The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Is Ron Paul Daft?

Posted on | February 26, 2010 | 23 Comments

by Smitty

David Harsanyi seems to think so, emphasis mine:

“Congressman Paul is committed to bringing the conservative movement back to its traditional platform of limited government, balanced budgets and a foreign policy of nonintervention,” claims Jesse Benton, Paul’s spokesman.
If only it stopped there. Paul isn’t a traditional conservative. His obsession with long-decided monetary policy and isolationism are not his only half-baked crusades. Paul’s newsletters of the ’80s and ’90s were filled with anti-Semitic and racist rants, proving his slumming in the ugliest corners of conspiracyland today is no mistake.
Perhaps the greatest tragedy of Paul is that thousands of intellectually curious young people will have read his silly books, including End the Fed, as serious manifestoes. Though you wouldn’t know it by listening to Paul or reading his words, libertarians do have genuine ideas that conservatives might embrace.

Here is a link to Reason’s own article on the old articles. The connection between the well-founded ideas of End the Fed and the retardedness of anti-Semitism. Having read the book, but not the newsletters, I found the book made substantial points, and Harsanyi’s lame attempt at dismissal-by-association only weakens his argument.

Jonah Goldberg is a bit more reasonable, emphasis original:

I’m with Ron Paul where it matters. I think an audit of the Fed makes a lot of sense (how it would work, exactly, I think is a subject for reasonable debate). But the idea that an audit of the Fed would politicize the Fed strikes me as pretty unpersuasive given where the government is already. So, if the NeoCon cabal has issued a memo on this, I guess I didn’t get it. (Oh and for the record, I was never on the exact same page as the anti-Paul types on the right).
Lastly, here’s a prediction. If/when the Fed does get audited, it will be a lot like the search for WMDs in Iraq. All of the “slam dunk” stuff Paulistas insist is there won’t materialize. Investigators will find some interesting things, to be sure, but the big-kahuna smoking-gun stuff won’t be there. For many, this will not be proof that their theories were wrong but proof that the conspiracy is so much greater and more complex than they ever imagined.

I think that the slam dunk is the shrinkage of the value of the dollar since the Federal Reserve breathed its first undead breath. What a colossal farce. It’s an anti-democratic institution that has been complicit in the wrecking of the country.

Is Ron Pauld daft? I hardly think so, at least on domestic policy issues.

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Comments

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  • Wondering Jew

    Smitty, well reasoned as always. It’s a pleasure to read your repeated defenses of Paul on this site.

    Whether or not one agrees with all of his policy positions, he is not “The enemy” as many establishment conservatives would like to claim.

    Glad to see Jonah Goldberg (whom I have always respected) also taking a reasonable view of the issue.

  • Wondering Jew

    Smitty, well reasoned as always. It’s a pleasure to read your repeated defenses of Paul on this site.

    Whether or not one agrees with all of his policy positions, he is not “The enemy” as many establishment conservatives would like to claim.

    Glad to see Jonah Goldberg (whom I have always respected) also taking a reasonable view of the issue.

  • John

    It seems to me the beltway GOP is more afraid of Ron Paul than the democrats; because unlike the vast majority of republicans, he actually does what he says.

  • John

    It seems to me the beltway GOP is more afraid of Ron Paul than the democrats; because unlike the vast majority of republicans, he actually does what he says.

  • KG

    Too bad so many keep a firm grasp on the wool over their eyes. The Fed is one of many Gov’t created… things that have damaged this country. End it.

  • KG

    Too bad so many keep a firm grasp on the wool over their eyes. The Fed is one of many Gov’t created… things that have damaged this country. End it.

  • http://gryphsgripes.blogspot.com Gryph

    It was never domestic policy that I had a problem with Paul on. When it comes to my lack of support for him to seek higher office than he now enjoys, the foreign policy stuff is a deal-breaker, Smitty.

    As a conservative, I’m okay with that. I can tolerate what I view as differences-of-opinion. I’ll call someone an “ally” whom I see as a fellow defender of freedom, but a Ron Paul supporter will lose me at accusations of being “ignorant” or part of the “unwashed masses,” which seems to happen quite often.

  • http://gryphsgripes.blogspot.com Gryph

    It was never domestic policy that I had a problem with Paul on. When it comes to my lack of support for him to seek higher office than he now enjoys, the foreign policy stuff is a deal-breaker, Smitty.

    As a conservative, I’m okay with that. I can tolerate what I view as differences-of-opinion. I’ll call someone an “ally” whom I see as a fellow defender of freedom, but a Ron Paul supporter will lose me at accusations of being “ignorant” or part of the “unwashed masses,” which seems to happen quite often.

  • Live Free Or Die

    When all else fails, attack the man. Ron Paul’s rubber, and they’re glue…
    End the Fed!

  • Live Free Or Die

    When all else fails, attack the man. Ron Paul’s rubber, and they’re glue…
    End the Fed!

  • Bill

    I was a libertarian in 1988 and drove Paul around Portland for the campaign. He sure didn’t act anti-Semitic towards me and my family (I extorted a lunch with my daughter from him, so she could brag about having lunch with a presidential candidate, which he was good natured about.) I never felt even a hint of any discomfort with Jews. Besides, wasn’t he pals with Rothbard? He might very well have some problem with our foreign policy in the ME. He’s a non-interventionist!

  • Bill

    I was a libertarian in 1988 and drove Paul around Portland for the campaign. He sure didn’t act anti-Semitic towards me and my family (I extorted a lunch with my daughter from him, so she could brag about having lunch with a presidential candidate, which he was good natured about.) I never felt even a hint of any discomfort with Jews. Besides, wasn’t he pals with Rothbard? He might very well have some problem with our foreign policy in the ME. He’s a non-interventionist!

  • Michael

    Would an audit of the Fed Reveal how much is left of the nation’s gold reserves?

  • Michael

    Would an audit of the Fed Reveal how much is left of the nation’s gold reserves?

  • http://rightcal.wordpress.com Calvin Freiburger

    Sorry, but I can’t give Paul a pass on those newsletters so easily. “Daft” would easily be the *most* charitable thing that could be said of any of them, and Paul’s knowledge/involvement in them is still very much an open question.

  • http://rightcal.wordpress.com Calvin Freiburger

    Sorry, but I can’t give Paul a pass on those newsletters so easily. “Daft” would easily be the *most* charitable thing that could be said of any of them, and Paul’s knowledge/involvement in them is still very much an open question.

  • William R

    Well I’m surprised McCain actually posted this. It isn’t a Ron Paul smear piece.

    As for Jonah Goldberg, he posted a snotty piece on the corner the other day mocking Ron Paul about Watergate and Saddam and the FED. Even a 30 second search on google turns up stuff backing Paul up over Bernake.

    But today Ron Paul read a letter on the floor of the House from Robert Auerbach. Who is Robert Auerbach?

    Robert Auerbach is Professor of Public Affairs at the Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Affairs, The University of Texas at Austin. He was an economist with the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee during the tenure of four Federal Reserve Chairmen: Arthur Burns, William Miller, Paul Volcker, and Alan Greenspan. Auerbach also served as an economist in the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Domestic Monetary Affairs during the first year of the Ronald Reagan administration and as a financial economist with the U.S. Federal Reserve System. Auerbach has been a professor of economics at the American University in Washington, D.C. (1976-83), and a professor of economics and finance at the University of California-Riverside (1983-93). He has written numerous articles, and two textbooks in banking and financial markets. He received two Masters degrees in economics, one from the University of Chicago and one from Roosevelt University, where he studied under Abba Lerner, and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago, where he studied under Milton Friedman.

    http://dailypaul.com/node/127167

  • William R

    Well I’m surprised McCain actually posted this. It isn’t a Ron Paul smear piece.

    As for Jonah Goldberg, he posted a snotty piece on the corner the other day mocking Ron Paul about Watergate and Saddam and the FED. Even a 30 second search on google turns up stuff backing Paul up over Bernake.

    But today Ron Paul read a letter on the floor of the House from Robert Auerbach. Who is Robert Auerbach?

    Robert Auerbach is Professor of Public Affairs at the Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Affairs, The University of Texas at Austin. He was an economist with the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee during the tenure of four Federal Reserve Chairmen: Arthur Burns, William Miller, Paul Volcker, and Alan Greenspan. Auerbach also served as an economist in the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Domestic Monetary Affairs during the first year of the Ronald Reagan administration and as a financial economist with the U.S. Federal Reserve System. Auerbach has been a professor of economics at the American University in Washington, D.C. (1976-83), and a professor of economics and finance at the University of California-Riverside (1983-93). He has written numerous articles, and two textbooks in banking and financial markets. He received two Masters degrees in economics, one from the University of Chicago and one from Roosevelt University, where he studied under Abba Lerner, and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago, where he studied under Milton Friedman.

    http://dailypaul.com/node/127167

  • Guest

    I’ve met too many Ron Paul supporters who earn their money as hired contractors for the ‘evil military industrial complex’ for me to know that most all Ron Paul supporters are duplicitous in nature.

    Ron Paul supporters working for the ‘evil military industrial complex’ is a bad as when they deal in dirty rigged-markets with dictators and tyrants then attempt to declare it’s all about free-market.

    The Politics of Walletism is soulless, irrational and thoroughly un-American.

  • Guest

    I’ve met too many Ron Paul supporters who earn their money as hired contractors for the ‘evil military industrial complex’ for me to know that most all Ron Paul supporters are duplicitous in nature.

    Ron Paul supporters working for the ‘evil military industrial complex’ is a bad as when they deal in dirty rigged-markets with dictators and tyrants then attempt to declare it’s all about free-market.

    The Politics of Walletism is soulless, irrational and thoroughly un-American.

  • William R

    Yea, and I’ve met many guest posters that turn out to be meatheads.

  • William R

    Yea, and I’ve met many guest posters that turn out to be meatheads.