Calvin Freiburger

A Ron Paul Apologist Demonstrates an Important Truth of Conservatism…Just Not the One He Meant To

Posted on October 24 2010 9:00 am
Hailing from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Calvin Freiburger is a political science major at Hillsdale College. He also writes for the Hillsdale Forum and his personal website, Calvin Freiburger Online.

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I knew my recent Ron Paul-bashing post would get the Paulites into a tizzy—they’ve been as charming as ever in the comments, and now Wesley Messamore at Young Americans for Liberty, an activist group started by young Paul drones, is taking shots at me for my “specious and empty charges” against the demented one. But did he score any hits? Not really.

The notable thing about his introduction is that he repeatedly parrots the very straw man I called out at the beginning of the original post, by asserting that Paul’s critics don’t care about reducing the size and scope of government, respecting taxpayers, protecting gun rights, or supporting the right to life…without offering a shred of evidence for any of it. You think Wesley made any effort to ascertain what I, or anyone else at NRB, actually think about conservatism, compromise, or other GOP politicians before brazenly impugning our principles? Me neither.

Supporting limited government doesn’t mean anyone who votes the right way on certain issues is automatically worth supporting, nor does it mean a politician cannot have failings in other areas that are severe enough to disqualify him from serious consideration. We simply believe that chronically lying about national security and exploiting conspiratorial demagoguery rise to that level.

Failed Rebuttal #8:

Calvin ignores the fact that Ron Paul doesn’t at all treat the issue as directly deducible from the Founding Fathers a priori.

Oh yes he does. In the post, I linked to Paul claiming the Founders were libertarians generally, and in particular arguing that he “advocate[s] the same foreign policy the Founding Fathers would,” disingenuously asking “by what superior wisdom have we now declared Jefferson, Washington, and Madison to be ‘unrealistic and dangerous’? Why do we insist on throwing away their most considered warnings?”

Ron Paul makes a formidable and detailed case for a better foreign policy in the Middle East on the basis of contemporary evidence from the region, often including facts and reports from Washington’s own defense establishment to support his assertions.

Paul’s use of contemporary facts is frequently false and misleading. Wesley can find several of them clearly linked in the post, but here’s another example that illustrates just how low Paul’s disregard for truth will go. Here’s why he’s against pardoning Scooter Libby:

I saw him as orchestrating some very vicious lies, he didn’t get convicted on the misinformation that was given to get us into war. So he was behind all that, and this was incidental to this, because they were covering up and hiding from it, and he lied about it, and that’s what he got convicted of, but I think the most serious crime was his participation in trying to bend the intelligence to get us to support the war.

No, he got convicted of “misstating when he first heard a certain piece of information, namely the identity of Joe Wilson’s wife,” with no real reason to believe Libby was deliberately lying, despite the fact that on Patrick Fitzgerald’s “essential charge as special prosecutor — find and punish who had leaked Valerie Plame’s name — he had nothing”:

Fitzgerald knew the leaker from the very beginning. It was not Libby but Richard Armitage. He also knew that the “leak” by the State Department’s No. 2 official — a fierce bureaucratic opponent of the White House, especially the vice president’s office — was an innocent offhand disclosure made to explain how the CIA had improbably chosen Wilson for a WMD mission. (He was recommended by his CIA wife.)

This was known months before Paul opined on Libby. If Paul has ever admitted that any of his public statements regarding any aspect of the War on Terror have been inaccurate, I’m all ears.

As for whether or not Libby was part of a campaign to distort intelligence to send America to war, a.) that campaign didn’t happen: the overwhelming intelligence consensus prior to the war—comprised of members of both parties, multiple administrations, and even several foreign governments and the United Nations—indicated that Saddam Hussein was a threat, and two separate post-war investigations have found no evidence of efforts to distort or politicize intelligence findings; and b.) that’s not what Libby was charged with. Mister Law and Liberty himself isn’t really saying he’d let a man rot in prison on a bum rap just to punish him for an entirely separate offense a jury didn’t even consider…is he?

Failed Rebuttal #7:

The undeniable historical truth is that Abraham Lincoln did expand and permanently enshrine Federal power in an unprecedented way. Before his administration, the Federal government was properly understood as subordinate to the states. After Lincoln, the unhistorical, unconstitutional, and un-American opposite of this arrangement has been the paradigm in American government.

Whenever a Paulite uses the word “undeniable,” you can be sure they mean the exact opposite. The Founders wanted far greater state autonomy, and a far more limited federal scope, than what progressivism has inflicted upon the nation, but it’s something else entirely to claim it all started with Lincoln. Government grew during the Civil War, but it shrunk afterward:

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