Afraid that popular support for Paul could derail the carefully built narrative Romney stands on, the Republican National Committee changed several rules this year essentially taking all power out of the hands of the people or their delegates and placing it firmly in the hands of the Republican National Committee.
It's a breathtaking power grab that no one is talking about.
Rule 15 Ron Paul RNC Vote - Rule 15 and the Great RNC Screwing of Ron Paul - Esquire
"In effect, they've said to us, you have no voice," Lake said. "The Tea Party has no voice, The Liberty Movement has no voice. None of the little constituencies in the Republican party have any voice any more. I can vote for Ron Paul, but we can't nominate Ron Paul."
Two things happened on Tuesday afternoon. There was a compromise on one rule that allows the Republican National Committee now to revoke the credentials of delegates who fail to follow the binding rules set down by their state committees. (This brings the authority of the national party into a function heretofore exercised by the state committees.) And there was the passage of Rule 12, the one that got John Sununu hollered at from the floor, which allows two-thirds of the RNC leadership, rather than the convention as whole, to change any party rule. "I really don't believe that most of the people who voted here today realize exactly how much of their own freedom they voted away," said Rob Bybee of Nevada, who was fielding the questions that went past Lake. "The committee can change anything midstream. We got smushed."
What happened on Tuesday fits comfortably into the narrative that the Paul people have been building all year. Because they actually do things like read local party rules, they were able to control local caucuses to the point that places like Oklahoma, had the Republicans held to their rules, wound up with a majority of their delegates committed to Paul. Lori Steed was one of them. Then, she said, it went to the state level, and the process went haywire.
"We had a credentials report, and there were all kinds of discrepancies in the credentials report," she said. "There was never an official credentials report to the delegation. Basically, they shut the lights out on our delegation. There were older Republican people physically assaulting people. I was personally physically assaulted. I was punched in the back by a woman from Dewey County.
"We were in a large hotel ballroom and our delegation, which was the largest in the state, literally had the walls pulled out and the microphones turned off. They were shut off from the view of the chair, and yet the chair adjourned the meeting illegally because there was no way they could see a third of our delegation. We are required by our party rules to take a roll call vote. In Oklahoma, it's not one-man, one-vote. Each vote is weighted by county. The chair was taking, basically, a voice vote, and I don't care what kind of a mathemetician you are, you cannot mathematically tell how much a vote is weighted by a voice vote. We objected and they illegally adjourned the meeting."
This was all bound to happen. This is what always happens to people who live in a world of strict construction, whether that is a strict construction of something as important as the Constitution, or a strict construction of something as seemingly trivial as local party rules. They are always blindsided by compromise, struck dumb by the simple human impulse to power and how effective it can be when it is wielded by people who are not overly afflicted by conscience.