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Tuesday, 07 August 2012 18:00

Rand Paul to Address GOP Convention; Ron Still Not Invited

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Although the GOP has yet to announce the addition of Ron Paul to the roster of speakers slated to address the party’s national convention later this month in Tampa, his son, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul (pictured), is on the program.

Reuters reported late Monday night that Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) will be one of several high-profile Republicans whose participation has been confirmed by the Republican National Committee (RNC).

Rand Paul was elected to office in 2010 running on a constitutional platform supported by his father and other philosophically similar candidates such as Senator Mike Lee of Utah and Congressman Justin Amash of Michigan. 

Like his iconic father, Rand Paul has a wide libertarian streak running through his politics. During his first term in office, Paul has fought earnestly for the protection of civil liberties against federal intrusions, as well as for an end to the multiple unconstitutional foreign conflicts being carried out by the U.S. military. With remarkable consistency he has battled against ballooning federal budgets, the near-constant violations of the Fourth Amendment on the part of the TSA (with which he had a personal run-in last year), and the disturbing attempts by the federal government to seize control of the Internet.

Even though certain of these positions place him at odds with the GOP Establishment (including the presumptive nominee, Mitt Romney), Senator Paul endorsed Romney during an appearance on the Sean Hannity Show in June. Paul explained his unexpected actions, telling the host that although his “first choice had always been [his] father,” now that the nominating process is over he would be campaigning for Mitt Romney.

Given his very public demonstration of support for Romney’s run for the White House, it is unlikely that Senator Paul will attack the former governor of Massachusetts directly on those points where their policy positions diverge. 

Besides, Romney may have given the green light to Rand Paul’s addition to the roster as a paean to the substantial bloc of libertarian-leaning Republicans believed to be the most ardent of the grassroots activists and that, if converted to his cause, could potentially sway things Romney’s way in November.

In a report published August 6 by the Cato Institute, Republican candidates would do well to recognize and respect the undeniable electoral influence wielded by the expanding libertarian wing of the GOP. In its report entitled “Libertarian Roots of the Tea Party,” Cato writes:

Libertarians led the way for the tea party. Starting in early 2008 through early 2009, we find that libertarians were more than twice as "angry" with the Republican Party, more pessimistic about the economy and deficit since 2001, and more frustrated that people like them cannot affect government than were conservatives. Libertarians, including young people who supported Ron Paul's 2008 presidential campaign, provided much of the early energy for the tea party and spread the word through social media.

Understanding the tea party's strong libertarian roots helps explain how the tea party movement has become a functionally libertarian influence on the Republican Party. Most tea partiers have focused on fiscal, not social, issues — cutting spending, ending bailouts, reducing debt, and reforming taxes and entitlements — rather than discussing abortion or gay marriage. Even social conservatives and evangelicals within the tea party act like libertarians. The tea party is upending the conventional wisdom that Republican candidates must placate socially conservative voters to win primaries.

Increasingly, Republican candidates must win over tea party voters on libertarian economic issues.

To the extent the Republican Party becomes functionally libertarian, focusing on fiscal over social issues, the tea party deserves much credit — credit that political strategists, scholars, and journalists have yet to fully give.

If the Cato Institute has accurately described the complex composition of the modern “big tent” Republican Party, then one wonders why the man called “the Godfather of the Tea Party” has yet to be invited to speak at what is expected to be the coronation of Mitt Romney.

Were Mitt Romney sincere (and savvy) enough in his quest to unite Republicans behind his campaign to oust Barack Obama, it would seem that not only would he go out of his way to give Ron Paul room to speak, but he would also insist that his erstwhile rival be afforded a primetime spot and enough time to convince his legion of supporters that a vote for Mitt Romney is not a vote for all the things he has fought against for so many years: namely, a perpetuation of the wars overseas and the steady (albeit slower) growth of the federal behemoth that is daily draining the sovereign lifeblood from the states.

For now, those mostly young voters who have dedicated their time, talents, and money to the preaching of the gospel of Ron Paul will have to rely on Rand Paul to proclaim their message to the masses. Judging from the roster released Monday by the RNC,they are unlikely to hear anything even slightly anti-Establishment from any one of those Republicans joining Senator Paul in the lineup.

A message posted on the convention website by RNC Chairman Reince Preibus reveals that Senator Paul will be joined as a “headliner” at the Tampa confab by former Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, and Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin. Additional convention speakers, including the keynote, will be announced in the coming days and weeks.

When asked by reporters Monday as to whether he was meeting with former governor of Minnesota Tim Pawlenty and Senator Rob Portman in order to vet them for the VP spot on the Republican ticket, Romney laughed and refused to answer the question.

While either Pawlenty or Portman (or both) will likely be given a prime speaking slot at the convention to be held later this month, there remains a sliver of a chance that Preibus, Romney, and GOP, Inc. will give the retiring Ron Paul — an indisputable icon and consistent constitutional standard bearer — a spotlight at the convention.

Regardless of their decision, Ron Paul counts as many as 500 delegates (including many bound to Romney) among those who will be called on to nominate the Republican challenger to Barack Obama. Many of these Paul devotees will be hard-pressed to vote for Mitt Romney if he behaves disdainfully toward the man they still look to for political salvation of our Republic and the principle of liberty upon which it was founded.

Photo of Sen. Rand Paul: AP Images

3 comments

  • Comment Link Gordon Freeman Wednesday, 08 August 2012 10:27 posted by Gordon Freeman

    I disagree wholly with the "Blame the FED", if you actually study monetary history there were booms and bust before 1913 and during Calvin Coolidge the federal reserve did great thanks to the president competence and intellectual comprehension of economics.

    The problem is the congress, presidentship and yes even most of the american people want the Federal government to pay for special interest groups and try to artificually create 100% employment which the government is incapable of doing (without toying with statistics ofcourse)

    I know there is allot of conspiracy theories regarding the creature from jekyll island, but a central bank is not a bad institution if its sole purpose is price stability and a predictable inflation rate set either every 10 years or at i.e 2,5% a year which cant be altered even by politicians or bureaucrats.

  • Comment Link Madeleine Tuesday, 07 August 2012 21:35 posted by Madeleine

    I don't like being forced ot choose between Romney and Obama, that , to me, is no choice and I can't remember the last time we had a good choice. Mitt is a huge investor in Monsanto, that does it for me right there, and if you saw his list of advisors, they were all CFR members, the CFR is what has caused all our problems to begin with, they run the Government , the pentgon and the Supreme court, you can see how well they are all doing, this should finish us off. Henry Kissinger was also on his list of advisors. I don't think I want ot vote for him. If the Democratic party were smart, they would have put someone up there that could have managed to please both sides but with people like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Ried up there , there is never going to be a hope of me voting for the Democratic party, not ever.
    .

  • Comment Link not your business to publish Tuesday, 07 August 2012 18:48 posted by not your business to publish

    I am supporting Mitt Romney. However, I was also previously in support of Dr. Ron Paul and about 95% of what he stands for.

    Dr. Paul did very well amongst many Republican voters and it was clear from the beginning that we all knew the RNC and standard ole Republicans would never allow him to get too far. I think and always will, that Dr. Paul has many good ideas for the Republican Party and the fact they are not giving him "speak time" also shows that they still have Fear of what he believes in and has to say. He does not waiver in what he believes in yet knows majority of the Rep.Party will consider very little of what he has.

    Dr. Ron Paul should be given speak time at the Convention, even if you disagree with some of what he has to say. AUDIT THE FED is a real big accompllishment. The peoples of America is getting much more fearful and cautious about Governments desire to stay in constant attacks and wars and spending. Noone wants to Hear that huh?

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