Thursday, May 17, 2012

Repug Cheating To Favor The Mittbot Could Mean A Wild Convention

It's Romney's to Lose: Here's How He Does It

"Many of Ron Paul's supporters are currently abuzz with a letter that was written by Jennifer Sheehan, the RNC's legal council in 2008, which appears to state that no state delegate to the GOP convention is bound by his state to vote for a particular candidate. The excitement derives from the fact that if it were true, an outright Romney victory in the first round of voting at the convention in Tampa would be rather unlikely. But if it is not true -- and I am sure the GOP will change rules if necessary to make it untrue -- there may be just as much excitement to be had in the possibility of something that is rather more in the control of Paul's supporters.

It's the big "What if?" question that the letter begs but that few have asked.

What if Paul's supporters just ignore the binding rules and vote their consciences? What if, in Tampa, all those Paul supporters who are bound by state rules to vote for Romney put the ball firmly back in the GOP's court, and say, "Your move"?

One's first reaction might be to point out that if that were possible, it would have happened before.

But that would be a mistake. The GOP is now in uncharted territory.

Romney's support has proven so shallow and Paul's so deep that, all over the country, at GOP meetings in which delegates are selected to represent a county at the state convention or a state at the national convention, there are too many Paulites in the room to allow pro-Romney party officials to get their favored slates pushed through without underhanded shenanigans. This is having important effects. The most immediately important of these is that, in states where delegates are bound to vote for the candidate who won the state's primary vote (often Romney), the delegates who care enough to actually participate in the process are Paul supporters, and they are selecting Paul-favoring delegates. For example, whereas of the 28 delegates that Nevada will be sending to Tampa, eight are bound to Paul and 20 are bound to Romney, 14 of Romney's eight are really Ron Paul supporters who'd only be voting for Romney because they are "bound" to. And in Colorado, where 14 delegates are bound to Romney, and only two to Paul, what the official numbers don't say is that the 16 uncommitted are probably all Paul supporters.

So if the Paul supporters were not bound, they may indeed have the numbers, and therefore the means, to stop Romney in the first round of voting. But would they have the chutzpah to unbind themselves -- and a reasonable expectation that if they caused such creative chaos, the outcome could be favorable? I think they do -- courtesy of the GOP itself.

Romney's Achilles' heel is a moral one. It is the sum of all of the cheating that has been done in his favor by the party."



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