Friday, May 18, 2007

THE RON PAUL PHENOMENON It's been fascinating to watch the anxious reception Rep. Ron Paul's (R-TX) candidacy has received from the Republican establishment. (Watch Paul in action here.)

The problem with Paul is that his very presence in the race draws attention to some ugly realities about the GOP in the Bush era: That the post-9/11 national security and foreign policy consensus among so-called conservatives is out of sync with the party's history; that it consists chiefly of vacuous bumper sticker phrases; and that its central tenets (e.g. "fight them over there so we don't have to fight them here") don't hold up under real scrutiny.

Paul didn't get the memo that Republicans are supposed to close their mouths and clap louder. And it appears that there may be a constituency in the party for someone who has the foreign policy views (extreme versions of them, admittedly) of a pre-9/11 Republican.

It could be an interesting few months.

(For even more on Paul, read this post from June, 2005.)

CONTRAPOSITIVE is edited by Dan Aibel. Dan's a playwright. He lives in New York City.