Ron Paul Roundup (03-20-08)
by RS Davis
The Freedom Files
Hello Freedomphiles! Letís start todayís Roundup with a little more news about the caucus coups, okay? The Columbia Tribune has a story out about the event, and gets to the heart of it in the last paragraph:
- The problem for McCain is not that he wonít receive the votes from delegates, but that a disruptive platform battle with Paul supporters in Missouri or the national convention could become embarrassing, some party officials said.
Paul strongly opposes the war in Iraq, a sharp contrast with McCainís view, and some county conventions passed resolutions endorsing repudiation of the Federal Reserve and income taxes, which Paul supports.
In The Courier Journal, they talk about a similar effort in Kentucky:
- Libertarian Republicans and followers of Dr. Frank Simon tried today to take the reins of the Jefferson County Republican Party at its county convention. While the groups pushed though parts of their agendas, they failed to snatch control.
In the most crucial test, old-guard Republican members, many of them aligned with county Chairman Jack Richardson, won a key vote to install 22 people ó more mainstream Republicans ó on the county partyís executive committee.
Control of that committee will be important in May, when the party selects a chairman to succeed Richardson, who is stepping down after nine years. Party regulars appear to be lining up behind Brad Cummings.
But those affiliated with the conservative Simon and a group that favors the more libertarian policies of presidential candidate Ron Paul support party activist Craig Maffet.
"They stole this," fumed Corley Everett, a longtime party worker and a candidate for Louisvilleís 3rd Congressional District seat, after the vote. "This corrupts the whole process."
No, this is the process, moron. Thanks to molly pitcher for the link.
Centrist-libertarian Multimediamonitor writes on The Nolan Chart about the outcome of this silent rEVOLution:
- Even the author of the above article believes that as the rule stands, John McCain can "legitimately" count on all the electoral votes from the state. This is not the place to go through electoral law case histories, but the ultimate answer in Saint Paul next September comes down to a simple point.
No-one, including John McCain, can legitimately count on all the Missouri [or any stateís] electoral votes unless existing GOP rules allow some GOP authority other than the assembled convention, to forbid delegates using a secret ballot in the voting for a nominee. Please read that again to grasp the essential point of secret ballots, which is to protect each voter, of what-ever character, from "undue influence" [a polite legal term for bribery, intimidation etc.].
Itís an interesting take, but I think a little pie-in-the-sky. Sure, thereís a chance that they would vote against the rules of the primary, but the odds that they will be able to change the outcome are very slim. But the odds that they can influence the party platform are very good. We should really focus more on that than on subverting the system.
David Weigel comments:
- This reminds me of a problem with the McCain campaign thatís been ignored during MichiganFloridaFerraroWrightGoolsbeePowergate. Organization: He doesnít have it. He overcame the sturdy and well-built Romney machine with pure luck as Thompson split the conservative vote in South Carolina and Giuliani imploded in Florida. Right after Romney dropped out of the race, Mike Huckabee upset McCain in three primaries (nearly five) with next-to-no money. The Republican machine will coalesce around McCain, but itís nothing like the 50-state hydra Obama will have if he wins his nomination.
So, Dr Paul is still waiting to hear from McCain. The Los Angeles Times reports:
- According to voters polls, the Republican Party in 2008 could certainly use an extra 800,000 committed voters and dedicated donors. Oklahomaís Rep. Tom Cole told Paul heíd like to see them remain in the party.
Thereís more than one serious problem, but one big one is called Iraq. The 72-year-old Paul wants all U.S. troops out ASAP, as part of the demolition of the American overseas empire, and the money spent back home. The 71-year-old McCain has made steadfast support of the war surge and winning there a bulwark of his campaign. And he just went there to underline that.
But Paul, who is unopposed in November for his 11th term representing Texasí 14th congressional district, says he still holds out some hope for party reconciliation. "You can work to change a party without endorsing some of the people that arenít the kind of Republicans you want to be," he says.
Rob Port responds on Gather:
- In other words, in order for McCain to reach out to Paulís followers heíd have to disavow his stance on the war and modern economic theory. Thatís not likely to happen.
If this election were merely a matter of who would regulate government spending and growth better Iíd vote for Ron Paul in a heart beat. Unfortunately, weíre also electing a commander-in-chief and a chief diplomat and Ron Paul would be woefully deficient at both of these things. Mostly because heís a diplomatic isolationist who thinks American can remain safe by hiding within its own borders and not reaching out to the rest of the world.
Iíd like to believe that Ron Paulís followers, who arenít insignificant in number, lined up behind him because of his feelings about limited government. But I think the simple reality is that most of them are young and terribly naive (much as Paul himself is) as to the realities of foreign policy and modern economics, among other things.
Yeah, I hear that a lot, and yet it is rarely - if ever - backed up with information. They just toss it out there and expect you to take it for granted that they are right.
The Los Angeles Times writes a hope-inspiring piece about the rEVOLution:
- As noted here earlier this week, Paulís volunteers are winning GOP influence the old-fashioned way, at the grassroots level county by county, tedious meeting after tedious meeting, largely under the radar of the national media, except The Ticket. Paulís volunteers, many of them new to politics, hope to exert some influence on the platform in St. Paul and go from there, the way the 1964 Goldwater generation of conservatives finally won in 1980 with Ronald Reagan.
This is supposed to be a bad year for Republicans, whose turnout in caucus states, for instance, has been low compared with Democrats. But although Paul has yet to win an actual primary or caucus, heís taken some fourths, fifths and seconds.
And with a minimalist campaign organization and a ton of money from about 400,000 dedicated donors (just watch the comments section below for their bounteous vows of loyalty), Paul has won about 803,000 votes. Which, in case you didnít notice, is more than that New York mayor guy with all the ex-wives got and more than that tall, slow fellow from Tennessee who was a prosecutor and also played one on TV.
Top-diamond libertarian Nelson Hultberg writes on The Nolan Chart that the Republican Party is not the place for the rEVOLution:
- Here lies the flaw of all those who preach that we must work within the GOP to change the system. Freedom activists have been working within the GOP for 40 years now, and Republicans have only gotten more brazen in their statism as each decade passes. The reason for this is that without a third party in the field, there is no counteracting force to mandate that Republicans try to distinguish themselves from the Democrats and start acting on right principle. Without the people being aware of another vision (e.g., of small government), they will not demand that the Republicans change their stripes. If there is no demand from the voters, then good olí human nature gets in the way, and Republicans take the path of least resistance, which is: join with the Democrats to tax and spend so as to assure their re-election every two years and every six years.
We must come to realize that Republicans are now one and the same with collectivist liberals, and they are not about to embrace a limited government perspective as long as they and the Democrats possess their present monopoly over the political system and the National TV Election Debates. The use of pork and privilege to buy votes will not vanish until their monopoly is broken.
Nick Gillespie posts some cool pics on reason, via ErnestHancock:
Sweet. And now onto some reflective pieces about not the rEVOLution, which has just begun, but the campaign, which is winding down. Rand Paul has a nice piece about his pops on PressMediaWire:
- In the final analysis, I believe about 5-10% of the Republican Party are ready for a non-interventionist foreign policy and Ron Paul got that vote. A significant portion of the electorate heard Ron Paulís chastisement on the huge federal deficits and nodded their heads in agreement. Innumerable Republicans come up to me and love much of the Ron Paul message but canít quite come to agree with the foreign policy of non-intervention.
On foreign policy, at some level, they listened to the message about the erosion of our civil liberties but could not escape the image of helicopters fleeing the embassy in Saigon in 1975. This image still bothers many Republicans and they canít embrace a quick exit from Iraq even if they know in their heart of hearts we need to leave.
My interpretation of the Ron Paul Revolution, though a biased one as the son of the candidate is that we should rejoice in getting 5-10% of the vote given that we got 1/1000 th of the media attention and did not get enough attention to enter the realms of winnability in the publicís mind.
To me, though, the campaign remains an unqualified success. My prediction for 2008: an utter crushing defeat for Republicans. Not out of anger for Ron Paulís loss, I think he won, but because Republicans are failing on two fronts: not living up to the promises of limited government and balanced budgets and failing to understand how unpopular the Iraq War has become.
One last prediction! We will elect at least one Ron Paul Republican to Congress this year.
Finally, Sean Scalion analyzes the campaign to see what went wrong and what could go better:
- In 1967, Lt. Col. Joseph P. Mitchell wrote a book on the generals who fought in the American Revolution. The main thesis of his book was that while the romantic view of the war had the British Army beaten by simple farmers with pitchforks fighting in the militia, the reality was far different. Mitchell argued that while the militia..s efforts were important, it was really the efforts of the Continental Army, led by George Washington, which ultimately compelled the British grant its American colonies independence. Or at least grant it quicker than maybe would have happened otherwise. After all, it took Irish rebels over 900 years just to establish an Irish "free state" using guerrilla tactics. It only took the Continentals two years after the battle of Yorktown to have the Treaty of Paris signed which recognized the new American state.
But it was no accident why militiamen were more lauded after the war than the Continental Army and why guerrillas, insurgents and revolutionaries are more romanticized than professional soldiers. The Founding Fathers.. distrust of standing armies allowed such myths to take hold and suited the young nation some to have its people believe that all it took to defend it was the musket hanging from the walls of your log cabin, rather than a military establishment paid for through taxation and supplied with men through conscription.
Mitchell proved to be right with his history and what goes for war also goes for presidential campaigns as well. It may have been romantic to think the grassroots supporters of the insurgent Republican candidate, Texas Congressman Ron Paul, could have won the GOP nomination through sign waving, "money bombs" and Ron Paul Blimps. Yet the reality proved to be quite different. Winning presidential campaigns, even those that are insurgent campaigns against the party establishment like Barry Goldwater..s or George McGovern..s, need the organization, the training and the discipline like that of the Continental Army in order to achieve success. Now that Ron Paul is "winding down" his campaign, it..s a good time to look back upon the effort to see what went wrong, what went right, what could have been done better and what forces were standing in Ron Paul..s way that would have ultimately kept him from winning even if everything ran as smooth as ice sheet after a zamboni has gone over it. It..s also a good time to look at the possible future what has developed into a movement for better or worse.
See you tomorrow, Freedomphiles!
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