By MANIFESTO JOE
Yes, the late Molly Ivins dubbed him "Congressman Clueless." Yes, he's a radical libertarian who would have the U.S. go back to that unregulated capitalist utopia of 1906, when a third of Americans lived in unmitigated poverty and Upton Sinclair's The Jungle was published.
But he's actually making the most sense of all 10 hapless hopefuls for the Republican presidential nomination. Of course, he hasn't got a chance to win one delegate.
He's Texas' own Ron Paul, longtime congressman and one-time Libertarian Party candidate for president (1988).
Predictably, he's not being depicted well by the Mainstream Media. But, let's let the congressman's words stand on their own, with minimal spin. This is from one of the recent GOP debates, regarding 9/11 and the Mideast situation:
PAUL: Have you ever read the reasons they attacked us? They attack us because we've been over there; we've been bombing Iraq for 10 years. We've been in the Middle East -- I think Reagan was right.
We don't understand the irrationality of Middle Eastern politics. So right now we're building an embassy in Iraq that's bigger than the Vatican. We're building 14 permanent bases. What would we say here if China was doing this in our country or in the Gulf of Mexico? We would be objecting. We need to look at what we do from the perspective of what would happen if somebody else did it to us. (Applause.)
PAUL: I'm suggesting that we listen to the people who attacked us and the reason they did it, and they are delighted that we're over there because Osama bin Laden has said, "I am glad you're over on our sand because we can target you so much easier." They have already now since that time -- [bell rings] -- have killed 3,400 of our men, and I don't think it was necessary.
PAUL: I believe very sincerely that the CIA is correct when they teach and talk about blowback. When we went into Iran in 1953 and installed the shah, yes, there was blowback. A reaction to that was the taking of our hostages and that persists. And if we ignore that, we ignore that at our own risk. If we think that we can do what we want around the world and not incite hatred, then we have a problem.
They don't come here to attack us because we're rich and we're free. They come and they attack us because we're over there. I mean, what would we think if we were -- if other foreign countries were doing that to us?
Congressman Paul, despite himself, was pretty articulate, and raised points that have been unheard of in Republican Party discourse for decades -- for example, the long-range stupidity of the 1953 CIA coup in Iran.
Predictably, the MSM are dog-piling on him. Joe Klein of Time writes of a "singular moment of weirdness." But Media Matters for America points out that Paul's points were supported by the official 9/11 report.
Paul for president? Nope. But I'm happy he's in the race and telling at least some of it like it is.
Manifesto Joe is an underground writer living in Texas. Check out his blog at Manifesto Joe's Texas Blues.