Monday, May 12, 2008

Paul Plots Revolt

The antipathy that much of the Republican Party holds toward John McCain has been well-documented. Today, a story in the Los Angeles Times highlights that antipathy, and also contains a possible threat to McCain's smooth nomination at the convention in September.

According to the LA Times, Ron Paul's forces are trying to organize a public revolt against McCain at the convention. The main goal, at least according to the Times, is to influence the party's platform and get Paul a high-profile speaking slot. The Times writes,
In the last three months, Paul's forces, who donated $34.5 million to his White House effort and upward of a million total votes, have, as The Ticket has noted, been fighting a series of guerrilla battles with party establishment officials at county and state conventions from Washington and Missouri to Maine and Mississippi.Their goal: to take control of local committees, boost their delegate totals and influence platform debates.

Paul, for instance, favors a drastically reduced federal goNobody told these supporters of Texas Rep. and Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul that the French can't vote in American electionsvernment, abolishing the Federal Reserve, ending the Iraq war immediately and withdrawing U.S. troops from abroad.

They hope to demonstrate their disagreements with McCain vocally at the convention through platform fights and an attempt to get Paul a prominent speaking slot. Paul, who's running unopposed in his home Texas district for an 11th House term, still has some $5 million in war funds and has instructed his followers that their struggle is not about a single election, but a long-term revolution for control of the Republican Party.

I am not sure how seriously to take this story. On the one hand, it is certainly true that the rank-and-file of the Republican Party, including myself, have some serious disagreements with Senator McCain on a number of issues. Speaking only for myself, I take issue with the Senator's approach to border security and his ideas about the proper treatment of enemy aliens. However, I also am well aware that the mainstream media, despite their preference for Senator McCain during the primary season, will do their best to enhance his opponent during the general campaign. This story may be a simple test to see if they can spread disarray in the Republican Party to match that on display in the Democratic Party.

While I do believe that Senator McCain needs to do more work to convince conservatives that he can respect their wishes, it is patently obvious that neither of the Democrats will do a better job in that area. Thus if conservatives wish to throw the election to either Senator Clinton or Senator Obama, then by all means they should try to undermine the Republican Party. However, they need to ask themselves if they would be better served by a Democrat in the White House. For myself, the answer is a definite no.

Ultimately, I believe that conservatives should (and probably will) support Senator McCain, considering his opponents in November. So this story to me is most likely an early attempt by the MSM to stir up controversy and discord in the conservative ranks.

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