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The Ron Paul revolution continues

March 18, 2008 |  9:48 am

At least in Missouri. Apparently cadres of Paulistas read the Missouri Republican rule book and burrowed into the party structure from the inside this weekend -- at the county caucus meetings.

Usually attended only by party apparatchiks, the caucuses help set the official party platform and deal with internal rules issues. The kind of stuff most folks ignore. Not the Paulistas, who swarmRep Ron Paul of Texas Republican candidate for president and his Paulunteers continue their grassroots efforts to control the party platform in county conventionsed meetings in St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield and some rural counties and, as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch put it,  "snagged roughly a third of the 2,137 state Republican delegates."

All of which would be yawn-inducing except that "those delegates will determine the state GOP platform this spring and help select the presidential delegates to the national Republican presidential convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul in September."

Also in the weekend caucuses, the Paulistas "won approval for some of their man's key positions, including resolutions for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, and against the federal Patriot Act and warrantless wiretaps."

The biggest hit: A resolution to be taken up at the state party meeting in the spring to repeal the rule that all of Missouri's 58 delegates go to the winner, John McCain. "We're not holding out an illusion that Ron is going to win the nomination," said Debbie Hopper, Paul's national field director. "This is about calling the Republican Party back to its roots."

Some of the party regulars tried to call foul, saying that many of the Paulistas were Democrats, Libertarians or others ineligible to participate. But St. Louis city Republican chair Judy Zakibe gave credit where it was due. "Our people didn't come out," Zakibe said. "That's what cost us."

It's like the lottery ads say -- you gotta play to win. And the Paulistas played.

-- Scott Martelle

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