I regard this primary campaign as the beginning of a process to save conservatism from itself. In this difficult endeavor, Paul has kept his cool, his good will, his charm, his honesty and his passion. His scorn is for ideas, not people, but he knows how to play legitimate political hardball. Look at his ads - the best of the season so far. His worldview is too extreme for my tastes, but it is more honestly achieved than most of his competitors, and joined to a temperament that has worn well as time has gone by.
I feel the same way about him on the right in 2012 as I did about Obama in 2008. Both were regarded as having zero chance of being elected. And around now, people decided: Why not? And a movement was born. He is the "Change You Can Believe In" on the right. If you are an Independent and can vote in a GOP primary, vote Paul. If you are a Republican concerned about the degeneracy of the GOP, vote Paul. If you are a citizen who wants more decency and honesty in our politics, vote Paul. If you want someone in the White House who has spent decades in Washington and never been corrupted, vote Paul.
Ah, the never-ending search for an authority worthy of the great Andrew Sullivan. Naturally Paul's racism and sexism do not bother Sullivan in the least. After going over all the reasons why Paul is a nut, Sullivan says:
Paul's libertarianism may be the next best thing available in the GOP. It would ensure real pressure to make real cuts in entitlements and defense; it would extricate America from the religious wars of the Middle East, where we do not belong. It would challenge the statist, liberal and progressive delusion that for every problem there is a solution, let alone a solution devised by government. As part of offering the world a decent, tolerant conservatism, these instincts are welcome. As an antidote - and a very strong one - to the fiscal recklessness and lawless belligerence of Bush-Cheney, it is hard to beat. The Tea Party, for all their flaws, are right about spending and the crony capitalism it foments. So is Paul.
Sullivan just isn't very bright, is he? We have ample proof in the corpus of Megan McArdle that it is possible to be highly educated and even intelligent in certain areas, but a fundamental lack of intellectual honesty invariably leads Sullivan into making poorly reasoned decisions. He will always make the decision that flatters his ego and always turn his back on those he considers beneath him. You can never trust an authoritarian leader, even (or especially) when you agree with him.