We live in a soundbyte age. It is an age where what we know, presume to know, or, are misled to know about someone is neatly encapsulated in a phrase or a brief moment in time preserved on film. A tiny fragment of a person's life is recorded, inserted into the news cycle and looped hypnotically over and over again before our eyeballs, or, passed from inbox to inbox thanks to YouTube and its like. It is drilled into our brains.
A few words that a person utters can be the entire image of that person, IF
we are not careful and we don't dig deeper. A few words can become the slogan of a campaign, whether the campaigner wishes it so or not. John Kerry's "I actually did vote for the $87 Billion before I voted against it" was used against
him. So-called President Bush's "I'm a uniter not a divider" was used for
him. Millions of naive Americans believed
an obvious lie and the rest is a nightmare of history. Hell, the BIG LIE worked for a failed Asutrian painter in Germany; why shouldn't it have worked for an AWOL brain damaged thug who has failed at everything he's touched in his entire life, including trading Sammy Sosa and not even being able to find oil in Texas.
And now we have Rep. Ron Paul (14th District, TX), running for President. The thought of Ron Paul as President brings various thoughts to my mind. The frivolous ones are: Do we really need more leaders from Texas and should Texas even be considered part of The United States? Weren't Tom Delay and Dubya afflictions enough? Is this some twisted gods' way of telling us to pay more attention before we go into the voting booth and touch the screen on the big rigged machine? OK, with that out of the way, let's get into some
of what sets off alarm bells when I hear the name of Ron Paul, and it isn't just the idea of having someone with three first names sitting in the Oval Office.
Here's the Ron Paul soundbyte: The scene is the first Repug debate
of the current campaign season. Of all the pathetic pygmies™ on stage, Ron Paul pointed out that 50 years of interventionist U.S. foreign policy has led to an extremely negative opinion of America throughout the Middle East and that that contributed to the 9/11 attacks. He stated his view that neither The Constitution nor the founding fathers had such policies in mind for our country. He also discussed at some length how his party had lost its way by attempting nation building and interventionist foreign policies in spite of Chimpy's campaign promises to the contrary. I'm certain that most Repugs expected a flaming pit to open up under him and swallow him up, never to be seen again. Didn't happen. What did happen is exactly what any ad exec or campaign manager would wish for from any soundbyte moment. Ron Paul stood out. He alone wasn't the "mayor of 9/11"/married his cousin guy, or the guy who strapped the family dog to the roof of the car
and drove down the highway at 70mph (Michael Vick ain't got much on Romney, although, judging by the lack of media attention to the incident, you'd never know it). He certainly wasn't the senile "straight talk out of both sides of his mouth" guy, and, he wasn't one of the propeller beanie clowns that said they don't believe in evolution.
So, consider the context. Ron Paul said something he actually believes
. On a stage of steaming green puss for brains, demon possessed oozing slimebags, Ron Paul said something relatively
honest and correct. He not only dared to go against the grain of current Repug doctrine, he even got attacked for it by the volatile and highly unstable Rudy Julieandrews. Rudy puffed himself up and claimed he'd never heard of such concepts and demanded that Paul take back his sacrilege. In so doing, he inadvertently made Ron Paul famous, even if the corporate media ignored Paul's soaring post debate poll numbers. But
, is it enough to point out something that led to 9/ll, something so obvious for so long? Is it enough to say we shouldn't be in Iraq? Is that
enough to get someone to vote for him? More importantly, is that all there is to Rep. Ron Paul?
Are we so focused on the war that we are willing to hear what we want to hear, ignore all else, and gloss over the bad parts of a candidate? As you dig into who Ron Paul is, you see that he actually has a very mixed voting record
on the war. What Paul said, in the context of his voting record, sounds great but it is not the same as actually being against the war, and it's not nitpicking to say so. His words contradict his voting record. That contradiction gets to the core of who this candidate is. Haven't we had enough deception and doublespeak?
Ron Paul seems like a pretty affable, charming guy. It hardly bothers me that he looks like and has a voice that sounds like the "Purple Shroud Guy" (Marshall Applewhite, late Heaven's Gate Cult leader) who was able to convince his naive all too willing followers that they could all go see Jesus or whomever it was on the Hale Bopp Comet as it approached Earth, if only they would join him in wrapping themselves in some spiffy purple shroud duds and join him in committing suicide in one big happy display of togetherness. But, politics has now also become cultism. If you only pay attention to the superficial soundbyte or sloganeering when you decide who to vote for, you may be acting like a lemming heading for a cliff.
Let's take a look at Rep. Paul's Iraq vote record first. Yes. It's a fact that his voting record on Iraq is better than any of the Repugs he shared the stage with at their debate, but is that so hard? That, together with his words on the subject are a big part of what has excited many people of all political persuasions about him. If only they took the time to find out another few facts: 1) Each of the 11 Democrats who are running for President has a far better
record on the issue than Ron Paul does, even Shillary Clinton, who I also don't plan on voting for. 2) He has voted WITH BUSH/CHENEY on the matter close to 20 TIMES! 3) In addition, he has voted neither yes or no but "present" (or absented himself numerous other times). It's real easy to say you voted against the war when you don't have to get specific about what the specific bills were actually about. It's also real easy to say you voted against a war bill when you don't mention that you also voted for
so many others, or even fail to mention that you cowardly decided not to even show up, just so you can say you didn't vote for something. Talk about your cynical, disingenuous politicians! Not only that, but Paul believers claim to love him for being a man who stands on principle. Too bad he's so damn selective and part time about it.
A comparative examination of the Iraq-related votes
of every House member shows that Paul voted against Bush's toxic agenda more than any other Repug. However, every Democrat with the exception of 4 arch reactionaries (and the now converted John Murtha) have better Iraq voting records than Paul. The other 4 Democratic congressmen with worse, though very similar, voting records than Paul are Chris Carney (PA), Bud Cramer (AL), Gene Taylor (MS) and Jim Marshall (GA), each widely considered a traitor to the Democratic caucus and each most Democrats at least silently wish would lose the next election.
It's also too bad that Paul gets away with it because people accept him and his words at face value, and
it's also too bad that none of the traditional media morons have the desire to ask any follow up questions; so much for an informed public. Against the war? Doesn't look so! Ron Paul's fans claim he would bring transparency to government by rolling it back, but how is a deceptive man who refuses to be transparent himself going to achieve that?
! There's more
! Paul gets a 100% rating from the John Birch Society (Higher
than they give such wonderful humans as KKK fave Sen.Trent Lott (66%, highest in the Senate), Sen. Norm "Fratboy" Coleman, Sen. Susan "How do I love thee GWB? I can't count the ways" Collins, and uber-crackpot Sen. Tom Coburn). Robert Welch, the JBS founder once referred to the last acceptable Republican president, Dwight Eisenhower, as "a dedicated conscious agent of the communist conspiracy." Uh, huh. What a nice way to say thank you for winning WWII, creating the Interstate Highway system and shepherding a system of government that, among other things, provided for a growing, strong, successful middle class that built so much until one of our worst presidents, Ronald Reagan, declared war on it upon his election in 1980.
Paul's JBS admirers aren't big on Civil Rights. They'll tell you it says nothing about rights for Blacks, gays, and women in The Constitution. I guess the JBS was mighty pissed when Eisenhower sent troops to Little Rock so that some African-American kids could go to school. How un-American of him! What a commie pinko! How un-constitional! You see, the John Birch Society advocates the repeal
of civil rights legislation. Paul ain't for it either but probably doesn't say too much because that might not go over with the majority of Americans in this
century, outside of a few of our most backward states. He doesn't mention his massive support from the JBS on his website either. Why not Ron? Aren't you proud of the endorsement? Such a much bigger endorsement than even a well known quantity like Trent Lott gets? Hey, it's very easy to say you oppose civil rights or the war
on Constitutional grounds. It's also very easy to hide
behind the Constitution, even when your party's current "president" is taking every copy he can find to the shredder as fast as he can have one of his slobbering lapdog minions carry it. You can say or not say whatever you want, but, once again, do your words match up with your voting record? I seriously doubt that the John Birch Society followers dwell on the fine points anyway. The JBS had its big day in the 60s, during the civil rights movement. The Southern Poverty Law Center lists the JBS as a group that "advocates or adheres to extreme antigovernment doctrines." Oh, and just who was John Birch? Answer: An early funda-MENTAL-ist Christian goon. I don't know if he was ever found with a stack of porno mags in his car or a young boy in the trunk. Probably not. They didnít have cars back in his time.
Paul defines himself as a constitutionalist. Sounds great. After all, we Progressives find that very appealing, especially when we see the Constitution viciously assaulted every day. For Libertarians, and that's what Paul really is, the Constitution is something else. They believe Bush is a criminal. Fine, so do I. No argument there. What Libertarians mean when they say they want a strict interpretation of The Constitution is what the most extreme conservative Repugs think; the Constitution as it was originally written. For instance, the Constitution, as originally written, grants voting rights to all men of property
. That leaves out a lot of people, half the human race in this country, without even getting into color, for starters. Renters need not go to the polls, and, any of you female Ron Paul supporters who want to vote for him better do so quickly. If he gets his way, and his followers come along to Washington with him, you might not be able to vote for him a second time. Oh, I'm sure he wouldn't say
But, if you've read this far, why would you believe him anyway? Strict Constitutionalistas want all power to go back to the states; let each individual state decide. That's
what George Wallace was fighting for when he stood in the door way at U. Alabama and said "Segregation then. Segregation now, and segregation forever." Think it couldnít happen again? Some states are still
fighting the Civil War. Why encourage them? Paul will tell you, as he has, that he has a lot of friends in the JBS. He will go on to imply that that doesnít mean he agrees with them. Some bothersome little factoids, though: Ron Paul was the only
member of Congress to vote against a medal for Rosa Parks. He was one of two
congresscreeps who voted against the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act. In 2004 he was the only
congresscreep to vote no to a commemoration of the anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Time for a quote from Ron, "Opinion polls consistently show that only about 5 percent of Blacks have sensible political opinions!" I just have a feeling about where he stands. Just a feeling. Oh, and one more thing related to the subject; David Duke is a big fan. That's right-- the Grand Wizard of the KKK who the Repugs ran for Senator in Louisiana. Great pal to have! Paul's disagreements with "his friends" must be about something else. Not to worry though, if you think the troops should come home and
you're a racist, you can still be consistent in voting for Ron Paul!
Church and State? Should there be a wall between the two? Not according to constitutionalista Ron Paul-- "the notion of a rigid separation between church and state has no basis in either the text of the Constitution or the writings of the founding fathers." That's Ron Paul writing in a little paranoid diatribe, in December 2003, on the alleged war on Christmas and religion in general. Now, let us hear from a man who may have also had his faults but still did some great things in his life, Thomas Jefferson. "In every country in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own." Sounds like a man who believed in that wall. I also believe he qualifies as a Founding Father
! He wrote
your Constitution, Ronnie! Well, maybe not your
Constitution, but he did write mine.
Ron Paul also doesn't believe in the IRS. All of us joke about the IRS and paying taxes but Paul and his friends at the JBS want to actually abolish the IRS. Me, I don't like paying taxes, but
, I do like things like the Center For Disease Control, educational grants, an air defense system, the FDA and FEMA (the way they used to be structured, before Dubya), riding on the interstates, park rangers who help combat forest fires, etc. Taxes pay
for those things. Have you noticed how bad the highways have gotten since Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy? That's right-- lots of potholes, lots of damaged cars which the owners
now have to pay for, couple of collapsed bridges.. Yep. Taxes for the wealthy are down but car damage and traffic fines are up and you
have to pay for it. The cost of highway travel has been passed on to you
, the sucker. Rather than repair the roads, you
have to repair your car. Is that Repugly, or what? Our infrastructure is collapsing... literally. Are you about to get on a bridge that's ready to fall into the drink due to a lack of funds to keep up repairs? Expect even more of such things under a Ron Paul "government." "Hey, if youíre not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to fear." Drive on! Isn't this brand of repug extremism grand?
What else? On the Daily Show
, Rep. Paul indicated that he was not only against the IRS, but also the Patriot Act. There ya go; something I can agree with him on. Same with NAFTA and the WTO. Don't like gun control? You can easily find a Democratic candidate you can agree with on that one; at the very least, most of 'em wonít touch it, and, as I said before, you'll like their stance on the war better. Paul would also abolish the Department of Energy. Is it possible for Big Oil to have even more control over our lives? You bet. Bush is merely paving the way for someone, maybe a fellow Texan like Ron Paul who might push the envelope even further. Medicare? Gone. Let the market decide who lives and who dies! Clean Air Act? Voted no. Minimum wage hike? Voted no three times. Campaign Finance Reform? Voted no three times. This guy's terrific
! Department of Education? Gone. Dumb 'em down some more. We don't need no stinking literacy. You thinks it's bad now when all some people can read or even want to read is US
magazine or STAR
? Wait 'til they can't even make sense of the pictures!
I can certainly see why any sentient human on Earth would completely despise George or any other Bush. Dubya has an exceedingly bad character and no
redeeming qualities. He is an utter, complete failure as a human being and as a president, but replace him with Ron Paul just because you think he's against Bush's war for oil and Halliburton money? Would you vote for Ron Paul even though he'd attempt to take the deregulation started under Reagan that has led to jobs going overseas, lack of enforcement of mine safety laws, food that makes us sick, bridges that collapse while bridges to nowhere are built in Alaska, etc. further? Ron Paul says things that, on the surface, don't sound too looney and may even sound great. He has mastered vagueness. There's something in most people that makes them want to trust and believe. His website ignores the things he'd rather we didn't know or think about. It's "don't look behind the curtain." His campaign is pretty net savvy. He's just another packaged candidate. The bad signs and indicators are there but the naive ignore them to the peril of all. That's how we ended up with the lowlife that we currently see wrecking our nation.
I recently heard Ron Paul being interviewed by Stacy Taylor on AirAmerica. Paul went on the show apparently just expecting to be asked about his stance on Iraq. He was caught off guard when Taylor started asking him about his positions on various social and economic issues. Taylor asked the very same questions that he would ask and has asked any other candidate. Paul, however, felt ambushed. He has said very loudly that he will never go on AirAmerica again. I guess he felt uncomfortable. So where on the radio does
Ron Paul feel comfortable? Try the self-described "8 lanes to the right" Larry Pratt. Paul has been on his
show many times. Pratt is known for his connections to the White Supremacist, Anti-Semitic, Christian Identity movement. So were the folks who brought down the federal building in Oklahoma. Pratt has endorsed Paul's campaigns and Paul has accepted his endorsements. Out of the other side of his moth, Paul claims he opposes racism, but
, at some point the company you keep begins to reveal something about your
character. Again, Paul will claim that he merely opposes Civil Rights on Constitutional grounds. Again, whose
Constitution? It's not a constitution for the select few. Jefferson didn't write it as something to hide behind. At some point, the potential Paul supporter has to look at Larry Pratt, Trent Lott, and the likes of David Duke and ask where does it end? At some point, you have to say to yourself, if it walks like a duck... (even if it decides to not really talk
like a duck).
Yes, he likes Larry Pratt; feels damn comfy with him. With Stacy Taylor, he had an aide call up a give Taylor a new one as soon as he left the air. Stacy Taylor, very professionally, looked behind the curtain into the forbidden closet. The aide ranted big time and then hung up. Is this a man who is honest about his positions and isn't trying to hide anything? If you're so damn principled and forthright, just answer the questions and move on. Some of Taylor's listeners called up to defend Rep. Paul. How dare Taylor ask Ron Paul questions that might inform the listeners! Such actions point to a budding fanaticism. This is the cult of Ron. It's: we love the guy. Try on the Purple Shroud! The hell with the truth. The hell with reality. Well, Bush has said it best when he has accused those who disagree with him as being "part of the reality-based community." President Paul? Meet the new boss.
lame as the old boss. Crazier? Hard to beat but time will tell. Paul is what you get when you don't impeach. If you let Bush get away with his evil, someone else will come along and try to keep pushing the envelope. If it isn't Ron Paul, it will be some other clown in the future, if there is
Labels: Republican hypocrisy, Republican presidential race, Ron Paul