Wednesday, November 07, 2007

You are very welcome, Ron.
[Note to David Frum: Your problem is obvious.]

From my e-mail inbox Monday:
"Thank you very much for your donation of $100.00 to the Ron Paul 2008 Presidential Campaign. Your donation will allow us to expand and grow our campaign.We depend on donors like you to help us spread the message of freedom, peace and prosperity through Ron Paul’s candidacy. Thanks for being a part of the campaign!"
After returning from a weekend abalone dive adventure, the Ron Paul "money bomb", timed for Guy Fawkes day, got my attention. It was time to put my money where my mouth is, and contribute to the Paul campaign. I would have preferred to send it to Chuck Hagel, but since he is AWOL, Paul gets my primary contribution. Turns out I was a below average contributor.

From Tuesday's inbox:
"Amazing! I have to admit being floored by the $4.2 million dollars you raised yesterday for this campaign. And unlike the fatcat operations of the opposition, the average contribution from our 36,672 donors was $103. I say "you raised," because this historic event was created, organized, and run by volunteers. This is the spirit that has protected American freedom in our past; this is the spirit that is doing so again. Some of the mainstream media have sat up and taken notice. Others have pooh-poohed our record online fundraising. But the day is coming--far faster than they know--when they will not be able to ignore our freedom revolution."
The reaction in the blogosphere and MSM was amusing and interesting. I caught Ron Paul being interviewed on Tucker. Paul seemed genuinely bemused by the success of the effort. Tucker Carlson couldn't believe that Ron Paul had never met the individual who instigated the one day Guy Fawkes "Money bomb" effort. I'll link the video if/when I find it. The MSNBC video link appears to be broken, but here is the transcript:
"CARLSON: Now, this fundraising success took place on what in Great Britain is Guy Fawkes Day, which was the day foiling the plot to blow up the house of Parliament in the 17th century. Why that day. What is the significance for you?

PAUL: No significance to me. Other than fact that now I know that November 5th is an important day in fundraising. But I wasn‘t too much aware of that particular point in history, nor the movie that they recite and refer to.

And I have not met the individual who put this all together. All I know, it‘s been spontaneous, it wasn‘t driven by the campaign. We certainly didn‘t discourage it but we had nothing to say about it because the individuals were organizing on the Internet. I think it shows the power of an idea.

CARLSON: What do you mean. You never met the guy responsible for organizing more than $4 million in money for you?

PAUL: If I did, I don‘t remember it. Somebody said, we ought to get his telephone number now that it‘s over, you ought to probably call him. I plan to do that. But if I‘ve met him it was pretty casual, but I don‘t think I have to met him to tell you the truth. But this is part of the campaign. The fact that we have over 1,100 meet up groups is rather significant, they‘re coming from around the world.

So the message I think is very important and the people are responding to it. But to me it‘s just message which is something that I‘ve been talking about for years. It‘s a message of what has made America great, our Constitution, important of individual liberties and self reliance and self responsibilities. So it‘s not a strange message. A lot of Americans have forgotten about it now we‘ve revived the interest all of a sudden we found out that it‘s a very exciting message."

Justin Gardner at Donklephant has a great reaction roundup post as does Joe Gandelman at The Moderate Voice. Most fun is the sniping between Andrew Sullivan and David Frum.

Sullivan:
"A $4.3 million haul in 24 hours. Good enough to rattle Frum. Frum tries to belittle the achievement by comparing it to Ralph Nader's $8 million fundraising in 2000. But over half that in mere hours? The Ron Paul phenomenon is real. The Christianists and neocons will decry it because it affects their power over the GOP. And because when a conservative stands for freedom again, it resonates and threatens them."
Frum:
"Just noticed that Andrew Sullivan opines that I am "rattled" by Paul's haul. Personally, I think it is Andrew who has been "rattled" by being caught in yet another of his careless or reckless errors and inaccuracies. But for the record, he's [SIC - snicker - DF is accusing AS of being careless on the same line with a typo -mw] my view on the Paul candidacy... It would be interesting to know how many of today's Paul donors were Nader donors then... Of course I am saddened to discover that many thousands of Americans have rallied to a candidate campaigning on a Michael Moore view of the world... Ron Paul is Nader, not Perot."
I've just got to say, Frum’s post is one of the odder things I’ve read in a while. In a short post he manges to compare Ron Paul to Ralph Nader, Michael Moore, and Howard Dean, but draws a distinction between Paul and Ross Perot. Well, I guess I have to be happy with the last. I always thought Perot was a few bricks short of a full load. James Joyner at Outside the Beltway attempts to sort it all out.

The only way one can make any sense out of whatever the hell it is that Frum is attempting to say, is by assuming that Frum thinks that anyone who is against the Iraq war, regardless of their views on other issues like constitutional protections, fiscal responsibility, and individual freedom, is a Nader/Moore Liberal. If that is indeed what he is saying, then Frum is my designated poster boy for the new Intellectual Bankruptcy of the Right. “You are against the war? Well, that defines you as a liberal Democrat.”

David Frum is either confused or deluded about who is supporting Ron Paul. Let's try to help David. I am one of the very Ron Paul supporters that saddens Frum, and no - I never contributed to or voted for Ralph Nader. Don’t particularly agree with Michael Moore either. Or Howard Dean. Fact is, Paul is as close to a polar opposite of a Nader/Moore liberal as one can get. Just to try and ease David Frum's fragile emotional state regarding RP's supporters, - this particular Ron Paul supporter is committed to voting for the Republican nominee regardless of whatever piece of shit the GOP eventually nominates. How is that as an endorsement for your party and candidate, David? I'll even vote for your favorite Giuliani, although he does not make my top 10 stack ranking.

My rationale is familiar to readers of this blog. I vote for objectives like good governance and fiscal responsibility. Those objectives are documented to be accomplished by divided government, and divided government can only be maintained into 2009 by electing a Republican President. A shit Republican president with a Democratic majority in the House and a supermajority in the Senate, will govern better than a great Democratic President and a united Democratic Congress (see LBJ). So on February 5th, 2009 - I'll be voting in the California Republican primary for Ron Paul, and hoping for the best.

Let us dig a bit more into the mind of Frum. This from a Cato Unbound series six months before the midterms, initiated with a David Frum essay and concluding with his summary:

Future of the GOP: It’s Up to the Democrats

Ross’ question about the future of “fusionism”—the longstanding alliance between libertarians and social conservatives—is a very profound one. Let me suggest a couple of thoughts that may help us think it through together.
  1. While strict doctrinal libertarians have always been a vanishingly small minority in America (cocaine vending machines anyone?), the libertarian disposition or tendency is large and strong.
  2. So long as the Democrats (or anyway the Democrats’ northern leadership) remained effectively a social-democratic party, libertarian-leaning voters had no choice but to support the GOP."
Not really. As documented in a prescient Cato Institute Policy Analysis and post-midterm election observations, the libertarian swing vote did indeed have a choice. It chose to elect a Democratic Congress and a divided government. As Frum correctly points out, the libertarian "disposed" swing vote is small. However, it is large enough to swing national elections in our evenly divided polarized political electorate. The libertarian swing vote is now supporting Ron Paul. It is not big enough to get him the nomination. It is big enough to cost the Republicans the White House, if the Ron Paul Republicans do not stay in the Republican fold. Captain Ed gets it right:
"What does this tell us? The libertarian impulse may have stronger legs than anyone recognizes. It certainly seems more individually vibrant than the "values voters" segment of the Republican Party, which hasn't even produced a candidate in this election, let alone this kind of impromptu grassroots effort... Beyond Paul and his flaws, the Republicans had better start paying attention to these voters. Like it or not, they represent a passion that seems to have left the GOP in recent months, and even if they skew young and may not vote as promised this cycle, they will eventually. Rather than continue to write them off, Republicans have to find a way to address them..."
Let us correct David Frum's essay title -

"The Future of the GOP? It is up to the libertarians"

Divided and Balanced.™ Now that is fair.

2 comments:

Scott Carter said...

Mike,

I think Frum is completely off base. I think the Libertarian wing of the Republican party is much larger than anyone realizes. Think Goldwater and almost every "country club" republican that I know.

I know a lot of conservatives that are conservative on all fronts and would be willing to vote for a pro choice candidate, if that candidate were also pro choice for gun control, lower taxes, less government...

I love the way the internet has totally changed everything. I think it will change politics forever. Power is being returned to the people at the expense of special interest groups. People are no longer being managed by the media, and the grass roots organizations have a chance of taking back their parties.

We can only hope.

Keep up the good work.

Scott

mw said...

Thanks, Scott.

Agree (mostly).