Steve Dickson's blog
Information is in the eye of the beholder. There are many interpretations of where the delegate battle stands, and certain people spin things one way or the other. Many will not agree with this assessment of the race for GOP delegates, but it is as close as I can get by reading both party rules (for each state) and election returns (or the lack of them). I will not make projections or guesses.
An interesting series of events unfolded Saturday at the Oklahoma County GOP Convention. To simplify the schedule, the day began with Registration from 7 am to 9:30 am. At 9 am the Convention was to Convene (or near that time) followed by the report of the Credentials Committee (who gets to be a delegate), the Rules Committee (what rules the Convention will follow), the Platform Committee (what the party will stand for) and various speeches throughout the day. Things did not go as scheduled, however. The problem began with Registration.
Tuesday, February 28th marks the next phase in the GOP election process, with the primaries in Arizona and Michigan. It is becoming clear to many that the likelihood of an open convention is increasing. A "brokered" convention and an "open" convention are two very different things, and this has been miss-reported by the major media. Of note is that both of these states will pay a penalty of half of their Delegates due to the date of their elections. First, on to Arizona!
Arizona has 29 Delegates available after the penalty for holding their primary early. This is a closed primary. It is unclear as to the final method of compliance with RNC rules (a state holding a primary before April 1st is required to award Delegates proportionally) but as it stands, all 29 Delegates go to the popular vote winner, and are bound for the 1st ballot at the National Convention. Here is the official Arizona Republican Party Bylaws.
Michigan losses half of their Delegates due to the date of their primary. They will award 30 Delegates proportionally based on the following formula: 28 Delegates come from the 14 Congressional Districts (2 per District) and are awarded to whoever gets the most votes in that District. The remaining 2 Delegates are "State" Delegates and are awarded proportionally, with a threshold of 15% to be eligible (which means that the party is trying to skirt the proportional rule and be a winner take all state). All 30 Delegates are bound for the 1st ballot at the National Convention.
In an unstable Middle East, Israel is the one anchor of stability. In a region of shifting alliances, Israel is America’s unwavering ally. Israel has always been pro-American. Israel will always be pro-American. My friends, you don’t have to -- you don’t need to do nation-building in Israel. We’re already built. You don’t need to export democracy to Israel. We’ve already got it. And you don’t need to send American troops to Israel. We defend ourselves.
- Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, speech to the US Congress, May 24th, 2011
Of all the objections to Ron Paul, perhaps the most prevalent one is in regards to Israel. This can become a very complicated subject, and it is often made that way to confuse and mislead. Arguably, the focus should be on three key things:
Israel's right to exist.
Israel's right to self govern.
Stop helping Israel's enemies.
On June 7th, 1981, Israel performed a daring raid (Operation Opera) on the Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak. I won't go into all the details here, since there are books written about it, but this much is clear: the world condemned Israel. The UN Security Council (unanimous, Security Resolution 487), the US State Department, pretty much everyone - except Ron Paul. He publicly broke with President Reagan, most allied leaders including Margaret Thatcher, and our own government in praising Israel's right to exit and determine their own course. Ron Paul believes in Israel's right to exist.
As you know, Maine released the results of about 84% of their caucus events and declared Mitt Romney the winner, by 194 votes. This is a short note to put this in perspective. First, there is another county yet to vote, and 16%+ of the precincts statewide are not accounted for in the straw poll. I expect we shall see a large turnout tomorrow in Washington County, and Ron Paul will probably "win" his first state, in the eyes of the media. Second, this is another glaring example of bias by the establishment party against those with new ideas. Iowa, Nevada, and I'm even seeing reports of biased algorithms in New Hampshire and South Carolina are all pointing to "rigging" or "fraud" or just flat out manipulation. Whatever you call it, the attempt has been made to control the narrative of who is winning, and it has been somewhat successful. And finally third, and most importantly -
The Straw Poll does not matter.
As the father of three daughters and husband to a tolerant wife, the day before Valentine's Day is a critical one for my continued domestic happiness. Failure is not an option! Therefore, during lunch today, I journeyed to the nearest drugstore for cards and candy.
Elbowing aside the horde of other fathers, I succeeded in finding all four cards. From the card aisle I moved on to candy, and collected three identical heart-shaped boxes (which should minimize disagreements among the daughters) and the larger one for my bride. Being the lunch hour, there was of course a line, and I was at the end of it to check out. It's a good thing, since I'm not exactly quick when I start speaking, but today I got a surprise...
After ringing up my purchase, and scanning my discount card, I swiped the card machine, hit "cancel" when it asked for my PIN, and prepared to make my debit transaction a credit one with my signature. I jokingly pointed out to the woman - of roughly my early 40's age - that we could both remember a time when all transactions with a card required a signature. For some reason, she began to point out how our freedoms are disappearing and that she was upset by this. She said she might just become Amish, and then said they were getting persecuted as well.
How stunning is this conversation, I thought! Here is someone I have never met, running the checkout counter at the drugstore, talking about civil liberties! She then floored me by pointing out her friends in California who were raided for raw milk, had their food stores confiscated, their seeds taken, and even their cash. She was visibly upset by this, as we all should be. I told her there was one person who was running for office to fix all of this - and she immediately answered "Ron Paul".
“Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”
“A Republic, if you can keep it.” - Ben Franklin, 1787, Constitutional Convention
Since we are about the business of deciding who is to be the nominee for the Republican Party for President, it might be a good idea to get a few things straight. First, as the (First) Good Doctor noted, we have a Republic. In a Republic - and you would think the GOP would understand this, given our name - we vote for people, who then vote for someone to be the nominee. We also vote for Electors, who make up the Electoral College, and are the only people who actually vote directly for President. Get it? Now, apply that to the Republican Party - which is decidedly not a democracy. Remember, a democracy is two wolves and a lamb deciding what's for dinner..
So back to the GOP, and delegates, and not being a democracy, and just who is winning this thing? I'll break this down in a minute by state, but keep this in mind: each state, within the rules of the Republican National Committee, sets their own rules. They're all different. States are supposed to be 50 different laboratories of representative government, and in the delegate selection process they are. There are a few huge points, and you should keep those in mind as you study this, because they are immense in impact for that Other Good Doctor who is running an insurgency Liberty campaign. Here are those points:
The Republican National Committee (RNC) has rules that are agreed to by all the states. There are penalties for violating those rules.
It is arguable that the current rule structure was designed to help Mitt Romney. This is not evil, it is his supporters doing a good job of setting the playing conditions for the selection of the nominee.
Other people can and are taking advantage of these rules, namely Ron Paul. This is also not evil, but it is to the credit of his campaign and/or his supporters around the country.