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The War Party: A Paper Tiger

The War Party: A Paper Tiger
What we're up against: a conditioned reflex, a couple of catch-phrases, and Fox News
by Justin Raimondo

The reaction to Ron Paul’s runaway victory in the CPAC presidential poll continues to roll in, and I wouldn’t dwell on it as much as I have except for its significance as indicative of a sea-change on the right and in the country generally. And also, for another reason: because I can’t help but wonder at the paucity of intellectual firepower among Paul’s critics.

From the snide Washington-insiderism of the "cosmotarians" in the ostensibly libertarian movement, to the fact-free hysterics of professional race-baiter Earl Ofari Hutchinson, and the Vyshinsky-like denunciations by Michael "Mushroom Cloud" Gerson, the Bush II speechwriter and Washington Post columnist, one gets a sense that there is no real opposition to Paul’s ideology – only a huge intellectual vacuum lit up by lightning flashes of malice. While the above-mentioned anti-Paulistas come at their target from a variety of ideological positions, what they all have in common is a refusal to engage his actual ideas, and instead focus on some irrelevant detail or incident in order to discredit the man and the movement he spawned.

The "cosmotarians," i.e. Reason magazine editor Matt Welch, his former employee Dave Weigel, and the so-called Orange Line Mafia, came closest with their attacks on Paul’s strategy. The only problem for them is that their thesis – that the Paulian strategy of anticipating and appealing to a burgeoning anti-government protest movement which they fairly described as "right-wing populist" would not only fail miserably but bring libertarianism into fatal disrepute – proved to be absolutely and laughably wrong. Paul is inarguably the single most successful popularizer of libertarian ideas, and today he stands at the head of a movement that extends far beyond the traditional libertarian periphery. The frantic attacks against Paul that are still being launched in the online pages of Reason magazine are boomeranging, with a record number of canceled subscriptions and renewals abjured. An effort that aimed to discredit Paul is, instead, bringing discredit on the perpetrators – and isn’t it refreshing to see that there’s some justice in this world?

Yet the cosmotarians didn’t engage Paul’s ideas, either, but instead tried to deflect them by claiming that his strategy was politically and culturally incorrect, and that it was all an evil plot hatched by Murray Rothbard and Lew Rockwell to submerge the cool hip libertarian movement into the Neanderthal dregs of the Reactionary Right, where blazers rather than black leather jackets are the uniform of choice.

Continue reading: http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2010/03/02/the-war-party-...