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Radley Balko examines Ron Paul's presidential candidacy in his column for Fox News.

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  1. Radley Balko,

    They happen to be the same principles envisioned by the framers of the U.S. Constitution: limited government, federalism, free trade and commerce — with a premium on peace.

    (A) Does it matter what the framers envisioned? Or should we be concerned with the general meaning of what the people ratified? That is, what the people generally understood the language to mean.

    (B) Second, the principles of the framers were fairly diverse, and not all of them were keen on concepts like federalism.

  2. George Will wrote an article on Ron Paul too.
    Great minds think alike. Just don’t go DC like Will.

    Grotius your an idiot. You can’t read.
    The Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution are both written in English. Not old English, or saxon English, but what is considered modern English, just like today.
    The principles framed in the US Constitution, NOT their personal principles.
    You really are a dip Grotius.

  3. He favors strict limits on legal immigration, and is far more alarmist about illegal immigration than I think is necessary.

    He is right that with a welfare nation, particularly with regards to medical care (his expertise) illegal immigration hurts us. I think he blows it out of proportion though. I mean, there is no difference between a poor illegal and a poor US citizen other than origin and the legal ability to pay taxes.

    I think that most illegals are actually here to work. People don’t voluntarily leave poverty and squalor just to live in more poverty and squalor. They leave to better thier odds of making a living, maybe even a great living. I say offer easy to obtain work visas that encourage documentation and working for a living instead of welfare. The ability to track an individual through his employer would allow the medical profession to collect on debts owed from ER visits and what not. One of the few things that I applaud Bush the Younger on was his “Guest Worker” program. Too bad he squandered the chance to pass it with Medicare Part D and a war in a sandbox.

  4. Notice how Mr. Balko points out that Paul is “anti-abortion” but is careful not to comment on whether he supports the right of the individual to choose.

    Can anybody clarify?

  5. Dan T.

    If I recall correctly, he is philosophically supportive of laws outlawing abortion, but believes that the matter is not a federal one.

    Thus, if a state wants to ban abortions, he is supportive. If a state wants to permit them, he is philosophically opposed but does not believe the Federal Govt. should intervene.

    This is my possibly ill-informed impression of his position.

  6. I believe Paul’s position is that while he doesn’t support the right of the individual to choose, it’s no business of the federal gov’t; it should be left to the states.

  7. I think libertarian’s obsession with Ron Paul is hilarious. Libertarians are so desparate for someone to espouse their philosophy–please, anyone at all–that they will go to any length to toast a fellow thinker. Even if he has zero–and I do mean *zero*–chance of getting elected. You people look quite pathetic, when you look at it all from the larger picture.

  8. Incidentally, his positon is not the “official” libertarian one.

    Rothbard made a persuasive argument (to me anyway) that abortion is not murder and thus should be permitted in a libertarian society.

    The argument is here.

  9. Justin Raimondo, who’s screed I usually find annoyingly shrill, had a blog post about Will’s Ron Paul piece. The last paragraph was good to my worried soul:

    The real threat, of course, is that Ron will mobilize the growing legions of Republicans who oppose the Iraq war – and its extension into Iran. As a principled opponent of our interventionist foreign policy – Will describes his support of the anti-“surge” resolution as “vehement” – Ron could tap into the 30 percent or so of anti-“surge” Republicans. In a field divided by as many as half a dozen ostensible conservatives – all of them vehemently pro-war – this would amount to significant support and put Ron on the map as a viable candidate. A populist, antiwar libertarian revolt in the GOP – this is the stuff of the neocons’ worst nightmares. Which is why Will dissed Ron. However we’ll see who has the last laugh ?

  10. Terry,

    I may be an idiot, but I will note that without ratification the Constitution would merely be a piece of paper. So it is ratifiers, not the framers, who count.

    Not old English, or saxon English, but what is considered modern English, just like today.

    It is fairly obvious that there are clear differences in definition, word usage, etc. between English as it was used in the late 18th century and today.

  11. Terry,

    Or, as every libertarian probably knows, and as was pointed out in another thread, the word “regulate” is viewed quite differently today than it was in 1789.

  12. So is it Hilary or Rudy that’s ahead in the polls right now? I need to know who I should support. Don’t wanna look pathetic.

  13. “So is it Hilary or Rudy that’s ahead in the polls right now? I need to know who I should support. Don’t wanna look pathetic.”

    Heh!

    So with George Will and Ron Paul, you’ve got four first names there!

  14. Not old English, or saxon English

    Same thing.

  15. Grotius:

    you’re more correct than you think. let’s look at Warren G feat Nate Dogg’s interpretation of “Regulate”, in 1994:

    Sixteen in the clip and one in the hole
    Nate Dogg is about to make some bodies turn cold
    Now they droppin’ and yellin’
    It’s a tad bit late
    Nate Dogg and Warren G had to regulate

    I laid all them busters down
    I let my gat explode
    Now I’m switching my mind back into freak mode
    If you want skirts sit back and observe
    I just left a gang of those over there on the curb

    Whatever “regulate” happened to mean in 1789 Philadelphia, it very obviously meant “murder” in the 1994 L.B.C.

    Now, is this a function of linguistic changes over time, or perhaps the first salvo of the battle between East Coast and West Coast rappers? Discuss.

  16. I’m with Grotius. When trying to ascertain the “original intent” of the Framers, one has to consider:

    1.) What the “Federalists” proposed.

    2.) The objections of the “anti-federalists.”

    3.) The rebuttals the Feds made to those objections, including the declarations that Clause X would never be used to implement Tyrannical Action Z.

    4.) The debates in the ratifying conventions. If we have original sources that document them, the debates among the voters about who to send to those conventions.

    5.) The promise of amendments that the Federalists agreed to in order to smooth the way for ratification, that resulted in the Bill of Rights.

    History, PoliSci and law profs who teach The Federalist Papers without teaching readings from the other side are, at best, lazy or ignorant.

    Kevin

  17. kevrob,

    Perhaps we are both just idiots. 😉

  18. Klaus,

    Not so much desparation as hope. While establishing a “latter-day” libertarianism – a careful blend of principles and pragmitism – seems doomed in the two-party destructor (and vulnerable to libertarian cannabalism), I continue to hope.

    I don’t agree with Paul on many things, but I salute him for being principled while residing in a house of ill repute.

  19. I think libertarian’s obsession with Ron Paul is hilarious. Libertarians are so desparate for someone to espouse their philosophy–please, anyone at all–that they will go to any length to toast a fellow thinker. Even if he has zero–and I do mean *zero*–chance of getting elected. You people look quite pathetic, when you look at it all from the larger picture.

    I like him not so much because we share political viewpoints (honestly, thinking about it, I’d rather have another four more years of Bush then Paul in the White House) but because I am pretty sure he is absolutly batshit crazy.

  20. Even if he has zero–and I do mean *zero*–chance of getting elected.

    So what? It isn’t a horse race, there’s no prize for picking the winner. Given the opportunity to vote for
    Adolf Hitler (R)
    Joseph Stalin (D)
    Thomas Jefferson (L)

    It isn’t even a worth contemplating. Besides there is zero–and I do mean *zero*–difference between the Republicans and Democrats.

  21. Dr. Ron Paul is our last hope. Only he can stop the endless and growing violation of our rights by the gov’t.
    They violate the 1st Amendment by caging demonstrators, opening mail and banning books like “America Deceived” from Wiki.
    They violate the 2nd Amendment by confiscating guns during Katrina.
    They violate the 4th Amendment by conducting warrant-less wiretaps.
    They violate the 5th and 6th Amendment by suspending habeas corpus.
    They violate the 8th Amendment by torturing.
    They violate the entire Constitution by starting 2 illegal wars based on lies and on behalf of a foriegn gov’t.
    Vote for Dr. Ron Paul, 2008.
    Last link (unless Google Books caves to the gov’t and drops the title):
    America Deceived (book)

  22. Besides there is zero–and I do mean *zero*–difference between the Republicans and Democrats.

    Umm, not quite. They despise each other like the guys in the original Star Trek who were half-white/half-black, and right now we have a Prez from one side in power and a Congress controlled by the other. I am hoping that the seething hatred will create enough conflict to keep them from taking away any more of my liberties in the near future.

    That it the only difference between them.

  23. I am glad that we were able to provide poster Klaus with some hilarity, and I hope he spends lots, lots, lots more time at our pathetic and insignificant little libertarian blog.

  24. Good call, Kwix!! (Isn’t that why the voting booth is today’s equivalent to their Agonizer?)

    Mr. Crane: Giggles will stop by to give you the “Everlong Hand” spanking. Naughty.

    Jack A: that’s a frightening list. Fortunately, Mr. Radley Balko keeps us appraised of many of the abuses of police power.

    THANK YOU RADLEY! In 10 years we’re gonna start a campaign to make you president!

    cheers!
    VM

  25. The problem is that taking your liberties is one of the only things they can agree on. Divided government might mean lower taxes/spending, but as far as rights and liberties go, there’s absolutely no hope with this crowd. The fascism is pretty equally balanced, I’d say.

  26. Great column. I hope the idealistic prediction turns out to be correct 🙂

  27. Grotius is all wet on Constitutional interpretation.

    Constitutions in the Anglo-Saxon tradition are interpreted in the same manner as statutes or ballot measures. The plain language controls, and where ambiguities arise, the legislative history is consulted to determine what the drafters meant. The multiplicity of views held by individual voters who voted those people into office or voted in favor of a ballot measure are not considered, for what should be obvious reasons.

    The “legislative history” of the Constitution is the Federalist Papers and Madison’s Notes on the Constitutional Convention.

  28. The phrase “Tyrannical Action Z” (from Kevrob’s post) is either a thrash metal band or an anime, I’m not sure which.

  29. Constitution is just the attribute between Dexterity and Charisma.

  30. re: “America Deceived” book banned

    I call shenanigans

    I keep seeing this same kind of post, on multiple forums

    claiming that the government banned this book, along with a helpful link for where to buy the book

    I bit, begged the public library to score a copy for me to read

    they did

    viral marketing scheme aimed at conspiracy goobers notwithstanding, the book sucked

    poorly conceived/poorly written

    certainly nothing worth banning

  31. ChrisO,

    The plain language controls…

    No kidding. When questions about the plain language arises one looks to the general understanding of those terms as they were used at the time.

    The multiplicity of views held by individual voters who voted those people into office or voted in favor of a ballot measure are not considered, for what should be obvious reasons.

    I never claimed that they were. How could I possibly have? After all, as I’ve stated a few times now, the general understanding of what those terms meant at the time is what prevails, not the private views of individual coters, etc. Can I state my position more clearly? In other words, you are all wet. Soaking wet.

    The “legislative history” of the Constitution is the Federalist Papers and Madison’s Notes on the Constitutional Convention.

    The Federalist Papers are not any sort of legislative history because they were read by so few people. It is unfortunate that they are so mythologized. As to Madison’s notes, (A) they aren’t the only notes of the convention and (B) they were never intended to be such a resource.

  32. As I said, aren’t we all sposed to turn and spit at the mention of Fox News?

  33. Warren

    Adolf Hitler (R)
    Joseph Stalin (D)

    Why would Hitler run on the Republican ticket?
    He would be a Democrat like Stalin.
    They have a socialist caucus he could work with

  34. ChrisO,

    In other words if you are going to argue against a position of mine, at the very least you should accurately describe it.

    ___________________________________

    Anyway, in the 1790s most members of the Supreme Court as well as members of the other branches of government often commented that it was the general understanding of the ratifiers which carried the day when it came to the language of the Constitution. For example the Chief Justice, in writing a reply to Washington about advisory opinions, argued this point.

  35. Thomas Paine’s Goiter | February 21, 2007, 7:54pm | #
    Digg it

    http://www.digg.com/politics/Ron_Paul_is_now_accepting_contributions

    _____

    Have you been to Digg lately? Theres nothing left. Its been completely destroyed. I can’t say I feel that bad though.

    My hope is that Ron Paul at least gets the message out.

  36. FTR, I also agree that one should first look to the text, and the contemporary meanings of the terms that it consists of, before ever delving into legislative history. On a more fundamental note, the Philadelphia Convention did not ratify the Constitution. “The People” did, state by state. (Or the states did. Opinions differ.)

    The essays that were collected in The Federalist Papers, as well as those that comprise The Anti-Federalist Papers, appeared in newspapers all over the several states. As was the practice of the day, editors sent copies of their newest paper to other publishers, and they freely reprinted stories and editorials, or rewrote or excerpted them in their own articles. Opinion leaders read these, and spread the ideas to their fellows. (Sounds a lot like blogging and linking, doesn’t it?)

    Relying solely on Madison’s notes and The Federalist (by Madison, Hamilton and Jay) is foolish. Madison was the Constitution’s architect. While there’s a certain “horse’s mouth” quality in reading Madison on the Constitution, anyone acting as a historian would be careful not to take the word of one participant in an event without checking out accounts of others involved, especially if they have a different take.

    Dr. Paul is a good man, and he might get my primary vote. I was a delegate to the Seattle LP convention, and cast my vote for him there.

    Yes, Tyrannical Action Z would be a great band name. No metal, though. Punk rules! Regarding its use as an anime/manga title, it would have to be for something with giant robots.

    TAZ also shares initials with Temporary Autonomous Zone. Synchronicity, man!

    Kevin

  37. The essays that were collected in The Federalist Papers, as well as those that comprise The Anti-Federalist Papers, appeared in newspapers all over the several states.

    Most if not all of the Federalist Papers appeared only in New York and some of them were not even published until the collection was compiled.

  38. All hail ultron for comment of the decade!!!

  39. WTH are you people talking about? The Constitution as “guidelines”? “a living, breathing, document”? We have to find out “the principles” behind it?

    Excuse me for being dumb enough to understand the language of the Constitution as is. Guess there’s a reason, huh?

  40. I have 18 Constitution.

    Suck it.

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