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The Lunatic Fringe
January 5, 2008 9:54 PM   Subscribe

Before Ron Paul, there was Lyndon LaRouche. More a cult than a political party nowadays, the Larouche organization still somehow manages to draw in enough lost souls to keep the party limping along. He's been scary and discredited for longer than most of his followers have been alive, but the beat goes on.
posted by freshwater_pr0n (117 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
So what does this have to do with Ron Paul?
posted by king walnut at 10:21 PM on January 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


So funny you posted this now, the LaRouchies were just by in my neighborhood, throwing 50+ bundles of full color literature outside of the three decker I live in. Considering the fact that seven people live in five apartments here, that might have been excessive. I guess trees are not a necessary commodity in the LaRouche future...

One thing I have learned about his younger squad during my political activism in Central MA: They have kickass songs and chants...!
posted by rollbiz at 10:21 PM on January 5, 2008


Every time I see those guys on Ste-Catherine St. in Montreal I have to wonder if these people realize that they're in Canada. I mean, I'm sure there are plenty of people here who'd like to "stop Dick Cheney", but as foreigners living abroad (from Mr. Cheney's perspective) there's really nothing we can personally do in that respect.

Do they solicit donations? I'm pretty sure that political donations from non-Americans living outside America are absolutely illegal under at least most states' election laws. And the FEC's regulations.
posted by clevershark at 10:24 PM on January 5, 2008


How are the two related? Are you just trying to smear by association?
posted by Malor at 10:32 PM on January 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


There was some cultish-ness around Ayn Rand, and god knows there are enough mutton-heads in the Libertarian Party.

But to imply that Ron Paul (a Congressman who just won 10% in the Iowa Republican Primary) is in any way a successor to Lyndon LaRouche (a jail-bird cult-leader who literally and loudly claims that HRH Queen Elizabeth is a drug dealer), is pure and simply trolling.

Pure and simply offensive trolling. It would be like writing, "Before Barack Obama, there was Mumia Abu-Jamal" because both are black and have followers who can be very generally described as "on the left".

By conflating Ron Paul with LaRouche, you've turned what could have been an informative post into puerile trolling.
posted by orthogonality at 10:32 PM on January 5, 2008 [15 favorites]


Every time I've been approached by a LaRouchian, I've asked what his platform is. I've always been informed that LaRouch wants a "New Bretton Woods." When I ask them what, exactly, that means, the stop and look a little frazzled, like I've asked them to count to Q, or name all the planets in Topeka, KS. I've even read the literature they hand out. They'll never get anywhere 'cause trying to squeeze coherent information out of LaRouche and his crew is damned near impossible.
posted by lekvar at 10:35 PM on January 5, 2008 [4 favorites]


So what does this have to do with Ron Paul?

Both Paul and LaRouche run on a cult of personality and have loonies for followers.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:37 PM on January 5, 2008 [26 favorites]


I would support this if the owners of the losers and anyone betting against the winners were subsequently ground up and fed to the winners.

I had this comment custom made for the Japanese Bug Fighting thread, but it seemed oddly appropriate here, too.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:39 PM on January 5, 2008 [4 favorites]


c'mon. I wouldn't necessarily *equate* the two, but it's not so far off.
ron paul has been on the alex jones show. more than once.
I REST MY CASE.
posted by moxiedoll at 10:46 PM on January 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


Blazecock Pileon writes "Both Paul and LaRouche run on a cult of personality and have loonies for followers."

Jesus, Blazecock.

First, every candidate (yes, even your favorite, whomever that is) has unbalanced followers.

But, no, Paul isn't running a cult of personality. The truth is, Paul doesn't have a lot of personal charisma, and is a fair-to-middlin' speaker at best. Mesmerizing? Never.

His attraction is that he's the only Republican against the war, he's for civil liberties at a time they're under great threat, and that he's a (pretty) strict constructionist at a time when the president is playing fast and loose with both the Bill of Rights and Separation of Powers. He doesn't talk pretty, but he does talk straight.

If you can't see the great differences between that and LaRouche, it's because you're being willfully blind.
posted by orthogonality at 10:49 PM on January 5, 2008 [8 favorites]


speaking of lunatics....
posted by moxiedoll at 10:49 PM on January 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


The LaRouchies are the Hare Krishnas of politics.
posted by Afroblanco at 10:49 PM on January 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


I had this post in the back of my mind, too! Tis the season. The LaRouchean zombies have been out in force here in NH. Every time one of these fresh-faced college students hands me a publication telling my that MySpace is a tool of Satan, I really want to sit down and find out what is going on in their heads. And why for so long? The same kinds of kids were doing it when I was in college. What's in the Kool-Aid?
posted by Miko at 10:53 PM on January 5, 2008


By conflating Ron Paul with LaRouche, you've turned what could have been an informative post into puerile trolling.

Conflating Ron Paul with any post on Metafilter is automatically puerile trolling. That guy is a racist, misogynist douchebag — and the less promotion given to him and his idiotic cult the better.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:53 PM on January 5, 2008 [13 favorites]


c'mon. I wouldn't necessarily *equate* the two, but it's not so far off.
ron paul has been on the alex jones show. more than once.
I REST MY CASE.


Ron Paul on Alex Jones (11-09-06) part 1, part 2.
Ron Paul on Alex Jones (02-15-07) part 1, part 2, part 3.
posted by humannaire at 10:59 PM on January 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ron Paul is hardly worth a smear campaign. Like LaRouche, he's a never-was.

The real story is in the kids who follow him.
posted by freshwater_pr0n at 11:01 PM on January 5, 2008


thanks, humannaire. you are less lazy and more useful than I.
posted by moxiedoll at 11:02 PM on January 5, 2008


This will ronpaul.
posted by champthom at 11:08 PM on January 5, 2008


The real story is in the kids who follow him.

It seems like there will always be the kids who follow people like him.

Why and how do kooks like LaRouche and Paul become freak magnets? Learn the fourteen steps of the proto-Reichsführer and there will be Real Progress, fellow citizen.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:10 PM on January 5, 2008


I remember being approached by LaRouche supporters once, when they seemed to have gotten a bunch of school kids to harass pedestrians. Not even like high schoolers, they seemed to be 11-12. I distinctly remember one of the kids telling me "a Nazi used to teach at your school, he's dead now, but..." and trailing off as if the zombie of a long dead philosophy professor was going to be arising any minute now. It was pretty funny, but getting kids to do that? Not cool.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 11:34 PM on January 5, 2008


freshwater_pr0n writes "The real story is in the kids who follow him."

The small number of kids who follow LaRouche are negligible and fringe.

The kids who follow Paul are neither. Paul placed first, at 29%, among independents voting in Iowa's Republican Caucus. He was also first (27%) among Iowa State University students intending to vote in the Republican primary. He raised nearly 20 million dollars in the third quarter, five times that of Huckabee, and almost all in small donations. He's scored the majority of donations from members of the US military. He came in with 10% of the total Republican votes in Iowa, ahead of Rudy 9/11 Giuliani, and will do better in New Hampshire.

Will he win teh nomination? No way. But he's gone far beyond fringe.

Why's he got that level of support? Because there's a large group of citizens who -- until Ron Paul -- were too jaded, too cynical, too apathetic to vote. Citizens who saw Bush's fuckups compounded by a do-nothing Democratic Congress unable or unwiling to oppose The Decider.

I don't agree with many of Paul's positions, and I don't want him to be president. But his campaigns a damned good thing, a tonic to wake us up.

Ron Paul will help to destroy the Republican Party, and that in turn will mean appeasement and collaborationist Democrats (Nancy Pelosi, Rahm Emanuel, the Clintons) won't be able to any longer use and ignore progressive Democrats (like the Republicans use and ignore the evangelicals) with the threat that not supporting a Democrat-In-Name-Only means electing a neo-con or theocrat.

True progressives on the left, and anyone really against the war, ought to be singing Alleluia for Ron Paul's candidacy, not mocking it. Sure, hate Paul -- but embrace what his candidacy gives us on the left.

And after the Republicans throw Paul under the bus, please try your best to welcome (many, not all) of his supporters to our progressive tent.
posted by orthogonality at 11:35 PM on January 5, 2008 [6 favorites]


The only similarity I see between the two is that they both have rabidly overzealous followers. Some of the Ron Paul people need to realize that sometimes, screaming from the mountaintops is likely to turn away potenital supporters.
posted by mrbill at 11:37 PM on January 5, 2008


Why and how do kooks like LaRouche and Paul become freak magnets? Learn the fourteen steps of the proto-Reichsführer and there will be Real Progress, fellow citizen.


Because we all know Hitler ran on a platform of reducing the tax burden on German citizens, freeing his country of foreign alliances, and bringing his armies home.
posted by three blind mice at 11:40 PM on January 5, 2008 [4 favorites]


Can I just say that we can badmouth Hitler all we like, and he deserves it, admittedly, admittedly, but you have to give the man props for being one hell of a public speaker.

And that's exactly how is just like Martin Luther King Jr.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:55 PM on January 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


I deliberately left a word out of my last paragraph. Can you guess what it is?

That's right! It's "Salmonella"!
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:58 PM on January 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ron Paul will help to destroy the Republican Party, and that in turn will mean appeasement and collaborationist Democrats (Nancy Pelosi, Rahm Emanuel, the Clintons) won't be able to any longer use and ignore progressive Democrats (like the Republicans use and ignore the evangelicals) with the threat that not supporting a Democrat-In-Name-Only means electing a neo-con or theocrat.

Enemy-of-my-enemy is an interesting line of thought, especially when it comes up again in history.

Just as the Weimar Republic fell, the Nazi Party gained enough influence with disgruntled Germans to offset the fractured bundle of socialists, communists, paleocon-equivalents and republicans that made up the rest of the pre-Nazi Germany Parliament — all while the country's economy kept spiraling out of control — a situation ripe for the white-Aryan-nationalist-paleocon leadership to come.

As far as Ron Paul running while our own economy tanks, his Put-White-Male-Americans-First policy would sound familiar, except that It Can't Happen Here!

Anyway, mainstream Republicans have done a great job of destroying their party — no help from the fringe necessary — and since the 2006 elections, career Democrats have continued to ignore the progressive left, regardless.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:01 AM on January 6, 2008


Berkeley, my hometown, is rife with the occasional LaRouche table at BART and at UC Berkeley. It's pretty funny, really. I have always wondered about these people who get involved, because they seem to be infrequent collaborators. Not like the Socialist Worker people at all, who are always out on the street selling their newspapers. At least, The Spartacist is a better read than the diatribes and speeches that make up most of LaRouche's print cycle.
posted by parmanparman at 12:05 AM on January 6, 2008


The LaRouchies have been out at the Dept of Motor Vehicles and outside the post office around here, with big table-signs that say "Impeach Cheney" and tiny fineprint on their petitions. They always have people talking to them when I drive by. Yeeek.
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:14 AM on January 6, 2008


but you have to give the man props for being one hell of a public speaker.

Which Dr. Paul most certainly, and remarkably for an elected official, is not.

What is instructuce is how the "mainstream" on the left and right feel so threatened by this man. Obviously, a lot of useless government bureaucrats will have to get real jobs if he's elected.
posted by three blind mice at 12:19 AM on January 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


instructuce

instructive
posted by three blind mice at 12:21 AM on January 6, 2008


Paul's no Nazi; Naziism and (in the last 30 years) overt racism don't play in the US, as we can see from the negligible support for the David Dukes, George Lincoln Rockwells, and Stormfronters. paul's support is orders of magnitude greater.

While Paul may have the support of some of these fringe-ers, but Paul doesn't support them. Paul's much more the Howard Dean (or Ross Perot) of this election cycle, riding the discontent. And like a Dean (or Perot), as progressives we should be looking not at mocking him, but at harnessing his phenomenon for our goals.

Paul is this year's Howard Dean, and there are plenty in the Mainstream Media who want to mock him just as they did Dean. Progressives should know better -- even if you can find no common ground with Paul, you should at least be angry when the self-appointed "gatekeepers" and professional inside-the-beltway crowd tries to dictate what politicians are allowed to compete, what views are allowed to be heard. Don't fall into the trap of mocking anyone who doesn't have the Establishment's imprimatur.
posted by orthogonality at 12:26 AM on January 6, 2008


Because we all know Hitler ran on a platform of reducing the tax burden on German citizens, freeing his country of foreign alliances, and bringing his armies home.

We also know that Hitler and Paul are associated with a platform of hatred for certain groups of citizens.

We also know that — while Hitler didn't really run on the platform you're talking about — issues of political disenfranchisement, taxation and isolationism are indeed associated with today's modern white supremacists, militia and other nationalist groups. Their membership makes up a good deal of the underground, grassroots — "progressive", even — support for right-wing proto-fascists like Ron Paul and Lyndon LaRouche.

It takes someone who is to a certain degree divorced from reality to support either kook. On either the Paul or LaRouche side, it helps to maintain irrational, violent hatred for humans being like, say, women, Jews, African-Americans, or even the folks who work at the IRS.

Hitler didn't run on that specific platform, but he might well would have if he was around today, and he'd have gotten the same support from the same lunatic fringe.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:28 AM on January 6, 2008 [3 favorites]


Astro Zombie: And that's exactly how is just like Martin Luther King Jr.

Astro Zombie: I deliberately left a word out of my last paragraph. Can you guess what it is?

That's right! It's "Salmonella"!



Martin Luther King Salmonella Jr, who the fuck is that?
posted by Foci for Analysis at 12:37 AM on January 6, 2008


While Paul may have the support of some of these fringe-ers, but Paul doesn't support them.

That's utter nonsense. He has met with some of these people on a semi-regular basis, well before his 2008 candidacy. He's espoused some of their ideals publicly, as his own.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:38 AM on January 6, 2008


Blazecock Pileon writes "It takes someone who is to a certain degree divorced from reality to support either kook. On either the Paul or LaRouche side, it helps to maintain irrational, violent hatred for humans being like, say, women, Jews, African-Americans, or even the folks who work at the IRS."

There are also people like that who voted for Bush and Clinton. It does you no good to misrepresent the people who support a position you disagree with.
posted by krinklyfig at 12:41 AM on January 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


orthogonality: And after the Republicans throw Paul under the bus, please try your best to welcome (many, not all) of his supporters to our progressive tent.

Are you sure that they want to come to your tent after being burned by the republicans? Personally, I think they will mope around the tent and try to piss on it, but what do I know.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 12:49 AM on January 6, 2008


Blazecock Pileon writes "He has met with some of these people on a semi-regular basis, "

Pure guilt-by-association. You'd call it out if some J. Edgar type pulled that on a leftist ("he's met with Stalin, Hugo Chavez!") so why is it OK for you to do it to Paul?

Paul's met with the anti-immigration crowd. Not with Nazis. (Yes, a NYTimes blog said he did, based on the slanders of an attention-whore Nazi;The Times subsequently had to print a retraction.)

It's funny. Presumably, you wouldn't believe a dress-up Nazi if he said it was raining outside, but if he slanders Ron Paul, all of a sudden a Nazi-wannabe can tell no lies.

Ron Paul's a Libertarian who takes his political philosophy from Ayn Rand (a Jew) and his economic policy from the Austrian School of Economics, the founders of which were Jews. Given that, it seems unlikely that he's a Nazi.

But frankly, if he splits the Republican Party, what do I care if he were?
posted by orthogonality at 12:51 AM on January 6, 2008


Ayn Rand may have been a Jew, but she wasn't a very good one.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:56 AM on January 6, 2008 [3 favorites]


There are also people like that who voted for Bush and Clinton.

That's true, there are crazy people everywhere. Some even voted in a guy who claimed to see a flying saucer.

But of all of these voters, which politician did they support who wrote this crazy ditty, "Black men commit murders, rapes, robberies, muggings and burglaries all out of proportion to their numbers... I think we can safely assume that 95% of the black males in [Washington DC] are semi-criminal or entirely criminal."

A. George W. Bush
B. William "Bill" Clinton
C. Ron Paul

It seemed crazy to me, but it really wasn't Dubya.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:58 AM on January 6, 2008


Pure guilt-by-association.

I wouldn't mind the association, so much as his repetition of what they say, from his own mouth or pen. That deserves a guilty verdict.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:12 AM on January 6, 2008


Blazecock Pileon writes "95% of the black males in [Washington DC] are semi-criminal or entirely criminal."

Yes, that's outrageous and offensive (and likely written by a ghost-writer).

But, Blazecock, you at one time supported Bill Clinton (the first "black" US president) , right? Well, I know a lot of progressives did, anyway. Bill Clinton, who while Arkansas governor and as late as 1979 was praising arch-segregationist (and progressive) Orval Faubus.
posted by orthogonality at 1:21 AM on January 6, 2008


(and likely written by a ghost-writer)

Well, that sweeps that ugly problem under the rug. If only Hitler had a ghost-writer!

Bill Clinton, who while Arkansas governor and as late as 1979 was praising arch-segregationist (and progressive) Orval Faubus.

It reads like Faubus publicly renounced his views on race during Clinton's first or second term, and even promoted Jesse Jackson, so describing him as an arch-segregationist seems incomplete. I guess I'm not seeing your connect here with Clinton's own activities as governor, let alone as President. What was Clinton praising, specifically?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:35 AM on January 6, 2008


"Mondale is not simply a KGB agent in the ordinary sense..."
posted by stammer at 1:36 AM on January 6, 2008


To me, what seems to be common between LaRouche and Paul is the fanatical, non-questioning following they seem to have. Their followers both seem defensive from the outset, feel that their guy is damn near infallible, manipulative of the facts* that they are quite marginal politicians [sorry, ortho], and just plain difficult to reason with. I got into a vigorous debate with a Clintonite the other day, but he and I were both able to bend on points and hear each other out. Tried to do the same thing with a Paulite and it was just flat denials followed by tacit justification for Paul's cultural aversions... an amazing difference, the latter debatee being one of the most rational people I know.
What I find interesting is that the connection between these two uber-mavericks has less to do with politics, and more to do with an apparent need by their followers for a do-no-wrong savior to lead them out of a political disenfranchisement which could easily be transcended with a little logic and willingness to doubt. I started off liking Paul a little but seeing the zealotry and reading up on his associations soon outweighed his good points which can be found in far more transparent if wacky politicians like Kucinich and Gravel.
posted by moonbird at 1:48 AM on January 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


strict constructionist

at least he might have a VP who considers himself a member of the same fucking branch of government, yes.

Ron Paul is a pretty good incarnation of the cranky, quasi-Bircher Texas Republican Party Platform. God, Guns, Gays, Gold.

Strikes me that his supporters get a strong overlap with the militia and OK City bombers, and the glibertarians like 3bm who see big government as part of the problem, rather bad government as part of the problem.

We could dig Reagan out of his grave and elect him, or put a Carter/Bush Sr joint ticket into the office, and it's not going to make a damn bit of difference. We as a nation are at 0:24 in this video, the profile has been committed, all that's left is picking the spot to crash.
posted by panamax at 2:16 AM on January 6, 2008


Here in Australia, the LaRouchies present themselves as the "Citizens Electoral Council". They put one of their newspapers in my letter box before the election, declaring, as usual, that the British Bankers were Destroying The World through their support of the International Drug Trade, and the Bogus Global Warming Myth. Also, it had pictures of Lyndon shaking hands with Jewish People on page 3, just to prove...something...

Laffs all round.
posted by Jimbob at 2:33 AM on January 6, 2008


I just saw the LaRouchies here in Berlin talking about Bhutto and some immanent world depression. They show up pretty regularly, about once a year in fact. I too have always wondered: who is their audience? And who is funding this? Do these people live in Berlin, do they have day-jobs and then come out of the woodwork once a year, or are touring the globe all the time?
posted by creasy boy at 2:47 AM on January 6, 2008


I loathe Ron Paul, but his supporters are hilarious.

The white nationalist is a way the establishment try to contaminate Ron Paul's movement. The KKK and White supremacist are all CIA operations. Do your research.

The Jewish Banking Cartels are keeping The Ron Paul Revolution out of the MSM. Do your research.
Socialized healthcare is how the ZOG will convince the sheeple to use the Amero. Do your research.
Negros are scientifically proven to be fleet footed. Do your research.

"Do your research" is brilliant.
posted by cmonkey at 4:26 AM on January 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


the connection between these two uber-mavericks has less to do with politics, and more to do with an apparent need by their followers for a do-no-wrong savior to lead them out of a political disenfranchisement

LOL! Well said, Moonbird. And, true (do your research - starting with this thread).
posted by thrakintosh at 4:42 AM on January 6, 2008


Yes, that's outrageous and offensive (and likely written by a ghost-writer).

How does that make any difference? Politicians aren't generally in the habit of letting their ghost-writers express views that they don't agree with, or that are directly opposed to their political platform.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:56 AM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Interesting to learn that the US LaRouche-ians are college kids - as Jimbob points out, here they're aligned with the CEC; in fact, they took over the CEC from the neo-nazis who'd hijacked it from the old grey "get those damned kids off my lawn!" right-wingers who founded it. Still, the CEC minions here all seem to be pensioner-types who still retain enough vestiges of nationalist steam-power that they believe John Winston Howard was a bit too economically left-wing...

(They turned up on campus with their newsletter during the last election campaign, and were knocked for six when I asked "So, this Lyndon LaRouche - is he the nutjob who believes the Queen runs an international drug cartel, the nutjob who believes the Queen is a shape-shifting blood-drinking reptile alien, or the nutjob who believes he's got an Economics degree?")
posted by Pinback at 5:28 AM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Welcome to the Schiller Institute ( needs batshitinsane tag ).
posted by adamvasco at 5:36 AM on January 6, 2008


Bit of trivia: LaRouche and Jim Bakker were cellmates for awhile.
posted by konolia at 5:59 AM on January 6, 2008


ron paul is such an evil person he's the only well-known candidate who's willing to stop the iraq war and willing to say that he doesn't want a war with iran

how much blood is YOUR candidate willing to have on his/her hands?

i do see problems with him - but seeing as in michigan, all the major democratic runners except hillary have taken their names off the ballot, i just may cross party lines and vote for paul anyway, just to fuck up the republicans and register a protest against this war

and it's not just nuts that are going for him - he's got mainstream, ordinary people listening to him here in the midwest
posted by pyramid termite at 6:31 AM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Jeremiah Duggan's death and Lyndon LaRouche
posted by kolophon at 7:16 AM on January 6, 2008


The thing that scares me most about Ron Paul, or rather his supporters, is that Paul is as much of a moralistic, right-wing religious kook as Bush, Romney, or Huckabee—if not more so, but his supporters have a blind spot for his anti-Gay Marriage, pro-life ravings.

Anyone who supports constitutional amendments overturning Roe v. Wade and banning Gay Mariage is no candidate that should be getting the progressive vote.
posted by SansPoint at 7:55 AM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ron Paul has sold himself effectively as a None of the Above candidate. When you have no chance of real power, you have the luxury of not working policies out that make sense or would work. That's why you get a good chunk of the crazies; he's "somebody else." Those same crazies probably have (or had, in 2004) a picture/shrine of GWB on their mantle.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 8:09 AM on January 6, 2008


The LaRouche movement has been called many things: Marxist, fascist, a political cult, a personality cult, a criminal enterprise, and, in the words of the Heritage Foundation, "one of the strangest political groups in American history." More than anything else, however, what it resembles is a vast and bizarre vanity press.">The LaRouche movement has been called many things: Marxist, fascist, a political cult, a personality cult, a criminal enterprise, and, in the words of the Heritage Foundation, "one of the strangest political groups in American history." More than anything else, however, what it resembles is a vast and bizarre vanity press."

What a tale.

This is the side that interests me. I understand that there will always be an angry American fringe ready to vote for a candidate like LaRouche or Paul. I'm more interested in the intimate side of the LaRouche campaign. Who are those campaign workers? Where do they come from? They're so often student-age. Are they students? How did they get into this? What convinced them that the rantings of a clearly insane man were a vital truth they must help to convey? What do their parents think?

How are they trained? (It's true that they're always talking to someone. What I hate about LaRouche supporters is what you might call the dogshit effect - by the time you've stepped in it, it's too late. You come up out of the subway and there they are, approaching you and saying "Good morning!" They start walking along with you, and you think they're going to ask directions or something like that, when out comes the pamphlet.) How do they stay rallied and organized? Who are the organizers?

Things like that. I guess I'm more fascinated by LaRouche-as-cult than LaRouche as candidate.
posted by Miko at 8:14 AM on January 6, 2008


Some insight into those questions is in the article:

When LaRouche emerged from jail in 1994, he perceived that his influence among his founding followers was waning.... In 1999, when the conditions on his parole were lifted, he devised a bold plan: a new youth movement that would fan out to major cities and college campuses around the country, pushing LaRouche publications and reestablishing him as a major player on the national scene.

Experts who study political cults have observed that such groups thrive on an imagined enemy in opposition to which the group constructs it own collective identity....[LaRouche] concocted a sinister new nemesis: the baby boomer.

This perceived enemy was a very useful device to LaRouche as he formed his new group, the LaRouche Youth Movement. This group attracted very different people from those who had joined the movement with Kronberg. The later recruits were mostly college dropouts, many of them mentally unstable, whom LaRouche pressured to leave school and live in organization group homes. In order to seal their allegiance, LaRouche latched on to the boomers as a perfect indoctrination device, a way to channel the rage new acolytes felt toward their parents at a nearby, internal enemy: the founding generation of his own followers.


Light dawns.
posted by Miko at 8:21 AM on January 6, 2008


pyramid termite: but seeing as in michigan, all the major democratic runners except hillary have taken their names off the ballot, i just may cross party lines and vote for paul anyway, just to fuck up the republicans and register a protest against this war.

Oh no, you don't want to be on that list.
posted by willie11 at 8:39 AM on January 6, 2008


Most of Ron Paul's supporters under the age of 25 haven't the foggiest idea about public policy or how government effects their lives. Hearing these university students rail on against the evils of big government while simultaniously sucking at its tit is laughable.

I have much more respect for the LaRouche kids than I do Paultards if only because many of the LaRouchees have actually removed themselves from society altogether and live on a freaky compound somewhere in northwest Virginia and away from the evils of international capitalism and the Queen. Paultards, on the other hand, seem to be everywhere. Let's hope Comcast never gets around to wiring the LaRouche compound.
posted by willie11 at 8:58 AM on January 6, 2008


I've never heard anyone refer to "northwest Virginia."
posted by proj at 9:05 AM on January 6, 2008


An essay on the extremism of Ron Paul and followers.

I'm waiting to see what will happen in the New Hampshire AG investigation of the Thanksgiving Day push-polling, which was illegal. Only Ron Paul's pollster was involved, but the ads openly praised Huckabee.
posted by Brian B. at 9:18 AM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Speaking of lunatics: McCain: ‘I Dont Think Americans Are Concerned’ If We Stay In Iraq For ‘10,000 Years’
posted by homunculus at 9:19 AM on January 6, 2008


Before Star Jones there was Abraham Lincoln.
posted by iamck at 9:55 AM on January 6, 2008


The Federal Marriage Amendment Is a Very Bad Idea - by Rep. Ron Paul, MD. Doesn't seem to be a screaming send down of gay marriage. /shrugs
posted by AdamOddo at 10:11 AM on January 6, 2008


In the essay on the extremism of Ron Paul and followers cited by Brian B, the author writes:

The countries that freed the slaves without war, presumably France and England, unlike the U.S., did not practice slavery in their countries.

Bad presumption.
posted by IndigoJones at 10:23 AM on January 6, 2008


(Perhaps I should have said, limited presumption? Plenty of other countries were cutting the legal cords before 1863, including, mirabile dictu, Russia.)
posted by IndigoJones at 10:25 AM on January 6, 2008


AdamOddo, I don't follow Paul at all, just the stink I see reported, eg this from Wikipedia:

Dr Paul, on Lawrence vs. Texas:

"Consider the Lawrence case decided by the Supreme Court in June. The Court determined that Texas had no right to establish its own standards for private sexual conduct, because gay sodomy is somehow protected under the 14th amendment “right to privacy.” Ridiculous as sodomy laws may be, there clearly is no right to privacy nor sodomy found anywhere in the Constitution. There are, however, states’ rights – rights plainly affirmed in the Ninth and Tenth amendments. Under those amendments, the State of Texas has the right to decide for itself how to regulate social matters like sex, using its own local standards."
posted by panamax at 10:30 AM on January 6, 2008


states’ rights

Just code words, like "activist judges". Paul is as much of a constructionist as is necessary to get his pet moral values codified into law, regardless of whether that's on a federal or state level.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:49 AM on January 6, 2008


Blazecock, not everyone who uses the idea of state's rights is racist. It may often be a code word, but I assure you that, at least some of the time, it isn't.

Slavery needed to be abolished, but the price we paid, the loss of state autonomy, was a very high one.

Your hatred seems mostly unjustified. Paul is possibly the only Republican making any sense at all, and he's doing a lot better than most of the Democrats.
posted by Malor at 10:57 AM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


I agree about 'states' rights.' In fact, as I've been taught it, there really are no states' rights; the Constitution just leaves states free to make legislation where there is an absence of federal legislation. It does not provide the states the ability to make laws that go against federal law. So it's a rather empty concept - it describes an absence of rights, not rights themselves.
posted by Miko at 11:02 AM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Malor, as a wanna-be left-libertarian I see the usual pattern of right-wing crank in Paul and his other fellow-travelers like Rehnquist: the desire to see states rights as the mechanism to restrict the common-law liberty to be let the fuck alone (eg. tossing out the thread of federal jurisprudence that stretches from Lawrence all the way back to Griswold and Loving and Brown vs Board of Education.

These cranks do not see the value of our federalist system in protecting liberty, eg. Rehnquist did not sign on to O'Connor's dissent in Raich here:

But whatever the wisdom of California's experiment with medical marijuana, the federalism principles that have driven our Commerce Clause cases require that room for experiment be protected in this case. For these reasons I dissent.

Dr Paul stands for Federalist Society-style rollback of civil liberties on a state-by-state basis. This is the essence of his, and modern day libertarianism's, retardedness.
posted by panamax at 11:09 AM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Miko, I agree with O'Connor's above dissent in Raich that Federalism should mean that the several states are free to extend Liberties above the Federally-mandated minimums, ie. that the Feds should be in the constitutional business of preserving individual liberties, not restricting them (subject to Commerce Clause issues that I won't get into here).
posted by panamax at 11:12 AM on January 6, 2008


Non-members of a rabid religious or racial majority would prefer concentrated power to be non-local. Harder to bribe, more difficult to make special laws that only make sense to the braindead locals. If a governor can direct a lynch mob from his porch, there will be a demand for the worst government abuse.
posted by Brian B. at 11:15 AM on January 6, 2008


moonbird writes "I got into a vigorous debate with a Clintonite the other day, but he and I were both able to bend on points and hear each other out. Tried to do the same thing with a Paulite and it was just flat denials followed by tacit justification for Paul's cultural aversions... an amazing difference, the latter debatee being one of the most rational people I know."

You have had a different experience than I have. My step-father is one of those irrational (Bill) Clinton supporters. You cannot have any sort of political conversation with him due to his irrationality and sheer sense of frustration - and if you ain't with him, you're against him. You should try to talk to some more Clinton supporters about Obama. Then you'll start to see some serious defensiveness and denial. But I don't really think these anecdotal experiences are relevant. Some of the most committed blind followers I've ever met were hardcore Bill Clinton fans in the '90s. That's the nature of politics.
posted by krinklyfig at 11:40 AM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


This post is ridiculous and should be deleted. Ron Paul & LaRouche have absolutely no relation to each other. Pure slanderous crap.
posted by jbelshaw at 11:44 AM on January 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


LaRouch has nothing in common with Paul.

What excites me about Ron Paul is that he's the closest we'll get to a Libertarian in mainstream politics. I voted for him when he ran as a Libertarian and I just may vote for the Libertarian this time if Hillary wins the nomination.
posted by mike3k at 12:04 PM on January 6, 2008


c'mon jbelshaw, put away your sourpuss-face and join in the fun . . .
posted by panamax at 12:05 PM on January 6, 2008


"he may be a whackjob, but he's a libertarian whackjob, so he gets my enthusiastic vote"
posted by panamax at 12:08 PM on January 6, 2008


We could have had a perfectly good discussion about Larouche, but then the poster went and involved Ron Paul, insuring that the conversation would be completely taken over with this latter subject. Good job there...
posted by clevershark at 12:13 PM on January 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


Blazecock Pileon = Morton Downey Jr.
posted by king walnut at 12:50 PM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


If you can't do anything about the crazy, hate-filled garbage that comes out of Ron Paul's mouth, send your followers to attack anyone who points it out!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:09 PM on January 6, 2008


Am I the only person who kept forgetting about Larouche and thinking I was reading an article about Scientology?
posted by Billegible at 1:48 PM on January 6, 2008


If you can't do anything about the crazy, hate-filled garbage that comes out of Ron Paul's mouth

You just bent the needle on my irony detector.
posted by Malor at 3:44 PM on January 6, 2008


WHO IS RON PAUL?
posted by yoyo_nyc at 5:03 PM on January 6, 2008


@SansPoint

Quote:"Anyone who supports constitutional amendments overturning Roe v. Wade and banning Gay Mariage is no candidate that should be getting the progressive vote."

You don't his point at all. Paul, as most libertarians, thinks that marriage is not a thing that the state should decide at all. Marriage is connected with religion and should be left to the church and neither be allowed, forbidden or subsidized by the state.
posted by yoyo_nyc at 5:13 PM on January 6, 2008


You just bent the needle on my irony detector.

Your irony detector is badly broken, then. I'm not the one calling nearly all black people criminals.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:20 PM on January 6, 2008


Quoth Miko, emphasis mine:
In fact, as I've been taught it, there really are no states' rights; the Constitution just leaves states free to make legislation where there is an absence of federal legislation. It does not provide the states the ability to make laws that go against federal law. So it's a rather empty concept - it describes an absence of rights, not rights themselves.
You're missing something. The Federal government has power to do very little under the Constitution. Sure, we're free to give it more authority but it requires a constitutional amendment.

The 9th amendment says the people have rights by default. The 10th goes farther and says that any power not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution are reserved to the states. This means that once again, "Congress shall make no law". And in the absense of a state law prohibiting something, it's a right of the people (back to the 9th).

Now, the 14th says states aren't allowed to make laws infringing on the "privileges and immunities" (Bill of Rights) of citizens. (That's what the fuss about Ron Paul's "We the People Act" — a bill I personally disagree with — is: it would prevent enforcement of certain parts of the 1st amendment by federal courts via the 14th.) But it gives no extra lawmaking authority to the Federal government, nor restricts the states in any other way.

So in retrospect you couldn't be more wrong. The people have all the rights by default, but states have rights (really, "powers") to do pretty much anything to them. A friend of mine likes to ask, are states allowed to ban you from eating hamburgers? Under the Constitution, it seems so. Can the federal government? Absolutely not.

All this is moot anyway, of course. SCOTUS and the feds have used the Interstate Commerce Clause, of all things, to legislate for or against anything they feel like. Because if you buy one thing, you might not another, which might have been imported interstate. And, the Butterfly Effect, you know.

A lot of people get worried by this discussion because they like the state of things. Or more correctly, they like some of the state of things and want their own pet law for this or that issue. There's a reason for constitutional limitations on the size and scope of the federal government. Regional variations if nothing else make one-size-fits-all laws difficult. If there's something that the federal government really should handle (healthcare, say; I disagree but that's a good example) then by all means grant them power to do it. But follow the process so it's legal and truly the will of the people. You can't break law to make law.
posted by vsync at 5:51 PM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Is this Digg? Ortho seems to be "digging" up every pro-Paul comment in here with a favorite. As a Canadian who enjoys the internet without Paul supporters constantly shoving their message down my throat, I have to say it's this sort of thing that turns me off the whole Dr. Paul pitch.
posted by reformedjerk at 6:55 PM on January 6, 2008


before lyndon larouche, before ron paul, there was adolf hitler

discuss
posted by pyramid termite at 7:33 PM on January 6, 2008


reformedjerk writes "Is this Digg? Ortho seems to be 'digging' up every pro-Paul comment in here with a favorite."

I favorite what I want to favorite. You favorite what you want to favorite. The Invisible Hand of the Free Market and the Immortal Spirit of Ayn Rand will set it all right.
posted by orthogonality at 8:05 PM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


| S | U | C | K | | | I | T | |
| R | O | N | | P | A | U | L |

posted by fiercecupcake at 9:10 PM on January 6, 2008


The Invisible Hand of the Free Market and the Immortal Spirit of Ayn Rand will set it all right.

You're favoriting posts in support of Ron Paul, a crypto-white supremacist who wrote that nearly all black people are criminals and terrorists. Hope that bizarre Adam Smith bullshit works out for you.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:35 PM on January 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


The Paultards are ruining the goddamn internet. It was better before when they were all still just stuck on World of Warcraft...
posted by Thoth at 10:39 PM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ron Paul wants to shrink and disarm the government, end the Iraq war, end the drug war, pull in our troops from around the world, and supports citizens owning guns. Hate on him, call him a kook if you must, but a fascist? I don't think that word means what you think it means.
posted by king walnut at 12:11 AM on January 7, 2008


Paultards! Dat is teh funny.
posted by oncogenesis at 12:12 AM on January 7, 2008


>Yes, that's outrageous and offensive (and likely written by a ghost-writer).

If x is a problem for the loons then x was written by a ghostwriter who held a gun to the sacred vessel of Dr. Paul and forced him to recite such drek to the public!
posted by damn dirty ape at 8:47 AM on January 7, 2008


king walnut, you realize that the article you linked implies that the EPA wants to be armed so that they can more forcefully "protect" the environment, and that there's also a complete non-sequitur reference to Paula Jones being audited by the IRS after bringing about her lawsuit against the then-president? The article isn't really about disarming the government, it's about advancing federal government as a bogeyman that's out to get you -- WITH WEAPONS.

In virtually no time at all, I found information on the Western Journalism Center, the organization that the little screed you posted was inspired by. Guess what? That organization also claims they were audited by the IRS for political reasons!

I guess this is what all those "Ron Paul: Will stop the IRS!" billboards around Des Moines were all about. The IRS is out to get us!
posted by mikeh at 9:30 AM on January 7, 2008


What a surprise, more snide dismissal of Ron Paul on Metafilter.

-----

I agree about 'states' rights.' In fact, as I've been taught it, there really are no states' rights; the Constitution just leaves states free to make legislation where there is an absence of federal legislation. It does not provide the states the ability to make laws that go against federal law. So it's a rather empty concept - it describes an absence of rights, not rights themselves.

Completely disagree. The framers of the Constitution sought to limit the powers of central government. What the federal government can do is carefully delineated, and all other powers are reserved to the states. No one argues that states should be able to make laws that go against federal law. The distinction is that the federal government does not have the legal reach to make laws in matters where the state government is intended to be the legislating authority.

-----

Dr Paul stands for Federalist Society-style rollback of civil liberties on a state-by-state basis. This is the essence of his, and modern day libertarianism's, retardedness.

Dr. Paul does not stand for a rollback of civil liberties. He is the only candidate out there who is showing any real commitment to protecting them. Look at his stance on the Patriot Act, habeas corpus, Fully Informed Jury Act and National ID.

By the way, nice dig at the mentally disabled. Classy.

-----
Both Paul and LaRouche run on a cult of personality and have loonies for followers.

What nonsense. Ron Paul tends to speak in a monotone and his speeches are pretty short on the rhetorical flourishes. For a politician he's pretty low on charisma. There is no cult of personality there.

You are right in that the coming hard economic times will make it easy for the country to move further along towards fascism. It's ironic and sad that the one person who is fighting this trend both by preaching fiscal responsibility and protecting the erosion of our civil liberties is seen by you as the enemy.

It doesn't seem like you're very interested in ideas, only that Dr. Paul has been tarred as a racist. You probably know that the quotes from his newsletter weren't written by him. But you want to make it stick. Much like characterizing his movement as a "cult of personality", you aren't interested in accuracy just rhetorical effect. You probably know the real story about Bill White as well. Doesn't stop you from linking to the lie and acting like it's legit. Ron Paul has repeatedly spoken out against racism. But that's not good enough, you think you've got something (something quite small, actually) and that is enough to do your damnedest to marginalize him in the debate. I suspect serious economic pain will soon come and then you might recognize that you haven't been acting as much of a friend to the lower class.

I'll close with this comment from Glen Greenwald on those whose only thoughts about Ron Paul focus on their disapproval of his supporters:

"I'm really uncomfortable with judging someone by the support they attract. When The NY Sun wanted to discredit Walt/Measheimer, they did it by asking David Duke if he agreed with their book, and when he said that he did, they published a big article about it, implying that Duke's agreement must mean the argument is racist.

And, of course, a lot of the money that has been donated to Clinton and Obama -- A LOT -- is from the largest corporations that many of their supporters blame for most of the nation's ills. Should Clinton or Obama be responsible for the actions of their corporate donors?

Paul is out there arguing against worldwide organizations as well as clearly oppposing our unbending support for Israel. That is going to attract some anti-semites and other assorted crazies and haters, but that is most assuredly not the same as saying that Paul himself is anti-semitic or hateful.

Connecting a candidate to the views of some of his supporters without more smacks a little of guilt by association (not say you're doing that), and I doubt any candidate is really immune to that sort of thing."
posted by BigSky at 10:04 AM on January 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


BigSky, I'm loathe to do anything resembling debating about Ron Paul's background or beliefs, could you reconcile for me the fact that he's supposed to be a sane, non-mainstream conservative candidate with the fact that the article linked to by king walnut above, which is currently on Ron Paul's campaign site, is misleading and cites less than reputable sources? This is current campaign literature.

Even if I agree with the basic premise that many federal agencies have no need to carry firearms (and that perhaps private citizens should be allowed this right), the middle of the article goes off into crazy territory. It's implied that the IRS is used as an attack dog against people who speak out against those in the government (re: Paula Jones reference). It cites the Western Journalism Center -- for reference, here are some of the things that organization's news site has said. This is who your candidate is citing and allying with as of 1997 and still has it posted on his campaign site in 2008.

Should Clinton or Obama be responsible for the actions of their corporate donors?


Well, if a large corporate donor to one of these campaigns has done something that I disagree with, I would feel entitled to an explanation before giving them my support in the election. But in the case of what I've said above, we're not talking about supporters, we're talking about official media released by Ron Paul, past and present.
posted by mikeh at 1:41 PM on January 7, 2008


I'd note that despite mentioning only Paul so far, I think that he's still many, many miles away from being the crackpot that LaRouche has been. This post is kind of mean-spirited and is a partial attempt to play association politics, but that doesn't mean there aren't still some well-worded arguments here.
posted by mikeh at 1:43 PM on January 7, 2008


I don't see what's objectionable about that article. Is it that Ron Paul dared to suggest that some audits are politically motivated? That's not exactly far fetched. And it isn't a non sequitur. The article is about gun control, but the importance of the Second Amendment lies in the movement of government towards assuming more power and becoming increasingly coercive. Coercion isn't just agents showing up with guns, or seizures of private property, it can also take the form of long drawn out entanglements with government bureaucracies. When you say, "The article isn't really about disarming the government, it's about advancing federal government as a bogeyman that's out to get you -- WITH WEAPONS.", you're mischaracterizing it. It isn't that the government is out to get "you", it's that bureaucracies have a vested interest in their own existence. The bureaucracy sees a need for its existence and the people involved (employees, policy makers) want it to grow. The growth of government is an imposition on citizens' liberty. And so, the bureaucrats (and here he is calling FBI, ATF, DEA in addition to the rest, bureaucrats) tend to be well armed.

As for the Western Journalism Center, what's the big deal? The Wikipedia article you pointed to says it is one of the top 90 news sites on the web. Most of the controversial, and stupid, claims were made by columnists. Does that somehow invalidate all of their reporting? Shortly after 9/11 Ann Coulter made a remark to the effect that the U.S. should invade Middle Eastern countries and force them to convert to Christianity. Are you going to similarly question every media outlet which published that column? Ron Paul references an article by Joseph Farah, a former editor of the Sacramento Bee, regarding the increase in the number of federal agents. That is the full extent of the Western Journalism Center's appearance in the article. Please explain how this is some kind of issue and not more guilt by association.
posted by BigSky at 3:38 PM on January 7, 2008


The growth of government is an imposition on citizens' liberty.

You say that like it's true and you have evidence...
posted by Jimbob at 3:56 PM on January 7, 2008


Yeah, so, I'm the guy who has (had) nothing to do between classes, so used to enjoy baiting the LaRouchites.

What kept striking me was that the fundamental underlying desire they all had was to believe that there was A TRUTH and that they could access this TRUTH through LaRouche.

Every time I was stuck in the lobby, waiting around, they wanted to fall back on Plato and geometry to underpin their arguments, without acknowledging that there's a difference between abstraction and reality. Like, yes, you can perfectly bisect a theoretical line in a proof. You cannot, however, convince me that the line when demonstrated is PERFECTLY bisected—only that it is as close to bisected as can be determined by eye, or by measurement with the tools we have, etc.

They're canny debaters, as they've heard most of the objections before and have stock answers, but fundamentally unwavering support of the subjective and rejection of Platonic thought leaves them sputtering helplessly.

I felt bad for the couple of dudes, usually black, who seemed to only be into LaRouche for the promises of mag-lev trains—man, you ain't never gettin' them, no matter how sweet they look in the pamphlets.

My encounters usually ended up with me being called the Devil or something (because I was both expressing disbelief in objective truth and leading the poor junior members towards criticism), but I remember once where one of the women there said, "You're making me unhappy and enjoying it," which I affirmed vaguely. She then said, "You know who else enjoyed making people feel unhappy? Hitler!" and then she stormed off.

I felt like I'd won the internet right there in person.
posted by klangklangston at 4:13 PM on January 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


Big Sky, there's a reason that people are "dismissive" of Ron Paul's ideas, and it doesn't necessarily mean that they haven't looked into them. I, for one, am dismissive his ideas because they are batshit crazy. I am neither a historian nor an economist. I do not have an opinion as to whether it was a good idea to establish the federal reserve in 1913, but I do know that simply and suddenly "abolishing" the one hundred year old entity that establishes interest rates and the value of currency would cause a catastrophic financial clusterfuck, and is therefore a childish and simpleminded goal. He wants to abolish the federal reserve, and the income tax, and the IRS entirely, and as demonstrated above, he deliberately courts and panders to various nutbag subcultures. On what are we supposed to base judgment of politicians?
posted by moxiedoll at 4:34 PM on January 7, 2008


Dr. Paul does not stand for a rollback of civil liberties. He is the only candidate out there who is showing any real commitment to protecting them.

You mean, besides Mike Gravel and Dennis Kucinich, right?

All the good stuff, plenty of loony fun, too, but without all the Republican-associated baggage!
posted by humannaire at 4:44 PM on January 7, 2008


As for the Western Journalism Center, what's the big deal? The Wikipedia article you pointed to says it is one of the top 90 news sites on the web.

Top 90 by popularity, yes. Are you being willfully ignorant about what WorldNetDaily is? I'm talking about reputable primary sources, or using multiple sources, not trying to tar Ron Paul with guilt by association. But for someone who is supposedly not from the mainstream republican party, it's a weird solitary source to use. Not to mention the fact that I'm still giggling at the alarmism that "..the EPA, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife department, and the Army Corps of Engineers" carrying weapons is reason for alarm. I mean, don't these guys primarily work in areas with wildlife? Like uh, bears and wild cats? God forbid the wildlife department be allowed to carry hunting rifles.

Shortly after 9/11 Ann Coulter made a remark to the effect that the U.S. should invade Middle Eastern countries and force them to convert to Christianity. Are you going to similarly question every media outlet which published that column?


No, but if it was my local paper I'd likely write a politely-worded letter asking that they drop her as a regular columnist because that's a pretty despicable thing to say. But, they don't carry her column. WorldNetDaily, on the other hand, only republishes news from major outlets that has a particular... bent.. and their own columnists tend toward theories of the type outlined. I wouldn't mind my local paper being mentioned as a primary source -- but if it's a site where pretty much everyone writes like a mini-Coulter, it kind of makes me wish a second source was on the way.

As for the politically motivated audits situation, thank you for linking to that article. I was unaware that was the situation, and it's troubling.
posted by mikeh at 6:03 PM on January 7, 2008


You say that like it's true and you have evidence...

Do I need proof? It's practically a tautology. Government regulates, that's what it does. Regulation entails telling people what to do. The common understanding of liberty is the capability of some person or persons to act as they will. Now I'm not saying government is a complete evil, it's a necessity. There has to be an institution that confronts the private wielders of force against citizens and forbids monopolies and protects the borders etc. But there is also a point of diminishing returns, where the further reduction of personal freedom is no longer worth a marginal increase in social stability. I would say we passed that point some time ago.

I am neither a historian nor an economist. I do not have an opinion as to whether it was a good idea to establish the federal reserve in 1913, but I do know that simply and suddenly "abolishing" the one hundred year old entity that establishes interest rates and the value of currency would cause a catastrophic financial clusterfuck, and is therefore a childish and simpleminded goal.

Huh. Are you aware that the plan is to introduce competing currencies? No one wants to see Federal Reserve notes go to zero value over night. Do you really think that you're so far ahead of the pack on this one? None of Ron Paul's supporters could have that kind of prescient insight. Federal Reserve notes will be backed by federal debt. The value of currency does not need to be "set", the free market can decide the rate of exchange. Will it be awkward? Sure but hardly impossible, and that doesn't make it a simple minded goal.

Of course you should evaluate him on his policy and that means judging him on his plan to abolish the Federal Reserve, the IRS and the income tax. These are all outstanding ideas in my book.

We probably have different ideas on what constitutes a "demonstration", but I certainly haven't seen that Ron Paul panders to "various nutbag subcultures". In fact I would argue the opposite, that he is a man of principle and his voting record reflects a steady vision. He is not one to throw a voting block a bone in exchange for future support.

You mean, besides Mike Gravel and Dennis Kucinich, right?

Yeah, OK, Kucinich did vote against the Patriot Act. I'm not too enthused about what he would do to my 2nd Amendment rights, though.

Are you being willfully ignorant about what WorldNetDaily is? I'm talking about reputable primary sources, or using multiple sources, not trying to tar Ron Paul with guilt by association. But for someone who is supposedly not from the mainstream republican party, it's a weird solitary source to use. Not to mention the fact that I'm still giggling at the alarmism that "..the EPA, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife department, and the Army Corps of Engineers" carrying weapons is reason for alarm. I mean, don't these guys primarily work in areas with wildlife? Like uh, bears and wild cats? God forbid the wildlife department be allowed to carry hunting rifles.

Look, I don't read WorldNetDaily. It's too conservative for me by far. Your antipathy is understandable but this is an exceedingly minor point. From the context of the article it seems this was the guy who was reporting on it. As for Ron Paul's alarmism, if government creep doesn't concern you, then I can see why you wouldn't be bothered by an increase in gun carrying federal agents.
posted by BigSky at 8:19 PM on January 7, 2008


Dr. Paul does not stand for a rollback of civil liberties

Bullshit. I gave you the SCOTUS cases he disagrees with and wrote a law to dispose of. Pick one; each are fundamental advances for civil liberties in this nation.

and if you're going to quote me, you should include the full content of my statement, namely that this rollback is on a state-by-state basis.

Yeay, 50 different standards for how minorities gain access to public schools.
50 different standards for a woman's inaccess to contraception.
50 different standards for which woman of color can may not marry which man of color.
50 different standards for which penis can legally go in which [consenting adult's] hole.

That a Congressman from Texas wishes the Feds would butt out of its affairs is understandable, if wrong, but to have a person of this mindset become President to attempt to appoint like-minded (to use the term loosely) is entirely retrogressive.

Get a brain, BIgSky. You're smarter than this.
posted by panamax at 8:42 PM on January 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ok, Big Sky, in the event that you really haven't seen it, here is an example of Ron Paul pandering to a nutbag. The questioner asks if Ron Paul knows about the "international and deceptive conspiracy to overthrow the American Republic..." and lays out the basic tenets of your usual illuminati / NWO theory. Ron Paul answers, "Yes, but..." and then gives an answer that (while I disagree with it) is not crazy in content about his concerns about globalization and potential undermining of American sovereignty. See, it's the "yes, but" that concerns me. He is aware that his paleoconservative stance is attractive to certain subcultures, and he is, at the very least, very careful not to alienate those parties with any kind of disagreement. I happen to think that he doesn't believe in this brand of New World Order, but that he's cynically tapping into the passion and paranoia of this theory's adherents to reach his own ends, and he works very hard to make such people believe he's on their team. Others, like swooning fan boy Alex Jones, seem to think that he does fully buy into that theory, and would probably say that in the exchange I linked he's soft pedaling his response so as not to alienate sheeple like me.
Either way? He's ridiculous. Either he's crazy, or he's a liar.
posted by moxiedoll at 9:38 PM on January 7, 2008


"Not to mention the fact that I'm still giggling at the alarmism that "..the EPA, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife department, and the Army Corps of Engineers" carrying weapons is reason for alarm. I mean, don't these guys primarily work in areas with wildlife? Like uh, bears and wild cats? God forbid the wildlife department be allowed to carry hunting rifles."

At least for a while recently, the Fish and Wildlife officers were the per capita most likely to be killed on duty. There're all sorts of insane stories about poachers and smugglers killing folks who are trying to make sure that ivory doesn't get in and eagle feathers don't get out.
posted by klangklangston at 9:43 PM on January 7, 2008


Get a brain, BIgSky. You're smarter than this.

That's jumping to conclusions, but you deserve an answer and I'll respond later tonight.

I think this sort of ends the discussion about whether Ron Paul is a bigot in the clearest possible way

It doesn't. This is a hit piece and these allegations were dealt with months ago in a number of places, including here. I'll just point out a couple of items of note. The linked article provides fuller treatment.

From the article:

"Like blacks, gays earn plenty of animus in Paul's newsletters."

James Kirchirk is a liar.

From his own article:

"When I asked Jesse Benton, Paul's campaign spokesman, about the newsletters, he said that, over the years, Paul had granted "various levels of approval" to what appeared in his publications--ranging from "no approval" to instances where he "actually wrote it himself." After I read Benton some of the more offensive passages, he said, "A lot of [the newsletters] he did not see. Most of the incendiary stuff, no." He added that he was surprised to hear about the insults hurled at Martin Luther King, because "Ron thinks Martin Luther King is a hero.""

From the Free Market News, quoting Ron Paul:

"I could never say this in the campaign, but those words weren't really written by me. It wasn't my language at all. Other people help me with my newsletter as I travel around. I think the one on Barbara Jordan was the saddest thing, because Barbara and I served together and actually she was a delightful lady."

And somehow I doubt this will matter much to you at all. To those who harp on this and only this, what the man believes and what he's done, really isn't the issue. If you disagree with policy, that's one thing, but condemning him as a candidate because of what Kirchick wrote makes clear how susceptible you are to the image makers.
posted by BigSky at 12:39 PM on January 8, 2008


"It doesn't. This is a hit piece and these allegations were dealt with months ago in a number of places, including here. I'll just point out a couple of items of note. The linked article provides fuller treatment."

Fucking bullshit.

Read that piece again—no named sources for the information on the newsletters, appearing in a partisan crank newsfeed, with only Paul's denials? Fucking bullshit, and you're a fucking moron if it convinces you.

The TNR piece was a hatchet job, and a careful reading shows an intended representation of quotes in bad lights (there's a lot you could agree with there without being a racist, etc.), but not all hatchet jobs are unwarranted, and there's a lot there that can't be swept away by Paul saying, lah-di-fucking-dah, I'm an idiot and had no idea these bad people used my name like this. That's fucking bullshit of the first order, and for someone who keeps trying to make the public believe he's a straight shooter, it's fucking unacceptable. If you weren't such a goddamned Paultard, you'd see that.
posted by klangklangston at 1:38 PM on January 8, 2008


panamax,

You are using a very broad definition of civil liberties. I'm not sure that anything beyond the Bill of Rights should be considered one, or where the boundaries would end if we did stretch them beyond that. The 'right to privacy' is a bit of a contentious issue. While I'm largely sympathetic to the position of those using it, like the Commerce Clause, it can be used by federal judges to make law. For whatever it's worth, the use of the 'right to privacy' seems more justifiable in the anti-sodomy case than the rest. Legislating a consensual sex act illegal is invasive and oppressive on a level that goes beyond what I would consider acceptable variance between states. Obviously that isn't a legal argument but you are asking me to clarify a gray area. By and large, yes, I want different states to have the right to set different standards.

But when you talk about minorities having access to public facilities, the issue is equality before the law. And this is a separate issue. No matter how small federal government gets if there is going to be a legal baseline across the country, equality before the law has to be a part of it. Ron Paul has criticized some Civil Rights legislation for overstepping the bounds of the federal government, but I don't know of any criticism from him or any other libertarian of note on Brown v. Board of Education.

When it comes to libertarian issues the one I am probably the most passionate about is the Drug War. Of course I find the use of the Commerce Clause for over riding state legislation to be obnoxious. And I can see your criticism here of Rehnquist but not Paul. Even though he is socially conservative I don't see him looking to use federal powers to enforce his social vision. Just the opposite, take a look at some of his statements on drugs and gambling.

So, no he doesn't stand for a rollback of civil liberties, not at all. Some of what you're referring to is a gray area, and here I do disagree with Paul on sodomy laws. Another is irrelevant as I haven't seen any criticism of Brown v. Board of Education from Paul. And when it comes to drugs claiming that Paul and the rest want to use state's rights to reduce personal freedom is the exact opposite of his stated program. State's rights is the mechanism that will allow states to offer more freedom.
posted by BigSky at 11:46 AM on January 9, 2008


State's rights is the mechanism that will allow states to offer more freedom

Funny thing, BigSky, we can agree here to some extent. In my home state, California, the Feds have been a net negative as far as freedoms go, including an FBI raid on a legal grow up not more than a couple of miles from my house.

(Clinton's nominees to the SCOTUS may not have been beacons of freedom in the 90s, but they did have to get through the Senate so they were the most liberal the Republicans would pass.)

Having Ron Paul win and force through a bunch of big-L libertarians into the federal judiciary wouldn't be bad for me, personally, or my home country of California, or any of the Blue States + Montana, really.

The problem is the fucktastic Red States . . . the Bible Belt, batshit insane Texas where buying a fucking dildo is illegal, Kansas and Florida that have a love-hate relationship with Evolution.

Ron Paul is not just a big-L libertarian, he's also got that nasty, nasty social conservative side to his record.

My oft-stated opinion is that the Feds should be in the business of protecting individual liberties, like all those cool SCOTUS decisions and armed interventions in the South, and not limiting them except where bona-fide commerce clause issues come up.

Throwing out the baby with the bathwater WRT right-to-privacy would be a dip in the road to individual freedom.

Libertarians like us (hey, I'm a left-lib on my good days) need to remember that whole segments of this nation are dumbasses if not fucktards, eg. only about one in four people have even graduated college. I think I'll keep on the democratic-socialist side of the fence at least until this country is safe for big-L libertarianism.

I haven't seen any criticism of Brown v. Board of Education

niggaplease. Eisenhower sending in Federal troops to support the SCOTUS override of Kansas's state educational system is the apotheosis of Paulian dialectics about all that states rights BS.
posted by panamax at 10:41 PM on January 9, 2008


Also, note that I skipped over Roe v. Wade. It could prove to be a Missouri-Compromise style decision yet, but at any rate I don't think it's a States Rights issue like the dumb-ass Republican field claim. If abortion is murder then it should be illegal everywhere.
posted by panamax at 10:45 PM on January 9, 2008


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