Apparently there was a bit of a flap at our county Republican Caucus this past weekend, and we weren't the only county in Missouri to have such a fracas.
There's a bit of history behind this. After decades of lack of interest in party politics on the local level, those who showed up ran the place. And I think they got a little used to having their way.
It's obvious that the powers that be in the RNC want Romney as their candidate. And the local county caucuses have central committees and chairs that have probably been made aware of this or are otherwise sympathetic.
Enter the Ron Paul folks. They learned several years ago how these meetings are supposed to be run, and how they are actually run, and how those two things are different. The rules that are supposed to apply are Robert's Rules of Order.
After being railroaded out of the caucus system in the past, in 2008 they had studied up and when something improper happened, such as the chair giving his own nominations or closing nominations without movements and seconds and such, the Paul people knew that part of Roberts Rules is to stand up, interrupt in a very specific way, "Point of order!" and state their objection that the rules are not being followed.
They tried it in 2008, only to have Chairs across the state (and likely in other states as well) simply pretend they weren't there, and carry on as if they heard or saw nothing.
Well this time, they brought numbers and a professional parliamentarian. And they successfully took over our county caucus before the old boy network could railroad control to themselves. They ended up with all of the delegates ... finally ceding 10% to the Romney folks in some sort of deal. The Santorum people were shut out.
This really upset a lot of the Santorum people -- most of whom had no idea how these meetings are run and didn't know the past history.
Word is there were over twice as many Santorum and Paul people there as there were Romney people. The overwhelming numbers and the loud objections gave the old boys pause and they dutifully (probably under duress) complied with the proper rules. The Paul people were ready, the Santorum people were not. And in the end, the Paul people followed the rules. And it didn't break down into what happened in St. Charles.
This is understandable given the history, and given that the Santorum people are largely post-2008 election newbies. They didn't even know they had to have ducks, much less have them in a row. They were like a lot of us have been ... sure that decency and fairness would mean that the people running the show would do the right thing and help them along.
So they ended up with no delegates. But the Paul people actually did us all a favor. First, the Santorum people weren't going to end up with any anyway. Had the Paul people not shown up with their ducks in a row and t's crossed and i's dotted, the Romney people would have railroaded the Santorum people leaving them right where they are now.
But something else happened.
The Old Boys network is on notice. It scared the crap out of them. As well it should.
And next time around, the people who support Santorum (who may well be supporting someone else next time around) ... if they're still as motivated to save the country ... will have learned something from the Paul people. 1) you gotta know you gotta have ducks next time, and 2) get them in a Robert's Rules of Order kind of row. And bring lots of ducks.