Ron Paul charges fascism, praises Romney, begins to fade

Ron Paul recently charged that the United States might be headed towards fascism, a ridiculous comment — particularly from a gentleman who put his name on newsletters that sometimes crossed the line into racism. Paul's fascist charge is incoherent. He correctly worries about the ties between big government and big business but incoherently supports the very extreme laissez-faire policies that would enable big business to merge with big government by buying it with big money.

Republicans could use a debate between Mitt Romney today and the various Mitt Romneys who came before. Republicans could use a debate between Mitt Romney and George Romney, with whom the latest Mitt Romney strongly disagrees. Now Republicans could use a debate between Ron Paul and Ron Paul.

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Equally strange is the Ron Paul affair with Mitt Romney, whom he has recently again praised. Perhaps in the end Paul is just another laissez-faire champion of big money, crony capitalism and vulture capitalism. Perhaps this accounts for his praise of Romney, refusal to run against Romney, and the fact that his campaign is actually helping Romney.

Ron Paul has been a major disappointment in this campaign. While Michele Bachmann showed signs of growth as a candidate, Ron Paul has not moved beyond repeating cliches and bromides that are 40 years old, if not 400.

His policies promote an economy in which anything goes, which rewards the vultures and punishes workers and consumers. He moves from ridiculous overstatements about America heading toward fascism to being the leading champion of extreme laissez-fair policies that promote the very union of big business and big government that underlie his talk about fascism.

Paul has always been weak on personal responsibility. He allowed newsletters to go out under his name that included despicable trash and either did not take personal responsibility to monitor and edit these newsletters before they went public, or to admit that he did, if he did, which he should have.

Meanwhile, this bizarre affair of Paul praising Romney raises fundamental questions about what Ron Paul believes and what his campaign is about. His campaign has begun a serious fade and is beginning to look more like a cult than a campaign.

Ron Paul could have been a contender, but increasingly, he looks like Mitt Romney-lite.