Ron Paul will end his Republican bid for the presidency this evening and for this, the Republicans might want to rejoice. But they would do better to fear Paul for what he is about to do instead. Paul is remaining a Republican, seeking to transform the Party in his image, and he stands a decent chance at it. Unlike Joe Lieberman, who has indeed lost his bearings in his efforts to subvert the Democrats, Paul’s perceived subversion is rooted in principle.
Ron Paul sees himself as leading the Republican Party back to its roots, representing the Republican wing of the Republican Party. Put another way, he represents the paleo-conservative wing of the Republican Party. His is the anti war, anti-interventionist, anti government wing of the party. His is the libertarian wing, the wing which motivated Ronald Reagan’s anti government crusades– even tho Reagan increased the size of government more than any president before him. It is the Southwestern Barry Goldwater wing of the party which cherishes the open outdoors, whose adherents wear “don’t tread on me” belt buckles, and actually now what the phrase means. This is the side of the Party that W Bush claimed to represent but never understood. W never was a man of big sky libertarian Texas, mind you, but a spoiled rich kid brat from Kennebunkport.
As the neo-conservative, religious right Republican Party as we know it fractured and dissipated during the ’08 primaries, a big gap now exists in the Party as well as opportunity for paleocons (think Rockford Institute, Robt Taft, Goldwater) to reclaim primacy. Keep in mind the palecons, including Pat Buchanan– opose war in Iraq. The shall start this summer across the way from the republican convention, and from there Paul’s “Campaign for Liberty” will devote its war-chest and state by state campaign operation to help elect libertarian republicans at the local level. In other words, Paul will continue to be a well organized presence on the campaign trail throughout the fall, to McCain’s deep chagrin.
Back in 2000, I argued with relatives about Nader’s role in giving the election to George Bush. I always held that Gore ran a lousy campaign, which I thought was the reason– not Nader– for his loss. I also thought that folks who voted Nader in Florida, given the close contest there, made a bonehead choice. i have said previously that i voted nader in 2000, but from the comfort of my home in Massachusetts. Florida was different, and had I lived there, i would have voted Gore.
With all this said, were it not for Nader being on the Florida ballot, Al Gore would be completing his second term, and the world would be a much better place.
Fast forward to this November’s voting in Texas, a state from which Ron Paul is running unopposed for re-election. Ron Paul dislikes John McCain so much that he plans on using a good part of his remaining $5 million presidential war chest to mobilize his supporters into embarrassing McCain in Minneapolis this summer. Big Time! Not clear where Paul wants this to go, but he could easily stir some deep anti McCain sentiment. Could even be a more effective catalyst against the Republicans than Rush Limbaugh could ever be against Democrats in Denver. ’68 Chicago this summer in Minneapolis? Perhaps.
Consider too that Ron Paul might then direct his supporters to vote for Bob Barr, who just announced he will be the Libertarian candidate for President this fall. (Paul held this ballot position in the past).
Given Paul’s popularity in Texas, and the state’s guilt over being “W”s home, it is quite plausible that Paul and Barr could indeed give Texas to Obama over McBush.
Although McBush’s campaign already looks to be in greater disrepair than Gore’s back in 2000, the “Nader syndrome” could help spell the difference in a closely contested race in Texas.
for a terrific analysis of why Obama could well win Texas this year, see Optimo’s recent comments on this blog.
Regarding Ron Paul’s possible plans, please also see:
LATimes Blog on Ron Paul
So, what if Hillary doesn’t stop running for president. What, if her new goal post is to “reinvigorate” the democratic party “back to its principles and to reinvigorate the american people back to their principles.” A case could be made that this is what Obama is doing. That said, it happens to be a goal post neither Howard Wolfson or Terry McAuliffe have floated in the media, yet.
It also happens to be the stated purpose of the scaled back but still continuing campaign of Republican Ron Paul, who received 31,000 (8%) votes in Indiana yesterday. It’s really all she has left. And she can write a book called “The Revolution: A Manifesto,”(Paul’s book) because there is no patent on book titles.