Regardless of the insane optimism of some Ron Paul supporters, most of us have come to terms with the reality that John McCain is going to be the Republican nominee. His peculiar mix of fiscal libertarianism, traditionalism and moderation on social issues may trouble some, but it is closer to a truly libertarian position than any Republican presidential candidate since Barry Goldwater. It may also be just the mix to win over angry Clinton Democrats and moderates who can't stomach the leftward drift of the Democratic Party. He's not the dream candidate for anyone, but he may be the best we could have hoped for out of the mess left behind by the Bush administration.
From his dominant position, with 300 more pledged delegates than he needs for the nomination, McCain can afford to be magnanimous to those who ran against him and held out to the very end on the basis of principle. If the McCain campaign has a weak point, it is among the grassroots of the party. Younger, highly motivated voters were attracted to Ron Paul, and McCain could really use their idealism and enthusiasm on his side in November. To win over those voters, many of whom still cling to hope for some sort of last minute miracle, McCain needs to win over Ron Paul, or at least deal with him in a way which shows that McCain embraces Paul's ideals and will incorporate them into his campaign and administration to at least some reasonable extent.
What's more, angry Paul supporters are bent on sowing chaos at the state and national Republican conventions, and party insiders are just as intensely focused on shutting them down, which will generate even more anger and resentment within the party. Although Paul currently has only 30 pledged delegates, his grassroots support is much more substantial than that number represents, and might make a very big difference in the national election. Dealing with Paul and his supporters openly and soon is the only way to turn all their energy and anger into a positive force in November and heal what might turn into a serious rift in the party. The only person in a position to rise above the fray and make a grand gesture of inclusion is John McCain himself.