The Political Establishment’s Nightmare: Ron Paul

 

The republican primary has taken some twists and turns since the exit of Herman Cain a couple of weeks ago.  At first, it seemed that Newt Gingrich was the main beneficiary of Cain’s exit, but now it seems that he’s taken a dive in the polls as Ron Paul ascends the top of the heap.  Paul’s ascendency has the potential to herald in some rather interesting debates going forward on topics that are tacitly agreed to among both republicans and democrats as areas not to delve into.   This is particularly the case with Paul’s views on foreign policy.  For most part, there’s very little practical difference between the positions held by the two parties as far as foreign policies are concerned and this is why defense spending bills are never characterized by the sort of partisan rancor as one might see on something like the payroll tax cut extension.   A case is point is the National Defense Authorization Act, a $ 662  billion piece of legislation which included a provision to detain US citizens indefinitely without trial, was passed quickly with the overwhelming support of both parties while a fight broke out over a two month extension of the payroll tax cut/unemployment benefit extension.  So, ideological rancor is limited to certain domestic issues that pale in comparison to the significance of foreign and economic policies supported by both parties.  Hence, it’s the things that they both agree on that are the root causes behind the economic and political crises the nation faces.  Everything else is a staged side show and that includes the “panties in a bunch” act that the house republicans were engaged in over the payroll tax cut/unemployment benefit extension.  Honest debate on real issues is not something that occurs nor is it welcomed. Ron Paul’s leap in the polls potentially threatens that.

Paul has two positions that line up with this blogger’s views.  He believes that there are two millstones around  this nation’s neck that need to be removed– an interventionist foreign policy and an out of control monetary policy.  Both of these are largely beneficial to and controlled by private businesses who feed at the public trough. In the case of monetary policy, it’s  private banks that control and benefit from it.  In the case of foreign policy, it’s generally the military industrial complex, the energy sector and the banks who benefit and control it.  These two systems reinforce and feed each other while robbing the citizens blind. At a bare minimum, we need to have an urgent discussion about both and at a maximum, we need to ditch both systems to save this country from a certain fiscal and economic train wreck. (Although some believe we’ve already reached to point of no return and it may be too late for that).  I have reservations about Paul’s views of free unfettered market solutions as  laissez faire is just another name for “free for all” absent sensible government regulation, but I agree totally with his positions on monetary and foreign policies being the ruination of the country and this view has broad appeal among a number of people across the political spectrum.

Less appealing, however, are the thinly veiled racist statements that were published in a newsletter under his name 20 years ago and the fact that some of his support comes from KKK types.  Paul disavows the sentiments and says he didn’t personally write them. He also claims that he can’t control who gives to his campaign and vehemently denies he’s a racist.  He uses his advocacy of repeal of drug laws that disproportionately result in African-Americans being in jail as prima facie evidence that he’s not a racist.   I do think the congressman has some explaining to do about the newsletter comments and the statement that he never read the newsletters even though they went out under his name just isn’t cutting it. But I’d like to see him given an opportunity to air and defend his beliefs about our foreign and monetary policies as well.

It’s not my intent to minimize the issue with the Paul’s newsletter, but it’s clear to me that this issue is not being used to address racism, but to further the agenda of the power elite. The same press who seemingly can’t report any real news, has suddenly cast itself in the role of public watch dog here and is pretending to be so concerned about racism that it has to go after Paul on the newsletter first.  But the truth is that the main thing the press cares about is Paul’s polling in Iowa and unlike the recently deposed Herman Cain who had little to offer other than slogans, Paul is far more substantive.  Moreover, the power elite doesn’t want any discussion of foreign and monetary policies to see light of day other than in the form of simple slogans. 

The clear beneficiary of Paul’s demise would be Romney and the power elite wants to ensure that he winds up being the nominee.   If they’re successful, and I’ve little doubt that they will be, the debate over foreign policies will be about the differences between the traditional ping pong of “conservative” and “liberal” tactics while the strategic question of whether we should be doing what we’re doing to begin with will continue to go unaddressed— and monetary policy won’t even be discussed.  That will continue into the general election even though these are hugely important issues that affect the country.    This election is to be a contest between establishment approved candidates and that means there’s effectively no choice.

I first became familiar with Paul from his positions against the Iraq war and the militarist role that our nation frequently takes as evidenced most recently by events in Libya and now in Syria.  I happen to believe that what goes on in other nations is really none of our business and if we want to cheerlead, that’s fine but to do anything other than that is problematic.  As far as I can see, Paul is the only legislator willing to speak this sort of truth, but the truth is that even if he were to prevail in his quest for the presidency, there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell that he’d be able to execute on changing much of anything—at least not by himself.  But for now, he’d do the country ample service by merely forcing a debate on these issues.

 

 

 

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  • LTE

    Looking at the newsletter, it seems to be pretty standard stuff and lacks Paul’s voice. If those so called questionable quotes get people excited, what would they do if there were real problems? I think the left is just desperate.

    • http://theafricanamericanclarioncall.com Greg L

      Actually, thinking that this is coming from the left is to go for the head fake.  The left/right paradigm doesn’t always apply and I’m becoming convinced more everyday that this paradigm doesn’t exist to the extent most think it does.  As I point out above, as far as foreign policy is concerned, there’s practically no difference between the two and both have a vested interest in the current set up.

      Paul’s problem is with the nation’s power elite and they don’t fall neatly into left nor right and just like Cain before him, they intend to get rid of him.  Cain was ditched mainly for being an unknown quantity.  Paul is a known, but very much un-liked quantity as he speaks to truths on certain of our policies that they don’t want to have discussed.

      As to the newsletters, he be hard pressed to have something go out under his name and then claim ignorance about it.  At a minimum this speaks to gross incompetence.  But this is the smaller issue here IMO.  The big issue is his unscripted high polling in Iowa and the power elite intend to stop him cold in his tracks using any means necessary.   They’re going to “Cain” him with dribs and drabs of disclosures until he drops out.

      • LTE

        No argument there, lending your name out to a sales pitch and not checking out what is being sold is very foolish indeed. What was in that newsletter was pretty much what I have read a 100 times before from 100 others. Only real excuse Paul could make is they changed the copy after he approved another version.
        .
        Paul would be a train wreck for the Republican Party if he won the nomination. It seems both the Republicans and Democrats want Romney.
        .
        I heard an interesting comment from a left leaning Democrat, if either Obama or Romney wins, he still gets a liberal. I did have to laugh at that.
        .
        As for American foreign policy……..

        • http://theafricanamericanclarioncall.com Greg L

          >>Paul would be a train wreck for the Republican Party if he won the
          nomination. It seems both the Republicans and Democrats want Romney<<

          Without question, the power elite, which controls both parties, wants Romney and that really means no choice.  But even if a more "conservative" republican were the nominee, there's still no choice.  Domestic policy (i.e healthcare, taxes and etc.) is where the partisan fights come in and even then, the outcomes aren't necessarily a entirely right wing or left wing proposition.  When it comes to foreign policy,  there is no left nor right.  Indeed, there's a consensus and that's why Obama continues the neocon policy of the middle east takeover with the planned take downs of Syria and Iran.  He's executing the plan straight out of the Project for a New American Century and that's why his actions on this front are an extension of the Bush policies.  I'm not certain if even a withdrawal from Iraq represents that much of a change as Bush would have ultimately gotten around to that as well.  I find myself in agreement with Paul that Obama, as an ostensible "liberal", has basically silenced the anti-war left thus upending a budding coalition between them and libertarians. This and his failure to bring the banking criminals to heel are the single most important reasons why he's lost my support.  So, in 2012, my choice will be "none of the above".

          Paul is a breath of fresh air in this area and his views are in stark contrast to the narrative that's put out there to justify the rape of this nation's treasury to fight wars that make no sense except for those providing the weapons and the financing.  To the extent Paul can force a discussion about this, he does this nation an immense service even if he's doesn't win the nomination or the election.  And this discussion is what they're attempting to preempt.  
          .

          • Guy Smiley

            I’ve often said that if the conservatives could find a common candidate (Gingrich or Santorum) and if Ron Paul would take the mantle for the Libertarians, there would be a choice.   Because the establishment would not be able to pre-empt the discussion.Thinking of how Gingrich and Paul both take the argument to the people, I’d think the president would have a devil of a time fighting off two opponents who do not mirror his ideology the way a Romney v. Huntsman v. Obama race would be.  It’s like the same flavor of ice cream in different cones.

            • http://theafricanamericanclarioncall.com Greg L

              For want of a true debate on real issues and a real choice, the political system as really devolved into voting based on you “feel” and that is why campaigning is about portraying an image and selling “features”.  It’s the entire reason why the political debate is so charged with emotion over issues that really mean little.  As I say above, the real contribution that Paul could make is to actually force a discussion about things that would never occur otherwise.   IMO, that’s of immense value to the country at this point.

        • Guy Smiley

          In fairness to Paul — and the other side of my comments above — Mitt Romney in last Thursday’s debate denied having anything to do with an ad that was running at the time which ended with, “I’m Mitt Romney and I approved this message”.  

          He’s busy on the campaign trail and those ads are produced quickly in response to whatever is going on… they plug the tag onto the end and out it goes to the media buyer.

          I’m no special pleader for Romney, but calling him out on that ad was a “gotcha” moment.  Perhaps the same can be said for Paul’s newsletters….  But then again, maybe not.

      • Anonymous

        “Actually, thinking that this is coming from the left is to go for the head fake.  The left/right paradigm doesn’t always apply and I’m becoming convinced more everyday that this paradigm doesn’t exist to the extent most think it does.”

        I hope to blog about this soon. As I’ve said in the past: The two parties aren’t that far apart in their goals–they merely have to make whatever they decide plausible, and palatable to their respective bases. The Tea Party, as it turns out, doesn’t want any part of this arranged marriage, as they’re continually seen as run-away brides in the whole let’s get together and form a mutually-beneficial relationship that won’t have our bases deserting us.

        Drawing political sides, and encouraging each to attack the other, as is often done on blogs–not excluding this one–serve their larger purpose as well, as it distracts from what is really occurring behind the scenes.

        The action isn’t really out-front, it’s occurring behind the scenes–that’s where history is really being made, and we’re merely pawns in a larger chess game.

        You know the problem:  We can’t stop fighting each other long enough to take a long, hard, critical view of how we’re being manipulated by the power elites.

        And that’s the way they like it!

        • http://theafricanamericanclarioncall.com Greg L

          >>Drawing political sides, and encouraging each to attack the other, as is
          often done on blogs–not excluding this one–serve their larger purpose
          as well, as it distracts from what is really occurring behind the
          scenes.<<<

          Yep and as I've said on previous occasions, the rancor and divisiveness is purposely arranged to outrage liberal and conservative constituencies by enlarging certain issues beyond their importance.  This is why there are cultural wars and the like.  But if you notice, it's always a domestic issue where these differences are enlarged–never on foreign policy.  Where the two sides agree, there's never any controversy.  I've come to see it as an elaborate staged hoax.  I'm not saying that there aren't genuine differences in some instances, but I keep my eye on what actually gets done and there's little difference between the actual implementation of policy, although I'd say that many of the policies have lurched toward the right–and that's been the case regardless of whether the dems or republicans are in control.

      • Guy Smiley

        I think you’re right that its a struggle between the power elite (think, GOP establishment AND DNC establishment as one in the same on many fronts) and that’s why they got rid of Cain and Gingrich.  A lot of what Cain was saying made a lot of sense from the TEA Party perspective.   The people funding Romney’s effort do not want a Libertarian or TEA Party influence, IMO because that would upset their status quo.

        Want to get both parties to work together?   Threaten them with some policy that makes sense and watch how quickly they close ranks :-)

        • http://theafricanamericanclarioncall.com Greg L

          Hi Guy,

          First, welcome to the blog and second, I agree totally with your definition of the power elite.  The GOP establishment and the DNC are two sides of the same coin–the coin itself representing the power elite while the either side represents the contrived political differences that characterize American politics.  The elite are not going to allow any challenges to the status quo, particularly given the backdrop of the economic and political situation in the world being in a state of flux.  There’s nothing more “predictable” for them than a presidential contest between Romney and Obama IMO.

    • Guy Smiley

      Maybe the left is desperate, but more important in this discussion is why did Paul (or anyone else) lend their name to a very short newsletter they didn’t have the time to read….  And if they trusted the people who wrote those things, they would have to know them well enough to know their views.

      In either case, Paul is “busted”.  The problem with saying, “oh, that’s in the past so it doesn’t matter now”…. Doing that means we have to excuse the other candidates for their past indiscretions, and that is the strength on which Paul is running in some states (pointing out what other candidates did in the past).

      I like Santorum’s take in the last debate… Let’s acknowledge that each guy has some flaws and that each has some qualities…. now let’s talk about actual issues. 

  • Anonymous

    “A case is point is the National Defense Authorization Act, a $ 662  billion piece of legislation which included a provision to detain US citizens indefinitely without trial, was passed quickly with the overwhelming support of both parties while a fight broke out over a two month extension of the payroll tax cut/unemployment benefit extension.”

    Neither party want to be seen as weak on national defense.  But we both know: We don’t need more than a half trillion dollars annually to do that. We spend this money to make the world safe for corporate hegemony–to protect  shipping lanes like the strait of Hormuz, which the Iranians are now threatening if more sanctions are imposed, and to assure that a product as valuable as oil to our economic survival isn’t in the hands of an enemy.

    Since our military is used to protect corporate interest, it follows that corporations should pay more of their corporate wealth for that protection. But as usual, our government continue to extend welfare to these wealthy corporations, while denying others. To be sure: We’re not always seeing the actual price of gasoline at the pump, as there’s also a global-warming cost for the use of this fossil fuel.

    The indefinite detention of US citizens without a trial is the more troubling part of this legislation. This erosion of our civil liberties is setting the stage for the suppression of the inevitable discontent that could very well rock the core our democracy if our economy continues to recede.

    “I do think the congressman has some explaining to do about the newsletter comments and the statement that he never read the newsletters even though they went out under his name just isn’t cutting it.”

    Fox News and other Republican pundits used Rev. Wright’s supposed extreme views to cast Obama as anti-american, and to attack him mercilessly.  In that case, Paul shouldn’t get a pass, either.  More telling is how some Americans have responded to his racist views. During Paul’s  political career, these views have been more an asset than a hindrance to his political aspirations, and will continue to be.

    We will know who the power elites favor, because he will be the one who garners the most money. Yet, for all the reasons that you’ve cited, I don’t think Paul’s candidacy will go very far–he’s attacking the life blood of these elites. And if he gets too close to being elected, it wouldn’t surprise me if they find a  permanent way to silence him.

    • http://theafricanamericanclarioncall.com Greg L

      >>>We will know who the power elites favor, because he will be the one who
      garners the most money. Yet, for all the reasons that you’ve cited, I
      don’t think Paul’s candidacy will go very far–he’s attacking the life
      blood of these elites. And if he gets too close to being elected, it
      wouldn’t surprise me if they find a  permanent way to silence him.<<<<

      You're right.  Paul's candidacy is DOA no matter what he does.  They'll find a way to get rid of him and they plan to do so before he gets a chance to engage a debate over foreign policy.  I feel this is the main reason why they'd want to silence him as they don't want this discussion to occur.  This is the reason why there were recent news reports of a former aide calling his proposed policies "nuts" and etc.   It's my own view that this very discussion, along with a few others, is desperately neeeded

      BTW, Paul's view of what we do abroad and Rev. Wright's views line up pretty well.  Actually, it might be interesting to see those two in a discussion.  Wright, regardless of how he's painted, is really an intellectual.  I'd pay to see those two in a discussion. 

      The way is being cleared for Romney and you'll notice that there seems to be issues with every other major candidate other than him.  Of course, Romney comes from Wall Street and is the favored candidate.  If he beats Obama, he can be counted on to continue the program that both Bush and Obama started out on and that's entirely acceptable to those who backstop the entire political system. 

      Sadly, many have arrived at the conclusion that the large portions of the political process in the country is beyond our control and influence.  The left/right battles play into that by deliberately creating distractions and/or disgust at the entire system.  

      • Anonymous

        “I’d pay to see those two in a discussion.”

        Good observation.  They may come at it from different directions, yet Wright and Paul are smoking the same stuff.  It would be interesting to learn what else they have in common.

        “The way is being cleared for Romney and you’ll notice that there seems to be issues with every other major candidate other than him.”

        Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, et al, are the mouthpiece for these monied elites, and at some point they will direct their minions  as to who to favor and who to disfavor. 

        Rush has spent years building his credibility (albeit for the power elites). A word from him is all that’s needed to swing an election or to make one.

        “The left/right battles play into that by deliberately creating distractions and/or disgust at the entire system.”

        You’ve had a few commenters on your blog still under the thrall of party politics, not able to see the forest of deceit for the trees of obfuscation.

        “Sadly, many have arrived at the conclusion that the large portions of the political process in the country is beyond our control and influence.”

        The party that rules the courts rules the nation. For now, it’s the Republicans. They’re  clever, organized, and ruthless. They have applied their unsavory attributes to ruling this nation with as much autocratic zeal as the law permits–their latest efforts being voter suppression and gerrymandering. 

        The average American is at a disadvantage when it comes to a challenge of the system, and the process. The first hurdle is to divest a large swath of the electorate–Republicans by name–that adherence to a doctrine of conservatism benefits the very group that has put a knife into the heart of this economy.

        The system may be so corrupt now, that anything short of armed insurrection would fail to address the systemic problems that have been allowed to penetrate the political fabric of this nation.

        As the Occupy Wall Street movement goes in this country, so goes our immediate hope of change to the body politics–revealing whether the system will need radical surgery, or a few over-the-counter pills, to return it to soundness.

        • http://theafricanamericanclarioncall.com Greg L

          >>Good observation.  They may come at it from different directions, yet
          Wright and Paul are smoking the same stuff.  It would be interesting to
          learn what else they have in common.<>>The system may be so corrupt now, that anything short of armed
          insurrection would fail to address the systemic problems that have been
          allowed to penetrate the political fabric of this nation.<<<

          I'm starting to hear this more and more.  Recently, I was reading about the French Revolution and many of the things that give rise to that event are evident in our own society.  The French Revolution came about mainly due to wealth disparity and the undue influence of both the church and nobility.  What particularly pissed the folks off was the fact that the nobility was taxed far less than the average person and economic conditions combined with underlying resentment caused the revolution.  I'd guess that the French Revolution probably mirrors most things like this where people rise up, but one has to be careful I think in looking at which events are true revolutions versus events that are controlled by others that are passed off as revolutions.  Notwithstanding the false ones, I'd say the elements exist within America for some serious social problems and some pundits have gone so far as to suggest that there might be a breakup of the union almost similar to what's being predicted for the Eurozone.    Under the radar right now are the fiscal problems that many states are having.  Within the country, we have the equivalent of the PIIGS within led by California, which if it were by itself is something like the 9th largest economy in the world–and it's having serious problems.  So, yes, it's not off base to believe that economic problems can create the sorts of stresses that give rise to insurrections particularly against the backdrop of a corrupt political system and wild concentrations of wealth.

        • Guy Smiley

          For what it’s worth, Limbaugh and his brother David are Santorum supporters.

          Ron Paul’s leanings are more Libertarian than establishment Republican, which is why his effort is “DOA” as someone said uptopic.  In the Libertarian party with Huntsman as his running mate, Paul could bring the Libertarian party closer to the White House tha it has ever been.   And he would draw enough votes from Romney to ensure a second term for O.

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