Ron Paul may have effectively ended his presidential campaign, but his supporters haven’t gotten the message.

Paul’s backers continue to seek the replacement of the Oklahoma delegation to the Republican National Convention with a pro-Paul group. They insist procedural rules were broken at the state convention, contending a standing vote of delegates was improper and a paper-ballot vote required.

To most, that’s a difference without much distinction. That’s likely why the Republican National Committee rejected the request to change delegates.

Oklahoma isn’t the only place Ron Paul supporters are fighting trench warfare over delegate spots to participate in a convention that will not — we repeat, not — nominate Ron Paul as president.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports a similar fight in Louisiana. As in Oklahoma, Paul supporters claim rules were violated. And, as in Oklahoma, the Republican National Committee upheld the original slate of non-Paul delegates.

A similar squabble is occurring in Massachusetts, where 16 Ron Paul supporters were ruled ineligible to participate in the national convention.

In Maine, the situation is reversed. A pro-Ron Paul slate of delegates is being challenged by Republican leaders who claim party and parliamentary rules weren’t followed.

These fights are unnecessary and pointless. U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican and son of the Texas congressman, will be a featured speaker at the national convention; Paul’s views and supporters are hardly being ignored. The enthusiasm of Paul’s supporters is commendable but misdirected. Mitt Romney will be the GOP nominee this year.

After World War II ended, it took decades before the last Japanese soldiers surrendered. In the same fashion, Paul’s boosters are wasting energy fighting a battle long concluded when all Republicans need to unite and focus on the battle at hand — the campaign to defeat President Barack Obama.

©2012 The Oklahoman

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