Allan Stevo's blog
For at least a year, Ron Paul has been ignored by the media and has been dealing with that resoundingly well. In a move that will give him a little attention in the media – since it fits the message that is often echoed of Mitt Romney being the GOP nominee – Ron Paul announced today in a letter to supporters that he will not campaign for the popular vote in states that have yet to held their primaries.
In his under-reported IDD strategy (“It’s the Delegates, Dummy”), Paul has focused on the fact that presidential nominees are chosen by delegates, not by popular vote. Paul’s campaign has focused to date especially on states that allow committed Republican Party members to have a greater voice in the process. States like Iowa, Nevada, Maine, Louisiana, Washington, and Colorado have been states where Paul supporters have made tremendous inroads in winning party leadership positions and being influential in the national delegate selection process. While many states have yet to finish the delegate selection process, it increasingly looks like Paul could dominate the nationwide delegate process called long ago in Romney’s favor.
Four years ago, Nevada State GOP insiders so disliked Ron Paul supporters that they actually walked out of the state convention and turned off the lights behind them. In a windowless assembly room with some 2,000 people in it, one might imagine the terror this might cause. In what had been an otherwise orderly meeting, this move took place when it became clear that Ron Paul would sweep the Nevada delegation to the Republican National Convention. A bunch of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington types, inspired by Ron Paul, got involved in their party to effect change, and the party insiders didn’t like having these idealists around.
This year looks a little different. Ron Paul’s supporters have assumed a significant portion of the Republican Party leadership and Ron Paul’s supporters seem like they will show up in droves as delegates to assure their candidate is the best represented in Nevada. At the Nevada Republican Convention this year, 25 of the 28 Nevada delegates will be decided.
Ron Paul’s campaign succesfully navigated a confusing ballot process in Louisiana to secure delegates at the state's Republican convention.
Early reports indicate that Paul’s campaign won 5 of the 6 Congressional Districts in the Saturday, April 28 statewide vote, with a sixth district still up in the air. Analysis of the results estimates that upwards of 70% of the delegates to the Louisiana Republican Convention held in Shreveport, LA on June 2 will be composed entirely Ron Paul supporters. The delegates at the state convention then choose the majority of the delefates that get sent to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida later this summer.
How Good It Feels – The Last Five Days Have Been Amazing for Ron Paul’s Campaign
I must offer my congratulations to the activists in the liberty movement and in Ron Paul’s campaign, because many months, and arguably years of work are starting to bear fruit in the presidential selection process. These last five days have been outstanding.
I Hate To See You Go
Go. Build the third party route. Do it without Ron Paul’s blessing.
I will continue to follow the GOP route the way I think it can be best done, and I too will do it without Ron Paul’s blessing.
Ron Paul doesn’t give us much direction; it’s simply not his style. And nothing said by Ron Paul will make it matter one way or the other anyway. Leading our group is like herding cats and no one, not even the Honorable Ron Paul, would succeed in rounding us all up and organizing us systematically. Accordingly, with the exception of some paid campaign staff, Ron Paul doesn’t endorse the behavior of any of us on behalf of liberty. We are a decentralized movement.
Ultimately no amount of conversation on the Daily Paul will mean a thing on this topic. It will be our actions that matter.
I know in reality that a lot of the folks who comment on Daily Paul are cyber loudmouths who don’t contribute much to the political process. Some are great folks who talk boldly and act boldly, but my guess is that,
The GOP Lost the Birth Control Debate a Decade Ago
The Hinlicky Rule directs us to fully understand the argument of an opponent before criticizing it.
“You shall not criticize the position of another…until you can state that position with such accuracy, completeness and sympathy, that the opponent himself declares, ‘Yes, I could not have said it better myself!‘ Then, and only then, may you criticize. For then you are engaging a real alternative and advancing a real argument. Otherwise you shed only heat, not light.”
I expect no such formalities from either partisan Republicans or Democrats. The Republicans and Democrats talk past each other, and both are happy to do so to fire up “the base.” Readers of these pages are likely to understand the talking points coming from both parties and to laugh at them for different reasons.
The year is not 1912 when three serious candidates ran in the general election for the White House. The year is 2012 when simply getting on the ballot is enough for third parties to cheer.
I’m not the partisan type and the weak "success" of simply getting Ron Paul on the ballot won’t be enough for me to even break a smile this autumn. I want to see Ron Paul in the White House. That will be success.
When I look my children in the eye and tell them the history of the revolution, the minor victory of ballot access for Ron Paul will not be mentioned. Ballot access is an important fight. It's a step in the right direction. But right now in the spring of 2012 with Rick Santorum leaving the race, we are confronted with a choice. Will we Ron Paul supporters continue to take over one of the two major parties, or will we settle for a third party run?
A common complaint in the liberty movement is that the media is no help. For numerous reasons that’s an ideal situation for us.
The Media Offers No Help
There are plenty of media sources that censor Ron Paul. We can react to that in a variety of ways. The reasons media sources do not mention Ron Paul are numerous. The goals of not mentioning him are few and include – 1. Discouraging his supporters and 2. Distracting his supporters.
I sat through a sometimes boring and very often disappointing GOP convention March 10 in Clark County, Nevada.
I heard numerous delegates proclaim that the income tax was necessary and that it was just "really weird" to want to get rid of it.
I heard lots of jeering and booing during discussions on social issues. It descended into uncivil personal attacks and got ugly.
I heard many platitude-filled, inconsistent speeches. During one speech, many delegates lukewarmly cheered a Republican elected official when he contradictorily proclaimed "I am a low tax, reasonable regulation, free market capitalist." Somehow I accurately predicted that the next sentence out of his mouth would not be "Free markets regulate themselves – now that’s reasonable regulation."
I didn’t really like most of what happened at that county convention.
However, there were fantastic shining moments too – like watching Ron Paul supporters 1. showing up so well organized that they wrestled control of the county party from the insiders, 2. playing fun parliamentary tricks with Roberts Rules of Order, and 3. cutting their teeth for the future contests ahead. The meeting was boot camp for the next generation of the state’s liberty activists.
But one moment stood out above all. In Reagan’s big tent Republican Party there was one issue that was unanimously supported. I really do mean unanimously. Not a single hand was raised to vote in opposition, not a jeer rang out through the quiet ballroom, not a hiss, nothing. And believe me when I say that these people really knew how to voice their displeasure. Nothing but utter unanimity on a particular issue, and it’s all thanks to the obstetrician representing the 14th Congressional District of Texas.
I know, it feels like these primaries have gone on forever, but you know what – it’s only been 11 weeks since the first in the nation caucus. I stood before three precincts in Iowa on a Tuesday night just 11 weeks ago and spoke about Ron Paul. I said some good things. Lots of people said good things about all kinds of candidates. One woman even cried as she spoke about Santorum. One man stood up and said something bad about most of the candidates. He cited lots of statistics and spoke as if he were some kind of expert on how Romney was the only electable option.
That was on January 3, 2012, before anyone in the United States had cast a ballot, even before any exit poll had been taken. Mitt Romney was nothing but a former governor who lost to the guy who lost to Barrack Obama. That doesn’t exactly scream electable.
And thirty minutes later straw poll results were tallied. Mitt Romney wasn’t really electable in that room. Ron Paul was – in all three precincts, in fact, he had the most votes in each of those three precincts (one was only a tie). It will be months before anyone will have a hunch about the all-important question “Who won Iowa?” After all, it’ll be the delegates selected at the Iowa State Republican Convention on June 16, 2012 who matter, not the results of the January 3 non-binding straw poll.
So, who won Iowa? The winner is the one who can control Iowa’s RNC delegation with his delegates, the one who the majority of the Iowa delegation is friendly to. That person is the one who will win Iowa. But the media loves an easy-to-cover horserace and the media reported differently. Lots of things can change between now and the August 27 start of the Republican National Convention in Tampa.
There’s a 30-minute long YouTube sensation that’s gotten more than 70 million views in just a few days. The stated goals of the expertly produced Kony 2012 is to make an African warlord a household name and to keep U.S. military advisors in Uganda.
Because ideas presented in the documentary are stated as “something we can all agree on,” I find it important to step forward and say that I do not in the slightest agree with the idea of U.S. military advisors in Uganda. In fact, I think that the work being done by Kony 2012 director Jason Russell and a number of organizations and activists on this topic is flat wrong.
Kony 2012 has a “power-to-the-people” feel to it and calls for action that is humanitarian in nature, making it ideal in convincing naïve, well-intentioned people about the justness of having foreign troops in Uganda.
However, my years of political involvement have shown me that people must not be judged on what they say, but on what they do. As well-intentioned as they are couched, Russell’s actions move us toward American military involvement in Uganda under popular pressure and under a veneer of justice. This is not an admirable goal and the talking points are familiar ones.
In fact, his techniques are so familiar that the maker of this film sounds like a neo-conservative, especially from September 10, 2001 until W’s mission accomplished speech on May 1, 2003.
An odd memory from my teenage years was the first time I heard the term “erectile dysfunction” mentioned on television. It was said by the man who was formerly a candidate for the highest office in the land, this was a man so well-known that he had 51% name recognition 15 months before the presidential election, the former senior senator from Kansas.
It was an awkward moment for me. Anyone who was in DC at that point understood that the lines between government and business interests had long been blurred. Many far-removed from DC, such as in my native Chicago, also understood that idea. But I had somehow missed that memo up until that point in my life and therefore was surprised to see that message broadcast on television.
The message was below the surface of the commercial: “a politician will use the goodwill he built-up talking about his values with voters in order to cash in with a corporation.” Of course, it was just a Viagra advertisement, but in retrospect – the uncomfortable topic of impotence and the idea that a trusted politician was hawking drugs on television combined disharmoniously in me and didn’t fit the mental schema I used to understand politicians and government.
Conservative Americans DO NOT WANT Mitt Romney. That’s pretty darn obvious. He spends a fortune trying to convince voters, gets a generous amount of media time to express his message, and still can’t seem to inspire the Republican base, even when he’s running against the likes of crooked party hacks Santorum and Gingrich, or against that other guy – the Congressman from Texas who seldom gets mentioned in the media. Against opponents like that, the out-of-touch punditry have long expected that Super Tuesday 2012 would be the coronation of Mitt Romney.
In the era of the Tea Party, Mitt Romney is simply too big of a statist and is too inconsistent with his views to sew up the nomination or the presidency. Does he like gun control (as past action has shown) or does he like the Second Amendment (as his current rhetoric is demonstrating)? Does he want national healthcare (as past action has shown) or is he against government healthcare (as his current rhetoric is mostly demonstrating)? Is he against the concept of the free market (as past action has shown) or is he in favor of a free market (as his current rhetoric is occasionally demonstrating)?
Republicans clearly do not want Mitt Romney as a president, but we’re still only 8 weeks into this 8 month long nominating contest and perhaps they’ll take a liking to the number two man in the delegate count – Ron Paul when they come to realize what a chance they have at choosing a principled candidate who can succeed at winning the White House. He has the second largest fundraising apparatus of the candidates, has the largest volunteer army, appeals to the swing voter, appeals to the youth, appeals to activists, gives the angry ex-Obama voters on the left a safe home, attracts independents, Greens, and Democrats, grows the party, and has a record of winning 12 elections in the conservative south, all of which nearly ensure that his nomination would bring about a Republican win in November.
There’s been lots of hemming and hawing in the media about the caucuses. I suspect a lot of that comes from people who have not taken the time to learn the process. After campaigning in a dozen or so states over the last two election cycles and seeing the different ways caucuses are run, I’ve concluded that concerned voters should want a caucus. Here’s why:
1. Caucuses are Fun
Seriously – Roberts Rules of order. Tricks. Intrigue. What could be more fun than that? For two hours every four years, we, the average voters have a really meaningful excuse to behave like someone out of West Wing.
2. Caucuses are Transparent
In Chicago, you vote in the primaries and there’s no guarantee that anyone will ever count your ballot. It will be machine counted. A machine miscount, therefore, will not be caught. In contrast, in a caucus state...
Eight years ago a candidate who inspired young Democrats and independents was passed over in favor of a more electable choice – John Kerry was chosen over the brash Howard Dean in an “anyone-but-Bush” race.
Today, Republicans line up in an attempt to repeat history. In this "anyone-but-Obama" race, they are overlooking a candidate who inspires inside the party and out in favor of the “electable” option.
Is a win more important for Republicans or is that vague feel of electability more important? The two are exclusive of each other according to the results of the 1976, 1980, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008 elections. Choose the moderate – the one who feels tolerable to everyone – and you reject the candidate from your own party who inspires.