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Republicans Try Having It Both Ways Too

Yesterday, I noted how Democrats in Congress have been silent on the issue of President Obama’s decision to resurrect George W. Bush’s military tribunal kangaroo courts – show trials with substandard procedures designed to prejudge guilt and lead to conviction. Democratic members of the House and Senate seem more interested in having their political team keep a grip on power than they are in using their power to fulfill their oaths to defend the Constitution.

But, let’s be fair. It’s not just the Democrats who are turning a blind eye to the injustice of this separate-and-unequal set of military courts. The Republicans are silent refusing to speak out against the courts too. It was the Republicans, after all, who invented these military tribunals in the first place, and they seem determined to never admit that they were wrong.

gop blind elephantEven supposedly libertarian Republicans in Congress, like Ron Paul, are refusing to come to the defense of the Constitution and its guarantees of fair and speedy trials by a jury of peers. Representative Paul may claim to believe in “Texas straight talk”, but these days, he is too busy blathering on about his plans to abolish the Federal Reserve to speak out against Barack Obama’s attack against the core of America’s system of justice.

So, what are Republicans in Congress talking about? They’re busy tilting at the old 20th century windmill of socialism, accusing Democrats of being Socialists because the Democrats in Congress and the White House are promoting big government spending.

Congressman Paul Broun sneered yesterday, “The American people need to understand what this is all about. It’s not about cleaning up the environment. It’s about creating more revenue for the Federal Government to grow a bigger Federal Government, a bigger socialistic government.”

Representative Joe Wilson also complained about big spending by Democrats:

“President Obama last week told a town hall audience that ‘we are mortgaging our children’s future with more and more debt.’ He talked about how borrowing would lead to higher interest rates. I appreciate the President acknowledging these dangers. Unfortunately, it is his budget and his allies in Congress that will produce more debt in the next decade than all previous administrations combined. They are his policies that are borrowing too much, spending too much and taxing too much.

On the other hand, Republicans continue to offer a better way forward. Our policies would help small businesses and entrepreneurs have the capital and freedom to innovate and create jobs. At some point, the President’s actions need to match his words. American families cannot afford for President Obama to try to have it both ways.”

Trying to have it both ways? Yes, let’s talk about politicians who are trying to have it both ways. Under George W. Bush and a Republican Congress, budget deficits broke all previous records and the U.S. Federal Government grew at a more rapid pace than it ever had before. According to the Republicans’ own rhetoric, that makes the Republicans in Congress just as Socialist as the Democrats.

Of course, congressional Republicans want you to forget all about the past, and how they spent the last decade running a borrow and spend government. Perhaps the Democrats are trying to have it both ways, but the Republicans are too. At this point, I can’t say that I trust either party “to offer a better way forward”.

45 comments to Republicans Try Having It Both Ways Too

  • qs

    Where did you read that Ron Paul in favor of military tribunals?

    • Read carefully. I didn’t say that Ron Paul is in favor of Obama’s military tribunals. I said that Ron Paul is not speaking out against them. That’s the truth. He’s not. The most you could find is a two year-old statement. Find a current statement by Ron Paul about last week’s move by Barack Obama to re-establish George W. Bush’s kangaroo courts, and I’ll publish it. I looked for such a statement, however, and could find nothing – just ridiculous ranting about the Federal Reserve.

      Ron Paul is sitting down while the Constitution is under renewed attack. Don’t you want to know why?

      • qs

        The reason Ron Paul is talking about the Federal Reserve and HR1207 right now is he has about 170 sponsors, and he feels he’s close to passing it. I don’t think that’s ridiculous plus this is what interviewers tend to ask him about since they know he’s been working on it for so long.

        Maybe he is failing to talk enough about the military tribunals, but his position against them is clear unlike Obama.

        • Is it clear, qs? Is Ron Paul really against these military tribunal show trials?

          Remember, Barack Obama spoke against the military tribunals in 2007, and now he supports them.

          Ron Paul spoke against the military tribunals in 2007, and now he is failing to take a stand against their renewal.

          Don’t be too sure of where your own great leader stands. Ron Paul’s position is far from clear.

          How difficult would it be for Ron Paul to make a simple statement of opposition? It looks like Ron Paul is afraid of alienating the Republican base, and is going along with the kangaroo courts in order to avoid controversy.

          • qs

            Well let’s see how he votes on it rather than condemn him based on not being outspoken enough. He does interviews almost everyday.

            If someone asks him about military tribunals or other touchey subjects he always answers from what I’ve seen. I’m not a computer archive that can recall every interview he’s done in the last year. I wouldn’t doubt he has already talked about this somewhere.

            Besides Ron Paul is the “decider” right now so obviously Obama is the one who mostly gets to decide this.

            • Wait a minute. Why does Ron Paul get a pass for his passive acceptance of this attack on the Constitution? Why bother supporting a politician who doesn’t take on these important issues? Ron Paul has stood by and said nothing. I’m criticizing other Republicans and Democrats for doing the same. Why exempt Ron Paul?

              • qs

                Except that Ron Paul spoke out against the military commissions act, written op-eds against it, and voted against it.

              • So did lots of Democrats. Now, just like Ron Paul, they’re passively accepting the military tribunals. I’m not exempting them from my criticism. How come you give Ron Paul a free pass?

              • qs

                Didn’t we already have a vote on this in which Paul wrote editorials, gave house floor speeches and voted against military tribunals? He’s clearly on the correct side of the issue, which is the most important thing.

                I bet you there is an interview somewhere on this.

              • That was then, this is now. Back then, Barack Obama voted NO too. The actions of two years ago don’t count much for now.

              • Jon

                You actually did exempt them from your criticism as you didn’t name them and critisize them. You singled out 2 people Obama (who did flip) and RP. And somehow you are saying RP is the bad guy?

              • You’re putting an awful lot of words in my mouth, there, Jon. Read the article, ALL the parts, not just the parts which mention your particular fetish – Ron Paul. It’s quite clear that Ron Paul is mentioned as one example of a larger problem, in which, in the context of the three articles in this series, I almost completely criticize Democrats for inaction: Barbara Boxer, Russ Feingold, Barbara Boxer, John Conyers, and Dennis Kucinich are mentioned by name.

                So, please ease off your Ron Paul messiah narrative. No one’s singling him out to put a crown of thorns on his head, and I have long since come to expect a great deal of hypocrisy from Ron Paul, who seems to use libertarian rhetoric just to get dupes like you all worked up.

              • qs

                Clifford did you find my post about raising bees I left for you?

              • Jon

                Sorry, I only read the ‘Republicans trying to have it both ways too’. I trust that you called others out – it’s noted (although I’m not going to waste my time looking it up). And I agree with you about the hypocracy the repubs showed growing the gov with Bush compared to their current rhetoric.

                My issue was with your analysis of my fetish/messiah (whatever your ‘hot word’ is to try to push my buttons) – Ron Paul. You remind me of a moody crazy girlfriend. She will get steaming mad because you don’t say the right thing at the right time. She’ll be like: “I know you told me you loved me before, but michelle’s boyfriend told her that too, then he dumped her”.

                What I’m trying to say is just because Obama dumped you, don’t take it out on all men. Ron Paul may not have told you you were pretty today, but he did complement your shoes. He said this in regards to the $97B War Stimulus:

                “There’s a big argument now about whether we’re safer now with the new administration or is it making us less safe. The truth is that the policies of the last 10, 15, 20 years have made us less safe. And as long as we occupy countries, as long as we kill other people and civilians are being killed, we are going to build enemies. And as long as we’re known throughout the world that we torture people, we will incite people to hate us and want to come here to kill us.”

              • Yeah, Jon, I get upset when the President of the United States engages in a serious assault against a key foundation of liberty in the Constitution, and not a single member of Congress stands up to do anything about it.

                Does that make me like a “moody crazy girlfriend”? If it’s really regarded that way, then it’s a sorry statement about how low American standards for law and justice have become.

              • Jon

                And you should get upset cliff. In my opinion the real travesty isn’t that a few people didn’t pay lip service to it. The real travesty is that it wouldn’t have mattered. The real travesty is that, if voted on in congress, it would pass.

                I feel it is disingenuious to then question certian peoples beliefs and suggest that they don’t defend the constitution. To turn it around, it could easily be said that you don’t care about liberties based on your remarks of RP’s work to end the Fed.

  • qs

    Here’s Ron Paul -blathering- about the Military Commissions Act.

    “Pariotism” by Ron Paul

    “The attack on privacy has not relented over the past 6 years. The Military Commissions Act is a particularly egregious piece of legislation and, if not repealed, will change America for the worse as the powers unconstitutionally granted to the executive branch are used and abused. This act grants excessive authority to use secretive military commissions outside of places where active hostilities are going on. The Military Commissions Act permits torture, arbitrary detention of American citizens as unlawful enemy combatants at the full discretion of the President and without the right of habeas corpus, and warrantless searches by the NSA. It also gives to the President the power to imprison individuals based on secret testimony.”-Ron Paul

  • qs

    btw-

    I’m starting to think Pelosi was telling the truth. I wouldn’t put it past the CIA to try to trick the congress critters.
    Another Democrat questions CIA briefing.

  • James

    That’s a lie, Ron Paul was and is against secret military tribunals:

    “Only with the complicity of Congress have we become a nation of pre-emptive war, secret military tribunals, torture, rejection of habeas corpus, warrantless searches, undue government secrecy, extraordinary renditions, and uncontrollable spying on the American people. The greatest danger we face is ourselves: what we are doing in the name of providing security for a people made fearful by distortions of facts. Fighting over there has nothing to do with preserving freedoms here at home. More likely the opposite is true.”

    March 2007:
    http://www.house.gov/paul/congrec/congrec2007/cr032007.htm

    “There are well-documented histories of secret military tribunals. Up until now, the United States has consistently condemned them. The fact that a two-thirds majority can sentence a person to death in secrecy in the United States is scary. With no appeals available, and no defense attorneys of choice being permitted, fairness should compel us to reject such a system outright.”
    November 2001: http://www.house.gov/paul/congrec/congrec2001/cr112901.htm

    “Political propagandizing is used to get all of us to toe the line and be good “patriots,” supporting every measure suggested by the administration. We are told that preemptive strikes, torture, military tribunals, suspension of habeas corpus, executive orders to wage war, and sacrificing privacy with a weakened 4th Amendment are the minimum required to save our country from the threat of terrorism”

    June 2002: http://www.house.gov/paul/congrec/congrec2002/cr062702.htm

    Dr. Ron Paul is the champion of the constitution, the sole defender in congress. Get your facts straight please.

    Passing HR 1207 is a strong act of defending the US constitution.
    Passing HR 2159 is a strong act of defending the US constitution.

    • James, you claim that “Ron Paul was and is against secret military tribunals”, but you only provide proof that Ron Paul was against them years ago.

      Barack Obama was once against them too – but now he’s supporting them.

      Why can’t you provide evidence that Ron Paul is NOW against these tribunals? Because no such evidence exists. Like every other member of Congress, Ron Paul is acquiescing in the face of Barack Obama’s renewal of these separate-and-unequal show trials.

      • Hoffer

        Hey J. Clifford, look at Ron Paul’s record…with the exception of immigration, I don’t think there is an issue that Ron Paul has flip flopped on in over 2 decades. The man is of sound principle and cares more about liberty than all the other members of congress combined. Your assertion is ridiculous, as Ron Paul has no history of consistently being a flip flopper on issues, especially ones consisting of freedom, liberty and the rule of law.

        • qs

          I don’t think he’s really changed on immigration that much either. He voted against the secure fence act recently.

        • Sure there is. For instance, Ron Paul said he’s against earmarks, and then used earmarks to gain money for a commercial shrimp fishing operation in his home district. He voted for it before he voted against it.

          Please, stop the Ron Paul worship. He does not care more about liberty than all 500 plus members of Congress combined, Hoffer.

          Look, Paulitos, if Ron Paul really cares so much about this issue, where’s his legislation? What legislation has he crafted to solve the problem?

          Put up or shut up time, Ron Paul.

          • qs

            I disagree. Ron Paul has never voted for final approval of an earnmarks bill. Not one.

            Yes, he puts stuff in for his district, but he always votes against final passage. The U.S. government has been robbing his district via its IRS attacks on them. The goal is to get ALL THAT MONEY BACK that the U.S. government is stealing.

            So if the omnibus earnmarks bill is going to pass, it should be his goal to make sure that his district at least gets some compensation.

            • The goal is to get ALL THAT MONEY BACK – for the rich and well-connected among his constituents. He voted against the final, after he voted to create it, knowing the bill was going to be passed, and that the earmark money would go in. Total flip flop, crass politics covered up with libertarian rationalizations.

              Look, I’m not saying Ron Paul never does anything good. Please, y’all, stop arguing that he never does anything wrong!

              • qs

                I disagree.

                The IRS is almost like an Al Qaeda in the U.S. with its raids and thievery. The government has stolen a lot of money from Paul’s district.

                Why would it be fair for other districts to get earnmarks and get some of their money back that the government stole but not Ron Paul district.

                Now whether he’s giving it all to the rich and well-connected is another issue. Certainly it would be better if the bill did not pass at all (aka Ron Paul voted against final passage) and we were able to stop the IRS from stealing it in the first place.

              • You lose me with “The IRS is almost like an Al Qaeda”.

              • qs

                It’s a pretty good comparison. The attack you and force you to testify against yourself. They will confiscate your home and freeze all your accounts so that you have no way of hiring a lawyer to defend yourself since you no longer have any rights or money. They’re also more intrusive than these government wiretaps you keep complaining about in that they must know everything you have done for the entire year and even every gift you receive. After all the deductions and such, they pretty much have a record of everything minute of your life.

                They will also execute you if sufficiently resist when they raid your house.

                Also they try you without a jury in many cases too, and they do this on purpose to take your rights away.

                I said they were like Al Qaeda in a sense not as bad, but they’ll definitely kill you if you don’t submit.

  • J

    Keep in mind that Ron Paul is extremely busy these days, speaking out against all kinds of injustices and speaking for the Constitution. No other member of Congress is held to the standard that they are no good unless they speak out about ALL of the unconstitutional legislation being introduced these days. If he were to speak out against every unconstitutional piece of legislation introduced he would talk ’til doomday before he got through the last month’s worth of crap bills that are put forth. Your piece clearly skirts around the indisputable fact that Ron Paul is the most consistent member of Congress, and calling him out as worse than Obama’s stark and pathetic reversal of position on this particular issue is ignoring the elephant in the room for the speck of dust it is sitting on. He’s a busy man. Rest assured he will speak out if it is brought for a vote, likely as one of the only Nays in the room, standing for the Constitution as usual.

    • Actually, J, this is exactly the same standard I’m holding other members of Congress – Democrat and Republican – to. Why should Ron Paul be held to a lower standard?

      • Jon

        If you were holding him to the same standard, you wouldn’t single him out. If you had listed everyone that has spoken out against military tribunals, but not recently you may have a point, but by singling him our your are saying he should be held to a higher standard.

      • J

        You state that you hold every other senator to the same standard, which is exactly my point. It would do more to point out the myriad flaws, from the minuscule to the elephants in the room that the rest of these people have introduced and voted for, as they vastly outnumber Paul in this regard. Ron Paul consistently stands up for more Constitutional principles than any other member of Congress, and that is a matter of public record. It would take a machine to make a speech against every one, as there are hundreds, sometimes thousands. This is simply another reason we need MORE people like Ron Paul.

      • J

        Furthermore, you appear to contradict what seems to be your own overall point a few times in this piece. You state

        “Under George W. Bush and a Republican Congress, budget deficits broke all previous records and the U.S. Federal Government grew at a more rapid pace than it ever had before.”

        You are describing this as a bad thing. But you are using it to defend the very same practice, simply by another party, in a different direction. That does not make it better, especially when in every single logistical way, the situation is way worse than it was even under Bush. You said it yourself:

        “According to the Republicans’ own rhetoric, that makes the Republicans in Congress just as Socialist as the Democrats.” According to the facts. We disagree just as much with Bush’s policies as we do with Obama’s, because they are virtually the same in overall effect and effectiveness.

  • Patrick

    This thread is being discussed on the DP. See here.

    • Oh, ha ha – that place is a real riot! My favorite:

      So what the author is saying is, Congressmen must be passionate about every issue under the sun and rehash the same arguments they’ve already presented, every time there is a new person in the office of President…just so they can appear to be non-partisan to foolish people like the author who don’t understand real principle.

      I’m willing to bet if the author really cared, he would send an e-mail to Ron Paul, and ask him to make a statement on the issue. And I’m also willing to bet that Ron Paul would comply. But it’s just easier to try to paint someone with an (R) in front of their name in a bad light than it is to actually try to find the truth.

      So, I am obligated, as a non-constituent of Ron Paul, to send an email to Ron Paul. Ron Paul, on the other hand, as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, cannot be expected to act, or even issue a statement, about the important issues of the day.

      Is that what libertarianism has become?

  • Jon

    Your logic is very flawed in implying the RP flipped on this issue, and it is distracting from the real issue (that our so called leaders actually have!). I am very confident in RP’s position on the issue. To sit hear and demonize him is focusing your efforts in the wrong direction.

    • I didn’t say Ron Paul “flipped on this issue”. When you sign up as a Ron Paul supporter, are you required to relinquish your ability to pay attention to nuance?

      I have said that Ron Paul is passively accepting military tribunals, because he is. He isn’t doing anything to resist them. He has acquiesced.

      Specific words mean specific things, Jon.

      • Jon

        Apparently you suffer from the same nuance because I never accused you of saying he flipped on the issue. I said you ‘implied’ that he did by using the example that Obama once supported the issue (and now clearly doesn’t)…

  • Well, they aren’t defending the Constitution, Jon. Or, are they? Are they, by refusing to stand up these military kangaroo courts, somehow defending the Constitution?

    No. So, how is it disingenuous for me to point that out?

    American Heritage Dictionary, disingenuous: Not straightforward or candid; insincere or calculating

    • Jon

      It is disingenuous because you are implying refusal to state, or changing beliefs based on nothing.

      It would be like saying someone that exercises there right to remain silent is guilty because they didn’t profess there innocense.

      It would be one thing to say ‘I wish he would restate his views’, it’s another to suggest that he is refusing to state his views, or that the views have changed. To do the latter, IMO, is insincere.

      In order to refuse to do something, don’t you think there needs to be an invitation to do it? I didn’t eat breakfast this morning. Does that mean I refused to eat it?

      Did you see RP’s speach yesterday?

      • It’s not insincere to say that he’s refusing to state his views. Has he stated his views on Obama’s reinstatement of military tribunals? Has he?

        Being a member of Congress is an invitation, in fact, a duty, to conduct oversight of the Executive Branch. If Ron Paul believes the Executive Branch is doing something wrong, it’s his job to speak out and take action.

        What speech yesterday?

        • Jon

          So your expectation is for every member of congress to give a running commentary on there views of the executive branchs actions?

          • An ongoing commentary is what they should do through their speeches, public appearances and press releases, if they’re valuable members of Congress who know how to direct their staff to communicate on important issues with the public, yes. In the Congress of the 1800s, this may not have been possible, but we’re not living in the 1800s any more. When an important Executive abuse comes to light, it is the responsibility of members of Congress to resist, through communication and through legislation. On the issue of Obama’s renewal of military tribunal show trials, Ron Paul has neither.

            Neither does any other member of Congress, and I have, Jon, called out several others besides Ron Paul by name.

          • Jon

            No wonder they don’t have time to return my calls.

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