Ron Paul has retired. The iconic leader of the libertarian wing of the Republican Party will no longer be around to oppose unconstitutional bills proposed by his former colleagues.
In fairness, Paul has not officially confirmed his plans for 2016, but there is little chance that the good doctor will make another run for the White House.
This has prompted many among his millions of admirers to begin the search to replace their hero.
In February of this year, Reason magazine ran an article under the headline “Who Will Be the Next Ron Paul?” Mike Riggs, associate editor of Reason, highlighted three members of Congress who he saw as potential torchbearers: Justin Amash of Michigan, John Duncan of Tennessee, and Jared Polis of Colorado.
Earlier this week, another potential presidential candidate in the Ron Paul mold was put forward by a faction within the Paul coalition.
Next week, Revolution PAC will reportedly announce the formation of a committee to draft Judge Andrew Napolitano (pictured) to run as a Republican in 2016 for president.
Notably, Ron Paul once named Napolitano as the man he would choose as a running mate.
According to a story published by Forbes, as well as an announcement on their own website, the Revolution PAC committee will initiate its Draft-the-Judge Campaign by circulating nationwide a petition to gather signatures to demonstrate the level of grassroots support within the liberty movement to put His Honor at the top of the ticket.
The author of the Forbes piece, Lawrence Hunter, explains the impetus behind the drive to recruit Napolitano:
There is no other person in the country as respected and popular within the Liberty Movement as Andrew Napolitano, a former jurist, constitutional scholar, New York Times best-selling author and TV celebrity. There is no other person in the Movement with the gravitas and name recognition outside the Movement that Napolitano possesses or who is as capable of reaching outside the confines of the Movement to inspire and capture the hearts and minds of Americans from every corner of life. There is no other person in or out of the Liberty Movement more articulate than Napolitano to carry forward the campaign for liberty with a revolutionary spirit as Ron Paul admonishes.
Despite these qualifications, Hunter admits that Napolitano has neither encouraged nor accepted such an offer. In fact, when asked by Robert Wenzel of the Economic Policy Journal whether he would consider running for president, Judge Napolitano said, “Probably not.”
Will that demur dissuade Revolution PAC from carrying out their plan to unite activists behind Napolitano? Probably not.
Hunter writes, "Judge Napolitano initially may ignore the Liberty Movement’s call to run, and the Movement will say, “Run Judge, run.” He may say “No,” and the Movement will say, “Yes Judge, run.” He may resist again, and the people will say, “Read our lips Judge, run; no other candidate will do.”
What Hunter’s article and the Revolution PAC proposal do not take into account, however, is that the GOP has made it all but impossible for any candidate with a libertarian or independent-minded streak to receive that party’s nomination for president.
Have Ron Paul supporters so quickly forgotten the perfidy of party leaders in Tampa at the 2012 National Republican Convention? Perhaps a reminder is in order.
At the meeting in Tampa in August, the affronts to the Paul campaign specifically and to the electoral process in general were many.
First, the RNC denied credential to 10 Ron Paul delegates from Maine, robbing Paul of a majority of that state’s delegation. One disgusted Maine delegate described this decision as a “huge slap in the face.”
Next, as the Convention Rules Committee met August 28, the Romney campaign lawyer, Ben Ginsberg, showed up and pressured members to accept radical changes to the party’s rules governing the binding of delegates and the way rules are to be revised in the future.
According to the revised Rule 15 (to be renumbered as Rule 16 in the new rule book) as proposed by Ginsberg, 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.
Ginsberg’s version of Rule 12 empowers the RNC to bend its own rules to suit their needs at any time without submitting the changes to party members gathered 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. In the future the nomination of an incumbent Republican president is guaranteed, and upon leaving office, he will be able to name his chosen successor through manipulation of the party rules.
Curiously, the driver of a bus carrying the delegate holding the official objections to the proposed rule changes circled the venue refusing to stop, causing that delegate to arrive too late to file the objections. Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) then proceeded to call for a vote on Ginsberg’s rewrite of the Republican rulebook.
Standing at the podium and reading from a teleprompter, Boehner instructed those in favor of the rules to say “aye” and those opposed to say “nay.”
Video of the vote clearly demonstrates that those against the adoption of the Romney-friendly rules numbered at least as many as those in favor. In light of the closeness of the voice vote, Boehner should have called for a roll call vote rather than a voice vote. But in another example of unexplained deviation from applicable Republican Party protocol, Boehner ignored the dissenting votes, declaring, “The ayes have it.”
More shocking than the speaker’s ignoring of the dissenting votes is the revelations that came through cellphone video posted to the Internet only minutes after this “vote.”
These videos record the script scrolling on Boehner’s teleprompter and reveal that the adoption of the rules was scripted and that the new rules weren’t voted on at all. Regardless of how long before Boehner's appearance the script was written and entered into the teleprompter, the undeniable fact is that the outcome of the vote was decided in advance by whoever had that text typed into the teleprompter.
Put simply, the passage of a radical new rulebook rewritten by a lawyer from the Romney campaign was predetermined and the voice vote taken at the convention was a sham, sound and fury signifying nothing.
With that bit of shameful recent history in mind, how does Revolution PAC propose to get Napolitano’s name on the ticket, assuming he accepted their invitation to run and was able to get his name on the ballot in all 50 states?
It is unlikely, but when reading Hunter’s praise for Judge Napolitano, it is easy to overlook the GOP establishment’s animosity toward libertarians. Hunter says:
The best thing about Judge Andrew Napolitano as a candidate for president is that he, like Ron Paul, will always tell the truth, no matter what, so help him God. No obfuscation, no weasel words, no mumbo jumbo and gobbledygook, no pandering to the Establishment — just the truth, the plain truth and nothing but the truth.
Unfortunately, the plain truth and nothing but the truth is that the fix is in. The small but powerful monied cabal that runs the Republican (and Democratic, for that matter) Party will never allow a man they cannot control to be their party’s nominee for president. They railroaded Ron Paul, and they would do likewise to Andrew Napolitano.