Ron Paul Goes “Respectful”

The Washington Post has an article today on the number of Ron Paul’s relatives who worked for his presidential campaign.
I will be curious if there are other analyses of how the Paul campaign spent $30 million.
The Post article quoted Paul campaign spokesman Jesse Benton saying that Paul would be “continuing a positive, respectful campaign to influence the policies of the Republican Party.”
How can one run a “respectful” campaign when the opponent favors quasi-genocide?
At what moment did the Ron Paul campaign decide to begin pulling their punches?
According to one insider, Ron Paul is now focusing primarily on negotiating with the Republican National Committee to get a good speaking slot at the Republican Convention in September.
Instead of bringing down the roof, is Ron Paul now angling for a seat at the table?

UPDATE: Some folks are questioning whether Congressman Paul is focusing on getting a speaking slot at the GOP convention. The Washington Post reported on May 6 that “Paul’s campaign hopes to turn such support into upward of 50 delegates for the party’s national convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul in September, where he is gunning for a speaking slot.”

The Paul campaign did not dispute this report when it was published earlier this month.

84 thoughts on “Ron Paul Goes “Respectful””

    1. Lets everybody lay off the good doctor. The man was the only consistently anti-war candidate in either primary which is what everyone here really cares about, right? Why shouldn’t he take the podium at the Republican convention? God knows there won’t be a serious anti-war voice in Denver, unless they let one of my fossil heros like Mc Govern, Byrd or Kennedy speak.

      Lets not rip each other apart, the assholes will do that for us.

  1. Perhaps the good doctor is trying to be polite and “win friends and influence people” before “bringing the roof down”.

    1. He could garner far more supporters if he ran a vigorous campaign stressing the antiwar issue like he did for much of last year.

      The more supporters he had, the stronger his position would be vis-a-vis the RNC.

      1. Why? He’s clearly the most antiwar candidate there is, on record. I don’t personally feel he understates the importance of the war issue at all, and if he were, why would he be the most popular candidate among active military personnel (this year)? And what would a candidate trying to maximize appeal gain to narrowly focus on a single issue, which could only be at the expense of other important issues, all of which are related directly or otherwise to the primary issue? Which is our Constitution.

      2. Ron Paul might have made far better use of his impressive campaign donations, had he engaged a truly top-drawer political advertising firm. Go to New York, or the SF Bay area, whatever it takes, to get the best of the best in terms of cool, trendy TV ads. Granted, this may not be the sort of milieu (or price point) where Dr. Paul is most comfortable. But, look at what a few brief series of really choice TV commercials have done for Apple over the years. I’m sure that Apple has paid a relatively high price for such ads (compared to the sort of “bargain” advertising deals that the Paul campaign seems to have purchased). However, this is one area where only the very best creative talent available is really worth it (IMHO). And, they can be worth every penny when they manage to capture the public’s imagination and focus it on a new vision, like that of Ron Paul, even for one magical moment, perhaps long remembered….. and acted upon.

  2. Whether Ron Paul was able to get a good bang for the buck by hiring these family members is the real question. And as someone who donated to his campaign, I was very disappointed by what these amateurs produced. Here in San Diego, one would not have even known that Ron Paul was opposed to the evil war in Iraq. None of his commercials mentioned it. He was completely indistinguishable from the Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham (R, now in jail) war profiteers and “go-get-’em” boys who swamp this town in their jingoism. His opposition to the war, which was his single best “draw” was completely out of sight. It was a pallid, weak message, and it did not appeal to one’s conscience about right and wrong. Had I not known a few things about him, I would have never given him a second thought based on his own message, which seemed to cater to the lowest common denominator far too often.

    1. You have totally misunderstood Ron Paul’s platform. He is for bringing the troops home but he is no liberal hippie pacifist. If you want that, go vote for Dennis Kucinich.

      Ron Paul is not a liberal hippie socialist.

      1. NH: War is socialism at its most extreme. Since when is peace and free trade socialist? And how–except by the art of mind-reading–does one garner pacifism out of forbidding mass murder? Are you trying to say that anyone who isn’t a psychopathic killer who boosts Boeing’s collectivist profits is a hippie pacifist? You say more about yourself and your projection of your interior conflicts than you do about anyone here. Perhaps you should read some Madison and Jefferson and some Patick Henry. They opposed standing armies because such armies are used by tyrants against their own people as things devolve. Will you be there cheering them on as they slaughter Americans. Then it will be too late for you–or will you be among them?

    2. did you watch any of the debates? did you notice the party hacks booing him, but he continued to explain and make sense? he was as anti-preemptive-unconstitutional war as one could be.

      1. CD: He was indeed very good at times in the debates, but how does that negate my accurate observation about his horrible campaign spots? Is it a subtraction game? Dare we not say we will not be transformed by a touch of the hem of his garment? What’s next? Noli me tangere?????

  3. The GOP is wholesale challenging his elected delegates in Missouri and sending out emails to ‘come to the convention we must fend off the Ron Paul delegates!’ in Minnesota, and so far refuses to reconvene the Nevada state GOP convention where RP delegates were on the way to winning most delegates to the National Convention. You could also look at Texas and Georgia. The party is firing up people who have no reason to particularly favor McCain by trying to paint Ron Paul and his delegates as insurgents (forget 30 years in the party for him, equaled by many of his supporters) and much worse. I hardly think it would help to get Ron Paul delegates to National Convention for any input or impact whatsoever to play into the image the party machine in various states has been painting.

    Ron Paul is respectful. Of individuals, and of their rights.

    As for using his family in his campaign, since when is that a bad thing?

    He didn’t take public matching funds, refusing to run his campaign on ‘stolen money’, so how he spent his $30 odd million is only of concern to those who donated it. I donated, and am fine with however he wants to spend that. The man has worked hard for us, don’t you think? Particularly since this whole run wasn’t his idea to begin with. And he continues to. For example he is having a rally for the Missouri delegates whose credentials were wholesale challenged the night before the MO state convention. (NON RP delegates will only get to vote on whether the RP delegates will be seated.) Having been refused a slot to speak at the Minnesota state convention this weekend, he will be having a rally at 7:30 the morning of the convention, outside the forum. That should be fun. I think he had 8,000 people last time he spoke in Minnesota.

    Ron Paul should not be your target when you are slinging stones.

    1. I don’t think that providing a realistic critique of the ad campaign by an ad professional (I am one) is slinging stones. If his supporters can’t acknowledge any failings, nothing will be learned. It is rather childish to forbid any decent postmortem or critique of what went right and what went wrong. Are we worshipers or are we thinking human beings. One does not have to idolize to be a supporter. Let’s grow up here.

        1. Was it produced by the “centralized” RP group or one of the decentralized groups. It seems the centralizers were the let down.

  4. Perhaps you would suggest he follow your strategy of being negative, disrespectful, and uninfluential?

    How much money have you raised – perhaps you should see how much you can raise for who is giving you this platform using your ideas?

    How many copies have your books sold (v.s. Ron Paul’s)? How many subscribers?

    And finally, how can treating the Republican party LIKE BUSH TREATS THE IRANIAN GOVERNMENT be expected to work? Label them the “axis of evil” and treat them as such? Accuse them of wanting “quasi-genocide”? Can we talk with such people or not?

    Why is being a belligerent, hateful, picky, complaining a good strategy for the Paul campaign, but not in foreign policy?

    I am absolutely sure that if he asked, his supporters would completely disrupt the convention. Lovely scenes of beatings, tear-gas, etc. And violence would be answered in-kind. Would that satisfy you?

    As I’m pro-life, one of the greatest arguments I use against war and the rest is that Abortion kills one million every year, and any talk of meeting that holocaust with violence is summarily rejected – so how can it possibly be justified to use violence against something lesser? Yet that fight goes on – through prayer and persuasion. And hearts and minds are won and eventually it should fall. And I would consider those who perform abortions as bad or worse than those you accuse of “quasi-genocide”. But instead of hating them, I must show them they are wrong. That they good they think they are doing is in reality evil.

    And isn’t one of the major complaints about everyone else that they become different people in office? Bush ran on a humble foreign policy. Democrats on ending the war.

    All I see is Ron Paul applying diplomacy – to achieve his goals. EXACTLY like he would treat those who are our enemies were he to achieve (or when he achieves) the presidency. He is a peacemaker. He walks the walk of Ghandi and MLK – never compromise principle, but choose battles and negotiate.

    Ironic that on, anyone would suggest belligerence that if it were nations it would be declaring war and attacking.

    Are libertarians no different than neo-cons? Only differing in what they hate and their methods? A closed clique that one must take an oath to hate everyone else? I would not think so, but your rhetoric is worse than you suggest he employ.

    Liberty won’t be achieved by merely being noisy and nasty (please explain if you think otherwise). You won’t use violence (or perhaps you would declare war against the modern tyrants), and you will not explain with simple and quiet reason why liberty is better. How do you expect to achieve your goal, assuming it is to eventually live in liberty instead of standing smugly on a platform of hubris where you are better than everyone else looking down at those who disagree even with details of means, much less ends? And it would help if you would defend your means using reason, demonstrating all the wonderful success and victories you’ve had before you continue with criticism of others.

    Go ahead. Enumerate them. Demonstrate the rationality. Show that your mind is bigger than your head, your logic greater than your ego.

    Or just shut up. Or better yet, try to help and build or do something useful in the cause instead of tearing down and criticizing. Your best argument against Ron Paul would be achieving something more than he has. If you’re such a genius, it should be easy.

    1. TZ: Who are you talking to, and what triggered such a response? I, for one, am mystified. I didn’t see anyone preaching violence here. Yours is the only violent message.

    2. TZ: I once again strained through these comments for the evil gnats you claim to see (and I wiped the foam and spittle off of my eyes after reading yours), and if your response was triggered by Mr. Bovard’s thought-provoking statement (it’s meant to trigger debate, not hydrophobia), you might try googling his name. He’s written about 10 books, and his columns have appeared on the pages of dozens of the leading newspapers. He’s also got a sense of humor (a sign of balance and sanity, which you appear to be lacking) and seems to like beer. What could be wrong there? And to show disgust at the RNC for supporting such ghoulish creatures as Mc-Insane and that ignoramus Giuliani and that empty-faced Romnoid — all of them (including Mc-Insane) who have advocated torture, is the opposite of violent. It is anti-violent. What mind-altering drugs are you on, where advocates of peace are damned for showing outrage. Perhaps you should read Dahr Jamil’s book, “Beyond the Green Zone,” to see why people might be angry about a million dead people. You might start reading in the chapter where a “detainee” was let out. His comment was: “The Americans brought electricity to my ass before they brought it to my house.”
      Take your dose of seraquel and kick back, TZ.

      1. Lawrence, thank you. The RP Groupies like the “tz” to whom you are addressing your comments are all too common among his supporters. He is just a man, a good man, with a much needed message but I’m afraid he’s spent our money preaching to the choir. These RP worshipers are looking for a messiah to solve all their problems. RP himself has said that he’ll stay in as long as others do something, I believe his plan is to raise the level of meaningful action among voters not to create a phalanx of, as you said, rabid, single minded zealots.

        1. Louise: You’ve got it exactly. On Super Tuesday, I went to the local restaurant where all of the RP supporters (and I have bumper-stickers, too) met. There were about 30 or 40 of them. About 3 were avowed libertarians (which doesn’t mean much in San Diego because none of these has even read Rothbard if you get my drift; they are basically cross-dressing Republicans). The rest were young people who were now active in their first campaign. I’m 52 years old, and I am very refreshed by this influx of young people to non-statism. Anyway, my wife and I went there to see for ourselves what constituted the young Paulites. We went there to listen, not talk. As a result, I spoke to about 15 people. This is what I learned. On the positive side, these young people were excited and had a good grasp of a couple of issues such as debt and taxes and war. So one could say that they had an understanding of “issues.” None of them, however, had put it together into a consistent and realistic philosophy of freedom or ethical political behavior as the free-market anarchist/libertarians have (based on the ideas of self-ownership and the non-aggression axiom). Of these ideas, none of the attendees had a clue. Consequently they have no real philosophical roots to their choice of issues. This is very sandy soil on which to build a political life, and unfortunately, I don’t think Ron Paul is capable of supplying the missing ingredients (and please let’s not have an avalanche of people accusing me of heresy). The central tenets of libertarian ethical theory (outlined in Murray Rothbard’s “Ethics of Liberty” and in “For a New Liberty” contain the basis of libertarianism. All the rest is derivation. That is why so many RP supporters confuse right-wing war-mongering with being a freedom fighter, or confuse being a tax-sucking parent (tax breaks are all about tax shifting to childless and gay people because most parents are freeloaders in this day and age of public schools) with being a responsible parent, or confuse a desire for nuclear energy with a desire for a free market in energy production (nuclear energy cannot insure itself against waste and disaster and is yet to meet the market test), or confuse the free market with silly ideas like energy independence (do we also seek banana independence as well?), or confuse big business mercantilism with free-market economies, or confuse war with progress, or confuse Buy American with freedom in the market, et. They are completely unschooled and appear to be able to learn only from Ron. The words must literally fall from his lips. And once again, I agree with about 75% of what RP says (he is inconsistent), and I’ve sent his cash, but that does not mean I have betrayed him or should be burned alive for offering an honest critique. It is a fragile and immature movement that cannot withstand a critique from the inside.

        2. And of course Rothbard can say nothing wrong or inaccurate? His ethics are better than anything Aristotle or Aquinas wrote? He would have fought the Revolutionary war better than General Washington? He had a good grasp of economics, but otherwise was an arrogant ass who thought there was no knowledge worth knowing before him as he doesn’t even bother to cite or argue with any.

          I prefer to admit I am on the shoulders of (earlier) giants rather than to be a loud dwarf trying to see far from the ground.

          The Self-ownership/Non-aggression nonsense is all you know at least to the point of parroting it and any heretic – and I don’t use those words lightly – must be burned at the stake. Even Ron Paul and any supporter that deviates from the Rothbardian line.

          “We’re Rothbardians! We’re more moral than you! We’re smarter than you! We’re better than you! We don’t even have to defend our ideas from people because anyone who doesn’t immediately recognize them as obviously good is stupid!”

          I’ve been watching and waiting for either the Libertarian party, the Randites or whomever at Reason, the compromisers at Cato, or the Rothbardians to accomplish ANYTHING for roughly the same period Ron Paul has been in office. Ron Paul managed to do something I didn’t expect to see in my lifetime. Not Lew Rockwell, not Harry Browne, Not James Bovard, not Cato, not anyone obvious.

          Philosophy is great, but we aren’t in Utopia. We are on planet earth. It may not be futile to educate people, but there is no division of labor if everyone is a philosopher. And people are not only rational but passionate. You must meet people where they are – and if they don’t follow you it is YOUR problem, not theirs. If you refuse to be convincing, or to present your point in a manner that they can relate to and be convinced, don’t expect to succeed.

          If you hate the Ron Paul meetups, then don’t go there. Stop supporting him. You don’t seem to want actual liberty as much as feeling self-important being a promoter of a specific kind and discussing how many libertarians could through market forces dance on the head of a pin instead of the real problems. Except to say the state is evil every so often, but do nothing useful to mitigate its evils or to reduce the source.

          Ron Paul is one of the few who can combine reason and passion in a constructive way. I’ve failed in my attempt here as it is clear – and I should know better than to respond to a flame with another.

          But I don’t retract anything I’ve said. You’ve complained about my passion, yet I’ve made many points. I’ve often tried to have online discussions with whatever you call yourselves (anarchists, libertarians, rothbardians, whatever), and I rarely get a reasoned response. Somehow I should just know and parrot Rothbard or some other strain without challenging it.

          Yes, I’ve seen Bovard has written books. I think I have at least two in my library at home. And newsletters. But how many has he sold total? How many read his columns and newsletters. Ron Paul has written books and newsletters and articles too. Compare numbers. How many votes has he gotten? How much money has he raised for his causes? My point is exactly that of what you CLAIM to support – the market and subjective value. The Rothbard brand is a flop. The Paul brand may be a fad or it may have staying power but has succeeded.

          You are complaining that the market is rejecting the package of liberty you are selling. Instead of asking what works – what customers want – anything you could read in the first chapter of the Market 101 books – you keep complaining that “the people” are stupid EXACTLY like the socialist can’t ever seem to understand why there are shortages when they set a maximum price. The socialist will never admit they are wrong, but will say that the people are stupid.

          Not that I expect negotiation or civil discussion here – the policy is not to negotiate with heretics, or even answer their points. be it you and me here or Ron Paul and the GOP. We are all to you just another “axis of evil”. And you are using that rhetoric. Bovard doesn’t have a problem with it.

          Ought we keep the discussion civil or not? If so, then Bovards two remarks:

          How can one run a “respectful” campaign when the opponent favors quasi-genocide?
          At what moment did the Ron Paul campaign decide to begin pulling their punches?

          are out of line. If not, on what basis or standard do you accuse me?

          I will do battle on the level of reason and logic if you desire, but I find few will answer the challenge there, and this discussion began in the mud. And I can fight on that level too.

          I have done so on both levels here. You can respond at either level or ignore me.

          Ought we talk reason or throw insults (compare Bovard quote above)?
          If reason, and if you do believe in “the market”, then at what point am I defective when I suggest packaging liberty in a form consumers will buy and cite the difference between Bovard and Paul as one might between Apple and Dell or Windows and Linux? And that complaining that no one is buying your product is futile? And that it is even worse complaining about a successful competitor. Should I complain that WalMart or Microsoft (sans implicit or explicit subsidies) are evil because of their methods even if they are successful, or should I find out how to compete better?

          Which would you suggest?

          Have a philosophically pure idea of liberty (if defective, as I consider pure Rothbard to be – and could be a point of discussion if I weren’t treated the same way Fundamentalists treat people who question the divinity of Christ or the Trinity), or have one that is practical and can be adopted without violence through our system of government – corrupt as it is – because someone is speaking their language at their level on their terms and will actually support?

          Or even a third option – perhaps one of you bright people can package pure Rothbard without any candy-coating so it can be swallowed by the average human being so someone like him will be president in 2012. Perhaps maybe even I can swallow him, but I may be a harder case. But if you can’t convince the average person at the Ron Paul meetup who wants liberty in the first place, you won’t be able to convince people who prefer being pampered slaves to the state.

          And this I find strange. I can’t talk to High-Church libertarians here or at the other mutual-admiration sites, but I can talk civilly and find large swaths of agreements with nearly everyone else – including and especially those I have severe disagreements with at Ron Paul rallies. I even find it interesting to explore their reasoning and the conversation may get a little heated but is often enjoyable for all as we attempt to understand each other. Why can I be friends with nearly a million other Ron Paul supporters, but only get insults from those who claim they want the same things?

        3. TZ: It’s quite apparent from your extensive and intentional misrepresentations of what has been said here (by me and others) that you are a liar. For example, I never attempted to convince anyone at a Ron Paul Meetup. As I clearly said and as anyone can check for themselves, I went to listen–something you ought to try. Secondly, I do not believe for a moment that you have read Rothbard yourself. Your very first statement contrasting him with Aristotle and Aquinas reveals this clearly (Rothbard wrote extensively on Aquinas and the Thomists [these are followersr of Aquinas]). Your claim to logic is not substantiated by your spew here. Your words are many, poorly conceived, full of lies, and intended to twist what has been said into something you can strike down. You’ve had your chance and have failed. Your intent must be to waste the valuable time of others. Please take a long walk and scream into the empty night next time this urge possesses you.

        4. I agree with Lawrence, who makes many excellent points.

          I too have sent contributions to Paul and have been greatly disappointed in his lackluster ad campaign. He needs to make a stronger case for the immorality of this ghastly war, stress the 1+ million civilian casualties, and the necessity of complete, immediate withdrawal.

          I’ve also heard nothing about open borders.

          The idea of self-ownership and the nonaggression axiom are the KEY core concepts upon which the entire premise of libertarian philosophy is built. Ignoring or diluting this philosophy puts us at great peril.

  5. I am still very excited about the Paul
    campaign and optimistic for the R3volution.
    I donated a significant ammount and
    am very pleased with Dr.Paul’s stewardship
    and that goes for his family as well.
    Go Ron, GO!

  6. These articles, from the “isolationist” to the “keep to your own kind” pure crap comments are libelous.

    To suggest RP is using campaign funds for personal gain is total nonsense.
    To examine his rather small personal fortune is rather petty as well.

    What else have they got to complain about when he ran the squeakiest of all campaigns and still does?

    Obama is run by communists at the CFR where his wife pulls down $150K/yr – not a problem?
    Clintons’ never held a real job but make big $$ on speaking tours – not a problem?
    McCain’s wife is the recipient of many monetary perks thanks to his string pullling – not a problem?

    All of the above financed by Goldman Sachs of sh**

    Talk about political gain.

  7. I guess if you are a Kennedy, a Bush or a Clinton it is ok
    to set up a political tax eating family dynasty.
    If you are honest however, hit the road jack and take your
    quaint family values with you.
    Ron Paul has done more for me than any of the other 3 million
    plus federal employees have or ever will do.
    It is a pleasure to live in his congressional district since
    I get to vote for him on a regular basis.
    His family members are like him, happy and motivated for
    America’s best interest. Anyone who says otherwise is a liar.
    Go Ron, GO!

  8. All I know is I would rather have had Ron Paul as leader then ‘let’s stay in Iraq for 100 years,/ bomb,bomb,bomb,bomb Iran’ McCain.

  9. nobody on this forum is saying that Ron Paul used the campaign funds for personal gain or for any gain related to his family working on his campaign. Lawrence and James Bovard bring up a valid point in that the funds raised by the Paul campaign during the 3rd and 4rth quarter of last year could and should have been used more effectively to get the message out.

    He was awesome on the debates as well as when going one-on-one with the TV pundit crowd BUT his TV commercials and radio spots did not (for some unknown reason that still needs to be explained by the people in charge) emphasize his non-interventionist foreign policy which was his trump card and instead tried to highlight his stance on immigration or his service to the country which are both valid points but the better bang for the buck would have been to explain his views on war and empire as well as the waste of money and resources that these adventures cost the American taxpayer.

    Constructive criticism should not be seen as an attack on Ron Paul but instead should be used to perhaps do better next time around

  10. Mr. Bovard,
    I enjoy your opinions but in this case I think you are keveching about trivia. Perhaps the Paul campaign did make mistakes…I certainly think so with regard to the quality of TV commercials. But this in no way implicates Ron Paul in some sort of sell out. “Respectful” is just a tactic…a tact tactic if you will. However there is a real litmus test looming down the road: Who will Ron Paul endorse in this presidential election? If he endorses McCain that will be the time to bail. Or will it be Barr or Baldwin? Either of those would be acceptable in my opinion. Perhaps the safe thing would be simply to ask his followers to vote their conciences. But that would indeed be an overly repectful pulling of the Paulista punch!

  11. Your point is well-taken, Sam. The campaign ads were marginal, at best, and their utter lame-ness may have cost us the opportunity to challenge for young voters that have been attracted to Obama, but don’t really know why (aside from being pro-war).
    But I would also have to take issue with Mr. Bovard’s disapproval of the general tone of Dr. Paul referenced by Mr. Benton. As I would understand it, ‘being positive and respectful’ does not mean that Dr. Paul will not continue to point out mistakes in policy, as he has done continuously throughout the campaign. What it DOES mean is that he will hate the sins, and not the sinners. He will continue to avoid personal attacks, while focusing on the big issues that seem to be practically absent from lesser candidiates (i.e. The Fed, empire, gov’t spending, etc.)
    As far as I can tell, the GOP Convention will be the last best opportunity for him to speak to the American people en masse, and just perhaps, reintroduce them to their long forgotten birthright: Liberty.

    Peace be with you.

  12. Stop smoking Pot!

    Dr. Paul talks the talk and walks the walk!

    This is called strategy, no need for a negative campaign, Dr. Paul has more to offer than attacking his opponents!

    Dr. Paul hiring his relatives to make sure the neo-cons are not sending trojas to key positions and Mr. Mccain hiring Lobbyists to make sure the money from big business keeps coming in!

  13. One can be respectful of the inherent human dignity of others while at the same time fighting hard against injustice. We don’t hate the people, we hate their injustice. The only way the AntiWar movement can really get anything done is through respect of others. Would you rather be DISRESPECTFUL?

    1. What is the meaning of “respectful” and “disrespectful”? I think there’s a Chinese saying that goes: “The beginning of wisdom is calling a thing by its right name.” I don’t think that calling the blood-drenched president or his fellows in crime waht they are is disrespectful–or were the Nuremberg tribunal hearings disrespectful to the defendants? As Hannah Arendt said of Eichmann at Jerusalem (in paraphrase): she was astounded at his inability to see his own crimes for what they were, to follow a simple syllogism. That’s why evil really is so banal. Nobody even wants to use the “e” word out of being “respectful.” I think that hurt feelings are preferable to dead bodies. Similarly, I don’t know how one can show “respect” Dubya–maybe by putting him in Guantanamo and giving him a rag to wash everyone’s feet. After all, if you read Boethius (Consolation of Philosophy), he actually makes a good case that criminals benefit from doing the time for the crime. All of the dead people in Afghanistan and Iraq are, perhaps, demanding the “respect” that is being requested for the likes of Mc-Insane–as are the 2 million to 3 million dead Vietnamese whom we had no business slaughtering from our bombers. Oh, my, but are we just too too dainty to be outraged at mass murder? I hope nobody’s underwear is all caught up in a bunch. Tsk.

  14. Yes, the quality of the ads and the strategy of the Paul campaign wasn’t good, but I understand what the Paul campaign was trying to do. It seems as if the Paul campaign was specifically trying to address the issues that Republicans of today’s mentality care about. For instance issues like immigration, health care, and low taxes, and avoiding the issues that Republians are generally against, (withdrawing from Iraq, dismantling the Empire). Although the Republican party is shrinking and near its death, Ron Paul still had to appeal to that group in order to get elected. I personally don’t agree with this method. He should have grew the party more with his antiwar/anti-empire views. He did a great job in the debates but only a handfull of Americans actually watch those, the rest rely upon the ads, and word of mouth in order to form their political views.

  15. What would you offer as an alternative to a “positive, respectful campaign to influence the policies of the Republican Party”? How should we characterize “bringing down the roof”?

    What would be the goal of bringing down the roof? Catharsis? Intimidation? Invasion? How do we determine if confrontation would be more effective than collaboration?

    How many people who attacked you in this thread changed your mind? What if one were to respectfully offer a reasoned alternative which enticed consideration from you? Which is more likely to sway any views you might hold open to change in the first place?

    It’s been my personal experience that discussions are more fruitful when I start with respectful acknowledgement of common ground (however large or small that is) and then “sell” the advantages of my side when opinions diverge. I could be missing a practical advantage to confrontation. Could you help me see it?

    1. My concern is that when the Ron Paul campaign spokesman says they will be “respectful,” it means the campaign will not criticize McCain on his advocacy of attacking Iran or other nations.

      It is possible to have civil discourse without avoiding talking about one of the most important issues.

      1. I agree with you there. It’s definitely possible to make one’s point politely, yet unfalteringly refuse to give ground on the important issues. This is what I see Congressman Paul doing over the last 30 years, and one of the reasons I respect him.

        Luckily, I saw no mention in the Post’s article about Paul relenting on his core messages. His campaign is simply realistic about his chances of winning.

        Sadly, what I did see in the article was an implied condemnation for Paul paying lawful amounts to lawful recipients during his campaign. Is it possible that the author was attempting to smear Congressman Paul for practices common to all candidates? I have a hard time explaining it in other terms. What was newsworthy here?

        The amounts listed seem pretty modest to me, given that this is a national campaign which has raised over $30 million, including record single-day contributions, is still solvent by $4.7 million (a fact the author almost implies is problematic), and has never been in debt.

        Show of hands: Who wants a president that is this resistant to go into debt using other peoples’ money?

  16. As for myself, I so wish that the Honorable Ron Paul, if disrespected by the Republican Party at the convention, will walk out, taking his delegates with him and anyone else who wishes, and declare himself an independent. That is what I so wish that Jesse Jackson had done about twenty years ago when the Democrat Party leadership disrespected him. Talk about gaining worshipful attention!

    1. They are ignoring him anyway.

      It is absolutely obvious that McCain will be the GOP candidate, Ron Paul has no chance with the GOP Convention. He needs to separate himself from the Sheep and create his own flock and grow that flock with a message other than standard GOP Xenophobia.

  17. I think Dr. Paul gives wonderful one minute speeches in congress. He would have had far more appeal, if he had just done that with the money and on national TV. The campaign was flooded with sudden money and did they not know how to use it quickly. He should have brought in a professional whore like Ed Rollins who gave Huckabee a boost with a lot less money. Dr. Paul doesn’t trust the establishment but he needed a couple of old hands to teach these kids some tricks. Rollins was very respectful of Dr. Paul by the way. I think he should use what ever money is left and lead an antiwar crusade TV campaign and march on the convention in St.Paul. that is just my humble opinion.

  18. This is not a big deal.

    The man had family members on his cmapaign. Shoot, I’d have my mom as my campaign manager! Lawrence, you do know that Ron Paul always, and always had “0” debt for his campaign? The others simply have $10 million and up. For instance, McCain has/had freakin’ “Lobbysists” running his campaign. I mean, come on, Lobbyists? I’d rather have Paul bring in his family, rather than “specials interest” contolling him. Not to forget, McCain exceeded campaign spending laws, laws that he voted for. And he wanted to withdraw from the FEC right after he was given cash to boost up his race. Even the GOP treated Ron Paul like trash, and ridiculed just because he was against their neo-con agendas. I would never support McCain for the liberal desire he has on himself, and dressing up as a con, which utlimately destroyed our party’s true values and principles. Ron Paul, on the other hand, is the only one who wants to return our party back, and even better, upholds the Constitution, with a record to prove it, while the other 3 ignore it, and violate it. This small ad just seems like a big smear on him, foolish on those who fall for it, just because he has “family” members on him. Get a grip.

  19. MartinX: One ounce of professional consultation eclipses the herculean labors of 100 amateurs; family members simply can’t compete with pros. Love him well we may, but RP made some significant errors. His first was to limit his outreach to Republicans, who hate Democrats more than they love liberty. His most compelling case, that of ending the socialist war, could have been aimed at the Obamatons and could have nabbed a gaggle of them. Secondly, his message was not compelling in his ads; it was second-rate patriotic hogwash and totally forgettable. Major waste. It lacked fire, clarity, an aural ring, the incredibly powerful tug on the heart and conscience and mind, the ring of truth, and memorability. These are all minor ad tests, and there are more. If you think about when RP was at his best, it was when he posed the contra-factual question: “If the Chinese were over here bombing us for 10 years and setting up bases in our country and installing our leaders, what would we think?” Those are powerful words. Why, for example, didn’t he extrapolate about the 1 million dead Iraqis and the millions who have fled to Syria and Jordan? A catastrophe of this magnitude in America would be 10 million dead and 30 million homeless corrected for the population difference. He should have challenged his rivals to look at this great evil in that way. That’s not disrespectful; it is devastatingly effective and brings out the best in us.

    1. Thanks again Lawrence, I was really looking forward to RP staging a realistic confrontation with the anti-corruption issue. It’s THE issue. All the other problems stem from it, the war and the gigantic loss of congressional authority (read “the representatives of the people”). Congress doesn’t seem to have the balls to deal with blatant contempt even from a scumbag like Rove! RP had $6M, some of it from me, I thought I was buying into something definitive, something “in their face”! We have to do something fast. There are a lot of brave men out there, Ray McGovern, Philip Giraldi, Bovard…maybe you…critcal thinkers of all disciplines…unite…for the sake of sanity! I wish I could send more than just my palrty $50. They deserve so much more.

  20. I would be ELATED if Dr. Paul got a good speaking slot at the convention. ELATED.

    Have you EVER seen him speak when he didn’t tell anything but the truth?

    God, I am so excited to see him testify truth in the very heart of the Republican party.

  21. Also… do you even listen to Ron Paul? “Seat at the table”? Do you mean in a McCain administration??? He’s said over and over that he could never support McCain’s candidacy. Don’t be foolish.

    Dr. Paul behind a microphone in front of the assembled collective Republican party would be, were it to happen, one of the great moments in modern conservativism. I am giddy at the thought.

  22. Let’s hope he doesn’t produce another sleeper as he did at the Reagan Library debate , where he was given ONE question to pose to Mc-Insane, his magic moment. Instead of challenging McNuts from a bully pulpit, he asks: “What do you think about the Open Market Committee?” Oh, that was rich. Yes, it showed McCain to be an ignoramus, it also put millions into a deep coma that has not been ended by intravenous caffeine. Only the Paulites, however, derived comfort. But they already knew Mc-Crazy was also emptyheaded. The problem is: What did it communicate about Ron Paul that would galvanize voters? Was THAT the thing that gets the blood pumping? The room is silent.

  23. @Lawrence and anyone else who blames the campaign for the election. You are wrong sorry. I know why you think what you do, but no modern campaign is going to be able to go against the establishment with a campaign. You can also thank McCain for this too.

    You see, the McCain-Feingold makes it so people can only donate a certain amount of money. While the amount of money donated to candidates was a record, it was NOT a record amount when you take into account inflation. It’s going to get worse as inflation continues too. Because while the money number doesn’t change, the value and purchasing power of that money does change. So, when the campaign laws were written, $2300 per person had alot more purchasing power.

    Now, what this does is limit the voice of the American people. However, more importantly it puts MORE power over the elections into the hands of the media. You just can’t compete when you are limited in your resources, meanwhile your competition has got 24 hour news stations covering them all the time. They even go so far as to have people argue for the other candidates on a daily basis. It’s over and over. If you think any amount of commercials are going to overcome this, especially when you look at the costs of those, then you are never going to be happy with any campaign, unless the media picks it up.

    Every day the other candidates get millions of dollars worth of advertising for free. Meanwhile, Ron Paul has to pay literally millions of dollars to even get a commercial time, in which he is given a total of 30 seconds. Just doesn’t compare to having some guy like Hannity pushing your platform and using whatever tactics available to do it.

    No sir, you can’t blame the campaign. No campaign will ever be able to overcome this. The only thing that can/will overcome this is for the American people to wake up and say enough is enough.

    1. Badmedia: You are wandering away from the argument. There are things we can’t control (media bias against RP), and there are things we can control (RP’s communications to the public). We are simply saying that he did not communicate as effectively as possible. While it is possible that even the best communication wouldn’t have made the vital difference, we will never know because it was lame. RP, however, is responsible for what he DOES control. I’d love to know, for example, what kind of “brainstorming” session resulted in the lame Open Market Committee comment at the Reagan Library debate. Wrong, so wrong. Even RP’s immigration stance cut both ways while avoiding the real problem, the welfare state. The result? RP looked like another yahoo.

    2. badmedia, I agree completely. I never had the pleasure of seeing any of his ads on TV, but some of what I did see (e.g., via YouTube) didn’t impress me. I could spend a lot of time picking apart the ads, but in the end, even the greatest of ads wouldn’t have had a significant impact in the results. He didn’t have enough money to compete with the free press that all of the other candidates were/are getting. It’s worth noting that the MSM even learned from its own mistakes: they at first gave Paul coverage so as to try to mock him, but it didn’t work and he became more popular. Eventually they learned from this mistake and just blatantly ignored him, which ended up working much better to minimize his impact. Paul would have needed a *lot* more money to get enough TV ads to expose the public to his ideas. Had he gotten a lot more money, I’m confident that he would have spent it on more ads (and hopefully *better* ads), but without the free press and the money for *more* ad time, dickering about the quality/content of the ads themselves seems fruitless.

      Regarding the “concern” that Paul stating that he’ll be “respectful” translates into some sort of possible endorsement of McCain or him “leaving out” of his speech at the convention any discussion of the major issues which don’t align with the Republican leaders…that’s pretty ridiculous. Paul’s smart and has already stated on several occasions that he didn’t see himself endorsing McCain. Most important is one of the reasons he gave: Paul’s supporters wouldn’t believe him. Paul realizes that he’s as much a “pawn” in this movement as he is its present leader. He’s become the “leader” because of circumstance, but he knows that he forfeits that “leadership” if he ever sells out (which I don’t believe is in his character anyway). This is why I also find it amusing when I hear people talk about others being caught up in “the man” or the “cult of Paul” or some such nonsense. The fact of the matter is that Paul is notably lacking in charisma. He’s become as popular as he has in *spite of*, not *because* of this.

      I think there’s also some frustration on the part of many of his supporters when we see people who should be supporting/defending him, instead nitpicking him, his supporters, or his ads, as if this is all just an interesting academic excercise. Someone here went down to a meetup apparently for the purpose not of becoming active and wanting to help lead at a local level, but to “investigate” how educated the average Paul supporter is in Libertarianism 101. They left disappointed. Ah well, he must have thought…maybe in four more years, or four years after that, or whenever, the poor saps will have grown up and earned the right to call themselves Libertarians. Hopefully when they eventually educate themselves to the point of being worthy of holding an intelligent-enough conversation with this person, the country will still be salvageable.

  24. I btw donated the full $2300 in the 2nd quarter of last year. Before all the money bombs and hype. I am very much pleased with how my money has been spent, and think it is probably the best $2300 I have ever spent in my life. I only wish I could have given more.

    1. Badmedia: You may be pleased with your purchase, but so was the man who bought the Brooklyn Bridge and didn’t know he was swindled. A professional opinion is worth oodles more than an amateur’s.

  25. Oh, and I quit reading the washington post article after it called Ron Paul an isolationist in the first sentence. You know, a year ago it was somewhat excusable if you made that mistake. At this point, if you are still calling Ron Paul an isolationist then you are biased or completely ignorant. Either way, it’s a pile of poo.

    1. Bad: You’re right about that. The article (i.e. opinion smear) was intentionally misleading and biased.

  26. 1. Ron Paul is directly responsible for both the official commercials and the manner in which his campaign has been conducted.

    2. The fact that he is still sitting on $5 million donated to his election speaks poorly.

    3. I do not have a problem with his relatives having an income from the money raised. The sums did not seem overly generous. But one could criticize not hiring more experienced campaign personnel/ advisers.

    4. The fact that he clearly intends to use this money in some sort of think tank also speaks poorly.

    5. Still, the real take home lesson should be that the r3VOLution was not about the man, but his ideals. And if we let the man go but still support his ideals through activism we can still have fun promoting the r3VOLution.

  27. When Ron Paul’s campaign took off, and he needed more help, I think it only natural to look to people you know and trust (family). Ron Paul is always respectful and decent – that’s part of his appeal. I agree that he was good in debates and interviews (although at times could have fleshed out his position a bit more) but his media ads were lacking. I don’t see a speaking spot at the convention as being such a big prize. When will it be, at 10.00 a.m.? More publicity might be garnered is he is denied a spot – and McCain would justified in doing so since Paul won’t be endorsing him.

  28. Ron Paul does not get up every morning asking himself what he’s going to do that day toward becoming President. His success exceeded even his wildest expectations, and makes you wonder what might have happened if he’d done everything people are bitching about.

    Sorry folks, you can blame the campaign all you want, but that doesn’t change the fact that Dr. P. is going to do what he’s going to do. Why didn’t he show up in New Hampshire more? Because he was going to be in DC for votes, and more often than not home for church on Sunday. Period. End of discussion. Get him to be more aggressive? Good luck. He’s not going to go there, and he’s not going to ‘waste his time’ on any extensive ‘debate prep’ to help him focus his message, either. You’re never going to see him light into McCain like he did to the fat kid on Morton Downey. Don’t like the ads? Tough titty. He approved all of them, and there’s a hell of a lot of stuff he rejected.

    Bottom line is, he’s a stubborn, independent, brilliant 72-year old guy who knows he can’t please everyone AND save America, much as he’d like to. So get over it.

    1. Good heavens, he rejected ads? I had no idea that was the case. Is there someplace we can go to see/hear those?

      I simply must know what it was that was beaten out by “fighting to keep American military bases open” or the infamous student visa spot.

      1. Keep laughing, dumbass. Of course we’re not talking about finished ads. The point is, the campaign has taken an enormous amount of crap from peanut-gallery haters with snide comments for reasons that ultimately come down to the foibles of the candidate, NOT the efforts of the campaign.

  29. James Bovard,

    Interesting concern. Dr. Paul has a reputation for civility, true, but he’s never held back from the issues. His message has always been distinct from his competitors. And I don’t imagine he exactly has to name names at this point. He stands alone. In congress anyways.

    Leave the personal attacks to us. For better or worse, we’re pretty good at it.

  30. As one who is in charge of marketing for a chain of stores, I can tell you how easy it is to burn through hundreds of thousands of dollars in a single market and have little consumer response to show for it. Ron Paul’s $30 million was a relative drop in the bucket. While I, too, found the official campaign ads lame, I never saw one on tv, only on YouTube. Had even the lame ads been more plentiful perhaps he would have acheived greater name recognition. All it would have taken is…more money.
    We can critisize the way he spent his campaign funds (yes, higher quality tv ads would have helped), but let’s not kid ourselves: the MSM make or break campaigns. They chose not to make Ron Paul viable and he did not have the hundreds of millions of dollars it would have taken to overcome that handicap.

  31. I will be as objective as possible. I’ve been a Paul supporter for many years. I was less than impressed with his campaign, and thought his appearances in the debates were not too good. We, in the choir, know the issues. The great unwashed don’t. I always believed that RP not only knew the answers, he was the only one who knew the question. And the question is: why is the US turning into a Third World Country Empire, where the citizens are being stripped of their civil rights, property rights, access to fully informed juries, and assets, while the military industrial complex and multinational corporations control the government. RP never articulated these issues. Why is the dollar dropping like a rock? The sainted FED. He needed to spell it out for the stupid people. Why do they hate “US”? Because we bomb the s**t out of innocents and give them the leaders that will make deals with the Rockefeller/Rothschild crowd. Why won’t the dems or repubs control the border? So they can dilute the people that still know what the US is supposed to be and they can drop the standard of living. Why do the people allow the president to start wars without the consent of the congress? Because the real rulers of the world want it that way (less people to corrupt, see 17th amendment). Why won’t the income tax ever be abolished? Because a private fiat monetary system needs a tax on income to be viable. This isn’t tough stuff. His articulation of the price of gas relative to gold was brilliant, but I’m afraid it was over the heads of those same stupid people that are disciples of the limbaugh/hannity morons. He needed to reach these hapless people with facts that even they could understand. This he didn’t do, and isn’t doing today. Too bad, it’s getting late.

  32. Jim, Dr. Paul was on the Charles Goyette show this morning. He denied that any talks are taking place between himself and the campaign for a speaking slot during the convention. He sounded like he doesn’t even want to go, but they are organizaing a rally in St. Paul during the convention. They will not disturb any of the activities that will take place during the horse and pony show.

    Yes, I agree it was quite disappointing that the campaign couldn’t even get a higher % of the antiwar vote in New Hampshire, (McCain got the higher vote from this bloc) so the campaign should have figured that out, but didn’t capitalize on this opportunity.

    1. Jean, thanks for the info on the radio interview this morning.

      If Ron Paul chooses not to speak at the convention, I would be surprised. Numerous folks have said that this is what he and his campaign are angling for.

      If he is not negotiating with the Republican National Convention for a speaking slot, then why has he muffled his criticism of McCain, especially on Iran?

      His campaign is sitting on $4-5 million that donors gave him to fight for the presidential nomination. There is plenty of money to take a stand against the next war before it starts.

      What am I missing?

      1. I added this as an update to the original blog entry but will post it here for folks who have been following the back-and-forth as it goes along:

        UPDATE: Some folks are questioning whether Congressman Paul is focusing on getting a speaking slot at the GOP convention. The Washington Post reported on May 6 that “Paul’s campaign hopes to turn such support into upward of 50 delegates for the party’s national convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul in September, where he is gunning for a speaking slot.”
        The Paul campaign did not dispute this report when it was published earlier this month.

        1. If he will not be speaking or even trying to gain votes then this Presidential campaign is unofficially over.

  33. I’m not worried at all.

    Paul truly is a principled man, and if the RNC asks him to change his speech too much, I’m sure he won’t give in. I’m sure he wouldn’t, for example, be made to omit the Federal Reserve bits, or not mention the war. If it came to that, the man would sit it out.

    If anyone doubts this man’s integrity, look at his voting record. He’s chosen to put his re-election on the line time and again by voting on principle.

    Don’t imagine that he’ll give it up now, in his 72nd year. For what? Everyone, including Ron Paul, knows the liberals and neocons constantly attack true conservatives, and continue to attack even after profuse apologies for holding un-PC opinions. Ron Paul has never backed down, and I don’t believe he will now.

  34. I hope the Ron Paul campaign being “respectful” means “respectful” of the rules and regulations of the Republican National Convention and NOT respectful of the McCain campaign.

  35. Jim, haven’t a clue on your questions. He might be staying silent on McCain and Iran because the book is out, and he wants to sell books. I hope that isn’t the case. Maybe the interview will be posted on Anti War Radio for everyone who wasn’t able to listen to it this morning. I still say that his campaign had alot of young inexperienced faces that didn’t know what the hell they were doing.

    Maybe they are spending the money to campaign in the remaining primary and state convention states. I know that Washington state is next week. Jim, wish I could add more but I’m in confusion land just like you are.
    See you next week in Reston, and bring your best beer tasting taste buds with you.

  36. I feel screwed over, betrayed and sold-out by the Ron Paul campaign. I am a poor guy, with many debts. I work hard, and my money has to go a long way. I am a very principled, anti-government, anti-war person, by most definitions I am an anarcho-capitalist or free-marketeer. I donated money to the RP campaign expecting him to represent my views (for the most part) in the modern political environment, meaning seriously, vigorously, aggressively and with the genuine intent of fucking WINNING!!!! We gave him the money, but he played it like a typical hopeless Libertarian. $30 million is not $500,000. He was not in Badarik or Browne territory. The Ron Paul campaign had way more money that the McCain campaign, throughout 2007. They may still! He had, no, still has the GOD-DAMNED MONEY!!!! Why did he blow it?

    I could not possibly give less of a shit about a speaking role at the GOP convention, where’d he’ll be regarded as respectfully and listened to as much as Richard Dawkins or Larry Flint might be. Ron Paul may be the conscience of the Republican party, but they are, as a group, about as conscientious as drunken sailors during Fleet Week. Despite all their religious pretensions, they are all about one thing, Nationalism at any cost. It is idolatry, immoral and anti-Christian (not that I care, being an atheist, but it proves they are liars through and through). The worship of the state, the bloody, rapacious, all consuming state, above all else. If the Ron Paul campaign teaches us anything, it is that principled resistance within the system is utterly useless. Ask the thousands and thousands of veterans’ families who have buried their sons and daughters, their fathers and mothers, not from combat, but SUICIDE! These veterans can’t live with themselves, and their “leaders” don’t care and wont help them. A recent Rolling Stone cartoon nailed it: “When the enemy commits suicide, they’re in the middle of a crowd. When our kids do it, they’re totally alone.” The Bush/McCain GOP gives not one fucking slimy shit for the lives of the Americans they cast into the mouth of Moloch in pursuit of their fevered visions of world wide empire, nor for the money they steal from you and me, money we earn in exchange for our precious lives, time and effort we can never recover, and they see fit to dispose of it merely to line the pockets of their corporate cronies.

    Ron Paul’s words will surely fall on deaf ears at the convention, and that was not what I gave my hard-earned dollars to him to do. He’ll be pissing in the wind. Shouting into a maelstrom. Boinking the dog on company time. Ron Paul is a wanker. A wanker I respect and admire for his convictions and his integrity, but a wanker nonetheless for wasting a lot of hopeful people’s time and money. He had tremendous financial resources, a HUGE and fanatical base of volunteers ready to go balls to the wall for him, and he just diddled it away as if he wee running for county dogcatcher.

    THIRTY MILLION DOLLARS is over 30 Badnariks and Brownes, and the last chance we had of effecting change via the political system. Now the likes of Barr and Gravel are calling themselves “Libertarians.”

    Join the FSP. Get off the grid. Leave the country. Just don’t get fooled again by politics.

    And BTW – Bovard is of the highest caliber and integrity, a writer of unassailable character. Do not cast aspersions on him just because he is asking questions and bringing to light things that need to be examined and answered for by Ron Paul, his campaign and the liberty movement.

    1. I agree with your feelings about the Campaign.

      And I believe that he should have at least made more effort to spread a message everyone could agree with.

      In my opinion the “r3VOLution” is over. Even if he speaks at the GOP Convention it will be of little gain as virtually the whole Party and the Media have forgotten he existed.

  37. 30 May

    If our love of liberty is so slim that it may be swayed by rumors, than shame on us. If we are willing to turn so quickly on a great champion of liberty such as Dr. Ron Paul, may God forgive us.

    Rich Beecher
    An Extremely Radical Whig in Chattanooga

    To all of you: may others never turn on you as fast as you turned on the Great Doctor.

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