Bainbridge calls Ron Paul a "a nutjob that makes Ross Perot look sane":
Here's some of what Ron Paul believes:
- A return to the gold standard, at least in part, even though the evidence is clear that the gold standard made economies highly susceptible to exogenous shocks that destabilized them
- The income tax is Communistic
- North American free trade will lead to "a fascist elite’s dream come true," even though his goal of kicking out the undocumented population is what would really require a police state
- Withdrawal from UN and NATO
- Elimination of the Federal Reserve
- Admiration for paleolibertarians like Murray Rothbard and Ludwig von Mises
I agree with Paul on a few issues, such as abortion and the "war" on drugs, but even a stopped clock is right twice a day. America is a center-right country who majority will not embrace a paleo/Capital L Libertarian like Paul no matter what the CPAC folks might think.
Five months ago in this space, I speculated that this new conservative movement is fueled to a significant degree by a lot of ginned up former Ron Paul supporters. I mentioned and quoted at length from Dana Goldstein's fanstastic reporting that connected the Tea Party movement to residual Ron Paulites. When is the national media going to finally make these connections? Instead, the kooky, historically revisionist, apocalyptic ideas of Glenn Beck and Ron Paul are treated with equivalency to those of the majority Democratic Party in Washington and--here's the key point--these movement activists and their ideas are often discussed without much mention of their connections to Beck or Paul.
J.P. Green labels Paul supporters racist:
It can be argued that what many conservatives like about Paul is not his racism, but his sledgehammer government-bashing. Nonetheless, the CPAC vote does show that too many of them are either (a.) ignorant of Paul's long association with racist ideas, or (b.) know about it, but don't care. Both options suggest a high tolerance for racism, whether it's caused by ignorance or moral myopia.
Patrick Ruffini defends Paul, in part:
While I won't necessarily be rooting for a Paul 2012 candidacy, I *like* the fact that CPAC was shaken up, for two big reasons.
First, it shows that Ron Paul and the Campaign for Liberty are engaging constructively in the conservative movement. In 2007, the Paulites were an oppositional force trying to submarine the GOP's commitment to the war on terror, thus threatening traditional conservatives. Today, libertarians and conservatives have come together against Obama's endless expansion of the State, with Ron Paul supporters supplying creative organizing tactics and boots on the ground.
This leads into my second reason: in terms of grassroots organization, Paul supporters are some of the best -- if not the best -- that we have. The iconography of the tea party movement is heavily libertarian (think the Gadsden Flag) and that's no coincidence. If you broke down the organizers and even those in attendance, you'd find more than your fair share of Ron Paul supporters.