Booyah! The 112th Congress will be the first and last shared by Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) and his son, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY). Ron Paul tells the Clute, TX The Facts newspaper that he won’t be seeking another term in the House next year, choosing instead to focus all his attention on running for the presidency once again.
“I can’t remember a grimmer time for the Republican party in my lifetime. Now that Bin Laden is dead, the 2012 election seems like a formality. The setup is all wrong for the Republicans from almost every conceivable angle, with some of that being bad luck and some of it being poor strategy.
First of all, for the next eighteen months, Obama is going to respond to every single foreign-policy question by holding up Bin Laden’s head and swinging it in front of him like a lantern (metaphorically speaking, of course). It doesn’t matter what the question is: ask Obama about the Irish debt crisis, he’ll answer, “The Irish have been important allies in our fight against terrorism, which as you’ll recall resulted recently in the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden …” Things are so bad for the Republicans on this front that their only strategy left is to adopt an antiwar platform and complain about such things as the brutalizing of Afghan citizens by American troops and the illegality of the Bin Laden operation, things that would have been celebrated by the likes of Karl Rove had they occurred during a Bush presidency.
And from a domestic-policy standpoint the Republicans are similarly screwed, absent a new financial crisis, which of course is far from unlikely. A year or two ago anxiety about the economy and deficits was at an all-time high and the Republicans smartly rode public discontent by bashing Obama’s spending habits. But in following that path the party went a step or two too far, unleashing Paul Ryan on the budget; now, for the next eighteen months, Barack Obama can walk into Florida and Arizona and California and explain to every person over 50 that the Republicans want to eliminate the Medicare program as they know it. The Republicans meanwhile are already running sideways away from Ryan’s program, or at least are clearly concerned about having to enter 2012 owning Ryan’s Medicare-voucher program. Couple that with dropping unemployment levels and the stabilized capital markets (stabilized of course by massive ongoing government spending, but the casual voter knows little of this), and Obama can now waltz into 2012 claiming that while he was busy rescuing the wrecked economy left to him by George Bush, Republicans were using the financial chaos as an opportunity to launch long-planned attacks against Medicare and Social Security.”