The Guardian has taken some seriously stupid pills. I love it when Brits try to opine about US politics, none moreso than the insipid Matt Seaton, who’s the US Comment Is Free editor for that paper. (Remember, he’s the one who gave Naomi Wolf too much credence.)
Still, although I read it, myself, I’ve always cautioned liberals that The Guardian is institutionally anti-American and loves nothing better than presenting the US in the worst possible light.
Until he defected to The Daily Beast/Newsweek, the paper’s resident American columnist was Michael Tomasky, whom I enjoyed reading, because he never failed to analyse any situation with anything other than brilliant common sense; but since his departure, they’ve obtained the services of Wonkette’s Ana Marie Cox … who leaves much, much, much to be desired.
She’s been hard at pushing a Ron Paul candidacy since before the primary season began in earnest, and her latest effort is to paint the New Hampshire result as nothing less than a victory for Paul and a mandate for him to further his ambitions.
In Cox’s world of wishful thinking, Ron Paul is the real winner, with second place. She even, at one point, compares him to Howard Dean.
Though Mitt Romney made history with the first non-incumbent’s consecutive Iowa-New Hampshire victories in GOP history, Ron Paul’s second-place finish in the New Hampshire primary is by far more significant when it comes to the future of the Republican party.
Paul is a candidate completely unlike any other in this field, and completely unlike any successful Republican candidate in recent memory. (He does remind me a little of Howard Dean, persona-wise.) His success may not be the triumph of substance over style, but it sure isn’t a win for style.
When pundits or establishment Republicans dismiss Paul as a force, especially tonight, it is usually by noting that his supporters are not “real” Republicans. Perhaps that’s a good thing. Yes, according to exit polls, most of Paul’s support came from independents and those voting in a GOP primary for the first time, but Paul also got 20% of voters who have participated in Republican primaries before – not a lot, but second only to Romney. This is the kind of demographic combination that suggests growth.
And there’s this weird result: for all that support from liberals and independents, Paul also won with those voters who said the quality that mattered the most to them was “Is a true conservative.”
All well and good that truly conservative Republicans recognise that Paul is actually the true conservative, the real deal amongst people who think that Social Security and the minimum wage are unconstitutional or that Medicare is, was and always will be the first step to socialized medicine, or those souls who think a zygote has more rights than the person who carries it in her body. But it’s been creepy and disconcerting to watch people of the Progressive mold – from the hoi polloi to the high profiled commentators – perform the standard Tea Party kabuki theatre antic of dancing around the issues of Paul’s racism and the Stormfront-types who are lending their support and their advocacy to his campaign. Their willful blindness to these items which must be addressed are peculiar to behold.
Even more disconcerting are the people who respond to this article. Some seem to see the confused quality of the people who’ve cherrypicked Paul as a candidate, like NatashaFatale who says:-
The people who voted for Paul seem to be collectively unclear about who they voted for - except that he won the under 40′s, as you’d expect. Apart from that, 33% of the self-defined liberals voted for him (biggest share of them), while 38% of the conservatives went for him (fewer than Mittens but more than Santorum and far more than anyone else).
On the other hand, the people who voted for Mittens seem every bit as confused. But Mitt is a famous flip-flopper, while Paul is supposed to be consistent – if we could just decide what he consistently is.
You’d have to say it was a great showing for an old Bircher, except that half his fans either won’t believe that he ever was one or just don’t know what it means.
Her last remark hits the very core of Paul’s youth vote support. Few, if any, of these people even realize what the John Birch Society is, and those that do are blinded by the wedge issues Paul represents – legalized pot and bringing all of the troops home from all over the world. These selfsame people cry out for single-payer healthcare and yet support Ron Paul, who’s take on that is that health insurance, like public education, isn’t a right.
But then, you get Matt Seaton sticking his tuppence into the mix, and his arrogance is sublimely disturbing:-
If Ron Paul keeps picking up strong results, you’ve gotta put money on the likelihood of a third-party run by Paul once Romney’s unassailable (which won’t be long). It wouldn’t be much of a delusion, by Paul standards, to feel that he absolutely owes it to supporters to stand as an independent.
(This is the editor, mind you.)
This is the scary aspect of a Paul campaign, and for Seaton, in his ignorance about American politics and third party candidacies, is irresponsible for picking this ball up and punting it. It’s very much within the realm of possibility that Paul could launch a third party candidacy. In fact, it’s something AngryBlackLady proprietor and blogger Imani Gandy has been warning us about for a good couple of years – in particular, tying a possible Paul third party candidacy to the mischievous machinations of Ralph “Obama-is-an-Uncle-Tom” Nader and Cornel West.
And, finally, we see an example of the real sort of idiot, who – if Paul ran a third party campaign – could royally screw any chance of the President has of re-election and set the country firmly on the road to Deliveranceland, complete with requisite banjo accompaniment. Meljomur is an ex-Left Coaster, currently living in Scotland, but one who keeps a “prescient pulse” on the jugular of American politics:-
I am no Paul supporter. The whole Libertarian concept strikes me as bizarre. I just think Obama has been a huge disappointment as a President (I think what finally did for me was the signing of NDAA into law). I happen to believe many people are sick and tired of the status quo in American politics.
Personally, I would love to see someone like Dennis Kucinich be taken seriously as a presidential candidate. But that poor man can’t even get invited to all the debates, never mind trying to gather enough votes to become a serious contender. (I am referring to the 2008 election cycle)
I just don’t think mainstream politicians are working in the USA. I am sure as someone who lives there you can see how grave the problems are in America.
This woman is suffering from terminal headupassitis.
First of all, Meljomur needs some Civics 101. The very fact that someone like this is willing to cherrypick Paul’s issues which meet her approval, whilst willfully ignoring not only his racist history, but also his position on abortion, women’s rights and the woeful “property rights” meme he gives as his objection to the Civil Rights’ Act of 1963, is not just stupid, it’s the mark of a simpleton.
Secondly, it’s blatantly obvious that she hasn’t got a snowball’s idea of what hell is like, in relation to what the NDAA is, and especially, she doesn’t even realize that this is a bill which is passed annually, like the debt ceiling, and it’s also a bill which gets lots of other “little bills” appended to it. For a very clear and concise description of the NDAA, how it works and what the President has done about it, Matt Osborne gives a good explanation here and here. If she wants a real legal take on this legislation, Imani Gandy (who, coincidentally, happens to be a lawyer), she can find great explanations here and here.
And if, by chance, Meljomur happens to have based a lot of her misinformation on the Breitbarted video link of Senator Carl Levin, Imani will show her what a big deceptive piece of spam that was here.
But I doubt it would cut any ice with Meljomur. She’s already allowed herself to be convinced that Obama’s a big failure. Considering that she lives in the whitest area of the UK as well, however Left Coast Progressive she may have been and may still be, her attitude is such that she’s well on her way to being a fully-fledged Paulbot of the future. Idealogues make great dictators, and even her hero Dennis Kucinich pals around with dictators like Assad and Gaddhafi.
The mooted possibility of a Paul third party candidacy is a sad reflection that many didn’t learn the lesson of Nader and what he achieved for our country the first time around in 2000, and for those who did, there are thousands more younger people who either don’t remember the repercussions or who willfully choose to forget for the empty promise of a legal spliff, the smoke of which cleverly hides the whiff of closeted racism.