But the man has a fundamentally different view of what the United States government should and should not do [bold mine-DL]. I imagine that, had Paul been in the Senate when Jefferson presented the Louisiana Purchase to it, he would have heartily declared, “Nay! Where in our Constitution does it grant the federal government the authority to purchase land?” ~Jay Cost

Um, okay.  Paul believes that the government should be limited to its enumerated powers, which must mean that the GOP wants unlimited powers for the federal government.  Those would be two fundamentally different views. 

If Paul had been around in 1803, he presumably would have said that about the Purchase, because that is the correct view of the matter.  Several Federalists, including my distant cousin William Plumer of New Hampshire, actively opposed the Purchase and tried to organise the secession of New England to separate their states from the Union.  To them it was not only illegal, but it was also aimed to pave the way for the expansion of slavery (which, as it happens, did end up expanding into at least some part of the Louisiana Territory).  They were right on the constitutional question, and Jefferson was wrong (and a traitor to his own best principles).   

This is supposed to discredit Ron Paul and make the GOP look good?  This sort of talk will remind the few remaining constitutionalists in the party that the Red Republicans secured their hold on power by gutting the constitutional republic, spitting on the Constitution and destroying the voluntary Union of states.  Mr. Cost is basically saying that the GOP has no place for people who actually believe in strict construction or the limits that the Constitution placed on government.  He might as well say, “Libertarians and constitutionalists, ‘raus!”  That’s fine by me, Mr. Cost.  I have never entered the big circus tent of the GOP, and with attitudes like those of Mr. Cost I certainly never will. 

Cost is saying that modern Republicanism and constitutionalism are basically mutually exclusive.  I suppose he’s obviously right, given what I’ve seen over the last six years, but I’m not clear on why a Republican would want to advertise to his fellows that their party is a gigantic, shambolic fraud against its conservative supporters (a few of whom still operate on the assumption that judicial activism is bad because it’s unconstitutional, and not just because they don’t like point-headed judges).  I’m not sure why a Republican would want to declare, in no uncertain terms, that the past Republican defenses of constitutionalism and the Tenth Amendment and the rhetoric of limited government and judicial restraint are essentially worthless–they belong to a “fundamentally different view of what the United States government should and should not do” from that of today’s Republican Party.  It doesn’t make any sense, but I appreciate Mr. Cost’s work in clearing up any confusion that constitutionalists might have had about whether they should support the GOP.

Advertisement