Paulism and Jeffersonianism

Paulbots are turning on the Pauls in droves, Save Jerseyans. All because they’re getting behind Mitt Romney, the undisputed (and indisputable) winner of the 2012 GOP Primary.

Visit any right-leaning blog’s message boards and you’ll witness biblical levels of loud wailing and teeth gnashing.

As you might expect, your Blogger-in-Chief is taking this opportunity to yet again try to understand what makes the Homo Paulbotus tick. Let’s take a moment to focus on two distinct layers of irony underlying Rand Paul’s purported fall from grace in the eyes of his father’s rabid disciples…

It’s all very predictable, to tell you the truth. The most ironic aspect of the Paulbots’ obsession with ideological purity is that it results in a seemingly endless circular firing squad every time someone from their collective consents to anything “mainstream” or, by virtue of political successes, inadvertently attains entry into the ranks of the “establishment.” It was only a matter of time before these modern-day jacobins turned on their revolutionary leaders. They prefer politicians who whine, lose, sell books and “eke out a living” from media appearances on cable news programs.

Because, you know, that’s the best way to emulate the Founding Fathers…?

Which brings me to the second layer of irony: The strange relationship between Paulism and Jeffersonianism.

Thomas Jefferson criticized the U.S. Constitution while abroad for its permanency (explained above) and what he saw as its overly-broad grant of power to the federal government (he preferred a super-narrow reading of Article I). And I do mean ABROAD. Most Paulbots forget that Jefferson wasn’t even present at the convention. They’re in good company. Many high elected officials (on both sides of the aisle) are equally clueless on this hugely important historical anecdote.

We might’ve been a very different country had Jefferson attended. While Hamilton and even Madison sought do design a framework capable of distilling the populace’s passions and avoiding the perpetual warfare and balkanization that plagued the Old World, Thomas Jefferson supported frequent and, if need be, violent changes in any democratic regime. He favored frequent elections, continuous leadership turnovers, and firmly believed in an amorphous, finite, “living” constitution.

In fact, Jefferson thought the United States’s written constitution should be rewritten every generation because no generation, in his view, should be beholden to the whims, beliefs and convictions of its predecessors. Jefferson’s wrongheaded early support for the disastrous French Revolution was a byproduct of these views, all of which were largely out-of-step with a majority of the Framers.

So in a sense, Save Jerseyans, I think Jefferson would support the unceremonious sacking of libertarian/conservative leaders after only a short time in power. Jefferson wasn’t above character assassination as his former friend John Adams discovered in the Election of 1800. Granted, I’m not quite sure how Paulbots reconcile their alleged fealty to a strictly-construed U.S. Constitution — one which I share — with their Jeffersonian fixation. They’re inherently contradictory doctrines.

But then again, most aspects of the Paulbot heresy lack a firm grounding in historical fact. It’s just something we’re all learning to abide.


164 thoughts on “Paulism and Jeffersonianism

  1. The proof is in the pudding; not the talk, the walk. paul seems to have a much higher probability of at least trying to do what he claims because he has been saying it for decades while being both damned and ignored. ..Here's a quick, easy list of Ron Paul's votes on legislation dating back to 1992. .

  2. I applaud Ron Paul's acknowledgement that only through political unity of all the Non-Socialist groups can we undo the massive expansion of Federal Government.


    I encourage my Libertarian fellows to also recognize that the 3rd party approach not only does not bring victory for Libertarians, but provides the socialists significant advantages.


    Only by becoming a caucus WITHIN the big tent of the republican party can we defeat socialism and exert our influence on the ideology of the GOP. Moderates, the Christian Right, and Libertarians all share the same goal to roll back big government and return liberty to the people.


    It is only in elements of degree, not base intent, where we differ. Through unity of effort, and continuous advancements, together we can reach a balance acceptable to the majority of us all.


    Never should any extreme view achieve all it's goals as by doing so a significant percentage of Americans would be disenfranchised. Today we are out of balance and through inclusion of our Libertarian views within the GOP we can be significantly instrumental in providing balance to the party as a whole.


    I agree with Ron Paul, now IS the time we support Governor Romney and all our candidates, be they Tea Party, Moderate, or Libertarian who have won their primaries to be the GOP ticket candidates.


    Through UNITY we shall prevail.

  3. Matt, you need to be a little more accurate in your posts. Ron has not endorsed romney. and most likely never will. Only rand got behind mittens. And it was the right move. It will help him with more establishment type conservatives like you guys. he already has the tea party wing locked down.

    Now rand can attack romney on principle and not look like the a sore loser sucking up to the left as mccain did during bush's first term.

  4. And you honestly believe Ron Paul and Rand Paul didn't discuss the decision to back Governor Romney?

    Give me a break!

    Ron Paul is a politician just like all the rest of them. He's made a national career for himself by sniping at fellow Republicans and staking out positions so divorced from reality that they get pot heads, college students and the tinfoil hat brigade all hot and bothered behind his "Revolution."

    I'm not establishment. I'm a middle class young attorney with student debt and parents who worked hard to help me attend Catholic schools to better myself. Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and all of the other permanent political class types are the REAL establishment that have sold us out time and time again. What did they win for us for all their years in Washington? Other than government contracts for themselves and/or fat media contracts for themselves and/or substantial book revenue… for themselves?

    Thank God for private sector guys like Mitt Romney who frankly DON'T NEED the job and don't need Fox News contracts. They're our last best hope!

  5. of course this blog leans more establishment than not. Positive posts are written about jon runyan and mitt romney. Those are center-left R's.

    As for ron, he's made a career out of fighting against Republicans when they do stupid things. If supporting that that makes me a tin foil hat brigader, pot head or jobless college student, so be it.

    And not for nothing, but ron did spend time as an army flight surgeon and delivered over 4,000 babies as a doctor in the private sector so he's not exactly a permanent political class type.

    I like that mitt is a private sector guy. I just don't think he has any earthly idea as to how capitalism works.

  6. I read it religiously in 2009 or so before I moved from NJ. Since then, when your content pops up in my twitter or FB feed.

    As for your original post, i think what most paul fans find attractive about jefferson is the spirit of not having to accept the dominant political class, and his rejection of a strong central, federal government.

    I happen to think every right thinking conservative should despise hamilton and his love for central government.

    Jefferson may not have been right about everything, no one including ron paul is, but you don't have to agree with someone 100% to support their vision.

  7. Come on, Matt. If Paul, Gingrich, & Santorum were the establishment favorites, how come neither one of them pulled even a fraction of the endorsements from sitting Governors, members of Congress, and former Presidents & Vice Presidents that Romney did?

    Paul didn't have a chance with any of these people, because he was more interested in advancing the cause of liberty than trying to help these people keep (or attain) their jobs. It was down to Romney and the others, and ultimately they mostly decided to go with the highest bidder. Romney was extremely active in the 2010 U.S. Senate elections, helping those who did get elected (Kelly Ayotte, Marco Rubio) and those who didn't (Christine O'Donnell). This helped him garner the endorsements of every single one of them. And then there's the support of all the big guns: former Presidents George H.W. & George W. Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney, and Presidential candidates Bob Dole & John McCain.

    You say that you're not establishment, and I'll take you at your word. But there's no denying that Romney is just that, based on the people who are actively supporting his candidacy.

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