State Senator Michael Doherty’s appalling lack of character and integrity has been exposed and well documented on the pages of this website; by now, increasing numbers of voters throughout the Garden State have learned the truth about his refusal to denounce or even distance himself from GOP Committeeman Rob Eichmann and political hatchet man Bill Winkler (both of whom are associated with Doherty’s campaign) for the slander, libel and defamation they have directed toward the Tea Party movement over the course of this year.
Now it appears that Doherty has moved into the deep end of the pool and given his political benediction to none other than Crazy Uncle Ron Paul for the second time:
Doherty, who endorsed Paul in 2008, said the candidate is the only one in the GOP field spreading the right message.
I suppoterd [sic] Ron Paul in 2008 and I think what has happened in the meantime makes my decision in 2008 a correct one,” Doherty said, citing Paul’s stance on the Federal Reserve and the importance of a strong dollar. “I don’t think anything has changed regarding those issues.”
Is Mr. Doherty familiar with Uncle Ron’s stance on drug legalization? If not, then it’s time he educated himself:
Paul was the only candidate at the debate to make news, calling for the repeal of laws against prostitution, cocaine and heroin. The freedom to use drugs, he argued, is equivalent to the freedom of people to “practice their religion and say their prayers.” Liberty must be defended “across the board.” “It is amazing that we want freedom to pick our future in a spiritual way,” he said, “but not when it comes to our personal habits.”
This argument is strangely framed: If you tolerate Zoroastrianism, you must be able to buy heroin at the quickie mart. But it is an authentic application of libertarianism, which reduces the whole of political philosophy to a single slogan: Do what you will — pray or inject or turn a trick — as long as no one else gets hurt.
Even by this permissive standard, drug legalization fails. The de facto decriminalization of drugs in some neighborhoods — say, in Washington, D.C. — has encouraged widespread addiction. Children, freed from the care of their addicted parents, have the liberty to play in parks decorated by used needles. Addicts are liberated into lives of prostitution and homelessness.
But Paul had an answer to this criticism. “How many people here would use heroin if it were legal? I bet nobody would,” he said to applause and laughter. Paul was claiming that good people — people like the Republicans in the room — would not abuse their freedom, unlike those others who don’t deserve our sympathy.
The problem, of course, is that even people in the room may have had sons or daughters who struggled with addiction. Or maybe even have personal experience with the freedom that comes from alcohol and drug abuse. One imagines they did not laugh or cheer.
Libertarians often cover their views with a powdered wig of 18th- and 19th-century philosophy. They cite Locke, Smith and Mill as advocates of a peaceable kingdom — a utopia of cooperation and spontaneous order. But the reality of libertarianism was on display in South Carolina. Paul concluded his answer by doing a jeering rendition of an addict’s voice: “Oh yeah, I need the government to take care of me. I don’t want to use heroin, so I need these laws.”
In determining who is a “major” candidate for president, let’s begin here. Those who support the legalization of heroin while mocking addicts are marginal. It is difficult to be a first-tier candidate while holding second-rate values.
There is also the matter of Uncle Ron’s “interesting” newsletters – many of which are replete with overt racism – that are authored by none other than conservo-gnostic whackadoo Lew Rockwell. Dr. Paul continues to maintain that he was unaware of the content of newsletters published in his name.
To be fair, many of the items on Uncle Ron’s domestic agenda are the stuff of a Reagan conservative’s wet dream. But those few policy items are the only points where conservatism and Ron Paul intersect.
His foreign policy is…well…for lack of a more precise term, batsh*t crazy. And yet…
Doherty, who served in the U.S. Army and is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, said he also supports Paul’s stance on the military. The country’s armed forces have no business policing foreign coutries, Doherty said. They should be brought home from Iraq and Afghanistan and the money saved should be used to strengthen U.S. borders.
I agree that our armed forces ought not be employed for the purpose of Wilsonian nation-building. But is Mr. Doherty as clueless to the clear and present danger posed to our nation by militant Islam as Crazy Uncle Ron? I explored this issue in detail here and here.
Perhaps Mr. Doherty endorses Rep. Paul because the two share the same plumage. AmSpec’s David Catron has the scoop on Dr. Paul’s stunning hypocrisy regarding his attack on Gov. Rick Perry’s past as a Democrat. Perhaps Dr. Paul forgot that Ronald Reagan was once a Democrat. Then again:
In 1987, when Reagan truly needed his supporters to stand by him, Ron Paul suddenly disappeared from the man’s side. In fact, he resigned from the Republican Party and blamed Reagan for his disillusionment with the GOP. In a letter that echoed the prevailing Democrat talking points of the day he wrote, “The chickens have yet to come home to roost, but they will, and America will suffer from a Reaganomics that is nothing but warmed-over Keynesianism.” That letter was not merely an act of breathtaking betrayal — it actually compares Reagan to Josef Stalin — its characterization of Reagan’s economic policies is utterly absurd.
As to “Dr. No,” having received fewer than half a million votes as the 1988 Libertarian presidential candidate, he came crawling back to the party he had so vehemently denounced and was eventually reelected to Congress under the GOP banner.
But it doesn’t end with party loyalty. There is also the matter of Dr. Paul’s constitutional hypocrisy:
He is also a downright fraud when it comes to big-government spending. While representing himself for decades as the sworn enemy of overspending, the good doctor has had his snout deep in the earmark trough. In 2007, the Wall Street Journal reported, “The Congressman disclosed his requests this year for about $400 million worth of federal funding for no fewer than 65 earmarks. They include such urgent national wartime priorities as an $8 million request for the marketing of wild American shrimp and $2.3 million to fund shrimp-fishing research.” And this is the man who had the effrontery to berate Ronald Reagan for deficit spending.
This is the political knight in shining armor that Mike Doherty believes will rescue America. That he cast his lot with a fringe libertarian kook while ignoring several other good conservative candidates in the race leaves me wondering if Mr. Doherty is as confused about the meaning of conservatism as he obviously is about the meaning of integrity.
Perhaps Mr. Doherty is courting the endorsement of Paul Mulshine, a hack journo-columnist and pet conservo-gnostic crank of the uber-liberal Newark Star-Ledger who positively HEARTS both Uncle Ron and… (drum roll, please)…Lew Rockwell. One is left wondering if Mulshine’s favorite “conservative” blog in New Jersey will likewise tow the line and endorse Ron Paul for president. If so, they will have the dubious honor of sharing company with newly-minted Paulnut Barry Manilow.
Doherty is reportedly exploring a run for U.S. Senate, but said Tuesday that his first priority is winning reelection in November.
Good luck with all of that.