From my perspective, there isn’t anything about Ron Paul’s views that make him any more dangerous than the rest of the nutjobs in the GOP race. Electing any of them would be a disaster, with the rare exception of Huntsman, whose election would merely be really bad for America. However, in GOP circles, there is a full on panic over Ron Paul. The last few days, right wing organizations such as the NRO unleashed the hounds:
Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul is in a bid to make history in Iowa. Can he become the first marginal, conspiracy-minded congressman with an embarrassing catalog of racist material published under his name to win the caucuses?***
Paul’s promiscuousness with his ideological bedfellows — he hails members of the John Birch Society for their fine educations and respect for the Constitution — accounts for the disgrace he brought on himself with his newsletters in the 1980s and 1990s. As journalist James Kirchick exposed, they were full of race-baiting and rancid Israel-bashing. Paul maintains he didn’t know what was being written in the first person under his name. To this day, he says he doesn’t know who wrote the copy. Has he asked? During some dozen Republican debates, not one journalist thought to query Paul about the newsletters that would be disqualifying for anyone else.
Basically, Rich Lowry wants you to believe that Ron Paul is too racist to be President, but just racist enough to be a Republican in the house for several decades. At any rate, apparently the racist attacks aren’t working (in large part because the Birchers and racists Lowry mentions ARE the GOP base), so now the establishment has moved on to the next line of attack, which is basically to declare him a terrorist:
Hear Dr. Paul on the subject of the 9/11 terror attacks—an event, he assures his audiences, that took place only because of U.S. aggression and military actions. True, we’ve heard the assertions before. But rarely have we heard in any American political figure such exclusive concern for, and appreciation of, the motives of those who attacked us—and so resounding a silence about the suffering of those thousands that the perpetrators of 9/11 set out so deliberately to kill.***
His efforts on behalf of Iran’s right to the status of misunderstood victim continued apace. On the Hannity show following the debate, Dr. Paul urged the host to understand that Iran’s leader, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, had never mentioned any intention of wiping Israel off the map. It was all a mistranslation, he explained. What about Ahmadinejad’s denial of the Holocaust? A short silence ensued as the candidate stared into space. He moved quickly on to a more secure subject. “They’re just defending themselves,” he declared.
Presumably he was referring to Iran’s wishes for a bomb. It would have been intriguing to hear his answer had he been asked about another Ahmadinejad comment, made more than once—the one in which the Iranian leader declares the U.S. “a Satanic power that will, with God’s will, be annihilated.”***
Some in Iowa are reportedly now taking a look at Dr. Paul, now risen high in the polls there. He has plenty of money for advertising and is using it, and some may throw their support to him, if only as protest votes. He appears to be gaining some supporters in New Hampshire as well. It seemed improbable that the best-known of American propagandists for our enemies could be near the top of the pack in the Iowa contest, but there it is. An interesting status for a candidate of Dr. Paul’s persuasion to have achieved, and he’ll achieve even more if Iowans choose to give him a victory.
I’m predicting the next line of attack will be a whisper campaign that he is gay.
So is Rand gay also, too?
Now this, this is how realignments happen
(sorry, couldn’t help it)
@JPL: Why do you hate me?
The Moar You Know
I loathe Ron Paul and loathe his supporters even more.
That being said, wow. The knives are out big time for the guy.
One wonders if the “sin too far” was his naked exposure of the Republican id, or the Israel bashing.
After 30 years of spreading lies, fear, and hate the GOP has now turned their guns on themselves.
A third party run seems more and more likely for Dr. Paul.
He’s getting up there in years, and honey badger don’t give a shit.
Ivan Ivanovich Renko
@Anoniminous: Fortunately, there are tins of holiday popcorn available, cheap.
You should read Frierdersdorf’s lecture on how Paul is less evil and less racist than Obama, how libertarians are the true heroes of freedom, and how much better he is than you. I swear I’ve never wanted to beat the shit out of someone more than Conor Frierdersdorf.
@Hunter Gathers: I’d rather shoot myself in the face, tyvm.
@John Cole: I was inebriated and bored. I read really stupid shit when those two things happen.
It’s simple math. Legitimacy for Paul on the national stage = legitimacy for Libertarians and the potential they get serious about being a third party and peel off a reliable block of R votes for the forseeable future. This strikes me as no different than the beatings Ralph Nader got from the Democratic establishment when he was a real threat to their 45% starting position in national elections. The GOP power can (somewhat) control and direct the Teahad horde, because they created it, and they know it’s a passing fancy that will die soon enough. They’re terrified that Paul could become legit enough that not only might he run as a third party candidate in the presidential race, but that whether he does or not the people who become really interested in him in the primaries start looking for someone like him in congressional races, too.
This is why we should be rooting like hell for this guy in the primaries. He’s just as unelectable as any of the other nuts he’s competing against, but his continued presence has a more corrosive nature on the unity of the GOP than any of the rest of them because of the real possibility of massive schism. IMHO.
@Hunter Gathers: This.
Paul in KY
@John Cole: Need to come over to the gun thread then ;-)
@John Cole: How are the kittehs and the dogs? Are they driving each other crazy or ganging up against you?
@Hunter Gathers: Damn you. I actually went. I looked at the comments. I have seen awful visions..aaaiiiieeee…. Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn…. aaaaieeeee…
OMG Ron Paul is GAY!
I am so forwarding this to Fox News.
@Hunter Gathers: He is such a bore, and so long winded too. Kinda like EDK when he posted here.
Every time Ron Paul gets mentioned as a candidate I mention one indisputable fact: he is 76 years old. In some states he would only be able to drive under strict restrictions. If elected he will be 80 by the end of his first term. Call me ageist, but he should be picking on his grandchildren and doing nothing by now, not traipsing all over the country on a fool’s errand.
The Moar You Know
Where did the hawt girls go?
Pat Robertson came in second in the Iowa caucuses and the world didn’t end, nor did the GOP stop being treated as a serious party. Heck, he beat out Ronald Reagan’s Vice-President and anointed successor in so doing. I don’t see why a Ron Paul victory would be any bigger of a deal than that.
I spend a lot of time on Reddit, which is already Ron Paul central. If he gets the nom, that place will be unbearable. For that reason alone, I hope he loses.
@The Moar You Know: The lesbyterian post went poof. Maybe WP eted it. Or Tunch.
EDIT: It’s back. I declare shenanigans!
@The Moar You Know: I’m guessing ABL pulled it because it was stepping on John’s post.
ETA: It’s back.
The Republican establishment hates him because he says (and sincerely believes) all of the BS they’ve been pushing out via dog whistle for decades.
Lee Atwater may have taught the party to say “busing” and “welfare” instead of what they really wanted to say, but Paul is bringin’ the n-word back.
Just curious… What do libertarians make of Hobbes? Y’know, like Chapter XIII of the Leviathan– “Of the Natural Condition of Mankind as Concerning Their Felicity and Misery.” Is Hobbes wrong? How did a life that is ‘nasty, brutish, and short’ become a kind of utopian ideal? I really don’t get that.
One of the reasons I hang out here.
Ron Paul is Romney’s road to the nomination.
He’s the one notmitt who can’t ever win a majority of the party, but he may win enough to take a win away from the best alternative notmitt.
Rally you Spink-Bottles! I want the Newt!
hei John Cole.
did you see how your homie Erik is votin’ for Paul?
such a “good guy”.
The “best-known of American propagandists for our enemies” position, formerly reserved for Obama, is now occupied by a Republican presidential candidate? Awesome. What will AIPAC do if Paul is the Republican nominee? Support Obama?
Many of his beliefs regarding NOT bombing and invading other countries make him a LOT LESS dangerous than ALL of the candidates from both sides.
The establishment would never have him because he is not part of them. He is a loon but what a great talk show he and Ross Perot would have – maybe right after Alex Jones.
@MattF: Becuz of FREEDUMB!!
It’s like they never bothered to figure out where the fuck civilization came from in the first place. Or why we’re inherently social animals. Never mind that no society has ever existed on libertarian principle. Ever.
Gay? No, worse – that he’s an atheist.
Gay? No, worse – that he’s an atheist.
The coordinated anti-Gingrich and anti-Paul attacks by the GOP establishment just validate what we’ve always know but were hoping not to believe because we liked the notion that the GOP base had gone rogue. The reality is that the GOP candidate is already decided, before a single primary vote is cast and there is zero chance of any other outcome aside from a coronation. Romney was always the candidate, he was next in line and that is how the GOP have always done it. And they will not allow their candidate to endure any GOP-on-GOP crime before facing off with Obama.
George. Walker. Bush. Otherwise by this logic Grandpa Walnuts would have been the nominee in 2000.
Is it horrible for me to wish for Paul as the nominee just to watch my Republican Jewish family members’ heads explode? Cause that would be awesome!
I suspect that Ron Paul doesn’t actively hate folks who are different from him. He just doesn’t give a shit about them.
He is much more concerned about government [or society?] telling him what to do. The logical extension of this theory, of course, creates an area where might make right and the warlords can do whatever they want to anyone they want.
@Martin: gay? no worse.
hes a baptist.
Villago Delenda Est
Lowry is such a vile twit.
OF COURSE the Sept. 11th attacks are a consequence of US actions. Osama bin Laden didn’t just wake up one morning and decide “OK, we’re going to fly planes into the World Trade Center because the optics would be great, and besides, the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, and St. Basil’s Cathedral are too well protected and just not photogenic enough for me to get my jollies.”
The attacks on the US were made specifically at symbols of US economic and military power, specifically because this country has managed to piss off a lot of seriously pissed off Arabs and Muslims through decades of support for Israel, not to mention stationing US troops on the sacred soil of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, home of the most revered sites in Islam. Never mind that the US troops were no where NEAR Mecca, and were never allowed to go there on tourist junkets or anything. We’re not dealing with rational people here. Al Qaeda members are like teabaggers. Not rational. At all.
So Paul’s assertions that US actions precipitated those attacks are not “noxious” or “ridiculous” or “silly”. They’re accurate. If cretinous shitstains like Lowry can’t handle that, fine. It’s yet another example of how anyone breathing the air of the National Review’s headquarters is reality challenged. Too fucking bad.
One can only hope that, much like the black teenage males of which he is so fond, Ron Paul can be unbelievably fleet of foot in withstanding these attacks.
@El Tiburon: Paul doenst believe in not bombing and not invading other countries– he just doesnt believe in the US PAYING for it.
His economic policies would send us back to the Stone Age. His stance on ‘States Rights’ would make it legal for states to discriminate against any group that they wanted to. He thinks he knows better than my wife when it come to her reproductive rights. He wouldn’t mind if my 14 month old son died of an illness if I couldn’t afford insurance. He thinks that Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are unconstitutional. He thinks the Civil Rights Act is wrong because of some bigoted bullshit about ‘property rights’. He thinks the 14th Amendment is unconstitutional. He thinks paper money is unconstitutional.
But other than that, he’s less dangerous than anybody else in the race, I suppose.
He is insufficiently militaristic, and insufficiently corporatist to suit the GOP.
But what I’ve been hearing is that he is too old. But isn’t he younger than Gramps McCain?
Yep. As a side note, has anyone asked Ron Paul whether he accepts evolution?
No, that would be Pat Buchanan.
(Iowa, New Hampshire, whatever)
He thinks the 14th Amendment is unconstitutional.
Ron Paul in unclear on the concept…
Hell, Paul is less dangerous than the rest of those nuts, including Huntsman, for the simple reason that, if he actually were elected president, he’d never get Congress to go along with anything he wanted to accomplish.
I missed the part when NRO protested the John Birch Society’s participation in the annual D.C. conservative hate fest.
Villago Delenda Est
Pat Buchanan is a brown shirt and an armband short of being an outright National Soshulist.
Heh. “I’m gonna learn the cas1no business”.
Paul in KY
@Martin: Why not both? Subtlety is not their favored attack strategy.
The Moar You Know
@Brachiator: Yes. Oddly enough, and totally not in keeping with Ru Paul’s character, that answer has changed many times over the years.
If you’re not reading the excellent Mr. Destructo blog on the Ron Paul newsletter stuff, you’re missing out.
A few centuries of the elite gaming the system to suit their ends has left us with a society where anarchy would only be nasty, brutish and short for the poors and uncleans. Paul’s real supporters, like that dipshit who wants to build a Randtopia island in the Pacific, would have enough money to buy whatever protection they need.
@dmsilev: Buchanan won in New Hampshire in 96, not Iowa.
My Celestia. How far out of control must the base be that the ‘We’re Just Rich Assholes’ contingent of the GOP think they have to treat Ron Paul as a serious candidate?
The media ignore him because he’s never, ever had the slightest possible hope of winning the nomination. They HAVE to ignore him, because the last thing they want is for it to become public knowledge that Ron Paul only agrees with the GOP on 50% of issues, tops. Ron Paul and his followers being forced out of the GOP is a scary thought for rich conservatives, because conspiracy theorist Righties way the Hell outnumber conspiracy theorist Lefties.
@Brachiator: Here’s what he said in August-
@The Moar You Know:
So it wasn’t just me that saw them there & then they went away?
Ron Paul is certainly horrifying to imagine as President, but I’m not sure more so than Dick Cheney or Jesse Helms.
The other thing about this “less dangerous” metric is that it is the pinnacle of damning with faint praise. Oh, so he’s marginally less dangerous than some of the craziest, most bigoted, unhinged human beings the United States has ever seen?
Awesome. I take so much solace in the notion that a man whose principles would not have him vote in favor of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is “less dangerous than anybody else in the race.”
Really, it is just so overwhelmingly comforting.
Funny thing is that Hobbes was wrong. The state of nature is OK as a philosophical concept, but has been rendered obsolete by what we know about human evolution.
Either way, libertarians are clueless, and Ron Paul doubly so.
Also too, it’s interesting to see that card carrying libertarians (like the clown show at Reason Magazine)still cling to the GOP even though they got kicked to the curb by Dubya and Darth Chaney. But the libtardians love to see themselves as the Defenders of the Faith of the Conservative Movement.
Ron Paul gay? I thought Bruno proved he was at least curious.
The Republican party is willing to eat their own on order to clear the way for…Romney(a Mormon and prototypical 1%er).
As an aside, Romney announced today that he wasn’t going to release his income tax returns, making him the first post-Watergate major party nominee not to release them. Couple that with their destroying hard drives and attempting to destroy thousands of documents near the end of his term as Governor, and it looks like Willard has plenty to hide.
The Republican Party has been eating their own since Obama got elected. I knew the shit had really hit the fan when the string of apologies to Rush Limbaugh went off in early 2009. When Karl Rove has to apologize for pointing out that ‘I Am Not A Witch’ is not a viable campaign strategy, life is not good for the aristocracy.
I love how Sullivan has a post now from a reader saying Paul is better for African Americans than Obama. Shoot me now.
Well, Nazi-apologist Pat Buchanan has never been a Congressman, so technically they are right there. However, Nazi-apologist Pat Buchanan did win 4 primaries/caucuses and got 20% of the primary vote in 1996. And of course Nazi-apologist Pat Buchanan has an embarrassing (no to himself) amount of racist, fascist and anti-American screechings under his belt.
It was even worse than I could have imagined:
I love how these motherfuckers just casually leave out his opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and his desire to gut the 14th Amendment. These people are fucking delusional in their efforts to convince themselves they aren’t supporting a bigot enabling old white guy who believes in the sacrosanctness of property rights over granting civil rights to minorities.
These motherfuckers are just the worst.
@stevestory: well-read newts everywhere agree!
Paul in KY
@Brian R.: Excellent read. Thanks for the heads up.
Ron Paul … That’s like two first names, right?
What’s up with that?
It’s widely believed that Huntsman would be a better alternative than any of the other Republican candidates. However, unless someone can point out specific Republican legislation that the others would sign as president, but Huntsman would veto, then there isn’t any meaningful difference between them at all. Huntsman might be an improvement over, say, Newt, when it comes to avoiding causing international incidents because of reckless and incendiary statements, but I’m afraid the end result of a Huntsman presidency would be mostly indistinguishable from a Gingrich or Romney presidency. Assuming the Republicans control both houses after the 2012 elections (an increasingly iffy proposition thanks to the unerring guidance of the House leadership), no matter who is president (among the Republicans) we’d see an end to the PPACA (health care reform), an end to the historic roles of Medicare, Medicaid, and probably Social Security too. (That assumes we can’t count on Senate Democrats to filibuster-to-death Republican legislation. It’s possible that Bernie Sanders could end up being the our last line of defense, and he’s not technically a Democrat.)
In the end, I can’t name any specific destructive legislation that any of the GOP candidates — including Huntsman — would veto. Paul might be the exception here, since he would, theoretically, wield a much different veto pen on defense issues than any other possible president — including Obama. On the other hand, he might be even more radical when it came to ending many government programs — his rhetoric says he would be. Paul Ryan might favor a substitute for Medicare (transitional between the current program and the complete end to government involvement in health care delivery), while Paul would gladly jump straight to abolition.
Unless someone can convince me that Huntsman would somehow be able — and willing — to rein in GOP legislative excesses, I don’t see how he would be any better than any of the other hacks. A Republican House and a Republican Senate will pass radical legislation dismantling or crippling our social safety net, for example, and all of the Republicans will sign that legislation. When the smoke cleared, the wreckage would be much the same no matter which of these bozos is president.
What a moron. It amazes me that being science ignorant is essential to being a good Republican.
@Brachiator: Well, technically Hobbes called the state of nature a purely theoretical/philosophical concept which could never exist because of the fact that men are rational creatures who would create societies. Only Rousseau was jackanapes enough to posit that state of nature was an actual thing that once existed.
(Also, Hobbes never used the term “state of nature” in Leviathan.)
@Yutsano: fuck you man.
Distributed Jesusland, the society that we Americans currently inhabit, IS founded on the principles of libertarianism.
its called liberty-as-means libertarianism or localized mob-rule….aka States Rights Federalism.
@gluon1: it also cannot exist because of evo theory of cooperation and reciprocal altruism.