Ron Paul comes along and gives by most accounts of honest grassroots Americans the best performance in the first televised debate between GOP presidential contenders (granted that ain’t sayin’ a whole damn lot), one that was exclusively broadcast by MSNBC.
Paul led MSNBC’s post election poll from start to finish with nearly a double digit margin over his nearest challenger Mitt Romney.
An even more resounding defeat of the rest of the pack occurred in an ABC News poll which at first had been posted on-line with only nine names on it — Ron Paul’s being the one missing. Peeved Paul supporters who complained in the poll’s comment section at first saw many of their posts ominously deleted — some no doubt for language, others for editorial discretion bordering on the word that shall not be uttered…unless by me.
After someone posted the cell phone number of a Senior VP at ABC News, the Paul name was added to the poll.
With the silent treatment of Ron Paul becoming deafening, ABC News has now taken the “nothing to see here, move along” tact. Here is how they summed it up in their whitewash of the days that followed:
So are the polls missing a Paul boomlet? Is the famously contrarian ob-gyn — a libertarian nicknamed “Dr. No” because of his propensity to vote against anything he believes contradicts the Constitution’s original intent — poised to surge into contention in the GOP field? Not likely. What’s more likely, based on Web traffic over the past week, is that Paul supporters have mastered the art of “viral marketing,” using Internet savvy and blog postings to create at least the perception of momentum for his long-shot presidential bid.
There is one glaring problem with this course of logic in the current ABC argument. There were almost 80,000 votes cast in the MSNBC poll just BEFORE the first televised debate. In that polling, the results came out just as the MSM media told us they should. McCain, Romney and Gulliani the leaders, Paul, Tancredo, Hunter and others just blips.
What ABC is trying to say now, however, is that those who cast these 80,000 votes suddenly evaporated and were mysteriously replaced by those coaxed on by a handful of Paul supporters and Internet savvy bloggers. Me thinks thou dost protest too much. Or picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue. Take your pick.
The sad fact of the matter is that this is indicative of a concerted effort on the part of the mainstream media to trivialize someone merely because they don’t understand him, rather than confront his many shortcomings in a straightforward manner.
Now, make no mistake, I am not planning on voting for Mr. Paul, so don’t dismiss this as another piece by a rabid Paul supporter. I feel his strict interpretation of the Constitution is a tad bit unrealistic. Ok, it’s flat out insane and additionally I think the dude is a bigot.
That being said, I do find it more than a little disconcerting that the man is being almost completely ignored by the media. Other than the occasional piece on his online fundraising prowess he is for the most part considered an amusing sideshow to the main event that is Rudy G. vs. “the Mittster”.
Months later a quick “google” of the event STILL yields headlines like these:
“John McCain Wins First GOP Debate” (Fox News)
“Who Won the First GOP Presidential Debate? (Answer provided in article: “Mitt Romney” – National Review Online)
“Republican Presidential Debate Gives No Clue on GOP Leader in Race” (Axcess News)
Apparently the Axcess News editors don’t have a clue – unlike actual debate viewers. But I digress.
On the October 21 edition of Fox News‘ Hannity & Colmes, following the Republican presidential debate sponsored by Fox News, co-host Alan Colmes began an interview with Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul by asking: “You keep leading us in text voting. What do you think is going on there?” Colmes was referring to a Fox News feature allowing viewers to vote via text message for the candidate who they thought won the debate.
At the time of the interview, Paul was in first place with 34 percent. Later in the interview, co-host Sean Hannity asked Paul if he could support several of the other GOP candidates — including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Sen. Fred Thompson (TN), or former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney — if he himself didn’t win the nomination. Paul replied: “Well, you know, I think they’re softening their tone.
They’re not nearly as militant as they were a few months ago.” Paul then said, “[T]hey have to listen to these polls, don’t they?” to which Hannity replied: “Oh, this poll — you’ve got all your supporters calling.” Paul responded: “What, you mean your own poll isn’t any good?” Hannity then said: “No, it’s just a lot of fun.”
As if I really need to explain the obvious, the aftermath of the GOP debates has taught us that the path to the Oval office is off-limits to any candidate who is not bought and paid for (lock, stock & barrel) by special interests and the corporate media.
Barely a handful of pre-approved lackeys are selected and lavished with an overwhelming amount of media coverage while anyone who stands for real issues or offers a viable alternative is shunned, or even worse, censored.
When Paul’s name comes up in a discussion of candidates, one hears words like “wacky” & “deranged” being kicked around as often as “flamboyant” and “eccentric”. Someone unfamiliar with the man couldn’t help but walk away thinking he was a member of Nicholson’s supporting cast from One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest.
His ardent supporters claim that Paul’s message of getting government out of our personal lives, destroying the IRS and returning to a founding father foreign policy of avoiding foreign entanglements is clearly evergreen and craved for by a huge chunk of informed, engaged and active American citizens.
I don’t personally agree with this sentiment, I think it’s naive and dismisses other elements of his philosophy, but I can see where it has a certain appeal.
I do think, however, that in spite of his many flaws Paul actually knows something that the other candidates probably deep down in their little shriveled hearts know but are scared to let themselves feel, which is that, people will vote for you even if they don’t agree with you on everything.
If they feel like you’re a person who has a conscience, who has some integrity, who’s got some intelligence, who calls it like you see it, who undoubtedly thinks for yourself.
The big question is: Is Ron Paul that guy?
I don’t know.
But what I do know is that somehow he is still dismissed as a minor character of no importance. The reality is he plays the role of the enigmatic Rosencrantz, perhaps to Dennis Kucinich’s Guildenstern (Ironically enough, you should read up on his position on much needed media reform), lending voters another set of eyes to view what now plagues Denmark.