Huh? Rachel Maddow Claims GOP 'Being Taken Over' by Ron Paul

Rachel Maddow is indignant that more people in media don't share her penchant for elevating minor news to mountainous stories.

Last night, for example, Maddow flogged away at one of her favorite hobby horses, her dubious claim that Ron Paul's spectral presence in the presidential campaign portends seismic upheaval within the GOP. (video and audio clips after page break)

While Mitt Romney has been the presumptive nominee for months, Paul has won a plurality of delegates in four states -- Iowa, Maine, Minnesota and Louisiana.

If Paul does so again at this weekend's Nebraska state convention, party rules dictate that his name can be placed in nomination at the national convention and he would be allowed to speak for 15 minutes before the first round of balloting.

Paul's supporters have also won state party chairman posts in Iowa and Alaska, Maddow pointed out, along with control of Clark County, Nev., where Las Vegas and three-quarters of the state's residents are situated.

Here's Maddow take on how this all can -- make that, how this all will -- play out --

Republicans have a real problem here that is a big deal and that there is no parallel for on the Democratic side. Trying to ignore that fact will not make it go away. Private security guards or not (alluding to her earlier comment on Nebraska Republicans dropping plans to hire security personnel for their state convention), these dissenting Republicans that everybody is trying to ignore may do something this Saturday that turns the Republican national convention this summer on its ear. 

I realize it is not happening in Washington and therefore the Beltway will not pay attention. I realize that the Republicans who are in charge of the Republican Party don't want to talk about this and so the Fox Newses of the world will never cover it. But it is happening and if we believe that party politics mean anything in this country, the fact that one of these parties is being taken over from within and it's going to screw up their big pageant/prom in the fall, kinda seems like a big story! All eyes on Nebraska.

But even if Ron Paul won all 32 delegates in Nebraska, the last state holding a GOP convention this year, he'll have a total of 190 overall -- far short of the 1,144 needed for the nomination, and that much further still from Romney's current tally of 1,522. This according to a running count at the New York Times, a source presumably acceptable to Maddow.

Not surprisingly, Maddow made no mention of any of these figures, since doing so would undercut her premise.

Maddow's claims have nothing to do with what remains of Paul's campaign -- and everything to do, in her capacity at MS-DNC, with pitting Republicans against each.

It's worth noting that Maddow made a comparable prediction in June 2008, back when there was a fierce intraparty battle -- between Obama and Clinton. Maddow was insistent that Clinton intended to fight Obama all the way to the national convention more than two months away.

Maddow made this claim on her Air America Radio show and during guest appearances on television, and can be heard here repeating it on June 4, 2008 during an appearance on MSNBC's "Race to the White House" --

I think that, I mean, nobody's been more enthusiastic about the idea that Sen. Clinton is in this 'til the end, in this to win it, than I have. That said (John Harwood interjecting here, "I've noticed"), I know, I've been pushing this, you know, sort of to my career peril at points. But I don't actually identify with either of Maureen Dowd's takes on it. I honestly believe that Sen. Clinton, if she does not get out, I mean, maybe she'll get out in the next 24 or 72 hours or something, but if she doesn't, if she decides to stick it out and make some argument about Michigan or some reason to stay in 'til the convention, I think it's because she thinks that gives her a chance to win. And yes, there is a problem in that she is reducing Barack Obama's chances of winning in the fall. But if she thinks his chances of winning in the fall are zero anyway, she thinks she's doing Democrats a favor by keeping her hand in.

Clinton dropped out three days later.

Jack Coleman
Jack Coleman
Ex-liberal from People's Republic of Massachusetts