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Does Ron Paul know the Constitution?

ladyliberal

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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?
 

Mad Scientist

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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.
 

Avorysuds

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He said it's as liekly to happen as states bringing back slavery.
 

eflatminor

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He said it's as liekly to happen as states bringing back slavery.

Correct. That was the point, nothing more. I don't know what the OP is implying.
 
OP
ladyliberal

ladyliberal

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Not sure she understood ...

Just watch this and it will help you lady... about the 11:45 mark. Pretty straighforward.

All Of Ron Paul's Questions & Answers at Iowa GOP Debate 8/11/11 | Ron Paul 2012 | Sound Money, Peace and Liberty

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? :)
 

uscitizen

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Silly Wabbutt! All Tea Party/libertarian types of course know the constitution.
They just prefer to ignore certain parts of it.
 

Two Thumbs

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Not sure she understood ...

Just watch this and it will help you lady... about the 11:45 mark. Pretty straighforward.

All Of Ron Paul's Questions & Answers at Iowa GOP Debate 8/11/11 | Ron Paul 2012 | Sound Money, Peace and Liberty

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? :)

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.
 

IHBF

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Do you scrutinize every Cobstitutional expert/professor's words this way?
 

Two Thumbs

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Silly Wabbutt! All Tea Party/libertarian types of course know the constitution.
They just prefer to ignore certain parts of it.

Good luck finding a group or single politician that sticks to the Constitution, let alone find one that's a close as Paul.
 

rightwinger

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Silly Wabbutt! All Tea Party/libertarian types of course know the constitution.
They just prefer to ignore certain parts of it.

As long as they have their second amendment remedies, thats all they need to know
 

uscitizen

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Silly Wabbutt! All Tea Party/libertarian types of course know the constitution.
They just prefer to ignore certain parts of it.

Good luck finding a group or single politician that sticks to the Constitution, let alone find one that's a close as Paul.

You mean they have all violated their oath of office?
 

Avatar4321

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I'm fairly confident that he is very familiar with the document.
 

Ravi

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So let me get this straight. He's saying states could have slavery but they won't so we shouldn't worry about it?

Someone should ask him to clarify his position.
 

Missourian

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Not sure she understood ...

Just watch this and it will help you lady... about the 11:45 mark. Pretty straighforward.

All Of Ron Paul's Questions & Answers at Iowa GOP Debate 8/11/11 | Ron Paul 2012 | Sound Money, Peace and Liberty

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? :)

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.

It's still a bad answer...as 20 years ago the same could have been said about states allowing gay marriage.
 
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Avatar4321

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Oh and he is wrong about the polygamy issue. It's much more likely to be an issue than slavery ever will
 

Paulie

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He didn't do well in this debate. I mean, I liked his answers as always, but he stumbles around too much and fidgets with his hands on the podium.

I would have liked to see him get into it a little more with Santorum on the Iran thing too.

Herman Cain has to be done after this debate. He just did horrible.
 

IHBF

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So let me get this straight. He's saying states could have slavery but they won't so we shouldn't worry about it?

Someone should ask him to clarify his position.

Yep, pretty sure he was saying states could have slavery. Uh huh. I'm pretty sure he wants one too. He is from Texas. :cuckoo:
 

Avatar4321

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So let me get this straight. He's saying states could have slavery but they won't so we shouldn't worry about it?

Someone should ask him to clarify his position.

No. He is simply saying that the chances of polygamy being argued for as a state right is about as likely as slavery being argued for in this nation.

And he's wrong.
 

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