01 September 2008

Democracy in St. Paul

For the next four days my Google News gadget is tuned to get news of demonstrations outside the Republican convention in St. Paul. Protesters have no reason to go home for the hurricane's sake, so it'll be interesting to see whether they get disproportionate attention while many of the leading politicians lay low. At first glance, it looks like a busy week. Of additional interest are the plans of Rep. Paul's supporters. I've read that they plan some kind of counter-convention to protest their being shut out of the platform deliberations and Paul being denied an opportunity to address the convention. Paul himself is in a tricky position, since he's still running as a Republican in Texas. Will he be willing to risk consequences for his congressional standing by endorsing Barr or possibly Baldwin instead of McCain, or will he let the "revolution" dissipate in the absence of his guidance? I'm pretty sure that endorsing McCain is not an option, but I fear that if Paul doesn't point his people somewhere, they'll end up going nowhere. For the moment, though, some of them are in St. Paul to raise a fuss, so let's see what they do -- if we're allowed to see.

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