Wednesday, November 7, 2007

[transcript] Ron Paul discusses foreign policy with FOX News anchor Shepard Smith

(Transcript begins about 1 minute from the end of the clip)

SHEPPARD SMITH (FOX News Anchor): Congressman, were you President today, and you were seeing the problems that we have in Pakistan today, would you be concerned about the nuclear weapons falling into the hands of terrorists, and what would your message be for President Musharraf?

REP. RON PAUL: Well, yes I'd be concerned, but it's a consequence of our foolish policy over there. Here we have supported a military —

SMITH: But what would your message to the President Musharraf be?

PAUL: I would say, "No more money, pal. We'll deal with you. We've given you $10 billion, you're flunking the course. And you're on your own." But we would deal with it, we would talk to him, we'd try to trade with him. But we would no longer interfere in their country. We're bringing in —

SMITH: Would that make things more difficult in the fight against terror?

PAUL: No, —-

SMITH: I mean, it's not to say the terrorists aren't on the border there.

PAUL: No. I think the fact that we supported a military dictator and pretend we support democracy is what motivates the terrorists. That's why he was overthrown by his people. It's because he was a puppet of ours. So it's our foreign policy that we're seeing a reaction to. So I would say, change the policy, and we would have a better relationship with every country in the world.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Salon: The Ron Paul phenomenon

Glenn Greenwald at Salon writes:
Regardless of one's ideology, there is simply no denying certain attributes of Paul's campaign which are highly laudable. There have been few serious campaigns that are more substantive -- just purely focused on analyzing and solving the most vital political issues. There have been few candidates who more steadfastly avoid superficial gimmicks, cynical stunts, and manipulative tactics. There have been few candidates who espouse a more coherent, thoughtful, consistent ideology of politics, grounded in genuine convictions and crystal clear political values. Here is what Jon Stewart said to Paul on The Daily Show:
You appear to have consistent principled integrity. Americans don't usually go for that.
There is never a doubt that Paul actually believes what he is saying, nor is there any doubt that what he believes is the by-product of critical and rational thought grounded in genuine political passion.

TNR: The Wrath of Ron

Michael Crowley blogs at TNR:
Ron Paul has raised nearly $4 million in one day. That's four times what Mike Huckabee raised in the entire last quarter. It's still impossible to see Paul winning the GOP nomination. But he will certainly have the money to heavily influence the Iowa and New Hampshire if he chooses--and to make life miserable for any opponents of his choosing. Think Rudy Giuliani might regret jumping down his throat at that first debate?

P.S. The occasion is Guy Fawkes day, the anniversary of a failed 1605 attempt to blow up the British parliament. Quote of the day:
Mr. Benton clarified that Mr. Paul did not support blowing up government buildings. “He wants to demolish things like the Department of Education,” Mr. Benton said, “but we can do that very peacefully, in a constructive manner.”
Somehow I don't think the Gunpowder Conspirators figured into Mitt Romney's 50-step PowerPoint plan for winning the nomination.

Monday, November 5, 2007

AP: Ron Paul raises more than $4 million in one day

WASHINGTON (AP) - Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, aided by an extraordinary outpouring of Internet support Monday, hauled in more than $4 million in 20 hours.

Paul, the Texas congressman with a Libertarian tilt and an out-of-Iraq pitch, entered heady fundraising territory with a surge of Web-based giving tied to the commemoration of Guy Fawkes Day.

Fawkes was a British mercenary who failed in his attempt to kill King James I on Nov. 5, 1605. He also was the model for the protagonist in the movie "V for Vendetta." Paul backers motivated donors on the Internet with mashed-up clips of the film on the online video site YouTube as well as the Guy Fawkes Day refrain: "Remember, remember the 5th of November."

Paul's total deposed Mitt Romney as the single-day fundraising record holder in the Republican presidential field. When it comes to sums amassed in one day, Paul now ranks only behind Democrats Hillary Rodham Clinton, who raised nearly $6.2 million on June 30, and Barack Obama.

Paul spokesman Jesse Benton said the effort began independently about two months ago at the hands of Paul's backers. He said Paul picked up on the movement, mentioning in it speeches and interviews.

"It's been kind of building up virally," Benton said.

The $4 million, he said, represented online contributions from more than 37,000 donors.

Paul has been lagging in the polls behind Republican front-runners. But he captured national attention at the end of September when he reported raising $5.2 million in three months, putting him fourth among Republican presidential candidates in fundraising for the quarter.

Paul as of Monday had raised more than $7 million since Oct. 1, more than half his goal of $12 million by the end of the year, according to his Web site.

Paul advocates limited government and low taxes like other Republicans, but he stands alone as the only GOP presidential candidate opposed to the Iraq war. He also has opposed Bush administration security measures that he says encroach on civil liberties.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Ron Paul on the Environment & Energy Policy

grist is running An interview with Ron Paul about his presidential platform on energy and the environment.
Often the cheapest energy sources, which the market would naturally select for, are also the most environmentally harmful. How would you address this?

Your question is based on a false premise and a false definition of "market" that is quite understandable under the current legal framework. A true market system would internalize the costs of pollution on the producer. In other words, the "cheapest energy sources," as you call them, are only cheap because currently the costs of the environmental harm you identify are not being included or internalized, as economists would say, into the cheap energy sources.

To the extent property rights are strictly enforced against those who would pollute the land or air of another, the costs of any environmental harm associated with an energy source would be imposed upon the producer of that energy source, and, in so doing, the cheap sources that pollute are not so cheap anymore.

What about being independent from the Middle East, so we're not buying oil from hostile countries?

I think it's irrelevant. We wouldn't be buying it directly, we would be buying it on the world market. I don't think the goal has to be that we produce alternative fuel so that we never buy oil from the Middle East. The goal should be to provide all useful services and goods through a market mechanism instead of central economic planning or world planning. That system doesn't work.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Ron Paul: If the Mafia attacks us here in this country, you don't bomb Italy

powered by ODEO

Partial transcript of interview with Steve Gill. Transcript begins at 14:07.

STEVE GILL: Under what circumstances do you think it is appropriate for military action by the U.S. government to be instituted outside our borders? Is there any circumstance?

REP. RON PAUL: Not very many, because the Constitution's very clear that we don't have any authority to do that. We have authority to protect our national security. If we have a threat, I mean, if somebody attacks us, of course that's easy to deal with. But if there's an imminent attack, you certainly do have the responsibility to respond.

GILL: How do you fit that in a situation where we don't really have states acting? When you have these extra-territorial terrorist organizations? I mean, you don't really have Afghanistan or Iraq directly with their fingerprints on this stuff. They're just these al-Qaeda terrorist organizations that kind of operate under the cover of the state. How do you address that?

PAUL: That's why you should be more cautious than ever, so that you don't go to war against a country, you don't — if the Mafia attacks us here in this country, you don't bomb Italy. So, you don't want to overdo it. One thing I've suggested is bring up is bring up the concept of letter of marque and reprisal, which they used when they went after the pirates. You know, target your enemy, and pay somebody to go in and do it. Not the kind of thing that we do where we go in and occupy several Muslim countries and now we're getting ready to go into a third one. This is the worst thing to do. We did exactly the opposite of what we should have done.

GILL: As president, would you allow Iran to get nuclear weapons?

PAUL: I don't think that that is my say. I think that the Pakistanis have them, the Indians have them, the Chinese have them. So, if you understand why they want one, it's because we reward —

GILL: They want to wipe Israel off the map.

PAUL: Yeah, but Israel, nobody's going to touch Israel. Israel would be stronger if Israel had responsibility for themselves. Because I think we hold them back. In the 1980s they went over and took care of a nuclear reactor in Iraq --

GILL: Congressman Ron Paul, I apologize.

PAUL: Israel would have taken care of Saddam Hussein a long time ago.

GILL: We're out of time. Great to talk with you.


A Response to Ron Paul: Line-by-line (Part One)

In Ron Paul: Line-by-Line (Part One), Jason Steck asks a number of questions about Ron Paul's views on foreign policy. Below, I respond to these questions by quoting Paul directly.

Before I start, though, a question for Jason: You refer to Paul as an isolationist. Wikipedia defines isolationism as "a foreign policy which combines a non-interventionist military policy and a political policy of economic nationalism (protectionism)." Is this how you are using the word, and if so, what is the basis for your claim that Paul supports a policy of economic protectionism?

Now, on to Jason's questions.

[Paul states that the Middle East] "is more dangerous now than when we entered it. We destroyed a regime hated by our direct enemies, the jihadists, and created thousands of new recruits for them. This war has cost more than 3,000 American lives, thousands of seriously wounded, and hundreds of billions of dollars. We must have new leadership in the White House to ensure this never happens again." How does he propose to ensure "this never happens again"?

By "this", he is referring to wars that has cost many American lives while making our country less secure. Paul believes that if Congress itself must explicitly declare war (rather than giving the President the authority to do as he sees fit), then we will be less likely to send our troops to war under these kinds of circumstances. Furthermore, a non-interventionist foreign policy and respect for gun rights would lessen the perceived need for these kinds of wars. In A Foreign Policy for Peace, Prosperity, and Liberty, Paul wrote, "A non-interventionist foreign policy would go a long way toward preventing 9/11 type attacks. A renewed respect for gun ownership and responsibility for defending one's property would provide additional protection against potential terrorists."

Also, see Paul's recent interview with Steve Gill, in which he addresses the following questions:
  • Under what circumstances do you think it is appropriate for military action by the U.S. government to be instituted outside our borders?
  • How do you fit that in a situation where we don't really have states acting?
  • As president, would you allow Iran to get nuclear weapons?

What does he think of the war in Afghanistan?

He voted for it, and supported the original intention to go after Bin Laden. He believes that we lost sight of this objective. In Iran: The Next Neocon Target, Paul wrote: "Since 2001 we have spent over $300 billion, and occupied two Muslim nations--Afghanistan and Iraq. We’re poorer but certainly not safer for it. We invaded Afghanistan to get Osama bin Laden, the ring leader behind 9/11. This effort has been virtually abandoned. Even though the Taliban was removed from power in Afghanistan, most of the country is now occupied and controlled by warlords who manage a drug trade bigger than ever before. Removing the Taliban from power in Afghanistan actually served the interests of Iran, the Taliban’s arch enemy, more than our own."

What alternatives does he propose for combating the threat posed by al-Qaeda?

Paul believes, along with experts such as Michael Scheuer (the CIA's Bin Laden expert) and the 9/11 Commission, that "our foreign policy has a very great deal to do with their willingness and desire to commit suicide terrorism." Withdrawing our troops from the region would make us much less likely to be a target of groups like al-Qaeda. Now, one can argue that we need to have troops over there, but we should at least acknowledge the consequences to our liberty and safety here at home, rather than dismissing any association between our foreign policy and terrorism as "unpatriotic" or "blaming America", as many do.

Paul's argument about having the troops "defend America" also begs the question of defense against what?

Defense against attacks against us at home. In U.S. Armed Forces Should Protect American Soil, Paul wrote: "The President has promised that his administration will use every available resource to fight the war on terrorism. Yet our most potent resource, the U.S. military, is spread far too thin around the world to adequately protect us from growing terrorist hostilities and the possibility of a full-scale war. The sober reality is that on September 11th millions of foreigners abroad were better protected by American armed forces than were our own citizens at home. In fact, on that fateful morning we had tens of thousands of soldiers and billions of dollars in weapons deployed worldwide- all standing by helplessly while our citizens were savagely attacked in New York and Washington. It is beyond frustrating to consider that there are literally dozens of places around the globe where an unauthorized commercial jet straying off course would have been confronted by American fighters, yet the New York skyline and even the Pentagon were left almost completely unprotected. The American people have a right to know, for example, why the Iraq-Kuwait border, the DMZ between North and South Korea, and the skies over Serbia were better defended that morning than our own cities, borders, and skies."

Given that military action against the Barbary pirates was taken in the absence of a "declaration of war" at a time during which many of the Founders were still around, Paul's purism on this point does not appear to have been shared by the authors of the document he is citing as an authority.

On this, see Thomas Woods' Presidential War Powers:
Another incident frequently cited on behalf of a general presidential power to deploy American forces and commence hostilities involves Jefferson's policy toward the Barbary states, which demanded protection money from governments whose ships sailed the Mediterranean. Immediately prior to Jefferson's inauguration in 1801, Congress passed naval legislation that, among other things, provided for six frigates that "shall be officered and manned as the President of the United States may direct." It was to this instruction and authority that Jefferson appealed when he ordered American ships to the Mediterranean. In the event of a declaration of war on the United States by the Barbary powers, these ships were to "protect our commerce & chastise their insolence — by sinking, burning or destroying their ships & Vessels wherever you shall find them."

In late 1801, the pasha of Tripoli did declare war on the U.S. Jefferson sent a small force to the area to protect American ships and citizens against potential aggression, but insisted that he was "unauthorized by the Constitution, without the sanction of Congress, to go beyond the line of defense"; Congress alone could authorize "measures of offense also." Thus Jefferson told Congress: "I communicate [to you] all material information on this subject, that in the exercise of this important function confided by the Constitution to the Legislature exclusively their judgment may form itself on a knowledge and consideration of every circumstance of weight."

Jefferson consistently deferred to Congress in his dealings with the Barbary pirates. "Recent studies by the Justice Department and statements made during congressional debate," Fisher writes, "imply that Jefferson took military measures against the Barbary powers without seeking the approval or authority of Congress. In fact, in at least ten statutes, Congress explicitly authorized military action by Presidents Jefferson and Madison. Congress passed legislation in 1802 to authorize the President to equip armed vessels to protect commerce and seamen in the Atlantic, the Mediterranean, and adjoining seas. The statute authorized American ships to seize vessels belonging to the Bey of Tripoli, with the captured property distributed to those who brought the vessels into port. Additional legislation in 1804 gave explicit support for 'warlike operations against the regency of Tripoli, or any other of the Barbary powers.'"
Is Paul suggesting that the U.S. should have taken no interest in Soviet expansionism during the Cold War?

No military interest. Furthermore, Paul believes that our interventionist foreign policy was a root cause of this conflict. In The Law of Opposites, Paul wrote: "Our entry into World War I helped lead us into World War II, the Cold War, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War."

Was it none of our business when the USSR subjugated hundreds of millions and murdered millions?

I think Paul would agree that we should not send our troops abroad for "humanitarian" reasons, but individuals should be free to enter into such conflicts at their own risk. In A Foreign Policy for Peace, Prosperity, and Liberty, Paul wrote: "The Logan Act would be repealed, thus allowing maximum freedom of our citizens to volunteer to support their war of choice. This would help diminish the enthusiasm for wars the proponents have used to justify our world policies and diminish the perceived need for a military draft."

More to the point, is it Paul's intention as President to turn America's back on the sources of suffering and chaos in the world?

Not at all. Far from turning our back, Paul believes we should be a beacon to the world. In the July NH GOP debate, he said, "We have a lot of goodness in this country. And we should promote it, but never through the barrel of a gun. We should do it by setting good standards, motivating people and have them want to emulate us."

It is unclear exactly how a Paul presidency would promote "open trade, travel, communication, and diplomacy" while dramatically pulling out of existing U.S. engagements and commitments all over the world. What friends will want to trust a United States government that so drastically was cutting off ties and support?

It's possible to have free trade without entanglements and commitments. Furthermore, a policy of non-intervention can be very trustworthy: people seem to trust Switzerland just fine. In A Foreign Policy for Peace, Prosperity, and Liberty, Paul wrote: "Countries like Switzerland and Sweden who promote neutrality and non-intervention have benefited for the most part by remaining secure and free of war over the centuries. Non-intervention consumes a lot less of the nation's wealth- and with less wars, a higher standard of living for all citizens results. But this, of course, is not attractive to the military-industrial complex, which enjoys a higher standard of living at the expense of the taxpayer when a policy of intervention and constant war preparation is carried out."

Would Paul pull out of NATO in addition to the United Nations?

I don't know about that, but he has stated that NATO "should be disbanded, the sooner the better."

Would Paul terminate all support for Israel?

Yes, both financial and military. In A Foreign Policy for Peace, Prosperity, and Liberty, Paul wrote: "All foreign aid would be discontinued. Most evidence shows that this money rarely helps the poor, but instead solidifies power in the hands of dictators. There's no moral argument that can justify taxing poor people in this country to help rich people in poor countries. Much of the foreign aid, when spent, is channeled back to weapons manufacturers and other special interests in the United States who are the strong promoters of these foreign-aid expenditures. Yet it's all done in the name of humanitarian causes."

In Can We Achieve Peace in the Middle East, Paul writes: "It is time to challenge the notion that it is our job to broker peace in the Middle East and every other troubled region across the globe. America can and should use every diplomatic means at our disposal to end the violence in the West Bank, but we should draw the line at any further entanglement."

NY Observer: Ron Paul Has Lots of Money

Steve Kornacki writes in the NY Observer:
It’s probably time to stop lumping Ron Paul in with Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich, Duncan Hunter and all of the other self-deluded no-shots in the 2008 presidential race.

Because money talks, and the quirky 72-year-old Texas Congressman just raised a ton of it—more than $5 million between July and September, to be exact.


2008 really is the perfect time for Dr. Paul’s candidacy. There is no true dominant front-runner and no urgency by the party’s establishment forces to corral their forces around one particular candidate. The depressed state of the G.O.P. plays perfectly into the hands of someone who can mobilize forces outside of those traditional Republican networks.

Concord Monitor: Republican Ron Paul livens up GOP debate

An editorial in the Concord Monitor:
At times, Paul seems to be campaigning on issues history discarded a century ago. But he does so with so much wit, concern for personal freedom and an absence of malice and ego that, rather than put people off who disagree, he makes them think. That's why his candidacy contributes so much to the race.

Transcript: ABC World News on Ron Paul's 3rd Quarter Fundraising

CHARLES GIBSON (Anchor): We're going to transition from the leaders in the Presidential race to a candidate who has been pretty consistently near the back of the pack: Republican candidate Ron Paul. Because Paul surprised the political world today, his campaign announcing he'd raised $5 million in the past 3 months. That's more money than some candidates who've received much more notice. Here's ABC's Jake Tapper.

JAKE TAPPER: Long dismissed as a fringe candidate, Congressman Ron Paul was all smiles today in New Hampshire.

REP. RON PAUL: I think the time is right. People are really frustrated. Frustrated with both parties, frustrated with the war...

TAPPER: And unlike almost every other republican candidate, Paul raised more this quarter than in the previous one. His message is simple.

[begin clip from Iowa GOP Debate, August 5, 2007]

JILL HUDKER: If you were president, what would be your strategy for ending the war in Iraq?

PAUL: Just come home. We just marched in, we can just come home. [applause]

[end clip]

GEORGE WILL: Ron Paul says to a lot of people eager to hear this message, you can be anti-war and be a conservative. In fact, he says, if you're a real small-government conservative, you have to be anti-war.

TAPPER: While few observers think Paul will win the nomination, he draws young, enthusiastic crowds. And his message, not only against the war, but in favor of small government, is resonating. Including, interestingly enough, from soldiers. According to one study, Congressman Paul received more campaign cash from members of the military than any other Republican presidential candidate. In the house, the former obstetrician votes against so many spending and government bills, he's called "Dr. No". Dr. No was happy today so many voters were saying "Yes" to his message. Jake Tapper, ABC News, Capitol Hill.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Ron Paul scores $5 million in White House race

Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, an anti-war libertarian who has clashed with his rivals over Iraq, raised more than $5 million for his White House bid in the last three months.
(via ABC News)

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Ron Paul Commercials Airing in NH

12 Ron Paul TV spots will be airing Mon-Fri (Oct 1-Oct 5) 4pm-12am on FOX NEWS CHANNEL in the following areas of New Hampshire:
03031 Amherst, NH; 03034* Candia, NH; 03036 Chester, NH; 03043 Francestown, NH; 03048 Greenville, NH; 03051 Hudson, NH; 03052 Litchfield, NH; 03053 Londonderry, NH; 03054 Merrimack, NH; 03055 Milford, NH; 03057 Mont Vernon, NH; 03070 New Boston, NH; 03071 New Ipswich, NH; 03076 Pelham, NH; 03084 Temple, NH; 03086 Wilton, NH; 03087 Windham, NH; 03442 Bennington, NH; 03449 Hancock, NH; 03452 Jaffrey, NH; 03458 Peterborough, NH; 03811 Atkinson, NH; 03819 Danville, NH; 03848 Kingston, NH; 03858 Newton, NH

Also, we will be airing commercials on WMUR-TV on Close-Up NH (Sundays 10am-10:30am) ALL MONTH, along with other shows yet to be determined.

(via an email I received this morning from Brandon Lloyd at Operation New Hampshire)

Friday, September 7, 2007

WSJ: Ron Paul's support comes because of his views

Positive coverage of Ron Paul in the Sep 5 GOP debate in the Wall Street Journal:
The debate was full of fireworks about Iraq, about its essentials--the rightness of the endeavor, and what should rightly be done now. From the libertarian Ron Paul a blunt argument against the war: We never should have gone in and we should get out. "The people who say there'll be a blood bath are the same ones who said it would be a cakewalk. . . . Why believe them?" His foreign policy: "Mind our own business, bring our troops home, defend our country, defend our borders." After Mr. Paul spoke, it seemed half the room booed, but the other applauded. When a thousand Republicans are in a room and one man of the eight on the stage takes a sharply minority viewpoint on a dramatic issue and half the room seems to cheer him, something's going on.

Ron Paul's support isn't based on his persona, history or perceived power. What support he has comes because of his views. As he spoke, you could hear other candidates laughing in the background. They should stop giggling, and engage in a serious way.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Tough questions for Ron Paul? Bring 'em on

There has been some criticism of the moderators' treatment of Ron Paul during the Sep. 5 GOP debates, but I think they actually did a great job. I was in the audience at the Whitemore center, and for the most part, the moderators asked questions that were already on the minds of many people. For example, when Chris Wallace asked Paul "Are you saying we should take our marching orders from Al Qaeda?", there was a lot of applause in the audience. (But not as much as when Paul replied "We should take our marching orders from the Constitution!". )

So sure, they asked tough questions of Paul, but they asked tough questions of everyone else too. They confronted McCain with his voting against the very tax cuts he praised. They aired a question from someone in the cafe to Giuliani about his divorces. They pounded Romney (unfairly, I thought) about illegal immigratants in the "sanctuary cities" in MA and about his quickly-retracted remark that his sons' working on his campaign was equivalent to serving in the military.

I am impressed with how far we've come. Though they waited a long time before asking him a question, Paul eventually got a good amount of time to talk during the debate. No one now says "all the Republican candidates support the war." Indeed, this morning's Boston Herald coverage of the debate led off with this sentence: "Republican presidential contenders voiced support for the Iraq war last night despite a warning from anti-war candidate Ron Paul ..."

I was sitting next to someone who was apparently very well connected in NH politics, and while he didn't support Paul, he respected him for being so principled. During their post-debate interview with Hannity & Colmes, even several other candidates gave Paul props for his principled approach.

I'm happy with anything except ignoring him. Tough questions? Bring 'em on. As Obi Wan said to Vader, "If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine."

Paul is one of the most articulate advocates of the principles of libertarianism that I have ever seen. He has an amazing ability to respond lucidly and clearly to even the most biased questions, and he always cuts to the heart of the issue. With every word Paul speaks, he sprinkles a little more holy water on the vampire of the state.

Transcript: Ron Paul's exchange with Huckabee over US foreign policy

Transcript of Ron Paul's exchange over US foreign policy with Mike Huckabee during the Sep. 5 GOP debate. Huckabee was correct to point out that "Even if we lose elections, we should not lose our honor". Unfortunately, FOX's post-debate broadcast and CNN's Politcal Ticker cut out Paul's response. That's too bad, because his statement about losing American lives to save face was another great moment in the history of modern American politics.
FORMER ARKANSAS GOVERNOR MIKE HUCKABEE: Congressman, whether or not we should have gone to Iraq is a discussion the historians can have, but we're there. We bought it because we broke it. We've got a responsibility to the honor of this country and to the honor of every man and woman who has served in Iraq and ever served in our military to not leave them with anything less than the honor that they deserve.

MODERATOR: Go ahead. You wanted to respond? Go ahead. It was addressed to you, you go ahead and respond.

TEXAS REP. RON PAUL: The American people didn't go in. A few people advising this administration — a small number of people called the neoconservatives — hijacked our foreign policy. They're responsible, not the American people. They're not responsible. We shouldn't punish them.

HUCKABEE: Congressman, we are one nation. We can't be divided. We have to be one nation under God. That means if we make a mistake, we make it as a single country: the United States of America —

PAUL: No. —

HUCKABEE: — not the Divided States of America.

PAUL: When we make a mistake, it is the obligation of the people through their representatives to correct the mistake, not to continue the mistake.

HUCKABEE: And that's what we do on the floor of the senate.

PAUL: No, we've dug a hole for ourselves and we've dug a hole for our party. We're losing elections and we're going down next year if we don't change it, and it has all to do with foreign policy and we have to wake up to this fact.

HUCKABEE: Even if we lose elections, we should not lose our honor, and that is more important to the Republican party.

PAUL: We have lost over 5000 Americans over there in Afghanistan and Iraq, plus the civilians killed. How many more do you want to lose? How long are we going to be there? What do we have to pay to save face? All we're doing is saving face. It's time we came home.

CS Monitor: A New Hampshire mom walks her talk for Ron Paul

The Christian science Monitor has a great article on Kelly Halldorson's 38-mile walk for Ron Paul.
Her kids have made accommodations with her new calling. Zoë, 9, has become a little helper: She wrote "Ron Paul" in crayon on a scrap of notebook paper, fastened it to a wooden stake with a Ron Paul bumper sticker, and plunged it into their front lawn.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Ron Paul: Gaining Momentum

Impressive results. 10 straw polls: 4 first place finishes, 2 second-place, 3 third-place, 1 fifth-place.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Perspective on Ron Paul and the Iowa Straw Poll

Tex MacRae at the LRC blog compares Paul's results to the predictions made by the Iowa GOP predicted 6 days before the straw poll.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

The Stranger: Running on Angry

“No one seriously thinks an antiwar Republican like Ron Paul can win the presidency. So why are so many people in Washington State and around the country getting behind his campaign?”

Thursday, August 2, 2007

NRO: Ron Paul, the Fusion Candidate

As Todd Seavey points out, “The congressman from Texas has something for all conservatives.”

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Ron Paul on Health Care

The Kaiser Family Foundation talks with Ron Paul about health care. They released the video, podcast, and a transcript.

Ron Paul at Google: Behind the Scenes

Here's the official campaign video.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Ron Paul at Google

NYT: The Antiwar, Anti-Abortion, Anti-Drug-Enforcement-

The New York Times profiles Ron Paul in their Sunday edition.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

A vote in the Iowa Straw Poll has more influence than a vote in the main election

A Ron Paul video for potential voters in the Iowa Straw Poll:

(via RedStateEclectic)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Ron Paul on ABC's "This Week"

(via the LRC blog)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Excluding Ron Paul from a "tax relief" candidates’ forum is like excluding Batman from an Anti-Riddler Convention

Thomas Woods digs deeper into why Ron Paul wasn't invited to the Iowa Christian Alliance and Iowans for Tax Relief Republican candidates’ forum.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The American Conservative: Lone Star

Cover story: Maverick Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul finds that being right is the one thing his party won’t forgive.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Brad Porter on the importance of Ron Paul's campaign

Brad Porter at the Crossed Pond explains why Ron Paul's campaign is so important:
Anyway, that I’m in it is obviously something of a thrill, but I think what I’m most pleased about is the article itself, and that reporters and papers out there are beginning to raise their eyebrows to the Paul campaign and its surprising, bubbling strength. The reason I gave the money, and what Vargas got at exactly, is not just because I want Ron Paul to win (though, of course, I do), but because I feel his message is so vitally important at this point in American political history that anything I can do in whatever small way to help amplify it, to get it just a little bit louder and with just a little farther reach, I’m thankful to do. More than thankful, I’m grateful. Shamelessly, breathlessly grateful. It’s not been so often, in the last several years, that the liberty message has found much purchase, that we’ve had the opportunity to throw our support behind somebody who champions it so humbly, so diligently, so forcefully. And, so necessarily. I don’t mean to take that opportunity for granted. I consider us to be lucky beyond measure that we’ve gotten it at all.

For the record I DO think Ron Paul can win. I think that his is the ultimate American message, the ultimate positive, uniting thrust of what the entire political experiment of this country is about. I think Dr. Paul finally brings out of the cellar and into the light what freedom really, truly means, how it’s practiced, and how vigilant we have to remain to protect it.

Two months ago, if you had asked me if Ron Paul had a chance at the nomination, I would have talked about how he SHOULD have a chance, in a perfect world, but how he probably won’t, given the disgraceful state of today’s Republican party, and how uninterested it often seems in its own legacy, its own principles.

Now, though, anything seems possible.

But what I wanted to convey, and what Vargas intuitively understood, is that to me (and, I suspect, to Paul), whatever the fate of the campaign, win or lose, what’s important is that message. America needs to hear it. America deserves to hear it. America is lucky, blessed to hear it.

Let’s help Ron Paul make sure it gets out there.

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Presidential candidate Ron Paul drawing diverse crowds

Mike Wereschagin has an article about Ron Paul in this Sunday's Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
"It's amazing to me" that voters keep re-electing Paul, said Dude Payne, a Democratic county commissioner in Brazoria County, where Paul lives. Paul's biggest asset -- besides his slogan, "The Taxpayer's Best Friend" -- probably is his consistency, said Payne, who pointed out that even after the controversial 2003 Texas redistricting added more Democratic voters to Paul's district, he beat a Democrat with about 60 percent of the vote.

"I don't think anybody can beat him," Payne said. "He pretty much votes no on any kind of pork."

Friday, June 15, 2007

Reason: Can a libertarian Republican appeal to Democrats?

Brian Doherty (author of Radicals for Capitalism) has an article in Reason Online in which he writes: “One of the keys to why Paul should have wider appeal is that while he is certainly very libertarian, he is in many ways more federalist and constitutionalist than libertarian in a strict sense.”

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Transcript: Ron Paul on the Tucker Carlson Show

TUCKER CARLSON (host): [Joining us now is a] Congressman from Texas, Ron Paul. Congressman, thanks for joining us.

REP. RON PAUL: Thank you, good to be with you.

CARLSON: So the conventional explanation for the problems between Israel and Palestine is — partly, anyway — the United States doesn't intervene enough, we're not engaged enough in the peace process. Do you buy that? Should we be engaged in that peace process?

PAUL: Well, I don't think the fact that we're involved has caused the problem as much as I think they're naturally enemies and they're going to fight and they have been fighting for a long time and they're going to continue to fight. But I think our presence there doesn't do much good, and it's not going to solve the problem. You know, it reminds me of that statement Ronald Reagan made in his memoirs when he was explaining why he left Lebanon in the early 1980s. And he said the irrationality of the politics of that region made him change his policies there. And he brought the Marines home, and we left. But he just sort of threw up his arms and said it was beyond his ability to solve those problems.

CARLSON: But we take a side in the Israel-Palestinian conflict, broadly, we send billions to Israel, but we also send money to the Palestinians, but essentially we're on Israel's side. Most Americans think we ought to be. Do you think we ought to be?

PAUL: I think we should be on the side of neutrality and friendship with everybody and not subsidize either side. I mean, in the Middle East, we're strong allies, and we subsidize Israel, but we've been propping up the Saudi government for more than 50 years, since World War II. And it sort of fits my argument that intervention doesn't lend itself to a peaceful world, especially for us. We lose a lot of men and women now being killed, and a lot of money being spent, and there's no more peace than if we weren't there. Matter of fact, I think Israel would do quite well without us there. They'd probably have a peace treaty with Syria. They want to talk peace with Syria, and we interfere with that process and say, "Oh no, you can't talk to the Syrians." So, Israel would have a great incentive to work out agreements with some of its neighbors. Now the Palestinian affair is a lot tougher than Syria, but I think they've worked out an agreement — of course, with our help — with Egypt, but there would be a tremendous incentive for Israel to work with Syria, come up with it, work with the Arab League. So, I don't think we add a whole lot to solving that problem over there.

CARLSON: A new NBC-Wall Street Journal poll finds that 52 percent of Americans — more than half of Americans — want the Democrats to take over the White House in this upcoming election. Obviously, bad news for you, running as a Republican. But doesn't it speak to the larger trend, that shows pretty clearly Americans want more from their government. They expect the government to do more for them than they expected, say, 15 years ago. How do you reverse that trend?

PAUL: Well, I think that's the real contest. Because obviously the people that work for me and campaign for me want exactly the opposite, they want to get the government off their backs. And, you know, 52 percent might want a Democratic president, but that doesn't sound all that strong. I mean, right now, the Democratic congress isn't rating very high. That's a healthy sign that the American people are waking up and they're getting disgusted with what they're getting. So, maybe they will come to realize that we need less government, not more government. If they're unhappy, we can hardly argue that we've had minimal government over these past 50 years, all we do is have an expansion of government. And that fits my argument that we have too much government and we need a lot less.

CARLSON: But your government, as you just put it, you want government off our backs, you want government to stop interfering in people's lives. But isn't interference that natural consequence of government services? In other words, when someone does something for you, he's by definition interfering in your life. So if you want less government interference, you're going to get fewer government services. You're not going to have government-provided health care, for one thing.

PAUL: Yeah, you know, this is the whole thing. When you get something from government, that's all they talk about. The politician brags about it and the people who receive it, they feel good. Unless the services don't arrive on time, like in Katrina. You know, the services didn't work out so well. So I think what we forget are the people who have to pay. You know, there's the other half of the equation. Yes, the people who have to pay, and the young people, especially today, who are sick and tired of the mess and who are inheriting this debt and inheriting this war, they have to pay. So services always come with a cost, whether it's direct taxation, future taxation, borrowing, interest payments, or a debased currency, and that is inflation.

CARLSON: OK, then would you be willing to say out loud into the camera that the people of New Orleans ought to be responsible for building their own city, that it's not the responsibility of the rest of the country?

PAUL: Well, that's the way it's supposed to be originally under the Constitution. It's only very recent years, in the last 10 to 15 years that it became central economic planning from the federal government and it hasn't worked that well. I —

CARLSON: So would you support a return? I mean, I guess, my point is, if you say something like that out loud, it is taken by most people as callous, as mean. Would you be willing to endorse a system in which regions or cities or states are responsible for their own disaster relief and the federal government just says, "I'm sorry, we're not getting involved"?

PAUL: Well I think it's callous and mean to depend on the federal government to go down there and make a mess out of trying to save New Orleans. They did such a lousy job. So, central economic planning doesn't work. It's sort of like saying, "Are you going to be mean and not be a socialist? Aren't you going to take care of poor people, starving people? Well, socialism doesn't work. Central economic planning doesn't work. And you know, in the past, a long time ago, in 1900, Galveston was wiped off the map. And they rebuilt and FEMA didn't exist and the sea-wall that they built is still there. So it isn't like it wouldn't happen, it just may happen faster, cheaper, and more efficiently instead of federal agents getting in the way, taking the guns from the people, not letting private owners get to their property. I get so many complaints about FEMA once we have an emergency in our district.

CARLSON: You've been to a number, 3 or 4 Republican debates so far. What's it like backstage? Who do you like? If you weren't voting for yourself, who would you vote for among the other 9 or 10 guys running?

PAUL: Well, you know, I have a tough time, because my philosophy is strict Constitutionalist and anti-war and pro-free markets. And nobody quite fits that build, and probably one of the reasons why I'm in this race. So it'd be very hard for me to get enthusiastic about anybody who's supporting this war and not re-assessing it and making an effort to get our troops home and not supporting the idea that you don't go to war without declaring war and win them and get them over with and be more precise and put more responsibility on the Congress. So I'd have a hard time picking one of them right now.

CARLSON: Well how about Giuliani? He's the front-running overwhelmingly if you ask Republican primary voters. Would you vote for him?

PAUL: I'd have a lot of trouble. I think he's an authoritarian. I think he would use government way out of proportion to what the Constitution intended —

CARLSON: He's an authoritarian? What do you mean by that?

PAUL: That means he likes to use government force. He wouldn't mind using some of these laws that have been put on the books since 9/11, the PATRIOT act, and the rejection of habeas corpus. I think I sense that among the whole group, that they're quite willing. And of course, the other night, we had this debate — to a degree, a debate — discussion on whether we would use a nuclear first strike against a country that has no nuclear weapons and has not attacked us. And they're all for it. So that, to me, is difficult. And yet I feel comfortable as a Republican because I think I speak for traditional, conservative Republicans, and I defend the Constitution.

CARLSON: Ron Paul of Texas, running for President. I appreciate you coming on, Congressman.

PAUL: Thank you very much.

Ron Paul now most-watched GOP candidate on YouTube

According to the graph at TechPresident, Ron Paul yesterday passed Mitt Romney to become the most-watched GOP candidate on YouTube. As of June 13, 2007, Paul has 1 171 842 views to Romney's 1 160 705. If current trends continue, Paul should be the most-watched candidate of any party within the next 2-3 weeks.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

CNN: Ron Paul polling at (3 ± 5.5)% in NH

A CNN poll of NH voters released today has Ron Paul at 3%. CNN has an article on the poll results.

Romney 28%
Giuliani 20%
McCain 20%
Fred Thompson 11%
Gingrich 4%
Paul 3%
Brownback 2%
Huckabee 2%
Tancredo *
Cox 0%
Gilmore 0%
Hunter 0%
Tommy Thompson 0%
Someone else 1%
No opinion 8%

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Judge Andrew Napolitano endorses Ron Paul at FFF 2007

A 75 second video clip of FOX News Senior Judicial Analyst Andrew Napolitano endorsing Ron Paul at the Future of Freedom Foundation's 2007 Conference.

Napilotano spoke from 7:45 pm - 8:30 pm EDT on Sunday, June 3, 2007 at the Hyatt Regency Reston in Reston, Virginia. The entire speech is on YouTube in four parts: 1 2 3 4.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Ron Paul at FFF: "Nonintervention: The Original Foreign Policy"

Watch Ron Paul has Ron Paul's 45-minute speech at the Future of Freedom Foundation's 2007 Conference. It was called “Nonintervention: The Original Foreign Policy”, and was delivered from 6:00 pm – 6:45 pm EDT on Sunday, June 3, 2007 at the Hyatt Regency Reston in Reston, Virginia .

This is Poignant

Arlen Parsa tries to dissaude progressives from supporting Ron Paul but, as usual, it just ends up making Paul look better.

In an effort to refute them, Parsa quotes several blog comments from progressives who were inspired by Ron Paul:
  • "[No politicians] are going to “do” any of what they promise. At least it’s a relief to hear someone tell the truth."
  • "[Paul] inspired me. Not for a political view or an issue, but because he conveys what he thinks in an articulate, thoughtful, and consistent manner - something we saw none of in the other candidates last night, and something I wish we saw more of in our own candidates. "
Parsa tries to lure them back by telling them how much America needs all the federal programs that Paul doesn't support. But it rings hollow. There's something deeper in their yearning for someone honest and principled that Parla's plea just can't reach.

New Hampshire Loves Ron Paul

Hundreds of Ron Paul supporters rally at the June 5th GOP Presidential Debate—and cheer for Dr. Paul at the after party in Manchester.
(via Dick Clark)

FOX News: Ron Paul polling at (2 ± 3)% nationally

2% of the respondents to a June 5-6 FOX News poll would vote for Ron Paul if the 2008 Presidential primary were held today.

(via RedStateEclectic)

Diverse Group Attends Nebraska Ron Paul Meetup

Laura Ebke at RedStateElectic gives us a first-hand account of a Nebraska Ron Paul Meetup on June 6. What struck me most was the broad spectrum of people who attended:
The rest of our group ranged from the high school government teacher who decided he'd been teaching kids about the Constitution long enough that he ought to work for someone who actually supported it; to the Green anthropology student who thought it was important to support someone who actually believed in liberty—even if he wasn't a Green—because if those liberties were infringed upon, he'd never get to promote the Green cause...

CBS: A Texas Libertarian Starts To Make Waves

CBS Public Eye has an article on Ron Paul:
“Paul, love him or hate him, articulates a coherent ideology better than many of his competitors.”

Thursday, June 7, 2007

NYT Transcript of the NH GOP Debate

The New York Times has the transcript.

Ron Paul: A walking, talking no-spin zone

Scott, commenting on a Ron Paul article at The Liberty Papers, writes:
“I’ve never seen a candidate that doesn't slip and slide around every question asked. He directly answers it from what his principles are, not what 40 PR people have told him how he should answer each question and how to dodge each question. Don't agree with all his policies, but I think it's more important to get someone willing to do some housecleaning in the White House.”

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

BBC: Ron Paul, the authentic candidate

Mr Paul's beliefs are out of favour with the modern Republican party but they represent a very important strand of American political thought: Mr Paul is a rational believer in freedom.

He is not, we may surmise, a social conservative, who wants the government to take an interest in what is going on in America's bedrooms. In fact he does not want the government to take an interest in anything much: he wants it gone from people's lives.

He does not want American power to be projected around the world because he does not want American power to be vested in Washington. He prefers the notion that local control, local democracy, local power, is the genius of the American way.

Mess with it and you get 9/11.

Mr Paul speaks, at least in part, for many Republicans who feel their party has been hi-jacked in recent years by two groups who do not really speak for them: the religious conservatives and the neo-conservatives.

Source: BBC, Giving the US minnows their moment, by Justin Webb

LRC Blog Roundup

The good folks over at the LRC blog are on a roll after the June 5 GOP debate:
  • Of all the wonderful things Ron Paul had to say in the debate last night, I think the best was his introduction of himself: "I am the champion of the Constitution." Not a champion — the champion.” Mike Tennant
  • I received an e-mail from a conservative website that is promoting Giuliani's candidacy. They inform me that, for a $100 donation, I can receive a "Rudy" baseball cap. They do not mention how much a "Rudy" brown shirt would cost! — Butler Shaffer
  • Family Guy on Democracy in Iraq:

MSNBC: Ron Paul interviewed by Tucker Carlson, June 6 2007

TUCKER CARLSON: It isn't easy standing alone as one of the last, true small-government conservatives in today's Republican Party. Even your colleages are apt to call you names: eccentric, odd, crazy. Congressman Ron Paul of Texas doesn't seem to care. He was at it again last night at the Presidential primary debate in New Hampshire, reminding his party and the country what it used to mean to be a Republican. In previous debates, Dr. Paul has gone after front-runner Rudy Giuliani and his lack of foreign policy experience. He even gave the former mayor a homework assignment on what he and the CIA see as the true causes of terrorism and ill-will toward America. Some were offended; to others, Ron Paul rose instantly to the level of folk hero. He himself joins us now. We are glad to welcome from Capital Hill, physician, presidential hopeful, and Republican congressman, Ron Paul.

CARLSON: I hope you can come on regularly just for a tutorial on what it means to be free, Dr. Paul.

New Hampshire Paulic Radio

Listen to Ron Paul on NHPR's The Exchange on the morning of Tuesday, June 5, 2007.
LAURA KNOY (Host): Let's say that I'm poor, and you're not. That means that you can afford, you know, to get your cancer checked out early, and I might hold off, waiting, because I can't afford it.

REP. RON PAUL: And what you need to do is just go back —

KNOY: The idea is that —

PAUL: Right.

KNOY: When it comes to health, it's not a pure, raw economic issue.

PAUL: It —

KNOY: It's your body —

PAUL: It really can be —

KNOY: It's your life —

PAUL: It really can be. Just look at everything before 1965. I mean, how many people did you... Can you get me any pictures of people just dying in the streets because they couldn't get any medical care? No, there was more wealth, the country was wealthier, there was more generosity, the churches would be running the hospitals. Now everything is the maximum cost. You come to the emergency room now, and especially because of the litigation involved, doctors have to over-order, and if you're not on the government's system, you're put on, and you're charged the maximum. When I was working at the Santa Rosa hospital, the minimum was charged, and if you didn't have any money, you weren't charged at all. And there's nothing wrong with that.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Ron Paul still polling nationally at (1 ± 3)% as of June 1, 2007

“A Washington Post-ABC News poll was conducted by telephone May 29-June 1, 2007, among a random national sample of 1,205 adults, including an oversample of African Americans, for a total of 284 black respondents. The results from the full survey have an error margin of plus or minus three percentage points.”

Friday, June 1, 2007

CBN: Ron Paul interviewed by David Brody (May 24, 2007)

Video here.

Ron Paul on WKRO (New Hampshire)

Ron Paul was interviewed on WKRO's The Forum with Tom Finneran this morning.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Keeping America Scared

(via Lew Rockwell)

Monday, May 28, 2007

Norman Singleton wonders what our nation is coming to

Norman Singleton has a few words to say on the state of the nation:
On a recent edition of Meet the Press, Newt Gingrich offered his suggestions on how to ensure "the forces of freedom win." Among Newt's suggestions are "the development of a military tribunal system to lock people up the way Abraham Lincoln would've done it," and the establishment of "a nationwide ID card with biometrics so you can actually track everybody in the country."

There is something seriously wrong with a country where Newt Gingrich can advocate creating a police state and still be treated as a respected elder statesman and a serious contender for the presidency by both the mainstream media and the conservative movement, while Ron Paul is dismissed as a "fringe candidate" who should be silenced.

Ron Paul on CNN Sunday May 27

Thursday, May 24, 2007

CNN viewers support the Ron Paul Book Club: "Educating Rudy"

Finally, an accurate TV news summary of Paul/Giuliani dust-up at the SC debate. The host describes the event thus: "Paul had said that US policies in the ME contributed to the attacks of 9/11. Giuliani dismissed him and that theory and received a round of applause from the audience."

The host then solicits viewer feedback on the question, "Is Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul out of line in giving fellow candidate Rudy Giuliani a reading assignment?"

The responses are unanimous: Absolutely not.

"Patriotism is the effort to resist oppressive state power" - Ron Paul to House

Transcript and video of speech by Ron Paul to House of Representatives on May 22, 2007.
Unquestioned loyalty to the state is especially demanded in times of war. Lack of support for a war policy is said to be unpatriotic. Arguments against a particular policy that endorses a war once it’s started, are always said to be endangering the troops in the field. This, they blatantly claim, is unpatriotic and all dissent must stop. Yet it is dissent from government policies that defines the true patriot and champion of liberty.
As Goering said, “The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.”

Monday, May 21, 2007 Ron Paul has a Point

The Cato Institute's Radley Balko defends the Congressman from Texas in an op-ed on
The reaction to the showdown between Rep. Ron Paul and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has been fascinating. Paul suggested that the recent history of U.S. foreign policy endeavors overseas may have had something to do with terrorists' willingness to come to America, live here for several months, then give their lives to kill as many Americans as possible.

Perhaps, Paul suggested, the 15-year presence of the U.S. military forces in Muslim countries may have motivated them. For that, Giuliani excoriated him, calling it an "extraordinary statement," adding, "I don't think I've heard that before."

Let's be blunt. Giuliani was either lying, or he hasn't cracked a book in six years.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Transcript: Ron Paul Speech at Fundraiser in Austin May 19th

("Three Shoes Posse" gives a sense of the mood at the event.)

Thank you. [applause] Thank you very much. [applause] Thank you. Thank you very much. This is a bit overwhelming, believe me. [applause]. You know, a few months ago, matter of fact, somebody this evening told me that last summer, he suggested I do this, and I was very, very reluctant, and I hinted in no way that I was planning to do it, nor did I really want to do it. And a few months after that, then others came to me, and they kept talking about it. The truth is I had been very, very reluctant, and I... it wasn't that I was reluctant about our message, because I think our message is powerful. [applause] But I really wasn't sure whether I was the right person to do it, and eventually I said, "Yes, I will, we'll see, and we'll find out if there's anybody out there."

I think of the people who believe in true freedom the way I think of the Remnant. And, evidently, you know, they say the Remnant was out there, and nobody could count the, and they didn't know where they were, and you can't find them, but the Remnant will find you, it will find us. So it looks to me like the Remnant is large and growing. [applause]

You know, isn't it strange, let's for a minute assume, and it shouldn't be too great of an assumption, that I defend the Constitution more so than the rest of the pack. [applause] But isn't it interesting, also, that the establishment figures the one who most defends the Constitution has to be eliminated from the debate. What's going on in this country? [crowd boos]

You know, I'm not going to ask, but I do know that there are a few people in here who are not traditional Republicans. Some call themselves Independent, some call themselves Libertarian, some call themselves, even Democrats, there may be some Democrats in here. [applause] Now, the art of politics is to bring people together, it's not to be divisive. When you're running for an office, if you're overly pure in the sense of, you have to agree A B C D... You see, you have to bring coalitions together, there's no doubt about it.

And there are several groups of people that make up an electorate that I think are important this time. I think at the top of the list of the people who are looking for leadership in this country today are dealing with the complications from a very, very flawed foreign policy. [applause] And, if we look at what happened in the election last year, I think the message was loud and strong, that they're sick and tired of the consequences of the foreign policy that we have, and they're looking for something new and different.

And, quite frankly, although the Democrats have politically benefited from that disenchantment with the Republican leadership on foreign policy, quite frankly, I don't see anybody on the Democratic side that really has answered the call to come around and have a different foreign policy because it looks to me like it's more of the same thing. [applause]

I think that issue brings a lot of people together. All the various political factors will come together. And right now, it looks like probably about 70% of the country is now looking for a different policy especially in the Middle East, and re-adjust that. On economic policy, if you ask almost 100% of Americans whether they believe in the free enterprise system, most Americans believe in the free enterprise system. Too often, though, what happens is, "yes, I believe in free enterprise for everybody else, but I like special privileges for myself." So, to really believe in free enterprise, you have to believe in market competition for everybody, and nobody gets subsidies. [applause]

A lot of times they think subsidies and welfare goes to poor people. Now there's some welfare that goes to poor people, but sometimes I think they're crumbs. The real big welfare in the system that we have goes to the military-industrial complex and the big banks, that's where it goes. [applause] But the market economy should bring the people together, especially when it's realized that the system that we have today is ripping off the middle class and the poor. They're the ones who suffer from the inflation and the regulations and all the government interference. So that, to me, is an issue that brings people together.

One person once told me, not too long ago, I think it was said on television, they said, "Well, you ought to run as a Democrat." And I said, "Well, why should I run as a Democrat, I'm the most conservative member of the Congress." [applause] So, they get twisted up. They don't know how to label those of us who believe in liberty. Because liberty is really pervasive. It's beneficial to everybody, it's not beneficial to special groups. So, if you can vote for, you know, less money... Now there are some very well-known liberal individuals in this country who are coming out and supporting our campaign. Which is very interesting, you may say, well liberals don't like, they like big spending and all. But why would they be coming out and endorsing our campaign now? Quite frankly, because of foreign policy, and attacking special interests for the rich, and the benefits of... this is a tremendously powerful message.

And there's another element that should bring people together. And this is the concept of personal, individual liberty. [applause] Personal liberty is not a special interest. It's the only special interest that really counts. See, I don't like to think of rights as being group rights. Not to offend anybody, but I don't see things like "women's rights" and "minority rights" and all this, I just don't think that's plausible. Rights are given to individuals. I personally happen to believe they come from our creator. [applause]

Which means, then, that your life is your own, and you have your own responsibility. I mean, you have your life is your own, and you have your own responsibility. I mean, you have responsibility of what's going to happen for eternity's sake, so you ought to have responsibility for what you're going to do here on Earth as well.

So personal liberty means tolerance as well, because what your neighbor might do, might be different than what you do. And you might not like what they do. But if your neighbor or your friends do things that you don't approve of, but they don't affect you, they don't hurt you, if they don't use force on you, they should be permitted to do this. [applause] Your job is to take responsibility, and our job is to take responsibility for ourselves to improve our well-being and to improve and work with excellence, and that's what freedom is all about.

But which group of people should this bring together? I say, "I don't want to recognize your personal life." And you say, "What does that mean," I don't want to tell you what you can eat, smoke, and drink, and whatever you want to do? [applause] Now the question is, is this going to offend the conservative Christian Right? It should not, and it's something that I've worked on for many many years in the Congressional district, is to believe in individual liberty, not put on sanctions and not pretend I can regulate your personal, moral life... and have that appeal to the Christian Right. I happen to believe all life is sacred, so therefore I don't believe that small little fetuses can be dropped away without concern about it. [applause] But this idea of personal liberty which might allow individuals to do things that others might not approve of is also exactly the liberty that we need to practice our religion and keep the government off our backs. [applause]

Back to concern about the idea of running for the presidency. Today, the conventional wisdom is that we have to have a President to "run things" [crowd boos]. What I'd like to be is a president that doesn't even have a goal of running your life, running the economy, or running the world. [load applause] I want to use all my strength and my conviction and my effort to restrain anybody who uses force illegally, that people not be allowed to try to run other people's lives. And that will take a lot of doing, because a lot of people have become dependent on the government.

Another issue that I deal with &emdash; and now this is the real-world politics, because we might in a group like this agree, you know, "We don't need the welfare, we don't need this, leave us alone, and it would all be better," and quite frankly I think it would be &emdash; but we live in the real world, where we have taught generations after generations to be totally dependent on the government. So realistically, you can't just shut off every government health program and whatever for the elderly.

But, there's a very practical answer for this. Overseas, now, to run the American Empire, if you add up the DOD budget, if you add up the State Department budget, if you add up what it would cost to bring the military, to take care of the veterans, and on and on, do you know that it is nearing trillion dollars a year to operate overseas, while ignoring our borders? [crowd boos]

So why not we do this? If it's at one trillion dollars, lets say that we could have a true national defense for, say, 700 billion dollars, I mean, save 700, spend 300 on defense, save 700, put a lot of that to the deficit, bring it home, deal with our borders, and make sure that the people that are very dependent, take care of them until we can wean them off. [applause]

I believe that almost every single problem that we're facing today has come about because we haven't been a stickler for the rule of law. We haven't followed the Constitution, and that's where we ought to begin. And the fact that the problems have been created by the lack of respect for the Constitution, the answers can be found there. They can be found there on foreign policy, on economic policy, property rights, personal liberties, all these things, monetary policy. Can you imagine how great a nation we'd have, if we didn't have the Federal Reserve system printing all this money? [applause]

And, it goes without saying that when we have the proper sized government, and governments function in the proper manner, we certainly wouldn't need the IRS or the 16th Amendment. [applause] Government has a role to play, but it should be minimal. The sole purpose of political activity, as far as I'm concerned, should be protection of individual liberty. [applause]

I think what's happened in this country is we've lost respect for the rule of law, that we've lost respect and confidence in how liberty works. We're always frightened that if the government doesn't provide this safety net, there's gonna be more poverty, no housing, and all the things that happened over the last several decades. But this is not necessary. It is so unnecessary. Freedom works! We've lost that confidence where we know and understand that it will work. But there is one admonition that John Adams gave, and he said, "For freedom really to work, you have to have a moral society."

So, we can come down very hard on our government, and I do -- all 3 branches of the government -- but quite frankly, even our candidacy here, if we're successful, it still requires an endorsement from the people. And that's where I have been reluctant. I did not know where the numbers would be. I did not know whether the money would be there. I did not understand the Internet, but I have been educated in the last few weeks. [applause]

And we do know that truth wins out in the end, but I didn't know that there we so many so ready to receive the truth about what's going on. But it truly gives me hope, and that's what we need.

We have lived, and been blessed to live, in a country that has been really great. We are fortunate that we had the founders that we did, that understood what personal liberty was all about. They even understood what habeas corpus meant. [applause] And unfortunately, we moved into this era where they're endorsing torture and getting rid of habeas corpus, warrantless searches, national ID cards, and I think the American people are catching on. You know, the national ID card was voted on overwhelmingly, but now, do you know &emdash; I bet you do &emdash; that a lot of states are now condemning it and won't participate, they're waking up, people are waking up. [applause]

You know, I don't know how this'll end. That is the truth. I could come up here and say, "I absolutely know how it's gonna turn out." I don't know, you don't know, but I do know that the message is good. The message of liberty is good. We live in a great country. We need to fall back on the traditions of our Constitution, and the traditions of America. We will do well. But I am quite confident now that the numbers are a lot larger than I ever believed. [applause] I think we're moving in the right direction. [applause]

Although very, very reluctant at the beginning, and you know, in some ways, I think that not being overly eager to be President is not necessarily bad, because I think, too often, they're overly eager and they shouldn't be there. But all I can tell you is it's moving faster and more furiously than I ever dreamed. I do promise that I will continue to deliver the message. I will continue to be as consistent as possible, and I will continue to stay in there as long as our numbers keep growing. Thank you very much.

(via Daily Paul)

Transcript: Ron Paul on CNN's Late Edition (2007-05-20)

[I transcribed the text below. Here's CNN's transcript.]

JOHN KING (Host): 10 Republican Presidential candidates squared off in South Carolina this week. Although he's languishing in the polls, Texas Congressman Ron Paul managed to grab a big share of the attention. He joins us now live from Houston. Congressman Paul, thanks for joining us. Let's show our viewers the moment in that debate that became such a flash point. You were speaking and the former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani jumped in. Let's listen.
CONGRESSMAN RON PAUL (video clip from May 15 debate): They attack us because we've been over there. We've been bombing Iraq for 10 years.

RUDY GIULIANI (video clip from May 15 debate): That's an extraordinary statement, as someone who lived through the attacks of September 11, that we invited the attacks because we were attacking Iraq. I don't think I've ever heard that before, and I've heard some pretty absurd explanations for September 11.
KING: Now Congressman Paul, the Mayor asked you to withdraw that statement, and you did not. I want to walk through that. You firmly believe, sir, that because of U.S. military involvement in the Middle East, including the first Persian Gulf war, that we "invited" -- would that be the word you would use -- we invited the 9/11 attacks?

PAUL: Well, it's not so much like it's a subjective belief, it's just an evaluation of the facts. If you study the people who understand the Middle East, like Michael Scheuer and others and look at the 9/11 Commission Report, that's the evidence they provide that that was one of the excuses. One of the strongest statements of the position that I hold comes from no other than Paul Wolfowitz, who said right after we invaded Iraq, that this was a major, major event because we could take our troops out of Saudi Arabia, recognizing that that was the motivation for recruiting for Al-Qaeda and the motivation for their hatred toward us. So there's a lot of evidence. I don't think we should deal with the subjective. I think we should deal with the objective position of whether or not those who really understand the Middle East support what I have said.

KING: Well, let me ask you more broadly about your views on foreign policy then. Obviously, you believe the United States should have a limited role in the world, especially in terms of projecting military force. So, if Kim Jong Il rolled South, into South Korea today, should the United States intervene?

PAUL: Well, it depends what the Congress says. We certainly shouldn't do what we did under the Truman administration, go in under a U.N. resolution. You go to the Congress and find out if it's a threat to our national security. I personally would think right now that it isn't a threat to our national security. I want to make a point, though, that if we weren't over there, I think Korea would be unified, just like Vietnam is unified. They have railroads now opened up between the two, they want to share information --

KING: Let me jump in. I don't want to solve the problems of the Korean peninsula today. I do want to get your views on foreign policy. Let me give you another example. If China took back Taiwan, today, would you say, go to the Congress, or does the President not have the authority as Commander-in-Chief?

PAUL: Absolutely he does not have the authority. Where does he get it? You can't go to war without Congressional approval. And that's not a threat to our national security. That's something, internal affairs. Why should we send hundreds of thousands of Americans to die in a civil war? I mean, are we over in Russia right now over Chechnya? I mean, it wouldn't make any sense. Did we go to war over Hong Kong. You know, we should follow the Constitution and the advice of the Founders. Don't go looking for dragons to slay. I mean, why should we go and provoke and look for trouble? We should talk with people, negotiate, be diplomatic, and trade with people. We do much better trading with Vietnam than we did fighting with them, and we lost 60,000 men there. It makes so much common sense, and it's so appealing to the majority of Americans. Let me tell you, I really believe that.

KING: You have seen some criticism. Some say you're the person who doesn't belong in a Republican debate. You were a past Libertarian candidate for President, of course. You have views that are out of what many would think of as the main stream at least of of today's Republican party. I want to read you some of the criticism that came out after this last debate, and ask you to respond to the politics of it. These are some comments made of your performance. Here's Roger Simon, writing in the Politic: "In terms of the presidency, nobody cares what Ron Paul says, perhaps not even Ron Paul." Gloria Borger writing in U.S. News and World Report: "Representative Ron Paul of Texas, who gives new meaning to the question asked by Ross Perot's former running mate, Admiral James Stockdale: 'Who am I? Why am I here?'" And in the Daily News of New York, an editorial: "Ron Paul, whose performance Tuesday proved him the Sanjaya of the political arena." What do you make of the critics who say, "Why is this guy in a Republican debate? If he wants to run, run as a Libertarian?"

PAUL: Well, I would ask you why you pick out 3 when I could find you probably 1000 that contradict exactly what you say. I would say that I'm more Republican than they are. The Republican tradition is always to win on the peace position. Democrats have always got us into war. We got out of Korea with Eisenhower. We got out of Vietnam, eventually, with Nixon. We ran on a peace program in the year 2000. No world policeman, no nation building, a humble foreign policy. Peace is a positive message, not a negative message. You don't win by, politically you don't win... There's a strong tradition of non-intervention in the Republican party. That is the American position, that is the Constitutional position, that is the very strong advice of the Founders. So when they attack me, and say, "Silence Ron Paul", they're saying, "silence the Constitution, silence the advice of the founders of the country, silence our platform, close down the big tent, make it very narrow, and as long as you agree with a foreign policy that is failing, then it's OK to be a Republican." I don't buy in to that, and neither do the American people.

KING: Let me jump into what comes next. You're about 1% in the polls, and many say, whether they agree or disagree with your views, there are many who say at some point you need to have fewer candidates on the stage for these debates to be meaningful. The chairman of the Michigan Republican Party says he's going to try to get you, and perhaps others, but you specifically, pushed out of future debates. He said of you, "I think he would have felt much more comfortable on the stage with the Democrats in what he said last night. And I think that he is a distraction in the Republican primary and he does not represent the base of the party and he does not represent the party." That's Saul Anuzis, the chairman of the Republican Party in the state of Michigan, who says, among other things, he thinks you don't deserve a spot on the stage. Will you continue to be in the Republican debates? And at some point, forget your name for a second, forget your candidacy, at some point, should they be winnowed down to fewer candidates?

PAUL: Well, why do you pick that statement, which has been discredited and removed? The chairman of the Michigan party now has withdrawn that, he has given up on that. Why don't you let the people decide? Why do you want to eliminate democracy? Why stomp out the grassroots candidate and only reward those with 100 million dollars that get money from the special interests? That's not very democratic. I support the Republican platform better than any other candidate, I am convinced of. Check out the platform, they're for less government, they're for personal liberty. We ran on our program in 2000 for a humble foreign policy. How can anybody say I'm not Republican? I am the most conservative member of the Congress. I vote for the least amount of spending and the least amount of taxes. And they say I'm not Republican enough? I mean, why don't you challenge that side, rather than challenging me, and feed into the frenzy, that say, "Get rid of the reporter, get rid of the person who's delivering the information", rather than dealing with the information. Non-intervention is a real political victory. We cannot win as Republicans next year if we just continue to dig our heels in, send more men and women over there to die, on a policy that has failed. That is the issue Republicans are scared to face up to the truth. And my job is to make them face up to it, and show them that the majority of Americans are with me, not with the current foreign policy that we are following.

KING: Congressman Ron Paul of Texas, Republican candidate for President. Low in the polls, but certainly shaking and stirring things up in the Republican race. Congressman, thanks for joining us today.

(via the blog)

Ron Paul : Gandalf :: the other 9 Republican candidates : the Nazgûl

There are many powers in the world, for good or for evil. Some are greater than I am. Against some I have not yet been measured. But my time is coming. — Gandalf the Grey
Writes G. Gregory: “So the analogy [is] that Ron Paul is Gandalf... Hmm, nine of them attacking him at the second debate. Like the night on Weathertop when Gandalf fought off the nine and then escaped north!”
Those who used the Nine Rings became mighty in their day, kings, sorcerers, and warriors of old. They obtained glory and great wealth, yet it turned to their undoing. They had, as it seemed, unending life, yet life became unendurable to them. They could walk, if they would, unseen by all eyes in this world beneath the sun, and they could see things in worlds invisible to mortal men; but too often they beheld only the phantoms and delusions of Sauron. And one by one, sooner or later, according to their native strength and to the good or evil of their wills in the beginning, they fell under the thralldom of the ring that they bore and of the domination of the One which was Sauron's. And they became forever invisible save to him that wore the Ruling Ring, and they entered into the realm of shadows. The Nazgûl were they, the Ringwraiths, the Enemy's most terrible servants; darkness went with them, and they cried with the voices of death.
(via Casey Khan at the blog)

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Ron Paul 1, Establishment 0

“Ron Paul has already scored a major - and irreversible - victory for peace and liberty over the political establishment. ... Like flowers that manage to grow in the cracks of concrete, truth has a life of its own that eventually wills out over even the most determined efforts to suppress it.”

It's time to give Dr. No the power to veto!

Steve just wrote this on my wall.

The Waterboard Brigade

This morning I saw someone use the term "waterboard brigade" to refer to those who support the use of tortureEnhanced Interrogation Techniques. This august group includes Fox "News" and 8 of the 10 GOP candidates for President.

(Big ups to "Big Gav" in Australia for coining the phrase.)

Stop Dreaming

A compilation of various Ron Paul video clips and quotes.

Edmonton Journal: Ron Paul on Republican non-interventionism

“We have to give up the neo-conservative position that it's our duty to promote goodness and American greatness with force,” Paul said in an interview. “By next year, believe me, the Republican party is going to have a different position on the war. Or we will lose.”

(via Edmonton Journal, Saturday, May 19, 2007: GOP hopefuls try to redefine their party) They Hate Our Foreign Policy

Scott Horton at skillfully reminds us that “foreign occupation – American foreign policy – is a "major contributing factor" in creating terrorism today, just as it was in the years before September 11th.”:
There had never been a suicide bombing in Iraq before 2003. Never. Now there have been well over a thousand. Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, the leader of the "Islamic State in Iraq," a Sunni Arab insurgent group, has bragged that Iraq has become "Terrorism University," thanks to the U.S. invasion.

Why did Giuliani act so outraged at Ron Paul's observation about "blowback"?

Julian Sanchez explains in a superb videoblog at The Economist. I have transcribed a portion of it here:

“Ron Paul also caught a lot of flack for saying some unorthodox things about the perils of intervention. The response, predictably enough: outrage. Now, as others have observed, it seems extremely unlikely that Rudy Giuliani has really never heard of blowback theory. It's fairly obvious that Ron Paul was not just talking about Iraq there. And indeed, if he hadn't heard of it, he would have announced himself so ignorant that he was obviously disqualified from serious contention as our commander-in-chief.

So why would he say such a thing? Well, because observations like this about "blowback" — which is not a term that was made up at the American Prospect, it's the CIA's term — are very inconvenient for someone who wants to defend a hawkish policy going forward, but are also more or less indisputable. You can talk about how significant our past interventions have been, relative to others, in stoking hatred against the United States. You can debate whether some of these interventions were so justified that they were worth the cost. But there isn't really any informed or serious argument against the notion that this is a serious phenomenon and a serious factor in instigating anti-American sentiment.

So what do you do? Well, you have to act outraged, because you can't actually refute the point. The only thing to do is to act as though it's just obscene and beyond the pale and beyond serious discussion. And one way to do this is of course to reframe the claim that is being made, that is, to suggest that making Paul's statement is the same as saying that the United States has "invited the attack" or even "deserves the attack". Which, it should be obvious, is a totally distinct claim.

This is, as I suggested in my last videoblog, one more reason I'm glad that Ron Paul is up there. [The reason given there is that Paul's “critique of the war in Iraq, from essentially a conservative perspective, is one that a lot of voters aren't otherwise going to have a chance to hear.”] There are a lot of situations where the leading candidates — the ones with a shot at getting elected — have a vested interest in preserving a certain level of ambiguity in not letting themselves be pinned down to one or the other answer to a fairly binary question. And it's good that when they're saying stuff like this:
GIULIANI: "I would tell the people who had to do the interrogation to use every method they could think of, shouldn't be torture, but every method they could think of." Waterboarding? "Well, I'd say every method they could think of".

HUNTER: I would say to SecDef, in terms of getting information that would save American lives, even if it involves very high-pressure techniques, one sentence: Get the information.

ROMNEY: Enhanced interrogation techniques have to be used. Not torture, but enhanced interrogation techniques. Yes.
... there's someone who's prepared to call "bullshit":
PAUL: "I think it's very interesting talking about torture here, as it's become "enhanced interrogation technique". Sounds like Newspeak."
But pay no attention to him. As the conservative media will be happy to inform you, Ron Paul is well known to be double-plus ungood.”