I ask and answer at The Daily Caller.
I'm not talking about movement libertarian elites, current libertarian leaders, or even titans of libertarian theory. I'm talking about practical, small-l libertarianism. If the GOP's internecine struggle really does lead to a bloodbath before (and after?) the general election, that could cause today's practical libertarianism to morph from an issue-by-issue disposition into a bigger, more conceptually consistent whole.
The kicker is leadership. It's hard to say the leadership is particularly strong in any faction of today's GOP. The only marquee names who haven't fizzled, or declined to risk fizzling, are Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich. Among candidates competing for Florida, only Romney has any real capability to run again in 2016 -- and somehow I think Romney will be in the same boat as the other losers this cycle if he isn't elected president this time around.
Yes, a promising, and fairly untested, crop of rising stars is creeping toward the stage. But right now, the defining fact for the GOP is that neither the constituency coalescing around Romney nor the one coalescing around Gingrich is very ideally represented or led. That does damage to the credibility of the messages the candidates are putting at their service. And that marks an opening for practical libertarianism -- which stands more or less outside the crossfire, and which is helped, not hurt, by the impending exit of its own current figurehead, Ron Paul, on a relative high note both for himself and for libertarians.