Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Proof of Paul's hypocrisy

So, tonight I did some research. The fact that Ron Paul voted against giving Rosa Parks a Congressional Gold Medal has been tossed around a lot as a possible indication of a racist attitude and hypocrisy. I decided to find out for myself. First, Paul's comments on the matter:

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in opposition to H.R. 573. At the same time, I rise in great respect for the courage and high ideals of Rosa Parks who stood steadfastly for the rights of individuals against unjust laws and oppressive governmental policies. However, I oppose the Congressional Gold Medal for Rosa Parks Act because authorizing $30,000 of taxpayer money is neither constitutional nor, in the spirit of Rosa Parks who is widely recognized and admired for standing up against an overbearing government infringing on individual rights.

Because of my continuing and uncompromising opposition to appropriations not authorized within the enumerated powers of the Constitution, I must remain consistent in my defense of a limited government whose powers are explicitly delimited under the enumerated powers of the Constitution--a Constitution, which only months ago, each Member of Congress, swore to uphold.

Perhaps we should begin a debate among us on more appropriate processes by which we spend other people's money. Honorary medals and commemorative coins, under the current process, come from allocated other people's money. We should look for another way.

It is, of course, easier to be generous with other people's money.

So, the medal is too expensive. I personally find it to be a ridiculous position to take, but whatever. As long as he votes against every medal...right?

Well that's what I set out to determine. Was he so set in his beliefs, that he voted against every medal Congress proposed?

The common example used is that Paul voted for Frank Sinatra's medal. However, I could find no proof of this. The medal passed with a 2/3 majority, and the individual votes weren't recorded. So he could've voted either way, there's no way to know.

I decided to randomly pick a medal given after the Rosa Parks medal and see how Paul voted on it. I ended up with the medal given to the Tuskegee Airman, passed Feb 28, 2006. Results? Ayes: 400. Nays: 0.

Well, there were 32 no-votes, so maybe Paul was just absent for the vote, but he would've voted against it, right?!

Wrong: Aye TX-14 Paul, Ronald [R]

So, at the very least, this suggests Ron Paul didn't vote against the Rosa Parks medal for purely racist reasons. But, what it does prove is that Paul did have a reason to vote against the Parks medal, and it doesn't look like consistency in fiscal responsibility was the reason.