To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Friday, January 11, 2008

More Ron Paul on CNN

Read Radley.

I thought his appearance was overly defensive, lacked any sort of contrition, and found it wholly unconvincing.

Take Paul's discussion of the drug war's impact on minorities. Yes, it was spot-on. But I've been watching this campaign fairly closely, and I believe that's the most time to date that Paul has spent talking about the drug war. I've actually been surprised at how little he has discussed it. His position on the drug war is one of the main reasons why I was encouraged by his candidacy. This campaign could have represented the first time ever (that I know of) that a GOP candidate challenged his rivals to defend the failure and moral corruption of drug prohibition in a nationally-televised debate. It hasn't happened. That his longest discussion of the drug war to date had to come only after he was confronted about the newsletters, and in the context of defending himself from accusations of racism, is unfortunate. And perhaps telling.
Bingo. Wow is he right. Now my opinion on anything dealing with Ron Paul and/or the libertarian movement should be taken with a grain of salt. I'm not a movement libertarian, nor an expert on Paul. Read Cicero if you want that. He's put out some of the better stuff that I've seen on Paul and the recent controversy. All that being said, I was bothered more after the CNN interview than I was before. I knew about the newsletters. I hadn't seen it laid out like it was in the TNR piece, but I've read warnings from interested observers that this stuff was out there and it would come back to bite him. I wasn't surprised. But during the CNN interview he was angry and defensive, and -- ahem -- for some reason talking an awful lot about the racist drug war. Awful nice of him to do and now....But where was this rhetoric in the past year?

I tacitly supported (meaning that I donated no money, time or energy -- outside of blogging -- to his campaign) him in a large part because of one issue. The drug war. Of course I agreed with him on other things, but his continued and principled stand against our current drug policy makes the largest difference in my mind. I thought this would be a great opportunity to get the message out about how deep the failures from the drug war run. That's where my disappointment lies and I've said it before here. He was quite on the issue. Instead he became this mish-mash candidate who couldn't decide if he was running as the anti-war candidate, or the Tancredo anti-immigration candidate, or the crazy gold standard guy. Whatever. His stances on those issues could be right. They most likely are in most cases. But he failed to talk about the drug war....That is until he needed a Get Out of Jail Free card when he got called out on his shady past. Well, it didn't work. And it wouldn't have worked. Maybe if the public saw our drug policy as a civil rights issue it would've worked. But guess what? Someone has to get out and make that argument before people will appreciate it. It doesn't work for the general public who has no idea how fucked up our policy is. Not to mention it's disgusting, and should be anti-Paul to use such an important issue in this manner. Sorry, I won't buy the argument that he is merely pointing out that he can't be racists if he wants to undue the most racist policy we have. If he felt that strongly about it, he should have brought it up more.

I've paid close attention to the GOP race out of a political-junkie interest, and Paul in particular, for much too long. Believe me, I know what he was saying, and I know what he wasn't saying. And he wasn't saying enough about the drug war until it came time to prove he wasn't a racist.

Do I vote for him in the MD primary? Probably not. Mostly because I think I'm going to sit this election out. But I might have been more willingly to get out here and cast a pointless ballot for Paul if he 1) Took his own candidacy seriously and handled this issue properly. And 2) Spoke up during this time of intense national media coverage on our hopeless drug war.

P.S. I'd love to make it down to DC for the reason happy hour tonight, but let's face it....35 miles back-and-forth is a dangerously long way on a Friday night. Anyways, I'll be at the BWI Ramada Inn from 5:30 on. Anyone catching a flight is more than welcome to join me.

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