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