Club for Growth’s President Pat Toomey has a pretty good bit that strikes some chords with me on Ron Paul:
“Ron Paul’s record contains some very laudable components,” said Club for Growth President Pat Toomey. “On taxes, regulation, and political speech, his record is superb. His spending record is impressive, though Paul has recently embraced pork-barrel projects in direct contradiction to his vociferous opposition to unconstitutional appropriations by the federal government.”
Unfortunately, his stubborn idealism often takes Ron Paul further away from achieving the limited-government, pro-growth philosophy he advocates. This is certainly the case with school choice, free trade, tort reform, and entitlement reform, in which he votes against vital free trade agreements, competitive school choice initiatives, and tort reform proposals.
“While we give Ron Paul credit for his philosophical ideals, politicians have the responsibility of making progress, and often, Ron Paul votes against making progress because, in his mind, the progress is not perfect,” Mr. Toomey continued. “In these cases, although for very different reasons, Ron Paul is practically often aligned with the most left-wing Democrats, voting against important, albeit imperfect, pro-growth legislation. Ron Paul is, undoubtedly, ideologically committed to pro-growth limited-government policies, but his insistence on opposing all but the perfect means that under a Ron Paul presidency we might never get a chance to pursue the good too.”
Pat Toomey is the man the Pennsylvania GOP threw under the bus to save Arlen Specter (the wisdom of which I question almost every day). Pat understands politics is not a game of principle, but a horse trading game, the key being always making sure you’re getting a better horse than you had before. Ron Paul is holding out for the winning thoroughbred, which though admirable, isn’t likely to help much when you’re riding a mule.
UPDATE: War on Guns has a different take on it:
I guess if you allow the Club for Growth to be the arbiter of what is “good,” they might have a point. But if “good” is defined as allowing government to assume undelegated powers just because they’re doing your bidding, it should be obvious to all what a dangerous and destructive path that is. How much more evidence–aside from the sorry mess we’re in now–do we need?
Given the Club for Growth praised Ron Paul’s impressive record in many areas, I didn’t really take their report to be a huge ding against him.Â As I said, I admire Ron Paul’s dedication to his principles and the constitution, but the politicians people keep voting to send to Washington have created a political culture where people like Paul are marginalized.Â I’m an advocate of working within that system the voters in this country have given us, to move to a more classical liberal order, but that’s not to say I like having to do things that way.