We Shall Overcome
Ron Paul's rise has the War Party frothing at the mouth
(AntiWar.com) -- by Justin Raimondo --
The governor of Iowa says that if Ron Paul wins the GOP caucus, the best thing to do is to “ignore him” – and, if you go here, you can see the “mainstream” media agrees. Rich Lowry over at the National Review proclaims that if the only anti-interventionist candidate gets the votes of Iowa Republicans, “no one should take them seriously again.” The neocon solution to their Ron Paul Problem: exile the voters to Gehenna! “Ron Paul’s ascent won’t last,” sneers Ramesh Ponnuru, “or help his cause.” This was doubtless written before the Christian Science Monitor mourned, in a headline: “What if Ron Paul wins Iowa – and New Hampshire too?”
On both the neoconservative “right” and the Obama-ite “left,” the spittle is flying: the gate-keepers of the politically permissible are practically frothing at the mouth, letting fly an outburst of political Tourette’s Syndrome, with epithets like “geezer,” “crank,” “crazy old uncle,” and “pestilential little locust.” There are several themes to these hit-pieces, and they can be broken down accordingly:
The “Ron-Paul-can’t-win-because-he’s-an-‘isolationist’” argument – This is the central meme being floated in the MSM about the Paul campaign, and it suffuses a large proportion of the press coverage. It is a pillar of the “red state/blue state” dichotomy that is supposed to define the American political landscape – and, just coincidentally, of course, happens to encompass the marketing strategy of cable giants Fox and MSNBC.
The problem with this argument, however, is that it’s being disproved every day by the polls, which show Paul steadily gaining strength not only in Iowa but nationally. If Paul takes Iowa, expect a meme-shift along the lines of “those-Midwestern hicks are known for their isolationism.”
The “Ron Paul-can’t-win-the-nomination” argument – This, of course, is meant to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. As the Christian Science Monitor headline cited above indicates, however, his rising poll numbers in Iowa are lifting him to first-tier status in New Hampshire and beyond. For the same reason governments can’t pick winners in industry, the self-appointed guardians of the politically possible can’t pick winners in elections. They can try to predict the political future, and sometimes they may even be right – but how many remember when these same professional prognosticators were telling us Hillary Clinton’s nomination as the Democratic presidential candidate was “inevitable”?
Especially in these troubled times, when the political winds are whipping from unexpected directions, the predictability of the GOP nominating process is highly problematic, and any definitive statements about how it will turn out are not to be trusted.
The “Ron-Paul-is-a-racist-loon-and-conspiracy-theorist” argument – This is the last resort of the Republican Establishment, as represented by the punkish Lowry and the oleaginous Ponnuru, one the editor of National Review and the other an associate editor of that bastion of neoconservative orthodoxy...MORE...LINK