Remember, remember the 5th of November. That’s the day Ron Paul vaulted into serious political money.
Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, aided by an extraordinary outpouring of Internet support Monday, hauled in more than $3.5 million in 20 hours.
Paul, the Texas congressman with a Libertarian tilt and an out-of-Iraq pitch, entered heady fundraising territory with a surge of Web-based giving tied to the commemoration of Guy Fawkes Day.
Fawkes was a British mercenary who failed in his attempt to kill King James I on Nov. 5, 1605. He also was the model for the protagonist in the movie “V for Vendetta.” Paul backers motivated donors on the Internet with mashed-up clips of the film on the online video site YouTube as well as the Guy Fawkes Day refrain: “Remember, remember the 5th of November.”
It’s kind of odd and kind of fitting that the Paulians chose Guy Fawkes Day. Fawkes was a terrorist who tried blowing up the king and Parliament to overthrow the government. The Paulians seem to think of themselves as insurgents against the more establishment candidates, but the fact is if Paul’s foreign and security policies were to be implemented, a whole lot of stuff is likely to get blown up. Even after 9-11, Paul thinks it’s outlandish that anyone could attack the US and if he were president he wouldn’t do anything about Iran’s nuclear program or the real terrorist threat from al Qaeda. Well, other than abolish pretty much every security measure that’s been set up and abandon the Middle East to the biggest thug on the block. Which is why things would tend to blow up if Paul were president.
As it turns out, Paul’s devoted were the only ones celebrating the Gunpowder plot’s 402nd anniversary. In Fawkes’ hometown of York, health and safety regulations have stifled pretty much everything that might be any fun.
No wet floors. No obstructions in the passageways. Many well-lighted emergency exits. But even with her respect for such policies — “You don’t want anyone to hurt themselves,” she said — Ms. Stapylton said it was a bit much that, apparently because of health and safety rules, York would not be sponsoring a traditional fireworks celebration for Guy Fawkes Night on Monday.
“Personally, I think it’s a bit silly,” she said.
York, along with many other municipalities, has often been the scene of huge events — fireworks, bonfires, the burning of creepy effigies of Fawkes — to commemorate the failure of Fawkes’s plan to blow up Parliament and the king in 1605, a shocking moment in British history. But in the face of increasingly onerous regulations, none are taking place in the city this year.
This paragraph pretty much sums up what’s become of England.
Among other things, the Slough authorities have argued that a bonfire would violate environmental laws, upset residents from foreign countries with no tradition of Guy Fawkes Day and kill animals that settle into the wood before it is set alight and are unable to escape.
“…upset residents from foreign countries with no tradition of Guy Fawkes Day…” Now who might that be?
Among those for whom a sustained Iraq occupation is not a make-or-break issue, Paul’s big day is going to win him a second look. But he has to lay off the gold standard schtick (at least for a while) and start speaking to conservatives again about the many issues he has in common with them. If he does, he might actually be able to make something of all this.
The gold standard stuff is not a “schtick.” Neither are the batty foreign policy or the associations with Alex Jones et al. That’s who Ron Paul is. It’s like that Denny Green interview — Paul is exactly who we think he is. Which means he’s a Bircheresque crank who happens to be running as a Republican, and who is allowing himself to be an empty vessel for whatever crankery isn’t otherwise represented by any of the other candidates. The Corner may be in need of a Buckleyesque intervention.
Update: Even with Paul’s Fawkes haul, he’s still way behind the top tier candidates in terms of funding. Open Secrets has him behind Thompson, Giuliani and Romney in ascending order. It took about five seconds of research to check up on where Ron really stands wrt the top tier candidates in fundraising.
Thanks to Slu for the Open Secrets linky.