Ron Paul

Ron the Winner

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Richard Blair argues that Ron Paul won the Iowa Straw Poll, sort of: Since Paul proved he has an activist voter base that isn't going anywhere, he can perform in the caucuses and primaries.

In the caucuses, Romney and Rudy split the non-social conservative GOP down the middle. The remaining fundie candidate (Brownback?) will draw in the radical religious right vote. McCain (if he's still in the race by then) will draw in the nucking futz vote. Thompson is the wildcard in all three of the above demographics.

And Ron Paul is sitting pretty. Why? Because Paul's organization is catering to the truly conservative demographic—those who see Iraq as a big mistake, and those who really want a libertarian-style minimalist government. And, from what I've seen and read from supporters of Ron Paul, they are "true believers" who aren't going to be peeled off by the marquee names on the ballot. They are ideologically driven, not motivated by the pretty face or where the big money is lining up.

I'd bet the remaining "fundie candidate" will be Huckabee, but let's parse the rest of this. There actually is a small core of Republicans who oppose the war or Bush's handling of it, which I think peaked around 35 percent before Ken Pollack used his telepathic powers to convince them the surge was working. Paul is actually contouring his message for different audiences—witness the pro-life talk in Iowa—but there's a good 70 percent of the GOP base that, right now, would head for a Derek Jarman film festival before it would vote anti-war.

Did Ames change this? That was the point of my piece. Right now Paul's grassroots supporters, while getting savvier all the time, haven't mastered organization and politics the way, say, Pat Robertson's or Pat Buchanan's forces did. So Blair's right that the Paul people are highly motivated and will never jump to another campaign, but I don't think he gets just how hard it'll be to out-organize those campaigns.

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  1. It’s that classic dilemma, how much do you compromise your message in order to gain support? In Paul’s case he’s sort of stuck becausee he will never compromise because his supporters won’t stand for it (not that he would). So the Paul campaign will remain a highly rabid but concentrated base of ideologues. Which hopefully, if he doesn’t win will at least be enough to shift debate and expose the other candidates as frauds.

  2. This whole thing reminds me of one of my father’s expressions –

    “you’re debating the color of shit”

  3. Between his immigration and abortion stances, Paul doesn’t have to change his message to appeal to social cons, just his emphasis.

  4. joe – also gay marriage.

  5. People still care about gay marriage?

  6. Somebody get Edward in here! Stat!

  7. Has Paul stated his opposition to gay marriage, or just argued federalism?

  8. Seems like Paul’s preferred emphasis would go over much better in Nevada (second caucus) and New Hampshire (first primary) than it would in, say, Iowa.

    He does have the ability to sound like Huckabee, however, when he needs to (as in front of an Iowa church or whatever.) It’s just not his competitive advantage. Huckabee sounds better when trying to sound like Huckabee than Paul does.

  9. The fundies will choose whoever the fundie Jedi Council (Dobson, Robertson, etc) tell them to choose. And they’ll happily vote for them confident they are doing the work of the Lord, even if they candidate isn’t one that stands for much they believe in…

  10. Did Ron Paul fuck Weigel’s wife or something?

  11. 5th is the new 1st.

  12. joe –

    a good point, however, i feel that’s a soc-con position, as it (currently) supports status quo on that issue. (have a sneaking suspicion he’s anti. for some reason)

  13. Mr. Nice Guy

    The fundies will choose whoever the fundie Jedi Council (Dobson, Robertson, etc) tell them to choose.

    No we wont.

    *Note: I dont consider myself a fundamentalist, but am am member/attend (those are different things) a church that most would consider fundamentalist, probably because it is. I’ve never read (other than excerpts) The Fundamentals so it would be hard for me to say if I agree with all/most of its concepts. Plus, why would I base my beliefs on a 20th century book when I have a handy bible available?

  14. nebby,

    Yes, he got Dave and some woman drunk, drove them to Vegas, got them married, and then screwed her.

    My sources are unclear as to whether he urinated on her afterwards.

  15. This is an example of moving the goalposts–forward. When are this man’s supporters going to admit that Ron Paul has absolutely no chance at all to win this thing. The notion that the Iowa straw poll, an absolutely useless exercise anyway, was a win for him smacks of pathetic desperation.

  16. robc-I was raised Southern Baptist and I refuse to just dump on that sect. It has some strange beliefs now, but its long time tradition is you and I each with a Bible and the soul freedom to come up with what it all means. How libertarian is that (very I think)? All too often I’m let down at how much I see such folks today being led by these goofs (Dobsons desire to endorse Gingrich one example). You make me happy with your stance, wish I saw more of it.

  17. “The fundies will choose whoever the fundie Jedi Council (Dobson, Robertson, etc) tell them to choose. And they’ll happily vote for them confident they are doing the work of the Lord, even if they candidate isn’t one that stands for much they believe in…”

    Once again, another ridiculous statement meant to imply that Christian voters are mindless sheep that can’t make up their own mind. If libertarian arrogance(in abundant evidence on this site) ever translated into electoral success, the Libertarian party would control every branch of governement. This quote also ridiculously overstates the influence that Dobson, Robertson and Co. have now or have ever had.

  18. RobC,

    If the denizens of this newsgroup opened their eyes a little, they’d be surprised by how much of the leadership of the libertarian/anarchocapitalist movement are, as they call them, fundies. Most of today’s avantgarde libertarian movements are populated by a significant number of bible-believing xians. The Free State Project and the New Hampshire freedom movement, Lew Rockwell.com, most of the Ron Paul campaign leadership, and the list goes on and on. Somewhere along the line these people started living their creed (do not steal, evangelisation through persuasion — not force, a healthy skepticism of worldly authority).
    Reason readers feel more comfortable with the neutered mainline churches, but the congregants of these place are much more likely to be big-government liberals. With the advent of homeschooling, and the libertarian texts and movements on the internet, we’ve started a virtuous cycle that is just going to become more apparent.

    jj

  19. I’d let Ron Paul fuck my wife AND deliver the baby.

  20. David,

    I am really enjoying your recent film references.

    But this one is a little obscure. I’m guessing the GOP would not likely go to a Derek Jarman film fest because his flicks are all incredibly gay with liberal use of male genitalia?

  21. Mr. Nice Guy,

    Yeah, my church is SBC. I always thought the “priesthood of the believer” concept was very libertarian too.

  22. jj,

    There was a thread a while back on the author that most influenced people to become a libertarian. Many said Rand, there were lots of other obvious choices, I think I was the only person to say CS Lewis.

    His essay “Willing Slaves of the Welfare State” finally pushed me over the edge from calling myself a conservative to a libertarian.

    Now, Lewis wasnt a fundy and was a member of a neutered mainline denomination, but he had that “healthy skepticism of worldly authority”.

  23. goldberger,

    LOL! That reminds me of the Bush line from the beginning of the Sicko trailer, about how he thought it was important that obstetricians continue to “practice their love with women”.

  24. robc,

    Good point. My own conversion to libertarianism was largely influenced by GK Chesterton, who was more famous for his Catholic apologetics than for his “liberal” (under the old definition) ones.

  25. There’s no way to lose with libertarian fundies. Either there is no God so submitting to his will doesn’t cost anything, or there is such a God and we’re all subservient no matter what we do or believe.

  26. As a young, conservative, christian kid, C.S. Lewis’ book That Hideous Strength turned me into a libertarian before I had ever heard the term used.

  27. Matt,

    That Hideous Strength is the only novel I have ever read that gave me nightmares.

  28. Iowa was a letdown. But Ron is still in the black. Indeed the campaign is saying fund raising is at a high right now. He needs to do well enough to earn some podium time at the convention. But even that doesn’t buy what it use to. Do the networks even cover the conventions anymore?

    I hope the Republicans can find their way back to their libertarian roots. I hope Ron Paul helps lead them there.

    If not, I hope he doesn’t go broke on the campaign trail. If he starts to loose momentum, I really hope he uses my “End of Campaign – Vegas Party Blowout” idea

  29. I wisht eh US was a parlimentary system with vote preference just to shut up the people that keep trying to get Paul to admit he has not chance of winning. All they’re really saying is “Stop talking because you’ll only agitate the minority that agree with you and then we’ll have to deal with them after you’re gone.”

    So next time one of you goons thinks that pointing out Paul’s chances are pretty much nil, think about whether you’re actually contributing to the debate or whether you’d be better off stapling your ears shut and moving on.

  30. But do most pro-war Republicans actually support the war, or are they just supporting their side of what the see as primarily Democrats vs. Republicans partisan issue?

    It’s an important distinction because if the latter is true, many of them may happily switch sides on this issue as long as they are provided a way to be anti-war within the Republican Party.

  31. crimethink.

    That reminds me of that Vagina Monologue which I think was titled “He liked to look at it.”

    Genius. Put the women’s movement ahead at least one hundred and twenty years.

  32. But do most pro-war Republicans actually support the war, or are they just supporting their side of what the see as primarily Democrats vs. Republicans partisan issue?

    Good question, and a point I think applies to both Democrats and Republicans.

    Short of “immediate withdrawal from Iraq and damn the consequences”, any other policy doesn’t lent itself to sound bites and political dichotomies.

  33. When are this man’s supporters going to admit that Ron Paul has absolutely no chance at all to win this thing.

    Never. When Dr. Paul fails to win the GOP nomination his supporters will urge him to run as an Independent.

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