July 28, 2007

About two weeks ago Justin Raimondo mentioned on a blog that Ron Paul’s enemies had begun to smear him as an anti-Semite and racist. From the references I assumed that the sources of the attack were the neoconservatives, an assumption that made perfectly good sense given the diametrically opposed views of the two camps. While the neocons favor an extended welfare state and perpetual war for the sake of a “€œdemocratic peace,”€ Ron is a traditional, limited government Taft Republican. I could not imagine two sides that would be more antithetical in their thinking and political views.

But in the last few days I have been noticing nasty attacks against Ron Paul from what I had considered an adjunct of the Republican Right, GOPUSA Eagle. As far as I can tell, the kind of innuendo being used here has not been directed against other Republican candidates. On Monday there was an entirely unsubstantiated charge on GOPUS Eagle, for which I could find no accompanying explanation, which suggests that Ron Paul had falsified his position on immigration. And on July 25 the same website featured an exposé by Rachel Alexander which supposedly shows that Ron is no longer a libertarian. Neither charge seems well-argued; nor given the fact that Ron has received a100% approval rating from the immigration-restrictionist group FAIR, for his voting record in Congress, can I figure out how exactly has he misrepresented himself.

The one time that Ron broke openly with the Right on family morality legislation is when he voted against a proposed amendment banning same sex marriage. And Ron explained himself exhaustively on this point by saying that it was not the federal government’s business to get into family issues that fell under the purview of the states. My own justification for his stand is that the proposal in question is a cheap trick by which Republicans can ingratiate themselves with gullible members of the Religious Right, by voting for an ill considered amendment that has no chance of passing. What such amendments aim at doing, besides stripping state governments of legitimate constitutional power, is generate the kind of controversy that benefits Republican hacks. Such types moralize, while leaving it to others, like Ron, to talk seriously about reining in public administration.

It would seem from the latest hits on Ron Paul that Republican regulars are eager to see him go, lest he hurt the Republican frontrunner Rudy Giuliani. In a tight race between Hillary and Rudy (would that both could go down to defeat!), Ron might damage the Republican candidate, while running on a third party-ticket, by taking away enough Republican votes to hand the race to the Democrats. That could easily happen given the current poll figures for Hillary and Giuliani—and given the significant effect that a loss of a few percentage points might have on Giuliani’s showing. For those who enjoy Republican patronage as well as for neocon operators who have already picked their candidate, there would be value in pushing Ron Paul out of the race sooner rather than later. If he stays in and proceeds to take as much as 8 to 10 percent of the Republican primary vote, he might continue his bid for the presidency. Which major party’s candidate would likely suffer more as result of his decision should be obvious.


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