Does Ron Paul know the Constitution?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by ladyliberal, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. ladyliberal
    Offline

    ladyliberal Progressive Princess

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2011
    Messages:
    1,253
    Thanks Received:
    291
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +291
    I was watching the Republican debates in Ames, and one response caught my attention (I can't find a transcript, so excuse me if the details are a bit off). The moderators seemed to note that in light of New York's recognition of gay marriage there was a tension between federalism/10th Amendment/leaving things to the states.

    Ron Paul was responding to a question then about whether the states could legalize polygamy under the Constitution (I believe the answer is yes). He compared polygamy to slavery and asserted that modern US states wouldn't do grossly immoral things. It struck me as odd because the right to own slaves is the only individual right, under the 13th Amendment, denied to people (and denied rightly, of course). As such, Paul's answer made little sense, since he was comparing polygamy, unmentioned in the Constitution, to the single practice explicitly banned (other than the defunct ban on liquor in the 18th Amendment).

    I've never claimed to be a Constitutional expert, but I do know the 13th Amendment, whereas Paul seems to have forgotten it in the heat of the debate. He was referred to by the moderators as a Constitutional expert, but I've seen no evidence that he is. Well, I suppose he is no Christine O'Donnell, the Senate candidate who was unfamiliar with the Jeffersonian interpretation of church-state relations under the Constitution. Perhaps he is expert compared to his colleagues in Congress. But is this gynecologist turned politician really an expert in the sense of having a technical knowledge of the Constitution that surpasses, say, a pretty smart lawyer?
     
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 1
  2. Mad Scientist
    Offline

    Mad Scientist Deplorable Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2008
    Messages:
    23,938
    Thanks Received:
    5,211
    Trophy Points:
    270
    Ratings:
    +7,678
    I missed the debate because I was at work. If you can find a transcript I'll comment on it after I've read it.
     
  3. Avorysuds
    Offline

    Avorysuds Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2010
    Messages:
    13,834
    Thanks Received:
    1,655
    Trophy Points:
    245
    Location:
    Eugene Oregon
    Ratings:
    +2,141
    He said it's as liekly to happen as states bringing back slavery.
     
  4. eflatminor
    Offline

    eflatminor Classical Liberal

    Joined:
    May 24, 2011
    Messages:
    9,243
    Thanks Received:
    1,399
    Trophy Points:
    245
    Ratings:
    +2,049
    Correct. That was the point, nothing more. I don't know what the OP is implying.
     
  5. Leweman
    Offline

    Leweman Gold Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Messages:
    4,009
    Thanks Received:
    489
    Trophy Points:
    130
    Ratings:
    +737
  6. ladyliberal
    Offline

    ladyliberal Progressive Princess

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2011
    Messages:
    1,253
    Thanks Received:
    291
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +291
    Thanks. That was indeed the remark I was referring to. The exchange went:

    Moderator: Representative Paul, you've often said that you believe defining marriage is a job that should be left to the states. Recently Senator Santorum asked, "If a state wanted to allow polygamy, would that be okay too?" What's your answer to that?

    Ron Paul: Well, that's sort of like asking the question, "If the states wanted to legalize slavery" or something like that that is so past reality that no state is going to do that. But on the issue of marriage, I think that marriage should be between a single man and a single woman and that the federal government shouldn't be involved.


    My understanding of Paul's remarks was that he was saying that polygamy, like slavery, was something that should be left to the states to decide but that the states would never allow either so it was irrelevant. My understanding was also that he was describing a vision of government that was at least consistent with the current Constitution.

    After looking at the relevant video, it still seems to me that Paul was suggesting a Constitutional or legal parallel between polygamy and slavery. And to me that still seems wrong. My understanding is that the Supreme Court upheld in Reynolds v US the right of Congress to ban bigamy even when there were religious motivations. In contrast, under the 13th Amendment neither Congress or the states could permit any form of slavery.

    I admit that I might be misunderstanding Paul's position. It's often hard for me to follow conservative/libertarian arguments, since they are built up from a different set of assumptions than my own. If someone has a different understanding of Paul's remarks, by all means post it.

    Weird Coincidence: As I was writing this, I got a robocall asking me to text back the name of the "Champion of the Constitution" for a chance to win a trip to the Ames Straw Poll. I wonder who they meant? :)
     
  7. uscitizen
    Offline

    uscitizen Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2007
    Messages:
    45,941
    Thanks Received:
    4,791
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    My Shack
    Ratings:
    +4,807
    Silly Wabbutt! All Tea Party/libertarian types of course know the constitution.
    They just prefer to ignore certain parts of it.
     
  8. Two Thumbs
    Offline

    Two Thumbs Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    Messages:
    33,450
    Thanks Received:
    5,786
    Trophy Points:
    1,140
    Location:
    Where ever I go, there I am.
    Ratings:
    +11,589
    It's called hyperbole.

    The chance that slavery comes back is = to the chance of bigamy getting passed.

    He's not implying they are one in the same, as you suggest.
     
  9. IHBF
    Offline

    IHBF BANNED

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    883
    Thanks Received:
    154
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ratings:
    +154
    Do you scrutinize every Cobstitutional expert/professor's words this way?
     
  10. Two Thumbs
    Offline

    Two Thumbs Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    Messages:
    33,450
    Thanks Received:
    5,786
    Trophy Points:
    1,140
    Location:
    Where ever I go, there I am.
    Ratings:
    +11,589
    Good luck finding a group or single politician that sticks to the Constitution, let alone find one that's a close as Paul.
     

Share This Page