What Power Will Paul Have Over Romney? – OpEd


By Philip Weiss

Charles Krauthammer says that Ron Paul is the most important story of the primary season so far, and I agree. I excerpt his comments on Paul’s political goals below.

But first the words of another mainstream pro-Israel writer, JJ Goldberg in the Forward. Both writers say that Paul will have power over Romney. And Goldberg segues from this political understanding to express parochial concern about the consequences. Warning: Objects in mirror are closer than they appear!

Read Goldberg’s John Sununu bits– some of his fears seem to involve: any Arab. (Thanks to Krauss). I’m reminded that when Walt and Mearsheimer published their attack on the Israel lobby, Goldberg was editor of the Forward, whose editorial was, “In Dark Times Blame the Jews.” Goldberg:

This is what made primary night television coverage so unsettling: the reminders that we don’t really know what Romney believes, and he may have no intention of telling us until he’s inaugurated.

Of all those reminders, the most chilling was the appearance of former New Hampshire governor John Sununu as a Romney spokesman. For those with long memories, it harkened back to the 1988 election, when Sununu was Republican candidate George H.W. Bush’s national campaign manager. Pro-Israel hawks were beating the drum for Bush that year, warning that Democratic candidate Michael Dukakis was a threat to Israel because Jesse Jackson was prominent in his party. Bush was Israel’s true friend, they said.

Nobody paid much attention to Sununu until after Election Day, even though the press was reporting some alarming facts about him (I remember, because I wrote the stories). One of the highest-ranking Lebanese Americans in national politics — and the only one then active in Arab-American community affairs — Sununu was also the only one of the 50 governors who refused to sign a 1987 proclamation saluting the 90th anniversary of Zionism and calling on the United Nations to rescind its Zionism-racism resolution. His reasoning was that governors shouldn’t dabble in foreign affairs — though he’d issued proclamations honoring Bastille Day and saluting Polish freedom on Pulaski Day. In 1988 he issued a proclamation honoring the veterans of the U.S.S. Liberty, an American naval vessel mistakenly attacked by Israeli jets in June 1967, causing 34 deaths. Sununu called the attack “vicious and unprovoked.”

Bush’s Jewish supporters insisted Sununu’s views didn’t reflect Bush’s. When word came out that Sununu was to be White House chief of staff, they said he wouldn’t be involved in Middle East policy. They said Bush was a devoted friend of Israel. Then we found out he wasn’t.

We hadn’t seen much of Sununu lately, until Romney went and found him. Or they found each other.

I believe that Goldberg has become hardened in late middle age; this view of American power and its importance for Israel is indistinguishable from the neocons in the ’70s, and why they made the long march from the Democratic Party. Didn’t like doves.

Far more respectful toward Paul, here is Charles Krauthammer at National Review, saying that Paul is the most important story of the campaign so far, and that he’s nuts– wants to get rid of Fed and CIA– but Romney will have to cut a deal with him.

He is Jesse Jackson in the 1980s, who represented a solid, African-American, liberal-activist constituency to which, he insisted, attention had to be paid by the Democratic party. Or Pat Buchanan (briefly) in 1992, who demanded — and gained — on behalf of social conservatives a significant role at a convention that was supposed to be a simple coronation of the moderate George H. W. Bush.

… His goal is to have the second-most delegates, a position of leverage from which to influence the platform and demand a prime-time speaking slot — before deigning to support the nominee at the end. The early days of the convention, otherwise devoid of drama, could very well be all about Paul.

The Republican convention could conceivably feature a major address by Paul calling for the abolition of the Fed, FEMA, and the CIA; American withdrawal from everywhere; acquiescence to the Iranian bomb — and perhaps even Paul’s opposition to a border fence lest it be used to keep Americans in.

the plain fact is that Paul is nurturing his movement toward visibility and legitimacy.

What Paul has already wrought is a signal achievement, the biggest story yet of this presidential campaign.


Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

This article appeared at Mondoweiss.net here: http://mondoweiss.net/2012/01/what-power-will-paul-have-over-romney-jj-goldberg-and-krauthammer-ask.html


Mondoweiss is a news website devoted to covering American foreign policy in the Middle East, chiefly from a progressive Jewish perspective. Mondoweiss is maintained by Philip Weiss and Adam Horowitz. Weiss lives in New York state and Horowitz lives in New York City.

One thought on “What Power Will Paul Have Over Romney? – OpEd

  • January 14, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    This is a common misconception, because it represents Paul’s own views before he ran in 2008. He never imagined there are millions of us all across America waiting for the chance to restore America to her former greatness.

    All around the world, America is synonymous with freedom – a freedom which ironically no longer exists in America, what with the Patriot Act and NDAA.

    Those of us who opposed what was being done had no one to speak for us, no central figure to unite us and give us hope for America.

    The plain and simple fact is, those of us who rally behind Paul do not do so for his charisma or because of some personal relationship – we do so for the ideals of freedom. For us, there is no substitute for Paul – even if Paul were to trumpet his support for another candidate from the rooftops we would write his name in. Further, we do NOT appreciate the way he is being treated by the Republican Party – some of us lifelong Republicans who now see the current crop of candidates as having betrayed Republican principles.


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