Ron Paul: “Fake” Libertarian?

When asked at the end of this week’s GOP debate to describe themselves in a single word, Ron Paul chose “consistent” as being the most appropriate moniker. But here Lawrence O’Donnell points out a glaring inconsistency in the old coot’s supposedly “libertarian” philosophy when it comes the matter of sex:

Of course, this is a logical problem shared by all so-called “conservatives” that claim to believe government should butt out of people’s lives, get off their backs, and otherwise stop interfering in the private affairs of citizens – EXCEPT when it comes to various social issues; most particularly those relating to sex. Then, it becomes an entirely different matter wherein the “small government” philosophy of so-called “conservatives” gets turned completely on its head.

In matters of contraception, reproductive choice, defining what constitutes a legitimate marriage under the law, and numerous other things involving their Christian “values” so-called “conservatives” and even some “libertarians” such as Ron Paul feel entirely justified by the imperatives of their religious beliefs in legislating their own dubious concept of morality and then forcibly imposing it on others.

Most recently we’ve seen that some so-called “conservatives” will even take their religious zealotry so far to the point of demanding by law that a transvaginal probe be inserted into a woman without her consent prior to an abortion – not for any medical purpose whatsoever, but solely to “enlighten” her about the consequences of the procedure.

It’s always baffled me how these so-called “conservatives” square the circle on their astounding hypocrisy and inconsistency in this regard.

Latest Ron Paul Attack Ad

Here’s the latest negative attack ad from the Ron Paul campaign slagging Rick Santorum for not being a “fiscal conservative”… (Seems to have been done by the same agency that created the snappy, tough-talking Ford F-150 truck ads.)

I suppose one could quibble about specifics of the dubious allegations made if there was a point to such an endevour, but perhaps a more intriguing question for Ron Paul supporters is why his campaign NEVER attacks Mitt Romney… Rather curious, that.

Maybe, as some have speculated, Ron Paul’s entire campaign is nothing but an enormously expensive venture to become the “last” Chairman of the Federal Reserve under a Romney administration. Seems like a highly improbable outcome of his inevitably doomed bid to be the Republican Party nominee, but hey… it’s no less detached from reality than the rest of his batshit crazy domestic policy proposals, so who knows?

Winning By Stealth

Rachel Maddow (with the help of Doug Wead, a senior advisor to the Ron Paul campaign) describes how the wily old coot is attempting to exploit flaws in the present Republican caucus system to gather delegates to the GOP convention irrespective of how votes were actually cast in the caucus by people less than fanatical in support of their candidate.

As quirky, barely legal, and wholly anti-democratic as it may seem, I guess one can hardly fault the Ron Paul campaign from taking advantage of loopholes in the system that inadvertently enable crazed diehards to ultimately prevail as delegates.

Resolute Newt

Rather than staging a pointless concession “rally” after his distant second-place finish in yesterday’s Nevada caucuses, bucking convention, Newt Gringrich opted instead to hold a bizarre 20-minute press conference at his campaign headquarters.

Repulsive though he may be in almost every respect, it’s a good thing that Gringrich has vowed to remain in the race to the inevitably bitter end. Newt’s remorseless, scorched earth campaign of insurgency against the Republican “establishment” promises to be highly entertaining.

One interesting note from the Nevada caucuses was the fact that despite not having barnstormed the state, Gringrich nevertheless handily beat out Ron Paul, who many had confidently predicted would finish a strong second. So what happened to the waves of youthful libertarians supporting him… were they so busy spamming internet forums with their insane conspiracy theories and furiously raging against the biased “mainstream media” that they simply forgot to show up and vote?

Damn the Paulbots!

As much as I agree with many of Ron Paul’s principled stances on various issues, I just cannot stand the cult of over-zealous fanatics that support him…

Despite all evidence, these folks simply refuse to accept the fact that Dr. Paul will NOT be the Republican nominee for president. To the contrary, they act as if by chanting their mantras loud and long enough, or spamming every damn blog and YouTube video on the Internet with asinine comments… somehow, it will alter reality.

Of course, it won’t do any such thing. At the end of the day, Ron Paul will attract less than 10% of the vote in most contested primaries and while he may have the resources to collect an appreciable number of delegates along the way to the convention… so what? It’s not as if he will have the ability to impact the Republicans’ platform in any significant way – the base of the party has sounded rejected both his isolationist foreign policy proposals and his libertarian approach to controversial domestic issues such as the legalization of drugs. Even most government-hating Republicans realize that his vow to immediately cut federal spending by $1 trillion is an absurd notion that would result in total chaos and economic calamity.

Fox News Kills Ron Paul

Not literally, of course… but as you can see from nipped and tucked Scientoligist Greta Van Susteren’s year-end look back at the race to become the Republican presidential nominee, there is not ONE single mention of Ron Paul in the entire 7½ minutes of video. Why, it’s as if Fox News made it appear that the garrulous old libertarian coot some predict may actually win next week’s semi-important Iowa caucuses wasn’t even running in the campaign at all!

While it’s a well-established fact to most liberals that Fox News is anything but “fair and balanced” as it cynically claims to be, unfortunately there are still many witless viewers out there who actually consider the network a purveyor of “news” rather than what it really is – a slick propaganda delivery vehicle for the GOP establishment – i.e., vested interests of corporate fascists and the wealthy elite.

Perhaps witnessing the hostile reaction of Fox News to the potentially disruptive candidacy of Ron Paul will disabuse them of the notion that it actually believes in the libertarian ethos, the anti-liberal rhetoric of which it so fiercely spouts whenever it usefully serves advance their purpose; which, in fact, isn’t to destroy government at all, but instead to hold it even more firmly captive and continue utilizing its various powers as a practical means of effectively siphoning off absurd amounts of wealth from the many to an increasingly select few.

Factoid: Just six members of Walmart’s Walton clan are worth as much as the bottom 30 percent of all Americans (90 million people).

Ron Bless America

The other day, I expressed admiration for the aggressive new F-150ish “Big Dogs” ad from the Ron Paul campaign, but Conan O’Brian’s parody of it is even more brilliant.

“You want cuts? You got ‘em! He’ll cut $1 skrillion of government spending in week one! That’s skrillion… with a skrill!” Priceless.

Funnily enough, this parody will do absolutely nothing to dissuade rabid Ron Paul revolutionaries, many of which seem to positively yearn for the loopy idea of a chaotic libertarian apocalypse, even if it involves fending off an army of starving marauders with a rusty pipe.


If anything seems to elicit the barely disguised lunatic aspect of almost every Republican politician (with a few notable exceptions such as Ron Paul and Gary Johnson), it’s their desperate need to almost comically “out-crazy” one another with bellicose, war-mongering rhetoric whenever speaking to radical right-wing Jewish special interest groups.

And I must say, what an absolutely brilliant strategy by current frontrunner Newt Gingrich to openly disclose his cunning plan to sabotage Iran’s main oil refining facility – nothing ensures the success of future “covert operations” like publicly broadcasting your specific intentions well ahead of time.

بعد أنور العولقي‎

Of all the coverage given to Anwar al-Awlaki’s targeted assassination this morning, I liked the almost Onion-worthy take Wired magazine (via Gawker) had regarding its consequence:

Yemen Strike Leaves Misfit Metalhead as Al-Qaida’s Last American Voice

The description of Adam Gadahn, “the last terrorist left chatting in an American accent,” is quite pathetic:

Gadahn’s background as a loner and misfit, by contrast, didn’t prepare him to be a particularly effective jihad-evangelist. He grew up isolated, home-schooled on his parents farm. Before he converted to Islam, he dabbled in the Southern California metal scene. Apparently unable to scrape enough friends together for a group, Gadahn formed a one-man metal band, Aphasia (named after a speech impediment). After his conversion, he ran into problems at his Orange County mosque, sleeping on his job as a security guard there and getting expelled after punching his Imam.

n 1998, Gadahn left the U.S. for Pakistan, eventually joining up with al-Qaida as a translator. He never quite racked up the same kind of fan club as Awlaki later did. …Gadahn’s been cranking out videos for seven years now. He’s even recently jumped on the bandwagon of encouraging lone-wolf attacks. And still he’s not the object of fanboy affection. Terrorists haven’t cited him as an ideological catalyst for an attack.

Of course, there are more serious constitutional issues concerning al-Awlaki’s death and that of his compatriot Samir Khan, an American born in Saudi Arabia, who was an editor of the Al Qaeda’s goofy English-language web magazine, Inspire. Do Americans really want their president to be the judge, jury and executioner when it comes to American citizens that have been deemed “enemy combatants” in the GWOT (or whatever they’re calling it these days)?

Update: A deep-thinking Canadian “conservative” weighs in with his elevated discourse on the subject…

Libertarian Hypocrisy

In the Republican “Tea Party Debate” earlier this week, when Ron Paul was asked whether or not a healthy, uninsured 30-year-old man should be left to die if an unexpected tragedy put him into a coma, he unsurprisingly replied that someone who meets such an unfortunate end without insurance should not get a safety net and therefore, as a consequence of their poor choice and lack of foresight, simply be allowed to die. (A sentiment enthusiastically cheered by the audience of doughy white people, many of whom will be imposing on the healthcare system before too long for one reason or another.)

Well, guess what? It turns out that Kent Snyder, the campaign manager of Ron Paul’s last unsuccessful run for President, died in 2008 from viral pneumonia at the age of 49, leaving an unpaid hospital bill in excess of $400,000… He may have had insurance coverage, but clearly it wasn’t anywhere nearly sufficient to cover the costs of his treatment.

So, how could this fierce libertarian zealot have allowed himself to be so inadequately insured for such an unexpected calamity?

In his response to Wolf Blitzer’s question – as he frequently does when confronted with such real or hypothetical moral dilemmas – Ron Paul wistfully described the good old days when churches, friends and neighbours would simply come to such a person’s aid. And it seems such individuals did in this case – well, sort of… and after the fact.

A fund was created posthumously to raise money to pay off Snyder’s $400,000 hospital tab, but it seems that it quickly ran out of steam at the about the $28,000 mark. Bottom line therefore is that the society of “welfarism” and “socialism” that Ron Paul so contemptuously abhors, most likely ended up absorbing the remaining $372,000 of his former campaign manager’s unpaid medical bills because neither he nor his church, friends or neighbours could fully account for them. Go figure.

This seems to be the problem with the libertarian doctrine… their theoretical notions individual “freedom” often don’t translate well into real world experience. In other words, when the rubber meets the road, it turns out they’re woefully impractical.

Update: Seems former Florida congressman Alan Grayson wasn’t too far off the mark after all with his controversial description of the Republican approach to healthcare as being: 1) Don’t get sick; 2) And if you do get sick… DIE QUICKLY.

Comparing Tea Partiers to the soulless robots in Bladerunner owing to their absence of empathy is classic Grayson.