Texan Ron Paul is thinking about Iowa and New Hampshire and his campaign is dropping a hefty sum of cash to sway voters away from the new Texas phenom (six figures to air the commercial alone excluding production costs) and back to his own camp. In a new ad, Ron Paul goes after Rick Perry, pointing to his own support for Ronald Reagan in 1980 and contrasting with this Rick Perry’s support for Al Gore in 1988:
“The establishment called him extreme and unelectable, they said he was the wrong man for the job. It’s why a young Texan named Ron Paul was one of only four congressmen to endorse Ronald Reagan’s campaign for president, believing in Reagan’s message of smaller government and lower taxes.”
What is remarkable is that Ronald Reagan is here held up as a paragon of Republican virtue when, in fact, the late president’s every policy was anathema to a libertarian and to the GOP/Teahadist mantra – increased spending, growing the federal government, raising taxes.
Reagan’s department of veterans affairs alone added 60,000 to the federal workforce (Clinton, in contrast, a Democrat, shrank the government by over 370,000 jobs). And sure he offered an initial tax cut – then he raised taxes, and continued to raise them – eleven times – wiping out fully half that initial cut. He raised the gas tax; he raised corporate taxes(!) he raised taxes to pay for Medicare and Social Security. And the debt Republicans make so much fuss over? While Reagan was in office the debt went from $700 billion to $3 trillion.
Yes, Ron, you supported Ronald Reagan, which means you stand for,
1) Increased government
2) Increased taxes (including corporate taxes)
3) Increased federal deficit
4) Support for Medicare and Social Security
What part of this is in line with Republican political theology in 2011? It is in point of fact, all of it, heresy. Yet these are your selling points, Ron Paul? This is why Republicans should vote for you? Shouldn’t any fact-based comparison with Reagan take the form of condemnation, not blatant self-promotion?
Of course, it’s not the real Ronald Reagan the GOP is selling in 2012 but an idealized Reagan as he should have been.Uneducated white Christian voters are sure not to notice. But Rick Perry’s campaign did – sorta. Without condemning Reagan’s un-Republican performance, the Perry campaign had this to say about Ron Paul:
“Rep. Ron Paul’s newly released attack ad refers to the congressman as, ‘the one who stood with Reagan.’ But his 1987 letter announcing his resignation from the Republican Party indicates Reagan drove him from the party.”
Ouch. A neat diss and no pesky facts interfering with illusion.
Paul’s ad has for that rascally Rick Perry:
“After Reagan, Senator Al Gore ran for president, pledging to raise taxes and increase spending, pushing his liberal values. And Al Gore found a cheerleader in Texas named Rick Perry. Rick Perry helped lead Al Gore’s campaign to undo the Reagan revolution, fighting to elect Al Gore President of the United States.”
All this ad demonstrates is that both men are opportunists and willing to sell their souls. Ron Paul knowingly misrepresents Ronald Reagan as a Republican Saint and Rick Perry’s devotion to fundamentalist dogma is about as sincere as his devotion to Gore. Whatever gets him ahead.
The ad ends by giving America a false choice: “[N]ow America must decide who to trust. Al Gore’s Texas cheerleader, or the one who stood with Reagan.” Essentially, we have a choice between two grafters who both evince a lack of courage of their convictions – political whores. Some choice, GOP. Stay classy.