Posted by Brad @ 3:53 pm on February 28th 2008

Some Ron Paul News

Ron’s primary for his Texas congressional seat is also Tuesday, and a lot of us have been biting our nails about it, absent hard evidence, but with a fair bit of anxious rumblings from inside the campaign that seems to indicate they’ve been sweating it pretty hard.

PPP—a polling firm which has been doing pretty well this cycle—polled the race this week and found Paul comfortable ahead of his notary public opponent. Paul 63, Peden 30. Full results here (PDF).

A lot of people are down on Paul these days, but in a larger context, I think it’s certainly better to have him in Congress than not—certainly not replaced by some sniveling neocon opportunist who would most likely be nothing more than a limp-wristed “aye” vote for the bad side of the establishment party. Furthermore, if Paul does successfully smack down this challenge, it’ll be another fallen soldier in a long line of amusingly unsuccessful attempts for the frustrated GOP to root Paul out of Congress. And anything that proves to be a persistent nagging failure of the establishment GOP to cut out well-meaning and ideologically valuable dissent is a good thing.

Still, it’s one aspect of the primaries on Tuesday that a lot of us will be watching closely.

Doesn’t hurt that supporters dropped a cool million into his reelection coffers in the last month.

Time to spread that money around, I’d say.


  1. I like Ron Paul. I’d just wish that he didn’t and hadn’t gone down the immigration bashing angle, even if it’s illegal immigration. I’d rather see other GOP candidates of his ilk minus the immigration issue get more money. Even if we have to compromise one or two issues.

    Comment by TanGeng — 2/28/2008 @ 7:19 pm

  2. Glowing profile of Ron’s opponent at Wonkette.

    Particularly of note: the article gives not a single mention of a single policy issue or political thought of the guy. Hell, it doesn’t really say anything about his campaign or qualifications. Just revels in the thought of Ron Paul losing his seat like a pig in shit.

    I can’t figure out what causes a certain class of liberals to just HATE Paul in that way, to positively revel in it. I mean, they could just replace him with another faceless and reliable social conservative neocon; I’d have no idea why they’d want to though.

    Comment by Brad — 2/28/2008 @ 10:46 pm

  3. Wow, that wonkette piece was a real suck job. The sole Pedan position mentioned is his English language dedication. Filled with empty praise for this handsome candidate, filled with disdain for Paul and his supporters. Very weak.

    Comment by Jack — 2/28/2008 @ 11:07 pm

  4. Brad, I think the source of animosity for Ron Paul amongst some liberals stems from Ron’s strong activist roots. It’s threatening not just ideologically (as all political opponents from other parties are, but also methodologically. Here is a candidate stealing *their* netroots-based organizing principles and turning that weapon upon its creators. It’s one thing to be mugged, and quite another to be shivved with your own knife.

    Comment by tessellated — 2/28/2008 @ 11:59 pm

  5. Man. That’s an outstanding point.

    I’ve been thinking of it mostly ideologically. And I absolutely understand why liberals wouldn’t personally want to vote for Ron Paul; I mean, he’s not liberal on an awful lot of stuff (he’s not libertarian on a few things either). But the actual out-and-out HATE for him from some quarters of particularly liberal netroot sorts has struck me as quixotic. I mean, he’s against the war, he’s more socially liberal than just about any member of the Republican caucus, and what’s more, the entire Republican establishment hates his fucking guts, and he lives to stick his thumb in their eye. If you’re a liberal activist who know he’s in a no way a threat to win or make much of an electoral impact, what’s not to like?

    But you may have hit the nail on the head. Even kos put up a glowing post after Ron Paul’s first moneybomb saying that the best example of people-powered politics this cycle, and the most impressive online campaign, was not a Democrat, but undoubtedly Ron Paul. MyDD was saying the same thing.

    Then Paul REALLY started taking off after that, and those guys shut up, and the Wonkette crowd took over (and this was before the newsletter stuff even, though that certainly didn’t help).

    I think you’re probably right. Liberal netroot activists have taken great pride in their online organizing and fundraising and how above and beyond any stone age Republican it was. That the successor to Howard Dean (the good stuff about Howard Dean) turned out to be Ron Paul probably is something that gets under their skin.

    Great point. I mean, I’m sure there’s more to it than just that (for one, I think most partisan Democrats would PREFER that Republicans stay in a neat box; these are the sorts that believe the country would be better off if only worse Republicans got their nominations), but it’s an angle I hadn’t really thought of much until you just now mentioned it.


    Comment by Brad — 2/29/2008 @ 12:19 am

  6. I would contend that the real successor to Howard Dean has turned out to be Obama, but you are right, for a while Paul threatened to steal that from the netroots. The money bomb thing really got under their skin as I witnessed in some of the dKos comments the day after Super Tuesday when Obama spontaneously raised 8 million or so. The thread of comments quickly morphed from “let’s put a finger in Hillary’s eye by raising a boat load of cash” to “let’s show the Ron Paul crowd how it’s REALLY done.”

    This also plays into a general self-regard held by the internet left that they are the ones who have the best blogs, the best web presence, are the most technically savvy etc. It may be true and it also betrays a vulnerability borne of pride.

    Comment by tessellated — 2/29/2008 @ 12:56 am

  7. Nothing new between you and I on this Brad, but I do not buy this one phrase: “hes more socially liberal than just about any member of the Republican caucus.”

    Comment by Jack — 2/29/2008 @ 10:13 am

  8. What does socially liberal mean (anymore)? I used to describe myself as fiscally conservative and socially liberal, but then I realized that the conservatives spend like crazy and the liberals trample a lot of freedoms.

    Does socially liberal now mean (less generically, I guess) whatever it is that the liberals currently believe in regards to social issues?

    Comment by Redland Jack — 2/29/2008 @ 12:27 pm

  9. Valid point, I suspect that we here would have lot of overlap in issues/positions that make one socially liberal, we would have significant differences in emphasis and prioritization.

    Without putting any conitation on social liberal, good or bad, I tend to think of the following issues as some of the top social liberal topics:
    Gay rights
    Drug war/laws

    Comment by Jack — 2/29/2008 @ 1:28 pm

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