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Why a Ron Paul-style presidential campaign may be the last of its kind

Republican officials have voted to change the way the party will nominate its presidential candidates in future elections in an effort to ensure that delegates to the national convention are bound by the outcome of states’ primaries and caucuses.

It’s more than a technicality. The change — which was passed by the Republican National Convention Committee but still needs to be approved at the convention — would make it nearly impossible in the future for rebellious Republican presidential candidates like Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) to rack up substantial delegate support in states, when they do not win the states’ nominating contests.


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Putting "secret" in quotes doesn't make it into a whacky theory. It not only made sense to do, but it makes sense out of the campaign statements.

what part of the strategy made sense?

Going to conventions and trying to get more delegates for Ron Paul? Good idea.

Going to conventions and pretending to be Romney supporters so you become delegates, then coming online to brag about how you're not actually going to vote for Romney even though you're bound to do so, then suing the RNC and all the state chairmen to unbind all delegates? Bad idea.

The Gilbert Lawsuit

was the campaign's idea? Not

I didn't say that

I've never said that if you've followed anything I've posted on the topic. The things I listed as "bad ideas" were all things that were done by people in the grassroots movement and not done by the campaign. The campaign seemed to discourage all of them but people did them anyway. Bad move.


I thought we were talking about the strategy of the offical campaign.

sorry for the confusion

I'm not going to say that the campaign's strategy was flawless. But I think the problem was much more with the grassroots getting out of control and refusing to believe what the campaign was saying and what anyone who has followed past elections could already see.

Sounds good

I'm ok with that.

Cannot Believe Shazad Said That

....he KNOWS better. Am disappointed in him. Somehow I thought a lot more highly of him and have almost always agreed with him.

However, attributing the Gilbert fiasco to the campaign and his explanation of the "we make and change the rules at will" falls flat with me.

God, I hate being wrong about people.


I never attributed that to the campaign

I'm criticizing the overzealous individuals who went off and did silly things like that, which ultimately did more damage than good.


I wish the grassroots had listened. Cutting off communication was the best thing if the campaign wanted to maximize their chances of having a chance at that point, but it obviously left the grassroots vulnerable.

Fonta, I still don't know about Shazad, but he seems smart and sincere and adds much to the discussion here, so I guess that is what makes him everyone's favorite "troll".

So What Is Your Response

...to changing any rules deemed necessary. What kind of a government is the RNC planning...or are they just throwing it to O'Bama.

Why didn't they just continue to change rules by stealth rather than publicly announcing that the Constitution is out the window along with any residual representation we were tricked into believing we had.

This, Shazad, was a game changer for me. You seem to have privileged information. Did you know about this planned last minute rabbit out of the hat?


I don't quite follow

I thought several months ago that there would be a backlash against this stealth delegate strategy. I didn't know it would come so soon or in this form. I thought it might be more in the form of individual states changing their delegate selection processes to be more like California's or Ohio's or Illinois's, where one can be assured that the delegates chosen actually support the candidate the voters asked them to vote for.

They're just taking steps to ensure that delegates will actually support the candidate they're claiming to support. I don't think there's anything at all inherently unreasonable about that. Why do you feel that this is equivalent to throwing the Constitution out the window?

I Agree About The Stealth Delegates

It is this that I am upset (to put it mildly) about:


What is the point in having delegates.


I guess let's step back for a moment...

What is inherently the "right" way to make rules and guide a party? Is it with a moderate sized committee that meets more regularly and can adapt to circumstances that may not be foreseen well in advance? Is it with a large set of delegates that meets once every 4 years? Is it some combination of the two? I don't know that one is inherently right and the others wrong. I think you can make arguments for and against all of them.

What it appears they're setting up is somewhat of a check and balance system between the convention and the committee, where the convention can approve something with just a 50% majority vote but the committee can make amendments with a 75% majority. The convention can of course still make new rules when they meet again. If they feel this is a horrible idea, they can get rid of it next time around. Maybe they will, maybe they won't. But a strong enough group of people felt that it was a good idea, so they're going with it for now. Somewhat interestingly, if a 75% majority was required for rules amendments at the convention, this wouldn't have passed. So that's one argument against the current method of setting the rules - it made it too easy for the convention to decrease its own power.

Delegates still do have an important responsibility. They can still obviously change party rules. They still set the party platform. There's a lot that they do. But some of their decisions are no longer absolute for the upcoming 4 years. Several states already seem to have this same setup, just on a smaller scale. They seem to be making it just fine. I don't think this is going to be the end of the Constitution.

No That Will Come Later ...I Fear It is Already Planned

This was a slap down...the wording of it, the way it is being played in the press. Most of all the timing.

Call me naive; however, I have been a cheerleader for RP-type Republicans. If I now have lost hope in that approach, how many others have as well. Many jumped ship earlier over small things or being led astray to say nothing of the agent provocateurs who have frequented this site.

So Romney didn't "need" Ron Paul supporters. He didn't "need" a growing contingent of RP Republicans. Probably never did and possibly considered them =more of a nuisance than political capital. To tell a group of people willing to work within the system no matter how corrupt it was because of a Ron Paul and people like him now in office and seeking office apparently "is not" important to the Romney Camp. Pesky liberty lovers thinking outside the Corporate Box. Get rid of them.

Why wouldn't the Romney Camp embrace them because the Libertarian Party and the growing number of truly fake "Liberty Candidates" will prove to be far more pesky.

The saddest thing to me is that this movement had perhaps more young people than the Goldwater Campaign. They were energized in the right direction and studying, becoming informed, wanting to be a part of governance. That is throwing the future away and it did not have to happen. Could have been done in a much better way.

The "we make the rules" and can change them whenever we wish" proclamation today IS a game changer for a lot of people.

I have really enjoyed you. Once thought you might be within the Ron Paul Camp and then decided you were Romney Camp, but saw our value. Your obviously insider information on what was happening early on and with the delegates seemed, to me, to be wisely helping people recognize that Ron Paul was not going to be President but was going to have an impact that might be felt for generations. Not so sure about you either anymore.


I just don't follow the connection

I just don't follow the connection between allowing a 3/4 committee vote to amend rules and kicking young people out of the party. What potential rule is it that is going to do this? I know you want delegates to have a say - but this is what happens when delegates have so much power. Sometimes they make rule changes that we don't agree with.

The RNC is currently trying to adopt some of the ideas that Ron Paul has pushed and that his supporters wanted in the platform. Paul supporters made up 10% of the platform committee and the majority could have very easily completely shut them down. But they allowed them to have a voice and make a difference, even if it wasn't 100% in line with what the rest of them wanted. They even threw something in the platform that the Paul team didn't think had a chance of getting included.

From all appearances, Ron Paul and his team seem to be more or less pleased with what has gone on in the committees this week. There are quite obviously things they wish had gone different. But their influence this week outweighed his support level in the primaries, and that means that by most metrics, he accomplished his near-term goal.

Did Not Say You "Kicked Them Out"

...said you lost them and I was not talking about just the delegates. I was talking about a huge contingent of college students all over the country. Did stupid things. Sure. Impossible to control. Yes. But many now want to have no part of the Republican Party.

Were the delegates and Ron Paul "more or less pleased" with what happened today with the "rules change" that the press even calls a power play giving the RNC and Romney more power..specifically to change any rules at any time?

Why was it necessary to come out with today. Was it not anticipated how it would be interpreted by those who were reluctant Republicans. They saw it as there being no hope in the future that they would have a voice if the rules can be changed whenever "The Committee" did not care for "the direction things were going in." Was this move to head-off something that they were afraid would happen next week?


let's see how this plays out

It's a power play - but it doesn't somehow give one person the ability to do whatever they want. The RNC committee is still a disparate group of individuals, and they need a massive majority to make changes like this. What are some specific examples of ways they're going to misuse this 3/4 committee rule amendment ability? And if they do something crazy, why wouldn't the delegates in 2016 just change the rule?

They had a procedure for changing rules

and broke that! Surely, you can't be offended by "stealth" delegates and be ok with that? And have any of us seen the reactions of the campaign to today's events?

which procedure?

Did they not use a procedure that was within the rules to change the procedures for changing the rules? They just needed a majority vote of that group, right?

By the way, I'm out of here in a minute, so I probably won't be responding tonight - but we can continue this discussion in the future.

I Do Not Feel Up To

...to discussing a procedure that was within the rules to change the procedures for changing the rules.


I know what you mean


I thought

that they needed the delegates at the convention to approve the move from 5-8 states if it is to apply to 2012....and then they changed that rule. I need a break from this anyway now. Few things have hit me in the gut like the events of this day. After today, no candidate can compete without bankster money or vast personal wealth. After Monday, the door is closed.

they're probably still doing that

The committees, including the rules committee, are all presenting their reports and recommendations on Monday afternoon, then the delegates will either approve the reports or not. I think it's still up to the delegates.

Americasos, I Feel The Same Way

...and am out of here for tonight as well. Getting too crazy.


It had a chance of working.

It had a chance of working. It's just that WE underestimated the corruption. I've been warning people over and over how powerful the opposition is and to what lengths they would go. What did they do? They downvoted anyone who was trying to help and ignored the worst possible outcome. Instead of preparing for this outcome, they simply assumed our strategies would run unopposed. Talk about living in a bubble. *shakes head*

Anyways, a campaign is all about momentum. Had they not taken this chance, the movement would have progressed far slower. It could have even sizzled out and put back the freedom movement by years. However, now we have a core of supporters far wiser in how bad the situation really is. And far angrier as well. Some of them will give up. Others, this anger will motivate them to do better and make them even more determined. I deem it unlikely this movement will sizzle out. Our eyes have been opened. The wiser of us realize that this will be a long term battle. No quick victories will be made. Those not in it for the long haul, better step out now.

it didn't at that point

It had a tiny chance while other people were still in the race, but by that point the door had closed. Without other candidates splitting the delegates or without getting much higher percentages in the primaries, it had no chance. It didn't end up being close. It wasn't even close to being close. Corruption isn't what stopped it. The necessary ingredients for success were just not there in the first place. If people had realized this, they could have still gone to conventions and tried to get as many delegate spots as possible, but they would have dropped the rhetoric about a sneak attack to win the nomination.

we pretty much won all of the

we pretty much won all of the caucuses; the corruption stole our legitimate wins.

for all of the other states, it's usually the winner of the primary votes who determine the delegates. we couldn't have won those delegates without winning the popular vote.

you won some and lost some


I'm saying that if they had

I'm saying that if they had done that, the movement would have never gained the momentum to become as large as it is now. There is a high chance it would have sizzled out and faded away. By actively involving the voters in the delegate process, the supporters have gained precious insight into the workings of the political system. Enough to know that trying it any other way, their chances would never have amounted to anything. Cause the game is rigged.

Before there can be any chance of success, a movement must gain experience first. Granted, if the situation were normal, they could do it the normal way and have reasonable chances of success. But the corruption is so bad, you can only combat it if you know how far they are willing to go. If they had done it your way, they would have been stuck forever in one place, cause they would have never realized in what manner they ended up losing. They would keep getting the delegate seats in a normal way and end up coming short.