If the Bushes Hate Ron Paul, Then America Loves Ron Paul

Here is something we've figured out about Ron Paul: We don't care about him one way or the other, he's got a dumb & humorless campaign staff, and his supporters are a bunch of dingbats who project whatever oddball stuff they believe on the guy. But you know what? We still endorse Ron Paul for president, because the Bushes have tried and failed to stop him in the past.

The New York Times Magazine did a long-ass article on the little Texas congressman yesterday, which mostly regurgitated all the stuff we already know about Ron Paul: He is principled, he liked Ronald Reagan, his newsletters say bad things about Israel and Negroes, he likes gold, he really does not like abortions, he really likes guns, he only has one wife, he likes the Constitution, all the other candidates hate America and the Constitution (except Dennis Kucinich, who has a tiny copy of the Constitution), etc.

But this part of Paul's political history is kind of stunning, because why the hell is the GOP and the Bushes so terrified of little Ron Paul?

In the first days of 1995, just weeks after the Republican landslide, Paul traveled to Washington and, through DeLay, made contact with the Texas Republican delegation. He told them he could beat the Democratic incumbent Greg Laughlin in the reconfigured Gulf Coast district that now included his home. Republicans had their own ideas. In June 1995, Laughlin announced he would run in the next election as a Republican. Laughlin says he had discussed switching parties with Newt Gingrich, the next speaker, before the Republicans even took power. Paul suspects to this day that the Republicans wooed Laughlin to head off his candidacy. Whatever happened, it didn't work. Paul challenged Laughlin in the primary.

"At first, we kind of blew him off," recalls the longtime Texas political consultant Royal Masset. " 'Oh, there's Ron Paul!' But very quickly, we realized he was getting far more money than anybody." Much of it came from out of state, from the free-market network Paul built up while far from Congress. His candidacy was a problem not just for Laughlin. It also threatened to halt the stream of prominent Democrats then switching parties -- for what sane incumbent would switch if he couldn't be assured the Republican nomination? The result was a heavily funded effort by the National Republican Congressional Committee to defeat Paul in the primary. The National Rifle Association made an independent expenditure against him. Former President George H.W. Bush, Gov. George W. Bush and both Republican senators endorsed Laughlin. Paul had only two prominent backers: the tax activist Steve Forbes and the pitcher Nolan Ryan, Paul's constituent and old friend, who cut a number of ads for him. They were enough. Paul edged Laughlin in a runoff and won an equally narrow general election.

Yes, you already know the Bushes are despicable and the Republicans and Democrats are just the two main mafia families, but what the hell?

We advise Ron Paul to check his brakes before driving and get somebody expendable to taste his food.

The Antiwar, Anti-Abortion, Anti-Drug-Enforcement-Administration, Anti-Medicare Candidacy of Dr. Ron Paul [NYT Magazine]


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