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.