Reason.tv reports: “Ron Paul-supporting delegates have accused the Republican establishment of changing the rules of the seating process in order to avoid embarassment for Republican nominee Mitt Romney. Their arguments are not without merit.”
“The Ron Paul faction did not go out quietly, cheering loudly whenever Ron Paul delegates were announced and yelling out the running tally of Paul votes every time the convention announcer failed to do so.”
“While Maine–and the broader Ron Paul movement–lost this symbolic battle, some delegates say that Republicans have made a bad mistake alienating the Ron Paul vote by picking this fight.”
“‘The party’s fractured. This was completely unnecessary, and it’s ridiculous,’ said Ron Paul supporter and Oklahoma delegate Steve Dixon.”
Paul supporters had vowed a floor fight, which has been handily snuffed out by procedural shenanigans.
“Work within the party,” they said. “You’ll be part of the process,” they said. Suckers.
UPDATE: The disunity has only just begun:
Members of Maine’s delegation to the Republican National Convention lost their battle to reseat 10 supporters of Ron Paul on Tuesday after a brief but boisterous floor fight, during which the hall echoed with chants of “Seat Maine now!”
Moments later, Paul’s delegates and alternates from Maine — some wearing clothespins on their noses — walked out of the convention hall in protest.
Eric Brakey writes:
After today’s exodus, the Maine Delegation held a rump national convention. I was elected National Convention Chair and we voted unanimously to nominate Ron Paul for President. It was over and done with in 60 seconds.
Our rump convention was held in jest, and yet it had more integrity and legitimacy than anything that took place inside that Tampa convention center.
UPDATE II: Ron Paul’s supporters had embarrassingly more enthusiasm than Romney’s supporters when Ron Paul walked onto the convention floor championing a wreath of flowers (Hawaiian lei, we presume) around his neck. Tell us NBC:
Ron Paul’s appearance Tuesday on the floor of the Republican National Convention evoked split conventions of the past as the retiring Texas congressman received a hero’s welcome from supporters.
The former two-time GOP presidential candidate walked out to greet a roaring group of supporters from the Nevada delegation, one of several he won during the detailed process of allocating delegates to this convention.
When asked by NBC News what he hoped to accomplish by visiting the floor, Paul said, “Just saying hi to some friends from Nevada.”
Paul supporters started chanted, “Let Him Speak!” When Romney supporters started chanting “Romney, Romney!” Paul backers screamed “Ron Paul! Ron Paul,” drowning out the delegates pledged to the Republican nominee-in-waiting.
HA! Even NBC can’t cover for Romney when the enthusiasm gap has been exposed by Paul supporters in grand fashion. At his own convention, where we can finish laughing at the GOP presidency ambitions of 2012 when he’s handily beaten by entrenched incumbent Obama (or gasp, Gary Johnson) at the polls in November.
Don’t forget this moment.
UPDATE III: Linda Bean, scion of the LL Bean clothing empire is letting fly at Romney over being a control freak. Via Esquire:
“They just don’t want us on the floor,” Bean says. “They’re afraid.”
The latest hassle was a document the Romney wants them to sign. “They want us all to sign that we will agree with everything in the convention.”
“Yeah, sign here that you will not oppose anything that Romney brings forth.”
That ain’t gonna fly with a bunch of libertarians, Bean says. “He’s too controlling.”
That’s not all.
“We aren’t even allowed to have our credentials for the next day — they’re passing them out new every day. What does that mean?”
Loyalty oaths are nothing new to the GOP, with George Bush bringing them in vogue during his 2004 re-election campaign. But Romney’s campaign seems to be getting ahead of themselves pushing such pledges at a contentious convention.