In the most recent edition of Bloggingheads I did with Michael Brendan Doughtery of the American Conservative, we spent a fair amount of time discussing the Republican presidential hopefuls and their prospects, particularly with conservative religious voters. While there’s been a lot of talk about how a viable frontrunner has yet to emerge (mirroring the talk at this time in 2007), Michael suggested that Rep. Ron Paul is polling pretty well — despite his views, as Julie has documented here, being at odds with the Republican Party establishment. Michael compared a possible Paul candidacy to Barry Goldwater’s in 1964, adding that out of Goldwater’s ashes rose Ronald Reagan. Who would be the Ronald Reagan, in this scenario? Michael posits Rand Paul.