(Macro by schmiss)
Republicans Embrace Ron Paul On Domestic Policy
“He hasn’t bombed Iran yet,” says Ron Paul, when asked to assess the best and worst characteristics of President Barack Obama’s six months in office.
“The worst thing is he is probably still thinking about it.”
No sooner does the representative from Texas’ 14th Congressional District, nicknamed “Dr. No” by his detractors, find himself embraced by mainstream Republicans (and even some Democrats) on domestic policy issues, then he pivots his focus to foreign affairs.
Obama, Paul told POLITICO during a sit-down in his office this week, “has talked a little better than his action, but he has already expanded [the number of troops] in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He became the peace candidate: ‘Yeah, we’re going to end that war in Iraq.’ But it’s not sincere. I don't think they had any intention, never did.”
It’s a unique time for Paul. With the economy in the tank, the same cable news shows that spurned him during the election now keep asking him on to talk monetary policy. Republican House members are finally voting with him on spending measures.
But following his exhilarant, if quixotic, quest for the presidency, Paul finds himself simultaneously gratified and frustrated by his return to the friendlier-than-before confines of the House of Representatives. He thinks he’s well situated in Congress to push for his libertarian causes, but then claims he doesn't "pay a whole lot of attention" to the activity on the House floor these days, adding, "I don't think it's relevant to the big picture.”
“A lot of this is just tinkering, bailing out, more money, more spending, no shift of direction and it's a little bit frustrating," he says.
Asked if he feels more embraced by the Republican Party establishment, Paul shrugs and says, "half and half.”
"I think there's respect. But they don't call me in and say, ‘What we need to find out from you is how you reach the young people.’"
As for another presidential run in 2012, “I don’t think that’s likely,” Paul says.
But in the next breath, he admits that he would have made the same prediction three years before his last run for the party’s banner. And he questions whether the names being bandied about as possible Republican nominees will connect to his supporters.
“The one thing that is characteristic about anybody who joins us is that they are energized and everybody recognizes that," Paul says. "We also know that it is the energy in a small group of people that really leads nations.”
"Let's say I have 15 percent of Republicans and [Mitt] Romney has 30 percent. If his people aren't energized, our guys might stand for three of his."
As for soon-to-be departing Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Paul dismisses her supporters as "more establishment, conventional Country-Club type of Republicans.”
"I wonder whether she's energizing the 15-20 year olds," Paul muses. "That would be a question I would have. Because she doesn't talk about the Federal Reserve and some of these issues. She doesn't talk too much about personal liberties, civil liberties, getting rid of drug laws, attacking the war on drugs, punishing people who torture."
Worse still, he adds, Palinites are partisans: “If Obama was the only one who was guilty, they would be on his case all the time, but there is a lot of partisanship and I am probably less partisan and therefore she is going to appeal to partisan Republicans better.”
As Paul sees it, such partisanship is the rough equivalent of an old Onion headline, “"Our local area sports team is superior to your local area sports team," Or as he puts it, “I think when it comes to foreign policy and monetary policy on big spending and watching out for the big corporations, Republicans are Democrats.”
And then he reverses again crediting Obama for restoring, however unintentionally, Republican principles.
“Republicans now are conservatives again” since the election, he says. “They are more consistent in voting against all these spending [measures]. And I kid them, I say, ‘are you guys voting with me now or am I voting with you?’
“Of course, they would always complain when I voted against Republican spending.“
Looking back at his presidential run, Paul seems sincerely surprised: He’s stayed the same, but suddenly the young folk who were whistling past him for years stopped to listen, even as the party’s other candidates did their best to ignore him.
“Some people say, ‘Oh, that was a good strategy,’” Paul says. “It was no more strategy than a man on the moon. It was just that I knew what I believed in, I kept talking about it, knew the problems were coming. I really assumed I would probably be back in medicine or something when the crisis hit.”
The Campaign for Liberty, the grass-roots organization that grew out of Paul's presidential campaign, has raised over $3 million since last June, attracting some 200,000 members.
“It just sort of baffles me," says Paul, shrinking, as he tends to do, when the notion of his star quality is raised.
And as of last week, 271 members of the House – about one-third of them Democrats – have signed onto HR-1207; a measure Paul introduced last February to audit the Federal Reserve.
When the Campaign for Liberty had a petition drop in support of the measure some six weeks ago, members were informed the night before that there would be a photo-op with Paul. Even with such late notice, 11 showed up to have their picture taken with "Dr. No," including Tom Cole, the former chair of the NRCC.
At the same time, Paul shrugs off his role in the House. “So I don’t work here so much. I didn’t get many signatures, because I have sort of twisted arms or put on pressure. Plus, I have nothing to trade, I am not a committee chairman and don’t have any clout, but because we have grassroots support, they got energized, and that’s how we have [271 members]…on the bill.”
Once again, he proves that he's a fucking joke. Paul needs to STFU about Palin. She's NOT mainstream at all and she's more awesome than he could ever dream to be!