The Paulpocalypse

A longtime Ron Paul watcher wonders if his CPAC victory is the dawn of a new age, or the beginning of the end

The straw poll victory of Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) last week, with a plurality of 31 percent, spurred a wide range of reaction and emotions. If you weren’t already a fan of the radically libertarian Republican congressmen, his victory wasn’t the thing to make you start taking him seriously.

Many agreed that Paul’s win, if meaningful, could only bode ill for the Republican Party’s prospects. David A. Harris at TalkingPointsMemo thinks Paul’s ascendance means the GOP is determined to give up on the Jews (since Paul has suggested that certain U.S. foreign policy decisions benefit Israel more than they benefit the U.S.). Earl Ofari Hutchinson at Huffington Post thinks Paul’s win means racism and nativism is on the rise in the GOP, as he fantasizes about non-existent race-based jibes in Paul’s CPAC speech.

In the real world, Paul’s speech was mostly about fiscal probity and saving the U.S. from a debt-driven dollar collapse. Paul applied principles of limited government and restrained spending to a place where most Republicans fear to tread: foreign policy. He stressed the vital importance of the free exchange of ideas, including a long shout-out to Eugene Debs, the socialist leader jailed by Democratic god Woodrow Wilson for saying the wrong things, and freed by Republican President Warren Harding.

Paul talked to the assembled activists of the unity of liberty, including the liberty to eat and smoke what you want. He harkened back to old Republican icons (such as President Dwight D. Eisenhower with his military-industrial complex warnings) to give his constitutionalist libertarian version of conservatism a usable past. His talk was rambly, perhaps not ready for prime time, but united by a bracing vision of a government that did only what its Constitution intended it to do. This makes him radical indeed.

That radicalism makes it unsurprising that the Republican assault on Paul in America’s most prominent print outlets had actually ramped up in the week before the CPAC victory. Coincidence, or a subterranean sign that the forces of respectable Republicanism were feeling the pre-shocks of the CPAC Paulquake? In The Washington Post, former Bush speechwriter (now there’s a pedigree that should give you free rein to lecture conservatives about strategy) Michael Gerson openly called for an old-fashioned purge of Paulites (along with “racists and conspiracy theorists” and “acolytes of…Tom Tancredo and Lyndon LaRouche”—neither of them polled double digits at CPAC). Dorothy Rabinowitz in the Wall Street Journal pre-emptively referred to Paul’s squad of dedicated activists for small government as “assorted other cadres of the obsessed and deranged” in the week prior to the surprise CPAC win.

Those who tend to agree with Paul were delighted by his victory, more excited than Paul was himself. Paul told me earlier this week that “I see [the CPAC win] as making progress, but I wouldn’t overblow it. I try to put it into perspective. I probably get more excited about what’s happening when I go to a college campus and get 1,500 students excited about what I’m doing. If they did a national poll of all Republican voters, I mean obviously I’m not going to be running the show.” (Paul still insists he is “firmly undecided” about another presidential run.)

The standard bastions of the right-wing were not amused by the shenanigans of the crazy kids at CPAC, and many noted that Paul’s victory should not be seen as a sign the Republican Party is his for the grabbing. Former presidential candidate and TV talk show host Mike Huckabee wrote off CPAC—that is, many thousands of the most dedicated and engaged political junkies and activists available to the GOP—as being too libertarian and thus irrelevant to his Republican Party. Neocon intellectual chieftain Bill Kristol thinks Paul’s win means nothing; why, Kristol pointed out on Fox News, the majority of those CPAC kids are under 25! Surely, crazy fads sweeping the young and politically motivated have no significance for a political party's future, right?

The lefties at Daily Kos noted that Fox News, the definers of the GOP as a media brand, were not too thrilled about Paul’s victory and dismissed its importance. The American Conservative recognized that while “Ron Paul people” may have had the plurality at CPAC, the widespread boos that accompanied the announcement of his win shows that he was probably widely reviled by the 69 percent who didn’t pick him.

Political analyst Patrick Ruffini at The Next Right has a balanced, non-fan’s perspective that I think gets it about right, explaining what the standard bastions of conservatism should both fear and credit Paul and his fans for:

In 2007, the Paulites were an oppositional force trying to submarine the GOP's commitment to the war on terror, thus threatening traditional conservatives. Today, libertarians and conservatives have come together against Obama's endless expansion of the State, with Ron Paul supporters supplying creative organizing tactics and boots on the ground. 

….in terms of grassroots organization, Paul supporters are some of the best—if not the best—that we have. The iconography of the tea party movement is heavily libertarian (think the Gadsden Flag) and that's no coincidence. If you broke down the organizers and even those in attendance [at CPAC], you'd find more than your fair share of Ron Paul supporters. This is a categorical shift that's happened in the last year.

Victory in a CPAC straw poll (which belonged to Mitt Romney the past three years, smacked down this time with 22 percent to Paul’s 31) does not mean national leadership, the nomination, or the presidency. But beyond their affection for Paul himself—the most consistently and radically pro-liberty political figure of any significance on the Republican scene—a poll of CPAC attendees reveals encouraging facts about their general political attitudes: 80 percent claimed their “most important goal is to promote individual freedom by reducing the size and scope of government and its intrusion into the lives of its citizens” versus a mere 9 percent whose most important goal was to “promote traditional values” and 7 percent to “guarantee American safety at home and abroad regardless of the cost or the size of government.”

I predicted last September that Ron Paul could well be playing a Goldwater in 1960 role—the first stirrings of a strongly anti-government coalition whose electoral effectiveness won’t become manifest for a while—and the CPAC victory is an encouraging sign in that direction. The usual caveats apply about the unknowability of the future, and the generally predictable pusillanimity when it comes to liberty of both the voters and politicians who have tended to decide the Republican Party’s direction.

Still, it does feel like something is happening, and we don’t know what it is, do we Dr. Paul? I’ve been following Ron Paul’s career since 1988, when my buddies in the University of Florida College Libertarians brought him—then the Libertarian Party’s presidential candidate—to our campus to speak. He drew 100 or so people, copped a front page story in the college paper, and fed into my and my comrade’s youthful sense of a subterranean liveliness in ideas and politics that it was still possible to dredge, at least for a moment, to the surface. Swaying masses in that libertarian direction seemed…well, I suppose it was the goal, but in the same sense that interstellar travel might be seen as the “goal” of reading and thinking about science fiction. Libertarian Party politics seemed at best an entertaining vehicle toward the semi-actualization of some wild, hopeful imaginings.

I was pleasantly surprised when Paul won his way through opposition from both Republicans and Democrats back to his Texas House seat in 1996. I first wrote about him as a profile of an entertaining GOP curiosity for the American Spectator in 1999. His political colleagues were alternately confused or amused by him, often good for a pro forma expression of respect for his steadfast refusal to compromise, but he was clearly the sort of anomaly that would just drive party leaders crazy if he multiplied.

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  • Old Mexican||

    Thus the balancing article to lower the anger of the Paulians that were (rightly) offended by the David Harsanyi's hit piece on Ron Paul.

    Will it work? Only time will tell, Brian. Only time will tell . . .

  • Bill Moore||

    Sounds like someone's not towing the Reason magazine line of writing haphazard attacks on Ron Paul. Looks like Brian Doherty doesn't have a very long career ahead of him with this magazine.

    Oh, and don't try to quit and go work for Cato...they hate him there too.

  • Kochtopus||

    My reach is long, mortals!!!

  • Inkblots||

    Everyone knows that the folks at Reason magazine love Koch.

  • Bruce Majors||

    Actually CATO beats Reason 5-0 in employing Koch lovers. (I know since I took one of thos part time jobs with the Census Bureau and it's one of the new questions.)

  • ||

    cato and reason are bankrolled by the same mafia.

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  • Bill Less||

    You are an idjut. Look at Brian Doherty's byline.

  • Kochtopus||

    Senior Editor?
    Bwah. Mere titles won't save the fool. I feel a great hunger coming on...

  • Bruce Majors||

    Brian was already an intern at CATO. CATO had Ron Paul give a talk in 2009.

  • Bill Moore||

    So, Cato pulled a Glenn Beck and supported libertarians unless there's an important election?

    Cato supported Fred Thompson in 2008 while ignoring Ron Paul.
    Cato attacked Ron Paul just as the primary votes began (coincidentally about the same time that Reason began their attacks on Paul...)

    FYI...Hannity called himself a libertarian in 2009...

  • Bruce Majors||

    CATO is a tax exempt foundation. It cannot endorse candidates.

  • Cosmo||

    Not only is a think tank forbidden from endorsing candidates or parties, but "Cato" did not "support" Fred Thompson. Ever. One Cato analyst in a blog post wrote a note that it was good that Fred Thompson raised the issue of federalism in a debate. That is not an endorsement or even support. It's really a smear that some people think will stick if repeated often enough. But it just ain't true.

  • ||

    Cato didn't endorse Fred Thompson, but several prominent Cato scholars did take sides in the 2008 campaign. One donated to Rudy Giuliani. Another supported Huckabee. Another supported McCain. Other donation recipients from Cato employees in the past few years include: George W. Bush, William Weld, Johnny Isakson, John Thune, and Saxby Chambliss.

    Notice a pattern yet? They're all neoconservative Republicans. And notice who's missing from that list because he didn't receive a single penny from a single Cato employee even when they were donating to thugs like Giuliani?

    Ron Paul.

    So if Cato doesn't like being accused of backing big government neoconservative Republicans, it has only itself to blame.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    "Endorsing" a candidate also sounds an awful like being favorable to a candidate. Whether or not an official endorsement can be made, that doesn't stop any organization from being favorable to a candidate.

  • Bill Moore||

    http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=8701

    September 13, 2007 (After ignoring Ron Paul for months)
    "There has been a void in the Republican presidential race.
    ...
    What about presidential candidate Ron Paul? Paul is certainly a strong believer in the 10th Amendment, but he has been mainly occupied by the war in Iraq and hasn't focused his campaign on cutting domestic spending.

    That's why I'm pleased that Fred Thompson has thrown his hat into the ring. Thompson has been talking and writing about his belief in federalism. In a recent speech, he argued that "centralized government is not the solution to all our problems...this was among the great insights of 1787, and it is just as vital in 2007."

    Thompson rightly argues that the abandonment of federalism has caused a range of pathologies including a lack of government accountability, the squelching of policy diversity between the states, and the overburdening of federal policymakers with local matters when they should be focusing on national security issues.

    Federalism "is a tool to promote freedom" as Thompson puts it. So for the supposed heirs to Ronald Reagan who are running for president, let's hear more about expanding our freedom by cutting the federal government down to constitutional size."

    http://www.cato-at-liberty.org.....wsletters/
    David Boaz:
    "For the past few months most libertarians have been pleased to see Ron Paul achieving unexpected success with his presidential campaign’s message of ending the Iraq war, abolishing the federal income tax, establishing sound money, and restoring the Constitution.

    ...
    "And so it’s understandable that over the past few months a lot of people have been asking why writers at the Cato Institute seemed to display a lack of interest in or enthusiasm for the Paul campaign. Well, now you know. (link to artical calling Ron Paul a racist)"

  • ||

    yeah paul and rockwell are racists. And the cato/reason mafia are a bunch of completely corrupt supporters of the financial 'industry' and are pro-war. They are clearly WORSE than paul.

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  • ||

    A bit naive there Moore. This organization needs credibiltiy within the movement if we are going to be able to have some meaningful affect on the movement at key times. Doherty does a fine job in building our credibility account in this article and he will be welcome here for a long time to come.

    We will spend his credibility wisely at some point, you can count on us. David is the f*** up today, he blew our credibility wad we had saved since last year and we got little return out of it...oh well...we still own the printing presses and most of this country still believes a lot of our shit.

  • lukas||

    That's towing the lion to you, Mr. Moore.

  • Inkblots||

    People really need to read The Elements of Reason Comment Style IN ITS ENTIRETY before they attempt contribute to the discussion.

    We don't publish this thing for our health, people!

  • Inkblots||

    For example, then you would know about the acceptability of single-word forms of the infinitive, dropping that wasteful 'to'.

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  • ||

    The GOP establishment should damned well be paying attention. If they'd endorse the core principles that make Paul popular--limited government, reduced meddling internationally, fiscal responsibility, maximized liberty, low, low taxes--they'd do very well. Note that all of those things can be done incrementally, so they don't have to do anything that radical.

    Naturally, they'll do no such thing, as they are as in love with Leviathan as the Democrats are.

  • josey||

    I've said this type of thing before too, but I always have to second-guess the logic, since it's basically the same thing the fringe kos types are always screaming at the dems. They never want to ask themselves whether what the people want lines up with what we assume the people want. To avoid falling into the same self-made trap, I have to ask: do the people really want freedom? I guess it depends on who they are...with low voter participation, it's not difficult to envision an election which is entirely in the hands of people who are either in the net recipient column, or directly employed by government. They obviously have a conflict of interest, and I wonder if freedom ever trumps perceived financial security in the end? I know all the dusty old quotes, but I think we're quickly sneaking up on it for real -- if so, the GOP absolutely will not have the choice to substantially embrace freedom; they can pay lip service, but the reality on the ground is going to be that you either agree to feed the machine or you lose.

  • josey||

    Case in point, from an AP story about the healthcare summit today:

    With premiums going up by double digits for some consumers, polls show the public wants Congress and the president to deal with spiraling medical costs, shrinking coverage and questionable quality.

    Assume that's a reasonably accurate characterization of the sentiments of enough voters to consistently form a majority. You're at game over -- welcome to the free for all.

  • ||

    Most people have enough on their plates just dealing with their lives and don't really know what the options are in public policy. For healthcare, note how absolutely no discussion whatsoever is allowed about a free-market, deregulatory solution. At least some of the Democratic leadership realizes that the current state and federal regulatory regime is largely to blame for the problem. Naturally, they think it only needs the "right people" and "more power and money" to work properly, but the limited government option should, by any rational measure, be part of the discussion.

    Put viable, non-Leviathan alternatives in front of the people, and they may favor them. Tell them that the only way to reduce healthcare expenses is to nationalize the system, and they'll likely go along, since all they know is that premiums and care are sky high.

    Honestly, a lot of this is just kiting by the government. They offer to do something to reduce one set of costs, while hitting some or all of us up in a different way. Deficit spending is the most insidious method, of course.

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  • Old Mexican||

    His political colleagues were alternately confused or amused by him[...]

    People with no character will invariably be amused or confused by principled men.

  • Old Mexican||

    [Rep. Ron] Paul told me earlier this week that “I see [the CPAC win] as making progress, but I wouldn’t overblow it. I try to put it into perspective. I probably get more excited about what’s happening when I go to a college campus and get 1,500 students excited about what I’m doing. If they did a national poll of all Republican voters, I mean obviously I’m not going to be running the show.”

    Thus talks an unassuming, humble, principled person . . .

    . . . the kind that nobody in the Conservative movement likes, it seems, including a few "Reasonoids".

  • ||

    What are his principles behind closed borders?

    What are his principles behind supporting the Defense of Marriage Act?

  • AAAAANDRE||

    "What are his principles behind closed borders?"

    Maybe that it's wrong to take from you and give it to anyone who sneaks in the back door?

  • ||

    How is opening a border taking anything from anyone? The open border simply means that an immigrant can travel into public space or private space (as the owner allows). If you are referring to increases in welfare, I am also against welfare. This is not a reason to restrict such a basic freedom.

  • ||

    And I'm still waiting for a reason why Paul supports intervening in the private lives of homosexuals.

  • rent netflicks||

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  • ||

    If Paul was actually principled, he wouldn't be picking and choosing where to allow liberty, and where not to. He's just another politician willing to sacrifice freedom for what he thinks is pragmatism.

  • Bruce Majors||

    It is likely that I don't agree with Ron Paul on immigration or gay marriage but I think it is unfair for him to be smeared by someone who ignores his nuanced positions.

    I suspect, indeed I think I have heard Paul say that he is in favor of freedom of movement absent the welfare state. So am I. With the welfare state there is a problem of people coming to the US and accessing government programs. It's a problem EVEN if you do an econometric study to show they are net taxpayers BECAUSE having illegal immigrants fill public schools with kids who don't speak English and reduce the already questionable quality of the education being provided to American born kids INCREASES racial tension in this country. In addition, the presence of a large pool of lower income illegal immigrants creates an inherent incentive for the Democratic Party to want to make them instant citizens with voting rights as a way to create a new dependency oriented voting block they hope to use as cannon fodder for their schemes. Indeed illegal aliens already vote (on how I should be taxed) -- in many states all you need is a green card or some type of visa to get a taxpayer ID number, which gets you a driver's license, which gets you a voter registration. I know a Brazilian massage therapist in DC who is here for good because he keeps matriculating for one class at a time so he can get a student visa, works as a certified massage therapist with all the appropriate licenses and taxes, and registered to vote (for Obama).

    Second, though I am gay and favor gay marriage (though I really favor ending marriage licenses and replacing them with contracts), allowing gay marriage will mean that the gay lobby in the US will use State power to regulate ALL aspects of family life. A gay lawyer already sued E-Harmony because it does not allow gays to find other gays. The fact that J-Date, Match.com, Manhunt, SilverDaddies, and a thousand other sex and dating websites exist that are either only for gays or are open to gays did not stop the gay Stalinoids from suing E-Harmony. When gay marriage is legal every church and temple and mosque will be a public accommodation forced to host weddings. No pregnant woman who wishes to give a baby up for adoption to an agency that ONLY places the child with a heterosexual couple will be able to find such an agency. Perhaps we will even see parents of gay children forced to take state approved classes on sexuality and toleration if they are found to be insufficiently gleeful. The gay rights movement is not libertarian.

  • ||

    The idea that we should restrict one freedom because someone else is restricting another freedom is just stupid. By your arguments, we shouldn't allow people in companies freedom of speech, because they might lobby the government to restrict our freedoms. And we should restrict poor people from leaving their homes because they might go to a government office and get welfare.

  • ||

    The problem lies in the welfare state itself, not in those who might use it if we give them freedom.

  • Old Mexican||

    Any standard Republican or movement conservative really can’t take Paul seriously without massive cognitive dissonance. You mean, we really really have to obey the Constitution, we really can’t keep borrowing and inflating forever?

    Oh, that has never stopped the hypocrite and the miscreant in the so-called "Conservative" movement. How many times have one not heard a so-called "Conservative" say that Paul's view of Constitutional limits to government is "old fashioned" or "too literal" or "too radical"? Especially when discussing the Empire?

  • ClitKicker||

    "Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas)"

    Why ain't he Rep. Ron Paul (L-Texas)?

  • John Tagliaferro||

    Because he wants to stay in office.

  • ||

    Because the LP is highly ineffective.

    -jcr

  • free netflicks||

    yeah I agree How many times have one not heard a so-called "Conservative" say that Paul's view of Constitutional limits to government is "old fashioned" or "too literal" or "too radical"? Especially when discussing the Empire?

  • hotsauce||

    Sorry, Brian, but David H has the better substantive piece on Ron Paul.

  • ||

    David Harsanyi's article is a third rate hit piece. Guy doesn't even know what isolationism means and claims Paul wants to return to the gold standard which is false. Paul favors a free market monetary system where the market decides what is acceptable for money

    F.A Hayek wrote about years ago.

    http://mises.org/story/3204

  • hotsauce||

    William, check your pockets to make sure you didn't leave your keys at home with your sarcasm detector.

  • John Tagliaferro||

    You had my sarcas-o-meter past 11.

  • Tango Mike||

    Mine must be broken, too. I didn't see anything in your comment that suggested sarcasm.

  • Bruce Majors||

    There are so many idiots on the net and even on Reason.com I assumed you meant it too.

  • Doc Merlin||

    I think you broke my sarcasm detector as well. It must have overloaded and burned a fuse.

  • ||

    I think DH has a good understanding of Isolationism.

    Isolationism=Anti-semite hick= Ron Paul=Paleo Libertarian=conspiracy nut=Oklahoma city bomber=gadfly=silly=Aryan Nation.

    How hard is that to understand? This is a legitimate news agency and if you don't understand these basic rules of logic you are not going to get the point of some of the most important articles.

  • Bruce Majors||

    Hey, is your last name Dodge?

  • LibertyBill||

    His "piece" is the equivalent to a Michelle Malkin article. Its garbage.

  • Bruce Majors||

    Her articles are often good. But Tedium Tatters may be hiring.

  • ||

    caption contest:

    I Told you so!

  • John Tagliaferro||

    "I never had sex. Ever!"

  • ||

    I would not make too much of Paul's victory in the straw poll. It's like the girls in high school, the party girls who get drunk and drop their knickers on the first date are popular in school, but do you really want to marry one? It's fun to pick Paul in a straw poll, and thumb your noses at the left, but to have him as an actual candidate, no way.

  • Old Mexican||

    Yeah, but in times past, that poll was the Real Deal! Until Paul won it, of course . . .

    That's the current rationale - Paul won it: Meh. Not important. Romney won it three times in a row in the past: The people have spoken!

  • ||

    Actually, the way I heard it expressed was that since Romney won it three years in a row, that proves the pointlessness of the poll.

  • Tango Mike||

    Yes. I really want to marry one.

  • ||

    +1 for the correct answer

  • ||

    I just want a first date.

  • ||

    With all of them.

  • ||

    thumb your noses at the left

    No, if you want to thumb your nose at the left you vote for Palin. A lot of lefties consider Paul principled, if misguided. He doesn't generate the hate that Palin or Cheney get.

  • Michael Palin||

    While I'm not related to Sarah Palin, I do have an opinion about her future. I think Congressman Paul would be wise to abduct her, remove her brain, and replace it with his brain.

  • mr simple||

    I was experimenting to see if I could remove my own brain.

    Getting the brain out was the easy part. The hard part was getting the brain out.

  • ||

    But what about tha voice. You would have to transplant her with another voice too. You betchya. Nah just find somebody else or stick to Ron Paul. If we are taking brain tranplants might as well make a younger clone or find a way to keep him from aging.

  • Bruce Majors||

    What does your experience as a prom queen runner up have to do with this?

    And why does a 75 year old man make your mind leap to images of dropping your knickers?

    I guess you are more of a Clinton-Edwards-Foley type?

  • ||

    Well, yeah, I wish I had married one.

  • ||

    My grandfather did time in a federal prison in Atlanta with Eugene Debs, for handing out anti-war pamphlets at a local recruitment center. I'm glad that Dr. Paul made a lot of people aware of what an evil SOB Woodrow Wilson was.

    -jcr

  • ||

    That is some bad-ass family lore. +1

  • ||

    JCR,
    oh I know you must think the jooos started WW1? that is the only possible reason your grandad could have opposed that great war.

    Woodrow Wilson was a great thinker with amazing foresight. He knew that the answers to our problems in monetary policy would be solved by giving a secretive opaque group of bankers a printing press and having the taxpayers borrow the currency from these people and then let the taxpayers be blindsinded with subsequent expansions and contractions of the money supply that the secretive group of elites would have foreknowledge of. The wise ones would obviously use this power only for good only the paranoid pot smokers like your treasonous grand dad would question that. Good people like Michael Moynihan and David Harsyani know that our current monetary system is fair, if we ever get a chance to shut up the tinfoil hat crowd then we won't have to listen to your wining any more John R. "waaa waa my grandad went to prison for breaking speach codes"...don't you know that freedom has a price you ungrateful little anti-semite!

    Besides I suppose you wish we were all speaking German right now? if we hadn't got involved in WW1 then how could we have ever made the world safe for democracy? Would we have ever had aweesome movies like "Saving Private Ryan" or "Pearl Harbor"?

    I'm glad your grandad went to prison for being a traitor John Randolph. My friends and I at the Princeton Woodrow Wilson School of International Affairs wish that you grandad could have been abducted and taken away without a lawyer. That would have been more just. We produce real americans like David Petraeus who no how countrinsurgency works. If you don't nip it in the bud then the kids come back and attack you like you are now. We should have taken your whole family out for not giving us better info on the threat.

  • ||

    Fine bit of satire, CO.

    Incidentally, my grandfather also used to get into fist fights with the local KKKlowns in Dayton Ohio. They were highly offended that he married a Jewish girl.

    -jcr

  • ||

    Sure and some of your best friends are black too right?

    I know your type. You anti-american tinfoil hatters are all the same. We need Moynihan to come in here and splain to the morons how WW1 saved us all.

  • ||

    Sure and some of your best friends are black too right?

    Now that you mention it, yes. Some of them are. I don't think about race much, that's the Democrats' hobby horse.

    -jcr

  • Brian Trust||

    "I don't think about race much, that's the Democrats' hobby horse."

    So much so that they're actually surprised when they forget about a person's race. (see: Chrissy Matthews)

  • Jimmy 'Crack' Corn||

    How could they forget about race? Blasphemy to the libtards.

  • ||

    I'll admit this was a good piece after voicing displeasure over the shrill screed by Harsanyi below it. A much more sensible article.

  • Joel||

    Agreed. Go ahead and hate on Paul if you want - I'm not his biggest fan - but at least give some reasons.

    Even with all the self-promotion, this was a far superior article.

  • ||

    Did this site post the trashy hit piece just to be anti-Paul, or because they are trolling for page views? If so, then it seems I'm doing their bidding.

  • Mark||

    Now THIS is an article!

  • ||

    Today, I feel optimistic about the future.

  • Joe M||

    Oh Reason, I love you. Let's never fight again. *kiss*

  • Bruce Majors||

    Yea. Sure I'll call you. I'm gonna be busy for a few days though....

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Jesus. Kind words for Ron Paul?
    I guess the international Kochtopus conspiracy will have to have Doherty killed now.
    Maybe Postrel will return.

  • ||

    Yup, they're probably having conniption fits over at LRC because (t)Reason isn't following their script.

  • Old Mexican||

    Tom Woods' take on the previous hit piece against Paul by David Harsanyi:

    [M]y favorite line in that dumb-guy hit piece is this: “His obsession with long-decided monetary policy and isolationism are not his only half-baked crusades.” So a libertarian is evidently supposed to think like this: since the establishment tells us it’s just swell to have a monopoly central bank, and that to think otherwise would place one outside the mainstream (and we can’t have that; surely we don’t want to be outside that glorious continuum from Mitch McConnell to Hillary Clinton), the matter is thus “long decided” and closed for discussion. The establishment has spoken; the matter is closed.

    This, of course, would mean Ludwig von Mises, Henry Hazlitt, F.A. Hayek, and other free-market economists — that is, the kind we libertarians tend to like — were all stupidheads. Didn’t they know these issues are “long decided”? Curse you, David Harsanyi, for not having been born sooner, that you might have urged the crazy men who developed (and won the Nobel Prize for) Austrian business cycle theory to quit wasting their time. Central banking causes no discoordination after all, the Denver Post columnist would have us believe. Next time, Dave, it might be better to make an argument. Some of us may need something more substantial than your ex cathedra pronouncement.

    The “isolationism” remark, straight out of traditional commie agitprop, is too stupid to reply to. I’d point out that Ron Paul is adapting to the present day the traditional classical liberal foreign policy of Richard Cobden, but I suspect Harsanyi’s exhaustive studies have yielded him no acquaintance with Cobden.

    Invariably, the comments section to such an article criticizes Ron Paul supporters on the grounds that they unthinkingly support him and cannot brook criticism. The truth is that we can’t stand idiotic, dumb-guy criticism, from a supposedly libertarian source, that condemns Dr. Paul for holding what are traditional, long-standing libertarian views.
  • IdiotPaulite||

    As one of those stupid, non-thinking people who was drawn toward libertarianism by Dr. Paul, I thank goodness for someone like Tom Woods who can rebut a hit job like Davey H's much better than I possibly could.

  • Old Mexican||

    Tom Woods is as eloquent when writting as he is when speaking: precise, direct, knowledeable, funny. I wish I had a history teacher like him.

  • Old Mexican||

    Sorry, that's: Knowledgeable.

  • ||

    Are we talking about the same Tom Woods? The guy who whines like a school girl when someone criticizes his work? He does good preaching when he's facing the choir, but he gives Lew a run for his money in the unhinged department when someone intrudes into his echo chamber.

  • Bruce Majors||

    What is with this calling everyone you can't debate a girl?

    Maybe reparative therapy can help your shore up your masculinity.

  • ||

    Tom Woods is not "everyone". He is the only person I can recall that I've likened to a school girl here on HNR.

  • Bruce Majors||

    Oh sorry Brandybuck, I didn't realize you were a special needs student. Let me help you. Several posts above the one where you call Tom Woods a girl you said the people who voted for for Paul in the straw poll were like the girls you knew in high school.

    Since you are so dumb I hope you at least have nice tits.

  • Bruce Majors||

    My apologies to your tits. That was BunkerBill not Brandybuck. I get you BBs hiding behind fake screen names mixed up.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Brandybuck,

    The guy who whines like a school girl when someone criticizes his work?

    If he ever "whined" about someone RIGHTFULLY and with GOOD counterarguments in his hand (and not some Straussian platitudes or economics-illiterate red herrings) criticizing his work, it would be news to me.

    Even so, he does not whine - he mocks the obvious lack of historical knowledge and honesty from his detractors.

  • ||

    My first response was reject by Reason as spam. So I'll summarize instead of posting all the links that triggered the spam filter (you can easily find them yourelf). Last Friday Woods publicly defriended David Nalle on Facebook, the national chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus, because he criticized DiLorenzo's Lincoln book. Publicly defriended. Just like a school girl on MySpace (hence my pejorative). He called out to his "gang" that "just thought you should know".

    DiLorenzo can't defend his own book? You're not allowed to critique an academic work anymore? What kind of man publicly defriends folks on Facebook? All based on whether Lincoln was as horrible as DiLorenzo says he is? Shit.

    I've argued myself with Mr. Nalle over the issue of Lincoln. He is not spiteful, not mean spirited, not given to name calling. He discusses things rationally and backs them up with sources. Not once have I ever felt tempted to publicly defriend him in a fit of pique.

  • ||

    Last Friday Woods publicly defriended David Nalle on Facebook, the national chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus, because he criticized DiLorenzo's Lincoln book. Publicly defriended.

    Good Lord am I missing out on a lot by not being on face book?

    Is that how you people know about this stuff?

    I've never heard of Tom Woods.

  • Bruce Majors||

    Reason only rejects you as spam if you include a link with http in it.

    Cut it off and use www instead.

  • Jimmy 'Crack' Corn||

    B M
    Thanks for that info.

  • ||

    I wish every kid in America had a history teacher like him.

    -jcr

  • ||

    Ron Paul will never be ready for prime time.

    The best we can hope for is that he nudges the GOP towards fiscal and diplomatic conservatism.

    Unfortunately the Republicans show no signs they are willing to listen.

  • ||

    I remember when they used to say that about Ronald Reagan.

    -jcr

  • ||

    Exactly! What the Republican Party needs is another empty-headed suit to parrot Ron Paul long enough to get elected. Then Dick Cheney can get back to his ventriloquist act by shoving his hand up the suit's ass.

  • ||

    hilarious

  • me||

    enter the rebranded Romney, introduced by Glen Beck.

  • ||

    One analogy I think is helpful is to remember the history of the progressive wing of the Democrats in regards to the anti-war movement.

    In 2003, the anti-war movement was led by the Stalinist front group ANSWER and assorted cohorts of radical hard left activists.

    But not only did the progressives refuse to repudiate these people, they actively embraced them and moved them into the mainstream. Eventually moving the Democratic party leftward enough to nominate Obama. A guy whose claim to fame was making an anti-war speech on a platform provided by self-same radical leftists, but who has turned out to something a of a disappointment from their perspective.

    The Democrats apparantly know that radicals are more useful when coopted than when they are marginalized. Angry mobs win elections. Even if said angry mobs are stupid and illinformed. You use them to push the political spectrum in the election you want to go.

    So from a cynical perspective, it is NOT in the GOP's interest to try to shut up the Tea Partier or Ron Paul faction (if said can be distinguished).

  • ||

    Yes, but the GOP doesn't have the MSM to whitewash its radicals.

  • ||

    I see I have a fan!

  • Xeones||

    So from a cynical perspective, it is NOT in the GOP's interest to try to shut up the Tea Partier or Ron Paul faction (if said can be distinguished).

    This is why you've got some GOP luminaries dismissing the Tea Party, while others are actively doing their damnedest to co-opt it.

  • ||

    See, I want them to try to coopt it, so that they can take over the GOP from within.

    The Democrats have moved significantly leftward as a result of the influence of ANSWER and the anti-war movement within the party. Similarly, libertarians right now have a chance to move the Republican party in a libertarian direction. We can disguise ourselves as Tea Parties and then when they embrace us, we go "surprise! now we own you!"

  • Ebeneezer Scrooge||

    Well at least have mercy and wait until after the first kiss.

    But I like you're take on things.

  • Equality 7-2521||

    Congratulations Doherty; you will never write for the Denver Post.

  • small hands||

    Quick .. that last Paul piece was shit and really pissed of a lot of our people ... write something else and hope we stop the unsubscribe floodgates.

  • ||

    Doesn't feel like a hurry-up piece, insofar as the writing. Now the editorial decision to drop in now...that's another matter.

    Why can't Harsanyi just go work for Weigel at that POS rag in D.C., and leave us alone?

  • ||

    More like: "Quick, who has anything in the works that doesn't stab Paul in the neck?"

  • Joe E||

    The point that it is the consequences that Paul (and all the austrians for that matter) has predicted is what scares people, not the man himself is quite insightful. Even if that is not the case, that should be what scares the GOP.

  • ||

    Political analyst Patrick Ruffini at The Next Right has a balanced, non-fan’s perspective that I think gets it about right, explaining what the standard bastions of conservatism should both fear and credit Paul and his fans for

    Ruffini, the genius, had predicted that Ron Paul would lose his Congressional seat in 2008. You don't have to decide whether he's evil or a moron: he's both.

    Of course, he's scrubbed his website rather than wiping the egg (cum) off his face; alas, the internet has ways of remembering.

    Ruffini is a professional failure and a failure as a human being. Worthless.

  • Bruce Majors||

    Ah all the jism in the eyes of the tea bagged, from Rachel Maddow maiden experience watching Scott Brown's election night on...

    Pearl necklaces for everyone!

  • jacob||

    +1

    I'll gladly help distribute said necklaces

  • Jimmy 'Crack' Corn||

    I wish I got that 'Pearl neclaces for everyone! remark.

  • josey||

    One of the biggest problems with Ron Paul was demonstrated to me in a conversation I had with a friend of mine last Saturday. He's a regular guy, about 66 years old, and leans right, but with a decidedly libertarian undercurrent. I mentioned something about CPAC, and the straw poll vote, and he replied that he'd never think of voting for a weirdo like Paul. When I asked what was so weird about him, he told me that it's because Paul claims to have been the victim of an alien abduction. He says he's seen footage of Paul making that claim.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: josey,

    When I asked what was so weird about him, he told me that it's because Paul claims to have been the victim of an alien abduction. He says he's seen footage of Paul making that claim.

    That comment from your aquaintance speaks more about your aquaintance's state of mind than about the problem with RP.

  • josey||

    I think the biggest factor is that he's completely internet-illiterate and has no way to verify the info he gets from traditional media.

  • ||

    Your friend seems to have Dr. Paul confused with Dennis Kucinich.

  • josey||

    Thanks, the google seems to agree with you. Should be helpful.

  • The American Public||

    Ron Paul, Lyndon LaRouche, Dennis Kucinich, the Unibomber -- I get all those Libertarians mixed up.

  • Bruce Majors||

    Yes but as Valerie Jarret, Joe Klein and Robert Gibbs tell us, you are a moron. You may go back to felching them now.

  • ||

    The Aryan nation does support Ron Paul so I could see how your friend made that mistake josey. You tell your obviously intelligent friend to keep getting his news from the TV where you don't have a bunch of random rumors floating around. The internet is practically worthless if you are trying to do any serious research.

  • ||

    good stuff

    lmao

  • me||

    i imagine that any group that wants to be left the hell alone would support paul or any true libertarian. it's kinda what the whole libertarian thing's about: freedom to be yourself, no matter how ugly or pretty.

  • ||

    You sure he wasn't confusing Paul with Kucinich?

  • ||

    Probably an illegal alien.

  • ||

    Jesus Christ Monkeyballs, the Paul fans are thin-skinned. GOD FORBID someone write something negative about him. You remind me of Obamatrons, and I'm someone who is quite sympathetic towards Ron Paul.

    You're acting like cultists. Knock it off.

  • ||

    The foaming at the mouth anti-Pauls come across the same way or even worse, though.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Episiarch,

    Invariably, the comments section to such an article criticizes Ron Paul supporters on the grounds that they unthinkingly support him and cannot brook criticism. The truth is that we can’t stand idiotic, dumb-guy criticism, from a supposedly libertarian source, that condemns Dr. Paul for holding what are traditional, long-standing libertarian views.

    One cannot improve on what Woods said - it is not that one is thin-skinned, Epi, but that the attacks were so infantile, so wrong-headed and filled with inconsistencies and obvious ad hominem arguments, not to mention the innuendo against Ron Paul supporters.

  • ||

    the problem with the attacks generally is that they are disingenuous and based on an agenda that has nothing, really, to do with the contents of the attacks. The actual content of the attacks is irrelevant in these cases. It's more like "I detest Ron Paul. Let's invent justifications for why we detest him in as much as there are really no justifiable reasons for our hatred."

  • Joe E||

    I think people were more upset that the negative article came across as a smear job. I think its reasonable to assert that if it had covered more specific, substantive problems, and less ad hominum, the reaction wouldn't have been nearly as dramatic.

  • ||

    the negative article came across as a smear job

    Probably because it was a smear job.

    -jcr

  • Joe E||

    I agree, but in the interest of not sounding unreasonably passionate or opinionated about the article, I chose mild language intentionally.

  • me||

    possibly, but in reality where the article was full of ad hominems and light on evidence to back up claims...

    it's still a hit piece.

    i mean, come on. at least people writing nasty stuff about cheney back it up with evidence that he did in fact shred our civil liberties.

    and i support those writers because the facts are on their side. not because i don't like the letter in parenthesis after cheney's name (R).

  • ||

    Personally, no problem with criticism. I mean, he IS a politician, regardless of ideology.

    Just hate to get Harsanyi's fucking mongo-drool on my face. Wish he'd go write for Weigel at that POS DC rag.

  • Bruce Majors||

    Hear that plane overhead........?

  • ||

    Substantive critiques of Paul are welcomed, even necessary.

    But baseless muckraking?

    Nah.

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    I don't think Ron Paul is "future of the conservative movement". He is too old. And I don't care conservation anyways, I care about freedom.

    But when the criticism of Paul is:(1) he is a racist becuase of stuff that he didn't write 30 years ago (2) he is an islamo-facist becuase he doesn't want to bomb the bad brown people of the month and/or (3) he is a nut because he agrees with Hayek and Mises and Jefferson on the central bank. And that criticism is on a supposedly libertarian website, then fuck who ever is saying that with a big spiked disease carrying dildo.

  • ||

    Another thing I don't understand - why are niggers always acting so uppity about supposed white racism?

  • ||

    +1

  • ||

    WTF!? Is ReaZon actually trying to be virtuous? The article is closer to an approximation of RP's value, but I'm skeptical of ReaZon.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    This strikes me as incredibly funny, for some reazon. Probably all the boose.

  • ||

    yepper, the early afternoon 'Early Times' does help

  • John Tagliaferro||

    then the conventional political wisdom is wrong.

    When is any "conventional wisdom" ever right?

  • ||

    I AM A MEMBER OF THE WORLD'S SMALLEST MAJORITY!........ME!

    *OK, if you're going to get technical, in a 6,000,000,000-way tie*

  • ||

    Batshit crazy-man Ron Paul accused the Federal Reserve of funding Saddam Hussein and the Watergate investigation TODAY in the House Bernanke testimony.

    Ben called Ron Paul "absolutely bizarre" - I am still laughing.

    Barney Frank then offered to co-sponsor an investigation into the Reagan and Nixon administrations.

    Of course, Mr. Paul has a fetish for the Federal Reserve like any fucked-up Teabagger John Bircher type.

    Enjoy your fruitcake icons!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....r_embedded

  • Old Mexican||

    Ben called Ron Paul "absolutely bizarre" - I am still laughing.

    Coming from Ben "Titanic" Bernanke, Paul should feel flattered!

  • ||

    Helicopter Ben Bernake calling something bizarre is bizarre.

    Why do you think the FED is fighting so hard to keep the books closed.

  • ||

    The books aren't closed. The Fed is audited every year by Deloitte and the results given to the GAO for Congress to examine.

  • ||

    You're blowin smoke up here. The FEDs Monetary policy is not audited.

    Take a powder kid!!

    http://blogs.wsj.com/economics.....b/article/

  • ||

    Jim Rogers: Audit the Fed, Then Abolish It

    http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-.....D,TIP,TBT,^dji,^GSPC,FNM,FRE

  • ||

    Different subject.

    The BOOKS are audited (unlike your claim).

    Monetary policy is not subject to Congressional approval (FOMC decisions).

    No sensible person wants idiots like Michelle Bachmann or Maxine Waters voting on whether to open the emergency window for XXX Big Bank or to buy MBS, CDO, gold, or T-bills.

    Get real. The Fed turned over $46 billion in gains to the Treasury in January.

    They know what they are doing.

    Congress does not.

  • ||

    And that's what Paul wants audited. You're clueless.

    The Fed doesn't know what it is doing. The dollar has lost 95 percent of its value since its creation.

  • ||

    Wages have gone up in value 30x in the same time period.

    You obviously don't understand relative worth.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Shrike,

    Wages have gone up in value 30x in the same time period.

    False, they have actually gone DOWN in terms of GOLD.

    In 1919 the National Industrial Conference Board of Boston, Massachusetts study found that the probable distribution of an American family’s disposable income broke down into the categories "Minimum Budget" and "More Liberal Budget."[...] The Industrial Board concludes that "to maintain a family consisting of man, wife and three children under fourteen years of age, at a minimum American standard of living but without any allowance for savings, $1,267.76 per year will be required, or a steady income of $24.38 per week."

    If gold today does not exceed $1176.90 a Troy ounce this would mean the American family of today would need to have an income, after taxes, equal to or greater than $72,175.35 yearly or a weekly income of $1,387.99."

    Source: http://www.lewrockwell.com/case/case37.1.html

    The average income of Americans right now is gravitating around $41,000.00. There is NO WAY REAL wages have gone up 30x. If the above is to be taken as resonable, then REAL wages have actually gone DOWN. This is demonstrable by the fact that more and more people have to rely on credit to make purchases that in the 20's were done in cash, like the purchase of a new home or a car. People quickly forget that a brand new Ford Model T only cost $290 (equivalent to $3,191 today) whereas a comparable size car today costs at least $11,000.00 with taxes and title.

  • Old Mexican||

    The average yearly salary for a skilled laborer, in 1920, 1925 and 1930:

    Average Yearly Salary
    $1,433.12 - 1920
    $1,385.80 - 1925
    $1,115.40 - 1930

    In today's dollars (using gold prices):

    $76,959.99 - 1920
    $74,418.87 - 1925
    $59,898.11 - 1930 - Great Depression

    It becomes apparent that from 1920 to 1930 Americans were maintaining a standard of living fully in line with the National Industrial Conference Board’s findings in 1919.

  • lukas||

    Why does it matter what the wages are worth in terms of gold? Whether that would be a good idea or not, gold hasn't been used as a currency for a good few decades now. As a consequence, its price is subject to major fluctuations just like any other commodity.

    And you can easily get a better car than the '20s Model T for $3000 today. Just ask Tata.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re:Lukas,

    Why does it matter what the wages are worth in terms of gold?

    Because the dollar lost value due to the increase in the money supply, whereas gold has remained more or less the same quantity for the last 100 years, so it makes a perfect BASELINE. THAT'S WHY!

    Whether that would be a good idea or not, gold hasn't been used as a currency for a good few decades now.

    WHO CARES? That was not the point of the posting! It was to show that Shriek was being disingenuous by saying that wages have increased thirty-fold - NOT IN PURCHASING POWER, THEY DIDN'T!

  • lukas||

    In purchasing power as far as gold is concerned. Most people do not buy a whole lot of gold on a day to day basis.

    Besides, the gold supply is far from constant. It increases at around 2% per year from mining. (there are about 130K tonnes of gold above ground, we mine 2.5K tonnes a year).

    If you want to tell me that a US worker in the 1920's was better off than a US worker today, well, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.

  • ||

    OM, I tried to find an article for you but couldn't. The article was about using gold a hedge against inflation. The interesting thing was that going back to the times of the Romans, a good suit of clothes cost about 1 oz. of gold. I.e. a fine toga or whatever would cost 1 oz whereas today a nice business suit would cost the same.

  • Sam Grove||

    This:
    The dollar has lost 95 percent of its value since its creation.

    helps explain this:

    Wages have gone up in value 30x in the same time period.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Shrike,

    Wages have gone up in value 30x in the same time period.

    Not in value. In denomination. In value the wages have been going DOWN, or to put it in more technical terms, the PURCHASING POWER of the dollar has gone down - all THANKS to the Fed.

  • Old Mexican||

    Sorry, Sam. I thought you were Shrike. You are right, inflation explains the 30x increase in wages in dollar terms. I was explaining to Shirek that what matters is the purchasing power of the dollar, not how many dollar bills you get.

  • ||

    If it takes the same amount of gold to purchase a carton of eggs at any two points in time, the measurable inflation can be seen in the difference of the gold price at these same two points.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Shrike,

    No sensible person wants idiots like Michelle Bachmann or Maxine Waters voting on whether to open the emergency window for XXX Big Bank or to buy MBS, CDO, gold, or T-bills.

    HR 1207 does not allow Congress to determine monetary policy, only to allow the Comptroller to audit the Board of Governors (their metting minutes and decisions, for instance) and deliver the findings to Congress.


    2/26/2009--Introduced.
    Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2009 - Repeals the authority of the Comptroller General to carry out an onsite examination of an open insured bank or bank holding company only if the appropriate federal regulatory agency has consented in writing. (Retains the authority of the Comptroller General to audit a federal agency.) Directs the Comptroller General to complete, before the end of 2010, an audit of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and of the federal reserve banks, followed by a detailed report to Congress.

    The ecomonics-illiterate (e.g. Keynesians, Statists of every ilk) have a penchant for criticizing any attempt to reduce the stronghold the Fed has on our economy.

    They know what they are doing.

    And such is demonstrable by the way they predicted the bubble and immediately took steps to correct it before it grew too big . . .

    . . . no, wait . . .

  • ||

    Giving Congress more control over the Fed is not going to reduce the stranglehold the Fed has on the economy. It will merely put more control into the hands of the current Democratic Party and the Obama administration.

    Would you rather have Ben Bernanke setting interest rates, or Barack Obama?

  • ||

    Giving Congress more control over the Fed is not going to reduce the stranglehold the Fed has on the economy. It will merely put more control into the hands of the current Democratic Party and the Obama administration.

    Would you rather have Ben Bernanke setting interest rates, or Barack Obama?

  • ||

    I seem to recall Enron was auditted by a well respected auditor as well. And certainly nothing hinky was going on over there either.

  • ||

    Try to find an Arthur Andersen auditor now.

    It cost them their entire business.

  • me||

    they rebranded, and so did every other major accounting firm, just to confuse and obfuscate their involvement to the casual observer.

  • Bruce Majors||

    One of my clients was a gay Latino Marxist who graduated from Harvard Law School (and now that I think of it, would be around Obama's age now....hmmm) who worked at the Securities and Exchange Commission.

    He was a piece of work, a handsome guy who I had known socially (that's not a euphemism) before he became a client, who was given to crying fits while looking at property, and telling me about his strange work life (he felt gay pride required that you tell married straight men at work, including those OVER you, that you found them fuckable).

    I somehow learned that J, as we will call him, was the person who oversaw Enron's filings. Since he was a self-professed Marxist I asked him what gave. He just answered that their filings were all perfectly reasonable and complete....

  • guy in the back row||

    Deloitte audited our Medicare HCC scores, which my team generates using the SAS program available on the CMS website. Every month for nine months they identified a few thousand members whose scores they didn't agree with. Each month we proved we were right and they were wrong. Finally they gave up evaluating scores and switched to evaluating dollars based on the MOR/MMR from CMS.

    I don't know much about accounting, but I wouldn't hire any of them as data analysts.

  • ||

    An audit to look for unsanctioned theft, while pretending to be oblivious to the sanctioned theft is not quite what we had in mind.

  • ||

    shrike is a shill, or maybe just a tea-o-con zombie

  • ||

    Watergate and Federal Reserve

    http://books.google.com/books?.....=watergate federal reserve&f=false

  • ||

    Just spotted this, too.

    -jcr

  • ||

    Just spotted this, too.

    -jcr

  • Bruce Majors||

    Uh, yea, that was a persuasive little outburst shrike.

    Is the nurse late with your pill again?

  • ||

    Oh, look! Shrek is back, and he's as stupid as he ever was. Where you been?

    -jcr

  • ||

  • ||

    I predicted last September that Ron Paul could well be playing a Goldwater in 1960 role—the first stirrings of a strongly anti-government coalition whose electoral effectiveness won’t become manifest for a while

    Terrific. So who gets to be Nixon in 2016? Wait wasn't Bush the lesser Nixon? So what, another Eisenhower? That wouldn't be too bad. And round about 2028 we'll get another LINO like Reagan. If the Republic is still standing that is. If not well, maybe then we'll get a libertarian POTUS

  • Bruce Majors||

    It's too late Matt and Nick. I am leading the masses from tomorrow's Tea Party protest outside Blair House (1651 Pennsylvania) at 9:30 am, pitchforks and torches in hand, to the Reason offices on Connecticut Avenue!

    Ron Paul!

    RON PAUL!

    ROOONNNN PAAUUULLLLLL!!!!!!

  • Kochtopus||

    I'll be waiting, my pretties.
    Bwahahahaha!

  • Bruce Majors||

    Kalamari for lunch!

    Mmmmmmm, mmmmmmm, mmmmmmm.

  • ||

    The Jewish vote is 90-95% Democratic and only Brian Doherty is unaware that our blind support for Israel has cost us the emnity of 1 1/2 billion Muslims and 200 million Arabs plus most of the rest of the world. AIPAC brags that its lock on Congress is total. The Black vote is 99% Democratic and we can safely ignore professional blacks like Ofari Hutchison. The attacks on Paul here in Reason do suggest the total irrelevancy of Reason to anything remotely resembling libertarian philosophy or political movement. If Paul had lost badly Doherty would be gloating, if he wins it doesn't really mean much......Heads I win, tails you lose nonlogic. Goodbye Reason (not the faculty but it's opposite, the magazine.)

  • Thomas||

    I think you're responding to the wrong article.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Actually, this seems like an appropriate post for any Ron Paul thread, but probably not in the way the poster meant.

  • Jerry||

    He probably thought it was another holocaust denial thread.

  • LibertyBill||

    What does this have to do with anything?

  • Nathan||

    An intelligent and fair piece on RP. He does talk about a lot of scary stuff in the future, but look at the history of the world. A history of government coercion, tyranny, inflation, and squashed liberties.

    "Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it" RP did his homework

  • Bill Moore||

    Reading this article is like listening to Glenn Beck when there isn't an election on the line.

  • Andrew Ian Dodge||

    2400 people out of 10000 took the poll and he got 33%. That means that 800ish people voted for him. Not that impressive if you bother to look at the numbers.

    His problem is not his domestic policy but the pro-Islamist, Israel/Jew-hating leanings of many of his most ardent fanatical fans. His rally at CPAC did nothing to quell this belief.

  • LibertyBill||

    Oh look another Neocon who pulls the Sharpton card when they have no facts to combat Paul's policy views.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Andrew Ian Dodge,

    His problem is not his domestic policy but the pro-Islamist, Israel/Jew-hating leanings of many of his most ardent fanatical fans.

    This is pure unsubstantiated innuendo. A principled argument against foreign aid to Israel is NOT ipso facto an anti-Jewish argument.

    Please explain how can it be moral or ethical to take my hard-earned money at gunpoint, to give it to the Israelis, or anybody else for that matter? How can questioning the morality of using stolen money to prop of a foreign country's military become an anti-Jewish comment?

  • Steven Horwitz||

    As a Jew, I'll just note that Old Mexican is correct here. Opposing US aid to Israel is not ipso facto anti-Semitic.

    That said, there are those among the people who oppose US aid to Israel (a position I support) who are, in fact, ALSO anti-Semites. I've never heard RP say anything anti-Semitic (though I do hold him responsible for the racism in some of HIS newsletters, even if he didn't write it), but I have heard it from some of his "followers."

  • Bruce Majors||

    Andrew can you produce any quotes from any of these 20-something Ron Paul people where they denounce Jews?

    These same youngins at CPAC, like Jeff Frazee and Alexander McCobbin, mainly heterosexual white guys, are the ones who defended the gay CPACers against attacks from the homophobes there. True these young gentlemen do seem to be largely from WASP families, but I have never heard any of the same anything anti-Semitic.

    Your hero Andrew Breitbart and his colleague Larry O'Connor who you shared a panel with at CPAC smacked down Max Blumenthal there for his smearing of James O'Keefe as a racist. Why are you smearing these young men as anti-Semites just because the oppose looting American taxpayers to send billions to the governments of Egypt, Israel, Germany and Japan?

  • LibertyBill||

    O'Keefe a racist? A douche yes but a racist no.

  • josey||

    HuffPo taught me that those two words are actually synonyms.

  • LibertyBill||

    lol, well someone can be a racist and a douche but O'Keefe isnt one of them.

  • ||

    Obviously these Aryan Nation types are not overly friendly to jewish people...is it that complicated? you guys really need a logic class.

    I have heard some tinfoil hat types say "oh ya if you like the joos so much then why does our government support the most radical islamic fundamentalist like the House of Saud? even Kissinger works for these people and they are the ones who donate all the money to the craziest islamic schools...why is this?...and Bush was friends with the Bin Laden family!" We all know this conspiracy mongering is more BS, that is why we need to censor the internet some people really believe this stuff!

  • Andrew Ian Dodge||

    A couple of points. First I have said repeatedly that there are reasonable Ron Paul supporters able to have coherent discussions about policy without reverting to bashing neo-cons/Jews/Israelis/call me a faux-libertarian etc.

    Second I am old enough to have been on the newsletters, examples of which are here. I have received quite a few anti-semitic rants from Ron Paul supporters claiming I am an agent of Mossad or "a Jew". I am neither.

    Stormfront sent Paul a donation last election that he did not send back.

  • ||

    Why should he send it back?

  • ||

    He really should send the Stormfront money back. Then I can have my contacts at the bank get proof of the transaction and we can show everyone how Ron Paul is actually paying off Stormfront. This will be great publicity!

  • K-Y||

    Your music is ubergay. That's okay if you want to be ubergay, I'm cool with that. I just don't think anyone would mistake the composer of such insufferable tracks for a Jew. Or a Mossad agent (when I think Mossad, I think more Hebrew-ninja, less Kid Rock). In fact, I think you made that whole part up.

  • ||

    Yes Dodge is on to something. If Ron Paul isn't a anti-semite (at least a little bit) then why would he support not bombing muslims. The book the muslims worship clearly explains that they want to eliminate Jewish people from the planet! How can you not support bombing these people and killing at least a portion of their children? How can we allow them to have nuclear power plants?! Certain technologies need to be kept away from some of the muslim countries and we should decide who is allowed to use various technologies. I understand Arryan nation might disagree with me, but is there any logical people out there who disagree?

  • Bruce Majors||

    Yes and I have several cyber stalkers who call my office and home and libel me and leave whispered death threats on my answering machine. One is a 59 year old undergraduate at the University of Wyoming named John Stroebel who in 2008-2009 attacked Ron Paul people and supported Obama, and now that Obama is failing praises Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich while attacking Sarah Palin and the Tea Party movement. (He apparently thinks Ron Paulistas and the Tea Partiers are different and opposed.)

    This creature constantly attacks me in yahoo and google-group land with libels that I am a pedophile and demented fantasies in which he has interactions with me while I am in drag.

    By your logic Andrew, Ron Paul is responsible for this?

  • ||

    yes, the populist nutcases that he is encouraging will be a menace to this country for years. All insane people and all of their crimes are indirectly related to Ron Paul because Ron Paul is also insane and thinks that our monetary policy is not optimal. Anyone who wants to discuss monetary policy and examine the theories underlying our current system is obviously insane.

    This has been decided long ago by people much smarter than yourself..do you have economics PHD from a top 10 school? didn't think so idiot.

  • ||

    Opposing US aid to Israel is not ipso facto anti-Semitic.

    Particularly so, when you consider that Paul opposes US aid to the Arabs, too. If we quit handing US taxpayers' money out to everyone in the middle east, the Israelis come out ahead.

    -jcr

  • ||

    We don't give money our weapons or support to the Sauds....that is a conspiracy theory. Besides they are one of the best muslim nations out there, what would be wrong with Kissinger working for some of the rishest Sauds?...at least they are pretty sane compared to how Iraq or Afghanistan was before we came in and fixed them.

  • ||

    Hmmm . . . so what has Reason written about Ron Paul today? One article says there are bad things about Ron Paul. Another article says there are good things about him! How can this be?!? How can a libertarian magazine allow differences of opinion among its writers? It's like they're individuals, who can think for themselves! Libertarians should move in lockstep, not disagree REASONably!®

    Seriously, is it too much to ask that people neither look at Ron Paul with rose-colored glasses or with jade-colored ones? Maybe that's what Reason is trying to say: Ron Paul has some bad points. But hey, he has good points too! And maybe they disagree with him on points of Libertarian Doctrine, but still root for him overall, because he's the figurehead of a libertarian movement. Dr. Paul himself has said that it is not he that is important, but rather the message. Ron Paul is an imperfect messenger; most of us would agree on that. But he carries a very powerful message, and it's okay to support him without loving him.

  • ||

    "neither . . . or" s/b "neither . . . nor." Gaaah!

  • JOhnny MAckson||

    Dude, that's so unREASONable lol

    Jes
    www.anonymous-tools.se.tc

  • Steven Horwitz||

    a big +1 here. It's amazing how readers cannot understand that Reason magazine doesn't have a "view" apart from the views of the people who write there. David H's piece was like an awful paper from one of my students and has been rightly excoriated. Brian's piece was the real deal. And I'm a Ron Paul skeptic. Neither one is about "Reason."

    The RP folks and the LRC folks need to take a deep breath and stop seeing the so-called Orange Line Mafia everywhere. Not everything is a damn conspiracy theory. There's no organized movement among libertarians to tear down Ron Paul. Trust me.

    Hard as it is to believe, libertarians tend to think for themselves and not follow orders from the top very well.

  • Typical Libertarian||

    Well put! I would follow you anywhere!

  • ||

    yes, Reason has many great independent minds. They hire writers from all spectrums of the Obama, Bush Nader and Bob Barr voting public. Of course they have some standards, they aren't going to publish anti-semitic, conspiracy nuts who think anything could possibly be wrong with our monetary system or the establishment foreign policy.

    You should understand that the government is just full of bumbling idiots who happen to be in charge of you bigger idiots. Sure the government makes mistakes about Himalyan Glaciers, events that start wars, and unforseen crisis that require new legislation that turns out to be worse for you than the original cirsis...but it's all a mistake. You should still support the same policies and focus on important libertarian issues like privatized social security accounts. Don't get too radical, because then you will be all hate-filled and wacky.

  • ||

    your killin'me

  • ||

    I have to admit that Cosmotarian Overload has been doing some of the finest spoofing I've seen here since late last year.

  • Bruce Majors||

    +1

  • Equality 7-2521||

    "It's amazing how readers cannot understand that Reason magazine doesn't have a "view" apart from the views of the people who write there."

    So the choice of who does and doesn't write for Reason is a decision that is not subject to anyone's views?

  • ||

    So the choice of who does and doesn't write for Reason is a decision that is not subject to anyone's views?

    Well, of course it is. But being libertarians, the editors, in my experience, tend to choose to print/publish online viewpoints that they don't agree with more often than most political magazines. Reason had people who voted for Obama (one on staff, IIRC) as well as Barr voters, anti-war and pro-war writers, minarchists and anarcho-capitalists . . . and Cathy Young, who's a bit of all of the above. ;-) Yet they're all within the libertarian spectrum.

    But libertarians seem to be contrary more than most folk. There are radically differing opinions on religion, the role of the government, whether pot should be legal because it's right or because it's a better outcome . . . and I'm sure you can name a million more points of disagreement among libertarians. Reason definitely has an editorial viewpoint — but it allows a lot of variance from that viewpoint in what it publishes. As a libertarian magazine claiming to stand for "Free Minds" should.

  • Equality 7-2521||

    All well and good, but the harshest criticism (including mine) of the Harsanyi article was not for the opinion expressed.

    It was for ridiculously poor journalistic quality. The opinion per se was not the problem; that the opinion was not substantiated is.

    Any self-respecting outlet should refuse to publish that sort of hatchet job.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: grylliade,

    But being libertarians, the editors, in my experience, tend to choose to print/publish online viewpoints that they don't agree with more often than most political magazines.

    I don't buy that. It would be a total waste of time for the readers to have a site devoted to libertarian views become a hodge-podge of disimilar or contradictory views.

    The David Harsanyi piece was clearly NOT written by a libertarian even if self-professed, because the main objections to Ron Paul's philosophy were actually against sound and principled libertarian arguments, like not having a central bank or minding our own business. It was not simply an attack on Ron Paul, it was a clear hit piece on LIBERTARIANISM by a guy masquerading as a "libertarian". Now whose fault is it, the writter's, or the editor that chose to publish it uncritically in a libertarian blog???

  • ||

    All serious thinkers understand that the full libertarian spectrum contains lots of people who are pro-war, because how else could we grow the government when Republicans are in power. The full spectrum also contains many people in favor of a monetary system that secretly decided how and when to increase/decrease monetary supply so that people who don't know what is going on will have their savings wiped out periodically and those in the know can take advantage of the ignorance. Libertarians of all stripes should be published here and that is why we need to make sure that the Rothbard type wackos are not published here as well. These people have the craziest views about some fringe libertarian theories related to foreign policy and monetary systems. We absolutely must purge the movement of these intolerant anti-semites.

  • Old Mexican||

    Seriously, is it too much to ask that people neither look at Ron Paul with rose-colored glasses or with jade-colored ones?

    Who has? I for one do not agree with his creationist beliefs, but this does not interfere with his arguments for a more limited, Constitutional government and sound economics. All that a reasonable person would ask would be to BACK UP YOUR FUCKING ASSERTIONS FOR A FUCKING CHANGE!

    Is that too much to ask?

  • ||

    I for one do not agree with his creationist beliefs, but this does not interfere with his arguments for a more limited, Constitutional government and sound economics.

    Which was my point. You can disagree with the man, but he's still for limited government. Even on points I disagree with him on socially he's not likely to go making laws based on his morality.

    All that a reasonable person would ask would be to BACK UP YOUR FUCKING ASSERTIONS FOR A FUCKING CHANGE!

    Sorry if the sarcasm didn't come through; the "REASONable" stuff is purely making fun of that style of argument. (If I have to explain the joke, it's not funny! Dammit!)

    As for "who's done it" . . . are you really saying that you've seen neither Paul worshippers or Paul haters here? And that both contingents seem to outnumber those who have reasonable views on the matter? I'm not saying that they don't exist, but the posts in Ron Paul threads tend to the "Reason Hates Ron Paul" side. I'll admit I've not seen so much of the cynicism here, but you and I both know it exists.

    Probably it's a function of "those who care the most comment the most," and those who care the most are those who are passionate about it, rather than trying to be moderate. Probably most libertarians I know personally would be moderate about it. But here, I think what I said above needed said.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: grylliade,

    As for "who's done it" . . . are you really saying that you've seen neither Paul worshippers or Paul haters here?

    I cannot make that assertion. I have read people's opinions on the man and so far most people have been reasonable about Ron Paul as candidate or as libertarian philosopher. What I am saying is the following:

    Asking to back up assertions about the person is NOT the same as looking at the guy with rose-colored glasses. That's my point.

    And being "moderate" about something sounds too subjective to me. Almost always, a person that asks another to be "moderate" ends up meaning "agree more with ME."

  • ||

    BACK UP YOUR FUCKING ASSERTIONS FOR A FUCKING CHANGE!

    And let me point out, in response to this in particular, that I could go out and find quotes that prove my point. But you could go out and find quotes that prove yours. It'd require figuring out the proportion of loving/hating posts to those more moderate, and I'm sure as hell not going to go back over every Hit and Run post about Ron Paul and count them up. Maybe I'm wrong, and it's entirely possible it's cognitive bias that I remember the crazy posts more than the sane ones. I don't think so, though.

  • Old Mexican||

    You misunderstood, Gryllis. The comment was NOT about your comments but about David Harsanyi's.

  • Old Mexican||

    Sorry: Grylliade.

  • Bruce Majors||

    Nah they are just trying to sell copies and they couldn't find any good photos of Palin's ta-tas or Scott Brown's bum.

  • Cumbaugh||

    Americans ives in a country where a man can have a disgustng racist newslatter published under his name for years, have it finally exposed, and suffer no political consequences at all. Ron Paul's success should be a warning that something is terribly wrong.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Cumbaugh

    Americans ives in a country where a man can have a disgustng racist newslatter published under his name for years[...]

    Can you point to a single instance where these newsletters said anything that was unmistakenly and overtly racist, or are you just going to fling unsubstantiated innuendo around like a monkey flings shit when angry at whatever?

  • Irate Pirate||

    Every time the whole racist newsletters thing comes up there is a vein in my temple that takes to throbbing, sometime I ignore it sometimes not.

    Who Cares? Very many of you self identify yourselves as libertarians, including David H, do any of you get what that word means? All these words they do each have their own meanings, its important to know what they are and how they are different from the meanings of other words. So if Ron Paul knows what libertarian means, and I suspect he does, and he would follow a libertarian philosophy, which I suspect he would, does it matter in the least whether he hates spics and wops and niggers and kikes with noses as long as your arm and micks and chinks and gooks and geeks and honkies who never left the farm? None of those terms have any bearing on a libertarian governance. If the power of the government is not used to meddle in every aspect of ones life as is currently the practice, If true liberty is the driving force behind government the personal hates of the individual doing the governing don't matter a tinkers damn. I'd rather have a libertarian klansman in charge than a liberal or conservative I agreed with, cause even if you agree with them they wont last forever, while a libertarian wont advance the state and leave anything for those who follow after to abuse you with.

  • ||

    BAM

  • ||

    To answer Brian's question, it's the end of the Republican resurgence and the dawn of Ron Paul style libertarian conservatism. Once these Tea Partiers and Paulist sympathizers realize that this new small government charade drummed up by Glenn Beck and other posers is all for naught, Obama's popularity will rise again. I applaud the Republican party's attempt to con everyone into thinking that this time things will be different than they were under Bush, but it couldn't be more clear that it's all talk and no walk. On the other hand, Ron Paul's message will most likely be embodied by a viable candidate 20 some odd years from now.

  • Old Mexican||

    From: http://www.lewrockwell.com/blo.....51785.html

    Writes Steven Black:

    You know, a funny thing occurred to me recently when reading through the comments to the Reason hit piece. It’s a theme that I see time and time again concerning the supporters of Ron Paul being mindless followers that defend tooth and nail no matter what. The inference is that, I suppose, other political figures are not defended as strongly when hit-pieces are written in regards to them.

    The thing these people fail to understand is the fact that it is because we are NOT mindless that we defend him as we do. Ron Paul supporters are not only some of the most organized individuals there are, but they are also some of the most politically knowledgeable. I’ll never forget the youtube videos during the Florida primaries showing how supporters of Obama, McCain, Clinton, etc. were incapable of coherently explaining a single policy they favored. Yet, when Ron Paul supporters were taped, every single person was able to explain in detail at least one policy they supported, if not more. The group responsible for the videos claim that they did not cherry-pick and edit in order to make it look that way, and I, for one, believe them.

    That is why no other politician hit-piece encounters this type of organized response. There aren’t enough people to put up a comprehensive argument because they don’t really know anything about the person behind their facade.

    "Yet, when Ron Paul supporters were taped, every single person was able to explain in detail at least one policy they supported, if not more."

    This is very true. I could not talk with an Obama supporter because the guy had no clue about what his candidate stood for (not the supporter's fault, since Obama lied through his teeth throughout the whole campaign). Paul made his principles known every single time he appeared in front of supporters, on TV and in his writtings.

  • josey||

    'since Obama lied through his teeth throughout the whole campaign'

    That is, when he wasn't purposefully spouting the most vacuous platitudes ever conceived. I mean, I came to the game prepared to be insulted by politicians, but as we saw, this guy plays in a whole different league.

  • Steve Black||

    Thanks, Old Mexican!

    I was pleasantly surprised when Lew blogged my e-mail on his site. Seeing you post it here was a shocker to me.

    I almost feel famous ;)

    Seriously, though, it's true. There are of course fringe supporters for Paul, as there are for anyone. But, for the most part, he's not the type of Politician that one would follow blindly. He's not a cult personality or a mainstream media darling. His supporters seek him out and scrutinize him deeply. It's because he stands up to such scrutiny that supporters defend him against blatant vitriol.

    Thanks for your persistence on these comments.

    ~Steve

  • Bruce Majors||

    In 2008, I attended the DC Log Cabin Republican candidates' forum, where supporters represented four of the people still left in the primaries, including Ron Paul, Guiliani, McCain and one other (Romney?). (Paul was ably represented by DC lawyer Berin Szorka).

    During the Q&A I asked a question to the Guiliani rep (and then said everyone else should feel free to answer): Name a program or agency your candidate has said he would eliminate. Only the Ron Paul supporter could.

  • Warty||

    Fucking christ, what a debacle.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: grylliade,

    But being libertarians, the editors, in my experience, tend to choose to print/publish online viewpoints that they don't agree with more often than most political magazines.

    I don't buy that. It would be a total waste of time for the readers to have a site devoted to libertarian views become a hodge-podge of disimilar or contradictory views. What readers ask is that the pieces chosen for publication are cogent and HONEST.

    The David Harsanyi piece was clearly NOT written by a libertarian even if self-professed, because the main objections to Ron Paul's philosophy were actually against sound and principled libertarian arguments, like not having a central bank or minding our own business. It was not simply an attack on Ron Paul, it was a clear hit piece on LIBERTARIANISM by a guy masquerading as a "libertarian". Now whose fault is it, the writter's, or the editor that chose to publish it uncritically in a libertarian blog???

  • ||

    Ron Paul is on the rise! Excellent. What's funny is that I had always thought that Reason was a free-market publication. Obviously, they somehow love smearing Ron Paul, which is a good reason to despise the editorial staff of this publication.

  • ||

    One must take that poll with a grain of salt. There were at least 10,000 attendees at CPAC, and the total vote count for the straw poll was just 25% of that number. So mostly strong Paul supporters voted. If the straw poll count was close to a majority of the attendees, it would be a more accurate poll.

    So don't try to take too much from that poll.

  • ||

    It's one thing to believe something this disjointed, it's another to post it for the world to laugh at.

    THX

  • Random Dude||

    If you look all the numbers vote tally, it becomes pretty clear that it can't be ignored.

    The reason it can't be ignored is precisely *because* of the low voting numbers. Only 25% of CPAC voted in this formerly prestigious straw poll and Ron Paul won like 1/3 of the votes. If 100% of the Paulites voted in that poll, then it means that roughly 8 percent of the conference overwhelmed the next most popular candidate by 50%.......

    That's some pretty extreme intensity.

    Those other "reasonable" conservatives were either too apathetic or lazy to vote in the poll.

    On the other hand, if fewer than 100% of the Paulites voted, it means that CPAC had more than 8% supporters for Paul in attendance. This would be a sizable gain in influence from the following year.

    I think if anything it shows that while Ron Paul might be an interesting guy, it's his supporters that really have their shit together, are informed, and care about the political process.

    It's becoming quite hard to both marginalize the Paulites for being too zealously informed on boutique issues like monetary policy and governmental theory and then say they're a motley bunch of disorganized loons. Something's got to give here.

  • Random Dude||

    s/following/previous

    Need sleep.

  • Bruce Majors||

    I was there, I supported Paul, and I didn't vote. So there were more Paul people there than those who took the time to vote.

  • ||

    If you waste your time thinking about monetary policy then that is a strong indicator that you are insane. Smart people just watch TV and discus interesting enjoyable topics like Sarah Palin's wardrobe. Why waste time on things you can't control? enjoy your servitude
    life while you can.

    Sure some conspiracy nuts are starting to think there were a couple of mistakes in interest rate policy in the 2000's, but up until then we had the best decade of growth ever and fed polciy gave us the internet and the I phone..are those things bad? didn't think so. The conspiracy nuts want us to go back to riding on horses. Do you want to step on manure when you cross the street? didn't think so....so just trust us, leave monetary policy is in the hands of the smartest people in the world and these people really care about you. There is no way this system could be abused by the smartest people in the world, besides the people running it are too altruistic to ever take advantage of their positions of power. Don't listen to conspiracy nuts, it really is not possible to keep big secrets, think about it the general public has a good understanding of pretty much everything, it would be impossible to fool them about monetary policy for so long...so don't even talk about it.

  • Bryan Morton||

    My voter registration card has indicated "Libertarian" for almost fifteen years, with the exception of the last election cycle when I reverted back to "Republican" specifically to support Ron Paul's nomination. It has since reverted back to "Libertarian" but I am ready, willing, and able to switch back next time around if Ron Paul even remotely appears to stand an ice cube's chance in Hell of being considered for the nomination in 2012. If not, then I'll probably just stay home rather than waste my time voting for the next Tyrant in Chief. The Republican Party is on its death bed and the only person who stands between it regaining its health or becoming a rotting corpse is Dr. Ron Paul. Republican Party, It's time to take your medicine.

  • ||

    Oh, give it a rest, Harsanyi's criticisms of Paul aren't unique in the libertarian spectrum.

    Not everyone has ending the federal reserve as their top priority. If you think that, then you might as well start exiling Hayak and Friedman, not to mention everyone who reads Ayn Rand.

    Also, nonintervention may be a libertarian position to hold, but Pauls views trend more into isolationism. It's possible to believe that a libertarian foreign policy might promote liberty, in a non-war way.

  • ||

    Ayn Rand and Alan Greenspan both support the Fed to this day. If these libertarians can continually voice their support for the great institution then why should any other libertarians disagree? it just doesn't make since that anyone should be discussing monetary policy. If anybody criticizes the Fed they are clinically insane.

  • ||

    http://66.147.244.188/~conserz.....y-Mode.pdf

    Let's see out of about 10,000 attendees 2395 people voted in the straw poll. Ron Paul got 742 of those votes, most of whom were 18 to 25 years of age...Yeah, whoopee.

  • Jim Davidson||

    I have no skin in this game, but it was very refreshing to read Brian Doherty's intelligent, pleasant, and actually libertarian analysis. After choking on the venom and bile spewed across my computer screen by David Harsanyi.

    It is funny that Hazel Meade associates FA Hayek's denationalisation of money policy with Friedman's monetarism or Harsanyi's militarism. What Hayek wrote, and what he believed, about competitive currencies has found expression in Ron Paul's monetary competition bill, and in no other political action in the past hundred years. But being ignorant of the facts has never stopped a libertarian from spouting off, which is probably a good thing, all other things being equal.

    Many Jewish persons of my close personal acquaintance are ready to give up on the militarism and authoritarianism of Israel. That Ron Paul is giving up on a USA military and foreign policy that is written in Tel Aviv and approved in Jerusalem is in no way evidence that he's giving up on American Jewish voters. To the contrary, he's offering them a rational alternative to wars of occupation and the endless suffering these bring.

    But people like Hazel Meade and David Harsanyi don't want to see it. They want to send more young men and women to be slaughtered in wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, and continue the military occupation of Europe, Japan, and Korea. Why? Because they have no skin in the deal, it is not their blood being shed for their idiotic and violent policies of aggression and viciousness. They get to sit in front of a computer screen with a nice cup of coffee and pontificate about how "we need" to keep up the fight.

    It is this usage of the exclusive we, the pronoun that includes the speaker on policy formation but never on policy implementation that makes me sick to my stomach. Hazel Meade and David Harsanyi have lost sight of their humanity. Which is a wicked rippin' shame, given the bloodshed, the violence, and the degradation that their policies have caused.

    When mankind are ready for it they won't suffer such evil.

  • Jim Davidson||

    Yes, toadoid, and a bunch of people didn't vote in the November 2008 election. About 57% of the total population then living either cast no vote, or their votes were not counted. More if you admit the large number of dead voters who cast ballots which were counted in 2008.

    You know those young people 18 to 25? They also buy things. Now, it is not so much that the Beatles made good music, but they had all these FANS who kept buying their records, right? So we shouldn't have any regard for Ron Paul's FANS who vote for him in straw polls and send money to his campaign and buy his books. That couldn't possibly mean anything, could it?

    It couldn't unless you happen to believe in market forces. When you old tired evil racist sexist xenophobic homophobic war mongering monetary policy sluts get through sliming all over Ron Paul's victory, it will continue to appear exactly as it is: sour grapes. Drink the vinegar, scum.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    This is comedy gold!
    "Drink the vinegar, scum!"
    Who writes this stuff?

  • josey||

    I wish...just wish, that they'd have the stones to put 'NO CONFIDENCE' up for election. If only to see what effect it would have on turnout.

  • Comrade Zero||

    I think "FUCK IT" would poll even better.

  • josey||

    They could run him for the veep spot.

    I can already see that Gwen what's-her-name giving the setup for the debate...

    'Welcome to the 2012 Vice Presidential Debate; we have for you tonight, the forerunners: Vice President Joe Biden, Former Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin, and self-professed anarchist, FUCK IT. The way things have been shaping up, it looks like we should see a good debate tonight, though our CNN straw poll indicates that voters have been experiencing difficulty in differentiating our last two contestants from one another.'

  • ||

    I have great admiration for Paul's desire to firmly adhere to Constitutional principles, even if some of it is unrealistic. (like getting rid of the Federal Reserve) But, my real problem with RP is on foreign policy. He would like to end what he refers to as "international meddling". Well, anyone who has studied world history understands that previous attempts to AVOID "international meddling" on our part, have always resulted in disaster, both for us and the rest of the world. Like it or not, we are, and must be the world's policeman. It isn't fair. We didn't ask for it. We still don't like it. But, it is our lot because no one else can or will do it. Simple.

    The fate of civilization rests on our shoulders. So, we need to just accept it, get over it, quit whining about it, and move on.

  • Lost_in_Translation||

    The fate of civilization rests on our shoulders. So, we need to just accept it, get over it, quit whining about it, and move on.

    Hoo boy, that's a good one. Did you come up with that one all on your own or did your TV tell you that?

  • ||

    Except that, if you REALLY study world history, you find that we rarely avoided opportunities for "international meddling," when it suited our own alleged interests. WWII, for example: The America Firsters took a lot of flak for delaying our entry into WWII, but time has revealed much evidence to show that the US was really in the war in various ways, long before Dec. 7, 1941, and that we were even squeezing and goading Japan into attacking us "first."

    Have we, as a nation, given "non-interventionism" as much as even one hour of honest trial? The more I study, the more the answer seems to be "no." "Minding our own business" has always seemed like something to which we paid lip service, but rarely (if ever) actually practiced.

  • Bruce Majors||

    It's working out real well so far ain't it.

  • ||

    Some people, apparently a few of you folks, think the world would just do better without our input or actions. You are hopelessly naive! The USA is about the only thing standing between some semblance of order and complete anarchy on much of this planet. Sadly, you may very well live to see that statement proven.

    And no, "TV" didn't tell me this. I am well-traveled, experienced, realistic, and highly-educated. (apparently much so than you)

  • josey||

    Question your premises.

    Do you personally hate individual (for example) Iranian people? Do you think they hate you? What if, in your business, you had an Iranian client -- what changes in the equation? Are your respective governments not getting in the way of you doing business together? My line of business requires me to personally correspond with different people all over the world. You know what? People are just people; it's governments that hate each other, and sometimes they're successful in demonizing their opponents and instilling that sentiment into sizeable portions of their constituencies.

    Which actions do you support, on the part of your government, to either encourage or discourage the factors which enable this reality?

    Because, it's not the natural state of relations between people -- people are interested in their own lives, and in raising their standards of living, not in going to war. Thoughtful people understand that if you build a tank, you may have given a welder a job for awhile, but that he produced nothing of value to any living person, as he might have if his talents were put to use in an automobile factory or similar. On the contrary, he produced something, the only purpose of which, is to destroy the fruits of another's labor. He may as well have stayed in bed; there would exist a greater number of useful goods in the world if he had.

    Governments push their people around like pawns, as if the world were their own personal game of Risk. When the news says that such-and-such nation is at a standoff with such-and-such other nation, do you think the people of those nations are really behind it? Or, is it the governments of those nations who have a bone to pick with one another?

    You're being played, my friend. It's not a conspiracy; it's simple opportunism, and apparently, you seem to walk right into it every time.

  • ||

    "Because, it's not the natural state of relations between people -- people are interested in their own lives, and in raising their standards of living, not in going to war"

    oh right every war is a conspiracy theory where "teh EVIL Gunverment is tricking the sheeple into war". Wake up, there is real evil in this world. You can't handle the truth! The government workers are sacrificing everything for you ungreatful conspiracy nuts to protect you from the evil on this planet. Luckily the evilest people are pretty dumb, not even close to as smart as the CIA...so we have been safe for the most part so far. The government does a pretty awesome job of protecting you guys, but if you keep up this crazy populism and we don't support our military enough then we may have another 9/11...you want that!? Because I promise it is only a matter of time!! If you only knew, our best analysts are all over this, it IS DEFINITELTY going to happen...so you people better stop messing around. Did you see the latest Bin Laden video? That dude is for real and he will blow you up if we don't stop him.

  • josey||

    That dude is for real...

    Funny coincidence -- I often write for real when I mean to write probably dead too.

    Not that I don't love me some good conspiracy theory; or to be more accurate, conspiracy theorists. What is it that drives them to gravitate to the absolute least likely possibility? To the point where basically everyone in the entire government has to be in on it, right on down to the postman. Bombs pre-planted and coordinated with the crashing of remote-control jets and/or missiles with pinpoint timing precision. And perfect information control both before and after the fact.

    Please.

    If there's a conspiracy, it's surely not the one we see, but the one that makes it possible for any significant number of believers to actually believe it.

    You want a conspiracy? Okay. Say you want to shake things up in a bad way. You have some resources and connections. You contact and hire a guy who's sympathetic. He whips up a small bunch of hate-filled radicals to the point where they are willing to crash planes into buildings.

    Of course, he's never on one of those planes.

    And if you notice, the conspiracy -- even the remotely-possible one -- is entirely superfluous. All that's really required for the scenario to play out on its own is rampant jingoism.

  • ||

    "Some people, apparently a few of you folks, think the world would just do better without our input or actions."

    No, we think the US would do better. What the rest of the world does without our help is their problem.

  • ||

    Well, that line of reasoning is very seductive! And, it sure SEEMS to be a great idea. Sadly, it doesn't work. This is the 21st century. What happens in remote parts of the planet, affects everyone on it. We are one world now, like it or not. International boundaries, fictional lines on some piece of paper, don't mean much anymore.

  • jacob||

    What happens in remote parts of the planet, affects everyone on it.

    Utter nonsense. Do we really need to have a stake in what's going on in the Congo? How about Zimbabwe? Are we as a country reeling from the effects of not-intervening in Rawanda?

  • ||

    Jacob, you may think it is nonsense, but it is a fact. We now live in a global community with 24-hr news coverage, instantaneous communication, a world-wide transportation network, and world-wide trade and commodity pricing.

    Money, ideas, people (good and bad), goods and services, labor, corporations, and even diseases and weapons move freely around the planet, very rapidly. It is no longer possible to build effective walls and fortresses.

    Fortunately we, the people of the USA, are equipped to handle this. We have the laws, the ethics, the courage, and the integrity (in general) to deal with the chaos that all this movement potentially engenders. No one else does.

  • jacob||

    I don't disagree that there are activities on foreing soil that affect us, and I wholeheartedly agree with what you said about our ability to be the "good guys." The problem is that this justification can be used to support just about any invasion. And, as we've seen in our recent endeavors, this isn't always in the best interests of the native lands we invade.

    http://www.worldpublicopinion......quaire.pdf

  • ||

    Yes, jacob, but we haven't used it. We have been extremely circumspect in our use of military force in recent decades. We could very easily justify invading the Sudan, Cuba, Rwanda, Burma, the Congo, Venezuela, Syria, North Korea, Iran, and even Mexico. But, we haven't done it. Some of those nations(?) would be delighted with our "intervention" in their affairs!

  • jacob||

    We have been extremely circumspect in our use of military force in recent decades.

    It's called restraint, as well as prudent use of resources. Invading Sudan is completely pointless to our interests. How would we benefit from this? Do you think this is an appropriate use of time/personnel/money? Then again, I said the same thing about Iraq.

    We could very easily justify invading the Sudan, Cuba, Rwanda, Burma, the Congo, Venezuela, Syria, North Korea, Iran, and even Mexico.

    No, YOU could justify these invasions. To me and most folks, they sound silly.

  • ||

    Carlson has a point,

    No one can argue the world isn't better off after we put Sadam in power and gave him chemical weapons to have constant war with the Iranians. This helped us keep control of the mid-east by making both countries much poorer, if we had let those sand monkees to their own devices then islamo-fascism probably would have spread all over Europe by now.

    In the same vein, our support for the House of Saud, although on the face of it might seem kinda immoral, it has really helped keep the peasantry of the mid-east under the control of some people who really don't tolerate a bunch of uppity women and alcoholics ruinng the region. If we hadn't supported the house of Saud so much then who would Israel be using to keep it's people scared. Face it, we need some enemies in the world or people would be demanding they keep even more of their money for selfish vacations and better schools for their kids etc.

    People don't realize that all of these oil producing regions actually hate selling their oil. If we don't support some dictators there then we probably would have to shut down all our factories because the OPEC type countries would not want to send any more oil abroad. The naive isolationist think that people just want to sell stuff so they can make a good living or get rich, but this is INSANE...people only sell things when you force them to or if slyly support a military dictator who takes direct orders from you.

  • ||

    Says an armchair general who probably can't serve for "health reasons."

  • ||

    This is true. The commie peaceniks tried to keep us out of WW1 and look what happened. Europe almost ended their war 4 years earlier than they were supposed to. Some of the biggest and best american companies would have lost out on billions of dollars worth of armament contracts, loan fees. Germany and France and Russia would have had millions of extra young virile men. Thing of the overpopulation problems this would have resulted in! Think of how much richer Germany would have been in 1920....those krauts would have had enough capital for Hitler to take over the entire world by 1940...fortunately our involvement in international affairs saved us from all of these pitfalls.

  • Orlando M||

    First Harsanyi burns me... and now Doherty is a GATOR?

    For shame.

    My whole world is crumbling down...

  • Lester Hunt||

    Excellent piece, Brian! You represent the principles upon which Reason was originally founded, and from which it strays all to often.

  • Joey K||

    Ron Paul's message is "unnerving?"

    Say you and a friend are plummeting off a cliff, and he says to you "We're going to be smashed into the ground and die." Is it fair to call that "unnerving?" No, there's nothing inherently wrong with what he said. If it turns out that you're not falling off a cliff, then you have a right to criticize.

  • ||

    GOP-as-usual: In your heart, you know they're wrong.

  • Bradley||

    Another "Reason" hit piece on Ron Paul eh!!!!!!!!!!

  • a||

    I demand balance! When will Moynihan be here to remind the trogs that all criticism of U.S. monetary or foreign policy is conspiracy talk, and all conspiracy talk is part of the vast anti-Semitic conspiracy?

  • ||

    Don't make fun of the vast anti-semitic conspiracy. They are almost as all seeing as the vast islamo-fascist conspiracy to force us into Sharia law.

    Serious intellectuals who read these things called books assure me that every American war is started for the simple reason that our leaders are trying their best to protect the taxpayer. The leaders of this great country would never favor a special interest group in their war makign policies and hten try to pass it of as protection from a phony threat....that is the craziest conspiracy theory of ALL TIME and we must do battle with these loons as if our life depends on it, but they really aren't a big threat because they are all completely wacko.

  • Alexander S. Peak||

    This was a balanced piece, and I enjoyed it quite a lot.

    Alex

  • Not Ron Paul||

    Ron Paul is the Howard Dean of the republican party.

    YaeeeeeHaaawwwww!

  • Jimmy 'Crack' Corn||

    +4

  • Senorita Real||

    It is time to flush Ron Paul down the toilet like a common roach. He favors the gold standard. That is insane. You don't need a lefty of the stature of Paul Krugman to show you why. One of W's men, Frumm, explains in detail why the gold standard is really retarded.

    As for the tea baggers and libertarians, you are living on a planet that is not named Earth.

    Why did Obama intervene with the car companies and banks?

    You should have the presence of mind to know the truth.

    IT IS NOT BECAUSE OBAMA IS A SOCIALIST.

    BECAUSE THEY FUCKED UP COLOSSALLY.
    IT IS BECAUSE THEY ARE INCOMPETENT!
    THEY PISSED IN THEIR PEN!!

    Are you too stupid to realize this?

    Apparently so!

    In conclusion: Tea baggers: not the brightest bulbs in the box.

    Libertarians: Lacking the logical skills of Scientologists.

    Now run along.

  • ||

    "He favors the gold standard. That is insane. You don't need a lefty of the stature of Paul Krugman to show you why. One of W's men, Frumm, explains in detail why the gold standard is really retarded."

    Apparently we don't need ANY kind of explanation. It must be inherently obvious to smart people such as yourself. Oh and I didn't know that liberals believe George Bush's advisors are reliable sources... You learn something new every day I guess.

    "Why did Obama intervene with the car companies and banks?

    You should have the presence of mind to know the truth."

    Probably because he thought it was the right thing to do. But some people disagree and think that we should let bad companies that will eventually fail... well... FAIL.

    "Are you too stupid to realize this?"

    I don't anyone here disagrees that auto makers and banks screwed up. What exactly is your point?

    "In conclusion:"

    Conclusions come after logical arguments, not a bunch of unconnected, unproven, pointless statements.

    Go back to the play pen, the adults are trying to have a conversation here...

  • Bruce Majors||

    Poor Senorita got tea bagged and then licked the infected jism off her face. And there is no cure for mad cow disease when you have tertiary stage syphilis as a complicating factor.

    Best to just shoot her and send her to the glue factory.

  • ||

    Bruce, your comments rock. They have me rolling! Too funny

  • ||

    Donderro!!!!

  • ||

    My friend, your ego is way ahead of your intellect...who are you to criticize Paul? Liberal vs conservative is no longer an issue. He is actually one of the few people who understands the storm that is brewing...and it's a dooosy. What have you done to drive the cause of America forward? You're way too caught up in your need to prove yourself as a spin doctor and less concerned about the issues at hand: America. Start thinking that America is on a track that needs to be corrected and use your skills to create a sustainable future...because what's happening now is painfully unsustainable. We'll all love you for it. But right now it's total BS.

  • ||

    "What have you done to drive the cause of America forward?"

    He writes for a libertarian political magazine. What are YOU doing?

  • ||

    Brian,
    Excellent treatise and commentary on the fall of this republic. Its people like you Brian who give the average guy a fighting chance to understand what's going on when a nation is in the throes of the collapse of its empire. The death of a great nation is an ugly matter but at least its survivors will derive some benefit for the future by being accurately informed about the diseases that brought it down. And the day WILL come because time always rewards ambitious conquerers and theives with failure in the end.

  • Barry Loberfeld||

  • ||

    Go ahead and kick the Paul supporters out of the GOP Gerson. I dare you to try. They will go to the Libertarian Party and create a third major political party that in short order will turn the GOP into the 21st century Whig party. Ten years from now you'll be able to hold the Republican national convention in a phone booth.

  • Joe||

    I'm a little late to this thread, but I think Brian D has hit upon something that I've been thinking for years.

    I am very sympathetic to what Ron Paul's broad message which is as Brian D describes it: a gigantic federal govt offering huge entitlements via deficit spending will eventually lead to some very bad things. I am losing patience with people who don't think this is THE issue facing us now.

  • ||

    As we all know, the most important issue is getting rid of the biggoted policy in our military known as"Don't Ask Don't Tell".

  • Ron Paul||

    I'm against gays in the military because it would make America's soldiers feel "icky." We must restrict any freedom that stands in the way of America's greatness!

  • ||

    Google: 'News Kontent: A reader's resources on systemic collapse."

    References and resources from peer-reviewed authors to articles and commentary in the MSM.

    Dr. Paul is quite correct in his assessment that all that we know is on the verge of collapse.

    The only question is a matter of timing and details, not of outcomes.

    Perhaps many of his followers have helped to lay the foundations for the society that is to follow.

    I certainly hope so...

    It's not gloom and doom. It's mathematical and historical certainty. Face the future with your eyes clear...or suffer the consequences of your own foolishness.

  • David R||

    Gary Johnson and Ron Paul 2012...let's get this idea going already.

    Johnson walks the talk and looks the part. Paul can come across like an old, funny uncle. Almost Biden-esque at times. Then strong when it counts.

  • Manos||

    Two full pages!

  • ||

    Good cop, Bad Cop. The fact that Reason allows Michelle Malkin to contribute is enough evidence that it is no "libertarian" publication. This is the same woman who spent more than a few thousand words defending internment of American citizens of Japanese descent during WWII.

    If that sort of opinion is important to publish in a "libertarian" publication and Harsyani's is also important such that Reason doesn't appear as if it is a one-track publication (heaven forbid anyone thinks it it too radical in its libertarian views) then maybe it isn't libertarian at all but just another irrelevant media outlet that has no soul.

  • ||

    We have a libertarian magazine so that is why we tend not to censor opinions. We encourage the whole range of libertarian philosophies to contribute from Interning slant eyeds to running over palestinians with bulldozers. All views are welcome here. However we will not tolerate the anti-semites and gold fetishist conspiracy nuts.

    These people have destroyed the credibility of our movement enough already. Our god, William Buckley and other serious intellectuals kicked those rednecks to the curb once and we have no intention of letting them return.

  • ||

    Your right, we should never allow people with non-libertarian views to write for Reason. I guess we'll never get any articles by Ron Paul because of this new policy, but such is the price one pays for ideological purity I suppose.

  • ||

    Old Mexican said : "It was not simply an attack on Ron Paul, it was a clear hit piece on LIBERTARIANISM by a guy masquerading as a "libertarian". "

    Exactly. Well, actually that harsani scumbag is just a neocon who can't pretend to be anything else.

  • Botox Porcupine||

    Oh, I get it. They put a substantive article regarding Ron Paul and then throw in a half-assed "counterpoint" called "The Ron Paul Delusion." Way to go, reason. This way nobody can accuse you of supporting the candidate most closely aligned with your political philosophy.

  • Matt Sissel||

    Great article, Brian.

  • steffen||

    wonderful article! great read!

  • louboutinvips||

    Your friend seems to have Dr. Paul confused with Dennis Kucinich.
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  • Erik||

    Love the article. Great work that really makes you think.

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