Dozens of people have announced their candidacies for the White House in 2008, and if I had to bet at this point, I would put my money on the old woman. Hillary may be awful, but at least she is predictable. I suppose I can learn to resign myself to her.
What difference does it really make? Our next president will have his or her hands full cleaning up after
Politics doesnt often produce good news, but I am slightly heartened to learn that Congressman Ron Paul is contemplating a run for the presidency. The Texas Republican has now taken the standard preliminary step of forming an exploratory committee.
Paul, a pro-life medical doctor, is a genuine political maverick. When the House votes for something 434 to 1, you can safely bet that Paul is the 1. He really fights for the principles other Republicans only pretend to stand for, and does so with carefully reasoned explanations of his positions.
In essence, Paul appeals to that subversive document, the U.S. Constitution, long since abandoned by both major parties, not to mention the U.S. Supreme Court. He tests every proposed law by asking whether it exercises a power authorized by the Constitution. The answer is seldom yes.
Many years ago Paul told me, with his affably ironic smile, that he felt more pressure from his fellow Republicans than from Democrats, because the Democrats werent embarrassed when a Republican voted like a real conservative, but the Republicans were. Showing up his own party has been the story of Ron Pauls career. No other Republican has voted against President Bush as consistently as he has.
Paul isnt flamboyant or defiant about it; his style is quiet and reasonable, not combative. Being a maverick isnt a pose for him. Its a matter of conscience and logic.
As a result, the GOP doesnt care much for him and, if he runs, will try to stifle him. The allegedly right-wing Newt Gingrich, when he was riding high, once supported Pauls opponent in the primary race; Gingrich knew what he was doing. A genuine conservatives worst enemy is a fake one. And vice versa.
Paul ran for president once before, in 1988, when he bolted the GOP to run on the Libertarian Party ticket. Much as I admired him, I voted for
Paul has no chance of winning this time either, but he may make a real difference just by being himself. He is what liberals used to call a conscience-raiser. He makes people reflect. After six years of supporting
The Constitution must never be mistaken for Holy Writ, but at least it is based on the idea that there should be what
But we have subscribed to the principle that the Federal Government must confine itself to powers actually enumerated therein. And after all, our rulers are still sworn to uphold it, just as Bill Clinton is still legally bound by his wedding vows.
Taken literally, this would reduce the government to about
Well, I can dream, cant I? And today Im dreaming of President Ron Paul, with a Congress he deserves.
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