(Post drafted Aug. 30th just now published..)
“Ron Paul supporters wanted some victories in their efforts to get represented at the convention. That’s why they wanted the original Paul-dominated Maine delegation to be seated, not the last-minute substitute chosen by the Republican National Committee. A hoped-for floor vote to reinstate the Ron Paul delegation wasn’t even allowed to be held, leading the original delegation to leave the floor in protest.
Several times on the convention floor Tuesday, Paulites united with Tea Party members and old-school conservatives to fight rule changes that were seen as inimical to the interest of all grassroots activists, no matter their particular stances. One controversial change out of the Rules Committee would bind state delegations to the results of straw polls or primaries, leaving no room for maneuvering at state conventions.
Independent of ideology, this would mean this would mean an end to any future upstart doing what Paul did this year: using the savvy and enthusiasm of his supporters to rack up more delegates at state conventions than they won in straw polls or primaries.
FreedomWorks, which works closely with Tea Party groups, was spreading the word about truculent Rules Committee members bounced in favor of Romney loyalists during the fight, and others reported points of order being ignored as challenges to the controversial rule changes were heard on the floor….
Another rule hated by Paulites and Tea Partyers alike — one that allows the RNC to change its rules by a two-thirds vote between conventions — also passed.
Although even non-Paul-controlled delegations such as Texas’ were against the rule changes, they still lost. This show of power on the part of the RNC over the grassroots is leading some delegates to consider rebellion an appropriate option.
Morton Blackwell, the head of the conservative training group the Leadership institute, was Barry Goldwater’s youngest delegate in 1964. He’s been present at every rules committee meeting for the past 40 years, and he thinks the new rules are “the most awful I’ve ever seen come before any National Convention….a power grab by Washington, D.C. party insiders and consultants designed to silence the voice of state party activists and Republican grassroots.”