Friday, January 06, 2012

ideas do have consequences...,


NYTimes | A Ron Paul stump speech offers something for almost everyone. And that may help explain why Mr. Paul, a 76-year-old Texas congressman, is polling so well here.

For college students, liberals and many veterans, his speeches attack federal drug policy, lament growing income inequality and condemn undeclared wars. By the standards of contemporary American political discourse, he can sound like a pony-tailed advocacy lawyer as he pummels a Democratic administration for carrying out extrajudicial “assassinations.”

Alluding to the drone-strike killing in Yemen last year of Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born radical Muslim cleric, by the Obama administration, Mr. Paul said at one of his final campaign stops: ”If you are construed by him and his executive branch as a bad person, even if you are an American citizen, than you qualify to be assassinated. And that is not the way it is supposed to be done.”

For more traditional Republican voters and economic conservatives, Mr. Paul offers dire predictions about the nation’s fiscal future if the federal budget and debt are not slashed immediately and deeply; sharp attacks on the Federal Reserve, bailouts, and the dangers of debasing the currency; and a rousing defense of the second amendment. He warns that time is growing short to correct the country’s course and save it from a fiscal calamity.

“We have met a crisis here in the last four years, which was a predictable crisis,” he said during a speech in December. “Many of the Austrian economists knew there was a bubble. We talked about it for a long time. And the bubble burst. It’s different this time, it is big-time different. It’s the biggest in the history of the world, what we are facing today.”

Evangelicals and social conservatives often find campaign literature on their seats before a speech starts that extols a proposal by Mr. Paul that “effectively repeals Roe v. Wade and would prevent activist judges from interfering with state decisions to protect life.”

Mr. Paul’s campaign talks are long, discursive, and bounce from place to place — he generally does not use a prepared text — but they tend to cover the same core areas: his commitment to following a strict interpretation of the Constitution and how he says that mandates a noninterventionist foreign policy; the need to constrain or eliminate the Federal Reserve; the elimination other parts of the federal government not called for by the Constitution; and a robust embrace of civil liberties that would mean repealing the Patriot Act.