What Ron Paul wants

The answer is coming clear, and it ought to have the Republican voters who are hosting Mr. Paul in this primary unhappy. The speculation up to now has been that the Texan might launch a third-party run, but it seems he’s keeping that in his back pocket. His real aim is to take the party hostage, threatening to withhold his followers’ votes unless the GOP agrees to adopt positions that are anathema to most conservatives. Call it minority rule.

The Paul team keeps insisting they are in this to win. But if that were the case, Mr. Paul would have spent more than a few days in this state, and he would then be concentrating on Florida. His team is instead throwing its money and efforts at states like Nevada, Maine, Colorado and Minnesota, which are less expensive markets and where caucus systems are more open to Mr. Paul’s grass-roots troops. …

The bullishness is designed to keep up turnout among Mr. Paul’s supporters and provide polite cover for the team’s real objective: running up delegate numbers. The goal is to collect enough delegates to make a statement at the Republican convention, where Mr. Paul will let it be known that the price of his support will be the adoption of his positions. “The more delegates I have, the more leverage I have,” said Mr. Paul, bluntly, this week. “We’ll go after delegates, and we have staying power.”