Ron Paul vs. the Rest of the GOP Presidential Field on Foreign Policy

Without Ron Paul in the mix, last night's debate would have been more a bidding up of hostility to foreigners (except Israel) than any actual arena of opposing ideas on the future of American foreign policy.

Paul started off talking of "needless and unnecessary wars" making us less safe and beggering our coffers; probably slipped by using Timothy McVeigh as an example of how normal legal procedures can deal with terrorism (and I wish he'd have challenged Ed Meese on the factual significance of these alleged 42 terror assaults that Patriot Act has stopped; aren't they in fact mostly ginned-up nonsense such as Jacob Sullum blogged about earlier today?) since it allowed Gingrich to claim that the real goal are legal procedures that make sure nothing bad ever happens. Paul had a good rescue by stressing the threat to liberty of priviliging stopping crimes above any other concern, but I wonder how resonant such concerns are.

Paul reminded us that we might not want to give the president the sole power to assassinate Americans on his say so; that Israel can likely make the most intelligent decision on their own as to whether to start attacking Iranian alleged nuclear site and we should neither be dictating such decisions nor committing to help with them; that trying to buy friendship overseas with foreign aid doesn't always work; that foreign aid isn't necessary for overseas development and in fact is often more like making poor people here support rich people over there; and kept reminding his fellow alleged fiscal conservatives that foreign policy has real financial costs that they are never thinking of.

Paul also last night hit the drug war as "another war we ought to cancel," at length, concluding "the federal war on drugs is a total failure" with specific hat tips toward the absurdity of federal assaults on states with medical pot; and that meddling in the Middle East is what gins up terror against us in the Middle East, with his usual calls to empathetic understanding, considering what we would think/do if other countries did to us what we blithely do to other countries--"it's just looking for trouble, why don't we mind our own business?"

Paul's most summational quotable quote, applicable to not only foreign policy but so much about the current plans and ambitions of the U.S. government: "It's a road to disaster. We better wake up."

Here's the Paul-centric highlights clip from last night:

In other Paul observations and news:

*Paul as the only voice last night against racial profiling in the name of the war on terror.

*AEI sums up the debate it co-sponsored, giving as much attention to Jon Huntsman's wan anti-nation-building comments as to Paul's concerted assault on the roots of GOP and American foreign policy.

*Glenn Greenwald from Salon attacks the nature and character of the interlocutors at the debate, and hat-tips to Paul's rare sense:

It was like a carnival of war criminals, warmongers, torturers, and petty tyrants: Reagan Attorney General Ed Meese, best known for his 1980s war on pornography, was dredged up to demand that the government be vested with more Patriot Act powers (because he’s a believer in individual liberty and small government); there was long-time supporter of Ahmad Chalabi and a war on Iran, Danielle Pletka; Iraq War propagandist andtorture regime architect Paul Wolfowitz; and Fred Kagan of the mighty Kagan warrior family. But remember: as the supremely “objective” CBS‘ Bob Schieffer made clear in his snickering, scornful interview on Face the Nation this weekend, it is Ron Paul who is crazy and bizarre for suggesting that U.S. aggression played a role in motivating 9/11 and for being worried that bellicose actions against Iran are making things worse and may lead to war.

*From Paul's campaign web site blogger Jack Hunter, a set of media stars giving Paul props for schooling Romney last night on the myth of defense cuts.

*The Christian Science Monitor from a few days ago collecting examples of major media now taking Paul seriously, in a story that was front-page linked on Drudge. While I don't follow Drudge meticulously, various Paulistas believe this might have been his first big-time positive play for Paul on that site, which they see in itself as a further sign of Paul's reputational rise.

*In a poll commissioned by Paul-supporting superpac RevolutionPAC, Paul actually is winning in Iowa with 25 percent. Here's why they think their poll is better than others:

 The TeleResearch survey is the first to incorporate disaffected Democrats and Independents who will not vote to reelect Obama and will instead crossover to participate in the Iowa Republican Caucus, as well as likely Republican caucus-goers.

Survey sample size is approximately 2,900, with almost 700 likely Republican caucus-goers. Indiana’s TeleResearch Corp., which has been polling voters for more than 18 years, reports that the margin of error is less than 3%.

Factoring in both Republican caucus-goers and disaffected Democrats and Independents who’ve indicated that they will participate in the Iowa Republican Caucus, Ron Paul leads at 25%, with an approximate 4-point advantage over Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Apatheist||

    I09 commenter owns Ursula K. Le Guin:

    http://io9.com/5862142/ursula-.....all-street

    (I assume the featured commenter is the same for everyone?)

  • Old Mexican||

    Oh, please. It's easy to own UKLG. The poor hag is trapped in a stasis field that dates back to 1958.

  • Apatheist||

    So are all those guys who show up to Chapman RP articles going to return and announce that they are restarting their subscribtions!

  • romulus augustus||

    Watch and see what happens if RP wins Iowa. The Iowa caucuses will suddenly be deemed irrelevant (unlike how in 2008 they propelled Obama forward to eventual victory.

  • Apatheist||

    To be fair Huckabee won the Republican one. I agree they will overreact but Iowa isn't exactly a great presidential predictor.

  • ||

    But what about the M-M-M-M-Moooooslims?!?!?!?

  • Zuo||

    Didn't you hear? The Mooooooslims are now teaming up with the other group hellbent on destroying Amurrrrika: the dastardly MEXICANS.

  • Billy (from "Predator")||

    We're all gonna die.

  • ||

    Game over man! GAME OVER!!!

  • GILMORE||

    GET TO THE CHOPPA!!

  • MWG||

    Look, I agree with 90% of what RP says when he talks for more than a couple seconds I find myself yelling "SPIT IT OUT ALREADY".

    On another note, did anyone else notice the look on Rick Perry's face at the end of the video? Priceless.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    But remember: as the supremely “objective” CBS‘ Bob Schieffer made clear in his snickering, scornful interview on Face the Nation this weekend...

    HFS, is Schieffer as combative with the statist politicians he interviews? Because if he is, it's admirable. If not, fuck him.

  • ||

    See? See how anti–Ron Paul Reason is? They're all just cosmotarians who want to see Ron Paul fail! See how biased this article is against Ron Paul!

  • Colin||

    Yes, the moment you criticize the gray-haired god even once you become nothing more than a tool of the Jooos and the CFR.

  • Ron||

    We'll see this time if 'libertarian' Reason magazine tries to torpedo the only viable libertarian candidate in a hundred years the night before the first primary again.

  • ||

    Right, RP would have won NH if it hadn't been for Reason making mention of a story that was published by a much more prominent magazine. And they traveled back in time and made him finish sith in Iowa, too!

  • Cytotoxic||

    Using the dark side of the non-initiation of force principal I assume.

  • newshutz||

    I don't think RP is an objectivist, but he did name his son Rand.

  • ||

    Some might say that,but anyone who does not believe that our policies led to 9/11 is ignoring the facts.We elected a well known Drug running family into the white house that already had ties to Saudi elites.9/11 was a false flag attack,ask anyone from another country and they will tell you the same thing.

  • Illinformed Alien||

    Conspiracy! Drugs! Bush!

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: grylliade,

    See how anti–Ron Paul Reason is?


    You were sayin'?

  • Cytotoxic||

    Oh goodness! Not criticism from someone who doesn't even write for Reason hardly anymore!

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Cytotoxic,

    Ok, Mr. finicky:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....re=related

  • johnl||

    OK. But the staff is hardly uniform perfect cosmobots. Brian and Walker are closer the Liberty and LP wings than some of the other regulars.

  • A Serious Man||

    Watching Paul lay a smackdown on Romney and his bullshit on spending cuts was awesome. I think the hostility Romney shows towards Paul is geunine concern that Paul might challenge him.

  • Name Nomad||

    That was my favorite part. It actually made me smile.

  • ||

    Ron Paul 2012!! Peoples choice, please do your own research dont listen to the media.

  • Mr. Mark||

    Read this.

  • ||

    Why?

  • ola||

    Ron Paul would have brought the house down if he would have just described how the Patriot Act is mostly being used in the Drug War. The warrantless searches and other abuses that are common in the name of the children. And as far as fucking Ed Meese is concerned, he should be made to give an accounting of his 42 (43?) acts of terrorism averted. Even Bachmann talked about the Detroit underwear knob, well that one was thwarted by the passengers after the knob stumbled past the War on Terror apparatus and into his seat. And they probably count the times sqaure wonderlic who couldn't get his propane tanks to light, that one was thwarted by his own incompetence and a passerby. And I'll bet a good number of the rest of Meese's list were egged on by the FBI after sufficient brow beatings. Holy cow, the republicans have gone off the deep end.

  • The Angry RPh||

    Timothy McVeigh was an American citizen who made a bomb out of fertilizer and diesel fuel. I wish RP had asked the despicable gasbag Newt how he would have stopped that.

  • Jerry||

    Yes, isn't there something like the fourth amendment?

  • DK||

    Paul answered this himself by stating, "putting an officer in every home". Oh, wait...

  • ||

    Ban the precursors.

  • PantsFan||

    Yah so when are the French Language Debates?

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Ron Paul = Free Bananas!

  • Some dude||

    Romney stares at the other candidates when they are talking. It's weird.

  • ||

    My father in law used to do that. He did it to try to throw peoples train of thought out of whack.

  • ||

    He looks like he's trying to look for his o

  • ||

    He looks like he's trying to peer into their very soul. I mean he squares up his body to them. WTF

  • Like War?||

    Vote for any candidate of either major party. Except Ron Paul.

  • Southerner||

    Anyone Greenwald (aka Dhimmi Sockpuppet) endorses is not fit for office. That you still cite that America-hating Communist traitor on any subject whatsoever undercuts all your credibility and suggests you still have another Weigel in need of being purged from your staff.

  • Spoonman.||

    So he is both a Communist and a radical Muslim-lover? How...challenging.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Southener,

    Even America-hating Communist traitors can be right at least once.

  • Brett L||

    Actually, Greenwald seems to have become far more measured and reasonable since his sock-puppetry was exposed and held up to ridicule.

  • Old Mexican||

    I love how Newt there had his Tim Russert moment ("We would still have slavery!") with:
    "Timothy McVeigh succeeded."

    So what the FUCK do you want, Newt? Minority Report?

  • Newt||

    Yeah, that almost sounds good enough as long as it costs $60 trill and lets us slaughter brown people.

  • Old Mexican||

    At least this debate had enough impact on the pundit media that even the Daily Caller had three (count them: three!) articles on Ron Paul today.

    Three!

  • ||

    Why do some people find it so hard to face the truth of the reality that we live in? Federal spending is out there. If we print more money to cover it other nations stop accepting dollars. There goes our cheap oil and every other import. If we send troops to other nations and kill those people and make them witness to the horrors of war on our account then we make enemies. I would be pissed if someone sent foreign troops through downtown Wilmington to push their might against us. I have just one thing to say to the establishment. KNOCK IT OFF YOU! I haven't the words to express my disgust with our so called leadership. Fuck it; I am running for office!

  • ||

    Weigal, is that you?

  • GILMORE||

    OK, fuck, Im voting for the guy this year. he's the only one who makes the slightest bit of sense.

  • givejonadollar||

    My vote for Ron Paul is sealed and has been sealed. My hope is that more people come on board and come on board quickly. I think it's very possible this time around and he is gaining ground fast.

  • NadePaulKuciGravMcKi||

    only 1 candidate has it:
    Honesty Compassion Intelligence Guts

  • ||

    Ron Paul is the most decisive, authoritative, and substantive conservative candidate on the crucial national security issues facing our nation. Americans have always rooted for the heroic underdog, the principled David facing down Goliath. By standing out from the pack of neocon clone candidates in the recent CNN National Security Debate co-sponsored by the Beltway’s two leading neocon organizations, the American Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation, Ron Paul once again proved his forthright courage, his dedication to first principles and to the United States Constitution and the rule of law.

    Never forget that these were same duplicitous neocons that beat the propaganda war drums of “weapons of mass destruction” in the failed war in Iraq. Many of the neocon questioners cowering in the audience (such as Paul Wolfowitz) were the very same Bush administration neocons who orchestrated and lied to the American people about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Ron Paul is our Cicero, our defender of the republic, a statesman of unblemished character and principled judgment. The twelve-term congressman has for decades courageously spoken out for a conservative foreign policy based upon a strong national defense of the essential core principles of liberty and justice as established by the Framers, a defense of the territorial integrity of the United States and its national borders. Peace, prudential diplomacy, international trade and commerce, and the free exchange of ideas are the key elements to a Constitutional foreign policy. Only by setting an exemplary example to the world will the United States of America once again become "the exceptional nation," that "shining city upon a hill."

    Ron Paul is first and foremost a realist. America is financially bankrupt due to decades of reckless fiscal and monetary policies pursued by the Fed, the Congress, and the Executive branch of the state. Paul's measured conservative program of strategic disengagement from the unconstitutional pre-emptive wars of the past decade, coupled with a serious analytical reassessment of the imperial over-reach of 900 military bases in 130 nations, is the only wise course dictated by this unsustainable debt situation.

  • CE||

    Shouldn't it be "beggaring" and "privileging", not "beggering" and "priviliging"?

  • Penn State||

    We prefer 'buggering' and 'plowing'.

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