Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Doctor, Thankfully, Is In The House

I've found the tempest over Ron Paul during the past few days interesting and amusing. From reading some of the usual suspects, it's clear that Paul represents a special sort of threat and that the "word" is out to take him down. LGF removed him from its straw polls. NRO's Corner put Star Trek on hold -- this must be really important! -- and spent yesterday on red alert. Over at Hugh Hewitt's site, Paul is a "crackpot" albeit one deserving of more attention than any other candidate in Dean Barnett's post-debate recap. For a candidate with no chance of winning, they're certainly putting a lot of effort into it, aren't they?

Regular readers probably know I'm a fan of Dr. Paul's (no emails on the differences between libertarians and conservatives, please). I've mentioned or quoted him here and there over the past few years, usually in reference to monetary policy. Without getting into a longer post, I think his well-known opinions on that subject are behind part of the effort to discredit him, even if the water carriers tasked with the job don't understand that. Congressman Paul asking a few pointed questions of Ben Bernanke in an untelevised session is one thing. Candidate Paul questioning monetary policy on primetime television is quite another.

I won't be posting much about Ron Paul during this campaign. The highest office he'll ever hold is probably his current one, and that frustrates me just as it does his more ardent supporters. But his continued presence as a candidate is important as a public service if nothing else. That's confirmed by the strangely disproportionate attention he's getting from the Titular Right. Paul is their mirror, an unsettling reminder of what they've become during the past six years.

I have no doubt they'll keep trying to break that mirror, which is why Paul should keep doing exactly what he's doing.


Blogger DBB said...

It is utterly amazing to see how afraid the GOP powers-that-be are of a voice of reason. Hell, they are TERRIFIED.

5/17/2007 10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had to laugh.

The right-wingers are all going nutz discrediting him.

Bin Laden DID say that the US prescence in Saudi Arabia was one of the reasons behind the attacks. In fact he offered a truce if we pulled them out (along with two other things)

Maybe the NRO thinks of Bin Laden as Kahn...when he was imprisoned on the planet so that he could make a comeback for ST2

5/17/2007 10:55 AM  
Anonymous Jeff in Texas said...

It is educational to see what sorts of "blame America" arguments are taboo and which are not. Pointing out that having troops in the land of Mecca for years, routinely bombing an Arab Muslim country for years, and enforcing sanctions against that country that made Hussein more rich and Iraqi children more dead, might have all together fueled some level of Arab/Muslim extremism, is so beyond the pale that Paul may not get invited to another debate. Arguing that our tolerance of various faiths and non-faiths, our treating women as if they were more or less equal to men, our not stoning to death gays and lesbians, etc., all combined to (justifiably!) piss off the extremist Muslim world, well-- that gets you a book deal and a general "well done" from the right wing. If you can argue against that sort of American tolerance, advocate torture and the wholesale repeal of the Bill of Rights, while AT THE SAME TIME arguing that terrorists hate us for our many freedoms, well-- you could just be the Republican nominee for President. Yeehaw.

5/17/2007 11:51 AM  
Blogger Enlightened Layperson said...

Look at it this way, Jeff. They hate us for our freedoms so maybe if we give up our freedoms they won't hate us anymore. (Just like the Cold War, when some people thought the only way we could keep the Communists from destroying our freedom was to beat them to it).

5/17/2007 12:01 PM  
Anonymous Jackofalltirades said...

I have to disagree with 'Anonymous' regarding bin Laden; bin Laden's litany of complaints go back to the expulsion of the Moors from Spain back in 1492. In no way should the US allow an extremist to dictate our foreign policy.

bin Laden doesn't seek detente with the West; he seeks our utter destruction. He likes the fact that we're now in an Iraqi quagmire; it is a drag on our economy, is a great recruiting tool for his jihad, and allows us to divert our resources from hunting down every member of al Queda and killing them.

That said, the only way we're going to see an improvement in our foreign policy is when the current occupant leaves.

5/17/2007 1:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I never suggested we take our directives from Bin Laden. But if the righties are going to take what he says as gospel they should take it all. He said that before the current Iraq situation. He must find that the mess we find ourselves in now is better than he expected.

I agree that Bush must go. We just don't want Bush-lite...or worse.

5/17/2007 3:39 PM  
Blogger Karl said...

I was also disappointed they did not ask him about monetary policy explicitly... only in the very last question did he manage to get some in.

Ron Paul is pretty smart. The hatchet men are out already with the mud. He is taking on some real established power.

I am actually fairly frightened at the level of fascism I'm seeing toward him by the big guns. It's one thing to think they're keeping ideas down. It's another to see it in action.

5/17/2007 10:30 PM  
Anonymous Thomas Daulton said...

Very sharp article and very sharp commentary here. As a minor, trivial aside, the Ron Paul situation reminds me a bit of Ralph Nader vs. the Democrats in 2000. No real chance to win, but his campaign served a vital purpose by asking questions which the powers-that-be considered blasphemous at the time. The fact that the Democrats spent so much effort trying to destroy him and his supporters, rather than come up with answers to his questions, goes a long way towards explaining the mess we're in now. People laughed hysterically in 2000 when Ralph said there was no difference between Democrats and Republicans, and then starting in September 2001, the Dems seemed to bend over backwards to prove him right for the next four years by kowtowing to all the Republican warmongering and running away in terror whenever they had an opportunity to confront the Republicans on any other issues. And lo and behold, the Dems won a huge victory six months ago on the promise of opposing the Republicans and ending the war... and here we are six months later, hip-deep in Surge, with a feeble attempt to de-fund the war stymied, and the Dems still afraid to use the minority sabotage tactics which the Republicans had used a decade ago to bring a halt to any program they didn't like.

Yes indeed, Ralph may have declined in relevance in the past few years, but not by very much.

5/18/2007 12:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At some point President Bush will pull off his mask to reveal himself as Bin Laden in disguise.

5/18/2007 3:02 AM  
Blogger Undeniable Liberal said...

Unity ticket '08: Paul/Kucinich. The assasination would be televised.

5/18/2007 5:26 PM  
Blogger DED said...

Its good to see Ron Paul driving the rest of the party nuts. An unscientific poll (I hope the link was right) conducted by MSNBC shows Ron Paul with the highest favorability rating among the candidates.

5/18/2007 11:49 PM  
Anonymous Digital Amish said...

It seems all the talk about the Paul/Guiliani dustup center on the right wing attempts to portray Paul as crackpot. What I found more amazing was Rudys assertion that he had never heard of anything so outrageous as to suggest that our foriegn policy in the middle east would have consequences. Just what we need ... four more years of "they hate us for our freedoms" rhetoric.

5/19/2007 10:58 AM  
Anonymous Jon H said...

"At some point President Bush will pull off his mask to reveal himself as Bin Laden in disguise"

Remember how back in 2000 McCain was called a 'Manchurian Candidate' by the Rovian faction of the GOP?

Maybe Bush was the real Manchurian Candidate, with brainwashing performed by his Saudi bankrollers when one of his companies was failing.

No, not really, but the way Bush has followed Bin Laden's lead like Ginger Rogers with Fred Astaire, it makes one wonder.

Of course, the PNAC documents were public info well before Bush took office, and much of the PNAC took high positions in the Bush administration, or was ready to cheerlead in the media. In addition to those, OBL may well have had contacts in Saudi who could provide him with intel about Bush and Cheney. Bin Laden probably started 2001 with the Bush Admin pegged as very likely to invade Iraq as soon as an opportunity presented itself.

5/20/2007 4:56 AM  

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