The paradoxical “progressive” flirtation with right-wing wackjob Ron Paul continues unabated. Mondoweiss is the latest to enthuse that he “opposes another neocon war for Israel.” (Remember back when the left used to blame Middle East military adventures on oil companies?) Meanwhile, the sinister nature of the Paulist agenda becomes increasingly blatant. In our last post calling out Paul as a bogus pseudo-libertarian who opposes reproductive freedom and separation of church and state, we noted his enthusiasm for the far-right John Birch Society (whose paranoid fantasies of a UN take-over of the USA fueled the militia movement in the ’90s), and facetiously asked if the Oklahoma City bombing was the kind of “revolution” he wants to see. Well, maybe it isn’t just a joke. Gawker takes note of a Ron Paul campaign ad in which he pledges to do away with the departments of Education, Interior, Housing and Commerce—with the word “gone” for each one punctuated by an image of mushroom cloud! (We’ve come a long way from Lyndon Johnson’s famous “Daisy ad,” no?) Pretty disquieting that someone who is so glib about nuclear explosions could have his finger on The Button. But, more to the point, whose interests would be served by Paul’s mania for blowing up federal agencies—such as the Interior Department, which controls some 20% of total US land area, including much resource-rich territory? Let’s take a look…
ProCon.org notes Paul’s votes to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil drilling. A pro-oil website with the deceptive name of ANWR.org (they must have beat the enviros to the URL—the kicker is “jobs and energy for America”) approvingly states of Paul: “The congressman’s voting record on ANWR includes consistent support throughout his career.” Sic! They don’t mean “support” for protecting ANWR, but raping it! The website goes on the enthuse (exclamation point in original): “He also believes refuges should be privatized!”
Did you catch that? Wants to disband the Interior Department, and privatize national wildlife refuges—and, presumably, national parks, national monuments, Bureau of Land Management rangelands and all other Interior holdings. In other words, Exxon and ilk may lose their oil wars in Iraq and Afghanistan if a putative President Paul follows through on his isolationist rhetoric, but they will reap a bonanza destroying the last undeveloped public lands at home.
What else have we got? Oh yeah, New Hampshire Primary 2012 Green blog notes that Paul has flip-flopped a few times on climate change, but in 2009 called global warming a “hoax”—in fact, “one of the biggest hoaxes of all history.” On The Issues notes that he “Voted YES on barring EPA from regulating greenhouse gases” and “Voted NO on enforcing limits on CO2 global warming pollution.” The legislation at issue in this 2009 NO vote would have required utilities to supply an increasing percentage of their demand from renewables and efficiency savings.
Treehugger, before getting to the anti-environmental dirt, again notes Paul’s anti-choice position on abortion. They provide a link to Paul’s own webpage on the issue—where he states forthrightly if none too logically that he wants Roe v. Wade “repealed.” (Anyone who passed civics class knows that court decisions cannot be “repealed” like laws—they can only be overturned by the courts.) Treehugger correctly states: “That’s about the most un-libertarian thing imaginable (libertarians being obsessed with getting the state out of our private lives and all.” Thank you. They next note that Paul wants to abolish birthright citizenship, and opposes an “amnesty” for what he calls “illegal immigrants.”
But when it comes to environmental issues, the man who would betray women and immigrants into the hands of Big Brother suddenly sees any public oversight as an onerous menace to liberty. Here’s the energy plank from his website:
Remove restrictions on drilling, so companies can tap into the vast amount of oil we have here at home.
Repeal the federal tax on gasoline. Eliminating the federal gas tax would result in an 18 cents savings per gallon for American consumers.
Lift government roadblocks to the use of coal and nuclear power.
Eliminate the ineffective EPA. Polluters should answer directly to property owners in court for the damages they create—not to Washington.
Great. More Gulf oil spills, more Fukushima-type disasters, and not even any regulatory regime to provide the threadbare pretense of public oversight that currently obtains. This is what you’re cheering on, you pseudo-left nudniks who support Ron Paul. Think about it.