Ron Paul's Candidacy: The Stuff, Uh, That Dreams Are Made Of…[*]
A while back at NRO, John Derbyshire feels the love for the Ron Paul Revolution before deciding that the Texas Gold Bug isn't worth supporting:
You have felt the Ron Paul temptation, haven't you?…And why not? Look at those policy positions! Abolish the IRS and Federal Reserve; balance the budget; go back to the gold standard; pull out of the U.N. and NATO; end the War on Drugs; overturn Roe v. Wade; repeal federal restrictions on gun ownership; fence the borders; deport illegals; stop lecturing foreign governments about human rights; let the Middle East go hang. What's not to like?…
Nits aside, the broad outlook there is conservative in a way we don't often see from a presidential candidate. It is, in fact, conservatism of exceptional purity. Reading through those policy positions, an American conservative can hear the mystic chords of memory sounding in the distance, and hear the call of ancestral voices wafted on the breeze: Hayek, von Mises, Rothbart, Nock, Kirk, John Chamberlain… Unlike the product in that automobile commercial, this is your father's conservatism—the Old-Time Religion. What is there among Ron Paul's policy prescriptions that the young William F. Buckley would have disagreed with?
So far so good (though it's surprising to see NR putting Rothbart [sic] back in their pantheon; WFB euolgized Mr. Libertarian thusly: "We extend condolences to his family, but not to the movement he inspired…Murray Rothbard had defective judgment.").
What's keeping the jailbait-loving, Bruce-Lee-fighthing, Calvin-Coolidge-appreciatin' Derb from stuffing envelopes for Paul?
Imagine, for example, President Ron II trying to push his bill to abolish the IRS through Congress. Congress!—whose members eat, drink, breathe and live for the wrinkles they can add to the tax code on behalf of their favored interest groups! Or imagine him trying to kick the U.N. parasites out of our country. Think of the howls of outrage on behalf of suffering humanity from all the lefty academics, MSM bleeding hearts, love-the-world flower children, Eleanor Roosevelt worshippers, and bureaucratic globalizers!
Ain't gonna happen. It was, after all, a conservative who said that politics is the art of the possible. Ron Paul is not possible. His candidacy belongs to the realm of dreams, not practical politics. But, oh, what sweet dreams!
The Chicago Tribune's Clarence Page loves Ron Paul here.
reason's Brian Doherty asks whether Ron Paul is good for the libertarians.
[*]: Headline allusion explained here; misquote explained here.