Posted by Rojas @ 2:15 pm on August 30th 2012

In 2008, the LP candidate for President decided to get in a public fight with Ron Paul.

I think this might be a marginally smarter strategy:


  1. I agree that this is a far better strategy than Bob Barr pursued. But to be fair, simply summarizing the event as LP candidate picking a fight with Ron Paul in 2008 leaves out the part where Paul explicitly did not endorse the LPUSA candidate, and instead endorsed utter wackjob bigot conspiracy extremist Chuck Baldwin. For President of the United States. Chuck Baldwin. Unforgivable, and chilling legacy that I choose not to forget when contemplating the Paul legacy and his true feelings on a wide variety of issues.

    Comment by Jack — 8/30/2012 @ 7:42 pm

  2. For me, Paul the man has always been a mixed bag. Elements of his story and persona and actions are highly commendable and worthy of praise. Other parts are questionable, including Baldwin and highly troubling newsletters.

    Paul the idea. That’s a different story. The impact of his ideas on the discussion is his true impact. What his ideas represent is commendable and the reason they (not he) have my loyalty. His ideas, and his role in expanding their influence are the gift of Paul the man. Even if he himself is sometimes the stumbling block (consider his Fed and Gold standard mumbo jumbo), his ideological platform is what defines his legacy.

    To an extent, Paul the man was important in assessing him if he had a shot in hell of him actually assuming the presidency. Instead, Paul the idea is important in a different way. Flawed though he may be, Paul the man was the conduit of Paul the idea. That Paul is the one who retains my loyalty. What he articulates is what I consider to be his legacy. The articulator himself, not so much.

    Comment by Cameron — 8/30/2012 @ 9:19 pm

  3. Jack: You’re also leaving out the part where Paul endorsed the Green Party candidate and Ralph Nader. Seriously, that happened. He also, incidentally, endorsed Barr at that point, but only Baldwin, McKinney, and Nader would join Paul at the press conference, because Barr and his staff then threw a monumental backroom hissy fit.

    As far as legacy goes, I think you way, way overblow it. That Barr’s staff and Paul’s staff then got in a pissing match after the third party endorsement and Paul’s staff purposefully then reversed the endorsement and gave it to the person seen as most likely to compete with Barr directly for Paul’s GOP support (which, given Baldwin finished with 199,314 votes and Ron Paul had 2.2 million, didn’t work out very well) is an interesting, if ultimately entirely irrelevant, footnote to the 2008 campaign.

    But I do love your note about Paul’s “true” feelings – because God knows, if Ron Paul is anything, it’s a 40 year stealth politician who obfuscates his true feelings.

    Comment by Brad — 8/30/2012 @ 9:22 pm

  4. I don’t in anyway excuse Barr’s ass hattery, but you keep playing this game of waiving away things Paul actually does as not important to who he is and what he represents. Yes, he returned Barr’s petulance with his own level of petulance, and hammered it home by selecting a crazy person to receive his blessing. It is relevent because he actually did it. This is not about who was right, Paul or Barr. It is solely about what did Paul do and what does that say. The newletters, which during the early days you went to great lengths to explain away, represent more than a decade of Paul approved thought. Paul the idea is represented by what he actually does, not this fuzzy projection that elides all of the grudgingly admitted negatives.

    Comment by Jack — 8/31/2012 @ 9:04 am

  5. But you’re not judging him by what he actually does, that’s my point. He has a 40 year record as a public servant, he has a crystal clear agenda that he’s never particularly wavered on and which he expounds on, at great length, at every opportunity. More so than even most career politicians, one doesn’t have to guess about what believes, says, or wants to do in governance. All that stuff’s right there. And THAT’S the “fuzzy projection”?

    You are saying that THAT stuff is bullshit, wave THAT stuff away, and instead go to great lengths to divine some kind of hidden agenda that I guess he’s just waiting to spring on us someday now that he’s spent 77 years lulling us into a false sense of security.

    The newsletters matter – the Baldwin endorsement matters. But you’re blinkered if you look to THOSE two things as the definition of the man, the ideology, or the movement, and choose to vault them to be as important or more important than a remarkably clear and consistent forty year public record. Again, Ron Paul’s agenda and legacy is is not something that has to be guessed at. It’s staring you in the face – but you’ve decided, apparently, that in the face of that voluminous career and enormous public record, that several issues of a late 80s survivalist newsletter put out in his name and his thrown together second endorsement of the 2008 election, are the things that REALLY matter and define who he is. And you want to lecture me about waving away or projecting?

    Comment by Brad — 8/31/2012 @ 6:37 pm

  6. You know you do this rather often, take any criticism of Ron Paul and turn it into a Manchurian Congressman conspiracy theory. This is not a two option choice, in which there is only what I described as your fuzzy projection of a politician you clearly have a lot emotionally invested in vs a secret Klan loving bigot who has hidden his entire agenda for 40 years. What I have instead is criticism of certain actions and an objection to his super empowered state’s rights version of psuedo-libertarianism. I can hold the latter perception and the associated concerns in my mind at the same time as recognizing his positive attributes and general consistency on a variety of policy issues. You seem to assume that holding those criticisms as anything greater than a historical footnote is akin to having a cartoonish funhouse mirror view of the man.

    Comment by Jack — 8/31/2012 @ 9:36 pm

  7. Do we really need to parse the following sentence?

    “Unforgivable, and chilling legacy that I choose not to forget when contemplating the Paul legacy and his true feelings on a wide variety of issues.”

    I’m not straw manning you into a Manchurian Congressman conspiracy theory. Your explicit argument there is that the thrown together second endorsement of Chuck Baldwin that most Ron Paul supporters barely remember is a vital part of Ron Paul’s legacy and reveals his “true feelings”.

    If you feel I’m waving it off, you have to understand how I might feel you have tendency to seek out the thing you find most objectionable, and then hang everything on that – as if the most important (or at least very important) part of Ron Paul’s legacy is his 2008 endorsement of Chuck Baldwin? Seriously? In what POSSIBLE sense is that true?

    Now, your objection to his philosophy (“super empowered states rights version of psuedo-libertarianism”) is another matter entirely, and would indeed be central to your consideration of the man, his ideology, the movement, etc. That’s totally fair. It’s also totally fair to think that the Chuck Baldwin endorsement was bad. I thought it was too – you and I are in basic agreement on it, in fact.

    It’s when you start throwing things out there like “chilling legacy” and “true feelings” that I start rolling my eyes at perhaps your blowing things a tad out of proportion.

    Comment by Brad — 8/31/2012 @ 10:49 pm

  8. I didn’t start these comments in a vacuum or out of the blue, they were in response to YOUR post very specifically comparing Gary Johnson’s tactics to Bob Barr’s with regard to the Ron Paul movement. How someone ends there presidential campaign is important. Paul did not say “eh, Chucky D, hes aiiggght.” He specifically endorsed that fucking bigot wackjob for President of the United States. You take it as utterly irrelevant. I think it is worth remembering and considering.

    Comment by Jack — 9/1/2012 @ 12:09 am

  9. I already said above how I take it, and why. “Worth remembering and considering” I have no qualm with. It was the “true feelings” and “chilling legacy” bit that rubbed me the wrong way and seemed a wee bit out of proportion.

    In any case, you and I seem to be fighting a lot lately. Let’s have a beer next time you’re in Philly. :) Also, post more.

    Comment by Brad — 9/1/2012 @ 1:56 am

  10. That is only because I don’t comment on all of your posts that I agree. And certainly, should I get to Philly.

    Comment by Jack — 9/1/2012 @ 9:25 am

  11. I guess that it seems more than a bit foolish to be to be speaking in terms of “Ron Paul’s legacy” at this stage.

    History is written by the winners, and the question of which elements of Paul’s philosophy will be remembered depends on which elements survive as part of a successful governing conservative philosophy. If the likes of Gary Johnson, Rand Paul and Justin Amash attain hegemony within the Republican party, he has a chance to be remembered as a Goldwater figure, with the newsletters and Chuck Baldwin being no more relevant than is Goldwater’s defense of the John Birch society. If those folks get shunted aside, Ron Paul could wind up being Robert Taft, or Harold Stassen. And if the CFL goes off the rails and gets Rockwell-ized, then Paul’s legacy will be similar to Ross Perot’s or Ralph Nader’s–a ephemeral annoyance who rose to momentary acclaim on the strength of weird ideas, but who was ultimately too crazy to be taken seriously.

    Comment by Rojas — 9/1/2012 @ 4:11 pm

  12. Update!:

    In a Fox interview cut into this longer Johnson campaign video Paul said this of the former New Mexico governor: I think hes wonderful and I think hes doing a good job and people should look at him and every individual should make up their own mind.

    Of course, Ron won’t endorse him, and I seriously doubt he endorses anybody (including “third party”), simply because his handlers don’t want to lose one iota of leadership of the movement, and because any non-GOP endorsement (and that ain’t happening either) hurts Rand.

    Comment by Brad — 9/4/2012 @ 4:48 pm

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