Wednesday, January 4, 2012

GOP Establishment Needs to Wake Up and Smell the Coffee: Libertarian Republicans are an Important Part of the GOP Coalition

Texas Congressman Ron Paul did not prevail in Iowa, finishing third with 21% of the vote.  But the significance of his performance cannot be overstated.  Paul four years ago received less than 10% of the caucus vote with a raw vote total of 11,841.  Paul won just one county.
Ron Paul

Fast forward to 2012.  Paul finishes third in the Iowa Caucus with 21% of the vote.  Paul's 26,219 caucus vote total is a 121% increase from 2008.   Meanwhile Iowa winner Mitt Romney's vote total declined by 6 votes from 2008 to 2012 despite a weak field and a (slightly) higher turnout than 2008.  Romney won only 17 of Iowa's 99 counties.  Paul won 18.

On Facebook, some Ron Paul supporters have linked to an audio (see below) clip of Republican operative Dee Dee Benkie, who hails from Indiana, talking about concerns the Iowa Republican establishment had about a Ron Paul victory.  While the clip does not suggest fraud was involved to keep Paul from winning- as some people inaccurately suggest - Benkie's observations reveal a GOP establishment that clearly does not understand the significance of the growing Ron Paul-led libertarian wing of the GOP both in terms of sheer numbers and youthful energy.

Yes, the GOP Establishment does not get it.  Ron Paul's appeal is not as some sort of cultish figure.   Rather he represents the ideas of millions of Republican-leaning voters, people who believe in personal and economic freedom and who want to see our interventionist foreign policy scaled back.  Does Ron Paul go too far in some of the polices he advocates?  Absolutely.  But Ron Paul would, and is, taking the GOP in a direction that a lot of Republicans want to go.  The GOP establishment would be wise to wake up and smell the coffee Ron Paul is brewing.


Blog Admin said...

I wonder if the caucuses really did have a hire turnout.

If you take out the Independents and the (small) Democrats who party-switched, then the caucus had LESS people.

And of course, independents went heavily for Paul.

In a year where the GOP is absolutely ready to take on Obama, they have a caucus that only has marginally better turnout, and it's mostyl due to independents?

That's odd.

Bill said...

I really like the caucuses set up.Very cool.

Paul K. Ogden said...

From looking at the numbers it looked like they were about 3,000 more votes than in 2012. 2008 was an open seat so there should have been plenty of enthusiasm then.

I agree though, the Paul independents pumped the numbers up last night.

M Theory said...

The idea of the caucus is very cool. People who are for a particular candidate are supposed to be able to speak to the undecideds before a vote is cast.

Because a caucus is small, the final tallies are read aloud before they are recorded.

However, that's not always what was witnessed by a large group of Ron Paul activists I joined to cover south eastern Iowa.

In one precinct, one of our activist was not allowed to speak for Ron Paul, distribute literature, or talk to citizens about Ron Paul. In her precinct, in fact, no one was allowed to speak for Ron Paul.

In my precinct, we believe that the town's precinct chair was instructed by operatives to not allow more than one person to speak for Ron Paul.

I was told that there are "cocktail party" operatives who are paid by the Romney campaign. They don't really care whether Romney wins or loses, they just want him in the game so that they continue to get paid and get invites to parties they like to attend.

At any rate, no other candidate can touch the volunteer self-directed activism of Ron Paul's supporters.

We had one activist join us who drove from New Mexico, for example. Everyone paid their own way to get there and paid for their hotel. There were about 60 of us covering a small handful of counties.

It was painfully obvious that there was a republican machine at work in Iowa. And that the machine was working for the Establishment.

As far as Santorum, while I don't agree with him, he did EARN Iowa because he worked very hard there.

I got SPAMMED today by Santorum's campaign. I've never signed up for anything for him, so I'm wondering who sold my email to him against my consent? The answer is the machine did. The same machine that does nothing to help Ron Paul.

Contrast this with car load after car load of bright, articulate young adults who travelled on their own dime to Iowa to campaign for the oldest candidate.

No one was inspired to do that for Romney. The only way he get help is to buy it.