I will add my own comments below this well written article by Gary Marbut. I was there as a delegate also, and I can say with no reservation that he is telling it exactly like it is.
Another attempt to clarify the outcome of the Montana GOP Nomination Convention
Probably for reasons of pride and control, the establishment Republicans, without thinking through the consequences, may have thrown the major Montana GOP candidates under the political bus.
I have encountered a number of friends and acquaintances who just don't grasp the reasons for and consequences of the 2012 Montana Republican National Delegate Nominating Convention in Missoula.
This is another attempt to explain the convention and its consequences. As I explain below, my intent is to promote the very best election chances for Denny Rehberg, Steve Daines, Rick Hill, Tim Fox, Brad Johnson, Sandy Welch and Derek Skees. So they will understand this too, I encourage you to forward this email to those candidates.
This is now posted as an addition to the bottom of the page at:
First, it is essential to understand the psychology and attitude of the Ron Paul supporters attending the convention. These people, who comprised about 47% of the voting strength of the convention have been, up until the convention, the most energized Republicans in Montana. They have been energized by Congressman Ron Paul's message.
THIS IS IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND. These people known by the label of "Ron Paul supporters" are less energized by the man than they are by his message of individual liberty and constitutional government. Most of these delegates to the convention had pretty much given up hope that Ron Paul could or would become the Republican nominee for President. Yet they continued to pursue the dream and ideals of individual liberty and constitutional (limited) government.
So, to focus this explanation, let's re-name these delegates from "Ron Paul delegates" to "liberty-minded delegates (or "liberty delegates" for short)." This will help the reader to understand the outcome of the convention. The liberty delegates had a common dream of taking their message of liberty to the national level, including to the Platform Convention in Tampa.
No honest person will deny that the process and ballot of the Montana GOP convention was engineered to elect ALL Romney delegates to Tampa, to entirely shut out the liberty delegates. The process was not fair or inclusive (see Website).
For want of a better term to identify those who engineered, allowed or supported this unfair process, I will refer to them as "establishment Republicans."
Some will argue that everything done at the convention was done by the rules, and that the liberty delegates had the democratic (bad word) opportunity to make and support motions to correct the process, and simply failed. That argument is both correct and wrong. It is wrong because it is an attempt to divert the discussion from an important point that must be recognized to actually understand the impact of the convention outcome.
In politics it is admitted that "perception is reality." Anyone who truly wishes to understand the convention impact must be open to hear how the power play by the Republican establishment struck the liberty delegates. What the liberty delegates PERCEIVED from the engineered shutout was that the Montana Republican establishment opposes the liberty delegates' ideals individual liberty and constitutional government.
This is important, so please tolerate my reiteration of this point. What the liberty delegates PERCEIVED from the engineered shutout was that the Montana Republican establishment opposes the liberty delegates' ideals individual liberty and constitutional government.
Whether this was intended or unintended, correct or incorrect, right or wrong, it is a crystal clear summary of how the liberty delegates PERCEIVED the engineered shutout of themselves and their ideals. It is the reality.
Some say, hey, "They should just get over it." Saying that simply won't make it so. They won't.
Others say, "We don't need them anyway. Good riddance."
This gets me to an explanation of why the engineered shutout was such a colossal tactical blunder.
First, understand that if five, ten, or all twenty elected Montana delegates had been liberty delegates, it would make ZERO difference in the outcome in Tampa. That is, the engineered shutout was done for no tactical benefit.
Second, it is helpful for the reader to understand the perception by the liberty delegates of the difference between "At-large" delegate slots and "Alternate" delegate slots. Almost universally, the liberty delegates are not wealthy. Faced with the $3,500 cost of attending the Tampa convention, they would have begged, borrowed and broken open every piggy bank to afford the trip as an at-large delegate. They would NOT have made that sacrifice to be an alternate - to just go to Tampa to party, watch, and sit powerless on the sidelines. Whether the reader agrees or not, and whether the reader likes it or not, the liberty delegates had no desire to be elected as Alternates. None.
Third, don't forget that the liberty delegates were so energized that they worked hard enough, and long enough, to deliver 47% of the voting strength of the convention. That is, they are (or were) clearly the most energized subset of Montana's GOP.
Having been back-handed in the face (how they perceived it) by the Republican establishment in rejection of their ideals of individual liberty and constitutional government (how they perceived it), these people are now VERY demoralized. Their enthusiasm for the GOP is gone.
That is the important point, NOT whether they will show up at the polls this November. They will go to the polls, although about 1/4 of them I believe will vote for third-party candidates. Hey, don't blame me. These people were rejected by the Republican establishment, not me. The remaining 3/4 of them will cast ballots, and for Republican candidates, although many will hold their noses when they do.
Whether or not or how they vote is not important. They are numerically a small group.
The elephant in the room is this. Having been so thoroughly demoralized and rejected by the establishment Republicans, they will fail to volunteer their unique and considerable energies to aiding the seven major Montana GOP candidates, Denny Rehberg, Steve Daines, Rick Hill, Tim Fox, Brad Johnson, Sandy Welch, and Derek Skees. And, their many circles of influence will encompass a LOT of Montana voters.
The absence of the enthusiastic support of the energized liberty delegates and the ripple effect through all of their friends and associates will cost these major candidates some percentage of the General Election vote. Given the likely close races all of these major candidates face, they simply cannot afford to have had the thoughtless establishment Republicans flush percentages of vote down the drain, especially for no tactical benefit.
So, the liberty delegates and their ideals were rejected by establishment Republicans, for no benefit, and at considerable downstream expense to Montana's major GOP candidates. Probably for reasons of pride and control, the establishment Republicans, without thinking through the consequences, may have thrown the major GOP candidates under the political bus.
THAT, is the final result of the Montana Republican Nomination Convention.
A mistake was made, a serious tactical mistake.
Is there any possibility of recovering from this mistake? Yes, but the practical doability of a recovery recedes each day that the establishment Republicans continue to circle their wagons in response to this fiasco.
In historic classical terms, when one person injures another, there are three steps to fixing that mistake. Those injured are primarily the liberty delegates to the convention, and their friends and associates, and secondarily the seven major Montana GOP candidates. These recovery steps are much the same in all major religions, and other moral structures. A person or persons injuring another must:
1) Admit clearly that the person made a mistake;
2) Apologize for the injury delivered (a serious apology, not some whiny 10% apology, delivered to the injured party or parties); and
3) Make an absolute best effort at restitution.
To do this will require the Montana Republican establishment to swallow some pride. It remains to be seen whether pride is more important to the establishment Republicans than the success of the seven major candidates this November.
I predict that the establishment Republicans will choose to tighten the circle of their wagons, make excuses, or at very best, attempt some half-hearted atonement for their poor and tactically-unsound behavior.
However, and for the record, I would dearly love to be proven wrong. I would FAR prefer those who made the mistake to fix their mistake. I would FAR prefer to see the establishment genuinely reach out to the liberty-minded Republicans of Montana - to actually BE inclusive and walk the walk of the "Big Tent." I would FAR prefer to see the seven major candidates sail to victory this November with the energized and enthusiastic help of the liberty-minded Republicans of Montana.
I dread the alternative, but I'm not holding my breath expecting any serious effort of establishment Republicans to correct the huge error made at the convention.
I hope this helps clarify this picture for some who have not understood.
Republican Convention Delegate
Republican Candidate, House District 99
P.S., If I were any of the seven major candidates, I'd rally the others to take the establishment Republicans to the woodshed over correcting this dreadful mistake.
Also see the Massachusetts GOP experience:
All of this begs the question - Has the Republican GOP been secretly taken over by Democrats calling themselves Republicans. Hey, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck..................
We see this at the national level in the GOP big time. This is exactly the reason so many people are supporting Ron Paul. He is not a politician, but a statesman. He does exactly what he says. Over and over he has voted ALONE for freedom and liberty, while the others around him sold us out.
The Republican old establishment could not have picked a better way to alienate the only people in the state who actually get it, and have some solutions for restoring America. They prefer the status quo, the big money, the power, the fame. They are drunk with power and will take down the ship rather than give it up.
After this kind of insulting behavior I really don't see any way they can redeem themselves in the eyes of the people who gave their best efforts and were willing to promote the whole Republican slate if they would have been given just a few delelgates. Come on old guard "Republicans" Surprise us with some incredible acts of humility now. Here is your opportunity to build "unity" in your party.
Here is some additional evidence from others at the convention.
Lincoln County Republican State Committeeman (twice elected unanimously by the Lincoln County Republican central committee)
Member of the Montana State Republican Central Committee
Montana Republican Platform Committee
Montana Delegate to the State presidential convention from Lincoln County
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