Measuring the rEVOLution: From Lieberman to Paul
From accumulating delegates to changing the debate, there are many measures of the inroads Ron Paul’s movement has made in terms of reshaping the Republican Party. Paul Mulshine notes one of my favorite measures at The Star-Ledger (New Jersey):
(Ron Paul) knew he could put together a contingent of supporters who could keep this year’s convention from being the sort of disgrace the last one was.
And if you doubt that one was a disgrace, forget about the way in which the John McCain forces locked out the Ron Paul forces.
Focus instead on who they did invite to speak at the convention:
Lieberman is a Connecticut liberal who was Al Gore’s Democratic running mate in 2000.
That McCain could invite him to speak at the convention – and even consider him for the No. 2 slot on the ticket – shows how far left the Republican Party had drifted during the Bush years.
By then it was obvious that so-called “neo” conservatives weren’t just left-wing in their foreign policy, which a polite person might call “Wilsonian” and an impolite one “Trotskyist.”
These big-spending RINOs were also liberal enough domestically to have a prominent sponsor of the welfare state like Lieberman address the party of Taft and Goldwater.
No wonder these people hated Ron Paul so much.
Indeed. While big government liberal Joe Lieberman was given rock star treatment and even considered for a VP slot for McCain in 2008, Ron Paul wasn’t even allowed in the building at the Republican National Convention that year.
This year, much of the news coverage leading up to the convention is how to accommodate Ron Paul and his arm of supporters who will be in Tampa in force.
These type of significant shifts in what the GOP was once was, and what it is becoming, should be appreciated. They are quite extraordinary considering they have taken place over the span of only four years.
As I’ve noted elsewhere, another example of our influence can be seen in Iowa: When Dr. Paul argued with Rudy Giuliani over the CIA term “blowback” during a 2007 debate, the head of the Iowa GOP at that time wanted Ron banned from the next debate.
In 2012, the head of the Iowa GOP now is a Paul supporter.
Saturday, Ron Paul won Iowa.
These noteworthy shifts concerning Lieberman and Iowa are but two examples of how our efforts are changing former base assumptions and the actual party structure of the GOP. They are not the only examples. They are certainly not the last examples.