Ron Paul has announced he is ending his campaign ...kinda. He's going to stop spending money on primaries, which is a little like Kim Kardashian announcing she's going to stop spending all that time thinking about organic chemistry. It's a switch, but only kinda sorta.
And we KNOW, Ron Paul people. It's all because Ron Paul is not just a candidate, he's an idea. Or a movement. Or whatever, he's certainly never going to be President of the United States. But he will persist.
The animating force behind Ron Paul's endurance has never been campaign spending, it is indeed an idea. A really shitty idea, promoted by Right Wingers as a free market utopia without the horrible burdens of stable currency or child labor laws.
The originator of this idea is occasionally enthusiastically embraced by conservatives as providing a consistent philosophical basis for shitty policy. Her name is Ayn Rand, and people like Paul Ryan just love, love, love her ... until they remember that she hates their religion and thinks it's silly. Then the walk back begins.
But having introduced Rand in the upper hierarchy of the Republican Party, she may not be so easy to dismiss. The ghost—or zombie, if you will—of Ayn Rand lingers in the Republican party, a reminder that it is a party with deep divisions—and policy based on ideas that don't just contradict each other, but are downright willing to fight it out in a back alley at night.