Could Ron Paul, Libertarian Texas congressman and Republican presidential candidate, be America's missing voice?
Ron Paul said Monday night that the Obama administration's killing of U.S.-born radical Anwar al-Awlaki was an impeachable offense.
Speaking to an audience at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., the Republican presidential candidate roundly blasted Obama for approving last week's predator drone strike that killed al-Awlaki, the al Qaeda figure linked to two unsuccessful attacks on U.S.-bound airplanes.
Paul noted that another American, editor of online al Qaeda magazine Inspire,
Samir Kahn, was killed in the attack. Paul questioned whether the government has the right to kill journalists, as well as terrorists.
Can you imagine being put on a [hit] list because you're a threat? Paul told a crowd of sixty journalists and their guests. What's going to happen if they come to the media? What if the media becomes a threat.
In Paul's view, such a move is one more step down the road to totalitarian control, noting that under the current hazy guidelines for what constitutes a national threat, journalists or even professors could be targeted. We have crossed that barrier from republic to dictatorship, to tyranny to empire, he told the crowd. This is the way it works. It's incrementalism.
Ron Paul has not been shy about throwing around the impeachment idea in the past, especially in connection to the strike. In an op-ed piece published Sunday by the New York Daily News, Paul deplored what he saw as a continuous string of unconstitutional measures by President Obama, including military action in Libya and the recent health care reform bill. As president, he wrote, I would have arrested Awlaki, brought him to the U.S., tried him and pushed for the stiffest punishment allowed under law.
Yesterday morning in an interview with Fox News, Paul scaled down his comments somewhat, saying that he was merely responding to a question raised by a University of New Hampshire student during the conference.
Such comments, despite many of the hawks on the Republican side of the aisle, could be taken from Tea Party speeches warning of the dangers of Big Government. Paul took the opportunity in the same press dinner, however, to also express sympathy for the ragtags of the left, the budding Occupy Wall Street protest movement.
Paul said that he shared the frustration of the protesters currently occupying the Wall Street section of New York City, and said he felt the demonstrations are rooted in a host of economic woes brought on by fiscal irresponsibility and globalization.
I think civil disobedience, if everyone knows what they're doing, is a legitimate effort, Paul said, according to CBS News. It's been done in this country for many grievances... The solution is to get a healthy economy back.
In both cases, of course, Paul has said more about hypotheticals and broad solutions than about cut-and-dry policy. Indeed, in the past Paul has been criticized for what some see as his over-the-top solutions, including immediate withdrawl from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Earlier today, Fox News ran a special entitled Is Ron Paul Hurting the Libertarian Movement? Host Bill O'Reilly argued that he was. Most Americans disagree with Ron Paul about the strike, he said. So why are we making a big deal out of this?
But John Stoessel, an FBN Anchor, disagreed. He's not hurting it, Stoessel insisted. he is the libertarian movement, much of it.
And that, right there, is the connection between the impeachment of a Democrat and the assault on Wall Street. Both are grassroots movements with a strong aversion to consolidated control, whether by the government or by corporations, and both, as such, are linked to the face of Libertarian America. Despite his almost total invisibility in the mainstream media, Paul continues to stick around because his comments, as extreme or unrealistic as they are, continue to resonant with a good portion of the American public.