Where's the beef?

David Harsanyi has written an article in response to Ron Paul's winning of the CPAC straw poll that can only be described as a "hatchet job". I kept waiting for the meat of his arguments to emerge, but they never did. I'll quote one part:

If only it stopped there. Paul isn't a traditional conservative. His obsession with long-decided monetary policy and isolationism are not his only half-baked crusades. Paul's newsletters of the '80s and '90s were filled with anti-Semitic and racist rants, proving his slumming in the ugliest corners of conspiracyland today is no mistake.

Perhaps the greatest tragedy of Paul is that thousands of intellectually curious young people will have read his silly books, including End the Fed, as serious manifestoes. Though you wouldn't know it by listening to Paul or reading his words, libertarians do have genuine ideas that conservatives might embrace.

Did the folks at Reason just dig up an article from two years ago and put a new timestamp on it?

What about monetary policy is "long-decided"? Shouldn't the fact that the Fed was created to promote economic harmony but has reigned over numerous recessions be unsettling?

If Ron Paul is not a "serious thinker", why not, and by what standard? Are Obama, Bush, or McCain serious thinkers?

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Fox News simply repeated the

Fox News simply repeated the word "unscientific" whenever it mentioned the CPAC poll results, as its "news" reporters wondered aloud if indeed Paul’s runaway victory had any meaning at all. Most of the attendees were young activists, Fox anchors endlessly reminded their viewers – and oh those wacky kids! Fox also amplified the boos that greeted the announcement of Paul’s victory, but the reality is that the hall was at that moment filled with those who had come to hear Glenn Beck and Newt Gingrich, two speakers that were boycotted by the libertarians present on account of their odious views and smears directed at the Good Doctor. Is Fox News seriously asking us to believe the conference-goers were booing themselves?

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."

Earl Ofari Hutchinson, as a supporter of the present admnistration – which is waging an immoral and unsustainable war in Iraq, Afghanistan,
and Pakistan – has every reason to find Ron Paul and his supporters "scary."So do the neocons, the vultures of the American politics, who hover over every battlefield cheering on the slaughter. I revel in their fear: it gladdens my heart and sustains me. Because it means, not that we’re winning, necessarily, but that we can win. And in a battle of this kind, so hard and unforgiving, that makes all the difference.

http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2010/02/23/ron-pauls-victory/

Ron Paul 2012, if only...

but the reality is that the

but the reality is that the hall was at that moment filled with those who had come to hear Glenn Beck and Newt Gingrich, two speakers that were boycotted by the libertarians present on account of their odious views and smears directed at the Good Doctor. Is Fox News seriously asking us to believe the conference-goers were booing themselves?

Beck has certainly not been fair to Paul, but odious smears? Beck has had Paul on quite a bit and dealt with him in a friendly manner. I think Beck's biggest problem with regard to Paul is that he hasn't wanted to dwell on what he thinks is wrong with Paul. The deal breaker for Beck is obviously the War on Terror - if Paul were for it Beck would be for Paul. But Beck doesn't want to have that argument with Paul or his fans; because many of Beck's fans are also fans of Paul.

Libertarian attendees of CPAC now boycott conservative speakers? An odd place to do it.

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."

Sometimes people who are ignored and laughed at never win the presidency. Often, actually.

I never really liked Reason

I never really liked Reason magazine all that much. (For an alternative, I like Liberty a bit better.)

I think "serious" has a double meaning. The superficial and official meaning is something like "having intrinsic merit". Don't ask me by what standard because the question is moot: as I said, this is only the superficial meaning. The real meaning is something like, "not embarrassing". While sometimes embarrassment is based on lack of merit, the quality of being embarrassing is not an intrinsic quality.

I'm a big fan of Reason

I liked it when Postrel was running things, and I like it in the Gillespie era. I like the style. I may be one of the few libertarians who like the attempts to tie libertarianism to culture. One of my favorite articles was this one which in part inspired me to start this blog.

Two forums lost relevance for me

Two forums lost relevance for me during the Paul campaign. I used to follow them both regularly, but I couldn't understand why they didn't address what seemed to be the biggest popular groundswell for libertarian ideas and Austrian economics I had ever seen. The longer they stayed quiet, the more puzzled I was that they couldn't form a public opinion on what was happening in the very subject their organization was supposed to address.

At the time, I had been listening to daily podcasts from each organization. I had followed each for years and saw them as central participants in free market ideology. Today, if a friend highly recommends one of their articles, I may visit one or the other of them to read it. But I don't feel like either organization will ever be able to introduce me to a news event or idea that I haven't already heard of somewhere else.

The two are Cato and Economist magazine.

Though they took a lot of

Though they took a lot of flack when they started publishing on the newsletters, I didn't think Reason was that bad on the issue. David's dreck here is another story.

I've heard the newsletters characterized as "anti-semitic", but I've never actually seen any quotes to support that. All the quotes have been about blacks.

I also have not read anything anti-semitic...

...from the letters though have heard that term thrown around.

I guess they just assumed

I guess they just assumed nobody else was going to read them, so they could get away with misrepresentation.

Paul clearly was, at least,

Paul clearly was, at least, slumming with the editor of his old newsletter, very probably Lew Rockwell. That's the most charitable face you can put on it. But since Paul is never going to be president, slumming is beside the point. Even if you dismiss Paul as having insufficient character for the office (howl!) his arguments still need to be considered on their merits.