Is Ron Paul Being Sabotaged By His Own Supporters ?by Doug Mataconis
In three days, Ron Paul’s Presidential campaign will face a crucial test at the Ames, Iowa Straw Poll.
Admittedly, the straw poll will not be an accurate measure of candidate support in Iowa since at least two of the top three candidates — Giuliani and McCain — have chosen not to actively contest the Ames Straw Poll, putting the result itself in doubt.
Nonetheless, if Congressman Paul manages to get considerable support on Saturday or even, by some chance, win the straw poll, his campaign will be transformed to an entirely different level.
Over at The Crossed Pond, though, blogger Rojas is raising legitimate concerns over how some of Congressman Paul’s supporters might react if Saturday doesn’t go as they might have hoped:
One thing is certain, though: win or lose, some Paul supporters are probably going to allege vote fraud. That’s just the way the game is played these days
And, as Rojas states in a follow-up post, Congressman Paul has had the unfortunate luck of attracting some less than appealing supporters:
The problem Dr. Paul faces, of course, is that whether or not he’s done anything at all to associate him with dingbats of this sort, their active presence in his movement causes him to become their associate in the public’s eye. We’ve seen that already when the right-wing blogosphere went crazy about Paul’s association with “9/11 truthers”–when all Paul had done was speak with them politely.
I’ll be honest; I haven’t the foggiest idea of how the campaign should deal with this sort of thing. Ron Paul attracts outsiders; he draws people of strong convictions and unconventional views into politics. That’s the core of his appeal. By DEFINITION a huge portion of his support is going to be unappealing to core Republicans–hell, as a libertarian, I myself am probably too “out there” for the majority of the American public. And publicly disavowing the Jim Condits only draws media attention to them.
While I’m not sure I entirely agree with the idea that Congressman Paul’s libertarian ideas wouldn’t appeal to the Republican base, I do agree with the authors idea that the campaign has been hurt in the eyes of mainstream libertarian-oriented Republicans with it’s association with 9/11 truthers, JOhn Birchers, conspiracy nutcases, and their ilk.
Apparently, the Paul campaign recognizes the problem and has issued this statement:
Everyone who is calling the Iowa GOP over these diebold machines is doing a tremendous disservice to the Ron Paul campaign. Stop it. You are destroying relationships and turning the Iowa GOP against Ron Paul.
The campaign is taking every reasonable precaution we can to ensure a fair vote, and we ask that you leave it up to the campaign to speak with the Iowa GOP. They know Ron Paul supporters are not satisfied with the voting process, and any further phone calls only causes more problems for the campaign.
Focus your attention on turning out to vote for Ron Paul in Ames on Saturday as we are trying to do. Stop creating more problems than necessary.
Please spread this message far and wide within the Ron Paul community.
National Youth Coordinator – Ron Paul 2008
And if Ron happens to come in third, or fourth, on Saturday, don’t attribute it to a conspiracy. Just accept it, and figure out what to do next.
That is what politics is all about.