Monday, January 09, 2012

How Ron Paul should respond to accusations about his record

In the debates over the weekend, Rick Santorum accused Ron Paul of being "on the margins". Santorum implies that Paul would be an ineffectual President stating (paraphrased) "Out of over 600 bills, you've only had 4 come up for a vote and only 1 that has passed."

I guess in Santorum's worldview, since the same Congress that has continually concentrated control in Washington over the decades doesn't want to hear measures that would relinquish that power, Paul isn't doing things right. Here's how I'd love to hear Ron Paul respond:

Wait a minute, are you saying that because we have a Congress that has passed such bills as the National Defense Authorization Act, the bailouts and stimulus, and Obamacare, a Congress that will stuff multiple unrelated measures into a single bill that gets both sides something they want and a plausible excuse to give their base as to why they voted for it, a Congress that will use trickery, loopholes, and bribes to pass unpopular bills (and then congratulates themselves on legislative creativity), a Congress that frequently does not read the bills they are voting on, a Congress that throws taxpayers money around at endeavors like a bridge to nowhere (that my opponent here voted for), ethanol subsidies, and Solyndra, a Congress that continues to raise the debt ceiling while it has not had a balanced budget in virtually my entire tenure and hasn't passed a budget at all in the last 3 years, a Congress that cozies up to special interests and lobbyists and who often outsources the writing of complex bills to corporate insiders, a Congress with an 8% approval rating, because *that* Congress refuses to even debate my bills, are you saying that reflects negatively on me?


I'm more concerned with finding common areas of agreement and forming coalitions for freedom. I've been accused by my opponents of working with Democrats and leftists like Barney Frank, Bernie Sanders, and Dennis Kucinich - and this is true. But because I can agree with Frank on the need to get the federal govt out of trying to restrict medical marijuana doesn't mean I agree with him on his banking regulations. Because I can find common ground with Sanders regarding the Federal Reserve, doesn't mean I agree with him on his economic views. Because I can work with Kucinich to try to change our interventionist foreign policy doesn't mean I agree with his views on govt funded health care. Working with people with whom you disagree 95% of the time to get things in that 5% accomplished doesn't make you a sellout, it's how you build coalitions to fight a battle for liberty without losing your principles.


No, this accusation reveals the mentality of Washington insiders: that "getting things done" is more important than what is actually done. That has to stop. 

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