Jesse Hathaway has published an attack on Ron Paul's policies, RePaulicanism is not the answer. Hathaway offers some history on the John Birch Society and then says:
Ron Paul is a relic, a holdover from a time when the Birchers held sway, and when "conservatism" meant economic and political isolationism, xenophobia, homophobia... all those things that so-called "little 'r' republicans" and "non-partisans" believe in. They like to bloviate about "empire-building" and how "socialist" and "totalitarian" the government is. They are often either disinterested in foreign policy, as in Ron Paul's case, or have liberal-esque foreign policies as Pat Buchanan does.
Libertarianism is not the same as Buckleyist Conservatism, and it annoys me when liberals use Libertarians like Paul as a bludgeon against Republicans. He is a Republican In Name Only, and I wish he'd at least be honest with people and identify as Libertarian.
As is so often the case, a clarification post follows. I Must Be A Communist:
When I say "fetishizing the Constitution," I was refering to the Repaulican maneuver of holding it up and opposing anything that isn't expressly spelled out in the Constitution. For example, there is no literal right to privacy in the Constituion. There is nothing in the Constitution about a federal highway system, or publicly funded schools. Birchers would point to these things as examples of creeping fascism, examples of how we live in a totalitarian state.I submit that a bit more historical detail may help.
- "We the People" have been running a 233 year experiment.
- The Declaration of Independence was revolutionary on a variety of levels.
- The Articles of Confederation (AoC), by comparison, make the European Union look relatively strong. The federal government was notional.
- The 1787 Constitution, while awesome, was not flawless, talking its way around the topic of slavery as it did. It was relatively stronger than the AoC, and there was a federal government with some teeth.
- 74 years later, that flaw shattered the nation. In restoring the country and abolishing slavery, the federal government took on increased strength.
- The Progressive movement came in the late 1800s. Ideas such as the Federal Reserve Act and the Sixteenth Amendment marked 1913 as a turning point in American History.
- The Federal Government, especially since FDR, has increased its power, at the expense of the 50 States. Vastly expensive bureaucracies employ armies of point-headed little bureaucrats, and pile up debt on a scale that literally escapes comprehension.
Seen from the standpoint where the US is a tub, power is water, and Washington, DC is the drain, Ron Paul is quite valuable as a rubber ducky for tracking the drainage. Sure, I think his neo-isolationist approach to foreign policy amounts to wishful thinking. No, I'm unconvinced that his gold standard solution actually buys much. However, the fact that we have any breath of intellectual fresh air in Pelosi's House of Horrors is crucial.
Is Ron Paul a RINO? Arguably, from a libertarian standpoint. RINOs like Stacy's cousin, in my mind, are Progressive squishes who've failed systematically to uphold the three-branch/three-level Consitution that I hold rather close. Am I a Constitution fetisher? Guilty as charged. Watching the presidential debate, and hearing Senator McCain talk about having the Treasury work directly with lenders to "solve" the mortgage crisis, I was thoroughly pissed to hear such a non-grasp of the chain of command coming from a retired Navy Captain. WTF, Senator? Where is the analysis that says the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 was a giant, steaming, and expensive load of fertilizer? Oh, that's right: we're talking about a Progressive RINO here.
Is Jesse Hathaway a Progressive? Here is a litmus test. Do you think that the Federalism Amendment makes sense? Nothing is perfect, but I submit that this is an idea that any actual, no-kidding, ant-RINO conservative should consider supporting substantially.