Monday, February 22, 2010

C Paul AC

Tom Schaller at Five-Thirty-Seven:

But the most revealing result from CPAC 2010, one that didn't surprise me but ought to wake up national political reporters, is this one: Ron Paul won this year's CPAC straw poll with 31 percent. Next best was Mitt Romney with 22 percent. Amazingly, Paul's support was more than that for Sarah Palin (7 percent), Tim Pawlenty (6), Mike Pence (5), Newt Gingrich (4), Mike Huckabee (4), Mitch Daniels (2), and Rick Santorum (2) combined. Yes, that's right--combined. By compare, just a year ago, Paul tied with Palin for third at 13 percent, with Romney winning and Bobby Jindal (who dat?) second at 14 percent.

Five months ago in this space, I speculated that this new conservative movement is fueled to a significant degree by a lot of ginned up former Ron Paul supporters. I mentioned and quoted at length from Dana Goldstein's fanstastic reporting that connected the Tea Party movement to residual Ron Paulites. When is the national media going to finally make these connections?

Instead, the kooky, historically revisionist, apocalyptic ideas of Glenn Beck and Ron Paul are treated with equivalency to those of the majority Democratic Party in Washington and--here's the key point--these movement activists and their ideas are often discussed without much mention of their connections to Beck or Paul. Beck earns his share of attention, granted. But there is almost no recognition whatsoever of the true origins of this conservative backlash. The movement is instead covered as if it is the somehow the byproduct and wind in the sails of national Republicans like Michael Steele, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, when in fact it is operating wholly independently of any or all of them. And remember that these are people who, as Nate pointed out earlier this month, believe that the president is a socialist Muslim interloper born in Africa; who, as I suspect, somehow think that earmark and tort reform will solve our deficit problems; and who, as we saw today, cheer without any sense of internal contradiction as Beck boasts about educating himself for "free" at a public library system paid for by the very taxes he complains about.
Point being that you can't trust the media - not because they are biased towards one side or the other, but because they're biased toward drama. Politics is simply not as entertaining as CNN makes it out to be, let alone Fox.

Them last three words is, of course, very good advice.

But ultimately the reason why the Republicans are so hard-pressed to provide alternate solutions to the problems they're trying to run on is because their leaders are either entertainers or people crazy theorists like Paul. If they really SAY that we should legalize drugs or 9/11 or Medicare must be stopped, it's all over for them. The whole Republican revolution depends on keeping their ideas under wraps, which means they appear to be running solely to regain power. And that's why I can't see how they'll win.


Publius said...

Paulies are just like the extreme left wing in that they are single mindedly devoted and show up in big numbers art every gathering that even comes close to their viewpoint. I am not worried that Paul won the straw poll. Paulies are less than 1 percent of the right. They are very loud, yet very small. Paul's showing in the last primary election for president proves it.

Danielk said...

So why are we paying all this attention to CPAC then? Doesn't this prove that it's an insignificant fringe convention? Sure it's bigger than that thing Palin spoke at, but doesn't that mean they're BOTH insignificant?

Publius said...

I think it is funny that last year everyone on my side was mad at CPAC and said it was finished. All of a sudden this year it was THE place to be! What a difference a year makes, eh? You might have noticed that I didn't write about it on my own blog ( that's http://www.publius, folks). I don't think it is overly significant to tell the truth. Mostly because it is made up of beltway folks, not the rank and file.

Danielk said...

Hey, as a side note Warner, what Republican gathering DO you consider significant?

And I recommend the blog - it's entertaining reading.

Publius said...

There isn't one that is THE gathering. Each represent their own small part of the party. About the only "the" gathering is the convention. But, for sure CPAC isn't completely representative of the GOP. Mainly because it is not a social conservative gathering, nor is it a rank and file gathering. So two major parts of the party aren't really represented there.