[Papa Doc said,]"... The Bill of Rights has no exemption for 'really bad people' or terrorists or even non-citizens. It is a key check on government power against any person. This is not a weakness in our legal system; it is the very strength of our legal system."
That was exactly the objection raised by The New York Times in its own excellent editorial challenging the constitutionality of the NDAA. It should not be difficult for those same editorial writers to treat Ron Paul as a profound and principled contributor to a much-needed national debate on the limits of federal power instead of attempting to marginalize his views beyond recognition.
The notion of a rigid separation between church and state has no basis in either the text of the Constitution or the writings of our Founding Fathers. On the contrary, our Founders' political views were strongly informed by their religious beliefs. Certainly the drafters of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, both replete with references to God, would be aghast at the federal government's hostility to religion. ...
The Founding Fathers envisioned a robustly Christian yet religiously tolerant America, with churches serving as vital institutions that would eclipse the state in importance. Throughout our nation's history, churches have done what no government can ever do, namely teach morality and civility. Moral and civil individuals are largely governed by their own sense of right and wrong, and hence have little need for external government. This is the real reason the collectivist Left hates religion: Churches as institutions compete with the state for the people's allegiance, and many devout people put their faith in God before their faith in the state.
Aside from the Christian dominionist distortion of history on the Founders view of separating church and state, it's also curious that a "constitutionalist" who idolizes the Constitution would say that it and the Declaration are "both replete with references to God." Declaration of Independence (which has no legal force): # of references to "God": 1; Original Constitution: # of references to "God": 0; # of references to "Lord": 1, in "the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven." Bill of Rights: God references, 0; Amendments 11-27: God references, 0.
It looks like Iowa voters caucus-goers might be in the process of turning Ron Paul into a Newt. ...
And much hand-wringing will ensue on the left, as they try to decide whether or not they like a racist anti-war isolationist who favors a society of bare-foot, pregnant women smoking dope in the kitchen.
Charlie Pierce, There Is No Republican "A Team"Esquire Politics Blog 12/28/2011: "The current frontrunning crazoid is a guy who played footsie for his entire career with a bunch of cowflop brownshirts plotting revolution down at Goober's Gas 'n Sip."
It also means you, Ron Paul. If you're going to play footsie with the gunz-and-ammo crowd for your entire career, including those elements of the gunz-and-ammo not entirely disposed to sharing the country with people darker and/or more Jewish than they are, then you had to know that, sooner or later, our longtime supporters were going to collide with your newer, younger supporters who like what you say about Iran and the Bill of Rights, and that this collision wasn't going to make you look like a bold coalition-builder. It was going to make you look like somebody trying to raise a militia at Bonnaroo. So defenses like, "I dunno what went out there under my name" aren't going to cut it.
You know who also thought that "appearing to be racist was a good political strategy in the 1990's"? The same people who thought it was a good political strategy in the 1960's, '70's, and '80's. The same people who hired Lee Atwater. The same people who looked at the white-supremacist backlash against the triumphs of the civil-rights movement and saw, not a outbreak of lawless racism, but a golden political opportunity, and who built a political movement out of the remnants of American apartheid, and who allowed that movement to take over an entire political party until all that's left is what you see now, parading through the streets of Iowa, or working in the state houses to deprive minority voters of the rights for which they paid so dear a price.
It was more than Lew Rockwell and Ron Paul, boys. It was the entire Republican party, and the conservative "movement" that energized it. It's why Ronald Reagan kicked off his 1980 campaign talking about "states rights" in Mississippi, not half-a-mile from the spot where murdered civil rights workers were buried in a dam. It was welfare mothers driving Cadillacs and young bucks buying steaks. It was the slandering of Lani Guinier as a "quota queen." It's all those ID laws in all those states, and the phony ACORN scandal, and virtually everything said by every GOP presidential candidate on the subject of immigration and, in case you haven't noticed, it's an awful lot of the problems your people have with Barack Obama. It's what the pathetic Willard Romney is talking about when he talks about "the entitlement society." It's too late to get out from under it now. Without "appearing to be racist" as a good political strategy, there would be no modern Republican party. Modern conservatism would have ceased to exist after the debacle of 1964. Don't be fobbing it all off on poor Ron Paul.