No Comment — May 20, 2007, 12:50 pm

The Republicans and Ron Paul

Listening to the GOP presidential debate on a drive across California on Tuesday night, I was stopped cold more than once by Rep. Ron Paul. My God, I thought, compared with the others, he sounds positively sane. He made coherent point after point. After the debate, it appears there was a net-polling consensus that he actually won it. On debating points, no doubt he did. But who is this man?

Today Andrew Sullivan takes a look at Ron Paul and the reaction from the Republican Amen media corner. Why are they scared to death of this man?

“They attack us because we’ve been over there,” he declared unblinkingly. “We’ve been bombing Iraq for 10 years. We’ve been in the Middle East [for years]. I think [Ronald] Reagan was right. We don’t understand the irrationality of Middle Eastern politics.

“Right now, we’re building an embassy in Iraq that is bigger than the Vatican. We’re building 14 permanent bases. What would we say here if China was doing this in our country or in the Gulf of Mexico? We would be objecting.”

The crowd in South Carolina started to applaud Paul’s derision of a distant war until they were cut off by the Fox News questioner, and then by Rudy Giuliani, who accused Paul of saying that the US deserved the September 11 attacks.

Of course, the transcript showed that Giuliani was wrong. The man who said that the U.S. deserved the September 11 attacks was named Jerry Falwell. And he died earlier that day. Rudy got them confused, apparently.

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