Campaigns/Elections

The Show That Never Ends

Ron Paul in Pennsylvania

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Ron Paul can move fast when he wants to. On Friday, March 11, at 10 a.m., reporters are supposed to meet him at the admissions building of his alma mater, Gettysburg College, and accompany him on a campus tour. At 10:03 a.m. a few reporters who couldn't pinpoint the location finally straggle up to it. Too late. "You can catch him," a campus apparatchik suggests. "Big group of guys in suits—shouldn't be too hard to find."

Sure enough, Paul and a small phalanx of flacks and handlers are leading a small group of journalists through the campus. Handsome undergrads smirk and take cell phone pictures. One of them compels her boyfriend to stop their Jeep so she can sprint out and take a picture from the front. They're lucky they've got the Jeep. Paul, whose crooked walk and snug black sneakers made it into many a snarky profile, is speedwalking across the green. Three reporters racing right next to him, holding their recorders in his face, are so out of breath they can't blurt out questions. Todd Kniffen, a tour guide who's drawn an awfully long straw, is having a more or less uninterrupted conversation with Paul.

First stop is The Bullet Hole, the face-feeding joint where Paul earned a living as a manager back in 1956. It's now part of a new-ish brick-and-schlock student center. It's unrecognizable. A handler asks Paul to stand next to the new logo and menu for a photo, so he does. He greets four sweatsuit-clad female undergrads who've been laughing and cheering for him since he walked in.

"Hello-o-o!" Paul says. They giggle. "Are you getting some coffee?" They're getting orange juice. Where is he speaking today? "It's going to be at the movie theater… the Majestic. Do you watch a lot of movies?"

Paul and the girls chat pleasantly while the press corps respirates and fills up its film cans. When the candidate walks on to see the new swimming pool, a few hacks stick around to get the girls' reactions. "Are you supporting him?"

"No," one says, looking a little sorry about it. "There are a lot of supporters on campus, though. I'm, like, I just woke up!"

There has always been something off, something inexplicable about Paul's connection to young voters. He is asked about it constantly, and he usually reheats the same answer: The young people like the message. Many months ago, the numbers of young voters he could draw to a speech seemed to suggest something more, something bigger, a mass movement bigger than anything any other Republican could muster. Paul talks with glee about those other Republicans. "You heard all this fuss about Fred Thompson and Rudy Giuliani when they entered the race," Paul says. "Oh, they're frontrunners! They're in the top tier!" He grins so wide that he squints. "We got more votes than either of them!"

The Ron Paul campaign of April 2008 is taking place in a universe next door to ours, overlapping only occasionally with the McCain-Obama-Clinton race we read about every day. Paul is still mobbed on campuses. Lines form 30 to 45 minutes before he speaks. Drive up the loping highways of the state and you see hundreds of Paul signs (220 just on the road from Philadelphia to the capital in Harrisburg), precious few for the Democrats, and none for John McCain. But try and get people outside of the movement to pay attention.

Paul's Keystone State college tour makes two stops—in Gettysburg and in State College (home of Penn State)—and his wide-open press availabilities draw less than a dozen reporters.

Still, Paul does not make our job easy. At times, he argues that he is (still) running to scare the establishment. "At the moment we are campaigning to get the maximum number of votes and to see what happens," he says at his Gettysburg press conference. But when I ask if Paul will stay in the race to the convention and refuse to release his delegates to John McCain, Paul punts. "That infers that this is not a non-conventional activity. I'm not going to hold onto anything! The delegates have their own minds… I don't hold them, say 'do this, do that.'"

When he faces the crowd at the Majestic Theater (the place where those breakfast-eating girls don't watch movies), Paul pulls a Spiro Agnew and singles journalists out for belittling him, "The media ask me all the time, and of course, today they asked me two or three times: What are you doing this for?" he tells the crowd. Some of them boo. "They say, isn't everything locked up? Well…not quite." I look around at the rest of the press for some sign of umbrage, since he's clearly contradicting what he told us 20 minutes ago. No one looks too bothered. It doesn't show up in next day's stories.

In Pennsylvania there are four types of Paul supporters. There are the casuals, the kids who think it's cool that a presidential candidate is on campus, and who shout "I love you Ron Paul!" or dart out of their cars to snap iPhone photos of him and his entourage. There are the faithfuls, such as Harrison Brown of Lebanon County, who sits through Paul's Gettysburg speech with a sticker on his forehead. They've been waiting to vote for Paul for years. There are the converts who discovered Paul because they wanted a candidate who combined anti-war politics with a lack of slipperiness, and can't believe their luck in finding the Texas congressman.

Then there are the freaks. I don't use that word pejoratively. There is nothing too scary about "Lisa Marie" (no last name, thanks), who tells me that Paul is an "angel" who understands the threat posed by the Bilderbergs. Or Terry Cummings, a musician who tells me to go to BlackBoxVoting.org to see how these elections might be rigged. "There's supposed to a special tape on those voting machines," he says, "but anyone can rip the tape off and tamper with them. Watch the videos!" If they were the only people who showed up on Paul's Pennsylvania jaunt, it would be a problem. But they're only the leading edge of his fan base. They clarify why Paul is doing this and why he can still draw crowds. He is a counterculture figure now, and he doesn't know what to do about it. He knows only that he wants to speak on some campuses and bask in the applause.

At another short press conference in State College, after Paul's sampled butter pecan ice cream at the renowned Creamery, he acknowledges that there doesn't seem to be any ideological consistency to his flock. "The thing that brings them together," he offers, "whether they're from the left or the right, is that we really need to unify around the Constitution." He hasn't decided what to do yet with other candidates who are launching bids for office, agree part or all of his platform, and call themselves "Ron Paul Republicans."

"It's a difficult thing," Paul says, "because I know how politics works. If you have some name recognition and some money, you have to be careful. To say, 'I'm a Ron Paul Republican,' and to expect some money and an endorsement from me—I don't think that's a good idea." Of course, Paul, whose online fundraising in particular was nothing less than amazing, is sitting on a rumored $5 million of campaign cash. When his presidential bid officially ends, that dough, along with Paul's following, is going to go somewhere. When he sidesteps questions about his bankroll and his support, it makes you wonder if he'll actually make the decision on what to do with it, or if he'll let it be mismanaged.

That political question seems completely divorced from Paul's celebrity. At Penn State, organizers booked a hall for 700 people, then scrapped it because it was going to overflow. The new location is the basketball court of a daringly anonymous gym; when Paul's people start flooding in for the speech, the rest of the gym is still in use, and sweaty raquetball players wipe their brows and crane their necks at the crowd. Some of the people who saw Paul speak in Gettysburg have driven up here, a plodding two-and-a-half hour drive through progressively paler and emptier counties. The students who fill most of the room have mostly walked from their dorms. They expect a madcap encounter with a presidential candidate who's against the wars (on drugs and in Iraq) and for sticking it to both major parties.

The diehards get what they expected; the students, a little less so. Paul gives 80 or 90 percent of the speech he's given at every large venue, heavy on monetary policy ("and the dollar is falling, and this monetary system is broken, and if we don't do something it's going to collapse!") and Article I, Section 8. He's light on the drug war talk. As it goes on, a small portion of the crowd makes for the exit. The people who stay can be divided into those whose enthusiasm is starting to wane—the college kids—and those who are getting happier and happier the more Paul speaks. A bald Larry Kramer lookalike unfurls a red, white, and blue umbrella and starts twirling it as he dances in a little circle. Almost two dozen people are scribbling into notebooks. Some are taking notes on the speech. Some are actually doing homework.

Then it ends, and it looks like any presidential rally coming to an end. Paul's small entourage stands watch as more than 100 people line up to meet him. He signs pocket Constitutions, T-shirts, and placards, and he pauses for cell phone photos. Four shirtless undergrads who've stripped off their shirts and painted their chests with an R, O, N, and exclamation point wait patiently and groove along to the sound system, blasting "We're Not Gonna Take It" by Twisted Sister and "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley. Not everyone was paying much attention to the speech. "I wish he was still in the race," says one student. When I tell him that Paul is still actually running, and that this is why he elliptically asked for votes, he challenges me. "I thought he was suspending his campaign. Why do you never hear about him?"

It's a fair question that no one will answer to the satisfaction of Paul's people. They've stumbled on a secret fellowship, and they've planted more yard signs and initiated more uncomfortable conversations about sound money and government lies than anyone will ever be able to count. On the way out of the Penn State speech I run into a thick-waisted man wearing a hat and a Bluetooth earpiece who I recognize from the Gettysburg rally. He tells me his name is Fritz Schram, and I ask why he decided to drive to both rallies.

"Why am I here?" He looks at me as if I'm asking why he'd dyed his skin plaid. "I'm here because I support Ron Paul."

David Weigel is an associate editor of reason.

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  1. The way Barack Obama is imploding hes going to end up the same place as Ron Paul real soon! LOL

  2. Oh boy. Want to bet on what the trolls will claim the most in this thread?

    1) Weigel/Reason hates Ron Paul and the lack of newsletter coverage in this story was either an oversight, or not needed now that they have successfully “torpedoed” his campaign, which ran brilliantly before they started providing coverage.

    2) Weigel/Reason loves Ron Paul, which is why they’ve constantly provided totally uncritical coverage of Paul in the past, and why they’re continuing to provide coverage of a candidate who can’t be elected. Because, of course, they are unaware of the fact most readers are libertarian, or they’re unaware of the election history of the Libertarian Party.

    3) Both of the above simultaneously.

    4) Prog sucks, as do headlines derived from prog bands.

    5) RonPaul is part of the CorporatistConspiracy, despite pretending to be AntiImmigration, he is actually in the pay of the MexicanGovernment, and so is DavidWeigel of ReasonMagazine.

  3. Baked Penguin,

    You left out that Ron Paul is a secret Nazi and that only Nazi’s would support him… 😉

  4. It’s too late for Barack to implode. He’s going to be the front runner going to the convention no matter what.

    I see more PAUL 2008 signs (here in EBF MO) now than I did Super Tuesday. I hope he gets to speak at the convention.

  5. Of course hell be the Democrat Party nominnnee, but liberal out-of-touch elitist Obama will loose in a landslide to McCain!

  6. The trader smart money is on Obama, but after the Hillary/Guiliani disaster-prediction everything is GAME-ON!

    Please, Congressman Paul – get on the ticket! Shake things up!

    (disclosure – virulently anti-war and anti-deficit)

  7. tarran – My bad. Eddie hasn’t been around in a while, so it slipped my mind.

  8. “Of course hell be the Democrat Party nominnnee, but liberal out-of-touch elitist Obama will loose in a landslide to McCain!”

    Go to Intrade and place your bet.

    They take redneck Republican’s money too.

    And no bitterness at all.

  9. where the insurgent candidate tells his followers that the Republican nomination isn’t yet locked up

    Oh, you delightfully irrepressible Paulians.

    Ron Paul for Veep? Probably not, after the Rockwell problem. Maybe Barr?

  10. shrike,

    bitterness

    Thanks for reminding me that I need to clean a gun and find a snake for Church on Wednesday.

  11. Okay, I will go with Ron Paul as head of the IRS, but all that other stuff is just nutty.

  12. I allready have shirke! I’ll make alot of money off of this one.

    The Democrat Party never wins ellections anymore.

  13. “Ron Paul for Veep? Probably not, after the Rockwell problem.”

    Yeah, McCain may have had corrupt relations with federally-insured savings and loan institutions, but at least he didn’t make any offensive remarks in his newsletter while he was doing it!

  14. Sure, Guy.

    “Bitter/ness” is like the Colbert/O’Reilly Word of the Day — (by way of Obama).

    I want to see capitulation on this word. I want to see it made into the THEME of this election – seriously.

    I am wagering on bitterness – so to say.

  15. The Democrat Party never wins ellections anymore.

    Yeah, like the 2006 elections. They came up big losers there.

  16. MP I mean Presidential elections, they always nominate the worst elitist candididtes like Gore and Kerrey.

    Remember the sighing and the wind surging? haha!

  17. Whatever the merits of Ron Paul, his supporters have certainly covered the Pittsburgh area with signs and banners on bridges.

  18. I guess no one asked him why he voted against the Colombian Free Trade Agreement.

  19. Actually, as a 5/4 underdog, my initial wager was on McCain.

    The gyre will swing wildly though – nothing is as fickle as the great swath of the US electorate located in the “middle”……

  20. “Remember the sighing and the wind surging?”

    I thought the wind surging was just the sound of someone being a windbag.

  21. Whatever the merits of Ron Paul, his supporters have certainly covered the Pittsburgh area with signs and banners on bridges.

    Do recall Dr. Paul was born in Green Tree, a Pittsburgh suburb.

  22. “Whatever the merits of Ron Paul, his supporters have certainly covered the Pittsburgh area with signs and banners on bridges.”

    Kinda like what the homeless do with their excrement.

  23. There are RP meetup groups in 52 of Penna.’s 67 counties. Whether or not RP marches on, those groups will, in one form or another.
    Yes, many RP supporters are angry that he refused to campaign vigorously in Penna. or attend a major fundraiser. But signs will keep going up and delegates will run on April 22nd. The message is more important than the man.

  24. This isn’t reporting, this is trash

    “He knows only that he wants to speak on some campuses and bask in the applause.”

    Rubbish, Tripe, Drivel. Thanks for playing, but never publish anything again, you failed.

  25. Tom, he’s finished up four events in two weeks in PA – all on college campuses. He’s leaving the state before the primary to visit Montana, which already had its caucus, just to thank the voters. It’d be foolish not to acknowledge that he wants to give some speeches before friendly audiences, and not much else right now.

  26. Okay, it shouldn’t be surprising that Ron Paul can walk quickly — he was a state-champion sprinter in high school in Pennsylvania, probably the best athlete in the presidential race this year. He wears the black sneakers everywhere because of a knee operation, but still walks several miles a day and rides his bike.

    Whether or not the election results have been tampered with anywhere, the lack of security of the ballot boxes in New Hampshire (which the BlackBoxVoting guy mentioned) is a travesty. A ballot box isn’t secure if someone can just untape the top and take some ballots out, or put in fake ones.

    I’d like to see Ron Paul do really well in Pennsylvania and Idaho and any other remaining states. The fact that McCain has it locked up should be a major selling point. A lot of people who liked Ron Paul on the issues and character didn’t vote for him in earlier states because they wanted their votes to count, and they thought he didn’t have a chance. (12% thought he was the best candidate to effect needed change in Michigan, but only 6% voted for him.)

    Now that every vote doesn’t matter, why not vote for Ron Paul? Even people who don’t want him to be president could vote for him, as a way to send a message to McCain and the Republican establishment that nominated him.

  27. Wow, Dave… Could you be any more snotty and dismissive? Are you angling for a job at the Washington Post or something?

    -jcr

  28. Reason has ceased to be recognizable as a libertarian publication. It’s just lame and boring. Junior smearbund member Weigel is acting like he got stuck at uncle Zeke’s table at cousin Sarah Lou’s wedding reception.

    The story’s not boring, Dave. You are and you haven’t found it yet.

  29. Thanks for the article Mr Weigel. It’s nice to see Ron Paul mentioned in any publication at this point (though the only readers it’s likely to draw are Ron Paul supporters who explicitly search for hits from Google News, and regular Reason subscribers).

    Pity that Congressman Paul doesn’t pass muster for some libertarians. Perhaps America will be treated to another libertarian presidential candidate with a consistent 30 year voting record and dozens of supporting speeches and position papers calling for liberty and constitutional restraint. Maybe that future candidate won’t have allowed anyone to write controversial statements in his name. If that happens again in my lifetime, I’ll help look for the nimbus and stigmata so we can all be sure.

    In the meantime, I’ll continue to move up the ranks of the GOP and support Ron Paul and any other Republican who stands by libertarian principles.

    To the other active GOP libertarians: See you in Minnesota.

  30. “Smearbund”? “Smearbund?” “Smear-” fuckin’ “bund”? That’s gotta be some kind of backhanded jab at at the Rockwellians, doesn’t it? Dear God tell me it’s a joke and not a serious attack! Actually, either way, that’s some funny shit!

  31. Great article. My only quibble is your bringing up the $5 million again. The Paul campaign does not have $5 million. They had $5 million at the start of March, which has been budgeted to keep the campaign going through September. That’s not a lot of money for a campaign – it’s less than Paul spent in NH, and only 1/10 of what Obama is raising per month – but it will keep the campaign going in pre-money-bomb pace and meet all contingencies.

  32. like it makes any difference

  33. BakedPenguin | April 14, 2008, 3:27pm | #

    Wins the thread hands down

  34. What a wonderful symbiosis of political parasites — McCain and Lieberman: both are in a win-win situation. McCain miraculously became the “comeback kid” in early January, when he suggested that he would think about Lieberman as his V.P., and little Joe knows that McCain will join in the latest neocon effort to bring down America — a war with Iran. Its enough to make a Republican want to vote for Ron Paul.

  35. Where’s Edward? Gilmore needs a fan.

  36. Snarky article. You can write with a slant like the best of them.

  37. You lamers continue to sit here and try to lessen Ron Paul or his support. Meanwhile, the man and his supporters are striving and scoring points on the board.

    You guys should start filing your paperwork for the Federal Assistance to Incurable Losers (FAIL).

  38. He shoots! He scores points on the board!

  39. Dave Weigel and I are trying to simultaneously pacify and discourage the people who have lost faith in the great Aerican two party system. We understand that the republicans and democrats have made some errors in the past. They haven’t thought out this war on drugs very well. It is also obvious they have made some strategic mistakes in the “global war on terror” that Matt Welch called for.

    However, the zany Ron Paul is truly blowing it by mentioning his personal wacky criticisms of our monetary system. Every serious thinker knows that our monetary system is functioning amazingly well and only a fool would be questioning the inflation statistics form the federal governemnt. Sure the government is full of bungling idiots, but the federal reserve has some of the smartest most educated people in the world who are 100% dedicated to helping our economy in the most scientifically advanced ways. Sure our motto is free minds and free markets, but part of that freedom includes screaming “conspiracy wacko” at anyone who talks critically about American monetary policy and the most important part of free markets is a centrally planned interest rate market orchestrated by econometric models and the finest analytical minds in the world who will accept salaries equivalent to a succesful plumbing contractor.

    again we don’t want to have to explain what is right about our monetary system morons, just trust us that it is very good, but Ron Paul is a nut for questioning the fed and nobody should mention monetary policy …it doesn’t really even have anything to do with you so please just stop talking about it, that is one issue we should just forget about….Nick how is our funding? is it secure yet?

  40. Come on, CO. You seem like a good guy sometimes. I even defended you in the great breathalyzer-interlock caper.
    Step back. Take a deep breath. Take a long look.
    You’ll see that Weigel actually likes Paul. But he’s a journalist, not a campaign flack.
    Come on, CO. I wouldn’t bother otherwise, but The Force is strong in you. Come back into the light…

  41. Dave may actually like Ron Paul. I can’t really be sure he isn’t a kkk sympathyzer himself, but as long as he keeps ridiculing those who doubt the wisdom of the Fed his job will be safe.

    For the central bank is the most equal institution of them all. To doubt it is to reveal your true zaniness.

  42. Weigel actually likes Paul.

    Oh, he treats his friends with pompous condescension, then?

    -jcr

  43. I just lost all respect for the writer David. Up until now he has done a decent job covering Paul. But now, he stereotypes Ron Paul supporters, even calling them freaks. He continues his failure of covering Paul’s ideas and his mission and focuses on the supporters or tid-bits. I say dump David and stop reading this stuff. Reason should talk to David. He is not welcome anymore by me.

  44. But now, he stereotypes Ron Paul supporters, even calling them freaks.

    Yes, when I denoted one of the four varieties of Paul fans as “freaks,” I stereotyped them all. Why do my critics have to be so damned smart?

  45. Mushy article. W (as in Weigel) does seem to be distancing himself from Paul the candidate and worse yet Paul’s better ideas. If it’s for career advancement, if that’s what we can call it, then shame. Else… he must find some prizeable appeal in the alternative of McCain? Obama? Clinton? and can give a free pass cuz everyone else does & it’s easy?

    To be fair though, Reason intelligentsia have a better read from the opinion-leaders of what spin is going to hook John Q. Public. Although Paul may espouse what really turns W on, perhaps he (correctly) reads that MSM only exploits the quirkier, edgier sides when it must which is akin to ignoring the guy altother.

    Honestly folks, like the guy or not, his donation bounty hasn’t been so much squandered as it has NOT been matched by the MSM in free publicity, the only ‘matching’ that counts. This election more than any has shown the importance of MSM ‘matching’ in the form of news stories, negative or otherwise. Check out the CNN campaign fund raising numbers.

    Funny enough, the negative racist newsletters prolly would’ve attracted adherents, those that most of us deplore; but those are the same ilk that will put any candidate Obama or Clinton over the top and with their MSM exposure they get a sound base that massively couteracts those fringe elements.

    Ron Paul is fringe because his ideas are lamentably fringe in the big debate; anti-war seems to be debatable with the dems these days: WTF. If we refuse to prioritize our common themes (even as Reason readers) then we are doomed to not just more of the same but an ever deepening slide into the big collectivist sewer. It’s an admirable feat to scrutinize and criticize your closest fellow-traveller based on substantive voting records, statements, etc. while the rest of the public goes by ‘wow! reminds me of JFK!’ or ‘She’s more presedential’.

    Paradoxically this is what keeps us alive. Genuine, Bona Fide criticism! Keep up the good work posters!

  46. Why do my critics have to be so damned smart?

    Doesn’t take a whole lot of intelligence to see what you’re doing, Weigel. If you can’t cope with people calling you on your BS, you should either clean up your act, or find a different line of work.

    -jcr

  47. anti-war seems to be debatable with the dems these days: WTF.

    A cursory perusal of history will show that the dems are pro-war except when they’re not in the white house. It astounds me that most kids today have no idea that JFK and Lyndon Johnson got us into the Vietnam war, and that Richard Nixon got us out of it.

    -jcr

  48. DONDEROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

  49. “…after Paul’s sampled butter pecan ice cream at the renowned Creamery…”

    Ah, a butter pecan man. Now I remember why I like the guy so much.

  50. “Perhaps America will be treated to another libertarian presidential candidate with a consistent 30 year voting record and dozens of supporting speeches and position papers calling for liberty and constitutional restraint.”

    It’s almost enough to make a fellow bitter. Maybe I should move to Pennsylvania.

  51. Tom, he’s finished up four events in two weeks in PA – all on college campuses. He’s leaving the state before the primary to visit Montana, which already had its caucus, just to thank the voters. It’d be foolish not to acknowledge that he wants to give some speeches before friendly audiences, and not much else right now.

    Actually Dave, it’s obvious to most observers exactly what he is doing. You’re either being intentionally obtuse or…

    This may not be your snobbish (t)Reason or Cato latte sipping, libertine Libertarian campaign, but for people who care about brass tacks monetary policy, natural rights and Constitutional liberty, it’s been a godsend.

    Sure Paul has screwed up and made mistakes. Yes, he’s not the perfect candidate, by any stretch. But this old fella gets out there, at a time in his life when he could definitely be coasting, to carry a message. And while the orangeline crowd likes to take potshots at Paul and his supporters, which is the same superficial coverage one can find in a tabloid, I have yet to see (t)Reason treat his campaign issues with seriousness.

    This Paul campaign could have been huge for both libertarianism and (t)Reason. Instead, libertarianism won and (t)Reason has lost. Not because you attacked Ron Paul, but because you guys have done it in a superficial way, avoiding any real discourse on the issues.

    Honestly, you and your cohorts should be a little ashamed of yourselves. A lot of us are ashamed for you. Grow up.

  52. “There has always been something off, something inexplicable about Paul’s connection to young voters.”

    Really? Young people don’t normally like the idea of individual freedom when it’s explained to them?

    If you think about it, that is just nonsense.

    Following my “pot calling the kettle black” theory of statist/liberal arguments – I hereby reverse that statement to read:

    “There is something off, something inexplicable about this article.”

    There now – that makes more sense.

    Reason Magazine is about…what? I thought it was supposed to be libertarian.

    Based on this article – it can’t be.

    Libertarians supposedly care about liberty and fight for it.

    No magazine that publishes an article with this kind of snarky dismissive tone to it could credibly claim to be libertarian.

    Statism is so powerful and so evil that very few orgs can escape it’s influence, I guess. Weigel can pretend all he wants that he’s just doing “journalism” or “being realistic” or even just trying to sell subscriptions, but in the end it doesn’t matter.

    This article and apparently Reason itself are not dealing with the problems that this country faces.

    I think that Nathans’s; CO’s; and Randolph’s comments say everything else I’d like to say.

  53. Listen up you Paultards, Weigel was trying to be nice…

    “In Pennsylvania there are four types of Paul supporters.”

    You see he goes on to list four different types of idiots, however he didn’t eliminate the possibility that there may be a smart Ron Paul supporter in Washington DC, New York City or possibly London. I’ll help clarify what he really meant since he is understandably reluctant to stoop to conversing with you precambrian isolationist.

    1) “There are the casuals, the kids who think it’s cool that a presidential candidate is on campus, and who shout “I love you Ron Paul!” or dart out of their cars to snap iPhone photos of him and his entourage. ”

    in other words, if you are a young Ron paul supporter you are naive idiots, the young are especially easy to dupe into supporting Ron Paul’s version of racism. Of course the more cosmopolitan and wise youth still supports Obama or McCain as do all serious analyst.

    2)”There are the faithfuls, such as Harrison Brown of Lebanon County, who sits through Paul’s Gettysburg speech with a sticker on his forehead. They’ve been waiting to vote for Paul for years.”

    A lot of these idiots are your traditional libertarian party supporters. They have bad hygene and put bumper stickers on their foreheads, this is an amazingly common thing for Ron Paul supporters.

    3)”There are the converts who discovered Paul because they wanted a candidate who combined anti-war politics with a lack of slipperiness, and can’t believe their luck in finding the Texas congressman.”

    This is the type of idiot that Weigel has some sympathy for. This is the type of idiot who is so ignorant of politics that he has never heard of the 20+ year republican congressman who has been most consistently on the side of decreasing government spending, fighting the drug war, favoring peaceful foreign policy, advocating 100% free trade with all countries and voting down taxes over the last two decades. Weigel wishes more of you were like these idiots.

    4)”Then there are the freaks. I don’t use that word pejoratively. There is nothing too scary about “Lisa Marie” (no last name, thanks), who tells me that Paul is an “angel” who understands the threat posed by the Bilderbergs. Or Terry Cummings, a musician who tells me to go to BlackBoxVoting.org to see how these elections might be rigged. ”

    This is the worst type of idiot. They beleive it is possible for the government to rig some elections. They don’t understadn that freedom means you should not question your government. They don’t understand that the truly elite in this country should never be mentioned.

    So there you have it, we know that all paultards are some vareity of idiot, maybe some of you who don’t live in Pennslyvannia aren’t complete morons…but if you are questioning the monetary system then your probably a class 4 idiot…because we all know only a idiot would be reading books on monetary policy as part of a hobby.

    In the future I will call this the Weigel Idiot Classifcation System. WICS for short, I’ll use this scale to label the common users of this board in upcoming posts.

  54. Has it occurred to anyone that Ron Paul might still be running because it encourages his people to participate in and take over the conventions, resulting in a more libertarian GOP platform?

  55. “On the way out of the Penn State speech I run into a thick-waisted man wearing a hat and a Bluetooth earpiece who I recognize from the Gettysburg rally. He tells me his name is Fritz Schram, and I ask why he decided to drive to both rallies.

    “Why am I here?” He looks at me as if I’m asking why he’d dyed his skin plaid. “I’m here because I support Ron Paul.””

    Don’t you pick on Fritz you Bastard!

    If he gave you a funny look it was because he is thinking: “who are you? and what are you doing here if you don’t support Ron Paul?”
    But we know the answer:
    pretending to be a journalist.

    We love you Fritz.

    P.S. I was thinking of dyeing my skin… and plaid would look just super with all of my outfits….thanks for the suggestion!!!

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