Sunday, December 23, 2007

Dr. Paul Wants to Amputate

If you consulted Ron Paul as a doctor, you would be lucky to leave with all your limbs. The man is not an incrementalist. Cut out the income tax, he told Tim Russert on Meet the Press today, bring home our troops from everywhere and, with only a few caveats, Dr. Paul doesn't see much more value in the FBI, CIA, public schools and Social Security than tonsils or the appendix.

But the man who raised $19 million in two months is no crackpot. He has clearly tapped into a vein of voter discontent, and his opposition to US military and fiscal over-involvement all over the world deserves serious consideration.

Yet Paul's arguments come wrapped in a dogmatic personality with impatience about detail and with anyone who questions contradictions in his record. He insisted Russert was "confused" when asked about the apparent contradiction between Paul's theories and all the pork he collects for his district. "I vote against it," he said, "but that's the system."

Paul seems to find Mike Huckabee's sudden ascent galling and, while hedging his "fascism" response to the new front runner's commercial with the cross, complained about a general "softer fascism: loss of civil liberties, corporations running the show, big government in bed with big business. So you have the military industrial complex, you have the medical industrial complex, you have the financial industry, you have the communications industry. They go to Washington and spend hundreds of millions of dollars. That's where the control is. I call that a soft form of fascism, something that is very dangerous."

Ron Paul sounds like a right-leaning Ralph Nader, and it remains to be seen if, in the Republican primaries or as an independent candidate, he exerts as much influence on the outcome of next year's elections as Nader did in taking votes from Al Gore and electing Bush in 2000.


GiromiDe said...

Nader in 2000? He could be more like Perot in 1992.

Unknown said...

Each holiday season my sister and I watch numerous versions of "A Christmas Carol" on DVD. My personal favorites, not in any particular order, are the Alistair Sim's version, the Patrick Stewart version, and the Michael Cane and the Muppets version.

Speaking of Dickens, I made a prediction on another blog about some the institutions that feature prominently in his stories - the workhouse, the poorhouse and the debtor's prison. I see them making a comeback in the next decade or so.

It's all too easy to imagine Blackwater running them. Some shrewd and soulless moguls will recognize the opportunity the current raping of the middle class. I can see them being marketed as "lifestyle budget communities".

Unknown said...

Oh dear, sorry, wrong post. This was supposed to go under the one about Dickens' Christmas Carol.