Ron Paul has been a total waste of congressional floor space
If Paul really wants to stop government waste, he ought to give back his salary and benefits from 1976 to the present.
From my 2007 post:
Ron Paul is running a campaign of ‘the way things ought to be’ — with little reference to political reality. Vague policy papers and appeals to yesteryear, conspiracy theory, tradition, culture, and nostalgia attract a many-faceted crowd of followers, each of whom sees Ron as the saviour for their single issue.
He throws the right code words into most speeches to gather that fringe — military industrial complex, big corporations, corporatism, constitutionalism, trade-protectionism, gold standard, big government, anti-war, blowback etc. etc. It all sounds fine on the surface, but he’s trolling at the wrong depth by the manner and order in which he presents the ideas and the words he chooses.
These single-issue fringe groups each see what they want to with this posturing, but when you place all of them into the mosh-pit arena of political reality they collide and crush each other. His populist campaign has acquired a rich field of kook-pundits and their flocks to pimp for him however, and it’s time to question how this populist movement of marginalized splinter groups would work.
The cognitive dissonance, the racism, and the conspiracy theories in the Ron Paul camp are legend, but what about his record in congress? We all know that he’s great at appealing to paranoid crowds along with the best polypundit populists of our time, but what’s his real record of accomplishment?
Of the 620 bills sponsored by Ron Paul during his long career in the House of Representatives, only four have ever made it to a vote on the House floor and only one of those became an actual law. An analysis by The Washington Post shows that Paul’s success rate of 0.2 percent falls far below that of most legislators, as Paul has chosen to stand up for his personal crusades, rather that build coalitions for more popular, but less ambitious, proposals.
Paul, who has served 11 terms in three different stages dating back to 1976, didn’t get a single law passed until 2009, when he authored a bill that allowed for the sale of a customs house in Galveston, Texas. Failure is often the norm in Congress, where only 4 percent of proposed bills get a President’s signature, but Paul’s approach to lawmaking is particularly suited to not getting things done.
For a limited-government advocate like Paul, of course, his record of failure is actually a badge of honor. He has no interest in creating new programs or expanding regulations and is at great pains to spend the government’s money — normally a popular pastime in Washington. In fact, most of the bills that he does sponsor usually involve some attempt to eliminate or hamstring government activity, such as proposals to abolish OSHA, disband the Department of Education, and repeal the income tax. In a world resistant to big change, bills like that have little chance of becoming law and many never get out of committee. But for Paul, the purpose is not to pad a record of small accomplishments, but to take a stand for his more radical ideas on the Constitution and the role of government.
We’ve seen the massive logjams that posturing populism in just one wing of congress can cause, do we really need a whiny querulous arm flapper as President?