On my website, CommonConservative.com, I wrote a piece about the Iowa Straw Polls where I single out Ron Paul's 5th place finish as evidence that the Iowa Straw Poll shouldn't be taken seriously. That one paragraph has already elicited responses from the Ron Paul Fanclub, including condescending posts about how I'm "a stooge" or "ignorant" and that I need to "wake up." Usually, I get those kinds of comments from faux liberals or egotistical faux conservatives who think they know more than they actually do, so I'm used to comments like that.
What I wasn't prepared for was a flashback to 2003-2004. I seem to remember another politician who had a lot of early support, was deemed to be the savior of his party, and was thought of as the real deal. That was before a fateful January when the candidate dropped to third at the Iowa Caucuses due in part to his snapping at an elderly gentleman and political machinations behind the scenes. Then, there was "the scream."
Yep, I'm talking about Howard Dean.
Judging from how defensive Ron Paul's supporters are about their candidate, I am reminded of how Dean's supporters were whenever anyone would question him. And after his comments at one of the Republican debates where he still unsure of what happened on 9/11, I think we've found a good reason to question him. His approach to the war on terrorism leaves a LOT to be desired because I don't think he gets it. He may be okay on other issues, but when you consider we're hip deep in an international war against people who want us dead for being us, you kinda need to have a handle on that, and I'm not confident Paul has that.
I have a hypothesis about Paul's support base, and it's only a hypothesis. Given how loose the Iowa Straw Poll and the Iowa Caucuses to a lesser degree are, it's entirely possible that Democrats are registering as Republicans so they can try to weaken top-tier candidates and knock them out, thus giving Hillary Clinton a much easier road to the White House. Then, surprise surprise, they "come to their senses" and reregister as Democrats. And all they have to do is talk up Ron Paul enough that people think he's viable.
But as we saw with Dean, being popular in the early going means nothing if you can't pick up the votes when it counts.