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Response to Countdown_3_2_1 (Reply #166)

Tue Jan 3, 2012, 12:12 PM

167. So? Why all the particular rage at Paul?

Correct: He's not a threat to win the presidency.

But as this thread makes obvious, he is a threat to the liberal self-image. Because certain positions he takes - against war and empire and the unlimited power of the state - expose the fact that a bipartisan consensus in this country already supports incipient totalitarianism.

The USG wages wars of aggression for empire and conducts torture and does not prosecute but rewards the perpetrators. The USG now arrogates to itself the right of general warrantless surveillance of millions, the power of indefinite preemptive detention of suspects without legal counsel or informing their family. We still have Guantanamo and secret prisons, presidential power to designate enemy combatants (under whatever label) who are fair game for assassination without trial, including citizens, the authority to assassinate foreign leaders, the concept that the whole world including the "homeland" is battlefield, the USA PATRIOT Act with its expansive definitions of "terrorism," the Homeland Security Department, militarization of police, use of military as police, vertical and horizontal integration of hundreds of state and local police agencies under federal supervision without independent let alone civilian oversight, plans for "Code Red" without the silly colors, harrassment of whistleblowers (Thomas Drake), unwarranted classification and over-classification of millions of documents, vast secret agencies that are unaccountable and barely overseen by another branch ("Top Secret" budget now up to 80 billion dollars), privatization of government security functions (two thirds of "Top Secret" budget now goes to private contractors).

All of the above are part of a bipartisan consensus, like the USA PATRIOT Act and the new defense authorization.

Ron Paul, who is bad in general and who will never win the election, has spoken out against most if not all of these developments. This enrages liberal supporters of the Obama administration because they feel shown up by an otherwise extreme right-winger and racist.

You should be able to see that without thinking that you therefore "support" let alone will vote for Ron Paul! At the same time he and the Republicans support legal harrassment of voters off the rolls, use of felony lists and all the other various means to suppress the vote. He's happy with many forms of trampling on the rights of women and minorities, especially when it is states rather than the federal government doing the trampling. The only thing I'd dispute about the characterization of him as a racist is the idea that he differs from Gingrich, or Santorum, or for that matter Romney. The Republican party has pushed racism in code as a central means of constituting its base in every election since 1968 and of course, before that as well. Ron Paul is only worse because his newsletters were so open about it.

His racism must be condemned, but it shouldn't become a way to exculpate the racism of the Republican Party -- or to disguise the continued prevalence of racist institutions in the United States. One of the most destructive racist institutions in this country is the selective drug war, which serves as a basis to disproportionately harrass, evict, arrest, prosecute and imprison people of color. Millions of lives are destroyed by it, if you include the many nations that are narcostates to meet the demand for commodities that are profitable only because they're illegal. Liberals, if they hate racism, should have decriminalization of drug policy as one of their top priorities. But it's nothing to most of them; and then along comes this crazy fringe character and upstages them on such a basic and clear-cut item of justice and human rights. This inspires rage, as we can see on this thread.

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LineLineReply So? Why all the particular rage at Paul?
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