Listening to some establishment critics of Ron Paul--on both the Left and the Right--you'd have to conclude his key problem, his major flaw, his demonstrated utter unsuitability for the Presidency, is his position on WWII. (See, for example, this Weekly Standard piece on the right and this left-wing blog commentary)
Paul’s noted that had we not been attacked, he wouldn’t have sent Americans to fight in Europe, even to save German Jews. Paul’s reluctance to defend the Good War, where 48 million people were killed and the Soviet Union’s grip on Eastern Europe extended, is, to the establishment, clearly a verboten, so to speak, position. Since this is obviously a key issue in 2012. I imagine it will come up in a future GOP debate. Perhaps the transcript will read something like this...
Moderator: Thanks for joining us in this, what seems like, the 252nd 2012 GOP Presidential candidate debate, featuring Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, and the decaying corpse of Rick Perry. This debate is sponsored by the History Channel. Welcome gentlemen.
Moderator: First question goes to Congressman Paul. Congressman, as you know, a question of vital and growing interest among the public in this 2012 race to the White House…Would you, if President, have intervened in WWII?
Dr. Paul: Well, after Pearl Harbor and after Germany declared war on us, I would have gone to Congress and asked for declarations of war, as FDR did. But I hope my pre-war policies would have lessened the likelihood of Japanese attack in December, 1941.
Moderator: Thank you, sir. And now we move to…
Rick Santorum (interrupting): That’s ridiculous! We should have nuked them!
Moderator: Ahh...Senator Santorum, we DID “nuke them.”
Santorum: Hmmm...AND A GOOD THING, TOO! (Riotous applause among his supporters)
Moderator: We move now to the decaying corpse of Rick Perry. Gov. Perry, if you were President instead of Lincoln, would you have fought the Civil War?
Corpse of Perry: ………..
Moderator: Thank you sir for your most cogent answer yet. Now let’s throw the same question to Governor Romney. Sir, would you have fought the Civil War?
Romney: Ah...well, I don’t know that anyone is actually talking about that...we haven’t poll tested it...ah, OK, I’m going to say...ahem…”Yes. Yes I would have fought the Civil War.”
Moderator: Which side?
Romney: We’re allowing follow-ups? [turning to other candidates…"My people said the rules were no followup questions. Wasn’t that your understanding?" Getting no response, he returns to the moderator] OK. Which side, well of course the Southern vote is important...hmmm… Yes. I feel firmly I would have fought the Civil War…
Moderator. I’ll move on. Senator Santorum. Regarding the War of 1812…
Santorum: I’d fight it!! I’d send American troops!!! Nuke ‘em!!!!
Moderator: I haven’t finished the question yet, Senator.
Santorum: Oh, sorry…
Moderator: Where would you send troops? The war was fought on American soil.
Santorum: My point exactly! That was the big mistake. We should have taken the war to the enemy.
Moderator: You would have invaded England? In 1812?
Santorum: We must support the troops!
Moderator: Speaker Gingrich…
Gingrich: I’m a professional historian, you know.
Moderator: Yes, I know.
Gingrich: I have a PhD in history.
Moderator: War of the Roses. Proper US response?
Gingrich: The Wars of the Roses were a series of dynastic civil wars for the throne of England fought between supporters of two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet: the houses of Lancaster and York (whose heraldic symbols were the "red" and the "white" rose, respectively). They were fought in several sporadic episodes between 1455 and 1485, although there was related fighting both before and after this period. The final victory went to a relatively remote Lancastrian claimant, Henry Tudor, who defeated the last Yorkist king Richard III and married Edward IV's daughter Elizabeth of York to unite the two houses. The House of Tudor subsequently ruled England and Wales for 117 years. Obviously, the US government should not have intervened, as it would not yet be created for another 300 years.
Moderator: That’s exactly right!
Gingrich: That will be 1.5 million dollars.
Moderator: Excuse me?
Gingrich: I told you...I’m a professional historian. That’s what I make for offering advice based on my understanding of history.
Moderator: Are you done?
Gingrich: No. I did want to add that, IF the US government HAD existed at that time, we should definitely have intervened.
Gingrich: Especially if Israel’s interests were at stake.
Gingrich: They are the only true democracy in the Middle East. They are our staunchest allies. I can not suck up to... ahem ...support them strongly enough.
Gingrich: I would also like to add that I am the true heir of Ronald Reagan.
Romney: NO! I am the true heir of Ronald Reagan!!
Santorum: NO!! I am the true heir of Ronald Reagan!!! Nuke Grenada!!
Moderator: Congressman Paul, did you want to add anything here?
Paul: Call me Ron...