The audacity of Dr. Nope

Jeremy Lott and W. James Antle III:

Ron Paul's supporters aren't afraid to open up their wallets to aid the Texas congressman’s long-shot presidential bid.

On Dec. 16, they donated more than $6 million in 24 hours, easily shattering the $4.3 million single-day fundraising record they set on Nov. 5.

Relying on 200,000-plus mostly small donors, Paul has brought in more than $18 million this quarter and may lead the Republican field in fourth-quarter fundraising.

In return for their generosity, Paul is offering his enthusiastic backers ... absolutely nothing.

At least that's how it would seem according to the conventional “pay to play” logic of big-time campaign fundraising.

The maverick libertarian Republican isn't promising ethanol subsidies to Iowans or free health care to New Hampshirites.

Paul opposes all kinds of corporate welfare and voted against the Medicare prescription drug benefit.

Nor is Paul championing a federal bailout of cash-strapped home buyers or mortgage lenders. His solution for what ails the country is minimal taxes and hard money, not federal guarantees or easy credit.
Where other presidential candidates claim their policies will simultaneously create prosperity and financial security for millions, Paul actually says on the stump, "I don't want to run the economy. I don't know how."

Over his 10 terms in Congress, Paul has earned the nickname "Dr. No" for voting against just about every trendy piece of legislation to come down the pike.


It should be noted that he is promising his voters what they want. Libertarians tend to want the government out of their lives and as Paul's donations indicate, they are willing to pay for that. Paul's antiwar position makes him more in the left wing libertarian camp. If all that fund raising temps him to run on the libertarian ticket, unlike in previous elections his support will drain Democrat votes rather than Republicans.


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