James Leroy Wilson's one-man magazine.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Ron Paul Presidency

The end of Ron Paul's bid for the Presidency raises the question:

Would he have made a great President?

I don't think so - and this is no reflection on Paul, his ideas, or his abilities.

For Paul to have a successful Presidency in this day and age, he would need at a minimum:
  • 60% support in a general election
  • filibuster-proof majorities in Congress
In other words, something we've rarely seen in modern politics, and even then only under Democratic control. But considering how different Paul's goals are from that of the neo-con and progressive wings of the Establishment, a "successful" Presidency would likely be impossible.

To make the point simple, think of this: If you believe federal employees always follow the President's orders instead of their own ideologies, interests, and agenda -- for instance, if you believe it is impossible for any CIA agent to have played any role in the JFK assassination, I respect your views. I have no quarrel with you. It is also pointless for you to read on.

On the other hand, if you are open to the idea that the CIA may have been involved in the JFK assassination, or that federal employees may follow their own agenda instead of their President, you may understand why a Paul Presidency could have been doomed.

If, once inaugurated, Paul by snapping his fingers could turn every federal employee into a Constitutionalist, he would have made a fantastic President. But it is far more likely that, in the period between Election Day and Inauguration, forces would be at work to undermine the Paul Administration. Two obvious scenarios come to mind:
  • False-flag attacks blamed on Iran or other terrorists, "proving" that Paul is "soft" on the terrorists.
  • Using their warrantless wiretapping powers, federal agents could frame senior Paul aides of illegal or embarrassing conduct.
But it could be other issues:
  • A scare introduced into the food supply that undermines Paul's opposition to, for instance, the National Animal Identification System and other command-and-control programs.
  • Manufacturing another corporate fraud scandal, emboldening calls in Congress for imposing yet more regulations while making Paul appear to be a free-market "extremist."
  • Manufacturing a statistical upsurge in drug use and drug-related crime, while feeding the mainstream media anecdote after tragic anecdote of crime, neglect, and negligence due to drug addiction, making Paul appear soft on crime and weak on morality.
By sabotaging Paul's program, an environment could be created in which Paul's vetoes are always overridden, where his own legislative proposals never get out of committee, perhaps even where Congress declares a war he believes is wrong, thereby forcing him to resign.

It makes one wonder why anyone would want to be President, especially anyone who suspects there could be rogue elements within the Executive Branch and powerful people outside it who could manipulate Congress and the media. Push too many buttons, and one could face scandal after scandal, setback after setback. Or suffer the same fate as JFK.

1 comment:

  1. *sigh*

    Paul as President would have power currently unaddressed, and the power he would have would be entirely constitutional. It is in the constitution that it is easy for any branch to block any other branch, and to get things done requires cooperation.

    He will have four powers that he can use in spite of congressional opposition.

    1. He can order the troops home. You need permission to send them out, but not to return them. Sure, a false flag would put pressure to send them out, but he can promise to find the culprits while bringing them home from 170 countries.

    2. He has unlimited power of pardon for all in jail for non-violent vice or tax offenses. By the time he has issued his third or fourth blanket pardon the police would get the message that arresting people for drugs is a waste of time.

    3. He needs cooperation to pass a budget, but not to veto one. The minarchist always beats the statist in a budget battle. The reason the Republicans lost the last one was because they don't believe in less government. Congress could override the veto eventually, but only after several months of no government at all.

    4. He has the ability to recind all executive orders, and doesn't need congressional approval for that.

    By the time the impeachment proceedings have started, the government will be a shell of its former self. Then Paul's VP (probably of the same mindset) would continue the task of shredding the government. By the time a statist gets back it will take a long time to rebuild what Paul would have destroyed.