He who hears the shema drinks the shekar!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Power Politics

Two recent blog posts highlight for me the complexity and frustration with the 2008 election.

Lee Irons comments on the matter of executive power:

It’s disappointing that so few Republicans seem to care [about it] , but traditionally conservatives have been the ones upholding the Constitution, limiting presidential power, and defending civil liberties and the rule of law.

One place you really see this is the way Ron Paul gets treated by the Republican establishment. Just read a few pro-Republican pundits, and you'll see it soon enough. Paul is usually dismissed rather quickly under the conservative rhetoric that he is anti-American, anti-military, anti-War on terror, or (the
really popular one) just too radical in his politics to be a true Republican.

Such 'radical' remarks about Paul actually tell you more about the political machine than Paul himself. Paul's message is frankly very simple -- it is
pro-free market, pro-Constitution, and anti-government across the board. In other words, Paul is just too libertarian for the big-government ideology on the 'left'...and the increasingly big-government agenda on the 'right'! A great example of this is the way Republican diehards criticize Paul's consistent opposition to the Iraqi occupation. Note the way Paul gets lumped in with the leftist, anti-war machine; for some reason, it never really occurs to these people that Paul's rationale has absolutely nothing to do with leftist politics. His rationale for opposing Iraq (as far as I can tell) is: (a) we're involved in a prolonged conflict that really amounts to an unconstitutional 'war' and (b) it's costing the country billions of dollars to fund it.

The reason why Paul's message sounds too radical for people is because we've become too accustomed to letting big government run our lives...and that goes for Democrats and Republicans.

A great example of the 'big government' establishment surfaced in the aftermath of the Bhutto assassination. Kim Riddlebarger was particularly 'disgusted' with the way the candidates from both sides of the fence handled themselves:

Is anyone else as as disgusted as I am at all the presidential campaigns for using the tragic assassination of Benazir Bhutto as a way to shamelessly tout their own supposed foreign policy credentials?

These guys (and a gal) have spent the last two days knocking each other over to get before a camera or a mic to pontificate about something they obviously know very little about. Unless you are already in the White House and privy to hard intelligence, you probably don't know squat about what really happened and who did the dastardly deed....

And we wonder why less than 50% of Americans vote? The cynicism shown by the lot of them is disgusting to me. And just why is it that we are going through this eleven months before the election?

As Riddlebarger remarks, Paul's response makes the most sense --
"We should mind our own business and stay out of supporting military dictators." No political spin....and (more importantly!) just good economics. And yet again, Paul gets blasted by the 'neocons' for being anti-American and anti-military because Paul is critical of American foreign policy.

I don't agree with
everything Paul says, but his message has a near-brutal consistency to it that is very appealing.....and no one in either party likes it.


Mike said...


I am interested in what you have been saying about R.Paul. Could you point me to the source of the reference you made on Jason's blog? But Paul also desires to get rid of the Dept. of Energy. Why? Because this Dept. doesn't serve the interests of all citizens but serves only the interest of big business. [I heard him say that as recently as 3 days ago.] I'd say that amounts to a limit of government favoritism to the wealthy.

Mike Brown

Matt Morgan said...

Hey Mike,

I heard it on a radio blurb (NPR, I think), but I think you can get the gist of it from an interview he did on Nightline (with libertarian-leaning John Stossel) about a month ago.


There was a written transcript I saw of this yesterday that I can't find today. Hmmm. Regardless, you should be able to find most (if not all of it) via the above link.


Anonymous said...

Maybe if we hadn't "minded our own business" in the 90's we would still have 2 tall building NY. The economy doesn't mean a whole lot if you have to walk into work everyday with an genuine fear that someone is going to blow up the building. I am all about low taxes, small governement and secure borders, believe me... but you realize he voted against the Patriot Act. Alright, so tell me how he is going to protect us from Jihad, from people who would give absolutely anything to kill Americans. All I can say is Fred Thompson for President... [And I hope Uncle Dan doesn't read your blog :-)]


Matt Morgan said...

Maybe if airlines had been allowed to place guns in the hands of their pilots -- something that they had previously tried to do, but were denied by the FAA! -- the whole 9/11 fiasco could have been avoided!

I don't have a huge problem with the Patriot Act in a narrow sense. The problem is that it opens the door for government to get more and more involved in people's civil liberties...and government doesn't exactly have a good track record of doing what it's suppose to. If someone like Clinton or Obama get elected, how do you think they are going to interpret the Patriot Act?

Anonymous said...

If pilots had had guns - yes it probably would have prevented the exact way 9/11 happened - and that specific way should never happen again - however these guys would have found another way to attack us here. It might not have had as large amount of casulties, but they would have done it. And they will do it again if given the opportunity.

They blew up our embassy in Keyna, then they got more brazen and attacked the USS Cole, and then they got more brazen and attacked the WTC & Pentagon. Do you really think that they are going to stop?

I understand about what you are saying with the Government and civil liberties - and the thought of Hillary being in charge, but then how are we supposed to protect ourselves? These guys aren't marching around with swastikas on their arms, they are here or in europe going to school or working while they are planning. How is Ron Paul going to stop them?


Baus said...

I discuss the most universal reason all lovers of liberty and opposers of tyranny should support RON PAUL: