Friday, December 28, 2007

Earmarking Ron Paul

Ron Paul really is a source of endless fascination - a true political oddity, his popular following lends some credence to the notion of the paranoid style of American politics.

I've posted a lot on Paul, for example,
here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

For awhile there, as soon as I put up a new Paul entry, the online Paulbots would pop out of the woodwork with a relentless frenzy of attacks. In the comment thread to
one of these exchanges, I noted:

I'd bet if I researched his record there'd be some big boondoggle project squeezed in somewhere to put the lie to all his "limited government" propaganda.
This line prompted some salivation from the guy at Liberty's Legacy, an unreconstructed Paulbot, who hammered back:

"I'd bet if I researched his record"

What an original idea. Maybe you should have done that before popping off?
I'm reminded of this exchange in the wake of Paul's appearance last Sunday on Meet the Press. Paul was all over the place, trying to deflect Tim Russert's questions. Check the transcript, especially noting how many times Paul backed away from the number of whack-out statements he's made over the years. How about this one, on doing away with public education in the United States:

MR. RUSSERT: It was--when you ran for president in 1988, you called for the abolition of public schools.

REP. PAUL: I, I bet that's a misquote. I, I do not recall that. I'd like to know where that came from, because I went...
Yeah, I'd bet!

But you got to love Paul's hypocrisy on federal pork barrel spending - the old earmark boondoggle! Paul's against all the pork, right? Nope, he's voted for earmarks, which he says is just "returning money to his constituents."

Check out this MSNBC story for some background:

Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul, appearing on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday, defended his efforts in Congress to bring home money to his Texas district, despite his long-held aversion to big government and congressional votes to reign in federal spending.

"I've never voted for an earmark in my life," the Texas congressman said under questioning on NBC's "Meet the Press" about reports that he has requested hundreds of millions of dollars for special projects in his home district.

"I put them in because I represent people who are asking for some of their money back," said Paul, who likened it to taking a tax credit. "I'm against the tax system, but I take all my tax credits. I want to get their money back for the people."

The 10-term congressman and longshot candidate for the Republican presidential nomination added that although he has requested special projects known as earmarks, he ultimately ends up voting against them in the House. Paul is known in Congress as "Dr. No" for his votes against some types of government spending, including a medal for Pope John Paul II and civil rights leader Rosa Parks because of the cost to taxpayers.

For his home state, however, Paul has sought money for water projects, a nursing program, to expand a hospital cancer center and to promote Texas shrimp.
I guess it's not really earmarking if you're just returning your local taxpayer's money!

But hey, I better watch my back before
some of Paul defenders tar me as part of the vast anti-Paulista conspiracy seeking Paul's political annihilation!

I recommend just watching Paul trash himself in the interview:

That's just part one, but check Google for more!