Power And Politics

Much is being made of Ron Paul’s failed effort to infiltrate the Republican Convention by trying to insert their preferred delegate candidates. Using Roberts Rules of Order and acting out, Paulites seek to maneuver around perceived election results and local establishments to gain delegates — ala Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

They failed. Local Republican establishments will resort to almost any means to run roughshod over Paulites. Chaos, arrests and the like notwithstanding.

It turned into a little food fight within the caucus, between the caucus chairman trying to control the caucus and certain elements, I guess with Ron Paul, trying to be heard.

So why do it? Merely stunt politics? Especially when the Paul campaign candidly talked about its delegates strategy? More than a few note Paul’s candidacies resemble an Artistic Installation. Designed to mainstream his libertarian memes for the son’s future.

Arguably, de-legitimizing process and institutions in 2012 furthers that goal. Except Movement-controlled Republican consensus rarely acknowledges process-generated legitimacy except as rationalization. (See generally, Movement reaction to First Obama Administration).

In an age of demotic theater, who played pantomime to their constituencies the best? We’d call it a draw so far.

Granted there’s surely a certain Quixotic, mischievous glint in Paul’s eye, poking the elephant with Roberts Rules of Order. Still, it’s getting late in this excruciating political season. At some point meta-political theater becomes so recursive it folds into itself like a black hole.

One increasingly dreads October.


  1. Sam Lowry says

    One could make a semi-fun game out of “Was this written in The Onion or a mainstream media publication?” So many gems in this one, including the title.

    “The media takes government interference with its work product very seriously,” Lucy Dalglish, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee at a hearing today in Washington. – Bloomberg: Media Protest U.S. Government Economic Data Restrictions

  2. sglover says

    Shame shame shame, Dr!! I’m no Paulite, and I’m not following his campaign in any depth. (Or anyone’s — I’m sitting this one out.) Libertarians and libertarianism have always seemed like some kind of high school talent show to me.

    But — Ron Paul is discussing things that none of the other empty suits will even **mention**. Can you imagine Hope’n’Change speaking candidly about the empire, the War on (Some) Drugs, the growing surveillance state? I’ll put up with delegate games, hell, I’ll even put up with weird yammerings about gold and the Federal Reserve, if those other poisons get some airing. Because you know as well as I do that NONE of the tapeworms slurping in the Beltway intestines is going to speak about these things as directly as Ron Paul has. And more than anything else it’s that obtuse silence that makes America resemble the late USSR more and more.

    Further, I don’t understand how you can lay the declining legitimacy of the political system at Paul’s feet. That process has been going strong since Reagan, and no White House tenant has lifted a finger to reverse it. (The best you can say about any of them is that they probably bought into the “End of History” horseshit.) Of course, it’s accelerated since Bush the Lesser, goosed along by conscious choices made by Bush **and** Obama.

    I expect that Hope’n’Change will win this circus. It’s his to lose, as once again he’s blessed by his enemies. (Is there any “leader” in American history who’s had more luck that way? Maybe FDR — but then FDR actually went on to accomplish things.) I think a whole lot of people are going to follow my plan and sit the fraud out. And it’s not because of indifference or sloth: “Abstain” is a legitimate vote, and it is fully warranted. So I’ll bet you that in the end Obama’s “mandate” will consist of maybe, generously, a fifth of the adult population. **That** is the measure of a system shedding its legitimacy, and it’s got nothing to do with Ron Paul’s public service announcements.

    • Dr Leo Strauss says

      Touche. Your comments fill out limits in the post. Like you, have not been following the campaign’s tactical details. Agree Paul is inconvenient to the decayed political order, candidates and complicit American people alike. PSAs indeed.

      The post’s premise (if unspoken) is a political insurgency can’t rely on external procedural norms ala Roberts Rules of Order for an inside baseball coup de main. Especially at the local level. Ambient ideological environment almost always trumps process.

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