Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Nation(!): Why Do GOP Bosses Fear Ron Paul?

Via the Young Fogey...
Ron Paul represents the ideology that Republican insiders most fear: conservatism.

Not the corrupt, inside-the-beltway construct that goes by that name, but actual conservatism.

And if he wins the Iowa Republican Caucus vote on January 3—a real, though far from certain, prospect—the party bosses will have to do everything in their power to prevent Paul from reasserting the values of the "old-right" Republicans who once stood, steadily and without apology, in opposition to wars of whim and assaults on individual liberty.

Make no mistake, the party bosses are horrified at the notion that a genuine conservative might grab the Iowa headlines from the false prophets. Already, they are claiming a Paul win won't mean anything. If Paul prevails, says Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, "People are going to look at who comes in second and who comes in third. If [Mitt] Romney comes in a strong second, it definitely helps him going into New Hampshire and the other states."

The party's amen corner in the media is doing its part. Republican-insider radio and television programs have begun to go after Paul, the veteran congressman from Texas who is either leading or near the top in recent polls of likely caucus goers. Rush Limbaugh ridicules Paul on his radio show, while Sean Hannity's Fox show has become a nightly Paul-bashing fest, with guests like former Education Secretary Bill Bennett trashing the congressman with lines like: "his notion of foreign policy is impossible."

Actually, Paul's notion of foreign policy is in line with that of conservatives used to believe. The congressman is often referred to as a libertarian, and he has certainly toiled some in that ideological vineyard. But the truth is that his politics descend directly from those of former Ohio Senator Robert "Mr. Republican" Taft and former Nebraska Congressman Howard Buffett—old-right opponents of war and empire who served in the Congress in the 1940s and 1950s and who, in Taft's case, mounted credible bids for the party's presidential nomination in 1940, 1948 and finally in 1952. In all three campaigns, Taft opposed what he described as the "Eastern establishment" of the party—the Wall Streeters who, he pointedly noted, had little in common with Main Streeters.

Taft was a steady foe of American interventionism abroad, arguing very much as Paul does today that it threatens domestic liberty. Indeed, just as Paul joined US Senator Russ Feingold in opposing the Patriot Act, spying on Americans and threats to freedom of speech and assembly in the first days of what would become an open-ended "war on terror," so Taft warned during the cold war that "criticism in a time of war is essential to the maintenance of any kind of democratic government."

"The maintenance of the right of criticism in the long run will do the country...more good than it will do the enemy," explained Taft, who challenged President Truman's attempts to use war powers as an excuse to seize domestic industries and otherwise expand what Dwight Eisenhower would eventually define as the military-industrial complex.

Buffett, the father of billionaire Warren, opposed military interventionism during the cold war era, declaring on the floor of the House: "Even if it were desirable, America is not strong enough to police the world by military force. If that attempt is made, the blessings of liberty will be replaced by coercion and tyranny at home. Our Christian ideals cannot be exported to other lands by dollars and guns. Persuasion and example are the methods taught by the Carpenter of Nazareth, and if we believe in Christianity we should try to advance our ideals by his methods. We cannot practice might and force abroad and retain freedom at home. We cannot talk world cooperation and practice power politics."
Read the rest here.

A remarkably good piece from a staunchly leftist publication. Wonders never cease.


Anonymous said...

Yes, they fear him.

St. Michael the archangel, defend us.

Steve Hardy said...

Of course the progressives are excited with a Ron Paul candidacy. With his undeniable connection to anti-Semitic, "Council on Foreign Relations rules the world, Bush family had dinner with Hitler on a regular basis" etc, etc, (conspiratorial loonies all)- Paul is the perfect candidate for the Left. The Obama machine would pull the wheels off a Paul Campaign in about a week.

Fr. Milovan said...

A good response to the racial allegations against Ron Paul.

gdelassu said...

Not that anyone here was saying to himself, "I wonder what a real leftist thinks of Rep. Paul?," but speaking as a lefty, I have to say that I am very ambivalent about Rep. Paul and I think that most of my ilk are as well. I think that he would be an economic disaster for the nation, so I am not, per se, enthused for him. The last thing we need is to see the Fed become even more restrained than it has been so far.

On the other hand, the recent trend in constitutional governance and civil liberties, starting with Pres. G.W. Bush and continuing (much as it pains me to admit it) unabated under Pres. Obama, has been uniformly awful. I can realistically believe that a Pres. Paul would reverse this trend and restore some much needed sense of limitation to the power of government to micromanage its citizens' lives. That is a good thing, and I do not deny it.

That said, Steve Hardy is also right. To the extent that lefties like myself are cheering for Rep. Paul (or Rep. Gingrich) it is because we know that that they would be much easier to defeat than would Gov. Romney. Speaking as someone who wants to see Pres. Obama re-elected, I am much more nervous about facing Romney than any of the other candidates.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

The last thing we need is to see the Fed become even more restrained than it has been so far.

LOL. The Fed represents 100% regulatory capture. Your statement is near delusional. The truth is there is practically no independent banking left to regulate. The Fed is the lender and borrower of last and often first resort.