Ron Paul

Doctor Paul Gets a Second Opinion

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The Club for Growth's series of white papers critiquing the GOP candidates continues with Rep. Ron Paul. It's possibly the first treatment of Paul's ideas and record that puts him on the same platform as Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani. When they praise him, they praise him: Paul's tax and spending vote record is basically buffed and glowing. When they knock him, they do so just as energetically. The takeaway: Paul exemplifies "the perfect as the enemy of the good." On earmarks:

In defense of his support for earmarks, Rep. Paul took the if you can't beat 'em, join 'em position, arguing that "I don't think they should take our money in the first place. But if they take it, I think we should ask for it back." This is a contradiction of Paul's self-proclaimed "opposition to appropriations not authorized within the enumerated powers of the Constitution."

I think the Club is calling Paul out for playing an election-winning game. He knows the argument against earmarks cold, and thinks (like Ramesh Ponnuru) that they're a minor problem compared to the creaking welfare state and the money supply. Alas, he wants to be returned to office by voters, so he does constituent services, he helps people get their Social Security checks, he puts earmarks in and then votes them down.

On trade:

Unlike protectionists who deny the economic benefits of free-trade policies, Ron Paul embraces the importance of free trade, but lives in a dream world if he thinks free trade will be realized absent agreements like NAFTA and CAFTA. Paul himself argues that "tariffs are simply taxes on consumers," but by opposing these trade agreements, he is actively opposing a decrease in those taxes. While Paul's rhetoric is soundly pro-free trade, his voting record mirrors those of Congress's worst protectionists.

I praised the club back in 2006.

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  1. 1. The Club for Growth is criticizing someone for letting the perfect be the enemy of the good? The Club for Growth? The enforcement arm of the Supply Side Republicans?

    2. The criticism of Paul’s stance on earmarks doesn’t even make sense. How can he simultaneously be “letting the perfect be the enemy of the good” AND be willing to violate his principles about the legality of appropriations by voting for them?

  2. I agree with joe on #2. That don’t make no sense.

  3. …and thinks (like Ramesh Ponnuru) that they’re a minor problem compared to the creaking welfare state and the money supply

    I’ve heard his earmarks-are-relatively-minor argument but is Ponnuru also into the monetary policy stuff? It’s a bit confusing over which terms “(like Ramesh Ponnuru)” is to be distributed; another example of why I believe English should incorporate the use of parentheses similar to how they function in math.

  4. I didn’t RTFA, but from Weigel’s post, the “perfect as the enemy of the good” does not necessarily seem to be about earmarks per se but may be about Paul’s approach in general, and it would potentially apply to his opposition to trade agreements. Perhaps Weigel could clear up whether that phrase was used specifically about earmarks?

  5. joe,

    Read the whole report.

  6. Unlike protectionists who deny the economic benefits of free-trade policies, Ron Paul embraces the importance of free trade, but lives in a dream world if he thinks free trade will be realized absent agreements like NAFTA and CAFTA.

    Oh sure, I can see why reducing tariffs with two of our closest allies and trading partners should take 550 pages and a new bureaucracy.

  7. While we all agree that 1 page would be best, if your only choice is 550 pages or 0 pages…

  8. 2. The criticism of Paul’s stance on earmarks doesn’t even make sense. How can he simultaneously be “letting the perfect be the enemy of the good” AND be willing to violate his principles about the legality of appropriations by voting for them?

    Slight correction. He still doesn’t even vote for them, he merely puts earmarks in for his district, but then is still consistent by voting against them.

  9. But otherwise, yes to Joe, and yes to Joshua Holmes.
    There’s no reason you need to make specific agreements with other countries in order to lower your tariffs. You can just.. you know, do it unilaterally.

  10. If we abolished all our tariffs we would have free trade with every country in the world. If they want to continue subsidizing exports and sending us free money thats even better.

  11. You can just.. you know, do it unilaterally.

    For values of “you” that include a specific 270 people…

  12. Ron Paul doesn’t look nearly as shinny as he did a few months ago. Digging into the details of his rhetoric and his voting record has tarnished his finish quite a bit. Now I would only give my left nut, my right arm, and a few toes to see him sworn in as POTUS.

  13. So, are you one of those who still believe that everthing that’s not centrally planned ends up in a chaotic mess?

    Wow…I thought those had died out years ago except for some reserves on campus.

  14. Whoever is posting as MikeP,

    I was under the general impression that if I try to unilaterally end my tariffs I would be in jeopardy of being arrested and prosecuted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement for tax evasion. Has that changed recently?

  15. Dr. Paul’s stance on earmarks is as such from what I have seen. He will “forward” requested earmarks on to the floor but in turn votes against them if they are un-constitutional. So even if he is requesting them that does not mean he believes in him so much that he is doing his duty as a congressman to represent his district.

  16. Oh please, I meant that to be read as “the United States can just lower tariffs unilaterally.” Hence the mention of not needing to have a “free trade agreement.”

  17. It is perfectly legitimate, and in fact vital, that think tanks, free-market groups, and individual members of congress develop and propose idealized solutions. But presidents have the responsibility of making progress, and often, Ron Paul opposes progress because, in his mind, the progress is not perfect.

    Hmmm…so as an individual member of congress he acted in a way that they think is not only legitimate, but, in fact, vital. However, that means they dont think he will act in a legitimate and vital way as president? Do they think he doesnt know the roles are different?

  18. yeah, yeah, yada…..and RP uses tax built highways, keeps a tax supported staff on hand in Texas, called the tax supported fire department once when his neighbors had a grease fire in the kitchen………..

    Got Dam Hypocrite.

    Dave Weigel: nice piece

  19. I always felt our tariff policy with the rest of the world should be reciprocal. Whatever tariffs they charge us, we charge them. I realize the ideal is to not have them at all, but this gives other countries an incentive to lower their tariffs.

  20. What do POTUS and CSOTUS stand for? And is there one for congress?

  21. But presidents have the responsibility of making progress,

    WTF? Says who? I sure as hell don’t see that in the job description.

  22. T,

    The tariff policy with the rest of the world should that the United States imposes no tariffs. There is no reason for the United States to punish its buyers of goods and services because other countries punish their buyers of goods and services.

  23. What do POTUS and CSOTUS stand for? And is there one for congress?

    POTUS = President Of The United States

    SCOTUS = Supreme Court Of The United States

  24. POTUS = President of the United States

    SCOTUS = Supreme Court of the United States

    RFOA = Room full of Assholes a.k.a. Congress

  25. I think the ear marks are a red hearing, if it is true that Paul in fact votes against his own ear marks. The trade issue is much more troubling. Yes, in an ideal world the US would not have any tariffs. But only an idiot would vote against bills that lowered tariffs on the theory that you only support the elimination not the lowering of tariffs. I just can’t see why anyone who is not either a moron or a fanatic would claim to be for free trade and then vote against every free trade agreement.

  26. That was a great analysis by the CFG, very fair and balances and compilmentary. Ron Paul 2008!

  27. Liberty Please,

    Thanks.

  28. If we abolished all our tariffs we would have free trade with every country in the world. If they want to continue subsidizing exports and sending us free money thats even better.

    jmklein, That always made sense to me.

    Economists, What is the reasoning behind putting tariffs on subsidized goods? Doesn’t everybody like a bargain? I’m serious.

    If somebody is willing to sell me steel below cost, why not buy it. I don’t buy the whole “they’ll build up a monopoly and then gouge us.” line. Even without the U.S. in the equation, it’s not like there is any industry that one country has monopolistic power over. Absent stupid regulation and NIMBY lawsuits, I figure it takes the U.S. economy approx. 2-3 years to completely buils a new industry. Let ’em raise prices, we’ll undersell them and still make a profit.

  29. Here is the more interesting parts of the whitepaper regarding spending. I am not sure why it wasn’t quoted.

    Despite this impressive record, Ron Paul’s history contains some curious indiscretions, including a vote for $232 million for federally mandated election reform (only 1 of 21 Republicans to vote for it)[26] and a vote against the line-item veto[27] -even after it was modified to pass constitutional muster. Paul’s record on pork was outstanding in 2006, voting for all 19 of Jeff Flake’s anti-pork amendments in 2006,[28] but his record took a stark turn for the worse in 2007, in which Paul received an embarrassing 29% on the Club for Growth’s RePORK Card, voting for only 12 of the 50 anti-pork amendments.[29]

    Some of the outrageous pork projects Paul voted to keep include $231,000 for the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association’s Urban Center; $129,000 for the “perfect Christmas tree project;” $300,000 for the On Location Entertainment Industry Craft Technician Training Project in California; $150,000 for the South Carolina Aquarium; and $500,000 for the National Mule and Packers Museum in California.[30] This year, Ron Paul requested more than sixty earmarks “worth tens of millions of dollars for causes as diverse as rebuilding a Texas theater, funding a local trolley, and helping his state’s shrimp industry.”[31]

    In defense of his support for earmarks, Rep. Paul took the if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em position, arguing that “I don’t think they should take our money in the first place. But if they take it, I think we should ask for it back.”[32] This is a contradiction of Paul’s self-proclaimed “opposition to appropriations not authorized within the enumerated powers of the Constitution.”[33]

    These strange deviations aside, Paul’s record on spending is praiseworthy. Though he represents a district rich in rice and cattle and battered by Hurricane Rita, he consistently voted against farm subsidies, FEMA, and flood aid.[34] When it comes to spending, he stands neither with the Republicans or the Democrats, but the taxpayers, often lambasting his own party for straying from the principles of small government: “Taxpayers are tapped out,” he wrote in a 2005 article. “Where will the money for Big Government conservatism come from?”[35]

  30. John,

    His problem is the other 549 pages. Im sure if the agreement only said, “Both sides will lower tariffs 50%”, Paul would vote for it. Its the other stuff included other than lowering tariffs that causes the problems.

  31. What is the reasoning behind putting tariffs on subsidized goods? Doesn’t everybody like a bargain? I’m serious.

    The reasoning is horrible and it usually goes like you said. There’s usually also some “National Security” element to some of it, like steel, for instance. But it’s almost entirely political.

  32. “His problem is the other 549 pages. Im sure if the agreement only said, “Both sides will lower tariffs 50%”, Paul would vote for it. Its the other stuff included other than lowering tariffs that causes the problems.”

    Yeah but that doesn’t seem to be Paul’s issue. He votes against things because he doesn’t agree with them in theory. For example, he voted against the extension of welfare reform because he objects to welfare. Well that is nice but on planet earth welfare isn’t going anywhere and it would be nice if Paul would support the half a loaf of welfare reform we can get. Paul also opposes school vouchers because he doesn’t think the government should support schools and privatizing part of social security because he doesn’t beleive in the concept of social secutity. That is just fucking nuts.

  33. The problem is that voting for a decrease legitimizes the “entangling alliance” of a “free trade agreement.”

    He simply refuses to vote for the lesser of two evils (in this case anyway)

  34. I’m not sure who’s loonier, the wingnuts on this blog who think Paul has any chance of winning next year, or the good doctor himself. Idiots.

  35. John,

    I believe all the things you said involve some movement in the wrong direction in addition to the movement in the right direction. Not 100% sure on the specific proposal.

    The welfare reform included an increase in spending in addition to extending the reform.

    With vouchers to private schools (as was discovered by private universities) comes federal control over policies.

    I favor privatizing (even in part) SocSec but the presidents plan (which is the one I assume the vote concerned) was worse than doing nothing, IIRC.

    I understand Paul’s votes on these, although I would have probably voted differently myself on the DC voucher one.

  36. And a note to the Urkobolds: slander my name on your blog one more time and, you have my word on this, there will be legal ramifications.

  37. “The problem is that voting for a decrease legitimizes the “entangling alliance” of a “free trade agreement.”

    If that is actually what he believes, Paul is a nutjob. Free trade agreements do a tremendous amount of good for both the US economy and the world economy. Further, the US’s willingness to sign and abide by them gives it the credibility to pursue more agrements and create a more open market in the world. Every time Paul votes for one of these agreements he in a small way helps and advances the cause of the forces of protectionism world wide. Thank God, he will never be anywhere near a position of real responsibility.

  38. In some senses, the criticisms of Paul would be like calling someone out for voting against CA power “deregulation”. It may have been called deregulation, but it wasnt.

  39. Edward is going to file a class action suit on behalf of all Edwards everywhere against Urkobold. And he thinks Ron Paul is the crazy one.

  40. I don’t know who is more of a dick. Edward or an actual penis.

    BTR

  41. What is the reasoning behind putting tariffs on subsidized goods? Doesn’t everybody like a bargain? I’m serious.

    It is standard mercantilist thinking: focusing on wealth (gold, dollars, productive assets) rather than focusing on consumption even though the latter is the end goal and the very reason for the former.

    Given that the interests that are harmed by production moving somewhere else are very concentrated while the interests that are helped by the lowered costs of the moved production are very dispersed, it is politically expedient to put punitive tariffs on cheap imports and parade the demagogic position.

    Free trade agreements, sad and bloated as they may be, bind the hands of the concentrated interests while lowering tariffs in general and over time. Passing NAFTA, CAFTA, et al., is a mild good, though clearly not as good as a 1-page agreement or unilateral free trade. Not passing them is a major bad.

  42. MikeP,

    Passing NAFTA, CAFTA, et al., is a mild good, though clearly not as good as a 1-page agreement or unilateral free trade. Not passing them is a major bad.

    Im willing to take my chances and see what kind of treaties a Paul administration can negotiate. Maybe he can get a few 1-pagers done. Or maybe he will compromise up to a 5-pager, instead of a 550-pager.

  43. John –

    It’s not simply a matter of policy preference. It’s a matter of Paul’s belief that a Congressperson is obliged to vote against bills that they consider patently unConstitutional, even if the bill constitutes an “improvement”.

    For example, a bill came up that would have changed the waiting period for gun purchases from 3 days to 1 day. Now, if you are a gun rights person, you might consider this a positive development, because it’s reducing the scope of an anti-gun regulation. But legislatively, the replacement legislation is still an affirmative restriction on guns, because it takes the form of placing a 1 day waiting period on gun purchases. This means that if you consider federal restrictions on gun purchases unConstitutional, you can’t vote for it even if it is an improvement.

    I’d also be interested in seeing the full scope of the legislation referenced in note 30. If the amendment stripping these line items was attached to a larger bill that had other spending in it, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Paul vote No. The form of the legislation would be determinative here.

  44. John –
    NAFTA and CAFTA give platforms for people to oppose a principle, when what they’re actually opposing has little to do with the principle they connect it with. Americans have a much dimmer view of free trade than they did when NAFTA was enacted.

    It’s like bastardized market initiatives that lead people to have less faith in what a market-based economy can offer because of convenient and misguided pandering. People actually refer to our expensive health care system as a product of privatization and capitalism. “Those greedy corporations!” Sometimes the good is the enemy of the perfect too, because it’s difficult for your lay-person to determine what direction a “good” policy needs to be tweaked in in order to become a “better” policy. If you’re only going to move something a little bit in the “right” direction, you’d better be sure that it will actually increase the likelihood that people will want to continue to move in that direction before you vote for it.

  45. I believe Paul’s specific objection to NAFTA and to US participation in the WTO isn’t even the length of the treaties, but their enforcement mechanisms.

    Other participants in the WTO can litigate US “violations” of the WTO and obtain judgments that direct the Congress to change legislation. This comes far, far too close to placing an international body over the US Congress for Paul to accept. Since the WTO has already in some cases found the failure to tax an economic activity heavily enough to be a “subsidy” they’re entitled to penalize and to lecture the Congress about, I have to admit I see where he’s coming from even though I supported these agreements when they were negotiated.

  46. Edward,

    Ron Paul has a better chance of winning than you do of not being a dick. Oooh! Gotcha there! **finger shooting gestures from the hip**

  47. “slander my name on your blog one more time and, you have my word on this, there will be legal ramifications.”

    Edward, do you honestly think anyone here considers your word to be worth a shit? How many times have you given your word that you won’t post here any more?

  48. I’m not sure who’s loonier, the wingnuts on this blog who think Paul has any chance of winning next year, or the good doctor himself. Idiots.

    No, he won’t win. But, Edward, he has a better chance winnig than you do of getting laid by a hot babe! No, shemale don’t count.

  49. And a note to the Urkobolds: slander my name on your blog one more time and, you have my word on this, there will be legal ramifications.

    Uh, that would be libel, not slander, you insufferable, illiterate boor!

  50. Club for Growth is pro-open borders, pro-free trade (restricted by unelected bureaucrats and internationalists), and pro-corporate welfare and subsidies. Since Paul believes that everyone should be on a level playing field that would benefit all instead of special interests, it’s no wonder why the Club for Growth is criticizing him. Pat Toomey should be ashamed of himself and resign, maybe Specter beating him was good after all.

  51. Between this and the increasing evidence of affiliation with some of the, how shall we say, white supremicist groups, the luster is definitely starting to fade from Mr. Paul. Still, it’s tough to see how he doesn’t beat the alternatives.

    Shameless plug: I had my own post on this that is pretty much a point by point dissection of the Club’s report. Some of their criticism is silly, but some is all too valid.

  52. Dave Weigel: nice piece

    Thanks, he just had it stuffed.

  53. The clubs’s analysis of RP seems fair but when i read its analysis of the mayor it seemed to me they were more forgiving of Rudy’s positions at odds with the club’s position(like rudy’s opposition to school vouchers, corporate welfare..)

  54. ‘The takeaway: Paul exemplifies “the perfect as the enemy of the good.”‘

    As President he would wield a great deal of power in the veto. As it is right now conservatives and libertarians are forced to compromise towards big government instead of away from it. Ron Paul could influence that more with the veto.

  55. “I think that’s very attractive to younger voters who are too stupid to realize that’s not how politics works.”

    Thanks, Nick Gillespie, as if having Republican hitmen wasn’t enough

  56. The Earmark issue is ridiculous. As Paul and that Indian guy from NR rightly point out, earmarks don’t add to the budget. It’s either however many billion to the Agriculture Dept to spend as it wishes, or however many billion to the Agriculture Dept to spend as Congress dictates. Ron Paul requests earmarks for his district, then votes against the spending bill. His district ends up getting the earmarks because Paul’s peers provide the votes to pass the bill. The only effect Paul’s earmarking has in ensuring that if the worst case scenario happens and the Congress passess whatever monstorous giveaway is before them, his district gets its fair share of the loot. Paul has two choices:

    1. A bad spending bill that gives his district nothing.

    2. A bad spending bill of the same exact budget which gives his district pork.

    Paul is going to vote against the bill either way. What’s wrong with him manuvering to ensure that it is option #2 that he’s voting against?

  57. Their primary gripe with Paul is that he’s too principled and an ideologue. Haven’t we compromised enough over the last 90 years in fighting expansion of the state?

    Regardless, how he acts in congress is not necessarily how we would act as POTUS. The only item he likely won’t compromise on is the Iraq War, but he’s been quoted as saying that if elected President he’d be willing to pass social programs through if they pulled money from another already existing program and reduced the overall budget in the process.

    He’s actually willing to compromise, he hasn’t done it in the past because he’s never had too, he keeps getting reelected so why should he?

  58. Fascism differs from socialism by allowing people to hold title to property and businesses, while it still dictates the outcomes. No less an expert on the subject than Hitler himself described it thus:

    ” The party is all-embracing. It rules our lives in all their breadth and depth. We must therefore develop branches of the party in which the whole of the individual life will be reflected. Each activity and each need of the individual will thereby be regulated by the party as the representative of the general good. There will be no license, no free space, in which the individual belongs to himself. This is Socialism – not such trifles as the private possession of the means of production. Of what importance is that if I range men firmly within a discipline they cannot escape? Let them then own land or factories as much as they please. The decisive factor is that the State through the party, is supreme over them, regardless whether they are owners or workers. All that, you see, is unessential. Our Socialism goes far deeper.
    The people about us are unaware of what is really happening to them. They gaze fascinated at one or two familiar superficialities , such as possessions and income and rank and other outworn conceptions. As long as these are kept intact, they are quite satisfied. But in the meantime they have entered a new relation; a powerful social force had caught them up. They themselves have changed. What are ownership and income to that? Why need we trouble to socialize banks and factories? We socialize human beings.”

    So just what is it exactly that the Club For Growth is engaged in here? They are damning with faint praise because adherence to the constitution and truly free trade would threaten their very existence. They are in the business of collecting money to exert ‘pull’ on politicians to plead for favors from the government for the survival of their businesses (to the detriment of those who don’t pay or beg).

    They had to dig hard to find a few examples, carefully leaving out rational explanations, to try to pull off a cheap smear job on Dr. Paul. If that’s the best they can come up with, then the piece is serviceable because of the accidental confession it makes; they are anti-free market. Their ‘growth’ will be in industries that pay THEM.

  59. Nash:

    All good points. Plus, he is now getting used to saying things like “I can’t eliminate the IRS overnight, but probably more like in three days.” On a more serious note, he has said on several occasions that he won’t change everything immediately and that change will be done gradually. I think he should say that more often though.

    Coming to think of it, if only Libertarians (the people, not the party) would assume that (compromise) stance (vis-a-vis changing the situation, but not principles) more often, then may be people would start listening more often.

  60. As others have said, the Club For Growth is pro-big business more than it is pro-free trade (invisible hand style). Ron Paul, as he’s said repeatedly, believes that government’s primary responsibility is to maximize individual liberty. Our standard ideological aggregators put the views of both under nearly identical banners, but Paul’s economic heroes fought against some of the things the Club advocates as much as they fought against more typical leftist causes.

  61. And a note to the Urkobolds: slander my name on your blog one more time and, you have my word on this, there will be legal ramifications.

    Eddie, I thought you quit.

  62. I think there’s one other thing that the Club for Growth fails to understand about Paul’s “perfectionist” approach:

    It means that he is the only candidate who is remotely – re…fucking…motely – credible on the issue of spending cuts.

    When Paul says he will cut spending, he can be believed. None of the others can. Any Republican who believes anything any of the others says about spending deserves to be lied to. Romney even occasionally trudges out the old “I’ll cut waste, fraud and abuse” BS line, which every sentient creature has to understand means “I ain’t cutting shit” by now.

    When you conduct yourself according to a rigid set of principles for 10 terms, maybe you miss out on being the Club for Growth’s boyfriend on some BS amendment report card. But it also means that when you say something, you can be believed.

  63. You know, the earmark thing is a slight disappointment, but no surprise: It was mentioned previously right here on H&R.

    Once again, the three most important issues to me are (1) Reducing taxes and spending, (2) ending the drug war, and (3)preserving the second amendment. Who other than Dr Paul will take us in the right direction on these? None, from either party.

  64. “And a note to the Urkobolds: slander my name on your blog one more time and, you have my word on this, there will be legal ramifications.” -‘Edward’

    HAHA! You mean your not-necessarily real internet name? Wow. Just damn. Do us all a favor and do what you said you would weeks ago and leave us alone.

    *goes to atone for feeding the troll*

  65. Reinmoose & MikeP –
    Thanks. I was afraid that would be the answer. That with 1 high school semester of economics, that I routinely skipped, I can see this, yet politicians, union leaders, businessmen seeking protection, deny this reality boggles the rational mind. Add to that the public is too lazy to sit down and think, or ask, about macro economic issues perplexes me even further. I’m not denigrating economists here by any means. They do complicated and intricate shit that I don’t have the time, knowledge or interest to do myself. But the basics, I mean, c’mon people, it’s not that hard,…sheesh, words fail me.

  66. J sub D,

    Please think positive, and stop saying RP won’t win. New Hampshire is 45% independent, and they are apparently not polling for that. He could surprise a few folks.

  67. AFA Edward goes, maybe his mother should have toughened him up a bit instead of having this glued to his stupid head.

  68. Here’s the good news about this: It takes a bunch of smart guys writing a white paper to dig deep enough to find fault with Ron.
    And the faults they find are over the heads of the hoi polloi.

  69. Economists, What is the reasoning behind putting tariffs on subsidized goods?

    Tariffs are a tax, a way of increasing government revenues. Tax-hungry politicians will put tariffs on all goods, subsidized or not. If you collected the same taxes as raised by tariffs by taxing other transactions, the economy-stifling effects would likely be similar.

    The really annoying part about tariffs is that since they are not perceived by most to be a tax, politicians (generally but not always Democratic) can get away with claiming they are protecting jobs when in fact they are stifling job creation overall.

  70. Edward wrote:

    I’m not sure who’s loonier …

    I’m sure. You’re loonier.

    Happy to help.

  71. The cult of Ron Paul strikes. How can be be letting the perfect be the enemy of the good and compromising principles at the same time. Because he uses one strategy on one set of issues and another on the other. In fact, I were to abandon my belief in free trade and take the Buchanan paleoconservative view but didn’t want to lose my free trade supporters I’d argue that I had to vote against good bills because they weren’t perfect bills. I

    Then when I campaing to the protectionist Right I would emphasize my votes against the measures. When I campaing to libertarians I would argue that the measures were flawed. And the true believers who want to believe what I saw no matter how absurd will line up and praise me for being on their sides — even the two sides are diametrically opposed to each other. And that is the Paul strategy. And it manages to con libertarians desparate for someone to save them.

  72. And AFA Edward’s mother goes, she’s only too happy to get on her knees and smile like a doughnut.

  73. Ron Paul will tomorrow be on the tonight show with Jay Leno. That’d be fun to watch. Tom Cruise and the Sex Pistols will also be on the show.

  74. “Fraudbuster,” aka Dondero,

    Haven’t you embarrassed yourself enough? Pull the plug already, Eric. And don’t let the door hit you where the good Lord split you.

  75. Like most things it’s really just a matter of opinion. It is obviously not very flattering for Dr. Paul supporters like myself. However, unlike many other canidates he does address the question’s directly. To me, he is simply preforming his function as a congressman then he votes with principle. I would like to say though if this is bad has he is, Wow. Other canidates can have books written about them of the bad things they have done. Here we have a recycled arguement of techincalities that fills a few paragraphs. How btw, for my fellow Dr. Paul supporters who may not know yet… Ron Paul is not perfect. And for that matter I haven’t met a man yet who is perfect. You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have… the facts of life. He still has my vote, if that actually counts for anything any more anyway. Thanks for the time

  76. Nick gets quoted on MSNBC:

    Nick Gillespie, the editor in chief of Reason, the monthly libertarian magazine, called Mr. Paul “a fly in the ointment” in the Republican race.

    “Just by being out there and pushing a strict constitutional line, I think he’s making them sweat a lot,” Mr. Gillespie said. “He’s highlighting the fact that they will say anything to get elected. Or at least to get through the primary.”

  77. I thought the Sex Pistols were dead and Donderoooo was in the Tijuana jail

  78. TWC, DONDEEEEERRROOOOOOOOOO! came back a while ago. Apparently one of his underlings made a well placed bribe at the Tijuana jail.

  79. I thought the Sex Pistols were dead and Donderoooo was in the Tijuana jail

    This is what the Tonight Show website says. I thought it odd, but according to Wiki, they look like they are doing a tour this year?!

    P.S. First time I hear about the Pistols was yesterday! Don’t take me wrong, I am a big fan of Pink Floyd and a few other rock bands from that era, but not the pistols

  80. And Eddddieeeee has reduxed his guest commenter role at URKOBOLD!

    Thanks, man! And a big thanks for that pic of you flexing in the bathroom at the I-35 rest stop on the MN/IA border!

    (now it’s a waiting game until Stevo’s bunk is free)

  81. Well, as a comment, I think Mr. Conservative’s stance is worth reminding:

    Barry Goldwater, the father of the modern conservative movement and mentor to Ronald Reagan stated that “being a conservative in America traditionally meant that one holds a deep, abiding respect for the Constitution. We conservatives believe sincerely in the integrity of the Constitution. We treasure the freedoms that document protects…” He went on to say “I have little interest in streamlining government in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution, or that have failed their purpose, or that will impose an unwarranted financial burden. I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is ‘needed’ before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible.”

    As for the earmarks, under Article I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution, the Congress has the ability to direct the appropriations of money drawn from the U.S. Treasury; hence, constitutionally is not an issue here. I do agree however that the government spending needs to be cut – that means all kinds of spending – including, but not limited to, the earmarks. Overall, Ron Paul’s record shows he has been committed to this goal.

  82. Correction: s/constitutionally/constitutionality 😉

  83. Ron Paul is the only candidate for free trade with Cuba! suck on that “club of growth”! This would probably be our 4th or 5th largest trading partner if trade were legalized with them! This proposed expansion fo free trade by ron paul dwarfs any increases proposed in the NAFTA schedule of tarriffs and quotas. Why don’t you talk about that?

    NAFTA is a laundry list of tarriffs for sale, it was basically a catalog that the governemtn’s started with to shakedown targeted companies…just like the tax-code it was designed by the favored corporations to target the unfavored typically smaller companies…this is not good versus perfect, this is just an extension of the racket

    we know who is on your board COG: Steve “neo-con talking head whore” Moore, Thomas Rhodes(president of National Review)…some dick named keating that has half his family in the CFR…this is establishment funded organization to help perpetuate the false left-right paradigm.

  84. “I think that’s very attractive to younger voters who are too stupid to realize that’s not how politics works.” -Gillespie

    oh yeah because 10-TERM Congressman who has run in a rural texas district on eliminating the USDA and legalizing prostitution and drugs yet repeatedly gets elected over big money guys backed by Newt Gingrich and the Bush Klan is too stupid to know how politics works.

    Talk about the bad being the enemy of the good…Nick.

  85. Vote for guiliani he is smart enough to know what politics are all about….aaaarggg… plunder the peasants quarters and then burn them to the ground….rape the women and children too…and get it on video for Bush and Sen Craig, they love this stuff!

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