Ron Paul: Mission Accomplished
John Cole wins Headline of the Day honors for his headline/lede couplet,
Maybe Patrick Ruffini is a Libertarian
Because I think he is smoking pot
It’s a pithy summary of Ruffini’s much-discussed blog post over at Hugh Hewitt’s place, “Ron Paul Has Won.”
He won’t win the nomination. He won’t win any primaries. But for Ron Paul’s quixotic bid for the White House, it’s “Mission Accomplished.”
In the past few months, Ron Paul has dramatically raised the profile of libertarianism inside the Republican Party. My small-l libertarian friends seem more comfortable describing themselves as such, even though they’ll go out of their way to disassociate themselves from Ron Paul and the big-L kind.
Some campaigns can win big without ever coming close to winning an actual contest. Pat Robertson’s 1988 campaign signaled that Christian Conservatives had arrived in the GOP. Ron Paul is doing the same for libertarians. This is not a counterweight to the religious right per se, since Paul is identified as pro-life, but it does potentially open up a new army of activists on the right not primarily motivated by social/moral issues.
Cole and Andrew Sullivan offer cogent analyses of the problems with Ruffini’s triumphalism that a largely agree with.
I would only add that there’s no small irony in the use of the phrase “Mission Accomplished” here, which I presume was unintended. If someone wants to PhotoShop an image of Ron Paul in a flight suit for this, I’ll gladly post it.