The rEVOLution in North Carolina

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Book sales numbers aren't the only metric of success Ron Paul cares about now. He's finishing up a mini-tour of campuses in North Carolina and Indiana, reminding voters that he's on the ballot, bidding for protest votes that will (almost assuredly) pump his total for the primary season over one million. From the North Carolina stop:

Paul told the crowd that his hopes of winning the White House will continue to the end.

"If there's money in the bank and you want to continue the process and you want to go all the way to the convention and make sure our message is heard, that is what I intend to do," said Paul.

This from a two-city, two-campus stop in Durham and Chapel Hill. I assume the stops went as well as the stops I saw in Pennsylvania, probably with more repeat business by Paul fans driving from event to event. (Durham and Chapel Hill are closer than Gettysburg and State College.)

"It's improbable, but not impossible," said Bill Thompson, 75, who drives 150 miles round-trip from Sampson County to attend the weekly meetings of the The Wilmington Ron Paul 2008 Meetup Group.

You would have been hard-pressed to have missed the group's handwork over the past year. They've held signs at the intersection of College Road and Oleander Avenue, passed out anti-income tax leaflets on April 15, and even broadcast a continuous loop of an interview with Paul on a low-power radio station beaming on 1610 AM.

And, of course, they have put up roadside signs, which have sprouted like wildflowers. Many are hand-painted with slogans like "Dr. Paul Cured My Apathy," "Vote Ron Paul and Win a Free Country," and "Legalize the Constitution—Ron Paul '08."

"I don't think you can drive five minutes in Wilmington without seeing a sign," said Martin Goter, a computer repairman and a leader of the local group, which claims 160 members. Most are written on others' signs reclaimed from the dump.

The biggest libertarian event in the state won't be the presidential race, though. It'll be the 4th district congressional primary, where Paul activist B.J. Lawson is running against Augustus Cho, a deeply unimpressive candidate who's basically running to prevent a Paulite from getting the nomination. The second biggest event: The 3rd district primary, where Paul-endorsed anti-war Republican Walter Jones will beat pro-war challenger Joe McLaughlin like a drum. (I've met both of them and Joe's better than his campaign.)

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  1. Deeply unimpressive is a good way of putting it. I like the respective “Cho vs. Lawson” pages on each of their websites. Lawson’s is great, but you have to read Cho’s first.

  2. It’ll be fun to track and root for Lawson over Cho, and Jones over McLaughlin tomorrow night. Thanks for making us hep, David.

  3. Much as I hate to admit he was ever right, I think Dondero was correct in saying that Libertarians basically have to go to the Republican party to have any political success.

    However, I think the key elements are that libertarians infiltrate the party and get elected, not that libertarian voters accept any retard with an (R) next to their name.

    Of course, Lawson is a Paul Republican, not a “true” libertarian. Greg Lewis is of a similar mold, but his anti-abortion and anti-immigration views are even more hawkish than Paul’s. More troubling for me, he has said nothing about the WoD.

  4. Of course, Lawson is a Paul Republican, not a “true” libertarian.

    Glug.
    Glug.
    Glug.
    Ahhhhhhhh.

    Seriously though, as much as the cosmotarians hate to admit it, there’s a long history of pro-life libertarianism arguing that protecting unborn individuals’ lives is a legitimate function of government.

  5. According to Politico, Jones is facing a ‘competitive’ primary.

    …and it probably doesn’t help him to feature a picture of him with Cindy Sheehan on his homepage.

  6. reason sucks.

  7. crimethink – Re-reading my comment, I can see how I could give that impression, but I don’t deny the validity of anti-abortion views in the libertarian realm. I may disagree with them, but I don’t think they’re out of bounds.

    I don’t think you could call someone who supports the War on Drugs a libertarian, though. Drink up, everyone.

  8. I don’t think you could say someone who “says nothing” about the WoD automatically supports it, either…

  9. i had a chance to meet lawson at the wake county lp convention – he’s a genuinely decent guy. cho has a list on his website of the policies lawson proposes that match the policies of the libertarian party (as if that’s a bad thing). he also refers to the cato institute pocket constitutions that lawson distributes with his campaign material as “libertarian constitutions”.

  10. Reasons will never make sense to me. You continue to get run over by the Ron Paul bandwagon when its “going your way.” Hope on board or you’ll hate yourself in two years….

  11. Was it just me, or did Weigel somehow hold back his contempt for Paul in this post? He must have been scolded by his superiors for causing so many riots in the comments under his posts.

  12. Oh, and by causing so many people to get absolutely shit-faced with all of the people saying, “I’m canceling my subscription!!!11oneone”

  13. Reason sucks

  14. I don’t think you could call someone who supports the War on Drugs a libertarian, though. Drink up, everyone.

    You could. But that would be so very wrong.

  15. Who else hopes that both Paul and, yes, even Huckabee make double digits against McCain in tomorrows primary?

    I know I sure as hell do!

  16. IMHO good, principled libertarians can be on both sides of the pro-life/pro-choice debate.

  17. sorry, i’m late. i’m very disappointed that weigel forgot to mention newsletters. where’s his journalistic integrity? i must give him credit for linking to a post that points out what a blaring asshole he is. that was cute.

  18. Thanks, Cesar :). The good thing is that I’m not as militant as most on either side (especially since kicking and screaming seem to not help at all in an argument, and I don’t need any more health problems).

  19. I’m glad somebody is exercising his/her right to anonymity.

  20. last time i used my real email address, weigel spammed me with shitty blogs about newsletters.

  21. lol… Seriously? From his e-mail address? And was this really “spam” or was he just trying to “inform” you? (i.e., did you get 20 messages from him in an hour?)

  22. well you’re not really anonymous anymore now that weigel knows who you are.

  23. LoneWacko if you’re reading this:

    ?Feliz Cinco De Mayo!

    I’m drinking this ModeloEspecial just for you.

  24. he also refers to the cato institute pocket constitutions that lawson distributes with his campaign material as “libertarian constitutions”

    I wonder if Cho’s Bush/Cheney approved Constitution is missing a few of the first ten amendment, 4-6 & 8th seem the most likely.

  25. last time i used my real email address, weigel spammed me with shitty blogs about newsletters.

    That’s why God made the Weigal Filter!

  26. I agree you can be a principled libertarian can be on either side of the issue. its just like on Seinfeld when Kramer tried to get Poppy to start a make-your-own-pizza joint. Poppy said a pizza becomes a pizza when you role the dough and Kramer said the pizza wasn’t a pizza until it came out of the oven. they both could have been good people but Poppy was an asshole because he said there could be no debate on the issue. so I say abortion is one of the few issues that is not a litmus test for libertarians.
    on immigration, I am for more open borders but you could argue for a minimal border of some kind as a matter of national security and still have a reasonable argument. but I always thought libertarians were for open borders.

  27. Seinfeld is always relevant.

  28. but thanks for at least posting something informative and not so bias against Ron Paul

  29. And Poppy was pro-life, too!

  30. Reason unsucks.

  31. Reason has a love hate relationship with Paul.

    Im not a big fan.. but you guys need to drop the abortion debate with Paul. Seriously, could you ever imagine a doctor thats brought a few thousand babies in the world believing in abortion?

    Get over yourselves. Paul is the best thing thats happened to America since Jackson ‘killed the bank’.

  32. If Ron Paul makes it to the convention and delivers a speech I can just see John McCain blowing a gasket with his out of control temper, having a stroke on the spot giving Ron Paul the nomination by default.

  33. Parke,
    I saw nobody on this thread beating Paul over the head about his abortion views. I am personally “pro-choice” but still supported Paul both monetarily and banner toting. I viewed his presidential bid as being the best shot at getting a pro-liberty Republican on the White House ticket this cycle. Since that isn’t gonna happen now, I will have to vote my conscience (either LP or none).

    I suggest you stop tilting at Strawmen Reasonoids and start addressing individuals based on their actual positions. In other words, get over yourself sir.

  34. Go Ron Paul !

  35. I’m drinking this ModeloEspecial just for you.

    lol

  36. @BakedPenguin

    Of course, Lawson is a Paul Republican, not a “true” libertarian. Greg Lewis is of a similar mold, but his anti-abortion and anti-immigration views are even more hawkish than Paul’s.

    A Hit & Run poster claiming Ron Paul isn’t a “true” libertarian has about as much credibility as Pete Best claiming Paul McCartney isn’t “true” Beatle.

    I can guarantee you, even a cursory review of libertarian or classical liberal thinking from the last several centuries is going to show Ron Paul is a helluva a lot more consistent with what has historically been recognized as libertarianism than anything you’re ever going to find promoted by Reason or the Cato Institute.

  37. Whew…I just got done putting up all my Ron Paul (and other local candidates’) signs at the polling places around town here. John McCain hasn’t even bothered to show up to Indiana and we’ve got an independent streak in Porter County…the only county to go for Perot in ’92!

  38. IMHO good, principled libertarians can be on both sides of the pro-life/pro-choice debate.

    Agreed.

    Seriously, could you ever imagine a doctor thats brought a few thousand babies in the world believing in abortion?

    Yes. Why not?!

    A Hit & Run poster claiming Ron Paul isn’t a “true” libertarian has about as much credibility as Pete Best claiming Paul McCartney isn’t “true” Beatle.

    I can guarantee you, even a cursory review of libertarian or classical liberal thinking from the last several centuries is going to show Ron Paul is a helluva a lot more consistent with what has historically been recognized as libertarianism than anything you’re ever going to find promoted by Reason or the Cato Institute.

    Hyperbole, guilt by association and possibly (depending on your intended meaning) argument from authority all in two short paragraphs. Woo, hoo!

  39. The biggest libertarian event in the state won’t be the presidential race, though. It’ll be the 4th district congressional primary, where Paul activist B.J. Lawson is running against Augustus Cho, a deeply unimpressive candidate who’s basically running to prevent a Paulite from getting the nomination. for the chance to get slaughtered by David Price in November.

    There, fixed it for you.

    I’d love to think I could be represented by a libertarianish Republican, but the Durham/Chapel Hill District isn’t sending a Republican to Washington anytime soon. Besides, Price was on the side of the angels on the Iraq War resolution.

  40. I’ve always been confused as to why Reason doesn’t use the far more apt and hilarious REVOlution capitalisation.

  41. Hyperbole, guilt by association and possibly (depending on your intended meaning) argument from authority all in two short paragraphs. Woo, hoo!

    Nope, an argument from precedents. Ron Paul has been perfectly clear about what his are. Somehow, I have a feeling if I asked you what your definition of “true libertarian” was, and from where you derived it, you’d be in scramble mode pretty damned quick…

  42. just for the record, weigel never spammed me. that was a stupid joke. i’m sure he’s a really nice guy that just gets a boner from repeatedly blogging about newsletters, and attempting to discredit people via guilt by association. no harm done.

  43. Ron Paul got at least one vote in New Hanover County (Wilmington) this morning. I’m going to stick my “I voted” sticker on the cubicle of my buddy at work who refuses to vote.

  44. Today was without question the most satisfying primary I have ever voted in. NC has a good slate of insurgent libertarians on the R ticket, and it actually felt great to vote for Paul, Di Lauro, Lawson, Orr, Dority, etc. I’m hoping low R turnout (and most indies going D) will result in some of these guys on the ballot in November, especially Lawson. Cho is the definition of a tool.

  45. This tepid campaigning of Ron Paul is getting weary. A few college stops in Penna. and he gets 16% when he could have gotten 25% with a real campaign, plus elected more delegates, some of whom lost by a few hundred votes out of many thousands. Either get in the race or refund the money people sent you for a real campaign. The odds are that RP won’t even get five state delegations to ask that his name be put in nomination in St. Paul.

  46. Colin, Reason doesn’t unsuck until it swallows.

  47. *sigh*

    I don’t blog about the newsletters to “smear” Ron Paul. The only way you could read our story from January (only chastised Paul for letting his friends write bigoted crap under his name and never breaking ties with them) and consider it an RP smear is if you believe the B-team paleo conspiracy theories that floated back then – about the Orange Line mafia, and our alliance with Jamie Kirchick, etc etc. Those people took credit for Paul’s rise and thought the future was LRC fever swamp politics; we gave Paul’s coalition of anti-war paleos, leftists, idealistic libertarians, and trust-no-one drop-outs the credit for Paul’s rise and believe he proved a strong “freedom movement” could grow even larger WITHOUT coded or blatant bigotry.

    I think the fact-challenged and incoherent responses of the paleos have proven who was right on this.

  48. Weigel,

    My only problems with the newsletters was that reason had covered the issue enough last spring that there wasnt a reason to cover it AGAIN in january. Its almost like some other issue set it off, like you were taking cues from the fact that some other source started running pieces on it.

    If you had run the articles in Jan of 08 in Apr of 07 instead, that would have made a lot more sense.

    And you had all the info to do it then.

  49. Weigel,

    As far as I’m concerned, reason has covered the Paul campaign thoroughly and objectively, both the good and the bad. I wouldn’t get too upset about the commenters on here that can’t stand to read something negative written about him. Hell, I voted for him this morning but I still think that stuff needed to be said.

  50. Pig Mannix – my post was a comment on the “purity test” libertarians.

    I personally was upset by the newsletters, but still voted for Paul.

  51. Nope, an argument from precedents. Ron Paul has been perfectly clear about what his are. Somehow, I have a feeling if I asked you what your definition of “true libertarian” was, and from where you derived it, you’d be in scramble mode pretty damned quick…

    You’re right that I don’t have definition of a “true libertarian,” but I wouldn’t be scrambling to find one. A solid definition just isn’t that important to me.

    For the record I don’t know (or care) if Dr. Paul is one. I would vote for him in November if he were on the presidential ballot. He won’t be, so that is also largely irrelevant.

    Now, to spell it out:
    Hyperbole
    Ron Paul is a helluva a lot more consistent with what has historically been recognized as libertarianism than anything you’re ever going to find promoted by Reason (my emphasis)

    Guilt by association
    A Hit & Run poster…
    So posting here means you agree with everything Reason says?

    Argument from authority (maybe)
    …as Pete Best claiming Paul McCartney…
    I don’t know or care who Pete Best is, but if you are arguing that the famous and well recognized are inherently more correct or that libertarianism has well-defined membership like a band, I disagree. In any case the metaphor isn’t clear to me.

    If you wanted to argue from precedents it would have been more effective and enlightening if you actually cited a few that simultaneously agree with Dr. Paul disagree with Reason.

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