First, let me say that I like a lot of Ron Paul's positions, but doesn't some of his some of his libertarian views (e.g. legalized drugs/prostitution), give you pause?
mr. ed | 06.14.07 - 7:33 pm | #
At some point this bizarre Ron Paul fanboyism among serious Catholics going to stop. It's clear that those Catholics cheering him on don't know anything about him other than that he likes to bang on Bush over the war.
One of Mark's refrains has been that the national GOP doesn't care about pro-life issues. How does Ron Paul stack up? Let's see, he hasn't sponsored any pro-life legislation, and around the time of the Shaivo controversy, he said "Our focus should be on overturning Roe and getting the federal government completely out of the business of regulating state matters." In other words, Congress and the president shouldn't be doing anything about abortion issues, which is exactly the sort of inaction that Mark condemns. (More here)
He's also against the Federal Marriage Amendment.
Okay, Mark, I get it: Ron Paul hammers Cheney on torture, and you love him for it. But he doesn't come close to passing your ideological purity test. Research the guy a little more (it's not that hard; dig around at http://www.house.gov/paul/legis.shtml for a bit) and tell me if he's still worthy of the Doomed Quixotic Chestertonian vote.
K the C | 06.14.07 - 8:14 pm | #
I went to Ron Paul's website to find out his position on how to fight terrorism. I have no idea how he plans on doing it.
I don't care if he's against the Iraq war, or if he thinks that we're paying the price for previously arming the Afghans in their fight against the soviets.
WHAT WILL HE DO ABOUT AL-QAEDA NOW?
He doesn't answer. In general, I think he doesn't think that the fight against terrorism is real. He probably thinks it's just a phantom to scare people into giving up liberty. In general, he's a complete jackass.
I have no use for that. And I have no use for his fringe half-a$$ed support from Truthers. I find it offensive that anyone would support him because he's a complete wimp when it comes to terrorism. Electing Ron Paul is like electing Osama bin Laden.
Sydney Carton | 06.15.07 - 12:21 am | #
Sure, Paul is pro-life, at least to the extent that the Congressional GOP in general is pro-life. But to stop there is to misunderstand Mark's beef with the GOP on life issues. Mark thinks that the GOP doesn't really care about life issues, and that GOP pols exploit those issues to get themselves elected, then do nothing to advance them. (I think he's wrong about that, but the rightness or wrongness of that position isn't at issue right now.) He's made it very clear that he's tired of this, and that he's looking for a candidate who will follow through on life issues.
For some reason he's settled on Ron Paul, which is odd, because the best that can be said about him is that he's no worse than the average GOP Congressman on life issues. He's certainly not a champion of pro-life causes. Moreover, he takes federalism seriously, and doesn't want the federal government to tell the states what to do on abortion. Normally that's not good enough for Mark, but he really, really likes Ron Paul! The only substantive difference between Paul and the rest of the GOP is that Paul has criticized Bush and Cheney on torture and the war. Other than that, he's quite average on life issues. I just wish Mark could see that.
K the C | 06.15.07 - 12:41 am | #
Electing Ron Paul is like electing Osama bin Laden.
Why, I wonder, do critics of the Iraq War so often feel as though their patriotism is being called into question? And what could that possibly have to do with the shock that Bush supporters felt when *their* patriotism was called into question by the Bushies over the Immigration fracas?
Clues to the clueless: this is the sort of rhetoric that poisons American political discourse. Stop it.
Mark Shea | Homepage | 06.15.07 - 12:41 am | #
Why, I wonder, do critics of the Iraq War so often feel as though their patriotism is being called into question?
Because they're unpatriotic.
K the C | 06.15.07 - 12:47 am | #
K the C,
Not all of them are unpatriotic. But that's irrelevant for my purposes anyway. I don't care that Ron Paul is against the war in Iraq. My concern is with terrorism. He seems to think it's a figment of our imagination, or that its' only as a result of what big, bad America does in the world. As if Muslims wouldn't attack us once we come running back with our tail between our legs.
We weren't in Iraq in 1986, when they bombed the German disco. We weren't in Iraq when they blew up the Pan Am flights. We weren't in Iraq when they bombed the Towers in 1993. We weren't in Iraq when they bombed the embassies in 1998. We weren't in Iraq when they blew up the Cole. We weren't in Iraq when they destroyed the Towers on 9/11.
What is Ron Paul's plan for attacking terrorists? All of you who support him, please tell me. Thanks.
Sydney Carton | 06.15.07 - 1:20 am | #
On Ron Paul. Somebody whose principal description of 9/11 is blowback and doesn't discuss what to do about AQ is betraying the foreign policy weakness of libertarianism. Libertarian foreign policy is free trade with every state that is not in the act of attacking US citizens, the full majesty of admiralty law to deal with pirates, and requests for foreign states to either try or extradite people like UBL.
I am not kidding. All he has to say about war and foreign policy is that we brought it on ourselves, and that we need "...a strong America, conducting open trade, travel, communication, and diplomacy with other nations." That's great. What does he plan to do about the $%^&* enemy? Does he think UBL is a closet libertarian?
Ron Paul is not even really describing the Iraq war as a distraction from the Afghanistan campaign. He's descibing the Iraq war as an additional error compounding the errors that got us attacked in the first place, and his solution is to tacitly go back to neutrality and assume that we will be left alone. Since he never, ever, talks about what he would do to DEFEAT the jihadis that he does at least acknowledge to be our enemies. I guess he thinks they'll just go away once we quit the UN.
Ed the Roman | 06.15.07 - 9:07 am | #
Ed is right - this is the problem with libertarianism. You cannot make problems go away by ignoring them. The legitimate role of the government is to secure life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This explicitly true for the US and is in keeping with Church teaching. Even when the US Government was miniscule we still had to deal with foreign threats (including the Mohammedans).
I like a lot of what Paul has to say - but I wonder what his response would have been to British impressment of US sailors or to the Barbary pirates.
Michaelus | 06.15.07 - 9:32 am | #
Not all Iraq War opponents are unpatriotic. (I can't believe that I have to explain hyperbole to you of all people, but there you go.) But a large contingent of them are (DU, DailyKos), and rightly deserve to have their patriotism questioned. And those who aren't unpatriotic yet adopt the rhetorical style of the DU/DailyKos crowd forfeit their right to complain about erroneous questioning of their patriotism. Lay down with dogs, wake up with fleas.
A selection of things you've said about Ron Paul:
***"I'm likin' this Ron Paul guy more and more."
***"Ron Paul... had, in fact, been one of the few GOP candidates to actually take seriously what JPII said...."
***"[I]f Paul remains as sensible on the few things I've noticed him talking about in the press, I'm willing to give him a listen. Until his Libertarianism makes war on the Catholic teaching concerning the common good, I have no problem with it. If it never reaches that point, then he may get my vote. So far he's impressed me. But if he turns out to be a kook (as Libertarians often do), I'll have to reconsider.... [H]e does not want the GOP to become the Big Tent of Torture and Abortion. If that's kooky, we need more of it."
***"Ron Paul is so freaking crazy he didn't even applaud when the WarPundits subjected John Paul II to their 15 minute hates"
..and my personal favorite:
***"I will have to keep my eye on Ron Paul.... If he opposes abortion as well as what the Newspeakers of the Rubber Hose Right and the FOXNews Ministry of Newthink technicians call "enhanced interrogation techniques", I may have finally found my doomed quixotic candidate to support."
Mark, Ron Paul doesn't have the pro-life bona fides that you demand, yet your position is that unless he turns out to be a "kook" who makes war on Catholic teaching, you may support him. I suppose I can be forgiven for thinking this means that he's your top choice. He's certainly your favorite Republican, and you're not voting for a Democrat. Perhaps you haven't "settled" on him in a definitely-going-to-vote-for-him sense, but you cannot in good faith deny that he looks better to you than any of the current alternatives. If you want to play semantic games and announce that you haven't settled on any one candidate, fine, but don't deny that you really like Ron Paul. All I'm asking is that you take a closer look at his ho-hum pro-life record and tell us if you still think he's worthy of your vote.
K the C | 06.15.07 - 10:57 am | #
Accordingly, he voted to give the president authorization to go after Osama Bin Ladin after 9/11. In fact, he has been critical of the fact that this authorization has been left unfilfilled, while the authority granted in the Iraq authorization has been far exceeded.
He is so critical of the supposed weaknesses of the Afghanistan operations that his campaign web site doesn't mention them at all, only the ways in which we contributed to being attacked.
Ron Paul, like most libertarians [which is what he used formally to be], is not serious about foreign policy. Whether he was right about Iraq in 2002 is irrelevant. He does not say that he intends to do anything in particular now.
And Madison's Bane, just when did impressment of US nationals cease, anyway?
Ed the Roman | 06.15.07 - 11:27 am | #
The reason that I think it is so critical to highlight this is because it illustrates just how eager Mark is to compromise on many of his principles as long as a candidate is "right" on the issues that now seem to have defined his view of politics (torture and opposition to the Iraq war). His staunch opposition to libertarianism, his views on immigration, his critique of the conservative view of the free market, and even his argument that the GOP should do more on pro-life issues can apparently go right out the window so long as Ron Paul is on the "right" side when it comes to torture and the Iraq war.
It is that last compromise in particular that has me seeing red because Mark has made it a habit to simply assert that no GOP politicians truly care about abortion. For instance, he finds Fred Thompson's pro-life views completely suspect and argues that his understanding of federalism means that he doesn't really care about abortion. Yet when it comes to Ron Paul, Mark accepts his federalist views on abortion (which I guarantee are far more rigorous than those of any other pro-life Republican nominee) completely uncritically. I find this quite telling and would be curious what else he is willing to compromise on in order to support Paul.
As to Mark's claim that he really doesn't support Paul, puh-leez. This is like Andrew Sullivan arguing that Bush's support for the Federal Marriage Amendment wasn't the only reason that he opposed him in 2004. Mark has stalwartly defended him at every turn and ignored any flaws to him on issues that he would have railed against other candidates. Compare his willingness to defend Paul, for instance, with his eager dismissals of Brownback and Thompson. Any criticism of Paul has been written off as GOP or Fox News smears. In discussions about torture, Mark has frequently argued (that is to say, demagogued) that those who attempt to raise questions about his views on the subject objectively support torture. Well, what's good for the goose is good for the gander on this one and I will continue to accept his fanboyish support of Paul for what it is in the absence of any evidence to the contrary.