Okay, so I missed Duncan Hunter, which is fine. Geraghty’s analysis seems spot on–he’s done in this race.
Ron Paul is at the mic now, and he’s running his libertarian schtick to the hilt.
Here’s the deal (ready for it? ready?): call me an X-Con, but I have sympathies with libertarian positions. Ron Paul’s libertarianism depends upon skepticism, which is a helpful heuristic tool that conservatives shouldn’t ignore. While leftists often think that big government is secretly spying on the citizens and has legions of “black ops” soldiers to eliminate undesirable targets, Republicans’ skepticism about big government tends in a different direction: we we tend to think that big government isn’t quite functional enough to pull off such sophisticated notions.
Paul’s skepticism is unrestrained, and to that extent it is off-putting. He ran with the “North American Union” line, which frequently smacks of conspiracy theories. What’s more, Paul’s isolationist foreign policy is naive in a connected world. But conservatives may do well to keep a skepticism about the effectiveness of the government as a refining tool in their policy development.
Dakota Voice has a thorough write-up of the talk if you’re interested.