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More From the Conflicted Libertarian Vault:

CAN A CONSTITUTIONALIST PRESIDENT DO ANYTHING (Part 1)

(From 2010)

It’s a great question:  If Cong. Paul wins, can he do anything?  The YAL article says yes.  Paul says it will take the efforts of all lovers of liberty:

All of these measures will take a lot of work – a lot more than any one person, even the president of the United States, can accomplish by himself.   In order to restore the country to the kind of government the Founders meant for us to have, a constitutionalist president would need the support of an active liberty movement.  Freedom activists must be ready to pressure wavering legislators to stand up to the special interests and stay the course toward freedom.

All of you lovers of liberty out there are assembling the place to assist the future constitutionalist President.  He or she will have to gradually dismantle the welfare-warfare state over time to avoid extreme hardship to the needy until the churches and private charities can take over.  (Of course, I would say, not necessarily Cong. Paul, there will always have to be a safety net in place.)

Of course, there is no bailout for failed capitalists:

For example, I would have no problem defunding corporate welfare programs, such as the Export-Import Bank or the TARP bank bailouts, right away.  I find it difficult to muster much sympathy for the CEO’s of Lockheed Martin and Goldman Sachs.

The election of a Ron Paul would be a political tsunami unmatched since the election of 1800 when Jefferson unseated the Federalists.  There would almost certainly be some coattails arising from the election, either by choice or by political necessity.  But the opposition would clearly arise:

Thus, even if a president wanted to eliminate every unconstitutional program in one fell swoop, he would be very unlikely to obtain the necessary support in Congress. 

I would suggest that the media would be no help.  The MSM would not support the end of the welfare programs.  Fox News might be more supportive but the foreign policy initiatives would irritate them and they would try to rally the GOP base against the constitutionalist Chief Executive.  But, there is one thing that can be done right away:

If the president has the power to order U.S. forces into combat on nothing more than his or say-so, then it stands to reason he can order troops home. 

The President can then safely start to withdraw the “over 300,000 troops stationed in more than 146 countries.  Most if not all of these deployments bear little or no relationship to preserving the safety of the American people.”  (I am not sure about some deployments:  Korea for example may have to remain.  But many bases can be closed with treaties to allow use of local bases in the event of emergency, thus saving billions in dollars.)

Next post, I’ll review further how the constitutionalist President would negotiate with Congress over appropriations and the budget.

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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