Sunday, August 26, 2012

Rand Paul identifies the core

Rand Paul was tapped by the GOP to deliver its weekly address and he did so with a typical Pauline floursish, focusing less on the specifics of policy and more on core issues and principles, with regard to the role of government:

Here is a full transcript of the speech.

Paul pulls no punches and--possibly to the dismay of some GOP leaders--does not target Obama and the Democrats, alone. Instead, he questions the whole of government, himself included, surmising that those in power are--as a group--ignoring the constraints of the Constitution and the Law:
The enemy is not Barack Obama or the Democrats. And though the media may not like this, the enemy is not gridlock. The enemy is the looting of the Treasury and 20 years of deficit spending. The enemy is an out of control, unaccountable Federal Reserve and it’s devaluation of our currency. The enemy is our lack of being bound by the restraints of the Constitution.

The court has ruled that Obamacare is a tax and that taxes are not limited by the powers enumerated in the Constitution. This notion would offend Madison and all others who believe that the Constitution limits the powers of the Federal Government.

Whether or not government’s powers are limited is a significant question. Not simply for those who believe in maximizing individual liberty but also for those who fear the mounting trillion dollar deficits that come from unlimited government.
Paul is mostly right, in my opinion. Some people--many of them Republicans currently in office--are quick to forget the out-of-control spending that went on under George Bush in the domestic arena. The tea party movement, after all, was borne in opposition to such spending, before Barack Obama ever took office. And some of those who feign membership in that group--for the purpose of holding on to power--happily spent money when their party was fully in control, never mind the consequences. That said, the foolhardiness of such spending is now apparent, for anyone willing to look at the facts. So in that respect the current enemies are those who would recklessly continue on this path, on the road to serfdom. And right now, that group is led by the current President, Democrats in Congress, and their willing dupes in the media.

Paul goes on to highlight some of the ways in which the Constitution and the ideology informing it are being roundly ignored, if not usurped, by those in power:
We pass thousand page bills that no one has read. Congress ignores their own rules to pass bills that have not been published in advance. 
Congress passes budgetary caps and then completely ignores the caps. A majority of Congress simply votes to deem it so. 
The law mandates that a budget be passed each year. Yet, Democrats in the Senate have not passed a budget in three years. When informed that they are breaking their own rules, they laugh and deem it not so. They simply vote to ignore their own rules.
And he's dead on target in all of this. Congress--a body tasked with creating the rules of society--is unable to follow its own rules. It supposedly exists as a stand-in for the people, a group of duly elected representatives who serve the interest of the citizens they represent, yet members routinely ignore their fiduciary responsibilities in that regard.

But the problem here devolves to the citizenry, for despite these obvious and tragic failings, we elect the same people to office again and again and again. We talk about demanding better from our government, but we are not--as a people--usually willing to do anything about it. 2010 was an exception to this in many, many places. And while it is important--nay, vital--to unseat President Obama, it is even more important to keep taking out the trash in Congress, to remove from office those who do not fulfill their responsibilities to the people who elected them, who put them in office.

If Romney fails to defeat Obama, or even if Romney succeeds but proves to be something less than what is hoped for, there is still much to gained for our future, our children's future, and our nation's future by ridding Washington, DC of those who think the government is some sort of problem-solving machine, who believe in a near-unlimited scope of powers for the same, and who are restrained by neither the Constitution nor the long-term costs of their self-serving and ego-stroking decisions.

Cheers, all.

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