Red State Bans Ron Paul Supportersby Doug Mataconis
The conservative blog Red State decided earlier this week to ban Ron Paul supporters from the blog:
Effective immediately, new users may *not* shill for Ron Paul in any way shape, form or fashion. Not in comments, not in diaries, nada. If your account is less than 6 months old, you can talk about something else, you can participate in the other threads and be your zany libertarian self all you want, but you cannot pimp Ron Paul. Those with accounts more than six months old may proceed as normal.
Now, I could offer a long-winded explanation for *why* this new policy is being instituted, but I’m guessing that most of you can probably guess. Unless you lack the self-awareness to understand just how annoying, time-consuming, and bandwidth-wasting responding to the same idiotic arguments from a bunch of liberals pretending to be Republicans can be. Which, judging by your comment history, you really don’t understand, so allow me to offer an alternate explanation: we are a bunch of fascists and we’re upset that you’ve discovered where we keep the black helicopters, so we’re silencing you in an attempt to keep you from warning the rest of your brethren so we can round you all up and send you to re-education camps all at once.
While it is their website, and their decision to ban someone, or an entire group of people, is theirs to make, it strikes me as a monumentally stupid decision to make. As Ed Morrissey, a conservative blogger who doesn’t support Paul but also doesn’t support the idea of banning his supporters, notes, the decision seems to be largely based on Red State’s belief that most supposedly libertarian supporters of Paul are actually leftists in disguse:
I disagree with Leon’s assumption that these Paul supporters are all or mostly cryptoliberals. Plenty of libertarian-leaning Republicans exist in the party, along with the former Buchananites and isolationists of the GOP. Instead of cutting these people off, it might be better for Redstate to keep engaging them. After all, Paul will not be in the race all that much longer, and we need those voters to stay in the GOP when Paul disappears. There are worse impulses than libertarianism.
Michael van der Gailen agrees:
We have written about Ron Paul on several occasions, and although there certainly are / were some Paul supporters who added a lot to the comment sections at this blog, there were sadly also quite some who spammed our comment sections with “go ron go” and that was it. Such commenters add nothing, and I mean nothing, to the debate, which is why I understand Red State’s decision to ban all of them. Having said that, we won’t change this into a ‘no Paul-zone.’ Paul is a phenomenon and to ignore this phenomenon is silly. Furthermore, as said, quite some of the commenters do add something and do have something to interesting to say.
I take this as a sign that at least some Republicans are willing to listen to the libertarian wing of the party, even if they don’t entirely agree with us. That’s not much if your goal is a revolution, but revolutions don’t happen very often in American politics; change is slow and gradual, and sometimes you have to start with the baby steps.