MORE LEFTIES FOR RON PAUL
Oh, good grief -- here's Alexander Cockburn in The Nation (subscription required):
...my favorite [presidential candidate] remains Ron Paul, rock-solid against war and empire and the neoliberal corporate state. He's a principled fellow who's won passionate support (and millions in modest cash contributions) from ordinary Americans. I recently drove down I-5 from Washington through Oregon to Northern California, and "Ron Paul" signs were almost the only ones I saw. I like the look of the people behind them.
The case for Paul as a candidate leftists can and should support is powerfully made on our CounterPunch website by Jeff Taylor, a onetime Wellstone enthusiast.... As Taylor writes, "Not only does Ron Paul represent Jeffersonian values usually termed 'conservative' or 'libertarian' today (fidelity to the Constitution, frugal government, states' rights, Second Amendment, national sovereignty), but he is also a leading example of support for Jeffersonian positions nowadays described as 'liberal' or 'leftist' (e.g. opposition not only to the Iraq War but to war in general, anti-imperialism, ending the federal war on drugs, hostility to the Patriot Act and other violations of civil liberties). This accounts for the wide appeal of the Paul campaign. It's precisely the sort of trans-ideological, cross-generational populist-libertarian-moralist coalition that I was hoping to see with a Feingold presidential campaign."
Yikes. And here's that Jeff Taylor article. I like this part:
In April 2007, Obama told the CCGA, "I reject the notion that the American moment has passed. I dismiss the cynics who say that this new century cannot be another when, in the words of President Franklin Roosevelt, we lead the world in battling immediate evils and promoting the ultimate good. I still believe that America is the last, best hope of Earth. We just have to show the world why this is so." Spoken like a true neoconservative.
Yup, FDR was a neocon.
And I love the way Taylor dismisses all the real problems with Paul: Ignore the racist messages that have appeared his name because the people who call him a racist are from the corporate media; ignore his belief in the brutalities of laissez-faire capitalism because principled old Paul "opposes both the warfare state and the welfare state"; ignore "the stray neo-Confederate" and "the middle-class woman in Peoria concerned about the unconstitutional monetary system" and "the yahoo in Mississippi who thinks multiculturalism is destroying our traditional culture" who support Paul because powerful corporate interests are worse; etc., etc.
Go read the Taylor article. It worries me, because I think it's very possible that Paul will run a third-party race and I'm still not with the Democrats-can't-lose program in '08. (And that's true even if Huckabee's the nominee -- have you seen the poll results from head-to-head matchups at Real Clear Politics? Huckabee's within 5 points of Clinton and, in some polls, is as little as 5 points behind Obama, and he does better against Obama than Romney does.) I made a flip remark yesterday about voting for Nader, but really, I'm not going to go third party -- but I'm afraid a disturbingly large number of lefties might, and for Paul more than Nader.
UPDATE: Very good comments thread. Jeff, really -- don't try to defend Ron Paul's opposition to the Civil War, or disbelief in evolution, and expect a positive response here.