World Affairs Brief, August 31, 2012 Commentary and Insights on a Troubled World. Copyright Joel Skousen. Partial quotations with attribution permitted. Cite source as Joel Skousen’s World Affairs Brief (http://www.worldaffairsbrief.com)
THIS WEEK’S ANALYSIS:
GOP Convention: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Where does the Ron Paul Movement go from Here?
Collapse of Morgan Stanley Imminent?
GOP CONVENTION: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Political nominating conventions have become nothing more than propaganda parties, wasting viewers’ time with hours of mindless cheerleading for things people want to hear but leaders have no intention of giving. The degree of deception and misdirection going on behind the scenes was the only interesting story to come out of the Tampa Republican Convention this week. The rest of it was predictable and boring. To paraphrase from a famous Clint Eastwood movie, we saw the Good, albeit feigned, the Bad, as in boring, and a lot of ugly where rules were changed to preclude any future Ron Paul revolutions in the Republican party.
The Good: Ann Romney acquitted herself well in her speech, despite struggling with MS and a good case of nerves, as she tried to relay the more human side of Mitt Romney. He does have one. Sure, he’s an overly ambitious businessman who is in way over his head as he tries to please the establishment, but he’s also a good family man, who has been faithful to his wife. Like any good Mormon, Mitt is committed to doing a lot of service to others, but as she pointed out, he never allows his staff to call reporters to come watch—which says a lot. As she put it, “Mitt doesn’t like to talk about how he’s helped others,” she said. “Because he sees it as a privilege not a political talking point.”
Nikki Haley, governor of South Carolina, is a rising conservative star and gave a good speech. Even the Washington Post had to admit, “[She] was the best. She was poised and relaxed and drew the crowd to their feet with her mentions of the Palmetto State’s voter ID law and the National Labor Relations Board fight.”
Another highlight of the convention was the appearance of Ron Paul on the floor. You would have thought he was the actual nominee for President, or a rock star. All the cameras were on him as he was surrounded by well wishers seeking to shake his hand. No other failed nominee got this kind of response.
Everyone knew of the establishment efforts, illegal and unprincipled, to derail his candidacy, so it gave Paul the aura of the martyred hero. Indeed, he had the glow of a winner as he waved triumphantly to the crowd, as if the fact that the establishment had successfully beat him down yet another time, had not sunk in or wasn’t relevant. To an extent it this was true. No other loser has come out such a winner as Ron Paul.
Even the establishment has to admit that the movement Ron Paul spawned is here to stay and isn’t going away anytime soon. Thus, while the Republican National Committee refused to give Ron Paul a speaking slot—made all the more insulting by the low caliber of speeches filling the hall hour after hour—they felt obligated to play a tribute video to the man.
It was a nice touch, professionally done and captured Ron Paul’s greatness. At the same time it carefully omitted any mention of his foreign policy ideas to end foreign wars and bring our troops home – the key difference between Ron and the other Republican candidates. In a way it was the edited speech they wanted him to stoop to. There was plenty of praise but it was clear the establishment was only giving grudging tribute to placate his followers. I had to cringe at the inclusion of the feigned words of praise from minority leader Sen. Mitch McConnell. It was typical of the outright false motives behind the piece that the RNC would have an establishment hack singing the praises of Ron Paul—someone who never supported any of the congressman’s initiatives. But there were other conservatives including Rep. Justin Amash who were utterly sincere in their praise of liberty’s “Dr. No” —an honorable title for the only congressman who consistently refuses to go along with unconstitutional legislation. Here’s a video link:
Given all this fancy praise, why were they so ruthless in refusing to let him speak? Wisely, Dr. Paul turned down their two conditions for a speaking slot: endorse Mitt Romney and allow the RNC to vet his speech. Even as Fox News’ Neil Cavuto tried time and again during a friendly interview to extract an implied endorsement for Mitt Romney, Ron Paul refused. He stated that he would forever discredit all that he has stood for if he endorses anyone who continues to push for more unconstitutional wars.
In 2008 the RNC wouldn’t even let Congressman Paul on the floor of the convention without a handler. This year he couldn’t be denied, so the Republican establishment had to feign tolerance and support, while knifing his movement in the back (more on that later in The Ugly part). The video tribute was only intended to assuage his supporters, without giving an inch on the principles they want enacted. The party knows that if the Paulites stay home or vote Third Party, Mitt’s going to lose.
Forget about the few platform wins the Paulites and Tea Party made. The platform doesn’t bind anyone in the party to anything. It is pure symbolism; pure greasy ointment to salve the conscience of those who still think the Republican party will save the country. It won’t—ever.
The Bad: Boring, predictable, rah-rah speeches were too numerous to mention. But I was clearly unimpressed with weak speeches by candidates Tim Pawlenty and Rick Santorum. The latter wore his trademark plastered smile, and whose hand gestures were as awkward as a teenager in his first speech class.
Newt Gingrich was his usual slick self without an ounce of sincerity. Neocon Condolezza Rice was particularly disturbing with her pretensions toward conservativism. As a real live globalist, it was equally disturbing to see her seated on the other side of Mitt Romney—probably an indication that she will get a coveted spot in the cabinet—perhaps as Secretary of State again.
But the best of the worst was clearly the keynote address by Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey. It was clearly all about him, not Mitt Romney or even the Republican Party. At least he wasn’t boring—far from it. He has a good, natural presentation style if you can get past the inherent contradictions in his lack of personal restraint (obesity) and his push for fiscal restraint in government. He went through every laudable aspect of his background, tooting his own horn and playing up every supposed victory achieved in New Jersey (which still won’t recover in the long-term). As the Washington Post put it, “Christie will take some (justified) criticism for spending 95 percent of his speech talking about himself and five percent talking about Mitt Romney. (And that’s being generous.) But, Christie burnished the Christie brand with his keynote address, which, after all, was kind of his goal. Christie was blunt and remarkably relaxed. He came across as entirely at ease in his own skin and as close to a regular guy as politics can produce. In short, he did nothing to hurt chatter about his own future as a presidential candidate in 2016 or 2020 — and that makes him a winner in our scoring system.”
…And a loser in mine. Christie was the recipient of one of those instant phony polling surges the media pulled during the early campaign trying to promote him for president in order to derail Romney. They only do that for certified insiders. Christie is not a true conservative and has some big skeletons in his closet that, in my opinion, he was unwilling to risk exposing at this time and that is why he backed out. Still, he’s clearly prepping for a run in 2016 and the establishment will be behind it, so beware.
Mitt Romney’s speech was disappointing as he pandered to American sensibilities by saying Republicans were all rooting for Obama to succeed—hogwash! But, disappointed now, we need to move on to the Romney solution. There is no solution. Romney cannot produce the fix he promises. No one can given the state of public benefit corruption. We’re too far in debt with zero tolerance for the pain of withdrawal from government spending—just like Greece, Italy and every other socialist country.
The Ugly: The Left was having a ball watching the establishment Republicans working very hard to stop the Ron Paul faction—the only faction that the principled Left (people who mistakenly think government is the way to help people, but don’t see the hidden victims) can find common cause. In fact they skewered the Paul delegates in a treacherous move. Philip Geraldi gave a great summary:
“It was perhaps inevitable that the GOP would turn on the Ron Paul supporters to eliminate them from their version of a body politic. I predicted it would take place and so did a number of others. But what has been surprising is the timing. It seemed reasonable to assume that the Republican gatekeepers would wait until after the convention or even the election to keep the Paulistas in harness and supportive, nurturing their faint hopes that their message would somehow have an impact, encouraging them to vote for Mitt Romney.
“But the Republican Party leadership decided instead to purge Paul supporters at both the state and local level and also on the convention floor. As Justin Raimondo has noted, a harrowing worthy of Josef Stalin took place in a number of states employing procedural ploys, stripping delegates of their accreditation, and even illegal closing of caucuses, which denied to Ron Paul’s supporters any ability to have significant impact at the convention. The deal was sealed when the GOP rules committee revised its convention guidelines, initially to make it impossible to cast dissident votes or to propose nominations from the floor, and subsequently to allow the national party to veto and replace state delegates.
“Jordan Bloom, who attended the Paul events in Tampa, reported that Paul’s supporters were angry and frustrated, many having experienced political corruption up close and personal for the first time. One friend of mine on Capitol Hill likened the caucus deals finally arrived at in various states to having a burglar steal everything you own and then return a couple of days later to give you half back if you do not complain [in Maine]. That’s what happened. The Paul supporters were outgunned and out-muscled and, led by a campaign team that wanted accommodation, wound up taking what they could get.”
Andy Kroll and David Corn summarized some of the tactics that enraged Paulites: “During the roll call of the states, the Paulites were irate, screaming at the podium, as convention secretary Kim Reynolds declined to read out the delegate votes for any candidate other than Romney [this was an egregious sleight of hand against Paul and others, as if they didn’t matter—only Romney. It demonstrated just how rigged even the administrative offices are within the party and smacks of the Soviet styled one party state]. ‘The Republican Party is so afraid of Ron Paul that they won’t repeat his name,’ shouted Jim Ayala, a Nevada delegate and Paul supporter wearing an Oath Keepers T-shirt.”
Here is the actual delegate count for states that had votes for other candidates than Romney. Notice that with all the manipulation against Paul, he still got a significant number of votes and even won Iowa, Nevada, and Minnesota:
Iowa: 22 Ron Paul, 6 Romney.[cheers for Paul. The roll taker repeats the Romney total].
Hawaii: 17 Romney, 3 Paul
Georgia gives 72 to Romney, [microphone gets tuned off for the Paul total. Paul got 3].
Louisiana: 12 Paul, 32 Romney, 2 Santorum
North Dakota: 5 Paul, 23 Romney
North Carolina: 7 Paul, 48 Romney
New Jersey puts Romney over the top.
New Hampshire: 3 Paul, 9 Romney
Nevada: 17 Paul, 5 Romney, 5 abstain [because they weren’t allowed to vote for Paul]
Maine: 10 Paul, 14 Romney.
Mississippi: 4 Paul, 3 Santorum, 45 Romney
Minnesota: 33 to Paul, 1 Santorum, 6 Romney [Proud to have run a fair election with integrity]
Michigan: 4 Paul, 24 Romney [only Romney’s total (2061) announced at the end].
Oregon: 4 Paul, 1 Santorum, 23 Romney
Oklahoma: 6 Paul, 34 Romney
Pennsylvanian: 5 Paul [read as “Paul Ryan”], 67 Romney
Rhode Island: 4 Paul, 15 Romney
South Carolina: 1 Paul, 24 Romney
Texas: 20 Paul, 130 Romney
Washington: 5 Paul, 38 Romney
Virgin Islands: 1 Paul, 8 Romney
Virginia: 3 Paul, 46 Romney
Vermont: 4 Paul, 13 Romney
Oregon: 4 Paul, 1 Santorum, 23 Romney
Oklahoma: 6 Paul, 34 Romney
“Minutes earlier, the Paulites were enraged when the convention adopted the new set of rules on a voice vote during which the Paul backers out-shouted the other delegates. One Nevada delegate and Paul supporter, Mark Carducci, thrust two middle fingers into the air toward RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), screaming “F**k you, tyrants!”
“The Republican National Committee had altered the convention rules to bind delegates in future elections to vote for the candidate who wins their state’s primary or caucus. This change would hurt outsider candidates like Paul, who collected 158 delegates during the Republican primary season. The RNC also refused to recognize Paul’s delegates from Maine, and this incensed his many supporters, leading to a nasty yelling match on the convention floor immediately before Mitt Romney’s nomination. ‘Seat them now!’ the Paulites yelled.”
Maine’s Republican governor Paul LePage boycotted the convention due to this arbitrary denial of Ron Paul delegates. The Maine Ron Paul delegation was in the balcony and all left in protest when they were refused recognition. In an interview with Mitt Romney, Ben Swan of Reality Check directly asked Romney what he thought about the Maine delegation scandal. Romney claimed he wasn’t aware of what was going on there—a bald faced lie.
While others assume he was directing all this, I don’t believe that is true. There are professional controllers behind the scenes at Republican headquarters that are doing these direct attacks. But Romney is responsible insofar as he didn’t lift a finger to use his influence to stop it. Very disappointing and it doesn’t bode well for the courage it will take to stop illegal acts of government that he might see if elected.
“Roger Leahy, an Iowa delegate and Paul supporter, says he and other Paulites had pleaded with Reynolds to recognize Paul during the roll call, but she would not. ‘This is the Republican steamroller,’ Leahy said. All this led to the unseated Maine Paul delegates storming out of the convention together. And a pack of angry Paul fans all clad in white ballcaps left the Tampa Bay Times Forum. The Romney campaign and the RNC had hoped to avoid this kind of floor flight, large or small, during the convention. But once it was done, the convention proceeded and Romney was nominated, to polite applause.
“Following the dustup, Yelena Vorobyov (pictured below), a 30-year-old Paul delegate from Apple Valley, Minnesota, was eager to vent. Barely taking a breath, she said: ‘This is just evidence of the manipulation of the Republican Party. They’re not even allowing us to bring signs in, but they brought in their own [pro-Romney] signs. We couldn’t nominate Ron Paul.
“The ‘no’ for not passing the rules was louder than the ‘aye’ [referring to the previous vote which prompted the “tyrant” shout] and they ruled in favor of the rules. They’re cheating. The Republican National Committee is not transparent and does not have integrity. They stole votes. They stole delegates. They refused to send buses for our delegates. It’s a totalitarian process. This is not democracy. It’s a really sad day for us. I’ve worked for Republican candidates since I was 16. We believed the Republican Party had more integrity. Boy, did they prove us wrong.’ Yelena Vorobyov, one of Ron Paul’s 33 Minnesota delegates, had to make her own sign on the floor, and she was damn mad.”
Bottom line is that the Republicans have really alienated the Ron Paul faction and most will not vote for Romney. I certainly won’t. The longer we accede to these kinds of control tactics and outright fraudulent tactics, in the vain hope that they will change or that we can take it over, the longer it will take to convince others that we must forge a new way with principled leaders.
As a fitting establishment sleight to Ron Paul, he and his entire party, using a private plane, were delayed by TSA. Lew Rockwell posted this: “Ron, Carol, and one of their granddaughters left the GOP snake pit yesterday afternoon, but the State was not yet through with them. At the little airport in Clearwater, 8 TSA agents descended on them and ordered them not to board their private plane. First, the pilots, the airplane, and the passengers would have to be screened in great detail, because Romney might be nearby [he wasn’t, and he isn’t president so the TSA can’t throw up a special airport restriction like they do for Obama—which is very irritating to us pilots]. After a long examination of the pilots and their credentials, the agents said they had to check the plane for explosives [why would they have to do that? They aren’t arriving, they are departing!]. One of the pilots noted that the plane, full of aviation fuel, was already a bomb. Then Carol Paul, who has a pacemaker, refused to be screened, and an aide started taking video of the whole rotten process. At that point, the TSA backed down and let them through, to Texas and freedom.”
Should Christians Vote for the Lesser of Two Evils? — We must be free!