Even Paul Can Pander


This ad's going up on Iowa and New Hampshire TV. After some pleasant footage of (*cough*European*cough*) immigrants arriving at Ellis Island, we see a swarthy figure paddling it across a river and hear this:

Today, illegal immigrants violate our borders and overwhelm our hospitals, schools and social services. Ron Paul wants border security now. Physically secure the border. No amnesty. No welfare to illegal aliens. End birthright citizenship. No more student VISAs for terrorist nations.

Justin Raimondo is sickened:

This is pandering to the worst, Tom Tancredo-esque paranoia and outright ignorance (or do I repeat myself?) and is not worthy of Dr. Paul. I have the utmost respect for the candidate, but in using this unfortunate term, "terrorist nations," the Good Doctor undermines his non-interventionist foreign policy stance. If these are, in truth, "terrorist nations" – which most will take to mean all predominantly Muslim nations — then why not invade them, kill the terrorists, and be done with it? This phraseology gives the War Party carte blanche – and, believe you me, they'll use it.

As Murray Rothbard explained, the anti-interventionist conservatives of the 1950s made the same mistake when they jumped on Joe McCarthy's bandwagon. The "red scare" was payback for the "brown scare" of the 1940s in which prominent conservatives were basically run out of public life on a rail for not getting with the program until Pearl Harbor. The original McCarthyite movement was directed against domestic reds, and was a sweet revenge for those conservatives who had been targeted as "subversive" and even "pro-Hitler" for being anti-interventionist during the Roosevelt era. However, it wasn't long before the domestic witch-hunt spilled over the border and became an international armed crusade that roped us into NATO, lured us into Korea, and got us bogged down in Vietnam.

Thousands of students from the Middle East, North Africa, and the Muslim countries of Indonesia, Malaysia, and elsewhere come to this country and bring home with them the ideas of liberty, tolerance, and fair play that are the predominant themes of our culture. Barring them would be politically foolish, economically counterproductive, and a prelude to much worse.

Raimondo wants the campaign to skunk the ad, but that won't happen. Paul is a politician: He's pushing one of the few issues where the majority of Republican voters are on his side. He's done this before, many times. I asked him why he spoke so much about abortion rights at the Ames straw poll and he didn't budge:

"I think that's part of the freedom message," Paul told me. "You always want to broaden the base, and in this area, in this state, you want to appeal to social conservatives without sacrificing any principles."

Wink, wink.

If you want to blame feckless Iowans for driving Paul to this, check out Phil Klein's jeremiad against the caucuses.