Noah Millman outlines a couple possibilities. Among them:
I agree with Daniel Larison that if Paul wins, the fact that he will have won in spite of flouting that consensus is significant. Andrew Sullivan says his priority is "remaking" the GOP on foreign policy by opening up debate. Paul himself cannot make that debate happen – because he’s a rigid ideologue and his opponents are mostly behaving like thugs and hysterics. A debate of that sort isn’t really a debate at all. But if Paul wins Iowa, and does well in New Hampshire, he’ll have established that, in a post-9-11 world, there is room not to toe the line on foreign policy questions, room for someone with pragmatic views more like Dick Lugar’s (or Mitch Daniels’s) to run and not do what Romney and Huntsman have been doing. To a much lesser extent, I think the same thing can be said of civil liberties concerns.
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