This hilarious post, in which the War Party’s erstwhile gatekeeper frets about the significance of Rand Paul’s landslide primary victory for those concerned to defend fiscal irresponsibility and completely insane foreign policy agendas “strong national defense and rational conservative politics”, is bound to warm your heart. My favorite bit comes at the end:

How is it that the GOP has lost its antibodies against a candidate like Rand Paul? In the past few months, we have seen GOP conservatives rally against Utah Sen. Bob Bennett. There has been no similar rallying against Rand Paul: no ads by well-funded out-of-state groups. Some senior Republicans, like former VP Dick Cheney, indicated a preference for opponent Trey Grayson. But despite Paul’s self-presentation as “anti-establishment,” the D.C. conservative establishment by and large made its peace with him. It is this acquiescence – even more than Paul’s own nomination – that is the most ominous news from tonight’s vote.

Ahh, yes. Frum remembers how it was done in the old days, though unfortunately for his sake the targets of movement conservative purges are at least as likely to be faux-prophetic “moderates” as critics of the surveillance state and irresponsible foreign wars. Voter priorities seem to have shifted a bit, and it turns out that that boot doesn’t feel so comfortable when you’re not the one doing the kicking.

I’m not much of a fan of the Tea Party so far, but give us a few more Rand Pauls and that might start to change.

P.S. Daniel makes some related points:

The time was when someone espousing Rand Paul’s views would be pilloried and attacked by mainstream conservatives with even greater intensity after a strong electoral showing. The difference in treatment this time has to do with the fact that Paul will be just one Senator among forty-odd Republicans, and so his primary win doesn’t frighten his critics nearly as much as it would if he were to mount a credible presidential bid. It could also be that there is a growing recognition on the part of people who tried to defeat Paul that he represents a sizeable part of the GOP in many ways and that they don’t want to be on the wrong side of this constituency.