21 December 2011

Ron Paul for the Republican nomination

A Ron Paul endorsement might be the last thing you'd expect from someone who offered a full-throated endorsement of John McCain in 2008.

But the country is much different four years later, and it's considerably worse off.

The housing bubble burst. National debt is expected to reach 100 percent of GDP by 2020. The entitlement crisis continues to loom. The federal government has claimed the novel power to coerce citizens to engage in private economic activities, such as purchasing private health insurance. The military-industrial complex has transformed into a bipartisan phenomenon. So has the thirst for endless war in the Middle East. The president has claimed the power to assassinate American citizens by executive order and will soon have the power to detain American citizens indefinitely, without trial.

Ron Paul represents a complete rejection of the last 11 years of Republican misrule.

George W. Bush was the most fiscally destructive president in American history. He ran up record deficits, passed an unfunded prescription drug liability and sat idly by as the Federal Reserve inflated the money supply, leading to the bursting of the housing bubble and the collapse of the markets. Ron Paul has promised to seek $1 trillion in cuts from the federal budget in 2013. Democrats call this "draconian." I call it fiscal responsibility.

The two "leading" contenders for the nomination, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, famously supported Barack Obama's cherished individual mandate to purchase health insurance. This is fundamentally unconservative, and the idea that a "conservative" could support such a policy is blasphemous. Ron Paul's conception of limited government and maximum liberty puts him at odds with Gingrich, Romney and Obama. He appears to be as upset with the idea of an individual mandate as me.

The war in Iraq cost 4,500 American lives, 30,000 other American casualties, 100,000 Iraqi civilians and about $1 trillion in American dollars. Once on the verge of a post-Saddam civil war, Iraq is spiraling toward a perpetual state of illiberal democracy, where Christians are persecuted and flee, the country is becoming Balkanized, political corruption is rampant and Iran -- America's supposed sworn worst enemy -- has gained considerable political influence.

Every Republican contender believes that America should launch another war against Iran and repeat our mistakes in Iraq. I'm supporting Ron Paul because he thinks this is absurd.

Every Republican contender supports sweeping federal laws codifying marriage, banning pornography and generally legislating morality. I'm supporting Ron Paul because he thinks the 10th Amendment still means something.

Every Republican contender supports President Obama's method of putting American citizens on "hit lists" without a shred of due process, and every contender appears to endorse the Imperial Executive's supposed power to indefinitely detain American citizens without access to counsel, a trial or even a formal charge. I'm supporting Ron Paul because he's read Amendments 4, 5 and 6.

Today's Republicans like Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich have more in common with Woodrow Wilson than Ronald Reagan, Barry Goldwater or William F. Buckley.

Conservatism demands an adherence to the Constitution's very words and a respect for the separation of powers that the Constitution has enshrined.

Aside from Jon Huntsman, who seems intent on alienating the Republican base, there is nothing fundamentally "conservative" about any of Ron Paul's challengers. The rest of the field is made up of big-government Republicans who would return America to the destructive era of George W. Bush, where the president enjoys unchecked executive power, deficits spiral even further out of control and the country pursues a foolish, Wilsonian foreign policy. I've had enough of that for one lifetime.

Paul's critics claim that he isn't electable. But according to whom? A recent Public Policy Polling report showed Paul running dead even with President Obama in Iowa, a state that John McCain lost by nine points in 2008. A CNN poll released today showed Paul performing equally as well as Mitt Romney in a hypothetical matchup with Obama, and nearly ten points better than Gingrich. Additionally, because of his staunch libertarian stance on executive power and foreign policy issues, Paul has the ability -- utterly unmatched by any of his competitors -- to carve into Obama's liberal base. The Glenn Greenwald/Russ Feingold vote is up for grabs, much as the Pat Buchanan/Conor Friedersdorf vote would be up for grabs if the contest putted Feingold against, say, Michele Bachmann. Paul could be the great fusion candidate so many liberals and libertarians have dreamed of, to run staunchly against the Bush/Obama perpetual warfare machine. We haven't ever seen a candidate like him on the national stage.

The more I write, the more this becomes a no-brainer for a conservative like me. I don't agree with Paul on everything -- I think his call for the abolition of the Federal Reserve contradicts conservatism's adherence to gradual structural change and a respect for existing institutions -- but I agree with him on far more than any of his rivals. The people who discount Paul as a serious general election candidate do so based on little to no hard evidence that he would make a poor nominee. To the contrary, given the country's fiscal crisis, the unpopularity of the president in most quarters outside of hardcore partisans and Paul's famous fidelity to the Constitution, it is just as likely that Paul wipes out Obama in a landslide.

18 December 2011

Newt Gingrich hates the Constitution

Back with a vengeance.

Newt Gingrich has emerged as the "conservative" alternative to Mitt Romney. Right.

Over the remainder of the primary season, we could probably dedicate a post a day to some of the absurd, statist, fundamentally unconservative things Gingrich says.

The idea that Gingrich is "conservative" is truly laughable.

If you believe this, you are stupid, ill-informed and a sucker for cheap political demagoguery.

In the 1990s, Gingrich supported a federal mandate to purchase health insurance, which would be the centerpiece of Obamacare 15 years later.

He appeared next to Nancy Pelosi in a cap-and-trade commercial sponsored by an Al Gore-funded outfit.

He took $1.6 million of taxpayer money from Freddie Mac during the height of the housing bubble, all while endorsing its business model and the idiotic liberal ideal that, irrespective of a person's credit history or income, everyone should own a house -- things for which Ron Paul and Michelle Bachmann have rightfully excoriated him.

He pushed congressional Republicans to pass the budget-busting Medicare Part D in 2004, while taking money from Big Pharma. Medicare Part D was the largest expansion of the welfare state since the Great Society.

This is arguably just the tip of the iceberg, but I'm getting tired of not addressing what I just read 10 minutes ago.

On Face the Nation this morning, Gingrich doubled down on his outrageous idea that Congress should have the power to subpoena federal judges whose decisions they oppose. Not only did Gingrich reiterate his support for idea -- which is a completely unconstitutional usurping of the separation of powers doctrine -- but he endorsed the use of the federal marshals to haul these judges into the Rotunda. This is truly outrageous. A President Gingrich's first act would apparently be to put the Constitution through a paper shredder.

Furthermore, Gingrich told Bob Schieffer that he is running for president to stop federal judges from encroaching on the president's commander-in-chief powers.

This is outrageous. It should make any liberty-loving American sick to his stomach. The judiciary is charged with enforcing the Constitution, and it admirably curbed the grave excesses of the Bush administration during its unconstitutional assault on the Bill of Rights. Even Antonin Scalia and John Roberts -- conservative jurisprudence's two shining lights -- levied harsh criticisms of the unprecedented powers. Does Gingrich really believe what John Yoo and Dick Cheney believe -- that the Constitution is suspended, and the president can do whatever he wants, so long as the president says we're at war?

We should be thankful that someone so grossly unfit for the presidency comes across the American stage so infrequently. He believes that the Constitution's separation of powers doctrine should be junked, that the president should be able to operate without the constraints of the Constitution, and apparently, that big government can and should be used for "conservative" ends. And who is the ultimate arbiter of what is and isn't "conservative"? Gingrich, of course. Despite the fact that this man is so delusional and so outrageous, he is remarkably self-assured, such that many conservatives actually buy this nonsense. If Newt Gingrich is the nominee, it should be the end of American conservatism as we know it. Gingrich's deluded ideal of America has more in common with a Middle Eastern banana republic than it does the vision laid out by the Founders.

The fact that Republicans actually consider him the conservative alternative to anybody is sickening. The people who believe this are fools. Gingrich represents everything that Barry Goldwater, William F. Buckley and Ronald Reagan opposed. Even as much as Barack Obama -- and perhaps, arguably, more -- Newt Gingrich is an enemy of the Constitution.