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Ron Paul, the Constitution and Foreign Policy

Saturday’s CBS/National Journal Republican presidential debate on foreign policy once again showed the limits of the establishment media’s grasp of constitutional principles and how the Constitution, as the law that governs government, should instruct our foreign policy.

During the entire event, the questions seemed to assume that the President is unconstrained in his or her ability to act in matters of national security -- and that the role of Commander-in-Chief is tantamount to being a military dictator.

Unfortunately, with the exception of Congressman Ron Paul, the Republican candidates for President generally joined this shallow analysis and skipped-over the Constitution in their answers to the questions raised by their establishment media interrogators.

For example, Newt Gingrich’s application of President Ronald Reagan’s strategy against the Soviet Union to the present situation with Iran was one of the best answers of the debate, and once again demonstrated that Newt’s grasp of policy is why he is coming on strong and rising in the polls.

But it didn’t answer the first question that ought to be asked, which is “What does the Constitution empower the President to do in such a situation?”

Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution vests extensive national security powers in Congress -- the powers to raise and support armies and provide and maintain a Navy, to declare war and to “To define and punish… Offences against the Law of Nations.”

In contrast to those extensive national security related powers the Constitution grants to Congress, Article 2, Section 2 of the Constitution grants fairly limited powers to the President. True, the President is Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy and is empowered to appoint Ambassadors and, with the advice and consent of the Senate, make treaties with foreign powers. However, the big ticket items, such as the power to declare war and to create and maintain the military reside with Congress.

Of course, exercising these national security powers requires Congress to take responsibility for the cost in blood and treasure, and for the results achieved, and taking responsibility for anything beyond getting re-elected is not the strong suit of Congress and its members. Consequently, over the course of the twentieth century, Congress ceded much of its real national security related power to the President. Succeeding Presidents gradually consolidated that power -- especially through the use of secrecy -- until Congress was largely cut out of national security policy making.

Naturally, there have been some Congressional attempts to reassert its authority (the Boland Amendment for example), but these efforts have usually been partisan -- particularly Democrat partisan -- political ploys, rather than principled efforts to establish, define and implement a national security policy based on Constitutional principles.

Those who object to re-establishing the Constitutional role of Congress in matters of national security because it makes national security too public and too complicated might ponder what Congressman Ron Paul said during Saturday’s debate, “…you go to the Congress and find out if our national security is threatened… [then] you get a declaration of war and you fight it and you win it and get it over with.” That sounds a whole lot less complicated, and a whole lot more in line with what the Founders had in mind for how to conduct our foreign relations, than what is going on in national security policy right now.

Ron Paul Can Not Lead Us as President

There is no doubt that both Congress and the Supreme Court have greatly veered from the ideas of the Founding Fathers.  And it is something that desperately needs to change before we become despotic as a country.  However, that change can only be brought about through education of the public (including Congressmen), and especially those who are now approaching adulthood with the poorest education about our history (particualarly the Founding -which started in 1620, by the way, and of which many are ignorant, unfortunately, and the Founding Fathers and the Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers) in the history of the country.  Is it any wonder why we are in such trouble?


On top of that, the press, of all types, electronic and print, conservative and liberal, are failing to properly play their role in informing the public.


Having said all of this, it is clear that some things that have been pointed out here are true, but untill all of the above facts are changed by educating the public, then there will be no proper control of Congress, which is now out of control.  In light of all of this, we need a man of the times who is familiar enough with it all and all of its aspects to really make changes that we need deparately.  That man is Newt Gingrich.  He is the only one with a grasp of alll that I have said, and although not perfect, can bring about the kind of changes that we need now, akin to all the good he did as just speaker.   Imagine what he can accomplish as President.  He is the only one who can do what needs to be done and start getting us out of all of the mess we are in.  Ron Paul will never be elected as President, and if he were, by some strange fluke, he would be completely out of his depth and help destroy us by getting nothing accomplished.   Newt has actually accomplished great things while having to deal with Cliiton while doing it, which took great negotiating skills and sense of purpose.  Can you honestly see Ron Paul doing what Newt did, just as Speaker? 


As to Ron Paul, who I believe to be a good man, he is, unfortunatelly, a libertarian idealist.   Liberterians are all idealist, therefore, incapable of leading this country in a world that takes advantage of idealists.   All you need to know about Ron Paul is that he believes it is fine for Iran to develop a nuclear weapon, when their stated purpose is too "wipe Isreal from the face of the earth".   What more do you need to know to prove that his idealism is detached from the reality of the very troubled and dangerous world we live in now.  Talking about mid-east problems to come, wait and see what happens if Iran gets nuclear weapongs!!


Wake up to the real world all of you idealists!  It is unfortunate, but a fact.   America is on the brink of diaster and decline.  Newt is the only one with the experience and know how to kill what Obama has done to us and correct our relationship with the world, particularly China and the Muslim world!!


Publius II

visit RONPAUL2012.COM

Newt is not for the people like Dr. Paul is. Newt made 2 mil from Freddy Mac by lobbying for them and then lieing and saying he was a "historian." The guy is a slimy politician and is running for president not to make the country better, but for political gain and a power high. He is a 1 percenter and thats who he lobbies for and cares about. The man is smart yes, but, Obama is a well educated guy and look how much good he did. We need a revolutionary who changes the status quo of the role of government in peoples lives. We need to end this military empire of over 900 bases in over 130 different countries. EVERYONE HATES US FOR THIS! We as a government are arrogant and think we need to be the world police to "save the day" but in actuallity, we are hurting our economy by giving countries that hate us MINE and YOUR tax dollars and letting our military kids DIE for NO REASON! We are 14 trillion dollars(with a "T") in debt and we cannot and should not worry about other countries. Where was everyone after hurricane Katrina? Or how about 9/11? Nobody helps us so why should we help them? Vote for RON PAUL if you want a free and prosperious life and not live in a police state and if you dont want to get drafted in world war 3 with china! Our country was founded by people saying they were fed up with the intrusive and big government and they did something about it. A vote for RON PAUL is a vote for FREEDOM. If newt or mitt or barrack or herman gets elected, its more of the same big government beurocracy and Thomas Jefferson and the rest of our founding fathers will turn over in their graves! BE A PART OF THE REVOLUTION!!!!!!!

sorry but

"However, that change can only be brought about through education of the public (including Congressmen)"

Incorrect - Revolution is another way, it is in-fact the way we 1st freed ourselves as a nation. It was a mere 3% that choose to stand against the tyranny of the the british empire. In a way this was education as the truth became obvious once they started seeing the acts perpetrated against their fellow country men, but it was the simple act of standing against the etsablishment "revolution" that acted as a means of enlightenment.

Next 

"On top of that, the press, of all types, electronic and print, conservative and liberal, are failing to properly play their role in informing the public."

This I agree with largely, the press is almost entirely a machine set against the people by the very interestd we reject. This however is more reason that simple education is unrealistic at best especially when the clock to total colasp is in the 11th hour.

" In light of all of this, we need a man of the times who is familiar enough with it all and all of its aspects to really make changes that we need deparately.  That man is Newt Gingrich.  He is the only one with a grasp of alll that I have said, and although not perfect, can bring about the kind of changes that we need now, akin to all the good he did as just speaker.   Imagine what he can accomplish as President.  He is the only one who can do what needs to be done and start getting us out of all of the mess we are in."

This is pure contridiction, this is like claiming we need gas to put out flames. Gingrinch has a LONG history of proving he is part of the very machine we reject. A man of the times? That is exactly what we do ot need as such a man in this contect is the very representation corruption, as demonstraited by his 1.5 million from Freddie Mac. It is easy to imagine what he could and would do though and it would be just like Bush and Bush the 2nd "Obama" he would only did the hole deeper as he is just another establishment stooge.

"Ron Paul will never be elected as President, and if he were, by some strange fluke, he would be completely out of his depth and help destroy us by getting nothing accomplished.   Newt has actually accomplished great things while having to deal with Cliiton while doing it, which took great negotiating skills and sense of purpose.  Can you honestly see Ron Paul doing what Newt did, just as Speaker?"

The establishment and controlled media you mentioned like the say that to, you sound a lot like them, you should think about that long and hard. What great things has Newt accomplished? I would love a few examples. As to Paul he is the only man with the depth for the posistion, his voting record is testament to that fact. That he has accomplished little of what he he sought is irrelevant. If if were traveling round and helping people to the best of my ability but the mob of thieves, and liars who happened to work where I work were doing their best to undo all the good I was working at does not reflect poorly on my ability it reflects on those standing in the way and causing all the harm. That said even the incomplete audit of the fed alone dwarfs anything Newt has accomplished. That ignores the fact that through his actions and stedfast defense of the constitution he has educated millions around the world and set revolution in motion.

"As to Ron Paul, who I believe to be a good man, he is, unfortunatelly, a libertarian idealist.   Liberterians are all idealist, therefore, incapable of leading this country in a world that takes advantage of idealists.   All you need to know about Ron Paul is that he believes it is fine for Iran to develop a nuclear weapon, when their stated purpose is too "wipe Isreal from the face of the earth".   What more do you need to know to prove that his idealism is detached from the reality of the very troubled and dangerous world we live in now.  Talking about mid-east problems to come, wait and see what happens if Iran gets nuclear weapongs!!"

You show clearly how little you understand in this paragraph. The false assumption that because you have an ideal and strive for it makes you incapable of leading is utter nonsense and pure hypocrisy everyone has ideals and all leader strive for them. You are in effect saying no human can lead. Then this ridiculous notion that someone seaking a means to defend themselves "which btw there is ZERO conclussive evidence to show as much" gives anyone the right to pre emtively attack them. Spoken like a true Neocon. Russia who we were at war with had over 20,000 nukes. They hated us at that time but the funny thing is the overwhelming majority of people are not suicidal, that includes muslims. Israel has over 200 nukes, a single nuke if by some fluke they could delivery it to their target would take out a small city which would in turn result in their entire country being whiped off the face of the planet. If that happens the real suspects are those with a long established history of falseflag attacks. 

"Wake up to the real world all of you idealists!  It is unfortunate, but a fact.   America is on the brink of diaster and decline. "

Here is your wake up call to reality, you can not stop a raging inferno "our steady decline" with gasoline "newt or any other neocons or war promoters" The fact is only a return to a truly constitutional republic can save us. No half measures or baby steps can do it at this point.

Ron Paul

Thank goodness the Cain thing is almost behind us and we can move on to the real candidate we need.   I'm so glad to see this article regarding Ron Paul.   One thing, however:   Newt Gingrich is no Constitutional Conservative with his record and his membership in the CFR.    How this continues to be overlooked is amazing to me.

And another thing regarding Paul:   How can shutting down 6 or 7 wars (that we know of) be called isolationism?   War is the friend of the STATE and this STATE has lots of friends.

Revenge of the "fringe." Ron Paul surges.

 

Ron Paul has been hard at work in Iowa and is in a statistical tie with Cain/Gingrich/Romney for first.  The chance to take Iowa will mobilize supporters like nothing else. See http://www.nationaljournal.com...

 

Four years ago this December 16th, on the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, Ron Paul's supporters donated over $6 million in 24 hours.  What will they raise at this year's tea party?http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HECoRx8qTrA&feature=youtu.be

refreshingly truthful

So at what point does a person who recognizes the one constitutionally consistent candidate become morally obligated to support that candidate? As someone constantly frustrated by our culture of moral relativism, how can I justify compromising my vote to someone other than Ron Paul when he has not compromised his votes on my behalf for over 30 yrs? Thank you for putting this as clearly as you did.

Absolutely right on Richard

Outside of Ron Paul and to an extent Huntsman, the rest of the group did skip over the Constitution in matters of national security. You are right on the whole debate!! Ron Paul's middle name is Constitution. Kudos Richard.  

You've restored my faith ...

Your article sir was absolutely brilliant in the way in which you presented it.  I must admit you have also restored some lost faith in my fellow conservatives with this presentation as well.  I was beginning to think too many of us were becoming brain dead when it came to evaluating Herman Cain’s conservative credentials or should l say lack thereof.  I’ve definitely been leaning toward supporting the Paul campaign, but with this last debate and your article, I’m now convinced he is the must candidate to represent the real conservative brand going forward against Obama and now I’m all in.  The Paul campaign has been lacking, in my humble opinion, in selling his foreign policy position with my fellow conservatives.  I don’t think they can just blame it on the influence of the NeoCons over us any longer.  Ron Paul’s mere 90 seconds was certainly a heroic stand, but it could also prove to a turning point if he and his campaign could follow up with convincing arguments such as yours.   We should all pass this on to their campaign; perhaps they will get the hint.

However, just as a side note about Gingrich in the debate.  In regards to the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, he is absolutely wrong.  He needs to bone up on Hamdi v. Rumsfeld.  And even if he didn’t quite  flip flop on his policy position on” water boarding”, he has however at least changed his tone on torture from his 1997 speech on the subject. 

 

You've restored my faith ...

Your article sir was absolutely brilliant in the way in which you presented it.  I must admit you have also restored some lost faith in my fellow conservatives with this presentation as well.  I was beginning to think too many of us were becoming brain dead when it came to evaluating Herman Cain’s conservative credentials or should l say lack thereof.  I’ve definitely been leaning toward supporting the Paul campaign, but with this last debate and your article, I’m now convinced he is the must candidate to represent the real conservative brand going forward against Obama and now I’m all in.  The Paul campaign has been lacking, in my humble opinion, in selling his foreign policy position with my fellow conservatives.  I don’t think they can just blame it on the influence of the NeoCons over us any longer.  Ron Paul’s mere 90 seconds was certainly a heroic stand, but it could also prove to a turning point if he and his campaign could follow up with convincing arguments such as yours.   We should all pass this on to their campaign; perhaps they will get the hint.

However, just as a side note about Gingrich in the debate.  In regards to the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, he is absolutely wrong.  He needs to bone up on Hamdi v. Rumsfeld.  And even if he didn’t quite  flip flop on his policy position on” water boarding”, he has however at least changed his tone on torture from his 1997 speech on the subject. 

I'm also glad that Bachmann

I'm also glad that Bachmann is all but out of the race. She pointed to ONE hated person to justify Obama's (and, in a hypothetical future, their own) assassination powers. She wants to set a dangerous precident since the assassinations also targeted THREE American citizens. Anwar al-Awlaki (40), Samir Khan (25), and Abdulrahman al-Awlaki (16!!!). Did none of those men deserve a trial or the rule of law? Could none be captured and extradited?

Enjoyed the Article!

I am really glad I found this site. I didn't realize how easily I fell prey to the propaganda in the past, I hope more people will find well informed articles like this one. It was pretty obvious CBS was trying to silence Paul, it got me thinking about why they didn't want this intelligent guy to talk. So I started to do some research and found articles like this! Haha, I will no longer accept candidates pushed on me by mainstream media.

Join the Club crebbst

Like you, I thought I was pretty well informed.  Then you do a little research.  Now I have to wonder what is being sensored or slanted in any media report.