The latest example of this phenomenon is the Rand Paul boom, as illustrated by today's New York Times story on the senator squiring Rupert Murdoch around the Kentucky Derby. Paul, we are told, is the sort-of GOP frontrunner for 2016. His biggest drawback, the political press says, is his less-than-hawkish foreign policy views.
Poppycock. Rand Paul will never be president, and it's not because he questions the Bush-Cheney foreign policy. The oval office is out of reach because he does not believe in the section of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that bans discrimination in public accommodations. That means, if I run a business, I cannot refuse to service people based on their race, creed, national original, etc.
Paul's argument is that it was correct to ban discrimination by governments, but individuals should have the right to discriminate. But for that right to be fully excercised, the state would have to intervene on the side of the discriminator. Specifically, police would have to arrest or threaten to arrest the person denied service if they refused to leave the business. So in the end, you would have state-sanctioned discrimination.
The moment Paul becomes a serious candidate, this video of his interview on this subject with Rachel Maddow will surface and it will all be over. In the meantime, tens, perhaps 100s of millions of dollars will be spent, and countless words will be written, all for nothing.