On the question of war and empire, the Republican presidential candidates from Romney to Bachmann are clones of Obama, just as surely as Obama is a clone of Bush.
There is, however, one exception, Rep. Ron Paul (R, TX) the only contender who is a consistent, principled anti-interventionist, opposed to overseas Empire, and a staunch defender of our civil liberties so imperiled since 9/11. These are not newfound positions for Paul, come upon along the campaign trail or via a focus group, but long standing convictions, rooted in libertarian principles and verified by countless votes in the House and speeches on the Floor. You can take them to the proverbial bank. Nothing approaching this phenomenon has been seen in a major party since George McGovern. And even McGovern did not identify, let alone oppose, the U.S. as an Empire.
Paul must be taken seriously; he is not a candidate without real prospects.
The question must be asked, what is to be done by the antiwar Left? This question may be put in a variety of ways. The Left often acknowledges its obligation to those in developing countries, people of color over the planet whose standard of living and life itself is held back by the depredations of the U.S. Empire. If the Left acknowledges such a primary obligation, does it not need to support an antiwar candidate like Paul when there is no other around? Look at Libya with thousands killed by NATO bombing and the infrastructure of the African country with the highest Human Development Index being systematically destroyed. It is a war that is undeclared by Congress, therefore in violation of the Constitution and thus an impeachable action. Or Iraq where a million have been killed and four million displaced. Paul takes an unequivocal stance to stop this killing. How can the Left justify withholding its support?Walsh is one of the last people I thought would come out in defense of Paul. She not only does that but asks the obvious question to the left: Ron Paul has always been the true anti-war candidate, is the fact that he has an R next to his name enough to give your vote over to the war mongering Obama?
Walsh continues to impress with this biting criticism of Obama:
But what of other issues – like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security which the libertarian Paul wants to phase out, albeit gradually. Paul, the country doc, knows full well how people of little means rely on these programs and he proposes no sudden termination of them. But this author and others on the Left want to extend those programs. How do we square that circle? I contend it is no problem, because Paul is committed to preservation of civil liberties and the prerogatives of Congress. I am confident that under those conditions, where the discussion is open and free, my views on these social democratic programs will prevail. I am sure that my Libertarian friends feel the same way. And what more can we ask for in a democracy? Under Paul I do not have to worry about being locked up for my views. I am confident of that under Paul; I am not with any other candidate. Certainly not with Barack Obama.Now if only everyone on the HuffPost would read this, Paul should have no problem beating Obama in the general election if it should ever pan out that way.
*Update- I read the author wrong, it was actually John Walsh who wrote the great piece. My bad. I should have suspected that something written so brilliantly didn't come from the pen of Joan Walsh.
The debt ceiling drama is continuing once again today as there are rumors of a secret deal in the works. No surprise there. If you want to see the few Republicans who were actually principled enough to vote against the Raging Boehner's plan, here they are:
Justin Amash (Mich.)First Joan Walsh comes out in favor of Ron Paul, now the Texas Tribune has this video comparing Paul to christian fundamentalist-neo conservative extraordinaire Rick Perry:
Michele Bachmann (Minn.)
Chip Cravaack (Minn.)
Jason Chaffetz (Utah)
Scott Desjarlais (Tenn.)
Tom Graves (Ga.)
Tim Huelskamp (Kans.)
Steve King (Iowa)
Tim Johnson (Ill.)
Tom McClintock (Calif.)
Mick Mulvaney (S.C.)
Ron Paul (Texas)
Connie Mack (Fla.)
Jim Jordan (Ohio)
Tim Scott (S.C.)
Paul Broun (Ga.)
Tom Latham (Iowa)
Jeff Duncan (S.C.)
Trey Gowdy (S.C.)
Steve Southerland (Fla.)
Joe Walsh (Ill.)
Joe Wilson (S.C.)
To sum up the video is 10 words: "Paul is the real constitutional candidate, Perry is a sham."
There isn't much news today, so I will end with these two terrific graphs via The Big Picture. First is this hilarious graph of sovereign debt ratings worldwide:
Lastly, check out this great Dilbert comic on the coming fiscal collapse: