Political Animal


May 04, 2012 12:35 PM The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

By Ed Kilgore

In doing some research on a column for TNR, I ran across a phenomenon that has been underreported in the MSM: the Ron Paul Revolution is rolling on in little-noticed delegate selection contests around the country.

In some cases, Paulites are winning delegate slots whose votes are already pledged to other candidates thanks to earlier primaries. That’s most embarrassingly the case in Massachusetts, where Mitt Romney’s allies got trounced in many district delegate selection conventions, posing the strong possibility that the Revolution will gain a majority of the state’s 41 delegates.

But in other states with complex multi-stage procedures for selecting delegates, Paul’s minions, with their signature ability to pack small rooms, are overturning much-publicized “beauty contest” results that didn’t actually bind delegates. Remember Iowa, where the big controversy was an initial count on Caucus Night showing Romney having won by an eyelash over Rick Santorum? Turns out Santorum “won,” and the quick announcement of a Romney victory led to the resignation of the state party chair. But he was replaced by a Paulite (part of a faction that also controls the state party central committee), and it’s now reasonably clear Paul will win a plurality and perhaps a majority of Iowa’s votes in Tampa. Similar events unfolded in Colorado and may soon be replicated in Minnesota and Louisiana.

As always, it’s not clear what Paul and his acolytes are up to, other than promoting their quirky ideology and settling scores with state and local party folk who have always treated them like bedbugs. There’s some talk of a platform fight (though there hasn’t been one of those in a GOP convention since the 1976 event when equally powerful Ford and Reagan delegate blocs meant nobody completely controlled the convention) or an effort to embarrass Mitt by placing Paul’s name in nomination (he’s within easy striking distance of the five-state-plurality requirement for taking that step if it wants it). Perhaps the Doctor wants something for himself or for his son, who is according to some reports preparing a 2016 presidential run of his own.

The one thing we do know for sure is that the Romney campaign and the RNC will do everything possible to keep the Revolution and its troops as far away from the TV cameras in Tampa as is humanly possible. That won’t be easy without Paul’s close cooperation, particularly since it’s traditional that the nominee’s home state delegation and the ever-preferred Iowa delegation will be prominently seated in the convention hall and will attract lots of interviews from bored reporters. So if Paul wants to extract a promise that he’ll be given the keys to Ben Bernanke’s executive washroom at the Fed, or a gold coin bearing his own likeness, he’ll probably get it.

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.


  • Parakeeta on May 04, 2012 12:44 PM:

    I really wish that people who have no idea what Gil Scott-Heron's "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" would refrain from making fools of themselves.

  • T2 on May 04, 2012 1:01 PM:

    lets see how Paul does in Texas.....I don't think Romney is too popular down there, which leaves only Paul as the qualifier for the Crazy GOPer vote, and of course he's a Texan. If he was to win......that is a lot of delegates.

  • c u n d gulag on May 04, 2012 1:02 PM:

    Rand Paul for VP?

    If not - then future money and support for Daddies little nut.

  • Skeptic on May 04, 2012 1:03 PM:

    If they really want Rand Paul to run for president in 2016, what they most need to extract from local GOPers in 2012 is a promise not to make that muskrat pelt Rand wears on his head into a campaign issue.

  • Trinity on May 04, 2012 1:08 PM:

    Comedy. Rachel Maddow has been closely covering this as well Ed. I think she did a great segment on it just earlier this week. Frankly I hope the Paulites cause a ruckus at the convention. Get your popcorn everyone!

  • Kathryn on May 04, 2012 1:27 PM:

    Rachel Maddow Show has covered Ron Paul delegate grab a few times as well as the general and persistent disarray of the GOP state parties. Hard to believe that Romney camp will be organized and able to clamp down on Paul supporters efficiently, his campaign organization not impressive so far. Mr. I'm a business man Romney, his etch-a-schetch campaign spokesman Eric whoever seem mainly capable of keeping him away from press questions while being protected by his wife as he grins nervously in a nearby chair.

    @Skeptic....muskrat pelt, I wondered what that was!

  • smartalek on May 04, 2012 1:39 PM:

    Two cultural disrespects for the price of none!
    Please, for the love of whatever you hold holy, never refer to Ron Paul, Rand Paul, Senator Frist, or any other Publican, no matter how much ostensible medical education, as "The Doctor" (with or w/o capitalization), ever again.
    Not that The Doctor would lower himself to concern about mere partisan human conflicts, but still, everything in the Publican ethos is the direct opposite of what The Doctor is and does.
    Thank you.

  • Equal Opportunity Cynic on May 04, 2012 2:05 PM:

    "other than promoting their quirky ideology "

    In this political climate, consistency makes one "quirky". Standard Republicanism, with its love for small government except in imposing religious beliefs or wasting money on "defense" projects and invading foreign countries, is conventional.

    I mean, i think RP has some utterly impractical positions (esp. the gold standard stuff), but at least they're consistent with his worldview as a whole.

  • RepublicanPointOfView on May 04, 2012 2:13 PM:

    It is totally ludicrous that Ron Paul is even allowed to identify himself as a republican!

    He is not a corporately owned warmonger.

  • T2 on May 04, 2012 2:27 PM:

    isn't it interesting how people who think the government sucks and who rant for shrinking the government are the ones who will do anything to get elected to run it?

  • exlibra on May 04, 2012 3:15 PM:

    isn't it interesting how people who think the government sucks and who rant for shrinking the government are the ones who will do anything to get elected to run it? -- T2, @2:27 PM

    I think the full phrase is not "run it", but "run it into the ground". After all, *someone* has to be the last one, if only to turn out the lights...

  • Sean Scallon on May 04, 2012 4:01 PM:

    "The one thing we do know for sure is that the Romney campaign and the RNC will do everything possible to keep the Revolution and its troops as far away from the TV cameras in Tampa as is humanly possible. "

    They can try that and have the newly founded "Liberty Party" led by its first presidential candidate, Ron Paul for 2012 and have a three-person presidential debate That way Rand doesn't have to worry about Jeb Bush stealing anything from him in 2016, he's already nominated.

    Sorry but the Revolution will be televised like it or not and if not the soon when you measure time in decades because average age of a Romney supporter is well over 45 years old.

  • Ken on May 04, 2012 7:43 PM:

    the nominee’s home state delegation

    I was wondering that earlier today. What state is Romney choosing as his home state? House-wise he has a lot of choices.

  • TCinLA on May 04, 2012 8:16 PM:

    They're not Paulites; they're "Paulies" (an indication of their intellectual age). And they're not acolytes; they're sycophants.

    They are, however, definitely the political equivalent of bedbugs.

  • taibiaxiA on January 14, 2013 12:39 AM:

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