Red State Bans Ron Paul Supporters

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.

  • Jaime

    I think RedState is missing a huge opportunity to bring more people to the Republican base. With Ron Paul supporters, you have all these people excited about politics for the very first time in their lives. Most of their comments deemed by RedState as “idiotic” or “spammy” are just stemming from (1) excitement + (2) lack of experience in politics. Rather than ridicule these people, why not embrace the opportunity to educate and inform Ron Paul supporters in a respectful, non-demeaning way that builds community and welcomes more supporters to the GOP?

  • Yuri Butinas

    Ron Paul supporters are strictly principled, just like the man. They will not vote GOP. If you think they will, then you probably don’t understand them. The lesser of two evils is still evil. Paul supporters will probably not vote if he is not the nominee.

  • Greg

    I have never commented on Red State and probably won’t now, but I do see how they can believe the anti-war paul supporters don’t really fit their modus operandi there. The management tere is pretty much faithful to the neocons and wish to keep it that way. when the Paul campaign is over, the only thing that will be realized is that there is a significant angry minority in the US, but by and large people are apathetic to whoever runs the country. “Go along to get along” as it were.

    It doesn’t really matter, however, as the energy crisis will be approaching fast and furious and people will want the strongman to make it all better soon enough and there’s not a goddamn thing we can do about it.

  • Bob

    I agree with Jaime. Red State is missing a chance to add new supporters to the regular GOP ranks. This also shows a problem with the Paul campaign. Many regular Republicans find Paul supporters to be annoying and don’t see any reason to take them seriously.

  • GeneG

    Oh no ! Ron Paul loses support of FreeRepublic-lite. Call off the Revolution !

    Note that Red State has a new “Ron Paul” headline each day now. I guess Paul saved them from permanent irrelevance?

  • js290

    Most Republicans (and Democrats for that matter) seem to be authoritarian statists anyway. This isn’t that big of a surprise.

    Ultimately, that’s why Ron Paul won’t win. That’s how the country went from an academic experiment in freedom and liberty to what we have today.

    Freedom and liberty seem to scare and confuse people.

  • http://trumpetbob15.blogspot.com/ trumpetbob15

    I have to admit this might be one of the better things for the Paul campaign. First, it eliminates one outlet for the spammers and helps prevent the annoyance of spammers turning into annoyance at Ron Paul. (And yes, there are a lot of people who spam for Ron Paul and thinking they are all just excited for a first Presidential race is probably misguided.) However, second, this is another “highlight the differences” moment. By being banned, it gives the campaign something to talk about and brings the issue up on other blogs.

    Could this backfire on Red State? Maybe, but I doubt it. I have seen enough posts with 80 messages on this blog to know how annoying the “Run Ron Run” crowd can be. It depends on how the site defines spamming and how strict the enforcement will be. Eliminating any comment with Ron Paul in it won’t work, but at least they are trying to manage the site to allow for actual discussion to take place.

  • http://www.thesparsematrix.com rho

    RedState is where Fred! was blogging.

    End of story.

    I have seen enough posts with 80 messages on this blog to know how annoying the “Run Ron Run” crowd can be.

    Prior to his actual entry into the race, and our subsequent discovery of how snoringly dull he is, people were dropping little “Go, Fred, go!” nuggets too. Granted it was fewer people than did so for Ron.

  • http://slashdot.org/moderation.shtml js290

    It depends on how the site defines spamming and how strict the enforcement will be.

    That’s because most blog/message boards don’t allow for moderation and meta-moderation as found on sites like Slashdot. Readers moderate the posts and the moderators. Banning people seem rather barbaric given the technology that’s available.

    http://slashdot.org/moderation.shtml

  • Chepe Noyon

    This is very strange. I have tried several times to post a message here and the board accepts my input, but doesn’t publish it. I have vetted it for words that might trigger a filter, but can’t find anything objectionable. So I’ll have to do some experiments. Please be patient with my approach.

  • Chepe Noyon

    OK, here are the first two paragraphs of my post:

    RedState’s policy amuses me. These people are so self-righteous they can shoot themselves in the foot and shout ‘Ta-da!’ Permit me to draw grand generalizations (which therefore are riddled with exceptions) about the behavior of three groups on blogs:

    1. Conservatives will not brook dissent. They are highly tribal; their favorite discussions are those in which all heads bob up and down in unison about how dastardly all liberals are. They compete only in the cleverness of their mudslinging at liberals. They’re full of hate — they’d much rather vent spleen at a liberal than discuss liberal politics. Conservatives are woefully ignorant and less educated than the other groups.

  • Chepe Noyon

    Here are the next two paragraphs:

    2. Liberals are tolerant of dissent, but just as hateful towards conservative politicians as conservatives are towards liberal politicians. Liberal blogs are full of nastiness towards Mr. Bush, conservative blogs are full of nastiness towards Ms. Clinton — but the difference is that a liberal on a conservative blog is personally attacked and ends up banned, while a conservative on a liberal blog will not be personally attacked and seldom banned. Also, liberals love to use obscenities. The liberal blogs are best at providing lots of detailed background information on the issues.

    3. Libertarians are highly ideological. If an asteroid were heading towards the earth, and the only way to stop it required the libertarian to surrender some of his liberties, he’d shout “Give me liberty or give me death!”

  • Chepe Noyon

    The problem is definitely in the final paragraph, where I was using an HTML link. So here it is without the link:

    Lastly, I’d like to suggest that, in terms of authoritarianism, there is a big difference between the liberals and the conservatives. I highly recommend that you read The Authoritarians by Bob Altemeyer. You can find it at this was the link. It’s a great read, lots of fun, and shows just how dangerous authoritarians can be. And it’s based on detailed psychology experiments, not the random personal ramblings of a hot air bag.

  • Chepe Noyon

    Sheesh, this is difficult. I have tried five different ways to get this link through the BBS censor. Here’s a really indirect approach

    http

    :
    //
    home.
    cc.
    umanitoba.
    ca
    /~altemey/

  • Chepe Noyon

    Sorry for the weirdness. Blame the BBS software.