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Wed Jan 11, 2012, 11:48 AM

Ron Paul's Strange Bedfellows - "What is it with progressive mancrushes on right-wing Republicans?"

http://www.thenation.com/article/165440/ron-pauls-strange-bedfellows

Ron Paul's Strange Bedfellows

Katha Pollitt January 4, 2012 This article appeared in the January 23, 2012 edition of The Nation.

What is it with progressive mancrushes on right-wing Republicans? For years, until he actually got nominated, John McCain was the recipient of lefty smooches equaled only by those bestowed upon Barack Obama before he had to start governing. You might disagree with what McCain stood for, went the argument, but he had integrity, and charisma, and some shiny mavericky positions—on campaign finance reform and gun control and… well, those two anyway.

Now Ron Paul is getting the love. At Truthdig, Robert Scheer calls him “a profound and principled contributor to a much-needed national debate on the limits of federal power.” In The Nation, John Nichols praises his “pure conservatism,” “values” and “principle.” Salon’s Glenn Greenwald is so outraged that progressives haven’t abandoned the warmongering, drone-sending, indefinite-detention-supporting Obama for Paul that he accuses them of supporting the murder of Muslim children. There’s a Paul fan base in the Occupy movement and at Counterpunch, where Alexander Cockburn is a longtime admirer. Paul is a regular guest of Jon Stewart, who has yet to ask him a tough question. And yes, these are all white men; if there are leftish white women and people of color who admire Paul, they’re keeping pretty quiet.

Ron Paul has an advantage over most of his fellow Republicans in having an actual worldview, instead of merely a set of interests—he opposes almost every power the federal government has and almost everything it does. Given Washington’s enormous reach, it stands to reason that progressives would find targets to like in Paul’s wholesale assault. I, too, would love to see the end of the “war on drugs” and our other wars. I, too, am shocked by the curtailment of civil liberties in pursuit of the “war on terror,” most recently the provision in the NDAA permitting the indefinite detention, without charge, of US citizens suspected of involvement in terrorism. But these are a handful of cherries on a blighted tree. In a Ron Paul America, there would be no environmental protection, no Social Security, no Medicaid or Medicare, no help for the poor, no public education, no civil rights laws, no anti-discrimination law, no Americans With Disabilities Act, no laws ensuring the safety of food or drugs or consumer products, no workers’ rights. How far does Paul take his war against Washington? He wants to abolish the Federal Aviation Authority and its pesky air traffic controllers. He has one magic answer to every problem—including how to land an airplane safely: let the market handle it.

It’s a little strange to see people who inveigh against Obama’s healthcare compromises wave away, as a detail, Paul’s opposition to any government involvement in healthcare. In Ron Paul’s America, if you weren’t prudent enough or wealthy enough to buy private insurance—and the exact policy that covers what’s ailing you now—you find a charity or die. And if civil liberties are so important, how can Paul’s progressive fans overlook his opposition to abortion and his signing of the personhood pledge, which could ban many birth control methods? Last time I checked, women were half the population (the less important half, apparently). Technically, Paul would overturn Roe and let states make their own laws regulating women’s bodies, up to and including prosecuting abortion as murder. Add in his opposition to basic civil rights law—he maintains his opposition to the 1964 Civil Rights Act and opposes restrictions on the “freedom” of business owners to refuse service to blacks—and his hostility to the federal government starts looking more and more like old-fashioned Southern-style states’ rights. No wonder they love him over at Stormfront, a white-supremacist website with neo-Nazi tendencies. In a multiple-choice poll of possible effects of a Paul presidency, the most popular answer by far was “Paul will implement reforms that increase liberty which will indirectly benefit White Nationalists.” And let’s not forget his other unsavory fan base, Christian extremists who want to execute gays, adulterers and “insubordinate children.” Paul’s many connections with the Reconstructionist movement, going back decades, are laid out on AlterNet by Adele Stan, who sees him as a faux libertarian whose real agenda is not individualism but to prevent the federal government from restraining the darker impulses at work at the state and local levels.

..more..

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Arrow 18 replies Author Time Post
Reply Ron Paul's Strange Bedfellows - "What is it with progressive mancrushes on right-wing Republicans?" (Original post)
G_j Jan 2012 OP
LeftishBrit Jan 2012 #1
Tarheel_Dem Jan 2012 #2
lumberjack_jeff Jan 2012 #3
G_j Jan 2012 #4
barbtries Jan 2012 #6
lumberjack_jeff Jan 2012 #10
NorthCarolina Jan 2012 #5
AnotherMcIntosh Jan 2012 #12
lumberjack_jeff Jan 2012 #13
TheWraith Jan 2012 #18
Luminous Animal Jan 2012 #7
Octafish Jan 2012 #15
Luminous Animal Jan 2012 #16
SidDithers Jan 2012 #8
randome Jan 2012 #9
sufrommich Jan 2012 #11
Luminous Animal Jan 2012 #14
TheWraith Jan 2012 #17

Response to G_j (Original post)

Wed Jan 11, 2012, 11:50 AM

1. k&r

And by the way it's not new; I've seen sympathetic remarks about Ron Paul on DU from time to time since at least 2007.

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Wed Jan 11, 2012, 11:56 AM

2. I think it's pretty clear why Greenwald is such a fan. 'Nuff said.

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Wed Jan 11, 2012, 11:56 AM

3. Simple solution.

 

If you want anti-war liberals to support you, then be an anti-war liberal.

In the absence of any anti-war liberals to vote for, an anti-war libertarian seems a tempting alternative.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #3)

Wed Jan 11, 2012, 12:02 PM

4. "If you want anti-war liberals to support you, then be an anti-war liberal."

exactly, however, I am a life long anti-war activist and I can't support him for the cruelty and inhumanity of many of his views.
I have always been a Kucinich supporter, whom mainstream Dems continually label as "unelectable"

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Response to G_j (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 11, 2012, 12:18 PM

6. yea Kucinich

just wanted you to know you are not alone.

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Response to G_j (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 11, 2012, 12:51 PM

10. I'd never vote for RP because he's a Republican.

 

But my excuse-o-matic need to be fed some more quarters to make me dance vigorously to the tune the DNC has chosen.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #3)

Wed Jan 11, 2012, 12:03 PM

5. ^^C^O^R^R^E^C^T^^A^N^S^W^E^R^^

 

eom

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #3)

Wed Jan 11, 2012, 12:56 PM

12. They say that he is very smart. Will he figure this out in time? Do we even matter to him?

 

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #12)

Wed Jan 11, 2012, 01:02 PM

13. He is who he is.

 

he doesn't have to be perfect, just barely better than brand X.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #3)

Wed Jan 11, 2012, 02:09 PM

18. Bullshit. Ron Paul is not anti-war.

For one thing, his campaign manager went on TV and very explicitly said that Ron Paul is NOT anti-war.

He voted for the AUMF resolution. He supported attacking Iran before he was against it. He's not "anti-war" in any way.

He's also not a libertarian, since he's never met a pro-life or anti-gay bill he didn't like, including supporting DOMA.

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Wed Jan 11, 2012, 12:21 PM

7. Falguni Sheth's take down of Pollit

Pollitt’s Perplexity about Pundits on Ron Paul
http://translationexercises.wordpress.com/2012/01/06/pollitts-perplexity-about-pundits-on-ron-paul/

But HERE FOLKS! I am a brown woman (in case my bio didn’t clue you into that), and I am downright livid at policies passed during the Obama administration (which a number of folks will attest that I anticipated before the 2008 election), which are even worse than expected. I am as livid with progressives who affect a casual? studied? indifference to the Administration’s repeated support for warrantless wiretapping (remember Obama’s vote during the 2008 election season when he took a break in campaigning to return to Washington to vote for the renewal of FISA; for his support of the Justice Department’s withholding of evidence (and even habeas corpus) from detainees on grounds of national security; his commitment to indefinite detention (NDAA was not the first time it’s arisen. We saw his support in the gesture to move Gitmo detainees to a federal prison in Illinois—with only a casual suggestion that they might receive civilian trials—only to watch it die quickly under even modest resistance. Guantanamo is still open with detainees languishing); the expansion of troops into Afghanistan in the first part of his term; the unceasing drone attacks in Pakistan, etc.

Does that mean that I am a fan of Ron Paul? No. Do I admire the fact that he’s articulating an anti-war platform? Yes, but very cautiously and very sadly, given his other questionable positions. As Corey Robin points out, folks who are anti-war have only Paul to look to. And in part, we have only Paul to look to, because of “white leftish women” like Katha Pollitt, who says,

“I, too, would love to see the end of the “war on drugs” and our other wars. I, too, am shocked by the curtailment of civil liberties in pursuit of the “war on terror,” most recently the provision in the NDAA permitting the indefinite detention, without charge, of US citizens suspected of involvement in terrorism. But these are a handful of cherries on a blighted tree.”

Really? Half a million Iraqi civilians dead? Dozens of Pakistani children dead because of drones (or more. We are not allowed to know)? The reproductive systems of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi women decimated by decades of US-led chemical warfare ? The curtailment of civil liberties of legal residents (and not merely citizens) in the US? The indefinite detention of tens of thousands of migrants, documented or otherwise? Those migrants include Latinos, South Asians, Arabs, Middle Easterners, Muslims from other parts of the world–detained not just for migrating without papers, but for merely being suspected of terrorism and held without charges, without lawyers, without family knowing, without judicial review–without a way out. These are what an anti-war position would resist. Seriously? Pollitt believes these are cherries on a blighted tree?

Apparently the last time Pollitt checked, women were half the population in the United States. Last time I checked, women were half the population in the parts of the world that the US is decimating. I’m going out on a limb, but I’m guessing that they care about their reproductive systems being trashed. They probably also care about their children dying. I’m wondering what Pollitt thinks about the ripping apart of migrant parents from their children–by deporting at least 46,000 of them under the Obama Administration? My understanding is that these children all had parents. And apparently those parents cared about them.


She also gives her hell for mischaracterizing Greenwald's position in the first paragraph but, as Greenwald said himself, "But addressing Pollitt’s distortion is the least important and interesting point in Professor Sheth’s essay, which I really encourage everyone to read."

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Response to Luminous Animal (Reply #7)

Wed Jan 11, 2012, 01:06 PM

15. Now Ms. Sheth speaks for me. Same for Mr. Greenwald.

Thank you for the heads-up, Luminous Animal.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #15)

Wed Jan 11, 2012, 02:01 PM

16. And thank you!

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Wed Jan 11, 2012, 12:25 PM

8. K&R. Thanks for posting...nt

Sid

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Wed Jan 11, 2012, 12:29 PM

9. The country is stressed out.

 

And some have lost faith in Obama and the Democrats. I am an Obama supporter but people yearn for a more dynamic leader. Therefore, they turn to alternatives to the status quo.

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Wed Jan 11, 2012, 12:54 PM

11. Ron Paul, a candidate only a white man

could love.

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Response to sufrommich (Reply #11)

Wed Jan 11, 2012, 01:05 PM

14. A woman of color has a problem with that divisive approach...

[div="excerpt]But like Ross Perot in 1991 (whose third-party candidacy created the space to challenge NAFTA) and Ralph Nader in 2000 (who raised questions about corporate politics and party complicity), the presence of Paul is raising serious questions about some elephants in the room. How do we expect solidarity among folks of color when the cost-benefit analysis is played out by pitting the issues that concern white folks and some US folks of color against issues affecting international populations or other US folks of color, as Pollit does in her column?

Here’s another question: why must I make this claim as a woman of color? As a South Asian woman? As a migrant? Why can’t I make this claim as a US citizen, pure and simple? Why can’t I make this claim simply as a progressive? Somehow that pisses me off. The collective indifference of thousands of progressives, even in OWS, to the minute attention paid to those foreign policies that don’t take an enormous leap of imagination to see the deaths, the bodily and psychic harm, the mutations that result from chemical warfare, that have affected hundreds of thousands of PEOPLE of COLOR. Yes. And I am a “People of color” making this point. For better or worse, Ron Paul is noticing it. I don’t care what his motivations are (again, I AM NOT SUPPORTING HIS CANDIDACY. Glenn: maybe you should have put your alerts in all-caps, like I did). He is raising the questions.


http://translationexercises.wordpress.com/2012/01/06/pollitts-perplexity-about-pundits-on-ron-paul/

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Response to sufrommich (Reply #11)

Wed Jan 11, 2012, 02:06 PM

17. Correction: A candidate only a straight, wealthy, white Klansman could love. nt

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