Campaigns/Elections

Gold Otaku

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Joel Stein has just published a profile of the Ron Paul campaign in Time. Here's my favorite quote from it:

"He's about something that American nerd culture can get on board with: really knowing one subject and going all out on it," says Ben Darrington, a Ron Paul supporter at Yale. "For some people, it's Star Wars. For some people, it's Japanese cartoons. For Ron Paul, it's free-market commodity money."

Stein quotes Frank Luntz as well, and while Luntz's comments aren't as entertaining as Darrington's they may be more telling. Luntz is the unreliable pollster/pundit who hosts those pointless post-debate focus groups on TV. In a few words, he sums up exactly what the Republican gatekeepers think of the Ron Paul movement:

"His supporters are the equivalent of crabgrass," says GOP consultant Frank Luntz. "It's not the grass you want, and it spreads faster than the real stuff. They just like him because he's the most anti-Establishment of all the candidates, the most likely to look at the camera during the debates and say, 'Hey, Washington, f____ you.'"

I don't know what Luntz means by "the real stuff." I have a horrible suspicion that he's thinking of his focus groups.

NEXT: An Actual Goddamned Reason To Watch the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams Tonight...

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  1. Actually, I would pick Gravel as the most likely to say, “‘Hey, Washington, fuck you!,” during a debate, but Paul would be a close second.

  2. from the article : Paul doesn’t expect that he will win the nomination

    I would like to hear what Paul actually said. I find it hard to believe he said, “I don’t think I’m going to win”.

  3. You know who more than anyone else would do that? Thomas Jefferson.

    His writings amount to just that against the government largess.

  4. It will be mildly interesting to see what fantasies the Ron Paul enthusiasts here can spin out of nerd culture points.
    Any mention of Ron Paul at all in mainstream media really gets the juices flowing.

  5. As an anime fan for 15 odd years (about as long as I’ve been a libertarian), I can say it is jawdropping to wake up one morning to find your fringe interest is suddenly mainstream–or as close to it as it’s ever likely to be.

    Ron Paul’s not going to be president. I don’t Ron Paul should be president. But do I think his base can be ignored any longer? No sir, and thank God for that. This is real from the real grassroots–like anime fandom was, actually. So I’m confident it’s here to stay, in some form or other.

    Even if Dubya would look silly flying a giant robot, I can see Dick Cheney as Gendo Ikari, too. ^_^;

    (ObsCultRef: google “Neon Genesis Evangelion,” the ultimate conspiracy anime.)

  6. *I don’t think Ron Paul should be president.

  7. I don’t think, I know, that Ron Paul won’t even come close to becoming President and that his base will continue to be ignored, i.e., government will continue to grow, and taxes will continue to be collected to pay for it. See, I believe in the market, and Ron Paul’s goofy libertarianism just doesn’t sell very well in the free market. It does very well here at H&R, though.

  8. Cheney certainly has Gendo Ikari’s chilly imperiousness down. I doubt he has the same ravenous ambition, though, or vision for the totality of humanity. If there were anybody with the same idea out there today, it would probably be one of the strains of religious fundamentalism out there – either Rushdoony’s dominionists, or someone on the anti-humanist left.

  9. I wish the free market would provide something capable of making you shut up.

  10. unreliable pollster/pundit

    There are many partisan pollsters out there. They are self-negating. Nightly I witness expert pollsters from each camp debating their opponents on cable “news”. Each has proof that America craves his particular candidate. They lie. Commercial break. Repeat.

  11. HEY EDWARD! WEREN’T YOU GOING TO LEAVE? OR AT LEAST MOUNT A FUTILE ATTACK ON THE URKOBOLD USING YOUR LAWYER? OR WAS IT YOUR MOMMY?

    I THINK PERHAPS THE BASEMENT IS MAKING YOU CRAZY. GO OUTSIDE AND GET SOME SUNLIGHT; I HEAR THE BEST LIGHT IS TO BE FOUND IN THE MIDDLE OF A BUSY STREET!

    NO, NO….JUST KEEP UP THE GOOD FIGHT, EDDIE MY BOY! THE WORLD NEEDS YOU TO SAVE IT FROM LIBERTARDS!

    I WAS GOING TO MAKE A BATSIGNAL TYPE DEVICE TO SUMMON YOU, BUT COULDN’T FIGURE OUT A WAY TO MAKE A CRAZY PANTS SILLOUETTE! CAN YOU HELP, OH WISE ONE?

  12. Edward is a lightweight who is forced to rely on what other people think about libertarianism to form his own opinions about libertarianism.
    Edward, it’s time to get off the tit. It will be difficult, I know, but most infants do in fact grow up and develop their own ability to think.

  13. WHY DON’T YOU TWITS TAKE YOUR PLAYGROUND FIGHT SOMEWHERE ELSE? IT’S TIRESOME.

  14. Careful, Jaimie. He’ll get you!
    At this point, it is appropriate to put on a culkinesque “OH NO!” face and pretend to be scared.

  15. Excellent write-up! We all know that Fox and associates are against Paul. What a joke! They think they can pick out leaders but they can’t stop the internet no matter how hard they try! I don’t see how any American can be against Ron Paul! He wants to get the government off our back and let us keep more of our money! The elite are scared and it shows! Ron Paul for the WIN!

  16. I don’t know what Luntz means by “the real stuff.”

    By “the real stuff”, he means the fiscally irresponsible, drunk on faux-outrage, loyalty-to-the-label-not-the-substance Republican sheep.

  17. Forget the gold standard, let’s just use a CPI-style aggregated big-mac index to fix the value of a dollar.

    Or else fix it as a proportion of citizens in the country issuing the dollar, so generations don’t inflate the currency.

  18. Good write-up, agreed, but why the “some of his supporters are crazy” bit (not an actual quote) thrown in the middle?

  19. Jamie,

    You are so getting sued! Like Tuesday! Next Tuesday! Legal ramifications!

    But seriously… can a cuntsore even bring a lawsuit? What sort of legal standing would a sore on a cunt even have?

  20. Dear Edward,

    Many great greetings, sir!

    I wish to thank you for investing in our Cayman Islands venture! Once the resort is complete we all can look forward to a comfortable life.

    Despite the substantial sum you invested after your last visit, we have run into additional financial uncertainties that threaten the livelihood of the project. A relative of the people we purchased the land from has filed a lawsuit in England against us. He claims that he is the rightful owner and that his cousin did not own the land. The lawyers in England only accept British Pounds and due to very strong foreign exchange laws, we are unable to pay any lawyer in England to take our case.

    Could you please wire $20,000 to our account #65479231 at the Bank of Scotland? We will use it as a retainer for a British lawyer. The money will preserve our business opportunity and will be paid back from out initial profits.

    We thank you again for your wise investment in our resort.

  21. They think they can pick out leaders but they can’t stop the internet no matter how hard they try!

    …What the hell does that even mean?

  22. You can’t stop the internet. You can only hope to contain it.

  23. Edward | November 1, 2007, 4:10pm | #

    I don’t think, I know

    Yeah, I don’t think you know either.

  24. What he means is: the internet is an unstoppable, reptilian behemoth born of man’s insatiable desire for free porn and anonymous race-baiting, and neither conventional arms nor secret Japanese radiation weapons work against it. Eventually, no matter what you do, the internet is coming for your town.

  25. You know another thing you can’t stop? The music.

    You know something else you shouldn’t stop? Believing.

  26. I just finished taping an episode of Tennessee Insider, a public affairs show on WTCI in Chattanooga.

    For the final segment, the host throws it open to each panelist for their story of the week.

    I talked about Paul’s appearance on The Tonight Show. To my surprise, everyone else joined in and we actually had a bit of a conversation about Paul. Don’t know how much of that will make it to air.

  27. I don’t think, I know

    Yeah, I don’t think you know either.

    Yes. We all know he doesn’t think.

  28. Don’t forget that you can’t stop the rain (can’t stop the rain from falling down).

  29. “Hey, Washington, f*ck you!”

    Isn’t this every candidates mantra? They all claim to be outsiders, willing to reform Washington’s evil ways, etc.? What the hell is Luntz talking about? Would he seriously advise a presidential contender to make a speech about being deeply embedded in the beltway culture? Only in the bizarro world (where Luntz lives?) would two candidates duke it out over who is more of a DC insider.

  30. ClubMedSux,

    I wish I could, but right now I can’t stop thinking about tomorrow.

  31. Remember the name GOP consultant Frank Luntz

    Everything he says is false.

    Frank Luntz = false
    Frank Luntz = phoney baloney.

    He was the GOP gang leader in Florida that interupted the recount.

    He leads the phoney focus groups on FOx after Ron Paul is interviewed.

    Got it?

    Whose his buddy that called Ron Paul insane?
    Anybody remember that?

    Luntz same as Nazi thug. Same.

  32. The elite are scared and it shows! Ron Paul for the WIN!

    Are they? If MSM coverage is any indicator of “elite” opinion, they seem to regard him as a well-intentioned, mostly harmless crank. I doubt they take him completely seriously–for now.

    (“Oh, he’s a libertarian, the silly old fool! But he’s a darling man! And great with the children!”)

    Reason: if Intrade (e.g.) is a good indicator of his chances for the nomination (never mind the White House), it’s one in twelve. That chance is for

    (a) his popular momentum to keep building
    (b) his continued at best sympathetic, at worst condescending coverage.

    If it looks like he might actually be getting somewhere, expect the exposes of Team Paul’s lunatic fringe to start appearing everywhere.

  33. Hey Edward:

    “See, I believe in the market, and Ron Paul’s goofy libertarianism just doesn’t sell very well in the free market.”

    If you actually understood the “free market” you would understand that in this country it isn’t “free”. It is controlled by government regulation and mandate. Media is protected by corporatocracy and therefore there is no real measurable pulse on public opinion — or “the market” as you call it.

  34. “There’s probably a risk I could win”- Ron Paul on Jay Leno, October 31st

    “Paul doesn’t expect that he will win the nomination” – Joel Stein – TIME Magazine, November 1st

  35. “Paul doesn’t expect that he will win the nomination” – Joel Stein – TIME Magazine, November 1st

    Ron Paul is a lot smarter than his supporters.

  36. WHY DON’T YOU TWITS TAKE YOUR PLAYGROUND FIGHT SOMEWHERE ELSE? IT’S TIRESOME.

    Hear, hear! See here, here.

  37. Max,

    If you don’t like in this country, why don’t you leave?

  38. At first I thought this article was written by Joe KLEIN, and I thought to myself, “That douchebag Klein is at it again.” Instead it’s some dickweed named Stein. Oh well.

    I would love to put Joe Klein and Frank Luntz in a boat and then sink the boat.

  39. Thank you Max. Would someone please shut Edward up? Why is he still posting here?

  40. James

    Why are you posting here?

  41. Ron Paul is a lot smarter than his supporters.

    God I hope so.

    everyone just ignore this guy please.

  42. haha i meant Edward, whoops I should have made the antecedent clear

  43. Edward, aren’t you embarrassed to show your face after your boy Richardson’s performance at the Dem debate the other night?

    What a suckup. Richardson wishes Hillary had a dick so he could kiss it.

  44. “Edward | November 1, 2007, 4:10pm | #

    I don’t think”

    Correct.

  45. I realize the Ron Paul fans Ron Paul cheer everytime Ron Paul’s Ron Paul name is mentioned, but Ron Paul it, couldn’t this Ron Paul site discourage Ron Paul reports like Ron Paul this? Shouldn’t they Ron Paul encourage a Ron Paul discussion of Ron Paul’s positions, compared and Ron Paul contrasted with the other Ron Paul candidates?

    Ron Paul!

  46. Ron Paul Fantasy

    1. Republicans nominate Ron Paul, MSM calls election for Hillary

    2. Ron Paul wins election, MSM predicts he will be the least effective president in history.

    3. Ron Paul takes office, MSM reports that leaders of both houses have unlisted their phone numbers.

    4. At the end of his first six months as president Ron Paul breaks the presidential record for bills vetoed, MSM predicts Congress will override them.

    5. By the end of his first year in office Ron Paul has used executive orders to transfer every U.S. serviceperson inside CONUS and end the War on Drugs, MSM predicts impeachment.

    6. At the end of eighteen months Ron Paul has vetoed more bills than all other presidents combined, and the MSM reports the impeachment process is proceeding well.

    7. The 2010 elections interrupt the last stage of the impeachment trial, and the shocked and awed MSM reports that the reelection rate is zero.

  47. On the up-side, Ron Paul is no knee-jerk Israel basher:

    Paul was in Congress when Israel bombed Iraq’s Osirak nuclear plant in 1981 and – unlike the United Nations and the Reagan administration – defended its right to do so. He says Saudi Arabia has an influence on Washington equal to Israel’s.

  48. YOU’RE STILL HERE, EDDIE?!?! THAT’S WONDERFUL!?!?! I WAS AFRAID YOU’D MISS OUT ON THE TAINT WITHERING THE MIGHT UR***OLD HAS PLANNED FOR YOU!

  49. Ron Paul Reality

    1. Republicans nominate Rudy Giuliani

    2. Reason rejects conspiracy theories regarding Ron Paul’s defeat. Many Hit & Run regulars vigorously disagree.

    3. Most Hit & Run posters vow to vote Libertarian.

    4. Enterprising former leftist makes a fortune selling little staues of Ron Paul for dashboards.

    5. By 2008, many new posters on Hit & Run ask who Ron Paul was. Later some of them buy Ron Paul statues on Ebay.

    6. Ron Paul converts to Islam.

  50. 7. Devoid of purpose, Edward enters a depression.
    8. Eddie decides to get busy living. He gets a job and moves out of Mom’s basement.
    9. After threatening to quit 10 times a day, Eddie is finally fired.
    10. Jobless, and feeling adrift since there is no one left to snark to about Paul, Eddie begins drinking.
    11. No one is ever sure if it was suicide, or if Eddie didn’t realize that mixing xanax and booze is dangerous.
    12. No one really cares, either.
    13. Eddie’s mom cries a bit, but it’s from relief.
    14. An autopsy determines that Eddie really died of a withered taint.
    15. Still, no one really cares.

  51. Edward, when all the other children in third grade made fun of you, calling you a mama’s boy and a wussy, how did that make you feel?.

    Edward, why do think this inkblot looks like two black men having sex with your drunken father?

    What were your thoughts, Edward, when your mother caught you wearing your sister’s unwashed underwear?

    See you next week, Eddie.

  52. Maybe a strong anti-Establishment candidate is exactly what people want, especially if support for him is spreading faster than support for other candidates. Volunteers don’t just pop up like weeds — you have to give them something to believe in, something different enough from what they get by doing nothing to make the effort worthwhile.

  53. Enterprising former leftist makes a fortune selling little staues of Ron Paul for dashboards.

    Don’t laugh too loud, Edward. One Christmas I got my brother an action figure on prime minister John A. MacDonald. I thought he looked like the first Doctor Who.

    If Team Paul really are a bunch of nerds, official Ron Paul action figures might make a good fundraiser!

  54. For me it is Japanese cartoons and free market commodity money.

    Gold otaku indeed.

  55. An Ottawa Reader

    I’ll bet Craig would buy one.

  56. I’ll be away on business for a time. I leave it to the fake Edwards to carry the ball.

  57. …and say, ‘Hey, Washington, f____ you.

    Actually I don’t think Ron Paul would say “Shit” if he had a handful.

    He is, possibly, the nicest, most polite and even-tempered man that I have ever met.

  58. Here’s a little thought experiment for Paul supporters and bashers alike: What if, against the odds, Paul does become president? What do you think would happen?

    I think the obvious points of agreement are lots of pardons, lots of vetoes, almost certain impeachment.

  59. I think the obvious points of agreement are lots of pardons, lots of vetoes, almost certain impeachment.

    To get the ball rolling, How could they impeach him? IIRC, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors is the standard. Ron Paul doesn’t even litter. I will add this to your list, overridden vetoes, lots of them. Weaker, less expensive, legislation that can muster 2/3 in both houses results.

  60. The Republican candidates are so weak this time that the two “front runners” are liberal north easterners. I could see Ron Paul surprising everyone in the next few months.

    BTW, I agree with the poster who said the Edward/Urkobold thing is really growing tiresome. It was funny for about 3 seconds, but that 3 seconds was up a LONG time ago. How about we just let Edward voice his opinion? We are all free to ignore it.

  61. Oops, that was me. Dumbshit!

  62. At 6:16, that is.

  63. Ron Paul Reality

    1. Republicans nominate Rudy Giuliani

    2. Sales of black Nikes spike

    3. Problem solves itself

  64. Pro Libertate, just listen to the speech “I Dreamed They Repealed the 20th Century” given by Harry Browne on the Future of Freedom Foundation conference, October 30, 1994: http://www.harrybrowne.org/SpeechesAndInterviews.htm

    Sounds good to me 🙂

  65. Ron Paul Reality

    1. Republicans nominate Giuliani

    2. Giuliani loses key states by the number of Ron Paul write-in votes

    3. Hillary becomes President

    4. Fluffy dances on grave of Republican party

    5. [???????]

    6. Profit!

  66. “Forget the gold standard, let’s just use a CPI-style aggregated big-mac index to fix the value of a dollar.”

    So your saying a big mac would always be a dollar? Wouldn’t that be sorta like turning our sovereignty over to MacDonalds?

  67. almost certain impeachment.

    Seems more likely they’d try and assasinate him.

    Just a WAG.

  68. Just got back from a Ron Paul sign waiving event in Fort Lauderdale (that’s Broward County for the geographically-challenged).

    We got a lot of honking and it wasn’t just young people. Highlights:

    One old guy stopped traffic to grab a flyer.

    Some lady flipped me off and screamed Hillary at me. In honor of Jeff Lebowski, I screamed “fascist” back at her.

    Largest group of honkers were male 25-40. Second largest: Female 25-40 (and seemingly married well).

    A good 10 people came out, despite the 40-mph wind and intermittent rain from Noel’s outer bands.

    I am starting to think there’s a risk…

  69. btw, even if the grass roots support for him is there, The Machine (MSM and Republican Party) hasn’t really focussed its evil death rays on him yet.

    Don’t underestimate the evil death rays. They are EVIL and they are DEATH RAYS. Yes, they could blow his campaign away. Unless the grass roots support is really, really strong.

    What I want to see, is whether Ron Paul’s integrity makes for a shiny enough surface to reflect and deflect evil death rays.

  70. I’ll be away on business for a time. I leave it to the fake Edwards to carry the ball.

    You mean the real Edward still posts here? I haven’t checked the IP addresses, but I just assumed all the Edwards for the last few weeks had been fake.

    (Insert Spartacus reference here.)

  71. You mean the real Edward still posts here?

    WAS there ever a real Edward?

  72. Now you’re goin’ all Baudrillard on me.

  73. What I want to see, is whether Ron Paul’s integrity makes for a shiny enough surface to reflect and deflect evil death rays.

    Oh. No. MechaRonpaul is. In NewYorkHarbor. We must. Fleethecity.

  74. To get the ball rolling, How could they impeach him? IIRC, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors is the standard.

    I believe “Because we feel like it” is the standard.

  75. I miss Jean Bart (or whoever).

  76. Fuck you, Frank!

  77. To clarify, impeachment of Ron Paul (or of any libertarian president) will occur whether or not he’s done anything wrong. Since the Congress and the Chief Justice will likely be in full agreement about his ouster, ousted he’ll be.

  78. Should be, “He’s the candidate most likely to say, ‘Hey Washington, Fiddlesticks to you!'”

    I didn’t think the article was that great. It mostly emphasized Paul’s economic positions. But Paul is not popular among the young for that reason so much. He’s popular because the young are idealistic and here’s a guy who speaks principally about his opposition to not only the Iraq war but war in general (at least non-defensive wars), principally about his opposition to the drug war, and so on. And I think young people appreciate his willingness to not sugar coat these positions or to speak in banal political-babble.

  79. Is Paul that popular with potential primary voters? I think he’s popular, rightly so (I disagree with him on a lot, but the guy is willing to take brave stands based on a coherent set of beliefs and principles), with informed voters and those active on the net and such. But I doubt most folks who will vote in the primary know much about him…Americans are really ignorant about politics, and the press will not give Paul much opportunity to get known…

  80. I’ve seen more than a few of home made signs with this slogan:

    Dr. Paul cured my apathy

  81. Pro Liberate: That is perhaps the most depressing thing I’ve ever read regarding the state of US politics.

  82. Thought experiment: How could President Paul nullify Roe v. Wade with the pardon power? Promise that anyone convicted of violating it would be pardoned.

    That kind of makes me wonder how Roe v Wade is enforced. Has anyone gone to Federal prison for prosecuting an abortionist under state law?

  83. Colbert is not on the Dem SC ballot. Hope he does not run as a Republican. One more thing for Ron Paul to worry about.

  84. iih-I think if Colbert did not make the Dem ballot he has no chance of the GOP ballot. Usually the Dem one is easier to make (hence the reason why LaRouche always ran in the Dem primary).

    I can’t believe that the Dems did not allow him though. What a bunch of spoilsports.

  85. MNG: I was just making a joke regarding the earlier reports that Ron Paul should worry about Colbert since potential Paul supporters are also Colbert fans (to some extent).

    I think it was pre-arranged that way. But it was all funny.

  86. That is your favorite quote from the article? How about this one:

    Representative Tom Tancredo, another long-shot G.O.P. candidate, tells me that after a debate in New Hampshire, one of his staffers walked up to a guy in a shark costume and asked him if he was a Ron Paul supporter. “No. They’re all nuts,” replied the shark. “I’m just a guy in a shark suit.”

  87. I didn’t think the article was very good in any way. It’s just like all of the other MSM articles in that it still implies that RP’s supporters are crazy, that he only knows one topic well — when in fact his intelligence is exceptionally multi-dimensional — and Stein is really overemphasizing nerdiness throughout. There’s nothing “nerdy” about being informed; it’s just called not being a dumbass like the rest of the candidates.

  88. …impeachment of Ron Paul (or of any libertarian president) will occur whether or not he’s done anything wrong.

    The irony is that it would be for reasons far less relevant than starting a pointless war.

  89. I don’t know what Luntz means by “the real stuff.” I have a horrible suspicion that he’s thinking of his focus groups.

    My guess was the republican party supporters who give money every year to the party, and not the Ron Paul supporters who give money to Ron Paul.

  90. The thing I find kind of amusing is that the Republican party officers are passing up the only chance to attract people to their party with their half-hearted attempts to ostracise Paul.

    Agree with him or disagree with him, one has to admit that Ron Paul is attracting people to the Republican Party in a way that no other candidate does. His competitors are reduced to saying things like “if you don’t want Hillary Clinton to be president you should vote for me” to attract voters. Ron Paul’s platform is attracting followers.

    If the party bosses were to clean house and adopt a significant portion of Ron Pauls’ platform prescriptions they could start gaining members instead of losing them.

    If I wanted Ron Paul’s ideas to play an important role in national politics, I would contact local Republican party officials, tell them that Ron Paul had made me interested in the Rpublican party and ask how I could help at the local level.

    Just my 2 cents.

  91. Tarran – well, perhaps there’s something going on along this lines:
    http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=23173

    So, what do you guys think about the Reagan21 caucus?

  92. s/this/these

  93. “No. They’re all nuts,” replied the shark. “I’m just a guy in a shark suit.”

    Yes, that was funny too.

  94. >> Is Paul that popular with potential primary voters? …But I doubt most folks who will vote in the
    >> primary know much about him…

    Au contraire, it appears that Paul’s supporters are the *only ones* who are guaranteed to vote in the primaries. I think the figure was 6.6% of eligible voters participated in the last primary election. We Paulites can totally dominate that group.

    Look at Paul’s meetup member numbers, and then look at Ghouliani and Romney.

    http://www.meetup.com/topics/polact/cand/pres/

    Whose supporters do you predict will be turning out in droves on primary election day?

  95. 6.6% of eligbile voters? If it is
    registered voters, you are looking at
    about 6 million voters. The 60,000
    people in Ron Paul meet-ups is just
    a drop the bucket.

    In South Carolina, the Presidential
    primaries generate twice the participation
    of ordinary primaries.

    All that said, I do think the 500,000 to
    1 million Ron Paul supporters picked up
    in polls will turn out better than those
    saying they support a top tier candidate.

    And I suppose, I am also extrapolating a
    bit from participation at meetups, straw polls,
    rallys, and so on.

    Only time will tell

  96. ‘He’s about something that American nerd culture can get on board with’

    Evidently he’s also about something Truthers and Neo-nazis can get on board with as well.

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