Jeffrey Kuhner praises Ron Paul and discredits himself; Can the WashingtonTimes be trusted any longer?

Good grief. Now even the WaTimes publishes pro-Ron Paul propaganda screeds (although it does not yet officially endorse him). Can no one be trusted?

Today, the WaTimes has published a ridiculous “article” by one of its columnists, Jeffrey T. Kuhner, a pseudoconservative libertarian. In it, Kuhner praises Ron Paul as “the only Republican willing to reduce the federal leviathan”, as “the godfather of the Tea Party movement”, and someone who “has done more than anyone else to remind the GOP of its small government roots”. Yet, Kuhner’s claims about Ron Paul – and about today’s America – are completely false and do not meet even the straight-face test.

First, domestic affairs. Kuhner wrongly calls Ron Paul “the godfather of the Tea Party movement”. In fact, Ron Paul has had nothing to do with the Tea Party. He did not help found it, organize it, recruit new members, or defend it against a barrage of unfair attacks by the media and the Democrats. He has done nothing for it. He never had anything to do with it.

The Tea Party was founded by brave, dedicated grassroots conservatives such as Judson Phillips and Amy Kremer (to name just a few) who, in early 2009, founded the first Tea Party groups, organized them, recruited new members, organized marches and protests (and even a Sep. 12th, 2011 Tea Party Presidential debate) and have had to defend it against propaganda attacks by the Dems and their MSM parrots. Ron Paul never had anything to with it. For him and his supporters to now ride the Tea Party’s coattails is completely unwarranted.

Moreover, if Ron Paul is the “godfather of the Tea Party movement”, why did 89% of Tea Party Patriots voting in a very recent TPP poll on the GOP presidential primary reject Ron Paul? Their preferred choice was Newt Gingrich, who got 35% of the vote. Ron Paul got a mere 11%. In other words, 89% of TPP members rejected him. So much for the “godfather of the Tea Party movement”.

The claim that Ron Paul is “the only Republican candidate truly serious about rolling back the federal leviathan” is also false. He’s not. Michele Bachmann introduced legislation to that effect, including her own budget cuts (encompasing every federal agency, including the DOD), a bill to repeal socialized medicine, and other bills. She supports the closure of the Education Department and other unconstitutional agencies. Rick Perry, however, has introduced the most comprehensive, most credible plan to reduce the federal government: cutting federal spending from 24% of GDP to 18% (i.e. by a whopping 6 percentage points), abolishing three federal departments (of Education, Energy, and Commerce), cutting the DHS, privatizing the TSA, auditing the ENTIRE federal government (not just the Federal Reserve), balacing the budget by the end of this decade, cutting Congress’ pay by half if it fails to comply, criminalizing insider trading, eliminating regulations (including unconstitutional Acts), etc. He has proposed a detailed plan to rein in ALL THREE branches of the federal government.

Ron Paul is not serious about rolling back the federal leviathan and cannot be trusted to comprehensively cut it, because he personally profits from it. On the Hill, he’s known as the King of Pork, delivering $400 mn per year in earmarks to his district, more than the vast majority of his Congressional colleagues, defying the GOP’s pork moratorium. Earmarks are not large, but they’re especially poisonous because they corrupt the political process, and Congressman Paul is a part of the problem.

And so we come to foreign policy. Kuhner falsely claims that on this subject ” Mr. Paul has shown genuine courage and foresight”, and that “in foreign policy, he is a non-interventionist who believes – like our Founding Fathers – that America should mind its own business.”

This is a blatant lie. Firstly, Paul has not shown any kind of genuine courage and foresight; he’s been a constant PR agent for America’s enemies, an inside saboteur working to weaken America’s defense, and a slanderer of the United States worse than the propaganda machines of Moscow, Beijing, and Pyongyang.

And he’s not a mere “noninterventionist”, he’s a 1930s-style caricature isolationist who lives in a fantasy world where the US is to blame for all of the world’s evil and America’s enemies are merely countries rightly aggrieved by American policies. He wants to dump all of America’s allies (leaving them to fend for themselves and ceding them to our common enemies), cowardly hide behind oceans (as if they could protect the US any longer), appease America’s enemies (including Iran), gut defense, and withdraw from all trade arrangements, fair or unfair. This is what Kuhner calls “minding our own business”, and it’s a suicidal policy. It was tried during the 1930s and failed abysmally. It’s suicidal, detached from the real world, evil, and arrogant towards the American people.

The claim that the Founding Fathers were all “noninterventionists” and thought that “America should mind its own business” is also a lie, as demonstrated by AmSpec’s Jeffrey Lord among others. Thomas Jefferson, who initially proclaimed “peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none”, was the first US president to intervene military abroad, and did so without Congressional authorization. He and James Madison also engineered the failed US attempt to conquer Canada (1812), which Jefferson said would be “a mere matter of marching”. James Monroe earmarked half of the world (the Western Hemisphere) for US intervention and influence. Moreover, during the early 1800s America was a young, weak Republic not respected or wanted as an ally by anyone in the world. It was one thing for some Founders to endorse noninterventionism in those times (when there was no feasible alternative). It’s quite another to try isolationism today, in a completely different world.

Yet, Kuhner further blathered nonsense by claiming:

Mr. Paul is saying what most on the right (and left) are not willing to confront: America is being broken by military overstretch. We are no longer a constitutional republic, but an empire. (…) Small government and militarism are incompatible. (…) America is being bled to death, unable to sustain its global ambition. The welfare-warfare state is doomed to collapse.”

This is utter gibberish, a mere repetition of all military-related lies stated by Paul. Firstly, the claims that the US is practicing (or has succumbed to) “militarism”, that the US has a “global ambition”, and  that the US is a  “welfare-warfare state” are insulting, blatant lies. The US is not practicing (and has not succumbed to) militarism and is NOT a “welfare-warfare state”, it is a welfare state, pure and simple. America’s total military spending amounts to just 4.5% of its GDP ($14.66 trillion) and less than 19% of the total federal budget; the core defense budget itself equals only 3.59% of GDP and less than 15% of the total federal budget. The country’s biggest weaponmakers (LM, Boeing, and Northrop Grumman) are not even in the top 20 companies on the Fortune 100 list. LM is barely 26th. The claim that America is a “warfare state” is therefore a blatant lie; there is no evidence to support it. And although the US military is overstretched indeed (partly because of Afghanistan, and partly due to Cold War era relic bases and deployments in Europe), military spending is NOT the cause, or even one of the causes, of America’s fiscal problems. A budget item that equals a paltry 4.5% of GDP and less than 1/5 of the federal budget cannot be credibly blamed for them.

The claim that the US is “no longer a constitutional republic, but an empire” is also a blatant lie unsupported by any evidence. The US does not have 900 bases around the world, contrary to Ron Paul’s false claims. It has only 700 installations beyond its borders, and the vast majority of them are tiny installations like radars. Only a few dozen are truly big bases like Ramstein, Spangdahlem, Misawa, and Yokota. In only 13 countries are there 1,000 or more American troops. In most countries, the only American troops present are Marine embassy guards, advisors, and trainers teaching foreign militaries how to use American-produced weapons. The bulk of American troops stationed abroad is concentrated in a dozen select allied countries: South Korea, Japan, Germany, Italy, Britain, Turkey, Qatar, Bahrain, and a few others. And in every country where American troops are permanently stationed, they’re there because they are WANTED there, invited, and not as occupiers. The claim that the US is an empire is an insidious lie. It’s popular with libertarians and liberals, but it’s a blatant lie.

Kuhner has also made a ridiculous straw man claim that “Small government and militarism are incompatible.” No one has claimed the opposite. But, as proven above, the US is NOT practicing, and has not succumbed to, militarism. What Kuhner probably meant by “militarism” was probably defense spending and intervening militarily abroad. As for the latter subject, I believe, like Ronald Reagan did, that the US should intervene abroad only if necessary, but that there ARE sometimes circumstances when the US DOES need to intervene militarily overseas.

As for defense spending, I have already proven – in the American Thinker, on this blog, and on other websites – that building a strong defense and providing generous funding for it is perfectly compatible with, and is actually an irremovable part of, conservative ideology. A large defense budget is perfectly consistent with it – it is actually an inexcisable part of it. Defense is a legitimate Constitutional function, and indeed the #1 Constitutional DUTY of the federal government, not a big government program.

Last but not least, Kuhner himself recognizes some of Ron Paul’s flaws, including the fact that Paul is a blind hardliner ideologue:

“Yet Mr. Paul is also an ideologue. This is his fatal weakness. Ideology trumps reality. He denies that Iran is bent on getting the bomb. In fact, he often sounds like Tehran’s public-relations agent, defending the mullahs’ quest to acquire nuclear weapons. He refuses to recognize the existence of radical Islam and the mortal threat it poses to the West. He lionizes anti-American, anti-war websites such as the odious WikiLeaks. He will not stand up to China’s predatory trade practices, blindly adhering to free-trade nostrums. His support for homosexual rights and the legalization of drugs, including cocaine and heroine, represents an assault upon traditional America. His libertine libertarianism would lead to a more permissive society and widespread drug use, especially among youth. Indeed, Mr. Paul appeals to many young voters: He combines the principles of Steve Jobs with Charlie Sheen, the economic individualist and the moral hedonist.”

While I don’t believe that drug legalization would lead to more widespread drug use (it’s already common and constitutes a huge societal problem), this is the one part of Kuhner’s article that I completely agree with.

But in summation, most of his article is gibberish. The fact is that Ron Paul is NOT the godfather of the Tea Party; he is far from the only candidate truly serious about reducing the federal leviathan; America is NOT an empire nor a “warfare state”; it has NOT succumbed to militarism; and military spending is NOT to blame for America’s fiscal woes.

If Kuhner wants to restore his credibility, he should immediately withdraw that article, correct his mistakes, and apologize. And if the Washington Times – until recently, a supremely reliable and respectable newspaper – wants to retain its crediblity and reputation, it should delete Kuhner’s article immediately.


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