The unwavering and inimitable Ron Paul

Once dismissed by left and right, Rep. Ron Paul is suddenly liked.

By , Guest blogger

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    Rep. Ron Paul (R) of Texas Rep. questions Federal Reserve Board chairman Ben Bernanke at a hearing in Washington in February. Mr. Paul is up for chairmanship of the House subcommittee that oversees the Fed, but doubts the GOP leadership will give it to him.
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Hey, our old friend Ron Paul is in the news. The New York Times carried an article about him. Astonishingly, it wasn’t negative. Yes, it mentioned that Ron was regarded as a “crank.” But in context, that didn’t seem so bad.

“I was with Ron just last week,” said colleague Addison Wiggin. “He was just coming up for the chairmanship of the House subcommittee that oversees the Fed. He said he thought he had a ‘snowball’s chance in Hell’ of getting the post.

“The last time he was in line for it, the Republican hierarchy blocked him. But that was then. This is now.”

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A few years ago, everyone hated Ron. The left hated him because he wanted to withdraw funding for its pet projects. The right hated him because he wanted to rein in the US military.

Now, things have turned around. The left likes Ron because he wants to bring the troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan. The right likes Ron because he is a consistent opponent of deficit spending.

The young are fascinated by him. What sort of Congressman votes no on his colleagues’ boondoggles? What sort of conservative opposes the Pentagon and calls for an audit of the Fed? What sort of politician sticks to his principles, even when they are out of favor?

Most recently, the right-wingers have been howling for Julian Assange’s blood. They say he’s a “traitor” – despite the fact that as an Australian, he has no loyalty to the US. Sarah Palin says he should be pursued like an Al Qaeda operative (though he has committed no crime, as far as we know). Rep. Peter King asked the Attorney General to name WikiLeaks as a terrorist organization.

But good ol’ Ron keeps his head and his cool. He praises Assange for revealing the “delusional” nature of US foreign policy.

And poor Julian. Half the world wants to see him hang. And for what? He published some documents that US and foreign governments would rather keep secret. It may be a crime; politicians can make anything a crime. But since when was that a sin?

Even as to the crime, we have our doubts. If publishing is a crime, your editor is in trouble. If publishing “sensitive” documents that make US officials look like fools is a crime, we’re all in trouble.

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