Election 2012

Ron Paul: The War Against His Delegates, and Against His Importance

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GQ focuses on the Republican Party's shoddy treatment and eventual booting of elected delegates from Massachusetts for the crime of supporting Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas). Highlights:

as enterprising Paul supporters in several states have discovered…Paulites [can] run for—and win—those [delegate] slots, so long as they pledge to vote for Romney on the first ballot. [Ed] Rombach and his cohorts formed what they called the Liberty Slate, and wouldn't you know it, they won 35 of the state's 54 openings. In many cases they beat out party big shots like Kerry Healey, Romney's lieutenant governor and an advisor on his campaign. Each of the Paul delegates had pledged to uphold the rules and vote for Romney on the first ballot. 

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

All good, right? Americans getting involved in the process and following the rules to enliven and strengthen our democracy? Yes?

No. Several weeks after the caucuses, all of the winning Liberty Slate delegates got letters in the mail from the state Republican party, demanding they sign an enclosed affidavit, swearing "under pain and penalty of perjury" to vote for Romney at the convention. Signed, notarized copies were to be returned to party headquarters by a date and time certain. The Paulites didn't like the smell of this: Mass GOP had never required an affidavit before, nor had anyone mentioned one at the caucuses. And the wording of the document seemed overly severe. What if Romney for some reason were to drop out before August? Would the Liberty Delegates then be perjuring themselves by voting for someone else? They long ago accepted that Ron Paul won't be president—Rombach actually used those words with me— and their goals for Tampa were more modest. They wanted to contribute to the visibility of the Paul minority and support the addition of platform planks concerning Paul's top issues, the Fed and undeclared wars. The affidavit exercise seemed beside the point.

In the end, most of them decided to return instead a "Liberty Affirmation," making the same pledge but without Romney's name in it. Some returned both versions. Some were late with the delivery. In June, 17 of the 35 Liberty Delegates, including an 18-year-old who'd edged out two former gubernatorial candidates for his spot, were informed by mail that they were being tossed. No going to Tampa. No being part of the process. No further explanation. Going in their place were the next-highest vote-getters—including Kerry Healey and others from the establishment crowd.

Who is to blame?

When I asked the Romney campaign why the 17 delegates had been rejected, they referred me to the Massachusetts Republican Party. But the party, in a statement from the Allocation Committee chairman, says it was the Romney campaign's decision to bounce the 17 Paul supporters: 

"Governor Romney's campaign, through its representative on the Allocation Committee, made the decision not to certify certain delegates and alternate delegates who were unwilling to sign and return on time the affidavit sent out by the Allocation Committee affirming that they would cast their vote for Governor Romney at the National Convention in Tampa," the statement reads. It concludes with the committee's agreement that the dispute over affidavits constituted "'just cause' for not being certified as national delegates."

The state party spokesman would not address the fact that the affidavit requirement had come out of nowhere, and weeks late. Nor would he explain, on the record, how the decision been made to force those 35 delegates, already pledged to Romney, to make yet another commitment. The most I could glean was some dark hinting about the Liberty delegates' online histories—Facebook and blog posts—as proof that they couldn't be trusted to vote for Romney, despite their verbal pledge at the caucuses.

Previous blogging from me on Paul's (now stymied) delegate success in Massachusetts.

*The lefty-media-bias watchers at Newsbusters, meanwhile, are annoyed with Rachel Maddow for talking about a not-much-talked about topic: the rising opposition Ron Paul movement in the GOP, and the possibility of him winning outright the delegation from Nebraska. (I blogged about what that means the other day.) While it remains to be seen, of course, how much impact they will end up having–and Tampa will only be the beginning of that story, not the end–I think it's Newsbusters rather than Maddow who are evading reality here by ignoring the importance of Paul and his supporters. (Newsbusters implication that Maddow is saying or imagining Paul will actually win the nomination is their own warping of reality, not hers.)

One of Maddow's recent Paul bits:

In other Paul news, his former campaign press maven Gary Howard is hired by the RNC, pissing off both Paulites and anti-Paulites; and Cincinnati-based Fox TV reporter Ben Swann thinks by some interpretations Paul already has the control of five state's delegations he needs to be officially nominated from the floor.

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

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  1. Is the problem with Paul that he takes himself too seriously? It’s a common problem for many politicians, but in combination with the libertarian political rhetoric, he seems like an ideological fanatic?

    1. Paul hasn’t been vocal about much of anything lately, it’s his supporters that are demanding he be on the RNC ballot and causing havoc.

    2. No I think the problem is that the Existing GOP power structure is filled with the kind of people who like being in power structures. You know, petty asshole scumbag wanna-be-politicians.

  2. Oh, please, could we have the first actual floor fight in a national convention in 30 years?

    Plus boos for the benefit of the media if the liberty delegates aren’t seated?

    1. This is what makes the media stupid. Rachel Maddow is like the only person on cable news who gets that this might actually make the convention interesting to report on. Or remotely good television.

      1. Ron Paul would undermine the typical Team Red/Team Blue narrative, a large source of news coverage and, therefore, revenue.

        1. These people have the memory of flies. He will only upset that narrative for the couple days the convention runs. Then we’ll all forget it ever happened.

        2. Ron Paul would undermine the typical Team Red/Team Blue narrative, a large source of news coverage and, therefore, revenue.

          You’re telling me that the chance to turn the GOP convention into an episode of Jerry Springer wouldn’t be news and, therefore, revenue?

      2. Maddow is interested because it high lights the divide in the Republican party. If there were a similar problem on the left she would be calling for unity.

        You are absolutely right about this making the R convention interesting, though.

        1. Meh. Dems said the same thing about the Republicans during Fast Furiouspalooza. Couldn’t agree more about her motivations, but that doesn’t diminish the importance of the story itself.

          1. Oh, I agree about the importance of the story as well, and from that perspective I am grateful to Maddow.

            If this impudent disrespect by Romney, and many other Republicans towards libertarians costs Romney the election then that is OK by me.

    2. Wasn’t there a floor fight at the LP convention a few weeks ago? Because they were mad that Sloopy took the only girl at the convention and left early?

  3. Anyway, now the major-party establishment knows how it feels to worry whether the people you elect will keep their campaign promises.

    Not a pleasant feeling, is it? Welcome to the world you force the peasants to live in, smegma-boys!

    1. Let Romney swear “under penalty of perjury” to keep his campaign promises and uphold the Republican platform while he’s at it!

      1. +1.

        “Smegma boys”… Trying to start a carry over thread from the “dicks and jooz” discussion early today?

  4. I really wish the people at Reason would acquaint themselves with the phrase, “useful idiot”

    That’s all you are in the eyes of Rachel Maddow and Russia Today and so on.

    1. “and so on” includes pretty much every mainstream media outlet. Why should they not use them to get the message out as much as possible.

      And the Russia Today people don’t interrupt and talk over them like your typical MSNBC/Fox News type.

    2. What are you on about now? Reasonistas are useful idiots for reporting the happenings in the world of politics, a.k.a. their job?

    3. Your paranoia is fevered and metastasized into brain rot. Russia Today has no power to make use of anyone. The same could almost be said of Russia.

    4. Russia Today rocks. The only unbiased reporting on the Ron Paul campaign all last year.

  5. Rachel Maddow is as smart as she is spunky!

    1. So her spunk score is in the single digits?

      1. While I appreciate Maddow’s coverage of this, you know that she’s covering it to scare the hell out of her audience and humiliate the Republicans. If Ron Paul were the nominee, she would be opposed to him down to her testicles.

  6. Demanding that affadavit was a shithead move by the Romney campaign, and among other things it’s blatantly illegal. Those delegates were elected by the attendees of the state convention, and it’s not the campaign’s prerogative to dismiss them.

    -jcr

    1. Seems highly unlikely to be enforced even if it were legal…

      Sort of like impeaching the president for killing terrorists in some third party country–how you gonna get a jury to convict people for voting their conscience?

      Maybe I give people too much credit.

      1. third party country

        Libertopia? Sounds like my kinda country.

  7. Where’s the Condi post? She’s not just a trial balloon. I’m predicting it’s “done deal” she’s the VEEP.

    1. Huh. I’ve been thinking she’s one of the better choices…despite the Bush thing…but she’s been saying no so hard.

      1. How could she say no with Europe on the brink and Putin on the war path? This is the kind of thing she’s spent her whole life preparing for. She gave one hell of a good convention speech back in 2000. Here’s the good “libertarian” parts the GOP always forgets in office:

        RICE: And tonight, we gather to acknowledge this remarkable truth: The future belongs to liberty, fueled by markets in trade, protected by the rule of law and propelled by the fundamental rights of the individual. Information and knowledge can no longer be bottled up by the state. Prosperity flows to those who can tap the genius of their people.

        I joined the party for different reasons. I found a party that sees me as an individual, not as part of a group. I found a party that puts family first. I found a party that has love of liberty at its core, and I found a party that believes that peace begins with strength.

        The rest has the touching family history stuff and the shilling for George W Bush.

        link

        1. 1. Having Condi as VP would be a smart move.
          2. Romney
          3. She will not be the VP.
          QED

          1. Plus, it sounds way too much like the plot of Interface.

          2. He actually wants to win. That puts him at an advantage over Bush I in ’92, dole in ’96, McCain in 2008. Condi can deliver. I can’t see her saying no if they give her what she wants which is actual Cheney-like power in dealing with Russia. Let’s hope she doesn’t opt for “killing brown people” lol.

            1. Of course, there is always Colin Powell, who could turn his 2008 endorsement into a slam-dunk talking point: “I once had faith in Barack Obama. Now I don’t / he let us all down”

              1. It also points to his shitty judgement. Obama was never cut out to be executive material.

        2. How could she say no with Europe on the brink and Putin on the war path? This is the kind of thing she’s spent her whole life preparing for.

          I agree. I was a bit surprised, as she’s never seemed like one to waste time being coy with the media to me.

          On some level I would like it to be Condi; I think it would make the campaign much more interesting.

    2. Kinda gimmicky, but she’s a better statesperson than Palin or Biden for that matter. So, all things considered, she’s could add a ton of value to the Romney ticket.

      1. May as well just kiss the libertarian vote goodbye then.

    3. I’m pretty sure it’s a done deal, too.

      I think Noonan all but told us it’s a done deal, today.

      http://professional.wsj.com/ar…..ns_opinion

      I suppose I find the prospect of President Rice less frightening than the idea of President Cheney, but then I find the zombie apocalypse less frightening than the idea of President Cheney, too.

      1. She just said last week that there was no way she was going to be the VP nom. This is so much wishful thinking on the part of the GOP and indie voters who want to vote GOP because Romney’s such a loser.

        1. Brace for another round of Condi-hate from the Team that supposedly doesn’t engage in bigotry.

          1. And further proof of the Tea Party’s racism when the vote for a black pro-choice pro-immigration woman.

            1. She’s an Aunt Jemima, Randian. I read it on DemocraticUnderground, that haven for liberals who refuse to engage in bigotry, hatred, or negative stereotypes.

              1. She cannot be a genuine black women!
                She’s not team blue. That’s all.

            2. The nutroots unleashed on Condi is good for delivering better than 10% of the Black vote to the GOP.

              1. Kind of reminiscent of the schism between the base of ethnic interest and labor unions versus the Move On types in ’04. Who to root for? Who to root against? Oh, definitely prefer Move On elites getting their asses handed to them.

  8. Said this in another thread:

    Rs and Ds view votes as their property, and hate it when third-party interlopers “steal” their votes. They view votes as entitlements.

    Fuck the Teams. Either they should work harder, find a way to make third parties illegal, or shut the fuck up and die.

    1. Um, that second option doesn’t sound so good.

  9. If their goal (they=Republican establishment) was to piss off Ron Paul supporters who were thinking about voting for Romney, or at least against Obama, and cause them to vote third party or just stay home, this would be the exact action to take.

    1. You know, Romney could preempt the Paul campaign by scheduling a meeting between the two and negotiating a Declaration of Principles that would satisfy Paul and allow Romney to go into the convention with Paul’s endorsement. All it would take would be Romney committing to a rigid stance on reigning in the federal government.

      (…HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!)

      …But seriously, Johnson ’12!

      1. But seriously, Johnson ’12!

        Nope. He took federal campaign funding, so that makes the second nomination failure in a row for the LP.

        -jcr

        1. I hear he also drives on roads and even sometimes (*gasp*) calls the fire department.

          IT’S A FAAAAAKE!

        2. Aren’t matching funds donated volunatarily by people checking the box on their tax returns? Taxation sucks, but at least the money being used for the Federal campaign funding was voluntarily given.

          1. Yes they are. Which is why I don’t understand this hardcore hate for them.

  10. Sorta hate to OT a Ron Paul thread, but did you know all right-thinking people hate that Chinese get rice on their plates?:
    “Lawmakers furious over China-made Olympic uniform”
    http://www.sfgate.com/news/art…..702485.php
    Why, I’ll bet there are, oh, at least a couple of ‘underemployed’ US residents who would just love to spin the yarn on their ‘sustainable’ spinning wheels to clothe these folk!

  11. Rachel Maddow is this really strange lesbian you sort of almost want to fuck before you realize what you’re doing and just how depressed you must be.

    I’m saying this because we’re supposed to discuss these matters anytime a woman appears on television. Please, proceed:

    1. 49 comments and you are the first to mention anything about her appearance. Kills you doesn’t it? Lol @ U.

    2. “Rachel Maddow is this really strange lesbian you sort of almost want to fuck…”

      No. No…she isnt.

      1. How can someone from the land that invented the hate fuck not understand?

        1. OK, that’s hyperbole, the Nisserians invented the hate fuck. Crackers just perfected it. 🙂

  12. Why is the Massachusetts GOP working for the Romney campaign in the first place? He is not the GOP candidate for president. That is why there’s a convention in the first place.

    1. Every state GOP group has been working for the Romney campaign since December of 2008. What part of “his turn” do you not understand?

  13. I can’t stand Rachel Maddow. I find her equally as offensive as Sean Hannity.

  14. I say go anyway, and lead pipe the fucker in your chair if he won’t move.

    Fuck the MA GOP. Governor Romney’s campaign, through its representative on the Allocation Committee, made the decision not to certify certain delegates and alternate delegates who were unwilling to sign and return on time the affidavit sent out by the Allocation Committee affirming that they would cast their vote for Governor Romney at the National Convention in Tampa What possible authority does the “Romney Campaign” have to certify delegates anyway?

    Not that I’m actually surprised by this mendacious bullshit, but I am surprisingly enraged by it.

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