Monday, August 22, 2011

Ron Paul: The Media's 13th Floor

Many of us Ron Paul supporters have been biting our knuckles for a long time over the fact that Ron Paul can't seem to get any notice from the mainstream media.  Apparently others have begun to notice too.  Check out this video of Daily Show host John Stewart (who is probably not a supporter of Dr. Paul, but just enjoys pointing out the media's foibles) as he demonstrates the media's ignoring of Ron Paul.  (Stewart humorously likens the media's treatment of Paul to the 13th floor of a hotel.)

So why don't the media like Ron Paul?  Writing for the Chicago Tribune, John Kass has some theories.  One is that "the media is merely trying to provide us with loving protection from Paul and those challenging libertarian ideals:

"Such as the view we shouldn't be eager to be groped in airports or to fund another war in the Middle East, or that we should legalize drugs rather than fight the drug wars, or the wild idea that a coffee shop waitress should not be expected to pay taxes on her tips.

"These are extreme notions, though the principles behind them were once held dear by a few old guys in powdered wigs who founded this country.

"The TV people are happy to do the work for you, and tell you what notions are fit for public debate."

But another theory that he proffers is that the Democrat and Republican establishment (and thereby their cohorts in the media) are just plain scared of the old boy since he could steal votes from the existing power structure.  Writes Kass:  "Paul is anti-war, and there are many independent Democrats who've been anti-war, including those who elected President Barack Obama in 2008 and have since turned on him because, well, he recently help start a war in Libya, turning America's two wars into three.

"Paul also doesn't campaign on social issues, like outlawing abortion, or involving the government in the bedroom. He's not a political evangelical, so Paul's stance would be attractive to many Democrats."

Republican power brokers fear Paul mucking up the works too.  "[I]t's obvious Republicans see Paul as a threat," writes Kass.  "Perhaps it's the fact that Paul ridicules the GOP military drumbeat against Iran. It may be that he appeals to tea party fiscal conservatives, and if these voters begin to lean toward Paul, the establishment GOP will be left with defense contractors, neocons and evangelicals, not enough to win a national election."

So the media has lots of reasons to downplay Dr. Paul's campaign.  Is there anything that can be done about it?  Some local Ron Paul supporters are going to try.

Liberty-activist Brandon Echols recently informed me that a grassroots group will be staging a "protest in response to the Mainstream Media's blackout on coverage of Ron Paul."  They will gather at the Cedar Rapids Gazette Headquarters (also home of KCRG tv news) at 500 3rd Ave SE, Cedar Rapids, Iowa from 4pm to 5pm on Friday, August 26.  All who support Dr. Paul or are against biased journalism are encouraged to attend.  You can view their Facebook event page here

According to Echols, this will be a "peaceful and lawful" rally in support of Ron Paul.  I should note that this assembly is not affiliated with, nor sanctioned by, Ron Paul 2012 Presidential Campaign.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Day at the Straw Poll

Representative Ron Paul addresses supporters at the Ames Straw Poll.
Dr. Paul is on the covered stage at center left.  (Photo by author.)
After months of planning and hard work the Iowa Straw Poll in Ames is finally over.  I spent the day there and, although the results weren't exactly what I wanted, it was time well spent.

The day began early as myself and some local Ron Paul supporters boarded a bus provided by the campaign in Anamosa.  Fourteen of us got on at Anamosa and the bus already had about that many on it from Maquoketa.  One septuagenarian that got on with us told me that his daughter had chided him for not riding with her group on the Michele Bachmann bus.  He said that he told her that he wanted to ride with "the young people."

That might be a bit of an overgeneralization of Ron Paul's supporters, since they run the gamut, but Dr. Paul certainly does have more young and energetic followers than the others.  I'm betting that our bus had more examples of tattoos and body-piercings than, say, a typical Rick Santorum bus.  It's somewhat ironic that 76-year-old R.P., the oldest candidate in the race, would have so many young supporters.  My theory on why is because younger Americans have been so immersed in commercial media their whole lives that they can tell the difference between when they are being talked to and when they are being marketed to.  R.P. just says what he thinks while other candidates spout poll-tested platitudes designed to elicit the desired response (a vote).

As soon as the bus arrived at the ISU campus (where the Straw Poll takes place) a Ron Paul campaign staffer escorted our group up to the voting area and everyone voted.  After that we were free to enjoy the festivities.  Ron Paul's area was in the prime location in the central courtyard next to Hilton Coliseum.  He had a stage with bands playing, games for the kids (including a dunk tank featuring someone in a Ben Bernanke mask getting dunked), and barbecue and hot dogs being served.  I even spent an hour or so helping hand out pop and water to the thirsty crowd at Dr. Paul's beverage tent.

For once the campaign of the candidate I was supporting had all the bells and whistles and I didn't seem to be in the minority.  People in R.P. t-shirts where everywhere, seemingly outnumbering all other supporters.

Besides all of the candidates, various groups such as Strong America Now, NRA, and Us Against Alzheimer's had booths or tents set up.  High on my to-do list was to stop by the Iowa Gun Owners booth and get myself an IGO t-shirt.  However, due to high demand, they were out by the time I made it to their booth.  I guess I'll have to order one on their website.

Our group waited around as long as we could to hear the results of the Straw Poll but eventually had to go catch our bus home.  On the ride home the news came in on cell phones that Ron Paul had came in a close second behind Michele Bachmann.  The final results looked like this (Votes, %):

1. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (4823, 28.55%)

2. Congressman Ron Paul (4671, 27.65%)

3. Governor Tim Pawlenty (2293, 13.57%)

4. Senator Rick Santorum (1657, 9.81%)

5. Herman Cain(1456, 8.62%)

6. Governor Rick Perry (718, 3.62%) write-in

7. Governor Mitt Romney (567, 3.36%)

8. Speaker Newt Gingrich (385, 2.28%)

9. Governor Jon Huntsman (69, 0.41%)

10. Congressman Thad McCotter (35, 0.21%)

Scattering (218, 1.30 %) Includes all those receiving votes at less than one-percent that were not on the ballot.

While Bachmann won the Straw Poll fair-and-square, we Paulistas can console ourselves with a few thoughts:
  1. It ain't the caucus.  The straw poll is non-binding test of campaign strength primarily used as a fund-raiser for the Iowa GOP.  Hopefully the Paul campaign used it to identify their strengths and weaknesses and will put this information to good use winning the Iowa Caucus.
  2. It was darned close!  Only 152 votes (0.9%) separated Dr. Paul from the first place finisher.  If Ron Paul had won by just a fraction of a percent (as Bachmann did), you can bet the press would be playing up what a squeaker the win was.
  3. He did darned good!  Ron Paul's second place vote total was higher than Mitt Romney's first place vote total in 2007 and was the fourth highest vote total in Straw Poll history.  He won a higher percentage of the Straw Poll vote than the eventual caucus winner in three of the past four election cycles (including Mike Huckabee's 18.1%).
  4. Bachmann gave away more free tickets.  While most Ron Paul supporters like myself had to pay (a discounted price) for our tickets into the Straw Poll, his campaign did buy give away 4,750 tickets for free.  Bachmann's campaign, by contrast, gave away 6,000 freebies.  There's nothing underhanded about that, it's just easier to pack the house with free tickets to a free meal than a discounted price.  Ron Paul supporters mostly had to pay to vote for him and he still almost won.
Anyway, Straw Poll down.  Next stop: The Iowa Caucus.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Help Welcome Obama To Iowa

For those of you who live in Northeast Iowa (or those of you who don't mind driving a little way) here is an email I received from the Dubuque Tea Party regarding President Obama's upcoming visit to the state. 

As you probably know by now our job-killing president will be in Peosta, Iowa at Northeast Iowa Community College THIS TUESDAY for a Rural Economic Forum (another Agenda 21 initiative).
We are planning to protest this president during his visit. The information we have gathered shows that the Rural Economic Forum is scheduled to begin at 11:30 AM. We are planning to arrive in Peosta just before 10:00 AM. We will have to "play it by ear" as far as where we will be allowed by the Secret Service to park and protest.
Personally, I am going to try to park at the Red Roof Diner or at the Americinn which are very close to both the off ramp of Highway 20 and NICC. In my first email I mentioned that there is only one road in to NICC. I was wrong. There is also an entrance to NICC off Burds road to the north. Hopefully they will use the Enterprise Drive entrance.
I have got to believe the president's bus will come in on Highway 20 and exit onto Sundown Road/Y-21/Peosta Street and pass by the Americinn Motel and Suites. That's where I hope we can gather - along Peota Street in the grassy area in front of the Americainn.
For those who cannot make it in the morning there is another opportunity for you to protest. The Rural Economic Forum is scheduled to conclude at 2:30 PM. So, if you want you could gather at about 2:00 PM in the same above location to protest as the president departs.
Please spread the word. We would love a huge crowd to show the president and all the democrats in this area that we are still here in force, we are still very angry with this president's job-killing Keynesian policies, we are NOT going away, and we will do whatever it takes to make him a one-term president.
Bring your signs and join us THIS TUESDAY, AUGUST 16TH at 10:00 AM.
Yours in Liberty,
Jeff Luecke for YOUR Dubuque Tea Party

P.S. I know most of us work. I am taking the morning off to do this. We need to resist this man's incompetent manipulation and command/control of our economy. Let's send him a strong message!!!
Update from Jeff Luecke (8-15-11):

It has come to our attention that the streets/roads in Peosta will be shut down at 9:45 AM tomorrow morning.

So, we need to get to Peosta and check things out no later than 9:30 AM to see where we can park.

If worst comes to worst we can park on the shoulder of Highway 20 and walk to wherever we want to stand as we await "The Destroyer in Chief."

Hope to see you ALL there in FORCE to send a strong message to Mr. Obama that we do not want or need him and his oppressive policies in our lives.

Friday, August 12, 2011

"Santorum and Obama: Two Peas in a Pod?"

Senator Rick Santorum:
As president would impose his personal values
judgements in place of  U.S. Constitution.
An excerpt from an article by our friends at The Tenth Amendment Center:
Congresswoman Bachmann [...] has positioned herself repeatedly as a leader in the tea party, state’s rights, and Tenth Amendment movements. Asked last night whether there was a difference between the state or federal government mandating that an individual buy a product (referring primarily to health care insurance), Bachmann responded that there was no difference. It is “unconstitutional,” she maintained, regardless of whether it is imposed by the state or federal government. She did not cite which part of the Constitution denies states this authority.

Of course, that’s because no clause in the Constitution prevents states from doing it, as Congressman Paul rightly noted in response to Bachmann’s doublethink. Paul stated that the federal government is not empowered to go in and stop states that do bad things.

Moments later, Senator Santorum jumped in to criticize both of them, claiming that their responses were indicative of “the Tenth Amendment run amok.” Said Santorum:

Michelle Bachmann says that she would go in and fight health care being imposed by states, but she wouldn’t go in and fight marriage being imposed by the states. That would be okay. We have Ron Paul saying oh, whatever the states want to do under the Tenth Amendment is fine. So if the states want to pass polygamy, that’s fine. If the states want to impose sterilization, that’s fine. No! Our country is based on moral laws, ladies and gentleman. There are things the states can’t do. Abraham Lincoln said “the states do not have the right to do wrong.” I respect the Tenth Amendment, but we are a nation that has values. We are a nation that was built on a moral enterprise. And states don’t have the right to tramp over those because of the Tenth Amendment.

Leaving aside the fact that he inaccurately portrayed Rep. Paul’s stance, it is obvious that Santorum is no Tenther, but rather a power-loving thug looking to impose his personal set of morals and values on any people living under whatever level of government he can use to accomplish his goals. In this respect, he’s hardly different from Barack Obama at all.

Obviously, Santorum has either not read or understood the Tenth Amendment — included in the Constitution which he has on several occasions sworn an oath to support and defend — which provides for the very things he is criticizing.

States do have the ability, under the constitutional system the Founders put in place, to “do wrong.” They have the sovereign authority to decide whatever they wish on whatever matters they like, provided that this authority has not already been delegated to the federal government, or has not been explicitly denied them in the Constitution.
When we sit back for a moment and recognize that the federal government already claims the power to require to you to purchase health insurance, to tell you what size toilet you can have, what kind of plants you can grow in your back yard, what kind of light bulb you can use, and so much more – don’t we realize there’s already too much federal power? For people like Obama and Santorum, it sure doesn’t seem that way.
Read the entire article here.

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