I’m torn on this clip. Ron Paul comes close to edging into tinfoil-hat territory when he talks about the swine-flu emergency allowing the federal government to track everyone’s movements and when he questions the benefits of vaccinations in general, but for the most part makes a lot of sense in his blast at the White House for its handling of the supposed epidemic. For instance, Paul points out what most of the media has neglected to report in its breathless coverage of the H1N1 spread, which is that 1,000 deaths from H1N1 in 2009 is one-third of what the US sees in a typical month from the normal flu (via Andrew Malcolm):

So why declare a national emergency? Why scare everyone over a strain that appears to be less dangerous than the normal flu? Paul says that Obama wants to use it to grab further control and power, but at least so far Obama has not asked for any particular authority that the federal government didn’t already have. And as the vaccines continue to get delayed — we’re high-risk because of the First Mate’s immune suppression — the more the federal government appears incompetent and bungling, hardly the way to build confidence for future power grabs.

Paul’s right, though, about how the White House has mishandled the disease. They’ve acted like Joe Biden flying coach, contributing to hysteria rather than providing calm leadership. That’s emerging as a pattern in this administration.