Saturday, December 17, 2011

We've Already Won: Neocons Declare War on Ron Paul

The American Spectator, The Weekly Standard, Fox News and other neoconservative-leaning news sources have been turning up the heat on Ron Paul.  Jeffrey Lord has been particularly open about his disdain for Ron Paul, donating a plurality of his recent blog posts/articles to bashing Dr. Paul, including this hit piece, the third in a series.

The fact that neocons were going to start going after Ron Paul full force became particularly clear in the last debate, where moderator Bret Baier was openly-hostile and unapologetically-insulting toward Ron Paul, especially regarding Dr. Paul's modest, constitutional, non-interventionist foreign policy.  This is a phenomenon that Lew Rockwell has predicted and been following in detail for a little while.

The idea back in May, when Ron Paul declared his candidacy, was that they just had to ignore him and continue to mutter, "but he has no chance to win," every time they were forced to mention him, and things would take care of themselves.  Ron Paul represents a dangerous threat to the establishment. His election could spell the end of the Military-Industrial Complex and the Pharmaceutical Industrial Complex, which would cost a lot of rich, powerful people a lot of their money and a lot of influence. So you have to understand why they'd be scared of Ron Paul. They just didn't understand how scared they needed to be. It has become increasingly clear that Ron Paul could win Iowa and, with that, build enough support to make this thing interesting. So it is no coincidence that the following headline at the top of Drudge Report coincided with the upturn of the neocon attack on Ron Paul.

Ron Paul has steadily gained in the polls, requiring more coverage.  And simply telling people he has no chance of winning wasn't working anymore.  Why? Because Ron Paul's consistent message of a constitutional government was resounding with voters.  The was due in part to the message, but also greatly due to the messenger.  Ron Paul isn't the most eloquent speaker, but he is someone who brings amazing consistency and credibility that is refreshing in today's political world.  Does this mean that Ron Paul is going to win the whole thing? Probably not, but he is in a position right now to have, at the least, a huge amount of influence as to the GOP platform and the direction of this country, as I disussed last week.  (As an addendum to my thoughts in that post, I also think it is possible that a brokered convention results in a Rand Paul VP nomination, and Ron Paul as Secretary of Treasury.)  And that just can't happen, at least according to the Jeffrey Lords, Bret Baiers and Mark Levins of the world.

So now they're resorting to irrelevant, out-dated, and misleading information. Expect to hear a lot more from the neocon front regarding news letters in the 80's and 90's that bore Ron Paul's name, but which he didn't write.  They will attempt to cast Dr. Paul as a racist.  And they will also act like these newsletters are some huge revelation that were newly discovered.  They aren't. Ron Paul has addressed this issue before, and will do so again.  I think it is pretty clear to anyone who has followed Dr. Paul that he is absolutely not racist.  Austin, TX NAACP President Nelson Linder has defended Dr. Paul against these charges, and I strongly suggest you follow these lengths and check our was Mr. Linder has to say about Dr. Paul before you jump to the conclusions that the neocons want you to.

The neocons will also bring up Dr. Paul's position on earmarks.  "Earmarks" is often used as a dirty word in politics.  Ron Paul, though, believes that earmarks are necessary to preserve transparency in spending.  Let me just copy and paste and explanation I recently gave, by means of an example, regarding earmarks to someone else who questioned the policy (I apologize if it seems over-simplified):

Congress decides that $500 million will be spent. Now, without earmarks, all that money is passed onto the Executive Branch (so, right now, President Obama's people) to be spent as they see fit without legislative oversight. What an earmark does is, for instance, take $2 million of that $500 million and say that it has to be spent, e.g., to build a new bridge in Dallas, TX. So the legislature decides where that money goes, everyone knows where it goes, and there's no question. There is transparency. The other $498 million is completely within the control of whatever executive agency (maybe the Dept. of Education or Agriculture) to spend how they see fit. If you take the $2 million earmark out, the whole $500 million still gets spent, but the executive agency has completely control over it.
Without an earmark request, the same amount of money still gets spent. With earmarks, we allow the legislature to at least determine where the money is going, and the bill itself will state where it goes so we have transparency in spending. I don't think we should spend money like we do, but if we do, I'd much rather have Congress decide where the money goes than the executive branch. And I'd much rather KNOW where the money is being spent if it is spent. Until we cut spending, the spending that is done needs to be earmark for the sake of transparency. 

Another point I like to make regarding earmarks is that they aren't some kind of dirty secret that Ron Paul is forced to explain.  While he has always been an opponent of government spending, he has always been an open advocate of earmarks.  He has gone so far as to explain his view on earmarks on the floor of the House in 2009:

And he recently again described his views on earmarks in the Fox News debate from this past week:

The above issues, especially the issue regarding the newsletters, are absolutely irrelevant, and have been explained away again and again.  However Ron Paul's non-interventionist foreign policy will continue to come under fire. I don't necessarily think that his foreign policy is described incorrectly, but I do think many in the press discuss it in a very misleading way. Just today I read an article from the Wall Street Journal titled: Why Ron Paul Can't Win.  After reading it, I was left with a sour taste in my mouth so, as I often do, I sent an email to the author:

A few points on your article on why Ron Paul can't win:
 1) So are you arguing he should abandon one of his most closely held philosophical and moral views? Perhaps you are just stating he can't win with those views, but it seems like you are criticizing him for not engaging in what would be one of the largest flip-flops in politics. That isn't even a practical suggestion.
  2) Remember that Dr. Paul's foreign policy views aren't just a personal belief or political strategy. The fact that our current foreign policy is unconstitutional isn't even the end of the story. Dr. Paul has examined both history and the current state of affairs in the Middle East and come to a conclusion very similar to our own CIA: Our current foreign policy is dangerous because it stokes the fires of terrorism and anti-American sentiment. It doesn't work. He is right about this and to decide to change his views because of political expedience wouldn't just be inconsistent, it would be dangerous for America. The continuation of our current foreign policy is one of the greatest dangers facing our nation. Why should the one most visible, outspoken opponent of our current, hazardous path change his views for votes? Again, maybe you aren't saying he should, but only saying he would have to if he wants to win. If so, I don't disagree quite as vehemently.
 3) This brings me to my final point. In your article, I couldn't help but notice you referred to "noninterventionist" in quotes, but then you casually refer to Ron Paul's foreign policy as "isolationist" without quotes and in a very matter of fact manner. Why is that? This is such a common thing in the press, and I can't help but think it is an intentional, subtle way in which Dr. Paul's policy is negatively branded by the press. "Isolationism" has a very negative connotation. But it also fails to describe Paul's foreign policy accurately. And I think you and other members of the press know this but intentionally disregard that fact. There are two parts to isolationism. The first is military nonintervention, which Dr. Paul advocates. The second part, though, is, essentially, the end of free trade. Laws are put in place to "protect" the domestic economy and shut of trade amongst nations. You and others in the press are well-aware that this is the polar opposite of what Dr. Paul stands for. I refuse to believe that every member of the press is simply ignorant of Ron Paul's views on trade and/or regarding the true definition of "isolationism." Why, then, is this term continually used to describe Dr. Paul's foreign policy when very clearly defines and labels it himself? Please convince me this isn't an intentional way in which you and others in the press try to harm Dr. Paul's campaign and mislead readers as to Paul's actual foreign policy views. I would appreciate an honest and thorough explanation.
Please note that this was an email typed on my iPhone while sitting at Kangarooz in Spanish Fort. Very fun place for kids, but not the best for thinking clearly. So if anything doesn't make sense, or if there are any grammatical errors, please forgive them and let me know.  I think that pretty much sums up my problem with how the press covers Dr. Paul's foreign policy views.

So, I expect the attacks to keep coming.  And it very well may end up killing the admittedly small chance that Dr. Paul had of winning the nomination.  I just wonder if the neocons don't understand that if they sink Ron Paul's campaign by running these malicious hit pieces, they'll just drive Dr. Paul closer to a third party run that will certainly lead to the GOP candidate being defeated?  Couldn't they just respect Dr. Paul instead of smearing him, and hold out hope that he might (in exchange for some changes to the party platform) endorse the GOP nominee.  Paul has hinted that he might be convinced to endorse Mitt Romney, and I think if he is treated respectfully, and if the GOP acknowledges that his views have merit (and begin operating a bit different given that fact), that Ron Paul may decide to forego a third party run.  I guess the issue is this: the only way to guarantee the destruction of the Military/Pharmaceutical Industrial Complex is a Ron Paul presidency.  Barack Obama has shown that he can be just as much of a war monger as any Republican.  So, in a way, for the neocons, Obama is preferable to Ron Paul.  I think many of the neocons pay lip service to the "anybody but Obama" theory, but they secretly understand that they really want "anyone but a non-interventionist." They ultimately don't care a bit about domestic, fiscal policy.  Which is very frightening, because by perpetuating these never ending wars, and by ignoring our monetary problems, the nation sinks deeper into a whole they may never get out of.

Ron Paul is the only man with a Plan to Restore America.  He also happens to be the man who most threatens the hold on power that, despite the rise of the Tea Party, the neocons still firmly hold in America.  

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