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Fri

26

Oct

2007

Ron Paul Reality Check
Friday, 26 October 2007 18:09
by Joel S. Hirschhorn

As self-professed champion of the Constitution presidential candidate Ron Paul has missed a monumental opportunity to educate Americans about the criminal behavior of Congress in violating their oath of office. Even more important, he has not taken advantage of his 15 minutes of fame to promote the nation’s first-time use of what the Founders gave us in the Constitution in case the public lost confidence in the federal government - the Article V convention option.

Paul clearly recognizes the many failures of the federal government. Maybe as a member of Congress he just does not have the courage to confess that he too has been part of a long-standing refusal by Congress to obey Article V of the Constitution. Why don’t passionate Paul supporters see his lack of integrity, guts and consistency?

Support for using the Article V convention option should be a litmus test for any presidential candidate, which is reasonable considering that Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt supported it.

First, let’s be clear that Paul has no problem in seeing the need for constitutional amendments. For example, he has been a proponent of an amendment that would not allow children born in the USA from illegal parents to become citizens. Second, he has maintained throughout his career his love and respect for our Constitution. Third, he has carefully refused to publicly state his views on the provision in Article V of the Constitution for the use of a convention of state delegates to make proposed amendments as the alternative to Congress proposing amendments (the only procedure used for 220 years). Fourth, he has made no attempt to pass any law that would modify, clarify or expand the single requirement now in Article V for a convention. How can a champion of the Constitution remain so silent on Congress’ refusal to honor over 500 applications from all 50 states for a convention that more than satisfies the one and only requirement in Article V?

Anyone who studies the history of attempts to get the first Article V convention will learn that it has consistently been opposed by people and groups on the political left and right that are part of the nation’s elitist political status quo establishment. So here is Ron Paul, supposedly an honest non-elitist political maverick that does not fit into the political establishment, yet too cowardly to stand up to the political establishment by backing the use of the Article V convention option. Paul has had virtually no real impact on what Congress has done, yet he does not support the convention option that would circumvent the power of Congress. What does he have to lose?

Of course, if all the passionate supporters of Paul would spend more time investigating all his congressional activities, they would find a lot more to seriously question. A chief example is that he has routinely inserted earmarks for pork spending to make constituents in his district happy. Then he hides behind his votes against the spending bills containing his earmark spending items. But those earmarks remain in those spending bills passed by Congress. Tell me, is that really virtuous behavior? His earmarks increase federal activities and spending. Many have been for projects by the Army Corps of Engineers, many to funnel money to the Texas Department of Transportation (including one for repairs to the Galveston Trolley system), and one for Texas A&M University/Galveston Campus to convert the Texas Clipper for educational purposes; maybe this was the $30 million for the Texas Maritime Academy to refurbish a ship. And then there was the $8 million for the marketing of wild American shrimp and $2.3 million to pay for research into shrimp fishing. This seems like pretty conventional Republican politics. This year Paul has requested about $400 million worth of federal spending for his district – not exactly consistent with Paul’s rhetoric on reducing federal spending and taxing. His duty is to inform his constituents about the wrongness of earmarks, not capitulate to their requests.

There is still time for Paul to search his soul and find the courage to either to support use of the Article V convention as the route to achieving deep political reforms that Congress itself will never have the integrity to propose through constitutional amendments, or to step up and make the case for an amendment that would remove the never-used Article V convention option.

Here is some irony: With our thoroughly corrupt and rigged political system Ron Paul has absolutely zero chance of becoming the Republican presidential nominee, regardless of his high level of grassroots support. Odd then that Paul has not supported the one and only route to profoundly changing this awful political system. It is the method our Founders gave us with the Article V convention option. Indeed, his lack of support for using the Article V convention option seems to makes him a part of the political establishment, which is consistent with his recent announcement that if he does not get the Republican nomination he will not run as a third party candidate.

Joel S. Hirschhorn can be reached through www.delusionaldemocracy.com and is a co-founder of Friends of the Article V Convention at www.foavc.org.
 
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Comments (16)add comment

libertyman said:

0
Article V convention at this time unwise
Until this nation can actually follow the existing constitution I can see no value in an Article V convention. What would be the point since the government does not follow the current constitution and instead go around it? It would be unwise to tamper with the constitution until the government is secured from those who will work around what ever measures are put into place in such a convention. We have to elect a government who will respect the rule of law before an Article V convention will be of any use to the United States.
 
October 26, 2007
Votes: +0

Not Impressed said:

0
Anti-Paul SPAM
Here is some more irony: With our thoroughly corrupt and rigged political system Ron Paul has absolutely zero chance of becoming the Republican presidential nominee, regardless of his high level of grassroots support. Odd then that anti-Pauls spend so much of their time writing long boring "I'm-smarter-than-you" rants like this one and offer no other alternative canidate.
 
October 26, 2007
Votes: +0

Michae in Fort Wayne said:

0
this article
This article absolutely makes no sense. Blabber...
 
October 26, 2007
Votes: +0

john de herrera said:

0
failure
seems to make him part of the political establishment?

he is part of the establishment, and his role is to say things so they can be shot down and forgotten, allowing the status quo to stay in place.

as was mentioned to FOAVC, people cannot be told that we need a convention, they must be shown, and in an entertaining manner. http://www.articlev.org


 
October 26, 2007
Votes: +0

Scott said:

0
Earmarks and Article V
In regard to earmarks... once the bill is passed, it's passed. If Ron Paul didn't do any earmarking (information about which he makes publically available), someone else in Washington would decide where to spend the money. Just because you voted against a bill doesn't mean you ignore it once it passes.

As to Article V... it is an interesting question. Have you tried to contact Paul's campaign and ask about this? Well... in any case, I don't see any candidate discussing this issue, so from my perspective, Ron Paul is by far the best option currently available.
 
October 26, 2007
Votes: +0

Charles said:

0
What is Article 5?
I am not versed well in the constitution. What are you talking about?
 
October 26, 2007
Votes: +0

tejón said:

0
...
I had to look it up, because you made no reference here... the criterion for a state-initiated Constitutional convention is: "on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states." I visited foavc.org, and you've got a nice tally of all the states that have applied.

While I appreciate that there is no specific time limit on the Article V clause, it does seem odd to assume that today's state legislatures will have the same issues in mind as those who petitioned in 1910. Perhaps it would be reasonable for Congress to officially recognize the backlog, and issue a statement to the legislatures that if they would still like a convention, please re-submit so that they can see a two-thirds request within, let's say, the term of a Senator.

On the topic of Ron Paul's position in all this: only one such application, Arkansas's, has occurred during Paul's presence in Congress. Perhaps he simply is not aware of the backlog? I wonder if anyone has brought this up with Dr. Paul directly? Punditry is not the same as political action.

He has addressed the question of earmarks. His position is that the money is taxed away from his constituents either way, and getting it back is better than letting someone else have it.
 
October 26, 2007
Votes: +0

V. Taylor said:

0
...
Excuse me for being redundant, but you are the height of hypocracy. If you vote for any of those candidates who support the Iraq war, then you deserve the country and world you will get. There's no time left for diddling with the facts.
 
October 26, 2007
Votes: +0

Ranger Mike said:

0
A strawman argument as the basis for an entire article?
Earmarks do not increase spending. I recommend some further investigation into the appropriations process. If the funds were not earmarked, they would be spent by the federal government, rather than allocated by the elected representatives of the people.

Still, on principle, Paul votes against the spending bills and increases in taxes.

Before you criticize Dr. Paul, I'd recommend calling out the numerous other members of Congress who have been completely derelict of their duties. Unless of course this is another piggy back article that wants a slice of the enormous Ron Paul web traffic pie.
 
October 26, 2007
Votes: +0

Sk00L said:

0
umm
So this site is out of the Netherlands?
Though I have not yet researched your claims this seems like a very small list in comparison to Ron Paul's over all stance and voting record. He still fights the good fight for the people and has set out to Re-secure the liberties of the People. This Nation that has fallen far from the grace and dignity we once had from the weak dollar, the inevitable loss of social security, to occupations that require massacring to promote democracy and a undeserving ruling class that maintains power by promoting hysteria and fear. The people are tired of it!

The stink of the other candidates reeks from much much longer list of pandering to big business, flip flopping, war mongering, selling out our sovereignty for $$ to become the NAU North American Union the list goes on and on. In comparison to what I learned over the past 3 months about all of major front runners on both sides of the coin my support has to be for the best person for restoring America to the things that have made us great and that person is Ron Paul.

This is America! "We the people" and "Land of the Free" are our motto's except I now feel less free and the candidates care less about we the people except RP.
 
October 26, 2007
Votes: +0

Kucinich said:

0
Kucinich cares
Don't you think?
 
October 26, 2007
Votes: +0

Tannim said:

0
Articel V convention a very bad idea
It was put in as a last resort if things got out of hand. They are out of hand, but an Article V convention will never work as nobody would agree on enough to actually amend anything (even if #16 and #17 need to go, and ERA need to pass!).

Besides, such a convention in the hands of such an uninformed and constitutional- and history-illiterate bunch is dangerous, and you's likely see the Bill of Rights gutted even worse than what the unconstitutional Patriot Act has tried to do.

As for the earmarks of Dr. Paul, that is old news, three months old, to say the least. It didn't fly then. It isn't now. So quit being a neocon shill and get into today instead of July.
 
October 26, 2007
Votes: +0

Stanzx said:

October 27, 2007
Votes: +0

Hal said:

0
...
If you're looking for perfection in a candidate, you'll never find it. They're all human.
 
October 27, 2007
Votes: +0

Jimmy Montague said:

Jimmy Montague
Re: Wakeup Call
Joel: If you plan to wait somewhere until Ron Paul acts in accordance with his rhetoric, you'd best order out for pizza now. By the time Paul actually moves on some of his own suggestions, they may not be making pizza any more.
 
October 28, 2007
Votes: +0

CP said:

0
Article had overly narrow perspective.
This Article V angle seems like pedantic criticism.

Interesting that someone who has been marginalized for decades by his own party, then ignored and ridiculed by the MSM might be suspected as being part of the "political establishment".

Remarkable grassroots momentum in the presidential candidacy of one man is not enough to turn the American Titanic completely off its course. What is important about Dr. Paul's message is the creation of a new societal paradigm that democracy is not a spectator sport and we are all ultimately responsible for the shape and form our government takes - it is time for Americans to awaken from their hedonistic stupor.
 
October 31, 2007
Votes: +0

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