Michael Graham's column in today's Boston Herald about the Massachusetts Republican Party's ousting of 17 Ron Paul delegates* to the RNC in Tampa delivers a strong scolding and dose of reality to the party's leadership.
When Romney’s preferred delegates lost, the campaign asked the state party to dump the winners. One problem — the winners actually won.
So the state GOP changed the rules after the voting, adding new paperwork and artificial deadlines. They even pulled an “Al Gore” and refused to count provisional ballots — a direct violation of the party’s rules.
As a result, Kenney and 16 other delegates/alternates who ran — and won — as Ron Paul libertarians had their seats stolen from them
Cheating, breaking their own rules, screwing over Republicans — isn’t that what Democrats are for?
Graham, unable to resist a dig at those crazy libertarians with their low taxes, personal freedom, and limited government, adds more, while pouring it on the MassGOP:
Yes, the Ron Paul activists come to the political process with more than their fair share of kookery and oddball ideas. But think about the passion and energy it took these 17 people — mostly political amateurs — to learn the arcane party rules, get organized, and win their votes. These are people whose flavor of Republicanism — small government, fiscally responsible, indifferent on social issues — is a natural fit in New England. ...
But if Bay State Republicans want a state GOP to even exist 20 years from now, they need Evan Kenney a lot more than Mitt Romney.
The Mass. GOP has been on life support for the better part of a decade, Scott Brown's win excluded. Why the party would want to push away, mostly young, new faces that could run for local offices and work on campaigns down the road is easy to understand when that party appears more concerned with electing its former head as president and maintaining its only statewide officeholder than it is with its long-term survival. If you're a libertarian you'll have an understandably hard time throwing your support behind Romney or Brown but if Joe "Libertarian" Sullivan is running on the GOP line down ballot for state representative, that might make it slightly more tolerable.
Though their desire to alienate libertarians in the name of helping Romney backers makes some sense as libertarians are not loyal to Team Red or Team Blue. Libertarians do not have a natural political party unless you count the Libertarian Party, but that's a complex issue in the libertarian movement that I can't really address in a blog post. Right now more libertarian activists are drawn to the Republican Party because of Ron Paul and others like him in positions of power. This is only the third election cycle since the, largely Paul fueled, surge in American libertarian activism; this is still a relatively young movement. If Ron Paul were a Democrat I am sure the same thing would be happening on that side.
*The Ron Paul delegates can't actually vote for Paul as they are bound by party rules to vote for Mitt Romney.
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