Assessing the GOP field: Ron Paul

A member of the House of Representatives with no executive experience, Rep. Ron Paul may be a genuine conservative with strong libertarian leanings, but he’s certainly not a Reagan-style conservative. And he’s not ready to be president.

If he were to pull off a miracle and win the GOP nod, WonderfulPessimist.com could conceivably support his bid in the general election, but it would be a guaranteed losing ticket. He’s not well-known enough, he’s absolutely wrong on the War on Terror and all foreign policy issues, but he is a breath of fresh air in the area of domestic policy.

Rep. Paul is solid when it comes to interpreting the Constitution to its founder’s intent, and is correct on our country’s drift away from true constitutional government. He has solid viewpoints on domestic spending and conservative, small government principals and seems at times to disapprove of wearing sexy corsets, at least on the campaign trail, which puts him at odds with Democrat Senator Barney Frank. So there’s that.

That said, Rep. Paul is a mess on foreign policy, embracing such outdated isolationist policies that he’d make the old 1960s John Birch Society look like liberals. Rarely has a Republican been so embarrassingly wrong on all things foreign policy, and with the War on Terror, Iraq, Israel, the looming threat of Iran and more all promising to be vitally important, Paul simply is the wrong candidate at the wrong time, running on the wrong issues.

The GOP simply doesn’t need an anti-war candidate; while some of his pure Constitutionalism is sorely needed in the GOP, he simply is not the right conservative for WonderfulPessimist.com to support in the primary and caucus season. (But at least he’s a conservative.) Our call is that, at most, Paul might make a half-decent running mate for whoever does win the GOP nod; but we can also think of plenty of other GOP faithful who would make stronger, and far more legitimate, running mates for whoever does top the GOP ticket in 2008.

And here’s a confession: Rep. Ron Paul himself doesn’t scare me. But the fanaticism of his supporters, their unwillingness to listen to a simple, “he’s not my candidate of choice this time around” response, their endless antiwar rhetoric, is nothing short of frightening. And no one can win the White House by frightening members of their own party. (It didn’t even work for Howard Dean over in the Democratic party, where fanaticism is far more acceptable and in fashion, thanks to MoveOn.org.)

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