This, from Tim Lee, strikes me as wrong:
Seven years ago, no one would have disputed that Ron Paul was a conservative Republican in the Buckley/Goldwater/Reagan mold. But nowadays, the primary criteria for membership in the conservative coalition seem to be loyalty to the president’s agenda and a general suspicion of foreigners.
The problem is that, seven years ago, Paul was a Congressman, just as he is today. And he wasn’t an especially obscure one – while they’ve become more widely known during his presidential bid, his views on dismantling the federal government and withdrawing from any and all international organizations had been firmly established by then. He was already being called Dr. No, for doing things like voting against giving Congressional medals to Rosa Parks and Tony Blair (Paul said they’re unconstitutional – because Ron Paul is, first and foremost, a serious person). Anyone who knew Ron Paul in 2000 knew that he was nothing like Buckley, or Goldwater, or Reagan. If anything, he was like Buchanan. Except, you know, on crack.