JOE WOLVERTON, II
Monday, December 12, 2011
Senator Rand Paul, a self-described representative of the Tea Party, worries that the small progress toward the restoration of limited government may be “set back” by the upcoming Republican presidential nomination.
In a letter to the Des Moines Register, the son of GOP White House hopeful Ron Paul set forth his two goals for striving to protect the “conservative movement” from being hampered by the nomination of a candidate with “a different set of ideas and values.”
The first of Senator Paul’s two goals is to “prevent the European debt crisis from consuming America next.” Although certainly a priority for the Senator, the rest of the letter is devoted to details of his second goal: electing a “constitutional[ly] conservative president in 2012.”
An urgent issue for the Republican Party and the United States is the election of a president who will remain faithful to his Oath of Office from the moment his hand is placed on the Bible on Inauguration Day.
While Senator Paul admits that anyone on the current roster of Republican candidates would be an improvement over Barack Obama, he calls out the two men leading in the polls — Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich — for not representing “the tea party, the conservative movement, or the type of change our country desperately needs….”
In his indictment of the former Governor of Massachusetts and the former Speaker of the House, Paul’s first charge against both is their support for the $700-billion bank bailouts signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2008.
Paul quotes the Obama Treasury Department as describing the bailouts, officially called the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), as “one of the most unpopular government programs in American history.”
In a debate in October, Romney defended the bailouts as necessary “to keep the entire currency of the country worth something. My experience tells me that we were on the precipice, and we could have had a complete meltdown of our entire financial system, wiping out all the savings of the American people. So action had to be taken.”
As for current “frontrunner” Newt Gingrich, he claims to have changed his mind on TARP after having his ear bent by a number of “very right wing” businessmen. These unnamed advisors convinced Gingrich that the financial meltdown was a “true crisis” and that the bailouts were necessary to prevent the financial system from suffering a “heart attack.”
Further evidence of the necessity for the bailout of financial institutions was provided to Gingrich by the fact that the Chairman of the Federal Reserve and Secretary of the Treasury agreed “that the global financial system was on the edge of total failure” and so Gingrich changed his position and favored passage of the legislation.
The next charge leveled by Senator Paul at Romney and Gingrich is their “outspoken and unapologetic” support for the individual mandate of ObamaCare.
The individual mandate provision of the Obama health care requires that all residents of the United States purchase a qualifying medical insurance policy or face tax penalties and possible imprisonment. This mandate is the first time in history that the Congress of the United States has passed a law forcing citizens to purchase a commodity regardless of personal preference or financial ability.
Neither candidate can run from their record as both have for years ardently advocated the government-mandated purchase of health insurance.
As Governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney signed a health care plan into law that contains an individual mandate provision nearly identical to that included in the ObamaCare legislation.
In the case of Newt Gingrich, in an interview in 2005, Gingrich said that if a person earning over $50,000 a year did not have health insurance, then he was in favor of the government forcing that person to either purchase a policy or post a bond.
While serving as a Congressman in 1993, Gingrich made similar comments advocating a national healthcare system supported by an individual mandate. “I’ve said consistently we ought to have some requirement you either have health insurance or you post a bond or in some way indicate that you are going to be held accountable.”
Senator Paul’s letter is his way of making sure Gingrich, Romney, and all of the potential Republican nominees are held accountable for their policy positions and that they are truly dedicated to principles of freedom as enunciated in the Constitution.
So seriously does Paul take the support of these two men for TARP and the individual mandate that he argues that it “disqualifies” them from receiving the support of the Tea Party.
Beyond their support for two programs that must be undone if the American Republic is ever to return to within its proper, constitutional bounds, Rand Paul points out that both men cannot sincerely commit to accomplishing that critical goal in light of their irrefutable promotion of expansive government intervention in the lives of citizens and of corporate welfare.
Briefly, Paul describes Romney as a “moderate, northeastern, don’t-rock-the-boat Republican” and that everyone in the party gets that.
As for Gingrich, however, Paul is concerned that the rank and file of his party are “being sold a bill of goods” that doesn’t represent the truth about Newt Gingrich and his philosophy and policies.
Paul proposes that despite Gingrich’s multiple “flip-flops,” his heart remains with the left wing of the Republican Party. Says Paul, “His record features ‘highlights’ such as global warming commercials with Nancy Pelosi, support for cap-and-trade, funding Planned Parenthood, and, recently, announcing that life does not begin at conception.”
All those acts are certainly antithetical to the positions taken by the conservative wing of the Republican Party.
The list of sins against the Constitution for which Newt Gingrich has never repented is long, according to Senator Paul’s opinion piece.
Next, there is Gingrich’s work as a lobbyist for Freddie Mac — one of the agencies whose malfeasance precipitated the nation’s economic meltdown.
Gingrich, Paul says, “took in nearly $40 million promoting big-government ideas….”
Then there is Gingrich’s alleged capitulations on “right-to-work laws” and the Second Amendment, both critical components of the conservative agenda.
And, as opposed to calling for the abolition of the Department of Education, Gingrich actually voted to create it.
When push comes to shove, Paul warns, Gingrich will put party above principle, as he did in the congressional race in New York in 2009 when he supported the “liberal” Republican candidate who eventually lost and threw her support behind the Democrat in the race.
So, Paul ably presents the case for the prosecution against the two men at the top of recent Iowa polls.
The conclusion drawn is that neither man is a conservative and that if the Republican Party is to “continue the work [it] resolved in 2010 to undertake” then it must not elect a nominee who has a track record of advocating the expansion of government and the concomitant abandonment of the Constitution and the small federal government of limited and enumerated powers created by it.