The View from Abroad

Hard hitting commentary from an American living overseas

Kenn Jacobine

Kenn Jacobine
June 03
Kenn Jacobine is an international educator currently teaching History and Economics for the American School of Doha, Qatar. He has also taught at international schools in Ecuador, Mali, and Zambia. His political transformation took place over the course of many years. Starting out naively as a big state liberal, he became a Reagan Republican in 1982. Disillusionment set in with the realization that small government rhetoric rarely translated into limited government actions. On Christmas day 1992, he became a libertarian. In 1994, Kenn ran for the State Senate in Pennsylvania on the Libertarian Party ticket garnering 5 percent of the vote. He has been active in freedom causes ever since.

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Editor’s Pick
MARCH 12, 2012 7:10AM

Ron Paul’s Delegate Strategy May be Working

Rate: 9 Flag

There is an interesting analysis article over at Real Clear Politics that lays out a scenario whereby the August Republican National Convention evolves into the worst nightmare imaginable for party officials – a brokered convention.  Based on how Republican candidates for president have done so far with different demographics and regions of the country, Sean Trende predicts how the race for the Republican nomination may play out and lays out a scenario where a brokered Republican convention could take place.

Now, it’s no secret that a brokered convention would be a catastrophe for Republican Party leaders use to grand coronations at their quadrennial national party events.  After all, anything could happen.  Chaos could rule or a dark horse candidate not officially sanctioned by the party oligarchs could emerge.  In either case their lack of control would disrupt the usual smooth proceedings meant to portray to the nation a party united, happy, and excited about its standard bearer.

Given his campaign’s
strategy of focusing on caucuses and out hustling his rivals at local, county, and state conventions nationwide the main beneficiary of a brokered convention would be Texas Congressman Ron Paul.  The fact of the matter is that most Americans do not get involved in politics.  Many rightly view it as an ugly, corrupt business.  Others are too busy following American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, or the latest escapades of Lindsay Lohan.  While others would rather leave it to the professionals.  But, Ron Paul supporters are different.  They may not outnumber the supporters of other candidates, but they are hungrier and more dedicated to their principles.  They are much more willing to show up, outlast, and fight for delegate positions than the supporters of rival candidates.  These attributes seem to be paying dividends for the Paul campaign at least in the early stages of the delegate selection process.             

In Iowa, Ron Paul supporters have become delegates for other candidates.  Under party rules, if the convention is brokered at some point those delegates could be eligible to throw their support behind Dr. Paul.

Georgia, Paul forces took over or as local GOP officials called it “hijacked” the DeKalb County delegate-selection convention in eastern metropolitan Atlanta.  They also missed by a whisker doing the same thing in populous Cobb County.

And in
Clark County, Nevada, home to Las Vegas, at the county GOP convention made up of over 2600 delegates, Paul supporters organized and triumphed by electing Paulites to all 14 seats on the ballot for county GOP executive committee board.  These 14 new members of the board will make up two-thirds of the ruling body.  Consequently, that county’s GOP platform now calls for holding elected officials to their oath to the Constitution, repeal of the 16th Amendment, and a full audit of the Federal Reserve.

The process of selecting delegates in most states is in the early stages.  There will be multiple stories like the ones mentioned above.  Ultimately, there may be a brokered Republican convention in August.  Then again, there may not be.  Ron Paul may not get the GOP nomination for president in 2012, but whoever does will be leading a party much different from the one that exists today.  It will include delegates to the national convention, activists, and party officials who support a non-interventionist foreign policy, sound money, and civil liberties.  You talk about a nightmare for the party oligarchs!    

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"May you live in interesting times" runs the ancient curse. There is no doubt that the times are certainly interesting. Whether we shall live through them is another matter altogether.......
I love your political speculation! And I can't imagine it happening to a more deserving Party!
I don't think that it'll be a brokered convention, as the Romney Unit seems to be dragging itself to the nomination very slowly. If His Newtiness fails to well tomorrow in Bubba-land, then there's a good chance that he'll drop out, leaving it a straight fight between The Romney Unit and Saintorum. In the meantime I need a big bag of popcorn, some beers and a comfy chair as I watch the Republicans commit suicide.
Great article! I live in Las Vegas and attended the GOP County Convention. It was AMAZING to see all the supporters for Ron Paul! You say, "Paul supporters organized and triumphed by electing Paulites to all 14 seats on the ballot for county GOP executive committee board. These 14 new members of the board will make up two-thirds of the ruling body. Consequently, that county’s GOP platform now calls for holding elected officials to their oath to the Constitution, repeal of the 16th Amendment, and a full audit of the Federal Reserve." I am proud to say I was one of those voting for each and every Paulite! You should have heard the applause!! It was very exciting! The times they are a-changin!
I wonder if he will also bring his supporters from white supremacists groups, neo-Nazis, and David Duke, if so it should be colorful. And it should end those who lean Left, and support his stance on the wars, the Federal Reserve, and legalization of marijuana from thinking he is a benign old country doctor.
I also doubt that this convention will be brokered. The rich and powerful still run the GOP (to a greater extent than they run the Democratic Party). They want to quash any sign of a fractured party, especially in front of TV cameras.

They will minimize the appearance of Gingrich and Paul at the convention. They can complain, and probably will, but the people paying for the media - again, the rich guys - will control the media and the TV coverage.

And there will be arm-twisting among the delegates, on a level unseen since Lyndon Johnson's administration. The rich guys will practically bribe delegations to change their votes - possibly before the first ballot.

I know that Democrats would love to see the GOP face the kind of disunity, anarchy and tarnished candidate they had in Chicago 1968, but the One Percent is smarter and more brazen than they were back then.
While plenty of people hope for a dark horse candidate, it's not going to happen. The GOP is split. Are the voters for Ron Paul, who was for the gov't out of the economy and the army out of the Middle East going to plunk for a candidate that will satisfy the voters for Santorum, who is all for attacking Iran and wants the Gov't in your bedroom?

Are the radical primary voters going to be happy with any candidate that will please the moderates who will decide the general election? Or will they be furious that their votes were essentially stolen? I

The most likely scenario is that Romney has to get to the winning delegate count by VP choice, which could saddle him with Santorum as a VP. Possibly Paul or his son, Rand Paul. Neither option would help Romney's chances in November. Maybe he'd get away with a cabinet appointment. It will take away his option of tacking to the center with him VP and cabinet choices.

Don't spoil the surprise.

Let the sheeple keep believing what they read.

Interesting scenario, but the marginalization of Paul has been pretty thorough. It would be fun to watch, but somewhat alarming - a possible President Paul is just about as nightmarish as President Palin.
After the rolling disaster of the primaries, there will be intense pressure to nominate Romney on the first vote. Party unity, etc, etc, yada and yada.
The Republicans don't take Ron Paul seriously, and there's some reason for that. He's bringing his own posse to the game. There aren't many true Republicans who will smoke dope with Castro while the radical Islamic caliphate plunders America, converting our children into Islamic slaves (I'm betting you get the joke here).

However, something will be done to placate the Paulians and the Santorumites, but not the Newtonians. The degree of Paulian placation will be indicated by whether Ron gets to speak during prime time or during the afternoon or as a Late Show. Platforms are meaningless, pretty much, but they'll manage to cherry-pick the Paulian themes that match the Tea Partarian's memes. Constitutional declarations of war probably won't make the cut.

On the upside, that Nevada thing is a victory. However, there is no possible way to align libertarian belief with conservative mindset, so whatever creature is a result of that bizarre copulation won't be able to walk, talk or dance.

Congrats on another EP, but they put the ? in your title. Sounds suspiciously "frenemy" to me.
My mother never recovered from the 1952 Republican convention, in which Eisenhower defeated the last American statesman Robert Taft, despite Taft receiving a greater number of votes - and initially (until the southern delegates were stolen from him) delegates:,_1952#cite_note-2
Romney will have this thing sewn up by June. Game, set & match.

The talking heads are making us all crazy. I watched MSNBC (Mathews, Maddow, Schultz, Sharpton, et alia) as the votes were being counted.

About an hour into it I thought, What the hell am I doing watching these people. I need to get some sleep.

I need to remember that this is all about selling ad time, whether your Fox or whether your MSNBC or Current.

IOW, they massage the damned results, postulate this or that, set up scenario after scenario, interview strategist after strategist......until the thing is a bloody pulp.

I mean.....GAWD!
I meant "you're." ( I hate it when I do that and can't correct it.)