Monday, December 19, 2011

Ron Paul's Surge Triggers Anger at Supporters

WASHINGTON TIMES | William J. Kelly | December 19, 2011

With the all-important Iowa caucuses just around the holiday corner on January 3, tensions are riding high in GOP presidential campaign circles. But with Ron Paul surging in some Iowa polls, the result is an overcooked Republican stew threatening to boil over.

Columnist Kathie Obradovich’s editorial in the Des Moines Register recently illustrates the way some Republican leaders view the Paul candidacy – as an unwelcome interloper:

Suddenly, in the final weeks before the Iowa caucuses, Paul’s periscope has broken the surface. He’s running in second place in many December polls of Iowa caucus goers. He’s known to have an energized campaign on the ground. Sound the claxons! Code red! Battle stations!

The prospect of a Ron Paul win is causing shocks and seizures within the GOP establishment, and with good reason. A new survey by left-leaning Public Policy Polling this weekend shows Paul leading the pack with 23%, Romney at 20%, and Gingrich at 14%. The latest Rasmussen poll shows Paul in third place – just two percentage points behind Gingrich and five behind former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. (See GOP Will Take Gloves Off if Ron Paul Wins Iowa)

A Paul win in Iowa would be a disaster for Gingrich, whom some Tea Party leaders view as the conservative alternate to Romney. And, with the public’s growing lack of confidence in a weakened President Obama, there is much at stake for the Republican Party to win back the White House; something that insiders believe a Paul victory would undermine.

Today, Paul and his supporters hold an uneasy place within the Republican Party. The one-time third party presidential candidate’s textbook libertarian views and isolationist policies enrage the GOP’s social conservative base. The unbridled anger and name-calling is now in full swing – this “season of peace” notwithstanding.

Politics, it seems, never takes a holiday.

For many in the GOP and Tea Party movements, Ron Paul is a crank; the crazy uncle of the right, the quack eccentric geezer with the ability to put a wrench in the system. And those are just some of the nicer expressions some conservatives have used to describe him. Is he a crank? Ron Paul supporters certainly do not feel that way. To them, he is a courageous and principled leader who tells it like it really is, an outsider with the power of the people behind him, fighting the bad guys and evil-doers.

Paul, too, seems uncomfortable in his Republican skin. On Friday’s Tonight Show with Jay Leno, sounding more like a pundit on MSNBC, he lashed on at his fellow GOP rivals. He accused Michelle Bachman of “hating” Muslims, and Rick Santorum of hating gays and Muslims, a move certain to stoke social conservative anger. He doesn't seem to want to win their hearts and minds.

So are Ron Paul and his supporters really at home in the GOP? Is the Republican Party the final refuge of libertarians tired of third-party runs and desirous of achieving political power? Or is Ron Paul’s popularity part and parcel of the Tea Party movement or a cross-section of it at work? And if not the GOP – where do Paulians belong?

Of course, the Tea Party movement is not a monolith. It is composed of social conservatives, free market conservatives, independents, libertarians, conservative Democrats, and Republicans. But social conservatives have taken the reigns of many Republican and Tea Party organizations and have come to view Paul and his supporters with disdain, suspicion, even hatred. They see him as a grand threat to the GOP's opportunity to prevent President Obama from another four disastrous years.

“I have come to the conclusion that arguing with ‘Paulbots’ is a waste of energy so I have stopped trying,” says Bill Hart, a conservative Tea Party supporter. “They are a real threat to our country’s well being.”

“Ron Paul is just nutty and egotistical enough to ensure that Obama has four more years,” says Bob Holland, a concerned GOP primary voter.

“I just feel disdain for the poor ignorant souls who use the term ‘Paulbots.’ These people are ignorant to our Founding and the Constitution. I have more disdain for them than people like Obama, Rahm, and Hillary,” says Cathy Peschke, a New Hampshire voter and Ron Paul supporter.

“They [Ron Paul supporters] hijacked the Republican Party, we're just taking it back,” argues Texas voter Chad Lang.

Whether conservative Republican primary voters can overcome the Paul surge will be determined on January 3; but the sizeable political rift that exists between traditional Republicans and Ron Paul supporters may be the real threat to GOP victory in 2012 in Iowa and beyond.


  1. I am sick of the Paulbot accusations personally.

    In order to really get Paul's positions, you have to do a lot of reading and educate yourself, on your own volition.

    You have learn a lot about economics and philosophy. It isn't easy.

    Other Republicans and the media want to make it seem like we are "unthinking drones", but the truth is, the exact opposite is true.

    I think the reason we get so passionate is because we know we're right. It's not arrogance either. History is on our side. The evidence is on our side. Our theories are sound.

    We fundamentally use logic and reason to support the positions too. We don't take "Ron's word for it". How many other voters of other Republican candidates can genuinely say the same?

    I think it's pretty clear that the average Ron Paul supporter is much more knowledgeable than the average Romney supporter, or the average Gingrich supporter for example.

  2. Saving this country from imminent disaster and salvaging her lost ideals will always come first, the republican party be damned along with democrats! We who fight for the right to life and liberty recognize that Newt Romney republicans will do very little (if not worse) than Obama at preventing our countries destruction. Ron Paul is our last chance at at turning shit around, and we're not going to ask the GOP establishment for any permission with our call to duty.

  3. I try to give Ron Paul haters strokes, and I know I've killed a few of them

  4. “They [Ron Paul supporters] hijacked the Republican Party, we're just taking it back,” argues Texas voter Chad Lang.

    This guy has got it exactly backwards - it is the neoCons who have hijacked the Republican Party (and the Tea Party for the most part - I'm looking at you TPN) and WE are here to take it back.

  5. mossad not muslims did 9/11/01

  6. One of the best things to do is dig up some of the video footage of GW Bush campaigning for his first term. His foreign policay campaign was "original republican" stuff, very similar to Paul's current campaign. Non-intervention, a "humble foreign policy". THAT is the true Republican position on foreign intervention.

    Republicans have historically been elected to END wars, until the past decade. Carlc55 is right, the neo-conservative movement hijacked the conservatives.

    And besides, how can you possibly be a "conservative" on spending and social issues and then bow down and worship the Pentagon, whose operating budget is roughly approximate to our yearly deficit....?

  7. Ron Paul was one of only 7 who voted against the NDAA of 2012. 7!
    Of those who say he is prejudiced against blacks, if he was president, he would do his part to end the war on drugs, which is really a war on the black community as the majority of those arrested and imprisoned for this are black.
    When Bush lied us into the Iraq war, he was one of the few who dug in his feet and voted against it. He constantly has to remind congress that the president cannot declare war.
    He's one of the few politicians that would not pursue endless war and would use the military only in defense of the country.
    Ron Paul may be our only hope for a balanced budget as a fiscal conservative. This is one of the most important things about him, as our government's out of control spending is sending our future down the drain. To put our country back on solid footing, we need our government to live within its means. While congress makes the budget, the president has a large part in the overal process.
    Ron Paul is a strict constitutionalist and with him in office, we would make great progress in erasing the last few decades of presidents who have pushed the power of the executive branch to near dictatorial level, endangering our protections in the Bill of Rights.

  8. We are willing to do the work to restore America from these neoconservatives who would run our country to ruin with their war profiteering agenda, and this is our thanks?