Paul-itical analysis

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My column in this week's Urban Tulsa Weekly is about the continuing push by the Ron Paul campaign to try to win the Republican presidential nomination for the Texas congressman, despite his failure to get above 3 to 7 percent in any primary election this year. The column explains how they plan to accomplish that goal and examines how they've implemented the plan so far in Oklahoma's delegate selection process.

It's interesting to read the comments, 13 so far, all of them from Ron Paul supporters. Although I tried to maintain a neutral tone, while explaining the antagonism between the Paul people and the mainstream conservative activists who constitute the core of the Republican grassroots, the comments accuse me of bashing, smearing, and slurring.

In the story I referred to You will also be interested in the Become a Delegate or Ron Paul Will Not Be President webpage, and the National DVDs For Delegates Project Meetup group:

Between now and mid-August, we will create, manufacture, and distribute a series of four DVDs to the mailing addresses of all identified Delegates and Alternates to the 2008 GOP Convention in Saint Paul.

This project will utilize the best of existing redistributable video content, and may require the creation of select new content.

Our goal is to use this opportunity to communicate important information to GOP Delegates. We will share media containing perspectives new to most delegates, media blacked out by the 5 mega-corporations who currently ignore the Ron Paul Constitutional Message from their news and other media coverage.

ELSEWHERE ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL: Columnist and mega-blogger Michelle Malkin linked earlier this week to a BatesLine entry from last August about Barack Obama's attempt to commiserate with Iowa voters about the price of an upscale leafy substance. One of Michelle's commenters, named Tennyson, has photoshopped a very funny revolutionary-style poster featuring Obama and some arugula. Click that link to see it.

Earlier in April See-Dubya had a post at Michelle's blog about other "Obamessiah Fancy Foodie Follies." And when George Will calls you a snob -- George Will! -- you're missing the common touch.

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Orat said:

You made a statement that is very misleading. You stated that Ron Paul was unable to "get above 3 to 7 percent in any primary election this year". If you specifically mean in non-caucus states, this may be true (though he did get over 7% in NH). But in caucus states, he did much better:

Kicking things off, he received 10% in Iowa, 11% in Kansas, came in 2nd place at almost 14% in Nevada, just under 16% in Minnesota, 17% in Alaska, 18% in Maine, about 21% in both North Dakota and Washington State, and just under 25% in Montana.

Robert said:

Dear Michael,

As a non-supporter of any particular candidate I must agree that your article on the Ron Paul supporting Republicans vs. the "mainstream conservative activist" Republicans was quite biased as evidenced by your casting of the Ron Pual camp as pierced, long haired vandels.

Do you call us other conservitives "fat old white rich folks who like to bomb babies?

Of course not, as it is a bogus sterotype just like the one you used on the Ron Paul people.

With the exception of two people, the Ron Paulites I have encountered have been free of long hair or peircings. They have all expressed dedication to re-establishing the Constitution as the law of the land as opposed to judges legislating from the bench or the White house negating legislation through signing statements and interpreting law instead of the courts or what the court has already decided.

The Ron Paulers are aligned with the other 70+% of the nation that feels our country is headed the wrong direction. That seems to make them the mainstream, not the non-descript "consevitive activists" you mention.

Pualers also seem far more conservative than the neo-con activists who have hijacked the party for many years with their liberal agenda dressed up in Republican mouthings.

Those RINO's (republicans in name only) are why most of us conservatives are either choosing to not vote, or looking into the Constitutional party. The RINO's are the reason millions have left the party.

We true conservitives see far too much leaving the Biblical values and the Constitution behind in this country and creating a dictatorship.

Just like Germany we can lose our republic to a socialitic environment of a "democracy" and succumb to a dictator. That is why we are to protect from enemies from within (domestic) as well as without (foriegn.) The domestic enemies are the most dangerous as they often don't recognize them selves. Or as Pogo said "We have met the enemy, and the enemy is us."

Please study what the founders said about democracy and why we established a republic instead. Then you can begin to understand real Republicans who are conservative, not the RINO's of the last 30 years.

Robert, I never used the word "vandal" (nor "vandel"). Here's exactly what I wrote, with emphasis added to a phrase you seem to have overlooked: "The old-timers welcome the newcomers' support for a smaller Federal government and lower taxes, but they're wary that Ron Paul's supporters, some of them ponytailed and pierced, may tilt the balance in the party against social conservatism." Certainly, the leader of the Ron Paul group at the 1st District Convention, Ryan Underwood, was sporting a ponytail. Others were more conservatively groomed, but long-time Republicans still had to wonder whether this large group of young people who only recently re-registered as Republicans were really across-the-board constitutionalists and conservatives or whether a hidden agenda is at work. We fought too hard to make the Republican Party the pro-life party to simply hand over control to newcomers whose views on abortion and other social issues are unknown and untested by time.

Orat, I said what I meant: "any primary election." A caucus straw poll is not a primary election. It is telling, however, that even in a caucus situation, which involves far smaller numbers than a primary and therefore a small but highly-motivated and well-organized faction can have an enormous impact, Paul still couldn't break 25%.

Orat said:

Nobody is asking anyone to "hand over control" to anyone. They are asking for FAIR TREATMENT only. If we get that (which we have not thus far), all is well, win or lose. But in any case, Ron Paul is one of the most principled pro-life candidates to run. Mitt Romney certainly isn't unambiguously pro-life. Nor is John McCain. Mike Huckabee was, but there were plenty of other extremely unconservative positions he took (massive increases in foreign aid to Africa, entitlement programs, laws based on the global warming farce, national smoking bans, the list goes on...). Ron Paul, on the other hand, is the only one to introduce legislatoin which would effectively overturn Roe v Wade with a *simple majority vote* of Congress by removing the appellate jurisdiction of the Federal courts on the issue of abortion. Mitt Romney was the only one to pay lip service to this proposal, but neglected to point out it was Dr. Paul's own bill.

You should be welcoming supporters of such a candidate. You've already welcomed, indeed embraced, plenty of questionably pro-life individuals in the GOP already. Heck, you're for McCain who is quite questionable on the subject, and that doesn't seem to be a problem for you. I call both hypocrisy and poppycock. I don't buy for a second that this is the real reason you oppose the new infusion of Ron Paul supporters. Rather, I believe it is out of fear of losing your own niche of power (as evidenced by your earlier comment about handing over control).

Jonathan Quigly said:

I am very disappointed in you. I don't know where you get your facts. I am ashamed be a registered Republican when men like you are on the Executive Committee for the party. It was in fact your committee or one in cahoots with yours that passed out SAID flyer giving away the identity of any delegate who was the member of a Ron Paul meetup group. I know so because I have friends who attended that convention. People know a lot more than you think, Michael, and your power of pen is clearly not a mark of your honor.

chere said:

Oh Poor Michael,
In all sincerity, the RP people are very conserative.
If you bother to look into some of the things RP stands for you may very well know that RP sent a bill to congress to reverse Roe vs Wade.
Everyone still supports him.
RP is for our rights to bear arms...McCain is gun grabber.
RP wants to stop entitlements to illegals, ME TOO. I'm dont like paying for school, medical, dental, clothing & food while their spouses work tax free meaning they dont contribute to America's upkeep. Illegal Immigrants are a problem.
No Nation bldg. Free Trade with everyone.
RP wants to save America's Sovereignty, McCain dosent, bacause he is in the same circle of people as the bushes & clintons.. They are on the council for foreign relations who want to make us all one world Govmnt under the UN. Frankly I like America & her Sovereignty. Dont you?
When I think about another 3000 troops going to Iraq.. I cry, because its the end of their innocense as they know it, and they dont really what they are really up against.
McCain will force your children into a war that will last for years.
Whats that song he sings "bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran?" all the while spending the troops social security for campaign & things like entitlements to illegals.
But its not all grim.. there is HOPE in the air, his name is Jesus & I asked Jesus to give this Nation a healer (this world), I asked God to give the Nations peace.
Then I found RP and I am inspired. Yes I voted for Bush (OMGOSH forgive me Lord) but now I am hopeful ..freedom & liberty are in the air.
Open up the Constitution, that will define the core of the Republican.
I am a Republican & I choose RP.
Media ..(giggle)they've been put on out RP..Have you ever wondered why?
Not because he has no clout, but because he has too much clout. Somebody may have to walk the line with him in office & nobody wants to have accountability, everyone has the goods on everyone else but No one has anything on RP.
"A righteous man walks in his integrity."
He's written books.. learn about him. He's wonderful & I love him because he tells the truth.

Orat, if you run for national convention delegate, you are asking your fellow Republicans to entrust you with the party's reins. The Republican National Convention is the supreme governing authority of the Republican Party. Not only does it choose the nominee, but determines the party's platform, and, perhaps most importantly, defines the rules by which the party will be governed for the next four years, including the rules for the next presidential nominating process.

At the 1st District convention, the majority elected delegates and alternates that they knew and trusted from years of involvement and service. We voted to entrust the Republican Party to people who have been involved for a long time, and we've been able to observe their political views, their character, and their willingness to help get Republican candidates elected.

At the 1st District convention, the Ron Paul people were treated on an equal basis with everyone else. A record number of candidates filed for delegate, alternate, and elector, and most of those candidates were Ron Paul supporters.

Ron Paul is undoubtedly pro-life, but that doesn't mean his followers are. I suspect that some number of his followers only agree with his opposition to the war against Islamic terrorism. Time is required to sort out which of his newly minted Republican supporters are consistent conservatives, and which ones are just anti-war opportunists.

John McCain has his shortcomings, and he wasn't my first, second, or even fifth choice for the nomination. But McCain understands the threat posed by radical Islam and understands what we must do in Iraq as part of our response to that threat.

Jonathan, what facts have I gotten wrong?

The rules committee, on which I served, didn't hand out anything at the convention except for the proposed rules. I didn't even see the flyer to which you refer (I was on the stage, setting up the tables for counting ballots and introducing the candidates). But I don't see what the problem was with someone letting the voters know which candidates for delegate were Ron Paul supporters. Instead of trying to hide their affiliation, the Ron Paul supporters running for delegate should have explained to the voters why they should want to send Ron Paul supporters to the national convention.

Joe said:

"In times of change, the Patriot is a scarce man; brave, hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, however, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a Patriot."

-Mark Twain

Come on Michael, Join in, be a patriot. You know there is something wrong with our country, our leadership, and our direction. It is going to take something other then "100 year" McCain to get us out of this mess.

"Brave, hated, and scorned" is a good description of John McCain when it comes to his views on our response to the threat of Islamic extremism to Western civilization. We do need to be in Iraq now and for the foreseeable future. Even after the Sadrists, al-Qaeda and their allies have been defeated, we will need a presence in the region. An aggressive pre-modern ideology is out to overtake and destroy civilization in the name of their version of Islam. The current conflict dates back to the late 1970s with the rise of the mullahs in Iran. Ron Paul and his allies on the far left prefer to pretend this conflict doesn't exist, just like the left tried to convince us in the '70s that Vietnam was a local conflict unworthy of our involvement, rather than part of the broader global conflict between Communism and civilization.

YoungTulsan said:

Michael, your claim is that Ron Paul's ideology is simplistic, and ignores the larger picture. Let me try to explain to you why this could actually be in reverse.

What if, by focusing all of these resources and so much of our wealth on petty matters in the middle east, we are the ones who are overlooking the struggle happening in our very own nation. That is, the struggle of individualism versus collectivism, the struggle of liberty versus oppression, the struggle of freedom versus communism.

We took our eyes off the ball when it was declared we had won the cold war, and world communist control was no longer something to be feared. We stopped paying attention, and over time we have lost control. Our federal government has grown so massive, with so much involvement in every aspect of as many peoples' lives as possible, how could a true conservative not be sick to their stomach? The more power a government entity has, the more corruption it attracts - that is probably the number one reason I personally believe in limited government, especially on a federal scale. By growing government to having this much power, it has attracted all of the top dollar bidders to corrupt our system. This very fact enables what is now happening in the dismantling of our freedoms and establishment of more and more government control.

I think I hold the same ideals as you. I don't want to see a medieval radical culture take over our wonderful one by force. I value life. I want to be safe. I want to be free. I don't want a bunch of government regulation in my life. I don't want to work half the year just to pay the government. I believe in self reliance.

I also think there are people in this country who don't get the same fair chance as others, but I don't believe in giving the government more powers over people to fix those problems either - that is the trick that leads to socialism. Conversely, I believe we can do more to solve those problems by taking government manipulation out of most aspects of the economy, because the corrupt pressures that keep certain people down are ENABLED by that very power and control we gave up to the government.

We can't go anywhere except for further and further down the path of corruption, and eventually the dismantling of all of our freedoms if government is allowed to stay at the size it is today, or even allowed to increase in size.

Small government is indeed the only way we can remain free, retain constitutional rights, keep corruption under control, and be able to use the fruits of our labor to prosper. If we keep going in the same direction, we will soon fall into socialism, and eventually into complete tyranny.

So that covers our internal struggle against communistic takeover. Your main pronounced concern is the war against radical islam. This may be harder for me to explain, but I truly believe a return to a constitutional republic of our founders is actually the best defense we have against it.

The federal government, with its large scope of control and regulation, the corrupt legislature with its abilities to shape the laws in the vision of the highest bidder, that is what ENABLES this war against civilization and culture as we know it. Without this huge corrupt government system, it would be nearly impossible for radical Islam to infiltrate our society, as it would all be down to the individual. Look at the ways that the onslaught of Islam has come into America, and analyze them. You should be able to pick up on the fact that most of these instances they are using our corrupted government system against us. They use our crazy government laws and controls AGAINST US and in THEIR FAVOR!

Now, let us examine actual warfare. As things are now, no one stands a chance against us militarily. We have no threat of being taken over by an invading force. Our natural features which include two giant oceans, and two massive friendly border nations make us nearly untouchable when it comes to any kind of war that would threaten our survival. So how does one defeat the United States? Financially. And that is exactly what is happening right now, from both the outside and the inside. The combination of our politicians bankrupting the treasury, all of this money being spent overseas to which no return value comes back to America, and all of our exported dollars coming back to buy our country out from under us is our greatest threat. If our politicians succeed in collapsing our economy, foreign interests will be waiting like vultures to buy up as much of America as possible. It is already happening at a frightening pace. We are slowly being infiltrated and taken over. One way a takeover could be completed is if our economy just becomes too entangled with foreign interests that no one even cares when our leaders sign the final treaties of regional or world government that supercedes the US Constitution. A North American Union is not too far off as we speak. We have to stop our own government from getting so big and so corrupt that we simply sell away our soverignty. And once we do, that cultural takeover will spread so much quicker - as I said before - I believe big government is the enabler of these forces that are infiltrating our society.

I don't even need to get into the subject of going over there and making more people hate us, since it seems to make some Republicans think I don't love my country. Rest assured, I do. But I feel even by skipping that subject altogether, the two which I have covered here (Fight against big government, and how less government is the best way to stop the cultural and financial takeover of America) are enough reasoning, I believe, to say that Ron Paul's foreign policy of non-intervention is NOT the short sighted ideology, it is the MOST ADVANCED ideology.

But that's just my opinion. You seem pretty reasonable, and I look forward to a reply!

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on April 18, 2008 11:02 PM.

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