Bircheresque crank: “I have a lot of friends in the John Birch Society”

posted at 4:53 pm on July 20, 2007 by Allahpundit

I’m counting the minutes:

A feature piece in this coming Sunday’s New York Times Magazine on Republican candidate for president, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, portrays his followers as including a wild mix of “wackos” on both ends of the political spectrum. Paul, a libertarian, has been gaining media and public attention of late…

The article closes with the author, Christopher Caldwell, attending a Ron Paul Meetup in Pasadena. The co-host, Connie Ruffley of United Republicans of California, admits she once was a member of the radical right John Birch Society and when she asks for a show of hands “quite a few” attendees reveal that they were or are members, too. She refers to Sen. Dianne Feinstein as “Fine-Swine” and attacks Israel, pleasing some while others “walked out.”

Caldwell notes that the head of the Pasadena Meetup Group, Bill Dumas, sent a desperate letter to Paul headquarters: “We’re in a difficult position of working on a campaign that draws supporters from laterally opposing points of view, and we have the added bonus of attracting every wacko fringe group in the country….We absolutely must focus on Ron’s message only and put aside all other agendas, which anyone can save for the next ‘Star Trek’ convention or whatever.”

Asked about the John Birch Society Society by the author, Paul responds, “Is that BAD? I have a lot of friends in the John Birch Society. They’re generally well-educated and they understand the Constitution. I don’t know how many positions they would have that I don’t agree with.”

Memo to Karol, whose blog is presently sporting an unholy Paul for President sidebar ad: you are dead to me.

Update: How could I forget?

Update: “If he’s crazy, he’s my kind of crazy.”


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Comments

I don’t know how many positions they would have that I don’t agree with

I would pay money to watch the look on the faces of the staffers for Paul after he said that.

Tman on July 20, 2007 at 5:00 PM

Oh, the John Birchers love the guy, I had an article with them heaping praise on him for his Iowa rally, an AoS commenter went to the thing and was less impressed.

Bad Candy on July 20, 2007 at 5:00 PM

Don’t tell anyone, but I have friends that are democrats.

Spirit of 1776 on July 20, 2007 at 5:01 PM

Spirit of 1776 on July 20, 2007 at 5:01 PM

I knew there was something wrong with you…wolves..sheep’s clothing..Oh I don’t know…

doriangrey on July 20, 2007 at 5:03 PM

I have a confession too………I kinda think Bush might not be that bright…..please don’t tell anyone.

Tman on July 20, 2007 at 5:05 PM

an AoS commenter went to the thing and was less impressed.

I guess there was no vodka or hobo’s.

KelliD on July 20, 2007 at 5:08 PM

Heh. Nah, I don’t think he mentioned Val-U-Rite or hobos, though I think Ace is the only hobo hunter at AoS.

Bad Candy on July 20, 2007 at 5:10 PM

Hey, Fred groupies!

Ron Paul is totally nuts, eh?

BKennedy on July 20, 2007 at 5:15 PM

Hey, Fred groupies!

Ron Paul is totally nuts, eh?

BKennedy on July 20, 2007 at 5:15 PM

Yeah, he hangs around with Birchers and Truthers. He’s nuts. Nice attempt to kick around Fred supporters, but YOU FAIL.

Don’t turn into another csdeven…

Bad Candy on July 20, 2007 at 5:17 PM

Bad Candy on July 20, 2007 at 5:17 PM

Don’t turn into another csdeven…

To late……..

doriangrey on July 20, 2007 at 5:21 PM

The John Birch Society still exists? Wow. I did not know that.

Drew on July 20, 2007 at 5:21 PM

Memo to Karol, whose blog is presently sporting an unholy Paul for President sidebar ad: you are dead to me.

OH COME ON. Do you agree with every ad Hot Air has ever run?

Karol on July 20, 2007 at 5:27 PM

doriangrey on July 20, 2007 at 5:03 PM

Heh. Well some of them are good cooks, what can I say?

Spirit of 1776 on July 20, 2007 at 5:27 PM

We absolutely must focus on Ron’s message only and put aside all other agendas, which anyone can save for the next ‘Star Trek’ convention or whatever.”

I find your logic, irrational. It’s an insult to Trekkie’s.

It’s like all the Fruit of the Looms have all sprung from their cages and have fluttered like moths to the flame of stupidity.

Kini on July 20, 2007 at 5:29 PM

rho?

RushBaby on July 20, 2007 at 5:29 PM

OH COME ON. Do you agree with every ad Hot Air has ever run?

DEAD TO ME.

Allahpundit on July 20, 2007 at 5:30 PM

OH COME ON. Do you agree with every ad Hot Air has ever run?

Karol on July 20, 2007 at 5:27 PM

No, but that Mitchum stuff is pretty darn good.

RushBaby on July 20, 2007 at 5:30 PM

I have a lot of friends in the John Birch Society.

-Ron Paul

Why does this not surprise me?

Oh, right. Because he already sounded uncomfortably like a three-way hybrid of David Ickes, David Duke, and Jim Marrs before he owned up to this one.

I wait with bated breath for him to begin muttering darkly about the secret sex-slave dungeons under the White House that are kept for the exclusive use of the alien Reptiloids who really run the entire planet Earth!

/I’m not sure if that’s sarcasm or not, actually.

cheers

eon

eon on July 20, 2007 at 5:32 PM

Having no more familiarity with the John Birch Society other than the old, odd rumors that they were hysterically anti-communist paranoics, I just went to their website to get a clue.

After scanning their deeper declarations:

They sound like Keith Olbermann if he went camo Survivalist.

Bush is Hitler, Israel is the real problem, innocent Muslims are probably being held as test guinea pigs/prisoners to prepare the overthrow-of-the-Constitution groundwork for our evil governnment’s later Bircher-ite round-up ….et al, ad absurdum.

Their positions on border security, illegals, etc. are identical to HA’s and my own.

But cranks can like beer and pretzels and still not be anyone you’d trust with a sharp can-opener.

Ron Paul, on the other hand, is just a blunt tool.

profitsbeard on July 20, 2007 at 5:41 PM

The whole article.

I thought it a rather good piece. It portrays a principled conservative politician, who takes his job seriously, isn’t bothered by working with such unpersons as Barney Frank, and whose political philosophy is grounded in the belief that big-government often fails and is rarely the most effective tool to achieve any goal.

For this Allahpundit disdains him.

The ghetto-treatment the Republican Party has inflicted upon conservatives is going to bite you folks in the butt, and it will be quite fascinating to see all those executive powers you’ve eagerly handed to George W. Bush in Hillary Clinton’s hands. ‘Cause running–once again–on the war leaves the Party highly vulnerable to variables beyond positive control, and conservatives might just stay home.

rho on July 20, 2007 at 5:50 PM

BKennedy on July 20, 2007 at 5:15 PM

Except Fred Thompson doesn’t embrace Truthers and the John Birch Society. Of course there’s also the fact that Fred heads don’t usually refer to each other as a “whacko fringe group”.

amerpundit on July 20, 2007 at 5:52 PM

It portrays a principled conservative politician, who takes his job seriously, isn’t bothered by working with such unpersons as Barney Frank, and whose political philosophy is grounded in the belief that big-government often fails and is rarely the most effective tool to achieve any goal.

Yes, all these things are very offensive to me. Especially the icky, icky unperson who is Barney Frank.

You keep lighting that strawman, tool. And I’ll keep reminding you that it’s not Paul’s libertarianism that irks me, it’s his bottom-feeding, Truther-pandering, conspiracy-theorizing, Bircher-embracing crankishness. I’ll see you at the next Larouche convention, ‘kay?

Allahpundit on July 20, 2007 at 5:54 PM

rho on July 20, 2007 at 5:50 PM

I’m pretty sure Allah “disdains” him because he’s a nut. More than anything else, however, I “disdain” him because of his supporters. I don’t take getting attacked, spammed, and constantly emailed, happily. Neither does Charles Johnson. Or MSNBC. Or Pajamas Media. Or Compete.com. Or anyone else who’ve had to deal with the Paul supporters.

amerpundit on July 20, 2007 at 5:58 PM

Ron Paul needs to learn how to be a real presidential candidate.

C’mon, Ron, when was the last time you claimed to be pro-life politician, when, in actuality, you have billing records from your work as a lobbyist for a pro-abortion group?

(Don’t wory, though, I’m sure it’s all just a “hitpiece” from the L.A. Times.)

tad on July 20, 2007 at 6:02 PM

I thought it a rather good piece. It portrays a principled conservative politician, who takes his job seriously, isn’t bothered by working with such unpersons as Barney Frank

Incidentally, mind if I put you to your proof here and get you to point to a post I’ve written that makes you think I consider Barney Frank an “unperson”? I actually support gay marriage and criticized Coulter (as did Michelle and Bryan) when she called Edwards a “faggot,” so I’d appreciate a cite before you go ahead and pronounce me a homophobe in the Church of Paul.

Allahpundit on July 20, 2007 at 6:03 PM

tad on July 20, 2007 at 6:02 PM

I’d rather have a guy that changed his stance on abortion, than a guy who trades whacko conspiracy theories, and embraces the Truthers and John Birch Society.

BTW, I loved how Ron Paul is apparently against getting federal dollars to pay for pork, while he submitted over 60 funding requests, including marketing for his local shrimp industry.

amerpundit on July 20, 2007 at 6:08 PM

I actually support gay marriage and criticized Coulter (as did Michelle and Bryan) when she called Edwards a “faggot,”

As did I. I signed that blogger petition to CPAC, asking them to no longer invite Coulter.

amerpundit on July 20, 2007 at 6:10 PM

Hey, you attempted to cram Rosie O’Donnell’s words into Ron Paul’s mouth with regard to what his opinions are on the Gulf of Tonkin incident. You accusing me of a “strawman argument” doesn’t really sting, chief.

His libertarianism is what drives his policy positions. You’re labeling distrust in government as crankishness and politeness as pandering. I think you largely don’t like him because of his foreign policy positions, and you reach hard and long to find something, anything to slander the man because his libertarianism also drives his foreign policy, and that makes you uncomfortable. That’s just my impression; you don’t have to subscribe to the newsletter.

before you go ahead and pronounce me a homophobe in the Church of Paul.

Jesus, is that what you got out of it? I called Barney Frank an “unperson” because he’s a stinking, filthy liberal Democrat. And I never implied that you called him such. Overreact much, do we? That explains the “conspiracy-theorizing, pandering” etc. I guess.

rho on July 20, 2007 at 6:11 PM

Sheesh, some people just can’t take a joke.

Chill out people. A Ron Paul Post is an occaison for all of us to laugh.

BKennedy on July 20, 2007 at 6:15 PM

rho on July 20, 2007 at 6:11 PM

Right. I mean it’s not like Paul thinks the government may try to pull a Gulf of Tonkin…

Republican presidential candidate, Rep. Ron Paul, said the country is in “great danger” of the U.S. government staging a terrorist attack or a Gulf of Tonkin style provocation, as the war in Iraq continues to deteriorate.

The Texas congressman offered no specifics nor mentioned President Bush by name, but he clearly insinuated that the administration would not be above staging an incident to revive flagging support.

“We’re in danger in many ways,” Paul said on the Alex Jones radio show. “The attack on our civil liberties here at home, the foreign policy that’s in shambles and our obligations overseas and commitment which endangers our troops and our national defense.”

Paul was asked to respond to comments by anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan that the U.S. is in danger of a staged terror attack or a provocation of an enemy similar to the Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964 before the Vietnam War.

During the radio interview, Paul said the government was conducting “an orchestrated effort to blame the Iranians for everything that has gone wrong in Iraq.”

amerpundit on July 20, 2007 at 6:15 PM

His libertarianism is what drives his policy positions.
rho on July 20, 2007 at 6:11 PM

Not all Libertarians think like this crank. He’s a nutjob from his views on US foreign policy to conspiracy theories. He’s better suited to the Clown party.

Kini on July 20, 2007 at 6:18 PM

That’s been done, amerpundit. Way to be last at the party.

rho on July 20, 2007 at 6:20 PM

amerpundit on July 20, 2007 at 6:15 PM

Good work amerpundit. Copy 5 paragraphs, 3 of which are editorializing. The other 2 are actually quotes that without out the editorializing context mean little. I don’t even have a dog in this fight, but if you are gonna throw mud, use his words not someone’s opinion of his words.

Spirit of 1776 on July 20, 2007 at 6:20 PM

rho on July 20, 2007 at 6:20 PM

Right. So, it’s no longer relevant?

Spirit of 1776 on July 20, 2007 at 6:20 PM

Ok. Here are the exact quotes from Ron Paul’s own House website:

I am concerned, however, that a contrived Gulf of Tonkin- type incident may occur to gain popular support for an attack on Iran.

amerpundit on July 20, 2007 at 6:25 PM

His libertarianism refusing to take his psychiatrist-prescribed meds is what drives his policy positions.
rho on July 20, 2007 at 6:11 PM

Fixed that for ya, nutjob.

Hollowpoint on July 20, 2007 at 6:26 PM

amerpundit on July 20, 2007 at 6:25 PM

Thanks. Genuinely appreciated.

Spirit of 1776 on July 20, 2007 at 6:27 PM

And Paul made that speech to the House of Representatives on
January 11, 2007.

amerpundit on July 20, 2007 at 6:28 PM

Spirit of 1776 on July 20, 2007 at 6:27 PM

No problemo.

amerpundit on July 20, 2007 at 6:28 PM

In that case “contrived Gulf of Tonkin-type” is redundant, no?

rho on July 20, 2007 at 6:32 PM

amerpundit,

Fair enough. But I’m not lionizing the guy and hailing him as the Republican messiah in 2008, a la Fred Thompson.

Paul is good on guns, good on abortion, good on taxes, good on fiscal policy, and, pork aside (which, by the way, I don’t agree with and have criticized him for in conversations with others), he’s better than at least 80% of elected offcials when it comes to spending.

Let’s be honest: the main issue here is Paul’s not supporting the war in Iraq and the “Global War on Terror” in general.

I happen to think not bombing the rest of the world for eternity might be a decent idea. How about trying some other solutions–e.g., not giving foreign aid to Muslim countries, not occupying Saudi Arabia, decreasing Muslim immigration to the U.S. for the time being, etc.

(And those are just the easy suggestions, that is, the ones that don’t even touch on the relationship between the U.S. and Israel.)

I have a hard time understanding how unoccupied Muslims (with far fewer grievances) who are both unaided by U.S. taxpayer money and unable to get to America are going to commit a hell of a lot of terrorism.

I don’t think Fred Thompson is horrible person, though I’ve yet to see any evidence that he has an incredible conservative record, and it seems, at least to me, that most of his hype comes from the fact that he likes to talk tough about military action.

What really irks me is those people who, while purporting to be ideologically right of center, support either Romney or Giuliani, both of whom are terrible on the standard conservative hot button issues (i.e., guns, abortion, taxes).

Am I going to shoot myself in the face should I have to live with a President Thompson? No. He sure as hell beats possible presidents Clinton and Obama.

But I’m not exactly keen on the prospect of perpetual and concurrent, “We have always been at war with Eastasia!” military engagments with every Muslim country that a Thompson aide can locate on a map.

tad on July 20, 2007 at 6:39 PM

I’m pretty sure Allah “disdains” him because he’s a nut. More than anything else, however, I “disdain” him because of his supporters.

amerpundit on July 20, 2007 at 5:58 PM

That pretty much sums it up for me. Watching people act like insane cultists just creeps me out. And the whole tactic of rigging polls and then trying to sell the rigged results as proof of support for your candidate is both childish and fraudulent. If your campaign strategy is based on genius ideas like “Hey, let’s all self-identify as military, so it’ll look like St. Paul has a lot of military support!”, you’re pretty much just participating in a circle-jerk.

ReubenJCogburn on July 20, 2007 at 6:40 PM

If your campaign strategy is based on genius ideas like “Hey, let’s all self-identify as military, so it’ll look like St. Paul has a lot of military support!”, you’re pretty much just participating in a circle-jerk.

Nice accusation. Back that up?

I remember how conservatives used to complain when the MSM would go pick out the biggest, stupidest redneck to show on TV as an example of “red-state America”. Who knew conservatives were itching to do the same at first opportunity?

rho on July 20, 2007 at 6:48 PM

I like the John Birch Society (at least of old, which I have read some of their old 50s publications), I just hate how they blame it all on the Jews.

Note to the JBS: It’s Communists and Muslims that are the problems, you MORONS!

Tim Burton on July 20, 2007 at 7:00 PM

Nice accusation. Back that up?

rho on July 20, 2007 at 6:48 PM

Can I prove it? Of course not–any more than you can prove that it didn’t happen. That’s the thing about self-identifying, anybody can say anything they want. But it certainly fits the already well-established pattern of Ron Paul zombie behavior. And considering that just the other day you were trying to use that as evidence that the military just loves St. Paul, I’m pretty comfortable with my accusation.

ReubenJCogburn on July 20, 2007 at 7:07 PM

I think it’s funny that the name calling by people who label Ron Paul the “Bircheresque crank” sound so much like the unhinged libs in Malkins book.

The guy has a conservative voting record. Period. This reminds me of when Bush nominated Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court. All the “top tier” candidates are like her, maybe they have the buzz of being conservative. But people just weren’t sure she could deliver as promised. Bush rightly accepted her withdrawal.

Same thing with the Presidency, we had 6 years of GOP control of the White House and Congress and what did we get? Uncontrolled spending, rapid expansion of government, nothing done on securing our border. I’ll take the guy that has the trackrecord of voting against all of that consistently.

Randolphus Maximus on July 20, 2007 at 7:10 PM

I just hate how they blame it all on the Jews.

add that fact with what Ron Paul has done and said in regards of Israel. He votes against them every time in congress when a vote of support comes up and has publicly said that “Israel is of the worst of lobbies in Washington”…I mean of all the lobbies and he is singling out Israel as the bad guys.

keep taking it further with his idiotic, wrong and dangerous views of the Middle east, Islam/Jihad and history on the subject and you start to see a candidate either blinded by hate or an absolute idiot.

jp on July 20, 2007 at 7:21 PM

I think it’s funny that the name calling by people who label Ron Paul the “Bircheresque crank” sound so much like the unhinged libs in Malkins book.

Heh. I won’t tell Ace you said that.

I always prefer to judge men by their own merit, and not by their associations or acquaintances – especially in situations where they are willing and able to give their own opinion freely.

add that fact with what Ron Paul has done and said in regards of Israel. He votes against them every time in congress when a vote of support comes up and has publicly said that “Israel is of the worst of lobbies in Washington”

Yes. That was the beginning and the end of the story for me. If we can’t stand by our friends it’s a sad day.

Spirit of 1776 on July 20, 2007 at 7:26 PM

good run down of Ron Paul and blaming the jews

http://www.latestpolitics.com/blog/2007/05/ron-paul-and-anti-semitism.html

“By far the most powerful lobby in Washington of the bad sort is the Israeli government.” Ron Paul

jp on July 20, 2007 at 7:27 PM

Note to the JBS: It’s Communists and Muslims that are the problems, you MORONS!

Tim Burton on July 20, 2007 at 7:00 PM

good summary, what drives these types to be so blind and irrational is the question?

I think there are, in addition to the fruitcakes, other Ron Paul supporters right now that don’t know alot about him and these things yet. They are less political and just hear him and his rhetoric on small govt. stuff contrasted with the GOP party line with bush and other leading candidates now that is basically big govt. conservatism(i.e. pragmatism and political realities).

jp on July 20, 2007 at 7:36 PM

I happen to think not bombing the rest of the world for eternity might be a decent idea. How about trying some other solutions–e.g., not giving foreign aid to Muslim countries, not occupying Saudi Arabia, decreasing Muslim immigration to the U.S. for the time being, etc.

(And those are just the easy suggestions, that is, the ones that don’t even touch on the relationship between the U.S. and Israel.)

tad on July 20, 2007 at 6:39 PM

Since you seem to miss the point, I’ll explain it to you. Islam is not going to back down. It is their everlasting history that they fight the world till they are NUMERO UNO! It is their history, because it is the SOLE doctrine of Islam to murder, rape (women and children) and pillage.

Acting nice and dissing Israel won’t solve the problem. They’ll keep coming.

Tim Burton on July 20, 2007 at 7:40 PM

good summary, what drives these types to be so blind and irrational is the question?

I think there are, in addition to the fruitcakes, other Ron Paul supporters right now that don’t know alot about him and these things yet. They are less political and just hear him and his rhetoric on small govt. stuff contrasted with the GOP party line with bush and other leading candidates now that is basically big govt. conservatism(i.e. pragmatism and political realities).

jp on July 20, 2007 at 7:36 PM

Did I sound like Mark Levin? Think he’ll let me guest host?

Tim Burton on July 20, 2007 at 7:41 PM

DEAD TO ME.

I’ll take you out to Mama’s and we’ll be back on track. :-)

Karol on July 20, 2007 at 8:35 PM

rho,

Ron Paul rocks the paradigm of those who lack the imagination to think outside of what Hannity, Ingraham, Rush, and the War Party, tell them to think. Your posts are excellent.

Drum on July 21, 2007 at 1:54 AM

Bernanke was all nerves in the face of Ron Paul’s economics lesson the other day. Though he (Bernanke) was willing to acknowledge that he shares some of RP’s concerns about the precarious nature of the US economy, he had to stop there, for he knows all too well what would happen if he allowed the discussion toward its sure conclusion: that the economy and the dollar are not well.

Drum on July 21, 2007 at 2:08 AM

My problem with Pon Raul supporters is that they (often) share the left’s immunity to reality.

I mean, bombing the rest of the world for eternity? Occupying Saudi Arabia? What the frack? What planet are you guys on?

As to the bizarre notion that if we just park all our carriers and pull all our troops back to Nebraska, suddenly the Islamic world will be all (non-alcoholic) wine and roses, give me a break. Like all those Islamic Terror attacks in Africa, Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe… they’re all, yep, because of us. No matter how far back they go.

Barbary pirates enslaving a million Europeans? Conquest of Andalusia? Slaughter of the Zoroastrians? And on and on and on… hiding is not going to deal with this threat, and negotiation has about a zero percent track record in this arena.

Maybe there’s a cause for Islamic Violence OTHER THAN the US and Israel, given how long it predates the existence of both.

Maybe Iraqi Reconstruction isn’t the best possible plan to create a counterbalancing force in the region, but it’s a thousand times better than sticking your fingers in your ears and humming real loud!!!

Merovign on July 21, 2007 at 4:32 PM

>Maybe Iraqi Reconstruction isn’t the best possible plan to create a counterbalancing force in the region, but it’s a thousand times better than sticking your fingers in your ears and humming real loud!!!

True, if that is in fact what Ron Paul is advocating. Which it isn’t. And which makes all the paranoid slurs (“bircheresque”) revealing. I’m not even a supporter of Paul as president, though I know that what he is advocating shouldn’t be foreign to traditional conservatives and classical liberals.

He is not advocating isolation and disengagement. He’s advocating a return to reality and history, national sovereignty, sound money, Constitutional republicanism, free-markets, privacy based upon private property, and small government (remember that one? Remember Reagan’s “government’s not the solution, it’s the problem”?). All of these were at one time ideas well at home with conservatives and classical liberals. But fear and hatred play better on Fox, NRO, and HotAir. The War Party (which includes Republicans and Democrats) is easier and more fun to belong to than the long haul of self-government and eternal vigilance.

The irony is that the Bush escapade of spreading (by force) democracy and freedom throughout the world, while neglecting the security of his own country’s borders, is pure leftism; radicalism; Jacobinism. It certainly isn’t conservative.

Impeach Bush.

Drum on July 21, 2007 at 5:10 PM