Dazed and confused

Dazed and confused

by digby

There's a lot of chatter about Ron Paul among lefties these days, some of which I've addressed here, here and here. Apparently there are quite a few liberals and progressives who normally vote Democratic who are going to vote for Ron Paul instead. Many have decided to support him based upon Obama's national security and civil liberties apostasies. Others are hoping to hasten what they see as the inevitable destruction of the political system in order to get on with it. (What "it" is remains a bit vague.)

But on the ground in Iowa, where the first votes are about to be cast tomorrow, the reasoning is a bit more ... eccentric:

Rep. Ron Paul, in a tight race for first place in Iowa with Mitt Romney, is perhaps the most likely to benefit from Democratic crossovers. His campaign is distributing information sheets advising Iowans that they can register Republican "for a day" on caucus night, then switch their registration back afterward if they want.

"It's easy. You can register on your way in the door," David Fischer, co-chairman of Paul's Iowa organization, told voters Thursday at a campaign stop in Atlantic.

John Long, a registered Democrat, said that "last time, unfortunately, I believed a lot of the rhetoric" and voted for Obama, after going to a Democratic caucus as a Joe Biden supporter. Long feels that job-crushing regulations have gotten worse under President Obama, who he said had failed to end the "embarrassing" political spectacle in Washington, in part because he was too weak to stand up to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, the Democratic leaders in Congress.

The 65-year-old semi-retired accountant plans to vote for Paul at a Republican caucus in West Des Moines. "Ron Paul has a lot going for him, particularly in the economic area," he said. Long doesn't care for the Texas congressman's isolationist foreign policy but says that no candidate is perfect and that Paul "is principled enough not to say stuff just to get elected."

Cheryl Hout, an Obama voter from Osceola, Iowa, said she "fell for" Obama in 2008 "because he's such a good speaker," but now calls the president "a liar." The 54-year-old special-education teacher is very unhappy that he didn't deliver on the change he promised, especially with a healthcare plan whose implementation has been much too slow to meet her family's medical needs. She and her husband, Terry, 63, an independent who says his Obama vote was "a mistake" and who has never attended a caucus before, plan to vote for Paul.

"We're looking for something new to revive the country," she said. "We're so close to losing our whole country. China owns us. They could just walk right in and take us. It's scary."

I'm reminded of this very insightful piece by Chris Hayes, about how some voters make their decisions. It's well worth reading again as we go into campaign season in earnest.