Political Animal


May 07, 2012 10:34 AM Paul-a-Palooza

By Ed Kilgore

Guess I should feel lucky my TNR column on Ron Paul appeared over the weekend, since his supporters were certainly making some political news. But it’s not news I specifically anticipated. As I was writing about the Revolution’s delegate coups in Massachusetts and Iowa, the Paulites were pulling off fresh acts of audacity in Maine and Nevada.

The Maine state GOP convention, whose results Romney’s legal team (featuring a star of the 2000 outrage, Benjamin Ginsburg) will ask the RNC to overturn, appears to have delivered the Doctor 20 of the state’s 24 national convention delegates. Meanwhile, in Nevada, in a situation analogous to Massachusetts, Paulites overhwhelmingly dominated delegate selection at a state convention (22 out of the 25 at stake), but will have to abide by rules instructing them to vote according to the results of the caucuses back in February, won by Romney.

It now looks like followers of the Revolution will represent (whether they can vote for his actual candidacy or not) at least a plurality of delegates in a minimum of seven states: Maine, Nevada, Iowa, Massachusetts, Louisiana, Colorado and Minnesota. They will be a noisy presence in Tampa.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • c u n d gulag on May 07, 2012 10:52 AM:

    The problem is that they'll be easy to identify, and isolate, in Tampa.

    They won't be packin' pistols.

    They be smokin' doob's.!

  • T2 on May 07, 2012 10:54 AM:

    if Romney doesn't will the nomination on the first ballot, lots of delegates will be released to vote for whomever they want. If Paul wins Texas, and he might, he could have a fun situation on the second ballot.

  • Sean Scallon on May 07, 2012 11:00 AM:

    "They will be a noisy presence in Tampa. "

    ...and maybe even more.

  • boatboy_srq on May 07, 2012 11:05 AM:

    They will be a noisy presence in Tampa.

    Between Concealed Carry and Stand Your Ground, this sure will make Gasparilla seem tame by comparison. Funny that the celebration of the invasion and capture of the city by pirates is now the second-biggest event there this year - or is it first again and just rebranded?

  • bob atkinson on May 07, 2012 11:09 AM:

    Paulites also took over the Alaska Republican Party last week at their convention. Senator Murkowski was booed down and a Paulite was voted in as new head of the Party replacing the good old boy stand by, Randy Reudrich.

  • Kathy Larkin on May 07, 2012 11:13 AM:

    Concerning your TNR article, it is Paul's group in the GOP that brings down the age demographic and many of that vote block are concerned with Paul's ideas on anti-interventionism and civil liberties not just his cranky economic ideas. If the GOP snubs the Paulites at the convention will that group then go and vote for the Libertarian Party? If women flee the GOP and the Paulites vote Libertarian would that leave the GOP with just their reported 30% of population base?

  • Danp on May 07, 2012 11:28 AM:

    Bush v Gore and the chad fiasco; fact free debates; voter ID laws where no fraud is detected; early primaries with half representation; millions of dollars in secretly funded and untrue ads; and now this. Republicans sure know how to turn democracy into a farce. But then, Iraqis already knew this.

  • POed Lib on May 07, 2012 11:30 AM:

    Every opportunity I get, I urge Pauliphrenics to vote write in. Anything to break up the GOP vote.

  • Bose in St Peter MN on May 07, 2012 11:32 AM:

    The Paulites' move into leadership in the Iowa party has me intrigued, not so much for 2012 as beyond that. How might that shift the focus there, and will it be mirrored in other states?

  • Danp on May 07, 2012 11:32 AM:

    And I forgot Pat Buchanon's Reform Party deformation and the phony dem candidates Republicans like to put on ballots like in the Walker recall.

  • martin on May 07, 2012 11:56 AM:

    Tampa Convention: Must See TV!

  • Ron Byers on May 07, 2012 12:08 PM:

    Popcorn by the bushel. The Tampa Convention looks like the most exciting national convention since the 68 Democratic Convention except this time the revolutionaries will be armed.

    I am going to stay hundreds of miles away from Tampa. It could get ugly.

  • Kathryn on May 07, 2012 1:15 PM:

    Tampa really promises to be bedlam, will they boo Mitt? What has been wrought by right wing radicals since we dared to elect an African-American President who is not a socialist, not a terrorist, but indeed a pragmatic centrist American is ugly to behold. Will Romey campaign be prepared for this crowd of malcontents, I doubt it?

  • Matt on May 07, 2012 1:20 PM:

    They will be a noisy presence in Tampa.

    Coincidentally, as I write this, there is a noisy vacuum cleaner going in the next room. Can you hear it? For the same reason, the Paul folks can be as loud as a jet engine and not even a whimper will escape the soundproof booth that is a modern convention.

    At most--at most--there will be a few process stories about how an unusual motion was brought before the Committee on Such and So by Paul supporters, only to be voted down. The convention as experienced by 99.999% of voters will be the same tightly scripted affair it always is.

  • Sean Scallon on May 07, 2012 2:04 PM:

    Conventions are tightly scripted only when your side has 9/10th of the delegates. That won't be the case in Tampa.

  • lux on May 07, 2012 7:23 PM:

    Ok, for those of us not quite so enmeshed in the inside baseball game of conventions -- other than being interesting, do these takeovers actually mean anything in terms of actual outcomes in or after Tampa?