Is Ron Paul the Last Relevant Republican in Washington?

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The question sounds facetious, since Texas Congressman Ron Paul failed to make any traction among GOP primary voters last year.

Throughout the 2008 presidential primaries, Rep. Paul railed against the Federal Reserve Bank and the coming economic crash. And all the other GOP candidates seemed to look at him like he had just crawled out of the grassy knoll. So did most voters, except for a coterie of highly-motivated and mostly young primary voters he organized. Then economic reality happened, and the establishment GOP’s economic model crashed along with the party’s election hopes. Everything changed.

Ron Paul’s “rEVOLution” (revolution with “love” spelled backwards) has been the sole bright light among GOP organizing efforts since Obama’s election. In a party marred by the awkward resignation of Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin from the Alaska governorship and a variety of sexual scandals (David Vitter, John Ensign, Mark Sanford, etc), Ron Paul alone has unified the GOP around an overwhelmingly popular proposal: Auditing the Federal Reserve. His bill (H.R. 1207) has every Republican House member, a score of senators and — according to a July Rasmussen poll — three quarters of the American people backing it. He even has significant bipartisan support: More than a third of the Democrats in the House also cosponsor the bill, which is the reason why two-thirds of the entire Democrat-dominated House is currently cosponsoring the legislation.

On the health care debate, Rep. Paul seems the perfect candidate to give the GOP an authoritative spokesman to oppose Obama’s expensive health care agenda. Dr. Paul is a medical doctor, an obstetrician who has delivered more than 4,000 babies.

Meanwhile, the Ron Paul revolution appears to be flowering politically. Consider the following:

Web Organization: The Ron Paul “rEVOLution” movement created more than a dozen highly trafficked websites, including DailyPaul.com, LewRockwell.com, RonPaul.com, in addition to Dr. Paul’s official CampaignForLiberty.com. These websites have kept the revolutionaries active and on-task since the letdown of the election.

Tea Parties: From those websites and the election year Meetups emerged the nucleus of the “Tea Party” rallies that exploded nationwide this year. Although the “Tea Party” movement was a larger, organic uprising than simply the result of a single presidential candidacy, most of the original rallies were first organized by Ron Paul supporters. More importantly, precious few of the Tea Party attendees were actively identifying themselves with other national Republican leaders. Ron Paul revolutionaries have helped to keep the tea parties non-partisan, targeting not just Democrats, but also left-leaning Republicans like Iowa’s Senator Chuck Grassley, who has been working with Obama to extend federal controls over health care.

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Thomas R. Eddlem [send him mail] is a freelance writer and educator who loves the Constitution and contributes to LewRockwell.com, The New American, and AntiWar.com.

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