Skip to comments.What Ron Paul is (and what he isn't)
Posted on 10/05/2007 8:55:02 AM PDT by SJackson
I think Yoshi is overreacting to the Ron Paul boomlet.
I can understand why: Paul is the lone antiwar Republican in the race, and thus it's assumed he's pulling all of his support from antiwar lefties looking to mess up the GOP. That just isn't so.
Ron Paul has a reputation of being the most virulent anti-government politician in recent memory. He's known as "Dr. No," for his supposed insistence on voting against any government action (including innocuous, non-binding resolutions) that is not specifically enumerated in the Constitution. As such, a large chunk of his support comes not from mischievous Democrats, but from genuine Republicans angry about President Bush's overspending (it's made Paul Martin look like Preston Manning) and, yes, the war in Iraq.
So Paul's Republicanism is genuine, if a little odd. That does not mean, however, that Paul will have staying power, delegates at the Republican convention, or the ability to do damage to the GOP nominee in 2008 for several reasons:
Delegate selection rules: In most states, Republican primaries and caucuses (and not, this is only for Republicans) is "winner-take-all" (what we call first-past-the-post). From second place on down, the candidates get zero delegates. Furthermore (and I'll admit I'm guessing on this), the states that aren't winner-take-all statewide are still winner-take-all at the Congressional district level. Thus, Paul would actually have to win a Congressional district in a primary to get any delegates. He may carry his own district (stress may) but that's about it. Personally, I project Paul's delegate count to be zero.
His record: Ron Paul may not quite be the libertarian everyone down here thinks he is. I already caught him deviating from his constitutionalism just this year. Those who support Paul for his limited government stance may want to take another look at him.
Any lefty-blog attempt to prop him up will be too transparent to have an effect: The left tried something similar in Connecticut, when Joe Lieberman had to run as an independent because the Democrats wouldn't nominate him. All of a sudden, the lefties were singing the praises of the Republican candidate, who proceeded to go down in the polls as a result of his new friends.
His antiwar voters would never support the Republican nominee anyway: As for the anti-war folks propping Paul up, these are not folks upon whom we can count for support in 2008. In fact, Paul is actually to the left of the likely Democrats nominate (Hillary Clinton) on Iraq. If Paul were to run on a third-party ticket (and one would be available), he could end up taking away more Democrats frustrated over the war than Republicans.
This could especially be true if the GOP nominates Rudy Giuliani, whose social liberalism would make a Clinton victory far less necessary to antiwar lefties on the dmoestic front. Granted, Paul may also pick up pro-life voters from the right upset over Rudy's nomination, but that would simply give those voters a place to go (rather than stay home), and in such a dynamic, Paul to wreak havoc on Democratic plans in the northeast and the Midwest (the Dems' base areas).
Now, we're still over a year away from the elections, and darn near anything could happen. Yoshi might be right; Paul could catch fire somewhere. I just doubt it, and I further question the conventional wisdom that it's the Republicans who will get burned.
We have a problem here.
Of course, many of you know it already. But, I think the time has come to make it official: Ron Pauls campaign for the Presidency now presents a serious challenge to those who love liberty and seek its preservation against the Islamist assault on our civilization. It is no longer sufficient to simply dismiss those who support him as a motley collection of nuts and morons. Its not that I deny that many of them are its just that nuts and morons get to vote too.
It is fashionable for conservatives to dismiss Ron Paul, citing his flat poll numbers just a few percentage points in most polls. I believe this to be a mistake not only are national polls worthless in assessing the results of individual primaries, but they also fail to consider support that polls especially polls partisan primary polling might fail to pick up. While theres absolutely zero chance that Paul is going to win the Republican nomination, there is a very high probability that he will be able to raise enough money to remain in the race and get enough votes to continue to receive media coverage. Worse still, it is entirely possible that he will win a sufficient number of delegates to cause trouble during the Republican National Convention (even, say, thirty could be a serious annoyance and disruption) and that he will go on to run as a third party candidate. There is also, if Senator Clinton secures the Democratic nomination early, the possibility that the internet-savvy leftist nutroots might organize in order to give Paul the illusion of more support.
Of all opposing forces, fifth columnists are the hardest to defeat. And that is what makes Ron Paul such a serious threat because he is nominally a Republican he gets to go up on stage with the serious candidates for the Republican nomination and to spew his garbage all over the stage.
(It goes on and on and on at my blog. [below]As you might have surmised, I really, really, really don't like Ron Paul).
Who is Ron Paul? For a name that we hear so often (at least online), I dont think most of us know much about him. Hes been a member of Congress for twenty years. In that time, hes failed to achieve a single item of note. Instead, hes dedicated himself to fringe causes such as abolishing the Federal Reserve and returning to the Gold Standard. In the meantime, hes helped to ensure his own re-election in part by securing pork projects for his own district while maintaining his ideological purity by voting against them on final passage.
In short, in three decades in public life, Ron Paul has shown himself to be a nothing more than a kook politician noteworthy primarily for his uselessness and pointless lectures. He is, it must be conceded, a strange vessel to contain such support as he now commands.
So? Why have many chosen him? Simply put, because hes the candidate who has managed to capture the imagination of a certain sort of person on the war. The thing to remember about Americans and watching Democratic debates it is easy to forget it is that they are an unusually patriotic people. Even many (though not all) of the people working to bring about the defeat of the United States in the War on Terrorism (and before that in the Vietnam War and long before that in the Civil War) think of themselves as American patriots. What Ron Paul and all of his declarations about George Washington, non-intervention, the Constitution, and so forth offers is a way for some people to feel that they are patriotically seeking to bring about the defeat of the United States and the victory of its enemies in a war.
When the Copperhead Democrats sought to undermine the Union during the Civil War they, much like Ron Paul today, claimed that they were acting in the defense of the Constitution which they accused Abraham Lincoln of destroying. Like Ron Paul, the leader of the Copperheads, Clement Vallandigham, railed against debt, taxation, and the loss of rights under the Constitution. Lincoln responding by having Vallandigham exiled to the Confederacy but, alas, I dont think theres any chance of President Bush handing Ron Paul a one-way ticket to Tehran.
Who does support Ron Paul? I am told that the Dont Tase Me, Bro guy is one of his Legionaries. The base of his support, it is not at all difficult to conclude, is drawn from the vast ocean of slight unmeritable men about whom it is hard not to wonder, as Antony did of Lepidus in Julius Caesar whether it is really fitting, political power being divided such as it is, that they ought to have an equal share.
Obviously, individual political equality is a basis of modern democracy but, nonetheless, it is probably worth wondering why we ought to consider the beliefs and views of, for example, 9-11 Conspiracy Theorists to be of any merit at all. It is not really possible to reason with people who adhere to a worldview for entirely irrational reasons.
Whenever I see Ron Pauls supporters, my mind flashes (though not for any pharmacological reason, I assure you) back to a time that I saw pro-drug crusader Marc Emery speak during the 2001 provincial election. Every time the man spoke his dirty and confused supporters who uniformly reeked of pot would scream their approval, even when he made statements (abolish welfare, radically cut taxes, and the like) which would not ordinarily meet with the approbation of dishevelled hippes. In each case, an unlikely figure was grabbed onto by a motley crowd of fringe fools because of the appeal of their position on a single issue. In one case, drugs and in this case the war.
But, we cannot simply dismiss the fringe. In that 2001 Election, the Marijuana Party got 3.2% of the vote across the Province of BC and that was without a galvanizing issue like a war. Well-organized kooks can cause problems. It is tempting to simply dismiss the 9-11 Truthers, the people who see Black Helicopters everywhere, and the rest of that crowd as irrelevant. But, sadly, they arent. Individually they dont matter but, if they can gather in once place, they are
I tend to agree with the first editorial, but do think there’s some risk to the Republican Party in terms of being associated with some of the less savory areas from which Paul gets support.
“Contrarianism is what the less talented use as a replacement for creativity’
Dennis Miller on Ron Paul
What Ron paul Isn't... Going to win.
"Instead, hes dedicated himself to fringe causes such as abolishing the Federal Reserve and returning to the Gold Standard. In the meantime, hes helped to ensure his own re-election in part by securing pork projects for his own district while maintaining his ideological purity by voting against them on final passage."
I am curious. Has Paul issued any sort of statement concerning the current “Limbaugh flap” ?
Love this quote.
“Contrarianism is what the less talented use as a replacement for creativity.”
Love this quote.
Me too, and it applies to many that hold public office, not just Ron Paul.
‘I am strongly against Ron Paul on the Iraq War but hell he is as good as anyone running in either party.’
Couldn’t disagree more. the single most important issue we face as a nation today is Islamofacism. Ron Paul apparently thinks this is some ‘fad’ that will pass if we ignore it.
That alone makes him completely and totally incapable of being President.
is this the part where we bash him ?
Question to Ron Paul supporters.
Im curious. I get that you, and me as well, hate war. But Im at a loss as to what Mr. Paul has in mind for protection from foreign influences and terrorism.
Paul wants the patriot act and any legislation like it ended, even though no one can show abuses of it.
Paul refused to vote for military to patrol our borders. So he doesnt plan on stopping them there.
Paul voted for Most favored nation trade status for China, stating he was for the same for Iran, Iraq, etc. and would never use economic sanctions against any country.
In March, Paul requested millions to build the Texas Leg of the Nafta Superhighway.
So what is Pauls plan to protect Americans?
It isn't throwing away your vote to vote for someone you don't think will win. It's throwing away your vote to vote for someone you don't want. Imagine if no one had voted for Goldwater.
It's really because regardless of his other flaws, Paul is the lone small-government conservative in the race. The huge number of GOP primary voters who still care about that are giving him a long look whether they want to or not. The danger for the GOP is that if the majority of these voters decide Paul's other views are too far out, many of them will simply stay home.
I don’t see whats wrong with any of that except the earnmark request for the texas highway...
What is any of the other candidates doing to protect Americans? Paul would stop at least some of the theft, 50% of all money we make ends up going to the government in some form or another, why not worry about that?
Best line of the article.
So who will you vote for that will do what you wish?
I guess you see Paul is back on the Alex Jones show today. This is not good.