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 PageThis 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!Register and sign in to a free LGF account before subscribing, and your ad-free access will be automatically enabled.

Recent PagesClick to refresh
Candidates, Let’s Talk About Women’s Health When nearly a dozen women die a day of something so preventable — far more than are killed by, say, terrorism — you’d think we’d be urgently trying to save lives. In some ways we have made progress: Kudos ...
Birth Control Works
3 hours, 55 minutes ago
Views: 92 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 1
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 1
Guns. Sensibly, Responsibly, Constitutionally.I need your help. Please take a few minutes. It’s a quick read. There’s lots of spacing. Maybe pass the word for others to read this and leave a yea or nay comment. I’m not fishing for views. I need ...
dangerman
22 hours, 5 minutes ago
Views: 244 • Comments: 2 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Supreme Court May Make Prosecuting Bribery Cases Against Public Officials Tougher The justices, both conservative and liberal, gave a favorable hearing to former Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell, who was convicted of corruption for taking $175,000 in cash and gifts from a businessman seeking help to promote his dietary supplement. McDonnell's ...
Thanos
1 day, 1 hour ago
Views: 392 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 9 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 2
Likes: 0
Comments: 1
: 3
′Oldschool Society′ Neo-Nazis Go on Trial for Refugee Home Attacks In Europe the anti-immigrant movement is more active. Four Germans have gone on trial on suspicion of planning to detonate nail bombs at a home for asylum seekers. The three men and one woman allegedly formed a far-right terror ...
Thanos
1 day, 1 hour ago
Views: 244 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 17 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 1
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 1
Time-Lapse Images of Mount St. Helens Dome Growth 2004-2008 gallery.usgs.gov The rapid onset of unrest at Mount St. Helens on September 23, 2004 initiated an uninterrupted lava-dome-building eruption that continued until 2008. The initial phase produced rapid growth of a lava dome as magma pushed upward. As shown ...
Thanos
1 day, 2 hours ago
Views: 524 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 7
Tweets: 64 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 1
Likes: 1
Comments: 0
: 2
6 Horrifying Realities of Dealing With Sandy Hook ‘Truthers’cracked.com On December 14, 2012, Lenny Pozner's six-year-old son Noah was one of 27 people murdered by Adam Lanza in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Pozner has since been consistently insulted and threatened by people who think he and ...
HappyWarrior
1 day, 5 hours ago
Views: 337 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 4
Tweets: 5 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Vice UK Rejects Call for Union Recognition Vice’s UK arm has rejected a push for union recognition by a group of staff, bucking a growing trend that has seen unionisation at digital media businesses including the outlet’s main base in the US. At a meeting held ...
The French Rat
1 day, 9 hours ago
Views: 403 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 2 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Racist Texts Allegedly Sent by SF Officers Released The text messages compared blacks to animals and made light of shootings. They called Latinos “beaners” and targeted gay officers. And all of them were sent by San Francisco police officers. Such are the contents of the latest bigoted ...
Thanos
1 day, 19 hours ago
Views: 579 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 2
Tweets: 33 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 1
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 1
Prince Had a $300 Million Fortune and No Will: Is All Hell About to Break Loose? Tyka Nelson, also a singer, filed documents in a Minnesota court today petitioning for the appointment of a special administrator who, in light of her late brother having no will, would oversee the distribution of Prince's assets to her ...
Thanos
1 day, 19 hours ago
Views: 589 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 32 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 1
Likes: 1
Comments: 0
: 2
New Gov. Sam Brownback Letter Begs for Money, Attacks Media, Ignores Reality The hook that wingnut welfare hangs on is paranoia about those darned liberals.... The opening sentence: “The liberal media continues to unleash a daily barrage of false and misleading attacks against our state and our values.” Then in bold-faced ...
Thanos
2 days, 3 hours ago
Views: 594 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 5 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0