The Mainstreaming of Ron Paul

For the past couple of months I’ve been writing about the “mainstreaming” of paleo-libertarian Ron Paul; he’s been a regular guest on Fox News and other networks, and his drones have been heavily involved in organizing “tea party” demonstrations. Lots of LGF readers didn’t want to believe this was happening.

Well, it really is happening.

The weird economic theories of Ron Paul are Winning GOP Converts.

A funny thing has started happening to Paul since his long-shot presidential campaign ended quietly in the summer of 2008. More Republicans have started listening to him. There are the media requests from Fox Business Channel and talk radio, where he’s given airtime to inveigh on sound money and macroeconomics. There is HR 1207 , the Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2009, a bill that would launch an audit of the Federal Reserve System, and which has attracted 112 co-sponsors. When Paul introduced the Federal Reserve Board Abolition Act just two years ago, no other members of Congress signed on.

And then there are the luncheons. The off-the-record talks have brought in speakers such as ex-CIA counterterrorism expert Michael Scheuer, libertarian investigative reporter James Bovard, iconoclastic terrorism scholar Robert Pape, and George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley. Perhaps the most influential guest has been Thomas Woods, a conservative scholar whose previous books include “The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History” and “Who Killed the Constitution?: The Fate of American Liberty from World War I to George W. Bush,” and whose current book “Meltdown” has inspired Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) to question Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner about economic fundamentals.

Paul’s unexpected and sudden clout with his fellow Republicans — even some of Paul’s staff have been surprised with the momentum of his “Audit the Fed” bill — come as the GOP engages in a tortured internal dialogue about its future. Since January, no small number of new coalitions have formed between current members of Congress, former advisors to President George W. Bush, and perennial party leaders such as former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-Mass.) and former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-Fla.). Few of those conservatives, however, have spent much time criticizing the very foundations of America’s modern economic system and worrying about a 1929-style crash. Few of them had a drawer stuffed with off-brand economic ideas and forgotten libertarian texts, ready to explain what needed to be done. Ron Paul did, and as a result the ideas that made the Republican establishment irate enough to bounce him from a few primary debates are more popular than ever.

And chief among these new converts — one of the very kookiest Representatives in Congress, Michele Bachmann, the one-woman GOP anti-science crusader.

But the most prominent new face is Bachmann, the rising conservative star who left C-SPAN and YouTube watchers scratching their heads with a constitutional grilling that seemed to puzzle Geithner. “What provision in the Constitution could you point to to give authority for the actions that have been taken by the Treasury since March of ‘08?” asked Bachmann during a hearing on March 24. “What in the Constitution could you point to to give authority to the Treasury’s extraordinary actions that have been taken?”

Bachmann “goes to these luncheons on a weekly basis,” said Debbee Keller, Bachmann’s press secretary. Keller noted that Bachmann was reading “Meltdown,” which argues that the New Deal failed and that the Federal Reserve is responsible for the current economic crisis. “Just as Austrian theory suggests,” wrote Woods, “the Fed’s mischief was responsible for the Great Depression.”

“I had a feeling she’d have some interest in the book,” said Woods, “because she asked some good questions. She was taking notes. She was asking if this or that point could be found in the book. I thought I recognized a sincere person who wanted knowledge, not the usual politician who couldn’t care less about what the truth is and just wanted to propagandize.”

Paul didn’t take credit for turning Bachmann on to Austrian theory (”He’ll give credit to everyone on the planet except himself,” laughed Woods) but said he was pleased to see more members of Congress delving into economics. “She’s very open to studying,” said Paul. “In fact, she’s been working really hard to get me back to Minneapolis. She says, ‘You’ll get such a great reception there!’”

And Ron Paul’s oldest racist friends, the John Birch Society, couldn’t be happier about his new legitimacy.

It’s been a rapid rise for an idea that, only months ago, was located firmly in the political fringe. The John Birch Society, the far-right group that Paul has often defended from media criticism, was one of the first groups to encourage members to contact their members of Congress to support an audit of the Fed.

This is a deeply disturbing development; for more reasons why Ron Paul should not be brought into the mainstream of the GOP, see: Angry White Man - The bigoted past of Ron Paul.

I’m under no illusions that the GOP will pay attention to me, but isn’t there anyone in the party who sees how disastrous this is becoming?

Jump to top

Create a Page

This is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.

Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.

Last updated: 2016-01-01 10:29 am PST

LGF User's Guide RSS Feeds

Help support Little Green Footballs!

Subscribe now for ad-free access!

Recent Pages
Thanos
Polar Bear Cub Growing Up Fast at the Columbus Zoo
Time flies by with this little gal! Nearly 3 months old, the polar bear cub is learning to walk on all fours, but she still needs a name! Cast your ballot here: columbuszoo.org Music: Uke Improv in C by ...

50 minutes ago
Views: 46 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook

Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Thanos
Americans Are Much More Likely to Be Killed by Guns Than People in Other Countries
Researchers recently decided to see, using the World Health Organization’s 2010 mortality data to compare rates in the United States with those found in other populous, high-income countries. The numbers they found suggest that a person is much, much ...

9 hours, 43 minutes ago
Views: 140 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook

Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Thanos
Tom Winter - Catalyst - Multi-Tracked Acoustic Guitar
An original composition by Tom Winter dedicated to and inspired by the late Michael Hedges. For more of Tom Winter's music, including original music and acoustic video-game arrangements, check out his YouTube channel: youtube.com Follow his Facebook fan page ...

9 hours, 55 minutes ago
Views: 86 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 2 • Share to Facebook

Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Thanos
David Bowie - Wild Is the Wind - Live
10 hours, 6 minutes ago
Views: 106 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook

Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Thanos
Earth Wind & Fire - After the Love Is Gone
Earth Wind & Fire - Live in Japan

10 hours, 11 minutes ago
Views: 81 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook

Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Thanos
Earth, Wind & Fire Founder Maurice White Dead at 74 - SFGate
Earth, Wind & Fire founder Maurice White, whose horn-driven band sold more than 90 million albums and made hits like "September," ''Shining Star" and "Boogie Wonderland," died Wednesday at his home in Los Angeles, his brother Verdine said. White, ...

10 hours, 21 minutes ago
Views: 84 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook

Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Great White Snark
Someone (Mostly) 3-D Printed a Working Semi-Automatic Gun
Seriously, semi auto handguns should have a universal registration law. Even if you home build it. Say 30 days from the moment it can fire. Felons of course would be subject to arrest just possessing the gun, serial number ...

1 day, 14 hours ago
Views: 415 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 12 • Share to Facebook

Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Thanos
Fusion Stellarator Wendelstein 7-X Fires Up for Real
Today the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, at a ceremony at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma physics in Greifswald in Germany, pressed a button that caused a two-megawatt pulse of microwave radiation to heat hydrogen gas to 80 million ...

2 days, 13 hours ago
Views: 426 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 2
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook

Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Thanos
Zika Is Now Officially an STI in the US
Zika, the mosquito-spread virus sparking outbreaks across the Western Hemisphere and suspected of causing birth defects and neurological problems, has been transmitted through sexual contact in the United States, the Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) reported Tuesday. ...

3 days, 12 hours ago
Views: 545 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 13 • Share to Facebook

Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
I Stand With Planned Parenthood
How Anti-Abortion Laws in the Americas Are Fuelling the Zika Virus Epidemic
A combination of anti-abortion laws and inadequate access to contraception means this ‘solution’ is simply not feasible. While people inevitably continue to have sex, and anti-abortion laws persist, the Zika virus will ultimately continue to spread. Anti-abortion laws are, ...

3 days, 19 hours ago
Views: 948 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 2
Tweets: 35 • Share to Facebook

Shares: 1
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 1