RNC summary

Posted: September 6, 2012 in Uncategorized

I assume by now that most have read what occurred at the Republican Convention last week. Among others, Matt Dubin did a great job of updating the action. What follows are just my own experiences/observations.

Going into the convention, the ‘Ron Paul strategy’ in the Washington delegation amounted to acting as ambassadors for the movement and engaging those who were willing in political discourse, while voting for the candidate to whom they were pledged. There was no plan to cause any kind of ruckus, and the delegates knew they didn’t have the votes to win, obviously. The internal conversations stressed decorum and a certain level of deference to Romney, given that he was the presumptive nominee.

The plan to mix with the rest of the delegation got off to a bit of a bad start when the intention to attend a Washington Delegation event on the Sunday before convention was nixed in favor of a Ron Paul rally that was scheduled for the same day. We had hoped to go to both events, but the Secret Service folks told us that there would not be time to give our bus the once-over in between. Given that Ron Paul was not being allowed to speak at all during the convention, this was the only opportunity to celebrate with the candidate that our delegates were pledged to. The choice was an easy one for us, but some of the Romney folks took umbrage at our absence at their Sunday events.

That evening, we all went to the hotel restaurant and began conversations with some of the Romney delegates there. Unfortunately, several of them had been there awhile and had started drinking without us, so that by the time we met them, they were both inebriated and resentful of our presence. This led to a few ugly conversations having to do with why we were not falling in line behind their candidate. Eventually, a few of the Paul delegates excused themselves, but one of them was cornered by the WSRP National Committeewoman who was in his face yelling ‘Romney! Roooommmneeeey!’ It was an inauspicious beginning to our week, and I think that some among our number were loath to renew that company.

We did have some good conversations with many of the Washington folks in the hospitality suite; and I met several who seemed genuinely glad to meet and speak with me. As with the party folks in Clark County, just sitting down and talking with people often reveals much more common ground than perhaps we thought going in. There was a definite faction of militant Paul-haters, but they usually just turned and talked to their friends when they saw us coming.

The news about the infamous rule changes came out over the weekend, and it definitely changed the tenor of the interaction for the rest of the week. The Romney campaign had essentially declared war on the Paul supporters, despite their overwhelming numbers. They had already disqualified a number of Paul delegates in Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Maine and replaced them with Romney delegates in a rather arbitrary fashion, but then to change the rules to fill the delegation with only party officials, etc. was really over the top. Even many among the Romney delegates, particularly in Texas, were incensed over the Romney power grab. This decision did not reflect well on the Republican nominee, and I suspect he will lose some votes over it, despite the damage control that is being performed now in the party.

There were other examples of the Romney campaign’s ‘pre-emptive strike’ on the Paul delegates. There seemed to be a coordinated effort to keep Paul delegates from sitting next to each other. One rather comical instance of this in the Washington delegation was when Trevor Winton got up from his seat next to another Paul delegate, only to find a Romney supporter in his seat when he turned around. He patiently asked for his seat once business began again, but the woman was insistent that it was her seat. Trevor appealed to those sitting around them, and eventually the woman got up in a huff and went back to her seat. On another occasion, a few of the Paul delegates asked for people to scoot down so they could sit together, and were flatly denied by a Romney delegate who informed them that she ‘knew what they were up to, and she wasn’t going to help them’. A literal example of the divide-and-conquer strategy that we have seen so many times among the establishment. Treating Paul people like terrorists on one hand and then demanding their vote on the other is a curious strategy.

Of course, the brouhaha on Tuesday after Boehner railroaded through the new rules via his voice-vote decision was cast in the media and among the Romney delegation as the Paul insurrection they were expecting. I was asked on several occasions, including by various media, what the Paul people were upset about and why they were acting like spoiled brats. My response each time was that perhaps they should look into how many of the Texas delegation were actually Paul supporters, given that they were leading the shouts in unison for a ‘point-of-order’. The Texas delegation was filled to a large extent by Romney supporters, but even they could see the injustice in calling the voice-vote for the ‘ayes’. Their calls for division were completely ignored, as was the minority report that had been filed. Welcome to establishment politics. Only yesterday, the mayor of Los Angeles did the same thing at the DNC, but it took him three voice-votes to summon up the courage to ram his agenda through over their protests. The Republicans are a much more determined lot.

After Tuesday’s unseating of the Maine delegates and rules change railroading, many of the Paul delegates seemed to give up on their diplomatic friend-making plan in favor of an appeal to the media, who was only too happy to report on any unrest among the ranks of the G.O.P.  They held a press conference, and staged a delegate walk-out complete with chants of ‘As Maine goes, so goes the Nation!”  There seems to be a divide on this strategy that I think will continue to be manifested in the Liberty movement. Some will choose to publicize the unfair treatment at the hands of the establishment, and others will seek to mend fences from within via diplomatic means. Like any populist movement, there will be mistakes made by some, but ultimately, demographic statistics suggest that the Moderate wing’s hope that the Liberty movement will just go away is pure fantasy. The pendulum can swing to the left only so long before it swings back again.

  1. Ron says:

    To all those concerned about the disintegration of American liberty, it should be clear to see now that BOTH parties are one big sham being run by people who have no regard for rules or laws – they don’t even hide it anymore. Romney was the establishment choice and we were ‘not allowed’ to reject him. Romney and the RNC just cemented their own defeat… they’ve told the constitutionalists and the future of the party to “shut up” and/or “go-away”… not a winning strategy. I have always voted republican, but enough is enough! I am done. I don’t care what the media says – both candidates are extraordinarily unpopular and we the disaffected should take this opportunity to come together and reject the whole rotten system. The time to go third party is now! Must we wait until things are even worse?

    • I certainly share your frustration, and my own canvassing this year has led me to the same conclusion about the popularity of the Republican nominee. I think it would be a shame though, if the real Republicans left and the RINOs stayed. I think they would love it if we left and were in disarray – this is how they have been winning. Organizing and forming coalitions with other conservatives is the way to get our party back. Hang in there, Ron. There is great need for people of conscience and free thinkers in the work we have before us.

  2. Ron says:

    As far as hanging in there: yes I will always vote for worthy candidates… try and stop me – but after all this, on top of my decades of utter frustration as our party has done little and most often even CONTRIBUTED to the expansion – there is no doubt about it… I need to see some consequences for this corruption. The founders achieved an absolutely amazing transformation, taking a long established oppressive system of government, dismantling it, and rebuilding it to empower the individual. It was a lot of work and it didn’t happen over night… and now I’m supposed to be content with slowing our sprint back into tyranny to a sensible jog? I want to see honor and integrity once again rewarded. I want lying cheating, and stealing, when so exposed, to evoke condemnation and ruin onto a politician – not victory. I want to be proud of my fellow republicans, I want them to speak out as one against the very un-American and absolutely un-republican power-grab that just occurred.

    I have a two-part question for you – you were there, and you saw that the thing was scripted, correct? I don’t know to what extent the public is aware, but if they are – are they really going to look away, or somehow mentally twist it into being no big deal? Is that really what’s going to happen here? Is this some kind of joke?

  3. I think that Boehner realizes that most of America is apathetic where conventions are concerned, and things like voice-votes have always been easy to manipulate. The larger issue is that many folks who had considered pinching their nose and voting for a bad candidate have now reconsidered in light of the corruption that they witnessed. Imagine how people in Maine feel about the RNC and Romney right now. These things always have a way of surfacing again. Where there has been sowing, there will eventually be reaping.

    I expect Romney to lose the election, and if our country can weather four years of a lame-duck lying socialist, I expect the Republican party to do some soul-searching and realize that there can only be party unity when elections are held fairly and in good faith. I also expect more people like us to get involved. If the Republican Party was doing a good job picking candidates and setting policy, we would not be here. On some level we represent accountability, but only if we stay involved.

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