Drowning out shouting Ron Paul supporters is not an easy thing to do. Republican delegates voting for Mitt Romney found this out Tuesday as Paul’s contingent chanted “Point of Order” and “Let Him Speak” as they witnessed the rewriting of the GOP rules, clearing the way for the unchallenged coronation of the now-official Republican nominee for president — Mitt Romney.
The RNC’s rule change effectively disenfranchised Republicans supporting anyone other than the Establishment’s man and left 10 of Maine’s 24 delegates locked out of the process, preventing them from casting votes for Ron Paul.
Railroaded and rejected, the unseated Maine delegates walked out of the Tampa Bay Times Forum, leaving the convention in the hands of the predetermined winner and his proxies.
“It’s a disgusting, disgusting display of a hostile takeover from the top down,” said Maine delegate Ashley Ryan, according to an article in the Los Angeles Times. “It’s an embarrassment,” she’s quoted as saying.
Maine wasn’t alone in expressing its displeasure and disgust at the RNC’s pro-Romney rule manipulation.
Wayne Terhune, chairman of the Nevada delegation, reported that his state joined at least four others in submitting to the secretary of the convention, Kim Reynolds, valid and timely documents nominating Ron Paul.
“We are excited to get Dr. Paul nominated,” Terhune said. “Congressman Paul’s message of limited, Constitutional government, sound foreign policy, and personal liberty needs to be heard on this convention floor.”
Minnesota delegate Gary Heyer confirmed to the Los Angeles Times that his state joined Nevada, Minnesota, Iowa, Oregon, Alaska, and the Virgin Islands in submitting the forms to Reynolds.
Gary Heyer, a delegate from Minnesota, confirmed that his state was among those submitting papers showing a majority of delegates favoring Paul. Their goal, he said, is simply “to get him into nomination, so everybody here has a choice. If they vote for Romney and he's democratically elected, then he's democratically elected. We just want a choice.”
Disregarding the nominating rule and the Ron Paul delegates’ adherence thereto, when the roll call was read only the votes for Mitt Romney were announced. The nomination of Ron Paul was ignored in open and hostile violation of the RNC’s rules governing the presidential nomination process. No explanation. No chance for appeal. No recourse.
According to RNC Rule 40(b) in effect until Tuesday’s revisions:
Each candidate for nomination for President of the United States and Vice President of the United States shall demonstrate the support of a plurality of the delegates from each of five (5) or more states, severally, prior to the presentation of the name of that candidate for nomination.
Ron Paul unquestionably qualified for nomination under this rule, but he was denied placement on the ballot — and an opportunity to address the convention on behalf of his nomination — in what amounts to a total takeover of the Republican Party by the RNC and Mitt Romney.
Additional rule changes all but guaranteed that in the future the RNC will not allow itself to be embarrassed by “grassroots” candidates.
Not only did the RNC rob Ron Paul of delegates he won fairly at the Maine state convention, it prevented any who follow in his footsteps from winning any delegates in the first place.
According to the revised Rule 16, every state must amend its nominating process to ensure that their delegations are bound to vote in accordance with the winner of the popular vote as cast at state caucuses or primaries.
Another newly adopted rule — Rule 12 — empowers the RNC to bend the rules to suit their needs at any time without having changes approved at the quadrennial convention. This unprecedented revision places the control of the GOP in the hands of the Establishment candidate without suffering the inconvenience of listening to dissenting voices.
Prior to the roll call that would formally confirm the nomination of Mitt Romney for president, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus announced the results of the voice vote on the accepting of state delegation credentials as Paul supporters chanted “Seat them now! Seat them now!”
A Reason magazine blog reports that “boos rained down on the floor,” but the wheels were in motion and nothing would slow their roll toward Romney’s nomination.
Having successfully rammed the unseating of the Maine delegation down the throats of party members, House Speaker John Boehner than called for a voice vote on the revised RNC rules that will govern the party’s nomination process in 2016.
Despite what many report as an equal volume of “ayes” and “nays,” the parliamentarian announced the acceptance of the rules. Fait accompli.
Dailypaul.com reported that the final delegate vote count was 2,061 for Mitt Romney; 190 for Ron Paul; nine for Rick Santorum; one for Buddy Roehmer; one for Jon Hunstman; one for Michele Bachmann; and 18 abstentions.
At least one delegate from each of the following states voted for Ron Paul: Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. The Virgin Islands cast one vote for Dr. Paul, as well.
Although the events at the Republican convention were reminiscent of the electoral practices of the Soviet Union, circa 1980, where premiers were routinely re-elected by 99.9 percent of voters, Ron Paul told Fox New’s Neil Cavuto that “we knew what to expect.”
At his “We are the Future” rally held at the Sun Dome on Sunday, Paul expressed the same opinion of the party’s predetermined presidential nomination.
“They’ve learned how to bend rules, break rules, and now they want to re-write the rules!” the icon of the liberty movement told the nearly 10,000 devotees gathered to hear him speak.
Finally, regarding the Romney-Ryan nomination, Ron Paul reaffirmed that he has “not endorsed the ticket,” adding “I endorse the principles I’ve been talking about for a long time.”
Sadly, in the wake of the RNC’s disregard and dismantling of party rules and disenfranchising of duly elected delegates, there seems to be little room in the Republican Party for Dr. Paul, his principles, or the millions of Americans who cherish them.
Photo: AP Images