Revolution within the Revolution

Political conventions in this day and must be hell on reporters looking for actual news to write about instead of being on a week-long junket. But a enterprising political reporter (the exception being Dave Weigel, who will be too busy making love to Jesse Benton to report on anything useful) looking for a story at the upcoming GOP convention in Tampa (presuming it goes off with being disrupted by a hurricane) will find it covering the Ron Paul Movement because it will be in Tampa that movement will more than likely split itself in two.

The Republican Party establishment and the Romney campaign are doing their level best to keep out Paul delegates from the convention. That was to be expected. What was not expected was Romney Campaign being aided and abetted by the Paul Campaign. By agreeing to a deal to split the Louisiana delegations between Romney, Santorum and Paul instead the of the plurality Paul delegates would have had (and may well have been upheld by the RNC), the “official” Paul campaign took away the one state which would have given it the five states and or territories needed to nominate Paul from the floor of the convention (which would have given him an unscripted 15 minute speech as well). With the Paul campaign actively discouraging its delegates from trying to nominate Paul anyway and also look good for the cameras, it’s obvious that the game is up  as far as the campaign goes.

Actually, as it turned out there were two campaigns, both intertwined.

The first campaign I believe was legitimately running for President and either trying to win at least before Iowa, or and trying to get as many delegates for the convention as they could afterwards for the possibility of a brokered convention (even if remote) to at least have some influence.

The second campaign, however, was all about Rand Paul pure and simple and his future in the party. One did not operate without the other’s consent. All of their moves since January were done with Rand’s interests in mind and I dare say in reality he and Trygve Olson were calling the shots (Benton is simply a drone who follows orders from both).

That’s why you had this rather confused and contradictory situation where one campaign was raising money, giving speeches before thousands and winning delegates and the other was working behind the scenes with the Romney forces, not attacking them directly because they knew he would be the nominee, and eventually making an endorsement for Romney after he appeared to have clinched it. Anything that needed to be done to help Rand out with the Romney campaign and the party establishment was done.

Thus, when state conventions in Arizona and Oklahoma turned chaotic over the weekend of May 12 (you know, the whole “Romney’s son was booed” motif), the Romney campaign demanded the second Paul campaign put a stop to first campaign and that’s exactly what happened. Benton gives a conference call saying they were going to wind things down, and Rand gives his endorsement. But with more state conventions still to take place for delegates, appearances the first campaign was still operational had to be kept up. So other surrogates like Jack Hunter and Doug Wead were sent out saying nothing’s changed when that was utter crap. And Ron himself never officially dropped out, never suspended, never did anything. This rather unusual status of running/not running allowed for continued fundraising appeals to be made which kept the money coming in so that they would have millions they haven’t even spent, a nice kitty to have for the next four years. For all it’s clumsiness, it was actually a very skillful way of keeping the whole enterprise going until the very end when they couldn’t anymore and then they could blame the party for it. The one problem was, the deal for the Louisiana delegation came two days too early, betraying the whole thing. Louisiana was state No. 5 and everyone knew it and everyone knew the Paul campaign had a case to make before the RNC because the idiots in Louisiana state party violated their own rules. So a deal was made to prevent the case from being heard. No fifth state, no nomination and Roger Villere was punished for being a jack-ass.

Was it deceptive? Only if you believed Ron still had a chance to win even late in the game. Those a little wiser or a little more cynical could see the outlines of what they were doing, from Adam Kokesh to Scott Horton to Justin Raimondo. While I thought it was rather fanciful, the campaign never completely discouraged such thinking or at least never discouraged persons from trying to gain delegate slots presumably to put Paul’s name in nomination. If they did, the RP would have dropped out but if he did that, the whole enterprise would have come to a screeching halt. No more money, no more effort.

If Paul campaign wants to congratulate themselves for being clever, they have the right to do so. But there’s a price to be paid down the line. There’s not going to be much of a grassroots left outside of the just as delusional people who now think Rand now has the inside track to the 2016 nomination. Yes several state parties were taken over this election cycle but just remember that was done because ordinary RP supporters gave up their time and money to attend precinct meetings and county conventions and state conventions. Will that control be maintained if such persons, believing they were part of a sacred cause, don’t show up anymore because they now know they were being used? I have my doubts.

Then again it may not matter. I’ve said before I don’t think Rand or his claque have any use for the grassoots of the Paul campaign. I believe they feel that such support is overrated, that they’re more trouble than their worth, that the party leadership holds a negative view towards said supporters and wishes they go away, so why not go along with them? Rand 2016 will be a campaign based on raising large amounts of cash, largely from the coal and energy sector, to use towards negative TV ads against his opponents. So long as he looks good in TV debates and the polls shows he’s a front runner, he doesn’t need people waving signs for him. And he won’t need people calling for him either, they have machines that do that sort of thing now. With an Iowa organization already in place and no New England/New Hampshire candidate on the horizon to call upon regional loyalties, they feel they’re in great shape for 2016.

So as we fast-forward from 2008 we find Ron Paul still on the outside looking in, giving a rally speech outside the convention hall; another pro-Paul rally altogether which the candidate and campaign are ignoring and with Rand Paul and the rest of the delegates on the inside. Being split in three is not exactly a unified situation. Not that the movement was unified to begin with. But it took someone with Ron Paul’s charisma and sincerity and honesty to bring such a diverse movement together. There are those who may feel the message alone is strong enough to keep it together. Unfortunately there are just as many ready to sacrifice the message for power.

Now granted power is what it’s all about. But power without principal is basically Sauron’s Ring.  And what we speak of specifically is the attempt by trying to reach for power to water the message down or change it so it doesn’t mean anything. This is happening with many movement candidates who trying to hem in the message, especially when it comes to foreign policy. This is a key point because while many rank and file Republicans could agree with Paul on economics, they are repelled by his foreign policy. It’s affecting candidates who the movement helped win primaries and other elections and who now are flip-flopping on foreign policy not realizing why it is the essential part of the message.

After Tampa, some in the movement will devote the next four years of their lives to another Paul, others may grow apathetic and drop out and others may try their hand with non-major parties. But whatever happens, the fact remains that more education is needed on creating a foreign policy which reflects American’s interest and economic resources. The movement will go nowhere or go down dead ends until minds are changed on this point because so much of what take place with American economically and even socially does flow from foreign policy. This is what I personally learned from Ron Paul five years ago and will be his legacy to me now that he’s exiting the stage.

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15 thoughts on “Revolution within the Revolution

  1. Tex Tradd

    It’s worth keeping in mind the legions of college age people who were inspired to get involved in politics for the first time because of Ron Paul. This is a sort of wildcard in terms of what it may mean. While surely many will go back to the sort of mass media and digital entertainment type lifestyle of their peers, there are nonetheless huge numbers of young and idealistic liberty activists who will show up in 2016. Don’t be surprised if those hundreds of thousands or even millions of young people who had their apathy cured keep recruiting new activists. I saw Ron Paul in Austin in late Spring 2012 and there were huge throngs of fired-up students.

    Rand Paul is good if not great on the issues. He has been a rare antiwar voice in Congress. Let’s not be too cynical here. If Romney loses Rand Paul may very well have a viable shot at the nomination next cycle.

    The old man may not go back to being a country doctor who reads Austrian economists. He may continue to be active in organizing and inspiring the movement, which might constrain his son’s interest in compromise.

    What the liberty movement needs is arguments that counter the charge of isolationism and remind GOP types of the non-interventionist roots of the Right.

  2. Patroon

    The ways the party rules are going to be rewritten it pretty much puts a damper on grassroots organizing, so a candidate can’t just out-organize the next fellow, he has to be more appealing to voters.

    It’s true Rand is probably better than most politicians but with Ron there was always a thrill supporting someone who you knew told you the way he saw things, polls be damned. With Rand there is no thrill, he is very much a politician.

    So given that, education and changing minds are going to be more important to non-interventionism than politics because people’s minds are changed and want a non-interventionist foreign policy, the politicians will obliged them for their votes.

  3. Dylan Hales

    This is probably the best thing I have read about this general situation and perfectly captures my own feelings.

  4. C Bowen (Hawthorne)

    Mexicans and American blacks don’t care about Middle East wars anymore than I do.

    Writing is on the wall.

    In the meantime, and I do fault “non-interventionists” on their rhetoric, conservatives have to yell treason to UN-wars– I have seen it work. If Ron Paul’s rhetoric was more about sovereignty, something he did a good job of in 2007-08, he could have done a better job of humiliating the rest of the lackeys as globalists hacks. Rather, he went the accountant route, which is a fantastic ploy in the welfare state, but not a solid rightwing ploy.

  5. Voice of Reason

    I hate to say it, but this explanation makes a lot of sense. It saddens me to think that Benton has been exploiting all of us for the last few months and he really threw those delegates under the bus too. This doesn’t change my admiration and respect for Ron Paul one iota though. Nor will it prevent my future support for Rand. I understand, but I still feel a bit duped. My belief in the movement and hopes for its future will keep me going. I do need a break though after pouring my heart and soul into this campaign and being cheated so badly by the RNC. One thing is for sure, I’ll NEVER vote for Mitt Romney.

  6. liberty4ev

    And then there are those of us who, through studying Ron Paul and those he recommended, have come to realize that there will never be a political solution, and we’ve washed our hands of participating in politics. There are many other ways to change The Corrupt System. Most of it is based on withdrawing consent wherever possible, and refusing to participate in any immoral or unjust organization.

  7. Raleigh

    You nailed it! Everybody is coming to this off of the Daily Paul, and you connect the dots that everybody misses in a matter of fact way, that finally makes sense and puts the incomprehensible into that which one can comprehend… Great, insightful piece, here!!!

  8. Joe Potus

    Where do I go to look at the oversight of the voting? If grassroots don’t matter and the last of the caucus elections has been eliminated by the rules, doesn’t that push to the forefront the need for transparency of the vote? Do all parties get to look at the chips before they go into the machines?

    With all the money eventually ending up in the hands of the media, how can the media speak to the issue of corruption by money? Isn’t their boon from the close races?

    Did the hanging chad fiasco really happen or was that just a push to accept the “trusted voting machines”. Is Goldman Sachs really the only member of the board for the Spanish company who owns the voting software?

    Ultimately: it is on the voter to PROVE their vote counts, not for me to prove it doesn’t. There is no evidence that it does. Now that the RNC has been forced to show it’s true nature, screw states rights, screw the voters… we have machines for that. Yeah, they are called ballot boxes.

  9. Bill C

    One thing is for certain! I will never give another penny to any organization that supports Rand Paul. We sent money to his Senatorial campaign and I am now ashamed of that act. All you pragmatists who see a future with Rand Paul in the lead of the freedom movement are delusional!
    I am also greatly dismayed that Ron Paul participated in this legal fleecing of his supporters if in fact the whole charade was carried out just to pave the way for his son’s future. People will long remember Rand’s mealy mouthed appearances when he took to the airwaves in an attempt to explain his disastrously timed announcement in support of Romney. I personally suspect that Rand Paul may have been coerced into making that announcement and that Ron Paul is engaging in this disgraceful fraud to protect his son.

  10. Guy Fawkes

    The Federal Reserve cartel made Ron Paul an offer he couldn’t refuse. Ron made the choice that most of you would have made as well. Your family’s safety will always come first, and rightly so. Rand had to change his course too. A very dark cloud, now hangs over the Paul family. The bill to audit the fed, was a death warrant to the banking cartel. A Paul presidency would certainly have put that nail in the coffin of the FRB.
    We all know that for 30+ years, Ron Paul stood his ground on his principles and his convictions. Yet there are some who prefer to lay blame rather than ask any real questions. A Ron Paul presidency has a complete change of heart in the last stretch of the race? Sure!
    Ron Paul proposed a much gentler and kinder way out for the FRB, its abolishment.

  11. Harriet

    I tried sending an email to kristenmeghanonedge@gmail.com and kristen kept on changing to kriten and my e mail was not delivered.

    This was my message to Kristen:
    Hi Kriten,

    I was upset about what Paul Campaign did to Adam Kokesh. My daughter and I both were Paul supporters. We are disheartened by the inner turmoil of this campaign and how poorly the delegates have been treated and Ron Paul not running to win but to gather support for his son for 2016.

    All the best

    Harriet

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