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(Previously posted in similar form at a magnificent institution called Crooks And Liars).

Goodbye, Ron Paul people! Goodbye...forever?

Ron Paul recently announced he's ending his campaign...y'know, kinda.  And we KNOW, Ron Paul people. It's allllll because Ron Paul is not just a candidate, he's an idea. Or a movement. Or whatever, he's never going to be President of the United States. But like the symptoms of herpes, he will persist.

The animating force behind Ron Paul's endurance has never been campaign spending, it is indeed an idea. A really super shitty idea, promoted by Right Wingers as a free market utopia without the horrible burdens of stable currency or child labor laws.

The originator of this shitty idea is occasionally enthusiastically embraced by conservatives as providing a consistent philosophical basis for shitty policy. Her name is Ayn Rand, and people like Paul Ryan just love love love her...until they remember that she hates their religion and thinks it's silly. Then the walk back begins.

But having introduced Rand in the upper hierarchy of the Republican Party, she may not be so easy to dismiss. The ghost--or zombie, if you will, roll with me here--of Ayn Rand lingers in the Republican party, a reminder that it is a party with deep divisions--and policy based on ideas that don't just contradict each other, but are downright willing to fight it out in a back alley at night.*

*Some may be offended by Ayn Rand eating the brains of Jesus Christ. Those folks should take it up with Ms. Rand and her fans, the metaphor is apt.  Apt, I say!

Originally posted to Andy Cobb on Thu May 17, 2012 at 12:17 PM PDT.

Also republished by DKOMA.

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