Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Solid Endorsement

I have as many problems with Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) as Andrew Sullivan and am not with him on as many issues, but he was right on the Iraq War and the Patriot Act. He's not a liar, he's not a GOP/FOX grifter and he's not an authoritarian. I've said for a long time that he would be the smartest nomination the Republicans could make, a real statement that would crystallize issues.

It's a little scary that Sullivan has written his endorsement so well today, just as he did for Obama four years ago, the first such endorsement I saw and the piece of writing that influenced me to really look at Obama, take him seriously as a candidate. Hopefully, we stay the course for four more years. Obama's the best Republican President since Eisenhower, and I'm hoping since Theodore Roosevelt by the end of his second term.

Here's a few key paragraphs that I agree with:

And I see in Paul none of the resentment that burns in Gingrich or the fakeness that defines Romney or the fascistic strains in Perry's buffoonery. He has yet to show the Obama-derangement of his peers, even though he differs with him. He has now gone through two primary elections without compromising an inch of his character or his philosophy. This kind of rigidity has its flaws, but, in the context of the Newt Romney blur, it is refreshing. He would never take $1.8 million from Freddie Mac. He would never disown Reagan, as Romney once did. He would never speak of lynching Bernanke, as Perry threatened. When he answers a question, you can see that he is genuinely listening to it and responding - rather than searching, Bachmann-like, for the one-liner to rouse the base. He is, in other words, a decent fellow, and that's an adjective I don't use lightly. We need more decency among Republicans.

And on some core issues, he is right. He is right that spending - especially on entitlements and defense - is way out of control. Unlike his peers, he had the balls to say so when Bush and Cheney were wrecking the country's finances, and rendering us close to helpless when the Great Recession came bearing down. Alas, he lacks the kind of skills at compromise, moderation and restraint that once defined conservatism and now seems entirely reserved for liberals. But who else in this field would? Romney would have to prove his base cred for his entire presidency. Gingrich is a radical utopian and supremely nasty fantasist.

I don't believe Romney or Gingrich would cut entitlements as drastically as Paul. But most important, I don't believe that any of the other candidates, except perhaps Huntsman, would cut the military-industrial complex as deeply as it needs to be cut. What Paul understands - and it's why he has so much young support - is that the world has changed. Seeking global hegemony in a world of growing regional powers among developing nations is a fool's game, destined to provoke as much backlash as lash, and financially disastrous as every failed empire in history has shown.

I'm supremely grateful to Rep. Paul that he's not an Obama-hater. He's a gent, which is more than I can say for every other GOP Presidential candidate, other than Gov. Jon Huntsman (who should keep spending as little as possible in his training run in prep for 2016). Romney is establishment trash, with no vision for running a compelling campaign, let alone a Presidency. And Gingrich is anti-establishment trash, all for him, grifter class. His hypocrisy has more integrity than Romney's. It's like Tony Soprano -- this is what he does.

Obama-Paul. A tighter race than either Willard or Newton?

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