If you think that the adversaries of Donald Trump are not playing fair when it comes to picking off convention delegates, take a look at this May 2012 Fox News report that shows Ron Paul doing exactly the same thing to Romney. Many of the Libertarian hypocrites who are screaming bloody murder about Trump’s delegate losses were cheering four years ago for what they thought was a great victory of the freedom movement. Ron Paul then was picking off delegates in exactly the same way that Ted Cruz is today.

As this 2012 Fox News report reminds us, at this time four years ago supporters of Ron Paul were busy supporting and celebrating Ron Paul’s effort to peel off Romney delegates. This includes many of the libertarians now whining about a “Big Steal” as rival candidates pick off Trump delegates whose loyalty the billionaire has not deigned to cultivate. What Cruz is going to Trump now is about the same thing that Ron Paul was doing to Romney. A neutral online source recalls that:

‘The Paul campaign pursued a strategy of gathering support from state delegates as opposed to outright winning states. For example, Paul had a strong showing in Romney’s home state, Massachusetts, with supporters getting the majority of delegates there (though they are compelled to vote for Romney in the first round), causing a battle between the Paul delegates, the Massachusetts Republican Party, and the Republican National Convention Committee. A similar situation played out in Louisiana, with the Paul campaign initially winning 17 of 30 available delegates before procedural and legal challenges changed the allocation. Paul also managed a delegate win in Nevada, with 88% of delegates supporting him. Paul won 21 of 25 delegates in Iowa. Leading up to the convention, Ron Paul won bound-pluralities of the official delegations from the states of Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, and Oregon (but not the Virgin Islands—despite winning the popular vote there). During the credentials committee meetings the week prior to the official opening of the convention, the Ron Paul members of the delegations from Louisiana, Maine, and Oregon were disputed (as well as the Ron Paul delegates from Massachusetts), and many of the Ron Paul delegates from those states were unseated…. In the end, Ron Paul had bound-pluralities from Iowa, Minnesota, and Nevada; however, he additionally had nomination-from-the-floor-pluralities in the states of Oregon and Alaska, plus the territory of the Virgin Islands. Under the 2012 rules, this total of 6 from-the-floor pluralities was sufficient to earn a fifteen-minute speech on national television; the rules were changed at the last minute to require 8 from-the-floor pluralities, and thus Ron Paul did not speak at the convention.’

Of course, Ron Paul’s goal in 2012 was to get enough delegate votes that he could block Romney from getting the nomination on his own power and thus extort the vice-presidential nomination for his mediocre, racist son Rand. This nepotistic project, which very few of Paul’s dupes ever understood, failed because Romney won enough of his own delegates to make it on his own. By this point in 2012, Romney was averaging about 70% of the primary votes, thanks to his accumulated momentum. Trump, by contrast, remains below 40%. Trump is by comparison a very weak candidate who is losing momentum rather than gaining it. This is the reality.

The pro-Paul libertarians, since the collapse of Rand Paul’s campaign, have joined the Trump camp in significant numbers. But many of them have been afflicted with amnesia about how energetically they were trying to convert Romney delegates to Paul’s version of libertarianism just four years ago. What they then celebrated as the victorious freedom movement on the march has now become an outrage they want to protest in the streets.

Part of the change may have something to do with the bungling managerial ineptitude of the Trump campaign when it comes to fighting for these delegates. Maybe Trump should put his current campaign into Chapter Seven bankruptcy liquidation, notching the fifth bankruptcy in his ramshackle business congeries. But it is unlikely that Trump will acknowledge that he is an abysmal manager who could never direct the US federal government.

Hypocrites for Trump, anyone?

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