Election 2012

Ron Paul: Still Raising Bucks, and How and Why Working Within the GOP is Working For Him

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Ron Paul, even in the month of May when everyone decided he had left the race, raised another $1.78 million. What might the continued willingness of Paul supporters to give and play politics mean moving forward?

Paul supporter Rick Fisk explains defends the Paul campaign against cries of "sellout!" for playing the game of Republican electoral politics. Highlights:

[Paul] supporters would have to become involved in politics. They would have to become delegates at the precinct, county and state levels to ensure that the national convention in Tampa would be packed with Ron Paul supporters.

The strategy has proved to be more than brilliant and perhaps, even if Ron Paul is not elected to the Presidency or even nominated for that matter, provides a means to restore liberty in the United States. Paul has won a plurality of delegates in at least 5 states. In at least 16 states, Paul supporters have almost completely remade their state parties, and we are still 2 months away from the Tampa convention. 

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

By becoming delegates and active party members, supporters will be the future politicians and representatives of their communities. They think and act for themselves and carry the founding principles of this country with them. They are independents, former Democrats, and disgruntled Republicans who are fed up with the debt and slavery being handed to them by a bureaucracy in Washington that views them as human capital for their designs on remaking the world….

Then there are the side-line watchers. These people, bless their hearts, post on Facebook, Twitter and the Daily Paul cheering on the delegates and the candidate and donating their hard-earned money to send Mr. Smith to Washington.

Until……

Things started getting rough (political) and the ugliness of politics is exposed.

….to add insult to injury to those not involved in the politics, Rand Paul endorsedRomney, and Jack Hunter attempted to defend Rand Paul's political gambit.

Another firestorm erupted. This time, however, some supporters became so angry, that they began venting their frustration by attacking anyone who suggested that the endorsement, an age-old political move designed to curry favor, was a shrewd move, going so far as to post very nasty comments on Carol Paul's Facebook page. Really? Carol deserved to be the object of ire?

Alex Jones and Adam Kokesh, two pundits who were formerly friendly to the Ron Paul movement, decided to turn on the Pauls and on Jack Hunter, accusing them of "selling out" their principles and going so far as to claim that Ron Paul himself would soon be endorsing Romney and throwing the entire movement under the bus…..

 those who have had to work in the dirty system, and who still believe that the restoration of liberty is the sole reason to continue, have paid no mind to the external soap opera that is the political couch potato's realm.

….in Iowa….the state GOP Convention participants elected the remaining 13 delegate positions representing Iowa in Tampa. 12 of them were for Ron Paul, bringing his total of Iowa delegates there to 21 of the total 25 available. Oh, and some weeks ago, that empty chairman's slot was filled by a Ron Paul supporter.

What the media had declared were Romney's delegates in Iowa, are in reality Ron Paul's delegates.

While the couch potatos and Facebook warriors cry foul and "sell out," the real warriors soldier on in the hopes that one-day, it will never be necessary to endorse a candidate who wouldn't know liberty from the family dog on the roof of his SUV.

They engage in the nasty, dirty politics of Ron Paul so you won't have to.

*Paul Mulshine, a journalist who has followed the Paul story for a long time, sees a sign of Paulite progress in the Lieberman factor:

[Paul] knew he could put together a contingent of supporters who could keep this year's convention from being the sort of disgrace the last one was.

And if you doubt that one was a disgrace, forget about the way in which the John McCain forces locked out the Ron Paul forces.

Focus instead on who they did invite to speak at the convention:

Joe Lieberman.

Lieberman is a Connecticut liberal who was Al Gore's Democratic running mate in 2000.

That McCain could invite him to speak at the convention—and even consider him for the No. 2 slot on the ticket—shows how far left the Republican Party had drifted during the Bush years.

By then it was obvious that so-called "neo" conservatives weren't just left-wing in their foreign policy, which a polite person might call "Wilsonian" and an impolite one "Trotskyist."

These big-spending RINOs were also liberal enough domestically to have a prominent sponsor of the welfare state like Lieberman address the party of Taft and Goldwater.

No wonder these people hated Ron Paul so much.

It's different this time around. Paul organized inside the party, not outside. I'm willing to bet that future campaigns will be modeled on the one he ran this year.

*Grace Wyler at Business Insider, another perspicacious follower of the Paul story, sees signs that the fix is likely in on prominent Paul presence on the floor at the Tampa GOP convention:

James Milliman, Sen. Paul's state director, explained the logic to a group of Young Republicans in Louisville, Ky., last week: 

"As a practical matter, you have to endorse a candidate before the convention — Romney is going to get the nomination, no doubt about that at all, so it behooves everyone to have Sen. Paul to endorse him before the convention," Milliman said"It could enable Sen. Paul to have a prime speaking role at the convention, and his dad to have a prime speaking role at the convention. I think those things factored in." 

James Poulos at Forbes on why the Republican Party, and the libertarian world, should not be afraid of Paul influence on the GOP:

Establishment Republicans have been eager to get past the part of the election cycle where Ron Paul has played an outsized role. Rand Paul's recent endorsement of Mitt Romneydivided libertarians, but the Paul heir's apparent capitulation to business as usual actually underscores how the GOP faces a more complex challenge to the ideological status quo….

While Ron keeps the grassroots purists happy, Rand admits freely that he'd be "honored" to serve as Romney's vice president. From one angle, this seems a dangerous approach: it could give the Pauls the worst of both worlds, discrediting themselves among libertarians and Republicans alike.

There are two potent reasons why it's not such a high-risk move, however. First, there's not much of an alternative. Second, libertarians and Republicans alike have a deep-seated need to have it both ways in just the manner the Pauls are achieving. 

Consider the alternatives to the two-prong strategy — giving up on politics altogether, assimilating completely into the Republican party, and doubling down on the Libertarian party itself. It's clear that libertarians are enjoying their moment of increased national relevance; given the libertarian cast of some frustrations on the left with Obama and the continued disenchantment of many conservatives with establishmentarianism on the right, there's much less to savor about turning a cold shoulder to the national political scene….

Despite the protracted bickering and fretting this may cause, it leaves everyone on the right better off. Booting the Paul people from the GOP might gratify some neoconservatives, it's not possible to expel them without performing a full libertarianectomy — and any Republican who's willing even to risk that outcome just isn't serious about winning elections (to say nothing of any fealty to Reagan Republicanism). Likewise, awkwardly navigating the borderline between libertarian and Republican purists is the only way to reassemble an effective voting and governing coalition that can replace the current administration and hold the line against congressional Democrats and movement liberals.

More than grief, Ron and Rand deserve applause from the factions they're working to bring together.

I think the above had much truth in it–though there needs to be a vital libertarian core that is clearly willing to work and agitate outside the Republican Party to make the insiders more effective.

The story of how the Paul movement got to where it is today is told in my new book, Ron Paul's Revolution: The Man and the Movement He Inspired.