On October 2, 2011, New Jersey Star-Ledger columnist and Ron Paul supporter Paul Mulshine (or "Moonshine Mulshine" as we know him fondly here) published an interview with Congressman Paul.
There was this interesting question from Mulshine and answer from the Congressman, here reprinted verbatim:
Q: Do you think radio talk show people like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Mark Levin fear that you're making them obsolete because your views reveal them as the statists they are?
A: I think that if I gain influence it's an embarrassment to them because they're not really limited-government people yet they make their livelihood fooling the people into thinking they're the real leaders of limited government. And when you look at it we find out that they haven't been. Look at Bush's eight years. The budget exploded.
Before the issue of substance -- no small matter -- there was this startling moment on last night's Hannity when Hannity questioned Congressman Paul on this. Paul's response?
"Well, I think somebody put those words in my mouth and I didn't deny it…."
In a blink Paul Mulshine was, as they say, thrown under the bus by his candidate.
Startling as that was, the substance of what the Congressman was said to have alleged -- incorrectly, he now says -- is astonishingly amazing and there is no wonder he quickly backed away from the issue.
Our disagreement with Congressman Paul is the same as Mr. Hannity's -- foreign policy. The notion that if America "came home" the world would somehow leave us alone has never worked for the simplest of reasons. Bullies -- whether they come in the form of Islamic extremists, Communists, Nazis or Barbary Pirates -- are bullies. As any conservative knows, conservatism holds to the central belief, as expressed here by Russell Kirk, that "human nature is a constant, and moral truths are permanent." Whether the issue at hand was Cain killing Abel or Hitler invading all of Europe or the 9/11 terrorists, the notion that "he made me do it" -- the core of Mr. Paul's foreign policy beliefs -- is certainly not conservative. In the modern age it is in fact the exact philosophy so closely identified with former Senator George McGovern, a decided leftist -- as was McGovern's political hero, FDR Vice President and 1948 Progressive Party candidate Henry Wallace. So there is considerable disagreement there.
But the notion that Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, or Mark Levin are somehow "statists" is laughable. Indeed, Mr. Limbaugh was last heard saying Ron Paul's ideas for cutting five Cabinet departments as part of a trillion dollar reduction in spending was a good idea. Levin's bestseller Liberty and Tyranny became a bible of sorts for the Tea Party, literally waved in the air at rallies. Levin a statist? Silly.
But if the point is that there are conservatives who seem not to take their conservatism seriously -- that is a legitimate issue. And while we agree with Congressman Paul in his general approach to government spending, we are always hard pressed to hear some of his spending sentiments while reconciling them to the old news that Congressman Paul has been no slouch at taking home the Statist Bacon to his district in Texas.
As seen here, Mr. Paul justifies his own statism by saying he is simply giving back money to the taxpayers of his district. In the form, of course, not of a tax cut and no spending, but spending – i.e., statist pork -- earmarks. When grilled by Fox News host Neil Cavuto back in March of 2009 about requesting some $73 million in earmarks, the Congressman's answer was standard statism. Somebody's gotta spend all this money so it might as well be me for my folks. That late legendary porkmeister, West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd, couldn't have said it better.
Now, maybe Congressman Paul's projects like an "intra-coastal waterway, the Texas City channel and Wallisville Lake" projects are worthy things. But worthy or not worthy, they are most assuredly statism at work.
So when the accusation is made that the three most popular anti-statist talk show hosts in the land are somehow "statists" -- by a congressman who has been literally spending his time shoveling statist money into his district -- one can only shake one's head. Presumably that's why Congressman Paul suddenly shifted into denial mode in full view of a national Fox audience.
And if you're Mr. Moonshine Mulshine -- you must surely wonder in astonishment at the Ron Paul bus that just left treadmarks all over your credibility on one of the most popular TV shows in America.
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