Saturday, June 18, 2011

Ron Paul signs pledge that would keep most libertarians out!

The Right-wing conservative, or paleo-conservative Ron Paul, who has fooled some libertarians into thinking he's one of them—usually when it comes to raising funds, though not when it comes down to certain votes, has signed a pledge that would keep many, if not most libertarians out of his administration if he were somehow to be elected president.

Paul signed a pledge to "select ONLY pro-life appointees for relevant Cabinet and Executive Branch positions, in particular the head of the National Institute of Health, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Health and Human Services." He also said he would only nominate judges "who are committed to restraint and apply the original meaning of the Constitution...."

A lot of the less-educated libertarians don't understand why that is wrong, and few conservatives do. The judiciary is not supposed to be restrained. It is a equal branch of the federal government not the ugly step-child. Judges are supposed to view government power narrowly and rights broadly. The Bill of Rights was not the be all and end all of rights. It made that clear by stating that there are rights not enumerated in the Constitution, but they are STILL rights. Lets remember what the conservatives are pissed off about.

Take the wholly libertarian decision by the Supreme Court to decriminalize "sodomy," which was a vaguely defined crime under the best of circumstances, contrary to the assumptions of the uninformed. Sometimes it meant oral sex, sometimes it didn't. Sometimes it meant anal sex, sometimes it meant any sex that was not straight-0n vaginal intercourse. They were laws that were selectively enforced as a means of harassment. Targets for this harassment tended to be the black community and the gay community. So, we had laws that were unequally applied to classes of people that were more likely than not, not part of the white, straight culture. In other words, inequality of rights before the law. And that is what the Supreme Court found to be the case. This ruling was praised by libertarians, especially by libertarian law professor Randy Barnett.

But Ron Paul damned it and lamented that it was "a tough summer for social conservatives." Remember a social conservative, by definition is NOT a libertarian. Take a side track for a second. If you support social freedom, non-intervention and free markets you are a libertarian. Drop any of those and you are NOT a libertarian. If you support "free" markets, social conservatism and interventionist foreign policies, you are a full on conservative (though you can be very, very weak on free markets). If you reject the war policies, but embrace state regulation of social freedom, and want free markets then you are a paleo-conservative. But a paleo-conservative is NOT a libertarian no matter how much some of them insist they are.

A prime function of courts is supposed to be to protect us from government which infringes liberty. That is why it a judicial branch was created, among other purposes. It rarely does it, certainly not as much as it should. But, when it does it should be applauded, not damned. Only social conservatives damn it when it does that and Ron Paul is a social conservative.

Paul whined because the court ruled "that Texas had no right to establish its own standards for private sexual conduct, because gay sodomy is somehow protect under the 14th amendment 'right to privacy.'" Actually Paul is ignorant, yet again, of the facts. The ruling was made on the basis of unequal status before the law. Texas had repealed the sections of sodomy laws that applied to everyone and only had laws that now applied to gay people, exempting heterosexuals. It was a case of inequality before the law. Conservatives embrace such inequality, not libertarians. Ron Paul embraces such inequality, not libertarians.

Take a real legal scholar like Randy Barnett, instead of the usually befuddled Paul, as more aware of the libertarian position on the constitution. Barnett has argued that the "equal protection clause" of the 14th Amendment, along with the 9th and 10th Amendments create a "presumption in favor of liberty." He argues that this legal foundation means the courts should presume that liberty is the favor position in ANY ruling, even the rulings that confused, old men of Christianist bent don't like.

Consider the following material from this man: "The State of Texas has the right to decide for itself how to regulate social matters like sex, using its own local standards." That doesn't sound libertarian to me. It sounds like the typical remark from a conservative. First off, Texas as a state, has no rights. It might have powers, but only individual have rights, not governments. Second, libertarians hold that no government, not even local government, has the right to violate the rights of individuals. Conservatives use the "states' rights" argument as a trump card to destroy individual rights. Libertarians use individual rights as the trump card to destroy state power. It is clear what side Ron Paul is on here and he isn't a good guy.

Compare Ayn Rand to the conservative Paul. She said that the concept "states' rights" ONLY "pertains to the division of power between local and national authorities, and serves to protect the states from the Federal government: it does not grant to a state government an unlimited, arbitrary power over its citizens or the privilege of abrogating the citizens' individual rights." Paul's position is that it does give the state UNLIMITED powers to do anything to the citizen it wishes to do because, he argues, NONE of the bill of rights applies to state governments. Ron Paul's "constitutional theory" is one of total and complete control, without limitations, by state governments, except perhaps what the state constitutions may say. And Paul is an advocate of changing constitutions to restrict liberty according to local "community" standards.

Well, at least he says he is. But when the District of Columbia repealed its sodomy law the Moral Majority and other theocrats were in furry over it. They immediately started invoking their "divine" calling to make other people miserable and insisted that the US Congress should overturn the local community standards. And Ron Paul rushed to the barricades, once again, to support repressive social legislation that fit his narrow-fundamentalist mind-set. To justify his unlibertarian position Paul resorted to his favorite tactic—lying: just as he pretends to this day to not know that his good buddy and confidant wrote those racists tirades in the Ron Paul Newsletter.

Ron Paul does what I call the "Ron Paul Shuffle," when he is trying to divert attention from some anti-freedom position he has taken. He misdirects the public, usually by lying, about the legislation, or by finding some less than convincing excuse for his vote. In this case he said he had to vote for sodomy laws because the DC law lowered rape penalties. This, form the guy who argued that Texas had the right to legally harass gay people for having sex because it was their local, community standard. What about lynching? Was that a local, community standard as well? The community standard excuse is one Paul holds to, except when he doesn't. So community standards in DC didn't matter, the Christianist agenda of the Moral Majority mattered more.

And while the DC law did lower rape penalties. it was reduced at the request of anti-rape groups. The penalty was so high that juries were reluctant to convict when they had the slightest doubt, even if the evidence of guilt was pretty strong. Prosecutors and anti-rape advocates both supported the revision, because it would make it easier to send rapists to jail. Ron Paul lied when he said he was defending sodomy laws, because he wanted to get rapists. In truth, he was making it easier to let rapists off, in order to persecute people for sodomy.

Consider Paul's newest anti-gay campaign, the Defense of Marriage Act. Until this odious piece of legislation the federal government bowed to the states when it came to defining the legal state of marriage. If you were married in any state, the federal government recognized your marriage because it was a state power to regulate marriage, not a federal power. Ron Paul, that great advocate of "states' rights" wants to strip states of that power by setting a federal definition which says the federal government many not recognize state marriage licenses, but only if they are given to gay people.

Paul is quite happy for the federal government to recognize the marriages of heterosexual couples that are issued by the states. The only marriage licenses he has to pretend it doesn't see are those given to gay couples. Once again "community standards" of those states are ignored. Paul's principles are selectively enforced and, when it comes to gay men and lesbian women, Paul's principles are only used against them.

Another selective use of states' rights by Paul is that the pledge he signed also commits him to signing into law an anti-abortion federal law "to protect unborn children." Unborn children? Think about that concept for a minute, it is truly bizarre. Maybe we can call people "pre-dead corpses" and have fun with that theory too. But Paul's "principles" are very flexible indeed. He wants community standards to control private conduct except in the case of DC that legalized sodomy and except when it comes to a federal law restricting abortions. Isn't it funny that Ron Paul always abandons his so-called principles when it comes to his moralistic, religious agenda. Remember he is a fundamentalist Christian, he didn't used to be, but he converted.

Another issue which will be ignored by the Rondroids is that the federal legislation that Paul has pledged himself to support justifies federal abortion control under the auspices of the congressional power "to regulate Commerce... among the several states" which libertarian attorney David Kopel notes, "is plainly unconstitutional under the original meaning of interstate commerce." Kopel noted that Paul opposed a measure to restrict anti-gun lawsuits because he said it relied on too broad an interpretation of "interstate commerce." Kopel, a contributor to several law journals, said Paul got the whole argument wrong because the purpose of the interstate commerce clause was to expand trade among the states, not restrict it. Yet, when it comes to abortion Paul pledges himself to a vast expansion so that the interstate commerce clause would apply to whether or not a woman chooses to carry a pregnancy to term. Under "interstate commerce" it appears Ron Paul thinks a woman's uterus is subject to federal control.

In closing let me quote something Ayn Rand said about another noxious advocate of states' rights, the racist George Wallace. I think what Ayn said about Wallace would apply quite well to the clownish conspiracist from Texas. He is "no defender of individual rights, but merely of states' rights—which is far, far from being the same thing. When he denounces 'Big Government,' it is not the unlimited, arbitrary power of the state that he is denouncing—and he seeks to place the same unlimited, arbitrary power in the hands of many little governments. The break-up of a big gang into a number of warring small gangs is not a return to a constitutional system nor to individual rights, nor to law and order." Amen!

I should add that the Gov. Gary Johnson, who is far more libertarian than the fake libertarian, Ron Paul, has refused to cave into the Religious Right and not signed the pledge. And, all the Rondroid fanatics who drool over the drooling clown from Texas, don't bother leaving your hate messages. Comments are moderated and insults, slanders and attacks won't be posted. If you can argue, and give evidence, that any of this is wrong, then go ahead. That will be published, just not you insults and slanders. And, by the way, if you think you have a good argument, then leave out the insults and slander if you want it posted.

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