Upon reading the attack piece written by progressive columnist Michael Tomasky in the Daily Beast, I immediately realized that this website must be part of the Animal Planet consortium. Like the television show, when progressives attack it can get mighty entertaining!
Tomasky has been at this for a while, calling Herman Cain "… too self-absorbed to see that he made it as far as he did only because he is black," a "haughty horse's ass" and a "buffoonish peacock." The contradictions and curiosities evident here are worthy of an entire book, but we simply don't have the time.
Before we examine what the dear man has to say about Ron Paul, it's important to look at how and where this "progressive" has slung the proverbial monkey poo. Of Newt, he rails, "The idea that he's a serious presidential candidate is preposterous." Rick Perry was "a bubblehead." He has been dismissive of other candidates, and surprising gentle on Mitt Romney, seeing him as a beleaguered yet suitable GOP candidate, and even "feeling sorry for him."
Tomasky's tendency to belittle and be disgusted by a GOP presidential aspirant relates to a clearly mathematical calculation. No emotional tirades, no incoherent outbursts of political toddler rage. Rather, he's all business. The math looks like this: Likelihood of getting the GOP nomination times the odds this guy can really beat Obama in November 2012 equals Tomasky's fear factor.
He has paid little attention to those candidates who do not threaten Obama's second term as Supreme Ruler over the American Kingdom. He likes Romney just where he seems to be, as the default GOP candidate as determined by the GOP kingmakers and their media talking heads. Romney, as Tomasky and I agree, would be easily beatable by Obama, as Obama is simply a far more electable Romney than Romney himself.
When Cain and Perry rose and fell, Tomasky's calculation was rapid — these candidates had the potential to be both likable and unique from the Obama Persona — and as such both could have won election. When their numbers crashed, and Newt gathered steam, his rage against the Newt was muted, because Newt most certainly would be unable to distinguish himself as a true conservative and rally Republicans in a way needed to send Obama back to Chicagoland.
But steady wins the race, and Ron Paul is the real threat now, and one that has the organization, the cash, the grassroots, and the conservative passion to represent the party. Paul is a clear alternative to the inexperienced and overwhelmed Obama and Paul alone will be able to gain not only the GOP voters, but independents, libertarians, youth and even clear-thinking progressives — gutting the Obama electoral edge, and replacing the Hope and Change charade with solid constitutional rule of law, liberty and peace.
But let's take Tomasky apart, and assess.
He calls Ron Paul a batty old reactionary, and then tops all that by saying Ron Paul's not cool. Apparently Tomasky hasn't been to a Ron Paul event on a college campus — you pick the state, the college and any year in the last five. Batty is a word I haven't seen used recently, but seriously, I think of only two reasons he would use that word — Ron Paul is the only Congressman to ever hit a home run in the annual Congressional Baseball Game, or else he's creating a new word play as in "Batty like Lou Gehrig." It's a weak linguistic construction, but after reading Tomasky's work, I'm seriously thinking he'd go there.
He says Ron Paul's projected strong showing in Iowa on January 3rd will create a "temporary tornado." Notwithstanding that tornadoes by the grace of God are all temporary, I think what our angry young progressive means here is that Ron Paul's success will gain him even more momentum. Ron Paul's conservative and constitutional message has been an attractive and culminating force on Americans of all political stripes and flavors. This is the fundamental energy of the Ron Paul campaign, and this is the source of the political momentum. It is this energy, led by the oldest and kindest man in the race, that is bitterly envied by all of the presidential candidates, and never more so by Obama and his increasingly panicked advisors.
Tomasky favors Romney, and his real concern about Ron Paul's showing in Iowa seems to be how it will impact the Massachusetts Republican who would be a sure loser to Obama a year from now, all else being equal. Tomasky envisions a two party race in which conservative Republican voters stay home, write in a real conservative, or vote Constitution Party – something they would do in droves if Romney were the nominee. Ron Paul would instead pressure the GOP towards the traditional right, and in doing so would be an ideal candidate who could bring together every conservative voter who held their nose and voted for McCain, plus every passionate voter who cheered for Palin. Ron Paul has the advantage over all other Republicans in the primary in that he simultaneously can draw into the GOP corner large numbers of urban, young and non-Republican voters who understand that a return to the constitution and a restoration of our Republic — financially and politically – will not happen unless we elect a president who not only gets the Constitution, but has several decades of experience of voting in accordance with this supreme law of the land. Tomasky fears Ron Paul precisely because he favors Romney as Obama's most predictable and easiest to beat opponent.
Tomasky considers Ron Paul to be an iconoclast — a breaker of false theories, like Keynesianism and progressive and moral government, I presume. George Washington believed government not to be reason, but force, like fire, a dangerous servant and a fearful master. Maggie Thatcher is credited with the quip that "Socialism fails, because eventually you run out of other people's money." I suppose George Washington and Maggie Thatcher too were Tomasky iconoclasts. In this era of the American experiment, a new awareness of the nature of the state is demanded if we are to long endure. Ron Paul may be just the iconoclast we need, just in time.
Tomasky brings up recycled charges of politically incorrect thought in the 1960s and 1970s based on newsletter articles written by others and apparently taken out of context. It is true that no amount of context would interest an angry progressive, but to ridicule Paul's admiration for Rosa Parks and the peaceful resistance of Dr. Martin Luther King is going just a bit far, even for the ill-informed Tomasky. As early as the late 1970s, Democratic Senator Patrick Moynihan publicly condemned the measured and calculated government destruction of African Americans, their families and their economies, through the application of the uber-progressive Great Society welfare state. Others have observed that historically the co-existing warfare state did little for people of color and the poor. Americans of all colors, ethnicities, race, and even parties join together in admiration for those who peacefully and boldly resist government tyranny, at any level, from township to city to state and federal levels. It doesn't make them libertarians — it makes them Americans.
Tomasky concludes this frantic tirade with, "Even if Paul is not a racist, he is on this point a complete idiot or propagandist or both." In this, we must pity the fool who wrote these words. Of all the terms one might use to describe Ron Paul — even his philosophical enemies recognize that he is an intelligent, well-educated man, congressman, and medical doctor. And propagandist? Ron Paul is stylistically faulted by political advisors and observers for his fact-based, thorough, and conversational engagement with interviewers and voters alike. He is the only candidate including Obama who can and will explain exactly how he thinks, and who lays out the logic of his conclusions for anyone to see, to hear, to debate or refute. Dr. Paul would have been an ideal candidate in Athens in their great era of Republicanism, and he is an ideal candidate today in a democratic society where we believe all men are created equal. Ron Paul believes in and embraces this concept of equality, and he lives it daily. I suspect that an ill-informed, arrogant and class-sensitive journalist like Tomasky knows exactly what he means by both "idiot" and "propagandist" because he is intimately — even innately — familiar with these epithets.
Tomasky refers repeatedly to hipsters. I remain confused as to who or what these "hipsters" are, this purported class of people in America who have been sucked in by Ron Paul's rhetoric or slick and polished delivery. That may be because Tomasky is specifically aiming his ire at droves of defecting young democrats who are attracted to Paul's small government and no nation-building message. Could it be the young statist clinging to the outdated and self-destructive liberalism of Clinton-Obama nanny state is upset to find himself in the political wilderness, increasingly abandoned by his peers and pals? The very trees and shrubs in the forest seem to be singing, "Come down from that socialist tree, Tom-fraidy-cat, and join the Ron Paul revolution!"
I'm just saying.
It's worthwhile to explain one last spear weakly tossed by the clearly exhausted Tomasky in his [somewhat entertaining] hit piece. He writes, "The idea of virtually no state is just silly," and he seems to think Ron Paul advocates this concept. The Paul proposal to save a trillion dollars in one year and his "Restore the Republic" economic plan are nowhere near no-state, or even small state. With $15 trillion in debt, and over $70 Trillion in unfunded state liabilities — Ron Paul seems to be saying cut some unneeded federal spending in order to SAVE the state and allow it to make good on its promises to the old, the middle aged, and the young. Frankly, many young people are about ready to expatriate, and give up on saving the republic. In this way, Dr Paul is pro-state. I have to admit, I'm on the fence as to what to advise my own children — stay and take a chance the American republic can survive, or leave and start anew much as my great-great-great-great-great grandparents did.
Tomasky longs for the day when he no longer has to think about "this pestilential little locust." This particular statement comes on the heels of a mini-tirade about the nature of the free market, capitalism, and how government would be just fine if it wasn't corrupted by …uh.. well… people. The great unwashed, the gritty competitive and living world of humanity — always so hard to rule from the central planner's roost, the serfs and knaves always so ungrateful for their naked king. Tomasky is a sliver of intelligentsia, that as Hayek once observed, "need not possess special knowledge of anything in particular, nor need he even be particularly intelligent, to perform his role as intermediary in the spreading of ideas.”
Yes, Tomasky is exactly that kind of functionary — limited in knowledge, not particularly intelligent, performing his role. And if I may be so bold, he's shaking in his boots because Obama will be the last American socialist dictator-in-chief if Ron Paul and his great and growing army of patriotic, passionate, small-government constitutionalists get their way.
LRC columnist Karen Kwiatkowski, Ph.D. [send her mail], a retired USAF lieutenant colonel, blogs occasionally at Liberty and Power and The Beacon. To receive automatic announcements of new articles, click here or join her Facebook page. She is currently running for Congress in Virginia’s 6th district.