From my perspective, there isn’t anything about Ron Paul’s views that make him any more dangerous than the rest of the nutjobs in the GOP race. Electing any of them would be a disaster, with the rare exception of Huntsman, whose election would merely be really bad for America. However, in GOP circles, there is a full on panic over Ron Paul. The last few days, right wing organizations such as the NRO unleashed the hounds:
Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul is in a bid to make history in Iowa. Can he become the first marginal, conspiracy-minded congressman with an embarrassing catalog of racist material published under his name to win the caucuses?***
Paul’s promiscuousness with his ideological bedfellows — he hails members of the John Birch Society for their fine educations and respect for the Constitution — accounts for the disgrace he brought on himself with his newsletters in the 1980s and 1990s. As journalist James Kirchick exposed, they were full of race-baiting and rancid Israel-bashing. Paul maintains he didn’t know what was being written in the first person under his name. To this day, he says he doesn’t know who wrote the copy. Has he asked? During some dozen Republican debates, not one journalist thought to query Paul about the newsletters that would be disqualifying for anyone else.
Basically, Rich Lowry wants you to believe that Ron Paul is too racist to be President, but just racist enough to be a Republican in the house for several decades. At any rate, apparently the racist attacks aren’t working (in large part because the Birchers and racists Lowry mentions ARE the GOP base), so now the establishment has moved on to the next line of attack, which is basically to declare him a terrorist:
Hear Dr. Paul on the subject of the 9/11 terror attacks—an event, he assures his audiences, that took place only because of U.S. aggression and military actions. True, we’ve heard the assertions before. But rarely have we heard in any American political figure such exclusive concern for, and appreciation of, the motives of those who attacked us—and so resounding a silence about the suffering of those thousands that the perpetrators of 9/11 set out so deliberately to kill.***
His efforts on behalf of Iran’s right to the status of misunderstood victim continued apace. On the Hannity show following the debate, Dr. Paul urged the host to understand that Iran’s leader, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, had never mentioned any intention of wiping Israel off the map. It was all a mistranslation, he explained. What about Ahmadinejad’s denial of the Holocaust? A short silence ensued as the candidate stared into space. He moved quickly on to a more secure subject. “They’re just defending themselves,” he declared.
Presumably he was referring to Iran’s wishes for a bomb. It would have been intriguing to hear his answer had he been asked about another Ahmadinejad comment, made more than once—the one in which the Iranian leader declares the U.S. “a Satanic power that will, with God’s will, be annihilated.”***
Some in Iowa are reportedly now taking a look at Dr. Paul, now risen high in the polls there. He has plenty of money for advertising and is using it, and some may throw their support to him, if only as protest votes. He appears to be gaining some supporters in New Hampshire as well. It seemed improbable that the best-known of American propagandists for our enemies could be near the top of the pack in the Iowa contest, but there it is. An interesting status for a candidate of Dr. Paul’s persuasion to have achieved, and he’ll achieve even more if Iowans choose to give him a victory.
I’m predicting the next line of attack will be a whisper campaign that he is gay.