In a Time of Universal Deceit, Telling the Truth is Revolutionary.
Saturday, July 13, 2024

The Constitutional hypocrisy of Ron Paul

Ron Paul: Ignore the Constitution if it suits your purpose

Republican Congressman Ron Paul‘s supporters often cite his belief and knowledge of the U.S. Constitution as reasons for their cult-like support of him and his son, freshman Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.

So what’s the great Constitutional scholar up to now? Advocating nullification of parts of the Constitution by states that disagree with federal laws.

This regresses the nation back by nearly a half-century to the days of the Southern Manifesto, a racist document designed to allow states to avoid integration and civil rights.  Nullification has also been used to fight slavery but I find it odd that a strict Constitutional advocate would push for support of only those parts of the document that fit with his philosophies.

Those who support nullification point to the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution to support their claim that states have the right to “nullify” laws.  Constitutional law professors say otherwise.

Edward Lazarus, a lawyer, teacher of Constitutional law and columnist for FindLaw, writes:

At Best, Invoking Nullifcation Is Simply Grandstanding; At Worst, It Is a Troubling Sign of Turmoil and Discontent in the Face of a Frightening Recession

It is hard to know what to make of the fact that a bunch of opportunistic politicians are now holding out a tarnished artifact of constitutional history as a serious interpretation of the Constitution and of our national structure. Perhaps this can be written off as mere grandstanding – symbolic gestures by politicians who are hoping to tap into a potential backlash against the inevitable growth of the federal government as it comes to grips with our economic crisis.

But nullification is a deeply pernicious idea. It strikes at the core of the constitutional bargain that was struck after the Revolution when the Articles of Confederation failed – the working principle that we are all in this together and that the purpose of the federal government, a government in which every state is represented, is to calibrate the shared sacrifices that all of us will have to bear to preserve the country’s economic vitality and help it prosper. In place of this unifying idea, nullification substitutes the easy way out – by making the claim that we must all be allowed to judge our own contribution and take our own path, no matter how much our cross-purposes and divergent interests might undermine the common good.

Ron Paul, who is not a Constitutional expert, sees things differently.

This is the same Ron Paul whose newsletters once published racist rants under his name — although he claims now he didn’t write or approve the columns that ran with his by-line — and whose freshman Senator son said during last year’s campaign that businesses that serve the public — like restaurants — should be able to ignore the law and refuse to serve minorities.

In a speech to a homeschooling rally, Paul told the faithful that “in principal, nullification is proper and moral and constitutional.”

Added Paul:

The chances of us getting things changed around soon through the legislative process is not all the good. And that is why I am a strong endorser of the nullification movement, that states like this should just nullify these laws. And in principle, nullification is proper and moral and constitutional, which I believe it is, there is no reason in the world why this country can’t look at the process of, say, not only should we not belong to the United Nations, the United Nations comes down hard on us, telling us what we should do to our families and family values, education and medical care and gun rights and environmentalism. Let’s nullify what the UN tries to tell us to do as well.

In other words, if regressives like Paul can’t get their way in Congress — and he seldom does — just ignore parts of constitution and returns to the days of the Old South when Alabama and other states thought slavery and repression was still legal in this nation.

This is typical for Paul, who has never strayed far philosophies of the past. And the comments of his son suggest Rand learned well from his dad’s out-of-sync philosophies.

If you have ever been robbed by a black teen-aged male, you know how unbelievably fleet-footed they can be,” said a column which appeared under Paul’s name in 1992.

Given the inefficiencies of what D.C. laughingly calls the `criminal justice system,’ I think we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal,” said another column published under his name that same year.

This is why Ron Paul remains on the fringe with the vast majority of Americans. Despite lofty visions of his small — but vocal — army of supporters, he received just one-half of one percent of the vote as the Libertarian candidate for President in 1988 and trailed far behind the four remaining contenders for the GOP nomination for President when he finally gave up the ghost in 2008.

When he suspended his run for President, Paul diverted the $4.7 million raised from donation by the faithful to the Campaign for Liberty, one of Libertarian-leaning advocacy groups. This is also a familiar pattern for Paul. Ran a national Presidential campaign to raise money and then use the money for something else. While technically legal it does, in my view, raise questions about his honesty and true intentions.

Trying to find ways around the constitution is why George W. Bush left office as one of the most unpopular President in history. Paul vilifies the “establishment” politicians of other parties, but his advocacy of the nullification movement suggests he is just as hypocritical as the rest.

(Updated on April 1, 2011 to add some information and edit some existing content.)

Enhanced by Zemanta

98 thoughts on “The Constitutional hypocrisy of Ron Paul”

  1. I’ve tried to take a broader view regarding the 10th Amendment. Can the states actually deny the mandates issued from the Federal Government? I remember the fight Utah had when the federal government issued a law against polygamy and insisted Utah outlaw this or not be accepted in the union. The solution should have been to remove the federal government from any involvement in issuing marriage licenses.

    How can the federal government deny a marriage between two same sex Americans? How can the federal government issue a law against abortions? Who issued these authorities? I had to admit being shocked at the Supreme Court backing out of the Roe v Wade mess but felt that it was time the individuals involved needed to take the responsibility for or against abortions.

    America has never needed laws to force citizens into anything. The laws are supposed to protect their decisions. If a family is basically Catholic then abortions are out of the question. Let the church take the action. If a child turns out to be gay then explain to the child that it is against religious rules and leave it there. We are at the point that these issues are now part of the campaigns This entire attitude is what caught my attention of Congressman Paul of Texas. He represented the limited government that appealed to me. I flew to Atlanta to meet and discuss these issues with him and a group of strong Republican politicians. I heard no strong appeal to keep the government out of our personal choices. It was as if these men were afraid to stand up for individual freedoms over the voice of an all mighty ghost who stood only behind Jesus Christ. I heard many excuses for this brand of freedom and I knew that there would never be a candidate who had enough respect for the American people to allow them to choose their own actions.

    I ended up writing in P.J. O’Rourke’s name. Have we Americans given away our right to choose our mates? our unwanted pregnancies? our right to die without pain? Orwell warned us it would take some brains to stand up for ourselves. Why? Why? Why?

    The frustration of being unable to debate these things without a laugh track….Too much Lucy in our childhood? Before I left California I sat through a slap stick version of Don Giovanni complete with a kazoo when someone slipped on the stage. Too much Lucy in that production which meant little classic background in grand opera.

    I have mentioned racism on this site because I have had thousands of discussions with my Republican political playmates over the years and was stunned to realize they would not vote for a black candidate. Almost from day one, his name was used to prove he was a Muslim. Fox and Rush picked this up and tried like holy hell to see him pushed out of the race.

    There can be no doubt that the GOP will never accept a black person in our White House and for that I have lost all respect for all levels of the GOP. I remember the racist crap from Haley Barbour when he was head of the RNC. The Senators who followed who all stood firmly on the Bible when it came to gays and women in trouble. Christians all and full of hatred for people of color and women and gays in general. This is not representative of American values!

    Without every single Americans sharing equal rights, there is no America! That is step one! Once that is established then we can argue over mandated federal laws being forced on individual states. Maybe some southern states will need to guarantee equal academics in their schools before accepting welfare for their residents. We have portions of places in America where kids still cannot read or learn a trade to support themselves. Cut these areas off of handouts and hand the people back to the state for retraining.

    I’m with Paul on many of these ideas but it cannot be done over night. Paul has not been at it long enough to come up with alternative plans for gradually bringing in all Americans into the system of equality. Paul has surrounded himself with religious idiots who have only one action to get what they want. Prayer is not the answer. The solving of our natural disasters is not praying for forgiveness for whatever we did to deserve the oil gulf mess or the earthquakes or the hurricanes. Science is the answer and teaching survival skills to the people. The GOP wants revival meetings to solve our problems even when it means standing on a woman’s head to shut her up at a demonstration. Put a laugh track behind that scene and you have Lucy acting like a silly fool. That is where America stand today.

  2. How about the constitutional hipocrisy of Joe Biden? He’s a former senator and current Vice-President by the way, for all you informed voters out there that may not know this.

    In 2007, appearing on Hardball with tingly-legged Chris Matthews, Joe Biden said of George Bush…

    “…the President has no constitutional authority, to take this nation to war against a country of 70 million people unless we’re attacked or there is proof that we are about to be attacked. And if he does, if he does, I would move to impeach him.

    The House actually has to do that, but I would lead an effort to impeach him. The reason for my doing that, I don’t say it lightly, I don’t say it lightly, I say it because they should understand, that what they were threatening, what they were saying, what was adding up to be, what looked like to the rest of the world what we were about to do, would be the most disastrous thing that could be done at this moment in our history that I can think of.”

    So I guess that only applies when we have a Republican President and we want to bomb a country with a population of 70 million.

    Sorry Libya, you didn’t pass constitutional muster on this one.

    • Now that’s bullshit and you know it. I don’t play favorites and I’ve skewered Biden and Obama on a regular basis.

      When Obama picked Biden, I wrote:

      So much for the dream, so much for the promises of change, so much for casting aside the old way of doing things. If you want to deliver on those promises, you don’t pick a two-time loser as a Presidential candidate, a long-winded speaker who puts people to sleep or a known plagiarist who also lied outright when he said he would never accept an offer of the vice presidency.

      Obama might, possibly, have come up with a worse choice than Joe Biden but that would be a short list.

      Bringing Biden into the fold is a sellout of the highest order, a capitulation to the old-style liberalism that has sunk the Democratic Party time and again.

      Picking Biden suggests Obama is not an agent of change but simply a purveyor of false hopes and impossible dreams.

      Don’t lump me in with partisan web sites. I worked inside the political system long enough to distrust them all, including the Pauls, Kucinichs, et. al. Honesty and integrity is not an option in the American political system.

      Nobody gets a break here. Never have, never will.

      • This post wasn’t necessarily directed at you, and I ‘ve been here long enough to know that your take-no-prisoners style knows no bias. In fact I had been visiting this site years before I actually started interacting.

        The point of this post wasn’t to suggest you’re playing favorites, but to show that the Constitution today is invoked only when it suits partisan posturing, particularly when it comes to bombing the piss out of foreign countries. Hypocrisy is all around.

        But as long as I have your attention, I would like to get your opinion on a few issues. So what would Doug Thompson do if he were president?

        What would you do to reduce spending? What would you do to reduce the deficit? What is your position on the Federal Reserve? Should the Congress reassert its constitutional authority over our currency? Should the Fed be audited? Abolished?

        What would you do to bring back our industry? What would you do to bring back our jobs? Obama promised to revisit NAFTA and GATT. Instead he pursues more “free-trade” treaties. Would you have us get out of these treaties?

        What would you do on foreign policy? What would you do about all these wars? Would you take us out of the UN?

        You’re pretty clear on your anti-every one within a hundred miles of Washington position. But what are you for?

  3. I wouldn’t expect the Ron Paul cultists to respond to specifics. They would rather pass on misinformation. The spam filter caught another collection of comments with fake email addresses overnight and weeded them out, which dropped the number of comments from 130+ to the current 80 or so. That doesn’t include the 2900 plus that the spam filter flagged outright because they came from just three IP addresses.

    That’s a favorite trick of theirs, to try and appear bigger than they are. In reality, many of these posts are from one or two people who make up names and email addresses and then post over and over. They do the same thing with online polls. What they don’t realize is that our spam filter routinely checks email addresses and IP addresses and then flags those posts that appear to come from the same person using different names and phony email accounts. Some of the spams get through and appear for a while but then they are reviewed and deleted if they are found to be part of an organized spam attack.

    It also appears they know as much about how web ads work as they do about nullification and politics — very little.

    A reader sent me a link to one of the Ron Paul forums where their members were being advised to post multiple comments but warned them to “never” click on the ads so their visits didn’t generate any revenue here. Another case of the blind leading the blind. Ninety-five percent of our ad inventory is not CPC (cost per click) ads but CPM (costs per thousand) ads that are paid by the number of page impressions, not clicks. Every time they launched their spam attacks it drove up our income because every post loaded and then reloaded a page with ads that are paid according to the number of page impressions. We averaged $300 an hour in ad revenue on Thursday and Friday, about three times our normal rate, all because of the spam attacks by the Paul cultists. We simply followed the Ron Paul model for making money: Play on the ignorance of others.

    Some of that money came from Rand Paul, who advertizes on this site (which I find strange but if he wants to waste his money here that’s his prerogative). To paraphrase H.L. Mencken, nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of a Ron Paul supporter. 🙂

    • Like the misinformation about nullification passed on by yourself? Playing on ignorance?

      Methinks thou protest too much.

      Regardless of the spam attacks, your column was unadulterated bullshit. That is the story.

      Nice redirect.

      • That’s your opinion Michael and you’re welcome to it, but at the end of the day several facts remain.

        One, Ron Paul will never be President. Neither will his son.

        Nullification will be a viewed as a far right-wing idea that can’t succeed because it doesn’t have the backing of people who make the real decisions. Experts in Constitutional law dismiss the concept of nullification.

        The Tea Party movement will fade. Polls show support dropping fast because of the extremism. Something else will come along to replace it because extremists always need a failed pied piper to follow.

        What all this will come down to is a fractured GOP that can’t get its act together and field a credible enough candidate to take out Barack Obama in the 2012 election and we will probably end up with four more years of his flawed and failed policies.

        This nation needs a real leader. So far, none of the political parties — not the Democrats, not the Republicans, not the Libertarians, not the Tea Party, not anyone — have produced such a man or woman to stand for President.

        You have your opinion. I have mine. I won’t change your mind and you won’t change mine. But attacking me and lacing your posts with obscenities won’t make Ron Paul President. That’s the problem with extremist movements.

        So keep wasting your time and resources on movements that can’t possibly succeed. That’s what allows the status quo to continue to run this nation into the ground. I gave 10 years of my life to trying to work within the political system, most of it as an operative for the GOP. I know the failures of the system first hand.

        What have you done besides post attacks on web sites? Have you given up your family life to spend months on the road working for a candidate or a cause? Have you flown in a wind tossed private plane in a blizzard in the middle of a night to help in a recount? I have.

        If the Ron Paul faithful are so dedicated to their cause, why were more than 2,000 of the comments they attempted to post here done so under screen names using fake addresses? Why do so few put their real names to showcase their beliefs? Why do you and others hide behind the anonymity of the Internet to support your cause? If you are so proud of your candidate and your causes, why not stand up and do so openly?

        I checked out every link posted here by those who tried to change my mind on nullification. Not one, in my opinion, provided a credible enough argument to change my mind. In the end, most went back to the same sources that have been dismissed by the real experts on the issue.

        Saving this country requires more than sitting at a computer. It takes more than dressing up in revolutionary war costumers or as Lady Liberty and waving invective-filled signs at a rally. It requires hard work, sacrifice and putting your lives on hold to work your butt off for what you believe.

        So far, all I’ve seen from you and most others on this thread is anonymous posturing. That doesn’t impress me or change my mind and it won’t turn nullification into a reality. I talked with Constitutional scholars, not a doctor with a resume of failed Presidential runs. They don’t agree with your position on nullification and they are the ones who will guide the decision makers. That’s a fact of life in politics and all the screaming and shouting in the world won’t change that.

        Perhaps one day a real grassroots movement will find a real leader to get us out of this mess. I sincerely hope so. But Ron Paul is not that leader. He can’t win and he can’t become a real force in Congress. I doubt his son will either. The leadership void is there. It just needs a real leader to fill it.

        • I’m not stupid Doug. I’m a realist. I know he’ll never be president. I knew he wouldn’t have a chance in 2008. It’s not about that with me. But I will defend him when when he’s being unjustly attacked. It’s about the philosophy, the policy.

          Nullification is viewed as a far-right idea because of hit pieces like this one, that offered no historical reference and no truth. Does truth matter? Does intelligent discussion matter? Your piece was a provocation aimed at getting the very response that you wanted – and got.

          I’m not a tea partier. I saw the Republicans co-opting and destroying that from the beginning. And they have.

          I’ve been participating on this site for four years now I guess. I’m not here every day campaigning for Ron Paul. But I do support him and I won’t apologize for that. Not because of his personality or his personal beliefs, but for his policy positions.

          I don’t agree with nor do I condone the tactics used by the others. In fact it infuriates me. But I can only concern myself with what I do. I don’t spam other sites. I don’t troll the web looking for people bashing Ron Paul so I can spout off. This is the only place I participate, aside from the very, very occasional comment on Daily Caller.

          So I can’t speak for the other people. I don’t hide behind any thing. I’ve been Griff all my life. But if it makes you happy, I’ll start posting using my full name. And my e-mail address is and always has been valid.

          • I appreciate your clarification and your willingness to use your real name Michael. I wish others would do the same. I think it adds to civility.

            I agreed with you and the other posters that the original column was a bit strong and I amended some of the language, added a historical reference to the use of nullification against slavery and added information from a Constitutional law professor. I searched the web at length and could not find someone who is a recognized and established expert on Constitutional law who agreed with Paul’s position on nullification

            I have an opinion about his actions and intentions and you have yours. Is it an attack to state that opinion?

            Is it an attack to say that I think he is a out-of-mainstream candidate who uses Presidential campaigns as a fund-raising gimmick?

            Is it my opinion that following Paul and his beliefs is a waste of time and effort because he cannot win the Presidency and he cannot get his beliefs into the national debate. I feel the same way about Dennis Kucinich and said so in a column earlier this week. The Kucinich faithful were as upset with me as the Paul legions.

            I don’t believe we can accomplish a thing by following or supporting lost causes. We have to find a way to get real change candidates who can win and make a difference.

            Even after a decade of working inside the system I don’t know how to accomplish that. I wish I did.

            If I characterized you unfairly, I apologize. The hit and run attacks of too many of the Paul faithful is another thing that hurts his credibility and contributes to my view — and the view of others in my profession — that the movement is full of crackpots.

            • No it’s not an attack to state an opinion, but it is in the way it was presented. To use an historical example of nullification 150 years old and claim that it proves racism today is disingenuous.

              The idea of nullification is to assert the right of states to govern themselves. In the 1800’s slavery was the issue. Today the issues are different.

              Connecting racism to the idea of nullifying federal laws that have nothing at all to do with slavery or racial issues, and painting those that support nullification as a means to assert those rights as being racist is completely wrong. It does nothing to promote intelligent discussion on the actual issue of nullification.

              So the question remains…How do we reign in an out of control federal government?

              You say we need a strong candidate. Obama was a strong candidate. Look where it’s gotten us. And all that opposed him were considered racists. All that opposed Hillary Clinton were misogynists. No one wanted to talk policy.

              We put too much emphasis on the presidency. The People speak through the Congress.

              Paul’s run in 2008 in fact did inject serious policy issues into the national consciousness. So it wasn’t entirely a lost cause. Prior to 2008 no one paid much attention to the Federal Reserve. I’m not here to campaign for Paul. I’m here to talk policy.

              People are rethinking our foreign policy. People are rethinking our monetary and economic policy. People are rethinking the role the federal government should play and the role of the individual states in determining what’s best for its citizens.

              I can’t find any thing bad in rethinking policies that are destroying this country.

              Freedom is not a lost cause.

              • Michael, this web site was founded and exists for a take-no-prisoners style of journalism. It reflects my approach to the job and that approach has served me well over the years. I have written much nastier things about George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Dennis Kucinich and others.

                I’m just as harsh on Democrats as I am on Republicans. I don’t play favorites and I treat all elected officials with equal disdain and disrespect. 🙂

                That’s my style and it won’t change.

          • And what’s in a name? Credibility? Truth? Thoughtfulness? Ability? Or merely familiarity, and in this case only the anonymous familiarity that my own monitor portrays. I wouldn’t know either of you if we met on the street… and vice versa… yet, I would know what to expect, if introduced, by whatever name you had chosen for me to “know” you. The medium only allows what it allows.

            It’s actually the same for folks who encounter each other in the flesh regularly, only not so unidimensionally.

  4. I could care less about all the philosophical issues being tossed around and like to get to some real basics.

    We have a condo in Galveston Texas and as part of a complex of 276 units the property sustained about 5M in damages cfor Hurricane Ike – most of which have been impossible to recoup at this point. Why? The insurers just flat out refuse to pay forcing property owners into expensive litigation, arbitration or just frustration resulting in being low balled and accepting cents on the dollar. Magnify this by thousands of claims.

    When the litigation issue first surfaced I contacted Paul’s office twice and received no response. Why? This is basic “customer service” for a public official. I may not be a constituent of the Texas 14th but I am a property owner and taxpayer.

    Barney Frank is my Congressman and I agree with BF about 1% of the time but if I have a question I get a response. Maybe someone in the Paul support group can explain this?

    It’s the little things in politics that make a difference.

  5. Bryionak. The subject of state’s rights over the Federal mandates has been an argument found here for years. A literal reading of the 10th Amendment leaves many of us open to the idea that there are consequences to be considered when we do pass Amendments to the Constitution,

    I became concerned when Gov. Bush of Texas ran his presidential campaign on an Amendment making it a federal offense to ban abortions, gay marriages, death with dignity and stem cell research. According to the law, each state had the responsibility to accept or ban any laws that were headed their way. I wondered at the time of the Civil Rights legislation whether this would work across America. I wanted this legislation and any legislation that would stop the beatings and killings of so many Americans, We always had Africa as a model of this racism being carried away. We also had the Middle East as a model of religious wars gone wrong, Fighting for freedoms is not an easy thing to do,

    It is not the laws that cause trouble but the people involved who want restrictions, intolerance and a single form of American culture which demands leaning to the right of Jesus Christ, By the time a black American became the subject of a Presidential election, the people living in a state of racism, homophobia and even a left over of anti-Semitism were ready for action.

    There are a number of members here who took me on on another forum when I asked them to describe exactly what American values they wanted. Of course it was the predominance of Christians and Willie Nelson fans. No artist made the list and certainly NPR was considered a waste of time and money. This argument of protecting American values became a war of color, religion, and even economics and anyone not part of the culture must not be financed either through loans or education scholarships. Trying to pinpoint where these values originated brought it back that all values come from God. Oh yes, I have no values and I should be banned from the site,

    It will come down to the individual on what he/she believes is legal. If we elect Presidents who will amend the constitution, then the constitution has no value. I see no harm is allowing many states to simply drop out. Of course water source, roads airspace and border security will have to be redesigned and Social Security maintained on a voluntary contract,

    The pull to ask the government to set up a safety net is too strong to debate it. To reeducate our families to live in a self chosen state of morality would never be accepted as responsibility so the government must set our rules. Until we rewrite our own laws and live by them, the federal government will tell us all we need to know to survive here.

    The federal government has unlimited power and that is the end of the problem. The Bill of Rights offered us freedom choices but the American people showed no interest in that at all.

    The Ron Paul supporters are right in their own stands on these issues but they never bothered to explain them to the loud voices of their promoters. Only a handful of voters saw these freedoms behind Paul but few of us bothered to sell them to others. Everyone here knows I tried with Perot and Paul and was labeled as deranged and old.

    Lew Rockwell (LP) published a terrible article on Doug Thompson for daring to expose his opinion of Paul. Doug write about the weakness of Paul’s backers. Instead of writing about Paul’s agenda, Lew took on Doug. I discovered the weak key to Rockwell and he fought like a mother lion protecting her cub. I know Lew and Ron are old friends and by this time I figured he would stand up for Ron’s agenda. Shooting down Doug is not the right way.

    Doug Thompson is right whether anyone here likes it or not, The American people need guidance from heaven and hell to point them in the right direction. We elect terrible leaders and if you read more of Doug’s words, you will see it is not he who screws up.

    • How about the millions of first-time voters (organized by Organizing for America) that streamed to the polls and voted for Obama for the sole reason that he is black? Does that make them any more informed than the ones that vote against for the same reason?

      I’ve watched interviews with people after they proudly voted for Obama, and not a one could answer the simplest of political questions, such as who controlled the senate or who said what during the campaign. they couldn’t even come up with one policy they liked about Obama. He just made them feel all gooey inside.

        • Yeah ACORN. Wanna talk nuts? I just saw an interview on a Forbe’s article detailing the last two years American average household wealth dropped by 23 percent.

          But on the flipside, the wealth of billionaires grew by 25 percent.

          There is no transfer of wealth going on. None whatsoever.

Comments are closed.