By James Perloff
My friend Rachael McIntosh was an alternate delegate at the 2012 Republican Convention in Tampa, Florida, representing Ron Paul for the state of Rhode Island.
Rachael had worked for a private defense contractor for years. Awakened by the corruption and darkness she witnessed, she left the defense industry, and began working tirelessly toward getting Ron Paul elected. She has fictionalized her experiences in a superbly written trilogy of novels, Security through Absurdity.
The Tampa convention was supposed to begin on Monday, August 27. Ron Paul was originally slated to speak, but the convention was cancelled for that day due to the threat of a “hurricane.” The hurricane turned out to be no more than a brisk rainstorm. Rachael and many other Ron Paul delegates braved it that morning and went to the convention center (the Tampa Bay Times Forum, a sports complex) and saw Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus officially proclaim the delay. After the gavel had been struck and the chairman left the stage, the delegates found themselves watching a movie glorifying Mitt Romney. At the film’s conclusion, Rachael heard ear-splitting applause. But when she looked around, almost no one was cheering. The applause was “canned”—the type sports stadiums pipe in when the home team is losing and their spectators show low enthusiasm.
The next day at her hotel, Rachael’s husband called and said: “Hey, I watched it yesterday and the crowd was really diggin’ Romney.” Rachael had to break the news: what he (and the rest of America) heard on TV had been faked.
The real blow to the Ron Paul people came when the Republican National Committee made last-minute rule changes. Under the existing rules, Paul had won enough primaries and caucuses (five) to have his name placed in nomination. Under the new rules, the required number of states would be increased to eight, thus rendering Paul’s nomination impossible. Mitt Romney, who had already won sufficient delegates through dirty tricks during the primaries to become the “presumptive nominee,” would also be granted power to replace duly elected delegates with people of his own choosing.
Naturally, Paul’s delegates were anxious to vote on the rule changes. However, the convention busses showed up at their hotels late. The driver of Rachael’s bus didn’t seem to know the way to the convention center, got stuck in traffic, and took about two hours to complete the trip. By the time most of the Paul delegates reached the center, and passed through its heavy security, the vote was already over. Mitt Romney would be the Republican Convention’s “unanimous” choice.
Ron Paul was still offered a chance to make a speech, but only under two conditions: (1) that he endorse Romney; and (2) that the Republic National Committee first vet and approve the speech. Under these conditions, Paul acted on integrity and declined to speak.
A word should be added about the media in Tampa. On the convention’s last day, Rachael dressed up in funeral black and handed out cards offering condolences to America upon the loss of the democratic process. She gave one to a leading news journalist who said “I love it.” When Rachael asked if he would do a story on it, he literally replied: “It doesn’t fit the pre-scripted narrative. Sorry.”
That the media was bound to a “pre-scripted narrative” was later proven when a brawl broke out between the Romney and Paul delegates, complete with screaming, pushing and shoving, right by the entrance to the press boxes (CNN, Fox, MSNBC, etc.). Although the brawl should have been “news,” not a single journalist emerged with a camera to record it. After all, it didn’t fit the “pre-scripted narrative”—namely, that Republicans unanimously supported Mitt Romney.
What lesson can we draw from Rachael’s experience? The same one that people have been learning the hard way for decades: that regardless of much you work for a Presidential candidate, the PTB (Powers That Be) will railroad their candidate to the top. The following quote from my 1988 book The Shadows of Power refers to the election year of 1952:
At the Republican nominating convention, “dirty tricks” abounded. The rules for selecting delegates were changed: Taft delegations from Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas were thrown out and replaced by Eisenhower supporters.1
I.e., the same sort of tactics that Ron Paul’s supporters faced in 2012 were used at the GOP Convention 60 years earlier. I’ll add that Dwight Eisenhower had no previous affiliation with the Republican Party; the Democratic Party had tried to draft him in 1948, and President Harry Truman (Democrat) had approached him about running on the same ticket.
Above: Nixon and Eisenhower at the 1952 convention