For the First Time Since the 1930s

Justin Raimondo

Recently by Justin Raimondo: Meanwhile,
in the Persian Gulf…

The results
of the Iowa caucus have the news media spinning a “victory”
for Mitt Romney, the Goldman-Sachs
, and the supposedly all-but-inevitable nominee of
his party. Just why he was deemed the “frontrunner
before even a single vote had been cast is a mystery known only
to the professional pundits, who seem to have bestowed this title
on him because of his perfect
and his perfectly
persona. Romney is the Stepford Candidate, robotically
repeating those phrases which are expected of him with all the conviction
of a simulacrum. Which leads one to wonder: how can this preprogrammed
human automaton ever hope to defeat the personable and relatively

For those with
more imagination, the victor in this fight has been Rick
, whose surge toward the end put him within a dozen
or so votes of Romney. Hours after the results were announced, we
were treated to the sight of breathless commentators anointing a
candidate with no money and no real conservative credentials as
the One True Anti-Romney
who could snatch the crown from Mitt’s brow.

The Iowa caucus
results are supposed to be all about “expectations,” which
begs the question: whose expectations? Why, the mainstream
media’s, of course, a fact which – you’ll note – allows these guardians
of the conventional wisdom to play their key role as the final arbiters
of what all this voting means. And the formulaic “spin”
had been determined
far in advance: if Romney won, then his coronation was supposed
to be foreordained. If anybody but Romney won, it would simply delay
Romney’s final victory. If Ron Paul won, then the Iowa caucuses
would henceforth be deemed “irrelevant.”

Peter Feaver,
on, was typically dismissive of Paul’s showing:

Iowa results probably indicate that there will not be a big crack-up
within the Republican party on foreign policy because the caucus
returns are likely to be the high-water mark for the candidate with
the most distinctive foreign policy platform in the field: Ron Paul.
He did well enough to gain another week of press attention. But
in the one contest best-suited to his unusual political operation,
Paul did not beat expectations. He would have to really surprise
in New Hampshire in order to remain relevant in the later primaries,
and those are likely to be even tougher terrain for him.”

all about “press attention” – but what if it isn’t? What
if it’s possible to bypass
the traditional gatekeepers and create a movement weaned on alternative
media and rising populist anger at the Washington-New York power
elite? Because that is precisely what Paul has
, and that movement has hardly crested in the wilds of Iowa:
it’s only owing to a deficiency of imagination on the part of Feaver
and his confreres, a curious sort of tunnel vision, that allows
them that assumption.

reality of Paul’s accomplishment is clear, as the feisty congressman
in his final Iowa speech
to his supporters

also, the great strides that we have made has been really on foreign
policy. The fact that we can once again talk in Republican circles
and make it credible. Talk about what Eisenhower said that beware
of the military-industrial complex. Talk about the old days when
Robert Taft, Mr. Republican, said that we shouldn’t be engaged in
these entangling alliance. He believed what the founders taught
us. He didn’t even want to be in NATO. We certainly don’t need NATO
and the UN telling us when to go to war.

we have seen a great difference. The majority of the American people
are behind us on this whole war effort. They’re tired of the war.
Cost too much money. Too many people get killed. Too many people
get injured. Too many people get sick. And the majority – maybe
70% or 80% – of the American people now are saying it’s time to
get out of Afghanistan.”

At every debate,
and every campaign
, Paul is transforming the discourse. Forced to start
noticing him due to his steadily
poll numbers, the mainstream media invariably dismissed
his ability to expand beyond a narrow libertarian base, which was
limited by his “isolationist” foreign policy views. Yet
he managed to pull off what was essentially a three-way
, denying the alleged frontrunner and the media-anointed
“conservative” a clear victory.

I’ll note,
in passing, that Democrats opposed to our aggressive foreign policy
are almost never described as “isolationists,” and one
can hardly imagine a reporter referring to the demonstrations protesting
the Iraq war
as “isolationist” rallies. The left-right,
red state-blue state lens the media clamps over every event distorts
and masks a somewhat more complex underlying reality.

has been made of Paul’s youthful constituency, and his lead in commanding
the support of political independents and Democrats who signed up
as Republicans for the evening, and yet less is said about the 18
percent of evangelicals
who cast their lot with the one presidential
candidate who wants
to dismantle the Empire
. In spite of a relentless smear campaign
by Fox News
and the neoconservative would-be
of the right, nearly a quarter of Iowa Republicans
stood with Paul at the caucuses.

The icing on
this cake is that the candidate made no
to downplay or hide his supposedly “controversial”
foreign policy views: indeed, he emphasized
even when he was talking about domestic policy, tying the
conservative project of dismantling the federal Leviathan to the
need to drop the burden
of empire. That over 20 percent of Iowa caucus-goers voted to endorse
Paul’s uncompromising anti-interventionism scares the
out of the GOP establishment because the Paulians aren’t
going to go away. Well-funded and blessed with a growing army of
enthusiastic volunteers, the Paul campaign has the resources to
go all the way to Tampa.

the rest of the article

9, 2012

Raimondo [send him mail]
is editorial director of
and is the author of
Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard
and Reclaiming
the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement

© 2012

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