I think if you ask most conservatives and Tea Party folk what makes them angriest about the Republican party, they’d tell you without much hesitation that it’s the establishment wing of the party that denies its own existence. We all know the players, and we all know how it works: Election after election, they trot out their conservative credentials when they think they need us, but the rest of the time, their basic answer to our complaints is roughly: “Take a hike.” This may be the one factor that makes Ron Paul more viable than the others, inasmuch as while some have considerable heartburn with his unrealistic foreign policy, as the Washington Examiner points out, if he were to win in Iowa, the long knives would come out from all quarters to attack Ron Paul. They make a very worthwhile comparison to Patrick Buchanan’s losing campaign, and they’re right: If Ron Paul manages to pull off a win in Iowa, the establishment wing of the Republican party will join with the leftist media on a tactic of scorched-earth against Ron Paul.
It’s plainly true that if there’s one candidate the whole establishment in Washington DC hates, it is certainly Ron Paul. Perhaps only Sarah Palin could have roused them to greater vitriol, but since she’s not in this race, Ron Paul may be the recipient of their rage, particularly should he manage to pull off the win in Iowa. I would expect that within moments of such an event, the GOP would begin to trot out its spokesmen, official and otherwise, to minimize the importance of Iowa in the grand scheme of things. You would in such a case be told that Iowa is symbolic only, and a poor predictor of electoral prospects. In the mainstream media, dominated by leftist thought, there would be a sudden and undeniable sympathy for the GOP and its moderates, leading readers to believe that “if only we had a more moderate candidate,” there might be some hope of defeating Obama.
Those of who watch politics closely can scarcely be unaware that the only thing more frightening to Washington DC than the prospect of their opponents’ victory is when it is somebody considered out of the Washington establishment mainstream. It’s true that Ron Paul fits this mold to a large extent, because his views on many issues are not in alignment with the party chieftains from either side of the aisle. They will call his views on entitlements “extreme,” and he will be constantly challenged on his foreign policy ideas. Even Republicans will scoff at the notion of cutting $1Trillion dollars of spending in his first year, as the Congressman proposes, and the notion will be quickly spread that he would feed granny dogfood and poison the water, and all of the other charges ordinarily made by Democrats against conservatives, the solitary difference being that this time, those making the charges will be Republicans, only backed up and aided by a willing leftist media.
Whatever else you may think of Ron Paul, it is undeniably true that his platform is of the sort that poses an immediate threat to much of official Washington, because it promises a return to limited government. Most all Democrats, and all of the establishment Republicans will be on a search and destroy mission if Paul should happen to pull it off. Polls suggest some tightening in Iowa, so it may be that he will offer a serious challenge, and if he does, expect Iowa to be minimized in its import in the reporting that follows. While I am on record as having said repeatedly that I think his notions about foreign policy are naive and irresponsible, I favor much of what he has to say on the matter of domestic policy, and this election may favor domestic issues given the economic disaster through which we’re now living. If something significant happened in the economic sphere, for instance the collapse of the Euro, expect for Ron Paul’s credibility in his discussion about the Federal Reserve to achieve a whole new level of political capital.
Only fifteen days from Iowa’s kick-off, we’re apt to see fireworks in the coming two weeks, and you can expect the stump speeches to become ever more heated. So much for “tidings of comfort and joy.”