Ron Paul gains mainstream steam
(Politico) -- By VICTORIA MCGRANE
Is libertarian rock star and Texas Republican Ron Paul going mainstream?
He’s got everyone from South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint to Minnesota moderate Democrat Collin Peterson to California liberal Barbara Boxer on his side in his audit-the-Fed crusade. He’s drawing liberal support in his push to rein in the cost of the war in Afghanistan. Senate candidates like Democratic Rep. Paul Hodes of New Hampshire are finding Dr. No’s populist economic anger to be useful in the campaign, echoing Paul’s criticism of the Federal Reserve.
Even Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) is delivering backhanded compliments, taking credit for merely allowing a vote on Paul’s amendment to audit the central bank.
This convergence of odd bedfellows, and the economic angst that’s driving it all, is yet another signal that President Barack Obama is going to have more and more trouble keeping his traditional Democratic allies on his side as the economic debate continues. It seems that everyone is looking for something new to latch on to in the economic debate — even if those ideas belong to one of the more eccentric members of Congress.
“This brought people together [from] the whole political spectrum, from progressives and liberals and libertarians and conservatives. ... they all came together. That, to me, is what is really so important,” said Paul, who has been introducing his audit-the-Fed measure since the early ’80s.
After so many tries, this time Paul’s measure attracted 313 co-sponsors in the House, representing every possible point on the political spectrum. It also scored a strong vote in a key committee and has a companion in the Senate that’s supported by a bipartisan coalition of senators.
And Paul’s economic views, long dismissed by the political establishment, seem to be resonating more broadly than just the audit-the-Fed measure, both in the larger financial reform debate and the growing concern about the cost of continuing the war in Afghanistan...Cont'd...LINK