Ron Paul

The Ron Paul Code

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Strange happenings afoot on the interwebs, where Rep. Ron Paul—the most prominent libertarian politician in the country—is popular. So many Paul stories are getting pushed up on Digg that Diggers think there's a conspiracy or rigging behind them all. Like:

"I would love it if someone did an investigative report on all of the Ron Paul stories that have been mysteriously appearing on digg all of a sudden. It seems to me that there are just too many stories for it to be a coincidence. I smell a rat. I would like to believe that this is all a spontaneous grassroots movement in the support of Mr. Paul, but I am suspicious. I'd be greatful if someone showed me some evidence one way or the other."

And:

"I've been arguing this for ages. I have no problem with an OCCASIONAL Libertarian story but relative to their numbers in the electorate its mathematically improbable so many front page posts over a period of months could happen. (especially since most of these posts don't really represent mainstream news…. more like political endorsements)"

Mathmatically improbable… unless you have a small sample set! Only weeks after people (like me) complained that Paul was being kept off the mighty Pajamas Media 2008 straw poll, he's on it and winning it, with a six point lead over runner-up Rudy Giuliani. So maybe there's not a web conspiracy to promote Paul. Maybe (1) the other Republican candidates are gobsmackingly lame and (2)lots of libertarians use this fancy "internet" contraption.

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  1. I just wish he would get more coverage on television.

  2. As I’ve said before, I don’t think Paul has any realistic chance of winning, but I would love to see him debating the other candidates in the primaries. With numerous different views of “conservatism” on display (McCain, Brownback, Giuliani, Romney, Hagel, Gingrich, Paul), the candidates are bound to rip one another apart, and Paul has more of a right to call the others out on bullshit than anyone else. The GOP primary fight will be very, very bloody, and probably just as entertaining.

  3. Wow, I like the conspiracy angle. Will the Hit and Run nutbars run with that one? Probably not.

  4. IMPORTANT ALERT: The perspicacious PJM tech staff has detected significant spamming in the third week of the poll and isolated the cheaters. In some cases they voted hundreds of times from the same IP for the same candidate. No, we are not taking these people to the woodshed (or even naming their names), but we are listing the locations of the miscreants and deducting their votes accordingly.

    Without help from spammers, Rudy Giuliani (32%) and Bill Richardson (37.6%) were easy winners on the Republican and Democratic sides respectively.

    Talk about your vast conspiracies. The problem isn’t that Libertarians can’t win. It’s that they aren’t allowed to. And if they somehow manage to anyway, it doesn’t count.

    Even here at Hit & Run, superficial Libertarian bashing is a favorite sport.

  5. The Lew Rockwell blog has reported that Paul has been invited to two upcoming early Republican debates. I look forward to watching these.

  6. He’s not listed on intrade.com at all, though. (What other election prediction markets are popular? Anyone know how they decide which nominations are tradeable?)

  7. I take that back, he is listed, just a tad bit harder to get to than the others.

  8. He’s not electable…two first names.

  9. I am curious are Newt Gengrich’s libertarian sins?

    Does he have any sins that make him particularly abhorrent as compared to an average republican?

  10. Talk about grasping at straws. “…the mighty Pajamas Media 2008 straw poll”? I doubt I’m not alone in admitting I’ve never heard of it. And the “winner” gets…what, exactly? And people are actually talking about conspiracies to aid/thwart the illusory victory of a fake election? Wow. This is one of those virtual-world games, right? Right…?

  11. Actually, there is a “digg” conspiracy, but it’s not very secret:

    I believe someone at the Mises Institute figured out how to signal lots of people to digg a story so that it gets to the front page. essentially, they send out a daily newletter, with convenient links.

    AS conspiracies go, it’s not very secret or underhanded, but it has irritated some non-libertarians.

    Personally, I don’t read digg; the signal to noise ratio is quite low.

  12. Wow! It is friday. I think I am going to go find a corner and pee in my pants now.

  13. First order navel gazing.

    Libertarians use the internet a lot, which is a home of libertarian thinking, and occasionally lose their minds and act like the rest of the world finds them (us) credible.

    This sort of thing leads to odd fantasies like this one and also to counterproductive tactics to get a ‘real libertarian’ elected. Libertarian work needs to be done on the margins, where it can actually make a difference.

  14. No, Warren, the “problem” you identify is that libertarians aren’t allowed to cheat.

  15. joe,
    But somehow it’s only cheating when we do it.

  16. Warren,

    Do you have even the slightest amount of evidence that any of the other vote totals were inflated by spamming?

  17. I just checked PJM and Ron Paul is back up to 39.9%

  18. According to the PJM page:

    “Source: someone behind a proxy at a large aircraft manufacturer
    Spam votes: more than 400 votes for Ron Paul

    “Source: Charter cable Internet connection in St Louis
    Spam votes: more than 200 votes for Ron Paul

    “Source: another user of a proxy at a large manufacturer of aircrafts
    Spam votes: more than 200 votes for Ron Paul

    “Source: someone at the University of South Carolina
    Spam votes: 85 votes for Ron Paul”

    And they did NOT single out Ron Paul (whom I happen to support). They also found 1,000 spam votes each for Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

  19. I love Digg, but the site (pre 2006 elections) was so hideously skewed left it was laughable.

    So as it continues to grow – members might (gasp!) “Digg” more centrist positions, it’s a big conspiracy? I say centrist, but obviously the Digg admins confuse anything non-BDS with rightwingnut lunacy that must be squashed.

  20. No takers on my Gengrich question?

    Also, I am curious about how Mitt Romney stands libertarianwise.

    Things I don’t much care about: abortion, gay rights, whether they were for or against the war. (both sides of all those issues can be argued IMHO)

    Things I do care much about: Taxes, gun rights, free speech, free commerce.

    Bonus issue is ending the drug war.

    Ron Paul is obviously a favorite, but it was raised here by another poster his ability to get anything accomplished and not, by his intransigence setting the libertarian cause back.

  21. Without help from spammers, Rudy Giuliani (32%) and Bill Richardson (37.6%) were easy winners on the Republican and Democratic sides respectively

    Except that they already deducted all the “cheating” votes, and Ron Paul still has twice as many as Rudy.

  22. kwais,
    Gengrich is the pulpy remains of a horse. Since you apparently didn’t arrive until sometime after the whipping, I’ll sum up for you.

    Newt use to spout a lot of libertarian friendly rhetoric when he was in the minority. Three seconds after the Republican’s became a majority, he realized that top-down big-government was the way to go after all. He would still say libertarian sounding stuff if he thought it would make Clinton look bad, but it never manifested in lasting change.

  23. Like so much on the “interwebs” (isn’t that clever?) these polls are little more than time-wasting circle jerks. The rampant gaming and manipulation of statistics render them meaningless. They fill space in blogs. That is their only value.

  24. ed,
    You say that as if filling blog space were of little value.

  25. Let’s face it, libertarians win at the internet. They tend to be very technologically savvy and promote their views a great deal better for their size than many of the mainstream political groups, half of whose internet presence appears to be bloggers who most resemble raging chimpanzees throwing excrement. This is why libertarians are so loathed by the other groups, because overall, we simply have the ability to make our voice louder on the net than they want us to be.

  26. He’s not electable…two first names.

    JAMES MADISON!
    ZACHARY TAYLOR!
    ULYSSES GRANT!
    FRANKLIN PIERCE!
    ANDREW JACKSON!
    BILL CLINTON!

  27. Oh the libertarians are gaming the system on digg. There has been a sudden increase in Ron Paul/Lewrockwell/ Libertarian stories in recent months.

  28. the idea that the Republican faithful will take control of the party away from the current cryto-fascist fear mongers and hand it over to the likes of Ron Paul?

    helps keep me warm on sub zero Minnesota days

  29. Well the server squirrels appear to be back. I just lost a rather lengthy response to kwais’s questions on gingrich. Short answers: newt.org has a lot of his current views;
    his center for health care transformation is chock-full of dilbert-speak, no idea what any of it means;
    gun owners of america wasn’t fond of his actions, as opposed to his pledges;
    NY Sun has an article about his ideas on free speech in an age of terrorism (www.nysun.com/article/44302);

    Hope these helped.

  30. Thank you Grey Ghost, looks like I am going to have to write him off.

    Any thoughts on Mitt Romney?

  31. Still wondering how Ron “when will we have the guts to cut the funding for the war” Paul will have the guts to be the first non-Democrat co-sponsor of H413 — which repeals the 2002 Authorization for Use of Force in Iraq and directs the President to bring the troops home ASAP. This is no “non-binding, symbolic” resolution. It is an actual repeal of the Authorization that Mr. Bush has often cited as establishing his authority to prosecute the war abroad and infringe civil liberties at home.

    Nobody talks about this proposed law in the media. I haven’t seen ONE story, even in an “extremists tilting at windmills” piece, of the type that media publish on occasion to demonstrate how “fair and balanced” they are. Why?

  32. kwais, executing drug importers stands out as a particularly repugnant Gingrich proposal.

  33. His lead over Rudy is a lot more than 6 points.

    Ron Paul wins straw poll, Pajamas Media cries foul

    http://disinter.wordpress.com/2007/02/13/ron-paul-wins-straw-poll-pajamas-media-cries-fowl/

  34. Unsubstantiated claim:

    As t->infinity, the average internet user becomes more libertarian.

  35. Regrettably Dr. Paul has as much chance of winning as I do….an unpleasant, middle aged, fat, bald guy! That said, at least if I’m given the opportunity to vote for Paul I won’t feel like I need a scalding hot shower after I leave that voting booth!

  36. thats it i am making a bumper sticker….Ron Paul 2008.

    On second thought…

    can someone make me a Ron Paul 2008 bumper sticker?

  37. Wait a second, Ron Paul or Ru Paul??

  38. Stories about Ron Paul are often upgraded on Reddit as well.

    FWIW, I have heard that Reddit leans towards a more intellectual crowd than Digg. I’ve never used Digg, so I can’t say myself.

  39. Scifi is much bigger on the internet than IRL (in real life). Same is true for libertarianism, and thus Ron Paul.

    No conspiracy. Just lonely nerds in their mothers’ basements.

    .
    .
    .

    *coming mother*

  40. I’m not really surprised that libertarian hacker tried to spam the straw poll with votes for Ron Paul. What’s really shocking is that there aren’t any votes for Malcolm Reynolds.

  41. I would have to give Rep. Paul some serious thought if Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden won the Democratic nomination.

  42. joe – who is your early favorite or wish candidate?

    I’d like to nominate the ticket Stevo “Threadkiller” Darkly and Timothy “One Handed”.

  43. My early favorite is Obama, but I’m hoping Al Gore jumps into the race.

  44. Joe, do you think there is much chance of that?

  45. Oh the libertarians are gaming the system on digg. There has been a sudden increase in Ron Paul/Lewrockwell/ Libertarian stories in recent months.
    ==============================
    Lewrockwell.com is not some tiny blog in a back alley of the internet. It generates legitimately high traffic numbers. It is also more indepth than any blog. It’s more like a daily journal than anything else, and lots of people like that. Enough, perhaps, to make it look like something out of the ordinary is going on.

  46. People still use Digg?

  47. Was really bored one night and made a Ron Paul button for myspace (yeah, I know..) but would make a lovely bumper sticker too. complete with patriotic imagery, a beefy manly font, and a little design wankery. Take it if you like it.

    http://i150.photobucket.com/albums/s98/pandabachrist/ronpaul_large.png

  48. I note that Ron Paul voted Yea today, on the non-binding resolution to disapprove of the President’s Iraq Troop Surge (Roll Call #99), along with Sam Farr (D, CA). Why hasn’t the former co-sponsored the latter’s binding measure to repeal the original 2002 Authorization for the Use of Force in Iraq? That bill, H413, needs all the help it can, to get a roll-call vote on the floor of the House. I think the House should at least vote on it, instead of wasting their time and our money on symbolic, non-binding resolutions.

  49. Suggested tag line for Ron Paul bumper sticker: “Not as Crazy as You Think”

  50. No, Warren, the “problem” you identify is that libertarians aren’t allowed to cheat.

    Thus disregarding the highest number of spam votes, which was over 1000 for Barack Obama. The second was some loon casting 1000 for Mitt Romney.

    Ron Paul is still winning easily for the Repubs this week, although the “spam filtering” might knock him back down to second behind the jackass Republican’s fave, Rudy.

  51. Something that just popped into my head: Would Ron Paul have a better chance at the presidency with a (D) after his name, or would Hillary and Obama crowd him out?

  52. Libertarian Presidential Preference poll up at http://www.politicalquiz.us. Ron Paul and Wayne Root are currently tied, exactly even.

    BTW, just was over at the Number One Republican site, RedState.com. There was an article on the “2nd Tier candidates for President on the GOP side.” They mentioned Tancredo, Huckabee, Brownback and Hunter. No mention of Ron Paul, indicating in their eyes he’s not even 2nd tier yet. So, I wouldn’t get too excited about Digg.

    RedState (and other GOP sites like Little Green Footballs and GOPProgress.com) counts for much more.

    Eric Dondero – Former Senior Aide, US Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX)

  53. I don’t think the Ron Paul buzz is strictly Libertarian. There’s a lot of people entirely fed up with the direction this country has taken.

  54. Well, I just saw Mitt Romney on tv.
    He is horrible. He is the republican John Kerry.

  55. On February 15 Ron Paul was interviewed again on the Alex Jones radio show to talk about his presidential bid. Some great news includes: Ron Paul will be in the first national presidential debate in New Hampshire on April 4, sponsored by CNN. It will be hosted by Wolf Blitzer and will be carried on CNN TV, radio, and cnn.com from 7-9 p.m. EST. Also, Ron Paul’s presidential website has been revamped and beginning February 20 you’ll be able to make donations online. Listen to the interview here: http://prisonplanet.tv/audio/150207paul.mp3

    And here are 2 previous radio interviews:

    Here is another 2 minute interview of Ron Paul on KUHF, Houston Public Radio by Jill Morrison.
    http://www.kuhf.org/site/News2?JServSessionIdr012=3liut4h6m1.app7b&page=NewsArticle&id=19174&news_iv_ctrl=1521M

    On January 17, Ron Paul gave his first radio interview since the announcement of his bid for the 2008 presidency. He appeared on the Alex Jones show, interviewed by Jack Blood. Listen here: http://prisonplanet.tv/audio/170107paul.mp3

  56. There is really no mystery to Dr. Ron Paul’s popularity on the web. You see,Dr. Paul’s supporters are simply the true Republican/Conservatives in this country.Dr. Paul has been invited to the “First in the Presidential Primary Debates” to be broadcast live on CNN April 4th from 7:00-9:00p.m.So, let’s just wait and see how the Neocons stack up against him,none of them,of course,will be able to hold a candle against him.

  57. There is no conspiracy. Granted Ron Paul is not well known by the average American. However, on the internet and especially on political sites with adults, Ron Paul is very popular.

    True conservatives love Ron Paul. He is one of the few Republicans that won handily in the last Congressional election.

    Of course, the socialists and fascist are going to complain about his popularity.

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