It has been a tempestuous month for supporters of Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) in the Republican Party. In the lead-up to the Republican National Convention now unfolding in Tampa, deal after deal was made involving challenges to (or from) delegations sent from states dominated by Pau supporters. The Paul people lost most of those fights.
Many Paul delegates were raring for a floor fight as the convention was set to begin. They wanted some victories in their efforts to get represented at the convention. That’s why they wanted the original Paul-dominated Maine delegation to be seated, not the last-minute substitute chosen by the Republican National Committee.
The Paul forces lost that one as well. According to Maine delegate Mike Wallace, a hoped-for floor vote to reinstate the delegation wasn’t even allowed to be held, leading the original delegation to leave the floor in protest.
Several times on the convention floor Tuesday, Paulites united with Tea Party members and old-school conservatives to fight rule changes that were seen as inimical to the interest of all grassroots activists, no matter their particular stances. One controversial change out of the Rules Committee would bind state delegations to the results of straw polls or primaries, leaving no room for maneuvering at state conventions.
Independent of ideology, this would mean an end to any future upstart doing what Paul did this year: using the savvy and enthusiasm of his supporters to rack up more delegates at state conventions than they won in straw polls or primaries.
CONTINUED at Reason. Written by Brian Doherty.