Ron Paul endorses . . . who?

This is odd news. Ron Paul decides to catch the last train to kookville. Why? Apparently in revenge because Bob Barr snubbed Paul’s recent “anybody-but-McCain-or-Obama” press conference.

What’s more discouraging than Paul’s fit of pique is the idiotic anti-political behavior of Paul’s supporters. Back when the Barr campaign for the Libertarian nomination was taking flight, it seemed logical to expect that the Paulistas would climb aboard the Barr bandwagon. There were lots of rumors to that effect in May, and indeed many former Paul supporters did join the Barr campaign.

Paul basically pulled the plug on his GOP campaign in February, but kept Barr at arm’s length, apparently because Paul wanted to satisfy his more rabid supporters, who seemed chiefly interested in making a protest at the Republican convention. (I suspect it may be relevant to all this that Barr refused to associate himself with the anti-Semitic kook fringe types who had embarrassed Paul.)

If Paul had endorsed Barr in May, when the media was all over the Libertarian threat, it would have made all the difference in the world. Paul’s endorsement of Chuck Baldwin in late September — when the media is fully absorbed in the Obama-McCain battle — is barely a pebble in a pond.

This is a sad way for Paul to end a campaign that once inspired a lot of young libertarians and anti-war conservatives. Last fall, I went with an intern to cover a Ron Paul event at the Boulevard Wood Grill in Arlington, and that room was on fire with enthusiasm from 20-something and 30-something activists. Seeing it all come down to a fizzle like this — well, it’s just sad.

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