Well…it’s all but official now. Ron Paul will not be on the ballot in Tampa, nor will he be able to speak. Dr. Ron Paul and the forces of Freedom worked very, very hard to get the good doctor a plurality of delegates in 8 states. Although he easily passed the threshold of 5 states needed to be able to nominate Dr. Paul from the convention floor and give him the automatic speaking time earned, the GOP and the Romney camp has spent the last several months fighting and lawyering its way to silence the Paul forces. Things have really heated up this week in Tampa as various convention committees have broken its own rules multiple times to make sure that the Republican National Convention is a smooth, scripted infomercial for Mitt Romney and the Grand Old Party.
But. At what cost? Will the majority of Paul supporters be content with a Rand Paul prime-time speech on Monday night and several platform planks that, honestly, really don’t matter. I don’t think so. I think the GOP has really mucked this one up. Rather than letting things play in a natural way where the 500 or so Paul delegates and alternates—and the thousands and thousands of supporters across the country—would have felt validated and respected, the Republicans have basically said that it is more important to maintain a facade of loyalty and unity, rules and principles be damned.
My take on all this? I think Gary Johnson will be seeing a surge of support in the next few weeks.