Posted Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2011, at 1:24 PM
I mention this not because a famed blogger will move Iowans to reconsider their caucus choice, but because Sullivan writes well about the ephemeral reason that non-paleolibertarians like Paul so much. They just... like him.
I see in Paul none of the resentment that burns in Gingrich or the fakeness that defines Romney or the fascistic strains in Perry's buffoonery. He has yet to show the Obama-derangement of his peers, even though he differs with him. He has now gone through two primary elections without compromising an inch of his character or his philosophy. This kind of rigidity has its flaws, but, in the context of the Newt Romney blur, it is refreshing. He would never take $1.8 million from Freddie Mac. He would never disown Reagan, as Romney once did. He would never speak of lynching Bernanke, as Perry threatened. When he answers a question, you can see that he is genuinely listening to it and responding - rather than searching, Bachmann-like, for the one-liner to rouse the base. He is, in other words, a decent fellow, and that's an adjective I don't use lightly.
No finger-wagging from me on this one. In 2008 I voted for Paul in the GOP primary, and Barack Obama in the general election. Sullivan voted for Obama and argued, in a CW-moving essay, that Obama was going to change America because he existed. "Unlike any of the other candidates," he wrote, "he could take America—finally—past the debilitating, self-perpetuating family quarrel of the Baby Boom generation that has long engulfed all of us." In both cases, Sullivan is spotting a dozen or so points because of who the candidates are, as much or more than what they want to do. He's not the only Paul supporter who thinks this -- this is why Paul polls so well among "liberals" who want to vote in the GOP primary, even though they should disagree with him on all the merits of policy.