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Ron Paul—and the ‘Pink Slip’

1:28 PM, Feb 1, 2012 • By JIM PREVOR
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There are two points to make here. First, the generosity of a business executive being kind personally and economically to a fired employee is not analogous to a presidential nominee being generous by offering a losing candidate a chance to present his views or to influence the new administration’s policies. In the business world, there are generally only two players – the business and the fired employee – that have to be satisfied. In politics, any move toward a losing candidate’s positions will cause a reaction by those who opposed that candidate’s positions. So the policies that worked in business won’t work in politics.

The second point is that in politics the substantive goal matters: Even if the Welches’ strategy might work—as in help a Republican win the election—it could change a party so much that it would alter its principles and what it stands for. In business, the goal is to make money. As such, the question of giving generous severance, for example, boils down to a decision as to whether giving more severance will “pay” by reducing lawsuits, increasing community reputation, etc.

In politics, the goal is to implement policies that one believes in. This puts close to an insurmountable block before the Welches’ proposal. If Paul’s supporters want an isolationist foreign policy and the Republican nominee’s supporters want an active foreign policy, neither group of supporters would be happy.

Allowing a speech at the convention that is discordant with a nominee’s positions is only going to lead to confusion and alienation. Bringing in advisers whose advice a nominee has already decided to reject is a recipe for a blow-up later on when supporters learn the advisory role was disingenuous.

The eventual nominee should certainly be courteous and, where common ground exists, it can be emphasized. Sometimes there may be regional or parochial issues on which one can compromise. But the primaries and caucuses are designed to ferret out the basic policies that the people support. A nominee needs to stand with those positions and reject a supposed deal in order to win an election. The most likely outcome of such a deal is that the candidate willing to bend so generously will be seen as unprincipled and will lose both the election and the chance to govern effectively.

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