Tuesday, January 8, 2008

He's a Nut, But He's Our Nut

Dan Drezner’s blog shmarmily reproduced an excerpt from an op-ed by The New Republic's Jamie Kirchik today. Kirchik blasts Ron Paul over “obsession with conspiracies, sympathy for the right-wing militia movement, and deeply held bigotry against blacks, Jews, and gays,” continuing:

“In short... Ron Paul is not the plain-speaking antiwar activist his supporters believe they are backing--but rather a member in good standing of some of the oldest and ugliest traditions in American politics.”
But Kirchik’s piece and Drezner’s approving post, in which he calls her analysis “devastating,” assumes that Ron Paul "supporters" are supporting him as a candidate. The ones I know personally certainly aren't so naive. They know his record well, but also know that they have nothing to fear since he’ll never be nominated. They funnel him money and lip service in the hope he stays in the race long enough to keep boring old issues like the constitution, civil liberties, our international reputation, and the real meaning of patriotism on the Republican agenda.

Since John McCain, the only other Republican candidate with a similar regard for the Geneva Conventions, mopped the floor with the other candidates in the NH primary tonight suggests that the strategy is working. Paul may be a nut, but he’s a nut who makes a lot of sense on issues that many, many people care about, and in so doing he makes McCain look credible.

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