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Conason writes: "Long disappointed by Obama's overly solicitous attitude toward banking, defense and national security interests - at the expense of economic justice and civil liberties - these disappointed critics find a satisfying echo in Paul's assaults on the banks, the Federal Reserve System, the military-industrial complex, and indeed the entire American super-structure, including the miserably failed war on drugs."

Ron Paul, seen here leaving an Iowa campaign event, has not ruled out a third party run should he fail to capture the GOP nomination. (photo: Joshua Lott/Reuters)
Ron Paul, seen here leaving an Iowa campaign event, has not ruled out a third party run should he fail to capture the GOP nomination. (photo: Joshua Lott/Reuters)

Will Ron Paul Become the New Ralph Nader?

By Joe Conason, The National Memo

31 December 11


ven as Barack Obama gradually climbs in national polls, more than a handful of the president's once-ardent admirers suddenly seem more attracted by Ron Paul. Long disappointed by Obama's overly solicitous attitude toward banking, defense and national security interests - at the expense of economic justice and civil liberties - these disappointed critics find a satisfying echo in Paul's assaults on the banks, the Federal Reserve System, the military-industrial complex, and indeed the entire American super-structure, including the miserably failed war on drugs. As a libertarian, he doesn't actually share the liberal perspective on these issues, but sometimes sounds as if he does.

For some people, perhaps, that is enough.

As a seasonal fad unlikely to persist beyond Iowa, a minor liberal flirtation with Paul wouldn't matter at all. While he has provided much entertainment over the past few weeks, scaring the Republican establishment with his anybody-but-Romney climb in the polls, he undoubtedly understands that he will not be the nominee of their party (and in calmer moments, so do they). His prescriptions for government and the economy may be misguided, to put it kindly, but his passionate support for the Bill of Rights is refreshing, especially because so many Republicans and too many Democrats are prepared to snip or even scrap that document. So is the consistency of his current stands on such issues as narcotics, marriage, and military engagement abroad. Which are only the most obvious reasons he will always be rejected by the GOP, even as his dedicated supporters occasionally win a momentary victory in a straw poll or a pseudo-convention.

But what if Paul should decide to run on the Libertarian Party ticket next year? He ran for president as a Libertarian in 1988, and he has coyly hinted that he might do so again in 2012, with that party's leaders practically begging him to accept their nomination when the Republican primaries end. He could either defeat former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson, who recently announced that he has left the Republican Party to seek the Libertarian nomination - or ask Johnson, who supported Paul in 2008, to join the ticket as his vice presidential candidate. In many respects, Ron Paul for President is as much a family business as an ideological crusade, so the incentives for him to continue into November will be powerful.

For liberals who are drawn to Paul as an outspoken critic of the Federal Reserve, the military budget, and the wars on terrorism and drugs, that would pose a challenge. Like Ralph Nader in 2000, Paul could offer them a tempting opportunity to express their weariness with compromise and complexity; once more they could vote their conscience and voice their frustration. The moral hurdle would be much higher than with Nader, a genuine American icon who carries none of Paul's embarrassing baggage. At the very least, Nader upheld traditional progressive ideals for government, the economy and the environment - while Paul would eagerly repeal a century of advances on all those fronts, if he could.

But for those willing to overlook the racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic, and paranoid Ron Paul newsletters - as well as their putative author's feeble, implausible, and changeable explanations for them - the Texas Congressman might claim to be an alternative to that tired-old-two-party, lesser-of-two-evils ballot choice.

That would appeal only to progressives who suffer from historical amnesia, the chronic affliction of American politics, and were thus unable to recall the consequences of Nader's third-party candidacy. One of those consequences, ironically enough, was the war in Iraq, which probably would not have occurred if Al Gore hadn't forfeited the electoral votes that Nader threw to George W. Bush. Another consequence was the abandonment of the US commitment to mitigate climate change, which dwarfs even the economic debacle of the past few years in its potential toll on humanity. A third consequence was the spike in economic inequality encouraged by Bush tax, spending, and regulatory policies - which will someday seem moderate in retrospect, if Obama loses next year to Mitt Romney with Republicans controlling both houses of Congress.

The Nader supporters of 2000, a fraction of the liberal electorate, didn't get the policies they so urgently desired, of course. They didn't even get a viable Green Party or a lasting movement for change. Instead, they helped to inflict a political disaster from which America has scarcely begun to emerge. In the new year, we may discover whether they wish to revive that nightmare. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+75 # slow_learner 2011-12-31 11:54
Ah, the myth that 2000 was a clean election and Nader voters lost it for Gore... evidence of vote manipulation has piled up higher than the bs.
+40 # Progressive Patriot 2011-12-31 14:26
The voter fraud the Republicans keep talking about was perpetrated by people like Jeb Bush. He should be joining his brother in jail.
-1 # uglysexy 2012-01-03 13:26
the supreme court was to blame....if you don't vote Obama you will ensure a continuation of the activist hard right court that will decide in favor of the current version of the NDAA....Get it?
+1 # karenvista 2012-01-03 14:17
Quoting uglysexy:
..if you don't vote Obama you will ensure a continuation of the activist hard right court that will decide in favor of the current version of the NDAA....Get it?

Obama was the one who insured that American citizens and legal immigrants were included in the NDAA as possible targets for rendition, detention without charges or trial or possible execution, at home (on the "homeland battlefield") or abroad.

See the Senate debate between Levin and Udall, wherein Levin makes it perfectly clear that citizens were added to the NDAA at the request of the administration.

So what makes you think that he would appoint people who are against his obvious inclinations toward increasing Administration power over the citizens?

I would have agreed with you before this betrayal.
-4 # uglysexy 2012-01-03 13:25
Wrong....nader lost it for gore....stop being an apologist for an OCD Crank like Nader. Nader tarnished his entire Grand Progressive Legacy legacy with his inability to accept he was a fringe candidate in the Eyes of the Electorate. His ideas were good but his inability to compromise or bargain hurt all of us. Even Ron Paul, who I detest, has more appeal to the Electorate, by a factor of 5, than Nader ever did, Yet he still has no chance of Winning. Nader could've preserved his legacy if he'd committed to Gore in the end and could've retained a considerable Effect on the Public Dialogue and Preserved a Platform for his Best Ideas. Where is he Now?? Relegated to the Spoiler Junk Heap where his Corvair Targets from the 60s now Rust.
+17 # artful 2011-12-31 11:55
Nader at least believed in issues and policies that seemed sensible. Paul is basically an anarchist who would do enormous damage to the nation if any of his witless ideas ever came into being.
+41 # MHAS 2011-12-31 14:26
The argument that Nader was responsible for the 2000 election debacle and for all the ills that befell us during the Bush-Cheney administration is complete garbage. He was scapegoated by the Dems, which was dishonest and self serving...They should have looked in the mirror. I reject the idea that the Dems were entitled to Nader's votes. Many people who voted for Nader would not have voted at all had he not run. Note that half the eligible voting population did not vote. How about blaming Gore for not inspiring them to show up?...In any case, Gore won. He simply was not acknowledged to have won because of a corrupt system and Supreme Court. Meanwhile, this writer apparently thinks no one should ever challenge the completely sold out, dysfunctional two party system because such a challenger could be "responsible" for all the horrors that Nader is blamed for. Explain exactly how we are supposed to remedy the extraordinarily grave problems that face us simply voting for more of the same? OWS is staying outside that system for a good reason.
+2 # Iconic 2012-01-02 13:02
We definitely must challenge this completely sold out , dysfunctional two party system . Obama signed the NDAA which uses the Patriot Act language to indefinitely detain without a trial US citzens. Whoever the next President is can use that law against anyone for anyone reason with out evidence of guilt simply to control us.
+1 # uglysexy 2012-01-03 13:32
and how do we get out of this box without keeping someone in office who can make good supreme court appointments... take your blinders off ...there is no viable alternative to obama
-1 # MHAS 2012-01-05 10:44
I do not wear blinders, "Uglysex." I am well aware of the Supreme Court issue and obviously prefer Obama to any of the nut cases running for the Repub nomination. But I am not going to get stuck in the lesser-evil box when it comes to building a third party and/or a movement like OWS. The Democrats are very much a party to the current disaster. Concerning the 2000 election, had I lived in a swing state in 2000, I would have engaged in the vote swap arrangement that Nader supporters developed whereby they voted for Gore in swing states while Gore supporters voted for Nader in non-swing states. No one seems to mention the vote swap when they discuss the 2000 election. Gore actually received a good many votes from Nader supporters in FLA and elsewhere as part of that exchange. I knew people who participated in it. Their votes actually GAVE Gore FLA--that is, would have, had their votes been counted. Were Obama at risk of losing NY in 2012, I would vote for him. I think that scenario is highly unlikely and hope I am not put in that position. I actually worked for him in 2008 and will not do so again.
+3 # James38 2012-01-02 20:35
There is actually a good answer to your question, "exactly how we are supposed to remedy the extraordinarily grave problems that face us...?" if you stop there. Certainly not by voting for more of the same, but by voting in Senators and Representatives , who in some cases can be independents or whatever third party you want, since these are local elections, and are much more responsive to the personality and ideas of the candidate. Gradually a new party can emerge with enough votes in the Congress to get bills passed and to block bad legislation - and to make sure decent Supreme Court appointments are made. Given enough work, a third party can emerge. I would suspect that Elizabeth Warren would support this idea, assuming she wins her race for Senate. This is the kind of person we need in Congress anyway, regardless of what party they use as a platform. This should be a working goal for the 2012 elections, along with re-electing Obama, since I do not see a better alternative at this time. If enough decently intelligent Congresspersons are elected, Obama would be greatly encouraged to do a better job. I think we can still hope he would prefer to work toward higher ideals if he has the support. He is certainly better than any of the Republicans running, who would drive the US further into the ground, but in order for him to achieve liberal goals, we need to produce a more intelligent Congress. Local elections are the starting point.
+1 # MHAS 2012-01-03 01:31
James38--My question "exactly how are we supposed to remedy the extraordinarily grave problems that face us...?" was a response to this author's argument that third party building is not a choice as it merely draws support away from the Dems, leading to Republicans in power. The sold-out Democrats depend on exactly this logic and fear to insure the Left will continue to vote for them even as they sell this country down the river and marginalize the few within their party who have not sold out. The suggestions you make are consistent with Green Party building, something the author of the above article clearly does not sanction. I personally think the best hope lies in building the OWS movement outside of this
suffocating framework, though one can obviously both participate in OWS and build a third party and/or support decent candidates. The latter(electora l) strategy on its own seems entirely inadequate at this juncture.
-4 # uglysexy 2012-01-03 13:29
and where is nader now? rusting on the junk heap with his hated chevrolet corvairs. he kidnapped the system instead of adding to it. his political vision was obscured by a kind of OCD....and now his legacy has been tarnished by the horrendous miscarriage of fate he engineered by ushering in the bush years. accept some responsibility here people....your sacred cow hurt us all
0 # karenvista 2012-01-03 14:24
Quit it with the Chevy Corvairs. They were good cars. Ralph Nader's objection was to the exploding gas tanks of the Ford Pintos!
-5 # uglysexy 2012-01-03 13:31
ows has no teeth...they make a good points, excellent points but if they don't vote obama they will just be fulfilling their martyr complex and believe me the right is looking for martyr pacifists to hoist on their lances
0 # Progressive Patriot 2011-12-31 14:30
Nothing he ever presents to Congress ever gets passed. I'd be surprised if it ever comes out of committee. How much support do you really think he will get from Congress if he is elected president? None of his ideas would ever become law, because most of Congress would never support him.
0 # uglysexy 2012-01-03 13:27
Belief is not enough.....if it were all the magical thinking Religionists would be getting their so-called Miracle Wishes granted.
+40 # Andrew Hansen 2011-12-31 12:13
Ah, the ruse about Nader giving us Bush once again. It grows tiresome...

I generally enjoy your pieces Mr. Conason, but on this recurring point, simply repeating it doesn't make it true. Ralph Nader pulls more weight and pushes the political spectrum farther to the progressive end than nearly any other political figure, certainly of those still active.

Indeed, Ron Paul is no good for the Republican party (or the country but for different reasons).

The symptom of which you note has its root in winner-take-all voting. A simple change to instant-run-off , that is ranked choice, voting would immediately cure the problem.

As a side benefit, it might even make people think a little bit more about voting. But of course it will never happen as the current 1% in politics are happy with what they have.

And so it goes in our "democracy". At least Nader is willing to stand-up for the people.
0 # uglysexy 2012-01-03 13:35
deniers that nader threw the election to bush becomes tiresome....he destroyed his glowing legacy and has been relegated to the junk heap. Gore would've been better than obama yet now we need obama to keep the entire congress and white house from going republican....s top dreaming about your dream candidate with 1/5th the support in 2000 that even the kook ron paul has now. And Paul too will be relegated to the junk heap after this next loss. VOTE OBAMA if only for the chance to appoint decent people to the supreme court
-8 # ganymede 2011-12-31 12:21
Thank you Joe Canason for a thorough rundown of the miserable political sitution we're in, especially since the year 2000. Yes, many of us have a warm spot in our hearts for Ron Paul because he's against all wars (for the wrong reasons!) and he's for legalizing pot.

However, as Joe points out, we've been here before. Ralph Nader, whom I still love,was a disaster, and changed history for the worse by his ill-fated presidential run. We mustn't make the same mistake again. Sure, Obama's been a disappointment, he's no FDR or even a Lyndon Johnson, but, funny enough, if re-elected he may turn out to be one of the truly great presidents in that he will have the opportunity to completely reform America from the Supreme Court to climate change and socialized medicine, and maybe even prosecute some of the Wall Street fraudsters. It does look as if the Republican Party is imploding and will be out of commission for at least four years. Bottom line, we have no choice whatsoever but to energetically support Obama. Enough of the leftwing purity and shortsightednes s!
+6 # chunks 2011-12-31 20:32
'... if re-elected he may turn out to be one of the truly great presidents in that he will have the opportunity to completely reform America from the Supreme Court to climate change and socialized medicine, and maybe even prosecute some of the Wall Street fraudsters..'

So you do believe in the d Santa Claus. too.
-1 # uglysexy 2012-01-03 13:37
oh wait I gave you a plus ...should've been a's the nader people living in the past and denying what they did...who are magical thinkers
+15 # Matt R. 2011-12-31 12:31
I have two points to make - 1) Saying Ron Paul is racist is an ignorant comment. It's impossible to be racist and a libertarian. For those of you that want to know the truth, watch this video:
2) It is no longer about Democrat vs. Republican, both parties are corrupt to the core. Ron Paul is the only major candidate that isn't taking any corporate contributions, is honest and is not corrupt. This country is doomed if they don't wake up and see that most of what the corporate media feeds us is propaganda (RSN is one of the few that usually reports factual based stories).
+24 # pizzmoe 2011-12-31 13:41
Impossible to be a racist and a libertarian? Please explain (and nothing could be further from the truth)
+3 # 2012-01-01 12:09
You said it PIZZMOE! Read his newspaper articles which are now public. He is a rascist, a bigot and anti-semite and has no concern for the poor and needy.
+19 # Progressive Patriot 2011-12-31 14:14
"(RSN is one of the few that usually reports factual based stories)"

Gee, could that be because they aren't corporate media?

Most of the stories that I read that actually tell it like it is, are coming out of the foreign press, because America's corporate media won't report anti-corporate viewpoints. RSN gets a lot of their material from the foreign press.
+19 # Activista 2011-12-31 12:54
Seems that AIPAC is running smear campaign against Ron Paul - who does NOT want war with Iran (as Obama/Clinton do).
Stop militarism ($1.3 trillion /year) - get USA from the Middle East - these are the priorities NOW.
Support Ron Paul!
+6 # Progressive Patriot 2011-12-31 14:18
Ron Paul is basically a nut case, even though there are a _very_few_ issues on which I can find agreement with him ... including getting OUT of the Middle East, and stopping the annual military funding of Israel.
+4 # 2012-01-01 12:19
Activista: Paul is a rascist. Read his public newspapers on the web. He may stop global wars but he will perpetuate civil wars. Why go backward in time. a democracy prides itself on not being a bigoted nation. This is America!Land of the free where we unhold freedom of race, religion and ethnicity as an inalienable right. Paul is supported by John Birchers and White Supremists. Is that lessened by his anti-war stance?
+1 # uglysexy 2012-01-03 13:39
Oh please...ron paul would be led to a little room and locked into it if he were one is going to do what he suggests and if they did we'd be in a glacial depression instantly
+1 # karenvista 2012-01-03 14:42
Quoting Activista:
Support Ron Paul!

Read Ron Paul's official campaign website and budget

and you will see that what he says would be impossible since he would do away with all funding for the U.S. government within 3 years (taxes.) You can't have a government with no funding, so there would be no government. Also, there would be no money to replace the Fed and the U.S. Mint so there would be no money, therefore no commerce except for bartering. How well would that work?

We would have no Federal agencies (I won't burden you with the entire list) for instance, the Department of Energy, which maintains the safety and disposal of our nuclear weapons. We'll just leave them sitting in their silos and hope for the best.

If you think you are for Ron Paul, you'd better read his website and seriously think about what it means.

Also, his newsletters and policies tie him to his closest advisors (Lew Rockwell and Gary Davis) who are Christian Reconstructiona lists and Theocrats. Chew on that for a while.

*Just looked up his website again and he has taken down his "Budgets" because they belied his other promises.
+12 # reiverpacific 2011-12-31 12:59
In some ways this is a waste of ink.
What we should be doing is watching closely to see that the Democrats don't snatch defeat from the jaws of seemingly certain victory, make sure that they get a bunch of TRULY PROGRESSIVE people elected, hold their feet to the fire of "Change" via mass involvement like OWS, and watch out for 2016 (Jeb Bush?? Horrible prospect but at least viable for the reactionaries) as the next U.S. election cycle starts on inauguration day, more's the pity!
Nader might even help with intercessions focusing on common-sense in solidarity with true progressives and helping to purge blue-dogs like the allegedly retiring Ben Nelson of Nebraska who may as well have been a Repug', so their votes REALLY count!
+1 # uglysexy 2012-01-03 13:42
Actually the dems will probably lose the senate and not gain the house....becaus e voters may loathe congress over all but they like they're regional reps by a majority. And with all the Senators not seeking re-election on the dem side....the dems are toast in the Capitol. So you'd better vote Obama because Ruth Bader Ginsburg won't stay on the court long. How deep a hole over how many years do you want us to dig out of on the supreme court?
+10 # mikehz 2011-12-31 13:02
It would be a terrible shame if Ron Paul attracted enough disappointed progressives to destroy the progressives' chance to take back the government in November. We know that the GOP will adhere to the "party line" regardless of who is elected. At least Progressives have more perspective, logic and practicality in decision-making and should be given a supermajority in the House and Senate
+26 # Richard Raznikov 2011-12-31 15:07
Progressives are not merely 'disappointed' but enraged by Obama's –– and the party's –– betrayals. Civil liberties? Trashed. Bush tax cuts for the rich? Extended. Wars? More of 'em.

A 'supermajority' ? How about a working majority and the guts to fight for some decent policies? It's a myth that the Democrats couldn't enact anything because they didn't have 60 votes. They really needed only 50 (and Biden's tie-breaker). They simply didn't have the integrity to do anything. Harry Reid is a joke.

The only thing Obama can claim is that he's smarter than whoever the GOP picks, but his policies have for the most part been a continuation of Bush. He has forfeited my vote and many others.

The Democrats are headed for trouble in 2012 and have their leaders to blame, not Ron Paul, Rocky Anderson, or anyone else.
-6 # Nell H 2011-12-31 20:06
He has forfeited my vote and many others.

Are you a Republican pretending to be a Progressive? If you were a real progressive, you would know that not voting for Obama is a vote for Republicans. All you have to do is look at what happened in Wisconsin to know why we must vote for Obama.

Obama is a moderate. Face it and stop belly-aching.
+5 # William Bjornson 2011-12-31 23:16
At the moment, BHO appears to be nothing but a snake. Every little benefit he touts as having gotten for us, he has given away 99% more to our elite scum. And moderate? He took credit for killing a man who has been dead for eight years and was a made up bogieman in the first place. He has increased the potential fascist powers of the Executive beyond anything that bush, Hitler, or Stalin dreamed of. He has lied about Iraq, pulling our forces only because they would not have immunity to kill at leisure with no responsibility. He continues killing in Afghanistan. He sucks the zionist putz. He says "I'll never sign that!" and then reopens the pipeline rape, allows rendition of Americans, and on and on. How could anyone, even Paul, be worse than this? The idea of a guy like Paul being President, on the face of it, is disgusting. But, this pseudoModerate, pseudoLiberal, pseudoProgressi ve two-faced smooth talking snakeoil marketer who BHO very strongly appears to be, is more disgusting still. I fell for his crap but, as our favorite lugnut would say, "Fool me twice...and...a nd..." As for those republican governors, we don't need to recall them, we just need to hang them in their respective capitol rotundas and let them rot as an example of an American People who have had enough of this corrupt antiAmerican People shit. The Constitution is mute in our current situation. It is time to exercise our direct Power as the real constituents of America. WE are the Boss!
+4 # 2012-01-01 12:27
Obama is a hypocrite, Nell H. It's more important that you face the fact that he has failed dismally as POTUS than that Richard R "stop belly-aching". Richard is making an important point. Re-read his post. Are you so ill informed to think that the importance of recalling Scott Walker in some way justifies supporting Obama in the upcoming election.Walker is a fascist and Obama just signed a bill that shows he is too.
+14 # Iconic 2011-12-31 13:16
Ron Paul snowed a lot of liberals by being antiwar, then by being antiFed; and he contributed to the idea that there's no legal basis for income taxes. So that got the tax refuseniks. He is for an austerity plan that is for the 1% and only for the 1%. I've known a couple tax refuseniks . I can only think they didn't know about his darker side -- because Ron Paul didn't necessarily put that front and center in his presentations, unless he was sure of his audience; So what is he for: auditing the Federal Reserve, cutting government programs for women and children, food stamps, medicare, medicaid and the regulations - weak as they are . Cutting government departments such as the Department of Education, Department of Interior, Department of Commerce, Department of Energy, department of Housing and Urban Development. He is against anything that would be done to create jobs; he is against the economy's growth and development. He is for a gold backed currency that destroyed farmers in the 19th Century. He is for privatization of everything including fanny mae and Freddies Mac. He is for cutting corporate taxes, estate taxes and capital gains; and he wants government guarantees for failed private corporations while raising texes on incomes. His restoration of America Program would recreate feudalism. He is for all the policies that created the great depression in the 1930"s which allowed the greatest wealth transfer in history to the top 1%.
+15 # Progressive Patriot 2011-12-31 14:04
Anyone, including Ron Paul, who says income tax is unconstitutiona l, doesn't know their Constitution. Since it is the section of the Constitution that specifically pertains to his job, Ron Paul really _should_ read that section.

The first clause of Article I, Section 8 reads: "The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;"

So what is it that is supposedly unconstitutiona l about a tax established by Congress?
+24 # Richard Raznikov 2011-12-31 14:33
No need to misrepresent. Paul attracts 'liberals' by his anti-war position, his anti-Fed position, his pro-civil liberties position, and his adherence to the Bill of Rights. He opposed the Patriot Act. If you want to criticize him for his failure to support universal health care, medicare and social security, that's quite valid –– I also am bothered by his views on these things –– but don't make stuff up. This guy opposes the Patriot Act. Can you say that about Obama?
0 # uglysexy 2012-01-03 13:47
paul won't win so throw away your vote ala nader but magnified by it's destruction. if paul were to win we'd have a glacial depression due to his wacko economic policies. do you want a mega depression with most people crammed together in cities away from food sources and with the number nuclear weapons in hair trigger arsenals and the number of guns on the streets and in homes in the u.s.? if so ...hope for a paul victory...lolz. ..and become an ayn rand cult member
0 # karenvista 2012-01-03 15:24
How about criticizing him for the amazing lack of success in his 14 years as a Congressman.

Guess how many pieces of legislation he has sponsored that actually got passed?


"To authorize the Administrator of General Services to convey a parcel of real property in Galveston, Texas, to the Galveston Historical Foundation."

Wow, what a great legislator. This really shows that he "plays well with others." I'll bet he could get a lot of legislation passed as President.

Don't you??
0 # uglysexy 2012-01-03 13:44
+4 # bobby t. 2011-12-31 13:40
if ron paul runs it may affect the number of votes obama gets because of one issue. mj is used by most college kids nowadays, illegal or not. and too many of those kids are now in jail for ridiculous amounts of time. it will be a very clever move by the top one percent to get back their turf. and by the way, the man who got those kids to go out and vote in 2008 is not doing it this year, at least not yet. he may. and that is michael moore. the one percent that was the difference 51 to 49 in 2008 were the kids that came out that year. if they vote symbolically for paul, obama is history.
+13 # pizzmoe 2011-12-31 13:43
Ron Paul is the walking example of a broken clock being right twice a day. He may be spot on about the drug war (and for that matter, all war) but he is a dangerous ideologue that would set this country back 100 years. Progressives, don't be fooled!
+12 # Progressive Patriot 2011-12-31 13:56
That's an insult to Ralph Nader...

Ron Paul hasn't changed his tune in decades. He's the same fool he's always been. There are a _very_few_ things on which I can agree with him, but for the most part, he's way out in deep right field ... up against the foul line.
+2 # Activista 2011-12-31 14:06
Nov 2, 2011 – Ron Paul on Immigration ... Ron Paul, p.156 , Apr 19, 2011 ... “As in our country's first 150 years, there shouldn't be any immigration policy at all. ...
it is basic Human Right to chose place to live
+2 # anarchteacher 2011-12-31 14:08
For those intellectually curious minds who wish to not remain willfully ignorant and want know the full truth behind the smears and baseless attacks upon Ron Paul's character and integrity, how these villifications and attacks have gone back generations upon all such dissenters who have questioned the Wall Street/DC elite's hegemonic empire(at home and abroad, read the forthright and definitive article below:
+2 # tapelt 2011-12-31 15:57
Where in this long winded and rambling article does it answer the "smears and baseless attacks" that you are talking about? Please provide quotes.
+1 # 2012-01-01 12:41
Remarks were quoted on CNN and are not baseless...
+10 # John Gill 2011-12-31 16:46
Sorry Anarch, If Paul could deny the concrete existence of those poisonous newsletters, and prove they were a hoax, then more people would take a closer look. But he isn't fool enough, or disingenuous enough, (kudos to him on this point,) to attempt this. Unfortunately then, we are left with only two possibilities:

1. He knew what those newsletters contained, and was willing to look the other way and pander to racist supporters, or

2. He actually paid no attention to what was published in those newsletters under his name as Editor in Chief, and is therefore not someone able to keep his own house in order much less the nation's business.

Personally,after listening carefully to his positions on a number of issues, I have to go with the first possibility. I don't believe he is a fool. I think he is a racist or, at the very least, is willing to pander to them. But what I think doesn't really matter in this case, because in this day and age of 24 hour news and internet their really is no room for either "documented" racism, or "documented" gross incompetence (of this magnitude) in the oval office. End of story, and it WILL be the end of the story. There really is no way his candidacy can fly in the face of those documents.
+20 # Richard Raznikov 2011-12-31 14:13
Conason makes the same mistake a number of otherwise smart progressive journalists are making: he describes left-sided support for Paul as indicative of a failure to accept the 'complexity' of issues accompanying a lack of understanding of how support for a 'fringe' candidate can bring about an unhappy result, e.g. the election of Bush in 2000 or even the Iraq war.
Obama is in trouble now, NOT because issues are complex but because he has systematically betrayed virtually every promise he made. It is not his policy 'failures' which are costing him but his failure to fight for fundamental policies. For example, the systematic abandonment of the Bill of Rights in the face of a growing 'security state' is more than troubling. For example, his extension of the Bush tax cuts for the rich is more than annoying. For example, his authorization of political assassination, continued rendition, drone attacks, these are hallmarks of a right-wing presidency.
Conason's error is similar to Obama's in calculation. He has so badly abandoned basic human rights, environmental concerns, and civil liberties as to permanently alienate many, many voters.
He is losing his base and, with it, the election, and he is evidently too removed from what's happening out here to realize it.
+3 # Blast Dorrough 2011-12-31 15:17
The U.S. Constitution mandates a "Republican Form of government" dedicated to bringing true meaning to the Preamble of the Constitution as demanded by The People. The Preamble by definition mandates egalitarian and economic justice for the US. working class, small business owners and the retired Seniors of those classes. All other systems of government rule usurped by Monarchists, Religioncrafter s, Fascists, Communists as is the Politburo of U.S./China Communist Capitalists of cheap labor, Libertarians, etc., ad nauseam,all masked as Republics, have proven to been economic disasters for the middle class. Such governments are ruled by the greedy wealthy of imagined nobility and hereditary privilege and represent themselves as God's agents on earth as if they know the Will of God, ad nauseam. Such reprobates despise the U.S. Constitution as our Moral Compass and only Authority under our Constitutional Republic. Although proven to be a pure Monarchist, Alexander Hamilton got it right in Federalist Paper 84 when suggesting that the greedy wealthy must be excluded and have no influence in government---"N othing need be said to illustrate the importance of the prohibition of titles of nobility [and those of imagined hereditary privilege to plunder revenues and resources]. This may truly be denominated the corner stone of republican government: for so long as they are excluded,there can never be serious danger that the government will be any other than that of the people."
+6 # William Bjornson 2011-12-31 22:48
As I recall, Hamilton was also a dedicated proponent of the Federal Reserve? Well, central banking anyway. But, mentioning that archaic document, the U.S. Constitution, Fed Pap # 84 ain't in it and the Constitution has no provision for what is happening now. The parasite is using America's #1 stated value against us: Freedom. In this case, they are free to enslave the rest of us with their control of our government and through their machines, the corporations. How many Americans are truly anticorporation ? Not as many as should be or as necessary to make real change. We need to outlaw corporations. Companies should have real, identifiable owners who will be criminally responsible for the behavior of their companies.

In any case, Ron Paul would be the ideal republican candidate. Probably he is unelectable but, most importantly, his nomination would tell the parasitic elite, who have spent years conditioning the republican voter, that very tough times lie just ahead if they don't back off because their favorite stooges were bolting and voting for their nemesis. Certainly they still would have BHO and their property in Congress, but the message that the American sleeping bear might be awakening would be clear and loud. Just by being nominated, RP might do America much good. Otherwise we're still stuck with the same choice of no choice.

But whatever we do, our first act should be to repeal the treasonous 'patriot act' and break up 'homeland insecurity'. No?
0 # uglysexy 2012-01-03 14:01
I'd love to see Paul nominated just to get his 20% load of good ideas into circulation.... and also because he'd lose handily...lolz. But 80% of his ideas are pure lunacy. His best ideas are to get rid of the NDAA language and the Patriot Act language that violates due process and encroaches on our right to privacy, and his notion of ending the 'tail chasing', anti hedonism war on drugs. Some reduction in projection of U.S. power is also a good idea....the rest of his platform is Hogwash
+17 # John Gill 2011-12-31 15:18
I would not suggest that Paul is the solution to the problem of the "two" party cesspool we find ourselves swimming in, but I sincerely believe that we need to turn our backs on the illusion of choice held out to us every four years. Enough of this two steps backward, one step forward shuffle. I think that a little left wing "purity" would not be a bad thing, as clearly the "lesser of two evils" routine that the majority of liberal and progressive voters, (myself included,) have been settling for has not been working out so well for our nation, or the world. As long as we continue buying into the "two" party lie, the corporate oligarchy will continue leading us down the same dark road. Obama is as much a corporate stooge as any Republican candidate out there. He has proven this again and again. The fact that he wears a uniform that has the word DEMOCRAT printed on it, doesn't change this. Vote for Obama, because he is a more intelligent man, and a better speaker, and so more effective at spinning falsehoods than the idiots who appeal to the tea-partiers. Vote for Obama, because he tells you lies that are more appealing than the lies Bachmann tells. Vote for Obama, because he isn't creepy, like gingrich. Vote for Obama, because he is a charming guy with a dazzling smile. Vote for Obama...nope... doesn't work for me. I'm not a purist by any stretch of the imagination. I simply ask that the candidate makes at least the attempt to follow through, but he didn't. So I won't.
-6 # Nell H 2011-12-31 20:13
So, by not voting for Obama you help elect a Republican. Where is your brain?
+11 # John Gill 2012-01-01 00:09
Hi Nell, what I think needs to be understood, by a larger percentage of the population before it's too late, if it isn't already, is that Republican or Democrat, the "two" party candidates are in the "one" pocket of the corporations. Once elected into office, the Democrat pays lip service to the progressive/lib eral agenda while doing the bidding of his/her corporate masters. The Republican does likewise. The very terms Republican or Democrat, in this context, have become meaningless in the face of what is actually done.
For example, since my post, Obama has signed into law the arrest and detain on American soil bill. He pays the appropriate lip service to you Nell, he says he signs it with "reservations." Oh, thank god he's a democrat! a republican would have said he was doing it to protect us and that would have been that. The important thing to understand is that the corporate bosses don't want an American Spring, and so they have directed their stooges to pass a law that will allow them to turn our military against us, should we grow too restless. It is a joke, Nell, and you want to vote for one of the two corporate mouthpieces so the other corporate mouthpiece doesn't get in. Nonsense.
+3 # tapelt 2011-12-31 15:38
What happened to the old Ralph Nader? Why does he need to be replaced with a new one?
-6 # cherylpetro 2011-12-31 18:10
Poor, old Ralph, he is old and tired. But, then Paul is about as old as Ralph; just more virulent, but Ralph DID take money from Repubes to be a spoiler! I am still angry with him about it!
0 # maryeor 2011-12-31 15:52
So - those of you who like the idea of Dr. Paul - you're okay with all this stuff about him?? --
+3 # cherylpetro 2011-12-31 18:07
+6 # sebouhian 2011-12-31 16:18
I am appalled by the question. Ron Paul has stated he is in favor of killing homosexuals, simply because they are homo sexuals; he also publically announced his support of withdrawing medical help from AIDs victims, ad nausem. Ralph Nader is a saint compared to this baggage of evil. Libertarian? a farcical disguise or the ravings of, well, I've already said it.
+4 # anarchteacher 2011-12-31 17:59
sebouhian: Show me the specific Youtube or speech text where Ron Paul explicitly states he favors killing homosexuals or supports withdrawling medical treatment from AIDs victims.

This is an unconscionable slur upon Paul's character and integrity as a physican who takes his Hippocratic Oath serious.

It is one thing to differ with someone's policies or beliefs. It is another to put forth baseless and unscrupulous lies. The Birthers and those who attack President Obama as a secret Muslim traitor have nothing on your savage lies and distortions.
+4 # Blast Dorrough 2011-12-31 16:47
All candidates for State and Federal positions of power must be faced with the clear purpose of the Preamble to the Constitution. They must proclaim they will bring true meaning to their eventual sworn oaths to enforce egalitarian and economic justice for the U.S. working class, small business owners and the retired Seniors of those classes and the truly needy. Tax the greedy wealthy at a 90% rate forevermore, especially so since they have yet to earn a single dollar that is not tainted by their culture of greed and corruption in designed sabotage of our constitutional Republic. Deprive them from their government welfare checks collectively amounting to trillions of stolen taxpayer funds leading to our financial crisis and watch them reduced to poverty rather than the real economic backbone of the United States----the working class, small business owners and the retired Seniors of those classes. Even the poor needy are part of the economic backbone because their funds go right back into the economy. The monopolistic empire of fixed enterprise of the Corporatecrafte rs must be overthrown forthwith.
+3 # squawcraw 2011-12-31 17:49
As an Obama supporter I truly hope that Ron Paul runs on a third party ticket. If that happens he takes a few voters away from Obama but he takes MANY TIMES that number from the mainstream GOP candidate. Obama in a landslide if Paul is on the ballot next fall...
-4 # cherylpetro 2011-12-31 18:04
Ron Paul's ONLY job as President, would be to do the destructive will of his backers, THE KOCH BROTHERS (same as the Nazi Kochs)! Ron Paul is THEIR man! The NAZI KOCH FAMILY started the John Birch Society, of which Paul carefully is not a member, but speaks at their events, and they tell each other how much they love each other! Paul also recently, as in the past, dragged out the old Bircher mantra, "GET US OUT OF THE UN!" I have heard that from the JBS for more years than I can remember! The Kochs started the Tea Party, which has been a big part of the problems with the US economy and implementing their plan through Koch pimp, GROVER NORQUIST, WHO MAKES GOP AND TEA PARTY SIGN LOYALTY PLEDGES FOR VARIOUS THINGS, MOST IMPORTANTLY, NO TAXES! THEY ALSO DIDN'T WANT TO HELP OUR DYING 9/11 FIRST RESPONDER HEROES GET MONEY FOR MEDICAL TREATMENT, UNTIL THEY GOT TAX EXEMPT STATUS FOR OUTSOURCED COMPANIES! (NO REVENUE FOR THE US AT ALL!)Paul LIES to Progressives who like the legalize pot idea, or freedom, or no wars, BUT THEY ARE LIES! Paul, like the rest of the GOP, & Baggers, will do whatever the KOCHS DECIDE!The Kochs want THEIR FREEDOM, NOT YOURS!They want to DEREGULATE EVERYTHING, so they can POLLUTE US INTO A CANCEROUS STATE!THAT WAY, THEY CAN MAKE MORE MONEY, NOT HAVING TO STAY WITHIN ENVIRONMENTAL STANDARDS!WE WILL GET CANCER, WE WON'T HAVE HEALTHCARE, AND THE KOCHS WILL GO TO THEIR SEA SIDE CASTLES IN ENGLAND! RON PAUL IS THE KOCH'S FRONT MAN (AS WAS CAIN)THEY ARE NOT 4 YOU!
+7 # Richard Raznikov 2011-12-31 19:14
Ron Paul is not anyone's front man. Seriously, if you're going to make these charges, offer some evidence. Paul is a libertarian, nor a right-winger. There's a difference. Be intellectually honest about it and discover the difference. I disagree with Paul on a number of issues, most especially social security, medicare, and the role of the federal government. But I agree with him about the wars of Bush and Obama, the federal reserve, which controls the economy on behalf of the banks, and privacy issues. Paul also stands against the police state legislation backed by Obama and most of BOTH party's elected representatives .
Be honest about it. The Kochs do not control Paul and they do not agree with him on many things. Whether one supports Paul or not, he is entitled to respect as someone who has stood by his principles for many years.
As for the racist, crazy remarks which turned up in his 'newsletters' some 20 years ago, I doubt that he wrote them, and he was probably at fault for not stopping them at the time. But his philosophy, carefully examined, is not racist. By the way, I probably won't vote for him. I hope to find a better candidate. But he's got more brains than the rest of the GOP field, and more integrity than Obama.
0 # Cassandra2012 2012-01-02 15:49
Ok, he's a 'libertarian', except when it comes to women having control over their OWN bodies?
0 # karenvista 2012-01-03 15:55
Ron Paul gave the 2008 keynote speech for the John Birch Society so, according to Mr. Raznikov, he's not a front man or a right winger. Excuse me? I didn't know that the John Birch Society was a progressive organization. Apparently, neither do they. You'd better let them know right away!
+1 # cherylpetro 2011-12-31 18:13
Comparing Nader to Ron Paul is like comparing Ghandi to Hitler! (guess which is which?)
+2 # cherylpetro 2011-12-31 18:23
+1 # 2012-01-01 12:32
Chill out!
+13 # NIKHILANANDA 2011-12-31 18:59
ALOHA:..... once again Joe Conason invokes the often quoted but totally refuted contention that Ralph Nader caused the election of George W. Bush. This lie has been repeated over and over again for twelve years. Al Gore's loss was his OWN fault; he refused to challenge the entire Florida election totals, which have been PROVEN over and over again to have given him a majority of the votes, and thus, the election of 2000. He had no balls to stand up to the republicans and thus it is AL GORE who caused the war in Iraq and all of the other evils which conason's blames on Ralph Nader. ENOUGH already!.... Grow up... Ralph Nader is a true american hero and voters deserve to vote FOR a candidate, then a limited choice of tweedle dee and tweedle dumber.... get your facts correct conason.
0 # MHAS 2012-01-03 17:16
I agree that Nader has done more to improve our lives than any political figure I can think of. The real tragedy for our nation is that the 2000 election debacle is always framed by the sports contest model: Gore v Bush. No room for Nader in such a model. The losers in the 2000 election were the people whose votes were not counted, not just the candidate who did not receive them. Why do we treat this deprivation as incidental? There should have been a class action suit on behalf of the voters and its success should have had the force of overturning the results. I was stunned by the lack of recourse for those who had to deal with butterfly ballots, faulty machines, etc....That the equal justice clause of the Constitution was applied as it was (on behalf of Bush) rather than on behalf of the voters tells you how completely screwed up things were/are... much like the 14th amendment being used to protect corporations as persons rather than the freed slaves it was meant to protect.
-6 # RICHARDKANEpa 2011-12-31 20:22
President Obama loves to comprmise, His policy toward Isreal Pallistine starteed out even-handed. The better Ron Paul does the better Obama will be,

PS googling links often better than clicking them,
-1 # chunks 2011-12-31 20:24
'....if re-elected he may turn out to be one of the truly great presidents in that he will have the opportunity to completely reform America from the Supreme Court to climate change and socialized medicine, and maybe even prosecute some of the Wall Street fraudsters..'

So you do believe in the tooth fairy...and Santa Claus too!
+5 # Kootenay Coyote 2011-12-31 22:20
Ouch. That's like asking if Ayn Rand was the new Rachel Carson. No, a thousand time NO.
+2 # William Bjornson 2012-01-01 00:24
Hey M.A. and whomever else may have to mod this eve: Happy New Year! בהצלחה to you in 2012 (and to us all) and may purses be opened unto you. Thanks for the forum and for your work.
+8 # propsguy 2012-01-01 07:58
once and for all, can we PLEASE stop blaming ralph nader for the appointment of george bush as president. that position was handed to him by the Supreme Court and massive voter fraud in florida. whether of not nader even ran, the bankers and war financiers who actually run this country who really were going to have dick cheney as their man (fronted by a weak but "acceptable" puppet, of course).
if gore had won, they would have had to get him assassinated. so much easier to just fix the election!
we have to let go of this primitive notion that a 2 party election is somehow sacred and anything else mucks up the system. many countries who have better democracies than ours have 3, 4 or even more parties. people can vote for whoever best represents their views and not merely "the lesser of two incompetents"
+10 # RMDC 2012-01-01 09:17
propsguy -- yes, why do people still blame Nader for Florida. The voting there was rigged like hell by Jebb Bush and even so Gore got the most votes. The 2000 election was stolen by the Bush team using the supreme court to end the counting of votes in Florida. Nader had nothing to do with this. Blaming Nader is just an effort to distract people from the vote rigging by republicans.
+4 # Krulick 2012-01-01 18:12
A minor correction... what happened in Florida in 2000 was NOT "voter fraud" but "election fraud"! Little evidence that individual persons tried to vote who should not have been allowed to, but plenty of evidence of concerted efforts to purge voter rolls (tens of thousands), "cage" voters, use puzzling ballots, dissuade certain voters from voting, flipping votes electronically, tossing paper ballots in the trash, allowing late ballots from servicemen, long lines and insufficient machines in low-income districts, etc.

That being said, Gore won in Florida anyhow, but the next level of fraud (the courts) stole it from him. That being said, Gore would not have been much different than Bush; the two had almost identical family histories and positions. If someone supposedly so different than Bush, like Obomber, can turn out to be BushIII, Gore, the warhawk of the Clinton administration, might have been MORE eager than Bush, even to have reacted when the Chinese got one of our planes more bellicose than Shrub did.
+3 # RMDC 2012-01-01 08:55
I'm one of those people who are way to the left but still interested in Ron Paul. We leftists call our tendency anarchism and the rightwingers call the same tendency libertarianism. So, there's a lot to like in Ron Paul, but nothing to like in the republicans.

I think the republican party is about to split in two. The two factions are the neo-cons on one side and the teaparty/libert arians on the other. They really have nothing in common other than silly myths like St. Ronald Reagan and low taxes.

I might vote for Ron Paul over Barak Obama because Obama is a neo-con. He pretends to be a progressive and he is on social issues, but on the economy and foreign policy he is a neo-con. At least Ron Paul is not that. He is a social darwinist and all that silliness but he will soon find that the free market does not solve anything. Ebay isn't even a free market.

I just want the US empire and all its military bases and drone terrorist bombing to end. Ron Paul is the only one saying that. He'd have to go up against the CIA and Pentagon and he'd end up just like the last president who tried it did -- Kennedy -- with a bullet in his head. But it would be worth a try.
+2 # Iconic 2012-01-01 15:51
+3 # Blast Dorrough 2012-01-01 15:01
In response to Bjornson, the Federalist Papers were written after the Rise of the Original New Guards as ordained under the Declaration of Independence. They rose en masse against ratification of the proposed constitution blank of their demanded Bill of Rights. They were the original "Occupiers" all through the American Colony taking a stand against born-again intentions of the evil Corporatecrafte rs and Religion/Christ iancrafers. The American Revolution was not only fought against evil Kingcraft but evil Corporatecraft and demonic Christiancraft as well. Federalist/Mona rchist Alexander Hamilton argued against enactment of the Bill of Rights in the Federalist Papers. James Madison,Preside ent4, always took a stand against an establishment of the Christian sect: "Rulers who wished to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate it, needs them not. Such a government will be best supported protecting every citizen in the enjoyment of his religion, by neither invading the equal rights of any sect,nor suffering any sect to invade those of another....It is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties....Wh o does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other sects?"
+1 # noitall 2012-01-02 02:15
What y'all think about the Justice Party and Rocky Anderson?
"It seemed that the notion of justice – economic justice, social justice, environmental justice – that’s what the people in this country want," he said. "They want an equal playing field. They want the laws to apply to everyone equally. And they don’t want our Congress and our president simply serving the interests of the economic aristocracy in this country any longer."
0 # carioca 2012-01-06 05:56
Yeah. Justice party and Rocky Anderson.

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