Ron Paul drops an A-BOM (Anyone But Obama and McCain)

If nothing else, it's a bold gambit:

Ron Paul, the libertarian-leaning, Houston-area congressman who waged a feisty Republican primary campaign for president, is expected on Wednesday to urge supporters to reject the two major-party candidates and vote for any of the four minor-party contenders on the November ballot.

"The two parties and their candidates have no real disagreements on foreign policy, monetary policy, privacy issues, or the welfare state," Paul is expected to say at a news conference in Washington, according to an advance copy of his remarks obtained by the Houston Chronicle…

In his speech, Paul is planning to say that voters can send a message to the major parties by voting for the non-establishment candidates: Libertarian Party nominee Bob Barr, Green Party contender Cynthia McKinney, independent Ralph Nader or Constitution Party standard-bearer Chuck Baldwin.

The effort grew out of talks between Paul and Nader that began a couple of months ago.

[Paul's] spokesman said that Mr Nader and Mr Paul shared a common revulsion for the US's "illegal wars", the "multi-billion bail-out of corporations", the "trashing of the US constitution by both parties", restrictions on civil liberties and the "illegal wire-tapping" of American phones and e-mail.

As do Barr, Baldwin, and McKinney, in the main.  Disagreements over taxes and a redistributive welfare state really do pale in comparison to perpetual warfare (under which "no nation could preserve its freedom," as James Madison said) and the trashing of habeas corpus.  (Sorry, there's no such thing as economic freedom when government assumes the authority to throw you in jail without ever having to say why.)

So what's the impact?

Worst case:  No one notices or cares.

Best case:  Red states turn blue, blue states turn red, campaign strategists for Obama and McCain have to scramble, and the whole thing just generally messes with the heads of the power elite.  Heck, if it merely prevents the winner from gaining 50% of the popular vote and claiming a "mandate," it'll be a symbolic victory.