the only way that the GOP will ever listen to the many, many Americans who are fiscally conservative and socially liberal is if those people stop reflexively voting for the GOP simply because the Democrats are marginally worse on some (but not all) key issues.
The GOP knows that evangelicals will sit home rather than vote for a candidate not to their liking; they know that they have to earn the vote of the religious right. As a result, the GOP has become increasingly unprincipled and compromising on every issue -- except its (utterly wrong) opposition to abortion and gay marriage.
In contrast, GOP politicians know that fiscally conservative and socially liberal voters will hold their nose and vote GOP just this once... and then again... and again... and again. Hence, GOP politicians don't even need to pander to those voters while campaigning, let alone actually satisfy them once in office.
Ron Paul’s a lousy candidate, for all sorts of reasons. But the support he enjoys is authentic, grass-roots support. He’s not a slick machine politician, and his supporters aren’t professional politicos. They’re mainstream Americans who generally believe in less government and more liberty (and wrongly think Paul stands for these things). And when voters chose delegates for the Republican convention, many of them—many of your fellow citizens, many of your fellow Republicans—asked their delegates to vote for Ron Paul.
Even more amazing is that the party has now chosen not even to announce the number of votes that Paul receives from delegations that are divided. Even though ABO has plenty of votes anyway, the elite have decided that they want it to look unanimous.
The Ron Paul delegates have been treated like the enemy, and their constituents disenfranchised. They went into this contest knowing it would be unfair, but they kept their principles. That’s more than can be said by the Anyone But Romney Obama* supporters. I oppose their candidate—but I support their right to speak within the rules everyone agreed on, and I cannot support a party that thinks that right less important than maintaining the illusion that ABO enjoys unanimous support. The Republican Party should be ashamed of itself—as ashamed as they think Democrats should be of their leadership. But the Paul delegation should be proud to be thrown out of the swamp in Tampa.
The Paul campaign was in the right. They did their homework, they got their people to the state conventions, and they knew procedure and had Robert’s Rules of Order down pat. And if politics were about who was the most able, the smartest, and the most clever, the Ron Paul campaign would have gotten their just deserts and had many more delegates than what they will end up with.
If nothing else, Paul has done us all a great service by revealing the blindfolded partisanship, the My-Party-Right-or-Wrong attitude of the Romney campaign for what it is: rotten, unprincipled, pragmatic power-lust to its very core. Is it possible for me to root for Paul's supporters while opposing their candidate? Cause that's what I'm doing. And good for Paul for refusing to endorse him, too.
This is my personal blog. The opinions expressed here are my own, and in no way represent those of the staff, management, or clients of the Pacific Legal Foundation, the Cato Institute, or the McGeorge School of Law.