Good as Gold


Kevin Drum calls Ron Paul a "fruitcake" and demands that you–yes, you!–stop taking him so damn seriously.

In the last Republican debate I saw, this noted truth-teller gave a strange and convoluted answer about his economic policies that the audience plainly didn't understand. Next time I expect to see some straight talk about how we should return to the gold standard and get rid of the Fed. This should be followed by a question about whether he supports the free coinage of silver at 16:1. Then some questions about the tin trust.

Dean Barnett trods some of the same territory, arguing that Paul is a crazy candidate for crazy people who won't run on sensible ideas like doubling Gitmo and moving "In God We Trust" to the front of dollar coins. I guess I've got to break the news: If Paul's anachronistic gold-and-silder obsession is enough to call him "crazy," conservatives had better be ready to ditch one of their heroes. From page 421 of Robert Novak's autobiography The Prince of Darkness:

I asked Reagan: "What ever happened to the gold standard? I thought you supported it."

"Well," the president began and then paused (a ploy he frequently used to collect his thoughts), "I still do support the gold standard, but–"

At that point, Reagan was interrupted by his chief of staff. "Now, Mr. President," said Don Regan, "we don't want to get bogged down talking about the gold standard."

"You see?" the president said to me, with palms uplifted in mock futility. "They just won't let me have my way."

Reason's 1975 interview with Reagan is here. A theory for why the GOP base doesn't think Paul's economics are so odd is here.