A Fork in the Revolution

Rand Paul’s endorsement of Mitt Romney tests his father’s movement.

It’s Friday and the King Dude is on the air. Normally, Mike Church uses his early morning Sirius program as a platform to bash the faux conservatives he calls “Decepticons.” But this time he is criticizing Rand Paul, the Tea Party senator from Kentucky. Church pushes back against a friendly listener who disagrees.

“If the goal is the U.S. Constitution as it was enforced, kind of, during the Jefferson Administration or during the Pierce Administration or during the Tyler or Cleveland Administrations, pray tell, sir, how do we get there if we cannot keep people like Rand on the straight and narrow?” Church asks.

The night before, Rand Paul went on television and endorsed Mitt Romney for president. “My first choice had always been my father,” Ron Paul’s son told Sean Hannity. “I campaigned for him when I was 11 years old. He’s still my first pick. But now that the nominating process is over, tonight I’m happy to announce that I’m going to be supporting Gov. Mitt Romney.”

“My dad has a legion of young followers who are on the Internet,” the younger Paul said. And many of those young followers were hopping mad. “Rand is dead to me,” one wrote at the popular website Daily Paul, a clearinghouse of information about the libertarian Republican’s campaign. “He never should have done this.” The opening comment on a thread discussing the Romney endorsement said, “Sorry Rand, but you CANNOT make a deal with the devil.” A poster on Alex Jones’ website called the senator a “wolf in sheep’s clothing.”

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