Sunday, August 28, 2011

Why Paul Isn't SWNIDish

Ron Paul is often right. Like when he says that the country is out of money and the federal government should do less, not more.

As he reportedly said today on Fox News.

Why, then, can't SWNID imagine supporting the elderly Congressperson from Texas?

Three huge reasons.

One is Paul's common insistence that the things he opposes are unconsititutional. He'd be rather wiser to insist that they appear to him to be unconsititutional, or that they are questionable constitutionally. His rhetoric doesn't acknowledge the differences of opinion that have always existed about the boundaries of constitutionality.

Take Jefferson's war with the Barbary pirates, for instance. Paul says that United States involvement in the Libyan civil war has been unconstitutional, much as Jefferson's opponents said the same about his little conflict in North Africa.

Paul's tendentious appeals to the constitution tend to appeal most to people who are understandably upset about the status quo but are inclined to accept the simplistic solution that says, Just follow the dang Constitution!

Which brings us to our second objection. On foreign policy, Mr. Paul is an isolationist. Always asserting unconstitutionality, he doesn't want any military action unless the American homeland is attacked, and maybe not much then.

Like it or not, the United States has most of the military power in the world, and China notwithstanding, the US will continue to have it for at least a generation. Whether that potential gets used to promote human well being, when and where such can be done ("the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference"), will have a lot to do with whether more or fewer people get to live in relative peace and prosperity. Paul is indifferent to such considerations.

That indifference appeals too, to those who see the awful cost of war, and its common mismanagement. Paul invites them to imagine a world in which that's someone else's problem, as they live in peaceful apathy about other people's suffering. SWNID just can't do that. And neither can most people.

Which brings us to our third objection. Paul has only one of the political abilities that a President must have. His lonely skill is maintaining the loyalty and interest of his political base. His followers are as rabid as Lyndon LaRouche's once were, and markedly more sane and stable for all that.

But he has no record of having formed a coalition, sponsored a successful bill, championed a cause that won the day, or anything else that suggests he could maintain the kind of consensus necessary for any political action, especially the negative kind--cutting back on nearly everything--that he seeks and that is arguably needed. The fact that he often votes alone or with Dennis Kucinich is proof of what we assert.

Ironically enough, a Paul presidency would leave the Republic further from its fiscal salvation, not closer. How could he expect to unite those whom he has ignored throughout his political life?

So if it's Paul v. Obama, our vote is with the current President, and all our potent political activity will be for a Republican Senate and House to force the more moderate of the two to moderate our excessive government before it's too late.

It's a symptom of how little BHO understands of the present distress that he polls so closely to Paul presently. Likewise, it's a symptom of how unknown Paul is to an electorate that will take anyone who will cut government spending over the current spendthrift. But there's extreme doubt that Paul could do what he wants, much more than there is that Obama could triangulate to a moderate position of austerity in his second term.

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