Bruce Bartlett seems annoyed, and understandably so. His blogged objections to the HR1207 ‘Audit the Fed’ bill have transformed him into a hate-figure among the disciples of Ron Paul. His initial post on the subject, about which Dan wrote yesterday, prompted abuse in its comments section … and presumably elsewhere.

Bartlett writes,

Apparently, the Ron Paul cult has discovered that I am not a supporter of their leader’s prime legislative initiative, auditing and then abolishing the Federal Reserve. For this sin I have been added to their enemy’s list.

To counter the fringier Paulistas, Bartlett, who once worked for Ron Paul, reproduces on his blog a rather pro-Paul article he wrote for the New York Times in the build-up to the 2008 presidential elections.

Bartlett is possibly being a touch dramatic in describing himself as “an enemy” of “the Ron Paul cult.” But the predictably hostile and fulminating response to his critique of HR1207 is depressing. He may have started the name-calling by describing the bill as “a crackpot idea.” He shouldn’t, however, be written off as “liar” or worse — read the comments here — just because he doesn’t support a piece of Ron Paul legislation. There truly is a whiff of cultism there.

Paul’s critics like nothing better than to dismiss the Texan Congressman’s followers as madmen. It’s sad when the Ron Paul movement seems bent on proving them right.