Paul Supporters Planning Convention Revolt Against McCain

I’ve previously noted that Ron Paul is unwilling to endorse John McCain, and prefers Obama’s views on foreign policy. Many of Paul’s supporters are not likely to back McCain either, and The Los Angeles Times reports that they plan on making trouble for McCain at the Republican convention:

…quietly, largely under the radar of most people, the forces of Rep. Ron Paul have been organizing across the country to stage an embarrassing public revolt against Sen. John McCain when Republicans gather for their national convention in St. Paul at the beginning of September.

Paul’s presidential candidacy has been correctly dismissed all along in terms of winning the nomination. He was even excluded as irrelevant by Fox News from a nationally-televised GOP debate in New Hampshire.

But what’s been largely overlooked is Paul’s candidacy as a reflection of a powerful lingering dissatisfaction with the Arizona senator among the party’s most conservative conservatives…

According to a recent Boston Globe tally, Paul has a grand total of 19 Republican delegates to Romney’s 260, Huckabee’s 286 and McCain’s 1,413.

The last three months Paul’s forces, who donated $34.5 million to his White House effort and upwards of one million total votes, have, as The Ticket has noted, been fighting a series of guerrilla battles with party establishment officials at county and state conventions from Washington and Missouri to Maine and Mississippi. Their goal: to take control of local committees, boost their delegate totals and influence platform debates.

Paul, for instance, favors a drastically reduced federal government, abolishing the Federal Reserve, ending the Iraq war immediately and withdrawing U.S. troops from abroad.

They hope to demonstrate their disagreements with McCain vocally at the convention through platform fights and an attempt to get Paul a prominent speaking slot. Paul, who’s running unopposed in his home Texas district for an 11th House term, still has some $5 million in war funds and has instructed his followers that their struggle is not about a single election, but a longterm revolution for control of the Republican Party.

So eager are they to follow their leader’s words, that Paul’s supporters have driven his new book, “The Revolution: A Manifesto,” to the top of several bestseller lists.

While Paul has consistently refused a third-party bid, he has vowed not to endorse McCain, a refusal mirrored by hundreds of his supporters who’ve left comments on The Ticket in recent weeks. And, no doubt, they’ll flock back here today to spread the gospel below.

If Paul supporters manage to have a role at the convention I hope they concentrate on issues such as opposition to the war and abuse of civil liberties where they are on the right track, as opposed to some of their more conservative views, often including racism and paradoxically anti-freedom positions, or discussion of the various conspiracy theories which are prevalent among them.

It is doubtful that the Republicans will allow a real disruption at their conventions. In recent years conventions have become carefully scripted events with neither party wanting to risk a replay of Chicago in 1968. The Republicans might allow some participation from the Paul supporters in the hopes of maintaining their support, but I suspect most will wind up voting for the Libertarian Party candidate as opposed to McCain. The Republicans also realize the danger of losing votes to the LP, especially should they have a high profile candidate such as Bob Barr. The Republican Party is trying, without apparent success, to convince Barr not to run. The Libertarian Party could certainly receive more attention, and votes, with Barr as nominee but this would also further solidify their position as a conservative party which has forgotten the ideals of libertarianism.


  1. 1
    Mauigirl says:

    Should be interesting to see what happens.  Maybe it will work against the GOP.

    I still see many Ron Paul posters around.

  2. 2
    Wayne says:

    While Ron Paul still has a lot of supporters, given that many Paul supportes are drawn by the assorted racist groups that have lobbied around Paul, I think you will see many of them follow the racist views, and feel that a vote for McCain is a vote against Obama, and will weaken the impact in November.  Also, I agree that neither party will give much floor space at the convention to groups that don’t back the party line.

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