Ron Paul (R-His Own Private Idaho) has garnered three Republican challengers from out of the Tea Party Movement. Good. I hope he loses.
Ron Paul is no more a "GOP conservative" than I am Mary Queen of Scots, nor is he 'the father of the Tea Parties'. While we may agree on a number of things, like fiscal responsibility, reigning in the power of the federal government, and ending the nanny state, how we each came to those conclusions is quite different. And therein lies the rub.
Paul and his collection of romantic idealists and conspiracy theorists have been ranting in obscurity for decades, first as Libertarians and later at the edges of the GOP. In the free market of ideas their market share has always remained minuscule. (Calling anyone who disagrees with you a "sheeple", or dismiss them as "asleep", is no way to win a majority - not that winning in the political arena seems to be high on their priority list.) At the end of the day, Paul and his followers seem less concerned about campaigning for liberty and more concerned about any opportunity to campaign for legitimacy and attention.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: The Tea Party Movement will win in 2010 by advocating solutions, based on our principals, that 51 percent of the people can get behind - not 3 percent. We need to address the issues of the day, and birth certificate conspiracies, 9/11 Truth conspiracies, oligarchic banking conspiracies and Trilateralist Commission fears are not the issues of the day.