A Message To The Ron Paul Crowd

Last night, Rand Paul went on Hannity and endorsed Mitt Romney.

You can’t really get a bigger supporter of Ron Paul than Rand Paul, can you? And yet last night he not only endorsed Romney but gave a fairly long laundry list of reasons why. And articulated them with passion and conviction. In fact, Rand Paul’s endorsement of Romney last night was a good deal warmer than Marco Rubio’s endorsement was, or Bobby Jindal’s, or Rick Perry’s or Newt Gingrich’s or Rick Santorum’s.

If Rand Paul can endorse Romney, the rest of the Ron Paul crowd can do it.

And yet here many of them are trashing Rand Paul for endorsing Romney. The comments under the YouTube embedded above contain these gems…

“I knew it was coming. Ever since he said that there should be no so-called “Ground Zero Mosque” I knew that he was just another neocon statist.”

“he’s endorsing romney cause they share ‘family values?’ what about your DAD you dumb prick? Rand paul is a sellout and you better believe he’s getting a fat check for this endorsement”

“Don’t be a fool. If Ron Paul ends up backing Romney you should still think for yourself. How does Ron Paul endorsing him change who he is or it what he’s done? Romney is the same shit no matter who endorses him. He won’t get my vote, and i know many other Ron Paul supporters with integrity who won’t give him their vote either.”

There are lots of others, but we’re trying not to post F-bombs on the Hayride.

I was not a Romney fan. I was a Rick Perry guy initially, and when Perry dropped out I was in Gingrich’s camp. I came to Romney when it became obvious Gingrich couldn’t win, and Rick Santorum was the only viable alternative – Santorum doesn’t do it for me.

I was irritated with the Romney camp’s attitude of inevitability and I didn’t like the dirty tricks and carpet-bomb negative ads he used to stave off the GOP field early in the primaries. But I noted that once he recognized the threat Santorum posed he focused on doing what it took to earn the nomination. He became a much better candidate and I came around, though I was never a fan of his record as the governor of Massachusetts and if you go back through his political campaigns prior to 2008 you’ll find reasons not to support him.

And I’m a guy who, but for some of the more loopy things he says and his catastrophic foreign policy proposals reminiscent of the infamous “America First” Sen. Gerald P. Nye, has a generally positive view of Ron Paul’s policy prescriptions. I think the federal budget needs to be slashed to the bone. I think the scope of the federal government needs a major redefinition. I think individual liberty needs a far greater treatment in Washington.

And I’m for a less-intrusive foreign policy. I’d have our troops out of Afghanistan yesterday. We won that war in early 2002, and the primary rason we stayed there was that we hadn’t killed Osama bin Laden, who decamped for Pakistan almost immediately after we routed the Taliban. Bin Laden’s dead now, and there is nothing left for us there but wasted American lives and wasted American treasure. Far cheaper and more productive to leave and then come back with bombs a-droppin’ if there’s a future reason to than to attempt to occupy and improve one of the worst places on earth. I’d also have our troops out of Bosnia and South Korea, and the idea of a military intervention in Syria strikes me as one of the worst mistakes we could ever make.

So I don’t come from a total philosophical disconnect with the Paul people when I say that I can live with Mitt Romney as my nominee.

I was a Perry guy, then a Gingrich guy. If I can handle Romney the Ron Paul people can handle Romney.

Because the alternative is Obama.

And don’t give me this crap about how Romney and Obama are the same thing. No, they’re not. Even if you’re further to the right than Romney it doesn’t mean Romney is for redistributing income from the productive sector to the non-productive. Or for running a Justice Department geared toward putting racism under the management of folks like the New Black Panthers, or promoting voter fraud. Or for running a Fed that prints us into hyperinflation. Or for trillion-dollar deficits. Or for putting as many Americans on food stamps as possible. Or for destroying the coal industry. Or for throwing as many obstacles to oil and gas as possible. Or for any of the other things Obama inflicts on us daily.

We can all agree we’ve got to get rid of Obama. We can all agree that four more years of Obama will make this country irredeemable. Can’t we all agree that beating Obama is our primary job right now? Once he’s gone we can fight about whether killing the agenda he leaves behind needs to be done immediately or in stages, or what our foreign policy needs to be, or what we do with the Fed.

But no progress on that stuff gets made when Obama is the president. We should certainly all understand that. Maybe we can get some with Romney; maybe it will require a large increase in the number of hard-core constitutional conservatives in the House and Senate, and that might be the focus of many of the folks currently in Paul’s camp.

But it’s time to get behind Romney whether you like it or not. Just because you help the guy win it doesn’t mean you all of a sudden support everything he does. It means you want to get rid of Obama. It means you understand how presidential politics works and you’re not a fool.

As an aside, it’s probably also time for non-Paul people to stop bashing Paul people. There is a good deal of common ground between mainline conservatives and the Ronulans, your chemtrails and Bilderbergers and so on notwithstanding. Try to welcome them into the fold for now, will you?

Paul gave it a good fight, he upset a lot of applecarts at caucuses and state conventions, like the one in Louisiana people are still howling about, and he’s going to have some influence on the platform like his son mentioned last night. As he should.

But it’s over. And it’s time for Paul’s supporters to join the fold along with the Perry people, Santorum people, Gingrich people, Pawlenty people, Bachmann people, Cain people and all the rest, to beat Obama.

We need you until November. After that, you’re free to go your own way, with our blessing and thanks. Is this too much to ask?

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