it's an entire world view and political economy. A radical one, IMO, and liberals shouldn't need a Paul to remind them of their principles and goals. I didn't need Paul to tell me Iraq was a bad idea.

On the other hand, by his own principles, Paul should be fine with our retaliation against Afghanistan (or Al Qaeda residing in Afghanistan) since, arguably, it was launched because we were attacked first.

 

If I may play devil's advocate on that last bit, I think a Paul-like response would be that we should've retaliated against Afghanistan and then gotten out, sans nation-building.

I don't know how he voted on Afghanistan, but you are definitely right on nation building. He's probably right about that.

I have a feeling though that a good foreign policy needs a lot of flexibility. A few clear principles, but not many hard and fast rules of the type Paul seems to favor. So much depends on timing and the situation you're addressing.

Lurking behind Paul's view is, I think, a kind of isolationism that doesn't take into consideration that the U.S. is more connected than cut off from the rest of the world. Can we really "go home" any more, as in retreat from the world?

I like the "go home" analogy. Yes, clear principles but flexibility. I'm not a fan of isolationism per se, but I"m also not a fan of interference. Star Trek's prime directive really resonates with me, as well as how often they violate it.

In fact, if you look at Paul says he's for on this Web site...

http://www.ronpaul2012.com/the-issues/

...he's very uninspiring from a liberal point of view. He's practically a straight ahead Republican/conservative on various issues, particularly his absolute faith in the market to solve all or most of our biggest problems.

As I clicked through each issue and skimmed his proposals, I had to wonder if this was really guy liberals and progressives are so excited about.

Hopefully, liberals can figure out how to give up empire and cut back government overreach on civil liberties without throwing in their lot with this guy.

Further to the above, I'm ambivalent about solving problems by taking away the need to make a choice. It's an attempt to solve a problem by not facing and addressing it.

Things like the Balanced Budget Amendment, apart from their many other problems, attempt to force us to do things that we say we are incapable of doing. But how, exactly, does that work?

 

I'll respond more tomorrow but just want to note that Stoller completely misrepresents/misunderstands the impetus for establishing the Fed. The push for monetary reform began a decade before ww1 and was designed to address the endemic financial instability of inelastic currency. His depiction is utterly wrong.

FWIW, that paragraph appears to be in the context of actions taken by Wilson that libertarians criticize liberal philosophy/policy approaches over, not an explanation of the economic and political forces that led up to the Fed's establishment. I'm not reading the article to take any position what-so-ever in regards to the impetus for establishing the Fed, just a throwaway phrase summarizing the action's most trivial intent at the time of passage. He simply notes that Wilson signed the act in 1913 and that one of his next political acts was to enter WWI despite having campaigned on an anti-war platform (and an anti-central bank platform, apparently).

As far as modern libertarian dislike for Woodrow Wilson, I think the *act* of creating the Fed is sufficient to generate ire ... and in that regard, Stoller's depiction for why libertarians don't like Wilson appears to be pretty accurate. I don't think it would change their opinion much to discover a bit of in-the-weeds trivia about what policymakers had been thinking for the ten years leading up to the act ... nor would it really mitigate the conflict within liberalism he's describing.

Trivia??? Ha!

If libertarians regard all that as trivia...well, that's one good reason not to be a libertarian.

So. I'm a libertarian now? Yay. I have a box!

I'll be pro-public option strong defender of SS and Medicare at the party party ... that should go over *great*. Lol.

How would I know?

But in the post above, you were talking about what you think libertarians think.

And you were calling certain points "trivia"--but perhaps you only meant that libertarians think it's trivia...

I meant that in the context of the paragraph in which it was contained, the point you are obsessing on was trivial to advancing the author's premise.

[update: while true in essence (this was indeed an idea I wanted to express) ... after re-reading the comment, the specific use of the word "trivial" in this case was to indicate that the author only gave the most trivial and passing attention to the details surrounding Wilson signing the 1913 Fed act (i.e. didn't give the subject enough attention to possibly achieve the nuance of true historic accuracy). Substitute "superficial" or some other suchlike synonym if it suits your taste. ]

He simply notes that Wilson signed the act in 1913 and that one of his next political acts was to enter WWI despite having campaigned on an anti-war platform (and an anti-central bank platform, apparently).

I think this is central to Paul's ideas. We wouldn't have entered WWI if we hadn't had the Fed to free up the financing for it. Not exactly a causal relationship, but maybe an inverse causal relationship. The Fed didn't cause our entry; but not having the Fed would have prevented our entry.

I think this is a dubious conclusion--though there may be something to it.

The belief seems to be that if we have the means for financing war, we will necessarily or most likely or probably fight wars. I don't see why this has to be, and it's also pretty clear that humanity was fully able to engage in war before the Fed and other central banks came into existence.

(Interestingly, in form, it's a bit like one gun control argument. If people have guns, they're going to kill other people with them. I doubt Paul or other libertarians would agree with that. But at least guns are meant to kill; the Fed is meant to stabilize the economy, not start and finance world wars.)

I think this is central to Paul's ideas. We wouldn't have entered WWI if we hadn't had the Fed to free up the financing for it.

Exactly. Which was the idea that the author appeared to be advancing with his paragraph. As such, the purpose of the paragraph was not, in fact, to give the reader insight into the back-story leading up to the Fed. I don't think you have a firm enough grasp of the idea of language, it's purpose, and how to discuss the mechanics of a specific example of it's use to meaningfully engage in this conversation. Usually, if an author chooses to include a bunch of details that have nothing to do with the premise they are advancing it's considered distracting and sloppy - a failure to be sloppy and distracting is hardly a reason for Ghengis to criticize Stoller.

And I think the belief would be more accurately stated: We shouldn't fight foreign wars with nations (states) who have never attacked us. Full stop. The central Federal government should not impose debt on the states that they do not agree to at the state level ... particularly not debt systemically tied to a monopolized banking cartel. Full stop. The fact that the two tend to drive each other in an eternal feedback loop is a national crisis and has been for quite some time. Period.

In that regard, actually, aside from the states' rights debate (which is a fully valid position held by loyal and universally Revered patriots of America since the moment of it's founding ... as with the opposing view that you hold), the belief seems to be a pretty well founded one that for the most part matches what Democrats *used* to say back when people wanted to vote for your politicians ... hence Stoller's observations about the conflict within Liberal ideology .... bringing us back to the actual POINT of Stoller's article ... which, actually, had nothing to do with the politics behind creating the Fed at all.

The fact that the two tend to drive each other in an eternal feedback loop is a national crisis and has been for quite some time.

But this is what needs to be shown, not simply asserted. As far as I can tell, Paul  says that the Fed allows us to do X...therefore we necessarily engage in war. But he doesn't show it. Stoller would appear to buy in to this causality thesis and thinks Democrats should adopt it or re-adopt it.

As do you, I guess when you say "one of the next things Wilson did..." That's about as weak a proof of causality as I can think of. Many things happened after the Fed was formed. In this sense, a discussion of why the Fed was formed and whether it should continue, I think, is important. Maybe you don't.

Thanks for your critique of my language skills...and for putting me in the box of your choosing. Box not lest thee be boxed.

I'm not sure Democrats were ever against the Fed or thought that the Fed drew us into wars. (Capitalism, perhaps, but you can have capitalism without the Fed.) And I hardly think that "people" used to "want to vote for" Democrats because they were anti-Fed. Maybe you cite something that backs you up--anything will do.

Assuming that's what you mean. Your writing is so convoluted, it's hard to tell.

I need to show it to who? Eisenhower? He seems to have already known about it.

Why would anyone try and argue a cause-effect relationship between several things that suck where each can and does stand alone in it's suckiness? If someone robs you and then a few days later comes back and burns down your house using gasoline purchased with the stolen money ... are you going to go out and try to prove that robbery causes arson? Does a lack of causation render either less sucky?

I don't follow everything the guy says by any means (and he says *a lot* of things) ... but you have invented an argument I don't see that he (or anyone) is making. Maybe give me a bit more context where Paul has made this argument?

And actually, I really don't have to show shit ... I simply have to convince people to believe me. Once I've done so, it becomes incumbent on you to convince them otherwise if you want them to stop believing it. Which is why the credibility question is significant.

The passage I referred to was this one:

In the monetary arena, Wilson’s new Federal Reserve system began discounting government bonds. Like Lincoln, he had set up a tremendous war financing vehicle to centralize capital flows and therefore, political authority. In many ways, Wilson set up the rudiments of America’s police state, and did so arguably to help a transatlantic Anglo-American banking elite.

That's much more than a "throwaway" phrase.

That said, you're right that Stoller did draw a distinction between the intended purpose of the Fed and the discounting of government bonds, a function that Stoller suggests Wilson exploited later. I'm not familiar with this argument and cannot confirm or refute it without more research.

Ahhh. The way you phrased it, I thought you were complaining about the historic context leading up to the act's passage as opposed to the characterization of how the Fed was utilized by Wilson.

That is an interesting question as far as the legacy of Wilson goes. I do think in context, that the *accepted* narrative (from the perspective of the libertarian) is probably a better frame for the events to be cast under than a more historically accurate frame that might not apply to the reality of observers being discussed.

I was complaining about the historical context, but on a second reading after your comment, I think Stoller was characterizing how Wilson exploited the Fed.

Stoller's piece is interesting in that his mistrust of the Fed follows a different path from that of other liberals. The Fed was formed in a compromise between conservatives who feared government power and progressives who feared private banks' power. As a result, both sides were given some authority in Fed decisions.

Modern libertarians tend to be concerned about the government's role. Modern liberals tend to be concerned about the bankers' role. (Yes, I know Paul talks about the bankers too, but his primary concern seems to be the government.)

Stoller, it seems, takes the libertarian perspective. He is concerned about the government's abuse of monetary power, not out of libertarian mistrust of federal authority per se but because it has enabled the government to make war.

not out of libertarian mistrust of federal authority per se but because of how it has enabled the government to make war.

Does this even make sense? How can you not be mistrustful of federal authority, but be mistrustful of giving the feds those capabilities.

If you're not mistrustful of federal power, then you trust it to do the right thing, but not because it can't do the wrong thing.

If you make it so the federal government can't do the wrong thing, then you are, in fact, mistrustful of it. You think it needs to be shackled. No Fed. No money for war.

The problem with a liberal taking that position, IMO, is that shackling the government in this way also prevents it from doing many good things.

I suspect that for Paul, though he may make use of the war-making argument to win isolationists (from both sides) to his cause, that he's really concerned with currency debasement and hyper-inflation.  That, more than war waging, is what really gets the blood of an Austrian economics thinker going.

I agree. It's a stew. Jefferson was Hayek before Hayek was Hayek. And Tom thought the very idea of America was Hayekian. And he put it down in black and white in the Constitution so we wouldn't forget. Or so we could be reminded if we did forget.

So now, even if you like to cayek, you're not an American if you don't love Hayek. And von Mises is just the ticket in a crises.

 And he put it down in black and white in the Constitution so we wouldn't forget.

Jefferson was not at the Constitutional Convention, and had no hand in writing the document.

 

Thanks. Pick your favorite framer instead.

I don't think Ron Paul is quite as one-dimensional as that. He seems to have plenty of strong opinions on all sorts of things that have nothing to do with his fetish with Austrian economics. Bear in mind, he's a medical doctor not an economist.

I agree he thinks about *how* to present the things he believes in such a way that he will attract as many people as possible ... I disagree that he adopts beliefs for the purpose of attracting specific demographics in the school of Mark Penn.

Oh, I agree with you.  I think Paul takes his liberal support for what it is.  Along the lines of, "If you think abolishing the PATRIOT Act is important enough that you support me despite out other disagreements, you're an adult, so go for it."

Sorry if I got off track above.  I think Peter has found a tough tension point, which is that to a certain extent, we liberals have to believe that the government can not only do good, but great things.  It can send us to the moon and alleviate poverty and educate illiteracy away.  But it can also send us to war, track our movements, eavesdrop on our emails... and we don't quite trust it in those domains either.  So it's very easy to fall under Paul's sway, forgetting that while he might shut down the TSA he might shut down the Social Security Administration too.

Just to cross-pollinate your posts, Destor, I believe Hitchens quoted someone as saying that, beware, what government giveth, it can also take away.

That's why constant civic engagement is so important. And I'm as guilty as anyone in failing this test of citizenship.

In America, we mostly like to vote and then expect our leaders to do what they said they'd do...so we don't have to skimp on our football-watching time.

As a people, we don't like politics.

Liberals and the liberal outlook held sway for SO long, liberals got lazy (I think) and thought that all we had to do was put in a big effort every four years. That our views were simply the common sense views shared by anyone not committed to Bedlam.

Republicans, the minority for so long, have always known they had to fight for everything. So they're scrappier and better fighters and don't care about all the inconsistencies and wounded they leave in their wake.

Along those lines, for many years, especially with Reagan, the social conservative to the libertarians who were in the fold were willing to take a back seat and get in line behind the Establishment Republicans in order to better defeat the Democrats, the common enemy.  Now we are seeing those forces beginning to resist just falling in line, resisting their marching orders from above.  Since Newt and the Contract for America, the Republican base in all its diversity has tasted being the majority (wow, has it been almost 20 years?) from time to time.  They believe in any given battle they can defeat their opponent, so why shouldn't they stand on their principles and not water it down for the centrist electorate.  As a result, as the base grapples with positions emanating from far right Christians to Libertarians to Tea Party folks the inconsistencies become more and more prominent, even among themselves.  They are quickly becoming like the Democrats, where every interest group or segment of the Party is expecting their fair share.

They believe in any given battle they can defeat their opponent, so why shouldn't they stand on their principles and not water it down for the centrist electorate.

They only believe this because for the last thirty years they have been facing the Democrats ... and 9 times out of 10 ... when assessing against stated party objectives ... they DO defeat you.

The Democratic fetish with never casting a vote for something that doesn't win means that you cast a lot of "winning" votes that totally lose the war for those stupid enough to trust you to carry their objectives.

Stoller was pointing out that there is a conflict in liberalism between reliance on government and mistrust in government, much the same point that Trope made in his post.

How Stoller thinks liberals should resolve the conflict is less clear. But he offers hints, e.g. "the rudiments of liberalism going back to the 1930s don't work." So maybe he really is moving over to libertarianism, but he still seems to think of his ideology as liberal.

"Don't work"?

What would that even mean?

If something works for 70 years, I'd have to say, "It works."

But if he means, nothing lasts forever, then that's something else.

If something works for 70 years, I'd have to say, "It works."

You might say that. But it isn't an accurate thing to say.  If something that you wish were working currently simply isn't ... I'd have to say "it doesn't work."

For example, using two characters to record the year part of a date worked for decades. It was great. Then Y2K appeared on the horizon. Oooops. Guess what. It turns out ... it doesn't work. If we'd done something else from the get-go things would have been a lot better (although in our defense we *were* working with 8 character file names and 16k memory buffers) ... and if we had refused to change when it became obvious our systemic design choices were inadequate, consumer electronics and our national communications backbone simply wouldn't be functioning today.

A design flaw is a design flaw. You either acknowledge them and fix them ... or your shit stays broke.

I think you have to decide whether it's a fundamental, fatal flaw. How do you decide that.

The fact that X has worked well for 70 years is a pretty strong argument in its favor.

After all, that's a pretty good run.

Many things that need repair aren't fundamentally flawed. Otherwise, we wouldn't have mechanics and technicians to fix things.

Moreover, it's easy to make untested things look like they will work and work better than what you've got. And the worse things are, the better those untested things look.

All very nuanced an interesting.

But, really, as far as the users are concerned ... they don't give a damn what semantics you employ to describe the condition that is keeping them from getting what they need. If you don't fix it, sooner or later you're going to step on to your production floor and find them installing some shit they got from their cousin who told 'em it would probably work to alleviate the immediate problem manifesting at their workstation as a result of your systemic failure.

That is not a shortcoming in the users. That is a shortcoming in the team that has been hired to fix the system.

Any responsible manager who's primary desire is for the users to get their jobs done is going to look up and see the IT team is sitting around debating if they should call the problem "fundamental" or merely "really fucking bad" and aren't even pretending to work on proposing an actionable solution (but damn if they aren't sucking down all the free doughnuts and coffee at a prodigious rate) and be less than pleased. In many smaller operations, in that situation the IT team would get shitcanned and the boss calls in the phone-room worker's cousin who made that patch disk for her to help out while the company solicits resumes and does a wider job search.

You're out of time son. It's election season. Ron Paul has his solutions down pat. So, what are yours going to be? Don't look at me ... your party already told me what I can do with *my* desired approach (and at the same time demonstrated how far I can trust them to follow a written agreement).

I think the analogy is this:

A) Should we rip out the entire system and buy and install new?

B) Or is the system basically good, but needs an upgrade or fixing or optimizing?

Those are valid questions, and when my computers or other equipment go down, this is one set of questions I ask.

Of course, I want it fixed and working. But I don't want to have to rip out everything, especially if its been doing the job for a long time, unless I have to.

As someone who was working in the industry during the whole y2k crisis, I'd have to argue that storing the year in 2 digits was not a design flaw. It was a reasonable trade-off at the time it was made. As you point out, we were very limited in memory. As the year 2000 approached, that trade-off no longer made sense for two reasons, but the more important one was that memory was no longer as strong a limitation. In most cases (but not all) where the year was changed to a 4-digit format, we could've still gotten by with some common sense rules and 2-digits. We could definitely have gone to a 3-digit format for the vast majority of cases if memory limitations were still stringent.

The same analogy could apply here. What worked for 70-years can benefit from adjustments as new technologies and understandings arrive.

Choosing to embrace a known design flaw makes the design no less flawed. Embedded systems were a total bitch. If the two-digit date was really engineered with *any* thought to the 2K event (as opposed to an explosion of habit and shoddy thinking), the rollover rules would have had an implementation path. They didn't.

And you are exactly right that the same thinking SHOULD apply here. And like the companies who didn't prep for Y2K, now we're getting bitten in the ass because it hasn't been approached that way at all. And, in the world of hyperincrementalism, the default Democratic strategy to make an "adjustment" boils down to asserting loudly that their plans were are and always will be teh awsum and anyone who says different is a racist stupid doo doo head.

Interesting. So you read the piece as Stoller taking a position one way or the other on that?

Maybe my take on the whole thing was different than yours. I was reading it as addressing the growing attractiveness of the libertarian point of view within the American population and why they are increasingly seen as more credible on signature issues that have typically been the mainstay of Democratic stump speeches.

I saw him more as if he was trying to put himself in a libertarian's shoes to demonstrate how certain aspects of the core liberal orthodoxy appear to be very conflicted from the outside making those who adhere to the orthodoxy less than credible when they assert to the rest of the nation "No, really, elect my guy ... he's a liberal ... we keep America out of wars!"

Problem is, they aren't more credible.

They're just untested.

(Actually, they have been tested, back in the day of the Robber Barons.)

And all those intended/unintended consequences that are also part of libertianism haven't been vetted in public--like losing all your SS, Medicare, workers' rights, and environmental protections.

You don't get to choose the relative credibility with which your dedication to a set of stated objectives is perceived. To put it bluntly, increasing numbers of people think you are full of shit. Therefore it doesn't matter what you say ... they are going to zone you out because they don't perceive that liberals are honest in what they purport to believe and fight for.

Then they proceed to actually listen to the folks who's actions seem to match the objectives they purport to hold. They find that at least these guys have an idea that involves doing something other than what we're doing right now ... which is what everyone is looking for. They say (for example) "oh, damn, libertarians are actually really against war ... and they stick to their beliefs even when the Teevee guys talk bad about them." And they are increasingly being won over.

It's a simple observation of numbers and public opinion. What we say here in relation to the possibility of such a trend has zero impact on if the trend is actually occurring. Stoller is trying to explain to you some of the underlying reasons why this trend is increasingly prevalent. I guess the ole "you can lead a horse to water" adage is still operational.

Like Ghengis said here (and I also observed on my blog) ... he's zeroed in on identifying a potential problem; but doesn't give much in the way of a suggested concrete solution.

All kinds of people believed in Obama. Was he credible therefore?

People can start to believe all kinds of things for all kinds of reasons.

If you are talking about media-driven polls, then, well...that's TeeVee, isn't it? And how well does Paul poll outside of a few pockets?

The only poll that counts is the election.

The only thing that builds actual credibility is whether a person accomplishes what he says he's going to accomplish.

How much slack you cut him when he inevitably falls short is an individual matter.

Jesus STILL hasn't returned, but Christians still find it credible that he will. Given that his believers think he's God, there isn't much excuse for his tarrying, is there?

In 2008 at this time, Paul was floating around the 2% to 4% range.  Now he is at 11% after peaking out at 13% two weeks ago.  So there is definitely more support for him now as opposed to last year.  Which is where Fred Thompson, John McCain, and Mitt Romney were in 2008.  Meanwhile Rudy Giuliani was where Mitt is now (hmmmm).  So it is difficult to say whether Paul is resonating in any significant way on a national level.  I mean if you're resonating at the same level Thompson was in 2008, what does that really say? 

So much of the Ron Paul surge is based (aside from his current showing in Iowa) on the jump from where he was in 2008 and all the years before and where he is now.  2% compared to 11% is some way is a significant jump.  But in the big scheme of things it is still just 11%.

And then, should this surge and increase in "credibility" not show up at the polls, there is always the media to blame it on.

First they ignored him. Now, they pillory him. Maybe soon they'll whitewash him.

The media controls it all and yet, somehow, he's gaining in "credibility" based on the perceptions of people as measured by the media that hates all things Paul.

So many "outs" and so little willingness to say: Yes, once upon a time, I believed that negros were like apes. I was wrong. I don't believe that anymore.

If he can't man up to a little thing like this...

Well somehow Kelly Clarkson was able to get pass the MSM and has now endorsed Ron Paul.  Unfortunately the media's shenanigans has worked on her fans apparently because some of them are none too pleased about Kelly's decision.

It appears you found a little time to stay with this issue so you might be interested in this. It is a six minute video clip, but watching them talk is hardly important, it could be listened to while tying your shoes. It is two Africa-American intellectuals, James MCWhorter and Glenn Lowery, discussing Ron Paul. They do not dismiss the racism question at all but also discuss things relevant to what we have been going around about.

http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/40581?in=08:52&out=14:54

 

Okay, I listened.

Here's what I think:

• It's significant that both these guys and most people here I think say something like, "Paul has some interesting things to say, but I'm in no way saying I want him to be president."

• I think this happens because Paul's positions come from a core philosophical viewpoint and Austrian theories that generate many OTHER positions that these same people really don't like.

• But all the positions these guys like can easily be generated by other political stances that don't include all of Paul's negatives. Paul is NOT the only one to object to bombing Iran, for example, and it's odd to fixate on that as though one were saying, "Why didn't anyone else think about that?"

• At bottom, I think of libertarianism like a spice or an ingredient that you could call "personal liberty" or "limits on government power." It's an important spice. It must be in there. But libertarians have turned an ingredient into the entire dish. As such, it has an unpleasant taste. I don't want to eat a plate of allspice or cumin.

• As with all right-wingers, they hold to principle very tightly and rigidly. Paul says, "The Constitution doesn't say anything about garlic and only specifies allspice. This means, if we're going to be true to our founding documents, we can only eat allspice and our meals must be all allspice all the time." You can see this in the way, he deduces his positions more than thinks them through, IMO.

• If it's the case we have insufficient allspice in our diet, I say we up it. But going on the allspice all the time diet strikes me as very misguided.

• Again, it's very instructive to go on the Paul for President site and look at his positions, what he stands for, what he wants to do. It's very easy to see how he's a Republican and a conservative and impossible to see how a liberal would vote for him. I don't need Paul to argue against adventurism abroad.

 

That was a really interesting conversation, thanks for posting it. Don't know either of those guys, but I really like the way Lowrey thinks and expresses himself.

You are using Ron Paul's candidacy as a proxy for idea-share of an ideological framework. I see why that would be an instinctive reaction, but don't think that's a terribly accurate approach. And in the big scheme of things, that 11% number is pretty much meaningless anyhow.

I'm not not really weighing in on the correctness or the incorrectness of Stoller's theory. Simply pointing out that it the correctness or incorrectness would be based on public perception of ideological credibility, not based on an individually asserted level of credibility derived from contrasting one specific policy against another specific policy and declaring oneself the winner as most credible.

I certainly see the mindshare for liberalism (which in context is simply a euphemism for Democrats) in decline. If you don't see Americans peeling off to libertarianism, where do you imagine those increasingly rejecting the Democratic party's brand of liberalism are heading? It doesn't seem to be to conservatism. Or do you reject the theory and imagine the party/ideology is viewed just as credible now as it was viewed four years ago?

Well, I think we need to acknowledge that most people in this country don't think very deeply about politics, governance, policy development, and so on.  The people debating the issues, here and elsewhere, regardless of their perceived or real political stripes, are a minority.  Also, your question makes the assumption that if someone rejects one party or ideology that they necessarily make a conscious decision to replace what has been rejected. 

So where are they heading?  As if they knew.  That is a big reason why there is so much frustrated anger out there.  They don't see an alternative (if they bother to look) to replace the rejected party or ideology.  Of course, no one wants the void for the most part.  The tendency would be to go back to what was once comfortable.  The economy picks up a bit and Obama's approval rating suddenly is above his disapproval rating. 

So right now we have people spinning around, disoriented.  Most don't like the choices available for president whether it is Ron Paul or Mitt or even Obama.  They just want things to get better, for their lives to get better, for the future to look bright (economically speaking).  That's about it for them.  A few will peel off to the Ron Pauls out there, give him a little boost.

If things get better, they'll return to their traditional allegiances.  If things start to get worse, they will attach themselves to the person talking change who resonates the best with them, and that resonance has little to do with the policy and position details of the candidate.

Which is, in part, a way of saying that talking about ideological credibility is making a lot of the people / potential voters more sophisticated than they really are.

I think you are wrong on that. I think people identify very strongly with the associations attached to labels. Think about how much energy the GOP has invested in tying the term "socialism" to everything Obama does. They do that for a reason ... because they know the common associations with the label.

People like to say "I'm an [x]" or "I believe [y]" ... that doesn't change for people who don't spend way too many hours pondering /debating policy and politics on the internet. My gut reaction is to imagine that such labels it might actually become *more* significant to those for whom it is their primary connection to civic/democratic discourse.

Agreed.

Honesty, it's hard to see what you're saying...

OTOH, you talk about all the people who are moving in Paul's direction, peeling off from the Democrats to support him or libertarianism.

But then you discount polls showing tepid support because "in the big scheme of things" they don't mean anything. What do YOU mean?

Where are YOU getting YOUR info?

Seems to me, you're guilty of putting forth an "individually asserted level of credibility" and declaring yourself the winner. If not, what are your sources?

Many people, I've found, call themselves libertarians because, ah, they don't like others telling them what to do. But they've barely thought through the position.

In fact, it's really hard to tell what libertarianism is. I asked one pretty well-known libertarian what it was and he declined to impose his views on others. Okay...

Dude. Can you read? I actually said I see Ron Paul as a poor proxy for what we're talking about.

I asked one pretty well-known libertarian what it was and he declined to impose his views on others.

I suddenly have a new fondness for zen. That's awesome.

[I'm not wasting my time debating polling with you. Nate Silver did a great writeup over on the NYT perfect for a beginner explaining how he's approaching analysis this year. I imagine you could find it on Google if you'd like to learn. If after reading that you still don't have an answer to your questions, take a statistics class.]

Actually, you didn't.

Thanks for the advice on Nate Silver.

Ed: Sorry, you did. I misread you.

Okay, read the Silver piece.

All it says is that Paul's numbers may be a bit low because of cross-over support from independents and Democrats.

To the degree that this supports your point about Democrats moving toward libertarianism, it DOES use Paul as a proxy for a larger ideological shift--though Silver doesn't seem to be talking about an ideological shift at all.

Moreover, the cross-over support, though measurable, is no great guns.

And again, if we're not talking about Paul support, where are you seeing this big exodus from the Democratic Party or liberalism to libertarianism?

It certainly wasn't a position piece about the failures of liberalism. To the extent that he took a position on liberalism at all, he delivered it in a few pejorative remarks--about unions and OWS, for example. I read a resolution to the contradiction into those remarks, but that's speculative.

I agree. It's not about failures so much as it is about the existence and nature of  credibility-undermining contradictions.

I don't know where liberals are coming from, but I certainly think he's nailed why folks who aren't self-identified liberal but are against war, the corporate/banker capture of government, etc. don't see the party as a viable vehicle to enable their political goals.

 

But his piece is not about the contradictions in the Democratic Party. It's about the contradictions in liberalism itself. He traces them back to Vietnam, but really, they're as old as the movement. There were plenty of early progressives who opposed WWI and the banks but supported government intervention in the economy. Some of them opposed the establishment of the Fed but only because there were bankers on the board, not because they opposed federal monetary powers.

Of course, conservatism incorporates a reverse image of very same contradictions: big military, small government.

I've been using the term "contradiction" because that's the label Stoller used, but it's misleading. There is no actual contradiction in believing that government should be aggressive in domestic policy and defensive in military/foreign policy. Rather, there's a tension. Ron Paul avoids that tension, as would a hawkish big-government liberal like Wilson or FDR, but one might ask, so what?

Good points. But part of the problem here is that we talk about historical periods and use terms in an ahistorical way.

Hawk and dove as they applied then and as they apply now are so utterly different that you might well see hawks becoming doves and vice versa as you flipped from one era to another.

It almost doesn't make sense to call oneself a hawk or dove--except at the extremes-- unless you answer the question, "when?"

But I think Paul, generally, is more consistent than a hawkish, big government (today). Paul believes in small everything. Small domestic policies and small foreign policy.

The hawkish, big government type has to square his domestic humanitarian views with what might be a highly aggressive foreign policy that ends up killing a lot of people or even goes for empire. There's more tension there.

Paul has some contradictions, though: small government except in the uterus, for example. He squares that by kicking the can out to the states to decide.

Your caution is well-taken, but if we want to describe the past, we have to work with our own language and idioms. No one in the period would have described Wilson as a "hawk;" it was not a term that people used. But they did call him a militarist, which is basically synonymous, so I think that it's fair to use the modern idiom.

On Paul, most libertarians do permit the government to prosecute crimes like murder, so a libertarian who believes that a fetus has the moral status of a human being would not be inconsistent.

That said, I do think that Paul is inconsistent about states' authority in general. Why are expansive state powers any more compatible with libertarian ideology than expansive federal powers?

I certainly think he's nailed why folks who aren't self-identified liberal but are against war, the corporate/banker capture of government, etc. don't see the party as a viable vehicle to enable their political goals.

You forget the long history of the right's attack on liberalism, which goes far beyond and begins far earlier than "the war" and the "banker bailouts." Many erstwhile Democratic Party loyalists did move to conservatism and Republicanism, and it wasn't because the Democrats weren't sufficiently anti-war or pro union or had abandoned their principles.

Sorry to come late to this thread, but Ron Paul is not nearly as complicated as we make him out to be.

He's a standard conservative Republican from 1935. All of the chatter about libertarian principles and whatever is just window dressing to rationalize his 1935-era conservative beliefs.

He's an isolationist who reflexively supports big industry and tight money policy, including the gold standard. (The point of the gold standard is that it would radically tighten the money supply, vastly enriching creditors and investors while deeply impoverishing borrowers and workers.) He will assure you that he's not personally, but he's against any government intervention to stop racism. And he's generally anti-Prohibition. That's really it. He's stuck in the year he was born, and he's on the wrong side of most of the issues from that time.

He's not running against Obama. He's running against FDR.

He's not running against Obama. He's running against FDR.

Now that's ironic ... Obama too is running against FDR.

I hope FDR wins.

If you look at the history, I think you'll find that FDR BECAME FDR. He didn't start off that way, even after he'd gained office. He was PUSHED into what we'd call more progressive positions, often by Congress. It's only in hindsight and viewed through many layers of hagiography that's he's assumed his perch on Mt. Olympus.

Ahhh yes. The good old days when partisans would actually push their politicians not to suck instead of coming up with nuanced ways to explain why they can't possibly do any better.

So what you are really saying here is that the problem isn't Obama. The problem is the Democrats who follow him.

We'd have to look at the history.

Different time. Different players. Different everything.

The work force was in a different place.

I'm not sure I'd boil it down to either the Democrats suck or Obama sucks.

Yes, they both suck.

So where is our Huey Long who can pressure the gov into more progressive positions, and where is our FDR who feels pressured by him and turns?

Social Security was probably as flawed at first as some people think ObamaCare is now. FDR caved to the austerity chorus just as Obama has now. FDR also caved to the virulently racist Southern block of the Democratic Party. He never integrated the military. He tried to pack the Supreme Court--how's that for executive power grabs?

He never resolved the Great Depression and was going backwards after he'd started his second term. Relatively speaking, Obama's made much more progress in just the first two to three years of his first term against a withering do nothing Congress whose only goal is to defeat him. FDR didn't have to deal with that (quite).

The two, FDR and Obama, faced different problems in different times with different resources and with vastly different electorates. And the two, as people, were as different as different could be in all the ways you can think of. One guy came out of obscurity, the product of a union that was for many generations outlawed in this country. He never knew his father. FDR was a wealthy Brahmin, so was his wife. He'd been in government at a high level--New York State Senator (twice), governor, assistant secretary of the Navy--and he was a close relative of one of our most charismatic presidents from the other party.

He also had the advantage of getting elected after the Depression had clearly been pinned on the other party. No one could say FDR made the Depression worse, because it already was worse.

Needless to say, no one questioned his birth place, nor called him a jungle bunny, nor , nor, nor...

Awwww bullcrap.

1) Social Security was more limited initially, but please explain what aspect of Social Security changed dramatically? And what was as objectionable as the corporate aspect of "health care reform" that hasn't actually contained costs nor prevented more cuts to Medicare et al?

2) he "caved" to the racist southern party & didn't integrate the army? well he didn't go to the moon either. shame on him.

3) the US economy suffered a 1937 recession due to monetary tightening. It was fixed by 1939, long before we got into WWII. FDR got us out of the depression.

4) FDR's New Deal was monstrous in its creativity and effect. All Obama had to do was throw a few trillions at banks, and voila, our recovery. Sadly, he didn't do much for mortgages or job programs, but such are our conservative times when we're all Hooverites.

5) FDR had the "advantage" of being elected after people had tried for 4 years to cure a worldwide problem. Oh joy, what a lucky guy to walk into the depression in March 1933 - such career possibilities. Which button is "go"?

6) I really don't give a shit about Obama's personal life, and the reception he got coming into office including a grossly undeserved Nobel Peace Prize, shows his uphill battle wasn't terribly uphill (PS - he was raised by the VP of a bank and a furniture store owner and went to a cherry prep school - can we ditch the poor young black child growing up in the south meme already?) - the majority of America plus the rest of the world was rooting for him, and his failures have been from timidity, lack of creativity and caviling to the opposition that obviously didn't want him to succeed from the get-go. Bad strategy. (Yes, Hillary warned him that there wouldn't be a new day in Washington with manna from heaven, and that he'd have to take it to the people. But he didn't listen because she's a chick. And he dismantled his popular ground organization and focused on imitating Bush to look like he's "serious" and "bi-partisan"

7) And Democrats had a majority in both houses when he was elected. Yes, he had Blue Dogs among those, so it wasn't as simple as FDR's super majority. But I can't think of anything Obama did that showed real out-of-the-box thinking on any of the issues (aside from cutting spending in the middle of a recession as a prelude to some supposed jobs program that has no chance of passing). Everything has been milque-toast and ineffective compromise and loads of excuses and coulda-shoulda-woulda.

Maybe he can try for a good presidency this term.

 

 

 

“I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes,” President Obama, September 12, 2008

Beginning January 1, 2013, ObamaCare imposes a 3.8% Medicare tax on unearned income of “high-income” taxpayers which could apply to proceeds from the sale of single family homes, townhouses, co-ops, condominiums, and even rental income, depending on your individual circumstances and any capital gains tax exclusions. Importantly, the “high income” thresholds are not indexed for inflation so will reach increasing numbers of middle-class taxpayers over time.
 VOTERS NEED TO KNOW.

It most likely has the inheritance to your children penalized also upon taking receipt of your home, to boot.

IF YOU OWN A HOME - IT IS IN THE HEALTH CARE BILL!!!!!!!!!!!!

BE SURE TO FORWARD THIS TO ALL YOUR 'FRIENDS' - REPUBLICANS, INDEPENDENTS AND DEMOCRATS Subject: 

If You Own a Home-please read
Read second paragraph carefully if you intend on selling your home after 2012.

 THIS WILL BLOW YOU AWAY !!!!!

The National Association of REALTORS is all over this and working to get it repealed,  before it takes effect.  But,  I am very pleased we aren't the only ones who know about this ploy to steal billions from unsuspecting homeowners.  How many REALTORS do you think will vote Democratic in 2012?

 Did you know that if you sell your house after 2012 you will pay a 3.8% sales tax on it?  That's $3,800 on a $100,000 home,  etc.  When did this happen?  It's in the health care bill and goes into effect in 2013.............. Why 2013?  Could it be to come to light AFTER the 2012 elections?  So,  this is "change you can believe in"?  Under the new health care bill all real estate transactions will be subject to a 3.8% Sales Tax.
 If you sell a $400,000 home,  there will be a $15,200 tax.  This bill is set to screw the retiring generation who often downsize their homes. 

Does this make your November and 2012 vote more important?

THIS WAS EMAILED TO ME ------ I HOPE IT' NOT TRUE 

OBAMAS PLAN ......NO HELP FOR THE HOMEOWNER; THE BANKER AND GOVERNMENT SLAVES  

(You may not be able to fix stupid, but you don't have to vote them back into office) 

More bullcrap.

The 3.8% only applies to any *PROFIT OVER $500K* on the sale of a house. So if you bought your house for $1 million and sell it for $1.5 million, you're still not affected.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/taxes/realestate.asp

(you may not be able to fix stupid, but you can try to have them look at Snopes.Com before posting their nonsense and FUD all over the internet)

Thanks for your response. I'll try to respond later. I don't think the points are "bull crap," but that's the way we liberals talk.

Well somehow when you start slamming the giant of liberal Democratic success in the 20th century, you better have some pretty solid points. Comparing Obama with him just seems like hubris - they're playing in different leagues.

Here's FDR's jobs recovery (peak unemployment 1933):

That dotted line with >30% unemployment in 1933 at top is private non-farm unemployment up to 1940, 2 years before the war, as can be found here: http://edgeofthewest.wordpress.com/2008/10/10/very-short-reading-list-unemployment-in-the-1930s/

(and more here with Michael Tomasky who explains that the official unemployment rate didn't include people on jobs programs like WPA - a pretty huge omission)

 

Here's our jobs recovery since Jan 2009, when unemployment was 7.6% - heckuva job, Barry - feel the power:

 

PP: 1) Social Security was more limited initially, but please explain what aspect of Social Security changed dramatically? And what was as objectionable as the corporate aspect of "health care reform" that hasn't actually contained costs nor prevented more cuts to Medicare et al?

PS: I guess it depends on how serious you think it was to exclude women and minorities and various job categories. My point is really that SS evolved, and I see no reason why HCR can't evolve. It's barely been implemented. I do think he made some mistakes with this--Medicare For All would have been better and may have had a better chance of easily passing. But he put points on the board on an issue that had eluded progressives for the entire century and deserves credit for it  in my book. But I understand that that's a personal judgement and I can't "prove" it to you.

PP: 2) he "caved" to the racist southern party & didn't integrate the army? well he didn't go to the moon either. shame on him.

PS: This is silly, PP. But I dare say if we transported the Dixiecrat issue into today's arena, it would be considered a serious failing on the president's part. Certainly on par with knocking out terrorists with drones.

PP: 3) the US economy suffered a 1937 recession due to monetary tightening. It was fixed by 1939, long before we got into WWII. FDR got us out of the depression.

PS: That was two years into his second term, no? I believe he resolved much of the unemployment, but didn't necessarily get the economy going--two different things. Obama's job numbers from the time he took office show a pretty good picture, too. There seems to be a lot of discussion, even on the left, whether FDR got us out of the Depression, even if he did a lot to ameliorate its impact. You seem certain--why?

PP: 4) FDR's New Deal was monstrous in its creativity and effect. All Obama had to do was throw a few trillions at banks, and voila, our recovery. Sadly, he didn't do much for mortgages or job programs, but such are our conservative times when we're all Hooverites.

PS: Well, to be fair, I think there was a lot of uncertainty as to the best course of action. I'm not sure most people understood the problem or what to do until after they'd thought about it awhile. Of course, some people had it right from the beginning. But some people are always right, aren't they? I agree, FDR was far more creative than Obama. But he also had less debt and more lattitude from Congress to be creative. But yes, Obama, once in office, proved himself to be too cautious. I agree.

PP: 5) FDR had the "advantage" of being elected after people had tried for 4 years to cure a worldwide problem. Oh joy, what a lucky guy to walk into the depression in March 1933 - such career possibilities. Which button is "go"?

PS: He had the advantage of seeing what did not work. He also had the advantage of not carrying any of the blame for the crisis. Because of the timing, it was clearly Hoover's depression. The same can't be said for this recession. In Obama's case, they made the mistake of thinking that the recession was like the Depression, when different forces (over indebtedness) were at work and would need different solutions. It was perhaps a natural assumption, but wrong. He's come to understand the crisis late and faces the difficult problem of convincing people that the cure for too much spending and debt is even more spending and debt. This is hard for the average person to grok. It's counter-intuitive.

PP: 6) I really don't give a shit about Obama's personal life, and the reception he got coming into office including a grossly undeserved Nobel Peace Prize, shows his uphill battle wasn't terribly uphill (PS - he was raised by the VP of a bank and a furniture store owner and went to a cherry prep school - can we ditch the poor young black child growing up in the south meme already?) - the majority of America plus the rest of the world was rooting for him, and his failures have been from timidity, lack of creativity and caviling to the opposition that obviously didn't want him to succeed from the get-go. Bad strategy. (Yes, Hillary warned him that there wouldn't be a new day in Washington with manna from heaven, and that he'd have to take it to the people. But he didn't listen because she's a chick. And he dismantled his popular ground organization and focused on imitating Bush to look like he's "serious" and "bi-partisan"

PS: He made bad choices, I agree. And? I disagree on the personal life impact, especially if you compare the lives of the two men. He ran on a bi-partisan platform. It was a great part of his appeal. It may even have accounted for his election. And I think it's what he believed and maybe still does. It would've been hypocritical for him to have abandoned that stance right away or even after signs of trouble. I think he hung on to that hope for too long, but I'm not him.

PP: 7) And Democrats had a majority in both houses when he was elected. Yes, he had Blue Dogs among those, so it wasn't as simple as FDR's super majority. But I can't think of anything Obama did that showed real out-of-the-box thinking on any of the issues (aside from cutting spending in the middle of a recession as a prelude to some supposed jobs program that has no chance of passing). Everything has been milque-toast and ineffective compromise and loads of excuses and coulda-shoulda-woulda.

PS: He has been too cautious, IMO. Mostly, he let the opposition set the terms of the debate on spending and cutting. I don't know how much of that was due to what he actually thought and how much of it was due to miscalculation about the virulence and determination of the opposition.

PP: Maybe he can try for a good presidency this term.

PS: Hopefully, yes. But not if his supporters abandon him. We'll see. One advantage of a Romney presidency will be a more unified left.

Social Security didn't initially "exclude" women and minorities - it covered jobs that few women & minorities participated in. So by extending SS to more professions, it naturally covered them.

Dealing with the Dixiecrat issue in 1933 in the middle of The Great Depression is a pretty pointless attack, and you don't say what specifically he caved on, but frankly, getting down 30% unemployment was more important.

I seem certain about him getting us out of depression say from the 2 articles I mentioned. Private non-farm unemployment came way down. Pay went way up. 1937 was a bit of a retrenchment, but we weren't in WWII until Dec 7, 1941, and the economic performance was functioning pretty well by then, even if WWII production kicked it into high gear. But Democrats like ragging on their own, so they'll lovingly pick apart FDR like crows.

Obama didn't have to take blame for this crisis. He chose not to stick Bush's nose in it, and he chose not to push for a greater stimulus. He got the lukewarm brand he asked for.

Wish Obama had been hypocritical on being bi-partisan rather than being hypocritical on war, social programs, universal health care, environment, human rights, etc.

As it is, Ron Paul comes out looking principled in a number of areas (others like a nut / bigot), while Obama just looks ephemeral. How Obama gets positively compared to FDR, I've no idea.

 

 

Social Security didn't initially "exclude" women and minorities - it covered jobs that few women & minorities participated in. So by extending SS to more professions, it naturally covered them.

PS: Same diff, no?

Dealing with the Dixiecrat issue in 1933 in the middle of The Great Depression is a pretty pointless attack, and you don't say what specifically he caved on, but frankly, getting down 30% unemployment was more important.

PS: By not taking it on. But I personally give him a pass on this. Just pointing out that, transported to today, many wouldn't.

I seem certain about him getting us out of depression say from the 2 articles I mentioned. Private non-farm unemployment came way down. Pay went way up. 1937 was a bit of a retrenchment, but we weren't in WWII until Dec 7, 1941, and the economic performance was functioning pretty well by then, even if WWII production kicked it into high gear. But Democrats like ragging on their own, so they'll lovingly pick apart FDR like crows.

PS: I don't, just acknowledging the controversy to get at what worked and what didn't. The official line for decades is that FDR DID get us out. I didn't notice the articles you referenced. Please pass them along again. If you pay people to do work, yes that's important, but I don't think it's the same as getting the economy moving on its own as it were.

Obama didn't have to take blame for this crisis. He chose not to stick Bush's nose in it, and he chose not to push for a greater stimulus. He got the lukewarm brand he asked for.

PS: At some point, he did stick Bush with it, but just came off as a whiner. If he'd done it sooner, he would've looked like he wasn't focused on where we go from here. Most people wanted a solution, not a blame layer. The size of the stimulus was what his advisors said would do the trick. Some wanted more, true; but advisors always disagree, right? He picked the wrong door or the door that wasn't maximal.

Wish Obama had been hypocritical on being bi-partisan rather than being hypocritical on war, social programs, universal health care, environment, human rights, etc.

PS: This will take a longer response than I can do right now. I wish so, too, except that he's moving pretty close to universal health care and people are starting to find that the plan is better than they thought from a personal standpoint.

As it is, Ron Paul comes out looking principled in a number of areas (others like a nut / bigot), while Obama just looks ephemeral. How Obama gets positively compared to FDR, I've no idea.

PS: When you've never been tested and there's not much hope of winning, it's easy to be principled. Why not? What do you have to lose? I don't think anyone compares Obama to FDR now; it was before when there was hope he'd be the next FDR. And if you care about social programs, universal health care, and the environment, you can kiss all of that good-bye, unless Paul turns out to be a hypocrite himself.

Should be this comment summarizing some of the arguments, including graph & reference to articles (not sure why it wasn't showing up): http://dagblog.com/politics/ron-paul-and-lack-choices-left-12585#comment-144966

Size of the stimulus was panned by Krugman & others at the time. Obama I think dictated to his advisors what an acceptable stimulus should be, wanting to be Mr. Bi-partisan.

Ron Paul has been saying the same stuff for years as a politician - yes, he's principled whatever his other faults are - he didn't invent this stuff last week.

 

 

I know. I've been listening to him for years and to his followers for years. I have a good friend who's been a fan since Paul ran for president on the Libertarian ticket.

He is firmly against environmental regulations, stimulus of any kind, SS, Medicare, universal health care, paper money, foreign aid, the income tax, welfare of any kind, social programs of any kind, abortion, and most of the agencies in the government.

So if he's principled in practice as well as in theory, you can say good-bye to those things if he becomes president. People will fight him, and he may have to compromise. And then he'll be just like other politicians who go to Washington. I don't consider that a slur, by the way.

Thanks for the links.

Google Michael Tomasky and "Unemployment in the 30s: the real story" as one reasonable link

These are interesting and important points.

My point is somewhat different and Tomasky bows to it. It has to do with the economy gearing up and producing jobs.

I'm in favor of the government putting people to work, but it isn't the same, exactly, as the economy producing jobs. And it DID do that according to the figures, but less dramatically than the government.

As I recall, the stimulus DID try to put people back to work with shovel-ready jobs that, apparently, weren't all that numerous, or not so shovel ready. Don't know the reality of that.

Obama could have suggested programs like the WPA, where the government was the direct employer, but I question whether the Congress, especially the Republicans and Blue Dogs, who barely assented to the stimulus as it was, would have gone for that. Even when he had both houses, he didn't really.

Personally, I would've been happy had he done that. But I do think he needs to catch a bit of a break in terms of the anti-government trajectory we've been on since Reagan. Clinton represented a big retrenchment on this score. And before that, our last real, big government liberal president was LBJ.

And in light of that, I might say, ANY edging toward Ron Paul is going in the opposite direction to what you and others hoped Obama had done. The complete opposite. More opposite than Reagan and even Goldwater.

The "shovel ready jobs" bit was a mirage from the get-go. Yes, they could have done that, but their focus was on tax breaks and oozing out the money to the rest - by the end of Dec 2009, maybe 1/4 of the non-tax break money was spent.

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