Ron Paul, John Boehner and Endorsements When John Boehner was up for House Speaker, Ron Paul voted for him. The choice was between Boehner and Nancy Pelosi. Hardly a choice for liberty-minded people, .....
When John Boehner was up for House Speaker, Ron Paul voted for him. The choice was between Boehner and Nancy Pelosi. Hardly a choice for liberty-minded people, but still, Dr. Paul chose Boehner without hesitation.
The same was true the last time Republicans controlled the House before Boehner’s tenure, when Dennis Hastert was House Speaker. Ron Paul voted for Hastert as House Speaker despite the fact that under Hastert’s watch Congress approved No Child Left Behind, Medicare Plan D, authorized President Bush’s war in Iraq and implemented the Patriot Act.
Let’s go back even further to when Ron Paul voted for Newt Gingrich as House Speaker in 1996. This was right after Dr. Paul was re-elected to Congress and Gingrich had supported Ron’s establishment opponent in the Texas GOP Primary. Conservative leaders like David Keene, Phyllis Schlafly and Milton Friedman all endorsed Ron Paul in that primary. But not Newt (I wish I had remembered this during my “Newt Gingrich is Not a Conservative” series on Paulitical Ticker).
In 1996, there was even a move by some House Republicans to deny Gingrich the speaker position. Conservative Republicans were ticked off, believing Gingrich had abandoned with Contract with America and Republican Revolution of 1994.
Ron Paul did not join their efforts. He voted for Newt Gingrich as House Speaker.
Why did Ron Paul do this? What philosophy does Dr. Paul share with Gingrich, Hastert and Boehner? For whatever ideas they do share, there are certainly a lot more that they don’t.
Ron Paul wants debate to be about the issues—not personalities, personal grudges or petty partisanship. It was inevitable that Boehner or the Democrat was going to be House Speaker. Dr. Paul voted with his party for the Republican. It was inevitable that Hastert or the Democrat, or Gingrich or the Democrat were going to be House Speaker. Dr. Paul voted with his party for the Republican.
Then, Ron Paul was a leading and outspoken voice in opposing everything his party did wrong—increased spending, bigger government, expanding entitlements, anti-civil liberties legislation, spying on citizens, unconstitutional undeclared wars, NDAA, TARP, SOPA, CISPA—we all know where the impeccably principled Paul falls on these issues.
Ron Paul supporting or endorsing these Republican House Speakers had absolutely nothing to do with how he voted. Ron Paul wanted to debate the issues on their own merits.
Is it possible that Dr. Paul could have simply refused to support Boehner, Hastert or Gingrich? Absolutely. But his message to the Republican Party is not that I’m against you. Indeed, Ron Paul is a member in good standing of the Republican Party. Ron Paul’s message is that he is against his party when it’s wrong.
Mitt Romney or Barack Obama will be the next president of the United States. Sen. Rand Paul’s endorsement of Romney is a message to the Republican Party that he’s with them. But like his father, Sen. Paul’s support for Romney isn’t the same as how he votes. Sen.