Rep. Paul has united the GOP.
The question sounds facetious, since Texas Congressman Ron Paul failed to make any traction among GOP primary voters last year.
Throughout the 2008 presidential primaries, Rep. Paul railed against the Federal Reserve Bank and the coming economic crash. And all the other GOP candidates seemed to look at him like he had just crawled out of the grassy knoll. So did most voters, except for a coterie of highly-motivated and mostly young primary voters he organized. Then economic reality happened, and the establishment GOP's economic model crashed along with the party's election hopes. Everything changed.
Ron Paul's “rEVOLution” (revolution with “love” spelled backwards) has been the sole bright light among GOP organizing efforts since Obama's election. In a party marred by the awkward resignation of Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin from the Alaska governorship and a variety of sexual scandals (David Vitter, John Ensign, Mark Sanford, etc), Ron Paul alone has unified the GOP around an overwhelmingly popular proposal: Auditing the Federal Reserve. His bill (H.R. 1207) has every Republican House member, a score of senators and – according to a July Rasmussen poll – three quarters of the American people backing it. He even has significant bipartisan support: More than a third of the Democrats in the House also cosponsor the bill, which is the reason why two-thirds of the entire Democrat-dominated House is currently cosponsoring the legislation.
On the health care debate, Rep. Paul seems the perfect candidate to give the GOP an authoritative spokesman to oppose Obama's expensive health care agenda. Dr. Paul is a medical doctor, an obstetrician who has delivered more than 4,000 babies.
Meanwhile, the Ron Paul revolution appears to be flowering politically. Consider the following:
Web Organization: The Ron Paul “rEVOLution” movement created more than a dozen highly trafficked websites, including DailyPaul.com, LewRockwell.com, RonPaul.com, in addition to Dr. Paul's official CampaignForLiberty.com. These websites have kept the revolutionaries active and on-task since the letdown of the election.
Tea Parties: From those websites and the election year Meetups emerged the nucleus of the “Tea Party” rallies that exploded nationwide this year. Although the “Tea Party” movement was a larger, organic uprising than simply the result of a single presidential candidacy, most of the original rallies were first organized by Ron Paul supporters. More importantly, precious few of the Tea Party attendees were actively identifying themselves with other national Republican leaders. Ron Paul revolutionaries have helped to keep the tea parties non-partisan, targeting not just Democrats, but also left-leaning Republicans like Iowa's Senator Chuck Grassley, who has been working with Obama to extend federal controls over health care.
Increasingly Powerful PAC: Dr. Paul's Liberty PAC funded nine winning congressional candidates in 2008, including freshman California Rep. Tom McClintock – one of the few new GOP congressmen the party saw elected in 2008. But most of the $25 million that Dr. Paul raised in 2008 went toward his presidential campaign. Look for the Texas Republican to use the astonishing fundraising prowess he demonstrated during the 2008 presidential campaign to expand his assistance to libertarian-leaning Republicans in congressional mid-term elections next year.
He should have plenty of revolutionary candidates to fund. The Ron Paul Revolution has also created an informal slate of congressional candidates nationwide. And the political field was cleared in recent weeks for a couple of his key supporters in prospective U.S. Senate campaigns.
Rand Paul, Ron Paul’s son and fellow medical doctor (ophthalmologist), announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate in Kentucky this month. Days earlier, incumbent Republican Jim Bunning bowed out of a reelection contest.
Peter Schiff, an economic advisor to the Ron Paul campaign who became a YouTube sensation after forecasting the current recession with astonishing precision, is considering a race for U.S. Senate in Connecticut against politically-troubled incumbent Christopher Dodd. Dodd was already considered a vulnerable candidate after receiving a mortgage from sub-prime lender Countrywide, and was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer. The ailment may make it difficult for him to wage an aggressive campaign. The Senate Ethics Committee cleared Dodd of ethics violations on August 7, but the committee criticized Dodd because “the committee does believe that you should have exercised more vigilance in your dealings with Countrywide in order to avoid the appearance that you were receiving preferential treatment based on your status as a senator.” Schiff hasn’t even announced his candidacy officially and he has already raised over $750,000, more than either of his two would-be GOP primary opponents.
The Ron Paul revolution also includes a number of lesser-known candidates and candidates who face uphill electoral battles, like Gulf War veteran and anti-war activist Adam Kokesh. Kokesh is running in New Mexico's heavily Democratic third congressional district. But even Kokesh has earned some rather impressive internet fundraising numbers, which may help make him a serious contender.
In a July Gallup poll, Americans ranked the Federal Reserve lowest among a battery of nine federal agencies – even lower than the IRS. Thus, it’s not surprising Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has hired a political lobbyist and has begun a nationwide public relations tour to stop Dr. Paul's legislative juggernaut. Dr. Paul is planning a public relations offensive against the Federal Reserve Bank of his own, having authored a follow-up to his April 2008 New York Times best-selling book Revolution: A Manifesto. His latest book, End the Fed, is already selling well at Amazon.com – even though it isn't even slated to be published until September 16. The contention of End the Fed is that the current economic crisis was largely a creation of the Federal Reserve's efforts to suppress interest rates earlier in the decade, creating the housing boom as well as its subsequent bust. Considering the Fed's polling numbers, that should be an easy sell.
Ron Paul and his dedicated followers may have been the tail of the GOP dog during the 2008 campaign, but so far this year the tail has been wagging the dog.