Sunday, December 18, 2011

How the GOP Will Try to Crush Ron Paul if He Wins in Iowa

By Timothy P. Carney

The Republican presidential primary has become a bit feisty, but it will get downright ugly if Ron Paul wins the Iowa caucuses.

The principled, antiwar, Constitution-obeying, Fed-hating, libertarian Republican congressman from Texas stands firmly outside the bounds of permissible dissent as drawn by either the Republican establishment or the mainstream media. (Disclosure: Paul wrote the foreword to my 2009 book.)

But in a crowded GOP field currently led by a collapsing Newt Gingrich and an uninspiring Mitt Romney, Paul could carry the Iowa caucuses, where supporter enthusiasm has so much value.

If Paul wins, how will the media and the GOP react? Much of the media will ignore him (expect headlines like "Romney Beats out Gingrich for Second Place in Iowa"). Some in the Republican establishment and the conservative media will panic. Others will calmly move to crush him, with the full cooperation of the liberal mainstream media.

For a historical analogy, study the aftermath of Pat Buchanan's 1996 victory in the New Hampshire primary. "It was awful," Buchanan told me this week when I asked him about his few days as the nominal GOP front-runner. "They come down on you with both feet."

The GOP establishment that week rallied to squash Buchanan. Just after New Hampshire, Gingrich's hand-picked group of GOP leaders, known as the Speaker's Advisory Group, met with one thing on their minds, according to a contemporaneous Newsweek report: "How to deal with Buchanan."

While many Republicans dismissed Buchanan's New Hampshire win as irrelevant, arguing his support was too narrow to ever win the nomination, the neoconservative wing of the GOP darkly warned of a Buchanan menace.

Read the rest here.


  1. I was an active supporter of Buchanan and remember how shocked and full of panic the GOP was in 96. They came up with all sorts of nonsense to crush Buchanan, including the "NAAWP" hotline that also just happened to be the Pat Buchanan for Florida self-appointed campaign!

    Pat was the last honest person to run for the GOP nomination -- even if I completely disagree with protectionism, he was an honest guy who believed it -- before Ron Paul, which was why he had to be crushed by the establishment. The big, big difference this time around is the internet is a great equalizer in both fund raising -- look at the 3.9 million raised this weekend -- and just as importantly in getting his message out and correcting the press.

  2. Talking points for Ron: Isolationism "well since the DC crowd have only spoken directly to Tehran for 45 mins over the last 30 years and propose making it a crime for US officials to speak to any Iranian".
    Racism;" sure it looks bad if you pluck selected quotes from old newsletters but you could make even Mr Obama look bad if you took selected quotes from his well written books. I would urge the media to print or televise them all so people could get a better picture of what they were about"
    Economic chaos" Sure there might be, if you are part of financial elite that demanded and received TARP bailouts"
    States rights" you don't know about antebellum Wisconsin which freed blacks who matched federal agents descriptions and defended whites who sprung them from prison under the federal fugitive slave laws?"

  3. Sigh...You know the race card now seem older than the tablets that Moses came done from Mt. Sinai with. How many people are actually listening to that horse manure these days? Anyone who does at this point has an IQ of less than 40.

  4. The establishment need not worry, here's how Iowa GOP insiders will steal the vote.

    Claim a hacker, then "reconstruct" the vote.

    "'If a hacker gets in and messes it all up, we can reconstruct (the results),' he said. 'It would take a little while. It might take a day or two, but we can do it.'"


  5. Did anybody think this wouldn't happen? If Paul actually has enough support to truly challenge for the nomination and is beaten through underhanded means, then the Republicans are simply ensuring the Democrats win. Is this really what people think is a good political party to support?

    The new Republican motto: Cut off your nose to spite your face.

  6. The great "left wing Jeffersonian" political writer Walter Karp argued that America's two party system was really a duopoly where "partyarchs" - the power brokers, (some - but not all of them actually elected officials) dominate each of their parties.

    These partyarchs are the real 'political entrepreneurs' of crony capitalism - building a statist economic regime and essentially selling those privileges to private business interests who are simultaneously cronies, clients and shakedown victims.

    In Karp's analysis the main threat to partyarch domination was grassroots insurgency within their own parties. Over the past 120 years or so - both Democrat and GOP partyarchs have had to hold off grass roots insurgent movements from 'left' and 'right'.

    The partyarchs - who usually have more in common with their fellow partyarchs on the other side of the aisle - usually win and have two ultimate weapons hidden up their sleeve. "Break glass in event of emergency." Karp says the the two weapons are war and 'throwing the election.' They would rather lose an election than have an insurgent breakout and thus lose their grip on the reigns of power within their own party.

    Time will tell whether the Ron Paul insurgency will lead to another Karpian moment, but it is worth thinking about. For more about Karp from a libertarian perspective see here and Joseph Stromberg's excellent introductions here and here. The most relevant Walter Karp books for this analysis are his "The Politics Of War" and "Indispensible Enemies".

  7. I also remember the attacks on Perot in 1992 they were so bad, I actually voted for Perot that year. But a difference now is the decline in the importance of main stream news and the availability of alternative sources. Whether that difference will be enough, I am not sure.

  8. @earth that was, so you're suggesting a tacit 'agreement' between the parties? that would make sense since they seen to put up bad candidates recently, Dole, Kerry, Mccain

  9. I don't think it is anywhere near as easy in Iowa to engage in voter fraud than in primary states, right? Does anyone know for sure?