Ron Paul

Ah, "Paul Supporters"

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I need to knock down a rumor: Ron Paul's campaign is not challenging any results from Ames. Jonah Goldberg links to an IHT story that reports:

The voting machine delay may have added fuel to the fire of some Ron Paul supporters who had sought to block voting at the event because of the machines. They filed a federal lawsuit on the constitutionality of the voting process this week and argued that the vote-counting machines had fundamental weaknesses.

The key phrase is "some Ron Paul supporters." Those supporters are members or affiliates of VoteFraud.org and Vote In Sunshine. Vote In Sunshine members typically voted for Paul and wore yellow t-shirts that looked a lot like the regular Paul shirts, but they had little to do with the campaign. Rep. Paul, whom I spoke to today, confirmed that the campaign is not worried about the vote count, asked "vote fraud" watchers to drop a pre-vote lawsuit, and has nothing to do with any post-hoc challenges.

Still, Goldberg:

Usually, candidates can tell their supporters to stop this sort of action, so I wouldn't surprised if Paul winked at the effort.

This clashes with the obvious irritation Paul and his staff displayed when I asked them about the vote lawsuits and it doesn't really make sense independently of that. What's the secret plan supposed to be? "If I can tie up my party in a pointless fight about a poll I definitely didn't win, I'll gain instant credibility!"

NEXT: Ames: The Waiting

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  1. Wow, Goldberg is being an ass about this. He rushed to post a flat-out false statement, ie, that “representatives of Ron Paul” had filed the suit. Then he blasts the people who correct him for being pissed about it, and doesn’t change the original statement, insinuating that “supporters” = “representatives”.

    I wonder if that’s how he felt about the Swift Boat Vets…

  2. You have to admit it is a bit amusing. Supporters of the most limited government candidate using the federal judiciary to stop a private party vote?

    I’m starting to wonder how many of Paul’s supporters are really fans of very limited gov’t, or are just anti-war.

  3. You have to admit it is a bit amusing. Supporters of the most limited government candidate using the federal judiciary to stop a private party vote?

    Yeah, that’s ironic, but we don’t want to attribute to campaigns the actions of random supporters.

  4. Holy shit, if the other campaigns got lambasted every time a few supporters did something stupid, they’d all be in trouble.

    I know Romney’s campaign staffers (real on-the-payroll campaign staffers, not merely supporters) were soliciting votes from Democratic Party HQ’s in Iowa. Let’s see if that gets >0 coverage in the MSM….

  5. I’m starting to wonder how many of Paul’s supporters are really fans of very limited gov’t, or are just anti-war.

    I think about 3

  6. What a bunch of wet blankets!

  7. Ron Paul should find a way to very publicly repudiate his wackiest supporters, without coming across as a kook himself. I suggest slapping upside the head.

    Not only would repudiating these idiots elevate his credibility in the eyes of other voters, it would probably also give a visceral satisfaction to more mainstream Ron Paul supporters (e.g. me) who are tired of the wackos discrediting the only GOP candidate with good ideas.

  8. thoreau,

    Should he pull a John Edwards and say “Listen, if you think the federal govt blew up the WTC, don’t vote for me!”

  9. crimethink-

    No, that’s too formal. More like a “Hey, I can’t stand these paranoid idiots any more than the rest of you. In fact, I dragged one of them away from World of Warcraft for the express purpose of slapping him upside the head on camera, which I shall now do.”

  10. All well and good, but who will slap Goldberg’s half-baked book idea out of him?

  11. Never has this quote been more appropriate:

    “It is a tale full of sound and fury signifying nothing.”

  12. Uhm, Edward,

    They’re talking about Goldberg’s book, not your posts.

  13. tarran,

    You silly troll feeder, I know what they were talking about. I’m talking about Ron Paul.

  14. Yeah, that’s ironic, but we don’t want to attribute to campaigns the actions of random supporters.

    Then it would be impossible to attribute any action to the democrats.

  15. just curious, who is everybody supporting(especially edward)?? I have never voted except in a local referendum. I kinda have the douche bag v. turd sandwich thing going on (southpark).

  16. “Ron Paul should find a way to very publicly repudiate his wackiest supporters, without coming across as a kook himself.

    CNN would be an excellent medium. Anything that isn’t the internet

  17. If Ron Paul loses the primary, I’m voting for edward.

  18. I don’t vote in primarys, but in general elections I always vote for myself (write in) unless there is a libertarian.

    Starting the next election I plan to vote against the incumbent whoever that happens to be, and for the next most likely to win.

  19. I think Goldberg doesn’t understand the idea of grass-root support, it is mostly independent from the official Campaign, so the Paul office has most time no control over them, unlike the paid for staffs of the other candidates…
    So, how do you control something, which you didn’t construct in the first place….

  20. Okay, what’s the reasoning behind, eg, massive technical attempts to skew on-line polls? It’s not like it’s not easy to see when a poll is being bot-attacked. But beyond that, when a formal poll with a well-chosen sample shows Paul at < 1%, and an unregulated on-line poll shows 40 percent, anyone with any hint of an understanding of sample error knows something is wrong.

    Stil, it keeps happening, and I don’t recall hearing Paul saying “don’t do that, it makes me look silly.”

  21. when can we stop caring about ron paul? Please. please. please.

  22. S, A, Miller wondered if Paul’s fans are only anti-war, not for limited government.

    If that were the case, they would have already deserted the Republicans completely.

  23. OT: Merv Griffin has died at the age oof 82

  24. So does that mean liberals have a valid point when they say that racists represent the Republican party? I mean all Bush or whoever needs to do is say,” Hey, stop being racist,” and it’ll stop.

  25. thoreau,

    How about this: “My limited government (blah blah blah blah blah) campaign has attracted support from folks all over the political spectrum – and in some cases, from people off the political spectrum.”

  26. You have to admit it is a bit amusing. Supporters of the most limited government candidate using the federal judiciary to stop a private party vote?

    I’m starting to wonder how many of Paul’s supporters are really fans of very limited gov’t, or are just anti-war.

    In the last election there was a viable anti-war candidate. His name was Howard Dean and he was running as a Democrat. Now some ppl (like joe) might tell you different, but he was screwed by the secret inner workings of the Democratic party.

    So, yeah, if you are anti-war, and have been anti-war since at least the last election cycle, then you know that this “private party” stuff matters. This “private party” stuff can thwart democratic will. That is not good for libertarians. That is not good for anyone.

    Another point: It is not just anti-war people who support Candidate Paul. It is also anti military spending people. Anti military spending, at least in the context of the modern US, is the libertarian position, even though magazines like Reason kinda try to sweep that under the rug.

    Another point: some people seem to be confusing or purposely conflating MIHOPpers, LIHOPpers and people who think vote fraud is an important issue. That is kind of stupid.

  27. “So, yeah, if you are anti-war, and have been anti-war since at least the last election cycle, then you know that this “private party” stuff matters. This “private party” stuff can thwart democratic will. That is not good for libertarians. That is not good for anyone.”
    Dave W,
    Everyone, and I mean everyone, needs to admit that the reason for governments forming in the first place is to wage wars.
    Anyone fundamentally opposing war will always be ruthlessly marginalized. The higher-ranking the politician, regardless of party, the more ruthlessly will they squelch peace-leaners.

  28. Anyone fundamentally opposing war will always be ruthlessly marginalized.

    I didn’t say that I fundamentally opposed war. Like the Catholic Church, I only oppose the unjust ones.

    What I said is that I oppose military spending at the margin at which said spending is currently occurring in the US.

    Ron Paul does too.

    Reason and Dave Weigel should, but don’t, at least not really and not strongly enough (for people with supposed libertarian leanings). Sometimes I like to speculate about why that is, but at least for right now, Ron Paul gives us common cause. Weigel does need to learn to be a bit more careful about encouraging his impressionable readers to brand big swaths of the population as kooks, though. That is no way to build a coalition

  29. “I didn’t say that I fundamentally opposed war.”
    I didn’t say you did, Dave W.
    I rarely talk about the small fry. Mostly about the big fry when I’m hitting and running here.

  30. The elephant in the Ron Paul room is that he’s kind of a kook himself. He knows what goes on at LewRockwell.com and the Mises Institute, yet he continues to associate with those wackos. He’s never had an effective response to those racist tracts that came out of his office back in the day. He’s the one who chooses to talk about abolishing the Fed in his stump speech, and to associate with 9/11 Truthers (even if he doesn’t share their views, any amateur politician should know symbolism trumps substance, and that simply appearing with those losers without unequivocally denouncing them (and saying he “doesn’t trust the official government account” of 9/11 to conspiracy theorists is not unequivocally denouncing them)).

    All in all, Paul is the most libertarian candidate in the race, and he’s the kookiest. Is that at all a surprise?

    Note: Please don’t respond that “the real kooks are the pro-war candidates,” or to tell me why the Fed ought to be abolished. I’ve heard it all before.

  31. You mean Big Fry, right? With their Idahoan power base?

  32. What’s wrong with the Mises Institute? I know Lew Rockwell is a neoconfederate or something, and that’s pretty fucked (I don’t want to hear any states-rights bullshit here– if it hadn’t been for the slavery issue, I’d have totally supported the South. But that’s WAYYY to big an “if” ever to let slide).

    But I’ve not heard anything kooky about Mises Inst., probably because I’m relatively new to libertarianism. To what are you referring?

  33. 26,000 people paid $35 for a ticket. 14,302 actually voted??? Hmm. The Story County Auditor who will take part in overseeing the voting on the questionable machines, Mary Mosiman, is part of a team dedicated to “help Governor Romney share his vision for America”. Hmm. The judge threw out a lawsuit to have a fair count instead of using Diebold machines that have been decertified in many other states. Hmm. I don’t see anything suspicious here, do you???

  34. The mises institute is a free market think tank started by Lew Rockwell, Murray Rothbard and Ludwig von Mises’ wife. It’s mission is to promote and teach Austrian Economics.

    http://mises.org/

    The mises institute focuses on economics and history while lewrockwell.com publishes whatever Lew Rockwell finds interesting, ranging from Gary North to Cindy Sheehan.

    Incidentally, Lew Rockwell is not a neoconfederate. Read his stuff.

  35. A more telling question might be: Why is Ron Paul attracting these kind of supporters and others aren’t?

  36. I don’t get how someone who calls himself a capitalist could favor an agrarian, aristocratic, and semi-feudal slave society over a industrializing, capitalist society based on free labor.

  37. Paul supporters find internet polls for the Republican primary, and then spread the word using internet lists about the existence of the poll. They report on how Paul is doing and ask everyone to vote. When I see such an email, I click the link and vote for Paul.

    Paul may only have 2% of likely Republican voters supporting him, but that amounts to almost a million people.

    If you look at the number of people voting in these internet polls, it is usually a few thousand.

    It doesn’t require a very large share of overall Paul’s support base to dominate these polls.

    Paul does have a very large group of volunteers who are connected to the internet.

    Other campaigns don’t have this, and if they did, they might have little interest in dominating internet polls.

    Anyway, the “theory” that Paul’s support is being driven by bots or a few people voting multiple has been is discredited.

    There is a lot of evidence that there are tens of thousands of Ron Paul volunteers on the internet.

    They don’t just click links on the internet. Many will drive a good distance to hold signs, shout, and vote in a straw poll.

    For example, he received 9% in this Iowa straw
    poll.

    If there are 1300 in each state and half are on the net, that would be 32500 people. That That would dominate nearly every internet poll.

    What the “complaints” about Paul and the internet must be some notion that it is imoral to tell your friends about a poll you saw and suggest they vote too.

  38. over a industrializing, capitalist society based on free labor

    I thought the folks here preferred Chinese labor.

  39. I thought the folks here preferred Chinese labor.

    If China went to war against South Korea, I wouldn’t pronounce that the Chinese are on the side of freedom.

  40. 26,000 people paid $35 for a ticket. 14,302 actually voted??? Hmm. The Story County Auditor who will take part in overseeing the voting on the questionable machines, Mary Mosiman, is part of a team dedicated to “help Governor Romney share his vision for America”. Hmm. The judge threw out a lawsuit to have a fair count instead of using Diebold machines that have been decertified in many other states. Hmm. I don’t see anything suspicious here, do you???

    No, I actually don’t see anything suspicious. I was there. The other candidate camps had us dominated. We were louder, but there were many more passive supporters of the 4 who scored higher. Add in the fact that many Paul supporters were from out of state and couldn’t vote, and I am not shocked by the outcome. Oh, a very small minority of the 14,000 or so that voted actually paid for their own ticket. The candidates and special interest groups, like FairTax, who paid for my ticket, bought them all and gave them away. Paul did this too, only to a lesser extent than the other candidates. I think that the Adopt an Iowan and Paul camps even had left over tickets, though I’m not sure on that because I left early. Many of these groups and candidates had leftover tickets. They consider it a donation to the Iowa GOP, because that’s exactly what it is.

    The lawsuit that got thrown out? It had no merit whatsoever. It’s a private poll. Libertarians should be the last ones asking the judiciary to step in.

    And the connection to Romney’s campaign? EVERYONE IN IOWA IS CONNECTED TO A CAMPAIGN. That’s how this state works. There were representatives from every campaign watching the counting. They don’t have issues with it, so neither should we.

  41. If China went to war against South Korea, I wouldn’t pronounce that the Chinese are on the side of freedom.

    My snarky point was that we prefer the relatively unfree labor of China to the relatively free labor of Murika.

  42. The better question is what ISN’T wrong with the Mises Institute?

    Just kidding. Hans Hoppe is a scholar’s scholar, and is there a more trusted authority on Lincoln than Tom DiLorenzo? And who better to turn to on matters historical than Tom Woods?

    And if there’s one thing I love, it’s the association of LVMI and Lew Rockwell with those who cheer the deaths of soldiers in Iraq.

    Mises would be so proud to have his name associated with such people.

  43. Or really Mr “Mises Intitute” find me one article on lewrockwell.com that “cheers the deaths”” of American soldiers.

    Just one.

    If what you say is true, it shouldn’t be too hard.

    I’ll check back in 24 hours to see your results.

  44. Here’s one where Mike Rogers “toasts” the defeat of the “evil empire”

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/006888.html

    And here’s another former LRC columnist, writing at a different site, calling soldiers “slackjawed yokel/fresh-from-Chihuahua tomato-picker/”urban” slum-dweller baby-killer[s]”, and “future homeless junkie serial-killer rapist petty thief semi-crippled nutjobs”:

    http://www.anti-state.com/blog/?p=12&PHPSESSID=1176e56ae6d10e965b4faa93e1a8e5da

    Here’s the same guy, writing that he cheers when American soldiers die:

    http://anti-state.com/forum/index.php?board=1;action=display;threadid=9662;start=20#msg197576

    I could go on citing the insanity that just happens to consistently come from the LRC crowd. Would you like more examples of kookery? Maybe some from Gary North?

  45. UH Huh, Mike Rogers praying for the souls of the dead hardly counts as cheering for the dead.

    As to the articles on anti-state.com, I did ask for articles on lewrockwell.com. Is Lew Rockwell a proponent of Progressive socialism because he published an article by Cindy Sheehan, who is a progressive socialist? Is he a punk rockers/slacker because he publishes Mike Rogers?

    Again, go ahead and try to find an article on lewrockwell.com cheering the deaths of American soldiers.

    Take your time. Other people publishing stuff on sites that Lew Rockwell does not control as evidence backing your case only makes you look dumb.

  46. Just got back. Drove for hours to be in Ames. We had few numbers, but 10x the enthusiasm of all others put together. So sad.

    BTW I was the middle aged hippie that marched with a peace flag around noon. Then after Paul spoke in the tent I was the tie-dyed juggling guy.

  47. Oh, and another thing, Jonah Goldberg is the douchiest douche whatever douched.

  48. Tarran,

    My original comment was that the Mises Institute, and its associates, are kooks. That includes Lewrockwell.com, and all of that sites columnists and regular contributors. Jeremy Sapienza clearly falls well into that category.

    As to the Mike Rogers comment, how can you say that his “toasting” to the defeat of the “evil empire”–a comment that was intentionally placed beneath a picture of a destroyed tank–is praying for the dead? That maniac was clearly cheering the deaths of U.S. soldiers, you know, the ones who ride in those tanks whose destruction he “toasts.”

    And that, my friend, was right there on the LRC blog.

    Again, I could go on and on listing the racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, anti-American drivel that pours from LRC and its associate sites and authors, but why bother? Kool-Aid drinking maniacs like yourself will always be there, drooling over your shredded copy of “For a New Liberty” or “Democracy: The God that Failed,” apologizing for the LVMI cult, twisting and contorting otherwise straightforward (and evil) statements to make them appear harmless.

    Well, it isn’t working.

  49. If anyone wants to know why libertarians will never have a political prayer, see Warren’s comment:

    “BTW I was the middle aged hippie that marched with a peace flag around noon. Then after Paul spoke in the tent I was the tie-dyed juggling guy.”

    I had to read that a few times before it really sank in. The tie-dyed fucking juggling guy.

    Where can I turn in my libertarian credentials? I don’t want them anymore.

  50. Greg,
    Out of personal curiosity, what is it that offends you so? The tie-dye, or the juggling? I’ll also add that I didn’t break out the tie-dye and start juggling till well after RON PAUL left the tent. Most everybody had gone home by that point.

    In any case, I’m sure you’re making the right decision. What ever you do, don’t show up at a Libertarian Party event, those guys are 17 kinds of wacko.

  51. I would never show up at an LP event.

    Neither the juggling nor the tie-dye offends me; they’re both just clownish. If you want your candidate to look like a clown, and his campaign a circus, please keep breaking out the tie-dye and juggle your ass off. I’m sure the voters will flock to that act. Because there’s nothing the GOP base loves more than a hippie marching with a peace flag…

  52. @TMI
    And fighting a war because Iraq failed to live up to a UN resolution is in the “national interest” of the USA? There is as much PC on the left as on the right: if you try to criticize the war from the right, you get blasted as being unpatriotic, especially on “anti-PC” Fox News.

  53. Geez Greg, don’t be such a square.

  54. Greg,

    Didn’t Huckabee have a bunch of sight-gag acts at his tent? Bush impersonators and the like? It didn’t appear to hurt him much.

    In any case, the GOP is better off with a candidate surrounded by clowns whose campaign is a circus, than a president surrounded by clowns in his White House whose foreign policy is a circus.

  55. “crimethink”,

    Huckabee is already considered a legitimate candidate, so he can afford “sight gag acts.” Paul, on the other hand, is routinely dismissed as a fringe candidate not to be taken seriously. As such, he has to go above and beyond what other candidates do in terms of looking serious and presidential (it’s the same reason Cato makes its employees wear coats and ties).

    Tie-dye, juggling, and “aging hippies” with peace flags don’t help with Paul’s image. He needs an image makeover, shedding the kooks and the crazies, publicly distancing himself from the anti-American folks, the 9/11 Truthers, and any other wack-job conspiracy people.

    Paul needs to surround himself with serious people who wear suits, not tie-dye, and who carry cell phones and briefcases, not peace flags and juggling balls.

    As for who makes for a better GOP, even if you’re right it won’t matter as long as the only electable people share the President’s foreign policy goals.

  56. Greg N.,

    You go to your campaign with the supporters you have, not the supporters you wish you had. Unless it’s a grass-roots campaign, he’s not going to have a campaign at all. Not every candidate (Mitt!) can afford to loan his campaign $9M so as to get the pros on the payroll.

  57. There’s a very simple solution for RP regarding his supporters’ appearance. Just put out the gentle request that if people have at least business casual clothing, to please wear it at any campaign appearance. But those of you who have only tie-dye and juggling balls to wear, show up in what you’ve got.

    There would still be a few freaks in the audience but the numbers would probably be reduced. The hardcore Paul supporters would do almost anything he asked so I can’t imagine they would be offended. My local Meetup already makes similar requests, especially for events where we’ll be mingling with more typical Republicans.

  58. “What’s wrong with the Mises Institute? I know Lew Rockwell is a neoconfederate or something,”
    RC

    Check this out:

    http://www.mises.org/multimedia/mp3/War/War4.mp3

  59. Greg is right. If you want to be prom queen you had better wear the tiara properly.

    Do you really think the Republican Party, the Party of the Presidency, would simply say, “Here’s the keys guys. Be careful with her in the turns.”?!! Geez, what a bunch of dreamers.

  60. Seems to me that Ron Paul associates with the Mises Institute and Lew Rockwell because they support freedom and the gold standard. I don’t think that he would endorse anything coming out of there that seemed anti-American.

    For all of this country’s faults and flaws, America is (was?) the closest thing to a truly moral, truly free society that has ever existed on a large scale in human history. I don’t think the LVMI folks would disagree with that, but they also don’t gloss over the faults as some patriots would do.

    If criticism helps us understand where we can improve, why wouldn’t we embrace it? I’m sure there are some “blame America first” types in that crowd, but the vast majority of them (like Dr. Paul) are simply dedicated to improving the government under which we live.

  61. Usually, candidates can tell their supporters to stop this sort of action, so I wouldn’t surprised if Paul winked at the effort.

    So Goldberg dismisses the excuse that the Willie Horton ad wasn’t run by the Bush campaign?

  62. If you’re a staid, boring-ass, dark blue suit wearing typical conservative Republican, like, I dunno, say DUNCAN HUNTER, than gags, circus acts, skits, and guys with George Bush masks, help enormously.

    But if you start from the Kook base/contingent, that’s the worst campaign tactic to resort too. You want to completely opposite of that. You want to move to the boring, respectable, calm and collective side.

    Huckabee blew everyone away on Saturday, cause EVERYBODY looked at him as a Conservative Southern Baptist Preacher. And then he breaks out the bass guitar and starts jamming to “Free Bird.”

    Imagine if Ron Paul had done the same, just in reverse? Imagine if RP and his supporters had shown up in Ames, dressed in neat business casual, and were all polite, respectful, and friendly with their opponents.

    Imagine what the media, and everybody in the Republican Party would be talking about this Monday morning, along with Huckabee?

    That Ron Paul did fantastically, and is now a real contender for the nomination.

    Instead, it’s all a continuation of the same thing: Ron Paul and his supporters are Kooks.

  63. DONDEROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

  64. Eric D. has it exactly right. I couldn’t have said it better myself. Well, I probably could have, but his was sufficient, so I won’t bother.

  65. DONDEROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

  66. “Paul supporters aren’t exactly broadcasting confidence. Voterfraud.org is suing to get the votes counted on something other than (or in addition to) Diebold machines.” – Dave Weigel about six posts down from this one.
    I think you can cut Jonah some slack when you made the exact same mistake a couple of days ago.

  67. So I occasionally encountered rumours to the effect that 25,000+ voters paid (or had paid on their behalf) $35 dollars to participate in the Straw Poll and only 14,000+ actually cast votes. So far, no mention of this in major media accounts I’ve read. Has anyone else seen this and if so, can you point me to a trustworthy account that contains information about how many tickets were sold this year, vs. how many votes were cast?

    I’m finding it hard to believe that so many people who ponied up $35 to cast a vote failed to do so. Any debunking or corroboration of this rumour would be welcome.

  68. Peder,
    Jonah deserves no slack. It’s one thing to report the lawsuit. Accusing the Paul campaign of being behind it based solely on your own desire to discredit it, is entirely different.

    JAM,
    The candidates participating in the straw poll, especially Mitt, bought many more tickets than they could find Iowans to cast them.

  69. Warren, read the quotes above. Jonah isn’t saying that the Paul campaign of being behind it. He used the same construction Dave did ‘Paul supporters’.

  70. didn’t bednarik go running to the govt, along w/ his commie friends in the green party, to force a recount in ohio in 2004…a recount that shaved only 300 votes off of bush’s 120,000 vote margin? an event that caused me and probably some of you to quit the LP? looks like a pattern developing.

  71. >>And the connection to Romney’s campaign? EVERYONE IN IOWA IS CONNECTED TO A CAMPAIGN. That’s how this state works. There were representatives from every campaign watching the counting. They don’t have issues with it, so neither should we.>>

    It’s an old boys club….

    http://voteinsunshine.blogspot.com/2007/08/comments-about-vote-fraud-during-1995.html

    Nothing has changed…

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