Ron Paul, possibly the kookiest candidate we’ve ever had run for president under the Republican banner, faced some stiff competition in retaining his House seat in Texas, before winning the March 3 primary by a landslide. While I am no fan of Paul’s, reading some of the assaults by his opponents I wonder if maybe they weren’t being a bit too harsh with him. After all, he’s pretty harmless sitting in the House whining about auditing the fed and returning to a policy of isolationalism (masquerading as non-interventionism).
Paul’s small band of outspoken and at times obnoxious supporters were elated that he won a straw poll at CPAC this year, ignoring that those who have won the straw poll rarely ever receive the nomination to run as the Republican candidate for president.
Many even claim it was Ron Paul who gave birth to the current TEA Party movement seen spreading across the country.
I’m sure they are equally as elated to see the results of the Texas Primary as Paul slid into an 80% win.
Strange though, that when he was under assault by challengers, his supporters were largely silent. As anybody can tell you, whoever spoke against Paul in the 2008 campaign was basically committing blasphemy.
That is why I am surprised that they have remained mostly silent as articles such as Ron Paul burned by tea party blowback and Arrogant Ron Paul Angry He’s Facing a Challenge in His “Own Primary” were published
A query put before local Ron Paul adherents prior to the Texas Primary, for what they thought about the articles, has remained ignored all week.
The first article linked told us, “despite his solid anti-establishment credentials and non-conformist views, Paul finds himself under siege from three Republicans who are embracing many of the themes that have defined Paul’s career.”
Challenger John Gay says, “I applaud Dr. Paul for what he’s done and I want him to retire and do the things that he likes to do and run the foundations that he’s started.”
“Where are you Congressman Paul,” askes another challenger, Tim Graney who adds, “He’s not doing the job of the U.S. House. He should be here in the district listening to us.”
Gerald Wall echoes that sentment with, “The problem with Ron Paul is that he doesn’t spend any time representing his people. Everyone knows that if we elect him to Congress he will spend one month in Congress and 18 months running for president.”
To be fair, what congressman actually does spend a lot of time in their district? I know for the past 12 years, my soon to be retired congressman, Brian Baird, spends more time traveling abroad than being here representing us.
Paul’s campaign spokesman Jesse Benton countered, “Charges that he’s gallivanting around the country are silly. Rep. Paul has not made any decision on whether he’s running for president. He’s very focused on his district, and he’s very involved in his district.”
Indeed Paul is very involved in his district since he is said to pack more earmarks into bills than any other Republican, then realizing they will pass anyways, votes against them.
Indicating Republican Party displeasure with Paul, Renew America’s Paul Ibbetson posted Ron Paul and the “Cujo” effect recently where in he states, “Ron Paul, the failed presidential candidate of 2008, has become the Cujo of the Republican Party,” Cujo being the rabid dog that terrorized people in the Steven King classic of the same name.
Ibbetson added, “The rabidly rough ramifications of Ron Paul are that despite his libertarian foundations, he is one more unneeded albatross around the neck of the Republican Party who has enough problems already,” before stating, “As in the case of Cujo, the presidential aspirations, and more importantly the political impacts of Ron Paul, must be ‘euthanized’ in the country before more damage can be done,” a statement even I find a bit over the top.
Like I said, while I find him a kook and would oppose him running for president should he choose to again, I find he has been known to represent his district well over his 6 terms, easily winning reelection.
A Houston Chronicle article, Paul facing unrest at home, credits Paul’s spokesman, Jesse Benton with, “Dr. Paul is actually very encouraged by the anti-incumbent sentiment out there right now,” with little acknowledgement that Ron Paul was the incumbent.
Given the level of assault Paul experienced, expectations were that he be put out to pasture this time. Compared to 2008, their silence is almost as if they were willing to sacrifice Paul’s House Seat, visions of something more important dancing in their heads for the weeks ahead.