It’s not as bad as McCain’s Gulag of 2008 of the 2012 version of the Republican National Convention isn’t much better from a Ron Paul delegate. From the new rules passed which try to limit grassroots activism to the expulsion of legally elected delegates, Republicans have basically shown they don’t care if the millions of Ron Paul voters gathered over the past five years vote for Mitt in the fall or not.
If would not have cost Mitt or the RNC much if they had allowed the Paul delegates to be seated and his put in nomination (after all Mitt had over 2,000 delegates voting for him). Since the voting occurred on the first day of the convention instead of the third (and deliberately so) and out of prime-time, nothing more would be thought about and nothing said. Romney would have won anyway, the Paul delegates would been satisfied and the convention would go on to proceed as normal. That measures were taken not only to NOT give Ron Paul a moment in the sun but to make sure no such candidacy like his in the future can ever take place smacks one of paranoiac fear. For a party that backs devolving the power of the Federal government down to the state and local levels to concentrate its own power in Washington D.C. is truly an amazing admission of hypocrisy, their own views apparently not good enough to govern themselves.
These last few weeks and even moths have been a boon to Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson. By abandoning the GOP Presidential nomination race, knowing full well his candidacy would be smothered by Paul’s, Johnson has positioned himself to take up Paul’s mantle at least for the fall campaign (At least for half of Paul’s supporters. The other half will stay loyal to Rand and the GOP).
Of course it’s easy to say Johnson supporters will find out in early November what Paul supporters found out in late August, the system is rigged against you no matter which path you take. But Paul would have never have created a movement of millions of voters without at the very least competing in the Republican primaries of ’08 and 12 and Johnson may well carve out a niche for himself too this year. If he’s able to break the LP record for votes (held by Ed Clark 1980), if he’s able to get a decent percentage (5% would have them dancing in the aisles) and if his vote totals in states like Nevada, Colorado, Iowa and New Hampshire are big enough to cost Romney wins in those swing states, then he can make the plausible argument the LP has a potential future with young voters (presumably Paul’s voters) while GOP still has it’s generation problem.
Johnson’s numbers may well prove to be the most interesting thing to watch this November and if they turn out well for him then Mitt could will be muttering to himself on Election Night: “I should have let them have those Maine delegates.”