April 14, 2009

Re: Mark Sanford, the Alternative Right, & Me

I?m in general agreement with Jack about Mark Sanford: he is, without question, one of the best Republicans around and certainly the most radical and ?alternative? to be treated as one of the guys on FOX News Sunday. My post on the governor, in which I hyperbolically suggesting that he might be Newt Gingrich?s ?mole,? was directed more at the Ron Paul grassroots than it was at admirers of Sanford.

The Ron Paul ?rEVOLution? succeeds specifically because it?s based on a constellation of explicit, concrete, and nonnegotiable objectives, and, at least so far, it hasn?t been corrupted by any ?pragmatism? or ?realism? (though it was ill served by a bumbling official campaign leadership). Lots of different people are attracted to Paul, and what the movement emphases can shift as times change, But everyone still comes together over the core issues of ending the Fed, shrinking government, and bringing the troops home. (And, by the way, why should the Paulistas bother themselves with cozying up to the GOP on occasion in order to ?make [their] ideas more palatable to a mainstream audience?? Which is more ?crazy,? re-instituting the gold standard or engaging in electromagnetic-pulse warfare with Kim Jong-il?).

There is, for sure, a certain cult of personality surrounding the soft-spoken Texan, evidenced by things like the Ron Paul song and posters in which naked hotties declare their undying love for Paul and the U.S. Constitution. All of this is fun, and doesn?t detract from the political movement in the least, because Paul has proven himself incorruptible and unwavering when it comes to the issues that mater: the Fed, socialism, foreign policy etc. On the other hand, the grassroots should be wary of a man who, apparently, believes in non-intervention in heart and yet when presented with a golden opportunity to tell Newt to his face that he?s lost his mind, decided to defer to the speaker?s foreign-policy expertise. When they’re out of power, lot’s of Republicans sound like Constitutional libertarians. And let?s not forget that not too long ago there was another Southern-state governor who won over much of the conservative grassroots with talk of a ?humble foreign policy??

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