Thursday, January 5, 2012

The GOP's Fear of the Rise of Ron Paul

THE ATLANTIC WIRE | John Hudson | January 4, 2012
Congressman Ron Paul's strong third place showing in Iowa Tuesday is garnering the libertarian firebrand a newfound respect and fear amongst the GOP establishment. Coming in just 3,000 votes shy of Republican front-runner Mitt Romney and runner-up Rick Santorum, concern that Paul's supporters won't eventually warm up to the non-Ron Paul nominee or even worst Paul could stage a third-party presidential bid and split Republican votes is more palpable than ever.

"Our team has to be very careful in being gracious to Ron Paul and his supporters," a senior GOP operative e-mails Politico's Mike Allen. "Paul running as an independent is a total, albeit unlikely, disaster, but only a little less bad is alienating his supporters with disparaging comments to the point they stay home in November."

Though his views on foreign wars and drug legalization are anathema to the party line, some Republicans would rather tolerate his meandering diatribes than tempt a revolt by either the Texas congressman or his supporters. "Paul agrees with us 85 percent of the time," said the operative, "and his supporters are earnest conservatives and libertarians who have no reason to support Obama in 2012 unless they're stepped on by our team."

That point was driven home by former Alaska governor Sarah Palin on Fox Business last night, putting the idea of alienating Paul supporters in even starker terms. "If we marginalize these supporters who have been touched by Ron Paul and what he believed in over these years, well, then, through a third party run of Ron Paul's or the Democrats capturing those independents and these libertarians who supported what Ron Paul's been talking about, well, then the GOP is going to lose," she told Neil Cavuto. "And then there will be no light at the end of the tunnel." She reiterated the point during a second interview on Fox News with Bret Baier:

Watch the latest video at The end-result of appeasing his campaign means a greater airing of views like cutting off foreign aid to Israel and legalizing marijuana, positions that generally make Republicans' heads explode. Party operatives tell the New York Times that Paul's libertarian fingerprint on Republican politics isn't going to go way as long as his campaign performs. "While few Republican strategists expect Mr. Paul to make it to the White House, the results last night showed that at the least he will be a force to be reckoned with in the primaries, and in his party’s politics," reports the newspaper.

All this third-party hype of coures makes things increasingly uncomfortable for Senator Rand Paul, who is tasked with both stumping for his father while not straying too far from the Republican Party. Of a potential third-party bid, Rand told New Hampshire's WGIR-AM this week "I don't think it's a good idea." According to a scooplet reported by Politico's Ben White, it's possible that Rand could be the ultimate victim of a third party run by his father. "NYC conservatives associated with the Monday Meeting are planning to start raising money to target Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) in 2016 if his father, Ron Paul, mounts a third-party bid for the presidency and helps re-elect Obama." Revenge tactics! Sounds like a surefire way to burn bridges with the Paul camp.


  1. The GOP problem is that they make the incorrect assumption that Paul will need to run 3rd party for many of his supporters to not vote for the GOP candidate in the general election. This isn't about preferring one candidate over another. This is about a difference in ideas and philosophy. The status quo republicans don't really want to talk about these differences. It's Paul that brought the discussion back to the constitution, rule of law, liberty, individual rights, property rights, etc. These are ideas rooted in the foundations of the conservative movement. These ideas have been espoused from the likes of Robert Taft, Barry Goldwater as well as many other great conservative minds and should not be ignored. The GOP can continue to smear him and call him disgusting and kooky and cranky and what not, but to those of us that have "woken up", we're more concerned about getting America back to it's constitutional root than making sure that Obama is replace with Romney, who from our perspective will continue the same policies that Obama has been pushing, which is the same policies that George W. Bush pushed before him.

  2. "Though his views on foreign wars and drug legalization are anathema to the party line." Nonsense. His views on foreign wars are the EXACT same campaign platform that George Bush used to WIN in 2000 after Clinton's adventure in Yugoslavia. It is the only platform that can win the election from Obama by attracting Independents. Th drug war has failed and we can no longer afford it on a Federal level. This platform is the only way t beat Obama. Anyone that tells you that it is not Republican is just lying because they actually prefer 4 more years of Obama. Ron Paul supporters, both Republicans and Independents, will not vote for more of the same, which means that if Ron Paul is not nominated, Obama will win with half of his votes from 2008.

  3. I am sick of these uninformed idiots saying he would leaglize drugs.The constitution doesn't give the federal government the authority to enforce drug laws,that's the state's responsibility.The state of California has already legalized medical marijuana and the feds are ignoring states rights and closing down legal businesses.That is not the way it's supposed to work and that is what Ron Paul is saying.And the military is for defense,not nation building and protecting the interest of the oil cartels.Ron Paul is right and it will go his way one way or the other,by him winning the election or our bankruptcy.