The post-Iowa coverage of the Republican presidential primaries has had a lot of talk about whether or not Mitt Romney has a support ceiling and how far Rick Santorum can take his frothy quest to forget that the White House ever even pretended to be a secular institution.

The most disheartening stuff is from the man who’s still not going to win: Ron Paul. Even given the libertarian stalwart’s impressive fund raising, he’s not going to get the Republican nod. And even if he did, in that nightmare world, there’s still no way he could beat Barack Obama.

That doesn’t deaden the impact of hearing actual people who support Paul. NPR put together a great 20-minute podcast on the Iowa caucuses that, in the course of a larger overview, talks about how Paul is pulling support from both the Republicans and the Democrats, how he’s drawing out a great percentage of the youth vote in the primaries, and how he’s getting independents to register as Republicans, including interviews with the young folks themselves.

It’s sad to hear people my own age who think that Obama hasn’t done enough and then make the jump to decide that Ron Paul is the next logical solution. It’s not far off from thinking, if the handle hasn’t worked, why don’t I beat my head against the door until it opens?

Ron Paul support has to come from: a) an ignorance, willful or accidental, of the full breadth of his policies; b) full-on brainwashing; or c) a lack of concern for the well-being of others.

That’s why Katha Pollitt has done a necessary thing in writing a refutation of Paul’s policies for the Nation. It shouldn’t be necessary. People should have gotten the message the first 20 times pieces like this were written over the course of Paul’s political career. But with Paul’s star on the rise — most disturblingly with young, leftist progressives — people need to keep pointing out everything that’s wrong with the man.

From Pollitt’s piece:

How far does Paul take his war against Washington? He wants to abolish the Federal Aviation Authority and its pesky air traffic controllers. He has one magic answer to every problem—including how to land an airplane safely: let the market handle it.

Read the whole thing here, then go out and shame any of your friends who talk nicely about the man.