Archive for May 8th, 2008

by Jay Stevens

You may remember that both Pete Talbot and I went to see Ron Paul when he made his appearance here in Missoula, and we both liked some of the things he was saying.

Pete:

Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul has a seductive message: get the U.S. out of Iraq, get the government out of personal lives, and put the country on a sound financial footing….

To probably the biggest applause of the evening: “End this war!” — it’s hard not to agree with that.

“How you spread democracy is by setting an example” and, hinting at the current administration, “we should teach a few people in this country about democracy.”

He’s anti-Patriot Act. He opposes FISA and warrantless searches. He’s against torture: “We’re known around the world as torturers.”

Our current economic policy “destroys the middle class and sends money to the Wall Street rich.”

And I even gave Paul kudos for speaking out for traditional conservative values, like sane fiscal policies:

And, while I certainly don’t share Paul’s vision of a crippled government, of regressive taxes and deregulation of business, it was at least refreshing to hear a Republican genuinely embrace those issues, and to see his supporters passionately voice their support to those ideas. It was certainly a marked contrast to the actions, voting records, and deeds of the current incarnation of the GOP at the state and national levels, which seems dedicated to bloated, inefficient government, irresponsible fiscal management, and authoritarianism.

It should definitely come as a surprise and a disappointment to Paul fans that his rhetoric appears to be just that: hot air.

Why, do you ask, am I saying this?

He endorsed Dennis Rehberg.

Can you think of a Republican who more embodies everything that Ron Paul was speaking out against in the UC Ballroom? Does Rehberg support the war, and has he supported it since its inception? Check. Did he gladly support the administration’s illegal “anti-terror” policies? Check. Is he one of the “spend-and-run” Republicans? Check.

I already quoted Rehberg from the Choteau shrimp peel, but it’s worth repeating in context of Paul’s endorsement:

Rehberg, giving an overview of national politics, defended George W. Bush’s policies and “You bet I defend George Bush.” The current president’s policies will someday be viewed as successes in a historic perspective, he said. Rehberg said Americans have enjoyed safety and no more attacks on U.S. soil since 9-11 because Bush took the war on terrorism abroad.

Really, what else can we possibly think of Ron Paul after this move, other than he really didn’t mean much of what he said here in Missoula? I mean, really? You support Dennis Rehberg?

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