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Cong. Paul does so much better when he is interviewed by those who give him time to explain his positions.  The 30 to 90 second sound bite is difficult to explain the theory of liberty.  I find myself wondering:  Is it better to listen to the debate or catch up later?  I also find myself wondering:  Should Paul take a question and use it as a springboard for a broader discussion – I thought the silver dime idea was magnificent.  It illustrated the point about the debasing of the currency in a way almost all voters will understand.  But when he talks about doing away with air traffic controllers and drug regs, he scares people. The point about the border was thoughtful and shrewd; I hope many conservatives thought about that in the next day or two.  Look at this Washington Post blog entry and see what I mean.

As The Washington Post’s Charles Lane explained yesterday, Paul’s ideas are loopy and baseless. The “silver dime” moment, the air-conditioning-FEMA moment, the Sept. 11-guns moment — how close to the White House could a guy with these ideas ever get?

I will work so that a guy with those ideas occupies the Oval Office on Sunday, Janaury 20, 2013.  But the Washington Post also believes that Obamacare is not a take over of the health care system and it does not cost numerous jobs.  If you tell the big lie (“eine grosse Luege”) often enough, Nazi strategist Joseph Goebbels said, people will believe it.  Use your common sense – if you were an employer and your debate is:  Hire another person or risk not having enough revenue to keep him/her (and maybe others) between the taxes and the health care regs, what would you do?  You bet you’d keep the money.  And Obamacare IS a takeover of the health care system; it may not be a single payer system but a takeover does not require socialized medicine.

Speaking of 9/11, which I honor today by my support for Ron Paul and liberty, if the pilots had had guns, they might have had a chance to beat back the hijackers.  If we had not spent trillions on unnecessary wars, where would we be today?  Not 14 trillion in debt for sure.

If the campaign hired me to help RP, I would give him some answers like: “I don’t believe in executive orders.  I plan to do away with many of the existing ones when I take office.  I will also tell the EPA and the NLRB to straighten up and fly right or risk their regs not being enforced by the Executive Branch.  I would instruct the Attorney General to tell the US Attorneys to only enforce these select laws that are constitutional.  I’d appoint only constitutionalists to federal board positions and abolish the czars in the White House.”

But on NPR (ironically an agency Paul would defund and he is right to do so!) Paul did get some points in:

So people who enjoy the benefits of living on the beach and close to the water really are guaranteed that their houses will be rebuilt, and they said, well, we can’t get insurance otherwise. Well, they can’t get it because – it’s real expensive because it’s very dangerous. So it’s a matter of risk. And I think that’s an objection that I’ve had.

And besides, I’ve had more complaints about FEMA than any other agency, the whole time I’ve been in Congress, and I have a coastal district, and there’s too many stories about what FEMA did down in, with Katrina. So there’s so many arguments that that’s the most – that’s not the most efficient way to deal with a problem like natural disasters.

Try this about how to replace FEMA:

PAUL: Well, who’s FEMA? FEMA is the taxpayers, and it’s debt. They’re $20 billion in debt already. I think the states should do it. You know, when the – when Katrina was such a disaster, there were a lot of complaints that the Guard units for the states that were involved, many of their Guard unit people were overseas, you know, worrying about war disasters.  *  *  *  But I’ve always said that, you know, once we get involved in a program, you just don’t walk away from it if you can come up with another reason – another way of dealing with it.  *  *  *  And I consider the fiscal mess we’re in to be very, very serious. So what I have said is, you know, why don’t we cut $10 billion a month out of the war going on over in Afghanistan, which is a total disaster, put half of that toward the deficit and put half of it back into our infrastructure or for the needs of the people we have taught to be dependent and actually try to work our way out of this.

The infamous Paul-Giuliani 2007 encounter was recalled and Paul said this (I add the question for context):

RUDIN: Congressman, one of the most memorable moments of the 2008 campaign, I think, was your clash, I guess, at the debate with Rudy Giuliani over maybe the cause of 9/11. As we approach the 10-year anniversary of 9/11, what does it mean to you, and do you think – and how do you think that the American people are seeing it? What vantage point do you see that the American people – viewing 9/11 10 years later?

PAUL: Well, I’m saddened by it all because we haven’t changed anything, and we’ve made things much worse. For instance, suicide terrorism is one of the greatest threat we have. People who want to commit these kind of acts, it’s so difficult to defend ourselves against. But, you know, before we invaded Iraq for the wrong reason – there was no al-Qaida there, and it had nothing to do with 9/11. But before we invaded Iraq, the Iraqis had never committed any acts of suicide terrorism.

By 2007, they were committing over 300 acts of terrorism against Americans or allies of Americans. So suicide terrorism, our greatest threat, is directly related to our presence in Arab countries and propping up puppet governments in that region. And there’s been total denial of this. They won’t pay any attention. So we’re not safer. We’re more broke than ever. And the evidence is out there to explain exactly the direct correlation between our presence over there and the dangers we face.

Finally, we have this remarkable discussion where Ron Paul suggests that there can be a role for the Federal Government in interstate pollution control but relying primarily on local government:

*  *  *  But my contention is that during the industrial revolution, big government and big corporations became pretty good buddies. And they quite freely polluted our air and our water. I was raised in the city of Pittsburgh. Our rivers were sewers, and our skies were not much better. They were essentially cleaned up with local city ordinances long time before the EPA.

But this could be managed in a free market society if you have strict respect for private property, because if you and I have property next to each other, neither of us have a right to pollute your air or your water. So property rights are very, very important, even when it comes to water. In Texas, they’ve developed pretty clearly the property rights of oil. So people can’t drill oil next to your farm and suck out all the oil under your land because it’s your property.

And the laws are written pretty good for that. So property rights can do this. The basic principle that you cannot pollute your neighbor’s property is a pretty good one. But I think there are times when you, you know, you do need the government to enforce those laws. The more local, the better. But there will be times when the federal government has to be involved because, you know, our air goes across state boundaries. Water goes from one state to another. So under those circumstances, I think that we should have the federal government involved.

Maybe what we need is a good, free-market, sovereignty-friendly alternative to ICLEI that could help local governments write the right kind of ordinances to fight pollution consistent with liberty!

It would be worthy to real the NPR transcript.  Rah for Ron Paul, the champion of liberty!

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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