“A Handful Of Cherries On A Blighted Tree”

The post-Iowa coverage of the Republican presidential primaries has had a lot of talk about whether or not Mitt Romney has a support ceiling and how far Rick Santorum can take his frothy quest to forget that the White House ever even pretended to be a secular institution.

The most disheartening stuff is from the man who’s still not going to win: Ron Paul. Even given the libertarian stalwart’s impressive fund raising, he’s not going to get the Republican nod. And even if he did, in that nightmare world, there’s still no way he could beat Barack Obama.

That doesn’t deaden the impact of hearing actual people who support Paul. NPR put together a great 20-minute podcast on the Iowa caucuses that, in the course of a larger overview, talks about how Paul is pulling support from both the Republicans and the Democrats, how he’s drawing out a great percentage of the youth vote in the primaries, and how he’s getting independents to register as Republicans, including interviews with the young folks themselves.

It’s sad to hear people my own age who think that Obama hasn’t done enough and then make the jump to decide that Ron Paul is the next logical solution. It’s not far off from thinking, if the handle hasn’t worked, why don’t I beat my head against the door until it opens?

Ron Paul support has to come from: a) an ignorance, willful or accidental, of the full breadth of his policies; b) full-on brainwashing; or c) a lack of concern for the well-being of others.

That’s why Katha Pollitt has done a necessary thing in writing a refutation of Paul’s policies for the Nation. It shouldn’t be necessary. People should have gotten the message the first 20 times pieces like this were written over the course of Paul’s political career. But with Paul’s star on the rise — most disturblingly with young, leftist progressives — people need to keep pointing out everything that’s wrong with the man.

From Pollitt’s piece:

How far does Paul take his war against Washington? He wants to abolish the Federal Aviation Authority and its pesky air traffic controllers. He has one magic answer to every problem—including how to land an airplane safely: let the market handle it.

Read the whole thing here, then go out and shame any of your friends who talk nicely about the man.

Author: James Brotheridge

Contributing Editor with Prairie Dog.

15 thoughts on ““A Handful Of Cherries On A Blighted Tree””

  1. Ron Paul was only about 1100 votes from winning. What is the problem with a guy that wants to use the Constitution of his country as a platform? 49 states to go…

    Most of the new construction in Reggiville goes tax free for quite a while on the business end, but sucks the taxes out of the labourers, who build and the others that eventually work for “X” business.

    How much is CoR ( us ), paying for Pascal’s, ( he’s also Boxing Canada’s Prez. ), trip to London England, to watch boxing ,that is extremely under funded, by sport Canada?

    The women that want to participate this year,( for their 1st shot at an Olympic medal ), have to pay there own way, ( many thousands of $$ ), to tournaments here in Canada, before they can qualify to get the nod, from the fed Oly people.

  2. I was in the US a few months ago and chatted up a number of 20-somethings. One was a server in a bar who was, by nearly conceivable notion, totally cool and not at all crazy.

    Then we started talking politics and shit got real. She repeatedly complained about ‘the illegals’ and talked about how she’s a Paul supporter. Now I was interested. I probed her with questions about health care and various other things but came up with two basic conclusions.

    1. The American economy is a wreck and probably won’t ever recover (this wasn’t based on the conversations, but rather background knowledge and seeing the symptoms).

    2. Their desperation is making cool people turn to batshit ideology In a way, they’re looking for a saviour to help them… and that saviour isn’t coming.

  3. #5 Who can blame them if they’re disillusioned. They’ve gone the saviour route (many times) before and still — nothing.

  4. I have a rule never to talk about politics anywhere but on an alternative twice-monthly message board site, and on Twitter, mainly because of what Matchbook said: “making cool people turn to batshit ideology In a way, they’re looking for a saviour to help them… and that saviour isn’t coming.”

  5. #5

    I can understand her point.
    She gets shit news from all four corners, and somehow finds out about Ron Paul.

    Main stream news never mention Ron, sorta avoiding his progress.

    Getting Immigrants confused with / stealing jobs is quite easy.

    If only some people want to work piece work in agriculture, then they are not taking away jobs, they are just filling in , un-unionised / part-time / seasonal work. If that means 75,000-150,000 workers…. so be it.

  6. Reality is, this is a hugely weak Republican field, made up of has-beens, never-wases, and Mitt Romney. I’d be suicidal if I was a political reporter covering this race. The election will be interesting, merely because the male blue-collar fringe who supported Obama in 2008 for a change of direction and because it seemed progressive (in a life of limited progressiveness), will probably go Romney, plus, shit, if Obama loses Massachusetts, yikes, that’ll be bad.

  7. Bank bailouts, lawful execution of American citizens without trial or charge, continuing the Bush tax cuts, war (Libya) without a vote from Congress.

    Paul is wrong on 90% of the issues, but Obama is wrong on many many things that count.

    Dismissing Paul in favour of Obama on the basis of kooky Paul ideas should merit looking at the horrible corporatist right wing policies of Obama.

  8. I understand the attraction to Ron Paul. Sometimes he speaks and I think he sounds pretty reasonable (maybe because of the other wack-jobs around him?), but then I realize, no Medicare, no EPA, no Social Security, no FDA, etc… The US needs to take drastic actions to pull themselves out of this, and many of the agencies that Ron Paul wants to cut are in need of overhaul (primarily to separate the regulatory agencies from those they regulate in my opinion), but to not have any regulation with the corporations down there having the amount of power they already do and apparently no moral compass would be disasterous.
    Today the other canidates came out and said Romney was too “moderate”. Really? He seems to be the only one who is not completely insane and he may only appear sane due to comparison.
    I think Obama may be a two termer because the Republican field is so dismal and an independent candidate would just split the crazy Republican vote. I have become disappointed with Obama, but he still seems like the best option. Seriously 300 million people and this is what the come up with?

  9. I don’t understand why people think Ron Paul is the guy who will fix everything.

    1. He’s a Republican
    2. He wants to slash everything (read: services people won’t realize they need until they’re gone) and cut taxes. Sounds just like every other Republican campaign… don’t we all know how that always turns out by now?

    People are dumb.

  10. Also: it doesn’t matter who is President. The Republicrats all act the same, no matter how they talk.

  11. Cluster bombs on children. Constant war. Patriot Act. TSA. War on drugs.

    Ron Paul is a nut. But Obama is a corporatist.

    Surely the best solution would be for Obama to look long and hard at the few smart ideas Paul has and actually adopt them. Otherwise it is, as the much better Greenwald article points out, an argument of “my guy sucks less so I can ignore all of my guy’s terrible policies”.

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