rEVOLutionizing the Republican Party
From Nevada, scene of a contentious 2008 battle between the state GOP establishment and Ron Paul supporters, more signs of the rising sophistication — and political maturation — of the Texas congressman’s base.
Four years ago, James Smack grabbed the microphone at the Nevada Republican Party Convention to lead a revolt by Ron Paul supporters.
That attempt to take over the convention failed when the GOP convention chairman shut the 2008 meeting down.
Today, Smack is acting chairman of the Nevada Republican Party and among the vanguard of Paul backers methodically taking over the state and county parties from within. They’ve been promoting both the Texas congressman’s ideas and his GOP presidential campaign.
“I’m a Republican first who happens to support Ron Paul,” Smack said. “I want to get a more libertarian, conservative voice in the party. I want to make sure we have a voice at the table.”
And a lot of votes. Paul delegates elected at county conventions across Nevada plan a show of force next month at the state convention, where they hope to be elected as delegates to the national convention. The state convention is scheduled for May 4-5 in Sparks.
Nevada isn’t the only state where Paul supporters are diligently working from within the system, either moving to take over the state party or establish a beachhead. In Iowa, Paul’s state vice chair was elected chairman of the state GOP in February. Paul backers in Maine have also been busy and the Georgia blog, Peach Pundit, similarly finds evidence of organizing long after primary day.
It’s not exactly a new practice – supporters of insurgent candidates including Pat Robertson and Howard Dean, among others, followed a similar path. If their experiences are any guide, there will be a lot of blood spilled and, invariably, views that once seemed out of the party mainstream will suddenly begin to get a much more serious airing.