July 17, 2007

CBS News covers the presidential contest as if it were a horse race, and here’s their take on the dark horse, Ron Paul, who is clearly gaining on the anointed “front-runners”:

“Republican Ron Paul is lauded in many corners of the Internet for his libertarian views. Paul’s supporters often stuff the electronic ballot box of online polls, making sure the House member from Texas tops post-debate surveys. But they’re also doing a lot more than that: Paul raised more than $2.3 million in the second quarter and had a similar amount in the bank, putting him in fourth place among his fellow Republicans. His poll numbers are still a blip, but the commitment of his supporters demands some respect.”

This complaint about “stuffing the electronic ballot box” is complete b.s. Why shouldn’t Paul’s supporters vote for him in online polls? If pollsters don’t want people voting multiple times, there are ways to make it impossible.

Aside from that, however, it’s clear that Paul is gaining new respect from the punditocracy. That’s because his appeal extends far beyond the narrow confines of the organized libertarian movement. In a field populated by pygmies, at least on the Republican side, he is a giant. What’s more, his unique combination of seriousness and earnestness transcends party lines. Pat Buchanan, Katrina Vanden Heuvel, Joe Scarborough, Bill Maher, John McLaughlin, and a good number of the posters at dailykos.com and freerepublic.com all agree: Ron Paul is The Man. The Ron Paul phenomenon—and it truly is a phenomenon—is taking off.

The Paul campaign will go down in history as the Goldwater movement did: the precursor to a real mass movement, one with the potential to do what the conservative movement has so far failed to do, and that is substantially roll back federal power and arrest the metastasis of Big Government that has been ongoing since the New Deal.


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