I'm no fan of AllahPundit, but I think he got this one right:
Romney’s a natural Paul enemy too: He’s an establishment favorite, he paved the way for universal health care with his Massachusetts program, he’s considerably more hawkish than Paul, he has pro-choice roots, etc etc etc. Plus, insofar as he’s the consummate flip-flopper, he’s the anti-Paul; RP could have run a withering campaign against him emphasizing how likely Romney will be as president to shift with the political winds, especially vis-a-vis Paul himself. In fact, if you’d asked me before the debates began whom Paul would spend most of his time attacking, I would have guessed Mitt. What better way for a principled insurgent candidate to gain traction with the conservative base than by beating up repeatedly on a widely distrusted centrist for his betrayals of the cause? And yet … nothing....Paul’s advisors have been candid in interviews in explaining that his goal in running this time is to pile up delegates and gain some influence at the convention, either in terms of input into the party’s official 2012 platform or a primetime speaking gig or both. That being so, it’s only logical that they’d go easy on Romney. He was and is the likely nominee; the more helpful they are to him, the less resistance there’ll be to a convention role for the Paul family, especially since Romney will be nervous about alienated libertarians staying home if he freezes Paul out. RP tried running against the rest of the field in 2008 and got nothing from the establishment as thanks. This time, he’s taking a different tack. It’s working.
Principled libertarian conservatism?