Ron Paul Takes Swipes at Rivals on 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno'
by E.D. Kain
by E.D. Kain: Bank
of America Rethinking Controversial Debit Card Fees
In a startling
break with tradition, Ron Paul took a few quick jabs at his Republican
rivals on The
Tonight Show with Jay Leno
Friday. Asked his opinion of Michele Bachmann, who Paul had
clashed with earlier in the week over the question of a nuclear
Iran, Paul said Bachmann hates Muslims and wants
to go get them.
Paul his opinion of Rick Santorum, asking whether he talked about
anything other than gay people. Gay people and Muslims,
He said Romney
was a nice guy who maybe should stay in Massachusetts and that Jon
Huntsman is thoughtful.
Up to this
point, Paul has kept his opinions mostly to himself. His comments
have caused quite a stir. Of course I dont hate Muslims,
Bachmann told ABC News adding thats an absolutely outrageous
moderators in last weeks Iowa debate that Pauls positions
on Iran were dangerous. Paul had warned of the dangers
of an American overreaction to the supposed threat of a nuclear
bomb being developed in Iran.
So what to
make of all this?
off it means that Paul is pulling no punches in the last few weeks
before the Iowa Caucuses which are set for January 3rd. Right now
the congressman from Texas is tied in first place in the polls,
after a long, slow, but steady climb.
Gingrichs spotlight seems to be fading, while Romneys
front-runner position remains shaky. This puts Paul in the unique
position of surging in the polls just in the nick of time. If he
can break that voter ceiling he might be able to win in Iowa, possibly
pushing him into front-runner status across the country, especially
if Huntsman hurts Romney and Gingrich in New Hampshire.
A Paul win
in Iowa and a Huntsman win in New Hampshire would throw this race
into chaos but a particularly good brand of chaos. Huntsman
has been trailing badly for the duration of the race so far, and
Paul has been laughed
off by much of the press and the conservative intelligentsia.
Even now, with
Paul neck and neck in Iowa, the big guns in conservative media are
working furiously to discredit the congressman. I think right
now anybody other than Ron Paul could beat Obama if the election
were tomorrow easily, said
Rush Limbaugh on his radio program.
and the Ron Paul people arent going to like me saying this,
said Chris Wallace of Fox News, but, to a certain degree,
it will discredit the Iowa caucuses because, rightly or wrongly,
I think most of the Republican establishment thinks he is not going
to end up as the nominee. So, therefore, Iowa wont count and
it will go on.
pundit David Frum writes:
had an outsize appeal to writers and intellectuals dissatisfied
with the present state of Republicanism.
him as a corrective to militaristic nationalism. Or as a principled
champion of limited government. Or as a leader who can curb the
excessive influence of social conservatives.
are not very realistic, but leave that pass for now. More to the
point even if true, which they are not, these are not the
correctives present-day Republicanism most needs. The thing most
wrong with present-day Republicanism is its passivity in the face
of the economic crisis, its indifference to the economic troubles
of the huge majority of the American population, and its blithe
insistence that everything was fine for the typical American worker
up until Inauguration Day 2009 or (at the outer bound of the thinkable)
the financial crisis of the fall 2008.
It is the
lack of concern to the travails of middle-class America that reform
Republicans should most centrally be concerned with.
And no candidate
in this race ok, except maybe the defunct Herman Cain has
been more persistently, aggressively, and forcefully heedless
of those travails than Ron Paul.
Frum is critical
of Pauls monetary policy and his libertarianism more broadly
which is understandable, since David is not a libertarian
himself but rather a moderate and a hawkish moderate at that. To
be fair, Im not particularly fond of Pauls monetary
policy either. On this question Im largely in agreement with
Frum. The challenges of this particular economic downturn cant
be solved through austerity alone, even if austerity over the long
haul is a worthy and important goal.
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