GOP Congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul is currently the #5 search term on Technorati. I wondered what the hell that was about and did a bit of digging to find this ABC article on how some online polls showed a strong preference for Paul after Thursday’s debate. The article does note that online polls aren’t scientific and that these were probably freeped. Even so, they have given Paul more attention.
Here’s what Paul said at the debate on Thursday.
I think it’s fairly obvious that Paul’s opposition to the Iraq war is driving this phenomenon. While the isolationist foreign policy and limited federal government that slashes taxes and entitlement programs is a popular mix with some people — such as Don Luskin and Pat Buchanan, apparently –I doubt that there’s a mass movement behind that broader philosophy. Rather, Paul stood out on that stage of ten Republicans because he was the only one willing to take a strong stand on the war that aligns with the majority of the public today.
Can he win? In a word, no. The Republican Party is all about lining up behind the establishment candidate, and it will beat down any maverick by any means necessary. There’s even talk of Fox News efforts to keep him out of next week’s GOP debate in South Carolina. The Paul boomlet does at least serve as a reminder of the dissatisfaction with the current top-tier Republican candidates, and it may provide an ongoing embarrassment to the others as the war continues to come up at the candidates’ joint appearances.
UPDATE: Donald Luskin links here, wondering why he is mentioned in this blog post as being sympathetic to Ron Paul. The answer is evident if you watch the YouTube clip. The opening of the video is from CNBC.
Larry Kudlow: “Don Luskin, who’s your pro-stock market candidate?”
Don Luskin: “I mean this in all seriousness, Larry: Ron Paul.”
I don’t know if that’s the same Don Luskin as the guy who writes the “Poor and Stupid” blog, so that may be my error. I also may be wrong to equate calling Paul the “pro-stock market” candidate with supporting his overall policy views. Maybe that sound bite is taken out of context and Luskin isn’t such a Ron Paul fan. But anyway, that’s what the Luskin reference is doing there, sorry if it was a little off base.
UPDATE II: I had an email exchange with Mr. Luskin, who explained that his displeasure was in seeing himself lumped in with Pat Buchanan. The juxtaposition of the two names was merely based on the fact that the YouTube clip includes favorable comments about Ron Paul from both Don Luskin and Pat Buchanan, two men who apparently agree about little else. Politics makes for strange bedfellows, as they say.