Thursday, January 12, 2012

Isolationism Does Not Equal "Good on Civil Liberties"

Conor Friedersdorf has a problem, and surprise-surprise, it's related to Ron Paul.

Take it away, kid:
But here's my problem: though {Kevin} Drum {a prominent liberal blogger] disagrees with those of us who acknowledge Paul's flaws but value his ability to inject important issues into the national conversation, he offers no alternative. As far as I can tell, most on the left who dismiss Paul are similarly without a plan of their own.
That "without a plan" part is bolded in the original.

Now here's my problem with that: Ron Paul has no ability "to inject important issues into the national conversation." He's gotten lucky these last few years because a) his followers are as naive as they are credulous and b) circumstances make Paul's nonsense appealing. After a decade of war in which very little has been won, of course there's going to be a desire for a "saner foreign policy."

The problem is that Ron Paul's criteria isn't a "saner" foreign policy or a more effective one or one more reluctant to engage in ill-advised middle eastern adventures. No, Ron Paul wants isolationism and that's no antidote to our current foreign policy blunders. That is a foreign policy blunder.

Sorry, dude, but progressives do have a plan. It's called, "Let's not do that."

Updated: And just to be clear, on civil liberties issues, Ron Paul is not so hot either. You cannot complain endlessly about the Civil Rights Act and then claim to be a Civil Liberties guy. You just can't.


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