This was an interesting night for politics. Thanks to the brilliant and perspicacious Allahpundit, I got an early look at Fred Thompson’s announcement on Leno (the Tonight Show isn’t even on yet here in CA as I write). Fred did well I thought – relaxed and affable, but serious enough too. (I was less impressed with his campaign video – but that was also okay) I particularly enjoyed his one-liner about the tedious ten-man debates. Something like: “It’s harder to get on the Tonight Show than it is on the debates.” No kidding.
We’ll all be watching the Thompson road show from here on in. I hope that he doesn’t ride the social conservative issues too hard because I suspect that’s big loser, especially in the final election. Exploiting those issues to get the nomination is a booby-trap. And, in any case, Thompson is a phony spokesman for extreme social conservatism and anyone with the slightest sense would know that. He is a modern man who has lived a very modern life.
He is the polar antithesis of Ron Paul, who is now starting to scare me. Glenn Reynolds calls him a kook, but that is charitable. He is worse. Paul gives me the willies. Something about watching him talk about “neo conservatives” in tonight’s debate with his neck rigid and his hands clutching made me tense with memories I didn’t like. The joke is over. There is something spooky about Ron Paul and something even spookier about his acolytes whose devotion pushes them to support him in online polls like cyber-brown shirts. They have made a mockery of the Pajamas Media Straw Poll (you should read our email–the Paulites filled with vitriol and obscenity when their candidate falls below one percent and drops off; reams of others writing us in despair to blackball him forever and return to the poll to normalcy).
The Fox News flash poll has also been destroyed by the Paulites who again pushed their candidate to victory tonight with 35% of the vote;Huckabee had 18 percent. Giuliani trudged along in third at 16. What does this mean? Paul still does not register on national polls. In fact, tonight he was devastated by Mike Huckabee, but that doesn’t bother his acolytes whose belief in their leader is religious. I have no such belief in any politician and find that highly dangerous. Twentieth Century Europe was turned into a charnel house from such belief in leaders. Of course, the Paul crowd despises such comparisons but they are not the most sophisticated of people. His supporters live in a kind of libertarian-geek-neverland far from the reality of the lives of the rest of us. Trapped behind their computers, they want to squeeze the world into the models, but it just won’t fit. They also have a kind of America first-ism that smacks of xenophobia. This is not a cocktail I care to drink.