Monday, August 6, 2007

Is There an Anti-War GOP Voting Bloc?

"All We Are Saying, is Give War a Chance!"

The short answer is, "No." Which will ultimately be bad news for GOP presidential contender Ron Paul. At last night's debate at Drake University, his once again was the lonely anti-war voice, drowned out by the pro-war chorus provided by the other seven candidates participating.
"Just come home," dissented Texas Rep. Ron Paul, the lone advocate of a quick troop withdrawal from Iraq on a presidential campaign debate stage. He said there had never been a good reason to go to war in the first place.
"Has he forgotten about 9/11?" interjected former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, referring to the 2001 terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center.
Amazing; even to other Republicans, whatever the question, that answer is always, "9/11." Still, this iconoclastic view of the Iraq War and his Libertarian views on a variety of issues has endeared Paul to a very vocal, bipartisan fanbase, on the Web at least. But, one need only ask Howard Dean how a rabid netroots campaign can whither against the onslaught of an establishment candidate. And Dean was polling at much higher than 2% when his campaign derailed.
The complex calculus of the 2008 Presidential election all boils down to one simple answer: Iraq. Iraq is and will be the defining issue of this campaign, for Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Greens and even the International Reformed Sober Brotherhood of Rastafarians of Greater Metropolitan Hartford, Connecticut. (Okay, I made up that last one). And, unfortunately for Paul, there simply is no anti-war voting bloc to be had in the Republican Party.
Most Americans think the Iraq war is going badly — two-thirds say so in the latest CBS News/New York Times Poll — and for most, the bad results they see now also
mean the decision to go war was wrong in the first place.
That connection doesn't hold for Republicans, though: They tend to call the war the right thing no matter how they see it going. That's not just loyalty to President Bush — many in his party do in fact question how he is handling Iraq now — but it's also because of their views on how best to fight terrorism; their still-salient memories of Saddam Hussein; and their willingness to give the administration credit for going after perceived threats, past and present.
Republicans' views of how the war is going are mixed — just under half say things are bad and just over half, 53 percent, say they're going well. But a far greater number, 73 percent, nonetheless support the war by calling it the right thing to have done. [Emphasis mine]
Arguments could be made Ron Paul's campaign has many obstacles having nothing to do with his view upon the war. Regardless, since he is so obviously out of sync with the tune to which the GOP voter is marching, the tune that is leading the party and the other candidates right off the cliffs of sanity, he simply has no chance of garnering the party's nomination. Libertarian Party, maybe; Republican Party, not a chance.