Ron Paul Roundup (2-23-08)
by RS Davis
Hello Freedomphiles! Let's wrap up this catch up and then go have a pint, yes? A couple of interesting bits came out of the news this morning, so let's start off with the news so recent, when you're done reading this, you're gonna have ink smudges on your brain. Oh, if only you had a butler to iron this before you read it.
Looks like Ron Paul backed out of The Greater Huston Partnership's energy forum. The Houston Chronicle reports:
- Organizers of America's Energy Future: Houston's Presidential Summit — scheduled for Thursday at the George R. Brown Convention Center — had hoped presidential candidates would debate how the nation can best improve its energy security.
But only Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton and Paul, a congressman from Lake Jackson, had agreed to attend the event. And rather than debate, the candidates were to speak separately hours apart.
"Since it's no longer a debate, Ron is going to stay in Washington and make his votes," Paul spokesman Jesse Benton said.
I wonder exactly what they mean by "energy security." If they mean, like, fortifying nuclear plants and the Hoover Dam and shit from terrorist attacks, I'm down. If they are talking about that bullshit notion of "energy independence," I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.
In yesterday's Roundup, I included a couple of stories about the sign-waving party out by Fort Hood. One Freedomphile in particular - an amiable scoundrel with Gandalf's beard named Joseph - was sucked back to 1971 like Ego in Ratatouille when he eats the simple eponymous dish, where Joseph waited months at Fort Hood to be released back into the wild.
Ron Paul had a reaction, too. The Killeen Daily Herald reports:
- After hearing about the many recent homecomings of Fort Hood soldiers, Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul decided to visit Killeen and honor them for their service, Paul said in a telephone interview Friday.
The Texas congressman will speak at 11 a.m. today at Vive Les Arts, 3401 S. W.S. Young Drive in Killeen. Doors open at 10:15 a.m.
The candidate said he expects a good turnout for his speech. He said he will discuss military, national defense and terrorism issues, all of which directly relate to the people in the Killeen community.
"I think it's recognized that we get more support from active-duty military than all other candidates put together," Paul said.
Veterans benefits is another issue Paul plans to address today. He said he wants to provide more help to returning troops.
Paul Bear is where I was in 2002. He's fed up. He's disgusted. He's realizing that he believes in the principles of the Republican Party, and dismayed that Republicans don't. He's mad as hell, and he's not going to take it any more. He writes on Op-EdNews:
- Following my own state's primary, I am now leaving the Republican Party—for good. I keep getting clueless Republican fund-raising letters from headquarters, saying that they have not heard from me since mid-2005—that they are worried they've lost my former strong support (ha ha)—and that now it is more important than ever for me to send them more money. I am sorry; the check is not in the mail. Not with the way you've treated Ron Paul!
What? Did you think you could be the way you've been to one of your own candidates, and then expect his followers to loyally support your crooked machine, after you've finished crucifying him???
There's a reason I've not been heard from since mid-2005. It is because that is when I started really waking up, and realizing the tyrannical actions being taken by the present Republican government, in the name of conservatism—in the name of America! I kept hoping, though, even after that time, that the keener consciences in the party would take a stand to check the draconian police state mentality creeping in, at first undetected, then blatantly and high-handedly! A check never materialized! Those who should have known better, seemed to be mesmerized—bewitched! I couldn't figure it out at first—now I recognize that the hypnotic influence is a vision of raw unbridled power, not unlike that which has led empires of the past to overreach until they self-destructed.
Then I discovered Ron Paul—no thanks to the media—and I hoped against hope, that Ron Paul—the voice of one crying in a desert of lost liberty—might be heeded—the only Republican voice that has given me any reason for hope, since I first woke up. Alas! Methinks I was wrong to give my party one more chance!
In yesterday's Roundup, I talked about the Pajamas Media report that Ron Paul was ten points behind Chris Peden, the upstart challenger to his seat in Texas. Well, it turns out now that there's something fishy going on. Mark Elam, Ron Paul's Congressional campaign manager, shot an email to National Review Online's David Freddesco:
- Peden is NOT leading Dr. Paul in this race. In fact, most voters still don't even know who Peden is. How do I know this? Because I am Ron Paul's campaign manager and I have personally overseen 4 different political surveys in district 14 in recent weeks. All 4 surveys have shown the same results: Ron Paul has a high favorable rating and high marks on his job approval. And if the election were held today, 60+ percent of the GOP voters say they would vote to reelect Ron Paul, while only 18-20% chose Peden. The remaining 20% or so say they are undecided or refuse to give an answer to these scientific and statistically accurate surveys.
Interesting. Was this selective reporting, or is there perhaps a sinister conspiracy behind this? LewRockwell.com thinks yes:
- Well, the Paul campaign has exposed the piece as yet another NeoCon smear by Roger L. Simon (yes, the same Hitchens-esque Roger L. Simon who believes the Global War on Tactics and the acceptance of gay marriage are inextricably linked)...
I don't see how the Ron Paul Campaign "exposed" this as a NeoCon smear. All they exposed was its inaccuracy. That's like saying that since I discovered that my wife did in fact eat the rest of the pot brownies, there is therefore a sinister conspiracy to enact a passive-aggressive embargo against my attaining the cause and cure for the munchies in one delectable snack.
Top-diamond libertarian Walt Thiessen writes on The Nolan Chart that despite the power of that completely unsubstantiated claim, he is unconvinced:
- Is Bradley right? Was Simon smearing the good doctor? I'm not convinced. Yes, Simon certainly appears to favor the war on terror, and yes Dr. Paul has urged against pursuing it as part of a larger plan to police the world. But when I read the original Simon article, it was clear that he was basing his conclusions on what Peden, Paul's challenger, said. Excuse me, Mr. Bradley, but I believe that's called news reporting, not smearing.
I disagree with Simon on the war on terror, while I generally agree with him on what he calls "englightenment issues," so perhaps my own bias is showing. I am a strong supporter of Dr. Paul's candidacy, and Simon is not. Simon may have liked the news he was reporting, and I didn't like it, but that doesn't mean that Simon was smearing Dr. Paul.
One of the things that I've noticed most in this campaign is that Paul supporters often have very thin skins. The thin-skinned supporters need to toughen up a bit. I'm not suggesting that Paul hasn't been treated badly by the major media, the pundits, and the Republican Party leadership. He has been treated badly by all three, but there's also such a thing as recognizing fair play. Just because someone opposes your candidate doesn't mean they're smearing him.
Agreed, my man. I don't think most supporters are so knee-jerk, but why do the ones who are always seem to have amps that go to eleven?
The Wall Street Journal writes about Paul's opponent:
- He expresses confidence he will dispatch his primary opponent, Chris Peden, a certified public accountant and city councilman from Friendswood, about 20 miles south of Houston. Mr. Peden says that while Mr. Paul may be a celebrity candidate with a zealous following, he hasn't been an effective legislator.
Mr. Peden's candidacy has irked many of Mr. Paul's ardent supporters. Mr. Peden says his family has been harassed in phone calls, emails, and in person at their home to a point where the Pedens have filed complaints with local police and sent their two youngest children to stay with his parents until the primary is over.
Mr. Peden said he doesn't believe Mr. Paul or his campaign had anything to do with the harassment; Paul campaign manager Mark Elam confirms that, calling the actions of some supporters "unfortunate."
Mr. Peden is positioning himself as a more buttoned-down mainstream conservative, unlike Mr. Paul who is known for his libertarian streak and advocacy of policies that aren't widely embraced by fellow Republicans, such as eliminating the Federal Reserve.
Simply put, Mr. Peden doesn't think Mr. Paul does his day job well. "The more I've learned about him, the more I realized the 351 bills he's authored to date since 1997 when he was re-elected none -- zero -- have ever been passed into law," he says in an interview at his campaign headquarters in Alvin. Mr. Paul's antiwar rhetoric, he says, puts him at odds with a solidly conservative district that re-elected President Bush with nearly 70% of the vote in 2004.
Still, Mr. Peden faces an uphill fight with little financial support outside of a $150,000 loan he made himself.
The Newark Advocate wrote a piece about the new outreach program in the ironically monikered "Garden State" called Liberty Central:
- What started out as a group of four people huddled around a table became Liberty Central, an education center committed to supporting Paul, which had its grand opening Sunday.
"(Liberty Central hopes to) educate people about our (constitutional) rights and how they are being violated," Jooss said. "There is a chart in the back showing very few congressmen take the oath seriously and vote to uphold the Constitution."
Jooss said nothing is more important than for Congress to uphold the Constitution because it serves as the cornerstone of the United States.
And The New Hampshire Union Leader wrote about all the little Ron Pauls popping up around the country:
- Ron Paul received only 8 percent of the vote in the New Hampshire primary, but he may have spawned a new generation of Republican candidates.
The first to emerge is Jim Forsythe of Strafford. A relative unknown despite being the local town GOP committee chair, he is the third candidate in the Republican 1st District U.S. House primary race that also includes Jeb Bradley and John Stephen.
Forsythe, 39, is a businessman, former pilot who flew in Somalia, Bosnia and Iraq, a former associate professor at the Air Force Academy and the owner of a doctorate degree in aerospace engineering.
According to libertarian commentator and former Paul chief-of-staff Lew ..Rockwell's Web site, Forsythe is one of several "Ron Pauls" running for the House or Senate across the country this year.
As of this writing, two days after the money bomb, his total is just $60,327, so I am guessing the money bomb wasn't a Paulian success. But keep it up, Mr Forsythe and the rest of you Ron Paul Republicans.
Right-libertarian rtbohan writes on The Nolan Chart about the future of the movement Ron Paul has energized:
- After the event it is important that the people who have supported Ron Paul for president support him in his effort to return to the House. The defeat of this effort would seriously damage the credibility of the movement. Ron Paul has been the single libertarian in the Congress. To lose his representation would be a major setback for all of us.
Beyond this point, there are other questions. What will Ron Paul do in the presidential election after the Republican Convention? He is a liebertarian, but he is also a member of the Republican Party. At some point he will reach his personal decision about whom to vote for. He may or may not make that decision public. If he does make it public, we must remember that we are libertarians and not Paulites. Each of us must make a decision, and publicize it if we choose, which may or may not accord with what Representative Paul advises.
Rpresentative Paul has said that a number of people have expressed interest in mounting their own candidacy for the Congress on the basis of the principles they share with thim. It is important that we find these people and give them such support as we can. Representative Paul should not be the only voice for liberty in the Congress. Now that the presidential campaign is ending, it is important to work to send a larger contingent to Congress.
Ron Paul is a valuable spokesman for liberty. But he is not its only supporter. His candidacy and his leadership have given the movement a great surge forward. But winning liberty is not the busness of the leader. It is the business of the movement. The greatest accolade we can give to Representative Paul and his campaign is to show that the movement has matured to the point it can go forward, whether or not he continues to lead the way.
Guest essayist Daniel Novitski writes in The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle that Ron Paul knows the economy:
- Republican presidential hopeful and Texas Congressman Ron Paul recently unveiled an economic reform plan rooted in Austrian free market economics.
Free market economics differs from Keynesian economics in that it calls for a sound, commodity-backed monetary system (such as a precious metal standard) with little government interference. Such a standard enforces fiscally conservative government spending.
In contrast, Keynesian economists generally support a central bank (Federal Reserve) to artificially intervene in the economy to regulate interest rates, with the discretion to print money from thin air. Keynesian proponents support the notion of fiat currency, which usually removes all commodity-backing, and relies on global investing and borrowing to prop up the value of a country's currency.
When the Federal Reserve lowers interest rates, inflation results, and your savings suffer. For example, a middle-class working family in Rochester with $5,000 in the bank at an inflation rate of 10 percent would, by year' end, have the purchasing power of $4,500. This is especially harmful to those on fixed incomes.
Paul's plan works toward addressing monetary, regulatory, spending and tax reform.
He got that almost completely right, but I'd like to point out that the Chicago School of free market economics does not embrace commodity-based currency, so he should have been more specific about that. Right-libertarian Gary Wood writes on The Nolan Chart that the primary process is like American Idol, presumably with less hot 18-year old girls:
- American Idol starts out with many possible contestants and its whittled down to the top 24, 12 male and 12 female competitors. Then the voters begin to cast their votes while the judges continue to influence decisions. In Presidential Idol the judges, mainstream media and the two party's elite, influence the voters based on their assessments of different performances by the contestants. We started with the top 8 Democrats and the top 12 Republicans.
It would appear the voices singing songs of liberty and freedom were the early losers with contestants such as Tancredo, Hunter, Thompson, Kucinich, and Gravel being knocked out early. The judges don't appear to appreciate this type of message in 2008. The lone voice left on either side still attempting the genre is Ron Paul. (Mike Huckabee has performed a few renditions but overall his is a mixed message.)
There is one essential difference, though. On American Idol, you can vote for whomever you want as many times as you want. If we could do that in the primaries, knowing the way we bomb the polls and stuff, Ron Paul would already be Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Empire.
Top-diamond libertarian Alexander Jefferson writes on The Nolan Chart some advice for those of you who were Republican before the primaries and will continue to be Republicans after:
- Get involved and stay involved. Go to your counties website find out about meeting and events you can attend. I think you will be amazed at how much these people at the local level share our ideals, at least that has been the case for me.
I believe most of them still see the party as what it was supposed to be. My original plan was to get in and start talking up fiscal responsibility with them, and I have found they are very fiscally conservative, and the only real issue is the disconnect between the parties leaders and the men and women who make up the base.
By being involved, and being known, you will have influence. The more involved you are, the more influence you will have. This is not something that will happen overnight, but it will happen.
Joseph Reisert of The Kennebec Journal writes why he doesn't think Ron Paul is a serious candidate:
- What particularly marks Ron Paul as a non-serious presidential candidate is, paradoxically, the very thing that his most fervent supporters find inspiring about him: He is utterly uncompromising in his attachment to his principles.
Congressman Paul's principles are radical, in the literal sense that he proposes a return to the roots, to the ideas of individual liberty that, in his view, animated the American founding.
He is sharply critical of the "big-government" innovations of the twentieth century -- the Federal Reserve System, the intrusion of federal regulation into the economy and the environment, and the intervention of the federal government into such things as health care and education. He argues for the abolition of such mainstays of the modern welfare state as the Department of Education, which he regards as unconstitutional.
On matters of foreign policy, too, Ron Paul would chart a course that hews more closely to the ideals of George Washington's "Farewell Address" than to the strongly internationalist and interventionist course the United States has pursued since the end of World War Two. He would bring American forces home from Iraq and withdraw the United States from any international agreements and organizations, such as the WTO, NAFTA, and the UN that he regards as diminishing American sovereignty.
The candidate himself evidently regards his inflexible dedication to his libertarian principles as a virtue, because his website boasts that one of his colleagues in Congress has said of him: "He makes it clear that his principles will never be compromised, and they never are."
He writes this as though it were a bad thing. As Jon Stewart said, "That's what's so interesting about Congressman Ron Paul is, you appear to have consistent, principled integrity; Americans don't usually go for that." Maybe that's true, but I hope its not. Because that would mean that what Americans do go for is cynical politics - what they do go for is sweet-talking lotharios who say whatever it takes to get you into bed and then never call you again - that is, until four years later when they get another boner for power.
The Rutland Herald thinks there is a media blackout on Ron Paul, considering his numerous accomplishments:
- There's a national media blackout of presidential candidate Congressman Ron Paul. There's no other explanation when you study his campaign accomplishments. You probably didn't hear it on the news, but he finished second in Maine, Nevada, and Louisiana and won 25 percent of the vote in Montana, 21 percent in Washington and North Dakota, 17 percent in Alaska, and 16 percent in Minnesota, and in a few of these contests he beat McCain. These are significant numbers and clearly qualify him as a major candidate. He's been declared the winner of numerous straw polls and debates, and broke the previous single day fund-raising record from 2004 held by John Kerry by raising $6-plus million. In the fourth quarter he raised more money than all other Republican candidates with $20 million, and he's received more campaign contributions from veterans and active military personnel than the others — McCain, Clinton, Obama, Huckabee — combined.
KIDK in Iowa Falls is writing about a supporter who has totally covered his car in Ron Paul:
- I'm sure you've seen this station wagon driving around town, and today we spotted him at the ice cream shop right in front of Channel 3, and I just had to go talk to him about the car.
"I didn't think he'd last 2 or 3 months," says Tim Urling, a Ron Paul supporter.
He's talking about this guy, Ron Paul, whose campaigning for united states president.
"He is the only one that understands the constitution, he's the only candidate that understands the proper roll of government," says Urling.
And he's the only candidate that has a moving billboard around Idaho Falls.
And finally, KXAN reports about a rally today in Austin:
- More than 1,300 people say they plan to attend a rally in Austin Saturday for Republican candidate Ron Paul.
Paul's supporters have confirmed they will be at the event through Facebook.com and Meetup.com, but those who want to go are not required to make a reservation.
The free event kicks off at 2 p.m. on the Main Mall of the University of Texas, and will feature performances by Jimmie Vaughan and others. Paul is scheduled to speak at 5 p.m.
Thanks for being patient with my sick arse, and I'll see you next week!