A lot of the readers of United Liberty probably have a pretty good idea of what transpired at the GOP convention on Tuesday, or at least have heard about it. For those who haven’t, it all started Friday when the Rules Committee, led by one of my least favorite people, John Sununu, decided to radically change the power structure of the party, in essence, neutering the grassroots. Specifically, it would make the RNC very much a top-heavy organization and give the national party establishment, as well as the party’s nominee, ultimate authority over the delegate process.
So fast-forward to Tuesday when the convention convened to start handling party business. The matter concerning the rule changes was brought before the assembled body and while, according to multiple reports, the nays had it, it was passed. Before we go any further, I’d have to recommend a write-up by Dean Clancy of FreedomWorks. This pretty much gives all the info you need about this power grab. The main points being Rules 12 and 15, respectively, which if changed, would create the aforementioned shift of power.
As Clancy notes, there was a lot of misinformation flying around that helped cause this mess. The main one being that this was just a Ron Paul thing:
Some delegates seem to have believed that the rules fight was really just a proxy fight in the larger battle being waged between the Romney and Ron Paul camps over who would represent certain states on the convention floor. This assumption may have discouraged some Rules Committee members from supporting the minority reports.
Certainly it seems intuitive that the power elite of the party probably figured this would happen and that it would help their cause. As Michelle Malkin herself tweeted, this was not about Ron Paul. It was an all-out power grab. During the session, #RNCpowergrab started to trend on Twitter. On the front lines of this battle were groups like FreedomWorks and the Heritage Foundation. For Heaven’s sake, even Rush and Mark Levin started to decry this obvious mistake, but—it didn’t matter. It passed…
After several delegates walked out in protest on Tuesday, several more did so Wednesday night in the middle of John McCain’s speech yelling, “As Maine goes, so goes the nation.” That was in reference to the the RNC stripping 10 duly elected delegates from the Maine delegation and replacing them with Romney loyalists. However, the best line of this article was this:
Hungry journalists, myself included, chased after them, happy that something remotely interesting was happening.
Ha! That’s good stuff. And true. The McCain speech was a snoozer.
But seriously, my thoughts can be summed up by this question: Is the GOP intentionally trying to do everything wrong? And as I’ve been saying for awhile, I think antics like this benefit the LP and Gary Johnson’s presidential run. All the GOP had to do was let things play out in a natural, organic way. Paul would have had a plurality of delegates in enough states to be given an automatic speech (that wouldn’t be vetted by team Romney), Romney would easily win the nomination, and the Paul forces would have felt respected and validated. But as I mentioned earlier, this thing is now way bigger than Dr. Paul. In terms of the grassroots perspective, I think Matt Kibbe, president of FreedomWorks, who was just highlighted Tuesday on United Liberty, summed it up best:
I believe that the Republican party has made a huge mistake by effectively disenfranchising grassroots activists who want to be a part of the party process. If the party sincerely wants the support of citizens, shutting them out of the process is not the way to do it. Sooner rather than later the Republican establishment needs to come to terms with the decentralized nature of grassroots organization circa 2012. The terms of engagement can no longer be dictated from the top-down.