It was Ron Paul's turn to face Tim Russert this morning, and he certainly came out less bruised than past guests Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney. I don't think that Dick Cheney's go to guy is a big believer in the libertarian ideals that Paul espouses, so I have to wonder if he just thought that Paul wasn't worth the effort. Certainly, Russert offers no follow up on any of Paul's assertions here that he would abolish income tax and cut spending. For example, aside from pulling the military from overseas assignments, where else would Paul cut spending? It's a valid question that may color what otherwise sounds sensible after seven years of ridiculous spending on war-mongering. If Paul had said that the next program to go was Medicare or Social Security, would it have the same appeal?
As this second clip shows, Russert's entire M.O. appears to be dredging up every single thing a politician does or says in his entire career to find some evidence of flip-flopping, as if that fairly juvenile game of "gotcha" is the only way to be hard-hitting. Here Russert points out that as much as Paul complains about spending, he has no problem inserting earmarks to benefit his district, even though as Paul says, he votes against them every time. Personally, that's a little convoluted way to hold up your ideology, but expecting Russert to approach it in any other way than a bemused "you're a flip-flopper" tone is apparently unrealistic.