Thursday, May 17, 2007

Crazy Uncle

If you're the Republican Party, what do you do about Congressman Ron Paul? One of the long shot candidates for the Republican nomination for president, Paul's behavior at the Tuesday night debate in the South Carolina debate in implying the United States brought the 9-11 attacks upon itself.

Question: Are you suggesting we invited the 911 attacks sir?
Ron Paul: I’m suggesting that we listen to the people who attacked us and the reason they did it.
The remark was not allowed to go unchallenged, and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani was the challenger,
Can I make a comment on that? That’s really an extraordinary statement. As someone who lived through the attack on September 11th that we invited the attack because we were attacking Iraq. I don’t think I’ve ever heard that before and I’ve heard some pretty absurd explanations for September 11th. And I would ask the Congressman to withdraw that comment and tells us he didn’t really mean that.
Paul did not retract the remark, reminding us again why the Libertarian Party's standard bearer received 0.5% of the popular vote in 1988. So what can the Republicans do about a candidate who cannot win and whose beliefs tend towards blaming America first?

Saul Anuzes, Michigan Republican Party chairman, has a suggestion about Paul (ht: Sean Hackbarth),
I don’t have a problem with his libertarian views, but blaming 9-11 on us (U.S.) was over the top. I’m starting a petition to be signed by RNC members, publicly stating that his positions are NOT the positions of the Republican party and that he should be excluded from any future debates. On foreign policy, he would actually feel more at home on stage with the Democrats. He lost a lot of respect from everyone I talked to last night.
I'm not sure that one issue where a candidate would feel more at home in the other party is enough to exclude a candidate from future debates. But if you've seen one Giuliani abortion contortion act, you've seen them all. Perhaps we could have a rule against candidates participating if they have in the past expressly advocated the defeat of Republican candidates to advance a candidate of a different party.

Of course, that would mean excluding Governor Mitt Romney (who supported Democrat Paul Tsongas for president) from future debates - but is that a small price to pay? After all, his favorite book is L Ron Hubbard's Battlefield Earth. Turns out the religion issue is not Romney's Mormon faith, but Scientology. Will Romney's first act as president be freeing Katie Holmes?

The Ames Iowa straw poll is August 11th. Perhaps we'll be rid of the Party's crazy uncle then.

My column this week in the Waukesha Freeman looks at Tuesday night's debate and it's defining moment.

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