Paul Won in Iowa
by David Franke: A
Bold New 'Frankenstein' in London
in Iowa were (1) Ron Paul, (2) Rick Perry, and (3) Michele Bachmann,
in that order.
is the winner of record, and will always be listed that way in the
history books. But in terms of the dynamism and impact
of the race, she has been hurt by the Iowa Straw Poll results. Behind
closed doors, she and her campaign managers cannot be happy tonight.
She had the
home turf advantage and she had the media for and against her in
just the right ways. She supposedly had momentum on her side. Given
all that, the fact that she beat Ron Paul by a mere 152 votes (1%
of the total votes cast) is an embarrassment and a sign of long-term
Let me explain
two kinds of media bias, and their pivotal role in the voting at
the Iowa Straw Poll.
media detests Michele Bachmann, no doubt about it. Sheís not the
kind of person they invite to their cocktail parties. But the important
point is, they treat her as a serious candidate. When they acknowledge
that she can win in Iowa, and perhaps win the Republican nomination,
they legitimize her. And when they are nasty to her, as with the
Newsweek cover, that helps her too. Nothing earns you votes
in a Republican primary or other grassroots event like a nasty attack
by the liberal media.
The media attacks
on Ron Paul are of an entirely different nature. They seek to de-legitimize
him as a serious candidate. And the intention is to depress the
vote for Ron Paul. Outside of his hard core supporters who
are ostracized as crazed political groupies, mostly college students
high on ideology who wants to "throw away" their
vote for someone who "cannot win"?
The Iowa straw
poll raised a couple of problems for the media. They couldnít complain
that he brought in supporters from all over the nation, because
only registered Iowa voters can vote in the straw poll. And they
couldnít complain that he was buying votes because all the
candidates do that. Thatís the idea, in fact Ė the Iowa Straw Poll
is a fundraiser for the Iowa Republican Party.
Given the two
types of media bias Iíve noted, Bachmann should have benefited from
her treatment by the media, while Ron Paulís vote should have been
depressed by the mediaís treatment of him. Thatís why Bachmannís
grand 152-vote victory wasnít a victory at all. Yes, she is the
most popular conservative candidate at this point, but such a squeaker
suggests that weíre in a Peak Bachmann era and she has nowhere to
go but down, with Perry entering the race.
anti-Paul mediaís solution (both the leftist media and the rightist
media) is to ignore Ron Paulís near-victory. I watched the results
come in on CNN. They had to show the actual votes on the scorecard,
of course. But the rhetoric was something else. A CNN commentator
said breathlessly and loudly, "The two big winners in Iowa
tonight were Michele Bachmann andÖ[Iím not making this up] Rick
Perry, with his 718 write-in votes." Yes, 718 votes trump 4,671
votes. The commentator didnít mention Ron Paul.
Then the megaphone
shifted to the right, in the person of Erick Erickson of the RedState
blog site. I donít know what Ericksonís Ron Paul problem is, but
his solution like the left is to just ignore Paul.
Paulís not serious enough to waste analysis on him. When Erickson
does one of his periodic blogs on how the Republican candidates
are doing in relation to each other (ďThe HorseraceĒ), he gives
no analysis for Ron Paul. Jon Huntsman (69 votes in Iowa) gets analysis,
but Ron Paul? Erickson just says month after month, like an inside
joke, that ďRon Paul will not get the nomination.Ē Ha-ha. As if
Pawlenty, Gingrich, Santorum, or Cain will get the nomination
True to form, tonight Erickson blabbered about how Rick Perry was
the victor, rather than acknowledging Ron Paulís strong showing.
the establishment media, Left and Right, treat Ron Paul in this
way, it really is remarkable that his following just keeps growing
and growing. CNN and Erick Erickson can huff and puff all they want,
trying to blow Ron Paul out of the picture, but the Ron Paul Revolution
is much bigger today than it was four years ago, and itís going
to be even bigger next year than it is now.
Franke [send him mail]
was one of the founders of the conservative movement in the 1950s
and 1960s. He is the author of a dozen books, including Safe
Torture Doctor, and America's
© 2011 David Franke
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