Update September 3: See Cliff Kincaid’s piece on Karl Rove, the “party boss” of the GOP, here.
Despite all the fluff and fanfare on Fox News about the Republican Convention in Tampa, there was a lot more going on there than you know. And, much of what you didn’t hear is so stupid as to make you wonder if this isn’t the last convention of the GOP as we know it.
And, of course, the ultimate question is: why would the RNC wage war on conservative grassroots at this time? I thought the goal was to replace Barack Obama?
Karl Rove showed himself
Let’s start with Karl “the brain” Rove and his outrageous comment regarding Missouri Senate candidate and social conservative Todd Akin who by all accounts said a dumb thing about rape and abortion recently, but his remark now pales in comparison to what Rove told a roomful of big Republican donors.
Here is Phyllis Schlafly at the Eagle Forum calling on Rove to resign:
“Karl Rove has made himself toxic to Republicans by his incredibly offensive and dangerous statement suggesting the murder of Congressman Todd Akin of Missouri. Any candidate or network who hires Rove will now be tarnished with this most malicious remark ever made in Republican politics.
Rove in Tampa told some 70 big donors to his Super PAC, American Crossroads, that every attendee should apply pressure to ‘sink Todd Akin’ and force him out of the Senate race for which Missourians had nominated him. Then Rove said that if Akin were ‘found mysteriously murdered, don’t look for my whereabouts.’”
Visit Blue Ridge Forum, here, to learn why Rove appears to want to ‘get Akin’ when he (Rove) is supposed to be getting rid of Obama. Could it be that Akin committed the ultimate sin—he had the audacity to stay in the race when the ruling class told him to get out. So now Rove is going for blood (and not a peep out of Fox News so far on Rove’s revenge).
More on that dirty trick involving The Rule that henceforth chills (kills!) grassroots activism within the party.
I told you about the Tampa rule dirty trick in several posts on Friday, here, here and here. I recommend that you take five minutes now and watch (or re-watch) Speaker of the House John Boehner sell out grassroots conservatives because I have more to tell you about what happened. (Holy cow! there are over 102,000 views of Boehner reading the teleprompter already!)
“…we have to beat the Republicans before we can beat the Democrats.”
Here is a good summary of what went down in Tampa by Dean Clancy at Freedom Works (emphasis mine):
The Romney rules effectively disenfranchise grassroots delegates, and will thus tend to weaken and splinter the party over time. They specifically represent a blow to the Tea Party and the Ron Paul insurgency — movements that have sprung up precisely because Washington insiders (of both parties) have abandoned the traditional bedrock principles of the Republican party, namely, economic freedom, fiscal common sense, and smaller, constitutionally limited government. Indeed, these vibrant new movements (which have attracted many young people, politically active citizens, and non-Republicans) represent what could fairly be characterized as “the Republican wing of the Republican party.” They want a real voice in the Grand Old Party. They’ve played by the rules. But the power brokers have now changed the rules, in order to shut them out. This unexpected hostility forces grassroots conservatives to reconsider their future within the GOP.
Yesterday’s fight offers a sobering glimpse of what life will be like for conservatives in a Romney Administration. It proves once again that sometimes we have to beat the Republicans before we can beat the Democrats.
Enter the Grand Poobah of the Maryland Republican Party—Louis Pope.
Pope as most of you may know (or maybe don’t!) is our National Republican Committeeman, is co-chair with Bob Ehrlich of the Romney campaign in MD, led the Maryland delegation in Tampa, and was vice chairman of the Rules Committee that rammed through the controversial rule change.
Pope was personally thanked for his work on The Rule from the convention dais by none-other than John Sununu who served as chairman of that committee. Please go here and watch Sununu and Boehner ram this through (the shouts from the floor have been muffled in the tape, but you can see the anger on delegates faces). When you click on the link, scroll down on the timeline. At 2:27:54 you will see Sununu’s photo, click on it and the tape should load at the correct place. Sununu thanks Louis Pope of Maryland and then a lip-licking-deer-in-the-headlights Boehner is introduced to read the teleprompter.
We are all ears if Mr. Pope would like to tell us what happened in that Rules Committee (fellow Marylander Diana Waterman apparently also served on the committee), and why the meeting was not delayed to allow critics of The Rule, including Morton Blackwell of Virginia, to arrive (surely they had cell phone communications!), and, why Boehner’s teleprompter was already loaded with what he was supposed to say in spite of what the delegates from the floor so clearly told the world—they wanted a roll call vote—we would be happy to hear it.
By the way, Pope is familiar with Rule monkey-business that infuriates the grassroots. I don’t want to get too deep here but Pope was involved in the huge Maryland controversy during the 2010 Ehrlich/Murphy primary days when the Maryland National Committeeman and Committeewomen decided to waive Rule 11 so that Erhlich could dip into RNC funds in advance of voters choosing our primary winner. That waiver created such hard feelings and acrimony that many lost their enthusiasm and didn’t bother much with the final O’Malley v. Ehrlich gubernatorial race.
This is what they (establishment operatives) don’t get!
I’ll bet Pope/Rove and their buddies at the RNC said to themselves and maybe to each other—where do these conservatives have to go anyway, surely they won’t vote for Obama! Or, in the Ehrlich/Murphy dirty trick case—surely they won’t vote for O’Malley. What they don’t consider is that the Tea Party conservative types are the workers and activists and what they will do (if frankly feeling screwed) is nothing! They won’t be out there walking precincts, making calls and waving signs.
And, incidentally, why be so stupid as to infuriate the Virginia delegation when Virginia is a must-win state for Romney and there are alternative candidates like Virgil Goode, here, who will be on the ballot?
One more troubling question has been raised about Maryland’s delegation to the RNC convention.
Did they ignore our conservative candidate Dan Bongino in Tampa? Is Maryland populated by a bunch of Bob Michel Republicans* who are so used to losing that they would rather accept Far Left Ben Cardin as their Senator than work to elect a conservative Republican who won the primary fair and square? What scares them so much about principled conservatives anyway? Or, are they so petty that they don’t want someone who is not in their cool kids club to win?
Here is a report at the Annapolis Patch on Bongino at Tampa. But the most interesting thing about the report, brought to my attention by reader Cathy, is this comment to the article:
What a classy gentleman…….he didn’t mention one time that the Maryland GOP virtually ignored him and our National Committee Woman……Nicolee Ambrose……..
As we learn more about what happened in Tampa, you can be sure we will be informing readers. In the meantime, if you have any money to spare for this election cycle, skip the RNC and the MD GOP and send your donations directly to candidates of your choice. You should know that Alex Mooney, Chairman of the MD GOP, praised Pope’s work in Tampa on his radio show yesterday.
* For you youngsters, Bob Michel was the minority leader of the US House of Representatives for decades before the Gingrich revolution. The Republicans were so used to being in the minority that they did what they had to to get a few bennies thrown their way, but there was no fight in them. Michel by all accounts was a nice guy, but his name has become an adjective for Republicans like most of those we unfortunately have in Annapolis these days.