Up until April of 2007 such a story would have been unthinkable, an idea writers of political fiction would find too far removed from reality to even consider without some serious hallucinogens. This year, however, changes everything as a chain of errors by the GOP Republican guardians has coalesced into a debacle slowly unfolding in the most perfectly recorded election process ever witnessed.
As first tests of Republican sentiments in Iowa and New Hampshire approach, an unsuspecting American public naively goes about daily routines expecting what was and always has been to occur yet again - a Republican candidate vetted and approved by a paternal media under firm control of America's Republican leadership. That the system is unravelling is becoming alarmingly apparent in an epidemic of panicked objections throughout Republican-controlled media.
It began in Iraq.
Against the background of a war turned unpopular across the entire electorate, Republican leadership has pulled strings for candidates who support the war in Iraq. This places the party into the position of supporting candidates the majority of the population has good reason to reject.
Whatever officially condoned candidates may be, they all share the same flaw - they support the war in Iraq.
Enter Ron Paul.
Ron Paul is the only candidate for the Republican Party to oppose the war in Iraq. The Republican leadership at first ignored Ron Paul as a 'fly in the ointment' who had no chance in the face of the party media machine.
The period they wasted ignoring him allowed Ron Paul to cement his candidacy under the Republican banner, irreversibly giving his campaign the kind of exposure unavailable to candidates outside the America's bisexual political duopoly.
Overestimating Democrats cost the election.
The Democrat failure to oppose the war in Iraq should have been anticipated by the Republican leadership as the only credible antiwar Democrats were marginalized early. This left Ron Paul as being the only viable candidate the American public could support if they oppose the war in Iraq and any possible continuations into Iran or elsewhere. This throws the majority of antiwar attention back into the Republican primaries with precisely the wrong candidate holding the antiwar card: Ron Paul.
A Pyrrhic moment approaches.
The rise of the Ron Paul machine is visible in front lawns from Anchorage to Miami and every state in between. The fanatic passion which has supercharged a grassroots campaign not witnessed since Andrew Jackson is converging on an ill-prepared Republican primary season. The outcome is as predictable as tomorrow's sunrise - the Republican convention will be a scene of confusion, depression and outright agony when Republicans realize just what will happen if they reject Ron Paul as their nominee. Although accepting him would be poisonous to current leadership and its policies, rejecting him would be suicidal to the party.
The movement is not the candidate.
Rejecting Ron Paul at the moment of the convention would trigger a series of events virtually no one is prepared for. Faced with a pro war Democratic candidate and a pro war Republican candidate, the majority of the American public would be ready for a third party candidate, serious or not. Why do we not hear about any Libertarian candidates for President at this point in the election process? They know better. They are waiting for the fateful moment when the Republican party makes the decision on whether or not to nominate Ron Paul as the Republican candidate for President. They are not stupid - they know better than to put any money into campaigning under the vast shadow of a possible Ron Paul candidacy.
The Republican dilemma is whether or not to launch a Libertarian Candidate.
Although Ron Paul has said he has no plans to run as a third-party candidate, he is not in charge of the movement. Even if he could simply abandon the people who have so exuberantly launched his campaign to the point it is now, there would be another candidate to run as a Libertarian. And that candidate would reap every vote Ron Paul has planted - and no one realizes this better than Ron Paul. He has attracted a following that not only transcends the mere candidacy of the person Ron Paul, it possesses a power which will no longer be coerced into accepting the lesser of two evils. A Republican decision to reject Ron Paul as the Republican nominee will underwrite a credible Libertarian challenge to the American political stage. If the Republicans choose to accept Ron Paul as their nominee they will have nominated a card-carrying member of the Libertarian Party as the Republican candidate for the President of the United States.
If the Republicans reject Ron Paul then they run the very real risk of losing the general election to Ron Paul as the Libertarian candidate garnering the 70% vote of an electorate fed up with a war the Republicans are responsible for starting.