Newsweek's Howard Fineman
has no illusions about Republican Ron Paul's
political clout. The Texas Congressman, he says, is obscure, radical and, at
74, too old to lead the GOP. Fineman calls his ideas "dangerous" and his
supporters "paranoid" conspiracy theorists. But despite all that, should Paul be his party's guiding light? Fineman thinks so:
Paul has become a player in Washington and at the grassroots. His
emergence should be a lesson to rudderless Republicans. They don't want
to scare away independent voters, but they need to find a way to
emulate Paul's outsider's anger and his commitment to conservative
The GOP needs to study Ron Paul, and learn. No one has better captured
the sense of Main Street outrage over secret insider deals and Wall
Street bonuses. No one has been more consistent about sticking to core
conservative values--including the one that says the government
shouldn't spend more money than it takes in. If the GOP is going to
appeal to independent voters, it has to confront its own corporate
Pointing to his
success corralling 309 House votes in support of a federal audit
the congressman's lifelong goals--Fineman suggests Paul's blend of principled, angry, outsider libertarianism is
exactly what the GOP needs. Is he right?
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