Nobody knows how much farther this is going to go, but it seems pretty clear at least two big names in the Ron Paul for President campaign might be heading to an indictment. It appears that Dimitri Kesari and Jessee Benton bribed a former Iowa state senator to switch sides from Michele Bachmann to Ron Paul in the 2012 presidential caucuses. I am currently reading a book about Watergate so as much as I want to say that there is no way Ron Paul himself was involved in this, you never say never until it is all said and done. Lord knows US attorneys love getting their hands on politicians, Democrat or Republican.
There has been a lot of glee bandied about on social media and various conservative blogs who hate everything about Ron Paul and would be just as happy to see every libertarian leave the party. The movement within the GOP has been shockingly successful given it was born out of a quixotic campaign by Paul in 2008. At the end of this year there could be upwards to 20 liberty conservatives in the House to go with the handful that are already in the Senate. For only six years of activism, that is a great showing. Furthermore, on the issues Paul himself ran on, we are seeing the GOP drift into that direction. Audit the Fed has become something many Republicans support, marijuana decriminalization support has grown, respect of civil liberties has shifted, and even some are beginning to question our foreign entanglements.
The lessons from the quick success the movement has had is twofold, and both are wrapped in the Sorenson scandal. The first is the movement is quite young, which means the professionals working for these candidates aren't as sophisticated and don't understand how the game is played. I'm sure things like what Sorenson did happens all the time, but it is done in a way so nobody gets indicted. Guys like Benton are playing in the majors when really they are AAA ballplayers at best. The second is for the speed in which the liberty movement has made gains within the GOP, it has made A LOT of enemies. The joy among the Paul haters to what has happened to Benton is palpable. The margin of error for the liberty movement is close to nil, as we've seen in states like Iowa, Nevada, and Alaska where the liberty forces took over the state party only to be smacked back down by the establishment by means both nefarious and clever. This is a brutal sport, GOP politics, and the people who have been on top for a long time aren't just going to step aside. They have the money, the power, and greater numbers. For the spectacular achievements this far, there is still a long way to go.
The good news is the one thing that liberty conservatives have on our side is time. We are the future. Our leaders in Congress like Justin Amash, Thomas Massie, Mike Lee, Raul Labrador, along with incoming reps like Dave Brat are in their early 50s or (much) younger. Particularly Amash and Massie have become the vanguard of this movement and their ideas are rising while the tired arguments of the establishment have seen the party lose election after election, year after year.
There are always going to be people in any movement like Kesari and Benton, overzealous at best and outright corrupt at worse, but life goes on. For this liberty movement to be successful it must become more important than anyone one person. It needs to be ideas and not personalities that drive it. Stuff like this happens in every party, all the time but we must be more careful. People on both the right and left are looking to get rid of us and we musn't let consultants dominate this movement the way it dominates both parties establishment.