Ron Paul’s Useful Idiots

December 22nd, 2011 at 11:33 am | 64 Comments |

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We’ve been spending a lot of time on this website critiquing conservatives and libertarians for supporting Ron Paul. However, the great thing about Ron Paul is that his appeal also extends to the most gullible members of the liberal left.

Today’s piece of useful idiocy in support of Ron Paul comes from The Nation where John Nichols argues that the real reason the conservative “establishment” doesn’t like Ron Paul is because he speaks truth to power:

Paul’s ideological clarity scares the wits out of the Republican mandarins who peddle the fantasy that the interventionism, the assaults on civil liberties and the partnerships that they have forged with multinational corporations and foreign dictators represent anything akin to true conservatism.

The problem that Limbaugh, Hannity and other GOP establishment types have with Paul is that the Texan really is a conservative, rather than a neoconservative or a crony capitalist who would use the state to maintain monopolies at home and via corrupt international trade deals.

Paul’s pure conservatism puts him at odds with a party establishment that has sold out to Wall Street and multinational corporations. But it has mad an increasingly iconic Republican with a good many of the grassroots activists who will attend the caucuss.

Let’s put aside that author of this piece seems to be arguing for some version of paleoconservatism. Why is The Nation publishing this? They are a magazine that ostensibly cares about the downtrodden, the lowest rungs of society, and for ethnic minorities. Ron Paul has nothing to offer the lowest rungs of society except for platitudes about the free market, and we all know about his racist newsletters.

Paul appeals to the left because of his simple stances on a few issues; he opposed Bush Administration foreign policy, he wants to end the Patriot Act, and he wants to decriminalize drugs.

What’s amazing is that his position on these issues doesn’t just give Paul some support,  on the left, it also seems to absolve him of his other positions and his past actions.

Here is an earlier essay by John Nichols where he dreams of seeing Paul Ryan lose his House seat. It’s clear from the essay he is no fan of the Paul Ryan budget. Yet Nichols consider Ron Paul a hero even though his preferred domestic policy budget would likely make Paul Ryan look like a big-government RINO.

Nichols’ must know that the real reason he like Ron Paul is because he sounds like a blogger from The Nation running for President. But that still doesn’t go far enough in explaining why he overlooks all the many other flaws in his candidacy.

It seems that for some people, opposition to the Iraq war and support for legal pot is more important than profiting off racist newsletters and calling for an end to all assistance for the downtrodden.

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64 Comments so far ↓

  • Madeline

    On the bright side, at least they’re useful. Unlike most of the idiots who support Paul.

  • rbottoms

    Oh the irony of a poster on David Frum’s site complaining about someone ignoring the perfidy of a politician because the pol supports something he likes.

    The GOP is filled to the brim with people who believe Barrack Obama is from Kenya. It is a party that overwhelmingly believes 47% of Americans pay no taxes, evolution is a myth, and global warming is a conspiracy theory.

    Yet you still belong to the party and vote for these people as surely DF will pull the level for whichever panderer to the nut wing of your party gets the nomination.

    The war in Iraq was a waste of lives, money, and our standing in the world and pot should be legal. That Libertarians believe this only means a stopped clock can be right twice a day. And left wing support for Paul has more to do with none of them being black for the most part that the desire to ignore his overtly racist past.

    Libertarians are Republicans who want to smoke weed, drive without licenses and replace the highways with toll roads. Nothing new there.

  • gmat

    “Paul appeals to the left because of his simple stances on a few issues; he opposed Bush Administration foreign policy, he wants to end the Patriot Act, and he wants to decriminalize drugs.”

    Pretty big issues, I’d say. Along with a non-interventionist foreign policy going forward. How else to get these important matters into the national conversation?

    Racist and/or homophobic newsletters in the 90s don’t occur for me as very important. Black people and gay people have plenty of laws and institutions watching their back. But who’s going to protect us from neocon warmongers and their shills?

    • rbottoms

      Black people and gay people have plenty of laws and institutions watching their back.

      I think I’ll take the Ellie Wiesel position and assume that racist a**holes stay that way and that handing them power is a bad idea.

      F*** Ron Paul.

      • gmat

        A good idea. But Ron Paul will never occupy any position of power higher than Congressman.

        Meanwhile, it’s beneficial to the Republic to include in the national debate such issues as non-interventionism, ending the War on Drugs, and acknowledging the Executive excesses of the War on Terror.

    • Houndentenor

      Actually gay people don’t have laws watching their back. It’s still legal to fire someone for being gay in most states.

  • Rabiner

    If i have a say in the Republican primaries ( I don’t, I’m a Democrat), I’d rather have a President I agree with half of the time (while knowing most of the other half would never happen anyways with Congress checking his power). The only fears I’d have honestly of a Paul presidency is monetary policy and his vetoes.

  • jakester

    Ron Paul’s core principles are idiotic and backwards. It is just religious fundamentalism doing politics with the Constitution standing in for the Bible. Jeez, if some state enacted the death penalty for being gay, he would have no problem vis a vis the 10th Amendment

  • Saladdin

    I kind of think of Paul as the political opposite of Joe Lieberman. More or less non-interventionist in terms of foreign policy and strictly Conservative on domestic issues. I understand about power being checked by Congress, but that’s a weak argument. Vote for Ron Paul because he’d never get anything accomplished domestically.

    Paul’s problem, is that he’s ideologically extreme. He’s consistent, but on the other hand, considering the sheer number of TP house members, why is there no Ron Paul group in the house?

    Finally, to quote a commenter, “No matter what your political leanings, Ron Paul has at least one position that’s crazy.”

  • tommyudo

    Paul ‘s 15 minutes of fame is due to the fact that the serious GOP candidates (eliminating
    Huntsman, who is on the fringe) are numbskulls and/or hucksters. Otherwise Ron would be in the low single digits. He speaks to a good deal of the frustration and ideological confusion out there. Of course, the guy is essentially a neo-Confederate , which we need less of. Better he should just sit back and enjoy his final days, and let his loony son carry the family torch.

  • DeathByIrony

    I was really hoping for an in-depth analysis of their gullibility.
    But all this article manages to say is “The easily fooled are fooled easily, even when it contradicts their fundamental principles.” without much commentary as to why.
    Surely the author isn’t without opinion on the subject?

  • LFC

    What does it say about the field of Republican candidates when outsiders looking in view Ron Paul as “the sane one”?

    Back when I voted for Reagan and HW, I viewed their opponents as generally weak though not horrible choices. I voted against Dole because he pandered too hard to the right, but the thought of him being President didn’t scare me. When W ran I saw somebody who was dangerously (and proudly) ignorant, and I predicted big deficits the instant he defended his fiscal “policies” by chanting “FUZZY MATH!” (Little did I know his fiscal destructiveness would be rivaled by his foreign policy screw-ups.) I voted for Kerry because by 2004 I was even more scared of W, and history has unfortunately proven my fears to be completely founded. Next came McCain/Palin. He was awful but paled in comparison to the fear induced by the wildly dangerous Palin. Obama in contrast was cool, calm, intelligent, and roughly in the political center.

    Flash forward to the current crop of GOP hopefuls. Perry, Cain, Bachman, Santorum, and Gingrich are all dangerously insane. Huntsman is the best of the lot but he’s nowhere.

    That leaves Romney and Paul. I recently saw a comparison of Romney to Glen Beck and it makes sense. Romney will literally say anything, including things he has completely fabricated out of thin air, without blinking an eye. At this point his lying, flip-flopping, and lying about his flip-flopping approach being pathological. He didn’t used to scare me, but now he does since I can’t predict in any way, shape, or form what he’d do as President to hold onto 4 more years. As far as I can see, the sky’s the limit.

    That leaves Paul. Yes, he has some nutty ideas especially on fiscal policy, but are they really any nuttier than the Ryan “plan” the others all signed onto? Or the belief that taxes are too high and besides tax cuts pay for themselves? Or that businesses won’t hire because they’re afraid of vast regulations coming from the Obama administration?

    If Paul became President, I think we’d have somebody who we at least understood and whose worst excesses would be controlled by Congress (and vice versa). If Romney became President, he’d be as beholden to the Tea Party as Boehner is today. If that happens then be afraid. Be VERY afraid.

    • balconesfault

      He didn’t used to scare me, but now he does since I can’t predict in any way, shape, or form what he’d do as President to hold onto 4 more years. As far as I can see, the sky’s the limit.

      I am amazed that more moderates don’t see this.

      If someone is just rabidly, virulently opposed to the way Obama has run his Presidency
      – if you feel there should have been no stimulus except for some more massive tax cuts,
      - if you think we should have pushed Iraq to allow 100,000 troops to stay in Iraq indefinitely, and we should be preparing for an invasion of Iran
      - if you think that America needs an immediate campaign to eliminate most Federal regulations and simply leave things to the states,
      - if you feel we need a President who will be ready to sign broadbrush legislation gutting most of our social safety net in America …

      then maybe throwing away the steady liberal centrism of Obama and rolling the dice with Romney makes sense.

      But anyone voting for Romney has to be aware that they ARE in fact rolling the dice. Anyone who is convinced that they know what course Romney will take when a significant issue arises is really self-delusional.

  • Anonne

    This is an imbecilic post and is beneath you, Noah.

    Voting for someone or endorsing someone does not necessarily mean that you endorse 100% of their positions. This yet another the problem with the Republican Party: this simplistic mindset that requires 100% adherence or else you’re a RINO. That mindset is why FrumForum exists.

    That said, Ron Paul appeals to the anti-war, anti-empire left because those are enormous issues, and oh by the way, they cut right to the heart of fiscal responsibility: NOT STARTING STUPID, EXPENSIVE WARS. His stance on civil liberties is generally more congruous with civil libertarians. And oh by the way, the drug war is ridiculously expensive to wage too, with questionable returns.

    If you value these things over the other things that are unlikely to change (civil rights laws), then you would be ok with a Ron Paul nomination. But if Republicans once again controlled both houses of Congress and the presidency, it would be a point of concern.

    • Reflection Ephemeral

      Well, and I don’t think the Nation is even endorsing Paul here. What I’ve heard from “pro-” Ron Paul liberals is that they’re glad to see a voice on the right talking about a less interventionist foreign policy, not that they want to see him be president.

      Just as background, here– we invaded a country, just under 10 years ago, for a bunch of reasons that turned out to not make much sense. (And if you looked at stuff like UAVs and aluminum tubes, you could see, at the time, on publicly available information, that things weren’t all adding up. The administration wasn’t offering a judicious, reluctant effort to see if we needed to invade, it was an effort to sell a predetermined course of action). The media didn’t care to do much work to find out whether those reasons made sense, and didn’t include folks who had serious reservations in the discussion. One report: http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=1628

      Looking at two weeks of coverage (1/30/03-2/12/03), FAIR examined the 393 on-camera sources who appeared in nightly news stories about Iraq on ABC World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly Newsand PBS’s NewsHour With Jim Lehrer. The study began one week before and ended one week after Secretary of State Colin Powell’s February 5 presentation at the U.N., a time that saw particularly intense debate about the idea of a war against Iraq on the national and international level. More than two-thirds (267 out of 393) of the guests featured were from the United States. Of the U.S. guests, a striking 75 percent (199) were either current or former government or military officials. Only one of the official U.S. sources– Sen. Edward Kennedy (D.-Mass.)– expressed skepticism or opposition to the war. … Of all official sources, 75 percent (222 of 297) were associated with either the U.S. or with governments that support the Bush administration’s position on Iraq; only four out of those 222, or 2 percent, of these sources were skeptics or opponents of war. … Yet, at a time when 61 percent of respondents in a CBS poll (2/5-6/03) were saying that they felt the U.S. should “wait and give the United Nations and weapons inspectors more time,” only 16 of the 68 U.S. guests (24 percent) who were not officials represented such views. Half of the non-official U.S. skeptics were “persons in the street”; five of them were not even identified by name. …

      Now, we went ahead and invaded, and spent a trillion or three or four, and lost 4400 Americans. (100,000 or so Iraqis died, too). It was kind of a big deal. And no one anywhere suffered any negative consequences whatsoever for the fiasco. I mean, Pres. Bush’s approval dropped over time, but that’s not much of a consequence.

      So, yeah, one can say that they disagree with most of Paul’s views, even on foreign policy, and at the same time think that in this context, despite all his flaws and his checkered past, he might do something good for our discussions about foreign policy. It’s not just, “Real Americans want to bomb and invade [foreign country X] NOW, but lily-livered liberals want to give Osama bin Laden therapy!”, which is kinda the narrative right now.

    • Banty

      “… this simplistic mindset that requires 100% adherence or else you’re a RINO. That mindset is why FrumForum exists.”

      Yep. This is the lens distortion through which an article about Paul’s impact on the so-called conservatives in the current GOP, images into “useful idiocy”.

      • LauraNo

        We should note, though, that it isn’t conservative or libertarian Ron Paul supporters who are idiots, it is just the liberal ones.

        • Banty

          Right. It’s not exactly the RINO thing, but it’s still this idea that a candidate has to be completely rejected or they’re some kind of dupe. Nuance ain’t their thing at all.

        • Anonne

          To be fair, that isn’t what Noah said. He noted that they have spent some time discussing the conservatives, but this article focuses on the liberals.

        • Dazedandconfused

          Heaven forbid the schism between the evangelicals and libertarians be exposed.

          Tucker Carlson is, like Ron, right occasionally. In the same way a stopped clock is, I suppose. Nevertheless, the Republicans need to consider why it is their nutty uncle is polling well with “likely Republican” caucus goers in Iowa.

  • Oldskool

    Looks like jihad-against-Ron Paul-day up in here. Let the kids have their heroes, they’ll be old and cynical soon enough.

  • Banty

    Did John Nichols *say* that Ron Paul is the greatest thing since deep-fried turkey?

    Or did he not, rather, say that Ron Paul’s consistent espousing of libertarians principals are threatening Republicans in certain ways. Not railing against someone, is not the same as supporting that someone.

    Sure, ‘progressive’ liberals get a kick out of hearing a non-interventionist, civil libertarian up there in the Republican debates. What else do you expect? I sure get a kick out of that, and I’m more of an independent. I can assure you they cringe when he talks about the Fed, and would be out in the streets if he got elected. But, he’s not, and darn straight he’s turning over some pretty bug-infested Republican rocks.

  • Graychin

    Paul’s libertarian outlook on personal liberties for human beings, and not just for the people known as corporations, has widespread appeal among liberals. It should have widespread appeal among small-government crusaders, but it doesn’t. I usually small-government types arguing for more government power over you and me, but less over big business.

    Examples: tougher drug laws, repealing Roe v. Wade, beefing up the “Patriot” Act, killing the internet to protect old business models from online “piracy.” And on and on.

    If I were going to be voting in a Republican primary, I would vote for Paul. Yes, he has many obnoxious and downright stupid views – but so do his Republican opponents. At least I agree with Paul about SOMETHING.

    • Banty

      I did vote for Ron Paul in 2008; at that time I was still a registered Republican. I did not want him for president (I voted for, and contributed heavily to Obama), but he deserved a vote for me watching McCain squirm and roll his eyes when he spoke during those debates.

  • smajor

    From Forum needs more articles attacking Ron Paul.

  • rbottoms

    So basically he’s as crazy as they are, just about different things.

    Meanwhile Obama is grinning ear to ear.

    As Londo said about his ex-wives bickering: Continue.

    • Banty

      Yeah, well that’s predictable. Realizing that we get ourselves stuck in a lot of quagmires in our exercise of power abroad, is not the same as apologizing for enemies or advocating “on behalf of Iran’s right to the status of misunderstood victim”.

      No more than I was fighting with tender concern for bullies’ rights to plummel third graders, when I advised my son to just stay the heck away from the bully down the block. And I sure as heck didn’t tell him to sniff around his neighborhood and beat up a different kid just to show the bully how tough he is.

      Ron Paul talks about our interventionist actions the way any decent historian of the 22nd century will. We invaded the country to Iran’s east, then we invaded the country to Iran’s west, the latter with NO justification. Add to that the sabre-rattling on the part of some quarters here in the U.S., you get a big dangerous nation on the defense. What on earth ELSE did we expect to happen??!? Pointing out that that is stupid is not the same as casting Iran as “a misunderstood victim”.

      • rongoodman

        In addition to overthrowing an elected government with a CIA coup, installing and supporting the Shah and his Savak for 25 years, supporting Iraq in the war they started against Iran, blowing a civilian airliner out of the sky… I can’t really blame the Iran for being a little pissed off.

  • rbottoms

    When the GOP leadership repudiates that fat bastard Rush Limbaugh’s racist posterior I will take DF’s concern trolling about Ron Paul seriously.

  • balconesfault

    Ron Paul gets one thing right.

    You can’t significantly cut the size of the US Government, and the heavy hand of the Federal Government on the economy, if you want to run a military that polices the globe.

    All the Republicans who go around saying otherwise are either fools or liars.

    On the other hand … the fact that some liberals are enamored with Paul I blame on Obama’s White House. Obama did little to push back on the Patriot Act reauthorization, he signed the new Defense Bill which has the indefinite detention language (although I agree that he had to, given his options), he upped the ante in Afghanistan and increased the use of drone strikes (arguably both were good moves, but if you’re seriously anti war you can’t be happy with them), and his DOJ has hardly been beneficient towards pot distribution.

  • dante

    You know, Noah, it’s disappointing that you didn’t try to refute Nichols’s point:

    [blockquote]The problem that Limbaugh, Hannity and other GOP establishment types have with Paul is that the Texan really is a conservative, rather than a neoconservative or a crony capitalist who would use the state to maintain monopolies at home and via corrupt international trade deals.

    Paul’s pure conservatism puts him at odds with a party establishment that has sold out to Wall Street and multinational corporations. But it has mad an increasingly iconic Republican with a good many of the grassroots activists who will attend the caucuss.[/blockquote]

    Because guess what, to many of us, that is EXACTLY the problem with the Republican party today. The current crop of neo-conservatives bear little to no resemblance of any previous definition of “conservative”.

    Fiscal policy: GWB ran up bigger debts, and faster government spending than any other president in history, INCLUDING PRESIDENT OBAMA if you attribute the 2009 budget (proposed by Bush in ’08) to Bush as well. My take on “conservatism” is that you spend less than you take in, have balanced budgets and save money for a rainy day (ie, recession). None of the current crop of Republicans come anywhere near a balanced budget, and many of their fiscal policies will actually *increase* the debt due to more (and more, and more, and more tax cuts).

    Government spending: None of the current crop of Republicans (aside from Paul) want to *actually* cut government in any discernible way. Yes, they want to attack their favorite punching-bag programs (SS, Medicare, Medicaid, NPR, Planned Parenthood, etc), but none of those have **ANYTHING** to do with the current federal spending level. The amount given to NPR and PP is minuscule, and SS/Medicare are currently taking in more than they pay out. In order to cut government spending there has to be real changes to our bloated military, our corp and ag subsidies, and government bureaucracy. No (R) will touch any of those except for those with a Libertarian leaning.

    Military policy: In general “conservatives are the least likely to intervene in foreign conflicts, including WWII, WWI, and so on. This is because it’s not fiscally advantageous for us to do so, and spends men and material that could be put to better use elsewhere. GWB might have campaigned on that type of policy (humble foreign policy, no nation-building, etc) but was one of the most warmongering presidents we’ve ever had. I’m trying to think of any other president who started 2 8+ year wars and I’m coming up blank…

    Civil Liberties: While traditionally “conservatives” have been most protective of Civil Liberties, since the 1950s they have been the first ones to give up liberties for safety, or a perceived safety. Republicans today are the biggest proponents of the Patriot Act, reducing the importance of the 1st Amendment, and pushing for the right for the military to detain US citizens in the most recent defense bill.

    Personal Responsibility: While conservatives champion “personal responsibility”, they don’t ACTUALLY want to allow Americans to make their own choices. Look at all of the social laws that “conservatives have put into place, from illegal drugs to sodomy to alcohol restrictions to abortion to… All of these place the government MORE squarely in the lives of ordinary Americans, even though conservatives are blue in the face telling people they want LESS government intrusion.

    Crony Capitalism: I’m sorry, there is NO way that the original framers of the Constitution felt that Corporations should be people. If they had, they would have said so. Corporations had been popularized long before the American Revolution, and so you can’t even claim that they’re a new and different entity that the framers would have included if they’d known about them. Several of the founding fathers specifically spoke against the dangers of corporate entities, and yet the current crop of Republicans feel that personal rights should be sacrificed on the altar of the almighty C corp.

    I might not agree with many (most) or Ron Paul’s positions but I respect his CONSISTENCY, which is desperately lacking among Republicans. That consistency is only highlighting the hypocrisy of the rest of the field, and I believe that that is what has the Republicans running scared. Every time Paul says ‘cut the military’ it points out to the rest of the country that the Republicans want to continue spending $800b *per year* as an imperialist power. Every time he talks about getting rid of the Patriot Act it reminds the country that Republicans were the ones that pushed for (and got) this horrible infringement on our civil liberties. Every time he talks about legalizing drugs it points out the hypocrisy of Republicans who claim “personal responsibility and less government intrusion into people’s lives” while pushing for more and more government intrusion into people’s (personal) lives.

    Republicans are right to be running scared…

  • Houndentenor

    For decades now, the GOP has talked like libertarians while expanding the role of government with every Republican administration. Paul exposes the lie that the GOP is the party of fiscal responsibility and small government. That’s why the party leadership and their flunkies in the right wind media hate him so much.

    Would I vote for him for president? I’m not even planning on voting for him to return to his seat in the House. (Sadly, I am in his district.)

  • AnBr

    This strikes me as much as an obligatory swipe at liberals as it is at Paul. This seems beneath what I have come to expect from Noah.

    As several have already noted, those issues are big issues for those on the left and many in the center. This does not mean that to applause sensible rhetoric amounts to an endorsement for Paul as president. Paul’s stances on social contracts and many of his economic views are a bridge too for for most.

    I see only too principled GOP candidates that have been in the debates, Paul and Huntsman. I think that most can find something in Paul’s stances that makes sense to them, but like me, can listen to him and say “yes, that makes a lot of sense”, but then the next thing out of his mouth just comes across as wacko. The fact that he holds certain views that seem to appeal those from different parts of the political spectrum is based on his convictions, not like the pandering from the others.

    Do I agree with some of his positions? Certainly. Would I vote for him? Never.

    rbottoms // Dec 22, 2011 at 1:54 pm:

    As Londo said about his ex-wives bickering: Continue.

    B-5 fan?

  • nhthinker

    Noah picks a picture of two tenish-year-olds, one in an interesting hat and captions them “idiots”.
    Noah is the crass idiot here…
    What if their mothers happen across FrumForum? If I was on a jury, I would certainly award them damages for any mental anguish caused by your crass idiocy.

    If you are going to poke ridicule at people you obviously don’t know, at least use pictures of adults for your inane scorn.

    After you change the picture, why not show your work to your mom and dad (and David) so that they might reprimand you properly?

    • _will_

      maybe Noah’s just implying that the mind of a rabid Paul supporter is like that of a child – i.e. naive, callow, believes in fairy tales (like the tax fairy and free market utopias), etc

  • TerryF98

    I would vote for Paul over the other clowns, at least he is sincere. Obama still gets my vote though, he is head and shoulders above all the GOP lunatics.

    • Nanotek

      + 1

      “Paul appeals to the left because of his simple stances on a few issues; he opposed Bush Administration foreign policy, he wants to end the Patriot Act, and he wants to decriminalize drugs.”

      As a proud member of “the left,” I appreciate finally understanding Paul’s appeal… all this time I thought it was his sincerity against that backdrop of frauds, hucksters and influence-peddlers in the GOP primaries.

  • zephae

    It seems that for some people, opposition to the Iraq war and support for legal pot is more important than profiting off racist newsletters and calling for an end to all assistance for the downtrodden.

    You’re assuming that the liberals that support Paul now will continue to do so in the general and I don’t think that’s necessarily a wise assumption. I, too, would like to see Paul take a more prominent place in the GOP nomination process (most of the candidates ripped off his platform anyway) for a variety of reasons. First, he’s an honest guy, which would make for a refreshing set of debates where the candidates might actually have to lay their cards on the table. Second, he’s the epitome of anti-government Tea Party “conservative” that’s in vogue right now and his defeat could publicly discredit that point of view to the electorate (much in the same way that Frum argued about Perry’s nomination). Finally, he brings to the table a lot of civil liberties issues that have gotten increasingly out-of-hand since 9/11 as well as ridiculous policies like the War on Drugs that just cost massive amounts of money and destabilize communities and even whole countries.

    So I, as a liberal, would be pleased to see him nominated and have the debate that he’d bring with him. It’s just that I’d like to see him soundly defeated, though I’d hope that some of his arguments would stick with voters.

    • AnBr

      Agreed. Having Paul in the race only improves what is otherwise nothing more than a shameless show of mindless pandering to the teabaggers and evangelicals.

  • anniemargret

    I would think the GOP has a bigger issue to chew over than whether or not liberals are ‘useful idiots’ for Paul. The issue is why they do.

    I like Paul’s foreign policy view. Basically, MYOB. And why not? I have seen very little yet of mainstream Republicans in this country that have learned anything from the ongoing disaster called Iraq.

    Apparently there is no limit to their need to show bravado and machismo even if it means to sacrifice another 4500 American soldiers, or kill thousands more of innocents, or waste billions more in invasion, destruction and the attempt at nation-building.

    So just who are the useful idiots? Perhaps they need to look within their own party and ask themselves if Paul is speaking the truth…the truth Republicans prefer not to see or admit. Common sense long left that party, and culture wars took its place. Lunacy.

    I would never vote for Paul even I were an Independent or Republican. I care too much about social issues for Americans, and I care very deeply about Americans having adequate healthcare that is affordable and not dependent on income or whether or not they have a job. Any party that supports children who could die in this country due to the above is not a party I respect or admire…the marketplace is no place for healthcare.

    But I like and admire Paul for his courage in speaking the truth about Iraq and the neocons desire to install a Pax Americans in the Middle East. Pox on the Pax! Paul is absolutely right on this one but his past racist overtones and his extremism on domestic issues, like healthcare, prevent me from voting for such a person.

    But if the GOP was smart (!), they would be paying attention to his message. It is resonating, and there is a reason for it. But it’s much easier for mainstream Republicanism to call people who find it refreshing for a presidential candidate to speak about our awful foreign policy decisions of the past decade in truth, and not shades of truth, ‘useful idiots.’

    Ahem.. Just who are the useful idiots? “Hypocrite! Pluck the beam out of your own eye, so you can see clearly…..”

  • Secessionist

    The Ron Paul newsletters contained no expressions of ill will toward any race.

    Most of the quotes being bandied about were taken out of context.

    Justin Raimondo, a paleo-libertarian like Murray Rothbard, wrote about it 4 years ago.

    http://takimag.com/article/why_the_beltway_libertarians_are_trying_to_smear_ron_paul/print%23axzz1hDb8VTTB

    • Danny_K

      You could at least use a line of argument that would work for people who’d read those articles. They’re nasty and bigoted, and no context will make them look any better.

      • Secessionist

        No, quoting out of context is intellectually dishonest period.

        Unfortunately, when most people hear the words “racist” and “bigot,” their higher brain functions shut down.

        If that were not the case, a lot of people might figure out that these attacks on Ron Paul are coming from people with a political agenda.

      • Secessionist

        Raimondo explains here why people are always lying about Ron Paul.

        It’s no mystery, really: Ron Paul is, in many ways, the exact opposite of the Beltway fake-“libertarians.” He’s a populist: they suck up to power, he challenges the powers-that-be; they go along to get along – he has never gone along with the conventional wisdom as defined by the arbiters of political correctness, Left and Right. And most of all, he’s an avowed enemy of the neoconservatives, whom he constantly names as the main danger to peace and liberty – while the Beltway’s tame “libertarians” are in bed with them, often literally as well as figuratively.

  • FoolForum

    So, how many of you bloggers are going to put your neck on the line and say that all of the tea partiers will be useful idiots when they swallow their pride and pull the lever for Romney because they have been told that 4 more years of Obama is just unacceptable? I won’t hold my breath.

    • dante

      Lol, getting ahead of ourselves, are we? Romney still can’t break through the 1-in-4 line with Republican voters, and the latest CNN poll has *Ron Paul* polling equally well (badly) against President Obama. Both Ron Paul and Romney *lose* to Obama by a 7 point margin.

      It has to be sad when the guy who’s deemed himself most likely to beat the sitting president not only loses to him in a theoretical matchup, but does just as poorly as the wack-job Libertarian who thinks we should eliminate SS, Medicare, Medicaid, the military, and just about every other federal program…

      http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/12/20/cnn-poll-obama-gains-strength-in-2012-matchups/

      By the way, even *Rasmussen* has Obama over Romney by a 3pt margin… That’s got to be the death knell for someone running on “electibility”.

      • FoolForum

        Oh I’m not getting ahead, Romney is dead in the water. Neocon hacks will be begging for the tea party to put their fundamental disagreements aside and sell their souls for the illusion of a chance to simply beat Obama, but they don’t seem to be under the illusion that Romney is going to change anything, which is why he already lost the election. To pretend that this isn’t going to be the fate of the GOP nomination is to ignore the writing on the wall. No democrat will ever go over to Romney if Obama is on the ballot, not a chance in hell. I predict if the election plays out and Romney gets the nomination, this will be the first place trying to court the tea party and all the talk about “useful idiots” will be conveniently absent until after the election. I don’t know how much intellectual gymnastics its going to take to convince small government “paleoconservatives” that the GOP nomination is any victory for their ideals, but it will be certainly fun to watch. Frum will put on a good show.

  • bamboozer

    Gullible is the key word, but it’s just that good old American political stupidity. These people have no idea what Paul really stands for, it’s how he gets reelected to the House. Texas may be a far right disaster zone but do you really thinks Paul could get the time of day if the people of his district truely understood what Libertarianism means?

    • dante

      One thing I came to realize last night when discussing this with someone else, is that Ron Paul has NEVER had to stand up to an onslaught of negative advertising. Because he’s been such a fringe candidate nobody has spent a single penny on ads attacking him. As such he’s been able to define himself on the good parts (ie, personal responsibility, cutting military spending, appealing to youth, etc) without having to defend the unpopular parts. I mean, Ron Paul has stated that he believes that SS and Medicare are unconstitutional. He has gone on to “clarify” that to say that he wouldn’t end SS/Medicare overnight, and that he’d like to phase them out, but if ads start running playing the “unconstitutional” statement over and over again, Paul’s popularity with anyone 55 and over is going to drop like a stone.

      Look at what happened with Newt Gingrich… No one ran ads attacking him because he was polling in the single digits. After his meteoric rise in the polls, everyone turned on him and his spectacular rise was matched by a spectacular fall. I view RP in the exact same way, as he’ll *never* be able to withstand the scrutiny and negative advertising that come with a long and drawn-out campaign.

  • Danny_K

    Why do you assume it’s bad faith? A lot of people on the Left like the idea ending the multiple foreign wars and the Drug wars, too. The American political system is careful to make sure that this is never an item on the presidential menu, though — we always have a choice of a Democrat or Republican who will build up the defense establishment and start wars in foreign countries.

    Most Americans agree with Paul and Nichols and want to end the foreign wars, but they have no viable spokesman in Washington. It’s sad that Ron Paul is the closest thing we have right now.

  • Kane

    The post is rather disingenuous and intellectually dishonest. It’s unfortunate that time wasn’t spent on addressing the issues raised by Nichols rather than pretending that Paul is some kind of a liberal hero.

    Say what you will about Paul’s conservatism, but his policies have long republican roots. One can look at his policies and actually follow a timeline of history of where these traditonal conservative policies were born and developed within the GOP. One can agree or disagree with Paul and his conservative policies, but he and those policies are far more consistent and recognizably conservative than anything that Romney and Gingrich are offering.

  • Candy83

    Ron Paul is a pain in the ass because he isn’t an establishment-preferred Republican — not fascist or corporatist. And the U.S. congressman, for the 14th district in Texas, is not on board for the military industrial complex which loves war, loves sinking the U.S. economy in wars.

  • Geprodis

    The author of this article is obviously biased, and he also happens to be wrong.

    The anti-war left won’t vote for Paul, so they are useless idiots.

    The author puts in a jab at the end with the tired old newsletters and a “Ron Paul hates poor people” distortion.

    Ron Paul wants to get rid of welfare: GOOD.

    Poor people will still be taken care of by others in the private sector who want to help. Libertarians are not jerks who wants to spit on poor people…they just don’t like big government bull.