Oh, we kid Ron Paul. The 75-year-old Texas congressman has announced that he won’t seek reelection to Congress in 2012 in order to “concentrate on one election” the one for the GOP nomination for president (and, very hypothetically, the general election against President Obama). The reality is that Paul, no matter how hard he concentrates, doesn’t have a chance in the GOP primary race. His followers are as loyal and passionate as Justin Bieber’s, but he lacks the necessary breadth of support in the wider Republican Party. Paul likely feels that, whether or not he wins the nomination, it’s simply time to move on. As Dave Weigel points out, he can do so with the comfort of knowing that his son, Senator Rand Paul, as well as a whole slew of small-government tea party congressmen elected in 2010, will continue to champion the hard-core libertarian philosophy that he brought to Congress for 24 years. Paul was often the lone voice questioning the legality and/or wisdom of various government initiatives, and while he was rarely (if ever?) successful in blocking them, his tireless resistance was valuable in itself.