1. Opinion

Finished in last? Let's throw a party!

Texas Rep. Ron Paul, who is no longer actively seeking the GOP presidential nomination, speaks
at a town hall in Madison, Wis., in March. His supporters want to hold a celebration in Tampa.
Texas Rep. Ron Paul, who is no longer actively seeking the GOP presidential nomination, speaks
at a town hall in Madison, Wis., in March. His supporters want to hold a celebration in Tampa.
Published Jun. 7, 2012

Far be it from me to be the party pooper, but for all the tea party types out there, uh, your guy Ron Paul was a big-time loser in the Republican Party presidential nominating process.

Let's put it this way: Ron Paul is the Libyan air force of presidential candidates. He's the Washington Generals of the ballot box. He's the John Carter of the electoral process.

Dud. Bupkes. Zippo. Nada.

Yet the tea party can't quite seem to take the rejection of the Paul campaign by the body politic. Republican voters would have rather shoved shards of glass up their noses than see Mr. Dithers on the ballot against President Barack Obama this fall.

Thus the tea party has started whining that the Republican National Committee is interfering with their plans for a three-day celebration of all things Ron Paul just before the GOP convention in Tampa this summer.

Sheesh, this would be like staging a three-day soiree in honor of the Yugo. Please.

Tea party organizers have complained the RNC is attempting the undermine plans for the Ron Paul-apalooza at the Florida State Fairgrounds. This is certainly a fitting site. Yes, you're absolutely right, the temptation to go all barnyard here is almost too much to resist. But let's press on.

One can only hope the RNC is trying to gum up the Ron Paul lovefest. Don't you suspect the GOP would rather have Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who is to public speaking what Dick Cheney is to marksmanship, deliver a prime-time keynote address, than explain why the chap who came in dead last in the delegate count — 140 — warrants his own festival?

After all, there's no movement afoot for a Rick Santorum Revival Meeting, featuring the burning of birth control pills and the jeering of college graduates. And Santorum captured 266 delegates.

Nor is there much momentum for a Newt Gingrich Gala, where the candidate, who won 144 delegates, would spend three days looking adoringly in the mirror at himself. Then again, every day is a Newt Gingrich Day.

What seems lost on the tea party revelers, who love to claim a firm grasp of American history, is that the whole idea behind a presidential nominating convention is to officially nominate the party's presidential candidate. Honest! It's not about tossing hosannas at the chap who garnered less support than Pete Rose on a Baseball Hall of Fame ballot.

Three days? The stocks of the tea party felt they needed three days to pay proper fealty to the Grinch of the Villages crowd? All this for a pol whose political support runs somewhere between Harold Stassen and Alf Landon?

How delusional is this? The British recently took four days to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II's 60 years on the throne as the head of state of an entire nation where her subjects actually like her.

One can only imagine the excitement of a Ron Paul-Unchained event at the fairgrounds.

Day One: Don't miss a robust taunting of the uninsured terminally ill, followed by the Ben Bernanke dunk tank. Entertainment: Florida Panther scavenger hunt.

Day Two: Revelers gather in the specially built survivalist bunker to exchange conspiracy theories. Be sure to sign up for the Heckling of the Homeless People bus trip. And don't be left behind for special speaker, End Times beefcake Tim LaHaye. The evening ends with the Black Helicopter Cotillion. Entertainment: Bobbing for bald eagles.

Day Three: Ron Paul arrives, descending from the heavens on a chariot pulled by the Trilateral Commission. Attendees cavort around a maypole adorned with the gold standard. The bill of fare for the final night's banquet will include mead, Florida manatee a la king and seared out-of-season snook, because the government shouldn't be able to tell anyone what they can fish for. Entertainment: Sandhill crane sack race.

Perhaps the RNC ought to allow tea party travelers to have their little Ron Paul sleepover. However attendees should be required to cough up $1,374 a ticket, mirroring Mitt Romney's pledged delegate count.

After all, to the victor should go the spoil sports.

Seems only fair.


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