Paulo maiora canamus

By Michael J. Smith on Wednesday December 28, 2011 10:05 PM

I was rather severe on Robert Naiman a couple of posts ago. In a subsequent email exchange he has expressed a more interesting point of view than I gave him credit for. Among other things, he is a Ron Paulite, with qualifications of course:

[Paul] is against the wars. That's why I am supporting him: to undermine the pro-war consensus in the Republican Party, which is a key obstacle to efforts to end the wars.

... what I am doing is not actually campaigning for him, but using him as a hook to push an antiwar agenda.

... I suspect that some of the "liberals" who are apoplectic about Ron Paul are really *New Republic* liberals, who hate his opposition to the Empire but are hiding behind faux concern about his domestic policies.

Now I don't personally believe in concerning oneself much with the electoral charade, except as a source of low comedy. But if one is going to take the thing at all seriously, then Naiman is on the right track. Bad as he is, Paul is clearly the Lesser Evil, not only when compared to Romney, but when compared to Obie.

Comments (13)


He is not on the right track though, he implies that the democrats can't end the wars because of the republicans.


Yes. There does seem to be some confusion there.

Not that any of it matters anyway. The establishment will never let him get anywhere close to the levers of power. He serves as a distraction to a disgruntled electorate. Some cheese to keep the little mice working their way through the maze while never seeing what lies just beyond the walls.


In fairness, I think that's sorta Naiman's argument. He doesn't expect Paul to go anywhere either. But he sees it as an opportunity to put war and empire on the table when all the plausible mainstream candidates have ruled those topics out of order.


I'd support Paul just to hear the full throated, unapologetic critique of imperialism and the national security state. On national commercial television, unedited in debates. For whatever its worth. Which of course is not much. But still.


i might add

the redoubtable mr paul senior
the indy FED too

a much needed congressional thrust

yes he does his attacking with the mental artillery of andy jackson

but so what !!!

the basic principle he embodies
is paramount indeed

--- the popular control of the credit system ---

yes he's as anti bryan soft money
as he could be
totally hard scrabble brain cracked in fact

but once under way
these popular movements
have a nice way
of racing off into their complete opposite

an MMT fed ??


fuckng up the GOP hegemonist wing's
grip on "the grand old party " ???

starting from a standing start
why not try to topple
the Dem hegemonists grip on the party of FDR

puzzles me some unless our man here sees more likely hood on the GOP front

i doubt it

if anything
the post dewey/taft era repug corporate core
is the less likely
of the two corporate cores
to even appear to turn its back on
a unilateral imperial "strategy "

ie turn to UN type multilateralism
rather then
posse of the willing
nato shock troop affgoonistan /iraq-o-thons


"an opportunity to put war and empire on the table"

its always on the table at both party "margins "

but only
the 72 McGovern campaign
actually stormed the heights successfully


He's the only candidate who claims to be anti-war, anti-drug war, and anti-police state, so he certainly seems like the lesser evil even if he's full of it. He's at least mouthing the right words now. As for his loonytarian ideas, I doubt he'll be any more successful at destroying the welfare state than Obama will be, but having a president openly denouncing imperialism and the erosion of civil liberties would go a long way to raising public awareness, if nothing else.

It will be particularly interesting to seen an anti-imperialist Republican running against the pro-empire Obama. Some liberals might just notice how far to the right their Mussolini-chinned golden boy is on many issues compared to Paul.

In either case I will vote my conscience and go for Cynthia McKinney if she runs. I'm not one who thinks having the right person in the presidency makes no difference. It's a position of power for one with the guts and integrity to use it. I prefer to waste my vote on someone who deserves it.


best possible hope

we get a troika

with paul as third horse in the race
running as a civil libertarian
anti uncle as world marshall

we all know
the GOP will never nom
such an odd
anti armada pumpkin
but he has not precluded an indy run
if his funding base holds up


Some liberals might just notice how far to the right their Mussolini-chinned golden boy is on many issues compared to Paul.

Dude, you don't get it; He's not left wing at all! Seriously, you're almost as dumb as Glenn Greenwald. If you look at Ron Paul's policy ideas, they may substantially agree with left-wing talking points, but he believes in them for the wrong reasons! He doesn't want to end our wars for the compassionate reasons you and I do, he wants to end them because he hates foreigners and doesn't think they deserve our protection!

You might argue that benign neglect would actually improve and save the lives of a lot of people, even if Ron Paul is a racist, but I suggest you don't. What's the point of doing good deeds if you haven't accepted Christ in your heart?

Not that any of it matters anyway. The establishment will never let him get anywhere close to the levers of power. He serves as a distraction to a disgruntled electorate.

I've seen a lot of violent pushback against Paul on the lefty blogs lately, and what you said is exactly the reason I don't get it. If you're a lefty, or, god help you, a Democrat, don't you want Paul to be the Republican nominee?

He'd mount convincing attacks on Obama's worst policies while still being easy to clobber in the general election. Other nominees would either have a chance of winning or be so intensely stupid that it'd probably leak out and make us all dumber. Hoping the Republicans just don't pick a nominee doesn't seem like a realistic strategy to me.

You'd think that people committed to lesser-evilism would agree, but apparently not.


What op said. Paul reprising his Libertarian run, with far better results, a louder megaphone, and more receptive audience than in '88. I want him on that stage during the presidential "debates" vs tweedle dee/dum(b) of empire.

First off, I think Fadduh Smiff makes some very important points here. Still, there's no denying that Paul is a racist hypocrite to the bone, and the flare-up of Left enthusiasm gets me wondering: who's more desperate and stupid: the Pwogs who fell all over Obama no matter what, or the Pwogs who are falling all over Ron Paul no matter what? (I mean, seriously, didn't they hear Paul in that one debate, agreeing that people who couldn't afford health insurance should be allowed to die?)

But, aaaaa-aaanyway...

I'm sure as hell not fooling myself over Ron Paul, but there's a part of me that's enjoying seeing him nudge towards front-runner status in the GOP Goat Rodeo, and totally rooting for him -- both because he'd have a chance to put war, imperialism and the destruction of civil liberties front and center in the debates, and also because of the cheap-laffs value of seeing Mittens Romney and the GOP establishment crapping its drawers over the prospect of Ron Paul giving Mittens a run for his money and tossing a bomb (so to speak) in the debates and primary campaigns -- even though it still wouldn't be nearly as entertaining as watching President Sparkle Pony and the Democrats dropping a pantload.

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