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Old 01-13-2012, 12:12 AM
stephanie stephanie is offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 3,921
Default Re: What should we disqus here?

Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
Well, that's encouraging.
Yeah -- I just couldn't get away from the analysis before that you were arguing that Paul's support was because of his foreign policy ideas, when it seemed that, within the Republicans, at least, it clearly was not. It finally hit me that you actually think he will convince people of his ideas, not just that they will go along with him due to them being leftwing types already or willing to accept the rest of him with his libertarianism, despite not agreeing. Thus, he could change things even if he doesn't win (which he won't).

I know you said this, but the meaning finally hit me, and I think I agree. Well, not entirely, I still think you are too optimistic, especially given the tenor of the Republican debate on foreign policy otherwise, which makes George W. Bush look like Sen. Robert Taft (kidding exaggeration, but not as much as I wish).

I think Paul has run a brilliant campaign so far. He stays on message no matter what, and he's got the Republican establishment right where he wants them. They would love to reduce him to a laughingstock, as the Dem. establishment did with Dennis Kucinich, but it's not working.
Okay, I will agree with this too. As long as we don't start with the Dr. Paul stuff. ;-)

What does Romney do with Paul? If he alienates him, Paul could run as an independent and probably hand the election to Obama. But what can Romney offer Paul to win his support? Certainly nothing tangible, like a cabinet position. But Romney can be nudged to tone down the interventionist rhetoric and defense hawkery.
This is where it sounds like wishful thinking again, as the Republicans are clearly committed to portraying Obama as weak on national defense and the Paul and Romney/Gingrich/Santorum/etc. factions are just so far apart, with Paul committed to attacking Obama as basically like Bush and the rest of them for being so horribly threatening in his unlikeness to Bush.

But I will be interested to see, because there will be a need to address the Paul supporters (the question is whether economic stuff can do that, which is where DZ and TS and all the rest of us have been worried) and I could certainly be wrong. One thing, of course, is that the Republican position here might be more similar to the US opinion than full scale Paulism would be, but the Romney-Perry-etc.-for-the-primaries seems unlikely to be popular, and Romney clearly has no problem, uh, modifying his position when he thinks it would help him. The argument against this (which I see as the winning argument, sadly) is that important elements of the establishment (including Romney's advisers) really are committed to his current positions and foreign policy, etc. is essentially part of the culture war. Thus, the Republicans could see that vast majorities of the US don't want more wars or to continue the current ones, but still see calling the Dems weak on defense a winning issue that can't be sacrificed for somewhat greater support from Paul. We'll see.
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