The Best Reason to Oppose Ron Paul


I am on record praising many of Ron Paul’s positions, but I’ve also said that while I think he is refreshing on many issues of executive power and bill of rights issues I cannot support him. And the most powerful reason why I can’t support him is because I think his ideas on other issues are extraordinarily dangerous. And nothing exemplifies that more than the We The People act that he has sponsored in the House.

This is a court-stripping bill, one that would reverse decades of case law that protects freedom and equality in a thousand different ways. Here is the core of the bill:

The Supreme Court of the United States and each Federal court– (1) shall not adjudicate– (A) any claim involving the laws, regulations, or policies of any State or unit of local government relating to the free exercise or establishment of religion; (B) any claim based upon the right of privacy, including any such claim related to any issue of sexual practices, orientation, or reproduction; or (C) any claim based upon equal protection of the laws to the extent such claim is based upon the right to marry without regard to sex or sexual orientation; and (2) shall not rely on any judicial decision involving any issue referred to in paragraph (1).

This would reverse not only Roe v Wade but Griswold v Connecticut and Lawrence v Texas and every other ruling related to a right to privacy as well. That means the states could once again outlaw homosexuality and the use of contraception (and if you don’t think there are powerful political interests that favor doing both of those things, you haven’t been paying attention). It erases virtually every single church/state ruling in the last century, allowing public schools to once again force students to read the Bible aloud and to recite state-composed and mandated prayers. That is every bit as crazy as Newt Gingrich’s absolutely insane anti-judiciary policy proposals. And it is an absolute deal-breaker for me.

Comments

  1. says

    For someone who claims to be so passionately in love with your constitution, it would be interesting to hear Paul explain how this would be even remotely constitutional.

  2. Randomfactor says

    Basically, Ron Paul is a fundie. The things he is a fundie about vary from religion to monetary policy–but the man has steadfast beliefs, not positions. That’s why they don’t change (except when he gets caught lying, of course.)

  3. calebt says

    There are plenty of reasons to not support Ron Paul, but his philosophy with regards to executive power is so right on target and so very much needed these days that he’s my preferred Republican candidate. He is a million times fucking better than Gingrich, Romney, and Perry combined, which isn’t saying a lot, but it means that if I had to pick one for the general election it would have to be Paul.

    My hope is that the mere presence of him in the general debates will introduce so much needed conversation into the culture about the military-industrial complex, drug war, and executive powers. If Obama sees that enthusiasm for Paul’s ideas, it might convince him to take a much more libertarian view on civil liberties to court Paul’s supporters, and that would be a very good thing indeed.

    But as for me, I live in Alabama, so this state’s electoral votes are already going to the Republican candidate anyway, so I plan on voting for the Libertarian ticket (which I hope will be Gary Johnson).

  4. Danaleigh says

    For someone who claims to be so passionately in love with your constitution, it would be interesting to hear Paul explain how this would be even remotely constitutional.

    That the federal constitution is applicable to state and local governments with regards to such issues at all depends on the Fourteenth Amendment, and more specifically the way the Fourteenth Amendment has been interpreted for the past century or so, so his argument for constitutionality would have to depend on either repealing or completely reinterpreting it.

    Good luck with that.

  5. edmundog says

    @Tabby #1

    His defense is that all those things that the bill of rights says Congress can’t do are all perfectly okay for the states to do if they want.

  6. calebt says

    There is definitely so anti-freedom shit that can come from the states, but let’s not forget the other side of the equation, for example, the Feds threatening to ban air traffic over the state of Texas if Texas went through went their plan to criminally prosecute TSA officially accused of sexual assault. The Tenth Amendment has some use.

  7. calebt says

    (Typo-free version, lol): There is definitely some anti-freedom shit that can come from the states, but let’s not forget the other side of the equation, for example, the Feds threatening to ban air traffic over the state of Texas if Texas went through went their plan to criminally prosecute TSA officials accused of sexual assault. The Tenth Amendment has some use.

  8. acroyear says

    Hmm. Question being, of course, would all of this anti-court rhetoric be so strong once one of these SCOTUS-haters (Paul and Newt being the current loudest) actually 1) got to the White House, and 2) got a Republican Senate along the way (even at the expense of the current Republican House)?

    No. Of course not. Instead, we would suddenly have to deal with the impending crisis of the nation because there would be so many judicial vacancies, and suddenly the would need to be a big rush to fill those holes as fast as possible.

    Part of me really wonders if this has been what it is all about: hold off on judicial approvals and destabilize the country to the point that ALL incumbent parties are swapped out. Suddenly you have a right-wing executive and a right-wing Senate, and the ability to just fill the judicial slate all you can to rubber-stamp everything you’ve ever wanted as being Constitutional.

  9. jesse says

    slc1, nobody has been calling for the abolishment of Israel, since by that you presumably mean getting rid of the Jewish population.

    But there are serious questions about Israel that AIPAC isn’t interested in answering. Nor are many more conservative Jews.

    For example:

    What does a Jewish state mean? Christian nationalists in the US talk about Christian nations all the time and most of us agree that it doesn’t work. It tends to fall into a racist paradigm where only “our people” are worthy of being Americans. Is a Jewish state to be imagined the same way? If not, what is it then? What happens if 50 years from now the Arab / Christian/ Muslim population increases? Do you just kick ‘em out? Not let them vote?

    Israel wouldn’t be the first country to run into this problem. Lebanon was ostensibly a Christian country — at least the elites were — until the Shiite population started demanding a bigger piece of the political pie. The Phalangists responded with repression, then violence. We all know how that ended up. Jews aren’t the only people on earth wh went without a country of their own for a long time — the Kurds don’t have one. And Yugoslavia fell apart as each group tried to get what it said it deserved on the basis of texts that are better vetted than the Bible. And it isn’t hard, I don’t think, to see the problems with setting up any country as “for X” (insert your favorite group here).

    So whenever anyone talks about setting up an “X” country, be it Jewish, Muslim, or Arab, or anything else, I always want to ask what exactly you mean by that, and what it would mean in a practical sense to the people who aren’t “X”. After all, this is why we all reject the notion that Iraq, say, should have no place for Christians or non-Arabs.

    And no, I am not ignoring the Holocaust. But under that logic I assume you would happily support the land claim that several Native peoples have on the land your house sits on. The Holocaust isn’t all of Jewish history. I refuse to let it define me. I refuse to become what my grandparents fought in the name of safety, or a feeling of superiority.

    If you get into “might makes right, we have guns so there” then you had better explain to me why it’s then not right when someone else does the same thing to you.

    We now return to your regularly scheduled thread. Sorry about the jacking.

    On Ron Paul: His racism and bigotry are two other reasons that were deal-breakers for me from the get-go. His economic insanity was reason number three. (He doesn’t seem to understand what paper money is for or how modern economies work). He further doesn’t understand that the national debts serve an important economic function. “Pay off the national debt” would mean essentially eliminating the T-bill/ Treasuries market. That in turn would wreak havoc on the trading that is essential for corporate debt to work as it does (and for people to finance things like telephone systems). When there is a shortage of Treasuries — as there was in 2003 — trades fail. So a certain amount of debt is going to be on the (government) balance sheet anyway, and really, it has to be. (People like Paul forget that national economies do not work the way personal ones do, not all the time).

  10. KG says

    But I’m quite sure that many who comment here are quite supportive of Representative Paul’s position that the State of Israel should be abolished. – slc1

    Have any evidence for that claim?

    Incidentally, your link misrepresents the Palestinian position as demanding the return of all Israel to the Arabs. That is Hamas’s position, but the PLO aims at a 2-state solution, as do most of those who support the Palestinians’ claims to the return of land taken in 1967.

  11. Michael Heath says

    Tabby Lavalamp:

    For someone who claims to be so passionately in love with your constitution, it would be interesting to hear Paul explain how this would be even remotely constitutional.

    Rep. Paul’s in love with the idea of the Constitution delegating limited powers to the federal government. However he’s also in love with the idea of an authoritarian form of theocracy managed at the state and local level where he misrepresents the 10th Amendment while in typical conservative-fundie fashion, also denies the reality of the Constitutions’ Supremacy Clause along with the 9th and 14th Amendments. He’s merely another confederate who regrets the fact the Articles of Confederation were supplanted by the current Constitution and the 14th Amendment via the Civil War. Therefore he too imagines a false Constitution which has him predominately ending up in the same policy prescriptions as most populist-conservative Christians though with a few notable exceptions (e.g. foreign policy isolationism).

    The fact Paul occasionally comes out with a laudable position is trivial to the fact his systemic approach to governance is fundamentally flawed. I think this core weakness should always be presented, especially if we promote a position of his we also support.

  12. Strategically Shaved Monkey says

    Who cares!
    Even the most rabidly constuctionist judge on the SC would strike down any “law” restricting their powers.
    It’s political posturing and as such, irrelevant.

    SLC1
    Serously, man/woman/neuter. If I posted something about alien genitalia, would you still ask why everyone wants to beat Israel to death using testicles of mass destruction.
    Please find a hobby.

  13. Michael Heath says

    slc1:

    But I’m quite sure that many who comment here are quite supportive of Representative Paul’s position that the State of Israel should be abolished.

    C’mon slc1, you’re a better person than this. The article you linked to in your post in no way factually established that Rep. Paul desired the abolishment of Israel. It didn’t even quote the Congressman or get a reaction from him based on what their source asserted. Yet you present your assertion to this venue as if it’s an unassailable fact in spite of the fact we know conservatives continuously lie where here we have one second-hand conservative source. This is illustrative of why we can’t trust your arguments regarding Israel.

  14. dmcclean says

    What will Paul say when my state bans Christianity for 6 weeks just to prove a point? He won’t be able to get an injunction.

  15. slc1 says

    Re jesse @ #11

    slc1, nobody has been calling for the abolishment of Israel, since by that you presumably mean getting rid of the Jewish population.

    Excuse me, that is, in all probability, what would be the consequence of the Government of Israel bowing to pressure and accepting the resettlement of Palestinian refugees now in refugee camps in Israel, as advocated by, for example, Mr. Michael Heath on this very blog.

    But under that logic I assume you would happily support the land claim that several Native peoples have on the land your house sits on

    Mr. jesse has it ass backwards. The land claim of Native Americans is precisely the same as the land claim of the Palestinians. I have argued on many occasions that those who agree with the Palestinian land claim should put their money where their mouths are and agree with the Native American land claim. Their only reason for not so arguing is the notion that the statute of limitations has run out on Native Americans. And to answer Mr. jesse’s question, no.

    We all know how that ended up. Jews aren’t the only people on earth wh went without a country of their own for a long time — the Kurds don’t have one.

    Which is why I have advocated supporting an independent Kurdistan in Northern Iraq.

  16. thompjs says

    His claim to be Libertarian is a joke.

    He is a racist crackpot that wants the states to be able to pass discriminatory laws.

    and a +1 on jesse above — his economic policies are crazy.

  17. Michael Heath says

    slc1:

    Excuse me, that is, in all probability, what would be the consequence of the Government of Israel bowing to pressure and accepting the resettlement of Palestinian refugees now in refugee camps in Israel, as advocated by, for example, Mr. Michael Heath on this very blog.

    Slc1, I’ve never advocated for policies to abolish Israel nor have I ever encountered compelling predictions that would have us confidently predict an abolished Israel if they were to adhere to the same enlightenment principles we demand of our own country and all others.

    You’re a physicist, you know that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence if you want to be credible, yet you continually assert opinions based on zero or scant evidence as unassailable fact or a probable outcome. Why do you lower your standards for critical thinking and honesty when it comes to Israel? If you are right when it comes to Israel shouldn’t you demand only meritorious arguments rather than falling for the same failure in thinking we ridicule when it comes from conservatives?

  18. Michael Heath says

    thompjs:

    His claim to be Libertarian is a joke.

    Rep. Paul doesn’t claim to be a Libertarian anymore, he’s a registered member of the Republican party who runs for Congress as a Republican. IIRC he last ran as a Libertarian in 1988.

    In addition many of Rep. Paul’s libertarian positions are defining examples of not just libertarian ideology, but the planks most promoted by those libertarians who wield political power and/or influence. So he’s a perfect example of the predominantly powerful wing of libertarianism, as is his son Rand. That branch being the one which is conservative and paleo-conservative.

  19. says

    There are plenty of reasons to not support Ron Paul, but his philosophy with regards to executive power

    So if he becomes president would he use executive power to, uh, dismantle executive power? Why would someone want to run for a position that they think is too powerful?

  20. calebt says

    #22,

    I don’t know, maybe because they believe they are capable of restraining the power of the office…Maybe we should ask Obama, circa 2008?

  21. d cwilson says

    Rep. Paul doesn’t claim to be a Libertarian anymore, he’s a registered member of the Republican party who runs for Congress as a Republican. IIRC he last ran as a Libertarian in 1988.

    Paul does, however, still claim to be a “small-L” libertarian. i.e., he holds a libertarian philosophy, even if he isn’t a member of the Libertarian party any more.

    That claim is, of course, utter BS. The fact is, while he supports a federal government that is weakened to the point of impotence (even in the one area where most conservatives favor a strong federal government: Waging wars against brown people), he has absolutely no problem with having 50 tyrannical state governments. He even does a little magic act by claiming to be for repealing all federal drug laws but still favors giving states the same power to restrict drug usage.

    That’s why I don’t buy arguments that he’s “right” on civil liberties. He’s only right in that he doesn’t want the federal government to have the ability to spy on its citizens. But if a state governmented wanted the same powers, he wouldn’t bat an eye. That’s why this bill is entirely within his philosophical wheelhouse. If a state wanted to round up all the gays and summarily execute them and then pass a law saying that women are just baby machines who must be kept under the thumb of a male authority figure (either father or husband), he’d have no problem with that.

    F**k Ron Paul.

  22. d cwilson says

    slc1:

    Since you’ve turned this thread into another round of you accusing everyone and their cousin of wanting to destroy Israel, perhaps you could tell us what should be done with the Palestinian refugees?

  23. calebt says

    #24,

    With regards to the Drug War, the 50 state governments are already active belligerents but they are by no means capable waging the war without federal support. So if Paul were to conclude the federal government’s involvement in the Drug War, it would indeed destroy the states’ involvement also!

  24. calebt says

    I say “Paul”, but Obama is also capable of ending this nonsense. Whoever does it first will probably get my vote.

  25. jesse says

    slc1, a lot of us who have done a little work on the Native people’s land claims also agree with those of the Palestinians. I for one, would love to see the US government live up to its stated treaty obligations. The statute of limitations hasn’t run out on that, as the treaties are still in force. (I might add the AIM drew some very interesting parallels between Israel, South Africa and the US).

    For example, when the Senecas of Salamanca, NY, said to the white people there, “hey, your 99-year lease is up and we’re increasing the price, if you can’t pay you have to go” (this was in 1992) they had every right to do so. I don’t get a break form my landlord, I see no reason they should get one because they rent from Native people who were forced to sign the original. If anything the Senecas were much nicer than they had to be, given that many homeowners ignored the lease agreement. The town is still there, BTW. Many progressive people in New York supported the Senecas, even knowing that in some upstate areas it would directly affect their towns.

    When stuff like that happens, as a white American, you can say “OK, lease is up, let’s negotiate” or “We get to pay the same cut rate as great-grandpa, screw you people I don’t need to obey the law ‘cuz you’re a bunch of Indians.”

    More to the point, if the Jews that were driven from Europe have claims on property in Germany, Austria, and elsewhere — and I, personally, think they do — then the Palestinians have the same ones, under the same logic.

    And again I ask: What exactly do you mean by “Jewish state?” One where Jewishness is privileged? Jewishness defined how? By who? Israeli-ness defined how? By who? Would a person who had one Jewish and one Arab parent qualify? Would it depend on religious conversion? Blood quantum for citizenship? And what about the Jews who converted to other religions (Christianity and Islam) in centuries past whose descendents lived there? What of them? What about the descendants of converts in Spain? Can they make Aliyah? Is there a minimum number of generations? Maximum? How many should it be? When you leave these unanswered it allows you to assume things without thinking about them and their implications.

    And this kind of thing is actually related to Ron Paul. Ron Paul talks about market solutions, and about how private industry does everything better. But he –and his libertarian followers — don’t spend much time thinking through the implications.

    For example, Ron Paul hasn’t got a good answer when you bring up health care. The reason is that health care is a good that you can’t do without. The seller has basically infinite pricing power because without medicine in many cases you will die. Saying that charitable organizations will pick up the slack shows he hasn’t even taken a cursory look at the situation in places where that actually happens (or, more often, doesn’t).

    Or his thoughts on central banking. I really am not sure Paul understands what a central bank does. Is it perfect? No, it isn’t. But it’s better than having your economy tied to the price of gold. (Can you imagine having to deal with debasing metal currencies again? Didn’t he learn anything from the Hunt brothers debacle? Does he keep a hoard of 1960-minted quarters?)

    It’s important to me to think about what one’s position means. You can argue about that, of course, but the point is to show you’ve at least given it some thought. Ron Paul doesn’t seem to.

  26. wscott says

    @ slc1: Saying Israel has right to exist is not the same as saying they have a blank check to do whatever the fuck they want without criticism or regard for human rights. Lots of countries are entitled to the former. Why is Israel, and only Israel, entitled to the latter?

    @ Marcus 22: Rand is hardly the first Presidential candidate to run on a platform of limiting Executive power. Starting with George Washington, in fact. But unlike Washington, most of them get more “pragmatic” once it’s their own power that’s up for limiting. Exhibit A: any of dozens of Ed’s posts on Obama.

  27. wscott says

    Much of the current GOP’s message is fundamentally regressive, aimed at people who feel the world would be so much better if we could just turn the clock back to the `50s. I can understand why those people would find Paul’s message appealing. They just don’t realize Paul is talking about the 1850s.

  28. Michael Heath says

    d cwilson in response to my prior post:

    Paul does, however, still claim to be a “small-L” libertarian. i.e., he holds a libertarian philosophy, even if he isn’t a member of the Libertarian party any more.

    Which I covered in the following paragraphs.

    d cwilson:

    That claim is, of course, utter BS.

    As I noted in those following paragraphs, Rep. Paul’s positions are in fact squarely in the camp of not just one of the branches of libertarianism, but the one which currently enjoys the most political influence and power.

  29. says

    If Israel treating the Palestinians like people with human rights would destroy the country than I’m not sure it deserves to exist. However I don’t believe that is the case, the people of Israel can do the right thing without destroying themselves. That they haven’t been willing to do it yet infuriates me.

  30. d cwilson says

    As I noted in those following paragraphs, Rep. Paul’s positions are in fact squarely in the camp of not just one of the branches of libertarianism, but the one which currently enjoys the most political influence and power.

    I know that there are many people who call themselves libertarians who subscribe to this view, I just find their claims at being libertarians to be utter BS. You can call it a no true Scotsman fallacy if you want, but I find it hard to believe that someone can call themselves a libertarian if they are still okay with tyranny so long as it only occurs on the state level. Libertarianism should be against excessive government power not matter where it is found. Let Paul and his ilk call themselves what they truly are: Neoconfederates.

  31. d cwilson says

    With regards to the Drug War, the 50 state governments are already active belligerents but they are by no means capable waging the war without federal support. So if Paul were to conclude the federal government’s involvement in the Drug War, it would indeed destroy the states’ involvement also!

    Property forfeiture in drug raids are big money-makers for state and local law enforcement agencies. I’m sure they could find a way to be just as belligerent without the help of the federal government.

    Granted, they’ll probably be less effective in stemming the smuggling of drugs across state lines without federal assistance, but I doubt they’d stop trying.

  32. says

    SLC,

    I would fear for Israel if they ended up with something like the arrangement we have in the US for Native Americans. Native Americans are free to live in and mostly regulate their own sovereign areas, and, in addition, they are free to live and purchase property anywhere else they choose in the United States. In other words, they are free to go back to the areas of their ancestors to live and work. They also have American citizenship and the right to vote.

    I imagine that most Americans approve of this arrangement, so if Americans put their money where their mouths are, they might advocate a similar arrangement for Israel and the Palestinians.

    And that would be national suicide for Israel.

  33. joshuawhite says

    Since some of you are in a more hostile mood can I use that for constructive purposes?

    I have what feels like a pretty thorough position on issues intimately related to Ron Paul that have me toying with not voting at all, and pushing that as a position. I would like that stack of ideas kicked at to see if any of it makes sense.

    Everyone game? Free punching bag!

  34. Michael Heath says

    d cwilson:

    Libertarianism should be against excessive government power not matter where it is found. Let Paul and his ilk call themselves what they truly are: Neoconfederates.

    Than what does the Libertarian party do given much of its funding and many of its members are squarely in the ideological camp of the two Paul’s?

    I appreciate this conundrum. I read Andrew Sullivan every day where he’s constantly pointing out how American conservatism has mutated away from many of its previous attributes – particularly those inspired by Edmund Burke. However I would argue that the members of both ideological camps continue to earn their labels since the type of thinking they both employ allows us to observe their transformational path. That their past positions were never permanent given the way they think where their progression and regression can be predicted (which is also true of other political ideologies, it’s just not as incoherent for movements like fascism or liberalism).

    I do think some conservatives have a problem with the cognitive dissonance of arguing for limited government as conservatives while their fellow ideologues are the most effective and strident statists of our time, and therefore that’s motivated some to libertarianism. But the libertarianism movement has always been filled with a branch of cranks who also seek anti-statist solutions except those policies which control others via conservative Christian beliefs. We don’t get to Christian reconstructionists through liberalism, but instead libertarianism as its filtered through by religious conservatives. In fact many reconstructionists and American theocrats argue they’re “classical liberals” while exposing none of the attributes of a classical liberal but instead those long-held by conservative-libertarians.

    I do think some of this stuff is hard for us to follow and label simply because the arguments made by conservatives and conservative-libertarians are inconsistent and incoherent, I think by attribute of those making these arguments.

  35. says

    Jesse at 11:

    “Pay off the national debt” would mean essentially eliminating the T-bill/ Treasuries market. That in turn would wreak havoc on the trading that is essential for corporate debt to work as it does (and for people to finance things like telephone systems).

    NPRs Planet Money had a good episode on this recently. According to their sources, back in the Clinton admin with the economy booming (b/c of internet/stock bubble) and revenue pouring in, they were afraid this might actually happen. A special commission report was created detailing the possible consequences, and subsequently quickly buried (much too negative presumably)

  36. d cwilson says

    In other words, they are free to go back to the areas of their ancestors to live and work.

    That may be true in theory, but in practice, they often can’t go live where their ancestors lived because that land now has new owners. For example, the Delaware Indians don’t have much hope to be able to reclaim the greater Philadelphia Metro area. Or even a small parcel of it.

    Sure, they have all the rights of US citizens today, but that’s after centuries of being forced off their land and pushed to the margins, their populations devastated by war and diseases like small pox, and deliberate efforts to eradicate their culture.

    Even today, the US government hasn’t lived up to the promises that were made in the 19th century.

    So, yay. They can now vote. Doesn’t make up for how we royally screwed them and left many tribal groups in abject poverty. Somehow, I don’t think the Palestinians would go for taking that path.

  37. d cwilson says

    Than what does the Libertarian party do given much of its funding and many of its members are squarely in the ideological camp of the two Paul’s?

    Well, they’re hardly the first or the last group to hold positions that are contradictory to their stated philosophy. I just don’t see their hypocrisy to be my problem.

    I can understand why Paul and his fellow travelers would prefer the label “libertarian” since it has a lot less racial baggage than “neoconfederate”, but I’m still going to call them on their BS whenever I see it.

    (hopefully, I didn’t eff up the blockquotes this time)

  38. Michael Heath says

    joshuawhite,

    Republicans are promoting policies which deny climate change. That risks the future wellbeing of all of humanity. We’re already suffering economically because of our country’s effective denialism with much worse to come. It’s analogous to the isolationists of the 1930s denying the threat of fascism though our threat potentially promises far more devastation. We need to take sides, not avoid the fight.

    Republicans are promoting economic policies which we can predict with high confidence would be contractionary and therefore devastating to the global economy and the health of the U.S. labor market.

    Republicans seeks to control the judiciary with judges similar to Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Sam Alito. Do you realize the implications of their type dominating?

    Sometimes we’re forced only to play good defense, this has been one of those times since at least 2007. It’s unfortunate but it shouldn’t cause us to hand the game over to conservatives who would wreak far more devastation on all of society if were to effectively surrender. Their base will turn out and vote.

    I also think you might not appreciate President Obama’s and the 2007-2010 Congresses’ accomplishments at working to avoid a global depression, which would have most assuredly been the result if President Bush and Obama had conceded to conservative demands in late-2008 through the Spring of 2009 to effectively do nothing.

  39. d cwilson says

    @EricJ:

    I wouldn’t worry about it. We’ll never entirely pay off the national debt and shut down the T-bills market. Sooner or later, we’ll have another repubican president who will promise us a war without consequence and run up the debt again.

  40. slc1 says

    Re Michael Heath @ #20

    Slc1, I’ve never advocated for policies to abolish Israel nor have I ever encountered compelling predictions that would have us confidently predict an abolished Israel

    I recall that Mr. Heath advocated forcing the Government of Israel to accept resettlement of the Palestinians currently living in refugee camps in what is now Israel. As I have stated on a previous thread, that is tantamount to forcing the Government of Israel to go out of business. It would appear that Mr. Heath and I will have to agree to disagree on this subject, hopefully not disagreeably.

    Re Michael Heath @ #16

    C’mon slc1, you’re a better person than this. The article you linked to in your post in no way factually established that Rep. Paul desired the abolishment of Israel.

    Here’s what the article quotes Mr. Dondero, who worked for Representative Paul for several years, as claiming (certainly seems to me that stating that Representative Paul is a non-fan of Israel is a vast understatement):

    Paul’s view, he said, “is that Israel is more trouble than it is worth, specifically to the America taxpayer. He sides with the Palestinians, and supports their calls for the abolishment of the Jewish state, and the return of Israel, all of it, to the Arabs.”

    Re Jesse @ #28

    How about those Native Americans (the politically correct designation by the way) whose forbears lived in what is now New York City? Does Mr. Jesse suggest that that town be returned to the descendants of its original owners?

    More to the point, if the Jews that were driven from Europe have claims on property in Germany, Austria, and elsewhere — and I, personally, think they do — then the Palestinians have the same ones, under the same logic.

    Driven from Europe? How about exterminated. And by the way, the subsequent German governments have paid billions in compensation for those confiscated properties.

    By the way, how about the 2 million German speakers who were forced out of the Sudetenland after WW 2. Do they have a claim on the homes they were forced to abandon? AVAIK, the Czech and Slovakian governments haven’t paid buck one in compensation for those abandoned properties.

    And again I ask: What exactly do you mean by “Jewish state?”

    That’s a matter for the Government of Israel and its citizens to decide, not folks living in New York State or Northern Virginia.

    Re Chilidogg @ #33

    It has to do with Ron Paul, who is the subject of the post by Mr. Brayton.

    Re Wscott @ #29

    Mr. Scott and I are in agreement. It would appear that Representative Paul is not in agreement.

    Re KG @ #12

    But the PA demands that refugees living in refugee camps be resettled in Israel, which would amount to returning it to the Arabs. As I have stated on numerous occasions, this is the rock upon which previous attempts to negotiate a settlement between the Palestinians and the Israelis has foundered.

  41. d cwilson says

    If you don’t vote, IMHO, you forfeit the right to complain about how badly things get screwed up. How’s that for an argument?

  42. d cwilson says

    I’m just going to throw this question out there for the group:

    Is it in the US’s best interests to have an Israel that is a “Jewish state” (However you wish to define that) or as a democratic one?

  43. slc1 says

    Re Michael Heath @ #20

    Having a PhD in physics is no guarantee of rationality. As a for instance, my PhD thesis adviser was politically very conservative and was also a born again Christian who rejected the theory of evolution (he was an old earth creationist; rather difficult for an elementary particle physicist to be a young earth creationist and still accept quantum mechanics).

  44. d cwilson says

    I recall that Mr. Heath advocated forcing the Government of Israel to accept resettlement of the Palestinians currently living in refugee camps in what is now Israel. As I have stated on a previous thread, that is tantamount to forcing the Government of Israel to go out of business.

    You have a bit of a tautology here. You’re saying that because Mr. Heath is for A (resettlement) and because you believe that B (the destruction of Israel) is the inevitable result of A, then he advocates B. However, you haven’t proven that B the only possible consequence of A and even if you believe it, that doesn’t mean that Mr. Heath accepts that conclusion. Therefore, your claim that Mr. Heath is an advocate for B is pretty specious.

  45. d cwilson says

    IMHO, Israel must be both. This is a false dichotomy

    Explain, please. A nation can be a democratic state without being an explicitly religious one (some would argue that it must be), moreover, a nation can be a religious state without being democratic (Iran, for example). So it does not follow that Israel “must” be both. And if it is an explicilty Jewish state, what status should non-Jews have in such a society?

  46. joshuawhite says

    With all due respect Mr. Heath I see Obama as just as threatening as the XXX republican candidate, but in a different way.

    From my perspective it is not an issue of elections strategy this election season, it is one of moral strategy in figuring out if I can still use voting in a way to sway folks I talk to online, or my family. Maybe an article making noise about trying to vote for Gingrich as an independent in order to hold up a mirror to what they have become. Otherwise I see your bargain as trading one handful of disease for another.

    I realize that this sounds harsh but I have reached the point where I really don’t care who becomes president anymore and I’m just not going to add any hopeful rhetoric to my words. I have no hopeful rhetoric. I will no longer be a tool for a system that offers me nothing but short term social insanity, or long term hypocrisy and corruption except now with more Orwellian tendencies. I don’t see things looking well either way so I’m doing the rational thing and considering that we need to update the social contract, but trying to figure out how to do it with the least social chaos.

  47. slc1 says

    Re Michael Heath @ #46

    I would point out that the article in Ynet did not quote anonymous sources, which, according to the Ben Bradlee rule requires 2 independent sources. It named the source.

    Attached is a link to an article in Haaretz, a liberal news outfit. It should be noted that the latter article included a reply from someone in the Paul camp. I would also note that Haaretz subsequently published an article by its Washington correspondent quoting the same source in the Paul camp denying the accusation by the former Paul aide, which I have also linked to.

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/u-s-elections-2012/u-s-presidential-hopeful-ron-paul-isn-t-anti-israel-former-aide-says-1.403946

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/u-s-elections-2012/ron-paul-is-not-anti-semitic-but-is-anti-israel-former-aide-says-1.403805

  48. joshuawhite says

    @ d cwilson 45

    If you don’t vote, IMHO, you forfeit the right to complain about how badly things get screwed up. How’s that for an argument?

    A pretty shitty one. My right to vote is not predicated on your approval of how I use it. Opinions are not of equal quality. It’s a similar logical error to the one that involves my having to vote so that you get your preferred social outcome. (Not saying you are doing it deliberately).

  49. chilidog99 says

    Re Chilidogg @ #33

    It has to do with Ron Paul, who is the subject of the post by Mr. Brayton.

    Look agian at Ed’s post. it does not mention Israel or even Paul’s foriegn policy positions. It’s about his proposed bill wich deals with U.S. issues.

    You seem to be fixtated on this subject. maybe this isn’t the best place for you to post.

  50. joshuawhite says

    So seventeen posts in one hour, I ask to be a punching bag and then two in 45 minutes. I hope that’s baited breath cause I’m honest when I say I want this idea torn up. I posted this on another site.

    Ed if you don’t like this sort of thing let me know.

    **************************************************************
    Isn’t Penn Jillette a Randian? Just out of curiosity, what are your thoughts on objectivism since you describe your politics as libertarian-ish?

    Penn Jillette is something like a Randian. When you watch the Global Warming episode of “Bullshit” he refers to a lot of folks from groups that contain lots of Randians (The Cato Institute, etc…).

    I have never made Objectivism a direct study. It’s the political philosophy based on Ayn Rand’s ideas right? Mostly I have absorbed what I know from watching Objectivists, Libertarians and such argue with others. In general I like a lot of it (the parts having to do with personal liberty and being a strong person in general). The parts I don’t like have to do with the theme of selfishness.

    I have the same general problem with Objectivism that I have had with every philosophy, religion, and political party that I encounter. When you compare it with reality you have to adjust it to make it work to the maximum that it can. In order to separate myself from the ones who treat their philosophy like fundamentalist religion I add an “-ish”.

    In the specific case of libertarianism, I am closest to the school of thought that has been called “Classic Liberalism” which is supposed to represent the general spirit of what founders like Jefferson, and Adams intended for the US constitution. The problem is that this was a system that was conceived for a very different world than ours. No matter what the political philosophy, wait 50 years and it will fit worse*. Our society is so complex that the idea of personal liberty needs to be redefined in terms of the world we live in today. In 1776 if you did not want to accidently hurt someone you could move and live off the land or something similar. That is not possible without being among the most obscenely rich (1).

    * Too many people literally abuse political philosophy when they refuse to take into account what science tells us about the brain. Neurobiology is the lens through which you need to be looking when you use a scalpel on your favorite philosopher. Philosophy is software. Would you be able to know anything of worth about using computer software in a professional capacity without knowing about hardware? The perfect political philosophy will channel our natural human flaws into useful social tools, and plan improvements with the capabilities of the brain firmly in mind.

    (1) http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/silicon-valley-billionaire-funding-creation-artificial-libertarian-islands-140840896
    .html

    The problem is that we almost can’t do anything anymore without almost causing some kind of material affect. For most of us we can deal with it or make amends to neighbors. Or sue in small claims court after doing some research if we have to. For the rich that it is extremely hard to not affect anyone else with their choices. For the obscenely rich I would argue that is impossible to simply live without affecting other around them.

    Most rich people are not inherently good or bad like everyone else. The problem is that among the rich are people who don’t give a shit. I have taken to thinking of them as Human Cancer. Not only do they not give a shit but they spend time doing things that the rest of us simply can’t like buy influence among politicians**, hire other people to tell them what is going on in politics, and make decisions that affect entire economies. When these people hurt large numbers of people there simply is no “giant claims courts” available to not only provide true justice, but real fear of consequences. So they are allowed to undermine government regulation meant to protect regular people***, and escape with almost no consequences. I’m almost convinced that similar to Communism, Capitalism is incompatible with what humans are like in large groups.

    So for “True” Libertarianism, Objectivism, “Gimmie my Dollas I ain’t done shit to youism” or whatever, I can’t support it or associated candidate/parties without real solutions for the above problems. The idea of being able to “swing my fist all I want and not hit anyone” being a basic right has to be defined in modern terms. Corporations and the rich can’t simply swing their fists. They are making decisions that affect billions without their consent and I have to have specific, rational, logical, real-world solutions for Human Cancer before I will consider letting them take away government regulation without a very messy fight. Until that day I will support inflicting the Progressive Tax system on them as a punitive “Influence Tax” that can at least off-set some of the harm. Even if the government looks like the 3-Stooges trying to run a pre-school much of the time. I would trust the 3-Stooges over a Theocrat-lite any day (yes that was a Ron Paul dig).
    3-Stooges example.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xg_3qEf3ahU

    **
    (I simply do not accept the premise that regular individuals can match the influence of the super-rich in large groups through corporations and special interest groups and such. There will ALWAYS be an efficiency advantage on the rich side that will let them win, which is why regular people basically have NO political influence right now. That is why things like revolutions and uprisings happen. There must be a system built into the very fabric of society and government that makes these people truely accountable or times like this will keep coming back.)

    ***
    This is my answer to the challenge that government regulation does not work. It works fine when it is allowed to. The real problem is when Human Cancer fill it full of the very people that the regulation is meant to regulate, and create individual exceptions that invariably become some of the economic bombs that we are feeling now. Seriously, read the details about the current economic crisis and the BP oil spill. That is exactly the shit that went on. This one reason I won’t vote for Ron Paul. He has no specific solutions for dealing with Human Cancer.

    The Aristocrats
    ***************************************************************

    Why am I wrong?

  51. kelecable says

    I wonder what a Ron Paul presidency + Democratic House + Senate would look like. Could we get the good Ron Paul parts (limits on executive power, ending of federal drug war, etc.) without all the bad stuff (economic policy, namely)?

    I also still wonder if a Ron Paul presidential nomination would be beneficial, ignoring the disaster if he actually became president. I feel like Ron Paul is the only one who could force Obama to account for many of his actions, such as supporting the war on drugs, drone strikes, wiretapping, etc. Otherwise, Obama and the other Republicans are basically identical on these issues. I don’t know if it’s worth the risk though.

    re: war on drugs. As d cwilson (#24) points out, Ron Paul’s opposition to the War on Drugs is opposition to the *federal* War on Drugs. However, I have seen it said that Ron Paul would pardon all non-violent drug offenders upon taking office. I feel like that action alone would change the whole discussion completely – I don’t know if the states would continue to engage in it afterward. They certainly wouldn’t be getting the money or military equipment (like the $500 billion worth of free stuff local police departments received last year).

  52. Michael Heath says

    kelecable:

    I wonder what a Ron Paul presidency + Democratic House + Senate would look like. Could we get the good Ron Paul parts (limits on executive power, ending of federal drug war, etc.) without all the bad stuff (economic policy, namely)?

    No, because you get the deeply flawed approach to thinking that comes up with the kooky shit. So not only do you get the bad stuff to the degree Paul is able to muck shit up. But you also get a host of unintended consequences because he’s a moron who can’t even frame reality.

    Exhibit A on general incompetence and its causative effects on unintentionally bad consequences: George W. Bush; though I’m confident Mr. Bush is far more capable than Rep. Paul. The office of the Presidency isn’t all about legislation or even issues, it’s also about administrating the day-to-day business of the executive branch of the government; where its frequently reacting to events beyond its control. Rep. Paul vividly demonstrates he has no capabilities to take on such a challenge.

    Let’s be clear on another matter as well. When Paul was challenged on his economic positions in a recent debate, he conceded his critics could be correct that we’d see significant economic contractions implementing his policies, where he then fantasizes would be replaced with more robust growth in a more market-based economy. In spite of the fact history repeatedly and consistently teaches us the exact opposite lesson.

  53. Michael Heath says

    joshuawhite:

    I see Obama as just as threatening as the XXX republican candidate, but in a different way.

    I laid out some absolutely horrifying yet confidently held predictions if Republicans win majoritarian control of the country. I think many will still come true though not quite as bad if even if Republicans don’t win the presidency and Congress remains the same in the next two congressional sessions. You claim President Obama is equal to the GOP threat but fail to provide any examples justifying your very provocative assertion.

    I absolutely empathize with your distate when voting defensively. But you didn’t provide a compelling counter to my premise regarding the harm the GOP wants to do relative to the fact Mr. Obama has blunted much of it and has a chance to defend and in the lower courts, improve the make-up of one-third of the government (the judiciary). Especially relative to what the GOP is monolithically committed to doing in that branch of government.

  54. wscott says

    @ slc1 #44:

    Re Wscott @ #29
    Mr. Scott and I are in agreement.

    Umm…no, I’m not sure we are. I’m saying Israel should be treated like any other country. You seem to be advocating “Israeli Exceptionalism” in the worst sense of the phrase, ie normal rules don’t apply to Israel.
    I’ll ask it again: other countries don’t get to use their “Right To Exist” as carte blanque to do whatever they want, violate whatever human rights they want, and dismiss any and all criticism of their conduct. Why does Israel?

  55. organon says

    I don’t represent, nor belong to, either group, but it is clear to me the absurdity of trying to make synonymous “libertarian” with “objectivist.” While one might try to borrow (an not very well) political ideas from the other, they are in no way the same. Objectivism, as I understand it, is an Aristotelian philosophy that is a primacy of existence philosophy (vs. various primacy of consciousness philosophies). It’s metaphysics is pro reality in that by primacy of existence, it holds that it is the responsibility of consciousness to allign itself with existence (laws of nature), not vice versa. It holds from an epistemological standpoint one very compatible with that of Aristotle, as well as science. It supports the view that we exist in a knowable world and that our consciousness, guided by consistent processes of verification, is competent to understand that world. It is true that it holds a pro capitalism point of view in politics, but few seem to understand at all what that actually means, often confusing corporatism with capitalism. The most intriguing concepts the philosophical system holds is at those lower layers. Libertarianism on the other hand, from what I can tell, attempts to take that political view, very often failing to reflect even that accurately, and from that wind up with an anything goes political view, even sometimes anarchist, and build out from there, resulting in no coherent views in the broader group. Much as the Tea Party, as so well stated by someone else, has as its only unifier hatred of Obama, Libertarians seem to have only love of capitalism, although more in word than what it actually is. Again, I do not speak for any of them nor proclaim myself an expert on any of them. It’s just my own observations. But it seems obvious, none-the-less, to me, that terms are being used synonymously that should not be.

  56. slc1 says

    Re wscott @ #61

    I do not favor Israeli exceptionalism per se. What I do favor is understanding Israel’s predicament, namely being surrounded by mortal enemies who prattle night and day about their desire to remove it from the face of the earth. No other country in the world faces such a predicament and explains why Israel feels vulnerable and thus sometimes takes actions which seem over the top. Given the provocation, IMHO, the Government of Israel has shown remarkable restraint. The Government of the US showed far less restraint in attacking Iraq, given that that country was no threat and had nothing to do with 9/11.

  57. slc1 says

    Re organon @ #62

    Ayn Rand’s philosophy can, IMHO, be summed up very simply as every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost.

  58. organon says

    It would seem to me that anyone who thinks that the solution to our problems is through one of the parties…they are highly mistaken. I believe Mr. Brayton is right on target with his views regarding Ron Paul. He does manage to make a stand that none of the other candidates do, but also holds some pretty dangerous positions of his own. I have trouble wrapping my head around someone who studied medicine and yet is opposed to the theory of evolution. I cannot imagine any rational person being opposed to something so important to understanding the natural world…and even to medicine itself. But returning to Mr. Brayton’s original argument, the whole idea of someone who makes so many pro freedom stands to be able to hold positions so contradictory to freedom…is disconcerting to say the least. And then there’s that whole twisting of states rights thing wherein citizens have certain constitutional rights as US citizens, unless their state says otherwise…is absurd, to say the least. Both parties voted overwhelmingly in favor of the 2012 NDAA. And it was only a very small number, again from both parties, who opposed it.

  59. organon says

    At #64

    “Ayn Rand’s philosophy can, IMHO, be summed up very simply as every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost.”

    From anything I’ve read from it, I completely missed that part. Now, as for those who right, or speak, about, those are some things claimed. And so often it’s persons who get around to saying they’ve never actually read anything from rand, but rather only the critics (who themselves often speak without actually reading or having any clue). I could say that Newton’s Pricipia can be summed up to that supernatural beings control the universe and that it is impossible to know the laws of nature, and that knowledge comes only through divine revelation. That conclusion would not become correct through my thinking it or writing it. Or through a 1000 other people writing it. It is what it is, independent of what any of us wish to believe. And going back to rand, if the philosophy could be summed up as anything, it would be that…the Aristotelian view that existence preceeds consciousness, and thus truth is independent of, in otherwords is not altered through attempts to edit, consciousness. With that being the case, by what methods can consciusness best allign itself with the truth. Politics comes way down the way. And I would say that even the political conclusion is quite mistaken. But, consistent with Aristotle, I will say the truth doesn’t care what either of us thinks. It is what it is, and we can choose to try to reach knowledge regarding the truth…or not.

  60. joshuawhite says

    @ Michael Heath 60

    You claim President Obama is equal to the GOP threat but fail to provide any examples justifying your very provocative assertion.

    Yes That’s true. Because the things I have talked about are deal breakers for me. I can respect your reasons for wanting to participate in the process. The things that bother me require changes that are usually made in revolutions. That is scary shit. So I hope you respect it when I say The last twelve years of presidential administration has seen my government do things that according to our laws should have both presidents on war crimes investigations.

    I fear both parties equally. I am still considering not voting.

    I absolutely empathize with your distate when voting defensively.

    Thank you.

    But you didn’t provide a compelling counter to my premise regarding the harm the GOP wants to do relative to the fact Mr. Obama has blunted much of it and has a chance to defend and in the lower courts, improve the make-up of one-third of the government (the judiciary).

    That’s because I have no reason to believe that premise. Two out of three branches of government have disappointed me gravely in ways that are unforgivable. Why should I trust the third? That looks like a pattern to me.

    Especially relative to what the GOP is monolithically committed to doing in that branch of government.

    Obama seems to me to be willing to give the government tools that could allow a future republican administration to be a hundred times worse with a Gingrich in 2016. I quit. That is not an assertion. That is a statement of fact because I am saying “I will not vote, here is why.”.

    I have been lurking here for a very long time and I have a lot of respect for you Mr. Heath. So I understand if you can’t respect assumptions like that.

  61. organon says

    My primary reason for voting for Obama was to prevent final stacking of the Supreme Court. There was considerable effort in stacking the Supreme Court with persons who were favorable to a number of things, including the teaching of ID in schools, the elimination of the separation of church and state, the overturning of Roe v Wade, and quite a long line of other things favorable to fundamentalists, including dominionists. I give him credit for that. The second thing was his being a Constitutional scholar and of his speaking out on constitutional issues before becoming elected, but that all seemed to go out the window following the election, and on that one an enormous disappointment. If he does not veto the 2012 NDAA, it will completely eleminate any chance of voting for him in 2012. The choice of candidates is looking really bad. If he does not veto the 2012 NDAA, then there is only hope that someone else comes forward who is favorable toward the Bill of Rights. I very much agree with those who see we are way past elections being a viable solution. Though I recommend AGAINST not voting. Even if citizens had to vote for a write in candidate. It is seeming at this point that the only candidates there will be are ones that a rational person could not ethically vote for. It may come down to a write in candidate. And if that’s the case, the more such votes the better. If it reminds candidates that we are not stuck with them and an equally bad choice as our only options.

  62. frankb says

    The world was against apartheid. Apartheid ended, but we still have South Africa. If the apartheid in Israel ends, we will still have Israel, and for once it will be stable and peaceful. What will end will be the Zionist government, and good riddance. Amazing things can happen when you stop killing Palestinians, tearing down their homes, and cutting down their orchards.

  63. Azkyroth says

    slc1, nobody has been calling for the abolishment of Israel, since by that you presumably mean getting rid of the Jewish population.

    Excuse me, that is, in all probability, what would be the consequence of the Government of Israel bowing to pressure and accepting the resettlement of Palestinian refugees now in refugee camps in Israel, as advocated by, for example, Mr. Michael Heath on this very blog.

    …oh, I get it. It’s like how allowing gay marriage would mean the end of the family as a social institution.

  64. Azkyroth says

    C’mon slc1, you’re a better person than this.

    Have any evidence for THAT claim?

    …seriously. Has SLC ever in living memory contributed anything to a conversation other than its single-issue paranoid delusions?

  65. dingojack says

    [SLC – BTW, if you go to the top right you’ll see ‘Howdy, slc1′ and your blank avatar. If you hover your pointer over it a pull-down menu will appear. Click on ‘edit my profile’ and you’ll get your dashboard. In here you can change your screen name to SLC (or anything else).
    Sorry if I’m telling you how to suck eggs. :)]
    [Dingo]

  66. Tony says

    It’s a deal breaker for me as well. As a bartender, I’ve encountered any number of interesting people. Just last week, I chatted-at length-with two Ron Paul supporters (decked out in jazzy “support Ron Paul” shirts). They presented themselves in a friendly and open manner, and I asked them a few questions. The next thing I knew (well, it was about 20 minutes later; I’m glad there was another bartender also working and that we weren’t terribly busy, as I was fairly engrossed in the conversation) I was given a “vote for me” Ron Paul pamphlet. The conversation ended with a positive feeling towards Ron Paul on my part. Obviously, they (his supporters) left out any negative opinions he holds.
    I no longer have even the faintest desire to vote for Ron Paul, though for different reasons than the pathetic excuses for human beings the Republican Party has parading around.

  67. Sadie Morrison says

    @Azkyroth,

    SLC is on occasion rather trollish (search the comment threads of any post relating to Ann Coulter, for instance), but he’s been in the past a fairly reliable commenter. His preemptive offenses by way of defenses of Israel have been a somewhat recent phenomenon. And frankly, since this post has jack shit to do with Israel in the first place, this tendency on his part appears to be spreading more rapidly.

  68. valhar2000 says

    I once heard Ron Paul described as christian fundamentalist first, libertarian second, and it seems to fit him like a glove.

  69. says

    “I realize that this sounds harsh but I have reached the point where I really don’t care who becomes president anymore and I’m just not going to add any hopeful rhetoric to my words.”

    The GOP thanks you for your apathy. They’ve worked very hard these last three years to fuck this country up to the extent that a quarter of the country’s electorate will vote for them because they’re KKKrazzee. The other two thirds will be split up between Obamites and Paulistas. But half of the three-fifths that’s left won’t vote.

    Somebody better check my math.

  70. dingojack says

    Demo –
    the 3/5ths that won’t vote, aren’t worth 3/5ths of vote by any chance? :)
    Dingo
    —–
    Checking your maths:
    1/4 PoG
    1/3 Obama; 1/3 Paul
    1/12 won’t vote at all

  71. d cwilson says

    It would seem to me that anyone who thinks that the solution to our problems is through one of the parties…they are highly mistaken.

    We have long term and we have short term problems. Short term, we have one party that is hellbent on turning America into a banana republic that would make Pinochet’s Chile look egalitarian. The only way to prevent that is to minimize their power as much as possible.

    Long term, both parties are compromised on a myriad of issues and the two-party system is broken. We need a third party to break the polarity that is paralyzing our government.

    But realistically, no third party is going to win the presidency in 2012. The mistake many people who look to a third way is to take a top down approach. People think that if you get a third party candidate in the White House, it’ll be rainbows and puppies and everyone gets a pony. In reality, if you think the GOP is being obstructionist with a democrat in the White House, image how they would be with someone from the Green Party.

    If you want to build a third party movement, you have to take a bottom up approach. Get some candidates elected to Congress first. Once you have a legislative coalition with some leverage, then it’s time to enter the presidential race. So, short term, given what a disaster any of the GOP candidates would be as president, I will be backing Obama. That doesn’t mean I’m blind to his faults, it’s just that he’s quite literally, the lesser of two evils.

    Long term, I will be looking for a third party that is serious about being a governing party.

    But for anyone who says, “I quit” and doesn’t vote at all, all I have to say is then, you get the government you deserve then. And no, you don’t have any moral right to complain about it then.

  72. joshuawhite says

    The GOP thanks you for your apathy. They’ve worked very hard these last three years to fuck this country up to the extent that a quarter of the country’s electorate will vote for them because they’re KKKrazzee.”

    And the democrats have worked pretty hard to become irreverent to my most important political issues. Don’t mistake my electoral hopelessness for apathy. The reason I put the above collection of ideas here is because I have a lot of respect for the people who comment here. I’m trying to figure out where to put my support, and what to most strongly argue for when things get worse. The proper way for this to work is for the democrats to offer me someone I can stomach. The write-in candidate option is still the closest possibility, but I really think the system is broken and needs an overhaul. In fact I want it to have an overhaul so I am trying to figure out where to best put my efforts. Asking you folks play crucible is one way.

    Oh yeah, again I am not a tool. I vote because I support the candidate, not because I fear his opponent. That is why Obama is getting away with the shit he is.

  73. Aquaria says

    But I’m quite sure that many who comment here are quite supportive of Representative Paul’s position that the State of Israel should be abolished.

    Do you need higher heels to kick that straw around more, girlfriend?

    You’re a liar. Shut up about Israel until you can say something not stupid and not insane about it.

    You’ve become tedious about the matter.

    But the PA demands that refugees living in refugee camps be resettled in Israel

    How fucking stupid are you?

    When Israel is the one putting people in these camps because they are letting Zionist filth steal land from under people who have lived there forever, then it is Israel’s responsibility to compensate those who were fucking robbed.

    What about this are you too fucking stupid to get?

    Israel has created the refugees. Israel must find a solution to it that doesn’t leave millions living without homes, without hope, without a decent standard of living.

    Fuck you for being such a racist piece of shit that you think that treating those people that way is acceptable. It’s not. Stop being such a theocratic shit stain and get a fucking sense of decency. Only you are too fucking stupid to know what a fucking monster you are.

  74. Aquaria says

    But realistically, no third party is going to win the presidency in 2012.

    Probably not. But that doesn’t make voting for the corporatist invertebrates known as the Democrats a palatable solution.

    The mistake many people who look to a third way is to take a top down approach. People think that if you get a third party candidate in the White House, it’ll be rainbows and puppies and everyone gets a pony. In reality, if you think the GOP is being obstructionist with a democrat in the White House, image how they would be with someone from the Green Party.

    Speak for yourself. I have long advocated that a genuine third party needed to start with local government, working up to state, and then going federal. Unfortunately, it takes over a decade to get something like that going, and very few people have the patience for long-term plans like that anymore.

  75. says

    “Don’t mistake my electoral hopelessness for apathy.”

    Non-voters and third-party irrealevancy voters HELP the GOP. They help no one else. Vote any candidate you want to, or stay at home, and if we wind up with someone other than Obama in 2012, fuck you very much.

  76. brianthomson says

    I’m no scholar of the US Constitution – I’m not even an American – and I wouldn’t support Ron Paul if I was American. However, a read of the Fourteenth Amendment leaves me with the opinion that this bill doesn’t present a direct conflict that could lead to questions of Constitutionality. Here’s what I mean:

    – there are two things going on when we talk about the Fourteenth Amendment: the Amendmnent itself, and the way it has been interpreted by the Supreme Court over the years.
    – The Amendment itself does not *say* that Federal Law is automatically applied to the States: that came from later *interpretations* of the Amendment, which we collectively know as the “incorporation doctrine”. (Look it up if you need to.)
    – That “incorporation doctrine” is what made e.g. Roe v. Wade binding on the States – not the Fourteenth Amendment itself.
    – So, by overturning all Supreme Court rulings on State matters, the “incorporation doctrine” itself would be overturned by the Bill that Ron Paul is sponsoring in Congress, without impacting on the Amendment itself.
    – And without the “incorporation doctrine” to enforce those rulings on the States, they’re history.

    I could be wrong, but that’s the way it looks if I try to think like a lawyer (which I’m not).

  77. slc1 says

    Re Aquaria @ #83

    Ms. Aquaria is a perfect example of the notion that the State of Texas consists of wall to wall white trash.

  78. Sadie Morrison says

    So Texas-bashing is perfectly acceptable, but even the slightest criticism of Israel makes one an anti-Semite? Keep digging, SLC.

  79. piguy says

    I fully understand what many commenters here saying. I get where it looks rather… religiously motivated? And it might be but I think the point of emphasis is that the FEDERAL government should stay out of the church, the bedroom, and marriage and those should be left to states. Vote with your feet, maybe?

    The more I think about it, the more I think that having some states, say, recognizing same-sex marriage – I personally support that view but the Constitution doesn’t grant the Fed Gov authority in that area; Paul’s point, I think – and others not. I’m starting to think that what it might help to demonstrate is that, while you don’t like it where you are, the fact that the same-sex friendly state didn’t go all to shit might get some of the on-the-fencers to realize it’s not horrible. The differing laws across state lines might possibly maybe open the dialog up even more. I think it’s a curious thought that we’ve not yet fully considered.

    Not as sure how that works with the church angle. But, for example, Dr. Paul’s notorious for wanting end the WoD while simultaneously saying that he would NOT want his kids and grandkids to use them because he thinks they’re dangerous. But he also doesn’t feel that the government needs to tell us what to do to protect ourslelves from ourselves. Recall the comment from the SC Repub debate a few months back got a lot of applause. I think that the aim of this bill is similar: keep the federal government out of our business.

    I realize that this is a pretty tough sell here…

  80. piguy says

    That “incorporation doctrine” is what made e.g. Roe v. Wade binding on the States…

    This is the point I was trying to make with same-sex marriage thing above. I realize it’s controversial but… if Roe v. Wade were struck down – again, I’m not suggesting that it will happen, only that I’d not ever quite thought about it like this before – then it could possibly maybe lead to a more open dialog if an anti-abortion state could look at a pro-choice state (READ: un-illegalizing abortion is not the same as the gevernment FORCING you to have an abortion) and see that, other than the differing views on abortion, both places run pretty much the same way and could prompt the less-liberal state to reconsider their position.

  81. Michael Heath says

    joshuawhite:

    That is why Obama is getting away with the shit he is.

    I would argue his most objectionable behavior is either trivial in the whole scheme of things* or due to his having to employ the best choice with nothing but bad options available.

    I don’t find you fully appreciating the options this president has had nor his accomplishments on the matters he spends most of his energies on. Those priorities which also are the ones most heavily monitored by the media, the public, and his opponents. Too often we assume our consumption of events is properly framed when in fact we’re focused disproportionately on issues which matter to us which are arguably insignificant to bigger themes and events.

    Some of those bigger issues being: the War in Iraq, the War in Afghanistan within the context of Pakistan’s tenuous situation, the Arab Spring, the recession, the financial crisis, federal court nominations, the risk of losing our automotive supply chain, swapping out the priorities of the civil rights dept. in the Justice Dept., the European credit crisis, the rise of China & South Asia as it extends new supply chains into Africa coupled to new military capabilities and increasingly emit carbon, energy policy, global trade issues, climate change, education policy, the rights of gays and women – domestically and globally, and health care policy. All of which I would argue are each individually more critical than his failures on some constitutional matters – primarily because those failures do not threaten all of us but only a tiny percentage*.

    I think we can also confidently argue a conservative majority from 2009 through now would have put us into a global depression with far greater security threats and no chance of mitigating climate change – ever. (The latter remains a threat if not a foregone conclusion). So while I appreciate your frustration, I don’t find your reaction very compelling when sufficiently weighing all of the most important factors I think we must weigh.

    I remain convinced that if the Democratic leadership in the Senate would have forced their handful of conservatives to not obstruct the majority of the Senate by joining filibusters or had two more moderate/liberal Senators for the 2009-2010 session of Congress, liberals would have been incredibly happy at the progress this president made and probably wouldn’t have lost so many seats in the 2010-2011 Congress. The dynamics would have far different where the Democrats majority had very respectful positions – e.g., ‘cap and trade’, ‘public option’. I think the Democrats are at the verge of greatness in terms of their ability to competently govern with the exception of Harry Reid’s failure to ride herd over his caucus. Not so much his failure to get his caucus to vote a certain way on a issue, but instead his failure in allowing his caucus members to filibuster their own caucus.

    *This assumes a slippery slope doesn’t effectively exist in regards to Obama and conservative/liberal federal judges’ view of executive power. Those arguable encroachments nearly always haven’t resulted in catastrophe in our history when it comes to the executive extending his power (Roosevelt and internment camps) with some exceptions (Ford’s pardon of Nixon putting presidents above the rule of law). Subsequent presidents have predominately pulled back in practice rather than apply these powers to all of us. Instead our bad results are primarily based on increased obstructionism in the Senate which first revealed itself in the Reconstruction Era with Jim Crow laws and then spread in the 1990s to all matters Congress addresses. Their favored agenda comes back into play when liberals allow conservatives ballot box wins.

  82. joshuawhite says

    Non-voters and third-party irrealevancy voters HELP the GOP. They help no one else. Vote any candidate you want to, or stay at home, and if we wind up with someone other than Obama in 2012, fuck you very much.

    If you want to accurately describe what my non-vote actually does I may take you more seriously. Having no grassroots structure in place to produce a candidate preferable to Obama helps the GOP, from my point of view. My non-vote helps the democrats according to a GOP point of view. Therefore your opinion is relative. I feel that Obama is as risky as the GOP candidates for different reasons.

    Save your insults for someone who can actually process emotions normally.

  83. slc1 says

    Re Michael Heath @ #92

    From my perspective, the most important reason for disaffected liberals to hold their noses and support the president in 2012 is the makeup of the Supreme Court. One need only consider what the consequences would have been if McCain had been elected and selected replacements for Souter and Stevens. For the future, consider the type of appointment Obama would make in the very likely event that Justice Ginsburg doesn’t make it to 2016 and the type of appointment that Romney or, the flying spaghetti monster preserve us, Gingrich would make. Any appointments that the next president makes will be around long after he or she leaves office.

    Of course, this consideration will have not the slightest effect on the Joshua Whites of the world who are immune to logic and reason.

  84. joshuawhite says

    I would argue his most objectionable behavior is either trivial in the whole scheme of things* or due to his having to employ the best choice with nothing but bad options available.

    I need him to make that argument, and tell me specifically how he will make it all better. His best choices were;
    *To completely lock the “embarrassing secrets” box in the “national secret’s box” with no alternatives for destroyed lives. While concurrently attacking whistle blowers in a brutal manner.
    *To give companies that let the government spy on us a free pass.
    *Kill American citizens exercising speech without due-process (I don’t care how inflammatory the speech, he gets a trial)
    *To start more wars while calling them not wars so that congress will continue to abdicate it’s duty in declaring war.
    *Allowing people who are highly likely to be innocent to remain in perpetual jail in Cuba.

    I could go on. What is his encore? If I use his previous actions in these area as indicators I could come up with rational specific predictions that are pretty scary. The only reason I hesitate is because I don’t want to get distracted by arguing about a specific possibility. The general point is I have good reason to expect more of the same, and these risks in relation to the GOP risks is a big issue for me.

    I don’t find you fully appreciating the options this president has had nor his accomplishments on the matters he spends most of his energies on. Those priorities which also are the ones most heavily monitored by the media, the public, and his opponents. Too often we assume our consumption of events is properly framed when in fact we’re focused disproportionately on issues which matter to us which are arguably insignificant to bigger themes and events.

    I’m open to the possibility that I am not looking at this accurately. The thing that complicates this is that my primary concern is not preventing the specific issues that caused this financial crisis, or exactly how the president will help create jobs, or exactly how the recent wars were started or conducted.
    I am primarily concerned with one thing underlying those problems, the application of political and economic power by powerful people who either can’t or won’t make hurting people a high priority when they exercise that power, and the fact they get essentially zero consequences for the screw-ups, and the undermining of regulation that is supposed to prevent the screw-ups. (Yes I know the GOP wants to remove regulation. Democrats have let it be undermined). I think it is time to find a means to adjust the social contract in a way that lets us deal with the “Human Cancer” without confusing them with the “1%”. People are pissed right now and this is strategically a good time to explore the issue.

    Some of those bigger issues being: the War in Iraq, the War in Afghanistan within the context of Pakistan’s tenuous situation, the Arab Spring, the recession, the financial crisis, federal court nominations, the risk of losing our automotive supply chain, swapping out the priorities of the civil rights dept. in the Justice Dept., the European credit crisis, the rise of China & South Asia as it extends new supply chains into Africa coupled to new military capabilities and increasingly emit carbon, energy policy, global trade issues, climate change, education policy, the rights of gays and women – domestically and globally, and health care policy. All of which I would argue are each individually more critical than his failures on some constitutional matters – primarily because those failures do not threaten all of us but only a tiny percentage*.

    In every one of those examples you have the same Human Cancer I mentioned. Rather than specific solutions to those issues I think a more fundamental solution that constitutionally encodes consequences is needed, in addition to solving the specific problems. The LA city government wants to amend the constitution so again it is a good time for these discussions.

    I think we can also confidently argue a conservative majority from 2009 through now would have put us into a global depression with far greater security threats and no chance of mitigating climate change – ever. (The latter remains a threat if not a foregone conclusion). So while I appreciate your frustration, I don’t find your reaction very compelling when sufficiently weighing all of the most important factors I think we must weigh.

    I am not willing to trade my liberty for economic security. But I see your point. However more specifically I am not willing to trade short term social comfort for long term Big Brother. Something similar with debt is part of this crisis. I realize that it might be a lot to ask, but maybe your calculus can convince me. Why is allowing Obama the chance to (hypothetically) twist these new laws into characterizing people in OWS as terrorists, and blocking access to Wikileaks is worth it?

    I remain convinced that if the Democratic leadership in the Senate would have forced their handful of conservatives to not obstruct the majority of the Senate by joining filibusters or had two more moderate/liberal Senators for the 2009-2010 session of Congress, liberals would have been incredibly happy at the progress this president made and probably wouldn’t have lost so many seats in the 2010-2011 Congress. The dynamics would have far different where the Democrats majority had very respectful positions – e.g., ‘cap and trade’, ‘public option’. I think the Democrats are at the verge of greatness in terms of their ability to competently govern with the exception of Harry Reid’s failure to ride herd over his caucus. Not so much his failure to get his caucus to vote a certain way on a issue, but instead his failure in allowing his caucus members to filibuster their own caucus.

    The filibuster is a terrible excuse for Democrats to use. They can get rid of it if they really cared about obstructionism. They love it too. When I hear democrats addressing the issues I discussed above, I will be interested in what they might be able to do. I have no love for them either and the kind of people I want to stop hurting me and others, are holding their leashes as well.

  85. joshuawhite says

    …the most important reason for disaffected liberals to hold their noses and support the president in 2012 is the makeup of the Supreme Court.

    Because I have every reason to trust his ability to choose candidates after seeing how his justice department behaves.

    Oh, and an ad hominim. You are only a mere asshole if there is an argument about my logic and rationality.

    My contention is the system and the people currently running it are beyond repair. I have no confidence in the supreme court either. It was interstate commerce and eminent domain. Given the current patterns of behavior between protestors and the government I would not be surprised to see exceptions for “health and safety” of protests to be carved out in the near future.

    I don’t give a shit what you think about your inability to put a joystick in my back and direct me to the nearest voting booth. Be constructive, I have tried to be polite.

  86. piguy says

    Wait- maybe it’s this: we need more diversity in the political genepool. I mean, even though we don’t like smallpox, and are indifferent at best to the plight of a given species of toadstool, most here agree that one of the best measures of fitness of a species in a given environment is diversity within that species. Perhaps it’s just better for us to have more different competing views. What we have now is Coke vs. Pepsi. Paul might be the Royal Crown. Or Sam’s Club Cola. Whatever. Maybe we, the people, just need more choice. (*phew* for a second there, I almost referenced the free marketplace of ideas; glad I didn’t say _that_ out loud…)

    That said, I’ve had to come to grips with the fact that I must be the weirdest, one-off that’s ever commented on Dispatches (or Pharyngula, how I found Ed). I was a science teacher, learned more and more about the anti-Evo masses messing with science curricula (how I found PZ). I’m an atheist science enthusiast. Who’s also a libertarian, small-“L”, if that distinction means anything (which is how I found Radley Balko, whom Ed frequently cross-posts. From what I can tell, Ed holds much of what Balko holds socially, I think, and they only seem to diverge on a relatively few, mostly-fiscal issues. Which is why I’m somewhat confused by the seeming throw-Paul-out-with-the-bathwater stance…) And, wait for it… I found libertarianism appealing by reading Atlas Shrugged and thinking about Objectivism.

    Now, being a “libertard” in these here parts is kinda awkward so, when politics comes up here, I realize that defending any libertarian principle at all subjects one to ad hominems, the eloquence of which could only be produced by an intelligent crowd such as this. But I still agree with much if not most of what the authors and frequent commenters here and at Pharyngula believe so I’ve set my shields on Full. I just have to get this out.

    First, to set the record straight, the theme of Atlas Shrugged, it’s very most central conflict, John Galt’s battle, was the fight against the Government-Business-Military-Industrial Complex. Seriously. If you didn’t read it I can understand why you might not have known that. But the truth about the rest of the story, the unfolding of the Objectivist/pre-Libertarian(?) philosophy, has been lost in the focused greed bashing ignoring everything else in the story.

    The hero, John Galt was a physicist/inventor who, after becoming disillusioned with the Complex, made it his mission to bring about the end of that Complex. The same, or at least a rather similar, ideal, I think, to what many here hold. The bad guys in AS are corrupt, unthinking, self-serving pols and greedy, useless, bribing businessmen. And, as a scientist, free-thinker, and rational man, Galt ridicules religion harshly throughout. The climax of the book is – idealistic, yes, I know – Galt’s public humiliation, via an all-ferquency government Pep Rally radio broadcast he hijacked (NOTE: MacGyver was a physics prof), of the entire Gov/Biz group, exposing the fraud for the whole population to see. Rather a The Courtier’s Reply sort of moment, in fact. What seems to rub some/many/most? here the wrong way is his, or her (Rand’s), if you will, view of personal property and the right, libertarians assert, to simply keep what is theirs. But, other than that, I think many here have much more in common with that overall sentiment than you think having not read it, much as Ed likes seemingly more than not of Paul’s views on policy. OTOH, perhaps some have read it and still disagree/hate/ridicule it. It’s subjective for sure. Not quite the point but somebody brought up Atlas Shrugged so I went with it.

    More On-Topic: Of course you don’t have to vote for Ron Paul. He might make a terrible president, who knows, but that bar’s been set pretty low already. But Ed’s premise is, I think, that he can’t support Paul even as he likes much of what Paul stands for. That’s the point. He’s forcing all of the other candidates to stop being simply anti-Obama and would, if it came to facing off with Obama (no, I don’t believe he can win the GOP nom, much as might like to see this debate), challenge him on everything from extroidinary rendition to new executive supra-constitutional powers to asking why he can’t just let the med pot peeps in CA do their thing, as he promised circa 2007.

    If nothing else, do we really mind if the rest of the slimy, corrupt prez-wannabes are called onto the Berber to defend, say, assassinating an American citizen without due process? How about how wasteful it is to prop up Big Biz and Big Agro with subsidies and tax breaks? How about spending more than a $Kabillion on military interventions/nation building each year when we’re way in the red? How complicated the tax code is? How the WoD has been a collosal failure and neither side, Dem or Repub, will stand against it.

    I suggest that, if nothing else, Dr. Paul, increases the diversity of the political discourse. Is that really a bad thing? I’d think that a pro-evo crowd like this would at least respect the value that that diversity of view offers.

  87. slc1 says

    Re joshua white @ #96

    I don’t have to trust the president relative to Supreme Court appointments. He has made two so far, both far superior, from the liberal point of view, to the likes of Scalia, Thomas, Alito, and Roberts.

    Re Joshua White @ #94

    Allowing people who are highly likely to be innocent to remain in perpetual jail in Cuba.

    What would Mr. White have the president do about the situation of Mr. Gross? Send in the marines to free him? Threaten to nuke Havana unless he is freed?

    *Kill American citizens exercising speech without due-process (I don’t care how inflammatory the speech, he gets a trial)

    That’s all very nice but the American citizens who have been terminated with extreme prejudice thus far have hiding in countries where they are safe from extradition. Trials in absentia aren’t very effective in administrating justice.

    *To start more wars while calling them not wars so that congress will continue to abdicate it’s duty in declaring war.

    Excuse me, the president didn’t start the attack on Libya. He reluctantly went along with Cameron and Sarkozy who were the instigators of that attack. I give the president credit for having the US stay in the background in a support role, instead of spearheading the action. For this, he has come under severe attack from the Neocons, who are the real enemy and who lied us into the Iraq fiasco.

  88. thompjs says

    Michael Heath,

    I know he is registered Republican. I live in his district and make my protest vote every two years.

    I do appreciate the subtle differences you explained. Thanks.

  89. joshuawhite says

    That’s all very nice but the American citizens who have been terminated with extreme prejudice thus far have hiding in countries where they are safe from extradition. Trials in absentia aren’t very effective in administrating justice.

    Laws don’t count when it’s inconvenient. Good to know.
    https://www.torproject.org/projects/torbrowser.html.en

    That computer program and two links. You can hire an assassin to remove me from political inconvenience since I still don’t see a good enough reason from publicly, and loudly, arguing a replacement of the government instead of voting for Obama.

  90. says

    So, we have two Paulturds.

    One, Joshua White is doing the “Obama evil vote for third party or stay home (but really, I’d prefer you get turned off by all of the other candidates and heart Dr. Paul”.

    He sez:

    “If you want to accurately describe what my non-vote actually does I may take you more seriously. Having no grassroots structure in place to produce a candidate preferable to Obama helps the GOP, from my point of view. My non-vote helps the democrats according to a GOP point of view. Therefore your opinion is relative. I feel that Obama is as risky as the GOP candidates for different reasons.”

    I DID accurately describe what your non-vote (or third party vote) does. See the 2000, 2004 presidential elections to conmfirm that.

    I’m not worried about how you process emotions, but the way you process information is scary.

    PiguyPaulguy:

    Paul’s a lying fuckbag and an authoritarian douchenozzle. Even if anything he said made sense to me, I’d know it was bullshit.

    The other,

  91. Who Knows? says

    Joshua,

    You can hire an assassin to remove me from political inconvenience since I still don’t see a good enough reason from publicly, and loudly, arguing a replacement of the government instead of voting for Obama.

    WTF? Really?

  92. dingojack says

    joshuawhite – you can argue (in public even) that the government should be replaced to your heart’s content, sweetheart – it’s called the First Amendment.
    You just can’t convince any reasonable adult that the lying, racist policy-free zone called Ron Paul would be anything other than a liability as President.
    Dingo
    —–
    RE: libertarianism.
    SLC argued (on another thread) that the libertarian motto was every man for himself, and the Devil take the hindmost. I prefer to describe libertarian ‘philosophy’ with the pithier: I’m alright Jack, fuck you!

  93. Chris from Europe says

    It seems we have to restate it:
    Incorporating the protections of the Bill of Rights is one of the things the Fourteenth Amendment was supposed to do. That the Supreme Court decided to prefer reconciliation with the Southerners doesn’t change that.

    The fact that jurisdiction stripping is possible or considered constitutional is a disaster in my view. I hope that a futute Supreme Court eliminates it.

  94. says

    brianthomson wrote:

    – The Amendment itself does not *say* that Federal Law is automatically applied to the States: that came from later *interpretations* of the Amendment, which we collectively know as the “incorporation doctrine”. (Look it up if you need to.)
    – That “incorporation doctrine” is what made e.g. Roe v. Wade binding on the States – not the Fourteenth Amendment itself.
    – So, by overturning all Supreme Court rulings on State matters, the “incorporation doctrine” itself would be overturned by the Bill that Ron Paul is sponsoring in Congress, without impacting on the Amendment itself.
    – And without the “incorporation doctrine” to enforce those rulings on the States, they’re history.

    The incorporation doctrine is the correct interpretation of the 14th amendment and the only way that its provisions have any actual effect. The 14th amendment says:

    No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    How can those words possibly mean anything without incorporation? The men who wrote the 14th amendment made very clear, and explained to the public, that its entire purpose was to apply the Bill of Rights to the states. If the courts do not have the authority to strike down state laws that deny the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States — i.e. the full range of rights protected by the Constitution — then this amendment is rendered essentially meaningless. There is not a single judge on the federal bench, even the most conservative, who denies the doctrine of incorporation (though some may dispute the incorporation of a few specific provisions, like the Establishment Clause). This is as settled a matter as there is in constitutional law.

  95. slc1 says

    Re dingojack @ #104

    SLC argued (on another thread) that the libertarian motto was every man for himself, and the Devil take the hindmost.

    Excuse me, I said that Ayn Rand’s philosophy was every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost. Her philosophy is a very extreme form of libertarianism.

  96. says

    dingojack & SLC1:

    Can’t the three of us just get along?:>)

    I think that a most apt summation of the libertarians like Paul is, “I’m doin’ fine and I don’t really give a fuck about anyone else–unless their improvement looks like it’s cuttin’ in to my profit margin.”.

  97. brianthomson says

    Re: Ed Brayton: “How can those words possibly mean anything without incorporation? The men who wrote the 14th amendment made very clear, and explained to the public, that its entire purpose was to apply the Bill of Rights to the states.”

    Your question is also one of interpretation. The legal meaning of the Amendment is not for you or I to say: it was for the Supreme Court to say, and they had the right to do so – but that right is now under threat, in my (non-legal) opinion. The “incorporation doctrine” might seem “obvious” to us now, but “obvious” is not good enough when it comes to legal interpretation. If it was that obvious, then why was it not recognised as such straight away? The 14th Amendment was ratified in 1868, but what we now call the “incorporation doctrine” arose from Supreme Court decisions, the most explicit in 1925 (Gitlow vs New York).

    The part of the Amendment you quoted is known as the “due process” clause, and that is what the Court used in formulating the “incorporation doctrine” – but my point is that they had to do that to make this “obvious” idea legally binding. Before they did so in rulings, there was no LEGAL binding of Federal law on the States beyond the terms of the Constitution. They felt they HAD to explicitly say that Federal Law applied to the States, because it was NOT obvious – so they did.

    It is this legal interpretation of the Constitution which is under threat, because it is founded on Supreme Court rulings that could be overturned by this new Bill. It could remove the Supreme Court’s right to rule on these questions at all – and nullify previous rulings – thus overturning the “incorporation doctrine”. Do you think I am over-stating the case, or do you think it’s prudent to assume the worst? When legislators and lawyers are involved, it’s not about what is logical, common sense, obvious, or right: it’s about what’s legal.

  98. joshuawhite says

    @democommie

    We will get along better if you can describe my position on Ron Paul accurately He has no chance of getting my vote.

    When I looked up melodrama it said nothing about deception so your comment on that point was a big non sequitur. But I like scoundrel.

    I made a serious point. That program is TOR. It basically creates a separate mini internet routed through lots of addresses making identification a headache. Among it’s legitimate uses are people in censorship happy countries for various purposes, and dissemination of wikileaks info. It can access the regular internet but has it’s own sites that require the program. It’s also a place where it is too easy to encounter parts of humanity you wish you knew nothing about. There are places there where you can hire an assassin.

    I have a legitimate question. I am advocating replacement and modification of the government. While I don’t want to see violence, It would essentially be a revolution.

    Why is it melodrama for me to point out that Obama is ignoring the constitution when it is politically inconvenient, and it would be the same kind of action to hire an assassin to kill me? We put him in place. Go ahead slc1 avoid the middle man. Why not hire someone right now openly to get some cleric here in the US or Britain who is essentially making the same statements as Aulaqi? Or remove my politically inconvenient presence :)

    @Dingo Jack
    You are making the same mistake about my vote.

  99. slc1 says

    Re joshuawhite @ #111

    Apparently, Mr. White is not understanding my position on assassinations so let me make it perfectly clear so that there be no misunderstanding. My approval of such actions is restricted to those individuals hiding in foreign countries from which there is no chance of being extradited (e.g. Iran, Yemen, etc.). I would be absolutely opposed to such actions against persons in the US or countries like the UK or Canada.

  100. says

    brianthomson:

    No, you’re absolutely right to say that this bill is an attempt to overturn the incorporation doctrine when it comes to many key issues (though it would not do so completely). My point is that the incorporation doctrine can’t be jettisoned without rendering the 14th amendment essentially meaningless and eliminating the very purpose for which it was enacted. The distinction between the amendment and the interpretation is just not terribly relevant; the interpretation is the correct one and without it, the amendment loses all meaning and force.

  101. joshuawhite says

    Not a relevant distinction. Same thing, different in degree. My point is he’s a monstrous anti-constitutional war criminal, and that is a deal breaker for me (among others). You simply use the fact that he was hard to get to as an excuse. There is always an excuse to break the law. Bush had tons of them…

    You can be a better human than that.

  102. dingojack says

    Joshua –

    melodrama (ˈmɛləˌdrɑːmə)
    n
    1. a play, film, etc, characterized by extravagant action and emotion
    2. (formerly) a romantic drama characterized by sensational incident, music, and song
    3. overdramatic emotion or behaviour [emphasis mine]
    4. a poem or part of a play or opera spoken to a musical accompaniment
    [C19: from French mélodrame, from Greek melos song + drame drama ]
    Collins English Dictionary

    “… You can hire an assassin to remove me from political inconvenience since I still don’t see a good enough reason from publicly, and loudly, arguing a replacement of the government instead of voting for Obama.”

    Nope, no overly dramatic language there then. @@

    Demo – I’d use the word ‘histrionic’, but you’re kinder.

    Dingo

  103. slc1 says

    Re joshuawhite @ #114

    Not a relevant distinction. Same thing, different in degree. My point is he’s a monstrous anti-constitutional war criminal, and that is a deal breaker for me (among others).

    I am afraid that Mr. White and I are not in agreement here so we will have to agree to disagree, hopefully not disagreeably.

  104. joshuawhite says

    My point was since I was not being deceptive and had a point to the melodrama, your comment amounted to a non sequiter (used emotion to deligitimize my point, admit it you did it!). But I may have read too much into that in general, sorry. I still like scoundrel though :)

  105. joshuawhite says

    I am afraid that Mr. White and I are not in agreement here so we will have to agree to disagree, hopefully not disagreeably.

    Yes and no. I like dropping conversations that might become more trouble than they are worth. But “agree to disagree” implies we think the other person has just as strong a position. I don’t think we feel that way. How about we holster the guns and shake hands metaphorically?

  106. slc1 says

    Re joshuawhite @ #118

    But “agree to disagree” implies we think the other person has just as strong a position

    Not a bit of it. Agree to disagree just means that we agree that minds will not be changed by further discussion so the continuation is pointless.

  107. says

    Short answer: I TOLD YOU SO!

    This alone proves that Ron Paul never gave a flying fuck about individual rights. The pleasing noises he occasionally makes on that issue have never been anything more than that — noises. This doesn’t just attempt to erase a bunch of Supreme Court decisions; it actually erases all of the reasons to support Ron Paul that I’ve heard stated either here or elsewhere.

    I still have yet to hear a plausible explanation as to why so many otherwise sensible people like Ed allowed themselves to be fooled by this con-man for so long. I’ve known the entire “libertarian” movement was bogus since 1978; what’s taking the rest of you so long to catch up?

  108. says

    As to Israel, RP may not have explicitly advocated anything remotely like “abolition” of the state of Israel; but he has advocated total isolationism, which would mean Israel loses the only ally dumb enough to keep on supporting them no matter how incompetent, ham-fisted or extremist they get. And unless their diplomacy improves beyond recognition, yes, that would mean the abolition of Israel in the foreseeable future, whether Ron Paul intends that or not. (And chances are, he doesn’t care about Israel any more than he cares about minorities.)

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