What Paul, who has spent his decades in the House as a political outcast, is essentially saying is this: After all his humiliating years in the political wilderness, someone important has finally been nice to him. Alone among the establishmentarians, Romney has allowed Paul into the sacred clubhouse of legitimacy. For that, Paul is apparently willing to swallow their disagreements and play lapdog. He's been co-opted -- revealed to be less than the loyal libertarian soldier his fans take him for.
Naturally, instead of being outraged by this turn of events, Paul's devoted following is deep in denial. "Ron Paul and his campaign people are geniuses," one fan wrote on a RonPaulForums.com message board recently. "For months -- nay, years -- we've been hearing, 'Who is the Alternative to Romney?' THAT is why Ron Paul is not attacking Romney. He's using the media's priming against the media." (No, this doesn't make sense.) Another poster volunteered that "such an 'alliance' even if it didn't violate so many of Pauls principals (which it does) still wouldn't be needed."
The Paul army's calculation is simple: Ron Paul is perfect; therefore, anything Ron Paul does must be correct and unimpeachable. But the evidence is staring them in the face. Their man has sold out