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Ron Paul’s supporters driving GOP…where?

by Joe Bodell on May 25, 2012 · 5 comments

A couple of days ago a piece appeared in the New York Times about Ron Paul’s supporters, who have apparently taken over the activist bases in several state Republican Parties:

In Minnesota, Paulites stormed the Republican gathering in St. Cloud last weekend, bumping aside two conventional Republican candidates to choose one of their own, Kurt P. Bills, a high school economics teacher, to challenge Senator Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat, this fall.

Backers of Mr. Paul, a Republican congressman from Texas, crashed Republican conventions in Iowa, Maine, Minnesota and Nevada in recent weeks, snatching up the lion’s share of delegate slots for the Republican National Convention in Tampa this August, a potential headache for the national party and its presumptive nominee, Mitt Romney.

And Paulite candidates for Congress are sprouting up from Florida to Virginia to Colorado, challenging sitting Republicans and preaching the gospel of radically smaller government, an end to the Federal Reserve, restraints on Bush-era antiterrorism laws and a pullback from foreign military adventures.

“I’d call it a strict constitutional approach,” said Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky and Ron Paul’s son. “And I think it’s spreading.”

The younger Paul is a first-rate turd who apparently likes to ignore things like the Necessary and Proper clause, the Commerce Clause, and several other, you know, important parts of the Constitution. But whatever.

The local angle on this story is that Paul’s supporters really spiked the ball at the recent state GOP convention, and now have a handle on its levers of power. Mainline Republicans aren’t happy about it, but what are they to do?

As far as I can tell, the real issue is this: Tea Partiers hate Obama. Mainline Republicans hate Democrats. True Paul believers hate what they see as government overreach, and sometimes those three groups find themselves aligned. But sometimes not so much. Team Paul is just as likely to hold Republican feet to the primary fire over jingoistic foreign adventures, military-industrial corruption, or government in the bedroom as they are to oppose a federal health insurance mandate. And that makes for a dangerous situation for the Republican power structure, in Minnesota and across the nation: with a shrinking, greying, and increasingly white base, they need to hold on to every last vote they possibly can from anyone who ever agrees with them on anything.

But Paulites can and do step quickly away from the Republican line on many issues. As a personal anecdoate, I didn’t win anywhere near enough votes in my own campaign earlier this year, but I did spend a few minutes at the door of an avowed Paul supporter. I told him “well, I’m not a true libertarian by any stretch — I believe that a strong government made up of committed public servants can help make people’s lives happier and healthier. But there are definitely parts of the libertarian platform with which I don’t disagree, and I’m always willing to listen and discuss those things with people who really care about the issues and not just the politics.”

The gentleman nodded thoughtfully, and told me I’d earned his vote. It was a great feeling for me, but it’s a terrible, terrible sign for the Republican Party.

Not that I’m complaining.

TwoPuttTommy May 25, 2012 at 6:09 pm

I find it much easier to have reasonable conversations – as Joe notes, on the issues –  with Ron Paul Supporters.

It seems to me it’s the issues that drive RP Supporters and NOT the politics.

We’ll see how they do now that they’re in charge of the levers of power in the GOP.

So far, here in CD3, it’s looking good!  http://www.cd3.org/executive-committee.html

ericf May 25, 2012 at 8:21 pm

Or do they just have an ideology a bit different from other conservatives and a lack of partisan identification? I get the impression Republicans aren’t just bothered about people coming in who want to win delegate slots, but who may have no interest in the party and might leave when the convention is done, or might leave when the don’t get what they want. I see just some different stubborn beliefs impervious to fact with less party loyalty. They may not have an unyielding hatred of Democrats and liberals like other conservatives, but they’re not often going to vote for us either.

But good for Joe persuading one person for one election. Maybe they’re not done evolving.

TwoPuttTommy May 25, 2012 at 9:53 pm

… is RP Supporters are actually willing to THINK.

Today’s RWNJ’s that are still in the party after the Urge To Purge?

Not so much.

For instance, I’ve never gotten a conspiracy theory/complet BS email from a RP Supporter that’s been forwarded and re-forwarded and Re-Forwarded and RE-FORWARDED…

But just yesterday morning?

Subject: FW: F.Y.I.
Date: Thu, 24 May 2012 10:30:31 -0700
From: xxx@xxx.com
To: twoputttommy

This is your guy!  Change my (deleted)!!!

(deleted)

Where are Jim, Tim, and Franklin now?

Just in case you might have wondered how their ineptitude
affected their lives after they ruined so many dreams and lives.

Here’s a quick look into the three former Fannie Mae
executives who brought down Wall Street.

(blah, blah, blah)

My response?

From: twoputttommy
To: xxx@xxx.com
Subject: RE: F.Y.I.
Date: Fri, 25 May 2012 06:58:17 -0500

Typical bu!lsh*t, recycled from four years ago:  http://www.snopes.com/politics

What a surprise!

NOT.

Another thing – those leaks of internal MnGOP documents, showing how Cooked The Books are?

They’re not coming from those that believe Saint Ronnie never raised a tax….

ericf May 25, 2012 at 11:22 pm

You saw the post I wrote on Bills’ issues page. Maybe that’s not what you’re thinking of, but having just crawled through that much nonsense, I have trouble seeing that faction of the GOP as any more rational than the rest. They just seem obsessed with currency and strange economic beliefs rather than god-gays-guns sorts of issues.

TwoPuttTommy May 26, 2012 at 12:51 am

True.

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