If it weren’t so tragic and there weren’t so much at stake, the tiptoe strategy of the Romney Tepid Team would actually be funny to watch. Here you have a group of archetypal RINOs who were clever and tough enough to figure out how to destroy the relatively weak Republican primary field while Romney patiently waited his turn – next in line behind John McMush – to be anointed by the Republican establishment.

Since the Republican debates ended, however, Romney has been so weak-kneed that he’s barely been able to keep pace with a president whom everyone but the most naïve among us now realizes is a dedicated Marxist. Romney and his Tepid Team apparently feel confident that he can quietly slip through the clogged media filters all the way to Tampa, get the official nomination, then squeak out a win in November without making a wave in the process.

But it may not be quite that easy for Romney, because he still has to figure out how to deal with those pesky P & P problems: Sarah Palin and Ron Paul. You can just feel the fear emanating from the Romney command-and-control center at the thought of these two highly principled liberty lovers roaming around loose.

Several colleagues and I recently had a 45-minute meeting with Ron Paul, and it was more than just a bit revealing. Although I am not at liberty to share much of what was discussed, let it suffice to say that Paul will not be speaking at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, nor can you expect to find any of his immensely popular ideas incorporated into the party platform.

MittMan and his wave-averse team of advisers apparently are intent on sticking to their game plan of putting out lots of gobbledygook, sidestepping controversy and silencing would-be wave-makers. Anyone who knows anything about politics realizes that controversy is anathema to an unprincipled politician who is obsessed with winning an election at any cost.

A while back, Grover Norquist wrote that “Ron Paul is the only candidate for the Republican nomination whose endorsement will matter to Mitt Romney. It is the only endorsement that will bring votes and the only endorsement, if withheld, that could cost Romney the general election.”

Norquist was right then, and he’s even more right today. Bad news for Romney: Paul will not be giving him an endorsement, and, as a result, many Paulists will either be voting for Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party nominee, or sitting out the election entirely.

But it’s even worse than that for Romney. To the great annoyance of the Republican establishment, tea-party favorite Sarah Palin has never officially endorsed him. Worse, on numerous occasions she has warned the Romney people that they had better pay attention to Ron Paul’s message. The truth be known, Palin’s ideological beliefs are a lot closer to Ron Paul’s than to Mitt Romney’s.

The gonadless Romney team knows it cannot afford to allow Palin to speak at the convention, because she might – gasp! – say what she really believes about the whole odoriferous situation Republicans have once again managed to get themselves into.

Worse still, they haven’t even officially invited Palin to the convention. This is beyond a slap in the face. But, in a spirit of charity, let’s be sympathetic to Mitt Romney’s dilemma. Watching a turtle cross the road would be more exciting than listening to Romney speak in Tampa, so how in the world can the Tepid Team afford to take a chance on Sarah Palin’s working the crowd into a frenzy?

After all, a Palin-induced frenzy would be a stark reminder to true conservatives that the guys in the over-starched white collars and size small jockey shorts have once again succeeded in commandeering the Republican nominating process – and we all know how that usually plays out, even if they win.

If Ron Paul and Sarah Palin do not endorse Romney, and if a large number of their supporters stay away from the polls on Nov. 6, the Marxmeister in the White House, who did everything he possibly could to self-destruct, could actually achieve the unthinkable: win re-election!

When Newsweek recently questioned Palin about not being asked to speak at the convention, she shrugged, “What can I say? I’m sure I’m not the only one accepting consequences for calling out both sides of the aisle for spending too much money, putting us on the road to bankruptcy and engaging in crony capitalism.”

No, Sarah, you’re not the only one. You may appear to be strange bedfellows, but Ron Paul is right there with you – at least when it comes to shrinking the size of government and taking away Washington’s credit card. That being the case, I encourage you to hang tough with him against that dying dinosaur, RINOsaurus Rex. Rex has had things pretty much his way for a long, long time now, but his extinction could be near at hand.

Naïve soul that I am, I thought the nauseous John McMush mistake had been clearly understood by all conservatives and that we were now on our way to a tea-party America. To borrow from the title of Monica Crowley’s fabulous new book, what the (bleep) happened?

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