There’s an interesting conversation between Ed Brayton and Timothy Sandefur regarding Ron Paul’s politics. While Paul has attracted a lot of attention (especially online) for being the only Republican presidential candidate who is against the Iraq war, Brayton and Sandefur point out that there are deeply disturbing elements to Paul’s politics (and I am not just talking about his desire to dismantle the EPA).
In the first post, Brayton discussed the idea that Paul may be a Dominionist. Paul has made statements that appear dominionist, and has the support and endorsement of Reconstructionists like Gary North. Sandefur replies that having the support of Reconstructionists doesn’t necessarily make you one of them and suggests instead that Paul is a “neo-confederate:
Far more troubling to me is the question of whether Paul is a neo-confederate of the variety of Thomas Di Lorenzo and allied crackpots. He is quoted as having called for the literal end of the Constitution … He has endorsed a popular myth among the Di Lorenzo crackpots, saying in one speech that the “war between the states” was “fought primarily over tariffs.” In 1995, he spoke at the Council of Conservative Citizens (which is what the Klan politely calls itself nowadays) and appeared to endorse secession and to attack Lincoln as the originator of centralized government, another neo-confederate myth. “The Civil War wasn’t fought over slavery,” he said on Bill Maher’s show, but “was fought over unifying a strong centralized state. You could have paid for all the slaves and released them.” (Simple as that! What was old Abe thinking?)
Brayton replies to this by pointing out that the two positions are not mutually exclusive – one can be both a neo-confederate and a dominionist.
Like Huckabee, Paul resonates well. He comes across as less distasteful than the rest of the Republican field. But closer examination suggests that he is actually one of the scarier elements in that field.