Ron Paul, Texan, doctor, has been in politics since 1974.
A review of the Republican presidential candidate's recent voting in Congress this year by The Hill, a Capitol Hill news organization, finds that Paul has missed almost 92 percent of the votes this year. In the first quarter of 2012, while Paul was constantly on the campaign trail, the physician/politician from Lake Jackson cast only 15 votes while missing 136, according to the Hill's count. While his absentee rate is high, it's only fair to note that members of Congress who run for president - Democrats and Republicans alike - historically have skipped a lot of votes. Besides the conflict with the presidential campaign, there's another reason Paul may not be that worried about his attendance record - he's already announced that he's giving up his U.S. House seat when his current term expires in January.
It's also interesting to note that evil, mean-spirited halfwit Newt Gingrich has already given up the ghost in this Republican primary, as has creepy theocrat Rick Santorum. Let's have a look at Paul's chances (image/tally courtesy of the New York Times):
So why is Ron Paul still in this? Is it for the money? It would appear not:
(Image/Statics courtesy of the magnificent Nate Silver's Five Thirty Eight blog)
Is Ron Paul chasing lucrative speaker fees? That seems assured. Is he a True Believer, struggling to get his message out, as a remarkably idiotic piece from the Christian Science Monitor implies?
I'm not sure. Ron Paul represents many things to many people, much like Barack Obama did in 2008. Fellow contributor Gerald Long (of CrazyPoliticos) and I had a brief-to-medium length conversation with the Fellow Worker we often encounter at the 7-11 near Gerald's place. Said FW is a Ron Paul supporter, one of many I've met, even and/or especially during my time talking with #Occupy people, where Paul still draws a surprising amount of support. Said Fellow Worker was troubled by many of Paul's domestic views, but sees him as a refreshing change of pace when it comes to Wall Street and the Pentagon.
Most of Ron Paul's rabid internet/grass-roots support stems from two of Paul's greatest strengths; his foreign policy (basically "end the military-industrial complex") and his hatred of the Federal Reserve Bank. Bringing our troops home and fiat currency are an odd marriage, but in this Age of Horus all things are possible.
I see Ron Paul as the proud inheritor of the mantle of Texas Armadillo.
He is too strange to survive in most political climates, but in his ecological niche (the internet), he makes perfect sense.