Saturday, August 25, 2012

Paulers Lose Rules Vote, Whine About Tyranny

Friday the Republican Party in Tampa, through its rules committee, voted to tie the selection of convention delegates to the results of each state’s Republican primary. How extraordinary is this? Not very to any balanced observer but to the Ron Paul zombie delegates and their toadies it was the definition of "an Establishment power grab." Please.

As the Washington Post put it: "Romney allies said primary voters expect national convention delegates to be loyal to the primary winner." Again, just how out of control is this expectation and now rule? Why have primaries at all if the results will not carry through to the convention delegates?

Unfortunately, the usual Ron Paul drones decried the move, effectively bemoaning that a political party acted in its own perceived interest to keep it for those who believe in its principles. The bastards! Ron Paulers, by their own admission, are not republicans. Am I the only one listening to them? Perhaps. At this May's endorsing convention I was called by The Weekly Standard the convention's "persona non grata." I was so pleased by that I could hardly stand myself (thereby joining many, no doubt).

Marianne Stebbins, the accomplished organizer behind the strength of Ron Paul in Minnesota, said last week in an interview that liberals had many good ideas. What would those be, pray tell? Partial birth abortion? Confiscatory tax rates? Oh, sorry: legalizing pot. Got it. This is a small, intellectually stagnant world. You're welcome to it. No Jews allowed.

Sen. Julianne Ortman rightly observed on Twitter that the rule change was a good thing. No, she was promptly scolded (what is it with scolding in the MN GOP?) by Chair Pat Shortridge. It's a bad thing. That was it. Ex Cathedra like. Why preventing the damage the Paul people have done to the state party is something he can't grasp is only a mystery until one realizes he was put in place with the help of Pat Anderson and just enough "liberty" types at last year's State Central Committee meeting. Here, however, the national party had to step in because of the manifest incompetence and shameful collusion of the state party (Minnesota isn't alone, however). I suppose it's natural that children whine when adult supervision appears.

Both Anderson and Shortridge asked me to stop tweeting about Ron Paul and his insane supporters for the two weeks before that meeting in order to woo enough of them to put Shortridge over the top. I did because I wanted Shortridge to be chair. Nothing has changed in that regard despite the two of us slapping each other around a bit on Twitter last night. I personally loathe Twitter fights so I feel I've let myself down. And Shortridge doesn't have a proper forum to explain why he thinks this is bad for the future of the Republican Party because he's busy in Tampa. I would invite him to write something for this blog about his perspective and I will publish it unedited. I ask only one thing: has he forgotten all the non-Ron Paul people in the party? Anything for us from leadership?

Stebbins tweeted a link to the laughably left-wing Buzz Feed (which probably has the most disliked "reporters" on Twitter) that carried a story which was negative against the change generally and against Ben Ginsberg in particular. Go figure.

Fired RNC Committeewoman Pat Anderson tweeted that the vote was "fairly close." The vote was 63 to 38. Words must have different meanings when you're high on liberty and in Tampa.

She also said that "this was a states' rights issue." Stop and appreciate this comment.

What does Anderson think is a states' rights issue? No matter her response, the self-regulation of any political party of any political creed is not a matter of states' rights by definition. Political parties, this just in, are not sovereign states. Anderson plans, I'm told, to vote for Ron Paul. Q.E.D.

Pat, a bogus 10th Amendment bromide to the tribe is best directed to the Tea Party. Your melting base in the MN GOP are the Ron Paulers. You do know, don't you, what they say about Answered Prayers?

Equally pandering but considerably more constipated was Jeff Johnson. Jeff. Johnson. Tweeted he:

"Convention Rules Cmte supports allowing RNC to change Party Rules w/o convention vote. Terrible change."

He never elaborated but hopefully he's taken his own smug advice condescendingly given out to the state convention in May and gotten over it. Get over it, Jeff. How does it feel?

I understand MN GOP Deputy-Chair Kelly Fenton flew to Tampa on Saturday. She's used to figuring out which way the wind blows so I'm not worried about hurricanes. 

Herewith how she, Kurt Bills, Doc Severson & Pete Hegseth appeared on your television Thursday:

John Gilmore & Barbara Malzacher. Yes, this is what its come to. We're as alarmed as anyone.

I was contacted late Wednesday evening and told Kurt Bills would endorse Romney the next day. Delegates and Alternates were being sent an email that night and media the next day would be alerted with a "kick ass" statement. A written statement was all that was being planned. I could hardly believe my ears.

I hung up and called Mike Osskopp, campaign manager for Kurt Bills. I stressed that this was a perfect earned media opportunity that should not be missed. Hold a press conference, please. I could feel the heat of the light bulb going off over his head through the phone. He thanked me and said he needed to talk to David Fitzsimmons and Dave Strom. Right. Before the call ended, I encouraged him to edit the press conference video, embed it in an email and send it Friday morning to every republican in the state asking for ten dollars.

When Hegseth arrived for the press conference he noticed there was no signage. He contacted Malzacher for help who in turned contacted Kelly Fenton. She was at the state fair. No one had contacted the party to alert them of this endorsement and press conference. She dropped everything and got there timely. Signage appeared as well.

So while Pat Shortridge can sneer to me on Twitter that he'll put his time in the trenches up against mine any day, I was trying to help the senate campaign as best I could, as was Barbara Malzacher. We're not exactly fans of Kurt Bills but his endorsement of Romney was an overdue and welcome development. One could say we got over it and jumped in--unpaid and scrambling--to help pull off an unremarkable press conference. The bar is so very low.

Obviously I can appreciate Shortridge's view that people who blog and tweet don't really do much for the party, although messaging is always important. Speaking of which, it would have been nice to have had some push back when our imbecile of a Vice President, Joe Biden, came to town. But no, nothing. When Romney came, the vapid mayor of Minneapolis pushed back and the usual tattered group of people happy to be dependent on government were trotted out for a fake protest near one Romney fund raising event. See how this works?

The fund raising was enormously successful from what I've heard; close to four millions dollars. Or eight Alida Rockefeller checks. Still, such is the state of republicans in Minnesota that Jack Meeks was unable to successfully beg for a mere $25,000 to stay behind. I can't blame the Romney people; why waste money?

Today the whining by the fake republicans reached fever pitch. In a press release that is the, shall we say, gold standard of sore losing, Stebbins complained that "Liberty Republicans" were being frozen out. Excellent. Ron Paul and his supporters are a kook fringe element that have no place in mainstream, conservative republican affairs. Instead of showing leadership in opposing them in Minnesota, Pat Anderson, Jeff Johnson, Pat Shortridge and Kelly Fenton, each in varying degrees and kind, accommodated them with disastrous results. They should be the last to complain about matters being set right, having made a hash of things themselves. Your narrow self-interest is not synonymous with the party's.

Nauseatingly, Stebbins claims the high road of principle when she's never addressed Paul's long, well-documented history of anti-semitism, belief that 9-11 was an inside job and other odious ideas. Instead, she brays that “[e]ven non-Ron Paul delegates and MNGOP party officials recognize the significance of the RNC actions goes beyond its direct effect on Liberty Republicans."

Even? That's telling. Don't be fooled, Marianne, that the Gang of Four with you in Tampa represents Minnesota republicans. Does 51.5% ring a bell with you?

Even Craig Westover was dragooned into Stebbins' press release [or maybe even wrote it; something about the tendentious style was familiar], obediently saying that Romney might just be as bad as Obama. Now there's a mainstream republican sentiment! At the end of the day, the Ron Paul people, as befits any cult, are simply tiresome.

Apparently Paulers are getting the vapors on that thing known as Face Book and predict some sort of dramatic floor fight over these changes. Rest assured the rest of the convention delegates loathe you even more than the substantial majority on the rules committee. The changes will be approved in a flash. Minnesota republicans thank Ben Ginsberg and the other adults at the RNC for solving a problem our local leaders not only refused to confront but collaborated with for their own gain. I hear housing prices in Tampa are cheap. Perhaps the Minnesota delegation should think of buying. There's nothing here for them should they return.


Anonymous said...

If I read you correctly, this rule only applies to those states that select delegates at convention AND have a presidential primary? Minnesota isn't one of those, so it would seem the RP delegates could keep their seats and vote how they like. After Romney wins the first ballot, I expect them to jump out of their seats and cheer, but I may get disappointed on that one.

Or am I misreading?

J. Ewing

Anonymous said...

Well said, as usual. The rending of clothes, the tearing of hair on Facebook continues. Will any of them self immolate? Republicans can only hope.

Walter Hudson said...

These rule changes are bad for the party, not for Paulers. As you well know, Ron Paul is done. There will be no Ron Paul campaign in 2016. These rules affect the future, not the present.

You ask: what is the point of a primary if its results do not carry forward via the state's delegation? I'll answer that. But first allow me to counter with another question. What's the point of a caucus/convention if its results do not carry forward via the state's delegation? What's the point of wrestling over the planks of a party platform if the delegates crafting it are not also selecting the candidates to uphold it?

The effect of these changes is a chilling of grassroots activism. Fewer people will get involved in the caucus/convention process, knowing that their time, treasure, and effort make little difference in determining who carries the party's flag to the general election. That makes the party less accessible, deprives activists of a sense of ownership, and chills support of the party's candidates. That's all for the bad.

Your question about the point of a primary presumes preference for a primary system. As you know, in Minnesota our national delegation is determined through our conventions. Love it or hate it, that is the system our legislature and party has collaborated to create. While you are correct to point out Anderson's error in evoking "state's rights," her underlying sentiment that state parties ought to be free to determine how best to serve their activists is consistent with our shared republican principles. We prefer local control, do we not?

Anonymous said...

To the naive (including the weak, so-called state party leadership) : you thought that the RNC would simply roll over and allow your asshattery? Did your queen tell you that? Like she told you the money would follow your endorsements? What flavor kool-aid do you drink? What flavor kool-aid do you drink?