Overnight I was inundated with angry e-mail from Ron Paul supporters for my fairly modest tweeking of Paul’s riff on the Federal Reserve yesterday. I don’t find many of the defenses of Paul’s allegations all that persuasive. One reader forwarded me this 18-year-old story from U.S. News as something of a smoking gun. He prefaced it with this silliness: “Jonah, I know your fellow NeoCons have been a huge smear campaign since Ron Paul won at CPAC, but before you make a fool out of yourself you might want to take a look at this.”
The U.S. News story is interesting, but I’m not sure it settles anything (I also think it’s funny how so many people (on the left and right) love to dismiss stuff from the MSM when it contradicts their ideological positions, but cling to it as God’s proof they’re right when it seems to confirm their position. But let me say three things. First, the idea that some Neocon Comintern has launched a smear campaign against Paul after the CPAC vote is a classic example of the silly, sometimes paranoid, mindset of some Paul supporters (I’m not even going to bother with the argument over whether I’m a neocon). Second, I’m with where Ron Paul where it matters. I think an audit of the Fed makes a lot of sense (how it would work, exactly, I think is a subject for reasonable debate). But the idea that an audit of the Fed would politicize the Fed strikes me as pretty unpersuasive given where the government is already. So, if the NeoCon cabal has issued a memo on this, I guess I didn’t get it. (Oh and for the record, I was never on the exact same page as the anti-Paul types on the right).
Lastly, here’s a prediction. If/when the Fed does get audited, it will be a lot like the search for WMDs in Iraq. All of the “slam dunk” stuff Paulistas insist is there won’t materialize. Investigators will find some interesting things, to be sure, but the big-kahuna smoking-gun stuff won’t be there. For many, this will not be proof that their theories were wrong but proof that the conspiracy is so much greater and more complex than they ever imagined.