[Posted by Karl]
The latest from PPP:
Newt Gingrich’s campaign is rapidly imploding, and Ron Paul has now taken the lead in Iowa. He’s at 23% to 20% for Mitt Romney, 14% for Gingrich, 10% each for Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, and Rick Perry, 4% for Jon Huntsman, and 2% for Gary Johnson.
Paul has outcampaigned and outorganized his rivals in Iowa. Granted, the PPP poll can be criticized, as his support comes disporportionately from young voters and those who identify as either Democrats or independents. However, despite Iowa being a closed caucus, you can register to participate right up to caucus day. If Paul can get these people to sign up, it’s a good bet they’ll caucus.
At the Washington Examiner, Timothy P. Carney predicts:
The Republican presidential primary has become a bit feisty, but it will get downright ugly if Ron Paul wins the Iowa caucuses.
The principled, antiwar, Constitution-obeying, Fed-hating, libertarian Republican congressman from Texas stands firmly outside the bounds of permissible dissent as drawn by either the Republican establishment or the mainstream media. (Disclosure: Paul wrote the foreword to my 2009 book.)
If Paul wins, how will the media and the GOP react? Much of the media will ignore him (expect headlines like “Romney Beats out Gingrich for Second Place in Iowa”). Some in the Republican establishment and the conservative media will panic. Others will calmly move to crush him, with the full cooperation of the liberal mainstream media.
Carney seems upset by the prospect, but then again, Carney refers to Paul’s “abiding 9/11 conspiracy theorists and allowing racist material in a newsletter published under his name” as… “indiscretions.”
Similarly, the unhinged Andrew Sullivan euphemizes that Paul “had associations in the past that are creepy when not downright ugly.” I should not have to remind the HIV-positive pundit about the content of Paul’s newsletters:
They frequently quoted Paul’s “old colleague,” Representative William Dannemeyer–who advocated quarantining people with AIDS–praising him for “speak[ing] out fearlessly despite the organized power of the gay lobby.” In 1990, one newsletter mentioned a reporter from a gay magazine “who certainly had an axe to grind, and that’s not easy with a limp wrist.” In an item titled, “The Pink House?” the author of a newsletter–again, presumably Paul–complained about President George H.W. Bush’s decision to sign a hate crimes bill and invite “the heads of homosexual lobbying groups to the White House for the ceremony,” adding, “I miss the closet.” “Homosexuals,” it said, “not to speak of the rest of society, were far better off when social pressure forced them to hide their activities.” When Marvin Liebman, a founder of the conservative Young Americans for Freedom and a longtime political activist, announced that he was gay in the pages of National Review, a Paul newsletter implored, “Bring Back the Closet!” Surprisingly, one item expressed ambivalence about the contentious issue of gays in the military, but ultimately concluded, “Homosexuals, if admitted, should be put in a special category and not allowed in close physical contact with heterosexuals.”
James Kirchick, who tracked down these newsletters, adds this:
One newsletter reported on the heretofore unknown phenomenon of “Needlin’,” in which “gangs of black girls between the ages of 12 and 14” roamed the streets of New York and injected white women with possibly HIV-infected syringes. Another newsletter warned that “the AIDS patient” should not be allowed to eat in restaurants because “AIDS can be transmitted by saliva,” a strange claim for a physician to make.
Paul gave credence to the theory, later shown to have been the product of a Soviet disinformation effort, that AIDS had been created in a U.S. government laboratory at Fort Detrick, Maryland.
However, in Sullyworld, it’s Gingrich who is filled with resentment, and Perry who is fascistic. Kirchick also details Paul’s relationship conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, which may not bother Sullivan, given his own penchant for paranoid consipracy theories and Trig Trutherism (one of which originated with Alex Jones).
Like Paul voter Dave Weigel, both Sullivan and Carney are ostentatious in their disregard for mainstream conservatism. Sullivan’s case is well-known; Carney’s hobby-horse is in exposing crony capitalism as an equal opportunity pursuit by Republicans, although Paul’s status as a GOP earmark king is left out of Carney’s latest apologia. Also omitted is this from Kirchick:
[A] subsequent report by Reason found that Ron Paul & Associates, the defunct company that published the newsletters and which counted Paul and his wife as officers, reported an income of nearly $1 million in 1993 alone. If this figure is reliable, Paul must have earned multiple millions of dollars over the two decades plus of the newsletters’ existence. It is incredible that he had less than an active interest in what was being printed as part of a subscription newsletter enterprise that earned him and his family millions of dollars. Ed Crane, the president of the Cato Institute, said Paul told him that “his best source of congressional campaign donations was the mailing list for the Spotlight, the conspiracy-mongering, anti-Semitic tabloid run by the Holocaust denier Willis Carto.”
Carney cannot bring himself to come up with a cute term for this sort of capitalism, in which a Congressman and presidential candidate profits personally and politicially from actively peddling hatred and intolerance. If Paul wins Iowa, someone else surely will. And contra the Weigels, Carneys and Sullivans, it will be richly deserved.