by Kenn Jacobine The View From Abroad
There is an interesting analysis article over at Real Clear Politics that lays out a scenario whereby the August Republican National Convention evolves into the worst nightmare imaginable for party officials – a brokered convention. Based on how Republican candidates for president have done so far with different demographics and regions of the country, Sean Trende predicts how the race for the Republican nomination may play out and lays out a scenario where a brokered Republican convention could take place.
Now, it’s no secret that a brokered convention would be a catastrophe for Republican Party leaders used to grand coronations at their quadrennial national party events. After all, anything could happen. Chaos could rule or a dark horse candidate not officially sanctioned by the party oligarchs could emerge. In either case their lack of control would disrupt the usual smooth proceedings meant to portray to the nation a party united, happy, and excited about its standard bearer.
Given his campaign’s strategy of focusing on caucuses and out hustling his rivals at local, county, and state conventions nationwide the main beneficiary of a brokered convention would be Texas Congressman Ron Paul. The fact of the matter is that most Americans do not get involved in politics. Many rightly view it as an ugly, corrupt business. Others are too busy following American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, or the latest escapades of Lindsay Lohan. While others would rather leave it to the professionals. But, Ron Paul supporters are different. They may not outnumber the supporters of other candidates, but they are hungrier and more dedicated to their principles. They are much more willing to show up, outlast, and fight for delegate positions than the supporters of rival candidates. These attributes seem to be paying dividends for the Paul campaign at least in the early stages of the delegate selection process.
In Iowa, Ron Paul supporters have become delegates for other candidates. Under party rules, if the convention is brokered at some point those delegates could be eligible to throw their support behind Dr. Paul.
In Georgia, Paul forces took over or as local GOP officials called it “hijacked” the DeKalb County delegate-selection convention in eastern metropolitan Atlanta. They also missed by a whisker doing the same thing in populous Cobb County.
And in Clark County, Nevada, home to Las Vegas, at the county GOP convention made up of over 2600 delegates, Paul supporters organized and triumphed by electing Paulites to all 14 seats on the ballot for county GOP executive committee board. These 14 new members of the board will make up two-thirds of the ruling body. Consequently, that county’s GOP platform now calls for holding elected officials to their oath to the Constitution, repeal of the 16th Amendment, and a full audit of the Federal Reserve.
The process of selecting delegates in most states is in the early stages. There will be multiple stories like the ones mentioned above. Ultimately, there may be a brokered Republican convention in August. Then again, there may not be. Ron Paul may not get the GOP nomination for president in 2012, but whoever does will be leading a party much different from the one that exists today. It will include delegates to the national convention, activists, and party officials who support a non-interventionist foreign policy, sound money, and civil liberties. You talk about a nightmare for the party oligarchs!
Reprinted with permission from The View From Abroad.
Kenn Jacobine is an international educator currently teaching History for the American School of Doha, Qatar. He blogs at The View From Abroad.