Aside from the catcalls and epithets arising from the neocons, in the saner precincts of the internet the response to the sight of Ron Paul standing up to the bully Giuliani is somewhat heartening.
Over atÂ theÂ Cato Institute, David Boaz has a perceptive analysisÂ of theÂ catalytic role Paul could play in the GOP primaries as the sole antiwar Republican in the pack, and yet notes that Giuliani did score points with the orthodox Bushians. As noted here, some of the Cato-ites tend to look down their noses at Paul, and this interesting piece from McClatchy quotes Michael Tanner, author of Leviathan on the Right: How Big-Government Conservatism Brought Down the Republican Revolution, recentlyÂ published by Cato, which at least acknowledges Paul’s tremendous contribution:Â
“He’s performing an enormously valuable service. His very existence on the stage pressures the others. There is a small-government, libertarian conservative base in the Republican Party. It may or may not be as big as the religious right. It’s open for the taking.”
Unfortunately, Tanner spoils this by adding Paul is “kind of quirky. He has some issues that give him a fringe-y air.” According to the Cato-ites, it is “fringe-y” to talk about the real cause of inflation — expansion of the money supply by the Federal Reserve. They frown on Ludwig von Mises, the Austrian economist who upheld a pure theory of market economics, and much prefer the supposedly more “pragmatic” Milton Friedman just because he’s more “mainstream.” The problem for Cato is that Ron Paul continues to uphold the libertarian philosophy their own “younger” generation of Beltway-centric know-it-alls is moving rapidly away from.
Meanwhile, on the left side of the spectrum, over atÂ The Nation, they get right to the core issue of Benito’s demagoguery:
“Rudy Giuliani made clear in Tuesday night’s Republican presidential debate that he is not ready to let the facts get in the way of his approach to foreign policy.”
“They’re scared, aren’t they? The Internet polls show real support for him. Fox News’ own internet poll placed him a close second, with 25 percent of the votes from Fox News viewers. We have a real phenomenon here – because someone has to stand up for what conservatism once stood for.”
Coming from this guy, who once attacked Susan Sontag for saying essentially the same thing about 9/11 as Ron Paul did, that’s quite a mouthful. Yes, I know, I know — we’re all sick of Sullivan — but this almost makes up for his past sins….