Blast from the past: Ron Paul quits the Republican party

posted at 2:45 pm on September 6, 2011 by Jazz Shaw

Congressman Ron Paul of Texas certainly has been a busy guy of late, hasn’t he? When he’s not running ads calling fellow Lone Star State denizen Rick Perry a liberal, he’s busily preparing for a debate to be held at the presidential library of conservative icon Ronald Reagan tomorrow night. And Congressman Paul is a big fan of Reagan’s, so it’s a natural fit. Some of you may recall another advertisement that Ron ran less than two months ago where he praised Reagan’s fiscal ideals. In it, he was lamenting the fact that the evil Democrats had tricked Reagan into a debt ceiling compromise which Ronnie only “reluctantly agreed to.”

With that in mind, it may be of interest to look through the slightly longer lens of history and see what Ron Paul had to say about Reagan (and the GOP in general) back in 1987 when he quit the party and lambasted the sitting president. The letter, sent to Frank Fahrenkopf, chairman of the Republican National Committee, is far too long to reproduce in its entirely here, so be sure to click through for full context, but here are a few of the key passages.

As a lifelong Republican, it saddens me to have to write this letter. My parents believed in the Republican Party and its free enterprise philosophy, and that’s the way I was brought up. At age 21, in 1956, I cast my first vote for Ike and the entire Republican slate…

Since 1981, however, I have gradually and steadily grown weary of the Republican Party’s efforts to reduce the size of the federal government. Since then Ronald Reagan and the Republican Party have given us skyrocketing deficits, and astoundingly a doubled national debt. How is it that the party of balanced budgets, with control of the White House and Senate, accumulated red ink greater than all previous administrations put together? Tip O’Neill, although part of the problem, cannot alone be blamed…

Knowing this administration’s record, I wasn’t surprised by its Libyan disinformation campaign, Israeli-Iranian arms-for-hostages swap, or illegal funding of the Contras. All this has contributed to my disenchantment with the Republican Party, and helped me make up my mind…

I want to totally disassociate myself from the policies that have given us unprecedented deficits, massive monetary inflation, indiscriminate military spending, an irrational and unconstitutional foreign policy, zooming foreign aid, the exaltation of international banking, and the attack on our personal liberties and privacy…

I conclude that one must look to other avenues if a successful effort is ever to be achieved in reversing America’s direction…

I therefore resign my membership in the Republican Party and enclose my membership card.

To be clear, the key elements of this letter and the complaints which Ron Paul puts forth are essentially the same as the ones we hear from his stump speeches today. He talks about the high cost of foreign interventionism, the need to cut spending, etc. so I’m not attempting to say that there’s some sort of hypocrisy here on the message. It’s pretty much vintage Ron Paul.

What’s different is the attitude toward the party itself and one of its permanent icons. It is indeed remarkable that one can undertake this much of a transformation, going from quitting the party in disgust to seeking to be its standard bearer and nominee for the presidency. As to Reagan… well, I suppose we could say that Ron Paul has an extremely Christian attitude of forgiveness to go from blasting the president that bluntly to using him as a talking point in his campaign ads.

What a difference a couple of decades makes, eh?

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Comment pages: 1 2

What a difference a couple of decades makes, eh?

I can’t tell if this is a joke line or not.

Are you kidding? Or are you that stupid?

Aquateen Hungerforce on September 6, 2011 at 6:32 PM

Aquateen Hungerforce on September 6, 2011 at 6:32 PM

Now now, ATHF, no need to be rude to our hosts.

In fact, a couple of decades (and the attending debt built up by deficit spending through those decades) can, in fact, make all the difference in the world.

JohnGalt23 on September 6, 2011 at 6:34 PM

Hot Air has really gone down hill

sirmyth on September 6, 2011 at 7:41 PM

And where does this juvenile “Herr Doktor” thing come from? Is that some sort of prerequisite for teenage HotAir commenters? Such a cretinous thing to mindlessly parrot. It’s pretty stale.

If you think Paul is a Nazi then it’s painfully obvious you know nothing about him or his philosophy.

shawk on September 6, 2011 at 7:46 PM

So, Paul wasn’t wrong, and he wasn’t a hypocrite. He just dared to criticize Reagan – an unforgiveable sin. Unless we’re talking his Middle East foreign policy, of course.

How do you people sleep at night? No wonder the party so so screwed.

angelat0763 on September 6, 2011 at 8:59 PM

And where does this juvenile “Herr Doktor” thing come from? Is that some sort of prerequisite for teenage HotAir commenters? Such a cretinous thing to mindlessly parrot. It’s pretty stale.

If you think Paul is a Nazi then it’s painfully obvious you know nothing about him or his philosophy.

shawk on September 6, 2011 at 7:46 PM

Stormfront.

Conservative Gunman on September 6, 2011 at 9:09 PM

And where does this juvenile “Herr Doktor” thing come from? Is that some sort of prerequisite for teenage HotAir commenters? Such a cretinous thing to mindlessly parrot. It’s pretty stale.

shawk on September 6, 2011 at 7:46 PM

The only thing juvenile was that four years ago, anyone who mentioned his name was castigated by the Paultards for not calling him by his proper title – Doctor.

Congressman wasn’t good enough. Neither was ‘Mr.’ Or simply calling him ‘Paul’ for brevity’s sake while commenting.

If one failed to call him a doctor – why that was simply the height of neo-con blasphemy.

So in keeping with his support from various and sundry neo-nazi and white supremacist groups, his standing with the founder of Stormfront and his failure to effectively distance himself from such groups – let alone disavow their philosophy, in addition to his ‘flirtations’ with anti-semitism and racism himself, many of us figured we’d go ahead and grant the wish of the Paulbot collective yet use the honorific in such a way more of his supporters could feel comfortable with.

You must be another of the recently assimilated into the Paultard collective or you would know this.

catmman on September 6, 2011 at 9:50 PM

angelat0763 on September 6, 2011 at 8:59 PM

The point is that Herr Doktor used Reagan as a shield in his most recent campaign ad aimed at Perry while his support for Reagan and his philosophies is bullshinola.

catmman on September 6, 2011 at 9:53 PM

How do you people sleep at night?
angelat0763 on September 6, 2011 at 8:59 PM

Well, unlike you, without restraints or the help of anti-psychotic medication.

Hard Right on September 7, 2011 at 12:37 AM

Comment pages: 1 2