Let’s resolve the Ron Paulite vs GOP dispute over delegates

by Dr. Ed Berry

Gary Marbut and David Johnson have reported on the dissatisfaction of Ron Paul supporters who attended the Montana Republican Convention in Missoula in June. The Ron Paul supporters are upset about the number of delegates, out of 20, they received to go to the Republican National Convention, namely, zero.

I have read the arguments presented by Marbut and Johnson. In addition, I listened carefully to the explanations about what happened at the convention given at the Pachederm Club meeting on June 22 in Kalispell. Here’s how I see the bottom line:

Ron Paul received 14.36 percent of the vote in the Montana Republican primary election. Multiplying by 20 delegates gives 2.87 delegates. This rounds off to 3 delgates for the Ron Paul supporters.

Gary Marbut might argue that Romney received only 68.22 percent of the primary votes, making the total of Romney and Paul votes only 82.58 percent rather than 100 percent. This argument would give Ron Paul 17.39 percent of the total of Romney and Paul. If we multiply this by 20 delegates we get 3.48. This still rounds off to 3 delegates for Ron Paul supporters.

The GOP offered the Ron Paul supporters 3 delegates and the Ron Paulites refused!

Why did the Ron Paulites refuse 3 delegates? According to Marbut and Johnson it may be because they expected 5 delegates.

Now the Ron Paulites are threatening the GOP nominees.

Gary Marbut wrote:

“the Montana GOP may have won a battle and lost a war.”

“By treating its most energized faction in such a disrespectful and dismissive way, the Old Guard has certainly cost every one of these candidates some percent of the pro-GOP election effort available, and thereby some percent, even if small, of the November vote.”

“It is the loss of these highly energized Republicans, people who could have been kept at the oars of the Republican ship, that will make winning the November election incrementally more difficult for many Montana Republican candidates.

“This is why the Montana GOP Old Guard may have commanded a petty win of a single battle, but may well have lost a war. Best of luck to the affected candidates.”

David Johnson wrote:

“The GOP elephant just stepped on and crushed its hardest workers. Such was the aftermath of the last week-end’s Republican State Convention in Missoula, and the ones who will pay the dearest price for this stunning display of spitefulness will be Rick Hill, Denny Rehberg, Steve Daines and the rest of the statewide Republican ticket.

“The Old Guard Republican Party has just shot itself in the foot — and shot its candidates in the back.”

Here’s how I see this dispute between the GOP and the Paulites:

First, I really don’t care about the details of how the ballots were printed, etc. This is irrelevant. The most important point is the GOP made a reasonable offer and the Ron Paulites refused. Therefore, the Ron Paulites have no reason to complain. They should grow up!

Second, the Ron Paulites, via the carefully worded sentences of Marbut and Johnson, have threatened revenge against the Republican noninees by withholding enough support to perhaps elect Democrats. If they do, they will be shooting themselves in the foot by betraying their own principles. Such action does not give them a good political image.

Third, the Paulites should get used to the fact that they lost the nomination of Ron Paul. If they ever learn how to win a Republican nomination then they can control a Republican Convention. Until then, they must learn how to play second fiddle.

The Ron Paulites should understand one thing. They are known for nit-picking and not for compromising. Politics is about compromising. Their nit-picking does not endear them to the mainstream. Until they can endear themselves to the mainstream they will continue to lose.

In conclusion, the real losers are the Ron Paul supporters. While they may sabotage the Republican Party to seek revenge on their hurt feelings, they will still be the overall losers. They should be happy with the real progress they made in updating the Montana Republican Party Platform.

Here’s what I propose the GOP and the Paulites should do to resolve their dispute:

If it is not too late, the GOP should offer the Paulites one more chance to have 3 delegates, in the hope that more sanity will prevail among the Paulites.

The Paulites should announce they will support enthusiastically the Republican nominees and work with the Republican Party to achieve their common goals, independently of how many delegates they send to the National Convention.

13 thoughts on “Let’s resolve the Ron Paulite vs GOP dispute over delegates”

  1. You speak of compromising as a way to run our gov't and that the Ron Paul supporters don't know how to be a politican. The main stream Republicans over the past 12 years have done a great job of compromising, to the tune of $5 trillion in debt. Continuing to increase debt ceilings, continue to seek pork projects, continue to use our armed services as the world's police force and compromised on environmental regulations.
    Is there a difference between a statesmen and a politican?

  2. Hi Ed, it doesn't sound like Ron Paul and his folks are your home team. Sorry about that. Have a blessed day, sir!

  3. Timothy Baldwin

    Most, if not all, Ron Paul supporters are frustrated or otherwise disgusted with mainstream politics. This is why they love Ron Paul so much and find strength in his leadership. They see mainstream politics as the source of the problem. For that reason, their psychological approach is one of resistance not compromise–they even war against any mainstream politics. They do not see the need to compromise. They see the need to do the opposite of compromise: stand firm and resist. To them, this is the correct response–results or consequences be damned.

    This approach is perhaps the epitome of emotional thinking. This observation is not meant to judge their approach from a personal perspective (i.e. conscience). However, if one is concerned about results-based orientation, then an emotional response must be abandoned, and a more scientific approach used.

    All of life proves that results-based orientation is how we actually live our lives from a practical matter–otherwise, no one would survive more than a few years in this world. Yet, somehow people think when it comes to religion and politics, results do not matter but only our convictions. It is an ironic dichotomy of human nature. Given the Diffusion nature of responsibility in a Republican form of government, people do not feel their vote actually matters. Thus, they can "vote their conscience" without feeling personally responsible for the results. This is similar to the way politicians treat the Constitution: since there are so many checks and balances and various explanations of one's political decisions, an act can be justified in terms of personal conscience knowing that another branch of government or another member of the same branch has the authority to check any bad decisions made (See, http://montanalibertyforum.com/mlf/2012/01/17/dif….

    In addition, many of Ron Paul absolutists feel that their participation in mainstream is a sort of "sell out" to what they believe is the problem with politics. They refuse to be a "part of the problem" (even though an argument could be made that staying on the fringe, and thus out of any decision-making power, as much contributes to the problem by facilitating the 1 step forward 2 steps back phenomena); and thus to satisfy their conscience (moral or otherwise), they will choose to stand on the fringe of political action and thought in hopes that their efforts will bring about the desired change–"lesser of evil" be damned. (See, http://montanalibertyforum.com/mlf/2012/06/05/nat…. While this approach has some personal honor (i.e. convictions), it does not necessarily reflect the more objective reality of the system of government and politics in the U.S.

    Ron Paul absolutists should remember, the U.S. Constitution itself was a tremendous compromise. Some original opponents were vehemently against it, such as Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry. However, when it became obvious that absolute opposition did not reflect political reality and in fact would be detrimental to the Anti-Federalists political power, these men changed their position and joined the mainstream. When they did, the Anti-Federalists worked very hard within the new system and were very successful within it. In fact, after John Adams' presidency, the Anti-Federalists largely controlled federal politics for nearly 50 years. Had they refused to compromise, the Federalists would have been unopposed in virtually every regard, thereby denying what society needs to survive and thrive: checks and balances; thesis, antithesis; etc.

    Ron Paul himself is, ironically, a symbol of compromise and working within the mainstream. His policies reflect more Libertarianism. Yet, he abandoned that ship a long time ago, as he saw the benefit of working within the Republican Party. His actions speak louder than his words in that regard. While his statements reflect an uncompromising politician, we know he has endorsed candidates he considered to be a lesser evil. (See, http://www.dailypaul.com/235762/why-ron-and-rand-….

    No one can tell Ron Paul absolutists that they are wrong and must work within the Republican mainstream system to make any meaningful and long-term change. They must believe it themselves. Perhaps they should start their own Party and convince Republicans, Libertarians, etc. to join them. If the movement is strong enough, then the Party will grow and become an independent force. That they feel they must use the Republican Party proves the reality of their own observation: mainstream is the only way to make any meaningful, peaceful changes. Otherwise, they would gladly do without the Republican Party.

    No person or persons are going to get what they want when they want to the degree they want it. That is human life 101. It is politics 101, especially in a Republican form of government. To demand immediate compliance with an idea not generally known or accepted is not wise or prudent. If you don't like, you can blame what took place before you for hundreds of years which led to the established social and political ideas. Perhaps those events which led to those "evils" happened on your watch. They didn't happen overnight. It took decades and centuries. Ron Paul absolutists must realize they cannot change those hands of time so quickly.

    Like everything else in a Republican form of government, changes are slow and often 2 steps forward 1 step back. A Republican form of government is literally designed for that very purpose: to ensure factions or fringe movements do not go unchecked and do not sweep a State in mob-rule style. Who would want any other style of government and politics?

    If the Ron Paul Liberty movement is real, then it will actually grow within mainstream as its exposure would multiply and would turn on more people who become exposed to the ideas presented. I can't see that as a negative thing.

    However, even if the movement is real but the ideas are not adequately injected into mainstream thought sufficient to gain popularity and understanding, then all of the conscience and principles notwithstanding, the Liberty Movement will die because it will lack adequate growth elements.

    Principles are checked by and tested in practice–real world applications. A movement that denies this reality suffocates by its own hands.

  4. @2 Hi FoxFrontiers, I voted for Ron Paul, not because I consider him "perfect" but because I consider him the "lesser of two evils." I will vote for Romney in November. Here, I am just calling the play the way I see it, like an umpire in a baseball game. Favoritism is irrelevant.

  5. @1 Hi DeerHunter, there are wise compromises and unwise compromises. Accepting 3 delegates to the National Convention would have been a wise compromise.

  6. Ed,
    What you may have missed is that the GOP did NOT offer the "paulites" 3 delegates…. they offered 4 ALTERNATES, a position that at best places them in a positon to take a delegate slot in the event that a delegate for one reason or another cannot or will not serve at the convention. This was their "offering". It was a ploy to see if they could placate those "waddicle wabble wowsers" who value freedom more than they value party affiliation.

    That the Republican Party is the better game in town makes no difference to a person who will not give up their morals and values just to play "nice doggy".

    I am an Alternate (again) to Tampa and will go there if for no other reason than to support Ron Paul's message of freedom and indivual responsibility, lessor State and Federal interference and the rule of law.

    The statement by Marbut and Johnson about candidates losing support by the grassroots part of the party is simply a political reality and is NOT sour grapes by any means. The thing to remember about us Republicans is that trying to get us all in a line is like trying to herd cats and there ARE SOME who will withhold their support (financial, telephoning, door knocking, etc….) because they are not supported by the Party they work so hard for.

    It goes BOTH WAYS you know. The party elite WOULD have secured a HUGE success if they simply would have offered the olive branch to those "fringe" elements as you put it, but they chose to rub their noses in the manure instead while all the time talking a good game.

    I am in this for the long haul as many of us are, but to burn the ones who cannot understand the principals of compromise without giving up your values will leave a bad tatse in their mouths that will last for some time. It is my hope that someday the "Party" will come to understand that, maybe not in my lifetime. GW

  7. frederick J. Hammel

    I know the art of politics is compromise, that is okay if we are all on the same page. That page is the constitution. The trouble is the democrats and RINO's in the republicans party are pushing socialism and communism. In my point of view you do not compromise with these people.

    All these elected officials took an OATH to the Constitution. If they push socialism, they are in violation to that OATH. They should be kicked out of office, That brings up another problem, a lot of the judges are socialist.

  8. Ed –

    What is the purpose of this gossip? Maybe change the name of your Blog to ‘Montana Cowpoke’. If you are so concerned about the MT GOP how come you didn't pony up the $ to attend and get the 'straight scoop' instead of this silly heard-it-through-the-grapevine and this-is-what-I-think-about-that nonsense?

    By the way Glenn Wehe is correct and you are mistaken in your analysis. The configuration of the ballots IS a matter of BIG concern.

    BTW Compromise is always a loosing proposition to the party giving ground to their opponents.

    – Lark

  9. @6, Glenn,
    Thank you very much for your explanation of what happened. Since I always trust your explanations of such issues, I accept your explanation as true. This means, of course, that the widely circulated article by David Johnson is incorrect since he talks about 20 delegates.

    And Gary Marbut's article seems to agree with David Johnson's article. And the conversation at the Pachyderm meeting, which included David Johnson, talked about 3 delegates being offered.

    Where does this leave us on this issue?

    As I see it, as a "member of the jury," my recommendations still hold. We could talk about the ballots and the unfair voting until the sun flames out and we would resolve nothing. I am looking for solutions. Therefore, I repeat my proposed solution:

    (a) If it is not too late, the GOP should offer the Paulites one more chance to have 3 delegates, in the hope that more sanity will prevail among the Paulites.

    (b) The Paulites should announce they will support enthusiastically the Republican nominees and work with the Republican Party to achieve their common goals, independently of how many delegates they send to the National Convention.

    Does anyone have a better solution to propose?

  10. @8, Lark,
    There are three purposes to this discussion:

    First, to allow people like you and Glenn to add your input so we can get closer to the truth.

    Second, to put in one place the several discussions on this subject, so we have a basis for conversation.

    Third, to focus on resolving this issue rather than to just talk about it endlessly.

    Lark, I do not call this "gossip." This is a very important subject. We have made a lot of progress. We have provided Glenn with a platform to tell his view (which I accept as correct) of this issue. We have given you a place to sound off.

    Like you, I cannot be everywhere. Providing this forum for people like you takes a lot of time.

    By the way, you are mixing up getting our data correct with analysis, which is what we derive from the data. Even with Glenn's corrections to our data, my proposed solution is still the best one on the table.

    Also, you are incorrect to suggest that compromise is "always" a losing proposition. Many times compromise is a win-win for both sides. Please read @3 by Tim Baldwin. As Tim points out, our US Constitution was a compromise and without compromise, it would not exist. Same for the Montana Republican Party Platform.

    As I suggested in my @9 reply to Glenn, we need solutions rather than an endless discussion of problems. Therefore, I stand by my proposed solution until someone suggests a better one.

  11. As a delegate to the convention, there are a couple things that are very relevant that Ed misses here.

    The communication with, to and from the GOP was lacking to say the least. The ballot preparation as outlined in Montana Statute was marginally deceptive at the least. Ed's solution is "pie in the sky" as there cannot be a change in the delgate process post convention.

    I agree that there is a need to seek answers to the division in the "BIG TENT" party. However, with experience in multiple debates like this, it is often realized that there is no compromise, when one side puts nothing on the table. Regardless if the GOP made an offer of 1 or 20 delegate seats if it is not communicated, there is divsion.

    I was at the 2008 convention, and again here in 2012, and the same heavy handed GOP control was administered. Without open and fair discussion, there is no solution to offer remedy for the 2012 election process.

    My personal thoughts on the answer to resolve this, is like in our state and federal elections, there needs to be a change in power at the top, and that can only come through elections and over time. If the purported 47% of delegates to the convention in Missoula were RP delegates, that is a voting block that can effect change if given a fair open process.

  12. @11, Well, Tim, you are almost correct but you are missing relevant information.

    The GOP could have solved the dispute even at this late date by asking 3 of the 20 Romney delegates to not attend … and some might have accepted this request. Then the Ron Paul supporters who signed up as alternates could take their place.

    There is only one problem: Glenn Wehe was the only Ron Paul supporter smart enough to sign on as an alternate. The rest were, I guess, dip sticks.

    I talked to Rep. Scott Richner about this today. He was the GOP representative in charge of assigning delegates to the National Convention. He told me – in no uncertain terms – that he would have accepted 3 Ron Paul delegates to the National Convention but the Ron Paul supporters wanted all 20 delegate seats.

    He also said the Ron Paul supporters had no one representative as did the GOP. This is why Tim says the GOP "put nothing on the table." The Ron Paul supporters were all trying to negotiate separate deals for themselves. In effect, there was no table. It was impossible for Scott to negotiate a deal when the Ron Paul supporters were so disorganized.

    As has been said in several places, the Ron Paul people and the tea party people are like cats … no one can herd them. While they brag about this, being like a cat is not a virtue in politics. This attitude causes tea party people to lose deals as well as elections.

    This is why different Ron Paul supporters have different stories about what happened. They saw different parts of the action and none saw all of the action.

    I'm with Scott on this decision. I would not have accepted any demand for 20 seats. If the Ron Paul supporters could not get their own act together, then it is their own fault they did not get 3 delegates to the National Convention.

    Meanwhile, Glenn Wehe may get his chance to represent the Ron Paul people. Best wishes, Glenn.

  13. Brief Response:
    @3 Tim and @4 Ed: Regarding "voting for the lesser of two evils" voting Ron Paul, instead of being referred to as a vote for the lesser of two evils, can arguably be referred to as voting for the one who is at least approximately constitutional.

    This cannot be said for Romney. Regarding compromise and with the end results in mind (similar to voting for lesser of two evils), I like the quote (I think it is from Robert E. Lee) "Duty is ours. Results are God's" In other words, what we're really called to is OBEDIENCE to God in our voting, in our politics, in ALL thought and life.

    Of course, we all have original sin, are part of the fall, so all that we do is tainted with 'evil' to some extent, yet we're called to obedience in our imperfect state. Of course, liberty of conscience before God comes into play as well. The even higher standard that all people (ourselves, politicians, everyone) will be held to is God's laws of the Old and New Testament (of course not the ceremonial law).

    I think we need not err on the side of compromise and lesser of 2 evils, but on the side of principle, less or no compromise (where it really matters) and holding ourselves, candidates, etc. to a higher standard. We are accountable to God and will all give an account at His coming, as you know.

    In terms of favoritism, those of us who've truly given enormous amounts of time, money, energy, etc. to Ron Paul to favor Ron, even when Ron doesn't seem too engaged himself in winning the election (although he does have $3.3 million in the coffers and per Doug Wead, still an undisclosed plan for Tampa). Game not over.

    4th quarter? Yes. Over? No. We've all seen many times what can happen in the last 2 minutes of a basketball or football championship. There ARE fireworks to come, in spite of some former Paul enthusiasts' present ennui re. him.

    BTW, here in Virginia, as in many states, many RP supporters are working the compromise route within the party with various amounts of good and bad success (some of the success at the cost of forced squelching of liberty of conscience and the bad kind of compromise).

    I think, as in everything, we need to bathe the remaining presidential season with significant prayer for God's providence to prevail. Without Ron winning the election, many believe we will need to revert (as many are already doing) to fighting for liberty (politically) at the local, county, and state levels and forgetting about the federal level for years.

    I share these thoughts for consideration and not to be argumentative. Peace.

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