Unless the Republican Party decides to have a collective nervous breakdown of extraordinary proportions, the recent rise of Ron Paul in Iowa now being reported in some polls should be good news indeed for Mitt Romney.
Paul’s extreme foreign policy views – a strange brew of isolationism, paranoia (bordering on “trutherism”) and not-so-hidden bigotry – should strike alarm bells with the majority of the Republican electorate. Lovable old Ron with his doctrinaire libertarianism so attractive to those who think life’s solutions are simple is no longer a sideshow. He is on the edge of a destroying a political party and reelecting one of the worst presidents in American history.
If this trend is accurate, it’s easy to envision that Republican majority flocking quickly to a safe haven and coalescing around Romney. The only hope for Perry, Bachmann and Santorum to remain in the game will be to take giant aim at Paul in the remaining days before the Iowa caucus, taking him down a peg or two. To do this, Bachmann especially will have to shift focus from Gingrich to Paul. Right now Newt is not her problem. Paul is. Hers and everybody’s. Perry also will have to point his cannons at Paul. Santorum already has, but he has to redouble efforts.
None of this will be simple. Time is fleeting and there are no more debates. Still this election is fast-moving. No one except Nostradamus can predict what will happen. And history tells us even Nostradamus was wrong most of the time.