Coming to a State Convention near you?
The Ron Paul people showed up for the neighborhood precinct meetings on January 19th. For that reason, Ron Paul came in second to Mitt Romney, and bested eventual GOP presidential nominee John McCain. Many of those folks were elected to attend their county conventions, who were then elected to attend this weekend’s state convention, all in the hope of being elected to attend the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis later this summer.
That’s how the process works. The Ron Paul people followed the rules and did exactly what you’re supposed to do. Bully for them.
What most folks don’t fully understand is that a party convention has the power to do pretty much anything it wants regardless of what party leaders want, or even its Central Committee. If enough people with an agenda go through the months-long process, get and stay organized, and show up at the state convention, they can, literally, take over the party. The Ron Paul folks effectively did that yesterday.
“(The Ron Paul) contingent came to the state convention prepared for battle,” writes Reno Gazette-Journal reporter Anjeanette Damon this morning. “They had a row of printers to print ballots for their supporters to the national convention. They set up a communications network using text messages to cell phones to make sure everyone voted correctly on motions that would benefit their effort. And they scoured the rules for opportunities to level the playing field.”
Folks, that’s an impressive use of grassroots guerilla organizing tactics making the most of modern technology. Whether you’re a Ron Paul fan or not, you can’t help but give those folks a hat tip from a purely tactical standpoint.
“The general who wins a battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought,” advises the great Chinese military genius Sun Tzu. “The general who loses a battle makes but few calculations beforehand.”
It appears the Ron Paul army made a lot of calculations and the GOP establishment few. As one convention delegate wrote to me, “The Republican leaders screwed up. They should have been better prepared. They have no radar for the base and for those who were coming.”
Hmm, better organized, better motivated, and a better use of technology....hmmmm.