The process of actually selecting delegates for the August Republican National Convention continues, and Paul's forces continue to do well. The latest out of Oklahoma, via Paul activist Allan Stevo:
After Ron Paul's campaign captured an estimated 60% of Oklahoma's available delegates at the congressional level, Mitt Romney's campaign started to realize they had a problem on their hands in the Sooner State. It was apparently a problem they didn't feel they could handle.
Romney's campaign has convinced a former member of the Santorum campaign team to round up Santorum supporters for Mitt Romney and to make sure they attend this weekend's state convention, a task Romney's campaign has so far not been very good at.
David Van Risseghem, Rick Santorum's Oklahoma state coordinator, sent out an e-mail May 9 to Oklahoma Republicans attempting to get them to turnout in opposition to Ron Paul and therefore presumably for Mitt Romney, the only other candidate in the race. The note was apparently sent from an e-mail address owned by the suspended Santorum campaign.
The vitriolic note from the Santorum campaign stated, "It's time for all values voters to work together to keep our communities safe for the next generation. Several Ron Paul activists want to legalize recreational drug use, decimate obscenity laws, and sanction prostitution."
The pro-Paul author of this piece pulls a bit of faux-outrage, pointing out that such positions are not explicitly part of Paul's stated platform on his campaign page, and that he's running for federal office not state, which is true; still, such positions are indeed part of the larger libertarian perspective from which Paul arises and which many (not all) or his current fans embrace fully. It is hard to say that to most GOP primary voters; but Paul activists should be prepared to explain the philosophical and even constitutional logic behind believing that government should not be involved in policing drug use, obscenity, and prostitution.
More from Stevo:
The note from Santorum's campaign is again another sign of a struggling Romney campaign in the face of Paul surging. It now looks like Paul may win as many as 12 states and may even have ardent Paul loyalists outnumbering Romney loyalists at the Republican National Convention – the highest legislative body of the Republican Party.
Mitt Romney believed and the media has reported that after Santorum left the race the rest of the nomination process would be easy for Romney. To the contrary, it's become evident to many watching that he is unfit as a leader in the GOP as he can't inspire convention goers – the most dedicated of Republicans – and he has so far failed at uniting the party.
A Romney nomination spells defeat for the Republicans, as it will no doubt leave Paul's supporters feeling alienated, perhaps even searching for a candidate outside of the GOP.
Romney, the presumed front runner, instead of working to bring some 15%-30% of the Republican Party into the fold is spending his April and May alienating these Ron Paul supporters with rumors, dirty tricks, and ugly Chicago-style tactics.
Details from Daily Paul on how the delegate process has gone so far in Oklahoma, via a memo from anti-Paul forces:
This Saturday, in Norman, Oklahoma; Ron Paul's people intend to complete their grand design and add Oklahoma to the growing list of state delegations they already control.
The national media is largely ignoring the recent developments in many state and district conventions.
Rick Santorum won Minnesota, Missouri, Colorado, Louisiana, Iowa, and several other states. But the states I just named are now under the control of Ron Paul, and those delegates intend to vote for Paul regardless of the outcome of their Caucus results.
Oklahoma pledged all their 40 delegates to Santorum, Romney, and Gingrich; on Super Tuesday (March 6th). Ron Paul received less than 10% of the vote and zero pledged delegates.
But when the time came for selecting which individuals will wear those national delegate badges, Ron Paul's activists have already successfully received 9 of the first 15 national delegates from Oklahoma.
Each congressional district was allowed to select 3 national delegates and three of Oklahoma's district conventions (3, 4 & 5) were all controlled by Ron Paul activists. Districts 1 and 2 selected primarily Santorum supporters. Ron Paul's activists attempted a coup at District One and they are now petitioning to vacate the results of District One.
*Early last week, frontrunner Mitt Romney took a swipe at Paul, his only opponent, for daring to be just a bit too serious about cutting spending and debt, as the Washington Times reported:
Speaking Monday at a town hall style-meeting event in Cleveland, presumptive GOP presidential Mitt Romney plunged a fork into the idea that he could come around to embracing Mr. Paul's call for deep cuts in federal spending.
"My job is to get America back on track to have a balanced budget. Now I'm not going to cut $1 trillion in the first year," he said, distancing himself from Mr. Paul's (http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/inside-politics/2011/oct/19/paul-time-cut-spending/) plan to slice more than a quarter of the estimated $3.8 trillion being spent by the the federal government.
His reason, is exactly why Paul often says that what he's fighting isn't just the Democratic Party, or even all political establishments: it's Keynesian economics, which Paul fights with his Austrian perspective. Says Romney:
"The reason," he explained, "is taking a trillion dollars out of a $15 trillion economy would cause our economy to shrink [and] would put a lot of people out of work."
Would that we had some sort of national movement, say representing the principles of the American Revolution, to make sure a candidate such as Ron Paulwho actually believed in reining in government spending and overreach seriously got big support and people like Romney disappeared. Perhaps they could name themselves after some icon of that revolutionary era, like, say, the "Tea Party" or something. If only, if only….
*Grace Wyler at Business Insider continues her great Paul coverage with profiles of various women of the Paul revolution, including GOP National Committeewoman Ashley Ryan, Emily O'Neill, Nena Bartlett of the Ladies for Liberty Alliance, vlogger Julie Borowski, Bonnie Kristian, Corie Whalen, New Hampshire state representative Jenn Coffey, YAL development director Piyali Bhattacharya, and others.
Cross-posted at the dedicated blog for my out-soon book Ron Paul's Revolution: The Man and the Movement He Inspired.