I like Ron Paul and consider him in the running for my
vote. Has anyone been keeping up with passport
situation? It seems that the State dept began
requiring passports for travel to Mexico, the
Caribbeans and possibly Canada the first of the year
but didn't ramp up staffing for the onslaught and
created a huge backlog and it takes about 10 times
longer to get a passport now. My Oct European
honeymoon plans and my wife's band tour are very much
in the air.. I've become numb to this administration's
incompetence but this brought it back to life for me.
--- Ram Lau <ramlau@...
> July 22, 2007
> The Antiwar, Anti-Abortion, Anti-Drug-Enforcement-
> Administration, Anti-Medicare Candidacy of Dr. Ron
> By CHRISTOPHER CALDWELL
> Whipping westward across Manhattan in a limousine
> sent by Comedy
> Central's "Daily Show," Ron Paul, the 10-term Texas
> congressman and
> long-shot Republican presidential candidate, is
> being briefed. Paul
> has only the most tenuous familiarity with Comedy
> Central. He has
> never heard of "The Daily Show." His press
> secretary, Jesse Benton, is
> trying to explain who its host, Jon Stewart, is.
> "He's an affable
> gentleman," Benton says, "and he's very smart. What
> I'm getting from
> the pre-interview is, he's sympathetic."
> Paul nods.
> "GQ wants to profile you on Thursday," Benton
> continues. "I think it's
> worth doing."
> "GTU?" the candidate replies.
> "GQ. It's a men's magazine."
> "Don't know much about that," Paul says.
> Thin to the point of gauntness, polite to the point
> of daintiness, Ron
> Paul is a 71-year-old great-grandfather, a
> small-town doctor, a
> self-educated policy intellectual and a formidable
> stander on
> constitutional principle. In normal times, Paul
> might be indeed, has
> been the kind of person who is summoned onto cable
> television around
> April 15 to ventilate about whether the federal
> income tax violates
> the Constitution. But Paul has in recent weeks
> become a sensation in
> magazines he doesn't read, on Web sites he has never
> visited and on
> television shows he has never watched.
> Alone among Republican candidates for the
> presidency, Paul has always
> opposed the Iraq war. He blames "a dozen or two
> neocons who got
> control of our foreign policy," chief among them
> Vice President Dick
> Cheney and the former Bush advisers Paul Wolfowitz
> and Richard Perle,
> for the debacle. On the assumption that a bad
> situation could get
> worse if the war spreads into Iran, he has a simple
> plan. It is: "Just
> leave." During a May debate in South Carolina, he
> suggested the 9/11
> attacks could be attributed to United States policy.
> "Have you ever
> read about the reasons they attacked us?" he asked,
> referring to one
> of Osama bin Laden's communiqués. "They attack us
> because we've been
> over there. We've been bombing Iraq for 10 years."
> Rudolph Giuliani
> reacted by demanding a retraction, drawing gales of
> applause from the
> audience. But the incident helped Paul too.
> Overnight, he became the
> country's most conspicuous antiwar Republican.
> Paul's opposition to the war in Iraq did not come
> out of nowhere. He
> was against the first gulf war, the war in Kosovo
> and the Iraq
> Liberation Act of 1998, which he called a
> "declaration of virtual
> war." Although he voted after Sept. 11 to approve
> the use of force in
> Afghanistan and spend $40 billion in emergency
> appropriations, he has
> sounded less thrilled with those votes as time has
> passed. "I voted
> for the authority and the money," he now says. "I
> thought it was misused."
> There is something homespun about Paul, reminiscent
> of "Mr. Smith Goes
> to Washington." He communicates with his
> constituents through birthday
> cards, August barbecues and the cookbooks his wife
> puts together every
> election season, which mix photos of grandchildren,
> Gospel passages
> and neighbors' recipes for Velveeta cheese fudge and
> Cherry Coke
> salad. He is listed in the phone book, and his
> constituents call him
> at home. But there is also something cosmopolitan
> and radical about
> him; his speeches can bring to mind the World Social
> Forum or the
> French international-affairs periodical Le Monde
> Diplomatique. Paul is
> surely the only congressman who would cite the
> assertion of the
> left-leaning Chennai-based daily The Hindu that "the
> world is being
> asked today, in reality, to side with the U.S. as it
> seeks to
> strengthen its economic hegemony." The word "empire"
> crops up a lot in
> his speeches.
> This side of Paul has made him the candidate of many
> people, on both
> the right and the left, who hope that something more
> than a mere change of party will come out of the
> 2008 elections. He is
> particularly popular among the young and the wired.
> Except for Barack
> Obama, he is the most-viewed candidate on YouTube.
> He is the most
> "friended" Republican on MySpace.com. Paul
> understands that his
> chances of winning the presidency are
> infinitesimally slim. He is
> simultaneously planning his next Congressional race.
> But in Paul's
> idea of politics, spreading a message has always
> been just as
> important as seizing office. "Politicians don't
> amount to much," he
> says, "but ideas do." Although he is still in the
> low single digits in
> polls, he says he has raised $2.4 million in the
> second quarter,
> enough to broaden the four-state campaign he
> originally planned into a
> national one.
> Paul represents a different Republican Party from
> the one that Iraq,
> deficits and corruption have soured the country on.
> In late June,
> despite a life of antitax agitation and churchgoing,
> he was excluded
> from a Republican forum sponsored by Iowa antitax
> and Christian
> groups. His school of Republicanism, which had its
> last serious
> national airing in the Goldwater campaign of 1964,
> stands for a
> certain idea of the Constitution the idea that
> much of the power
> asserted by modern presidents has been usurped from
> Congress, and that
> much of the power asserted by Congress has been
> usurped from the
> states. Though Paul acknowledges flaws in both the
> Constitution (it
> included slavery) and the Bill of Rights (it doesn't
> go far enough),
> he still thinks a comprehensive array of positions
> can be drawn from
> them: Against gun control. For the sovereignty of
> states. And against
> foreign-policy adventures. Paul was the Libertarian
> presidential candidate in 1988. But his is a less
> libertarianism than you find, say, in the pages of
> Reason magazine.
> Over the years, this vision has won most favor from
> those convinced
> the country is going to hell in a handbasket. The
> attention Paul has
> captured tells us a lot about the prevalence of such
> pessimism today,
> about the instability of partisan allegiances and
> about the
> seldom-avowed common ground between the hard right
> and the hard left.
> His message draws on the noblest traditions of
> American decency and
> patriotism; it also draws on what the historian
> Richard Hofstadter
> called the paranoid style in American politics.
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