Phillips: Right at the Wrong Time

I’ll have more reports in the coming days about the Constitution Party convention, and hopefully I’ll be able to relate to you some of the more interesting stories and happenings of the Convention. But here is a simple overview of how I felt about Howard Phillip’s speech.

It was foolish.

Was it factually correct? I’ll not speak to that, because i’ll likely have people squabbling about it in the comments section. This question avoids the more appropriate question—was it appropriate? At Convention, few people opposed Keyes more openly than myself (although Red Phillips certainly gave them a rough time). However, what Mr. Phillips did, rather than what he said, was an inappropriate use of his authority. Howard Phillips was given a Convention speaking slot and was, in this fashion, a recognized speaker of the party. He used this bully pullpit to rail against Alan Keyes in a way that made it appear as if the party as a whole endorsed these views. If Mr. Phillips wanted to make that speech then he should have made it at a seperate time.
But even more importantly than the manner and timing in which the speech was presented—it just wasn’t neccesary.

Keyes was soundly defeated before the covention ever got underway, and the speech neither increased nor decreased the size of his delegation. When I arrived at convention and attempted to assess the situation I advised some of my partners-in-crime (who shall remain nameless, until further notice) that by my calculations, Keyes had only about 120 votes. By the end of Roll-Call, Keyes had accumulated 125.7 votes. Baldwin soundly defeated Keyes by a 3-to-1 margin, and did so without the 12-hour delegate-conferences that Keyes was hosting. So here I am calling out Phillips: Next time—don’t go blowing up the bridges that our respective states have built, we can handle it.

And it was obvious that many people, including the most ardent opponents of Keyes, opposed this abuse of power.

39 Responses to “Phillips: Right at the Wrong Time”

  1. Cody Quirk Says:

    I think you echoed my thoughts too. Howard went WAY overboard. Yeah Keyes probably was bad news, but Howard took it too far.

  2. Trent Hill Says:

    I dont think his speech went way too far, I think him giving it from his Convention-granted speaking slot went too far.

    Besides—it wasnt needed. Us grunts had already laid the groundwork.

  3. NewFederalist Says:

    I cannot imagine Dave Nolan doing likewise at the LP convention.

  4. G.E. Says:

    B.S.

    Howard Phillips acted heroically. He is to be commended. The only question is how he gave birth to such a spineless party of politically correct sissy-boys.

  5. Trent Hill Says:

    GE,

    Phillips clearly did something unethical here. He lambasted one of our candidates, in a speech given to him by the convention—which amounts to a party endorsement of his attack on Keyes.

    Let me make this clear: I agreed with every last word Phillips said—but it wasnt said in the right place the right way. Phillips should have made this speech as a seperate one, he’d have had no trouble getting a shot at an open mic. Not to mention, this wasn’t a heroic action because it didn’t need DOING. Had he been in contact with his delegates, he’d have known that we had it wrapped up 3-to-1. This sentiment was basically unanimous.

    With that said—-would you have supported the same tactics if Clymer had done a similar thing to Baldwin? No way—it is notonly unethical, but violates our bylaws. It was a top-down manuever, at a time when the bottom-up folksalready had it covered. Thats the thing about us Paul-folks, we don’t wait for a prompting.

  6. G.E. Says:

    I wasn’t aware it violated the bylaws.

  7. Schuyler Reidel Says:

    “partners in crime”, ??? What crime….. LOL, great stuff Trent see ya soon.

  8. Ben Says:

    Typical Howard Phillips. I’d expect nothing different. shrug

  9. Independent populist Says:

    Not cool Howard

  10. paulie Says:

    Is this entry filed under “news” actually opinion?

  11. disinter Says:

    “Good for my old friend Howard Phillips and the Constitution Party for preventing yet another neocon takeover of a traditional conservative, limited government organization—the Constitution Party. Keyes is the quintessential Neocon insider: He was a student of the flamboyant “Straussian” Alan Bloom at Cornell, and lived in the same house as Bloom, along with several other male neocons who called the womens’ dress-wearing Bloom “master.”; he studied at Harvard under Straussian neocon Harvey Mansfield; and he entered national politics as a sidekick of neocon UN Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick during the Reagan years.

    Shortly after the publication of The Real Lincoln in 2002 Howard Phillips had me on his local cable TV show in Virginia to discuss the book. During one of the breaks he mentioned that he had asked Keyes to join the Constitution Party and he declined, saying that he agreed with just about everything the Party stood for except for its criticisms, mostly from Howard, of Lincoln. Lincoln idolatry is, of course, the defining characteristic of a Straussian Neocon Warmonger like Keyes, for The Legend of Father Abraham is what “justifies” the American empire and its expansion.”

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/020724.html

  12. citizen1 Says:

    Another point is that people are now say see Keyes was not willing to help the party. Frankly after Howard’s rant I do not blame him for leaving. I almost cast my vote for someone other than Baldwin or Keyes and would have if they did not remove Ron Paul from the list.

  13. Deran Says:

    The bickering at the CP con reminds of my youth and attending leftie meetings which went no where and got nothing accomplished because there were always people shrilly hollering abt keep the group pure and politically correct (by the way, “politically correct” is an old leftie phrase originally, to do with bickering over who had the more correct politics, the correct line, as they used to say).

    This sort of fanaticism abt the correct line is in no small part why the US indie Left and indie Right have had such troubles getting any headway publicly.

  14. Trent Hill Says:

    Thats probablyan arguable point—but its most definetly unethical. Giving a speaking slot to someone that was supposed to be “Constitution Party 2008, how we can win on principle” and then turning that Party-granted speech into an attack of one specific candidate and endorsement of another SEEMS to violate any ethical system we might want to govern our convention under.

    But the simple fact is this: It really wasn’t needed. That ship was already sinking.

    But rest assured GE—there’ll be plenty of other articles in which you can cheer the defeat of Keyes. Iv got some stuff going up soon.

  15. paulie Says:

    Trent,

    I think you are correct, but this should be filed under opinion - not news.

  16. Trent Hill Says:

    Paulie,

    Done. Thanks for pointing that out.

  17. Declarationist Says:

    I guess I can thank Howard Phillips for his rant against Alan Keyes and the rude treatment given Alan, his staffers, and supporters by some CP members. It made me realize that I want nothing to do with this party and will save me the trouble of switching my party registration.

  18. Catholic Trotskyist Says:

    I agree with Deran. In fact, the left is divided into over 20 parties who collectively can’t even get someone to cover for them on this site besides occasional postings about the Green party and Socialist (Brian Moore faction) party. this is why the left needs to throw themselves all together and support the Obama Revolution, in alliance with the Christian Democratic potential in America.

  19. Catholic Trotskyist Says:

    I also support Howard Phillips on his speech against the heretic/warmonger Keyes.

  20. Dennis Justice Says:

    I left the GOP over the local RINOs manipulating and stopping a much more conservative GOP men’s club trying to pass a motion to publicly wash our hands of Charles Taylor, who was soundly defeated by Heath Shuler for Congress, and who had been coy with all of us about running again. We needed to wash our hands of him because the conservative Charles Taylor in 12 years became the “here’s the bacon I can bring from Washington” Charles Taylor.

    It turned out the party leader at the time ended up running for that very spot. Highly unethical not to disclose his intentions at the time.

    Wasn’t the first straw but it was surely the last.

    It’s wrong for the GOP and CP to act like this. Count me OUT of voting for a CP candidate. I’ll write my own name in as a protest vote first.

  21. Laura Says:

    I’m just happy that the CP was smart enough to see what a disaster the neo-con Keyes would have been! I was a little worried, for a while, that the “holier than thou” party didn’t have any discernment.

  22. Sean Says:

    “partners in crime”—you guys were AWESOME. If only you’d gotten your last goal accomplished, it would have been a truly amazing (benevolent) coup!!

  23. Trent Hill Says:

    Sean,

    We certainly were trying. In most of the contests, our group stood against the “top-down” style leadership in favor of “bottom-up” style grassroots change.

  24. John Lofton, Recovering Republican Says:

    Just sorry Howard Phillips was not as vehement toward the pro-abortion Nevada CP as he was in opposing Keyes.

    John Lofton, Editor

    TheAmericanView.com

    [email protected]

  25. Trent Hill Says:

    John,

    Phillips did sponsor a resolution at the convention that would’ve allowed the ExecComm to take action against Nevada.

    It was easily defeated, 3-to-1.

  26. John Lofton, Recovering Republican Says:

    Give me some details on this, please, Trent. Thank you.

  27. Trent Hill Says:

    No thanks. You’d just use it as cannon fodder to say “the CP SUPPORTS PRO-ABORTS”

    I’ll give you the reason why it was defeated so easily though. It demanded that delegates, candidates, and chairmen sign a “Pledge to the platform”. I told all the delegates about how I was asked to sign something similar during mywork for Ron Paul in the Republican party. The Keyes people were also opposed to it because they disagreed with the foriegn policy and foriegn aid parts of the platform.

  28. Trent Hill Says:

    So, as you can see, it was opposed by:

    Nevada, California, Louisiana (thats my state), the Keyes delegates, and most people who were sympathetic to the Paul movement.

  29. Red Phillips Says:

    Trent you overstate. The motion to change the bylaws (something like that) was introduced, and someone immediately made a motion to table it. The motion to table won, but not 3 to 1.

    In the National Committee the motion tied, but needed two thirds. I wasn’t there for the National Committee so I don’t know details.

    I’m not sure what the Keyes delegates have to do with this, and if so I’m not sure they understood what was going on. The fact that Nevada was not disciplined was a matter of concern for some Keyes supporters on his forum when they were considering the CP.

    I agree they shouldn’t have to support the entire platform. There are certain parts I don’t agree with. This issue needs to be boiled down to the abortion issue only.

  30. SovereignMN Says:

    Red is correct and Trent is mistaken on this.

    The by-law proposal was introduced in committee. To sum it up, it simply dealt with now the national committee would deal with affiliates who do not uphold the platform. It was not a direct attack on Nevada, merely a way for the national committee to prevent a hostile takeover. It tied in committee 40-40 but still well short of the 2/3 needed to take effect. However; a by-law proposal only needs a simple majority in the convention.

    The MN and GA delegations were going to introduce the by-law to the national convention and Howard Phillips agreed to second the motion. However; Chuck Baldwin specifically asked MN and GA to put off the proposal until Orlando in the interest of party unity. We agreed, but Phillips was never notifed. Thus, Phillips made the motion himself. It was them immediately moved to TABLE. The motion to table was very close…probably 55-45. Someone challenged the chairs interpretation of the results and 75% of the convention thought the chair was correct in saying “The yea’s have it”. So Trent is mistaken in saying that 75% of the convention voted down the resolution. About 55% of the convention voted to table…which is different than defeat. By having the motion tabled, it can be reintroduced at any future meeting and not be declared out of order.

    BTW…In addition to Howard Phillips supporting the by-law change, the change has the support of the Executive Committee as well.

    The by-law change is not meant to be hostile to Nevada or any other affiliate. It’s a forward thinking change designed to protect the party from a hostile takeover.

  31. Kevin Waisfeld Says:

    Baldwin offered Keyes the V.P.,
    Alan Denied It.
    Moral Conservative Christian Principles first.
    Lets see the CP go down to the drain with a candidate with 0 Political experience.

  32. Trent Hill Says:

    “Trent you overstate. The motion to change the bylaws (something like that) was introduced, and someone immediately made a motion to table it. The motion to table won, but not 3 to 1.”

    Tabling was an obviously unfriendly manuever by Janine Hansen to end debate on the matter. The vote would have been very similar, if not the same, if it were an up-or-down vote.

  33. Trent Hill Says:

    “About 55% of the convention voted to table…which is different than defeat. By having the motion tabled, it can be reintroduced at any future meeting and not be declared out of order.”

    Id say thats REALLY low-balling the number. 65% seems fair to me,considering no one formally challenged the ruling of the chair (which someone would be certain to do if it were 55-45).

    “BTW…In addition to Howard Phillips supporting the by-law change, the change has the support of the Executive Committee as well.”

    This makes it all-the-more important to oppose this measure then. I’ll not agree to any proposal where I’d need to sign a pledge to the platform—because i DO NOT adhere to the platform on SEVERAL issues.
    A platform, by its very nature, is a compromise. Therefore NO ONE should fully agree with it.

    “The by-law change is not meant to be hostile to Nevada or any other affiliate. It’s a forward thinking change designed to protect the party from a hostile takeover.”

    Im not concerned about Nevada. Im concerned about Louisiana. We are more libertarian on the issues than the ExecComm, and the party as a whole (except perhaps Idaho and Texas). I oppose up to 4-5 planks of the platform, and much of the language. The whole notion of pledging to a platform (which is by nature a compromise) is farce.
    You want to avoid a hostile takeover? Build a state party that has all delegates spots filled. Or, make sure thevarious state affilliates don’t allow delegates to attend who are politically incongruous with our objectives and goals.

  34. SovereignMN Says:

    “The vote would have been very similar, if not the same, if it were an up-or-down vote.”

    You don’t know that. As I mentioned, many of those who were in favor of the change did not want to bring it up at that moment and were content with the tabling.

  35. Trent Hill Says:

    Sovereign,

    Your right, im speculating—as are you.
    Point being, the motion was basically dead in the water because of the Pledge to a Platform thing.

  36. Teno Says:

    John Lofton said: “Just sorry Howard Phillips was not as vehement toward the pro-abortion Nevada CP as he was in opposing Keyes.”

    If he had, you and I (and Mike Peroutka and numerous others) would be active members of the CP today.

    But I will say this was the most positive thing the CP has done in quite a while. Too little, too late, though.

  37. Sean Says:

    “Baldwin offered Keyes the V.P.,
    Alan Denied It”
    Any proof of that? I’d love it… thanks…

    I must agree with Trent - Jeanine was vehement about the proposal :-)

  38. Trent Hill Says:

    Baldwin didnt offer Keyes the VP spot—I can gaurantee it.

  39. Cody Quirk Says:

    If he had, you and I (and Mike Peroutka and numerous others) would be active members of the CP today.

    =Thank God you’re not!

    But I will say this was the most positive thing the CP has done in quite a while. Too little, too late, though.

    = Alan was a joke. I would have supported him if he reconciled with the CP on the foreign policy issues.

    He did no such thing, and even didn’t say nice things about Constitutionalism either. That’s why he lost.

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