I put Middle Earth Journal in hiatus in May of 2008 and moved to Newshoggers.
I temporarily reopened Middle Earth Journal when Newshoggers shut it's doors but I was invited to Participate at The Moderate Voice so Middle Earth Journal is once again in hiatus.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Ron Paul - A Dean or a Nader

Via Sully we have this analysis from Anonymous Liberal:
Ron Paul is not the Republican Howard Dean
Ron Paul truly is a fringe candidate, a guy whose writings (as Kevin Drum recently put it) have a "Unabomber-esque" quality to them. Perhaps that's a bit harsh, but it's certainly true that Paul endorses a number of positions that have very little mainstream support (returning to the gold standard, abolishing the Federal Reserve, getting rid of most federal agencies, etc.). Moreover, many of Paul's positions on key issues of the day are diametrically opposed to those held by most of the Republican base, which explains why Paul was overwhelmingly named the "Least Favorite Person on the Right" by this recent survey of right-wing bloggers.

There is zero chance that Ron Paul will win the Republican nomination or, after he loses, become a major leader in the Republican party. His constituency consists mainly of libertarian types who are either not Republicans or have not felt at home in the Republican party for quite some time.

And unlike Dean, I think it is pretty unlikely that Paul will endorse the eventual Republican nominee. In fact, I suspect Republican party officials are a little worried about Paul's plans for the general election. Though Paul has so far disclaimed any intention of running as a third party candidate, I think he would have little trouble securing the nomination of various third parties (like the Constitution Party) that will have a spot on the ballot in most states. If Paul can raise his profile enough to secure himself a place in general election debates (as Ross Perot did in 1992), he may well be tempted to accept a third party nomination.

Paul is much more like Ross Perot or Ralph Nader than Howard Dean. His support comes from people who are fed up with the two major parties and don't feel represented by either of them. Those who want to see a Republican in the White House come 2009 should be very careful how they treat Ron Paul and his supporters. He has the potential to become a very effective spoiler in the general election.
I think this is about right. The Republicans are concerned about a defection or apathy on the part of one fringe group, the Evangelicals, as they should be. This from The CarpetBagger Report:
Perkins began by arguing that, for social conservatives, “there’s little distinction between” Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani. While conceding that the two are “not identical,” Perkins added, “If they’re indistinguishable on so many issues that are vital to these voters, it’s hard to see why you should vote for one instead of the other.”
This does not indicate a possible third party candidate but just as ominous for the Republicans is that the Evangelicals will simply stay home. As Greg Sargent points out if Rudy lost half the Evangelical votes Bush received in 2004 it would represent nine percent.

But what about the Ron Paul fringe? Just head over to the Libertarian site LewRockwell.com. Now these are people who have historically voted Republican. They have also been as vocal about George W. Bush's wars of choice and his shredding of the constitution as any on the left. They see Rudy as a George W. Bush who can complete a sentence. It's Ron Paul all of the time. They are a third party threat as the Constitution Party and the Libertarian Party are on the ballot in most States. So could Ron Paul become another Ross Perot or Ralph Nader?


  1. Anonymous5:27 PM

    The anonymous dude wrote: "There is zero chance that Ron Paul will win the Republican nomination"

    So what are his credentials in fortune telling? Can he pick tomorrow's top stock performers for me?

    Maybe he just lives in some kind of fantasy world where if he writes something for the world to see, it will magically come true.

    Tell your little buddy to get off the hardcore drugs, so he can come back down to reality.

    Ron Paul's locomotive is full steam ahead, and no sloppy fortune teller wannabe is going to stop the train, baby.

    Neocons, move over, or get run over!

  2. Ron Paul may be the best the Rs have to offer, but he's in a Dennis Kucinich role.

    It seems odd to point out on a pretty left blog that Ron's domestic policies probably axe about a bunch of things 'anon 5:27' takes for granted and gets a great deal of use from. There is not a chance that an elected Paul could enact most of his shrubbery trimming, but I'd bet he'd make a fight of it. Be careful what you wish for.

  3. Anonymous2:42 AM

    Ron Paul is not Dean, nor Nader, nor Dennis Kucinich. He's Ron Paul.

    And he's going to be your next president. Don't be surprised.

  4. I think Chuck has it right, Ron Paul's domestic issues, abolishing the Dept. of Ed., anti-abortion stance, etc. are going to keep him out of the presidency, whether as a 3rd party candidate or not. Kucinich has all the constitution issues and war issues that those who support Paul like, with none of the far right problems; he's for the poor and labor, Paul?


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