Ron Paul

Ron Paul Roundup: Thoughts on ObamaCare and SCOTUS, Not Dropping Out, Doing Well in Missouri, Shenanigans in Washington State, and a Brokered Convention?

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Ron Paul, presidential candidate, still in the news. Some of the latest items of interest:

*Paul hopes for good, expects bad, from the Supreme Court as it judges the constitutionality of ObamaCare this week, as Huffington Post reports:

Paul said on Bloomberg Television that he believed the court would not overturn the law. 

"I suspect they're going to rule it constitutional, but that is a big guess out of thin air," he said according to The Hill, explaining, "this Supreme Court is slightly better than in the past, [but] they haven't done a real good job in defending the free market and the original intent of the Interstate Commerce Clause."….

Paul said that if the Supreme Court were to support the law, it would "be a real tragedy."

*Paul pushes back against Piers Morgan when he asks him why he's still in the race:

In an interview on CNN, host Piers Morgan asked the Texas congressman on Monday night, "If I was prescribing some medicine for you right now, congressman, I think I would say the situation is looking pretty terminal for your race to the GOP nominee. Why don't you just do the decent thing and pull out?"

Paul responded, "Why don't you do the decent thing and not pester me with silly questions like that? That would be decent of you."

The two seemed to trade these words in good humor, but when Morgan pressed the 2012 hopeful about his lag in the polls as well as in the delegate race, Paul pushed back firmly, insisting that his campaign is "doing quite well" as far as delegates go, before finally interjecting, "Why don't you let me finish?"

According to Paul, his campaign is doing "very well" in states like Washington and North Dakota, and seeing some good news come out of others like Missouri.

*Here are some of the reasons Paul thinks his race is still a viable thing. The cacusing process continues in those states where delegates are chosen not by popular vote but by a complicated selection in GOP conventions from precincts on up to state conventions and then to national. Paul campaign's press release on their delegate victories in Missouri caucuses last week:

In the St. Louis City Caucus held today, the 12-term Congressman from Texas won 36 delegates and 36 alternate delegates to both the 1st Congressional District and to the Republican State Convention, meaning Dr. Paul cleanly swept this consequential part of the statewide nominating contest.  In total, Missouri's 1st Congressional District has 103 delegates and Ron Paul won 36 of them as a result of winning the entire St. Louis City Caucus.  For comparison sake, in the St. Louis City Caucus, Ron Paul received 158 votes and the next-closest vote recipient Rick Santorum garnered just 74 votes, or less than half.

The larger Jackson County caucus also occurred today.  In the 5th Congressional District, Ron Paul won 63 delegates, won all 144 alternate delegates, won 105 delegates to the Republican state convention, and won 144 alternates to the state convention.  In the 6th Congressional District, Dr. Paul swept all 39 delegates, won all 39 delegates to the state convention, and won 144 alternates to the state convention.

The countywide totals for Dr. Paul include 246 Congressional delegates, more than double Mitt Romney's 120, and 360 alternate delegates for Ron Paul, a clean sweep in that regard.

Santorum and Newt Gingrich won zero Congressional delegates and alternate delegates in Jackson County.

*Hamdan Ahzar reports from that Missouri process at PolicyMic:

Missouri's results – a shot in the arm for the Paul campaign – have led many observers to conclude that Mr. Paul's caucus strategy is working better than they had anticipated. His strong performance follows several events in recent weeks that suggest that Ron Paul supporters – energized by the message of limited government and fiscal conservatism – are quickly taking over the leadership of the Republican party at the state and local levels across the country.

Earlier this month, in Las Vegas, Paul supporters were elected to two-thirds of the board positions in the Clark County Republican Party after winning more county convention delegates than any other candidate at the caucuses – including Mitt Romney. Meanwhile, in Iowa, the state co-chair of the Paul campaign was elected as the chairman of the Iowa Republican Party in February. Last week, Paul supporters swept all the delegate slots in two of Seattle's largest legislative district conventions.

Such accomplishments belie the mainstream media's efforts to marginalize Ron Paul's candidacy. The Associated Press's projections, for example, report the Texas congressman as being last in the delegate count. Election analysts, however, insist that those projections are driven by a failure to understand the rules governing delegate allocation in caucus states. Josh Putnam, election expert and professor of political science, agrees. The AP delegate count, he admits, is based on "a fantasy proportional allocation of delegates in the non-binding caucus states."

Heading into the Missouri caucuses, the New York Times reported that Rick Santorum was "frantically wooing voters" in an attempt to secure a "second victory." Since then, the Times' caucus blog has maintained complete silence about Ron Paul's unexpectedly strong performance in the state…..

*Paul advisor Doug Wead studies some video from a Washington state caucus and sees a triple alliance of Romney, Santorum, and Gingrich against Ron Paul:

Thanks to the proliferation of cell phones you will hear Alex Hayes, director of mainstream Republicans of Washington State, making the claim that the Romney-Santorum-Gingrich campaigns have united behind a common slate of candidates in Washington State to block the Ron Paul machine from winning the delegates…

On the other hand, if Mr. Hayes is exaggerating or not telling the truth, if the Romney-Santorum-Gingrich campaigns have not agreed on a common slate, then you are getting a look at how political power brokers play backroom games to disenfranchise the majority of their own party.  You are seeing how people in power, cling to the little bit of power they have and are willing to lie or cheat to keep it.

Mr. Hayes calls the large Ron Paul groups as "savage."  Listen to this little meeting and decide for yourself just who is the savage?

The video Wead speaks of:

*And what might the payoff from all this diligent caucusing be for a Paul campaign still in "last place" in conventional terms? A Paul fan blogging at Lions of Liberty muses on the possible glories of a possible brokered GOP convention for Paul people. Paul fans, it says

have a deep rooted, firm foundation in our convictions through a truth seeking and historical perspective unmatched by detractors. We take the conversation one step further than the party line buzzwords that most parrot. We understand and actually kind of enjoy monetary policy. We are such nerds, that we spend even the 5 minutes of our seriously strapped free time going to meetings where we learn about becoming state delegates and county committee members.

 That absurd dedication may yet pay off. A brokered convention could unleash the beast of pent up Paul support throughout the nation. We are out there, in numbers greater than the 6 or 7% GOP primary totals and while that may not translate to as sexy of a news story as winning a straw poll; it could translate to something much sexier at the convention in August. The Santorum campaign spoke of the growing chance of a brokered convention last week and has hired resources to study the "arcane rules" of such an event. While the Santo people start reading the rules, they may find themselves wasting their time as the Ron Paul faithful have already begun their journey through the procedural labyrinth to the GOP convention in Tampa (some of them as early as last year)…..

Ron Paul's rEVOLution: The Man and the Movement He Inspired

I just don't see the average Santorum, Romney, or Gingrich faithful having quite the level that we do. These arcane rules include further nooks and crannies at the state level too. Even in binding, winner takes all states, like my own, delegates can vote their own way under certain circumstances. This means that even the winners of these state's primaries may not get their final delegate votes at a contested convention. In NJ, bound delegates only have to vote according to the popular winner in the first vote. This has huge implications for a campaign like Ron Paul's. Even without the "plurality of delegates in 5 states" rule, which Paul still has a decent chance of achieving, candidates can re-appear after the second round of voting. 

To back a candidate and an idea like Paul's requires a step beyond the casual motivation or participation. We aren't Republicans and we don't give a damn about your party line. We are free Americans, who understand that our liberty obliges us to learn a little bit more about life than is described by passionate bullet points. We are the nerds that spend our time blogging and going to state conventions….

*Paul's ongoing multiday moneybomb breaks one million.

*My forthcoming book, Ron Paul's Revolution: The Man and the Movement He Inspired.

NEXT: Jonathan Chait's "Contrived Hysteria" Against Opponents of the ObamaCare Mandate

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  1. Here’s where Max tries to derail the thread out of the gate with some profanity-laced comment.

    1. is max that dude who posted something about “go suck ron paul’s dick u morAns?”

    2. Firefox is great at letting me ignore stupid trolls like Max, and I save brain cells by not having to even glance at their stupidity.

  2. Ron Paul would have shot Trayvon Martin in the back, then twice in the head.

    1. A mozambique is two in the chest, one in the head. Don’t you know anything?

    2. Re: Maxipad,

      Ron Paul would have shot Trayvon Martin in the back, then twice in the head.

      And the president would dance on his carcass to score political points… Oh, sorry, he wouldn’t, because he already DID.

      1. Obama = evil

        Then again,

        W = evil
        clinton = evil
        HW = evil
        reagan = evil
        carter = evil

        Well, it’s an infinite series, I guess. No, the series only has 44 terms going backward, but going forward, it’s infinite.

        1. going forward, it’s infinite.

          You sweet, naive boy.

          1. Umm, who’s being naive here? It certainly isn’t me.

            1. I think the implication is that there won’t be any more presidents after a certain point, because the country will be destroyed.
              Or, I suppose it could be a pedantic point that the universe will end some day, making the ‘infinite’ point erroneous.

              1. Ok, sure.

                My policy has always been that at the moment of inauguration, every new President is the worst president in history. This would be true if Ron Paul were to become president, too.

                They inherit all of the powers and fuck ups of their predecessor.

        2. So what you’re saying is that it’s evil turtles all the way down?

      2. If I had a son, he would have gold teeth, sagging drawers, and a mean temper.

      3. If I had a son, he would have gold teeth, sagging drawers, and a mean temper.

  3. Hopefully Paul’s wrong about which way the SCOTUS will go. Looks like the government case bombed. They couldn’t even define a decent limiting principle.

  4. Brian, I don’t think you need to put out a book. This article seems long enough to cover everything.

    1. He is putting out a book? Where did you hear that?

  5. As Tulpa would point out, coming up with a unified anti-Paul slate in Washington isn’t a dirty trick. It’s the same trick the Paul people are using: play by the caucus rules to benefit your candidate.

    But it won’t happen. Why should the other campaigns unite in Washington? It doesn’t benefit them. Gingrich and Santorum both benefit if Paul “wins” Washington. Helping Romney get a bunch of WA delegates hurts those campaigns.

    1. “As Tulpa would point out…”

      Hey, perhaps R C, Pro Lib and the boys should start citing Tulpa in their briefs.

      1. Hey, perhaps R C, Pro Lib and the boys should start citing Tulpa in their briefs.

        If anyone finds Tulpa in their briefs, they’ve got bigger problems.

    2. The other campaigns did unite in WA. I was a Ron Paul delegate at the 45th district legislative caucus, and the “establishment” was passing out an orange slate of delegates that represented Romney, Santorum, and Gingrich. Obviously we had our own slate, but we failed to elect a single delegate, and I don’t think any of our people were elected as alternates either.

      1. Doug—Would you be willing to chat with me about this in a reportorial vein for a possible Reason story down the line? If so email me bdoherty@reason.com

      2. The local R caucuses (Kennewick) left hundreds of people outside closed door because it was more important for the local R establishment to get their vote tally transmitted to whereever by a certain time than for everyone who wished to to voice their opinion.

  6. Goood on the Paul people if they can get it done. I will just note it gets harder to affect the process the further up you go. The national conevention, by virtue of the ‘superdelegates’, is going to be full up with the GOP establishment. That is a bunch of people who don’t want Ron Paul.

    1. Actually, Im wondering about that. The superdelegates are 3 per state (except those that lost them due to penalties):

      The National Committeeman, the National Committeewoman, and the State Chair.

      And isnt the latter (at least) the kind of spots the Paul people keep winning, even in states with primaries?

      1. Yes. But they’d have to win a bunch more, I think.

        Honestly, I’ll be surprised if the rules aren’t rigged, subtly or blatantly, against these guys.

        1. Its only about 150 total, out of about 2200 total delegates. Its not like with the DNC, where the superdelegates are a significant chunk.

          1. 150 for the states, plus 18 for the various territories, perhaps?

            1. Minus the states that were penalized for early primaries.

              So, about 150.

              /Thinking ahead

      2. If by “keep winning” you mean, “has won one State Chair out of 50 so far”.

        1. 50 have already voted?

          I keep hearing about them winning positions. Im assuming mostly lower than state chair, but I have no clue. How mand committeemen/women have they won? What the fuck are those anyway?

          1. The committeemen/women are the members of the Republic National Committee. They are the Republican party for all intents and purposes. I dimly recall the procedure for selecting them happens at state convention in presidential years. Beyond that, I’d have to consult in-house counsel, who has forgotten more about GOP house rules than I ever bothered to learn.

  7. Paul’s ongoing multiday moneybomb breaks one million.

    So much for “he is broke.”
    So much for “his campaign has lost momentum.”

    1. Will the MSM change its narrative?

      Not so much.

  8. Missouri’s results ? a shot in the arm for the Paul campaign ? have led many observers to conclude that Mr. Paul’s caucus strategy is working better than they had anticipated.

    “We better rehash those newsletter stories again, Nick.”
    “Are you nuts? We have enough on our plate with this Cato debacle as it is!”

    1. Ooooooooooold Trollxican!

      1. You object to OM’s facetious, yet accurate, observations?

        1. I object because HE is the one who brings up the newsletters when they aren’t fucking relevant, in a blatant attempt to troll.

          1. Re: Rev. Blue Moon,

            I object because HE is the one who brings up the newsletters when they aren’t fucking relevant

            They were NEVER relevant, Rev. That’s the wholepoint – you simply prefer to obfuscate.

  9. Why don’t you just do the decent thing and pull out?”

    Did he seriously say that? What the fuck does that even mean? Since when is the “decent” thing in politics to get out of the race?

    Did anyone ask Hillary to do the “decent” thing and pull out? I mean, there’s pulling out because you’re out of money or you’ve decided it’s hopeless, but it has nothing to do with “decent”. Even if you hate Ron Paul, how would you call pulling out of the race the “decent” thing to do?

    1. Re: Paul,

      Did anyone ask Hillary to do the “decent” thing and pull out?

      No, because Hillary is the accepted establishment apparatchick (just like Max likes ’em), whereas Ron is not.

  10. Paul responded, “Why don’t you [Piers Morgan] do the decent thing and not pester me with silly questions like that? That would be decent of you.”

    That would be like asking him to stop breathing, Ron! Please, be reasonable!

  11. This is a pretty encouraging post. I do have a big question though.

    Even without the “plurality of delegates in 5 states” rule, which Paul still has a decent chance of achieving, candidates can re-appear after the second round of voting.

    Let’s say Paul wins outright a few hundred delegates, but doesn’t get a plurality in enough states. Does that mean his delegates can just sit out the first round or two until the process opens up? Put another way, does the winner have to get 1144 delegates, or just a majority of voting delegates?

    1. It depends on how disciplined his delegates are. Technically they could vote for whomever they want if Paul isn’t on the first ballot. If no one wins on the first ballot then all the delegates are released and we see dealing making, which would largely work to Paul’s favor if Mitt is in desperate need of a few hundred delegatges to win.

      1. Well, I guess what I’m saying is, if they’re bound, they wouldn’t have the option of voting for anyone else if Paul wasn’t listed as an option, right? I mean, the delegates have to vote for whomever they’re assigned to in the first round (or two, still a little hazy on when the voting opens up). If Paul’s not on there, they just have to abstain, I’m guessing. There’s no other option, since there is no process to “reassign” them until all delegates are released. At that point, Paul would be an option anyway, and should hopefully pick up a ton of additional votes from delegates that were previously bound to other candidates. It would be the coup of the century if Paul supporters actually comprised the majority of delegates.

        1. Only last time, many of them voted for McCain due to peer pressure, or for party unity, or some joke like that.

        2. It looks like abstentions were allowed in 2008:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2…..gate_count

          I guess this “5 state rule” wasn’t in effect in 2008 since Paul got some votes.

          1. Yeah they added it in 2008.

            1. Which is interesting. Were they that worried with Paul’s 21 votes in 2008 that they instituted a “Ron Paul Rule”?

              1. Don’t know if I’m ready to wear that tinfoil hat quite yet. Just speculating here, but it could be that they did it simultaneously with the rule changes to make more states proportional, because they were concerned (rightly, it now seems) that more proportional delegations could increase the chances of a brokered convention, so they hoped to limit the number of available candidates as a counterbalance.

                1. Yeah, that sounds logical. Probably patterned after how the Democrats do it.

        3. still a little hazy on when the voting opens up

          You arent hazy, it varies by state.

      2. Which suggests some dealmaking on the first ballot. If that’s the case, I would rather see Paul NOT get on the first ballot. It might be interesting to see what vote-buying antics the Romney and Santorum campaigns attempt.

  12. Paul is way too polite. He should have asked that limey bastard Piers Morgan why his friends at CNN aren’t doing their jobs as journalists. You’d think an anti-establishment candidate infecting local and state GOP offices with like minded supporters would be a big deal considering that in the years to come these people will be running the GOP primary process for local, state, and national elections.

  13. I approach this like Pop in THE NATURAL.

    All I want is for Mitt to fail to win on the first ballot. That’s good enough for me.

  14. I agree that it will get increasingly difficult to keep getting delegates at higher and higher levels.

    But, the organizational effort, the knowledge gained, and the exposure of brazen attempts by party hacks to cheat the process make it all worth it.

    1. All these things are true. I wrote the RLC off years ago, but maybe they have some value after all.

  15. I think what would be most amusing is if RP has say 400 delegates, far too few to win.. but enough to kep anyone else from winning….and those delegates just up and leave. Or keep abstaining. Who would be the magical acceptable outsider to emerge?

  16. Are you thinking what we’re thinking?

  17. If we get 400 at the national convention, we will stick to our guns and vote for nobody but Ron Paul. As many times as it takes. Pleas for “party unity” will fall on deaf ears. We fell for that shit last time, and it was useless. See, most of us aren’t actually republicans, and we don’t give a rats ass about the “party line”… What we ARE passionate about is Ron Paul.

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