GOP Elites Readying Attack?

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Tim Carney, an honest anti-corporatist conservative and a friend, has sounded the warning in the otherwise Paul-wary Examiner that should Dr. Paul happen to win Iowa, the long knives will be out for him.

Carney reminds us of what I remember so very well after the surprising 1996 Buchanan victory in New Hampshire (the last time your naive correspondent believed real change was possible through our electoral system):

For a historical analogy, study the aftermath of Pat Buchanan’s 1996 victory in the New Hampshire primary. “It was awful,” Buchanan told me this week when I asked him about his few days as the nominal GOP front-runner. “They come down on you with both feet.”

The GOP establishment that week rallied to squash Buchanan. Just after New Hampshire, Gingrich’s hand-picked group of GOP leaders, known as the Speaker’s Advisory Group, met with one thing on their minds, according to a contemporaneous Newsweek report: “How to deal with Buchanan.”

Ted Koppel, on “Nightline” in the days after New Hampshire, relied on unsubstantiated tales (for which he later apologized) about Buchanan’s father as a way of tying the son to “bigoted and isolationist radio orator Father Coughlin.” He also cited a Jewish neighbor of the Buchanans who was beaten up and called “Christ-killer” — without mentioning that Pat was off at college at the time.

We should not kid ourselves that things will be easier after a Paul victory in Iowa. But we’ll see just how much of a hold on the GOP have the elites of old.

EDIT: One cannot help remarking on one unfair canard that Tim repeats in his piece, however…

He points out what he calls “Paul’s indiscretions” opening him up for attack, naming “abiding 9/11 conspiracy theorists” as chief among these. Dissecting the statement, the slippery word is “abiding.” One would assume that Tim means this definition from Webster: “b : to bear patiently : tolerate.” It should be fairly obvious that Dr. Paul “tolerates and bears patiently” all sorts of people with all sorts of ideas with which he disagrees. Does he “abide” the boundless egocentrism of a Ben Bernanke? Does he “tolerate and bear patiently” those who do not see how our reckless foreign policy is destroying our economy? What is the opposite of “tolerate and bear patiently”? Would that be preferable, Tim? Should he scream down and read out of his movement everyone who does not agree 100 percent with all his views? The “9/11 conspiracy theory” business is absolutely nonsense and a red herring. But it is raising its absurd head above the waterline…

10:51 pm on December 18, 2011