Dave Weigel at Slate reports that Ron Paul will not run for re-election to the House:
… Five years ago, Paul was a marginal political figure who could save reporters from a slow news week as the subject of a profile. He was “Doctor No,” the guy with the “Don’t Steal, the Government Hates Competition” sign on his desk, the one Republican whose criticism of George W. Bush was entirely unsurprising. He announced his 2008 presidential campaign not with a rally, not with a lens-flared YouTube video, but with a dour interview on C-Span.
Paul will leave Congress next year as arguably the most intellectually influential member of the House of Representatives in a generation. (I write “arguably” even though trying to think of a runner-up is a deeply depressing task.) He was not necessarily a successful legislator. But his career has been remarkable for its consistency.
Starting with an uphill campaign for Congress in 1974, through a wilderness period where he won the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination, and continuing with a 1996 comeback that the mainstream GOP opposed, Paul advocated the same economic and foreign policies for 37 years. A call to abolish the Federal Reserve, a campaign to return to the gold standard, a belief that America’s foreign interventionism was illegal and unsustainable: Some of his positions remain on the fringe of politics, but others have proved remarkably popular in America’s center-right party.[…] __
When he ran four years ago, however, Paul didn’t have any ideological competition. He was solo and sui generis. It was part of his quirky appeal. Now, there are plenty of Republicans who can call themselves his successors, and as long as Barack Obama is president, Paul’s ideas are rolled into the GOP’s double helix. Ron Paul used to be alone in saying no to everything, doubting that the elites were telling the truth. Now, there are plenty of other Republicans who think that way. There are real debates now about war funding and debt default. That’s the legacy of screw-ups by presidents in both parties, and that’s the legacy of Ron Paul.
To repeat, because it’s horribly true: Ron Paul is “arguably the most intellectually influential member of the House of Representatives in a generation.” He is also a crank obsessed with a strange brew of sociological and economic theories that were thoroughly discredited by the beginning of the last century, during the collapse of the original Gilded Age. If an anti-Mt.-Rushmore were ever to be sculpted to memorialize short-sighted cupidity and an obsession with ‘elegant’ failed policies, Dr. Ron Paul’s chipmunk visage deserves a space… at the far right.
Oh, and just to reassure his deeply
demented committed fan base: His presidential campaign is still alive!
Inspired headline, Annie. LOL
I started reading this piece on Slate and stopped because i couldn’t take the Paul-fluffing any more. Then i saw the byline and it all made sense.
I’m bummed because it’s getting late here on the Left Coast and I’l have to miss the fusillade of comments from never-been-here-before Libertarians.
They have to call themselves Libertarians because Still Sucking the Teats of a Shitty Author Who Died in 1982 doesn’t roll trippingly from the tongue.
And if that happens, I hope someone brings up the “flouride in the water” issue. That discussion is going to be awesome!
James E. Powell
Ron Paul is lunatic or, more charitably, a novelty. He has never had anything more than novelty appeal. The quasi-mainstream attention he has received more recently is a result of the degradation of the mainstream Republican brand by the Bush/Cheney junta.
Fixed, it is.
Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again)
Heh. Justin Amash quoted in that article. If anyone fits the Barry Switzer “Born on third base and thought he hit a triple” description, it’s that asshole.
Another way in which Wonkette contributed so positively to our lives.
It’s a sad, sad day at the Village bordello.
With President John McCain’s political EDF and now the noble Ron Paul’s departure, what maverick member of “America’s center-right party” is there left for them to fluff?
Where will they find a sui generis successor worthy of their eager ministrations?
To repeat, because it’s horribly true: Ron Paul is “arguably the most intellectually influential member of the House of Representatives in a generation.”
If Weeg was limiting that to Republicans, I’d take that bet. But he isn’t. I’d personally love to see a general-knowledge debate between Paul and, say, Rush Holt.
Where will they find a sui generis successor worthy of their eager ministrations?
Why, in the considerable visage of hard-nosed problem-solver Chris Christie, of course!
The guy who wants to put us back on the gold standard? Really, Dave?
An important update from Sarah Palin’s hard-hitting investigation of food price economics.
She discovered that under the Islamosexual Kenyonesian Obama’s economy, precious meat by-product Slim Jims have skyrocketed in price 169%!!!
How will all our Convenience-Store-Americans weather this price shock?
Temporarily granting the use of a vocabulary which refers to Slim Jims as “meat”, it’s just astoundingly lazy and stupid to complain about the price of anything when the comparison price is of a bigger quantity.
‘Gosh, these Big Mac’s have doubled in price! And they give you two of them!’
So the Democrats have been cribbing from Ron Paul? If true it explains a lot.
Certainly it can be argued, certainly only an idiot would try.
Shit, even though I don’t think much of the guy, Newt was a billion times more intellectually influential than Paul.
Out of curiosity, has Paul ever passed a single piece of legislation? Has he ever gotten more than like twenty people to vote for a bill he introduced?
I hate to admit this, but Ron Paul is my US Congressman. And, as much as I disagree with him, he was predictable, has always been treated as the crazy uncle by his Republican colleagues and immune to defeat in a general election. For these things I am thankful because whoever replaces him will be even crazier, but won’t have the reputation of a crazy person. His replacement will be taken seriously. I’m going to cry now.
According to The Texas Tribune: “… the GOP-led Legislature, in the recent special session, redrew the state’s congressional map and significantly altered Paul’s district….(O)bservers speculated that Republican legislators designed the new contours of Paul’s district to make it more difficult for him to win re-election and was punishment for his years as a Tea Party thorn in the side of the GOP establishment ….” (emphasis mine). Politics are blood-sport in this state.
For someone who hated taxes so much, he had no problem cashing a six figure tax-funded paycheck for 14 years.
I’m sure he’ll also enjoy his public-subsidized Congressional pension when he leaves.
@GrammyPat: My gosh. His views are about the same as dipshit Hensnarling, and they suddenly have a problem with that because of the Tea Party?
@Cacti: Ron Paul has always refused to participate in the Congressional Pension Fund (according to the Wikipedia article).
Ron Paul is a nutbag and always has been. And virtually everyone acknowledges this, especially including his “fellow” Republican Members of the House, with whom, for decade after decade, he has (and had) virtually no influence whatsoever. He has his adherents, but they remain very much on the fringe of everyone and everything. Justin Timberlake and Justin Bieber, just to name two, have far more “intellectual influence” than does Congressman Paul.
The House is not an “intellectual” body. But if I had to pick someone to meet the “intellectual influence” definition, it would be Barney Frank (and in the past, Sam Rayburn and Adam Clayton Powell).
Yeah, I told a Paul fan a few days ago that while I do agree with some of his anti-war talk, his views on science and global warming and evolution are kinda deal-breakers. (Didn’t want to get into a drawn out Austrian school of economics discussion on Facebook.) Here was his response.
Other than every single technological advancement of humankind in the last 2,000 years, yeah, science hasn’t really impacted our society that much. :-\
Yet others have proved remarkably popular with radical leftists and anyone more liberal than Joe Arpaio.
In that case, I’ll give Ron credit for having a bit more integrity than I thought.
Still, he’ll earn $174,000 this year as a “public servant”. More than 3 times the national median household income.
Wisconsin primary results: no fake Republicans posing as Democrats selected. Now on to August 9 with the recall elections.
Democrats (Real Ones) Win Primaries
And the Democrat is cleaning up in the CA-36 special election. Man, this has been a pretty good day politically speaking.
In other Wasilla economic news:
Palin family leaves Wasilla.
Price of meth hits 20 year low.
Condom sales show slight uptick.
From Elizabelle’s article, a pretty good zing from the Grey Lady:
The Wisconsin Republican Party orchestrated the placement of the fake Democrats (Republicans prefer to call them protest candidates)
I thought Weigel was using the “intellectually influential” tag to damn with the faintest possible praise. That is, Paul is a nutbar with nutbar ideas, who has nonetheless proved to be surprisingly influential — in a way that does not inspire hope.
Thank fucking God!
Now, with the father essentially in retirement we’ll only have to talk about the insane political shenanigans of his son, the US Senator from Kentucky, Rand…
Not much question of that, IMO. I don’t know what the fuck is wrong with the other 49 states, we seem to have this figured out.
@Martin: The article I saw was concern trolling the mail-in votes, as if they were all going to break Huey’s way, which would have to happen for him to pull it off now. They used to be such subtle concern trolls…
@Cacti @25: I’m honestly not trying to be a defender here, but he’s an OB/GYN, I don’t know that $174,000 is more than he could have earned in private practice. To me, he’s not your typical, hypocritical Republican (or Libertarian) because he could have earned a very good living as a private citizen. He’s just a run-of-the-mill jackass.
Lest we forget, CA-36 was the locale for the Most Stupefyingly Bad Attack Ad Ever.
I was just complaining about Slim-Jimflation last week. Oh that Sarah, she’s so in tune with the regular folk.
Wonder if she washed it down with a 12 dollar Yoo-Hoo.
@FlipYrWhit: I got that impression, too.
IIRC, in the early days, the Tea Party was mostly Paultards until the Dick Armey co-opted them.
I think Weigel’s right. Before the TP, Paul was just a lone crank. But the TP has picked up his ideas and run with them. All the way to Bedlam.
Teatards would never use the soçialist postal service, though, so I don’t see how that could happen.
So Harman out, Hahn in. How win-win is that! And I think that leaves CA batting 1.000 on retaining Dem seats in every state or national race for the last two cycles.
Cupidity? Paul may be a nut, but I’ve never heard anything about personal corruption or greed on his part. Maybe I missed something, or you are using the word “cupidity” in some way other than its dictionary meaning.
oops, put my tee hee on the wrong thread, tee hee
Mornin Joe and Pat are going through the roof on the puke betrayal of the conservative movement!!!! It’s great.
stuckinred: tuning in, nothing could make me happier than to make Joe and Mika cry.
Ha ha ha. Great lolcat pic. Now I feel one of my cars is a veritable anorexic compared to the oe in the pic. Also too. Love how he’s rolling on the table with his belly towards Boehner.
Valdivia: “scritch mah belleh, orange pig-boy!” :D
Support for creationism was one of the early signs of the mess that the GOP has become. That was one of the arenas where they perfected their ability to stop making concessions to reality.
Well, his views on domestic issues and his connection to racism via his newsletter were abominable, but OTOH he was outstanding on foreign policy issues.
The only real negative I see to him leaving is that he occasionally made those in his own party squirm for a bit – which likely won’t be the case with his successor who is more likely to be even more party hackish.
So bringing the troops home was thoroughly discredited by 1900? Really?
Seems to me if certain assholes around here had listened to Ron Paul in 2001, we wouldn’t be in the enormous mess we’re in now.
But nevermind. Doesn’t fit Teh Narritive.
I just finished Ahamed’s Lords of Finance, which catalogs how the gold standard was perhaps the great underlying condition that created the Great Depression, by deflating the money supply.
I couldn’t figure out why ANYONE would want to return to the gold standard, until I got to a description by the head of the Bank of England: The gold standard was considered “idiot proof”. Once in place, it pretty much ran on its own without any need to tweak or adjust it.
In other words, it represents a complete lack of faith in human beings to manage their affairs.
The despair of believing that must be why Ron Paul always looks so sad.
C-SPAN isn’t going to be as fun now. And sorry, really liked having at least one rep in there who would, consistently, bring up the constitutionality of our various foreign intrigues. Oh, and one more–the guy got me trying to understand how/why the Federal Reserve operates/exists. Still cannot wrap my head around it–but he got me thinking about it. Fare thee well Dr. Paul.
I thought this was funny and wanted to share with y’all. It’s via a commenter at Slate:
“Man, is there anything more annoying – on the internet or anywhere else – than Ron Paul fans? They’ve got all the egotistical condescension of college-age trust fund hippies minus the bogus spirituality and jam band music and plus insufferable Randian blather about far-out individualism and the virtue of selfishness. Forget yoga, these kids get off discussing…monetary policy? Really? Shit, I’d rather listen to some Middlebury junior drone on about her year abroad or her vision quest. At least she might share her dope and might even pretend to be pleasant. I can’t imagine that any decent music comes out of this the brand-new right-wing extremist scene that all the kids are into, and it goes without saying that they’re probably thoughtless and selfish in the sack. Furthermore, Keene blows. I’ll close by saying that I invite them to make the free choice to kiss my left-leaning ass, and that they, when considered as a group, suck.”
The Austrian [School] loves the gold standard because it means that the money supply is strictly limited and this makes it harder for governments to intervene in the economy, particularly the way the Federal Reserve does (by essentially “creating” money through the purchase of government debt). For some reason, they think this is some kind of horrible economic Frankenstein that just shouldn’t be — like human-animal hybrids or something. Despite the fact that virtually every economic crisis in the 20th century was brought about by the Austrian School vaunted “individual actors” fucking things up royally in the absence of any real state supervision of markets, they continue to believe that all of this was somehow the fault of the Fed obfuscating real prices.
Paul Krugman was right when he compared these people to nineteenth century surgeons who refused to subscribe to the germ theory of disease.
Sigh. No, that’s the legacy of having a Democrat in the white house. As soon as there is a Republican president again, deficits will no longer matter and opposing any war any time will be called “treasonous betrayal of the troops” again.
Still, Paul’s pointing out the foolishness of proxy wars for Israel is commendable.
Um, America’s center-right party is the Democrats. We all know this, right? Right?