Ron Paul: Not Ready for Prime Time

By Proof

...much less President!

Ron Paul and his followers are on the record quite strenuously that Paul is not an "isolationist", but a non-interventionist. Which makes his exchange with Bachmann that much more odd.

"If she thinks we live in a dangerous world, she ought to think back when I was drafted in 1962 with the nuclear missiles in Cuba. And Kennedy calls Khrushchev and talks to him and talks him out of this and we don't have a nuclear exchange."

First of all, thank you for your service, Dr. Paul, even though it may have been reluctantly on your part.

Second, the impression you are trying to leave, that the Cuban Missile Crisis was resolved with just a little jawboning from JFK, is more than a little misleading.

For starters, why would there have been a nuclear exchange to be talked out of? Oh, yeah. Kennedy launched a military blockade in international waters to stop Soviet shipments of arms to Cuba. But! But! Cuba and the Soviet Union were two sovereign nations! If the Soviets agreed to let Cuba "borrow" some of their missiles, isn't it their business? I mean, for JFK to put a blockade around Cuba and demand that the Soviets dismantle and remove their missiles, why that sounds an awful lot like...intervention!

And if there was a nuclear confrontation to be avoided, it was provoked by JFK's military actions. Whatever "jawboning" took place, it was only after a number of Soviet ships had been interdicted on the high seas. It was after Kennedy had intervened in the affairs of two sovereign nations, telling Cuba what it could not do within its own borders and telling the USSR what they could or could not export or transport in international waters.

So, Kennedy was an "interventionist" in Paul's terms and Paul praised him for it? Will wonders never cease? Extra points if you can guess who this statement refers to:

He calls the blockade "atrocious", "an act of war".

(Hint: It was in reference to Israel interdicting weapons such as missiles to be fired into Israel.)

JFK blockade = good. Israeli blockade = bad. Any questions?

And incidentally, Paul asked what a drone was doing overflying Iran? Well, there's a possibility that he was mistaken there. The drone may have been downed or stolen in Afghanistan and transported to Iran. But, from the tone of his question, he seems to be questioning the need for intelligence on what our enemies may be planning. But, again, to cite the example Paul himself put forth, it was U-2 overflights that revealed the presence of Soviet missiles in Cuba. Would a Paul administration shut down intelligence surveillance around the globe as "interventionist"?

Add to that his defense against an argument that no one was making, that we "declare war on 1.2 billion Muslims", and you have a muddled at best, contradictory, naive and dangerous outlook on foreign policy.

Calling Paul "not ready for prime time", is being generous.

Cross posted at Proof Positive


  1. "JFK blockade = good. Israeli blockade = bad. Any questions?"

    Here's one. You seem to have extrapolated a large amount from a comment that seems oddly out of larger context to me. I saw him say that and it never occurred to me that he was trying to lay out support for, or even explain all the factors that led to the Cuban Missile Crisis.

    Can you show where Ron Paul ACTUALLY said he thought the blockade was good?

  2. Grant: He brought it up as an example of "good" diplomacy, while glossing over the military action that preceded the talking. Can you ACTUALLY show me the difference between the Israeli blockade that he condemned as an "act of war" and the blockade that JFK launched?

    And if an identical blockade by Israel is an "act of war", according to Paul, and Ron Paul is against going to war without a declaration of war, then JFK "went to war" without a declaration. Isn't it at least odd that he would bring up JFK in this instance, given what he has stated in the past?

    BTW, if Ron Paul doesn't think the blockade that kept Russian missiles out of Cuba was good, then let him say so, and leave rewriting history to liberals and radicals who can't make their case any other way.

    This is a no win for Paul. Either he thinks the blockade was bad, which makes him dangerously naive as C-in-C, or he has an unspoken double standard, (read hypocrisy) not based on his stated principles.

  3. Actually, he never addressed the blockade at all. He talked about a phone call in a few second blurb during a debate when you only get moments to answer. I still think you are extrapolating what you think he meant.

    I don't think he explained himself very well, and I think that as a candidate he could be a lot better at doing so. But I think as a President, he would be one of the best ever. Certainly, IMO, better than all of the current alternatives.

    Of all the options, his positions and goals are the same as mine about as close as I have seen in my adult life and his differences and "problems" trouble me the least. But I expect to be disappointed by human beings and he is no different.

    Obviously, you do not agree. That's what elections are for. Peace.

  4. "Actually, he never addressed the blockade at all" No. He glossed over it to make a point about JFK which was nonsensical apart from JFK's military actions.

    "I don't think he explained himself very well" Grant, you may well be the master of understatement! I hear that explanation a lot from Paul supporters.

    When I said that this was a "no win" for Paul, I did leave out a third alternative: That he hadn't thought it through very well and was merely "flapping his gums". Also, undesirable in the de facto leader of the free world.

  5. Understatement is Ok. I'm pretty happy to be the master of something, most of my talents are pretty modest.

    I would say that the format of the "debates" is a poor fit for clarity. And I still would say your post is longer on your own personal conclusions of what Paul meant than it is on what he actually says.

    If you find, or can cite, a candidate who always explains himself/herself well, and has all the things you want in a President, please let me know who they are.

    So it might be helpful to name someone you support. I get that you don't want Paul. I'm fine with that.

    I would also comment that I'm not looking for a de facto leader of the free world, I'm just looking for a President who leads the country in a strictly constitutional way. In fact, IMO, a good one only needs to lead us back to our founding principles, not lead us forward to an activist "government can fix it" continuation of our slide into chaos.

  6. "I'm not looking for a de facto leader of the free world" Too bad. It comes with the job.

  7. Grant: it may be that you avoiding the tough questions says a lot about your own personal conclusions.

    "Can you ACTUALLY show me the difference between the Israeli blockade that he condemned as an "act of war" and the blockade that JFK launched?"

    And if there is no difference, why would Paul bring up the Cuban missile crisis as an example of a good diplomatic outcome, that is to say, "talking" to avoid a war?

    The incident, in its entire and accurate historic context, tends to prove exactly the opposite point than the one Paul seemed to be making.

  8. I haven't avoided anything. The fact is, Paul never said what you claimed he said or what you surmised he was saying.

    And I think the rest of the free world would be somewhat in disagreement with you that we in this country get to pick their leader.

    In the mean time, it seems you have avoided something I asked. Who is your choice? You should have the equal chance to defend your guy. It wouldn't be fair to deprive you of the pleasure.

    So please fess up, who is this better, perhaps perfect, candidate who is never unclear during a 30 second response in a political theater debate?

  9. "I haven't avoided anything." Then answer the question or stop wasting my time. What is the difference between the Israeli blockade that he condemned as an "act of war" and the blockade that JFK launched?

  10. Proof - So, who is your candidate at this point in time? It would be most enlightening for us all. Don't you think?

  11. Proof,

    You said about the Presidency:
    "I'm not looking for a de facto leader of the free world" Too bad. It comes with the job."

    Hmm. I see. But is that in The US Constitution, or are you presuming it upon whomever is President? Do you want a Constituitonal President or a rock star, pop culture icon, token politician who looks good on camera but knows jack squat about governance?

    Our biggest problem in American political punditry is not a one of you guys/gals knows the real Constitutional role of our President, but instead think that he/she is supposed to make all our problems go away once elected because, by golly, you voted for them.

    Dangerously naive and extremely 'cult of personality'-ish.

    The President is not gong to make America better.

    We will make America better.

  12. No one is under any obligation to continue to comment. And you asked; "any questions?" not me.

    You use your time as you see fit. If you feel it's being wasted, It's your call.

    I don't care about your question because it is irrelevant. And I never would give it any thought whatsoever.

    Paul never said what you claimed. This whole exercise seems to be in your mind only.

    So the question about who your alternative wonder candidate is, can either be answered by you if you choose, or answer itself by just hanging there forever.

    In any case, I bear no ill will no matter what you decide.

  13. RN: I find that a common method for Paul supporters to avoid answering questions about their candidate is to attack whomever the questioner supports. Homey don't play that game. You will just have to (try to) defend Paul's indefensible statements without the ability to change the subject to someone else.

    GD: "No one is under any obligation to continue to comment." True. But, again, I have found that when Paul supporters are questioned about the questionable statements and wooly headed policies of their candidate, they defer, deny and disappear.

    When given the opportunity to clarify your candidate's position, or why you support him, it is odd (read:cowardly) to avoid any hard questioning of your candidate's positions.

    "I don't care about your question because it is irrelevant." Much like Paul's candidacy. Figures.


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