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November 14, 2012 5:03 PM Nothing New Under the Son

By Ed Kilgore

Here’s how Pete Kasperowicz of The Hill briefly describes Rep. Ron Paul’s “farewell speech” to the House today in recognition of his impending retirement:

Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) delivered a blistering farewell speech on the House floor Wednesday in which he ripped the drastic tilt of the U.S. toward expanded government, a devalued currency, persistent wars and the constant erosion of personal freedoms….
Paul said the five greatest threats faced by Americans today are the undermining of liberty by the government, anti-Americanism around the world, going to war without a declaration from Congress, the financial crisis caused by trillions of dollars in government debt and a “world government” eroding U.S. sovereignty.

In other words, he delivered pretty much the same speech he’s been making for twenty-three years. And Paul would probably agree, since he admitted today that he really hadn’t accomplished a lot in all those years of playing Cassandra and voting against bills all his colleagues supported.

I have to say, I’m not going to miss Paul’s tirades. And I fear that is literally true, because he conspired with the voters of Kentucky to ensure that we’ll have at least a few more years of Paulite thunder in Congress.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

Comments

  • gab on November 14, 2012 5:34 PM:

    Crazy as he is, whenever I hear the guy, I can't help but agree with a lot of what he says.

    Can anyone disagree with his views on the wars that we have entered? And we have run a shitload of debt, at least some of which was totally unnecessary.

    His aim is just as much rightward (if not more so) than leftward. If only most people realized it...

  • gab on November 14, 2012 5:35 PM:

    Crazy as he is, whenever I hear the guy, I can't help but agree with a lot of what he says.

    Can anyone disagree with his views on the wars that we have entered? And we have run up a shitload of debt, at least some of which was totally unnecessary.

    His aim is just as much rightward (if not more so) than leftward. If only most people realized it...

  • c u n d gulag on November 14, 2012 6:12 PM:

    The turd doesn't fall far from the sphincter!

    And the sad thing is, Rand makes his Daddy look like an intellectual giant.
    How feckin' sad is that?

    This is a reflection on you, KY!
    Stop smoking that blue-grass, and just start smoking regular grass.
    Maybe then, you won't reelect "Aqua Buddha."
    What a joke.

    FECKIN' IDJITS!!!

  • Cfountain72 on November 14, 2012 6:27 PM:

    Yes, he's just better than practically every other Congressperson elected in the past half century. Good luck finding anyone else who's good on civil liberties, good on war, good on spending, and good on taxes.

    Peace be with you.

  • Joshua Clements on November 14, 2012 6:28 PM:

    Yes! Finally, Congressman Paul out of there! Now we can hear more of the same thing over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over again from the other congressmen.

    I too agree with everyone (including my colleagues) on everything all the time! I also rarely stick up for what I believe, and I never weigh morality and reason when thinking about economic issues foreign and domestic.

    We can finally get America back on the right track, and Congress can discuss real issues, like turtle tunnels, cowboy poetry, and how Americans don't deserve fair trials.

    Good riddance, Dr. Paul!

  • Mitch on November 14, 2012 6:28 PM:

    @gab

    "Crazy as he is, whenever I hear the guy, I can't help but agree with a lot of what he says."

    I can say that I agree that the USA needs to stop being so militaristic, and we certainly need to watch government intrusion into the lives of our citizens. But that's pretty it. Th debt, well, I don't think it's quite as big of a deal as many make it out to be. I disagree with the concept of libertarianism.

    Libertarianism—as a whole—sounds great ... until you realize that laissez faire government (which is exactly what libertarianism IS) has historically been disasterous. Under a laissez faire system, the rich and mighty can rule with no consideration for those beneath them; the poor and vulnerable are left to rot where they stand.

    I have never seen or heard of a "libertarian" nation that was not a disaster for the bulk of it's people—in the entire history of the world. If somebody can point one out for me, then I might change my mind. But no amount of good-sounding rhetoric changes the fact that—in all of human history—laissez faire government has been shown to be a failure.

  • Dan on November 14, 2012 6:36 PM:

    Mitch, Can you name a libertarian nation that has been a disaster for its people?

  • Doug on November 14, 2012 7:06 PM:

    "...can you name a libertarian nation that has been a disaster for its people?" Dan @ 6:28 PM

    1. The UK between 1740 and 1860.
    2. France between 1820 and 1848.
    3. The US between 1870 and 1904.
    Shall I continue?
    While it may be true that, the during the periods I named, those "countries" gained in power and influence, that power and influence was gained at a cost of deprivation and loss of civil rights for individual citizens. Those losses were the direct result of following "libertarian/lassaiz faire" doctrines.
    Except for their not requiring any Ga;tian figure, these people are nothing more, or less, than Randites. When "libertarians" quit being a cult and rejoin the political mainstream by joining and influencing major political parties, THEN I may start listening to them.
    I've read enough history about what we we've gone through to get to where we are now, I don't need any repeats...

  • Hue and Cry on November 14, 2012 7:11 PM:

    His aim WAS rightward, dangerous--and the poor would have been foraging in the woods for food.
    It was a pleasure to hear anti-war sentiment, but our nation's domestic policy would have suffered to the nth degree.
    I don't miss him.
    I kinda forgot about him.

  • Emily on November 14, 2012 7:17 PM:

    It's sad when someone states the facts & people only scoff. I am sure we will look back at his speech in ten years and realize just how right he is.

    I'm the mean time lets keep listening to the same peanut butter mouth rhetoric per usual.

  • Gandalf on November 14, 2012 7:21 PM:

    Emily what facts? Your facts/ Maybe like we should go back to th gold standard?

  • Sean Scallon on November 14, 2012 8:26 PM:

    "..And I fear that is literally true, because he conspired with the voters of Kentucky to ensure that we’ll have at least a few more years of Paulite thunder in Congress. "

    Too bad for you.

  • beejeez on November 14, 2012 9:24 PM:

    Yeah, Rep. Paul cared so much about the drug wars and the wars wars and the security state. I guess that's why he's a Republican.



  • rdale on November 14, 2012 9:42 PM:

    I like what Charlie Pierce--who calls him "Crazy Uncle Liberty"--always says about him: that you can listen to him for five minutes, and he makes sense; but at 5:01, you find yourself thinking "WTF did he just say?!?!"

  • newtons.third on November 14, 2012 10:14 PM:

    Um Ed, Cassandra was cursed to know the future, but that no one would believe her. If Ron Paul is right about the future, then we are all screwed. This is a per peeve of mine. Cassandra was always right. Paul is not.

  • Daryl McCullough on November 15, 2012 7:56 AM:

    There are two points of agreement between Ron Paul and the far left: (1) Foreign wars are almost always a waste of money and lives. (2) The government shouldn't be meddling in the private lives of citizens--monitoring your phone calls and emails, worrying about what kind of recreational sex, drugs and rock and roll you consume. These are both at odds with the Republican establishment.

    His other policy ideas are wacko, and are therefore in closer agreement with mainstream Republicans and tea-partiers.

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