N.H. paper says ‘Ron Paul is a dangerous man’

This just in from The Slatest:

Things are going well for Ron Paul in Iowa, but the GOP hopeful may not get as warm of welcome in New Hampshire – at least if one of the state’s more influential newspapers gets its way.

The New Hampshire Union Leader ran on op-ed Thursday from its publisher trashing Paul for his “warped” views on national security and foreign policy and calling him the “favored candidate of the lunatic fringe,” which includes “white supremacists, anti-Semites, [and] truthers.”

“Ron Paul is a dangerous man,” the anti-endorsement begins. It ends: “His defenders say they admire Ron Paul’s ‘consistency.’ It is true, Paul has been consistently spouting this nonsense. It is about time New Hampshire voters showed him the door.”

The paper endorsed Newt Gingrich back in November. You can read the Paul piece here.

Of course, the Union-Leader isn’t exactly known for toeing the mildest of lines itself.

But what about that really out there stuff that appeared in Paul’s newsletters over the years? I’d be curious to know how Doug Ross and other Paulistas around here react to that stuff.

24 thoughts on “N.H. paper says ‘Ron Paul is a dangerous man’

  1. Phillip

    Well I don’t know that much about the newsletters other than skimming the surface of news reports, but it seems the Union-Leader views Paul as most “dangerous” because of his foreign policy views. If we are talking national security, it should be obvious that virtually every other GOP candidate would be the truly “dangerous” ones. What we’re seeing is the panicked neocon wing of the GOP freaking out because a few primary victories by Ron Paul might just force the party to confront the reality that a large segment of their party understands that there’s nothing “conservative” about foreign military adventurism, nothing constitutionally conservative about picking and choosing which civil liberties to uphold and which to quietly brush aside. The newsletter accusations, whether true or not, are laughable because those kind of accusations have never bothered the party before, going back to Reagan’s campaign kickoff in Philadelphia, MS back in 1980. But NOW, because people are freaking out about Ron Paul, all of sudden “oh this terrible racism must be condemned.”

    It’s pretty clear from the editorial that’s not what is really bothering them. Considering that Obama’s troublesome slithering on some civil liberties issues, unparalleled escalation of drone warfare with its accompanying implications for the future, etc. has not garnered much dissent on the Democratic side of the fence, who in this entire campaign is standing up and saying “is everybody nuts?” Only Ron Paul, and for that, he must be saluted. For the Union-Leader to call Paul “dangerous” but not to say the same of Gingrich is ludicrous.

  2. Brad

    Phillip, you’re reminding me of a left-wing professor my wife had when we were at Memphis State. He supported George Wallace because he — being just as “sensible” as Ron Paul about foreign policy — would never send U.S. troops abroad, and he believed the Democratic Congress (which in those days everyone thought of as a permanent state of affairs) would never give him an inch on domestic policy.

    You really should pause and think about who it is who’s nuts, if the only person agreeing with you on foreign policy is Ron Raul. Just as I had to pause when only Dennis Kucinich was with me on health care (of course, HE would probably be with Ron on foreign policy, as well).

  3. Brad

    Unlike many of my friends here, I derive great comfort from the fact that among the people who actually get ELECTED president, there is a rough constant consensus regarding the U.S. role in the world, as we saw when Obama maintained continuity when he took office.

    The consensus may not be as strong across both the parties as during the Cold War, but it’s strong enough. This is one little silver lining in the dark cloud of extreme partisanship: No matter what sorts of rhetoric may be flung about, we never actually get a Ron Paul or Dennis Kucinich or Pat Buchanan or any of those sorts as our president.

  4. Phillip

    All I know about Wallace’s foreign policy views is that he picked Curtis LeMay as his veep choice in 68.

    Don’t over-react to my comments re Obama: while some aspects of his foreign policy warrant careful oversight as would always be the case with ANY executive branch, I still feel that he would not have (and will not in his remaining 5 years as President) launched a unilateral war of choice against a nation that did not attack us. A multilateral intervention a la Libya is the maximum he would ever undertake. Moreover, everything else has been in the direction of withdrawal and conversion of large-scale military efforts to more narrowly targeted actions. He is no George Bush.

  5. Brad

    Why do my antiwar friends persist in calling Iraq — and I assume that’s what you refer to, since these seem to be the antiwar camp’s standard terms for the Iraq invasion — “a unilateral war of choice against a nation that did not attack us?”

    Why do they do that when it was:
    1. Not unilateral, by any definition of the word. If only Britain had been with us, it would not have been unilateral, and far more than Britain was with us.
    2. It was only a matter of choice in that we could have CHOSEN to continue the low-level hostilities with Saddam that had existed for 12 years — with the constant, everyday enforcement of the “no-fly” zones, with Saddam occasionally shooting at our planes.
    3. Finally, folks this was NOT Switzerland, which is the way antiwar folks try their best to make it sound. We had been in a sorta-kinda, more-or-less, ceasefire with an aggressor that had overrun Kuwait, and would have overrun Saudi Arabia, for 12 years. Yep, we could have kept playing games, with Saddam shooting at our planes, trying to kill U.S. presidents and paying bounties to the families of suicide bombers, indefinitely, but folks, this was not some innocent lamb adversary that we suddenly decided to pick on.

    Gimme a break.

  6. Phillip

    Also, “bipartisan consensus” is one way of putting it; “both parties being beholden to the real power of the nation, i.e., the military-industrial complex” would be the phrase I would substitute in its place.

    One need not agree 100% with Paul’s foreign policy views to at least feel thankful that he is asking the tough questions that few dare to ask. As for dismissing a point of view because few are expressing it openly, well, we’ve had other times in our country’s history when only one or two lonely voices dissented against major foreign policy decisions, yet were vindicated by history.

  7. `Kathryn Fenner

    I’m with Phillip on this one, but you knew that.

    Re: Brad’s number s 2 and 3–how is this different from Somalia–and don’t cite the Pottery Barn rule this time. It only applies AFTER you break something. You don’t have to break something in the first place. You can just decide to walk past the store, like I do Abercrombie–no way am I going in there!

  8. Phillip

    For somebody who decries the “either all-this or all-that” of extreme partisanship, why is it so difficult for you to accept that people could be opposed to SOME instances of sending American troops into battle but not ALL instances; or to accept that opposing the invasion of a country does not necessarily equate to viewing that country as a Switzerland-like “lamb”? Most of those who opposed the Iraq invasion are NOT knee-jerk so-called “antiwar-under-any-circumstances” types. I’ll give you a great example: Barack Obama. But it’s so much easier to dismiss the legitimate concerns of those who worry about a little erosion here and there of civil liberties, or the larger moral questions of drone-warfare-conducted-worldwide, to paint it as an extremist view that would forswear any sensible use of American force for any matter of true national defense.

    And could we retire the “antiwar” label once and for all in 2012? Surely we’re all anti-war. (Do you like being called “pro-war” as a generality?) It’s just a matter of where one falls on the spectrum when it comes to committing American troops. Some of us are farther to a side of prudence with a strict definition of national security being required, along with a belief in the necessity of international mechanisms, law, etc (UN, Geneva Convention, etc.) for global security. Some are farther on the side of America being the ultimate arbiter of global security and more easily willing to commit American troops and other military means to achieve ends that seem to be in America’s national interest.

  9. Brad

    That’s not at all difficult for me to accept, Phillip, and I certainly intend no aspersions by use of the term “antiwar.” I thought it was pretty value-free — or if it had a value, it was positive.

    I wasn’t dismissing anyone. I was just using the term that I use to avoid typing “people who took exception to the Iraq invasion in 2003, and/or wanted to withdraw too soon later.”

    Of course, by my own standards, “antiwar” is inadequate, since as I’ve argued at some length, the actions advocated by folks who subscribe to — let’s call it Position X, if antiwar doesn’t suit — do not negate the existence of war. Once we had toppled Saddam, there was a power vacuum into which a number of different factions flowed and vied with one another. A state of conflict and/or potential conflict existed whether we stayed or not. In fact, as I argued before the Surge (and I still worry about it, although not as much as then) pulling out U.S. troops could have made the situation less tenable, thereby leading to more violence.

    In fact, over the years, my most insistent arguments have been aimed not at people who opposed the invasion in 2003, but at people who, once we were in and fully committed and Saddam was out of power, wanted us to withdraw. THAT, to me, was a completely indefensible position, far less compelling and viable than the position, pre-March 2003, that we should not have sent ground troops in. I disagreed with that anti-invasion position, but saw merit in it. I can’t say the same for the later position that we should withdraw prematurely.

    Anyway, without having a long-drawn-out discussion whenever I wished to describe my friends who disagreed with me over the past 8 or 9 years, I have simply said “antiwar,” which I saw as more a nod to their view of the situation than to my own.

    The chair stands open to suggestions of a better term that is just as quick and unobtrusive.

  10. Brad

    Also, just to show how I agree with many things Phillip says, he and I are completely in tune when he says “there’s nothing ‘conservative’ about foreign military adventurism.”

    I’ve maintained that from the start. As I said in a column at the outset in 2003, I agreed fully with The New Republic that our invasion of Iraq was Wilsonian, a very liberal enterprise (which perhaps explains why W. was so bad at it; he didn’t really believe in the nation-building that was an essential element). There was nothing conservative about it at all.

    I have to quibble, though, with his assertion that there is nothing conservative in, as he puts it (a characterization that would not be my choice), “picking and choosing which civil liberties to uphold.” Since civil liberties are by definition liberal, any interpretation of the constitution that causes them to be construed in a more limited manner would be the more conservative position.

    I get what you’re saying, that a certain interpretation of the Bill of Rights is the established order, and that therefore a good Tory should support it, but the fact is that we’re talking about an area where there remains much debate to the present day. For instance, we had barely come to any sort of consensus over “wire-tapping” — a 19th-20th-century phenomenon — much less have we come to an established consensus regarding the propriety of the kind of broad scanning of wired and wireless communications, akin to what Google does on the Web, that national security agencies have engaged in since 2001. I can’t even say I fully understand what’s being done, and am probably inaccurate when I try to compare it to what in the past has been termed “traffic analysis,” but I think it’s a little more like that than it’s like listening to your conversation with Aunt Sue on a party line, or even listening to a phone line in the manner depicted in that brilliant German film, “The Lives of Others” — an activity that in this country we have decided to ban without a warrant.

  11. `Kathryn Fenner

    Google scans public information, not private.

    Here’s where the sort of analysis that lead to reproductive freedoms is required, before you attach a “liberal” or “conservative” label to something. The authors of the Bill of Rights could not have anticipated a closed automobile or the telephone, much less the Internet. What did they envision: that to invade your home or body, the Government had to show sufficient cause, either to a judge to get a warrant, or in exigent circumstances (I like some of the ones currently applicable to searching your home or car–no reasonable expectation of privacy (you can be clearly seen from public space, say, or your garbage can be sifted through), and evanescent evidence–(you will flush the drugs or your body will metabolize them before a warrant can be obtained)). I do not like the one where “I know it when I see it and cannot be bothered to articulate my probable cause to a judge whose chambers may even be in the same building as my office” or “the founding fathers did not take a position on electronic communication, so it’s fair game.”

  12. bud

    Why do my antiwar friends persist in calling Iraq — and I assume that’s what you refer to, since these seem to be the antiwar camp’s standard terms for the Iraq invasion — “a unilateral war of choice against a nation that did not attack us?”

    How about: “An unjustified war of aggression against a nation that posed us absolutely no threat”.


    “An illegal, imperialist invasion of a helpless, non-thratening nation with a tiny, incompetent military”.


    “A violation of presidential power not bestowed upon the executive as per the constitution”

    or simply

    “A war based on lies”.

    Are any of those better?

  13. bud

    Phillip’s points on this issue are just so much more persuasive than Brad’s. It really is hard to read the two with any sort of neutral bent and be persuaded by the pro-war position. That’s not to say that Brad is not just as good a debator, but rather on this issue the pro-war arguments are just not plausible.

  14. Brad Warthen

    Bud, I didn’t really present arguments. I merely objected to wording that bore almost no relation to reality — like the alternatives you offered.

    And Kathryn, I was not saying those things you placed in quotes. Those are straw men of your design.

  15. Shooby

    The fact that Ron Paul’s positions on foreign policy are an exception to the rule does nothing to diminish his credibility.

    Ron Paul is correct. The other candidates and those who support them are so oblivious to the problem of excessive spending that they will guarantee the future decline of our place in the world, not to mention the eventual neutering of our military forces.

  16. `Kathryn Fenner

    @ Brad– I did not intend to attribute those sentiments to you, or the positions they represent. Any resemblance to positions you’ve actually taken is purely coincidental.

    I do recall young Strom, Jr., then U.S. Attorney on a panel discussion circa 2002 about the “Patriot Act” saying, “I don’t know about you, but I trust my government.” My reaction, “Of course *you* do–government been berry berry good to Strom.”

  17. Nick Nielsen

    For what it’s worth, Kathryn, I, too, trust my government.

    It’s the people running it that _I_ worry about…

  18. Bart

    Will Rogers made an observation about America and foreign intervention when we sent troops into China to protect “American interests”. His comment was, “What would we say if the Chinese sent a gunboat with their marines up the Mississippi River claiming they were protecting their laundries in Memphis”, is almost Ron Paul like as are many of his other quotes.

    Ron Paul recently upset a lot of people with his remarks about Iran being justified if they blocked the Strait of Hormuz if we imposed sanctions on them for developing nuclear capabilities. He made the comment that sanctions would be an “act of war” thereby justifying a response in kind. He made other comments on the subject but I think you get the point.

    Ron Paul has a few good ideas but when he makes comments like the ones he did concerning Iran and nuclear development, he does lose a lot of credibility with most but not all Americans.

    Barack Obama will be the president for the next 5 years. He will be reelected unless he is caught kicking a defenseless animal while wearing a Snydley Whiplash black hat and the video goes viral.

    Why a discussion about Ron Paul anyway? He is part of the fringe element with no chance in hell of winning the nomination and even less chance of winning the presidency if he should be able to pull off an “Alvin Greene” moment.

  19. Brad

    Well, Bart, Paul could be just a day away from pulling off just such an “Alvin Greene moment.” That’s what the polls are saying.

    Of course, I continue to maintain that Iowa is unimportant. But if others THINK it’s important and act accordingly, that makes me wrong, right?

    So I think it serves the nation well if we pause to take a closer look at a candidate whom most of us have largely ignored for a generation and more.

  20. Mark Stewart

    After New Hampshire we can all go back to ignoring Ron Paul.

    Anyone who would assert that Freedom of the Seas is opposable by any country clearly hasn’t digested even the basic lessons of world history.

  21. `Kathryn Fenner

    Who is running in NH? I know everyone isn’t, or at least isn’t campaigning hard there. Bachmann is supposedly concentrating on here instead, for one.

  22. Silence

    Dangerous, yes. Dangerous by supporting a small government, including social and defense programs that we can afford, as opposed to heaping more debt on future generations. Dangerous to central bankers, who collude with Congress and the US Treasury to pick the pockets of savers by about 3% annually due to inflation, the hidden tax on the wealthy. Dangerous to defense contractors and military hardware manufacturers. Perhaps dangerous to foreign intervention and adventurism.
    I’m not convinced by Congressman Paul’s isolationist foreign policy arguements. I think that we have been, are, and will continue to be a force for justice in the world. We aren’t always right, and we aren’t always quick to act. We should act with military force to stop genocides abroad. We missed the opportunity in Africa several times in recent years. We waited far to long to act in the 1930’s in Europe. We continue to allow the North Korean government to starve North Korean citizens.

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