Timothy P. Carney
Washington Examiner 
December 19, 2011
The Republican presidential primary has become a bit feisty, but it will get downright ugly if Ron Paul wins the Iowa caucuses.
The principled, antiwar, Constitution-obeying, Fed-hating, libertarian Republican congressman from Texas stands firmly outside the bounds of permissible dissent as drawn by either the Republican establishment or the mainstream media. (Disclosure: Paul wrote the foreword to my 2009 book.)
But in a crowded GOP field currently led by a collapsing Newt Gingrich and an uninspiring Mitt Romney, Paul could carry the Iowa caucuses, where supporter enthusiasm has so much value.
If Paul wins, how will the media and the GOP react? Much of the media will ignore him (expect headlines like “Romney Beats out Gingrich for Second Place in Iowa”). Some in the Republican establishment and the conservative media will panic. Others will calmly move to crush him, with the full cooperation of the liberal mainstream media.