The Revolution resonates:
It sometimes seems as if someone is playing a cruel practical joke on Ron Paul. He goes to a college and delivers the same speech he’s given for the past 30 years of his political career, the one espousing the Austrian school of economics. Only now the audience is packed with hundreds of kids in RON PAUL REVOLUTION T-shirts who go nuts – giving standing ovations when he drones on about getting rid of the Federal Reserve and returning to the gold standard. After a speech at Iowa State last month, when nearly half the crowd had to stand because there were only 400 seats, a hipster-looking student worked his way through the half-hour-long line to shake Paul’s hand. This was surely it – the moment when the straight faces would break and Paul would be wedgied up the flagpole. “When you see Bernanke,” the kid said, “will you tell him to stop cutting rates when gold hits 1,000?”
The libertarian’s traction is most apparent on the Internet, where his presence far outstrips that of any candidate from either party. His name is the most searched, his YouTube videos the most watched, his campaign the topic of songs by at least 14 bands. “The last thing I would listen to is rap,” Paul says. “But there’s something going on when there’s a rap song about the Fed.” On Tuesday, both Paul and Tom Cruise were guests on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. The actor went to Paul’s dressing room to thank him for his work on a bill fighting the forced mental screening of grade-school kids. “Go. Go. Go. Go hard,” Cruise said. Paul turned to an aide and asked, “What movies has he been in?”
“His supporters are the equivalent of crabgrass,” says G.O.P. consultant Frank Luntz. “It’s not the grass you want, and it spreads faster than the real stuff. They just like him because he’s the most anti-Establishment of all the candidates, the most likely to look at the camera during the debates and say, ‘Hey, Washington, f— you.'”
Given the state of the Establishment, there’s a lot to be anti about. And the reason that his supporters are “not the grass” the Republican Party wants is that they aren’t mindless individuals who will froth at the mouth and vote on command at every invocation of the “lesser of two evils” argument.
UPDATE – Mark Krikorian sums it up nicely:
Stanley: I decided to take a look and see who’d said what on the issue of licensing illegal aliens. Romney and Thompson have already issued statements blasting the idea, Giuliani was unequivocal in his condemnation on the Glenn Beck show, Hunter doesn’t seem to be highlighting it, but he touts his vote for the Real ID Act that set federal standards, so it’s safe to say he’s on the right side….
I’m not sure of Ron Paul is in favor of driver’s licenses for anyone.