Archive for August 13, 2011
Any candidate has reason to celebrate a strong showing like Congressman Paul’s in Iowa, said Thomas Woods, Revolution PAC advisory board chairman, but given how radically different Ron Paul’s message is, he should be especially delighted to have come within a handful of votes of first place – a poll in which he placed fifth four years ago..
“Ron Paul is taking dead aim at issues no one else will even touch,” noted Woods. “No one was talking about the Federal Reserve System until someone of Ron Paul’s boldness and knowledge came along and showed us how this institution was making our economy so unstable and ripping us off in the process. No one questions the premises behind our government’s disastrous foreign policy. Ron Paul is trying to undo 100 years of brainwashing, from both official Left and official Right. The Left has its faith in Big Government at home, and the neoconservative Right an equally misplaced faith in Big Government abroad. Both have embraced fairy tales over real history.
“Ron Paul rejects it all. The same corrupt political class that has wrecked our economy is the same corrupt political class that has us mired in these trillion-dollar wars. It’s about time both sides woke up and realized they’ve been had. That’s what Ron Paul is trying to tell his countrymen. And in light of his strong showing in Ames, the message is getting through.”
According to Woods, the Congressman’s willingness to take politically unpopular positions on the very eve of the straw poll was an indication of the strength of the candidate’s convictions. “Congressman Paul said things in that debate – reminding the crowd that people tend not to like it when the CIA installs dictators and secret police in their countries, as happened in Iran in 1953 – that were not calculated to curry favor with the crowd he was wooing at Ames. But that’s who he is. He would rather tell unpopular truths than win cheap votes or applause. He’s not a blowdried phony out of central casting, like most of the candidates our system serves up to us. He is a real person with real principles, and he has stuck to them since entering public live 35 years ago. Even his bitterest opponent has to respect that.”
To be sure, in the days leading up to the straw poll, media sources were already trying to downplay the event’s significance. “This is typical of the media,” said Revolution PAC President Gary Franchi. “If it looks like one of the officially anointed candidates isn’t going to win, they grab their toys and whine all the way home. But even the media is going to have a hard time pretending it doesn’t really matter that Congressman Paul did so well in a state where his limited-government philosophy is a hard sell even to many self-described conservatives.”
What’s more, strong showings in Ames have often translated into strong showings at the important Iowa caucuses at the end of the year.
“This was a great day for the Congressman,” said Franchi. “But it’s the end of the beginning. Much hard work remains ahead of us. We can now carry out that work with the confidence that the message of freedom is resonating as none of us could have imagined.”
An electronic sign at the entrance to the Queensboro Bridge…oh, okay, Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge in Queens serves two purposes: to notify motorists that bridge washing begins on Monday (FINALLY!) and to cheer on Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign. The tipster who took these photos last night, Zachary Leven, tells us he finds it “highly ironic, as Ron Paul would undoubtedly disapprove of a tax-payer funded civic improvement project such as bridge washing.”
In the past, when hackers have changed road signs to say things like “New York Is Dying” or the cryptic “SHIT BIRD ORL,” they just erased the intended message entirely. Which makes us wonder: Is the electioneering coming from inside the DOT? Or were Ron Paul campaign funds used to hack NYC property?
DOT spokesperson Seth Solomonow tells us, “This sign belongs to a contractor and I understand it has been deactivated.” At press time, the Paul camp had not responded to requests for comment on what the media is now calling Signagegate.
Ron Paul just gave an outdoor address to one of the largest crowds of the day. Introduced by son Rand and with his family in the background, Paul hit on his themes of sound money, limited government and a saner foreign policy. Ron also noted that his surging popularity isn’t due to him moving toward the mainstream—but the mainstream moving toward his views.
Ron Paul said his supporters—in Iowa and across the country—represent the “vanguard” of the larger movement toward limited government. He’s right.
The congressman and presidential hopeful, whose warnings on the economy brought eye rolls four years ago, now hears validation from other candidates. He could shake up the GOP contest.
Laura Burkett, a conservative Republican from Coralville, Iowa, didn’t give Ron Paul a second thought in the 2008 presidential contest, turned off by his calls for an end to military action around the globe and unswayed by his warnings that the nation was teetering on economic implosion.
“I really thought he was a nut,” Burkett said. “Everything he said, I thought, ‘This is ridiculous.’”
Four years later, reeling from the nation’s fiscal decline and what she says is an unprecedented federal expansion into Americans’ lives, Burkett is an ardent supporter who plans to do anything she can to make the Texas congressman the GOP nominee.
People like Burkett show how far Paul’s candidacy has come from four years ago, and signal the potential he has to shake up the GOP contest, most immediately at Saturday’s Ames straw poll.
While few political experts believe Paul can win the nomination, it’s clear that his core concerns — the devaluation of currency, the monetization of debt, derision of the federal reserve, unnecessary militarism — have moved from a fringy outpost into the mainstream of Republican thought. They are echoed by other GOP candidates.
Michele Bachmann recently said, “Ron Paul was right; we should audit the Fed!” Tim Pawlenty frequently decries the federal government’s printing of money and the debt the nation owes to China. “Tea party” gatherings routinely feature speakers calling for the country to return to the gold standard. Concerns about America being involved in “endless wars” percolate among Republican voters.
At Thursday’s GOP debate in Ames, Iowa, where several candidates called for auditing the Federal Reserve, Paul acknowledged the shift. “I’m delighted that mainstream is catching up with this these days for auditing the Fed,” he said. “This is great.”