LET ME GET THIS STRAIGHT. . .

At the CNN/Tea Party Express Republican debate the other night, Wolf Blitzer asked Ron Paul a hypothetical question about health insurance: What should happen if a healthy 30-year-old man who can afford insurance chooses not to buy it—and then becomes catastrophically ill and needs intensive care for six months? In the face of one of the most painfully vexing questions of our time, Paul hemmed and hawed, and finally dusted off the golden days before Medicare, and talked about freedom and risk and why should all take responsibility for ourselves. “But Congressman, are you saying the society should just let him die?” At which point, what sounded like a pretty substantial percentage of the audience shouted “Yeah!”

But if I’m not mistaken, isn’t this pretty much the same crowd that cheered Sarah Palin in 2009 when she accused the President Obama’s health care reform package of containing provisions that would require elderly Americans or people with such afflictions as Down syndrome, “to stand in front of Obama’s ‘death panel’ so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their ‘level of productivity in society,’ whether they are worthy of health care”?

So it’s not making judgments about a person’s worthiness to receive health care that bothers these people. It’s that they don’t want government bureaucrats using some cold criteria to do it. They would prefer that the job be assigned to a juiced-up mob!

THE RIDICULOUS RON PAUL

Appearing on the Alex Jones Show on April 5th, Texas Rep. Ron Paul said he will make a final decision within a month on whether he will run for president in the 2012 election. Earlier his son, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, told Politico he believes his father will run. “I get every indication from looking at his schedule and hearing what he’s doing that I think he probably will.”

I can’t say that I have paid very much attention to Paul, registering him as a n iconoclastic libertarian with unrealistic though not necessarily always incorrect views of things like the Fed. Here is a clip I recently came across that gives me more insight into his thought processes. And what they show me is that he’s daft.

Like a drunken driver who is weaving from guardrail to guardrail, Paul occasionally manages to stray into an accurate position. I don’t have a problem with someone arguing that the Civil War was a calamity, or that 600,000 deaths is prima facie evidence that the system and the leaders failed and that another course of action might have been better; or even that slavery might have ended without benefit of war.

However, when Paul says “Lincoln should never have gone to war [because] there were better ways tog et rid of slavery,” he seems ignorant of the facts. Lincoln did not go to war to end slavery; he went to war to end the slaveholders’ rebellion and restore the seceded states to the union, and even then, he only went to war after the southern states, individually and collectively, seceded, seized federal property including forts and armories, and fired on Fort Sumter.

Second, the war may have been horrible, but it certainly wasn’t senseless, not from either point of view.

Third, when he says Lincoln went to war to “enhance and get rid of the original intent of the Republic,” he is speaking nonsense. The Civil War represented a disagreement between two sides, two cultures, two philosophies about what the original intent of the Republic was. It’s true, Lincoln’s side favored a role for the executive and the central government that was larger than the other side favored, but both sides viewed that they were honoring original intent. And Paul’s side lost.

Fourth, Paul’s idea that the federal government could have bought the slaves and freed them is unrealistic. First, the plan was suggested and tried in Delaware, and it never went anywhere. Second, buying four million slaves would have been hugely expensive; there is no evidence that there was any political will to do that. Third, it takes two to make a sale, and the South didn’t want to make a sale. Slaveholders liked their way of life, and seceded and launched a war not merely to preserve it, but to enlarge it.

Two minutes tells me that Ron Paul cannot be trusted about anything he says.

RON PAUL STEPS UP

Way to go, Ron Paul! The iconolclastic Texas Congressman Ron Paul has rousingly defended speech WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange on the floor of the House of Representatives. “Why is the hostility directed at Assange, the publisher, and not at our governments failure to protect classified information?” asked Paul. He went on to compare WikiLeaks to the Pentagon Papers, explaining how both exposed American wars that were based on “lies.” He also asked his colleagues which events caused more deaths, “Lying us into war, or the release of the WikiLeaks papers?”

Paul posed other pertinent questions, every one of them right on:
Number 1: Do the America People deserve know the truth regarding the ongoing wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen?
Number 2: How does an army private access so much secret information?
Number 3: Why is the hostility directed at Assange, the publisher, and not at our government’s failure to protect classified information?
Number 4: Are we getting our money’s worth of the $80 Billion per year spent on intelligence gathering?
Number 5: Which has resulted in the greatest number of deaths: lying us into war, or Wikileaks revelations, or the release of the Pentagon Papers?