Ron Paul, not for the Long Haul

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James Antle asks and answers a good question: If Ron Paul won dozens of delegates and his supporters won so many staged fights to collect more, how come the candidate only got 15 votes in St. Paul?

Paul supporters worked hard at state conventions and in district meetings to augment the number of delegates the Texas congressman won in the GOP primaries, often with surprising success against the opposition of party leaders. They staged a semi-successful credentials fight that resulted in four Paul delegates being seated in Nevada.

But those four delegates went for McCain over Paul in the final vote. About a dozen pro-Paul Massachusetts delegates did the same. They cited their delegation leaders' desire to show unified support for McCain (who won neither state). The Las Vegas Sun described them as gracious; Lew Rockwell complained "Ron Paul Republicans drop the prefix."

An argument could probably be made that this is a sign of political maturity as Ron Paul Republicans try to preserve their future viability and work seamlessly within their party like the religious right before them.

For Nevadan Paulistinians, this was a canny move. The Nevada GOP went through considerable agony 10 years ago when a rump of new and old members joined the party in an unsuccessful attempt to get Aaron Russo the nomination for governor. When I was in Nevada last month, sympathetic members of the GOP told me that they welcomed Paul voters until they started kicking up dirt about the meaningless delegate count. (Meaningless because McCain was inevitably going to be nominated.) The phrase I kept hearing: "We've seen this before." They expected the Paulistians to become the new Russophiles. And indeed, Paul supporters are divided between people who plan on quitting politics and people who will stay in the GOP. The stay-insiders are having a tough time of it. To quote Arden Osborne, one of the switcher delegates.

They've been tearing us limb from limb. We're being called traitors and cowards.

Sounds like the Libertarian Party, actually!

NEXT: I Say Re-Regulation, You Say Deprivatization

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  1. They’ve been tearing us limb from limb. We’re being called traitors and cowards.

    And so you are. WTF was the point of fighting to get you credentialed if you’re just going to be a puppet for the leadership?

    Sounds like the Libertarian Party, actually!
    In the sense that there is infighting I suppose. There’s always infighting in any organization. What the LP is fighting about is “how to best advance our agenda”. What the GOP is fighting about is “what agenda should we espouse until we get in power and can betray it”.

  2. Lipstick now Fannie & Freddie!
    Neocons or REAL Conservatives –

    nader paul kucinich gravel
    mckinney ventura
    perot charts
    rage

    Got honesty?

  3. What the LP is fighting about is “how to best advance our agenda”. What the GOP is fighting about is “what agenda should we espouse until we get in power and can betray it”.

    Well put, but there is a bit of that in the LP too, just jump into one of these “cosmo” vs “paleo” threads and it gets pretty stupid pretty quickly.

  4. An argument could probably be made that this is a sign of political maturity as Ron Paul Republicans try to preserve their future viability and work seamlessly within their party like the religious right before them.

    This might work, but unfortunately it seems like there are a lot more people interested in all that Jesus shit than in liberty.

    (You know it’s a bad day when not even bacon pizza can make me optimistic.)

  5. Wise move? It does no good to gain influence when the only power you have is to agree with what’s happening anyway. The paleos have been as ineffective as the Reason/CATO cabal. A pox on both houses. I’m going with the Anarcho-capitalists.

  6. I’m going with the Anarcho-capitalists.

    We are the sexiest, it’s true.

  7. I’d just like to take this opportunity to thank Weigel and co for their support of Ron Paul.

  8. When the equity markets eventually burn and the empire collapses from it’s own weight, I’m going to enjoy knowing that Reason and CATO will go up in flames with the rest of that fetid swamp in D.C.

    We were naive to think we could ever turn the state into a force for good. It was like believing the mafia could change into a charity if only the right Don was in charge.

    Libertarianism has failed. Democracy is failing. AnCap is the only hope for a (relatively) peaceful future.

  9. Well put, but there is a bit of that in the LP too, just jump into one of these “cosmo” vs “paleo” threads and it gets pretty stupid pretty quickly.

    Agreed. However, the LP remains an institution dedicated to a central principal. One of liberty and individual autonomy. The squabbling is centered on practicality and effectiveness, with substantive differences relegated to the fringes.

    The GOP is floundering for it’s fundamental footing. It’s not just a question of “how do we get where we want to go” but “where should we be going”.

    The Dems went through the same thing after 94. They floundered until the unified as anti-Republicans. They were always anti-Republicans of course, but it was only after the Reps gained control of congress and the White House (and the SCOTUS?) that anti-Republican became a viable political principal.

    That leaves actual policy positions an open question. Into that void, the progressives seem to have inserted themselves.

  10. Selling out is a smart move. Principles are for yokels who will never see a payday.

  11. I was a card-carrying member of the LP. I agreed with the entire platform, but as an effective force for change it was (and is) a joke. Barr can’t even get on the ballot, and he is the most credible (and least libertarian) candidate the LP has ever had. The system is rigged against us. Even Goldwater lost in a landslide against Lyndon fucking Johnson.

    The system is unfixable and we have to let it collapse. The social contract isn’t legitimate anyway.

  12. David Weigel | September 8, 2008, 1:38pm | #

    IIRC, impersonating a staffer is grounds for banning ’round hyar.

    Just thought I should mention it before it becomes a Big Deal.

  13. David W,

    Now that’s CHANGE I can believe in!!!

  14. That leaves actual policy positions an open question. Into that void, the progressives seem to have inserted themselves.

    A lot of people are inserting themselves into voids. They actively cultivate a void of no substance, shout “Change!” into it, wait for it to echo back to people in a way that they like, and accuse anyone one doesn’t like it of being racist then chastise the anon hoards who claim racism. It’s completely on it’s head, and I really do think we need another revolution soon.

    I concur wholeheartedly with your bacon pizza comment, btw, it is quite depressing.

  15. These the two only choices? “Paul supporters are divided between people who plan on quitting politics and people who will stay in the GOP”

  16. This is called F.U.D. — Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt. Thanks Reason, it’s not like we expected more from you.

  17. How much money does a person make writing articles these days to minimize Ron Paul’s noble efforts to return the Republic of america back to its roots of integrity and backbone? You negative writers should go back in the shadows and keep drooling. keep your pens hidden for more noble quests than back stabbing good people.now go away.

  18. The last post name should be Todd the Canadian

  19. It was obvious to anyone that McCain was going to get the nomination. So what was the big deal about showing solidarity? What possible harm is there in casting a vote for Ron Paul?

  20. Paul is having a MAJOR unprecedented announcement Wednesday, Sept. 9 at 10 a.m. (I would assume eastern time) on the National Press Club. Barr, Baldwin, Nader, McKinney, all invited plus special guests (celebrities?). I believe they are going to legally challenge the national debates that only allow Republicans and Democrats to include all the presidential candidates. Just a hunch!

  21. WTF was the point of fighting to get you credentialed if you’re just going to be a puppet for the leadership?

    It shows you have muscle which can be deployed either for or against. They know you’re there and willing to show good faith in return for long term trust and respect.

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