At this point donors to the Ron Paul campaign should just go ahead and make out the check to Mitt Romney instead in order to cut out the middle man.
And I’m only half-kidding when I write this.
That’s because it has become obvious that that Paul campaign is more interested in aiding and abetting the Republican Party nominating its weakest and least principled candidate then it is trying to promote its own candidate. The latest prima facie evidence to support this premise is the Paul campaign’s decision to invest money running a 30-second negative ad about Rick Santorum in Michigan, despite the fact Paul has never actually campaigned there.
Now the negative ad the Paul campaign is running against Santorum is basically true. Santorum has voted for too much big government during his legislative career, which is one of the reasons I didn’t endorse him and why conservatives en masse have taken so long to warm up to him. Where I come from, it’s not an attack if it’s your record.
But that’s beside the point.
Why is Paul investing resources in a state he’s not actually campaigning in? And why just invest those resources to go after Santorum and not Romney, who (according to Townhall.com finance editor John Ransom) represents the very crony capitalism Paul rightly criticizes?
The media has been noticing for weeks the strange symbiotic relationship between Romney and Paul, with Paul’s campaign running interference for Romney on the campaign trail. I’ve even witnessed pro-Paul activists on Twitter re-tweeting tweets and articles that are pro-Romney. Funny thing is Paul and Romney are probably the two Republican candidates that are the most diametrically opposed philosophically if you look at the records and not just the rhetoric.
Which begs the question: what in the world does a crony-bailout-stimulus capitalist like Romney – who is also the father of government mandates and advocates the sort of timid targeted tax cuts the Democrats typically push – have in common with a professor emeritus of the Ludwig Von Mises Institute such as Paul?
The answer is pure Realpolitik.
Either the Paul campaign is engaged in the dumbest strategy to promote a presidential candidate since Lyndon LaRouche’s disciples handed out pamphlets in airports, or it’s time to admit the Ron Paul campaign of 2012 is really the Rand Paul campaign of 2016. Since I know Paul's campaign people are not only not dumb, but some of the best political operatives in the business, I’m going with the Rand Paul option.