Below The Beltway

I believe in the free speech that liberals used to believe in, the economic freedom that conservatives used to believe in, and the personal freedom that America used to believe in.

Ron Paul, Tibet, And The Ten Commandments

by @ 7:51 am on April 11, 2008. Filed under China, Foreign Affairs, Politics, Ron Paul, Tibet

As I noted yesterday, Ron Paul was the only Member of Congress to vote no on a resolution condemning China for it’s recent violence against the Tibetan people.

Ron Lawl points out that the argument that his defenders have used against him doesn’t really add up:

The Paultards have already sent their legions over to Digg in an attempt to white wash and spin doctor the incident. Right now, the best argument they seem to provide isn’t the the bill was wrong, either in intent or in execution, but simply that it’s a “waste of time,” and vaguely, a “waste of tax dollars.” Which is a pretty pathetic argument to begin with, and which sounds even more pathetic once you actually think about it. How exactly does voting “no” waste significantly less time than voting “yes”? You’re still using the same amount of time, either way. So why not use your time to actually make the moral choice?

The “waste of time” issue is also pretty hypocritical when you like at the things that Ron Paul actually has supported in the past. For instance, Ron Paul voted yes on H Con Res 31, which stated that “the public display of the Ten Commandments should be permitted in government offices and courthouses.” That’s not just a waste of time – it also undermines the establishment clause of the first amendment. Yet Ron Paul still supported it.

Actually it’s more interesting than that. The resolution in question didn’t just talk about the Ten Commandments, it also voiced support for Judge Roy Moore:

H Con Res 31: Expressing the sense of Congress regarding the display of the Ten Commandments by Judge Roy S. Moore, a judge on the circuit court of the State of Alabama.

Roy Moore later when on to become Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court only to be removed from office for refusing to comply with a Court Order:

On November 18, 2002, federal U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson issued his ruling declaring that the monument violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and was thus unconstitutional:

If all Chief Justice Moore had done were to emphasize the Ten Commandments’ historical and educational importance… or their importance as a model code for good citizenship… this court would have a much different case before it. But the Chief Justice did not limit himself to this; he went far, far beyond. He installed a two-and-a-half ton monument in the most prominent place in a government building, managed with dollars from all state taxpayers, with the specific purpose and effect of establishing a permanent recognition of the ’sovereignty of God,’ the Judeo-Christian God, over all citizens in this country, regardless of each taxpaying citizen’s individual personal beliefs or lack thereof. To this, the Establishment Clause says no.”[12]

Judge Thompson’s decision mandated that Moore remove the monument from the state judicial building by January 3, 2003, but stayed this order on December 23, 2002, after Moore appealed the decision to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. This appeal was argued on June 4, 2003, before a three-judge panel in Atlanta, Georgia. On July 1, 2003, the panel issued a ruling upholding the lower court’s decision, agreeing that “the monument fails two of Lemon’s three prongs. It violates the Establishment Clause.” Additionally, the court noted that different religious traditions assign different wordings of the Ten Commandments, meaning that “choosing which version of the Ten Commandments to display can have religious endorsement implications.”[14]

(…)

On August 14, Moore announced his intention to disobey Judge Thompson’s order to have the monument removed. Two days later, large rallies in support of Moore and the Ten Commandments monument began forming in front of the judicial building, featuring speakers such as Alan Keyes, the Reverend Jerry Falwell, and Moore himself. Though organizers had hoped for up to 25,000 protesters, the crowd peaked at an estimated count of 4,000 that day,[16] and anywhere from several hundred to over a thousand protesters remained through the end of August.

The time limit for removal expired on August 20, with the monument still in place in the building’s rotunda. As specified in Judge Thompson’s order, the state of Alabama faced fines of $5,000 a day until the monument was removed. In response, the eight other members of the Alabama Supreme Court intervened on August 21, unanimously overruled Moore, and ordered the removal of the monument.[17]

(…)

On August 22, 2003, two days after the deadline for the Ten Commandments monument’s removal had passed, the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission filed a complaint with the Alabama Court of the Judiciary (COJ), a panel of judges, lawyers and others appointed variously by judges, legal leaders, the governor and the lieutenant governor. The complaint effectively suspended Moore from the Chief Justice position pending a hearing by the COJ.[21]

So, Paul was willing to vote yes on a meaningless Congressional Resolution in support of an opportunistic politician-turned-judge who was completely and totally wrong in his interpretation of the First Amendment, but he’s not willing to vote to condemn a Communist dictatorship.

Lawl goes on:

This [the Tibet resolution] wasn’t about economic sanctions or military action, it was about taking a moral stance. If the Paultards can’t even go that far, then they have no right to lecture anyone else. Non-violent protest is great, as long as Ron Paul doesn’t actually have to listen to or acknowledge it in any way, shape or form. But if Ron Paul won’t listen to them, then why in the world should he expect for anyone to listen to him? The people in Tibet are taking real risks and are suffering real consequences.

Perhaps they should’ve gotten themselves a blimp.

Post to Twitter Post to Digg Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon

2 Responses to “Ron Paul, Tibet, And The Ten Commandments”

  1. Well Ron Paul has quite a bit of pork under his belt. Unlike McCain who had no earmarks.

  2. Interesting says:

    Earmarks simply show where the revenue of the Government is going. Every congressman should HAVE earmarks going back to help their district.

[Below The Beltway is proudly powered by WordPress.]