Archive for the ‘Ron Paul’ category

Now On-Line: The Ron Paul Evolution

April 28, 2008

My article on the Ron Paul campaign and the independent organizations and efforts springing up in its wake — including Young Americans for Liberty, Jonathan Bydlak’s Discover Scholars project, and a cadre of Ron Paul Republican candidates — is now on-line here.

I’m happy to report that one development since I wrote the piece is that Ron Paul has endorsed North Carolina congressional candidate B.J. Lawson, who certainly seems like a worthy contender to me. Here’s Dr. Paul’s statement:

Thanks for your tireless efforts to advance the cause of freedom. As the Revolution shifts into high gear, we’re beginning to identify strong candidates for federal office who can help us take back Washington in 2008. I am pleased to introduce a worthy challenger to the status quo, Dr. William (B.J.) Lawson, who is seeking the Fourth District’s Congressional seat in North Carolina.

B.J. is, like me, a graduate of Duke University Medical School. Also like me, his passion for public service stems from a deep concern for the economic imbalances facing our nation. While I spent most of my life as a practicing physician, B.J. left his neurosurgery residency at Duke to start a hospital software company in 2001, and experienced firsthand the challenges of entrepreneurship as well as the importance of succeeding by putting customers first. He shares my commitment to a constitutional federal government, individual liberty, private property rights, a foreign policy we can afford, and economic growth driven by successful businesses working to satisfy their customers.

I wish I could say B.J. is going to have an easy journey to Washington in November. We certainly need him here. But there is a vocal minority in the Republican party that has other plans. B.J. is battling a neoconservative establishment candidate right up to the primary next Tuesday. While he is leading based upon this weekend’s polling, there remain many undecided voters and he needs funds to finish his media and GOTV plan. As this recent debate footage shows, they are very different candidates indeed:

http://blog.lawsonforcongress.com/2008/02/15/the-great-debate/

After you support B.J. in the May 6th Republican primary, he will then take on Rep. David Price. Rep. Price is an 11-term incumbent who defines business as usual. With your help, B.J. can build the bridges necessary to take the freedom message across the Fourth District.

Please make a donation to help B.J.’s campaign today — fundraising is the MOST important thing we can do to help spread the message. Freedom isn’t free, but liberty is priceless!

In liberty,

Ron Paul

A Choice in November

April 26, 2008

Clueless GOP consultants Tony Fabrizio and Dave Carney tell Politico (referring to Ron Paul’s 16 percent showing in Pennsylvania’s Republican primary):

“A large portion of those Ron Paul supporters are anti-Bush, anti-war Republicans,” he said. “They’ll wind up back with McCain because, while they may disagree on the war or be mad at Bush, the prospect of Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton is more frightening.”

And, as Carney notes, there is no Paul-like third-party candidate around whom they can rally and vent their frustrations.

Politco’s Jonathan Martin notes that that might not be true if Bob Barr gets the Libertarian Party’s nomination. But it won’t be true even if Barr doesn’t get the LP nod, because Chuck Baldwin, who endorsed Paul in the Republican primaries, has now won the Constitution Party’s nomination. Baldwin, who is socially conservative, antiwar, for drastically smaller government (asked at the Constitution Party convention what his first executive order as president would be, he said he would first repeal almost all the executive orders going back to Reagan), and against federal snooping on American citizens. The rightist part of the Ron Paul movement might find him a very attractive candidate indeed.

In small ways, the 2008 election is starting to look up. There’s the prospect that my ballot in Virginia might have at least two candidates I can support: Baldwin and Barr. Neither is perfect. And between them, I’m not sure which is better: Baldwin is more radically conservative and anti-statist, as far as I can tell, which commends him. In Barr’s favor, I’d rather vote for a Libertarian Party candidate than a Constitution Party candidate. I attended the CP’s 2000 convention in St. Louis and wasn’t very impressed by the proceedings. A brawl almost broke out at one session between Catholics and Protestants baiting one another about who had persecuted whom more violently throughout history. (Catholics attributed anti-clerical violence in the Mexican Revolution to Protestantism — improbably enough — while Protestants shot back with equally poorly informed accusations about the Inquisition. A gathering of professional historians this was not.) Convention sessions juxtaposed a speaker who wanted to stone homosexuals next to a speaker who had survived being aborted. Disgust and sympathy don’t make a pleasant emotional cocktail. The party didn’t exactly win any points with me in 2004 either, when it nominated for president a man who had given his wife’s children away to be raised by the state of Maryland. (His wife insists that turning her daughters into wards of the state was her idea. Either way, the story belongs on Jerry Springer — or Phil Donahue, where in fact it did appear — not on the resume of a “family values” candidate.)

On the other hand, LP presidential contender and mooted vice presidential prospect Mary Ruwart is a defender of consensual kiddie porn. If she’s on the ticket, I won’t be voting for the Libertarians. I’m fairly sure neither Barr nor Wayne Allan Root, the other top LP presidential candidate, would have someone with those views on their ticket. I hope.

And of course, Obama is better than McCain by far. I’d like to see him clobber McCain in November. So assuming these third parties qualify for the ballot in Virginia, I’ll have several choices in this presidential election. That’s an unaccustomed circumstance for me, and it feels kind of good. Now if only a third party will nominate someone decent for the Virginia Senate race…

Ron Paul vs. the Kochtopus

April 23, 2008

In a friendly game of softball, that is: the Ron Paul campaign team is facing off against the Koch team in the D.C. Think Tank Softball League. Both teams are in the “Free Soil” division.

What’s a Kochtopus, you ask? David Gordon answers.

Advantage: Ron Paul

April 22, 2008

Patrick Ruffini is alarmed to see that Ron Paul Republicans are the only conservatives dedicated enough to turn out at state county conventions – and as a result, Paul is picking up state-level and national delegates. It’s going to be a very interesting Republican Convention in (appropriately enough) St. Paul this year. Read Ruffini’s article to see the good news from the grassroots.

In Print: Ron Paul, Bill Kauffman, and Ralph Adams Cram

April 20, 2008

The 4/21 issue of The American Conservative, which should be showing up in bookstores and subscribers’ mailboxes right about now, contains my article “The Ron Paul Evolution,” on the future of the Ron Paul movement — already there are candidates, a youth organization, and nonprofit ventures rising out of the Paul phenomenon, and there’s much more to come. I relate a few of my own experiences with the campaign in the piece, too. Hunt down a copy.

The next issue of the mag, out in about two weeks, should contain my review of Bill Kauffman’s terrific new book Ain’t My America: The Long, Noble History of Anti-War Conservatism and Middle-American Anti-Imperialism. The book is every bit as good as you would expect from the Sage of Batavia–and even better. If you need any convincing, just check out my review.

Gerald Russello, the editor extraordinaire of the University Bookman tells me that my review of Douglass Shand-Tucci’s recent biography of Ralph Adams Cram is in the current issue of that venerable (and Russell Kirk-founded) quarterly. It’s on-line here, but I’d recommend tracking down a print copy as well — or better yet, subscribing. Under Russello’s able editorship, the Bookman has gone from being a neglected cousin of Modern Age to becoming essential reading.

(The revivified Bookman is hardly Russello’s only notable achievement in recent years: he’s also the author of The Postmodern Imagination of Russell Kirk, which I reviewed for Reason a while back.)

Ron Paul Blog

April 10, 2008

Not only is the official campaign’s Daily Dose still going strong, in the able hands of Matt Hawes, but now my friend and former Ron Paul 2008 colleague Patrick Semmens has set up a group blog for past and present campaign staff. RonPaulBlog.com is the URL; so far Patrick and former finance director Jonathan Bydlak have been contributing. I’ll be putting up a few posts myself before too long. Check it out.

Scattershot Notes

April 4, 2008

Contrary to my stated intention, @TAC actually has cut into Tory Anarchist blogging, at least a little bit. But then, this blog is more of a place for stray thoughts, so I don’t feel too shabby if I let it go for a few days. I don’t plan to let it go as long as I have sometimes done in the past, though. (Especially since I was a little intimidated — flattered, but intimidated — to see the Tory Anarchist quoted, at some length, in Bill Kauffman’s new book, Ain’t My America.)

Right now the stray thought on my mind is a theme: movement making. I have a post up at @TAC talking about the Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee movements, taking a few cues from Doug Wead. (And as an aside: while I identify Wead as an influential evangelical and former Bush I staffer, he also happens to have been the Arizona Republican congressional candidate whom Barry Goldwater famouly refused to endorse in 1992, was when BG was vociferously dissenting form the religious right’s influence on the Arizona party. BG endorsed Democrat Karan English instead.) I’m also at work on an article for the print magazine on post-campaign developments with the Ron Paul movement.

In my spare moments, I’ve been reading Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail ’72. The Thompson cult is too hip for my tastes — and many a young writer has been ruined trying to emulate the godfather of gonzo — but I’m enjoying the book a great deal. George McGovern is the hero of the book, and since McGovern is also one of the good guys in Kauffman’s book (which I’ll eventually be reviewing, the fact that I’m quoted therein notwithstanding) means that I suppose Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail counts as research. My Ron Paul campaign colleague Jonathan Bydlak was the one who recommended the book to me — a good call.

Washington’s Good Doctor

March 28, 2008

The British libertarian Geoffrey Wheatcroft has a new article on Ron Paul in the Guardian. “No doubt this excellent man’s bid for the Republican nomination was by way of being a romantic gesture,” Wheatcroft writes, “But what about Ron Paul for secretary of state?”

Missouri GOP Cheats Ron Paul

March 25, 2008

I’m a native of Missouri and went to college at Washington University in St. Louis, where I was involved in the College Republicans. For a time, I was secretary of the Missouri Federation of College Republicans, too. So I know how things work in the Missouri GOP, and I know that there are some utterly corrupt people in it. I wasn’t surprised when Gov. Matt Blunt, a Republican, decided he wouldn’t be running for re-election. He’s a rotten egg.

Needless to say, the establishment in the Missouri Republican Party doesn’t like the idea of Ron Paul Republicans coming in and getting elected as delegates to the state convention. Ron Paul supporters won fair and square in the Show Me state’s recent caucuses, but the crooks infesting the party don’t want to accept the result, and they’re trying to disqualify the Ron Paul delegates. Here’s the Paul campaign’s press release on what’s going on:

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA – The Ron Paul campaign has been receiving reports that Missouri GOP rules have been violated in the set-up and execution of several county Republican caucuses. Ron Paul supporters in Missouri have been attending their county caucuses and electing Ron Paul delegates to be seated at the Missouri Republican State Convention. However, there are concerns that many Ron Paul delegates to the Missouri Republican State Convention were disenfranchised and not properly seated.

On Thursday, March 20, campaign field director Debbie Hopper visited the Missouri state GOP headquarters to request a copy of the records needed to obtain the information to file challenges. She was told in front of witnesses that she could not view the report. To obtain the needed information, Ms. Hopper then used the contact information of county chairs listed on the state GOP website. On Saturday, March 22, the webpage containing their contact information had been removed.

The Paul campaign believes that a handful of GOP officials are playing machine politics and breaking their own rules to disenfranchise Paul supporters.

“The Republican party is in trouble and needs more participants in 2008, not less,” said campaign manger Lew Moore. “It makes no sense for Missouri party leaders to exclude and marginalize the new activists they badly need to work at every level this fall.”

Republican presidential candidate and Texas Congressman Ron Paul’s supporters have been highly successful in several Missouri counties. In St. Charles County (suburb of St. Louis), Paul supporters filled 241 of the 274 country Republican delegate slots. In Jackson County (Kansas City), Paul supporters filled 162 of 187 delegate slots. And in Greene County (Springfield), Paul supporters filled 72 of 112 delegate slots.

Ron Paul Roundup

March 24, 2008

John McCain has the delegates he needs, but Ron Paul is still working to call the GOP back to the noninterventionist, small-government principles it had in the days of Howard Buffet and Robert A. Taft. Here’s Newsweek‘s Sarah Elkins’s interview with Dr. Paul from last Friday, in which he shares his thoughts about party unity (never at the expense of principle), Ralph Nader, and more. And here’s a report on some funny business going on in my native state, Missouri, where Ron Paul supporters showed up in force for the Republican caucuses. Jared Craighead, executive director of the MO GOP, doesn’t want to let Debbie Hopper, national field director for Ron Paul 2008, have a look at the reports from the caucuses — even though the deadline for challenging the reports is coming up on Tuesday. It reminds me of the kind of dirty tricks the Louisiana Party played.

Meanwhile, former campaign staffers are at work on some very intriguing post-campaign projects. But mum’s the word on all of that for now…


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