What horrors, from a progressive POV, would a President Ron Paul ACTUALLY be able to achieve?
There have been diaries about Ron Paul recently at FDL. The arguments that would interest me concern the topic of what Ron Paul would actually accomplish as President, given a Congress which is very different from Ron Paul – both D’s and R’s.
If you think that President Ron Paul could actually preside over the following, then feel free to explain to us HOW he would do so, absent royal powers or magical powers, such as that of a Grand Wizard. (I do think my first item is something that President Ron Paul could accomplish, being that he’d be Commander in Chief):
A) Withdraw US Armed Forces from Iraq
B) Repeal the 1967 Civil Rights Act
C) End legal abortion in all 50 states
D) Withdraw from the UN (to tell you the truth, I don’t know whether the Prez alone has such authority, or not; I doubt it. It’s probaby some sort of treaty, which can only be made or abandoned via Congress))
E) Make homesexual practices illegal
F) End Birthright Citizenship
G) Eliminate legal tender laws
H) Eliminate Obamacare (actually, I wish he could do so by waiving a magic wand; if President Ron Paul has a Republican Congress, I think he’d achieve this; however, to me it’s not a horror…)
I) End the EPA
J) End Social Security
K) Add your own Item!
The following is a copy of a post I made in Margaret’s diary, Looking for a Defense of Ron Paul
Henry Kissinger, while Secretary of State, was one of the most powerful men in the world. Even after leaving that office, he still is powerful, due to his connections. Well, it turns out that Kissinger was a soccer fan, and tried to help soccer go big time in the US. However, this competed with baseball, which is a big business. (In fact, I think it has some special protections, under the law, but I don’t remember the details.)
Kissinger was not able to prevail against the baseball owners, regardless of his connections. (Sorry, I don’t remember more than that.)
A more recent example is GW Bush, who became a lame duck during the latter part of his Presidency, that Republicans ran away from in their re-election bids. How could that be, if they’re all lemmings? And GW Bush had more in common with Republican legislators and Ron Paul will ever have.
I pointed out to you in the other diary that your concerns are essentially irrelevant, since they don’t pertain (much) to the issue of what a Ron Paul Presidency would look like. When you say you want people to defend Ron Paul, you mean “defend his record as a Representative, defend his beliefs”. While obviously of some relevance, I pointed out why it’s mostly irrelevant. Actually, the most relevant point of his record may be that Ron Paul votes his convictions, as a Representative. That speaks to his integrity.
Try as you might to avoid the subject, as President, Ron Paul won’t be able to make laws. We criticize Obama – rightly – for not fighting for the common man (and indeed, fighting against the common man for the sake of his Wall Street buddies); but we also know that, at the end of the day, by the time legislation arrives at his desk, at that point there are only 2 choices for him. To sign or to veto. Likewise, you criticizing Ron Paul’s ideals, as though he could actualize those ideals as President, the same way he can as a Representative, without lots of Ron Paul clones and Ron Paul allies in Congress, is poppycock. It’s misleading nonsense, which misses what’s relevant about Ron Paul the candidate for President.
Perhaps you actually think that Ron Paul the legislator who doesn’t have both the rights and the limitations of a President, is more relevant to a Ron Paul Presidency than a cool, rational look at what is actually possible for somebody with Ron Paul’s belief system. But that is an absurd proposition, in his case moreso than most any analogous cases, because he is such an outlier, even within his own Party (especially compared to Republicans in Congress; wrt the Republican base, he’s closer, though still an outlier)*.
To put it in terms that might be more understandable to people reading FDL, imagine that Kucinich had been elected President in 2008, but the rest of the Congress was exactly like it is, today. We’ve seen how weak the Progressive Caucus is. We remember all the blue dogs.
A President Kucinich would certainly have gotten a better healthcare bill on his desk to sign, but how much better would it have been? I think we could have expected a public option, but single payer? With guys like Baucus in the Senate, who cares no more about an affordable healthcare plan than your typical Republican?
I don’t think so! One way or another, guys like Baucus would have extracted their mega-pounds of flesh (which is why, if Progressives were properly organized, they’d be working relentlessly to fire his ass during his next election). President Kucinich would not be Dictator Kucinich. Neither would he be Grand Wizard Kucinich.
Similar arguments apply to a Ron Paul Presidency. He can’t simply do whatever he wants to do, or dreams of doing.
Now, the military issues are a different matter. I don’t think that, if either a President Ron Paul or President Dennis Kucinich ordered the US military to withdraw from Iraq, that there is anything that Congress could do to counteract such an order. Well, I suppose there’s one thing they could do, under the Constitution, and that is, declare war. But I doubt they’d be so radical. And if they were so radical, it’d simply emphasize the point that a President is neither a dictator, nor a Grand Wizard with an all-powerful magic wand!
Do you at least agree with that last sentence – that a President is neither a dictator, nor a Grand Wizard with an all-powerful magic wand? You say you want a rational discussion, but I seriously doubt you want a rational discussion about what we could expect from a Ron Paul Presidency.
* As to why an outlier might win: The Congressional approval ratings are in the teens. Ron Paul is different, on the one hand; and honest on the other (which is part of his ‘difference’). There are very few Republicans who will perceive him as yet another corrupted insider. IMO, if he were smart, he’d promise to support Social Security in it’s current form, and leave any possible problems with it for future generations, even if doing so conflicted with his personal beliefs. He’s already moderated his pronouncement on Social Security. He may as well go all the way.