Thursday, January 10, 2008

Latest from the Land of the Baba Booeys

OK, NOW people are talking about Ron Paul.

Positive Liberty links to James Kirchik's New Republic article. Here are a few of the less inflammatory excerpts:

[L]ong before he was the darling of antiwar activists on the left and right, Paul was in the newsletter business. In the age before blogs, newsletters occupied a prominent place in right-wing political discourse. With the pages of mainstream political magazines typically off-limits to their views (National Review editor William F. Buckley having famously denounced the John Birch Society), hardline conservatives resorted to putting out their own, less glossy publications....

The Freedom Report's online archives only go back to 1999, but I was curious to see older editions of Paul's newsletters, in part because of a controversy dating to 1996, when Charles "Lefty" Morris, a Democrat running against Paul for a House seat, released excerpts stating that "opinion polls consistently show only about 5% of blacks have sensible political opinions," that "if you have ever been robbed by a black teen-aged male, you know how unbelievably fleet-footed they can be," and that black representative Barbara Jordan is "the archetypical half-educated victimologist" whose "race and sex protect her from criticism." At the time, Paul's campaign said that Morris had quoted the newsletter out of context. Later, in 2001, Paul would claim that someone else had written the controversial passages. (Few of the newsletters contain actual bylines.) Caldwell, writing in the Times Magazine last year, said he found Paul's explanation believable, "since the style diverges widely from his own."...

But, whoever actually wrote them, the newsletters I saw all had one thing in common: They were published under a banner containing Paul's name, and the articles (except for one special edition of a newsletter that contained the byline of another writer) seem designed to create the impression that they were written by him--and reflected his views. What they reveal are decades worth of obsession with conspiracies, sympathy for the right-wing militia movement, and deeply held bigotry against blacks, Jews, and gays. In short, they suggest that Ron Paul is not the plain-speaking antiwar activist his supporters believe they are backing--but rather a member in good standing of some of the oldest and ugliest traditions in American politics....

When I asked Jesse Benton, Paul's campaign spokesman, about the newsletters, he said that, over the years, Paul had granted "various levels of approval" to what appeared in his publications--ranging from "no approval" to instances where he "actually wrote it himself." After I read Benton some of the more offensive passages, he said, "A lot of [the newsletters] he did not see. Most of the incendiary stuff, no." He added that he was surprised to hear about the insults hurled at Martin Luther King, because "Ron thinks Martin Luther King is a hero."

And Ron Paul's campaign issued a statement under his name - but did he mean it?

But let's move away from that and to the particular thing that shows electoral success - not Internet mentions, not straw polls, but real live votes. Positive Liberty talked about that also:

I was convinced that Ron Paul’s huge money war chest would lead to votes. Now, I didn’t think Ron Paul’s financial support and the intense enthusiasm of his supporters would lead him to win in Iowa or New Hampshire. But I certainly thought he’d do better than he did. My predictions were 13% in Iowa and 14% in New Hampshire....

But Rasmussen, the Des Moines Register, CNN, and especially Zogby, got it right. They were all remarkably astute. I would suggest that it’s no coincidence that these polls had no partisan ax to grind....

In Iowa, Zogby gave Ron Paul the best final poll number - 10%. And that’s what Paul got. Rasmussen was off by 2 pts and the Des Moines Register was off by 1 pt. Both were within the margin of error.

In New Hampshire, Rasmussen said 8% for Paul. Zogby said 9%. CNN said 10%. Dr. Ron got just under 8%. High turnout probably suppressed his percentage. But even still, all were within the margin of error.

Psst to the Baba Booeys - Ron Paul will not win the Republican nomination. Despite what this post says. To be fair, it was written a long time ago - December 23, 2007.

Contrary to the pundits and media propaganda, Ron Paul is best positioned to win the GOP nomination.

Ron Paul has more money than his opponents and is just starting to gain momentum. As a result of massive popular support Paul’s donor base is huge and donors are not close to reaching contribution limits. Paul’s opponents are going broke and their donors are maxed out. Ron Paul may raise 20 million this quarter and chances are he’ll raise more the next quarter....

Of Paul’s opponents, John McCain and Mike Huckabee are broke and don’t have the funds to compete on Super Tuesday. Both candidates appear to be media creations in this election and don’t have that much popular support....

The Iowa caucus on January 3rd will be a tough start for Paul. He hasn’t spent that much time in Iowa and may not have the organization that Romney does to win the caucus. Placing in the top five is all that is needed there. A third place would be huge.

Two days later on January 5th is the Wyoming Caucus. This state is a neighbor of Utah and Romney may have a strong organization here as well. Paul may do well here though.

January 8th in New Hampshire is where the campaign really starts for Ron Paul. He doesn’t need to win it but he probably will. Buchanan won this state in 1996 running on similar campaign themes with 27% of the vote. Paul’s support is much broader.

Um, not quite broader.

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