The Republican establishment is currently panicking over the thought of Donald Trump winning their nomination. They’re equally as frightened of Ted Cruz though. They want Marco Rubio or John Kasich to be in the running. However, as Rand Paul explains above, there’s one thing preventing those candidates’ votes from counting: Rule 40 (b). That’s the infamous rule that the GOP establishment set up in 2012 to shaft Ron Paul and prevent his delegates from nominating him. Rule 40 (b) mandated that a candidate had to win a majority of delegates from eight states in order to be nominated. This time around only Donald Trump and Ted Cruz have accomplished this feat and therefore only they can be nominated. The GOP’s shameless disenfranchisement of Ron Paul is coming back to bite them.
Before Rule 40 (b) was added in 2012 the previous threshold for nomination was a mere plurality of delegates in five states. Ron Paul had done this by winning delegates from Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, and Nevada. He could have therefore been nominated for President on the first ballot. It’s unlikely he would have gotten the nomination but it’s the symbolic act that was meaningful to his supporters. It was important for the two million people who voted for Ron Paul in 2012 that they not be disenfranchised by the establishment.
Nonetheless, power hungry Mitt Romney supporters on the rules committee changed Rule 40 (b) to make the threshold require a majority of delegates from eight states for nomination. This barred Ron Paul from nomination and stripped him of his delegates. Only Minnesota, Iowa, and Nevada were able to cast their ballots for him in the convention Roll Call. It was a petty move that showed the arrogant Republican establishment didn’t even care about Paul voters enough to give Ron Paul the courtesy of being nominated.
Now, four years later, Rule 40 (b) is coming back to bite the Republican establishment. As Rand Paul says, “they tried to exclude my father in 2012 and now it’s backfiring”. The rule will prevent Marco Rubio and John Kasich from being on the ballot. Their delegates will be stripped from them. The rule that was meant to protect the establishment by disenfranchising the grassroots is going to have the opposite effect in 2016. What goes around, comes around.
It is possible that the rule could be changed by the rules committee before the convention takes place. Although, the Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus doesn’t think that’s too likely.
Priebus added, however, that he thought it was unlikely the delegates would alter Rule 40. “I haven’t heard a whole lot of horsepower out there looking for a change on the rule,” Priebus says. “A few people speaking out in the wilderness, but the truth is there is no, at least at this point, groundswell to start changing the rules at the convention.”… it will be difficult to change the rule, given that most of the delegates are likely to be supporters of Trump or Cruz and would have a vested interest in keeping the rule as it stands to prevent consideration of another candidate.
What’s perhaps most ironic is that this is a good example the Golden Rule – one of Ron Paul’s principles that got booed during the South Carolina debate. As he said then: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. Romney’s supporters on the rules committee didn’t abide by that and now what they did to others is going to be done to them. The Republican establishment is going suffer because of the unnecessary injustice they perpetrated. Ron Paul’s supporters will have their revenge.