Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Liberal Explains How Ron Paul Runs His Congressional Office in a Way That's Different from Other Congressmen

Matt Stoller, who was the former Senior Policy Advisor to Rep. Alan Grayson and is currently a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, writes:
My perspective of Paul comes from working with his staff in 2009-2010 on issues of war and the Federal Reserve. Paul was one of my then-boss Alan Grayson’s key allies in Congress on these issues, though on most issues of course he and Paul were diametrically opposed. How Paul operated his office was different than most Republicans, and Democrats. An old Congressional hand once told me, and then drilled into my head, that every Congressional office is motivated by three overlapping forces – policy, politics, and procedure. And this is true as far as it goes. An obscure redistricting of two Democrats into one district that will take place in three years could be the motivating horse-trade in a decision about whether an important amendment makes it to the floor, or a possible opening of a highly coveted committee slot on Appropriations due to a retirement might cause a policy breach among leadership. Depending on committee rules, a Sub-Committee chairman might have to get permission from a ranking member or Committee Chairman to issue a subpoena, sometimes he might not, and sometimes he doesn’t even have to tell his political opposition about it. Congress is endlessly complex, because complexity can be a useful tool in wielding power without scrutiny. And every office has a different informal matrix, so you have to approach each of them differently.

Paul’s office was dedicated, first and foremost, to his political principles, and his work with his grassroots base reflects that. Politics and procedure simply didn’t matter to him. My main contact in Paul’s office even had his voicemail set up with special instructions for those calling about HR 1207, which was the number of the House bill to audit the Federal Reserve. But it wasn’t just the Fed audit – any competent liberal Democratic staffer in Congress can tell you that Paul will work with anyone who seeks his ends of rolling back American Empire and its reach into foreign countries, auditing the Federal Reserve, and stopping the drug war


  1. Ron Paul NEEDS to be president, and that's all there is to it!

    Restore America now

  2. This type of behavior by the other congressmen is simply democracy in action. It is part of the natural incentives of the game. MMTers (and statists of all stripes) are simply oblivious to these inherent characteristics of big government democracy. It operates exactly how one would expect it to operate.

    Operational reality, to coin a phrase.

  3. Its too bad the left use to stand for those kinds of things the author mentions at the bottom of the page. Today I see little difference on those things then I do with the Neocons. Where is the outcry that existed when Bush was President? Obama has carried out and extended all of Bush's policies and even added some that extremist Bush didn't even consider and not a peep, not a sound from the left. Nothing but a bunch of phonies.