Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Ron Paul Snubbed

Politico's Roger "Don't Call Me Paul" Simon has noticed what few others have. U.S. House of Representatives member Michelle Bachman barely edged out Ron Paul in what Simon has recognized as the "organized bribery" of the Iowa straw poll. As his reward, he has received: silence.

To Jill Lawrence of The Daily Beast/Newsweek, Simon points out, it is "the new top tier of Bachmann, Perry and Romney." The Washington Post reported "A Republican presidential campaign that has been slow to take shape suddenly snapped into focus Sunday, with an unlikely three-person top tier of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.) and the newest entry, Texas Gov. Rick Perry." The Associated Press calls it "a three- way race" among the three. CNN sums up "Conventional wisdom is that Perry joins former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who's making his second bid for the GOP nomination, and Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, as the top tier in the Republican fight. “ Repub pols and pundits have joined in the conventional wisdom.

There is one clue to the disregard shown the Ames second-place finisher in the breezy dismissal of the Texas congressman noted by Simon. "Libertarian Ron Paul," the editors commented (within parentheses, even), " who has no chance to win the nomination, finished a close second."

The Wall Street Journal editorial page, unlike the news departments of AP, the Washington Post, and others, has a motive for relegating Paul to the ranks of also-rans. Responding to Mitt Romney's recent remark "corporations are people," Paul the following day had told Center for American Progress writer Scott Keyes

People are individuals, they’re not groups and they’re not companies. Individuals have rights, they’re not collective. You can’t duck that. So individuals should be responsible for corporations, but they shouldn’t be a new creature, so to speak. Rights and obligations should be always back to the individual.

Yikes. A year and a half after the landmark Citizens United decision decreeing corporate personhood, Ron Paul does not stray from the reservation, but rides off into the sunset Asked what he would "make of Mitt Romney’s statement that 'corporations are people' yesterday," Paul replies "obviously they're not."

The Texas congressman holds extremely conservative views and couches his opposition to Romney's statement in the rights and responsibilities of the individual, a traditional conservative stance (though not extending to the responsibilities of the individual to the community). But this is not Eisenhower's GOP or even Reagan's GOP. Heck, it's not even the GOP of Newt Gingrich, the darling of the 1994 Republican revolution, who in March slammed Paul Ryan's effort to rescind Medicare as "social engineering." Gingrich, as his words made clear, preferred to eliminate it gradually, through the back door. Not good enough for Nikki Haley, governor of the most important state in a GOP presidential race, nor for The Wall Street Journal.

This Repub Party embraces social engineering (though, disingenuously, not the term) and recognizes the Citizens United ruling as a boon for it, as well as a boondoggle for Democrats. It will not abide by the likes of a presidential candidate who believes corporations are not people, anathema to a party which, with all its cries and complaints, ultimately voted to raise the debt ceiling as demanded by its corporate base.

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