Now, in case you have missed the Ron Paul story, he is the wiry little, gray haired, congressman, who challenged the big boys in the nationally televised Republican debates earlier this year. It was quite a show.
McCain, Romney and Huckabee would argue over who was the first to be dutifully committed to the troop surge strategy in our War in Iraq, while Paul, in an outburst of incredulity, would declare that the whole idea of the war was wrong in the first place. And then the audience, carefully stacked with McCain, Romney and Huckabee supporters would erupt in glorious applause, like little children clapping at the wrong time at a school play, with their leaders glowering back at them, wondering why their carefully selected, ticketed, major donor, idiots, didn’t clap for their lines. If the donors were willing to give them $100,000 in soft money why couldn’t they have enough discipline to clap for them? But heck, what could they do. Ron Paul just made sense. Even a millionaire could understand.
Well, as the debates continued, so did the caucuses and the primaries and while the nominee was decided early the Paulistas nevertheless continued to grow in number and commitment. Some pundits remarked that if this army had existed, at this size, a year ago, Ron Paul would have won the Iowa Cavalcade and then the caucus and just maybe the nomination. But as they say, “coulda, shoulda,” so what?
Still, the Paulistas dutifully started showing up at State GOP Conventions. Well, let’s be honest, they started taking over State GOP Conventions. Horrified Republican Party bosses, pulled the credentials of the Paulistas, using arcane rules, sometimes made on the fly, or they left the duly elected Ron Paul delegates waiting in ballrooms for hours on end, while moving to other rooms to reconvene without them. Paulistas were sometimes just told that they weren’t wanted, wouldn’t be recognized and if they didn’t like it they could take their appeal to the National Convention, which the Party insiders would control anyway.
These battles were bruising, grueling, time consuming, seemingly wasted exercises and some of the Paulistas began to grumble about their leadership. They were against the war in far away Iraq. That was what motivated many of them. So why were the Paulistan generals feeding them into a meat grinder of a political war back here at home? What was it achieving, these exercises in futility? If the war couldn’t be won, let’s end it now. Enough humiliation is enough.
And what would they do at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul? If the State Conventions were rigged, well, one could just imagine what St. Paul would be like. A Paulistan would not get near the Convention. Even the public sidewalks would be cordoned off. Security, you know. “Where’s your badge, buddy?”
For awhile, Paulistas might own the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Enthusiastic John McCain kids, whose Daddy’s paid their way, would come bounding off their flights only to see the corridors crammed full of glowering Paulistas. But one of those disembarking passengers would be a nondescript, anonymous, McCain staffer and he would call the Mayor’s office and yell at him and minute’s later security would be moving anyone with a Ron Paul hat or button out of the airport. “But, I have a ticket? I just came in on a flight”
“Yeah, yeah, this way, this way.”
I know how it works. I once was in on the planning of one of these.
The Paulistas would try soft demonstrations in other places, like lining up to eat at the media headquarters hotel, lobby restaurant. The television producers and print media would see them. “The Paulistas live.” And maybe they would get a mention or two. They would be standing there with their Ron Paul T-Shirts, as if they were patiently waiting in a line of thousands to get a seat at a restaurant that only holds sixty. But the McCain people would catch on and the security would sweep though the hotel moving them out.
“Hey, I am just waiting for a table. This is America. Can’t a guy buy a hamburger in a public restaurant?”
“Yeah, yeah, this way, this way.”
Well, maybe they could stay in touch? They could be moved around by the Paulistan generals by cell phone. “Debbie says there is a back entrance to the Marriott on Ellingson Avenue.” But then, the cell phones will be monitored, count on it. Security you know. Maybe they could move by text message, ten thousand people on the streets of St. Paul, a living breathing demonstration, changing its strategy by the minute.
But oh, the frustration. All the while being herded around the perimeter of the action, like Soviet dissidents desperately trying to be seen by media visitors from the West, hoping to get their message through. But unfortunately, the media cannot venture too far from their Republican Soviet handlers or their watchful Intourist guides, or they lose access to the “real” news, the “news” that their bosses back home are paying for.
“I’m an American citizen, I have a right to be here.”
“Yeah, yeah, this way, this way.”
So what can they do? These Paulistas? How can they keep on fighting? Should they really go to St. Paul for this? Is there a plan? Is there a reason for this misery?
Well, now you know. There is a plan. In fact, there was a plan all along. And it is just brilliant. The Paulistas are going to hold their own convention in nearby Minneapolis. 10,000 strong. And all those duly, legally, elected delegates that got cheated out of the Republican National Convention, will be seated after all.
It appears that after months of being the victims in state convention after state convention, with horror story after horror story, the Paulistas will not be fighting for credentials with the National Soviet Republican apparatchik. They will be organizing at their own convention in nearby Minneapolis.
And no, this will not be the start of a new party or a “revolt.” This will not be a colorful debate like the Creative Coalition and other rump events of the past. Nor will it be an exercise in academia, like the Alan Keyes ballroom events that drew a 1,000 people who were so bored they could not keep their eyes open. Nor will it be a media, entertainment event, ala Arianna Huffington and Bill Maher’s Shadow Conventions. This won’t be a walk out, it will be a “walk in.” These very serious Paulistas will be meeting to organize how to take back their own Republican Party. How to elect “constitutional” congressmen all across the country. And how to come back in four years in the driver’s seat.
All of this will take place right in the shadow of their tormentors, the people who would not let them in, even when they won a fair fight. You would think, given the stakes that the McCain people, if they had a chance to do this all over again, would have sent word down to the State Chairman. “Just play it by the rules. If Ron Paul wins 400 delegates, so what? Let him have them. We should be magnanimous in victory. We can afford to be nice, and we need them for November.”
But no, they were afraid that the media might notice the ascendancy of the Paulistas. They might ask, why are these people winning state delegations even after the race is over? What does this mean?
In any case, it is too late now. The Paulistas will be in Minnesota in numbers this September. Their detractors will call it an orgasmic end to a phenomenon that peaked two months too late? But others may someday write that this convention in Minneapolis was history in the making? A turning point for the Republican Party. The media will not miss it. The bosses in New York will add one more airplane ticket and send along that new assistant producer who has been nagging for a chance to show her stuff. And no legitimate Paulista will miss it either. Who can resist? McCain will be in St. Paul but St. Paul will be in Minneapolis. Now that’s news.
See: How a GOP conspiracy continues to cheat Ron Paul