Election 2012

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


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.


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.

NEXT: "The Skeptical Environmentalist": A Conversation with John Tierney and Bjorn Lomborg

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  1. The local county central committee has a regular meeting tonight. A month ago, the party regulars were pleading with people go the convention and try to undo what the Paul campaign was about to accomplish. It will be interesting to see how they react tonight, just a few short days after the Paulites took their lunch money and kicked sand in their faces.

  2. “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.”

    Yet another sign the tea party has become either a meaningless figment of society’s imagination or a new appendage of the Republican party. The person who should have struck fear in the hearts of the establishment by winning an apparent conservative/libertarian fusion campaign, defeating an establishment choice, and becoming a poster child for the tea party movement finds himself crawling on his hands and knees to appease the establishment who just got done successfully placing the seeming antithesis of the tea party, Mitt Romney, as the candidate.

    1. Dick-lugger and Urine hatch sure would be surprised that the TP is on their side.

    2. It’s all just part of the long con.

      1. That’s real nice of you Mr. Lonniman.

    3. Oh, the Tea Party has done better than that. They got a number of candidates elected and are a force in many states.

      As for “within the party” change, note that the US did not reach its current big government, semi-socialist state because the Socialist party won elections. We got here because socialists worked within the Democratic party. Libertarian goals are best achieved by doing the same thing to the Republican party.

      1. Just stop. There is nothing remotely libertarian about the Republican Party.

        1. Except that all of the remotely libertarian politicians in America are in the GOP.

          Papaya juice is right. The GOP is ripe for plucking whether scolds like you want to help or want to feel really righteous and not help.

          1. All (sort of) four of them or so? Overwhelming, really.

          2. The GOP is ripe for plucking whether scolds like you want to help or want to feel really righteous and not help.

            Ha, ha, ha.

            I thought this once.

            1. Although I agree that the GOP certainly lacks the sufficient libertarian inclinations I’d hope for, I’m not above voting for a GOP candidate who is at least mostly libertarian on critical issues. I voted for Paul, but won’t vote for Romney. Every now and then, there is a GOPer who is libertarian enough on the important issues to warrant getting my vote. It’s few and far between, but not once has there been a democrat who I’ve felt similarly about.

      2. If people want to work within the Republican Party, I hope that it works.

        I am going to remain outside of it in order to continue to hold people’s feet to the fire. Once you get inside that machine, you would be amazed how quickly it changes you.

        1. I was in the machine once and it changed me. Into a libertarian. I’d imagine that for every one like me there are a whole lot more who just floor it straight to full retard.

      3. Aren’t the socialists working within the Republican party as well? Because team R seems very socialist to me.

        1. Socialism has become so normative that there is some in the GOP, sure. But compared to Democrats, the GOP is anti-socialist.

  3. It’s Gary Johnson’s fault!

  4. Working within the system always leads to compromise and that means failure for those interested in liberty.

    Paul only has one chance to show me he is serious, and that is go to the GOP convention and tell them, that since Romney is their nominee he will be running 3rd party.

    1. Too late for that — Ron Paul supporters could have overwhelmed Americans Elect, but they still thought they had a chance in Tampa.

    2. Working within the system always leads to compromise and that means failure

      This is in contrast to our stunning success over the last several decades. But maybe the LP will get a whole 3% this time!

      1. Bringing up the LP party shows me that my point went over your head.

        1. Deep. Only the deep-thinkers like you understand eh?

    3. Compromise means failure? Doesn’t compromise always mean partial success?

  5. cool story, bro

    Still votin’ for myself as a write in candidate. I’ve decided my big ole Lab “Blue the Dog” is going to be my VP. A young man from LA I met at my younger daughter’s wedding last summer will be Sec’y State – he could charm the skin off a snake. Putin will be putty in his hands. Another friend form KY will be Sec’y of War (we’re goin’ Ol Skool titles).

    Pretty much any of the Alphabet Agencies = eliminate, or, if congress won’t, I won’t appoint anyone to run them. Fuck the burequcracy – I’m here to uphold the Constitution, not piss on it.

    Plus – we sell the White House to Disney to be used as an amusement park/tourist attraction. Profits beyond 7% go to reduce the deficit. I continue to live in my little tarpaper shack w/my family and dogs. And cats.

    Lawn Darts in every back yard! A 1911 in Each Hand!

    Almanian – 2012! (Write In for the Party Hearty Party)

  6. 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.

    Never forgive. Never forget.

    If Lieberman, McCain, Schumer and that priss pot for South Carolina, Lindsey Graham, were to die in a plane crash it would almost restore the imbalance in the Force caused by the one that took the Big Bopper, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and Waylon Jennings.

    1. Jennings wasn’t on the plane.

      1. He only died ten years ago.

      2. This is why nobody took The Dukes of Hazzard seriously.

        1. I took the Dukes of Hazzard seriously.

          Well – Daisy Duke. Seriously.


          /14 year old

      3. You Earth-2 types think you own reality. You are not even the dominant dimension.

      4. Jeez, I needed a fourth, is that so hard to understand?

        1. Coulda picked someone who died in the same decade at least.

          1. Jennings was Holly’s bassist. He was almost on that plane and he cursed Holly for making him drive instead of fly with a ‘I hope your plane crashes.’

            I thought some you guys would appreciate what I did there. Maybe Brian did. That would make me happy if he did.

            1. He died forty years later, man! Forty years!

            2. Part of him did die then.

              1. If there’s one thing that is obvious from reading Reason, it’s that Lindsey Graham and Waylon Jennings are eerily similar.

                1. If I didn’t include Jennings that left me with the pilot. Sure for his family it sucked, but for the numbers to work, four leeches versus three producers, it doesn’t work out. Jennings had to be own that plane for the sake of the equation.

                  1. Equation failure.

                    You should’ve said Charles Lindbergh was the pilot.

                    1. Damn. It would have worked!

    2. Nope. Not enough.

      Maybe if Boner, “Tippy the Turtle” McConnell, Feinstein/Pelosi/Boxer/Waxman-bot, and my two piece-of-shit Senators Levin and Stabenow (who spoke this spring at my daughter’s graduation from my Alma Mater – the HORROR), PLUS that other Michigan Fossil John “Die Already” Dingell are on board that plane – maybe THEN we’ll have karmic balance.

  7. Okay, I admit that I’ve sent a few bucks to Ron Paul’s campaign, despite the odds being against it from the start. But why send money now, when the game is over and Ron Paul himself admits it?

    Better to keep those bucks for a new pair of shoes, or maybe to give to Gary Johnson’s campaign if you still want to make a political statement for liberty.

  8. I like this Rick Fisk guy.

    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….

  9. Something I agree with John on is that the definition of Neocon gets too broadly defined. The New Right began with Buckley and Burnham. Burnham wasn’t even all that hawkish compared to the standard of the time (recall JFK). They were not neoconservatives. I think the confusion sets in as the National Review of that era was a little too friendly to leftist like Sidney Hook. They actually kept a rather broad spectrum of writers at the time, from Hook on the left to Frank Meyer and Murray Rothbard on the libertarian right, and the infamous purges were not something that happened in a sudden fashion. You’ll find Rothbard articles in the pages as late as the early seventies.

    Catch up to today, if you go further than Bill Kristol and John Podhoretz or the guys like Fred Barnes at Weekly Standard you are not hitting your target, and even they don’t have a uniform agenda. Kristol has a strong populace streak that is at odds with the more elite tradition you would see in, say, Alan Bloom.

    David Frum is a neocon wannabe and nothing more. He shouldn’t be taken seriously by anybody.

    1. populist streak

    2. David Frum is a neocon wannabe and nothing more. He shouldn’t be taken seriously by anybody.

      I just felt like repeating it. BTW I think he’s back here in Canada. It’s going to your turn to take him back soon we don’t want him.

    3. So McCain isn’t a neocon?

      Is that what you are saying?

      To me believing in an “activist” foreign policy, and only paying lip service to other areas of small goverment concerns is a plenty good definition.

      What is missing from my definition?

      1. History. And interventionism comes in hundreds of shades that existed before the neocons. They began as a group pf New York Jewish liberals who were part of the public intellectual circles of the 50’s and 60’s who were pretty much fit in to the liberal elite perspective and wrote for the same magazines and journals. They grew disenchanted with the left for a number or reasons. The Vietnam War was one split for some, but not for all. Commentary’s editor at the time Norman Podhoretz opposed the war, and did not change his tune. Irving Kristol was disillusioned with the technocratic New Deal and Great Society programs and started a sociological journal Public Interest that delved into the problems of poverty and social problems those programs exacerbated.

      2. I think it is important to keep in mind that the Iraq War, though associated with neocons in the minds of most people, was an establishmentarian fuck up. Al Gore was banging on the drums to authorize an invasion in ’98. There was even a resolution that passed to that effect. Then something else happened. Kerry and Hillary Clinton voted for W.s war authorization. The entire DC establishment was behind it and urged for it. Then quickly disowned it once someone could be blamed for it not going down smoothly.

        What I don’t get about Kristol and his people is why do they encourage their own scapegoating? Yeah, they were all for it, and advocated the most disastrous aspect of that war, nation building (argue if you want that Iraqis are building a better country, but I care only about what is in US interest, exclusively), but they were cheer leaders and not at the center of the action.

  10. Adam Kokesh is a great speaker and event organizer/leader, but his philosophical musings are … cringe-worthy.

    I came to the late realization of this around the time said something along the lines of Fat people can not believe in liberty. If they did, they would not be fat.

    Yeah… ok whatever.

    Alex Jones continues to provide a convenient tool to link conspiracy theorists and Paul supporters. Thanks, AJ! To be fair, plenty of Paul supporters come off as nutjobs all by themselves.

    1. To misquote the Bible, since so many have equated Ron Paul to the Messiah: “Not all who say ‘Ron Paul! Ron Paul!’ are my followers.”

  11. “though there needs to be a vital libertarian core that is clearly willing to work and agitate outside the Republican Party…”

    I volunteer for that.

  12. I still think Rand cuts all their throats in the end.

    He may smile and be friendly now, but I still see the cobra glare in his eyes under the grin.

    All the Daily Paul people were tearing their hair out like a Palestinian funeral when Rand came out with his endorsement, ’cause they just don’t get it. I bet Stalin “endorsed” a lot of guys that later ended up begging to be shot.

    1. A+ parody

      1. I’m serious.

        He and Ron and running good cop / bad cop and I think their version ends with Rand’s nightstick up neocon ass.

        1. I sure hope so.

        2. I apologize I misunderstood you. I thought you were one of the purists and you were seriously saying that the nightstick was going up libertarian ass.

    2. I hope you are right. I’ve not commented much on the matter because I don’t think I have the context quite down on his motives to either condemn, praise or give a pass. I can’t vote for Romney (unless the condition I’ve laid out is met — it wont), but I have to acknowledge that anyone who is voting against Obama, be it Libertarian, Green, GOP, or whomever, has a certain logical rationale that can’t be easily dismissed in terms of the smell test because Obama really does stink up the joint that badly. He is the worst president in my lifetime with the possible exception of LBJ, and that is saying a lot. There is not one of them who deserves better than a C+.

      1. I’d vote for Romney if he’d commit to massive spending cuts across the board along with substantial deregulation. That leaves a lot of stuff that still pisses off any libertarian, but that would be a nice start.

        Naturally, he’s not even promising that little. So no vote for him.

        1. Spending cuts, even if massive, wouldn’t be enough for me. Substantive reform of Medicare, Medicaid, and SS are the only issues that I give a damn about right now. I’ll forgive any other deviations from my preference (short of starting WW3) in exchange for those fixes.

          1. It doesn’t matter. Nothing like what I describe or what you describe is even on the table.

        2. I’d vote for him in 2016 if he did that. If he said those were his goals this campaign season, I wouldn’t trust him. The only way I would trust him now is if he came out a Satanist, admitting his mainstream religious adherence was all just a ruse to hide a life of debauchery. That his idea of a good time resembles this video


          Don’t know if I linked to the NSFW version or not.

          Not to confuse anyone about my own beliefs, but I do believe that if there exist a metastrate to the physical universe, of which I’ve seen no proof but remain open minded to, it would have to resemble something similar to the Gnostic creeds to in anyway bare a likeness to the world as we know it.

    3. To piggyback on this thought, I don’t think Rand ever “cuts their throats.” I think at some point, he manages to effect the shift in the party that his dad sought. Rand has that Reaganesque charm. He will use that to move the GOP in a more liberty friendly direction.

  13. “Pundits” Adam Kokesh and Alex Jones? Is that what they are now? hahahahaha….the smartest thing Ron Paul could have done would have been to publicly distance himself from clowns like them. There are a lot of Republicans (like my dad) who are closer to Paul philosophically than any other candidate, but who are repelled from supporting him by the lunatic conspiracist trolls who seem to make up a not-insignificant chunk of his support. I’m pretty sure that there are more potential supporters like my father to gain than conspiracist idiots to lose.

  14. Rand Paul will never effect any shift because he is a neocon GOP shill. He isn’t his father and I wish people would stop expecting him to be like him, they are setting themselves up for massive disappointment.

    1. Shill? The world would be a much better place if the Republicans in the Senate voted like Rand Paul does.

    2. A+ parody

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