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Can We Talk Strategy-- Even if it includes thinking about Right Wing Candidates

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Yesterday, I wrote an article, Endorsing Ron Paul, and Why Progressive Dems Should Support Ron Paul . (This was specifically referring to the Republican presidential primary NOT for president.) Some friends and readers challenged me on this. After I posted the article to dailykos.com, over 100 Kos readers treated me to the most horrific day of insults and name calling I ever experienced in my life. Here, I try to explain my rationale for the endorsement and call for support for Ron Paul, in a broader framework. And I offer a mea culpa... again (sigh.)

As a progressive, I want the most progressive candidate possible to win the presidency.

As right wing republicans, I assume people like Karl Rove and Grover Norquist want the most anti-tax, anti government right wingers to win.

We know that the right wing strategists consider which Democratic opponents they would prefer to run against. We can be fairly certain that they look at all the potential Democratic candidates and evaluate them in terms of their effects upon the other democratic candidates in terms of the issues the enliven and energize, their strengths and vulnerabilities and possibly, the ways they wake up and energize potential right wing voters. At least it makes sense to consider that they would think about these things.

I'm pretty sure that many on the right are drooling over the idea that Hillary will be the democratic candidate. The mainstream media has hundreds of millions in old, already paid for footage of Hillary. The Bush admin has had seven years to mine the records of the whitehouse to get the goods on her.

But what about Obama or Edwards? Do you think the RNC strategists have been gearing up in preparation for running against either of these? I do. If I were them, I'd be attempting to explore the ways each candidate would affect the big horse race. I'd also want to think about how losing primary candidates would affect the race. Where will Tancredo's thimble-full of supporters go? How about Romney's? Will these candidates have the ability to influence the supporters, so, if they lose, they can direct the supporters to one particular campaign?

Are these kinds of questions ones that Democratic strategists are asking? I hope so.

Yesterday, I found a link on the drudgereport to a recording of a video originally broadcast on Fox News, about a prostitute house that is "pimping for Paul." Clearly, this was an effort by Fox to hurt Ron Paul's campaign by showing that immoral people support him and that he accepts the support.

It raises an interesting question. How do unsolicitied endorsements by not-the-ordinary kind of endorser affect campaigns.

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It was in the spirit of being a strategist that I endorsed Ron Paul for the Republican Primary yesterday. I thought I made it clear that I was only saying that he was the best of the Republican crop, not my choice for president. I thought I made it clear that I would be supporting one of several Democratic candidates. But some readers took my endorsement as a direct endorsement of Ron Paul for the presidency. I must confess, I chose to endorse Paul, rather than simply discuss a strategy addressing the Paul supporters. I took a risk there. Here on OpEdNEws, one reader unsubscribed because of it and at least several regular members of the OpEdNEws community scratched their heads and wondered what I'd put in my egg nog that day. On the dailykos site, the reaction was harsh and horrific, and frankly upsetting. But after an exchange of emails with Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, it's owner, I apologized. Fact is, as he pointed out, I could have gotten my ideas across without the tabloid headline. I don't think that excuses the incredibly nasty comments that were posted. But it does explain the reception I got. I still feel that the comments that showed up on my posting are an embarassment to progressives. And I include the angry replies I made too.

So, I pushed too far in my title. The fact is, I was trying to point out that it seemed to me, strategically, that Ron Paul supporters who like his anti war and pro habeus corpus positions would be more like to switch to a democrat than to a republican, if Paul did not win the Republican primaries. I also felt and still do feel that if Paul wins, he'll force the Democratic candidate to differentiate his or her self on the issues. I could have said all that without the incendiary title.

I just want to make it clear, since I clearly didn't in my first article, that there is this whole libertarian side of Ron Paul that I find totally unacceptable. I'm a firm believer in supporting the commons-- that government run education, police, army, road building, environmental protection, energy production, management of resources can be a very good thing. This is diametrically opposed to Paul's point of view.

And there are reports that he is an anti-semite, and I know that with him being anti-abortion, he is anti women's rights. I could never vote for Ron Paul.

But, thinking strategically, I can encourage my republican friends and relatives to consider him. I can even say that he is preferable to his Republican primary opponents.

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I think this is where I get into trouble with many progressives. To many progressives, considering the "best" republican primary candidate is kind of like digging around in a garbage dump to find the best garbage. But hey, don't forget recyclables.

Seriously though, many people wrote to me saying that they don't want to waste their time considering which Republican is better or worse. I can't blame them, in terms of their own choice of how to be engaged in politics.

But at the same time, I believe that strategic benefit for the left can be had if there are some ways to influence the Republican primary race, to affect the conversation, the prioritization of the issues, the moment-to-moment flow of the polling stats, or even, the results in primary elections.

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Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

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Not all of the comments were bad, the bad ones wer... by Mike Folkerth on Tuesday, Dec 25, 2007 at 8:40:11 AM
I understand exactly what you wrote about Ron Paul... by Timothy V. Gatto on Tuesday, Dec 25, 2007 at 9:03:13 AM
but I still fail to grasp this strategy, Rob.... d... by ardee D. on Tuesday, Dec 25, 2007 at 10:22:09 AM
     You make me think. &... by mikel paul on Wednesday, Dec 26, 2007 at 4:24:11 PM
They have no place to go Rob, and maybe this is wh... by Jeanette Doney on Tuesday, Dec 25, 2007 at 10:51:42 AM
Daily Kos is not generally a "progressive&quo... by Gregory Wonderwheel on Wednesday, Dec 26, 2007 at 2:29:13 PM
It is like this.. As everyone who posts here under... by steve scheetz on Tuesday, Dec 25, 2007 at 11:03:41 AM
I couldn't agree with your strategy more.Whenever ... by Vito on Tuesday, Dec 25, 2007 at 11:06:29 AM
that Ron Paul supporters will vote for anyone else... by Watching on Tuesday, Dec 25, 2007 at 11:40:34 PM
There is a lot going on behind the political scene... by William Cormier on Tuesday, Dec 25, 2007 at 12:10:03 PM
but only ONE batch of ice cream will be made. It n... by john riggs on Tuesday, Dec 25, 2007 at 12:27:43 PM
I do , however, have a feeling that what you NEEd ... by ardee D. on Tuesday, Dec 25, 2007 at 1:07:11 PM
Dear Rob,You don't have to apologize for anyth... by RM Merrill on Tuesday, Dec 25, 2007 at 1:04:40 PM
Hillary Clinton is a corporatists dream candidate,... by ardee D. on Tuesday, Dec 25, 2007 at 1:12:09 PM
i have seen you posting all over the ron paul arti... by robin Robin on Tuesday, Dec 25, 2007 at 3:27:33 PM
because you are dreadfully , terribly and absolute... by ardee D. on Wednesday, Dec 26, 2007 at 6:34:13 AM
Robin I am afraid that Ardee wins this one hands d... by pratliff94 on Thursday, Dec 27, 2007 at 5:45:39 PM
Ron Paul only wants to remove the Federal Governme... by Watching on Tuesday, Dec 25, 2007 at 11:45:32 PM
Is it matching funds you seek to stop? Or is it th... by ardee D. on Wednesday, Dec 26, 2007 at 6:41:00 AM
What does that have to do with anything I just sai... by Watching on Wednesday, Dec 26, 2007 at 9:06:02 AM
I know that I, for one, will be voting for Ron Pau... by John on Tuesday, Dec 25, 2007 at 1:22:00 PM
I think it is big of you to apologize for being ma... by Reverend Anthony Wade on Tuesday, Dec 25, 2007 at 1:58:01 PM
Anthony, You wrote, “Someone here respond... by reasonableperson on Wednesday, Dec 26, 2007 at 2:35:43 PM
If people want to influence Republicans, there is ... by John Lorenz on Tuesday, Dec 25, 2007 at 2:21:10 PM
Simple questions that deserve simple answers. If y... by William Cormier on Tuesday, Dec 25, 2007 at 9:08:03 PM
is that they insist on harvesting your email addre... by Rob Kall on Wednesday, Dec 26, 2007 at 8:06:06 AM
Every "viable" candidate in both parties... by coyote on Tuesday, Dec 25, 2007 at 2:32:13 PM
I am so sorry for what you went through yesterday,... by Aurora on Tuesday, Dec 25, 2007 at 3:03:23 PM
why on earth would you regurgitate the "ron p... by robin Robin on Tuesday, Dec 25, 2007 at 3:20:15 PM
 Ron Paul is not against public education, ju... by ardee D. on Wednesday, Dec 26, 2007 at 6:39:30 AM
Reduce Federal taxation by "x". Increas... by reasonableperson on Wednesday, Dec 26, 2007 at 2:44:00 PM
... so you are probably knowingly pursuing a polic... by Steven Leser on Wednesday, Dec 26, 2007 at 7:30:00 PM
No, I'm rarely disengenuous, nor do I make ass... by reasonableperson on Thursday, Dec 27, 2007 at 12:54:27 AM
The problem is a progressive endorsing a Republica... by JonX on Tuesday, Dec 25, 2007 at 3:20:47 PM
but it is common practice for media to endorse pri... by Rob Kall on Wednesday, Dec 26, 2007 at 8:22:52 AM
When I selected who I would rather see become Pres... by Cliff Carson on Tuesday, Dec 25, 2007 at 5:15:35 PM
I have always thought of myself as liberal, but al... by Brad Griffeth on Thursday, Dec 27, 2007 at 7:33:06 AM
can talk true strategy here about candidates ... by Brett Paatsch on Tuesday, Dec 25, 2007 at 5:29:18 PM
Yep. I can multitask, Bret. If you click on my nam... by Rob Kall on Wednesday, Dec 26, 2007 at 8:26:35 AM
So your analogy doesn't hold here as neither o... by Brett Paatsch on Thursday, Dec 27, 2007 at 2:56:37 PM
I find it insane that some people want more govern... by rc on Tuesday, Dec 25, 2007 at 8:45:47 PM
What we want is less corporations and corporation ... by pratliff94 on Thursday, Dec 27, 2007 at 6:22:43 PM
Your article about Paul was your usual thoughtful ... by John Howes on Tuesday, Dec 25, 2007 at 9:33:00 PM
Are we Americans so arrogant as to think that we a... by joe allen on Tuesday, Dec 25, 2007 at 9:52:03 PM
billyjoe70You are on target.  Can I say Amen?... by Cliff Carson on Tuesday, Dec 25, 2007 at 10:12:29 PM
I think you went too far in withdrawing from your ... by Alfred Jones on Tuesday, Dec 25, 2007 at 11:23:05 PM
I've been a Democratic professional and volunt... by Bill Douglas on Wednesday, Dec 26, 2007 at 2:00:43 AM
My first inclination is that I'm glad to get y... by pratliff94 on Thursday, Dec 27, 2007 at 6:47:44 PM
When the SDS began to use violence and attack back... by davy on Wednesday, Dec 26, 2007 at 4:17:52 AM
those who don't think Ron Paul is by far the b... by Ben Marble, M.D. on Wednesday, Dec 26, 2007 at 7:07:06 AM
In order to devise any strategy at all, one would ... by John Smythe on Wednesday, Dec 26, 2007 at 7:47:22 AM
I suggest everyone find a copy of the Sinclair Lew... by Watching on Wednesday, Dec 26, 2007 at 9:12:18 AM
I really get a laugh, sadly, over centrist and lib... by Gregory Wonderwheel on Wednesday, Dec 26, 2007 at 2:12:26 PM
Is this a site where we exchange ideas sharpen our... by Andris on Wednesday, Dec 26, 2007 at 3:40:52 PM
I understood what you meant Mr. Kall. I agreed so ... by shirley reese on Wednesday, Dec 26, 2007 at 10:47:25 PM