Revving Up for the Ron Paul Run


American Conservative has in its June issue an interesting survey of why Ron Paul should be a serious GOP's choice and hitting on some of what author Paul Mulshine sees as the mistakes and amateurism of the 2008 run.

He quotes Paul political director Jesse Benton saying that a key for 2012 is trying to get more big money farther in advance of the New Hampshire primary. Mulshine hits on some of the reasons things should look better for Paul:

If Ron…were to run, he'd have a ready audience in all of those tea-party people whose movement got its start with [Paul's Dec. 16, 2007] money bomb. The tea-party types actually like listening to lectures about fiscal responsibility. Early in the 2008 campaign, Paul seemed to bore even his base with all that talk about the Federal Reserve. It sounded esoteric.

Once the financial bubble burst, though, monetary policy was a hot topic among conservatives. Throw in trillion-dollar deficits and the Fed's policy of "quantitative easing" in the years since, and suddenly every candidate's sounding like that guy who was denouncing the Fed in Philly four years ago.

And consider this quote on foreign policy: "We shouldn't go to war so carelessly. When we do, the wars don't end."

Did Haley Barbour say that just the other day? Probably. But Ron said it first, in that Fox News debate four years ago when the Republicans were ready to run him out of town on a rail. That same rail will be a crowded one this year. And I for one can't wait to see who is on it.

That same issue has a more depressing, for Ron Paul's chances, feature by Michael Brendon Dougherty, "Crossing the Tea," not yet online. In it, Dougherty makes a good case with both survey data and reporting that the Tea Party is not so much a new wave of populist activist small-government folk who might be in line with Paul's radical constitutionalism, but really just another name the media is giving to ye olde Religious Right. Dougherty argues that the Tea Party as an electoral force will prove to be as pro-intervention and pro-government intervention on behalf of values as traditional Republican voters. He concludes, "Christian conservatives haven't abandoned their social issues–they've enfolded foreign and fiscal policy into their ongoing culture war." If true, that will be bad news for Paul.

I interviewed Paul last week after he announced his 2012 exploratory campaign for president.