Teabaggers Take Aim at Ron Paul
- News & Views for Anarchists & Activists:
Tea Party movement takes aim at Ron Paul
By David Edwards and Daniel Tencer
Tuesday, February 9th, 2010 -- 11:19 am
There is more than a little irony in the fact that congressman Ron Paul
is facing three primary challengers this year, all of them linked in
some way to the Tea Party movement.
Many observers give the libertarian from Texas credit for having sparked
the Tea Party movement in 2007 when he held a "money bomb" fundraiser on
the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, raking in some $6 million for
his presidential run in one day.
But, as the Dallas Morning News reported earlier this week, Paul is
facing three primary challengers -- more than he has faced in the past
six primaries combined. And every one of the challengers is linked to
the Tea Party movement.
Washington Independent contributor David Weigel told MSNBC's Rachel
Maddow Monday night that the Tea Party movement of today has little in
common with that fundraiser in 2007.
"Those libertarian ideas [may be] popular at the Cato Institute, [but]
they're not really popular with Tea Party activists," Weigel said.
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As the Morning News put it, Tea Partiers say Paul is "too focused on his
national ambitions; that his views are too extreme; that he doesn't
support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; that he votes 'no' on
everything, including federal aid for his district after Hurricane Ike."
By comparison, "the Sarah Palin version of Tea Party conservatism is a
little bit less specific," Weigel said. "It's more slogany. You can
write the talking points on your hand if you want to."
That the Tea Party movement has become a threat to Paul is not lost on
The Morning News reports that, in December, Paul sent out a letter to
supporters saying that his opponents "turned their attack dogs loose on
me," and warned that the anti-incumbent mood among voters could affect
him as well.
"There is one thing Paul does that might backfire," Weigel wrote at the
Washington Independent. "While Paul votes against basically all spending
bills, he notoriously gets earmark requests into those bills, so that
local projects survive when other members vote those bills through. That
barely dinged Paul in 2008, but it may become an issue now."
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