Kay and ABL have been making similar points, but Alex Knapp’s piece on Ron Paul’s view of the Incorporation Doctrine of the 14th Amendment makes it even clearer that Paul puts states’ rights above civil liberties:
Historically speaking, and especially in the last 70 years, the biggest battles for civil liberties have been against infringements by state governments. And the Incorporation Doctrine has been key to that battle in stopping those infringements. But a Ron Paul Presidency would lead to a weakening, if not eventual outright reversal, of Incorporation. Leaving state governments once again able to attack civil liberties more vigorously.
Kevin Drum believes that Paul’s extreme crackpot positions on some issues poison what Paul says that is reasonable, and he ends with this point:
And remember: Ron Paul has never once done any of his causes any good. There’s a good reason for that.
Even if you think that it’s possible to set aside all the crazy shit that Paul has said over the years, Paul is at best a tarnished messenger, and it’s worth asking whether he can be an effective spokesman for those who are sympathetic to a less interventionist foreign policy and an end to the war on drugs.