NOTE: This article was originally drafted March 28, 2012. The analysis behind it is several months older than that. And then, Fox News today printed the following linked article:
A few facts need to be supplied before the analysis.
First, LIBERTARIAN does not equal Conservative. LIBERTARIAN does not equal Republican. LIBERTARIAN is LIBERTARIAN. Different Party. Different Platform. Different ideology.
Second, I believe we can all agree that the Tea Party movement was begun as a LIBERTARIAN initiative. It is a bit unclear if the Koch brothers were behind the original phone call that launched the movement or if they were even the money behind the movement getting started. But two things should be stunningly obvious to the casual observer. One, there has never been a political movement of this magnitude without someone behind it. Other examples include the Reform Party headed by H. Ross Perot and the Occupy Wall Street movement headed by, well, the President. In brief, if you want to get things going, you’ve got to have the resources to get the butts off of the couch. There’s also the original launch of the LIBERTARIAN Party we could point to as well.
That brings up an interesting point. I have noticed a huge amount of dodging the term ‘Libertarian’ with a capital-L, as in the political party, in this electoral cycle. Normally proud, brash LIBERTARIANS are dodging the “label” left and right. This is because that Party is a failure. Now, that could be labeled a pretty obviously attacking, nasty term to apply. But what else do you label a Party which has failed to get even ONE SINGLE PERSON elected since 1970?
Failure. And so long as LIBERTARIANS insist on ideological purity and separation from the Republican Party, and as long as they refer to themselves as “libertarian” in the lower case, as in, “I’m really a Capital-L Libertarian, but I don’t want to LOSE any longer,” I have taken to using the all caps version, LIBERTARIAN. And they don’t exactly appreciate this distinction, so I know it serves its purpose.
Secondly, in order to accomplish hundreds of events held simultaneously in remote locations nationally–that’s an immense of organization to be attributed to a completely independent group of independent groups. Not buying it. Organization begets organization. “Leaderless” or not.
Then there is the matter of a LIBERTARIAN running as a Republican, something we have all become used to with “RON PAUL!!” I use the quotes, caps and exclamation just as his supporters do whenever they proudly proclaim…”RON PAUL!!” It is to mock them as the LIBERTARIANS they all are. For “RON PAUL!!” is not a Republican. He is a LIBERTARIAN. Now, he is one of those, “I’m really a Capital-L Libertarian, but I don’t want to LOSE any longer,” LIBERTARIANS. But LIBERTARIAN none the less.
And as we continue to see the Presidential election and the Republican Primary process drag on, we continue to see “RON PAUL!!” doing worse and worse and worse. Only when the incompetence of the campaigns of Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Rick Perry shine through, who failed to get their names on the ballots in certain states, do we see “RON PAUL!!” reaching the 20’s in polling.
And then there’s Lousiana. Typical of more Conservative, southern states, “RON PAUL!!” fell to 6% in polling–his normal, expected territory.
LIBERTARIANS are outnumbered. And they are defeated. At the polls. But they have rolled out a brilliant strategy in an attempt to literally steal the Republican nomination for “RON PAUL!!” from the cheap seats of single-digit territory. Just as LIBERTARIANS perceive the Tea Party movement was “stolen” by Republican operatives. Notice how it sort of “went away?”
Following one of the early Republican Primaries, “RON PAUL!!” stated something to the effect of, “The President’s Democratic policies are a failure! But we (meaning LIBERTARIANS) recognize that we (meaning America) didn’t arrive here due to just one Party. Republicans (meaning “they”) contributed to this situation.” And the frothing LIBERTARIAN audience frothed, screaming, “RON PAUL!!” You can see how I developed my rather pithy, sardonic attitude toward LIBERTARIANS.
This, “There is not difference between Democrats and Republicans,” line is typical LIBERTARIAN rhetoric. After all, if you’ve got a 40-plus year record of failure at the polls, don’t you want to paint the Republicans in the light of being no different than the Democrats? You even state it, listing the Democrats first followed by the Republicans, so as to accentuate your disdain for Republicans. Rhetoric is, after all, a dish best served with pith and sardonically.
Well, what is really interesting on a purely strategic level is the knowledge of LIBERTARIANS of Republican Party rules, specifically the nominating process. For these LIBERTARIAN supporters of “RON PAUL!!” have crafted and are carrying out a strategy to literally steal the Republican nomination for “RON PAUL!!”
Question: How do the Republican and Democratic nominees (i.e. candidates) end up on the November ballot?
Answer: The primaries and caucuses held in each state, going on now.
And who selects those nominees–the voters in the primaries and caucuses?
The purpose of the primaries and caucuses is to apportion delegates to the nominating convention. It is these delegates who actually select the nominees.
So if you want to win the nomination for one candidate or the other, do you care if you lose every single primary, caucus, straw poll, etc?
All you have to do is make sure you send more delegates to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida in August.
And then hope that either Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum fall off the ballot at the convention on the first ballot before “RON PAUL!!” does.
The way things stand right now, there will be at least four names on the ballot at the convention: Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and…”RON PAUL!!” I do not know if Rick Perry or Michelle Bachmann will be on the first ballot. It depends on if they won delegates before dropping from the race. It depends on if they endorse other candidates still in the race in an attempt to push their delegates to those candidates. It depends on if Santorum or Gingrich drop out of the race early or if they are in it all the way to Tampa. For if they drop out and “RON PAUL!!” exceeds their delegate count heading into Tampa, things get really interesting!
Delegates are bound to vote for the candidate they represent from their state on the first ballot. On subsequent ballots, if one candidate drops out, they are free to vote their conscience on subsequent ballots.
So do you see how this goes down now?
Stuff the delegate count at the local, State and national convention level.
Ensure that Santorum or (more likely) Gingrich are eliminated from the first ballot.
All of the LIBERTARIANS in the audience vote “RON PAUL!!” into the nomination from the cheap seats of 6-percent-ville.
Can you see how that would go down?
Said one Dallas-area “RON PAUL!!” supporter, “Its not like we’re cheating. We’re (meaning LIBERTARIANS) just smart and we know the nominating process.”
That would be the nominating process of the…Republican Party. Because to nominate a LIBERTARIAN would be pointless. “RON PAUL!!” should know, having lost a Presidential race as the LIBERTARIAN nominee previously.
In my facebook conversation with this “RON PAUL!!” supporter, I did not accuse him or LIBERTARIANS of cheating. I accused them of stealing. There’s a huge difference between the two.
The Republican Party has rules. And the typical Republican activist / voter is not terribly familiar with these.
But the “LIBERTARIANS-in-Republican-Party-clothing” obviously are! They have crafted this strategy around the idea of getting “RON PAUL!!” the nomination without so much as winning a single primary or caucus. Nary one! And with polling higher than 20% only when another candidate fails to have their name on the ballot.
LIBERTARIANS are charging hard, Republicans. While we argue amongst ourselves whether we want a Conservative, big spender or a Conservative filanderer…or a Moderate nominee, LIBERTARIANS already have their guy.
Are you aware of what is coming? Are you willing to accept a LIBERTARIAN in place of an actual Republican? Are you aware this could happen? Do you care?
Be aware of things to come. Do not be surprised when this plays out. I doubt that “RON PAUL!!” wins, even with this brilliant strategy at his back. But does it earn his son, U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) a spot on the lower half of the ticket?
There are many, many scenarios which could play out in this electoral cycle. It is not inevitable that Mitt Romney is the next President of the United States–only that he eventually wins the nomination. But there are other games being played that nobody seems to be aware of.
Except for your Friendly Neighborhood…er, Dallas County Republican Examiner. You heard it here first!
(Well, actually, you heard it elsewhere first. I was just the first one to figure it out!)