Monday, July 14, 2008

Beyond McBama - Ron Paul vs. Bob Barr (plus Chuck Baldwin?)

Two Republican Congressmen. Two Libertarian presidential candidates.

Too different? This is what Cork says:

For all his faults, Paul opposes the war on drugs and has said repeatedly he would pardon all non-violent drug offendors as president. Can you imagine Barr ever doing such a thing? When questioned by Stossel on whether a state government should regulate heroin or prostitution, Paul said no. Compare that to Barr, who supports the war on drugs and other victimless crimes (opposition to which has always been a crucial part of libertarianism).

Paul supports a non-interventionist foreign policy. Barr wants to invade Latin America (to expand the war on drugs) and antagonize Iran. Barr has also criticized Obama for wanting to talk with foreign leaders.

Paul wants to eliminate the income tax. Barr just wants to shuffle it around, with the FraudTax. Barr talks a good game on civil liberties, but Paul has the record to back it up. I could go on and on. The point is, Barr is nowhere even close to being as libertarian as Ron Paul, even with Paul running as a damn Republican!

But back in June, Bob Barr has received praise from...Ron Paul.

Transcript here.

But Ron Paul also likes another candidate:

On May 30 Paul also praised Barr, to Jason Rosenbaum of the Columbia Daily Tribune: "He'll be a good candidate. Some Libertarians are excited, and some are leery, but I think he can do a very good job."

Rosenbaum asked the obvious follow-up -- "Would you consider endorsing him?" -- and Paul responded in the negative:

"Well, 'considering' means the thought crosses your mind, and he has made inquiries as to what I might be able to do, and my answer is that I don't plan to get involved, because Chuck Baldwin is a candidate for the Constitution Party, and he's a good friend, and he also worked very hard on my campaign, so it's pretty hard for me to endorse one or the other."

But there's another good reason for Paul to stay on the fence on this one.

Paul is the Ranking Member of one House Committe on Financial Services subcommittee (Domestic and International Monetary Policy, Trade and Technology), and the Vice-Chair of another (Oversight and Investigations). He also serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Joint [House-Senate] Economic Committee. All of those positions give him forums for his message, with greater publicity for it now than ever before; but Paul enjoys all of them at his party's pleasure.

So if there are any baba booeys who are waiting for Ron Paul to point to the 2008 candidate of choice, they may be waiting for a long time - unless the Republican establishment pre-emptively moves against Paul, leaving him with nothing to lose.

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