Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A new Hitler-Stalin Pact? Panicked statist Right, Left join attack following Paul's stunning CPAC victory

Ron Paul’s Victory: How Sweet It Is!
Paul victory causes panic on neocon Right, Obama-ite Left
(AntiWar.com) -- by Justin Raimondo

Ron Paul is to neocons what a silver bullet is to vampires, and, for me at least, a great deal of the joy accompanying Ron Paul’s CPAC victory has been anticipating the squeals of outrage, shock, and real pain coming from those circles. This may be my sadistic streak coming out, albeit not for the first time, but after years of hearing Paul and his supporters dismissed as "fringe" irrelevant sectarians with no real political prospects, you’ll forgive me if I indulge myself in a little gratuitous cruelty.

Fox News simply repeated the word "unscientific" whenever it mentioned the CPAC poll results, as its "news" reporters wondered aloud if indeed Paul’s runaway victory had any meaning at all. Most of the attendees were young activists, Fox anchors endlessly reminded their viewers – and oh those wacky kids! Fox also amplified the boos that greeted the announcement of Paul’s victory, but the reality is that the hall was at that moment filled with those who had come to hear Glenn Beck and Newt Gingrich, two speakers that were boycotted by the libertarians present on account of their odious views and smears directed at the Good Doctor. Is Fox News seriously asking us to believe the conference-goers were booing themselves?

The reliably neocon blog Powerline harrumphed that the Paul victory "is dismaying, to the extent one takes it seriously. Ron Paul is the crazy uncle in the Republican Party’s attic. He is not a principled libertarian like, say, Steve Forbes. Rather, as I noted in this post, where I likened him to Pee-Wee Herman, Paul has a rather sinister history as a hater and conspiracy theorist."

Paul, the genial 75-year old physician from rural Texas, who radiates a palpable benevolence – "sinister"? Aside from the melodramatics, however, what this means is that, according to Powerline, a significant portion of the conservative movement has been taken over by a "sinister" conspiracy of … conspiracy theorists! Oh, and Paul’s not really a libertarian – only plumb-line supporters of perpetual war, torture, and the suspension of the Constitution in the name of the "war on terrorism," such as the editors of Powerlust, are "real" libertarians. Uh huh. Sure they are. War, torture, and tyranny – sounds "libertarian" to me!

Oddly, the supposedly "conservative" Powerline echoes the leftist Earl Ofari Hutchinson, who angrily notes in the Huffington Post the less than reverent Paulian approach to Abraham Lincoln, and reiterates the same grab-bag of lies and innuendo unleashed by Jamie Kirchick at The New Republic and dutifully echoed and amplified by Reason magazine and its former employee David Weigel – who has now graduated up to the "right-wing extremist" beat at MSNBC. I debunked this nonsense here, here, here, here, and here – or, as Hutchinson would put it, I "reveled in it."

Hutchinson’s screed is remarkable for its tone of hysteria – Paul’s followers are invariably "fanatical," having fallen victim to "Paul mania," and they are also "scary." Although this fusillade comes from someone on the ostensible "left," it is indistinguishable from the jeremiads that poured forth from the likes of David Frum and the neoconservatives during the GOP presidential primaries: Hutchinson accuses Paul of being a racist, claiming that his CPAC speech was "sprinkled here and there with racial baits." Really? I challenge Hutchinson, or anyone else, to listen to Paul’s speech, go through it line by line, and come up with a single half-credible "racial bait." Where oh where are these "baits?" On this point Hutchinson is mum: he doesn’t think he needs to be more specific, because, you see, he’s the expert on racism, and we’ll just have to take his word for it.

Hutchinson is riled by Paul’s insistence that the Civil War could and should have been avoided, if at all possible. As to whether it could have been avoided, I’ll leave that to the historians and specialists to argue out. After all, it’s a risky business to engage in could-have-beens, and so it’s best to leave that to the authors of alternate histories. That it should have been avoided, if at all humanly possible, would hardly seem to be a controversial position: it was certainly the bloodiest war in our history, one that tore the nation asunder long after the issue had been "settled" by force of arms. Why is it a hate crime to suggest that it would have been better if hundreds of thousands of Americans hadn’t been slaughtered, maimed, and impoverished by a vicious conflict must remain a mystery of the Hutchinsonian mind, one best kept under lock and key.

All of these anti-Paul polemics seem to blend into a single panic-stricken shriek...MORE...LINK

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