The Ron Paul ideological sweep continues: contrarian lefty Alexander Cockburn loves on him at Counterpunch. He points out the problem for the GOP inherent in the party powers-that-be's obvious disdain for the antiwar congressman:
A majority of Americans–65 per cent and up–hate the war in Iraq and think the US troops should leave. But the leading candidates from both parties fence-straddle at best, and also parrot Giuliani on the "war on terror". Hence the popularity of Ron Paul, as soon as he gets a national venue. The same happened to a Democratic outsider, Mike Gravel, even as his party votes Bush the money to go on fighting the war.
There's a good deal of evidence that to win Congress or the White House the Republicans need to hold the libertarian "undecided" bloc, overwhelmingly antiwar, which defected to the Democrats last November. So with every saber-rattling speech to Republican zealots the major Republicans candidates seal their party's fate next year. Paul will probably have dropped out by then, but he's already made his point, just like another presidential outsider did, back in the Vietnam years: Dr Benjamin Spock, like Paul a career baby-deliverer.
When I first profiled Ron Paul for the American Spectator back in 1999, I interviewed Cockburn for it, as he'd already declared his public affection for Ron. He talked to me, as he does in this new piece, of his love for eccentric Texas politicians, and when I asked if there were anything that he didn't love about Ron, all he could come up with was: "his reverence for gold is a little excessive." Cockburn has always been an outlier even with the Nation magazine world (where he is a columnist), but I don't think he'd be the only lefty who could find a lot to love about Ron Paul, especially as the war, and standard politicians' unwillingness to follow the obvious public groundswell against it, dominates politics.