Animadversions.

The weblog of Joshua Drescher

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The Ron Paul Show.

May 16th, 2007 · 1 Comment · Politics, Rants

Oh, goody. Another GOP “debate.” Why, in the six minutes since the last one, I’d nearly forgotten who loves America the most and which of them would shoot abortion doctors into the sun if elected. Anywho, watch it I did and comment I must.

This one was on Fox News and was terribly, TERRIBLY moderated with an audience apparently made up entirely of hawkish torture fans.

To be honest, we haven’t had enough time between these “debates” to have anything new to chew on with these guys, so there was a lot of “same old, same old” content this time. It was, by and large, still creepy. Many of the candidates spent the back half of the debate slowly refining their positions on “interrogation” to make it clear that - while they would never support “torture” - they would, without a second thought, torture the shit out of anyone that looked at them sideways. The crazies from last time were crazy this time. The question-dodging, sloganauts from last time zig-zagged around difficult issues with a rhetorical panache and disdain for the clear intentions of the questioners that would make Bill Clinton blush this time. And, yet again, Ron “Mike Gravel” Paul won the day.

That’s right, Ron Paul - who felt like a quirky, though impressive, sideshow last time - blew me away tonight. Fox CLEARLY considers him a distraction (their post-debate panel openly criticized the positive response to his statements and implied that no one but Giuliani, McCain and Romney should be allowed in subsequent debates) and he was handed piss-poor questions all night long. But Dr. Paul stayed on-message and waited for his chance. When it came, he knocked it out of the goddamn ballpark.

In a field of candidates who are so homogeneous that even FOX felt the need to comment on how white they all are and whose lock-step reactionary platforms are nearly indistinguishable from one another, Ron Paul stood out tonight. On the ONLY issue every, single voter is going to key in on in the upcoming election, he showed a level of understanding and logical, deliberative concern that refreshingly sidestepped jingoistic sloganeering and cut right to the core of the Iraq War:

We DON’T belong there.
We NEVER belonged there.
Interventionist policies are what brought about 9/11 in the first place.

It was - to be quite honest - astonishing to hear something I agree with so completely. No Democrat has had the clarity (or nerve) to openly and precisely identify not ONLY the correct response to the current tragic situation in Iraq but also the root causes of the incidents that led UP to it - going back to 1953, when we installed the Shah in Iran.

There’s a lot I don’t agree with Paul on, but I respect any candidate who stands up, speaks the truth and doesn’t wither in the face of the screaming, lunatic responses of his fellows OR the hooting, frenzied reaction of an audience that ostensibly represents his “constituency.”

It saddens me that Hannity will probably get his wish soon and everyone except for the three front-runners will be precluded from future events because Dr. Paul is a man whose POSITIONS deserve to be heard. We’re obviously not going to hear them from the other GOP candidates and, sadly, there isn’t a single Democrat willing to present them either.

Yes, it is clearly critical that we get out of Iraq and there will be a candidate in the general election that will offer us the opportunity to do so. But, I fear a withdrawal from Iraq that pins blame squarely on mismanagement, poor intelligence, the lies of Bush II or any of the other easy, but short-sighted scapegoats for why we wound up with a “War on Terror” in the first place. No one “hates our freedom.” There is no vast, fundamentalist plot to convert us all Islam by force. Nobody in the Middle East gives a shit if we listen to Britney Spears albums.

People hate us because of a half-century of ill-advised, poorly-executed interventionist foreign policy in the Middle East. PERIOD.

If we leave Iraq without learning any lessons as a nation about what it was that caused a handful of strangers from the other side of the world to hate us so much that they sacrificed their own lives to kill thousands of innocent people on 9/11, THAT will be an unmitigated tragedy. One that, almost certainly, will continue to cost hundreds of thousands of lives in the generations to come.

Currently, Ron Paul is the only guy on the block who seems to realize this and have the balls to look us squarely in the eye and say so.

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1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Bill // May 16, 2007 at 2:42 am

    It’s unfortunate that most Republicans have become so simplistic and bullheaded in their thinking that they blindly hate anyone who would question the war and our foreign policy over the past 50 years. Intrusive foreign policy has dramatic repercussions. Should we just expect to go trotting around the world enforcing our will on other nations or peoples and not expect them to get mad. It’s interesting that so many so called conservatives are up in arms that illegal immigrants demand their rights , to have their way, in a country that is not theirs, and yet they make the same demands on other nations. Fools. It also is amazing to me that they view the military as a means to achieving Utopian foreign policy goals yet hate, or used to hate, big, intrusive government here at home. I just read Osama bin Laden’s Letter to America, which I posted on my website. I don’t agree with all of it, but much of what Ron Paul was saying tonight was reiterated in that letter. I just hope more Republicans open their eyes.

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