We don’t usually get much news out of state political conventions because, usually, not much happens.

This year’s Republican biennial party blowout is the exception because it produced a lot of news, in addition to chaos, turmoil and angry words.

Which is interesting, because after all the hubbub, nothing really happened this time, either.

Ron Paul backers showed up in strength and forced their way into the key elected positions, allowing them to control the convention and fill the Maine slate for the national convention with delegates supporting the libertarian congressman from Texas.

Those 20 votes, however, won’t stop former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney from accepting the nomination, and they probably won’t be enough to give Paul the bargaining leverage he apparently wants to use to get a prime-time speech at the convention. (Whether the Maine delegation will even be seated at the convention is still a matter ripe for even more fighting.)

And not affecting the presidential selection process isn’t the only thing Republicans didn’t get done over the weekend.

They wasted so much time fighting over the pro-Paul takeover that they didn’t have time to hear from the six Republican candidates running for an open U.S. Senate seat — a race that could tip the balance of power in Washington.

The Paul folks are determined to use arcane state rules in Maine and elsewhere to beef up their man’s presence at the national convention. And you can’t blame anyone other than state parties that created and tolerated those arcane rules, which, for the most part, have let insiders have most of the influence and kept most people out of the nominating process.

Creating a system that lets the most motivated activists run the show opens the door to an outcome like this weekend’s debacle, in which the Paul supporters won every contest except the only one that would matter — the one in which they might convince the most people in the state to vote for their candidate.

That would take a statewide primary election (or better, a regional primary) in which candidates are judged on their merits, not on how well they manage the rules.

As fun for outsiders as last weekend was to watch, the spectacle Maine Republicans showed us is no way to pick a president.