Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Shutting Out the Paulites

Pity the Paulites, the Web-savvy, intensely loyal and, in the view of hardcore Republicans, "vultures circling around each other chanting Ron Paul '08."

That's from Erick Erickson, the big chief of the popular conservative blog RedState, which yesterday banned all Paulites from posting comments on its site. Explained RedState's Leon Wolf, who recently blogged for Sen. Sam Brownback: "Effective immediately, new users may *not* shill for Ron Paul in any way shape, form or fashion. Not in comments, not in diaries, nada." Folks at RedState have complained that Paulites have repeatedly flooded their pro-war site with anti-war message. A large base of Paulites, Erickson said, are libertarians dissatisfied with the fiscal drift of the GOP. But the most vocal Paulites, particularly online, are the anti-war, far-left fringe posing as Republicans, he added.

Erickson told The Trail this afternoon: "Ron Paul has said repeatedly that he will not support the Republican nominee if it's not him. And I'm not going to lose sleep on whether or not I'll lose Ron Paul supporters."

The reaction from some quarters of the rightroots has been swift. And critical. The Paulites are greatly responsible for Paul's surprising third quarter fundraising haul of $5.1 million -- five times more than former governor Mike Huckabee's total and close to Sen. John McCain's total.

"Redstate has made a mistake in dealing with the Ron Paul Internet phenomenon," wrote Ed Morrissey at Captain's Quarters. "This doesn't hurt Paul's credibility as much as it does Redstate's. While Paul's supporters tend towards the annoying and repetitive, they have less impact because we can easily engage them and counter their arguments." Added David All of TechRepublican: "Generally, Republicans need to welcome Ron Paul (and all others willing to wear a Republican banner) to the debate and the discussion. If Ron Paul doesn't win the nomination, we need him to actively endorse and support the winner so that his supporters will use their energy to defeat Hillary."

The Post first wrote about Paul's undeniable online popularity in June. Earlier this month, after the third quarter fundraising reports, a second story profiled the Paulites, arguably the most misunderstood -- and easily stereotyped -- supporters of a presidential candidate this campaign season. (You can meet them in this vlog.) Yes, many Paulites are libertarians, but many are dissatisfied Democrats and Republicans, too.

And RedState's hearing from them. The site averages 30,000 to 40,000 unique views a day, said Erickson. Yesterday, because of the ban, the site attracted about 70,000. Over at PeachPundit, where Erickson blogs, Erickson posted some offensive comments from Paulites. Warning: very strong language.

-- Jose Antonio Vargas

By Washington Post editors  |  October 24, 2007; 3:23 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Tough Crowd for Colbert in S.C.
Next: New McCain Ad Riffs on Summer of Love

Comments

Dr Ron Paul, and his supporters, cop the slings and arrows of The Establishment (including redstate), in a reactionary way, based on fear - fear of their losing power, and control over the downtrodden. And well they should be fearful, because anyone that takes the time to listen to 5-10 minutes of Dr Ron Paul becomes a true-blue "Paulite". His message - and the track record that back it up - make him stand out from the pack. He's genuine, and telling the truth, people can tell such, and it resonates.

Posted by: mark | October 28, 2007 7:52 AM | Report abuse

If the Republican Party does not nominate Ron Paul they will lose, period!. I've voted Republican 24 years and I'll only vote for Ron Paul

The country might as well be under a dem leader when it goes down the tubes! I'll only vote for Ron Paul.
They are trying to twist RP into endorsing someone and recruiting all the new repubs due to RP.

IT wont work. Send a message, we will only vote for Ron Paul.

Since they are printing money to spend in this unconstitutional war why not print some for hillory care. At least then I can get free prozac while the country disenegrates.

Ron Paul has won most of the Republican Straw Polls
http://www.ronpaul2008.com/straw-poll-results/

Yet the media has not reported it.

And, Newt Gingritch said he liked Ron Paul. Hannity about cried. l.o.l.

Posted by: cyclesurfer | October 26, 2007 2:03 AM | Report abuse

A few cursory visits to RedState and you swiftly discover that it is NOT a site for open minds. It's not a forum for discussion of competing ideas, nor the future of the Republican Party.

RedState is, in fact, one of the last teetering bastions of what is now widely derided as "neo-con" thinking. They are proudly and inflexibly pro-war, and when you realize how desperate these people have become in defense of a lost cause, many of their recent reactions to Ron Paul start to make more sense.

Any Republican (and I am one) who has come to oppose the Iraq war is, in the eyes of RedState zealots, a traitor. Since they are deeply afraid to admit how many GOP voters have actually turned against the war, ideologues such as the RedStaters make enormous efforts to re-cast GOP war skeptics as cryptoliberal infiltrators.

I can tell you that the political commissars at RedState don't speak for me, a 14-year Army veteran, longtime Republican, and yes, now a Ron Paul supporter.

RedState's "ban" on any pro-Paul discussion will mostly serve to convince many young people that there simply is no place for them in the GOP. It certainly looks like our Republican party has lost its way entirely, and is spiralling toward an unfortunate (but deserved) electoral implosion.

Posted by: jcline1 | October 25, 2007 4:05 PM | Report abuse

What about the Ron Paul supporters, like me, who are "hard core Republicans"??? I have been a Republican since I joined the military at 18... and I support Ron Paul. We are real people from diverse backgrounds. Thats what no one seems to understand.

Posted by: desert_fox43 | October 25, 2007 9:58 AM | Report abuse

I am not a 'spamming paulite'. I rarely if ever post on news stories or blogs but I think this article and subsequent comments miss the point entirely.

I am a normal everyday man in his 40's and father of 2. I read with great interest every day just about anything I can find on the internet about the Ron Paul campaign because I want to track its progress.

I desperately want Ron Paul to win in 2008. He is the only candidate I have ever WANTED to vote for. Up until now I have always had to choose between the lesser of 2 evils and thus, rarely chose to vote at all. This is why I am so interested in this particular campaign.

My point is this...

What Red State and just about every other media outlet don't recognize is that Ron Paul is bringing people (like me) out of hiding and into the political discussion. Ron Paul supporters are many times more passionate about their candidate than any other. This passion is manifesting itself as blog postings made by people who wouldn't ordinarily give a rip about what was being said. (Hopefully this passion will extend to the voting booth.)

Red State is censoring the previously 'silent' majority. People like me whose silence has been broken because now I have something to say. They want the previously silent majority to return to their homes and shut up. They can't deal with the fact that we are now a vocal majority and their position as the loudest voice in the room has been usurped.

Posted by: mjbennie | October 25, 2007 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and their claim that they don't ban ALL Ron Paul supporters is a complete lie. Those pretending to be "acceptable" Ron Paul supporters now, were in on the bashing before. They are obviously children that think they can steal from a cookie jar and then hide their tracks. They actually believe they are fooling ANYONE.

And THAT'S why it's "news," redstaters-pretending-to-be-indiffernet-bystanders. It is news because these tactics should be exposed so as to forewarn those that might trust the site, and possibly be fooled by their tactics.

You can even see the weaker-kneed followers there, cowering in fear when they post something the mods don't like. They start apologizing and retracting their statements, basically pleading not to be banned. I say, tell them where to stick it and let them ban you. If you stand for nothing, you will fall for everything.

Posted by: devilingr | October 25, 2007 6:28 AM | Report abuse

Ditto to spearson. I responded ON TOPIC to a post last month. I made the disclaimer that I was a Ron Paul supporter. They immediately insulted, attacked, and threatened me that once the mods showed up, I was history. So I fought back. I was banned within minutes. The mod didn't tell anyone they banned me. They responded to my post challenging me to respond, but had banned me so that I couldn't respond. It was to give the appearance that they had won the argument.

I am no sissy, so I created another account to respond to them and pointed out to everyone how they banned me so I couldn't respond to their remarks. They not only banned me again within minutes, they also changed my screenname to my email address (so people could start attacking me personally.) Not only that, but they deleted my response and filled it in with blabbering nonsense.

So, I again created another account (not defending my actions here, but they really ticked me off and I was in complete shock at their tactics.) Under this third account, I said I wasn't coming back and quickly posted what they had done to me. They, of course, banned me, deleted my post, and then banned my IP address. THIS is the "annoying" supporter stuff they are talking about. I watched them do this to several people.

Also, check out what they have been doing recently. People that have been long time redstate bloggers (beyond their 6 month threshold) have posted dissent to their decision (yeah, they like to claim that ALL their users agree) and they have banned them, deleted comments, diaries, etc..) again to give the appearance of NO DISSENT and unanimous support for their decision. Do notice, however that only 4 people are posting over and over again.

These people are obviously (must be) children in high school. Flunkees of history. Underage drinkers. And conservatives have taken these people seriously at one point? Really?

BTW, they ARE FredHeads, so don't expect any of Fred's supporters to get banned. Don't believe me? Create an account and just post "FRED!! 2008" in a completely unrelated thread.

They say it is annoying to have to respond to the "paulettes" yet, who compelled them to respond at all? If we are so irrelevent and so small, wouldn't they just ignore us?

Redstate is free to do whatever they want. And the rest of us are free to expose their tactics. I should point out that right before this happened (and the day OF the fox news debate with the booing, and the Free Republic moron that called Ron Paul "certifiably insane" in the focus group (who by the way is NOT undecided) there was chatter that they were declaring WAR on Ron Paul and his supporters. So, why are they so afraid of a fringe candidate that is going nowhere?

Posted by: devilingr | October 25, 2007 6:12 AM | Report abuse

Glad to see that RedState is finally coming out in the open. They've been banning Ron Paul supporters for months, whenever they argue cogently, they disappear. I didn't understand it until it happened to me, months ago.
Yes, it's a private site, and they have every right to ban whoever they want, but until now they've tried to present themselves as an open forum, at least among conservatives. Now, finally, they'll be known for what they are - narrow neocons.

Posted by: spearson2 | October 24, 2007 11:34 PM | Report abuse

ucjb2, "Republicans hating Republicans? WOW! The GOP is a train wreck."

Truer words were never spoken.

Posted by: info4 | October 24, 2007 11:28 PM | Report abuse

they have hardly made a dent in RP chatter on their site. they've just drawn attention to their idiocy.

Posted by: tbratton | October 24, 2007 10:32 PM | Report abuse

The folks at Red State are a bunch of babies. Now that there is a REAL debate, they run and hide. Get out your boxing gloves because this is for real, folks. People are tired of the BS. I am a Republican and voted for GWB twice... fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. Ron Paul is a brave man and speaks the truth. Don't be afraid to hear it.

Posted by: robinsoncom | October 24, 2007 10:27 PM | Report abuse

I encourage people to visit the pro-Paul blogs like Apostles of Paul or Daily Paul, even those who might disagree with Paul's view or aren't aware of them and people would be glad to discuss the issues with you.

Posted by: chrisut | October 24, 2007 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Let's see, they banned only pro-Paul comments, but not anti-Paul comments.

Unfortunately, that seems to be the American way now days.

Posted by: kcscoops | October 24, 2007 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Republicans hating Republicans? WOW! The GOP is a train wreck.

Posted by: ucjb2 | October 24, 2007 6:47 PM | Report abuse

I only noticed one person that pointed out the Real Problem here. RedState is a Private Blogger site. They can censor anybody they want. They can chat all day agreeing with each other if they like. This is NOT NEWS. Private special interest groups can and do censor dissenters. I'll bet you won't find many Jewish or African-anerican groups posting on a aryan-nation blogger site---and you'll NEVER READ about it in the Washington Post! Why should a right-wing political fringe blog's in-house activities be NEWS? This is the Real Issue.

Posted by: eaphilipp | October 24, 2007 6:40 PM | Report abuse

@thegribbler1

What most don't understand is that it is not Ron Paul the physical person who is being supported. Rather, the return to the rule of law under the highest legal instrument in the land, our Constitution.

The sad thing is all the current Republicans, sans Ron Paul, are dead set on not only continuing an economically unsustainable war in Iraq, but also refuse to take the action of a pre-emptive strike against Iran off the table. They say they are for fiscal responsibility but their very support of these war-hawk posititons are proof they can't possibly make any fiscal promises.

Further, in this article the writer is urging the Republican party to welcome the Ron Paul supporters into the "big tent" in order to defeat Hillary. What they don't understand is that most who support Ron Paul, whether Republican, Libertarian, Democrat, Independent or other affiliation, have recognized there is really no difference between Hillary and any of the so called front runners in the Republican race.

At least with Hillary, some of our taxes will actually be spent here at home. Given those options you shouldn't be surprised to hear refusal from a majority (if not all) of Ron Paul supporters to vote for ANY current front runner.

Personally, I'll be writing in Ron Paul if he doesn't get the Republican nomination.

DITTO!

Posted by: ucjb2 | October 24, 2007 6:40 PM | Report abuse

RedState's just bitter because their neo-con candidates aren't getting the traction that Ron Paul's been getting lately.

Posted by: millionea7 | October 24, 2007 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Paulite: Liberty-loving constitutionalist truth-seeker.
Giulianist: Corporate-puppet ego-maniac who likes to be lied to.
Romneyite: Smooth-talkin liberal in conservative's clothing.
McCainer: Half-dead Bushie.
Huckabeer: Pulpit-caressing Christian, has a soft spot for flabby conservative ideology.

Posted by: gargan333 | October 24, 2007 5:11 PM | Report abuse

I think this incident is an excellent example of why Bush conservatives have never been able to duplicate the success of the left in colonizing the internet and the blogosphere:

Guys like Erickson are just too damn controlling to tolerate open commentary on their sites, and sites that bring the hammer down on organic commentary don't grow.

He's a top-down incipient and instinctive autocrat who fumes and sputters and lays awake at night because there are comments at RedState that don't fit his opinions. And because of that, RedState is never going to be Kos. Ever. It's always going to be a narrow site for scared little girls, like Little Green Footballs. If your opponents can force you to close registration, engage in mass bannings, post whiny little diatribes about how people are "ruining the community", etc., you've already lost.

Posted by: fgc4 | October 24, 2007 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Ron Paul is doing more than Red State is to expand the base of the Republican Party. You can't blame those of us who support Congressman Paul for the acrimony shown at Red State. Remember Giuliani speaking out of turn at one of the debates after Ron Paul elucidated his foreign policy views? At every debate, Rudy and Mitt openly snicker whenever Congressman Paul speaks out on his opposition to the unconstitutional Iraq War. So now Red State blames Dr. Paul's supporters for "spamming" their little website? The Red State robots are taking their cue from the "mainstream" Republican candidates who are showing the utmost disrespect to Ron Paul and his supporters. You can't blame us for being frustrated at such arrogance and shortsightedness. The so-called hardcore Republicans are doing more to elect Hillary Clinton president than anything she could devise. It is Ron Paul who is the true Republican candidate for president. I hate to say it, but the neoTrotskyites at Red State are giving new meaning to the name of their website.

Posted by: txpenguin | October 24, 2007 5:05 PM | Report abuse

The problem with Ron Paul supporters on RedState wasn't their "arguments" at all, the truth is that they were little better than spammers. They would sign up for an account and begin posting their screeds on every article and diary regardless of the topic. These are the same people who flood every internet and text poll that happens to mention the congressman. There are some good, honest libertarians out there, but these radicals and fanatics (and yes, some of them were simply lefties posing as Republicans) are giving them a bad name and making Ron Paul look like Lyndon LaRouche.

Posted by: Orange126 | October 24, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

The GOP should be embracing the Paulites.

Many of the other campaigns here in NH are paid volunteers. Ron doesn't need to pay us because we gladly do it. The GOP could certainly use a 'bunch of crazy' activists in their ranks. I only wish that they could see that.
I re joined the GOP party and am going to try and move the GOP back where it once was.

Posted by: dreepa | October 24, 2007 5:01 PM | Report abuse

I've visited RedState for the last time, and I urge other Ron Paul supporters to walk away. The Internet is a big place, and you can only visit so many sites in a day.

I have no interest in visiting a site that purports to be conservative and treats a ten term Congressman from a conservative district the way he is treated there, then refuses to let his conservative supporters make the case for his candidacy.

Posted by: drd6000 | October 24, 2007 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Interesting. My daughter is the lady in red in that vblog, and she's never been anything but a very active Republican in the state of NH. Most of the people in the Vargas interview were republicans.

Posted by: DanteIppolito | October 24, 2007 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Bad press, good press it's all press

Posted by: RaferJanders | October 24, 2007 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Too bad RedState is loosing its audience while DailyPaul.com (an exclusively Ron Paul blog) continues to grow. Just check out the facts for yourself.

http://www.alexa.com/data/details/traffic_details?site0=redstate.com&site1=dailypaul.com&y=p&z=3&h=300&w=610&range=1y&size=Medium&url=redstate.com

Posted by: sirflaccid | October 24, 2007 4:54 PM | Report abuse

I was one of the posters banned at RedState, since I opened my account there about four months ago. I wrote a post on the last day before the ban, pointing out how, except for his stance on the war, Ron Paul was arguably the most conservative candidate in the race.

I asked why all the vitriol for someone with a long record of upholding the Constitution, with a pro-life, anti-amnesty, pro-Second Amendment, anti-tax, pro-free market, pro-liberty record. The shortage of substantive replies was telling.

If a few posters went overboard, fine -- ban them or delete their comments as appropriate. But for a conservative blog to ban discussion of a conservative candidate, and then accuse his conservative supporters of being liberals posing as Republicans is ridiculous.

Other presidential candidates differ from conservative orthodoxy on issues much closer to core ideology than foreign policy: Giuliani and Romney are (or have been) pro-choice and anti-Second Amendment, McCain is pro-amnesty and anti-Second Amendment, and Huckabee outspent most Democratic governors. Yet their supporters are free to "shill" for them.

Only when a candidate opposed the war (which has already cost Republicans one election, and will likely cost them 2008 as well), and gained a passionate following, was there an effort to purge him from the party, and his supporters from the site.

Posted by: drd6000 | October 24, 2007 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Wait, wait... so how is this news? Some private blog censors its comments and this reflects on the Ron Paul campaign?

As far as I'm concerned, people can censor whoever they want from their own blog. But it's not newsworthy. If RedStaters don't want to listen to an opposing viewpoint, however, then they might want to ask themselves why they are posting in a public blog at all. Self-validation? Why not restrict disrespectful comments rather than those of a certain political leaning?

Come on, Washington Post! Don't you have anything better to discuss? Such as, perhaps, the actual platforms of candidates? The guilty-by-association fallacy of smearing a candidate on the basis of a few vocal supporters is an argument that is wearing very thin: http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/guilt-by-association.html

Posted by: intruderinthedust | October 24, 2007 4:25 PM | Report abuse

He is as close to Jesus from a political standpoint that you will ever get! The guy is lilly white! His conservative score is a 100!

Now, his fascist scores are none too good and that is why redstate is pissed off. Plus, they want to be able to impune and humiliate Ron Paul in secret, incognito shall I say.

My only suggestion to redstate is they need to add the old soviet flag to their website. Pubs and dems are now just a bunch of communists. Another Ron, Ronald Reagan, and Barry Goldwater would be none too happy about the sorry state of the Republican party.

One more thing, those redstate knuckleheads think the war is a great idea. There is a new estimate that the war is going to cost us over 2.5 trillion dollars. That is over $7,000 per person so we could keep oil at $26 a barrel. On top of that, Iraq is a terrible place. Who in their right mind would want to conquer a country full of backward religious fanatics that is 130 degrees in the shade in the summer time? Come on people, with oil at $90 a barrel and the war going on forever, how can this still be a good idea?

Posted by: libro_ranger | October 24, 2007 4:20 PM | Report abuse

You quote Erikson saying "the most vocal Paulites, particularly online, are the anti-war, far-left fringe posing as Republicans". There is nothing "left" that I can see in Ron Paul's platform. I think that misnomer comes from associating anti-war with left wing. Paul's platform is non-interventionist and for much smaller government. These are very conservative views- if left wingers are now embracing this concept I say good for them. The Repubican Party is self destructing with it's pro-war, big government drift of late.

Posted by: DrBrianHorsfield | October 24, 2007 4:12 PM | Report abuse

My comments were regarding RedState, not Ron Paul supporters; as I am a Ron Paul supporter. He has many supporters, and we may not all agree with what they have to say they still have a right to say it.

Posted by: corsonjm | October 24, 2007 4:10 PM | Report abuse

@thegribbler1

What most don't understand is that it is not Ron Paul the physical person who is being supported. Rather, the return to the rule of law under the highest legal instrument in the land, our Constitution.

The sad thing is all the current Republicans, sans Ron Paul, are dead set on not only continuing an economically unsustainable war in Iraq, but also refuse to take the action of a pre-emptive strike against Iran off the table. They say they are for fiscal responsibility but their very support of these war-hawk posititons are proof they can't possibly make any fiscal promises.

Further, in this article the writer is urging the Republican party to welcome the Ron Paul supporters into the "big tent" in order to defeat Hillary. What they don't understand is that most who support Ron Paul, whether Republican, Libertarian, Democrat, Independent or other affiliation, have recognized there is really no difference between Hillary and any of the so called front runners in the Republican race.

At least with Hillary, some of our taxes will actually be spent here at home. Given those options you shouldn't be surprised to hear refusal from a majority (if not all) of Ron Paul supporters to vote for ANY current front runner.

Personally, I'll be writing in Ron Paul if he doesn't get the Republican nomination.

Posted by: jayliewow | October 24, 2007 4:10 PM | Report abuse

My comments were regarding RedState, not Ron Paul supporters; as I am one.

Posted by: corsonjm | October 24, 2007 4:09 PM | Report abuse

If Ron Paul's supporters are "nasty" and "libelous" it is because they are like me: Mad as h*ll and won't take it anymore. Both parties are a gaggle of girly men, so limp wristed that they refuse to take a stand for the middle class, unless it is a Republican, then he will kick them in the crotch and tell them they really don't want SCHIP. The middle class is the forgotten class in America today, and we get no help from either party. At least Ron Paul wants to get the government off of our back and quit getting our kids killed in Iraq.
You haven't even seen nasty yet unless something starts happening out of Washington besides lobbyists and lawmakers re-enacting the love scene from "Deliverance."

Posted by: pecos45 | October 24, 2007 4:06 PM | Report abuse

RedState has only stopped his supporters from posting so that his detractors can feel free to post nasty things, don't believe me check-out this link;
http://www.redstate.com/blogs/chrome_plated/2007/oct/24/how_to_spot_ron_paul_supporters_in_your_hometown

Do not buy into their statements; these are truly nasty people who don't care if statements containing libel are posted on their site. As long as the comments, are in line with their beliefs.

Posted by: corsonjm | October 24, 2007 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Don't get me wrong, I think Ron Paul is a decent guy and geniune about his beliefs, although I would never vote for him. But I certainly don't blame any website for shutting his supporters up. With the way his supporters talk him up you would think he's not running for president, but he's christ reincarnation.

Posted by: thegribbler1 | October 24, 2007 3:33 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company