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Elections Porn / February 29, 2012

Last week it finally started to dawn on the slow-as-Stegosaurs media: Why is Ron Paul going so soft on frontrunner Mitt Romney, his natural ideological opposite? Dr. Paul has been flaying every other candidate, particularly when that candidate threatens Romney’s front-runner status—why is Ron Paul so protective over internationalist/neocon Rockefeller Republican, Mitt Romney? Does this point to some sort of alliance between the two? And if so, doesn’t that raise further disturbing questions about the supposed rock-solid-principles guiding Ron Paul’s campaign?

You might expect the media—alerted to this “bizarre” alliance—to go looking for a possible money trail linking the two campaigns’ interests together. This is politics after all; stranger things have happened. Naturally the media has done no such thing. But if the hacks ever do get around to following the money, they would very quickly stumble across one of the biggest WTF factoids of this primary season: Ron Paul’s SuperPAC, “Endorse Liberty,” is headquartered in Mitt Romney’s backyard: Salt Lake City, Utah.

Moreover, the SuperPAC’s staff and founders include several former Romney supporters and Huntsman supporters. And one of the founding principals of Endorse Liberty, Ladd Christensen, is something of an oligarch in Utah: Christensen is the longtime business partner of John Huntsman’s billionaire dad. They founded Huntsman Chemicals together, as well as Hunstman-Christensen.

Huntsman endorsed Mitt Romney when he bowed out of the race—in fact, Huntsman has a history of stepping aside for Mitt Romney and playing his second banana, going back at least to the Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002, which John’s billionaire dad helped to fund on behalf of Mitt Romney.

So to repeat: Ron Paul’s SuperPAC is based in Salt Lake City, and one of the founders is Ladd Christensen, John Huntsman’s business partner in Huntsman-Christensen and Huntsman Chemicals.

Nothing to see here folks, keep moving along…

That might raise some potentially disturbing possibilities to a journalist or editor still interested in chasing down disturbing details and stories. Which probably explains why the media hacks aren’t interested in pursuing this possible angle, even though it’s staring them in the face. Instead, they’re trotting out a catalogue of fatuous “explanations” for the love-fest between Dr. Paul and Mitt Romney—explanations which have almost nothing to do with money and sleaze in politics, and everything to do with how Tiger Beat magazine might approach this election campaign.

The New York Times opined that the Libertarian hero’s alliance with the Rockefeller Republican is all about their wives. It even has a Spielberg-esque headline – “Amid Rivalry, Friendship Blossoms on the Campaign Trail” – designed to make everyone feel all warm inside about how American politics works. And wouldn’tcha know it, politics it turns out works just like in the sitcoms:

The candidates’ spouses, Ann Romney and Carol Paul, “know each other better than any of the other wives,” Mr. Paul said. He and Mr. Romney talk “all the time” and “we’ve met all their kids.” Once he telephoned Mr. Romney just as Mr. Romney was calling him. “Sometimes I’m never sure who issued a call,” he said.

Mr. Paul has already provided some tactical help: When Mr. Romney began to flounder in South Carolina and was under attack over his career in leveraged buyouts, Mr. Paul came to his defense, suggesting that his critics were anticapitalist. His campaign even issued a press release assailing other rivals for, in Mr. Paul’s view, taking Mr. Romney’s quote about firing people out of context.

In other words, if you’ve seen The Flintstones or The Honeymooners, that’s all the background you need to understand the deep politics of Ron Paul’s strange alliance with his ideological foe and primary opponent, Mitt Romney.

Mrs. Ron Paul: Ann Romney’s BFF

Not to be out-dumbed, the Washington Post also explored Dr. Paul’s touching friendship with the silver-spoon Mormon frontrunner, and found a life-affirming story about Americans from different sides of the railroad tracks coming together by finding how much they had in common deep down. The Post‘s Hollywood rom-con story was headlined “For Romney and Paul, a strategic alliance between establishment and outsider” and it featured deep insights like,

Despite deep differences on a range of issues, Romney and Paul became friends in 2008, the last time both ran for president. So did their wives, Ann Romney and Carol Paul. The former Massachusetts governor compliments the Texas congressman during debates, praising Paul’s religious faith during the last one, in Jacksonville, Fla. Immediately afterward, as is often the case, the Pauls and the Romneys gravitated toward one another to say hello.

Wrong-about-everything guy Charles Krauthammer assures America that although “they are objectively allies” nevertheless “it’s not because it’s a conspiracy or collusion or because, people will say, the wives are close.” Anyone familiar with Krauthammer’s record should as a matter of reflex automatically assume it’s a conspiracy and it’s all because their wives are close. (A question for Krauthammer: How is it possible that there can be an “alliance” involving no collusion? Stupid question, I know.)

To be fair to Krauthammer (not that anyone should be), he advances a more “reasonable” dumbshit-theory than the Wilma:Betty::Ann:Carol wives theory: According to Krauthammer and some others, the Paul-Romney love-fest is all about making Ron Paul the “Number Two” guy in the Republican Party. As if this is something Ron Paul and Mitt Romney work out on their own, without the massive powerful interests behind them, or the Republican Party machine, or anyone—just a couple of guys with some homespun desires and their wives in tow.

Give MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough some credit at least: He at least isn’t buying the bullshit and demanded answers about the “bizarre” alliance between Paul and Romeny:

“The thing that went unspoken but everybody knows, and that is that Mitt Romney and Ron Paul have formed an alliance,” Scarborough said. “It is such an obvious alliance that Mitt Romney would do well to just come out and admit it. I don’t know what he’s promised Ron Paul. I don’t know if Ron Paul is hoping that his son gets in the administration. But let’s just be really honest here — for all the people for Ron Paul to form an alliance with in the Republican Party, to pick out Mitt Romney is really bizarre.”

Indeed.

One can argue that the Romney-Paul alliance everyone’s talking about can be explained by heartwarming personal relationships, or by the laughable hope that Rand Paul will be put on the Romney ticket, or by the sort of vague idea that by playing favorites, Dr. Paul will become the “number two” in the party. But that doesn’t make a lot of sense—Ronald Reagan didn’t become the “number two” in 1976 by treating Gerald Ford with kid gloves; nor did George Bush Sr. in 1980, when he coined the phrase “voodoo economics” thrashing Reagan. It’s possible—monkeys exuent ex-buttium-Ronius Paulius is also possible—but it’s certainly not logical.

Another possibility, as I suggested, is money/oligarchy. You know, those things we all agree now that control our politics. That is why I would suggest that while there may be nothing to it at all, that at the very least it’s worth looking into why Ron Paul’s SuperPAC is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah—you know, the capital of Mormonstan, where Romney’s power and influence runs, as you might imagine, fairly strong. Of all the places in the United States isn’t it a little bit odd that the Ron Paul SuperPAC is based in Mitt Romney’s tribal motherland? Is it really so much to ask the media, all abuzz about the Romney-Paul alliance, to appropriate just a tiny bit of their resources into real investigative journalism, rather than more of the same fatuous, shallow celebrity-magazine fluff?

A few more details to consider here, in case you’re curious and not satisfied with the “our wives made us do it” theory:

* Ron Paul’s SuperPAC sugar daddy, Peter Thiel, whom I wrote about for The Nation, has a proven track record of using his money to play the cynical game of politics. According to a recent San Francisco Chronicle profile, “libertarian” Peter Thiel is funding a Democrat and former Obama trade official, Ro Khanna, in a primary challenge against anti-war, anti-PATRIOT Act liberal Democrat Congressman Pete Stark.

* Ron Paul’s SuperPAC sugar daddy Peter Thiel also funds other candidates supposedly anathema to antiwar, anti-PATRIOT Act, pro-gay marriage libertarians, including frothing pro-war GOP social conservatives Dana Rohrabacher, Ed Royce and Dan Lungren.

* Dr. Paul’s SuperPAC sugar daddy Thiel also donated the maximum allowable to the 2010 gubernatorial campaign of Meg Whitman, who was Mitt Romney’s campaign finance chair in 2008. Whitman was a protege of Romney’s when she worked at Bain capital; later, when Whitman was CEO of eBay, she made Peter Thiel rich when she bought out his PayPal in a deal roundly slammed as bad for eBay, but good for Thiel and Whitman.

Look, I’m just laying out some interesting leads here for journalists with budgets, leads that involve money and oligarchy in politics—someone out there with an expense account, for fuck’s sake, do your work! Sure, there may be nothing there—heck, it may have been Dr. Paul’s wife who suggested to Mrs. Romney what a wonderful idea it would be to base Paul’s SuperPAC in Salt Lake City. But if the media is willing to raise the question about the strange and rather unnerving alliance, it should be willing to look in strange places for unsettling answers.

One more thing: My labor isn’t free. If one of you actually gets off your ass and blows through Carlos Slim’s wallet to interview a few taxi drivers in Salt Lake, be warned: I will invoice you. Oh yes, I will.

This article is cross-posted at Naked Capitalism.

Would you like to know more? Read “Ron Paul’s SuperPAC Sugar Daddy: Builds Toys for the CIA, Spies on U.S. Citizens, Opposes Democracy and Women’s Suffrage” by Mark Ames.

Mark Ames is the author of Going Postal: Rage, Murder and Rebellion from Reagan’s Workplaces to Clinton’s Columbine.

Click the cover & buy the book!

 

 

32 Comments

Add your own

  • 1. jaduncan  |  February 29th, 2012 at 5:37 am

    Don’t you talk to Matt Taibbi directly any more? This is his kind of story, and he’s presumably on an expense account.

  • 2. Pujete  |  February 29th, 2012 at 6:40 am

    The GOP is just hedging it’s bets. Paul is their future and they know it.

  • 3. Trevor  |  February 29th, 2012 at 7:19 am

    Ron Paul is one of the biggest lies in American politics and godbless anyone who gives him the reaming he so richly deserves.

    And is it just me or does Mrs. Paul look like Ron in drag and a fat suit?

  • 4. Kyle  |  February 29th, 2012 at 10:53 am

    Thank you.

  • 5. Mark Smith  |  February 29th, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Several SuperPACs support Ron Paul, including RevolutionPAC (based in Northbrook, IL, a Chicago suburb) and Santa Rita PAC (based in Dallas and founded by real estate developers Donald and Phillip Huffines).

  • 6. gatorade  |  February 29th, 2012 at 11:38 am

    It’s simple, Dr Paul has discovered gold not removed from Utah in the 1890s and has partnered with Dr Romney to exploit it in secret, using the presidential campaign (featuring Dr. Paul and Dr. Romney) as cover

  • 7. jit  |  February 29th, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Mark Ames once wrote about the ground zero mosque that the Imam is most likely connected with CIA. Now Stratfor confirms in one email that Imam is an asset of FBI.

    http://wikileaks.org/gifiles/docs/373982_re-ct-untangling-the-bizarre-cia-links-to-the-ground-zero.html

    One stratfor guy sends Mark Ames’ article on this matter in NY Observer. And the Thug Fred Burton replies Imam is an operational asset of FBI.

  • 8. Mike C.  |  February 29th, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Ron suspects Mitt knows where the gold plates are.

  • 9. Maus  |  February 29th, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    “gold not removed from Utah in the 1890s”

    Well, Mormons *are* experts in dowsing, after all.

  • 10. Maus  |  February 29th, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    @2: “The GOP is just hedging it’s bets. Paul is their future and they know it.”

    Paul’s the same States Rights shit they’ve been feeding us since way before 1960. He’s not the “future”.

  • 11. Ash  |  February 29th, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    At the moment it has to make at least some sense tactically – Paul’s immediate enemies if he actually did still have any hope of getting the nomination or even coming remotely close are the other ‘conservative’ republicans.

    If Paul wants to become the Anti-Romney, Romney isn’t they guy he needs out of the race ASAP.

  • 12. Neil Baker  |  February 29th, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    Despite all we hear about Ron Paul’s popularity, it isn’t showing up in the vote counts.
    I think Ron Paul can win but he’s going to have to change his speech.
    He needs to pull out the stops of timidity.

    He needs to call for the long-overdue independent, fully funded and fully empowered 911 investigation that was rendered immediately necessary when World Trade Center forensic crime scene evidence was illegally removed and criminally destroyed representing a defacto admission of guilt by the government operatives that ordered it.

    He needs to challenge NASA to finally capitulate to American Citizen demands for the long-overdue (>50years) public demonstration of a spacesuit and its never before seen nickel porous plate ice sublimator cooling system in a NASA walk-in vacuum chamber. We don’t have to go to the moon or into orbit to PROVE the hoax. We can get hoax PROOF now, today on Earth.

    And, finally, he needs to confront and condemn the Zionist control of the U.S. Congress that appropriated extorted Federal tax dollars for the construction of a Holocaust museum on the Mall in Washington D.C. without investigating whether a holocaust actually happened. The holocaust is a hoax as evidenced by not a single documented gas chamber, nowhere near enough ovens and lice insecticide Zyklon B (still manufactured as Uragan D2 in Czech Republic) proven ineffective as an agent of mass murder. Outrageously, scholar historians and engineers have been imprisoned for questioning and investigating the holocaust. TRUTH doesn’t need laws for protection. Only lies need the protection of laws. TRUTH can stand on its own. The holocaust is a lie!

    Reject slavery.
    Reject Zionist Realism.
    Emancipate yourselves.
    TRUTH will make us free, but first it will make us miserable.
    Dare to be miserable.
    Dare to confront TRUTH.
    Dare to be FR! EEeeeeeeeee! (Dang! Dem Zio boys done killt Neil agin.)

  • 13. pat  |  February 29th, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    A Mike Lee connection maybe? Ron Paul’s “Campaign for Liberty” endorsed him. And Lee likes your “liberty” so much he wants to take away your right to vote for your senators. http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/09/07/acosta.tea.party.constitution/index.html

  • 14. pat  |  February 29th, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    Maybe a Mike Lee connection? Ron Paul’s “Campaign for Liberty” backed him and he likes the constitution so much, he wants to change it. He likes “freedom and liberty” so much, he wants to take away your right to vote for your senators. http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/09/07/acosta.tea.party.constitution/index.html

  • 15. Fake name  |  February 29th, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    Holy shit, can’t believe AEC let no. 12 through…

  • 16. DocAmazing  |  February 29th, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    Actually, the friendship that set this all in motion wasn’t Mrs. Paul and Ann Romney, but rather between Billy Paul and Mrs. Jones.

  • 17. babybanjo  |  March 1st, 2012 at 2:37 am

    I find Romney’s vanilla cool eccentric perfectly inoffensive. He’s so obviously an awkward cardboard cutout puppet, that it is just boring. Obama winds me up more.

    Ron Paul looks like someone just pissed all over him.

    He’s meant to be this good guy, for civil liberties and stuff, but to anyone who was vaguely discerning enough, it’s so obvious must smell bad. He just LOOKS like he does.

    This is all that counts. Forget the journalistic legwork. This world requires faster reflexive decision making and less laboured energy expenditure.

  • 18. Pujete  |  March 1st, 2012 at 5:38 am

    @10: “Paul’s the same States Rights shit they’ve been feeding us since way before 1960. He’s not the “future”.”

    A good idea then… A good idea now.

    Ron Paul’s movement is a youth movement. An energetic movement that is swiftly wresting control of the Party from the old gaurd.
    After the whole ediface comes crashing down in November, the only viable faction of the GOP will be Ron Paul’s.
    What we’re seeing here is a desperate attempt for 1% to stay relevent by buying into the movement through these PACs, who’s support RP has never sought.

  • 19. Mike C.  |  March 1st, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    @ 18. Pujete

    He’ll bring it all crashing down… by giving the 1% the deregulation it wants, and abdicating responsibility to backwater areas who want the freedom to drag their people back to the Middle Ages.

    But he’ll totally legalize weed, man. WEEEED.

  • 20. Zhu Bajie  |  March 1st, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    Ron Paul: The Lyndon LaRouche of our day1

  • 21. Jedi Mind Trick  |  March 1st, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    #12

    The Moon hoax! That old chestnut. Thanks for the laugh buddy! Oh man these people think if they haven’t seen it on Ancient Aliens then it can’t be true.

  • 22. Sam  |  March 1st, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    I really like him though. And turns out he won something! Same issue?: http://tothecenter.com/2012/02/ron-paul-and-the-quest-for-1144-delegates/

  • 23. Neil Baker  |  March 1st, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    Part of the reason for Scientific Method founder Francis Bacon’s formalizing the Scientific Method was because he understood that the human mind was designed to deceive itself.

    I think it worth noting that Giovanni Bruno was burned at the stake a little more than only 400 years ago.
    The same thing would have happened to Galileo if he hadn’t recanted.
    Ignaz Semmelweis was beaten to death by asylum guards.
    Ken Saro Wiwa was hung in 1994 for daring to promote an unpopular truth.

    I have proposed an experiment.
    And it’s an extremely simple experiment.
    It is opposed because very many humans will scratch, claw and fight to protect their precious delusions. Stangely, many prefer slavery.

    We’re not nearly as advanced as many would like to think we are.
    Please evolve Jedi Mind Trick.

  • 24. Dimitri Ratz  |  March 1st, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    After seeing Ron Paul’s wife I will not vote for him. A president should have a beautiful wife, or a girlfriend. Why do ugly people think they can take over the world?

  • 25. Cum  |  March 2nd, 2012 at 12:11 am

    The 1% hedging their bets, making sure every election is a win-win situation.

  • 26. Cum  |  March 2nd, 2012 at 12:15 am

    @12: lmao

    I know how Ron Paul can get more votes: become a holocaust denier!

  • 27. Neil Baker  |  March 2nd, 2012 at 9:07 am

    If it’s a choice to be either a holocaust denier or anything else that hurts all the gravel in my cranium, I’ll take holocaust denier. Because that’s how mavericky I am. I’m sorry if I’m not “politically correct” you liberal fascists. Liberal fascists won’t let me celebrate the holocaust. #whinywhitefags

  • 28. super390  |  March 3rd, 2012 at 6:10 am

    It appears AEC isn’t bothering to announce himself around Neil Baker… just sneaking in the back door.

    By the way, Neil, people have been imprisoned for holding all kinds of views, not just the Truth. As a rightwing extremist, how do you feel when leftists get imprisoned, like Eugene Debs or Steven Biko? They’re “wrong” in your eyes, but they still got imprisoned. Which means there are tyrants who agree with you on some subjects. Just the way it is.

  • 29. super390  |  March 3rd, 2012 at 6:19 am

    #18:

    You mean a movement of young, increasingly outnumbered whites. Young enough that they can embrace monstrous ideas like repealing all civil rights legislation and even the 13th Amendment, giving back to states the right to restrict the vote to whites. Young enough to not remember what a wretched, vicious society Jim Crow created.

    When all of us are gone and it’s the young whites versus the young everyone elses, your boys will realize that the only options left for preserving “limited” government are ethnic cleansing and genocide. Even young Asians and Hispanics find neo-Confederate dogma fucked up. They are the future.

  • 30. Pujete  |  March 6th, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Ron Paul’s campaign is very diverse, not just racially but also in terms of culture and religion. Ron’s scepticism over the value of civil rights legislation, which does little except make lawyers rich and breed resentment, has proved no impediment to bringing in support from the black community.
    The thing that Ron Paul does want to abolish is the War on Drugs, which would free the majority encarcerated blacks in the US… And you want us to believe he’s a racist?.. Give me a break!

    I mean sure this article isn’t about Ron Paul’s racism, that’s all from the Ron Paul Newsletter, so I don’t know how you can call Ron Paul racist just because the Ron Paul Newsletter was racist. What’s the tie there? I don’t see it.

  • 31. Pujete  |  March 6th, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    The last paragraph of the preceding comment (#30) was attached by someone else wiser and smarter and more-laid than me.

    I don’t care if you guys censore–that’s troll-french for “improve”–for my comments, but please whatever you do don’t stop putting words of wisdom into my troll hole. just keep stuffing them in there…even if i tell you to stop. Don’t stop–that’s the sort of thing I would expect from Breitbart.

  • 32. strahlungsamt  |  March 12th, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    Ron Paul is never going to get elected. Not because people won’t vote for him but because he doesn’t want to be. See, voting against the wars or the patriot act is fine and dandy when you know they’re going to pass anyway. Has RP done any real campaigning to stop the wars or the drug war? I didn’t think so.
    The reason RP won’t get elected is because then he would have to act on his promises. If he tries to end the wars, he is up against AIPAC and the defense contractors – won’t happen. If he tries to stop the drug war, he’s up against the CIA’s profitable operations – won’t happen. Oh, and the Gold Standard – ain’t happening either. Imagine the gold wars we would be fighting. Besides, there’s no transparency at Fort Knox. Does anybody know how much gold is really in the USA? Plus, if the USA had gold and other countries didn’t, foreign trade would grind to a halt – it ain’t happening.

    On the other hand, RP wants to end civil rights, give back states rights, trash the minimum wage and what little healthcare now exists, not to mention Social Security and Medicare and close down schools. Hell, he’ll probably bring back slavery. The scary part is, these policies will be quite easy to implement and the rest of the Republicans will fall in line.

    So, if you still think RP is such an “Aw Shucks” kind of guy, who thinks of the good of America, do us all a favor and kill yourself now. At least you won’t get to vote.


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