Whatta weekend. It was a new experience for Mrs. Crucis and me. This was the first time we’ve been delegates to the MO district and state caucuses. We were whooped when it was finally over but we’d do it again.
For those of you non-Missouri readers, the GOP delegates to the National Convention are chosen via a three-part caucus system. The first caucus was held in March at the county level. That caucus chose delegates to District caucuses in April. By District, I mean one regional caucus per congressional district. We attended the 4th District Caucus in Sedalia, MO. The same delegates to the District caucuses were also delegates to the State Caucus/Convention on June 2nd in Springfield.
Half of the national delegates were chosen during the District caucuses, the other half were chosen at the State caucus. Each district caucus chose one Elector in April, the remainder where chosen at the State convention as well as two Committeemen, one man and one woman, to the National GOP Committee.
To cut the story short, the State Convention seemed to mirror our District Caucus. A significant number of Santorum delegates failed to appear. Their seats were given to Alternate delegates. Many of those, like those from our county, were Ron Paul supporters.
It appears that some of those Santorum supporters who did attend the State Convention had negotiated some deals—so they thought. Now that I’ve had an opportunity to review some of those reports, it appears some Santorum delegates tried to play the Romney (establishment?) faction against the Ron Paul faction. Some Santorum delegates claim they were promised half of the the Unity delegate slots. Their claim was that since Santorum won the “Primary” earlier this year…the one that served no purpose since it was contrary to the RNC rules, that Santorum should receive half of the state delegates to the national convention. At the same time, a number of Santorum delegates negotiated a similar deal with the Ron Paul faction.
I can’t verify any of these claims. If they were true, however, why did so many Santorum delegates fail to appear? Few Santorum delegates from our county made the trip to Springfield. The Cass County attendees to Springfield appeared to be the same ones who attended the Sedalia Caucus. Our county, when all the delegates were seated, contained about the same number of Paul supporters as were seated in Sedalia. Every Cass County Alternate was seated as a full delegate in Springfield, so I was told.
In the end, the Unity/Establishment slated contained six Santorum delegates, the remainder were pledged to Romney. The Ron Paul/”Grassroots” slate contained nine Santorum delegates with the remainder pledged to Ron Paul. When the vote was taken—a standing vote, the Unity slate won by about 300 votes. There were sixty abstentions (why?). The other items to be voted on went the same way. The Paul faction coming up short on votes for their agenda.
This convention had some issues, but not with the voting. As delegates we were seated by district, the 4th for us, and within the district by county. We had to stand and be individually counted. As we were counted, we sat down so the row behind us could be counted.
The controversy was the credentialing process. According to the agenda, credentialing started at 6:30am through 9:00am when the Convention was scheduled to start. My wife and I were credentialed around 7:15am. The lines were beginning to grow. Each district were allocated a number of booths. The booths were further broken down by alphabet. We went to the 4th District area, to the A-C for Cass County delegates and then to the M-Z line. For us the line was empty. The A-L line next to us was thirty yards long.
Credentialing took a long time. Come 9:00am, the lines were still long. The start of the Convention was delayed nearly two hours to allow everyone in line to be credentialed.
Credentialing lines weren’t the only issue. Three entire county contingents were “contested” as well as some individuals. The Paul faction had filed a complaint against Cass County and several others. Those complaints were heard before a hearing in early April and dismissed. That was the District caucus however. This was the State Convention and we had to go through the entire process again.
There was a section of seats set aside for “contested” delegates. We called it Limbo. Most of the delegates had no idea why they were contested. Conspiracy theories were rampant. Some bordering on paranoia! A woman sitting next to my wife, a Paul supporter, was convinced it was all a government scheme to disrupt the convention. Another Paul supporter in the row in front of me was convinced it was the state establishment out to purge the Paul supporters from the delegate lists.
We, the Cass County folks were told finally what was happening. We were assured it was just a procedural process and that we would be seated after the Credentialing Committee issued their report and recommendations. That is exactly what eventually happened. However, not a single Paul supporter sitting within earshot of me accepted that explanation.
There were around 150 contested delegates. When the Credentialing Committee finally announced their findings, only four delegates were rejected. two were rejected because they were delegates from one District while living in another district. If I remember correctly, these two were from Jackson County. Another delegate was disqualified for being too young, under 18. The fourth delegate was rejected because he was an outspoken Libertarian and had run for office on the Libertarian ticket. He failed to meet the “true and faithful Republican” requirement for delegate. The Committee then recommended that all other contested delegates be seated. The Committee report and the recommendations were accepted by a voice vote.
It was clear that the Paul faction intended to seize control of the convention like they had done in several county caucuses. Unfortunately for them, they didn’t have the votes. They submitted candidates for the Permanent Chairman, and every other position, issue, and slate that required a vote. When entire county contingents voted enbloc, it’s easy to see where the Paul faction was seated. On every item, the Paul faction fell short by around 300 votes.
Listening to the comments of the Paul supporters around me, they were not happy. It was democracy in action and they didn’t like it. It’s amazing to me that Paul supporters claim to be the true representatives of conservatism. If that was true, why can’t they win a majority of votes? It appears their allegiance to democracy is true only as long as they win. When they don’t…well, people are stupid and need to be lead by their betters. Sounds just like democrats to me.
Another attendee wrote in a post on Facebook about the number of younger delegates. In his opinion the demographics of the delegates, the youth of many of those members, bode well for the future of the GOP. That was a concern for me as well.
The GOP appears to be aging. We need younger members who will work to support conservatism and maintain momentum in November and the years in the future. The GOP must grow and expand not only in members but in the newer grassroots organizations of the Tea Party and the Ron Paul supporters. I am NOT a Ron Paul supporter. I think he would be as bad for this country’s survival as Obama. Now is not the time to be a turtle or an ostrich when the world is filled with predators. Paul’s foreign policy statements, if he were President, would endanger our survival. On the other hand, I like much of his domestic policies.
Ron Paul will be 77 years old in August. This election is his last hurrah. He appears to be trying to broker some deal at the national convention. I don’t know what his followers will do in the future. Some are expected to follow Rand Paul. Others want to create a third party. If the establishment, those in Washington whose primary interest is maintaining their personal positions and power aren’t removed, a third party may be the only answer.
I hope not.
A third-party will place the democrats back in power. We have only a limited amount of time to repeal and repair the damage done by the democrats. They will not stop nor disband if they lose in the Fall. No, they will be back in four years trying once again to seize the government and force us back on the road to crony-capitalism and socialism. The GOP has one term to prove they really are conservative. If they fail, they’ll be recorded in history as just another extinct party like the Whigs.
But that failure won’t matter. If the GOP fails to curtail the democrats, abolish or curtail the power of the EPA and all the other “letter” agencies created since LBJ, this will no longer be a constitutional republic but just another centralized dictatorship run by a single party. The United States as envisioned by the Founders will be dead.