Morris on Paul

Two weeks ago when Ron Paul said that Michelle Bachmann “hates Muslims,” I said that this was a revealing example of how libertarians such as Paul are really liberals in most ways that count. Now Dick Morris, detailing Paul’s positions, calls him the “most radical liberal” in the race (including Obama) and “absolutely beyond the pale.”

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January 2, 2012

Brandon F. writes:

Morris just says too many things that either aren’t true or don’t come true. I couldn’t find anything about Ron Paul supporting tax payer abortion only things to the contrary.

Hillary is not going to run for president. Where does he get silly ideas like this? In ‘07 he said she would run as Hillary Rodham. He is a smart guy and I listen to what he says but also take it with more than a grain of salt.

Dan S. writes:

Dick Morris has such contempt for Rep. Ron Paul that it prevents him from being just when presenting his actual positions. Ron Paul does not support abortion, and especially not tax payer funded abortion. Ron Paul does not want to destroy or abolish the military as Morris has claimed, and it is not liberal to proposed cuts in military spending. As for legalization of drugs, I don’t believe that Ron Paul has advocated their legalization per se, but has maintained that it is not the role of the Federal government to ban drugs, and would let the states decide this issue. Opposing the Patriot Act does not make one a liberal and I have read numerous articles by conservatives opposing the legislation. I do not know enough about the gold standard in order to offer an informed opinion, and I suspect Dick Morris knows about as little about it as I do, but I know Ron Paul’s drive against Federal Reserve is hardly “liberal” and I have heard many mainstream conservatives admit sympathy for his actions to rein in the Federal Reserve.

I say all this not to support Ron Paul, for he clearly does hold many bizarre, irrational, and liberal positions (though, every candidate in the race is essentially a liberal), but I find Dick Morris’ comments here to be irrational and quite frankly false.

LA replies:

On Paul’s position on abortion, Wikipedia reports:

Paul contends that prohibition of drugs is ineffective and advocates ending the War on Drugs.[255][256][257] “Prohibition doesn’t work. Prohibition causes crime.” He believes that drug abuse should be treated as a medical problem, “We treat alcoholism now as a medical problem and I, as a physician, think we should treat drug addiction as a medical problem and not as a crime.”

On Paul’s position on abortion, Wikipedia reports:

Paul calls himself “strongly pro-life”[207] and “an unshakable foe of abortion”.[208] He has introduced the Sanctity of Life Act, which defines life as beginning at conception, in 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2011.[209] However, he believes regulation of medical decisions about maternal or fetal health is “best handled at the state level”.[210][211][212] He believes that according to the U.S. Constitution states should, for the most part, retain jurisdiction.

Also, Daniel writes:

“Opposing the Patriot Act does not make one a liberal and I have read numerous articles by conservatives opposing the legislation.”

The Patriot Acts gives new powers to the government for the purpose of protecting the country from terrorists. Everyone I know of who opposed the Patriot Act, opposed it, ostensibly (I say ostensibly because many of the opponents had other motives), because it violated fundamental constitutional liberties. Leaving aside the fact that I never saw facts supporting the constantly repeated assertion that the Patriot Act was a gross violation of American liberties, what we have here is a classic controversy concerning the power of government to protect society versus the rights of individuals. So, yes, I would say that opposition to the Patriot Act is liberal (placing the main emphasis on protecting individual rights), and support for the Patriot Act is conservative (placing the main emphasis on protecting society).

So I’d say that Morris is right on Paul and drugs; right on Paul and the Patriot Act; and wrong on Paul and abortion.

By the way, I agree with Paul on abortion. Abortion is pre-eminently an issue that belongs at the state level. For this reason I have always opposed the pro-life amendment. Functionally, abortion is like, say, alcohol. One state could outlaw alcohol, another could allow it, and these different state laws could co-exist without problems. The same with abortion. (Marriage is different, as it is not a discrete practice but an institution that pervades and forms the whole of society and obviously transcends state boundaries, making a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman necessary.)

Posted by Lawrence Auster at January 01, 2012 11:23 PM | Send

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