Because I think he is smoking pot:
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.
Libertarianism in the GOP took a big hit on 9/11, and it’s slowly coming back, with Ron Paul as the catalyst. Its underlying ideals still have appeal well beyond the cramped confines of the LP. If it’s possible to be known as a pro-life, pro-war, pro-wiretapping libertarian, then sign me up.
Ron Paul opposes everything the GOP has stood for the past few years. His popularity is not causing a resurgence of libertarianism in the GOP, it is caused by a general disgust WITH the GOP. If Ruffini would check Hugh’s archives where he wrote this, he will see what the party apparatchiks think of Paul and Paul supporters. He can also check at Red State, where he used to write.
The rise of Paul is not going to cause a surge in libertarianism in the Republican party. The rise of Ron Paul is due to his filling the void in a party filled with moralists, in-your-face social cons, warmongerers, and authoritarians. The only libertarians currently in the GOP are folks who are either too stupid or too cowardly to admit they are Bush dead-enders and think ‘libertarian’ sounds cool, or those hoping sometime the party will regain its sanity. Actual libertarians find their home in places that actually embrace libertarian ideals- the Libertarian party, as registered Independents, or as conservative Democrats.
We’ll just chalk Ruffini’s post up to analysis by anecdote and wishful thinking. If anything, the treatment of Paul by the GOP has pushed libertarians out of the party.
*** Update ***
And if anyone wants to have fun with this quote, have at it:
Mainstream Republican libertarians might be gung-ho for Paul’s small-government idealism, they might adopt Glenn Reynoldsish skepticism of the homeland security bureaucracy…
I know when I think of skepticism to the overreaches of this administration and the Homeland Security Department and the recent privacy issues, the first person I think of is Glenn Reynolds.
*** Update #2 ***
Just go read Sullivan.