I try not to post about political subjects, but this debacle is just too ripe and Ron Paul is just too cool for me to follow my normal political blog silence. Give an idiot a microphone, and I'll use it...
Ron Paul is being excluded from an upcoming presidential candidates' forum sponsored by Iowans for Tax Relief and Iowa Christian Alliance. Now, they have every right to exclude anyone they want, and no-one is arguing about that. But, if you know anything about Ron Paul, you're shocked to think that these two organization would exclude Dr. Paul, of all people. Ron Paul's campaign posted the public contact information (taken from their websites) for these two organizations and encouraged supporters to call and question the action. Apparently, the response is overwhelming the organizations, and a local radio show picked up the story and interviewed parties from both Ron Paul's campaign (Kent Snyder), and Ed Failor from Iowans for Tax Relief. The result is a pretty comical display of Failor's total ineptitude in explaining any kind of rational argument.
In response to the simple question: "Why was Ron Paul excluded?" he offers the following answer a number of times: "Because we drew a line of exclusion months ago." But this is nothing more than saying Ron Paul was excluded because he was excluded. It's circular non-sense.
Failor also offers up a dog's breakfast of off-the-cuff trite arguments in a scattershot manner.
Failor also tries to explain the exclusion by saying that they have an obligation to be educational and can't slant or bias their invitations towards people who favor any certain political agenda. But cutting taxes is already a political agenda, and the other candidates invited have pro-tax-cuts agendas, just as Ron Paul does - though none of them have the 100% record he has.
Failor then tries to explain that the exclusion of Ron Paul is done on a basis of credibility and that Ron Paul has less than 1% support in popular polls. However, Tom Tancredo consistently scores lower than Ron Paul and he was invited. In addition, Ron Paul's rise in internet popularity is nothing less than meteoric. http://www.pollingreport.com/wh08rep.htm
Failor says that they can't alter their lineup for logistical reasons. But he also says they are non-partisan and so they have to invite all candidates - not just Republicans - and they have to account for the possibility that ALL invitees could attend. If that's the case, then clearly, the event could have accommodated many more speakers - the Democrats who were invited but refused.
Failor tries to say that because they have to put on events that are reflective of what their members want to see, and because only a tiny portion of the response they've gotten has been from Iowans, that they were correct in their exclusion of Ron Paul. But Ron Paul's national popularity does not imply un-popularity in Iowa. It's a logical fallacy, and it doesn't prove anything.
Failor also tries to say that Ron Paul's supporters exhibiting "fringe-type" behavior shows that Ron Paul is not a serious candidate. He says supporters have called his home phone at all hours and said rude things to his family. But Snyder explains that the campaign only published the already-public contact information from the two groups' websites, and nothing more. Ron Paul's campaign is every bit as credible, based on its behavior, as any other candidate.
It seems to me this organization should have invited Dr. Paul first and foremost among all candidates, or at least that they should have jumped on the opportunity to get such a great speaker added to their forum. Instead, they've decided to be completely inflexible for a bunch of poor reasons. That's their prerogative, I suppose.