By Lucy Steigerwald
Check out Ron Paul's now-extra bittersweet Super Tuesday speech in North Dakota -- it's a good one. So it's even more of a heart-breaker to watch with the knowledge that Rick Santorum has won North Dakota lying heavy in your chest.
In 22-odd minutes, Paul trashes wars, spending and insults the Patriot Act (calling it the repeal of the Fourth Amendment Act). He even scorns the National Defense Authorization Act by name, as well as the Obama administration's claims that they can assassinate American citizens. Here, near this election cycle's final slide into status-quo-moderate-government-friendly-what-civil-liberties-violation? politics, is Paul at his best; less stammery and very passionate about actual, concrete problems that come directly from government.
[T]rest of the candidates support the status quo. Foreign policies never change. Monetary policy doesn't change. There's no challenge to the Federal Reserve system. And most of all, there's no -- no desire to protect personal liberty, personal privacy, protect us from the intrusiveness of the federal government, to protect your right to use -- to use the Internet.
These are the kinds of things that are so important to so many people. And, unfortunately, that is not offered. I believe it is the offering up of a program that -- that emphasizes personal liberty, the Constitution, sound monetary policy, and a sensible foreign policy is the reason the momentum is building and the reason why we're getting such a great reception here in North Dakota.
Paul made some good showings in several states and picked up three delegates in Virginia, bringing his total to 52; but he hasn't won any states. Maybe we can look to Mitt Romney for the explanation. The square-jawed former Governor said it best tonight in his pre-emptive victory speech in Massachusetts, "I want to congratulate Newt Gingrich on a good night in Georgia, and Rick Santorum on his good night, and Ron Paul for his steadfast commitment to our Constitution and his strong support almost everywhere you go."