At the halfway point of an otherwise non-blogging month, I pop back in briefly to note that Huntsman will be on TV any minute now speaking about his departure from the Republican race for president and his endorsement of Romney.
One irony is that he turned on Ron Paul toward the end, trying to get attention by blaming Paul for a racist ad that Paul plainly did not create (and which bore no resemblance to Paul’s actual, freedom-themed ads) – when in truth, Huntsman has enough libertarian tendencies to make Ron Paul a more logical second choice for Huntsman voters. I hope the small handful of Huntsman voters, for what it’s worth, will figure that out for themselves.
(And with five GOP candidates left – and Perry probably out soon – my main hope now is just that Gingrich and Romney continue to tear each other down until Paul becomes the plurality candidate around whom real conservatives rally. I am grateful, therefore, for Newt’s stubbornness. Even Paul says Romney looks hard to stop, though. And let us not speak of Santorum.)
I hope Huntsman’s departure so soon after failing to get traction with his condemnation of the non-Paul race ad will be the last time we have to rehash any Paul racism charges. Last I heard, it didn’t even sound as if Paul’s Alabama paleoconservative allies were the ones responsible for the old, offending newsletter passages but, ironically, as if they might have been the result of a “respectable” East Coast thinktanker/business writer clumsily trying to wax satirical in a half-offensive Gawker-like fashion – and as if at least one of the pieces clearly bore that writer’s byline rather than being written by Paul or ghostwritten and attributed to Paul.
The more you look at it, the less there seems to be there. And Paul’s actual output is so vast, there are countless more productive avenues of investigation – so let’s stick to them. Ironically, though, when the notoriously-vast heap of unshelved books in my apartment collapsed the other day, the top layer of sediment unveiled was in fact a copy of the Ron Paul Freedom Report newsletter (October 2007, to be precise), which I had totally forgotten I ever had. You will be shocked to learn the articles therein are about taxes and sound money, not the black man.
We can’t bring MLK back to life today to ask his opinion of Ron Paul, but another important 1960s figure is still with us: Julie Newmar, one of three women to play Catwoman on the 1960s Batman series (another being Eartha Kitt, in a wonderful bit of raceblind casting, by the way), endorsed Ron Paul on Facebook. Maybe a campaign ad is in order with her saying (with an astonishingly-still-sexy purr): “I played a famous thief – but there is one candidate who rrrrespects your property rights.”
(South Carolina Republican senator Jim DeMint's endorsement right about now would also be greatly appreciated, of course.)
In any case, with Paul’s focus plainly on individual liberty and tolerance, those worried about incipient fascism should probably be made more nervous by the “Sympathy for the Devil” cover by Slovenian band Laibach (who, I am pleased to hear, will also do the music for the Nazis-from-the-moon comedy film Iron Sky in April).
Speaking of fascists, the crucial thing being left out in the reporting about the unusually chaotic passenger and crew reaction in that tragic cruise-ship-sinking may be the fact that the scrambling evacuees were largely Italians. Italy spawned the Roman Empire, Catholicism, the Mafia, fascism, various forms of machismo – and perhaps not coincidentally a culture in which spontaneous forms of order such as “waiting in line” often do not exist, shocked though I was the first time I heard about that problem from an Italian immigrant. Maybe they are slightly less likely to abandon ship in civil fashion without a leader.
But I’ll be back in February to further raise the level of civility. See you on Groundhog Dog.